*Some people of a certain age hear the 1979 instrumental “Rise” by Herb Alpert and think back no further than the 1997 image of Notorious B.I.G. and Puffy on a yacht. But there’s an entire generation of fans who, to this day, hear the song’s baseline strut and are instantly taken back to a critical scene on the soap opera “General Hospital.”
A rape scene.
On October 20, 1979, “Rise” went to No. 1 in the U.S. after it was used in a scene featuring Luke Spencer and Laura Webber, “General Hospital’s” “Luke & Laura” lovebirds whose immense popularity would explode beyond their own soap – and daytime dramas in general – to become a cultural flashpoint.
But the iconic characters, played by Genie Francis and Anthony Geary, weren’t even a couple when Geary reportedly suggested “Rise” to the show’s music director for his pivotal scene with Francis.
In fact, Laura was still with Scottie Baldwin when Luke – after Laura rebuffed his declaration of love – threw on the DJ’s record player and raped Laura on the floor of the campus disco, as “Rise” played in the background.
“General Hospital” ran this song several times a week for a short period after this scene, until writers transformed Luke and Laura into romantic lovers and made his redemption a part of their storyline.
“Rise,” written by Andy Armer and Herb’s nephew Randy “Badazz” Alpert, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 exactly three months after its July 20, 1979 release from the album of the same name. It remained at the top for two weeks, and gave Alpert the distinction of becoming the first and only artist to score Hot 100 chart toppers with both an instrumental performance and a vocal performance (1968’s “This Guy’s in Love With You,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David).
“Rise” was also a fixture on Black radio in 1979, having peaked at number four on the R&B chart and number seventeen on the disco chart.
Sean “Puffy” Combs came along 18 years later and gave “Rise” new life by choosing its bass line for Biggie’s track “Hypnotize.” Released on March 1, 1997, one week before the rapper’s death in a drive by shooting, Puff’s production laced with B.I.G.’s indelible lyrics took “Rise” back to the Hot 100 summit. The original spent the entire summer of ’79 climbing the charts until that episode of “General Hospital” shoved it into the No. 1 spot on Oct. 20. Biggie’s version debuted at No. 2 and reached the pinnacle a week later.
Randy Alpert told the website songfacts.com, “I asked Puffy, in 1996 when he first called me concerning using ‘Rise’ for ‘Hypnotize,’ why he chose the ‘Rise’ groove. He told me that in the summer of 1979 when he was I think 10 years old the song was a huge hit everywhere in New York and ‘Rise’ along with Chic’s ‘Good Times’ were ‘The Songs’ that all the kids were dancing and roller skating to that summer. He had always remembered that summer and that song. When he first played the loop for Biggie, Biggie smiled and hugged him.”
Randy Alpert continued: “Over the years I was approached by Ice Cube, Easy E, Vanilla Ice, and maybe another 4-5 artists to use the song and I never said yes until I heard a rough version of Biggie’s recording. I was sent a cassette from Puffy and when I cranked it up I not only immediately loved it but my gut thought that this could be a #1 record once again.”
While “Hypnotize” wasn’t the only record to sample “Rise,” it was by far the most successful.
Monica used the groove on “I’m Back” from her 2002 album “All Eyez on Me.”
And Bell Biv DeVoe sampled the groove in their 2016 single “Run,” the trio’s first track in 14 years.
Tyler The Giver: TP Studios Holds Food Drive Giveaway for Thousands in Atlanta / WATCH
*This past weekend Tyler Perry was focused on giving to the people and it appears that the people were in a receiving mood so the stage was set for a hook up of mass proportions this past weekend.
Oh what a glorious time it was for all involved. Starting Saturday evening and well into Sunday, the people came to the Tyler Perry Studios outside of Atlanta by the thousands ahead of an extremely challenging Thanksgiving.
We’re talking incredibly long lines of cars as folks came to get in on the food drive giveaway the studio dubbed TPSGiving which aimed to feed 5,000 families.
