2017 was a good year for music. Although I’m sure there’s more to hear, what I got in, was all good! What I’m really happy about, is the essence of FUNK, in so much of what I liked.
So I have either heard these albums in their entirety and listened to them incessantly; heard one or a few tracks; heard of or know of the artist; LOVE the artist, or got a recommendation to listen to the album, from a fellow music enthusiast. Steeped in FUNK, Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Rock, Pop and Hip-Hop, this is Thee (in no particular order) FUNKALICIOUS List of Music for 2016 – ENJOY!!!
Sly & the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” is the new song for selling Farxiga. Farxiga is a drug to aid people suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, more commonly known as “High Blood Sugar.” Last year, the same drug used the song “Walk of Life,” by Dire Straits. Apparently Big Pharma wasn’t getting the bucks they needed from that ad campaign – so this year they’re bringing the FUNK… http://www.ispot.tv/ad/A21Z/farxiga-everyday-people
This is not a review, just an announcement, the new Kendrick Lamar is here. Lamar gave hip-hop a long awaited FUNK injection with his debut release “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” in 2012. His new CD “To Pimp a Butterfly” is a Funkalicious follow-up.
On the day after Eric Holder announces the results of the Federal Investigation on Ferguson… Shonda Rhimes incorporates the essence of current events on “Scandal,” presenting the horror of the Michael Brown case and addressing the issue of “illegal immigrants”, via “Olivia Pope” ala Kerry Washington.
Not too long ago, Laurence Fishburne played “Dr. Raymond Langston” in CBS’ CSI series, but first he was Dr. Joshua “Josh” Hall (#1) on “One Life to Live” on ABC TV from ’73 to ’76; he did a television movie, then began a career in film. He took on a role with Pee Wee’s Playhouse as “Cowboy Curtis” from 86 to 90; and most recently was “Jack Crawford” in the small screen version of “Hannibal,” that was based on the character made famous in the Oscar award winning film, “The Silence of the Lambs.”
At the peak of his career, Willie Hutch, was a songwriter and producer for Motown Records. It’s his version of the Jackson 5 hit “I’ll Be There,” that many a funkateer came to know his sound for. In 1973, Hutch wrote the soundtrack for the FUNKALICIOUS flick “The Mack.” The album included the title track and the hit “Brothers Gonna Work It Out.”
Just watched a press conference post the “Beer Summit.” “The Beer Bash,” featuring the brews of Bud Light for Barack; Blue Moon for James; and Red Stripe for Henry. I’d love to know what the sales increase for all three will be.
Ever since his death, music artists, bands, friends and fans have been paying tribute to Michael Jackson. The same week of his passing, BET changed the program of their entire awards show, to pay tribute to “The King of Pop.” BET began the event by playing a clip from a previous year, when Michael Jackson honored “The Godfather of Soul” James Brown. Michael draped JB with a cape, after he performed at the BET Awards that paid tribute to him.
My friend Kweli reminded me that Michael Jackson sang background vocals on Stevie Wonder’s “All I Do” the other day. It wasn’t that I’d forgotten, I just hadn’t thought it about in years. Communicating via Internet, leaving a comment on one of the many social networks we choose to use these days, I said, “I’m listening to it right now.” In reality I was recounting the vocals of the song in my head, “All I doo, is think about you…”
What an honor it was to speak to Miriam Makeba. When we got together, she spoke of her relationship with Stevie Wonder, how she enjoys the music of Erykah Badu and her marriage to Black Panther leader Stokely Carmichael.
I spoke to the late Roger Troutman and the group Zapp one summer just before the turn of the century.
When Isaac Hayes made a comeback as a radio disc-jockey, before he took on the role of “Chef” on “South Park,” I spoke to him about his endeavor Literacy is the Balm, the World Literacy Crusade, Scientology, film and his historic Oscar win for “Shaft”.
Kung Fu was FUNK on TV. From David Carradine to Bruce Lee to the Wu-Tang to Jet-Li to Ang Lee to QT aka Quentin Tarantino, the Martial Arts is steeped in FUNK. David Carradine’s death came as a shock to many.
I remember meeting George Clinton at his hotel room when we spoke for this interview. It was 1998, awhile after he had dropped his albums “Dope Dogs” and “T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership),” which were released in 1995 and 1996, respectively. He spoke about some of his favorite projects that he released over the years, as well as the success of his visual art.
George Clinton is a living legend. A pioneer of FUNK, his contributions to music parallel James Brown, Rick James, Sly Stone and Prince. The bands Parliament; Funkadelic and the P-Funk All Stars, packaged as three, are essentially one – and on par with FUNK collectives such as Earth, Wind & Fire, The Ohio Players, War, Cameo and Kool & the Gang.
WTF – This is TOO FUNKY!!! Although I’ve known this was coming for about a year now, I was immediately thrown into an unsavory FUNK when I attempted to visit the Virgin Mega Store in Times Square the other day. IT’S CLOSED – as mentioned, I knew it was coming, but since it’s been awhile since I frequented the establishment, I’d forgotten the date it was closing… for good. “You can go down to the one in Union Square,” said Tony (a long-time friend and fellow FUNK lover). “No,” I said, “both locations are closed.”
So I’m chillin’ at the crib, corresponding via e-mail, the TV’s on in the background, and I hear “Hot fun in the summertime,” but it’s not Sly & the Family Stone. I look up just in time to catch the end of the commercial… it’s an ad for the state of Maine.
I’ve been so immersed in FUNK since I began writing this blog that I’ve FUNKED up a lot of stuff. Lately, anything that is good to me, I’ve labeled it FUNK because FUNK is so FUNKEN good. I’ve been so FUNKY that my editor started to wonder if I’m out of my FUNKEN mind 😉
Recently, totally impromptu, I had the fortune of attending a Gordon Parks exhibit at Hermes on Madison Avenue with illustrious friends Kellyn, Charlotte and Michael via the invitation of Sir Havelock Nelson. While there, I was blessed with the opportunity to meet the great Geoffrey Holder.