Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Do You Like Pina Colada?

Have you ever heard that old Rupert Holmes (yes, I looked it up) tune "Escape (The Pina Colada" Song)" and got it stuck in your head? The one that goes, "Do you like Pina Colada? And getting caught in the rain?" You thought it was kinda catchy, but you're too staunch a hip-hop head to spin some corny old 70's lounge record? Well, the music industry was looking out for fans like you in 1997, and came up with the solution "U Like Pina Colada" by Da Real One.

This is a song off of LaFace Records' bass compilation album, And Then There Was Bass, which was then released as a successful single. Da Real One looked like an unknown artist when you checked out the album's track-listing, but once you gave it a listen, it turned out to be the new identity of Dr. Ace, from Young & Restless. His partner had already changed his name and put out a few records as The P.O.D. Prince of Darkness, but this was Ace's first solo outing.

So, yeah, this is the hip-hop version (written and produced by Ace) of the 1979 record, and it heavily samples the original, including keeping Rupert's vocals on the chorus (though Ace sings over them and completely overshadows them). Interestingly, it's got a few bottom-dropping bass drops, but they're used very sparingly; it's mostly about the ever-present funk guitar loop, some funky breakdowns and a lot of BPM. And of course it's got all new words. The style and lyrics stay very true to the tone set by your favorite Young & Restless records:

"Now I met another lady...
Check out what she had to say:
I asked her where her man at?
She said, 'baby, I'm gay.'
I said, 'that don't really matter...
As long as you ain't got a sex change.
Because I'm down with a threesome...
But I need to know some thangs."

And the hook is updated from:

"If you like Pina Coladas,
And getting caught in the rain.
If you're not into yoga,
If you have half-a-brain.
If you like making love at midnight,
In the dunes of the cape.
I'm the love that you've looked for,
Write to me, and escape."


"If you like Pina Colada,
Alize or champagne.
If you like juice in your gin;
Me, myself Hennessy.
If you like making love at midnight?
Rolling out on the avenue.
If you like firing up a fat one,
Well, then you're down with my crew."

The only problem I have with this song, is that it's all done in the sing-songy delivery of the original (albeit with a modern twist); and he never quite busts out and raps over the track, which would've really pushed it over the edge. But i guess that's the lack of Prince's influence showing? Remember how I said you feel the loss of Ace in P.O.D.'s solo material? Well, I guess it works the other way 'round, too (not that they were irreparably separated... Young & Restless reunited on two songs from Ace's Southern Conference project). Though, I suppose there was already a precedent set for this, in Young & Restless's debut single "Poison Ivy." But I just wish for a little more of what they did with "Louie Louie," in terms of transforming it further into a proper rap song.

Oh well; it's still a lot of fun, and the 12" comes loaded with with Clean, Dirty, Instrumental and Acappella versions in a sticker cover.

Furthermore, it's b/w another song from the compilation, Luke's "Let's Ride." Most of the songs on And Then There Was Bass were all-new material, but this one's on loan from Luke's Changin' the Game album. I guess that's why LaFace didn't bother to credit the featured artists on this song: Jiggie and No Good But So Good. The song (which is produced by Luke himself) ain't not bad... It's hectically paced, has some nice change-ups, and the guest rappers keep it from being all Luke shouting, like a lot of his records become. And, as with the A-side, the 12" provides the full rationing of Dirty, Clean, Instrumental and Acappella versions for the song.

This is the only record Dr. Ace would put out as Da Real One. After this, he changed his name to Mr. Charlie and released a couple more records. And he's still around doing his thing: check out his myspace.

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