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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.

John P. KeeOld 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.

Shirley Murdock CD"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 R&B fame.

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!


feature by Melanie Clark




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