Sweet Charity Show Tune Employed on New Rap Song "Big Spender"

News   Sweet Charity Show Tune Employed on New Rap Song "Big Spender"
Following in the footsteps of self-confessed musical fans like Gwen Stefani or Rufus Wainwright — who have alluded to show tunes in their work — rapper Freeway now borrows a page from Cy Coleman on his new single "Big Spender."

The song is part of his new album "Free at Last" expected to be released soon by Roc A-Fella, Def-Jam and G-Unit.

The Philadelphia native (whose real name is Leslie Pridgen) raps over the song which features a sample of the lyric "Hey, Big Spender" from the Sweet Charity show tune "Big Spender" penned by composer Cy Coleman and lyricist Dorothy Fields. Featured on the song is recording artist and executive Jay-Z.

Jay-Z, himself, used the melody and chorus of the song "It's the Hard-Knock Life" from Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin's Annie on his "Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)" featured on the similarly-titled 1998 album "Vol. 2: Hard Knock Life."

Musical theatre has previously found its way into popular music with the aforementioned stars: Gwen Stefani extended an homage to her favorite musical, The Sound of Music, in her latest single "Wind It Up" — which offered the blond songstress yodeling a portion of the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein musical's "Lonely Goatherd" while the melody was heard over a hip-hop beat. She previously teamed with rapper Eve on a song titled "Rich Girl" — which was based on the Fiddler on the Roof song "If I Were a Rich Man" penned by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick.

Rufus Wainwright — who re-created stage and screen legend Judy Garland's celebrated 1961 Carnegie Hall concert complete with a 40-piece orchestra — offers a more subtle nod to Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera in the final moments of the song "Between My Legs" from his latest album "Release The Stars." The infamous chord progression from the musical's title song can be heard in the singer-songwriter's tune.

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