Bambu: 2 Dope Boyz Drop (prod. by DJ Phatrick)
From (2009)

The Five Stairsteps: Danger, She’s a Stranger
From 7″ (Windy C, 1967). Also on First Family of Soul.

When I first posted up Bam’s drop for (produced by my man DJ Phatrick), I was mostly thinking of how it was riffing on Outkast’s song but I didn’t dwell on what source both tunes were sampling from.

Then I was listening to Hua’s WVKR show the other week and he played the Five Stairsteps and strangely, I can’t remember ever hearing the song in its entirety before; now it’s my new “heavy rotation” tune.

I guess I always thought of this era of the Stairsteps through the lens of “Ooh Child” and let me be honest: if I never hear that song again, it’d be too soon. But I didn’t realize “Danger, She’s a Stranger” is from the same era, when the group was first signed to Windy City Records.

This is another one of those songs where the arrangement is some truly incredible achievement. The opening congas? The soft piano? The doo-wop harmonization? The flute in the middle of the song? Are you kidding me?

The vocals are good but it’s only when the song dips into the hook and the back-ups kick in that the song’s true magic materializes. Likewise, even though the song doesn’t have a strong backbeat, the drummer’s small fills become prominent in all the right places. And the bride around 1:45? YES.

By the way, Outkast were early on this track but not the earliest. Hua pointed me towards this 1992 song by Cooley Live that uses it too. (I still think Phatrick’s flip is the best I’ve heard thus far).