Friday, March 30, 2018

The REAL Source Of The Popularization Of The Sayings "Ain't No Party (or 'Ain't No Power') Like A __ Party (or 'power')"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post documents the real source of the popular sayings "Ain't no party (or "Ain't no power") like a ___ party (or 'power')".

Several text examples and several YouTube examples of these sayings are included in this post.

The content of this post is presented for historical and cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all Hip Hop artists who are cited in this post. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.
I was motivated to research this subject after reading an article about the student protest at Howard University in which the students chanted the call & response words "Ain't no power like student power 'cause student power don't stop. (Say what)."

I remembered hearing similar chants before and decided to "suss" out those chants and the earliest date for the chant that I could find. That search resulted in this post.

Note that this post provides information about the source of the popularization of this saying, and not the actual source of the saying itself. It's possible that this saying was used before the first record that popularized it.

WARNING: This post includes a form of what is commonly known as "the n word" and also references Hip Hop songs whose lyrics are rated "explicit".

Excerpt #1
From Who was the first person to use the phrasing "There ain't no party like an X party"?

Jon Pennington, "Don't believe quotes on the Internet." Albert Einstein & Abraham Lincoln
Answered Oct 15 [no year noted]
Sam Trott has what appears to be the correct answer. Tupac Shakur included the line “Ain’t no party like a Thug Life party” in the song I Get Around that first appeared on the album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z..., which was originally released on February 16, 1993. A few months later, Tha Alkaholiks included the line “Ain’t no party like an Alkaholik party” on their song “Likwit,” but that didn’t get released until their debut album 21 & Over came out in August 1993. Despite being cited as the popularizer of the “Ain’t no party…” phrase, the Coolio song, “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New),” did not come out until two years later in 1995.”
This is the entire comment as it appears on that website, including ellipeses (“...”).

"Sam Trott
Answered Dec 2, 2016
In response to the suggestion that Coolio made the first well know use of the phrase, Tupac’s “ain’t no party like a thug life party” came earlier."
Two other comments dated 2015 incorrectly cited Coolio’s song as being the first to popularize the saying "Ain't No Party Like A ___"....

Excerpt #2
[Pancocojams Editor's Note: I'm including this excerpt for the information that it contains even though it's conclusion about the source of the popularization of this saying is incorrect.]

..."The ubiquity of the "ain't no party" phrase is matched only by its promiscuity. In any situation—party or not, endless or not—it's a favorite crutch for television writers and creators of cyberephemera alike. How did a phrase from a mid-'90s rap hit become a signal formula in the Internet age? It's a tale of appropriation, but it's also a story of how old culture is recycled and rescued from obscurity in unlikely ways.


Ain't no party like a West Coast party
'Cause a west coast party don't stop”...

[Coolio’s] "1, 2, 3, 4" was the third single of Gangsta's Paradise. When it was released, the East Coast-West Coast feud wasn't just a piece of '90s ephemera. Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur were still alive. In the mainstream media and in Washington, "gangsta rap" was viewed as a serious threat to society. Two months before Coolio released the record, the Los Angeles Times reported, "Succumbing to months of pressure from Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole and media watchdogs, Time Warner Inc. decided Wednesday to get out of the gangsta rap business.


"Gangsta's Paradise," the title track, has had the strange fate of being perhaps best known for Weird Al Yankovic's spoof. Quick: Which have you heard more recently—the original, or "Amish Paradise"? Still, there's an obvious association, even if it's obscured. "1, 2, 3, 4," by contrast, has come almost completely unmoored from its original source and context. Maybe when it's invoked today, it might borrow Coolio's original cadence; maybe it won't. But the appropriation is impressive. A salvo in a countercultural musical movement has become so dissociated, has been so stripped of danger and menace, that it can be connected with fictional paper-company managers in Rust Belt Pennsylvania. Or Yelp. Or the sublimely Caucasian Games of Thrones.

It wasn't a constant build. Look at this Google Trends chart—up until November 2006, the phrase simple doesn't exist. And then, suddenly, it blows up.


The chart suggests, however, that "ain't no party" may be on a downward swing. If so, I think we can name a culprit: the cornball frat-rapper Shwayze. For his 2012 song "West Coast Party," he adopted Coolio's original couplet wholesale:

It was on an EP called Shwayzed & Confused. Coolio's phrase has been married to a film about white stoner teens listening to classic rock in Texas in the '70s, more or less the antithesis of '90s Los Angeles gangster culture in all but the affection for marijuana. "West Coast Party" has little to recommend it, but it is an almost perfect illustration of the way a phrase is removed from its context, and likely will continue to be. There ain't no party like a decontextualization party, because a decontextualization party don't stop."
This article doesn't not the reason for the embedded table's documentation that this saying saw a dramatic uptick on November 2006. The EP (album) Shwayzed & Confused that was noted was released in November 13, 2012.

Pancoocjams Editor's Note:
Early examples of the lyrics "Ain't No Party Like A __" are found in Hip Hop songs that are noted above. Because those examples include explicit language and pancocojams is a family based blog, I've decided not to include any examples of those already referenced Hip Hop Songs.

