Freak like Me

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"Freak Like Me"
Freak Like Me.jpg
Standard artwork (U.S. CD maxi-single pictured)
Single by Adina Howard
from the album Do You Wanna Ride?
Released January 25, 1995
Format CD single, vinyl single
Genre R&B, hip hop soul, new jack swing
Length 4:13
Label East West, Lola Waxx
Songwriter(s) Eugene Hanes, Marc Valentine, William 'Bootsy' Collins, George Clinton, Jr.
Producer(s) Mass Order
Adina Howard singles chronology
"Freak Like Me"
(1995)
"My Up and Down"
(1995)
"Freak Like Me"
(1995)
"My Up and Down"
(1995)
Do You Wanna Ride? track listing
"You Got Me Humpin'"
(1)
"Freak Like Me"
(2)
"If We Make Love Tonight"
(3)

"Freak Like Me" is the debut single by American R&B singer Adina Howard. It was released on January 25, 1995 as the lead single from her debut album, Do You Wanna Ride? It reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks behind "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan and was certified platinum by the RIAA for sales of one million copies.[1][2]

Content and sources[edit]

The song's drum beat is sampled from Sly & the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song."[3] The song also samples "I'd Rather Be with You" by Bootsy's Rubber Band.[4] Hence, Eugene Hanes, Marc Valentine, William "Bootsy" Collins, and George Clinton's son George Jr. (the last of whom died in 2010) are credited as joint authors and composers.

Though the subject of "Freak Like Me" is sexuality, the lyrics, in particular those of the refrain, are so censored as to replace "fuck" from Howard herself with "pump-pump" from the background vocalists.[citation needed] There have not, as of late May of 2017, been any known uncensored or unexpurgated versions recorded or released by Howard.

Music video[edit]

The original music video was directed by Hype Williams.[citation needed]

Official versions[edit]

  • "Freak Like Me" (LP version) – 4:13
  • "Freak Like Me" (radio version) – 4:04
  • "Freak Like Me" (a cappella) – 2:35
  • "Freak Like Me" (instrumental) – 4:10
  • "Freak Like Me" (dub instrumental) – 4:12
  • "Freak Like Me" (remix featuring rap by Inspector Rick) – 4:17
  • "Freak Like Me" (remix without rap) – 4:06

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Freak Like Me" (radio version) – 4:04
  2. "Freak Like Me" (remix featuring rap by Inspector Rick) – 4:17
  3. "Freak Like Me" (dub instrumental) – 4:12
  4. "Freak Like Me" (remix without rap) – 4:06
  5. "Freak Like Me" (instrumental) – 4:10
  6. "Freak Like Me" (a cappella) – 2:35

Charts[edit]

Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy version[edit]

"Freak Like Me"
Single by Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy
Released August 28, 2000
Format CD single, 12" single
Genre UK garage
Length 4:49
Label Positiva
Songwriter(s) William Collins, Eugene Hanes, Gary Lee Cooper, George Clinton, Loren Hill, Marc Valentine
Producer(s) Andrew Hunter, George Demetriou, Ian McKenzie, Maxim Elmaki, Nial Montgomery

In 2000, a collaboration between two UK garage groups, Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy, released a cover version of "Freak Like Me". English singer Imaani provided vocals on the song, this version reached number 12 on the UK Singles Chart.[6]

CD and 12" formats include remixes by Wideboys and Dome.

Track listing[edit]

UK CD maxi-single
  1. "Freak Like Me" (radio edit) – 3:21
  2. "Freak Like Me" (original mix) – 4:49
  3. "Freak Like Me" (Wideboys Vocal Mix) – 5:01
  4. "Freak Like Me" (Dome's Freaky Deaky Mix) – 5:59
UK 12" vinyl
A1. "Freak Like Me" (original mix) – 4:49
A2. "Freak Like Me" (Wideboys Dub) – 4:35
B1. "Freak Like Me" (Vocal Remix) – 5:10
B2. "Freak Like Me" (Freaky Deaky Mix) – 5:10

Charts[edit]

Chart (2000) Peak
position
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[7] 31
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[8] 12

Sugababes version[edit]

