John P. Kee's Not Guilty: The Experience
An Analysis Of That Old School Flava Influence
It is interesting to see how musical influences stay with us as we transition
through life. As they follow us, we share them with other people. The link
of secular to Gospel is a veritable web woven. Pay attention and we'll take you
through some of the maze.— feature by Melanie
Old school R&B flava is evident in Kee's music,
in some cases more directly than others. The project Not Guilty: The Experience (
see review) features
some creative extrapolations from some late 70s and 80's tunes that make for some
interesting highlights. For example, "Not Guilty (Partakrew Mix)" has parts of
1985 hit "Computer Love" woven in. The tune was originally recorded by
Zapp, and co-written by the late Roger Troutman, the late Larry
Troutman, and also Shirley Murdock.
Murdock has since been featured on Bishop T.D. Jakes' Sacred Love
Songs project (see review) and earlier this year toured with the gospel
play Be Careful What You Pray For. She is also seen and heard ministering
to Kelly Price on Price's 2000 video and redo of Murdock's hit from a
previous life "As We Lay".
Still with me? Okay, back to Not Guilty. Roger Troutman's nephew
Rufus, is featured on Kee's title cut "Not Guilty" on lead/talkbox,
keeping it real in the tradition of his late uncle.
On Kee's "What's the Verdict?" he flows complete with excerpts from "Wobble,
Wobble" recently laid down by the 504 Boyz. Vocal cadences are
reminiscent of the Public Enemy of old and are topped off with
vocoder licks again by Troutman.
"Rain on Us" drops the chorus of "She's
A Bad Mama Jama" which was originally recorded in 1981 by Carl
Carlton and was written by Leon Haywood of 80's
Next, Kee's "It's Possible" features excerpts of "Back in Love".
This Jeffrey Osbourne led tune recorded by LTD
in 1977 has been much sampled. Recent interpretations can be
heard on Will Smith's "Da Butta" with Lil' Kim,
and also on Trin-i-tee 5:7's "Put Your Hands"
(see album review).
The song writing team of Zane Grey and Len Ron Hanks are also
responsible for hits for The Tavares and Lenny Williams.
Williams' vocal trademark has left it's mark on R&B crooner and
producer R. Kelly, whose 1996 inspirational hit "I Believe
I Can Fly" has been interpreted by church youth choirs everywhere.
Warned you it was a maze!
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The video for Strength remixes some of the songs from the CD, including adding elements of The Gap Band's "Outstanding". Check our review of the Strength Video.