Back when Big Crown went by…another name, I recorded a covers mix for their radio/podcast way back when (whoa, nearly 10 years ago!) As they invited me back to contribute again, I figured…why not go with another covers mix? Hope you all enjoy. (If you prefer to listen as a podcast, link is here).

Real talk: I’m too lazy to write out the tracklisting but I do back announce every song on there!


My friend Jeff Chang says, “don’t despair, create” so here’s my contribution for this holiday week: a simple mix based around 15 of my favorite Sharon Jones and Dap-Kings’ songs.

Annotated tracklisting:

    1. Sharon Jones: Hook N Sling Meets The Funky Superfly
    2. Sharon Jones: You Better Think Twice

    These first two are from Jones’s early years at Desco, where she first met many of the key players who’d later become part of the Dap-Kings. Back then, most of those folks were in a Desco house band called the Soul Providers. Both can be found on the Desco anthology, Spike’s Choice.

    3. SJDK: Cut the Line

    My favorite song off their debut Daptone LP Dap-Dippin’ With…. Musically, the LP owes more to the Desco era but you can already hear the improved chops here.

    4. SJDK: Keep On Looking (Kenny Dope Remix)

    I think this was originally commissioned for Scion’s Daptone Remixed project. Original version appeared on 100 Days, 100 Nights, my favorite LP by the group.

    5. SJDK: How Long Do I Have To Wait For Your Love?
    6. SJDK: How Long Do I Have To Wait For Your Love? (Ticklah Remix)

    Original appeared on the group’s second album, Naturally and the remix was also on that Daptone Remixed compilation.

    7. SJDK: Let Them Knock

    When I first heard this on 100 Days, 100 Nights it knocked me out; still does.

    8. SJDK: Inspiration Information

    Their cover of Shuggie Otis’s classic appears on the Dark Was the Night compilation from ’09.

    9. The Dap-Kings: Summer of Sound

    To this day, I don’t know when/where this instrumental was created and for what purpose. I just recall it popping up on my radar ~2008 and then for 2011’s Soul Time! anthology, the same track was slowed down and became the backing for “Longer & Stronger“.

    10. SJDK: Better Things

    My favorite song from 2010’s I Learned the Hard Way.

    11. Greyboy Feat. Sharon Jones: Got To Be a Love (Paul Nice Remix)

    Originally recorded for Greyboy’s 2004 Soul Mosaic LP, the Paul Nice remix was on the song’s 12″ release.

    12. SJDK: Making Up and Breaking Up

    Love the chorus on here; originally on Give the People What They Want from 2013.

    13. SJDK: Ain’t Nobody

    This came on a bonus 7″ sold alongside Give the People but doesn’t actually appear on the LP itself.

    14. SJDK: Slow Down, Love

    The group at their melancholy best.

    15. SJDK: All Over Again

    C’mon, like I was going to end this with a different song than this classic from Naturally? You know how I do.


DJ O-Dub: It Began With Matthew Africa by Soul-Sides.Com/O. Wang on Mixcloud

After Matthew Africa passed away in the summer of 2012, his friends all pitched in song ideas for the music that played at his memorial. These were songs we associated with him, learned about from him, remixes he had done, etc. There was over four hours of music and folks had briefly considered using it to create a tribute mix in time for MKA’s birthday in October. The timeline was way too rushed though and we never got it off the ground then.

In the two years since, I put the idea of the mix on the back burner but only in recent weeks did I actually, finally, get around to working on it. Using that massive folder of songs as my raw material, I went through and whittled things down to a 37 song, 67 minute mix that reflected the broad range of MKA’s musical tastes. Simply putting this together just made me appreciate, all over again, how expansive his embrace of different musical styles was; this mix says far more about this sensibilities than mine, even if I cherry-picked the songs I thought would work best together.

This mix is dedicated to the memory of Matthew Africa and all his friends and family. Special thanks to Stephanie Gardner of Stephanie Gardner Design for use of the Matthew Africa logo.

Lee Moses-California Dreaming
Gwen McCrae-90% of Me Is You
Johnny K-I Got Bills To Pay
Freddie Hughes-Sarah Mae
Sergio Mendes-For What It’s Worth
The Fixxers-Can U Werk Widat
Dutchmin-Get Your Swerve On
Shades of Brooklyn-Change
AZ-Your World Don’t Stop
Dionne Warwick-You’re Gonna Need Me
Average White Band-School Boy Crush
Free Life-I’ll Keep My Light In The Window
MC Breed-Ain’t No Future In Yo Frontin’
DJ Quik-Dollarz and Sense
B-Legit and Too $hort-So International
E-40 and B-Legit-Sideways
Mr. Short Khop-Dollaz, Drank & Dank
Nice & Smooth-Hip Hop Junkies (Spanish Fly Mix)
The Specials-Message To You, Rudy
Sister Sledge-Thinking Of You
Imagination-Just An Illusion
James Brown-People Get Up and Drive Your Funky Soul
Sugar Billy Gardner-I Got Some
Ike Turner-Thinking Black
Fela Kuti-Sorrow, Tears and Blood (Matthew Africa Edit)
Jocelyn Brown-I Wish You Would (Matthew Africa Edit)
LCD Soundsystem-Someone Great
Ultramagnetic MCs-Poppa Large (Matthew Africa Switch Mix)
The Clash-Rock the Casbah (Matthew Africa Edit)
The Impressions-Love Me
R. Kelly-Feelin’ On Yo Booty
Twin Sister-Meet The Frownies
The Majestics-Key To Love
Lijadu Sisters-Life’s Gone Down Low
Darondo-Didn’t I
UGK-One Day
Sade and MOP-Slade