Milo here.

BOIIII NEW SERIESS ALERTTTTT. This is the series that I been cheekily teasing since July and if there’s one thing for *sure* — it’s gonna be wildly underwhelming. It’s kinda like MMMs but more gimmicky — what fun!

Essentially, Doppelbängers was a series borne out of a pun and fleshed into something resembling an article. What I’ll do, whenever I decide to write these, is take two or more songs with the same title and decide which is the ultimate version. Of course, I haven’t heard of every song ever, so if you know of a song even better than my choice, leave a comment boio. Today, to kick us off, I’ve got us a biggun’, a battle royale if you will.

We’re looking at Freedom, by Wham!, Beyoncé (Ft. Kendrick Lamar), Jurassic 5, Rage Against The Machine, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five and Jimi Hendrix. As there are so many, we’re doing this one tournament styleee…

Round 1: Wham! v. Beyoncé

Released at the height of their worldwide success, Freedom, for many, became Wham!‘s signature track. While I can defo get down to a bit Georgios’ solo work (Freedom 90 is a banger), Wham!’s never really hit it for me. Despite this, Freedom is a nice little poppy tune, very 80s, and who doesn’t love a trumpet? THE ANSWER IS NO ONE. It’s a catchy pop track, not much more or less.
On the other hand, the fourth single from Beyoncé‘s Lemonade, while also technically a pop song, is a massive, angry, feministic roar from the superstar. One of the album’s biggest highlights, with its huge beat, rousing gospel organs and Queen Bey’s powerhouse vocals at the center, it’s no contest really.

Winner: Beyoncé (Ft. Kendrick Lamar)

At this point I’d link to the song, but fackin’ dolt in charge of copyright made it unavailable on Youtube and Spotify, so tough shite I guess…


Round 2: Jurassic 5 v. Rage Against The Machine

The opening track on 2002 classic Power In Numbers, Jurassic 5‘s Freedom is classic Jurassic when it comes down to it. Nu-Mark’s slightly eerie, smooth instrumental has these really rich kickdrums that pad out the rest of the samples very well. With the MCs, they’ve got their general turn-taking structure down to a science by this point, with Chali’s bass-baritone obviously standing out.
Contrastingly closing out Rage Against The Machine‘s legendarily bombastic debut album, Freedom was, at one point, my favourite RATM song. While this is no longer the case (Bulls On Parade, lad), I still love the pure boiled down essence of Rage the band present here. I’ve always said it is the RATMiest RATM song, and it’s not hard to see why, with the funky basslines, frantic drumming, eclectic guitars and Zack De La Rocha’s ever political, ever ragey, vocal performance — culminating in a lot of screaming.

Winner: Rage Against The Machine

Round 3: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five v. Jimi Hendrix

No stranger to a showdown, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five have one of their best songs in Freedom, yet another example of pristine 80s party rap from quite possibly the biggest names in the scene. Flash mounts the turntable with the funkiest bass samples and, you guessed it, TRUMPETSSSSSSS.
With his Freedom, on the other hand, Hendrix takes us back to his bluesier roots, albeit with healthy spoonful of acid-licked psychedelia for good measure. His playing throughout is predictably gorgeous, with his solo particularly screaming in the instrumental without mercy. This is the toughest of three match-ups to call, but it comes down to this isn’t Jimi’s finest set of lyrics, which is a shame compared to the absolute beauts he’s put out in the past (May This Be Love, Castles Made of Sand).

Winner: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

The Final: Beyoncé v. Rage Against The Machine v. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five

These are three excellent songs, three very different songs, actually. To decide my personal favourite, I’m taking into account what I think of them, as well as how well they fit their title. So, right off the bat, I need to discount Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, because, while it’s a funky choon, you could stick any two-syllable word in that chorus and it wouldn’t make a lick of difference. However, both Queen Bey and RATM personify the kind of defiant power I’d expect from a song called ‘Freedom’, so it is just down to my own experience with it — the riff power, the funk, the RAGE. It’s RATM for the win, sucka.

Now, this is a new series and it won’t always be this lengthy (I wanted to start off with a grandun’) but any feedback is greatly appreciated. Also, there’s a limited amount of songs with the exact same title (I mean I got a good few but still), so if there any suggestions out there, do get in touch. Just don’t touch me.

Lots of hugs, kisses and lacerations

Milo.

2 thoughts on “Doppelbängers #1: Freedom

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