Low Rider

Song Review by

Aside from being one of War's most definitive records and songs, "Low Rider" provided the band with a huge Top Ten hit. African and Chicano rhythms create a powerful bed for the melody, which is crisscrossed by all of the group's instrumentalists. Lee Oscar's awesome blues harmonica riff has a strong Latin flavor and is also evocative of the title subject, sounding not unlike a car horn. The guitar and bass perform a funk duet on the main melody. Lyrically, the song is sort of a stream-of-consciousness portrayal of the mindset of a low rider, which is still a colorful character in California culture. Sung through a distorted microphone, the lyrics and delivery leave little doubt that War was indeed the godfather of rap music. Drum, bass, and harp lines have been sampled by several rap artists, achieving a certain apex on the various artists tribute record Rap Declares War in the mid-'90s.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Why Can't We Be Friends? 1975
BMG / Far Out / Far Out Records / Strategic Marketing 3:14
The Best of War and More 1987
Avenue (Rhino) / Rhino 3:52
Anthology (1970-1994) 1994
Avenue (Rhino) / Rhino 3:10
Grooves & Messages: Greatest Hits of War 1999
Rhino 7:44