Monday, December 12, 2005

Ray-traction V?

One of this blog's most visited (and most controversial) posts claimed that it was Ray Charles, and not Jamie Foxx, singing the hook on "Gold Digger". A concerned reader commented:
The song Kanye sampled for Gold Digger was from Ray Charles. Jamie resung the hook.

Don't be an idiot your entire life.
I conceded rather easily (and snidely), presuming that someone who founded a professional website dedicated to hip hop (which you can read more about here) would know more about this subject than a casual music fan like myself. And admittedly, as I admitted then, I hadn't done enough research. I'm an idiot, end of story.

Now, today, I look again at the comments section on that old post and see two new ones. The first:
you should at least edit the original post so you don't keep spreading fud
Loathe as I am to spread fud (But was I really spreading fud? Uncertainty and doubt (or "ud"), maybe, but are people really afraid that Jamie Foxx didn't sing the hook on "Gold Digger"? Unless Anonymous was using the word in the Scottish sense, in which case, that's just nasty), I feel the comments section on that post speaks for itself. However, I'm happy to bring this heated debate to a new post, especially after reading the next new comment:
I am a hip hop fan and it annoys and frustrates me that everyone thinks that it is Jamie Fox singing on this track. I live in NYC and even the two hip hop radio stations here seem to think he is singing on this track as well. He is out there taking credit for something the late, great Ray Charles did (Not specifically for this track, he was obviously sampled) did, not him...
Great. So maybe I was right the first time and retracted too quickly. But then again, what makes Freddy a more reputable source than Steven Samuel?

A simple Google search reveals that there is still no consensus. Wikipedia says:
Though he is given full credit as a featured artist on "Gold Digger," Jamie Foxx's only vocal contribution is the a cappella introduction to the song, an interpolation of Charles's "I Got a Woman" (Foxx opens the song with the line "She take my money/when I'm in need/Yeah she's a trifling/friend indeed," and it's repeated throughout the song).
Meanwhile, offers this take:
Taking it’s framework from Ray Charles "I Got A Woman" and using the man who played him in the movie Jamie Foxx as the vocalist. Jamie’s voice is so uncannily like Ray’s that had ray not died last year I’m sure someone would have claimed that Jamie was Ray’s reincarnation.
Interestingly, when the track was nominated for two Grammys last week, Foxx's name was not included among the nominees, even though De La Soul were cited for their contribution to Gorillaz' "Feel Good Inc.", also nominated for Record of the Year. In addition, "Gold Digger" was mentioned in the Best Rap Solo Performance category and not under the Best Rap/Sung Collaboration umbrella (where West was nominated with John Legend for "They Say").

So at this point, the only thing I feel safe saying with any certainty is that there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding Foxx's involvement in one of the hottest singles of the year. If anybody can point me to a definitive statement, preferably straight from the mouth of either West or Foxx, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Blogger The Pop Culture Petri Dish said...

Well, this article seems to clear everything up.

February 25, 2006 2:32 AM  

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