Lost but not least! Whodini – Nasty Lady (Jive)
“Who’s that knockin’ at my door? Excuse me? Excuse me? Can I tell you a story? About this lady I once met in an underground discotheque. You see I only knew this lady for one night, but what she did will stay with me for the rest of my life. No matter what I do it stays on my mind, it sticks with me time after time. So if you ever want someone who’s gonna drive you crazy, I think you better try to find the nasty lady…”
I remember the fascination that went mine by the first time I heard Whodini’s ‘Nasty Lady’. That was by the time of its release… in an underground discothèque. In other words, le Vaudeville in Brussels, if not doin’ a mistake. A place, where, just like at Le Palace in Paris, anything could happen.
I couldn’t resist to this freakin’ syncopation. And, in the meantime, its patchwork of influences. From its rocky guitar riffs to its devastating Electro fueled slammin’ rhythm pattern. Not to mention the narration of this story over an infectious funky bassline. In a flow more or less reminding of things such as Spandau Ballet‘s ‘Chant No 1 (I Don’t Need This Pressure)’. If not Beggar & Co‘s ‘Somebody Help Me Out’. Thus tellin’ myself I had to grab a copy of it the day after at the record shop – le Top 30 – next door. Meanwhile I couldn’t help myself thinkin’ as to how this ‘Nasty Lady’ thing punctuated with girls’ shoutings might have had an influence on Serge Gainsbourg‘s famous ‘Love On The Beat’ released the year after…
Most likely rated as a Hip-Hop group although not only I would be tempted to say, Whodini saw the light in Brooklyn back in 1981. This from the reunion between Jalil Hutchins (vocalist and main lyricist), DJ/turntablist Drew carter aka Grandmaster Dee and John Fletcher aka Ecstasy (co-vocalist, remembered for wearing a Zorro-style hat as his trademark). With Russell Simmons, the brother of Joseph ‘Run’ Simmons of Run DMC, acting as their manager during their early days. And the late Larry Smith, a bass player who also handled much of Run DMC‘s early work. Himself producing their ‘Escape’ and ‘Back In Black’ albums, respectively in 1984 and 1986.
All in all, Whodini released 6 albums from 1983 until 1996. From their self-titled debut-album, the booming ‘Nasty Lady’ standing among their signature cuts. Although it got quite overshadowed by ‘Magic’s Wand’. If not by ‘The Haunted House Of Rock’ which became a Halloween anthem. Just like ‘Freaks Come Out At Night’ from their ‘Escape’ follow-up album the year after. This along with other gems such as the vocoderized ‘Five Minutes Of Funk’.
‘Last Night I Had A Long Talk With Myself’… But also ‘Funky Beat’ and the memorable ‘I’m A Ho’, both from their ‘Back In Black’ album, pretty much strenghtening their legacy. With their 1987 ‘Open Sesame’ abum closing their account for the 80’s. Meanwhile they would reappear in 1991 with a one-off album – ‘Bag – A – Trix’ – for MCA. Eventually delivering – ‘Six’ – their last effort in the series on Jermaine Dupri‘s So So Def label back in 1996.
In March 2012, Whodini was featured in Season 5 Episode 3 of the TV One hour-long music documentary series ‘Unsung’…