Daddy B. Nice’s Corner June 2019 – news and opinion on Southern Soul RnB music and artists
June 14, 2019:
An expanded list of the songs vying for “Top Ten Singles” in June
Top 10 “Spillover” June 2019
1. “I Forgot That I Was Married”—J. Red The Nephew 2. “Party Hard”—J. Red The Nephew 3. “I Hump It”—O.B. Buchana 4. “I’m What You’re Looking For”—Luziana Wil featuring Crystal Thomas 5. “Sleepin’ Pill”—Hisyde featuring Chrissy Luvz 6. “No Woman No Cry”—Bishop Bullwinkle 7. “Return To Sender”—J.J. Caillier 8. “Can We Slip Away”—Willie Clayton 9. “Say Go”—Chris Ardoin 10. “Can You Handle It”—Kami Cole
11. “Done Messed Up”—Benito 12. “Cutting Up”—Bigg Robb featuring O.B. Buchana 13. “Saddle Up On It”— Diva Dee featuring Bruce Billups 14. “Step Till The Morning Light” — O.B. Buchana 15. “I’ve Got Two Lovers” — Miss Mini 16. “Oochie Coochie” — Hisyde 17. “Just A Love Song” — Nikita 18. “Southern Soul Party” — Rosalyn Candy 19. “I’m Better” — Andre’ Lee 20. “This Hill” — Alvin Garrett
21. “Tap Out” — C.J. Hill 22. “Old Back Road”—Jeter Jones featuring Addison Jones & Chalie Boy 23. “Southern Soul Rockin'” — Tha Don 24. “Back Up Plan Man”—Walt Luv 25. “Grown Folks Party” — Rodnae 26. “Swing Me Baby” — Little Kim Stewart 27. “Trailride Slide (Remix)”—Angel Faye Russell 28. “What We Do”—Cupid featuring Andrew Jackson 29. “Tonight’s The Night”— Till 1
31. “What’s Up For Tonight?” — J. Red The Nephew featuring Karen Wolfe 32. “I’m Free” — Uncle Wayne 33. “It’s The Weekend” — West Love 34. “Salt And Pepper” — Bigg Robb 35. “That Thang” — Sur Lloyd 36. “Country (Trail Mix)” — Marcell Cassanova featuring Cupid and Jeter Jones 37. “I Can Back It Up” — Choppa Law 38. “Catfish” — Calvin Duncan Jr. 39. “Juke Joint Money” — Uncle Fallay (Chris Andrus) 40. “Yanni’s Blues” — Ms. Yanni featuring Bruce Billups
June 5, 2019
Bishop Bullwinkle’s New “No Woman, No Cry” Single
Reggae was my blues in the seventies. I was in on it from the beginning, just as I’ve been in on contemporary southern soul from the get-go, just part of my never-ending search for new music, and what we need today is a movie soundtrack that brings southern soul to the world the way “The Harder They Come” brought reggae to the world in the early seventies. Jimmy Cliff was the star of the album and the movie, but my favorite cuts were by groups like The Melodians and their bluesy “Rivers Of Babylon.
Without “The Harder They Come,” “No Woman No Cry,” which came years later, would have remained a regional Jamaican hit, never heard in the U.S. Without that album–one movie soundtrack, just one–reggae would have remained regional and never heard by the masses (like southern soul in 2019). And if the album hadn’t appeared, there would have been no Bob Marley, who was simply an unknown member of a Kingston group called The Wailers. His group wasn’t even invited to be on that landmark album.
Bishop Bullwinkle is the only artist I’d be interested in hearing cover “No Woman No Cry,” simply because the idea sounds preposterous. I certainly never imagined Bullwinkle in Jamaican-colored head wear, puffing on a big blunt, like he does on the artwork for “No Woman, No Cry”.
Moreover, in Bullwinkle’s passionate testimony, I hear lyrics I never understood (or bothered to pay attention to) in the thousand-plus times I’ve listened to the Bob Marley version. I remembered the phrase “mingling with the good people we meet/In the government yard in Trenchtown,” but I’d never heard the scathing reference to “observing the hypocrites” (a critical phrase to have missed). And I had never heard an important line which Bullwinkle repeats in at least two verses: “Then I cooked some corn meal porridge/ Which I shared with you”.
It’s great to have Bishop Bullwinkle back. I wrote him off as a vanishing novelty act after a down and mostly absent year in my southern soul wrap-up for 2018: The Year In Review, and I’m so happy to have to eat my words. Bullwinkle’s got another single out (even newer than “No Woman No Cry”), and he’s once again touring on the concert scene.
Southern soul culture celebrates alcohol. Mel Waiters celebrated it in song and verse even though he didn’t drink. Unlike rap and hiphop, southern soul is a “grown-folks” culture, licentious but law-abiding. So to see and hear Bishop Bullwinkle put his blunt out there for all to see–“Hell naw! to the naw naw!”–gave me renewed respect for the man.
And I should add a caveat. The fact that Bullwinkle is promoting his song by appearing to smoke a joint the size of Texas doesn’t mean he smokes in real life. Why, he may never have touched the stuff! But the underlying fact is that with the release of that hilarious picture of him smoking herb, the good Bishop has broken one of the last southern soul taboos.
Of course, we all knew Bullwinkle was a brave man when he started singing “Hell Naw To The Naw Naw” to that first shopping-mall audience in Mobile captured on YouTube (now gone). And I’m not talking about the watered-down, pureed version–good as it is–the “Hell Naw To The Naw Naw” YouTube video people have to content themselves with on the Net nowadays. What is it?–Three years after the original went viral? I’m talking about the original with the Bigg Robb instrumental track (it was so much better, it pulled you along). I’m talking about the original with the “N-word” in the phrase “kids looking for a job/ with pants hanging down their knees/ I say, ‘N—-, please!”
This was part of his “blazing preacher” viral breakout. The phrase was perfect in the context of the lyric–and also rhythmic. I mean, if we can appreciate it when Richard Pryor says it, why can’t we appreciate it when Bishop Bullwinkle says it?
Don’t tell me. I know the answer to that question, and it bores me. Even Richard ended up repenting. That’s why I’ll continue to scratch out the new music like a barnyard rooster, getting it while it’s fresh, in all its squirming and crawling messiness.
–Daddy B. Nice
See “No Woman, No Cry,” Daddy B. Nice’s #6-ranked Southern Soul Single for June ’19 (right-hand column this page)