Norman Whiteside was the mastermind behind Wee, the band that created one hell of a masterpiece with their 1976 masterpiece You Can Fly on My Aeroplane. Described as both bringing the soulful, feelgood touch of Stevie Wonder and the intense funk of Sly Stone, this album was such an important record for its time. Sampled by the likes of Kanye West and Frank Ocean, this project grew in reach and popularity with a 2008 reissue from Numero Group. The tracks really do find that perfect balance between smooth & soulful and psychedelic soul.
The track “Teach Me How” is the one I’ll be focusing on, a smooth, synth and guitar-heavy track with immense amounts of soul and a gorgeous vocal performance from Normal Whiteside. As the track progresses, the psychedelic guitars come through and the the smooth and soulful guitar melodies near the latter end of the track produce such an amazingly beautiful moment on the record. Madlib sampled that part of the track on track 12 off his Bandana, “Cataracts.” It happens to be one of my favourite tracks off that album because of that sample.
The legendary producer speeds up the sample, bringing the smooth guitar leads and the vocal harmonies in the backgrounds, making it an incredibly soulful cut on the album. What makes the track even better in Freddie Gibbs’ introspective lyricism about growing up in Gary, Indiana, painting a colourful picture of his childhood. His flow is intricate and fast, making his verses one of the main highlights off the album for me. The sample is just incredible, and I can’t rave about the quality of this record enough. Major props to Madlib and Freddie Gibbs for creating a gem, and a track that has been (and will continue to be) on repeat since its release.
Listen to Wee’s incredibly beautiful “Teach Me How” off their incredible 1976 album You Can Fly on My Aeroplane, released by OWL Records. You can purchase this record via discogs.com here.
Listen to Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s exceptional “Cataracts” off their critically acclaimed new album Bandana. You can purchase the album here.