Song of the Day #5,324: ‘Back on the Block’ – Various Artists

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame also inducts non-performers with notable contributions to the music industry, and in 2013 that honor went to Quincy Jones. I don’t know if there are similar eligibility rules for non-performers but Jones got his start in the early 50s so I assume he could have (and should have) gotten this award even earlier.

Jones has worked as a performer, composer, arranger and producer for seven decades now, collaborating with some of the most notable artists in the world. His work with Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson alone could earn him a spot in the Hall.

Jones has been nominated for more than 80 Grammys and has won 28, tying him with Beyonce for the second-most of all-time. He won an Album of the Year award for Michael Jackson’s Thriller and another for his 1989 album Back on the Block, which featured performances by three generations of R&B, jazz and rap artists.

I had that album in high school and remember listening to it quite a bit. I recall being impressed that a producer could be the featured creative force behind a project. Jones has done it dozens of times.

Jones is also Hall of Fame-worthy for siring the beautiful and talented Rashida Jones, though I don’t know if the Rock Hall took that into consideration.

[ all ]
Back on the block
Back on the block

Back, on the block, so we can rock
With the soul, rhythm, blues, be bop and hip hop

Back on the block
Back on the block

[ VERSE 1: Ice-T ]
Ice-T, let me kick my credentials
A young player, bred in South Central
L.A., home of the bodybag
You wanna die, wear the wrong color rag
I used to walk in stores and yell: “Lay down!”
You flinch an inch – AK spray down
But I was lucky cause I never caught the hard time
I was blessed with the skill to bust a dope rhyme
All my homies died or caught the penzo
Lost their diamonds, cops towed their Benzos
Livin that life that we thought was it
Fast lanin, but the car flipped
I’m not gonna lie to ya, cause I don’t lie
I just kick thick game, some people say: why?
Cause I’m back on the block, I got my life back
So I school the fools about the fast track
I get static from the style of my technique
Profanity, the blatant way in which I speak
But the Dude knows the streets ain’t no kiddie game
You don’t know the Dude? Quincy’s his first name
He told me: “Ice, keep doin what you’re doin, man
Don’t give a damn if the squares don’t understand
You let ’em tell you what to say and what to write
Your whole career’ll be over by tomorrow night
Rap from your heart, and your heart’s with the street
Rap on my record, man, Kimiko, send Ice the beat”
The Dude is def no doubt, what can I say?
The man can roll with Ice-T or Michael J

[ all ]
Back on the block
Back on the block

Back, on the block, so we can rock
With the soul, rhythm, blues, be bop and hip hop

Back on the block
Back on the block

[ VERSE 2: Melle Mel ]
I’m back, on the block, on the screen
I’m on the wax, I’m on the stage, I’m on the scene
I’m on the case, just like an attorney
The Dude took me on a magic journey
To dance in France, alone in Rome
On the farmlands of Nebraska, the cold of Alaska
The heat of the motherland
To be with my brotherman
On top of a snowcapped mountain I’m scoutin
What another man saw in a race of people
To see him give his life for the price of equal
The highest wisdoms, the richest kingdoms
The Song of Songs we heard David sing them
He showed me me when I was young and hung out
He showed me makin love, even showed me strung out
He showed me poppin nines, standin on a rock
But tears came to my eyes when he showed me my block

[ Tevin Campbell (& Andrae Crouch Singers) ]
Stokie’s just Stokie, mama
(Stokie’s Stokie)
And one by one each woman he kiss
(He kiss her and she gon’ fall in love)
Stokie’s just Stokie, you know?
(Stokie’s Stokie)
Till someone shows that they care enough
(Ain’t nothin gonna bother Stokie much)
Some say they can’t take it no more
(Comin here, comin here startin stuff)
But Dude is back on duty fo’ sho’
(Back on the block to stay)
They say he ain’t gonna be with it
(Comin back, comin back to the street)
But Dude he know you’ll never forget it
(Back on the block to stay)

