A new Bossmen Remix of soul giant Barry White’s 1973 smash “Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up” is available today (11) by Lord Finesse, the rapper, hip-hop producer, and founding member of the influential Diggin’ In The Crates Crew (D.I.T.C.).
The mix is accompanied, also via UMe, by a seven-minute extended version and an instrumental rendition – all in time for Valentine’s Day on Monday – in fitting tribute to the man widely known as “The Godfather of Bedroom Soul,” as Rolling Stone described White.
Barry White has been a major influence on Lord Finesse, who pronounces himself honored by the opportunity to reimagine the classic soul track. “‘Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up’ is one of my favorites in his catalog,” he says. “The composition has such a vibe: dark, soulful, theatrical, but sexy.”
The producer has custom-designed the remix to fit White’s unique and utterly distinctive style. “I kept the drums, brought out the vocals, tailored a sexy and soulful arrangement to compliment the direction of the original song,” he adds.
The new incarnation of “Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up” incorporates R&B, psychedelic funk and piano soundscapes, with an emphasis on slow-jam swing and White’s trademark smooth-talking romanticism. The artwork for the remix is by Virginia-raised, Los Angeles-based designer Darryl Sharp, whose resumé includes several other superstar artists.
Lord Finesse judges White to be just as influential as James Brown and Kool & the Gang were for the 1990s hip-hop generation, and this release follows his Motown State of Mind album of June 2020. That set featured remixed and reimagined versions of handpicked Motown gems such as Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You” and DeBarge’s “I Like It.”
“Never, Never Gonna Give Ya Up,” written, produced and recorded by White, was released in June 1973 as the first US single from his second album, Stone Gon’. It reached No.2 on the R&B chart, No.7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified gold.