Last week we lost the Queen of Soul, the indomitable force that was Aretha Franklin had been in declining health for an unknown (to the public) amount of time before reportedly going into Hospice.
We often believe that those who make timeless music are immortal themselves, and sad times like these remind us that this just isn’t true. Even still, the loss of a legend does not mean the loss of their music and the memories that they helped us create. There are not enough words in the thesaurus to classify just how legendary this woman was to the black experience as well as music in general. Her impact lasted for generations, that’s something that very few artists can say.
Regardless of how you feel about hip-hop, one thing that it can do that other genres haven’t really been able to, is sample an idea and spin it into a new narrative while still maintaining the lifeblood of the original piece. When a sample is done correctly, it feels like a spinoff of an original song, almost a continuation if you will, rather than a cheap rip-off. Aretha Franklin pre-dated a genre that would assist in immortalizing her by almost 40 years. Imagine what she saw in her lifetime. When you’re that big of a legend, you can wear ANY hat you like.
R.I.P. Mrs. Franklin. You will surely be missed.