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A Chicken Ranch legend, Tim (Timmy) Bryan played in Habitual Sex Offenders, and co-founded Starlings, TN with fellow Methadone Actor Steven Stubblefield.  

Tim gives us the “Old School Like Timmy” playlist…

Growing up in Miami , I was influenced by everything from rock to reggae to Latin music but my favorite was early 80’s rap. I went to flea markets, dubbed tapes of dubbed tapes and bootlegged Luke Skywalker and the Ghetto Style D.J.’s off WEDR. Anything to get the newest songs. These are just songs some that mislead this cracker into thinking he could dance.

Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force - Planet Rock (1982)
You have to love the driving 808 beat! The first version I had was the Jellybean Benitez 12 inch remix because everything had several remixes back then. The keyboard walkup is addictive. “Just start to chase your dreams up out your seats, make your body sway- socialize, get down- let your soul lead the way.” Bambaataa had the best outfits too.

The Egyptian Lover- Egypt, Egypt (1983)
Probably the first West Coaster I remember. Hard to take lyrics like “Pyramids are oh so shiny, the women here are oh so cute. The freaks are on the dance floor now, dancing to beats I compute” seriously. But it introduced me to electro hip hop and acknowledged how quickly rap was changing as there really was no formula for the genre yet.

T LA Rock, Jazzy Jay- It’s Yours (1984)
Buying rap in the early days was a crap shoot so you often bought label imprints you recognized. “It’s Yours” was the first widely distributed Def Jam imprint and lead to many great future finds. It is clear the influence Jazzy Jays’ beats and cuts had on future label mates the Beastie Boys. Lines like “Common talk deserves to walk, the situation’s changed. Everything, from now on, has to be prearranged.” could easily be sampled into any of the Beasties smarter rants. An unknown Ad Rock does backing vocals.

Mantronix- Fresh is the Word (1985)
In my opinion, Mantronix became the masters of electro hip hop. The bass drops so hard that anyone within a mile could here hear you coming. Best flea market find ever. Lyrics like “For all the blacks, Puerto Ricans and white people too. See, my style is so unreal.” show how multicultural the genre was at the time.

Run-DMC- It’s Like That (1983)
While famous for later released “Walk this Way”, early on, Run-DMC wore the streets like their Adidas. They were stark and in your face. Social commentary equal to the greats in all music history. “Here’s another point in life you should not miss. Do not be a fool who is prejudiced because we’re all written down on the same list.” is only one poignant lyric in this masterpiece. If only it was like that… Sucker M.C.’s was the b-side.

Kurtis Blow- The Breaks (1980)
With it’s funky guitar licks and bass over revolving drums and distant keys “The Breaks” is a definitive funk classic. Kurtis was a baller with wit and wisdom. “and the IRS says they want to chat, and you can’t explain why you claimed your cat” is proof positive.

2 Live Crew- Move Something’ (1987)
I was always a bigger fan of Luke and his Ghetto Style D.J.’s that launched the Miami bass wars but the 2 Live Crew were game changers. Frankly, they did not give a shit. They were all hype but had the best beats, cuts and samples. No need to quote them but they invented porn rap and pissed off everyone. Mission accomplished.

Sugarhill Gang- Rappers Delight (1979)
You can not list the greatest songs in rap history and not include “Rappers Delight”. Sugarhill Gang got us out of the disco era. I doubt when the free form lyric “Because they say miracles never cease, I’ve created a devastating masterpiece.” was spoken they even imagined the Library of Congress would one day recognize it’s place in history.

Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five- White Lines (1983)
This was the consciousness of Melle Mel in reality and Flash only appears on later remixes I believe. My single only credits Melle Mel. Either way it is a bold song. Stabs at John DeLorean  such as “A businessman is caught with 24 kilos. He’s out on bail and out of jail and that’s the way it goes” highlight racial inequality and class struggles which still continue today.

Newcleus- Jam on it (1984)
Pretty sure I never made a mix without this gem. It’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” of rap. An infectious groove with a visual story that plays out in your head. “Two turn tables and a mic, and I learned to rock like dolemite.”
Enjoy this playlist and jam on it!

Steven Stubblefield is the singer and main songwriter for Starlings, TN.  He has recently resurrected his solo side project Idgit.  

After graduating with a music business degree from Belmont University, I immediately took a job as a grill cook at the Pancake Pantry in Nashville, TN.  Like most kitchen jobs, it was one of repetition.   We would listen to the radio on the line and oldies day was my favorite.  To pass the time and entertain ourselves, we would often change the words to the songs.  One day it dawned on me that you could exchange the word  ‘love’ in a song with ‘drugs’ and in most cases it would still make sense.  In some cases it even makes them better songs.  So, here are my top 10 favorite songs to exchange ‘love’ with ‘drugs’ in the lyrics.  I hope you never hear any of these songs the same way again and welcome to a small corner of my mind.

*- song not available for streaming, added tracks from honorable mention category…

1.      All Out Of Love/Air Supply

My parents had all the Air supply records.  We used to play them loud and I have to admit my very first concert was them at the Arkansas State Fair when I was in the 2nd grade.  I remember crying a lot and hating it because it was too loud.

 2.     Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe/Barry White

It’s just fun singing it in Barry White’s voice.

 3.      Love In An Elevator/ Aerosmith

Elevators were once great places for doing drugs.  They are all being monitored by video now.  So, you kids don’t go and get any crazy ideas.

 4.      All You Need is Love and Hey, You Got to Hide Your Love Away/The Beatles*

All you need is love is just really too easy.  Hey, you got to hide your love away Is actually one of my favorite John Lennon songs.  It for me at least, marks the beginning of John reaching in to his inner most thoughts and feelings for subject matter.  It’s tender, heartwarming, and sad all at the same time.

 5.     Love Hurts/The Everly Brothers

 Roy Orbison’s version of this song is good as well.

 6.     Love Kills/The Circle Jerks*

This one is for all those who say I don’t rock enough.  No mid 80’s teen angst would be complete without something from the Sid and Nancy soundtrack.   

 7.     Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town/Kenny Rogers

Yeah Ruby, don’t be such a hippy.  There is no need to go sharing all your drugs around with everyone in town.

 8.     Love Lifted Me/Gospel Song

My gal says I’m gonna go to hell for this one.   Even as an adult my mother still pinches me because I really get a kick out of singing this in an Elmer Fudd voice.  You should see the glint in my eye when it is chosen to sing in church.  I just can’t help myself.  Come on try it with me, “wuubbbbb wifted me, wuuubbbb wifted me when nothing else could help, wubbbb wifted me.”  See.  Its funny isn’t it?

9.      I’d Do Anything For Love (But I won’t do that)/Meatloaf

Well, because you have to set some limitsright?

 10.  You Can’t Hurry Love/Diana Ross

Everybody knows drugs come on their own time and the dope man’s schedule and yours almost never sync up.  Lou reed alluded to this in waiting for the man.  It’s a true story.

Honorable mentions:

Love lifts us up where we belong/Joe Cocker

Higher love/Steve Winwood

Addicted to Love/Robert Palmer

Lovesick Blues/Hank Williams

Whole Lotta Love/Led Zeppelin

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