Here’s more via TMZ:
TP and co. promised to offer up nonperishables as well as gift cards to the first 5,000 families to pull up to their grounds … and the people heard them loud and clear, because the cars started arriving as early as Saturday afternoon, and only grew bigger going into Sunday — with the drive going from 8 AM ET to noon.
Check out this drone footage TMZ obtained that shows a bird’s-eye view of the scene — you can see traffic backed up all along the surrounding freeway there … and word on the ground is that it was even more packed than what this shows.
Now, you might be wondering just how this went down safely in midst of a vicious pandemic. Tyler’s staff made sure the hand-off of goods was all curbside pickup, and everyone receiving a care package was asked to wear masks. The TPS employees were covered in PPE from head to toe as well, so by all accounts … it was as safe as can be for this type of thing.
As TMZ also noted, “the charitable deed is nothing new on Tyler’s part, especially as the pandemic has ravaged much of the country. Tyler’s done everything from tipping the hell out of a local restaurant staff — with upwards of $20k-plus — and also picked up the tabs of grocery shoppers in NOLA and Atlanta earlier this year too.”
Months After Announcing Split Lena Waithe’s Wife, Alana Mayo, Files For Divorce
*It was a year ago that Alana Mayo and Lena Waithe secretly tied the knot. Now Mayo is divorcing Waithe.
Mayo filed a petition for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this week, per court records via The Blast.
Apparently something went wrong very quickly because after only two months of marriage the pair revealed they had separated.
“After careful thought and consideration, we have decided to part ways,” read a joint statement from Waithe, 36, and Mayo’s reps to E! News. “We have nothing but support for one another and ask that you respect our privacy during this time.”
Last November, Waithe said on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that she and Mayo got married at the courthouse in San Francisco, where they wed in front of a bust of the late Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the US.
“We snuck and did it, you know,” she said. “We didn’t really make any announcements or a big … you know.”
Megan Thee Stallion’s Ex-Bestie Kelsey Nicole Responds to Diss on New Album
*Megan Thee Stallion dropped her debut album last week titled, “Good News,” and on the opening song “Shots Fired,” she takes aim at ex-boyfriend Tory Lanez and her ex-best friend, Kelsey Nicole.
Now, Kelsey has responded on social media, confirming that she and Meg are no longer friends following the shooting incident with Lanez back in July. The Canadian-born rapper is accused of shooting at Megan’s feet several times during an argument following a pool party with Kylie Jenner. He reportedly told her to “Dance B*tch” while firing and wounding her.
We previously reported… Lanez has been charged with one felony count each of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, personal use of a firearm, and carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm, per PEOPLE.
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Lanez is also facing a “gun allegation and that he personally inflicted great bodily injury,” the DA’s office said in a press release in October.
Kelsey was with Megan on the night of the shooting and their relationship has reportely been strained ever since. Recent screenshots of Kelsey’s comments show her shading the “WAP” rapper; in one, she replied to someone quoting lyrics from “Shots Fired,” writing,: “Lol I would never want a soul like hers. Face & body don’t mean shit. Relax.”
In another verse of the track, Megan raps “Who you takin’ shots at, goofy-ass bitch?/Watchin’ me succeed from your knees, suckin’ dick/I know you want attention from the n****s that I get/I’m a steak, you a side plate, shrimp, stay in your place.” To which Kelsey replied, “The most weirdo sh*t she could’ve ever said,” in response to the verse.
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Lanez allegedly offered hush money to both Kelsey and Meg, which the hip-hop star confirmed in her new interview with GQ: “This [is] like right in the middle of all the protesting. Police are just killing everybody for no reason, and I’m thinking, ‘I can’t believe you even think I want to take some money. Like, you just shot me.’”
Lanez took to Twitter in October to react to the felony charges he’s facing over the incident.
“the truth will come to the light,” he wrote. “I have all faith in God to show that … love to all my fans and people that have stayed true to me & know my heart … a charge is not a conviction . If you have supported me or meg thru this , I genuinely appreciate u.”
Megan has not yet addressed her fallout with Kelsey.
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