Posts Tagged ‘Hip-Hop’

History of The Funk Pt.1

03/17/2009

James Brown

Ladies and gentlemen, for your listening and viewing pleasure, nearly 50 years of funk history! Featuring rare clips, old favorites, forgotten oddities and plenty of funky breaks, fat bass lines and freekay moves.

In the land of funk, all roads lead to James Brown. This is one of the first ever funk singles being played on a Rowe/AMI jukebox of the same vintage as the song – 1965. You can still hear funk’s R&B roots loud and clear, but with a catchy new groove coming through…

Of course you needed fresh moves to go with the new grooves…

The journey of funk has taken some amazing twists and turns as it has become woven into our lives. By the end of the century it had mutated into this…

But its roots in the 60s cracked the streets of urban American to tap a deep well of bitterness…

Funk became the voice of a young black America demanding their country live up to its promises. Here the Godfather of Soul mimes his militant black power anthem to a room full of radical chic mannequins. The song put Brown on an FBI watch list with its call for black people to die on their feet rather than live on their knees…

When crack started to bite during the Reagan years this militancy resurfaced with a vengeance, given added urgency by a brand new form of funk…

Once Brown lit the fuse there was no turning back – out of his band alone came Bootsy Collins, Fred Wesley, Bobby Byrd and Maceo Parker. All of them would start their own bands. Here you can hear Bootsy’s bass playing while he was still part of the JBs…

And here is after a few years with George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic. Yowser…

He was only one of many artists to fall under the spell of funk…

Once the hedonism of the 70s really started to pick up from the soured idealism of the 60s, many of these artists would take the funk into strange new territory. -but that’ll have to wait till Part 2 🙂

Ghetto Memorials: graffiti for the dead

02/18/2009
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“The first real memorial wall we did was on Cypress Avenue & East 141st Street in the Bronx for a guy named Tony, who was murdered, and then set on fire in his car.” – Nicer, TATS Crew

These heartfelt examples of graffiti RIPs were documented by New Jersey Hip-Hop historian and artist Koe Rodriguez, found at the ever-fascinating dallaspenn.com. Read his accompanying essay.

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“Although…the crew paints fewer memorials (by choice) nowadays, with the continued rise in gang activity, Aids and other socioeconomic conditions affecting urban America, we can sadly expect to see more blank walls transformed into colorful tombstones real soon.” –  Rest In Piece, Koe Rodriguez, August 2008

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