"I'm gonna give away a little b-boy secret...this record by Cerrone, 'Look For Love,' is a very popular b-boy break," says DJ Spinna of the 7" released by the Cotillion label. But be careful, he warns us, sometimes they edit the breaks out of the singles. The accomplished and much sought after DJ was recently at Amoeba Hollywood, giving away some great record collecting advice and offering up killer recommendations.
Brooklyn-born hip-hop producer DJ Spinna is a genre-bender whose work dabbles in rap, soul, funk, electronica, and jazz. He first came to prominence in the late '90s underground hip-hop scene thanks to his work with The Jigmastas. He has produced and remixed tracks for some of the biggest names in the contemporary music scene, including Mary J. Blige, Nightmares on Wax, Guru, J-Live, De La Soul, Eminem, Stevie Wonder, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Roy Ayers, and many more.
Today funk innovator, captain of the mothership, nucleus of Parliament, Funkadelic, P-Funk All Stars and other spin off bands, George Clinton celebrates his 75th birthday. The artist is an historic key figure in shaping not just funk music but also a lot of hip-hop too. A hard working musician who, even in his mid 70's, is currently on tour. The man is truly a living legend. Hence if you have never seen him and P-Funk in concert you owe it to yourself to go see him play. Luckily there's ample opportunities to do so. Currently on tour in Euorpe, tonight he celebrates his birthday playing the Paradiso in Amsterdam. Tomorrow night he brings P-Funk to the Tramlines Festival in Sheffield, England. The artist returns to California in September when he will play the Fox Theater in Oakland on Sept. 15th and at the Santa Cruz Mountains Sol Festival September 18. In honor of this funk musical pioneer and his 75th birthday, I have a rare recently uncovered May 1985 interview with George Clinton that I conducted for KALX radio back in the day. Clinton, who was 44 years of age at the time, was enjoying a rich recent solo career. Just three years earlier in 1982 he unleashed his solo debut album Computer Games that featured the funk smash hit single "Atomic Dog." The following year he followed up with solo album number two You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish. At the time of this interview he'd already finished up working on his third solo album, Some Of My Best Jokes Are Friends and was onto his next project: producing The Red Hot Chili Peppers. In fact he was in the studio in Detroit with the Chili Peppers working on their album Freaky Styley when he took time out to conduct this phone interview.
Never one to back down or shy aware from controversy, outspoken veteran Bay Area rapper Paris continues to stay true to both his revolutionary rap style and his core political beliefs. The controversial artist, who famously got dropped by his record label over political content early on in his career and has since stayed true to his often unpopular convictions, announced that September 11, 2015 will be the release date of his newest politically charged hip-hop album, Pistol Politics.
9/11 and what it symbolizes has been a topic close to Paris's heart since the history-changing 2001 event, and one that he has openly questioned in his music, being among the few hip-hop artists to label 9/11 an inside job. On his 2003 album Sonic Jihad, which showed on its original cover art a plane crashing into the Pentagon, he featured the "truth" music track "What Would You Do" (see video below) that addressed his theories on 9/11 as well as the Illuminati's agenda, asking listeners "Would you stand up for truth? Or would you turn away too? And then what if you saw All of the things that's wrong?"
Another funk-fueled production, the album (his eighth album since his 1990 debut The Devil Made Me Do It) was first announced seven months ago with the release of the single and video for the album track "Night of the Long Knives" that addresses police brutality, racism, and other issues (video below). It is being described by the artist as both a condemnation of society's ills and a celebration of its virtues, emphasizing themes promoting unity, progression, and community upliftment, and a "musical statement of solidarity" with a wide range of guest collaborators that include Chuck D, George Clinton, E-40, WC, Kam, Tha Eastsidaz, Dead Prez, T-K.A.S.H., and The Conscious Daughters that is "a much needed united front against oppression and institutional racism in an age almost devoid of meaningful commentary in urban entertainment."
Fans of the Grateful Dead feeling bummed about not getting to attend the final Dead series of concerts recently, might consider the alternative of going to check out George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic who are currently on a summer tour that includes some free shows in New York City this week. As anyone like myself who has ever witnessed concerts by both Jerry Garcia's beloved band and by the Godfather of Funk's various funk incarnations (Parliament / Funkadelic / P-Funk All Stars) will attest, both share an approach to concerts that tend towards long extended jams that are related to "the One." So if you were among those Deadheads disappointed to not get to attend either the two anniversary Dead shows last month in Santa Clara, CA or this month's sold-out (and expensive) show series at Chicago's Soldier Field, where the four remaining members of the Grateful Dead - Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann - performed together reportedly for the last time, then I say honor Jerry and the Dead by going to see George and Parliament Funkadelic.