Even if you don’t know his name, you know his music. Lenny Williams’ classic ballad “Cause I Love You” has been sampled by everyone from Kanye West to Scarface and remains one of the most well-known love songs of the past thirty years.
Fact: Lenny Williams won a BMI Award With Kanye West for Twista’s “Overnight Celebrity”
The Arkansas-born California native was once the lead singer of the group Tower Of Power and has had much success as a solo artist. Now, thanks to Young Jeezy, a newer generation of music fans are being exposed to his music.
On TM103 Young producer M-16 samples Williams “Let’s Talk It Over” for Jeezy’s latest hit “I Do,” The original song was released as a single in 1979 on MCA Records.
“I thought it was going to be my follow-up to ‘Cause I love you’ and I was trying to do a similar song,” says Williams of the track. “But we ended up doing it a little faster than I wanted to at the end. So I couldn’t get my talking on. It’s a good song, I always felt it was kind of wasted and here it is all these years later and Jeezy found it. It’s exciting to see what touches people. It’s gotta be thirty years later and they found it. Their version has a lot of nice strings. They got me humming in the back. I love it.”
“I Do, I Do”
So with two of his songs anchoring hip-hop hits is there anything else he feels could get the sample treatment?
“I always wondered why nobody ever sampled ‘Choosing You’,” he says. “Especially the New York rappers. ‘Choosing You’ was a #1 hit in New York on WBLS. It’s an uptempo song with the strings. I think Ray Parker, Jr. is playing on it and the guys from Lakeside are signing and playing on it.”
In addition to his considerable catalog from the 60s and 70s, Williams has been recording new music as well. He released an album in 2009 called Unfinished Business with the hilarious “Sorry I Didn’t Know That Was Your Momma”, which he says is based on a true story.
“I was at a club one night with the band and I was walking around on a break and I saw this table of ladies,” he begins. “I walk over and holla and you see they look like a certain age. But one of the girls at the table said ‘hey don’t be talkin like that to my momma.’ It’s interesting because momma had the little tattoo, the nose ring, earring, tongue ring…They dress like Beyonce and want you to treat ’em like Eartha Kitt.”
With stories like that it’s easy to see why Lenny Williams will have more music coming in 2012. In the meantime hit him up on Twitter @LennyWilliams