Chaka Khan – I feel for you
In my early teens I was into hip hop. The Street Sounds electro series of albums provided a slice of East Coast/West Coast urban culture to the mean streets of South West Hertfordshire.
Once a week I'd join a bunch of assorted misfits at a church hall in central Watford for an evening of five-a-side football, table tennis, and popping and breaking. Except that last set of activities actually involved watching Steven Wright spinning on his head whilst we listened to the latest instalment of the Street Sounds compilations.
It felt incredibly underground, mainly because very little of the music seemed to get out into general play. In fact, I clearly remember a DJ on Radio One saying that he had at first refused to listen to a record by the Cutting Crew because he thought it might be rap. The Chaka Khan/Grandmaster Mellie Mel seemed to be the first big breakthrough for hip hop into the mainstream. And the fact it was number one on my 14th birthday added to the sweet taste of success.
Little was I to know the commercial behemoth that hip hop would become. Although in an interview heard with Chaka Khan, she apparently hated the rapping bits.
Number one on my birthday in 1984:Chaka Khan – I feel for you
Click here for the playlist so far