What’s good, people? Wilsoni Tha’ Funk Masta here, bringing an injection for the Funk Junkies:
The Hardest Working Man in Showbusiness, The Minister of The New Super-Heavy Funk, Soul Brother No. 1, Mr. Dynamite himself – for a man who needs no introductions, James Brown sure enjoys a good superlative.
This documentary, edited slightly here for broadcast on BBC4 a few weeks ago, is one of the most comprehensive overviews of the Funk Genesis and character that was The Boss himself. Even I learned some insights that I didn’t get from Barry Miles’ pretty extensive autobiography, a great resetting of the foundations you know as humble clergy – and compulsory if (like an old uni friend of mine) you think Mr. Brown is merely an “overrated Singer” (I almost slapped him!). Particularly, the extent to which JB is a pivotal yet controversial civil rights figure is in my opinion relatively overlooked – especially in an age where these issues are reprehensibly relevant – and to understand The Funk as the voice of Black Identity is crucial.
Watch this and understand that this was a mean, lonely, insanely driven and wholly unstoppable force of a man, without which the musical and political landscape would be alien – and understand why.