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You may not have the strength to tear down barriers, but you might have the power to encourage those who do.

You couldn't make it into the popstrological firmament as a genuine hip-hop act -- you just couldn't. Blondie, Falco, and Milli Vanilli rapped on their #1 records, but beyond that, hip-hop -- the first truly revolutionary pop sound to arise since rock and roll itself -- was almost entirely inaudible in the highest reaches of the pop universe in the 1980s. Almost. Before the decade was over, Bobby Brown would fight his way to the top with a hip-hop/R&B hybrid known as New Jack Swing, but the group that gave the popstrological firmament its first hint of the coming revolution was your Birthstar, Club Nouveau. It was the simplest thing in the world -- a beat -- that differentiated their remake of Lean On Me from the classic Bill Withers original, but what a difference it made. That beat -- boom-boom CHICK a-dukka boom-boom CHICK -- under an otherwise faithful rendering of Lean On Me represented the first breach of the constellation Reaganrock's secret hip-hop defense shield, and it made Club Nouveau the one and only star in history to join the constellation Fresh Breeze on the strength of a song someone else made famous first. Some fight the power regardless of their chances of winning, but you choose your battles wisely, child of Club Nouveau, preferring the modest rewards of incremental success to the dangerous lure of total victory.
Birthsongs
Lean On Me  Mar 15-28, 1987


2004 All rights reserved. "Popstrology" is a trademark of Ian Van Tuyl.



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