1. “Gonna Make U Sweat” C & C Music Factory ft Freedom Williams
For one it’s a song I had the pleasure of being a significant part of and its iconic. It also reminds me of perseverance. I was essentially homeless when I wrote it to a candle at night. And it blew up. Hey maybe it’s the candle!
2. “My Melody” by Eric B and Rakim
It was the record that changed the rap game and the way I think about rhymes for ever. Peace to the God.
3. “Papa Damnballah” Toto Bissainthe
Well Toto is an iconic Haitian singer whose pure vocals are unmatched. She fled to France during the Duvalier era. She sang these gospel-like jazzy voodoo songs which was interesting to me. Her life story is fascinating; film, stage, theatre. My great grandfather was the first ambassador to Haiti so I have an affinity for Haitian culture.
4. “Shut Em Down” Public Enemy
This a classic chuck D song over a Pete Rock remix. Crazy horns bassline and drums – a perfect match of two hip hop giants of all time, great great hip hop record… classic.
5. “Redemption Song” Bob Marley
This song is a song sung truly from the heart it’s the true black national anthem. “oh pirates yes they rob I sold I to the merchant ships, minutes after they took I, from the bottomless pits, but my hands were made strong by the hands of the almighty…” what more can be said…. We hear now.
6. “Sorry” Tracy Chapman
Classic Tracy Chapman; one of my fave artists. She sings of love in a bluesy, folksy, gritty way… this song is so heartfelt.
7. “Love You More Today Than Yesterday” Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder I consider the greatest popular songwriter in American history. This is a song Stevie Wonder wrote early in his career and many people forget it. It’s like he took a Burt Bacharach record and one upped Burt! Uptempo 1/4 beat. Once you hear it you want to sing it all the time.
8. “I Cant Make You Love Me” Bonnie Raitt
It’s like Bonnie was peeking into a love affair that every human being has had. She really expressed breakups like I have never heard. She described the inner feelings of the person being dumped from such a poignant perspective. You forget or don’t even consider the fact that the person being dumped might have been an asshole you just feel sorry for them. WOW!
9. “Miss U” Everything But The Girl (Remix)
House and club at its best pop songwriting fervor. Those keyboard hits 135 bpm dance floor tempo. You could play it in any situation; club, party, school, wedding, funeral – it doesn’t matter.
10. “A Love Supreme” John Coltrane
Listen to it. It’s the definition of soloing; bass, drums, keys, sax, it’s 50 minutes of solos! John Coltrane was the best.
Speakerbox ft Freedom Williams ‘Mindbounce’ is out now on Sea To Sun Records.