A Selection Of Hot Tunes To Get You Through The Cold Weather Some hot music to warm up cold ears, courtesy of Jason King, host of "I'll Take You There", a 24-hour R&B channel from NPR Music.
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A Selection Of Hot Tunes To Get You Through The Cold Weather

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A Selection Of Hot Tunes To Get You Through The Cold Weather

A Selection Of Hot Tunes To Get You Through The Cold Weather

A Selection Of Hot Tunes To Get You Through The Cold Weather

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/387822937/387822941" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Some hot music to warm up cold ears, courtesy of Jason King, host of "I'll Take You There", a 24-hour R&B channel from NPR Music.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

So, OK. It's still winter, and it's pretty cold in most of the country. California, sorry, we don't want to hear any of it. For the rest of you, we have a distraction, a little thing we're calling Hot Stuff. Cue the montage.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Hot stuff. Steamy.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Hot. Sizzle.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Sizzle, sizzle, pop.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT IN HERRE")

NELLY: (Singing) It's getting hot in here. So take off all your clothes.

MCEVERS: We decided one way to warm you up today would not just be this montage, but a playlist of hot songs for your walk to work, while you're shoveling the car, you know, whatever - for that personal dance party you might be having later with yourself. We're not going to judge. Helping us out with this is Jason King. He's the host and curator of I'll Take You There. It's a 24/7 R&B channel from NPR Music. How's winter treating you, Jason?

JASON KING, BYLINE: Hey, Kelly. Well, I'm originally from northwestern Canada so I guess I should be used to winter brutality. But I don't think you can ever really get used to it.

MCEVERS: Right. Do you have any special gear or anything like that? Are you just - like, do Canadians know things that we don't know?

KING: No, I don't think we do. But I'm into fashionable discomfort. I'd rather look fashionable, and I'll just be cold.

MCEVERS: Really?

KING: Yeah.

MCEVERS: Right, we don't need coats. We need songs. That's how we're going to be warmed. How should we get this started here?

KING: Why don't we start with the first song that you might play secretly in your apartment alone when it's too cold outside to do anything else?

MCEVERS: I do that.

KING: I do too.

MCEVERS: OK, good.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT STUFF")

GROOVE DA PRAIA: Looking for some hot stuff, baby, this evening. I need some hot stuff, baby, tonight. I want some hot stuff, baby, this evening. Got to have some hot stuff. Got to have some loving tonight.

KING: The song, you'll probably know, because it came out in 1979 - Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff." It's from her "Bad Girls" album.

MCEVERS: Right.

KING: But this is done Brazilian bossa nova style by a group called Groove da Praia. It's slowed down. It's seductive. It's incandescent.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT STUFF")

GROOVE DA PRAIA: I need your hot stuff.

MCEVERS: Yeah, a little tropical goodness there. But what if I want - you know, I'm kind of, like, slowly starting to move around. What if I want to, like, really dance?

KING: OK. Then let's start the dance.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LET'S START THE DANCE")

KING: This next track is from an artist named Bohannon. He was actually Stevie Wonder's drummer back in the '60s and then he backed up a lot of Motown acts. So this track is a lot of hot, polyrhythmic, syncopated percussion.

( SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LET'S START THE DANCE")

CAROLYN CRAWFORD: (Singing) Everybody.

MCEVERS: This is like disco-tastic.

( SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LET'S START THE DANCE")

CRAWFORD: (Singing) Get on up and dance.

KING: The song's from 1976. It was a huge underground dance classic. Larry Levan, classic DJ, loved to play this song. And it features Carolyn Crawford on those incredible lead vocals.

( SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LET'S START THE DANCE")

CRAWFORD: (Singing) Get on up and dance now.

MCEVERS: Hey, wait a second.

KING: So you probably recognize that melody. Get on up and dance now.

MCEVERS: Yeah. (Singing) Get on up and dance now.

KING: Yeah.

MCEVERS: That sounds kind of familiar.

KING: Because a decade later, C+C Music Factory would borrow that melody for their classic.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EVERYBODY DANCE NOW")

MARTHA WASH: (Singing) Everybody dance now.

