This Beat Is Mine! (*) The Gap Band – I’m Gonna Git You Sucka (Extended Version) (Arista)
“I’m gonna git you sucka…” Say wot? As a Soul Music lover, the scorn of many of my contemporaries when in front of a remix has always surprised me. As if it was a murder. Therefore, no wonder why such a situation most likely engendered the fragmentation of music into so many different niches.
Of course, people like Tony Humphries or Frankie Knuckles made themselves a name in the clubs. And, as a result, into Dance Music. But a quick look at their roots suffices to show their influences in R&B. With the first remixing The O’Jays‘ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’. Meanwhile the latter reworked ‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’ which Norman Whitfield penned for The Gap Band.
‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’… A track which served as the opening cut to the OST of Keenen Ivory Wayans‘s 1988 American action comedy parody blaxploitation film of the name.
So what the fuss about these remixes during all these years? I wonder, considering myself music as a whole. And even more when realizing how both Humphries and Knuckles have remained true to the original spirit of both these gems.
This Beat Is Mine! (*)
Once in a week (on Wednesdays), we leave you at the command of IDMW…
For this to happen, nothing’s more easy… What you’ve just got to do is drop us a line while using our contact form and let us know about your favorite piece of music (*), along with a review explaining what it suggests you and why people should dig it. And the best of it will be given a publication with your credit the week after.
With warm thanks to Aosta-based correspondent, Ottavio Pelissier, for this week’s suggestion…
From Tulsa, OK, The Gap Band were the brothers Wilson (Charlie, Robert and Ronnie). Even though they came to count extra members at a time or another. Like Val Young for instance who collaborated with them on 5 albums. Or Malvin “Dino” Vice who eventually produced a couple of projects for Yarbrough & Peoples.
The Gap Band had their first break back in 1974. This while becomin’ the backup band for fellow Oklahoman Leon Russell on his ‘Stop All That Jazz’ album. As a matter of fact, ‘Magicians Holiday’, their debut-album that same year, didn’t make any particular impression. No more than its follow-up – a first eponymous album of theirs – which saw the light 3 years after on RCA.
A meeting with producer Lonnie Simmons will change everything though. With the latter contributing to most of the biggest classics of the group.
One could sort of feel the beginning of a change on their second self-titled album back in 1979. Then on its follow-up – ‘Gap Band II’ – which features the memorable ‘I Don’t Believe You Want to Get Up and Dance (Oops!)’, re-titled ‘Oops Up Side Your Head’. ‘Meanwhile Charlie Wilson provided background vocals on Stevie Wonder‘s 1980 hit ‘I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It’, from his ‘Hotter Than July’ album.
The group reachin’ the Grail with their ‘The Gap Band III’ album during the same year. An effort which spanned the classics ‘Humpin”, ‘Yearning For Your Love’ and the #1 R&B hit ‘Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)’.
From their 1984 ‘Gap Band IV’ album, ‘Early In The Morning’, ‘You Dropped A Bomb On Me’ and ‘Outstanding’ strenghtened their position to the forefront. And so did ‘Party Train’ from their ‘V’ album, although the latter happened to be kinda weak as a whole in comparison. Their 6th episode went kinda better. Spanning extra goodies such as ‘I Found My Baby’ and ‘Disrespect’ back in 1984. Meanwhile Charlie Wilson and Shirley Murdoch provided backing vocals on Zapp & Roger‘s ‘Computer Love’ that same year.
‘Gap Band VII’ didn’t make it at all despite the presence of their cover version of the classic ‘Going In Circles’. And the group strated strugglin’ in their homeland. Eventually scoring their biggest success in the UK with ‘Big Fun’, from their ‘8’ album.
The end of the 80’s saw them makin’ some extra noise. This with ‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’. A track which Norman Whifield co-wrote with William Bryant II, it served as the opening cut to the OST of Keenen Ivory Wayans‘s 1988 American action comedy parody blaxploitation film of the name. The swingin’ ‘All My Love’ from their 1989 ‘Round Trip’ debut-album for Capitol standing as their last #1 R&B hit…
During the 90’s, the band released three non-charting studio albums and two live albums. Meanwhile Charlie Wilson ventured into a solo career back in 1992, counting several moderate R&B hits on his own.
