Which Express Yourself song is best?

Have you heard the new Lady Gaga song, ‘Born This Way’?

I didn’t get to hear it the first day it came out because I was busy and I was looking at Twitter where tons of people were saying it sounded like Express Yourself. And I thought, Gaga has made a new song that sounds like NWA? But it turns out that they meant the song by Madonna.

And it kind of does sound like the song by Madonna…

So, that’s how I realised that there are tons of songs called ‘Express Yourself’.

But which one is the best?



NWA – Express Yourself

Those boring people who go on about ‘Real hip hop’ ‘before it got wack’ ‘before cats started selling out’ love NWA. But don’t let that put you off! Okay, so they were famous back in the 80s, when Dr. Dre was young and a badass. NWA made some amazing songs, in fact ‘Express Yourself’ isn’t their best and it’s still really good. It uses a sample from Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. This is the tune they use to sell fried chicken and new bathrooms in adverts on TV, not the NWA version.



The Heptones – Express Yourself

This is the most cheerful ‘Express Yourself’ song I’ve heard. It’s the kind of song that if you listen to it in the morning, even one of those mornings when you just don’t want to get up, it’ll put you in a better mood. It’s sunshiney with jangly guitar riffs and a bouncy bass. I really like it!



Statik Selektah featuring Termanology, Talib Kweli and Consequence – Express Yourself

Using the same beat (more or less) than NWA made in their 80s classic, but the style of rapping is totally different. This version on YouTube cuts out just when I start getting into it – which may be the reason why I’ve just listened to it three times in a row already. It reminds me of how ‘Get By’ was much better in the remix when Jay Z and 50 Cent and lots of other people had a go. It was busier and more exciting to listen to. Okay, it’s been four times now.



Madonna – Express Yourself

This is when Madonna was at her very best (even though after writing that I saw that ‘Dear Jessie’ was released only half a year after ‘Express Yourself’!) It’s a song about empowerment and being fearless, plus it’s fun to dance to. ‘Born This Way’ by Lady Gaga does have basically the same chorus – but if you’re going to be inspired by anyone, it may as well be Madonna.



Black Eyed Peas – Express Yourself

This is really bad. It’s probably average for a Black Eyed Peas song, but compared to the other ‘Express Yourself’ songs I’ve heard, this shouldn’t even be in the same line up. I can’t listen to the chorus more than once. Ughhhh.



Skin – Express Yourself

Just what the world wanted – an 80s hair metal band covering ‘Express Yourself’ by Madonna. Taking away all feminine pronouns, because I guess they don’t want to sound too girlie, takes away the reason why the song is so good. ‘You’ve got to make her express herself’ – makes it sound kind of bossy. But having said all of this, the guy can sing, for sure. And what a great guitar solo! You get an E for effort, and a T for nice try.



Conclusion: Songs called ‘Express Yourself’ are usually pretty good! And most songs by the Black Eyed Peas are BAD. (But I will always, always dance to ‘Hey Mama’)

Best Express Yourself song – It has to be Madonna! (With the Heptones in a close second)


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