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Hip-Hop Weekly: The Eternal Throwback “Let Me Clear My Throat”

I remember sitting in the car, driving home from some sports’ practice in 1996 hearing it, and thinking, “Hmm I like this.” I was 7 and it struck a chord in me.

To this day, “Let Me Clear My Throat” is a throwback that knocks ‘em dead at parties and is guaranteed to be sung along to anywhere it’s played. Maybe it’s those brassy horns, or the ridiculous rapping of a guy named DJ Kool, but it made its mark in ’96 in Philadelphia and it still stands as one of the best hip-hop songs of all time.

One guy I met said he was the there the night DJ Kool performed “Let Me Clear My Throat” for the first time at the Bahama Bay Club in Philly. Now, everytime he hears it, he’s reminded of celebrating his birthday surrounded by friends hearing that crazy rap performed for the first time, making its mark on hip-hop history.

So why does this song make listeners flashback to the first time they heard it? First off, almost everyone knows it. And if you don’t, get acquainted. Then there’s the call back where the audience gets to join in to the “clear my throat” rap. But best of all, it’s the shout out “now all the ladies in the place, if you got real hair, real fingernails, if you got a job, you going to school and ya’ll need nobody to help you handle your business make some noise.”

It’s strong, it’s real, it’s simple, it’s funky, and it gets in your head. It’s original. You remember it. You want to sing along, you want to make some noise and you want to keep hearing it. It’s a basic hip-hop song that has everything right going on. And 13 years later, that’s what makes it a welcomed throwback.

–Becca Aydelotte

If you like Hip-Hop, R&B and throwbacks tune in to HipHop for BREAKFAST on WERW Mondays 4-7am

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R&B Weekly: Maxwell

There’s something about a slow, sensual R&B song that takes us back to that particular moment we heard it. Maybe it’s the smooth melody, or the rich vocals, or even the image of the artist singing it. We don’t always know what it is, but there’s something about them. Those slow jams. They sink into your skin and melt your heart. You may even close your eyes to listen to them. You’re transported somewhere else.  To that moment.

For some of us that moment is sitting on a porch, sipping wine by candlelight and hearing the incredible voice of Maxwell for the first time. His voice carries out over the late summer’s night air, and wraps around you. You remember every word, every sound and every breath. You feel something.

If you don’t know Maxwell you’re missing out. Quite possibly the king of current R&B, Maxwell recently released his newest album BLACK summer’s night after a 6 year hiatus, and it’s everything we love about him, but newer and maybe even better. His hit single “Pretty Wings” is not only tearing up the Billboard charts, but tearing up our hearts as well. Every ounce of soul he brought to his album Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite is back and more soulful than ever.

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