Sunday, March 16, 2008


The time was 1989-1990 and the place was Shreveport, Louisiana. I remember it like it was yesterday. My church youth group was attending DCYM training at Centenary College...home of Robert Parish(Boston Celtics). The story goes, that I was trying to win the affection of a young lady from Lake Charles, but had no game and with my futile attempts hopped in the church van dejected and ready to come home to the embrace of my mother. Well on the way back home I asked to stop at the local record store and happened to buy the new debut release from A Tribe Called Quest. Being that I already had been jamming the 12 inch single of "Description of A Fool", I definitely needed a boost in spirits and this was going to do it for me. Well after flipping the tape over to side two, I stumbled upon the song that changed my life; "Bonita Applebaum". I remember cringing at the intro because is sounded so weird, but when the beat dropped I was hooked and I mean "hooked". Suffice it to say, I had to have played that song for the rest of the trip home.

After figuring the placement, I quickly threw it into my mixes during parties and people would always ask me who was that. I would say the "next big thing in hip-hop" and go on about my mixing. As the years went on, Bonita Applebaum became a Hip-Hop Classic and is still rocking parties to this day. Surprisingly, I heard it on V103 Friday morning and was just so elated to hear it.

The funny thing about the song is that I never knew who did the original because for the longest I thought that it was an orginal from ATCQ. Upon my searching, I finally found out that it was the group RAMP. Oddly enough, I remembered that my dad had the 45rpm, but of the song, "Everybody Loves The Sunshine". It really wasn't until 2000 when I found the album and paid $100.00 for a mint condition album....probably the most I have paid for a record to date. After the listening to RAMP's album, I realize there were more songs that were sampled by other artists and became even more intrigued.

A group that was based in Cincinnati and also an acronym for "Roy Ayers Music Productions," RAMP released one album in 1977 that didn't do all that much upon its release. However, decades later, as appreciation for anything bearing the mark of jazz-funk legend Roy Ayers has increased, the album has become a revered rare groove classic. Supported by the excellent "Daylight" (sampled by A Tribe Called Quest for "Bonita Applebaum") and a version of Ayers' "Everybody Loves the Sunshine," two anti-gravity soul/jazz-funk pearls, the rare album has been known to fetch extremely high prices among collectors. (It was reissued on CD in Japan in early 2007 and later in October in the United States.) The group — bassist Nate White, drummer John Manuel, guitarist Landy Shores, and vocalists Sibel Thrasher and Sharon Matthews — folded after the album's release but reconvened during the early 2000s.

So there you have it. The story behind one of hip-hop's classic songs. Below you will find the original and Tribe's version. Enjoy!!!

Ramp - Daylight ('77)

A Tribe Called Quest - Bonita Applebum ('89)

1 comment:

Dynae said...

I like how you break it down for us music history laymen. My parents would appreciate your passion as for many years they would tell me that the "new" song I was jamming was nothing but a remake. I jam your mixes in the ipod, in the office, in the car, and in the gym. Keep doing what you do and keep giving it to us. We love it! Dynae