[Funk] “Gust of Wind” – Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams

This is the year of Pharrell – 41 years in the making.

Mr. Williams began making a name for himself in the early 90s as a producer and writer, with his most distinctive sound known as the “Neptunes Sound” – coming out from his former group N.E.R.D.

Pharrell admits that he always saw himself as the man standing next to the big star. Producing hits for Britney Spears, Jay-Z, Nelly, Usher, Puffy, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani… and so many others, 2014 was the year that Pharrell now stood front and centre with the release of his latest album, GIRL. Tracks pull in influences from funk, soul, hip hop, rnb and even church – to the point where you can’t help but get up and dance.

“It Girl” is a favourite of mine, referencing the title of his album, which he goes on to explain is dedicated to all of the people that had supported him and continues to support him in his life – who were all mostly women.

Another favourite from GIRL is “Gust of Wind” ft. Daft Punk, whom he had great successes with on the “Get Lucky” track. Like most songs on his latest album, the track mixes funk, soul and smooth rnb, taking you back and giving you a little taste of the 70s with, of course, that memorable Pharrell twist.

[R&B] – Leon Haywood vs. Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Leon Haywood

Leon Haywood, an American funk and soul musician from the 60s and 70s, created a piece of genius called I Wanna Do Something Freaky to You. It was so popular that many artists have ripped off the same tune to add to their track resumes, including Mariah Carey’s You Had Your Chance, Redman’s Rockafella and many more. Here’s Haywood’s smooth single from 1975:

Probably the most popular remake is the gangster-infused Nothin’ But a G Thang by Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. Besides the change from Haywood’s sexy yet subtle lyrics to Snoop and Dre’s more explicit (and less romantic) gangster rap, the flow remains the same but with a little more hip hop in the mix. It’s like this and like that and like this and uh.

What’s your take? Do you prefer the original Haywood version or the rap and rhyme of Snoop and Dre?

p.s. Did y’all see that baby dancing in the video?