Recycle It!: Which 'Rapture' Would You Rather Be Caught Up In?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Toe to toe dancing very close...From that opening line, Debbie Harry has already seduced you into further exploring "Rapture", the song that brought Blondie a #1 hit in 1981. The song is quite an important piece of musicship as it was one of the first (if not the first) rap oriented songs that brought mainstream awareness to the underground movement of rhymes and MC's, something that is all too common now. We've had the debate on which came first, Teena Marie's 1981 "Square Biz" or Blondie's "Rapture", with "Rapture" taking 1st place as it was released two months earlier than Lady T's rap ode to hot water cornbread and Nikki Giovanni. Still, no matter who did it first, "Rapture" is a part of how hip-hop became a chart contender and a culture that everyone wanted to latch onto. Plus who couldn't resist those jangling guitars and jazz minded horns? Now zip over to 2010, and we've got a popular fixture in hip-hop music turning out her own rendition of the track....

Some have complained about how Alicia Keys has yet to really let her hair down and just jazzercise her soulful sound. She almost got there with The Element of Freedom track, "This Bed", yet it wasn't enough. People expect Miss Keys to wail on mid-tempos and ballads, but deep down Keys can do something on the funkier side, as she has shown on her reprise of Blondie's "Rapture". The coo-by-coo rendition, which is featured on the Sex and the City 2 soundtrack, is quite a carbon copy, as even the original bassline and horns are peppered in. Yet, it is updated with a poppier-club ready beat that doesn't sound like the slink from the sewer sound that Blondie's executed. Even an interpolation of what sounds like Debbie Deb's "When I Hear Music" is looped in. I'm a right purist of Blondie's original, so Alicia's attempt isn't half bad (though the rap of an alien eating cars is completely tossed out and!), it's just not that good either, as it sounds like five different songs, with "Rapture" somewhere in there. So take a listen at both, and formulate which rapture you'd rather get caught up in. 

Blondie - Rapture

Alicia Keys - Rapture

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