This B101.7 Flashback Friday Spotlight takes a different twist as a couple of songs face off! The original song and the parody which stirred up a bit of controversy.

In 1995, 'Dangerous Minds' hit theaters. The movie stars Michelle Pfeiffer and is the story about an ex-marine teacher who struggles to connect with her inner city school students. Coolio recorded a song for the movie's soundtrack which plays into the same theme. That song, 'Gangsta's Paradise.' It would become the #1 song of 1995 and is still called out as one of the greatest on plenty of 'the best of' song listing shows and blogs. Tremendous success for the rapper.

Enter, Weird Al Yankovic. Here's an artist well known for his comedy parodies of hit songs, especially songs which had such a tremendous impact as 'Gangsta's Paradise.' We go from a song about the tough inner city life to the ultra simplistic Amish country life in 'Amish Paradise.' Michelle Pfeiffer is in the Coolio video, but you Carol Brady (Florence Henderson) in Weird Al's. Funny stuff.

I remember there being some kind of controversy about all of this. It is common for Weird Al to get permission from an artist before releasing a parody version. There was a lot of finger pointing if there was permission or not. I don't think the parody takes away from the serious message of 'Gangsta's Paradise.' That was one of the apparent concerns.

What we get it, is a pair of masterpieces. Really. No doubt, 'Gangsta's Paradise' is one of the most recognized and greatest hip hop songs of the 90s. You also have to admit 'Amish Paradise' is one of the most hysterical parody songs of the 90s, even though it's the video that truly makes the song.

Coolio 'Gangsta's Paradise'
Weird Al Yankovic 'Amish Paradise'

Listen to B101.7 Friday at 5pm for the Flashback Friday Spotlight with Greg Thomas. Get more flashbacks with the B101.7 Saturday Night Party, 8pm-1am, with Louie Linguini.

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