The Gap Band retired back in 2010, after some 43 years together. Their music inspired countless artists. Beginning with late producer Heavy D who sampled ‘Outstanding’ on Soul For Real‘s ‘Every Little Thing I Do’ hit single back in 1995.
Robert Wilson died of a heart attack at his home in Palmdale, CA on Aug. 15, 2010, aged 53.
– A quick typing – ‘Frankie Knuckles’ – in the search box of our site should give you a certain idea of his legacy. And, by that, of the consideration we have for him. Standing among the most prolific but first and foremost talented producers/remixers of his generation. With his name firmly associated to a signature – the Def Mix Sound – and an alter ego – David Morales. Themselves synonyms with some of the most brilliant episodes in the maturation of the contemporary groove.
A native New Yorker, Frankie Knuckles arrived right on time to witness the early stages of the nightclubbing and its music – Disco – in the Big Apple. Eventually hangin’ out with his friend, Larry Levan, before comin’ to play Disco, Soul and R&B jams at The Continental Baths and The Gallery.
Knuckles relocated to Chicago, IL by the second half of the 70’s. This after a friend of his by the likes of Robert Williams had opened a space that was to become The Warehouse. Eventually inviting him to play on a regular basis. There, he came with a blend of everything, from Disco classics to European electronic fueled sounds and Rock. The whole setting up the foundations as what was to become House Music by the middle of the 80’s. This along with the use of drum machines and samplers.
Knuckles made his thing in Chicago, eventually collaborating with Jamie Principle. But he also happened to join forces with David Morales and For The Record DJ Pool founder Judy Weinstein under the Def Mix Productions banner to help manage remix requests and handle artist business affairs.
All in all, on his own or along with either David Morales or Eric Kupper, Frankie Knuckles has remixed and produced over 600 releases. With the list of those he happened to rework the music of givin’ a better idea of the impact he generated. And this way above the strict spheres of House Music. Beginning with blasts from the past such as My Mine‘s ‘Hypnotic Tango’ which he came to rework. But also Jago‘s quite sought after ‘I’m Going To Go’. Then Double Exposure‘s ‘My Love Is Free’ and Diana Ross (‘Love Hangover’). Eventually bringin’ fragments of his universe on Swing Out Sister‘s ‘Notgonnachange’. The latter being an example of the demand he generated in the UK. From Tongue’N’Cheek‘s ‘Tomorrow’ to L.A. Mix‘s ‘Live Together’ and D*Note (‘D*Votion 99’). Not to mention Lisa Stansfield‘s ‘Change’ or Loose Ends‘ ‘Hangin’ On A String’).
Of course, Frankie Knuckles made some noise in the House scene. Responsible for seminal tracks such as ‘Tears’ along with Satoshi Tomiie and Robert Owens. But also ‘And I Loved You’ featuring the same Tomiie and Arnold Jarvis. Both of them on FFRR. And how to not think of the burning ‘One Man’ by the likes of Chanelle back in 1989? Or Lil Louis feat. ChinahBlac‘s ‘Fable’??? With the same applying to Hercules & Love Affair‘s ‘Blind’. Then Sybil‘s ‘Let’s Yourself Go’. With the list to be incomplete without a mention to the Director’s Cut signature which he put together along with long time friend Eric Kupper.
And, just like David Morales, he also created serious bridges with R&B names. Beginning with Michael Jackson (‘Rock With You’). But also Chaka Khan (‘Ain’t Nobody’) and David Peaston (‘We’re All In This Together’). This in addition to The Gap Band (‘I’m Gonna Git You Sucka’) and Chanté Moore (‘This Time’). Then Toni Braxton (‘Un-Break My Heart’) and Womack & Womack (‘MPB’). Not to mention En Vogue‘s ‘You Don’t Have To Worry’ or Will Downing‘s ‘A Love Supreme’…
Meanwhile, under his own banner, Knuckles also made quite an impression. Delivering his debut-album – ‘Beyond The Mix’ – back in 1991. And in the meantime one of his biggest classics ever by the likes of ‘The Whistle Song’. Eventually sharing the bill four years later with Jersey songstress Adeva on the ‘ Welcome To The Real World’ album. With his final album – ‘A New Reality’ – seeing the light back in 2004.
Frankie Knuckles sadly died on March 31, 2014 in Chicago, IL, of complications from diabetes. He was 59…
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