Classics: Monie Love – Down To Earth (Touch Down Mix) (Cooltempo)
Defected Records CEO Simon Dunmore couldn’t be more… down to earth with the concept of his remix of Monie Love‘s cut of the likes. Bringin’ the British Hip-Hop emcee to some irresistible level. Thus comin’ up with a firing definition of Hip/Jazz. Then for that cleverly blending together elements of various Jazz/Funk masterpieces. And, as a result, turnin’ his remix of ‘Down To Earth’ into a masterpiece in itself.
“Down To Earth…” The feeling is just irresistible. From the first notes of the funky bass-driven rhythm line which he borrowed from Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes‘ classic ‘Expansions’. To the instantly recognizable vocal hook of the psychedelic ‘Hey Uh-What You Say Come On’ courtesy of Roy Ayers. Not to mention bits’ n’ bops of Gene Chandler‘s ‘Get Down’. And I wouldn’t be surprised being said he also used little fragments of Ayers‘ ‘Running Away’ here or there.
Strange, with so many spicy ingredients as to how ‘Down To Earth’ didn’t reach a level comparable to ‘It’s A Shame (My Sister)’ in the charts. Or, at least, to her cover version of the M.O.R. ‘Ring My Bell’…
The younger sister of British Techno producer Dave Angel, Monie Love is regarded as a key figure in the British Hip-Hop. Meanwhile she also made herself quite a name in America as both a member of The Native Tongues and the protegee of Queen Latifah.
The first recording of this London native brings us back to 1987. This as the emcee of Jus Badd (DJ Pogo, MC Mell’O’ and Sparki). The year after, she dropped her debut-single by the likes ‘I Can Do This’ on Cooltempo. But also her first rework, remixing Fine Young Cannibals‘ classic ‘She Drives Me Crazy’.
1989 saw her sharing the bill with Queen Latifah on the pro-feminist ‘Ladies First’. But also with De La Soul and The Jungle Brothers, respectively on ‘Buddy’ and ‘Doin’ Our Own Dang’. Thus establishing herself as the next force to count with on the Hip-Hop scene. Eventually delivering the firing ‘Grandpa’s Party’ with remixing work courtesy of Soul II Soul‘s Jazzie B and Nellee Hooper. This in addition to her appearance on the Danny D‘s remix of Adeva‘s classic ‘Respect’. As many teasers to increase the attention on the release of her debut-album which saw the light in 1990.
1990 happened to be in the same caliber for Love as its predecessor. With extra contributions to Al B. Sure!‘s ‘Missunderstanding’ and Stetsasonic‘s ‘A.F.R.I.C.A.’. This in addition to Adeva‘s cover version of Anita Ward‘s ‘Ring My Bell’. And the release of her awaited debut-album (‘Down To Earth’). An effort which features an impressive series of essentials. From ‘Grandpa’s Party’ to its title track and ‘Ring My Bell’. This in addition to two Grammy-nominated hits. In other words, ‘Monie In The Middle’ and ‘It’s A Shame (My Sister)’. A cut built on a sample of the (Detroit) Spinners‘ ‘It’s A Shame’ which Stevie Wonder wrote for them.
By 1991 she joined Whitney Houston on the L.A. & Babyface produced ‘My Name Is Not Susan’. And she also added her voice to the ‘Boyz N The Hood’ OST with the Jazzy Jeff and Craig King produced ‘Work It Out’. The year after seeing her doin’ the same on the ‘Class Act’ OST with Marley Marl in charge of the production of ‘Full Term Love’.
‘In A Word Or 2’, her awaited second album, hit the streets back in 1993 with Love and Marl goin’ further way in terms of collaboration. But also jammin’ along with Marsha McClurkin and Mary Brown aka M&M on ‘Full Term Love’. With Prince eventually producing ‘Born 2 B.R.E.E.D.’ and its title track. And Love in return writing a couple of tracks for Carmen Electra, beginning with ‘Go Go Dancer’. Last but not least, she eventually joined Cunnie Williams back in 1998 on the Mousse T-produced ‘Saturday’ (Peppermint Jam).
Strangely enough, ‘In A Word Or 2′ would be her final album. The lady from then makin’ herself a name as a radio personality.