KING: Everybody dance now - going to make you sweat.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "EVERYBODY DANCE NOW")

WASH: (Singing) Everybody dance now.

KING: That's another song that'll make you get up and dance.

MCEVERS: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There's a (laughter) - I think the lights just went down in the studio. OK. Did it spawn other songs besides C+C Music Factory?

KING: I think it just got a lot of people really interested in house music 'cause it really was part of the movement from disco in the 1970s into house music, into a harder kind of aggressive beat.

MCEVERS: Nice.

KING: And, so, yeah.

MCEVERS: All right, so, you know, so things are happening here. Everybody's moving around, not sweating quite yet. Can you feel where I'm going with this?

KING: I think I know where you're going.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KISS")

MCEVERS: Prince. Duh. I mean - I mean, you know.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KISS")

PRINCE: (Singing)You don't have to be beautiful to turn me on.

MCEVERS: OK, right. Am I super lame to have to have this song on my playlist? Am I, you know, acting my age my and not my shoe size?

KING: Oh, no. "Kiss" is never going to get old. I mean, you could be 85. You could be 25. You could be 15. That is just a hot track to the core. So you're totally forgiven.

MCEVERS: OK, good.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "KISS")

PRINCE: (Singing) Don't have to be rich to be my girl. You don't have to be cool to rule my world. Ain't no particular sign I'm more compatible with. I just want your extra time and your kiss.

MCEVERS: All right. Now I'm set. Like, my dance party is fine. What about you? Like, what's that one song that you have to have on this playlist that, like, gets you going in the dead of winter?

KING: All right. So I'm going to move out of the '80s. I'm going to move into the current moment. I'm going to go with the song "212" by Azealia Banks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "212")

AZEALIA BANKS: (Singing) I was in the 212 on the uptown A. [Expletive] you know what's up, or don't you? Word to who made you. I'm a rude [expletive]. What are you made up of?

KING: OK. So this track came out a couple of years ago. Azealia Banks is a New York born and bred rapper. She's mostly known for getting into these online battles on social media and Twitter. But she released an album last year called "Broke With Expensive Taste." For me, it's one of the best records of the year. This song has been the highlight of her career so far. What I love about it is that get-to-the-dance-floor beat. I mean, it's incredible. But on top of that, her voice is fascinating. She moves between three different voices. First you hear that super nimble rap voice that we just heard. And then you hear this kind of mellow singing voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "212")

BANKS: (Singing) Ayo, ayo. I heard you're riding with the same tall - tall tale, telling them you made some.

KING: And then it goes into this anthemic, shouted chant.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "212")

BANKS: (Singing) What you going to do when I appear, when I premier? (Expletive), the end of lives are near. This (expletive) is mine - mine. What you going to do when I appear?

MCEVERS: Oh, I like it. In the 212 - so she's from New York?

KING: Yeah. She's definitely New York born and bred.

MCEVERS: Nice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "212")

BANKS: (Singing) Mine, mine.

MCEVERS: Nice. All right, I think we have time for one more song, Jason. What's it going to be?

KING: All right. Let's go back to the '80s again. Let's time travel.

MCEVERS: Yeah.

KING: Michael Jackson, "P.Y.T." from 1983, his blockbuster album, "Thriller."

MCEVERS: Oh, yes. God, it's such a good song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "P.Y.T.")

MICHAEL JACKSON: (Singing) I want to love you, pretty young thing. You need some loving. Tender loving care. And I'll take you there. Yes I will.

KING: One-song dance party, for sure.

MCEVERS: Yeah, yeah. I think - I think we're totally warmed up now. I am actually sweating (laughter).

KING: Well, if that song doesn't make you get up and dance, like, the coldness of winter has really gotten into your bones, your joints or something. So you have to go to a doctor because something's wrong.

MCEVERS: (Laughter) OK, cool. Well, thanks so much, Jason, for sharing your Hot Stuff music picks.

KING: Thanks, Kelly. Stay warm, everyone.

MCEVERS: Yep. That's Jason King. He's host of NPR Music's R&B channel.

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