Hip-hop lost a matron in Lyn Collins. The R&B singer, who died Sunday at 56, first made her mark on the rap world in 1987 when her song “Think (About It)” was sampled on the smash hit “It Takes Two,” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock.
Other artists who have rapped Collins’ soulful voice include Nas, Schoolly D, Public Enemy and most recently Ludacris.
“People sampled her because the era her music came from is a time in which it was quite a regular thing to, well, give the drummer some,” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, the drummer for The Roots, said Tuesday via e-mail.
“Without her work, Nas would have had a different musical backdrop,” Thompson said. “Collins’ ‘Land of Milk and Honey’ was the track for his infamous ‘hell for snuffing Jesus’ outing on Main Source’s ‘Live at the Barbecue.'”
Collins took up singing as a teenager. At 14, she married a man who worked as the local promoter for the James Brown Revue. Brown heard Collins sing and in 1970 she was invited to join his traveling show. Her powerful voice led Brown to nickname her the “Female Preacher,” because listening to her sing was a near-religious experience.
Two years after joining Brown, she cut “Think (About It).”
“Having graduated from the school of ‘Brown Soulversity,'” Thompson said, “Ms. Collins was a very arresting artist and had a commanding stage presence.”
“Plus, she was dope son!”