This month’s been full of big birthdays already, and even though I missed both of ’em by a day or so, I was still happy to be celebrating births of people that I love.  Today, I wasn’t so lucky.

Maybe you’ve already heard, but we lost Etta James today, and that is not something that should go unrecognized.  There’s no way I could try to tackle the hugeness of her place in the world, so I’ll just try and do what I do best and show a sort of rare connection with her music to some modern-day shit.  I dunno.  I’d rather do that than try to describe how awesome ir unique her vocal style is or something.

Blue Sky Black Death & Jean Grae – Threats (feat. Chen Lo)

This song is pretty interesting on a lot of levels.  It’s got Jean Grae rapping over Etta James samples, which by itself is pretty cool, but if you listen to her verse, you’ll notice a lot of similarities to the Jay-Z song with almost the same title.

Etta James – Something’s Got A Hold On Me

Jay-Z – Threat

If soul music wasn’t so great at handling being so sad and so hopeful at the same time, I would be pissed that I’ve only gained a deep love for it over the past few years, because we’ve lost so many key figures lately (Isaac Hayes, Gil Scott-Heron, etc. etc.) and it kinda bums me out to feel such profound new love and then lose those people so soon after.  But I feel like if I’ve picked up anything from listening to this music, it’s to appreciate what you’ve got and not to dwell on the heartache too long. There’s always a brighter tomorrow.  Rest in peace, Etta.  Let’s hope the artists of today can do your legacy proud.  I know I’ve got faith.


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