In honor of Stevie Wonder‘s 65th Birthday TheSource.com celebrates with the Stevie songs that inspired some of the best sampled Hip Hop classics…
1. “That Girl”
“That Girl” single released in 1981 was the leading single from Stevie Wonder’s album-era greatest-hits compilation, Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium I, as one of four newer songs from the collection. The song spent nine weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B singles chart and reached number four on the Hot 100. It was later sampled by 2Pac on his song, “So Many Tears” and covered by R&B singer Joe.
Tupac “So Many Tears”
Stevie Wonder “That Girl”
2. “Rocket Love”
“Rocket Love” was a single on Hotter than July Stevie’s nineteenth album originally released on Motown’s Tamla label on September 29, 1980. The LP was certified platinum and reached number three on the US Billboard chart. This was his most successful album in the UK, peaking at number two and producing four top ten singles. GZA later sampled the track in “Cold World”.
GZA “Cold World”
Stevie Wonder “Rocket Love”
3. “Sir Duke”
Wonder wrote the song as a tribute to Duke Ellington, a bandleader and jazz pianist who had an influence on him as a musician. After Ellington died in 1974, Wonder wanted to write a song acknowledging musicians he felt were important. He later said,
I knew the title from the beginning but wanted it to be about the musicians who did something for us. So soon they are forgotten. I wanted to show my appreciation.”
Later tributes included “Master Blaster” in 1980 which was dedicated to Bob Marley and “Happy Birthday”, which pleaded for commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. on his birthday. A Tribe Called Quest later sampled the song in “Footprints”.
A Tribe Called Quest “Footprints”
Stevie Wonder “Sir Duke”
4. “Part Time Lover”
The 1985 single by Wonder, from his album In Square Circle. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, R&B, dance, and adult contemporary charts. The song’s simultaneous chart success made him the first artist to score a number-one hit on four different Billboard charts. It is Wonder’s most recent Hot 100 number-one single to date. The song also reached number three on the UK singles chart. Featuring strong>Luther Vandross humming at the end of Stevie’s verses and on backing vocals, it earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. Tupac later sampled it in “Part Time Mutha”.
Tupac “Part Time Mutha”
Stevie Wonder “Part Time Lover”
5. “Past Time Paradise”
The lyrics of “Past Time Paradise” released 1976 attack the materialistic and pleasure seeking society of the modern times. The song is said to have a religious tone due to its use of a choir and Hare Krishna chanters and its lyrics represent behaviors that Wonder finds as sinful to mankind:
Tell me who of them will come to be. How many of them are you and me? Dissipation of race relations, consolation, segregation, dispensation, isolation, exploitation, mutilation, mutations, miscreation, confirmation to the evils of the world.”
Coolio later used the sample in “Gangsta’s Paradise” off the album Gangsta’s Paradise, as well as the Dangerous Minds soundtrack in 1995 which samples the chorus.
Coolio “Gangstas Paradise”
Stevie Wonder “Pat Time Paradise”
6. “Do I Do”
Released in 1982 on the album Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium I. The single peaked at #2 on the soul chart and peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. On the US dance chart, “Do I Do” went to number one for two weeks and overseas, it reached #10 in the UK. Jah Rule later sampled the song in “Livin It Up”.
Jah Rule “Livin It Up”
Stevie Wonder “Do I Do”
HAPPY 65th BIRTHDAY TO YA! Stevie Wonder from TheSource.com
-Infinite Wiz (@Infinite Wiz)