Baby Huey – The Baby Huey Story: A Living Legend (1970)

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Huey, a Chicago native, was a protege of Curtis Mayfield (who produced this album and released it via his Curtom imprint) and somewhat of an eccentric. He was 400 pounds, had a huge afro, a King Tut beard and dressed flamboyantly.

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Despite the final minutes of the Cooke cover, the biggest hip-hop influence this album contains is the oft-sampled “Hard Times”. The most reigned-in song on the album–from both the bands point as well as Huey’s–its stripped down arrangements fit the song, which deals with the effects of addiction. Huey’s wails toward the end convey genuine pain, which makes the song haunting in retrospect.

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Hard Times mp3

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