This week we take a closer look at Southside Movement's funky 1973 classic "I Been Watching You." SM had an unfortunately short run for such an interesting group, releasing their self-titled debut in 1973 and ultimately disbanding in 1975. The group consisted of vocalist Melvin Moore, guitarist Bobby Pointer, keyboardist Morris Beeks, bassist Ronald Simmons, drummer Willie Hayes, alto saxophonist Milton Johnson, trumpeter Stephen Hawkins, and trombonist Bill McFarland. That's quite the ensemble cast to come together to play some funky music and then abruptly call it quits and go their separate ways. I'm sure there's got to be a good book out there somewhere that explains why and I need to find it and read it. They originally came together as the backup band for Simtec & Wylie, another group whose career did not expand beyond the 1970's.
My first exposure to Southside Movement was like so many hip-hop samples in my childhood shrouded in obscurity. Nobody told me that Scarface's "PD Roll 'Em" sampled them, and the liner notes inserted into Rap-A-Lot Records would not have done me any favors either. Many of them were a one sided sheet with just the cover artwork and nothing on the back. That might sound thrifty and cheap by today's standards, but you weren't buying Rap-A-Lot albums to know what songs were sampled anyway. You just wanted to hear stone cold gangsters like "Mister Mister Brad" tearing up the tracks.
It's only later that I learned the name of the group and song that Scarface's song first introduced me to, and that was only through the accident of hearing it in OTHER rap songs. That distinctive bass line of "I Been Watching You" is hard to miss any time, anywhere that you hear it. Here are three other examples of this stone cold groove.
* Cormega - "American Beauty"
* Ghostface Killah f/ Cap, Raekwon - "Camay"
* Jadakiss f/ Nas - "Show Discipline"
For the next seven days it's your chance to vote on which one of these four songs used Southside Movement best. Make your voice heard! Who Sampled It Better?
"Who Sampled It Better" returns with "I Been Watching You" by Southside Movement! Vote now.