EMF: Charlie Wilson Playlist

EMF Playlist: Charlie Wilson

Charlie Wilson is one of America’s most talented singers with a career stretching across disco, Funk, classic R&B and hip-hop. Beginning as the lead singer of the Gap Band, Charlie’s given us hits like “Early In The Morning” and “Yearning For My Love” along with “Computer Love” and Kanye West’s “All of the Lights.”I’m just an ageless guy. I’ve had this passion since when I was performing with the Gap Band, and it’s the only way I know how to perform,” Wilson told ESSENCE.com in 2011. “I asked Michael Jordan one time, ‘You going to ever play again?’ And he said, ‘If I still had my legs and I could compete at the level I’m used to competing, I would do it.’ Until my knees go out, I’m going to continue to perform that way.”Are you ready for “Charlie, Last Name, Wilson” and his high-powered show at this year’s ESSENCE Music Festival? We are! See you there, ladies!

“Burn Rubber on Me”

When we hear the introductory chords of the Gap Band’s “Burn Rubber on Me,” it’s really hard not to shake our shoulders … and other things. Are we the only ones that find ourselves randomly doing the snake to this groove?


“Outstanding” is one of our favorite Gap Band joints, and Jermaine Dupri knew this when he sampled the track on Da Brat’s “Listen to the B-Side” featuring Notorious B.I.G, remember?

“Early in the Morning”

An undeniable funk hit, the Charlie Wilson-led Gap Band hit “Early in the Morning” just demands a two-step. And believe us, Charlie will have you doing just that with his high-powered performance at the ESSENCE Music Festival. Are you ready?

“Yearning For Your Love”

There is no better Gap Band song to wake up to in the morning than “Yearning For Your Love.” Though we will admit it took us awhile to realize that this cut wasn’t called “Running.” I mean, who knew?

“You Are”

Every R&B singer worth their salt needs a wedding anthem and “You Are” is just that for Charlie Wilson.

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“There Goes My Baby”

Few things are more adorable than a genuine happily married couple and thanks to Charlie’s friendship with Snoop Dogg, he not only included the MC and his wife Shante Broadus in this video for “There Goes My Baby” but he was instrumental in the pair rekindling their relationship after they parted ways briefly back in 2005.

“Charlie, Last Name Wilson”

There’s something to be said for branding. Charlie Wilson and R. Kelly nail this concept with Wilson’s first solo single “Charlie, Last Name Wilson” by inserting the legendary Gap Band lead singer’s name into the chorus.

Zapp & Roger’s “Computer Love” featuring Charlie Wilson and Shirley Murdock

Zapp & Roger’s “Computer Love” featuring Charlie Wilson and Shirley Murdock is one of Wilson’s surprise hits. If you really listen closely, you’ll recognize his voice but otherwise, you won’t even realize that crooner on this electronic cut is Mr. Wilson.

Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” ft. Charlie Wilson, Rihanna, Bon Iver, Fergie & Alicia Keys

Bet you didn’t know that Charlie Wilson was a part of Kanye West’s choir collective jam “All of the Lights.” The uber-collaboration features Charlie Wilson, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, midwest singer-songwriter Bon Iver and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas along with the Chicago MC making the song’s chorus one of the most-layered we’ve ever heard from West.

Snoop’s “Beautiful” featuring Pharrell & Charlie Wilson

Though Charlie Wilson didn’t make it to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the video, he still contributed vocals to Snoop’s “Beautiful” featuring Pharrell Williams. Again, Wilson, the silent collaborator, makes the track that much better.