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Six Degrees Of Sampling: Missy E + Centipede


Rebbie Jackson’s debut album was some years in the making before being released in 1984.  Title track “Centipede” ended up being her biggest hit, penned and produced by her famous baby brother Michael (who also lent the backing vocals).  Yes, if you couldn’t place that look right away, Rebbie is the eldest of the Jackson siblings.  Between a late start performing with the group as they were starting out (a sprained ankle put her back seven months when the Jackson family started performing in Vegas) and taking time to raise her children, Rebbie’s career never quite saw the same heights as some of her iconic siblings’.  The song and video have always cracked me up with both the cheese factor and by being of the opinion that centipedes are among the least-sexy, least-cunning, anti-glamorous critters on Earth.*  Honestly, the song isn’t half as enjoyable without the video.

Onward to 1999 and the release of Missy Elliott’s second album – Da Real World.  The debut single, “She’s A Bitch,” is proof that Missy is one artist who can turn anything around with a sampled “Centipede” being woven throughout (I’m sure producer Timbaland had nothing to do with it, either).  If you’re old enough to be a little stung that this was over ten years ago, you’ll surely remember the super-futuristic-in-1999 video, directed by Hype Williams.

Check out the tracks!

Rebbie Jackson – Centipede

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Missy Elliott – She’s A Bitch

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*Self-induced guilt trip for rippin’ on centipedes led to some research.  Did you know they are nocturnal? Carnivorous? Can regenerate legs? Have a  pair of poison claws behind their head?  Maybe Rebbie Jackson was onto something I don’t know about.

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