"Freak Like Me"
Dontchafreaklikme.JPG
Single by Sugababes
from the album Angels with Dirty Faces
B-side "Breathe Easy"
Released 22 April 2002
Format CD single, Cassette single, vinyl single, digital download
Recorded 2002; London, England
Genre Electronica, synthpop, R&B
Length 3:14
Label Island
Songwriter(s) Eugene Hanes, Marc Valentine, Loren Hill, William Collins, George Clinton, Gary Numan
Producer(s) Richard X
Sugababes singles chronology
"Soul Sound"
(2001)
"Freak Like Me"
(2002)
"Round Round"
(2002)
"Soul Sound"
(2001)
"Freak Like Me"
(2002)
"Round Round"
(2002)
Overloaded: The Singles Collection track listing
"Freak Like Me"
(1)
"Round Round"
(2)

In 2002, English girl group Sugababes recorded a cover of "Freak like Me", this version was conceived of and produced by English producer Richard X. It uses as its backing track a sample of the 1979 song "Are "Friends" Electric?" by Gary Numan and Tubeway Army. In 2001, Richard X had created a bootleg mashup of the original recordings of "Freak Like Me" and "Are "Friends" Electric?", titled "We Don't Give a Damn About Our Friends", which he released under the alias "Girls on Top".[9] That song became a successful underground dance track. Richard X wanted to release the mashup commercially, but he could not get permission from Adina Howard to use her vocals, so he decide to re-record the vocals, and enlisted the Sugababes to do so.

"Freak like Me" was released on 23 April 2002 as the lead single from their second studio album, Angels with Dirty Faces (2002). It was the first Sugababes single to feature Heidi Range, who joined after the departure of Siobhán Donaghy in June 2001, the Sugababes version of the song used the radio edit lyrics of Howard's song ("brotha" is used instead of "nigga"). Numan was now credited as a co-writer of the song.

A remix of the song, billed as the "We Don't Give a Damn Mix" appears on Richard X's 2003 album Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1.

The sound effect featured at the beginning of the song is the coin-insert tone from the popular 1981 video game Frogger. (The sound was also used to begin the song "Froggy's Lament", about the video game itself, on Buckner & Garcia's album Pac-Man Fever.)

Critical reception[edit]

In 2012, The Guardian named "Freak like Me" as the best number-one single of 2002.[10] NME complimented the track as "genius" and claimed, "if this gets to number one, we'll be grinning all summer. Yes, even the Critics."[11] Billboard named the song #45 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.[12]

Chart performance[edit]

On April 22, 2002, "Freak like Me" was released in the United Kingdom, the song became Sugababes' first number-one single when it debuted at number one in the UK Singles Chart, remaining in the top ten for four weeks. It remains one of the best selling singles released by the group, selling over 275,000 copies since its release and being certified Silver.

Outside of the United Kingdom, the song was also successful. While it reached the top ten in Ireland, Norway and Belgium, the song entered the top 30 of most of the charts it appeared on; in Australia, "Freak like Me" became the fourth single by Sugababes to make the singles chart, reaching number 44. It would be their lowest-charting single in Australia until the release of "Shape" in 2003.

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by Dawn Shadforth and Sophie Muller and was filmed in London.[citation needed] It uses the "We Don't Give a Damn Mix" of the song, which is more faithful to the original mash-up, the video is set in a strange nightclub, and acts as an introduction for the recent addition of Heidi Range. It begins outside the nightclub with a man tumbling down the stairs, with Keisha Buchanan in a long coat, seen only from below the knee, walking out of a door, over the man's body and up the stairs. Mutya Buena is seen standing on the stairs facing the direction where the man is lying. Inside, they spot Range dancing and flirting with many guys, they both quickly clash with her, and a fight between them ensues, which ends with Range falling to the floor unconscious. A man tries to help her up, but Buena grabs him by the neck and throws him away from her. Range wakes up again soon after, and stumbles out of the club with another man, where they begin to kiss, until she suddenly bites hard into his arm. Meanwhile, Buchanan takes a man outside, and she leads him into a dark alley, where they flirt briefly, before she scares him away. Buena then goes outside as well, and overpowers a man who towers over her, the music video ends with Buchanan and Buena accepting Range into the group, and dancing into the night. The demonstrations of supernatural strength shown throughout the video and Range biting the man on the arm are generally understood to imply that the women are, as the song suggests, vampire-like "freaks". Julian Morris stars in the music video as one of the boys running from Buena.

