R&B Legend Smokey Robinson Talks New Album, Hip-Hop

R&B legend and renowned songwriter Smokey Robinson has released a new CD of standard songs titled Timeless Love.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer revealed

he is also preparing another album with new material, to keep up with today’s sound.

Robinson, 66, helped catapult Berry Gordy’s Motown label into history as a member of The Miracles. He penned numerous hits for artists on the label and The Miracles landed Motown’s first #1 single, “Shop Around” in 1961, released on Gordy’s Tamla imprint.

Now, 45 years later, Robinson is still in touch with popular music.

“Many people are downing the new artists so much and saying it’s not like it used to be, but nothing is,” Robinson told the Associated Press in a recent interview. “I have a variety of young people on my iPod. Alicia Keys, John Legend, Beyonce, Maxwell. I even listen to rap people. I think Nelly is probably the James Brown of this era because Nelly’s beats are incredible. I listen to everyone, not only because I’m a fan, but I’m still recording, and I need to know what they’re doing so I can be competitive.”

Robinson’s music has also been sampled by numerous artists, including De La Soul, Capone-N-Noreaga, Scarface, Cam’ron and others.

In a previous interview Robinson was grateful for artists re-working his material.

“To the rappers who’ve sampled me, I want to say – no, sample all of mine, because that says that particular song had an influence on them and they loved it enough to include it in one of their songs,”

Robinson said. “Also, I’m gonna make some money.”

The singer also attributed his longevity to Berry Gordy’s legendary Motown Finishing School, which focused on developing talent, as opposed to cranking out one-hit wonders.

His new CD, Timeless Love features one of the greatest songwriters in music history reworking such well known standards written by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Sammy Cahn and others.

The album also includes one original song written by Robinson titled “I Love Your Face.”

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