This year marks the 20th year for the Essence Music Festival!!! An INCREDIBLE FUNKIN’ event, it started out as a celebration, for Essence magazine’s 25th anniversary. After the first year, it was clear, at the very least another was required.
In the midst of societal ills and personal challenges I look to family and music for solace. Holy Moly! There are a few things that I am remiss about discovering at this juncture and some new releases and tunes forthcoming that I’m very excited to hear. Music serves as therapy for me, and is and will always be, the universal language that conjoins the hearts and minds of humanity.
There was a lot of FUNKY Music this year! Not limited to the genre of FUNK, several icons and legends in music released new albums, as well as some of music’s newer FUNKY artists. Here’s the FUNKALICIOUS list for 2014…
Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand and Smokey Robinson all have new music out. Streisand and Robinson’s CDs are duet projects, and Franklin’s release is an album of covers, including classics from Etta James to Adele.
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)
So for the past few days in my peripheral vision I’ve been seeing this black ad online. I’m not really taking it in, as I try not to be too consumed by the beast of the media we’re constantly exposed to. Finally it gets me, it’s for Dunkin’ Donuts, but it’s not for your local shop… but the chain in Thailand. It’s polished and looks slick, but it’s the same ol’ ish…
The City of Chicago honored ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan this past weekend by naming a street after her. A ceremony took place on Saturday, July 27th, christening “Chaka Khan Way”, and Sunday, July 28th, has now been declared “Chaka Khan Day” in Chicago, which is the FUNKY singer’s hometown. Born Yvette Marie Stevens on March 23, 1953, Chaka made her presence known during the 1970s.
Oscar Award winning actor, producer and director Forest Whitaker has several projects on deck right now. Soon to be seen as the lead in Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” opposite Oprah Winfrey, he has current and upcoming roles in six other films.
Betty and Coretta, the Lifetime Original Movie, premieres February 2nd and will probably run periodically throughout Black History Month. Betty and Coretta tells the dual real-life stories of Coretta Scott King and Dr. Betty Shabazz as they create an unbreakable life-long bond after their husbands’ tragic assassinations. Specifically, the movie follows them as they continue on as single mothers and keepers of their husbands legacies.
Mary J. Blige has signed on to play civil rights hero Malcolm X’s wife in a new TV drama.
Since I hit 100 blogs without realizing it, I figured I do something special for blog #105. The following list of LPs/ CDs are the FUNKIEST Soundtracks of all time according to www.funkaliciousblog.com – while all albums may not be comprised of all FUNK music, they are unquestionably FUNKY! Now, put on your favorite soundtrack, go ahead put it on… Let’s take a ride down memory lane and reminisce about what made you feel good when you heard any of these musical FUNKY gems.
Music is my life!
I have worked in the business of music entertainment in one form or another for over 25 years. Below are some of the music personalities that I have met along the way. I have also interviewed many celebrities. You can hear my interviews at my funkalicious blog or c-dub’s interviews page.
Mary J. Blige spent the summer researching the life of late jazz and blues legend Nina Simone for an upcoming biopic.
Rap rivalry is older than the genre of rap itself. Before MCs started dissin’ each other on wax, kids was playing the dozens in the playground with FUNK in the background. Back in the day, circa 1984, U.T.F.O. released the single “Hanging Out.” Produced by Full Force, the track didn’t hit, but the B-Side did! It was “Roxanne, Roxanne,” a song about a girl that wouldn’t give them the time of day. Fortunately for all lady MCs, it got a ton of radio airplay.
Multi-Grammy winning producer, composer and arranger Quincy Jones will release his 37th album, “Q:Soul Bossa Nostra,” on Interscope Records on November 9th. The album features a who’s who of today’s hottest Pop, R&B and Hip-Hop artists and producers who have recorded contemporary versions of popular songs from Jones’ massive catalog.
Doing interviews with Teena Marie was an absolute highlight of my career in music. Having spoken to Rick James at least three times, chatting with her, was like adding to the anatomy of my body of FUNK encounters. While most females recognized in the genre of FUNK, are considered to be R&B artists, one can not deny the FUNKessential contributions of Teena Marie.
Lauryn Hill made a special appearance at this year’s “Rock The Bells” concert in New York recently (8/29). Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Swizz Beatz, Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, Bokeem Woodbine, Mary J. Blige, Michael Ealy, John Legend, Tracy Morgan and Estelle were all in the audience for a long awaited homecoming.
There’s so much Funkin’ music used in advertising. I was taken aback and thrilled recently to hear the classic Ohio Players (OP) track “Fire” as the theme music for the TV show “HELL’S KITCHEN.” I’m surfing the tube one night and see a flash of Gordon Ramsey. Having worked with him on “Kitchen Nightmares” for a season, I tuned in for a minute, not because I love the show – but thought I might catch him berating and humiliating one of the “talents” on it – horrible, but true ;-). First there’s clips of what’s on tonight’s episode, maybe some commercials… all of a sudden sirens, I’m like “huh”? as I’m grabbing something to drink from the fridge.