Track listing[edit]

  • UK CD1
  1. "Freak Like Me" (radio edit) – 3:14
  2. "Freak Like Me" (We Don't Give a Damn Mix) – 3:39
  3. "Breathe Easy" – 4:09
  4. "Freak Like Me" (video) – 3:39
  • UK CD2 (Later withdrawn due to manufacturing error)[13]
  1. "Freak Like Me" (radio edit) – 3:14
  2. "Freak Like Me" (Different Gear Mix) – 8:14
  3. "Freak Like Me" (Capoeira Twins Mix) – 5:33
  4. "Freak Like Me" (Jameson Mix) – 5:46
  • UK Cassette
  1. "Freak Like Me" (radio edit) – 3:14
  2. "Freak Like Me" (We Don't Give a Damn Mix) – 3:39
  3. "Freak Like Me" (Jameson Mix) – 5:46

Charts and certifications[edit]

Charts[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In The Story of Tracy Beaker episode "Music", Adele is singing part of the first verse of "Freak Like Me" in her bedroom when Tracy approaches her and compliments her voice and asks if she could also be in the band Adele is auditioning for.

The song was used in the PlayStation game Dancing Stage Fusion.[citation needed]

In honor of the song's 20th anniversary, a documentary focusing on the song's (and singer Adina Howard's) impact was released titled Adina Howard 20: A Story of Sexual Liberation.[30] It received a nomination for "Outstanding Independent Documentary" at the 2016 Black Reel Awards.

Rapper Pitbull sampled the song on his 2015 single "FREE.K" off his album Climate Change.[31]

Singers Chris Brown and Teyana Taylor sampled the song on their song "Freak On" in 2016.[32]

DJs R3hab and Quintino sampled the song on their single "Freak" which premiered in March 2016.[33]

DJ Luke Nasty sampled the song on his track "Adina (Freaks)" (produced by Djay Cas) in December 2016.

Danny Byrd, a UK drum 'n' bass producer, sampled the song in "Throw Ya Hands". The song was included on his 2013 album Golden Ticket and was used in the soundtrack of Forza Horizon 3.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "American certifications – Howard, Adina – Freak Like Me". Recording Industry Association of America. 
  2. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1995". Billboard. BPI Communications. 108 (3): 56. January 20, 1996. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 5, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Adina Howard's Freak Like Me sample of Sly & the Family Stone's Sing a Simple Song - WhoSampled". WhoSampled. 
  4. ^ "Adina Howard's Freak Like Me sample of Bootsy's Rubber". Who Sampled. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1995". Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  6. ^ "Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2014-01-12. 
  7. ^ "Archive Chart: 2000-09-03". Scottish Singles Top 40.
  8. ^ "Archive Chart: 2000-09-03" UK Singles Chart.
  9. ^ "Girls On Top - We Don't Give A Damn About Our Friends / Warm Bitch". Blackmelody.com. Retrieved 2014-01-12. 
  10. ^ "The best No 1 records: Sugababes - Freak Like Me". The Guardian. 31 May 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "Sugababes - Freak Like Me". NME. 16 April 2002. Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Retrieved 11 July 2017. 
  13. ^ Freak Like Me [CD 2]: Amazon.co.uk: Music
  14. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  15. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved 2012-09-11.
  17. ^ "Ultratop.be – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  18. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Tracklisten. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  19. ^ "Musicline.de – Sugababes Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  20. ^ "Chart Track: Week 39, 2002". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  21. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Top Digital Download. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Sugababes – Freak Like Me" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  23. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  24. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". VG-lista. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  26. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  27. ^ "Sugababes: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2012-07-20.
  28. ^ "British single certifications – Sugababes – Freak Like Me". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Freak Like Me in the search field and then press Enter.
  29. ^ Copsey, Rob (28 April 2017). "Official Chart Flashback 2002: Sugababes score their first Number 1". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  30. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4389712/
  31. ^ http://www.popologynow.com/2015/10/14/new-single-pitbull-freek/
  32. ^ http://radio.com/2015/11/18/chris-brown-new-music/
  33. ^ http://wegotthiscovered.com/music/r3hab-and-quintino-sample-adina-howard-in-freak/

External links[edit]