Leon Haywood / Feb 11, 1942 - Apr 5, 2016

Happy birthday to the recently-passed keyboardist/songwriter/producer Leon Haywood, the man behind that G-Funk staple "I Wanna Do Something Freaky To You". He came from Houston and was playing piano as a young child. He put together his first professional band in the '50s, playing locally while also backing Guitar Slim. In the early '60s he moved to Los Angeles, where he played in a band with saxophonist Big Jay McNeely, and backing Sam Cooke in his band until Cooke's death. He continued working as a session musician with Dyke & The Blazers, among others.

He had a few minor soul hits (including the Carolina "beach music" classic "It's Got To Be Mellow") in the mid-'60s and early '70s while hoppin' labels until he broke big with "Freaky" in '75. He had a big disco-era hit in '80 with "Don't Push It Don't Force It" before going into semi-retirement, save for some productions of blues artists (Jimmy McCracklin, etc) on his own EveJim label. "Freaky" was used as the basis for Dr Dre's "Nuthin' But A G Thang". Here is the OG jam, followed by the Dre hit:

Dre and Snoop take it from here:


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