just the sound of his voice is a hit

If you're making a most influential pop groups list, The Isley Brothers have to be near the top of the list, right? For my money, contemporary radio owes more to them than The Beatles. They paved the whole road with a trowel for funk bands, which begets everything from Sly Stone to Prince to Justin Timberlake. "It's Your Thing" sold five million singles, and helped the greatest boy band of all time out a heck of a lot, and it's probably their fifth best song. Also, they're the George Blandas of old-man R&B: they had a #5 album last year with [eww?] Baby Makin' Music.

I'm fairly sure they still look like this. 

Also, "Between The Sheets" is one of the best songs of all time, which is why it's constantly sampled. The bassline is so fat, the synths are so on point, and then Ronald Isley, er, Mr. Biggs [PSNA!], makes love to the track. Wikipedia calls it a "quiet storm" funk track. I dunno about quiet, but it's one of my favorite funk slabs and the handclapping slow build really does make it baby makin' music. This is an mp3 post inspired by Just Blaze's latest flip of "Between The Sheets" for "Ignorant Shit" off of Jay-Z's American Gangster. Download that here.

Download "Between The Sheets" here, then go have safe sex to it. 

Y'all know this one, one of the easiest samples of all time. Sometimes, Diddy is so right. This might be the best hiphop video ever. Damn, this is well done.

Download "Big Poppa" by The Notorious B.I.G. here. In case you don't already own it, in which case, while it's downloading. think about what you're doing with your life.

Here's a surprising one you might not remember. A Tribe Called Quest's "Bonita Applebum".

Download that here.

"Between The Sheets" is incredible. Although that album did have an absolutely awful cover.

Woof, literal sheets.

And here's a list [courtesy the migraine-preventing the-breaks.com] of other songs that sample it.

     Audio Two - "The Questions"
     Common - "Breaker 1/9"
     Conscious Daughters - "We Rollin' Deepa"
     Da Brat - "Funkdafied"
     Dre Dog - "Lips"
     Heavy D - "Nuttin' But Love"
     Keith Murray - "The Most Beautifullest Thing in the World"
     MC Shy D - "I Don't Want to Treat You Wrong"
     Naughty by Nature - "Written on Ya Kitten"
     Rob Base - "Break of Dawn"
     Skee-lo - "Superman"
     Under Ground Kings - "Crampin' My Style"
     Vicious - "Nika"
     Whitney Houston - "One of Those Days"