FUNK IS GOOD! FUNK is everything you think is Funky, and it doesn’t matter, if nobody else is Groovin’ to it – can ya dig it. FUNK is UNIVERSAL, and it’s the FUNKY string of the universe, that ties us all together. FUNK can be the stench from a dumpster, but my favorite FUNK, is the musical genre. Louis Jordan is the Troglodyte of FUNK music! “The Godfather of Soul,” James Brown, is the quintessential Pioneer of FUNK! Sly Stone, is the Godfather of FUNK and Rick James is the King of Funk-n-Roll. The collective artists of PARLIAMENT – FUNKADELIC featuring George Clinton and Bootsy Collins, took FUNK into the stratosphere, while Kool and the Gang kept it Dirty and Down to Earth…
All true Prince friends, fans and admirers don’t believe he makes any bad music, we just like some of his albums more than others. I honestly have not heard all of his releases, in their entirety over the past several years, but his latest CD “HIT n RUN” is FUN!
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.
Earlier this year, I posted portions of an article originally published through the blog insideplaya, about D’Angelo. A tough love piece, it rendered facts about the business of the music industry, the legacy of FUNK, and Michael “D’Angelo” Archer’s career.
Last year I wrote an item titled “Missing the Funkiest Moment.” It was about how so many people nowadays that go to live performances, and truly miss the essence of the show they’re attending. You Are At The Show, you should enjoy it, not spend time trying to record it to watch later. I feel confident in my knowledge of this, as I have been so fortunate to see so many shows, since I was a teen.
Prince is releasing not one, but 2 new albums this fall. Expected for release on September 30th, “Art Official Age,” is a solo project and “Plectrumelectrum,” is the long anticipated project that features 3rdEyeGirl. Friends and fans may already have seen the video for the previously released single, “Breakfast Can Wait,” which features Dave Chapelle on the cover art – if not, go here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHbyNrGXpAA…
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).
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 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.
At this point it appears there’s no end to the inception of another “Reality Show.” I put the term in quotation marks, because by now even those who are not media savvy, have come to realize that there’s a lot of scenarios and drama created amidst the actual ‘reality’ on these shows. There’s a new show depicting aspects of reality, centered around a circle of sisters.
Every now and then you come across art that blows you away. For me it’s Kagan McLeod.
The Museum of UnCut Funk recently featured Kagan McLeod and his Infinite Kung Fu graphic novel in Aesthetic Grooves. VERY FUNKY STUFF. You can read all about it here – http://museumofuncutfunk.com/2012/04/07/infinite-kung-fu-part-1-by-kagan-mcleod/. While checking out Kagan’s work I stumbled across his amazing music themed ink drawings of some of my musical heroes. I reached out to Kagan and got his approval to post this work on our site. This cat creates some of the flyest images that fully represents what the Museum is all about.
Thanks Kagan…Sista ToFunky!
One who started out as a hair stylist and a staff writer for Motown Records in the late 60s, these days is known as one of the architects of FUNK. To honor his contributions and innovative approach to music, Berklee will grant the musician a Doctorate of Music degree on February 16th.
Recent reports would have us believe that Sly Stone is destitute and homeless. Although the now Michael Jackson Estate owns the publishing of Sly Stone’s music, he still has ownership as a writer. How much money he has or as to extent of what his resources are are unbeknown-st to me and none of my business, but I hope and believe the living legend is actually not on his last leg.
Sly Stone has been reported to be homeless. Living out of a van in Crenshaw, here’s a report from the L-A Times: Sly Stone is homeless and living in a camper-van in L.A., the world learned Sunday, thanks to the director of a documentary about Sly and the Family Stone who co-wrote a story for the New York Post.
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.
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.
Funk is the last genre of original live music. As hip-hop is now the essence of pop-culture, it is unquestionably a child of funk. Quincy Jones spoke of hip-hop being derived from be-bop when he released his album “Back on the Block.” It’s amazing how many titles and categories have been used to describe Black Music. Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Ragtime, Soul – The late Jerry Wexler summed it all up as R&B, Rhythm and Blues, it’s all Black Music. Post Be-Bop and Pre Hip-Hop is Funk.