Monday, December 25, 2006

the death of soul?

James Brown died early this morning.

James Brown invented the funk. Completely his own man, he was raw sexuality, raw power, raw groove, questionable taste, bad politics, big hair, shiny clothes, a vital font of energy birthed by the caldron of African-American oppression. He was sheer excess, eccentric, kinetic, unrefined. He took a gospel shout, a field holler, and the rhythm of sex and gave birth to the funk.

When I was a little boy he was one of a few Black artists I was not allowed to listen to. Too black, that gyrating tightly clad crotch just a little too much for my otherwise liberal mom. But now we're all listening to him every day, and I can't think of a better way to spend Christmas then to let out the funk and play James Brown.

God Bless the funk.

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