Pre-Auto-Tune

Roger's funky vocals in this week's Forgotten Video
  • Roger in "I Want To Be Your Man"
August 05, 2010 -- 10:42 am PDT
GRAMMY.com

Welcome to Forgotten Videos. Well, for some forgotten, for others just filed away, and for others still, a totally brand-new discovery. Whichever category you fall into, each week we'll feature a video that's possibly been collecting dust when what it really deserves is a fresh look. Or, we'll be giving a fresh look at a video that deserves to be collecting dust. We're not here to judge, we just want to take you on a little trip down memory lane. Yep, you'll remember when hair was really that big, when drums were that up front in the mix, when video was young(er) and so were you.

Roger
"I Want To Be Your Man"
1987

Are you a fan of Auto-Tune? Or do you think it's the vocal equivalent of cheating on an exam? Either way, look no further than Roger as one of the early proponents of treating a vocal like it's any other instrument, open to studio tricks. But whether you think that's a good thing or an unforgivable affront to every singer who has ever cut a vocal track without overdubs or edits (whoever that might have been…), there's no denying "I Want To Be Your Man" is enormously catchy R&B (despite opening with what seems like a Jerry Lewis parody). Roger Troutman was the leader of his family group Zapp, but "I Want To Be Your Man" was from a solo disc, Unlimited!, an album that also featured "I Really Want To Be Your Man." "I Want To Be Your Man" climbed to No. 3 in early 1988, and other Roger songs were ultimately sampled by Tupac Shakur and Dr. Dre — whose Roger-sampled "California Love" earned a Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group GRAMMY nomination in 1996 — and others. Sadly, Roger was shot to death by his brother Larry in a murder-suicide in 1999. 



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