Williamsburg's funk & soul outfit Pimps of Joytime are set to release a new music video featuring their funk-infused rendition of The Time's song, "777-9311." Pimps of Joytime pay tribute to Prince by commemorating the one-year anniversary of his passing (April 21) with the release of "777-9311," a track that was composed by Prince and recorded at his home studio 35 years ago in 1982. Though the lead vocal of "777-9311" is sung by Morris Day, Prince produced, arranged, and performed nearly everything on the track with Day later adding his lead vocal.
The original recording of "777-9311" on The Time's album What Time Is It? showcases one of Prince's signature basslines and an intricately programmed hi-hat pattern and an off-beat snare. Pimps of Joytime's lead man Brian Jay arranges the cover track with his vocal and electric guitar work sitting atop of David Bailis' basslines and John Staten's precise drum beats. Singers Mayteana Morales and Kimberly Dawson add a powerful punch to the lyric as the Pimps of Joytime put their unique stamp on this classic track.
"My respect and reverence for Prince runs deep," says Brian Jay. "When the idea of me covering a Prince track came up, I originally flat out rejected it. What is the point... his work is singular and can't be improved upon. The closest to a Prince cover that I did feel at ease doing is '777-9311.' It's a Time track, but Prince's fingerprints are all over it. I decided to slow it down and bring a bit of grime into it."
Brian Jay first heard Prince while sitting in a friend's car. Jay recalls, "I distinctly remember my friend and his mom went into a store and left me alone in the car with the radio on. 'Kiss' came on and changed my life. I just fully went on the journey that song takes you on. The way it builds. I never heard anything like it. No bass, the beat and that vocal! The way it starts so cool and direct, and builds to full on climax keeping you fully engaged the full way through. It's just stellar, utter perfection! That was a life changing experience sitting in that station wagon."
"777-9311" reached number two on the R&B charts and number 88 on the pop charts. The song's title, "777-9311", was Prince's guitarist Dez Dickerson's actual telephone number at the time the song was written. The track went on to be sampled by 2Pac on his song "Whatz Ya Phone#?", Sir Mix-A-Lot's single "Beepers" refers to the track, and several other artists referenced the song.
Pimps of Joytime just released their latest studio album, Third Wall Chronicles on Sugar Road Records. Available worldwide online and at stores. Album info and tour dates can be found on pimpsofjoytime.com.
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