Tuesday, December 26, 2006
James Joseph Brown Jr (3rd May 1933 - 25th Dec 2006) - The Godfather Of Soul
Most musical geniuses have flaws and Brown was no exception.
But he has also been a huge influence on Black culture over more than 5 decades.
He single handedly took on the pro Black baton on when Malcolm X was gunned down. Music-wise he achieved many firsts, most of his memorable hits coincided with the late 60's, nearly 20 years after he started recording music.
His best work by far was unearthed in the early 70's when he famously collaborated with Maceo Parker, Pee Wee Ellis, Fred Wesley and Bootsy Collins for a tighter, grittier, brand new 'funk' sound. The result was 3 albums in a single year (1973), capped by his best ever work on "The Payback".
The 70's saw many other acts taking the funk to a higher level, but if it wasn't for James Brown, the likes of Funkadelic, Parliament, The JBs, Maceo and the All Kingsmen, Bootsy's Rubber Band etc. would've have reached the heady heights they achieved during the 1970's.
Ironically Brown ignored the fashionable Black sound of P-Funk in the late 70's and embraced disco instead. He would continue to re-invent himself during the 1980's working with Afrika Bambaata way before a generation of new skool hip hop artists had heard of him (who launched their own careers by sampling his entire back catalogue!). By doing so these rappers introduced JB to a whole new generation of listeners. He scored his biggest ever hit with 'Living In America', and tried to maintain a high profile resulting from his emergence as a legend in hip hop circles, by collaborating with the likes of Full Force, Soul II Soul and Leaders of The New School (the latter was Busta Rhymes' original rap trio from the early 90's).
He continued to tour globally well into his 70's, most recently at Radio 1's Electric Proms in London earlier this year. I had the pleasure of seeing him live in 2002 at the Essential Festival in Bristol, even though he was starting to show his age by then.
Very few have achieved what Brown has done inside and outside of music over such a long period of time, and has influenced a number of different generations in different ways. His legacy shouldn't be about his mistakes, but an extensive catalogue of hugely ground breaking and influential music.
10 James Brown Song You Must Own:
Can I Get Some Help
Don't Tell It
Hot (I Need To Be Loved Loved Loved)
Papa Don't Take No Mess
Cold Sweat (parts 1 & 2)
Get Up, Get In To It & Get Involved
Blues And Pants
Rest In Peace
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Christmas Rappin' #4 - The 2006 Wrap Up!
As the year comes to an end, it feels almost obligatory to wrap up things with a 'best of 2006' list!
Louis Logic & JJ Brown - Misery Loves Comedy
Modern day rap for hip hop thirtysomethings, hot and cold tales of relationships that you can relate to.
People Under The Stairs - Tuxedo Rap
I picked up The Stepfather whilst in Boston earlier this year at UGHH, and this track was the clear standout, despite the lukewarm response to the longplayer.
Best Hip Hop Retailer
Underground Hip Hop.com, Boston MA
Not only did they give a bunch of free cd's to commemorate my trip to Beantown, but they also gave me an invite to DJ Premier's private party!
Best Hip Hop Gig
Blade - Guerilla Tactics Lp Launch Party @ Cargo, Shoreditch, London (Feb 2006)
A definitive "who's who's" in UK Hip Hop, including Hard Livin, Phi Life Cypher, Jehst, HKB Finn, Diversion Tactics, Headcase Ladz and of course Mr B.L.A.D.E. who has since retired from the game - good luck B in whatever you do next.
Non Hip Hop Event Of The Year
Visiting Boston and New England - April 2006
Watching the Celtics beat the Heat, the Red Sox dropping a game against the Devil Rays, trekking round the area in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, Cape Cod was breathtaking, the malls took all my dollars!
Too Young To Die
Jay Dee - The Dilla
Lynden David Hall
Rest In Peace
Monday, December 18, 2006
Christmas Rappin' #3
Xmas present #3 comes courtesy of yours truly!
The 'Unmixed' series started a few years back now, it's original intention was to showcase US tracks old and new, together with the cream of UK talent. Unmixed 3 took a slight change of direction and left the old skool behind, with volume 4 doing more of the same '06 stylee.
Don't call it a mixtape; it ain't there to plug claw diddy as a 'deejay' (heck I gave that gig up more than 10 years ago!), just press play and enjoy back to back songs in their original form.
This new compilation features some of CHHV fav's that were featured during 2006 including Large Professor, Tim Dog feat Ultramagentic, Masta Ace, Mr Lif, People Under The Stairs, Ty and Braintax.
Peace out President Pete aka Mr Burberry Leather, Mr Patl & Rich-Ard, hope you have a hype festive period and a mental '07. Good looking out!
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Christmas Rappin' #2
Ho! Ho! Ho!
The festive giveaway continues with "Christmas Rap" - the lp. If you slept on this back in the day, or have just got into diggin for old skool rap, then this is for you.
27 hip hop Xmas jams grace this album, featuring tracks from artists including Run DMC, Derek B, Audio Two, Coldcut, Sweet Tee, Whistle, Treacherous Three and Dana Dane.
Clear away all those wack Christmas complilations you have lying around, and pump this up instead!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Christmas Rappin' #1
Well I've been away in Paris for a hot minute, but normal service should now resume as we enter the festive period and CHHV's first anniversary!
To kick things off, we present a classic video from the 80's courtesy of Run DMC.
"Christmas In Hollis" first appeared on the charity lp 'A Very Special Christmas', which also showcased festive songs from Whitney Houston, Pointer Sisters, U2, Madonna and Bon Jovi to name but a few.
"Hollis" then became a single in it's own right, and influenced a number of rap artists of that time (including Derek B and Sweet Tee), to bring out their own Xmas hip hop tunes.
A double lp compilation featuring these tunes, and some older stuff like Kurtis Blow's 'Christmas Rappin', will be upped on CHHV very soon - so keep checkin back, ya heard!!
RIP Jam Master Jay