Forgotten Songs of the ‘90s: Urban Dance Squad
When this motley crew of rappers and rockers came out of Amsterdam, of all places, in 1990, no one really expected much. But then all of a sudden, they broke through on American radio with the cheery, very poppy “Deeper Shade of Soul,” one of the greatest ‘rap-rock’ songs of all time, even though it doesn’t fit with the rest of the genre.
Built around a sample of a song by sixties Latin bandleader Ray Baretto, the band constructed a really bright song tailor made for the summer. Excellent musicianship from the whole band start the song off with a bang and a killer groove. Rapper/frontman Rudeboy doesn’t really rap so much as sing here but that’s exactly what the song needs. Pretty much unheard at the time, the combination of pop guitar, sampled horns, DJ scratches, light drumming and a euphoric chorus melded together to create one of the most ubitiquous songs of the pre-grunge era.
While the band are known in the U.S. as a ‘one hit wonder,’ overseas they’re still huge and are probably one of the only groups from Amsterdam to be a hit stateside. Nowadays, the band is finally starting to get their due in America and it’s about time.