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10 Reason Why You Never Knew You Loved Nile Rodgers
10 Reason Why You Never Knew You Loved Nile Rodgers

Throwback Thursday: 10 Reasons Why You Never Knew You Loved Nile Rodgers

10 Reason Why You Never Knew You Loved Nile Rodgers

The legacy of Nile Rodgers is far from short, but it sure is sweet. On the legend's 62nd born day, we're taking a moment to help y'all realize exactly why they call him (or is it that axe of his?) "The Hitmaker." In fact, there very well may not be a single hand, foot or mind (except for that great Purple Sage who rests his little feet up north) in the history of this culture that's influenced the entire spectrum of popular music in so drastic a manner and in such a short period of time. With the glittery nu-disco ism making its way back into the sonic scene, it's no wonder electronic pioneers like Daft Punk and UK wiz kids Disclosure have tapped into the root to lead the charge, tried and true six-string in-hand (rumored to have been played on nearly 2 billion dollars worth of recordings)

Rodgers' recordings may date back to the polyester jumpsuit days, but this is a cat whose touch is so shaded, yet so prolific, so Midas-like even, that it's insanely possible that you might have never even realized how much he's done for you. Yeah, you. You who's cherished hip-hop's baby days, "golden era" (whatever the hell that even means at this point) and beyond. While rarely given fair due, Rodgers has managed to be the funky backbone of some the most iconic and (very) first recordings our tradition has to offer. Not even he could have imagined that his guitar would soon be introducing the world to getting jiggy, explaining the money/problems ratio and teaching us what it meant to truly be notorious.

This is our attempt at playing the ole musical connect the dots, giving necessary and proper shine to the gawd for building the bridges between funk, disco and hip-hop, fortified with sequence and cocaine. And even a few timeless cuts to boot. Here are 10 of the finest frequencies the man has ever graced, from David Bowie to Chic, from Madonna to Sister Sledge. And no, Pharrell doesn't count this time through. Let us all free our funk flags in the celebration of Nile Rodgers' 62nd year and rock with his immense, yet somehow understated catalogue of certified gems. Here's to 62 more.

Chic- "Good Times" (1979)

Hopefully by now you've all come to terms with the fact that Nile is the lifeblood running through hip-hop. And if the notion needed to be reinforced, "Good Times" is the glittery nail to do so. Aside from the fact that it's bones laid the foundation for the first commercially successful record in the game, it's also, no doubt, one of the definitive party cuts. Two steppers and b-boys take heed.

Sister Sledge - "He's The Greatest Dancer" (1979)

Another blazing specimen of Rodgers' work, ripe for your dancefloor follies. It's no wonder The Fresh Prince borrowed that cherished lick to introduce the world to the jiggy generation. Go ahead and get with it.

Sheila & B Devotion - "Spacer" (1979)

While this is likely one of his less known cuts, "Spacer" marks the first across the pond project for our muted six-string maestro, opening the doors for his future franco-funk ventures. Step into the disco wonderland, just leave the jumpsuit at the door.

Diana Ross - "I'm Coming Out" (1980)

The boogie woogie was strong with The Hitmaker. Diana Ross' cut did more than simply provide an anthem for the disco generation, it taught us the dangers of the money/problems ratio, forging a whole new kind of golden mean for the world to take in.

Debbie Harry's Koo Koo LP (1981)

The ex-Blondie front girl tapped Rodgers to produce the entirety of her debut solo record, making her just the first of a laundry list of lead ladies that he ushered to the top. Here's the manic and moody cut "Military Rap," that finds Harry going off on the armed forces, much the way Prince handled his with "Ronnie Talk To Russia."

David Bowie - "Let's Dance" (1983)

While the video shows Bowie himself manning the axe and Rodgers is credited for the duty on the record itself, this is kind of a trick question. Blues guitar hero Stevie Ray Vaughan was actually on hand to record the iconic six-strong stab of Bowie's resurgent hit just after being discovered in Montreux and joining the eccentric man of the stage on tour that year.

Madonna's Like A Virgin LP (1984)

Debbie was just the beginning of The Hitmaker's career-building efforts, here's the Material Girl's namesake track and the one that broke her through. Go ahead and have yourself a moment while no one's watching.

INXS - "Original Sin" (1984)

Enter the early stages of the punk-funk with INXS' first hit single. Another glass ceiling busted by the titan's high-voltage fret-work.

Grace Jones - "I'm Not Perfect"

Rodgers may have single handedly redefined the spectrum with this one, stepping behind the scenes once more to craft another deep cut from Miss Jones and crew on this declarative anthem.

Duran Duran's Notorious LP (1986)

Finally, we get taught the true meaning of being notorious with the endlessly funky cut, which put the exclamation mark on the UK group's career and Biggie's namesake joint.