It’s time for “world music classic #31,” which is the American track “Smokin Cheeba Cheeba” which first came my way via the 1988 CD compilation Rare Groove vol.1.
Smokin’ Cheeba Cheeba” was written by Paul and Ann Winley and performed by the Harlem Underground Band in 1976 on their only album on Paul Winley Records (a label known for its bootleg recordings of Malcolm X speeches, a series bootleg break beat compilations called “Super Disco Brake’s”, or, “Super Disco Breaks” and the legitimate Afrika Bambaataa‘s “Zulu Nation Throwdown Pt. 1“). “Cheeba” features jazz-guitar great George Benson, a lengthy harmonica solo by Buddy Lucas and the recurring “cheeba cheeba” theme sung by Ann Winley. In 1989, Tone Loc sampled this track for his own “Cheeba Cheeba.” The track was recently featured on the Grand Theft Auto soundtrack .