I’m always impressed when intellect and wealth meet humanity. The initiatives and efforts of Bill and Melinda Gates in the realms of education, health, hunger and global economics are astounding. Oprah Winfrey’s school in Africa for girls; how she’s put young men through college here in the United States; and her “Legends Ball” where she honored Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou and Ruby Dee, among others, before they left this earth will forever amaze me.
So I’m surfing the web this morning before doing anything of substance while my brain is still waking up, click on something, don’t even remember what – oh, “a dad in Detroit doing good,” and I see this ad… (click on it for full view)
In five days Oxygen’s new series “Sisterhood of Hip-Hop” hits the tube. A new show from the mind of T.I., the tagline is “Chasing the Dream, Changing the Game.” While chasing the dream is all too real, it remains to be seen if any of these “up and comers” will “change the game.” The 5 cast members are: Brianna Perry, Nyemiah Supreme, Diamond, Bia and Siya. The show will have special appearances of established talents, Pharrell, Rick Ross, Eve, Lil Jon, Irv Gotti, Tank and Travie McCoy.
I can’t say they stole the soul, but they sure do emulate it in their latest spot for their “Simply Naked” pita chips. Stacy’s chips are actually a favorite of mine among healthy snacks. As far as I’m concerned, the commercial pays homage to the FUNK legend, but I wonder what he would think if he was alive to see the T.V. ad.
Charlie Wilson is without a doubt one of the best return to music stories in R&B. I won’t call it a comeback, cause he’s been here for years, with one of the FUNKIEST bands in the ‘80s – The GAP Band. Lionel Richie was down with the Commodores before his solo success, and today they both have songs, backing major brands.
James Brown’s biopic “Get On Up” hits theaters today. In the spirit of FUNK, I wanted to share an interview I did with him for those who might want to hear the actual voice, of “The Godfather of Soul.” Then I figured, why not include three other masters, of the FUNK genre. Having the honor to speak with these men were not only a highlight of my career in music, but in life, as they provided the soundtrack to it (click on photo above for full view).
Lenny is dropping his new album “Strut” on September 23rd! Rockin’ since 1989, his debut album, was “Let Love Rule.” I remember his then wife, Lisa Bonet, coming to visit us at WBLS to promote her man’s new music. We played it while she sat with us in the studio, and chatted about his musical vision, when NOBODY else did. Although his sound wasn’t traditionally that, of what one would hear on an R&B station, we supported him. We were ‘BLS, we played Queen and INXS – why? Because it was Dope!
As music fans, lovers and aficionados are perched and waiting for “Get On Up” and “Jimi: All Is by My Side,” one can’t help but think of musical biopics that have been previously released. This blog was prompted and inspired by a chat with, and query from my wife, as to how many films of this nature have been done — there are numerous. While many are excited for the lives of James Brown and Jimi Hendrix to grace the silver screen, the lives of other music icons have been brilliantly depicted. (click on photo above for full view)
At the age of 22, Luc Besson released his first short film “L’avant dernier,” (translation: Next to Last) in which he also appeared. It starred Jean Reno, an actor that he would work with repeatedly in future films. Besson’s new film “Lucy” starring Scarlet Johansen hits theaters across the country this week, and it’s nowhere near ‘next to last’, on Luc’s list of movies.
As I was prepping the blog that will follow this one, it occurred to me that I had yet to create this list. Although I’ve done items on a few of them, as this outlet and website continues to grow, I wanted to pay homage to those that have shaped, inspired and influenced my view and love for film.
James Garner stood tall along side singers Joan Baez, group Peter, Paul & Mary, Odetta Holmes, Mahalia Jackosn and Bob Dylan, joining A-List actors Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Charlton Heston, Paul Newman & wife Joanne Woodward, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Diahann Carroll, Harry Belafonte, Lena Horne, Sidney Poitier, Maya Angelou, Josephine Baker, Sammy Davis, Jr., opera singer Marian Anderson, baseball legend Jackie Robinson and writer James Baldwin at the Civil Rights Movement’s “March on Washington.”
A lover of music, history and culture, film biographies or the biopic, have long been a favorite of mine. While there are a plethora of stories to be told about people of latter day, I’ve always been fascinated about the journey of people that made their mark on the world before I was born, or made an impression on me early on.
Five years ago at the inception of this Funkalicious blog, I talked about the value and use of FUNK in advertising. My intent was to show how influential FUNK still is today, although the epitome of the essence of FUNK, was 40 years ago.
On Monday, July 7th, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act. This action made the state of New York the 23rd in the union to legalize medicinal marijuana. Although the stamp of approval is restricted to non-smokable forms via pills, oils, or vapors, the legalization of cannabis across America’s 50 states continues.
I didn’t write a tribute or an obituary immediately after he died. Not that much time has passed in the greater scheme of things, but from the perspective of doing a news story or covering a current event, hence why this is a blog. Phillip was a Funkin’ good mutherFunkin’ actor, a thespian, a true artist… right down to the way he thought, his thought process.
The first year I started this blog, I wrote a poem for Mothers http://museumofuncutfunk.com/2009/05/20/funky-mothers-day/. I sent it out to all my friends that are moms via e-mail and made it my sixth blog installment. Earlier this week, an old friend of mine lost his dad, and another reminded me that Father’s Day was this Sunday. So I took time out to write a little something, in hopes it will allow “My Fellow Fathers” to have a better Monday.
The loss of National Treasures evokes thoughts of one’s own mortality and legacy. THEY DID THEIR WORK; THEY’VE LEFT THEIR MARKS ON THE PLANET; TOUCHED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS! How much time do we/ I have left? What will we/ I leave behind? My/ our child (ren) and/ or future children? This blog, a Facebook post? I believe those of us still here… STILL HAVE STUFF TO DO.
Patti LaBelle is back on Broadway this month! Appearing in the stage production of “After Midnight,” she fills in where Vanessa Williams, Toni Braxton and Fantasia have all taken bows, opposite Dule Hill http://museumofuncutfunk.com/2014/02/25/vanessa-williams-funks-up-broadway-again/. Her run goes through June 29th at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre.
Recently my friend Gary Harris, who happens to be a former EMI A&R exec, has been criticized and bashed by several fans and other outlets on the web. One who introduced me to the music of D’Angelo back in 1992 prior to it’s release while I was at WBLS, he wrote an open letter to the artist, expressing a personal point of view.
The year is half-way over as summer is upon us. The first five months flew by to me, but since 2012, my thinking has been that 2013 & 14 are merely set-up and transitional for 2015. I don’t even know why I’ve thought that way, “it’s just a feeling I’ve got.” I personally moved to Boston this year and graduated from college last year, so perhaps it was just the transitions of my life that I foresaw.