Earth, Wind & Fire: 12 Essential Songs

Savor the smoothest soul and most enlightened funk from the hitmaking legends

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"Brazilian Rhyme (Beijo)" (1977)

"Brazilian Rhyme (Beijo)" is just a flighty 80-second groove near the center label of an album that spawned two huge singles; but thanks to its falsetto disco call — "Beijo! Beijo! Ba da ba ba ba!" — its impact on hip-hop would be monumental. DJs from New York's earliest days of the genre would spin the track for MCs to rhyme over; Southern rap pioneer MC Shy D copped it for his hard-rocking 1987 single "I've Gotta Be Tough"; A Tribe Called Quest used it to fill out their groundbreaking debut, People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm and Big Punisher couldn't resist copping it for his iconic 1998 Top 40 hit "Still Not a Player." Everyone from the Black Eyed Peas to MF Doom have joyfully borrowed its ecstatic hook — "beijo" is, after all, Portugese for "kiss."

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