1. Various Artists including Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes
“Freedom (Theme from Panther)”
From Panther: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
If you listened to my podcast interview with Ron Lopes, brother of the late, great Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, you know I asked him what his favorite all-time Left Eye rap was. Well, he didn’t just give me one; he gave me a few. This was one of them. And his mention of “Freedom” tickled me in a way the others didn’t.
Originally written and performed by Joi for her debut album, The Pendulum Vibe, someone had the genius idea to include it on this soundtrack and make it an ensemble piece. It’s a great song and I think it still stands the test of time. Really an anthemic song. I know I called “No Scrubs” anthemic, but this is a truly anthemic song. “No Scrubs” is fun, but “Freedom” is anthemic in a whole ‘nother way. I think it speaks for itself.
I think this is a nice song to end the countdown with (though I’ll post my OUTRODUCTION tomorrow) especially in the wake of our new president’s inauguration last week and our continued celebration of MLK’s legacy.
I wish everyone freedom. Freedom of expression. Freedom to love whom you want to love. Freedom to love them how you want to love them. Freedom to learn, explore, and grow. And, mostly, freedom to be yourself fearlessly, fiercely, and unabashedly without fear of judgement, rejection, or regret, which is how I think Lisa lived.
I remember I posted a poem I wrote on a TLC fansite message board once. Lisa opined on it right away. She had nice things to say. I’ll never forget that.
By th way — you get the rap version and the original R&B version as a BONUS! (T-Boz and Chilli representin’, too!)
And, yes, she kilt it.