You may not think you know the work of Willie Hutch at all. The closest you’ve got to it might be our use of ‘Brother’s Gonna Work It Out’ on our brilliant ‘Family Tree’ Playlist. In fact you’ll find his music popping up frequently on our lists. That’s because we think that Willie Hutch is one of the greatest soul singers and producers of all time.
And even if you don’t realize you probably do know his work, especially if you have even a passing interest in Blaxploitation movies, as Hutch produced two of the greatest soundtracks to two of the greatest films of that period – ‘The Mack’ and the unforgettable ‘Foxy Brown’. They are both masterpieces, but the outright winner has to be ‘The Mack’, a stunning soul album in its own right, and the source of so much hip-hop and r’n’b by way of sampling as to be almost obscene. We just hope he had a good lawyer for the royalties.
From UGK’s ‘International Player’s Anthem’ to the reference of Outkasts’s ‘Player’s Ball’, and from Jaheim’s ‘The Chosen One’ to Dre’s use of dialogue from the film prior to ‘Rat-a-tat-tat’ on ‘The Chronic’. And that’s before we even get to his production on Motown for the likes of Michael Jackson in his early solo years, and Smokey Robinson amongst others. The man was incredible. In fact, he was the Mack daddy.