[ VERSE 3: Big Daddy Kane ]
Back up and give the brother room
To let poetry bloom to whom
It may concern or consume
As I reminisce before this
The bliss that exist
But now we brought about a twist
Cause I remember of my people bleedin
Put through slavery and killed for bravery
We shoulda got our freedom much sooner
You never seen a blackman on The Honeymooners
But now somehow we’ve learned to earn, to grow, to show
The elevation of a people built is so
Jesse Jackson, Miss America, a black one
No more livin for just a small fraction
I was once told by the Dude that knowledge is a food
To nourish, so to conclude
This from an Asiatic descendant, Big Daddy is shocked
Yo Q, we back on the block

[ all ]
Back on the block
Back on the block

Back, on the block, so we can rock
With the soul, rhythm, blues, be bop and hip hop

Back on the block
Back on the block

[ VERSE 4: Kool Moe Dee ]
An everlasting omnipresence is my present
State of being, seeing the unpleasant
Sight of righteous souls live like peasants
The mind stunts growth in adolescence
My insight enables me to enlight
The weakest of minds, and I put ’em in flight
As I transcend, a-scend or de-scend
Re-create, re-incarnate and re-send
The powerful spirits of our ancestors
For those that don’t know how God blessed us
Because man messed up, the media dressed up
Lies perpetrated as truth, and it left us
Confused, but I’ve seen it all before
From Babylon to the Third World War
I’m more than a man, I’m more like an entity
Back on the block, and this time my identity
Is the Dude

Ba-ba-ba-back on the
Ba-back on
Ba-ba-back on the block
Ba-ba-back on
Ba-ba-back on the block

[ Tevin Campbell (& Andrae Crouch Singers) ]
Stoki, ke Stoki, mai-bo
(Stoki, Stoki)
Wam babma, wam bamb’u mandisa
(Wahm bamba wahm bamboo mandisa)
(Stoki ke Stoki, mai-bo)
(Stoki, Stoki)
Wam babma, wam bamb’u mandisa
(Wahm bamba wahm bamboo mandisa)
M’yeke, yeke, yeke, wena
(Kha’mye, kha’myeke wena)
Yo khala, khala, khala, u mama
(Yo khal’u mama khe)
M’yeke, yeke, yeke, wena
(Kha’mye, kha’myeke, wena)
Yo khala, kha, ‘yok ‘shaya u baba
(Yok shaya u baba khe)

[ Rev. Jesse Jackson ]
(Now I would – I would contend that ah –
The rappers – rap is here to stay)

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,324: ‘Back on the Block’ – Various Artists

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Apparently, the 25 year from first recording criteria only applies to performers. Also, since 2008, the “non-performer” award has been renamed the Ahmet Ertegun Lifetime Achievement award after one of the Rock Hall’s co-founders.

    And, yes, Quincy’s lovely daughter was absolutely a persuasive factor in his induction.🤪

  2. Amy says:

    It’s one thing when your (now adult) children introduce you to new music, which mine have done consistently throughout their lives as music lovers. That music is, more often than not, the music of their generation.

    What I have found just as satisfying is learning far more about the music from “my” generation when my kids have found their way to doing a deep dive into an artist I may have had only a passing appreciation of. This certainly happened with Jones, when guest blogger Daniel became immersed in his career a couple years back.

    What a career! And, certainly, a worthy addition to the Music Hall of Fame.

  3. Peg says:

    I’m sure Sinatra is applauding somewhere for this artist ❤️

  4. Peg says:

    I’m sure Frank Sinatra is applauding so where for this amazing artist!

  5. The Cool Guy (Daniel) says:

    I went down a deep Quincy Jones rabbit hole last year alongside my Michael Jackson deep dive. There’s such a synchronized feeling to Jones and Jackson’s work together on an iconic record like “Thriller” that I was curious with what other artist Jones had collaborated. I was delightfully surprised to see his breath of work with Frank Sinatra. Most notably, Jones was responsible for turning “Fly Me To The Moon” into 4/4 time instead of the 3/4 time signature in which it was written. It’s a testament to his talent as a musician and producer that he has contributed to a variety of genres and mediums and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seems a very fitting accolade for this icon!

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