There were two ways to interpret this week’s Old School Friday theme Criminal Records. One: Music by artists who actually have criminal records and served time in prison. Two: Music about crime and prison—either literally or metaphorically: criminal records of the (old school) vinyl kind. (Also, I guess a third interpretation could be “songs performed by artists in prison concerts.” There are a surprising number of them, but unfortunately I do not happen to own any.)
Well I tried to cover both bases with my picks this week. I first thought of MJ’s “Smooth Criminal,” but then decided to just jack his title for mine. So—no MJ—sorry! But I do have Sade singing “Is It a Crime?” Of course, if you have to ask….
And I know I just recently featured Johnny Cash and “Folsom Prison Blues” when the theme was Songs You Might Be Surprised I Know. But I just love the song and it is perfect for the theme. So, here it is again for this week. He is also one of those artists, BTW, who has performed concerts to prison audiences.
The Rap/hip hop world is a gimmee in terms of songs about doing crime and doing time. But I will just pick one of the songs from one of the greats. Tupac here, then, with “When I Get Free.” And in this case I cover both bases as Shakur, in addition to rhyming about the prison life, himself served time in prison.
Finally, a crime wave of a more metaphorical and political bent, with Spearhead and “Crime to be Broke in America.”
Have a safe—and 100% crime-free—Old School Friday and weekend!
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