Example #1:
By Hamil R. Harris January 7, 1996
"Kirk Franklin is a sassy gospel artist who has captivated the hip-hop generation, taking Jesus into boomboxes normally reserved for hip or hip-hop acts like TLC, Immature and Dr. Dre.

Here's how he's done it: On New Year's Eve, he strutted onto the Warner Theatre stage and played a song list that ranged from a soulful "O Come, All Ye Faithful" to tunes set to the rhythms of James Brown. And Parliament Funkadelic.

Frankin started his concert by directing the Family -- a nine-member ensemble -- through selections on his Christmas and debut albums. Then, without any notice, Franklin the choir director became Franklin the rapper: "Dee-Ceeeeeeee! Just throw your arms in the air! And sing as if you just don't care!" The sold-out Warner screamed, rocked and jammed for Jesus.

"Ain't no party like a Holy Ghost party 'cause a Holy Ghost party don't stop!"

Joyce Braxton, 30, of Silver Spring, danced in the aisles. "I love it, I love it," she exclaimed. "It has been a trying year, I needed something uplifting. This is my reminder that I can take Jesus with me into the new year."
Italics added to highlight this saying.

Example #2: Old-School Party - Eniqueity

Su-Preme wilder. Published on Sep 5, 2012

Old-School Party - Eniqueity

Produced by dj Tommie Allen ,eniqueity and choca. Remix produced by same people with vocals by James Dtrain Williams and featuring Dj Desire.

Eniquiety - VP of Kick Live Records been in the music industry for over 30 years. Emcee, songwriter, executive, talent scout, mentor and assistant artist and label executives, record label owners.

Old-School Party - Eniqueity : Has been getting major air play for the past 3 years on nyc's 98.7 kiss FM , 107.5 WBLS.
Here's information about DJ Eniqueity from [no date given for this review]
"MC Eniqueity will perform & host the After Party on Saturday.

Eniqueity is the voice of a generation. His club hit Old Skool Party is popular in the clubs and is the hottest dance track of the last two years. The music taken from the gaga beat is pulsating and the lyrics give tribute to the most influential rap artist and DJ'S in the world.

Eniqueity started out with a group called the Disco Enforcers with D.J Leslie G from Red Hook in Brooklyn New York. Eniqueity got his style of Rap from old school pioneers and legends DJ Hollywood and Love Bug Starski. Eniqueity has graced the stage with Whodini, Biz Markie, James "D-Train" Williams, Marley Marl, Big Daddy Kane and The Cold Crush Brothers to name a few."

This quote from another YouTube video's discussion thread is probably a reference to MC Eniqueity's record which was first released in 2011: Ain't No Party Like An Ol' Skool Party Criminal Minded [Note: This song doesn't include the lyrics that are the focus of this post.]
Jeffrey Horne II [2011]
"this is a great video however do you know the title of the song that has lyrics that goes like this there aint no party like an ol skill party cuz an ol skool party don't stop this is an ol skool rap song that i heard in the apollo theater".

Example #3: Google Books: The Future of Revolutions: Rethinking Radical Change in the Age of Globlization
John Foran - 2003 - ‎Political Science
I have students in my class whom I ask, 'what do you want?' 'Oh we want a revolution.' Do you want to go out to the everyday people and say, well what do you want, do you want to create a revolutionary society? That doesn't ... 'There ain't no power like the power of the people 'cause the power of the people don't stop."
Italics added to highlight this saying. I found other examples of this chant using Google Search, but I featured this example because of its relatively early 2000 date.

Example #4: "Power of the People" by Sara Marlowe

IntrinsicCanada, Published on Feb 10, 2007

Sara Marlowe, Toronto musician and anti-war activist, created this song in honour of the movement in Canada that stopped the Chretien Liberal government from officially sending a major deployment of Canadian troops into the illegal and immoral war on Iraq, in 2003.

The video was produced by Intrinsic Audiovisual Productions in 2005.
Here are the lyrics to this song from
Author: Sara Marlowe

Ain’t no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don’t stop
Ain’t no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don’t stop

When they try to make us pay for their profits
We’ll be banging our pots and pans
We’re taking to the streets and the world is on our side
Cause we are Argentina and they are the shameful Enron

Ain’t no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don’t stop
Ain’t no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don’t stop

When they try to put a price tag on our world
We’ll sure as hell retaliate
Another world is possible and we will create it
Cause we are 6 billion and they are only G8

Ain’t no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don’t stop
Ain’t no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don’t stop

We are the many and they are the few
As they continue to put profits before human need
And destroy our planet with their wars
People around the world
Are going to organize to shut ‘em down

World Bank Shut it down!
IMF Shut it down!
WTO Shut it down!
NATO We’re going to shut it down!
WEF Shut it down!
G8 Shut it down!

When they try to meet in our backyards,
What do we do?


