“It was a bit of an overstatement. I actually only felt okay, but that didn't sound as good in the song.”
Alright fellahs I'm about ready to get up write this article on James Brown, I wanna get into to it y'know...like a sex machine man...writing, doing it y'know...can I count it off? Can I count it off? One two three four...
James Brown, also known as the Godfather of Soul, was the hardest working man in Showbiz. Seriously. The guy never stopped! Where other artists would be content to just sing, James Brown even swept and re-painted the studios he was in while he recorded his songs! This helps to explain the many noises he made during the course of his songs - for years thought to be a sign of how damn Funky he was, the "Uh!" noises are actually him straining on the stepladder to reach that awkward corner.
Take it to the Bridge!''
James Brown, man, legend and high speed sweat generator, maintained his phenomenal work ethic throughout his career. In a musical career lasting over 40 years, the man never took a vacation, never had a break, never even had a single day off! As the man himself observed:
|The funk never stops, baby! James Brown can't be stoppin' for anythin' but sleep - hell baby, James even eats on the run! There just ain't enough hours in the year to bring the funk to all James's people baby, yeah!|
Towards the end of his career, he was accused of becoming almost a parody of himself - almost conforming to stereotype - which comments such as the above quote did little to change.
In the beginning, however, James was an innovator of soul with attitude - a man who helped put the 'fu' in 'funk'.
One more time!
Soul Mafia Career
The Godfather of Soul was more than just another self-publicising nickname Brown bestowed upon himself along with "Soul Brother Number One", "Sex Machine", "Mr. Dynamite", "Minister of The New New Super Heavy Funk",' and "Tiddles" (this last one struggled to catch on as well as the others). It was in fact a cunning double-bluff to disguise the fact that he was really the Godfather of a large criminal organisation known as the "Soul Mafia".
The Soul Mafia specialised in crimes that had a serious groove on - so audacious raids on jewellery stores, for example, were much more their brand new bag than anything as honky as a mugging.
Brown even attempted to boast about many of his gang's achievements in his finest songs, although they were heavily toned down before release by worried advisers. This is evidenced in such original working titles as "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag Of Cash From An Armored Car Heist", "Get Up Offa That Thing (We're Stealing It), and "Say It Loud, I'm A Criminal Overlord And I'm Proud".
Make it funky!
The "Hardest Working Man In Showbiz" tag was well deserved. Seriously, working the crowd, working the band, maintaining the Soul Mafia, working part time swing shift at Wendy's every other friday... It was a mystery as to how the hell the guy kept it up until he was in his 70s. Theories range from the predictable "drugs" to the far more likely "the power of Funk never stops, and so neither can its living embodiment, oh yeah!"
What is certain is that if he had been paid according to how hard he worked, an entirely new global economic system would have had to have been introduced in order to properly recompense him.
On Christmas Day of 2006, Brown's soul became too soulful for his mortal body, and he ascended to Funky Heaven. He's currently playing a giant concert for the rest of eternity, and has a second job giving soul donations to those who die without enough soul in their soul. In a recent interview, Brown's ghost condemned the musician Prince, stating "That boy ain't funky enough. He think he funky, but he not. Oh, and tell 'im to stop with those stupid girly-ass screams. Hit puberty already, dammit." Brown then yelled a trademark "Uh!" and disappeared in a huge plume of purple smoke, leaving behind a glittering residue that scientists have found to be "concentrated funk".
OOH YEAH! Thankyou and goodnight, and remember: STAY FUNKY, Y'ALL!