Today, we’re going to play a little game of Lemme Borrow That Hook, and fold that into the Morning Groove. (An example can be found in this post).
The story begins in late 1983, when the group DeBarge releases their third album, called In A Special Way. On that album there is a song that would become more famous after its now-signature hook was used in two other memorable hits decades later. The song was never released as a single, but crate diggers, samplers and producers in years to come would take that hook and make it more memorable than it ever was when it was originally released.
That song with the golden hook was called “Stay With Me,” and it’s today’s Morning Groove.
Of course, this would be the album that would cement DeBarge the group, and El DeBarge as the primary lead singer, as legitimate R&B superstars.
Fast forward to 1995, and Puff Daddy, as he was then known, was in the process of making R&B and hip-hop hits lifting chunks of older songs to make new ones. One of his most popular lifts took the hook from “Stay With Me” for Notorious B.I.G.’s remix of “One More Chance.” You’ll hear that hook right from the jump. And the video is fun to watch just to see all the cameos in it—Mary J. Blige, Heavy D., Zhané, Faith Evans, Aaliyah, and more. This song ended up being a smash, staying at #1 on the R&B list for nine weeks, and peaking at #2 on the Pop list for three weeks. It was also his biggest R&B hit.
Then late in 2001 the Murder Inc. crew, began production for their new artist Ashanti. For her first single, they borrowed that hook one more time to create “Foolish.” Like in “One More Chance,” you can hear it from the very beginning of the track. And once again, a song created from the DeBarge building block became a smash hit, landing at #1 for ten weeks on the R&B and Pop charts in 2002, becoming her biggest hit. I had forgotten that actor Terrence Howard, now well-known as Lucious Lyon on the hit television show Empire, has a role in this video.
The song has also been sampled or interpolated in songs by Blige (“Don’t Go”) and Mariah Carey (“I’ll Be Lovin’ U Long Time”), and there may be more examples that I’m not aware of at the moment. Can’t argue with its past successes, and somewhere El DeBarge, as well as his siblings Bunny and Mark (if they are still here among us) are cashing royalty checks. So, enjoy today’s Morning Groove, done up three similar, and yet different ways. And as always, thanks for reading and listening.