Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Oliver!: 2 Too Many - Where's the Party? (20 March 1992)

This should have been an enormous mainstream hit.  It has bags of fun, charm and wit.  Was built around an infectious sample of The Isley Brothers' version of Stephen Stills's composition, Love The One You're With.  It also had the backing of Will Smith behind it, who had befriended this young West Philadelphia trio and signed them to his production company, before pairing them up with the producers of Summertime.  The love of socialising and rapping; of sharing your gift in a convivial environment with friends comes off this track in waves.  It shares Smith's disdain for those who want to use rap parties as an excuse to get violent or those who put machismo above looking good, feeling fine and having a good time.  There is some neat social observation though about the difficulties of hailing a cab when you're black.  But its primary concern, as it says itself, is making toes tap, which it does effortlessly.  Though not enough for a hit single surprisingly.  They also parted ways with Smith at the end of the year, though he took the "Work that body, work that body" line and piloted it to Number 1 a year later.

Peel was taken by the reference to Skip to my Lou from Meet Me in St. Louis, a musical and song which I starred in with a Falmouth youth theatre group in 1995.  He had tried in vain to find a good version to segue into after Where's the Party?

Basically, The Isley Brothers WERE hip-hop sampling at one point

Videos courtesy of mintunderground (2 Too Many) and koollatter (Isley Brothers).

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