Image from discogs.com
Hip-Hop started with the idea of remixing or using our parents’ vinyl records and modernize their sound. The breakbeats and witty wordplay over the sound allowed the samples to live on, becoming an essential aspect of the genre as a whole.
Many few artists have been samples throughout Hip-Hop’s growth over the past few decades. Jazz legends that enthroned their image during their prime years were again set for another revitalization. Miles Davis and Roy Ayers essentially come into my mind first, but a plethora of other artists have also been immortalized through the youthful noise.
Sade’s voice is still ingrained in American culture to this day. Her music has been on the back of the minds of Americans since the early 1980s. Her music has been an element of sampling throughout Hip-Hop’s evolution. Her music has the right amount of melancholy and sweetness for flipping potential.
Image from pitchfork.com
Besides her essence in Hip-Hop, Sade is known as one of the more influential female figures in Jazz and R&B. The group itself consists of three members. Saxophonist Stuart Matthewman, Keyboardist Andrew Hale, Bass guitarist Paul Denman, Drummer Paul Cooke, and vocalist Sade Adu.
Nigerian-born British vocalist Sade Adu first pursued the realm of fashion design during her college years. After a few inspiring circumstances, as well as some surely epiphanic moments, her voice was put through musical motions.
What put the group Sade in the forefront in the 1980s was Adu’s distinct voice. She hits the right notion in between, I would assume, Mezzo-soprano and Contralto. It’s matured and well natured. Her effervescing range hits the notes carefully displayed by her affiliated instrumentalists, which creates such a mature atmosphere.
Image from vulture.com
When she sings, there is no petulant nature involved. She’s in control of her romanticized misery and foretells these stories through her maturity. As a result, she attracts the audience of understanding, not an audience of insolence.
This is most vividly shown in her compilation album, The Best of Sade. In this compilation, a pile of her most commercially successful songs is curated here. This album holds sixteen of those songs, most vividly displaying what defined Sade during their prime years.
Without dissertating each song in order, a few displayed of my taste will be asserted here, just to summarize their power on paper.
Smooth Operator tells the story of down-and-outers striving in the metropolitans of America. Essentially, it’s the story of necessary manhood. The sound is serene, maybe a little melancholy, but catchy altogether.
Video uploaded from Sade (YouTube)
The story is effective because of Adu’s way of foretelling it. With her qualitative voice, she describes the character, puts them in the environment, then lets the sound paint the picture.
The song Cherish the Day is a poignant display of their abilities. Adu seems as if she’s coming out from a vulnerable reservoir from her system, which isn’t clear if she is or isn’t just telling another story. Denman’s guitar purely elongates the aesthetic of this song, along with Adu’s vocal capability and Hale’s billowing chords. It’s a love song that penetrates through any stereotype possible.
Video uploaded by Sade (YouTube)
With all these elements intertwined, the result is an aural journey. The song is somber and poignantly romantic, defining the 1980’s music that Prince had initiated, just with less Pop appeal.
Through maturity and enhancing knowledge, we now can fully comprehend the power Sade and similar artists had in the decade, as well as today. This is well apparent with Hip-Hop artists today, through growing up with your passion and field of study.
Sade is a well known musical archetype that our parents were known to play in the car or in the house during our youth. As children, this served as background noise that represented the blurry image of our early household years. Through growth and maturity, Sade’s music speaks more to us every day, as all infamous artists do.