Because there
Ain’t no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don’t stop
Ain’t no power like the power of the people cause the power of the people don’t stop"
These lyrics don't include the "say what" response that is clearly heard in the video embedded above. While that transcriber may have considered the "Say what" response to be unimportant in this song, I think those words increase the "soulful flavor" of the chant, turning these words into a call & response chant.

According to the videos that I've watched online that include this protest chant, everyone says the words "Ain't no power like the power of the people 'cause the power of the people don't stop". Then a few people chant the words "Say what".

Example #4: Holy Ghost Party & Lyrics

gokusay99, Published on Nov 1, 2011
I don't know which singer/group was the first to record this song. Several video examples of it are found on YouTube. This video features a Black male is the lead singer with an integrated (Black/White) group of singers/musicians

Here are the lyrics to this song:

The Lord has healed our bodies
Time for Holy Ghost party
Dance, dance, dance

If you know the Lord's been good to you (x3)
Come on and dance, dance, dance, dance, dance

Oh, Oh, Oh
Oh, Oh, Oh
Oh, Oh, Oh

Ain't no party like a Holy Ghost party
'Cause a holy ghost party don't stop

The Lord has healed our bodies
Time for Holy Ghost party
Dance, dance, dance

Example #5: Ain't No Power Like The Power Of People 'Cause The Power Of People Don't Stop

Sean Captain, Published on Oct 6, 2011

#OccupyWallStreet chants

Aint no power like the power of the people
Cause the power of the people don’t stop
[Say what]
Aint no power like student power
Cause student power don’t stop
[Say what]
Notice the addition of the response: "Say What" to the lyrics, resulting in a form of a call & response chant. This response appears to be found in many of the protest chant examples that I've come across online thus far.

Example #6: NatGat Ain't No Power Like the Power of the People Song Chant

Robert Brune Social Justice Journalist, Published on Jul 6, 2012

This was one of the most touch moments on the march to see and hear the chant hum into a song with the guitars playing ~ It was a beautiful moment.
Here's a comment from this video's discussion thread:
Truthchaser / Paul Wesley, 2012
"This is p.t occupy philly Checkout my natgat vids, police were insane!!"

Example #7:
From "Howard Students Take Over Building To Protest University Embezzlement Scandal Protesters summoned Rihanna while demanding transparency from university leaders." By Carla Herreria, 03/29/2018 11:36 pm ET
"The students of Howard University are demanding answers in the school’s newly uncovered embezzlement scandal involving misuse of financial aid funds.

Students of the historically black university staged a sit-in at the campus’ administration building on Thursday. They vowed to remain in the building until university President Wayne A.I. Frederick resigns, according to reporter Anna-Lysa Gayle at WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.

The embezzlement went on for nearly a decade, Frederick confirmed Wednesday. Six employees of the financial aid office have been fired.

During the daylong protest on Thursday, students posted signs with their demands outside of the administration building, which included a demand for Frederick’s resignation. Students were still occupying the building by 10 p.m. local time."...
The "Ain't no power" protest chant that the Howard University students used is found in the 2nd to last video on this page, credited to (Sorry. I don't know how to embed that video/gif). Here's my transcription of that chant:

Aint no power like student power
Cause student power don’t stop
[Say what]
Aint no power like student power
Cause student power don’t stop
[Say what]
As is the case with the "power of the people" protest chant, in this video/gif everyone says the words "Ain't no power like student power 'cause student power of the people don't stop". Then a few people chant the words "Say what" and the chant begins again for as long as the protesters end it.
UPDATE April 21, 2018: Here's an excerpt from an article about the results of that Howard University protest:
From Howard students end nine-day occupation of administration building
The university’s board of trustees agrees to address eight of nine demands by BY MARTENZIE JOHNSON, April 6, 2018
"After occupying a Howard University administration building for nine days, students of the school came to an agreement with the university on Friday that ended the standoff. Key to the settlement with the historically black university was a meeting with the board of trustees to put forth measures to improve the quality of life of students on campus."


After several days of long, intense meetings, one lasting eight hours, the two sides came to an agreement that addresses eight of HU Resist’s demands. The students announced earlier on Friday that they were “no longer calling for the resignation of the president and executive board of trustees.”

According to the agreement, the university commits to the following:

1. Extension of the deposit deadline for student housing and an examination of the “adequacy of on-campus housing to meet Howard’s housing policy.”

2. A recommendation to hold undergraduate tuition at its current level for the 2019-20 school year.

3. The establishment of a task force to examine the campus climate surrounding sexual assault and the consideration of a one-credit mandatory course “designed to emphasize prevention of sexual assault, sexual harassment and interpersonal violence.”

4. A task force empowered to implement a “grievance system that holds faculty, administrators and students accountable in their language and actions towards anyone in the Howard community.”

5. A task force designed to enhance the current mental health counseling services available to students.

6. A review of the training and use of force guidelines of the Howard Department of Public Safety, including campus police officers.

7. Financial support of a current student-led effort to create a food pantry in the LeDroit-Shaw community.

8. The establishment of a board committee on student life and affairs in service of a forum to “convey concerns regarding all aspects of student life.”"...

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