December 25, 2016
The godfather of soul.
Ten years ago today, on Christmas Day 2006, the world got a little less funky. James Brown passed away aged 73, taking with him a legacy that changed music forever.
Now, while you could pay tribute on this day of celebration with any of Brown’s more-or-less iconic Christmas albums, we thought it would be more fitting to share a mix from one of his disciples, and an artist who, like so many others, would not be around were it not for James Brown.
Self-confessed Soul brother #1, the legendary producer dropped this killer 35-minute excursion into the world of James Brown and the ’80s hip-hop he influenced back in 2013, drawing on the powerful lineage of black music, from early funk and soul through to classic an contemporary hip-hop.
There seems no more appropriate time to give it another spin than Christmas Day.
As reported by Okayplayer, here’s Pete to introduce the session with a tale of how James Brown changed his life:
“When I met James Brown, I think he passed along something to me when I shook his hand. I look at that today, and I say, “Damn, I think James Brown gave me a piece of his [soul] power.” He came to Mount Vernon and he did a concert with Bobby Bird and The JBS in my hood at a spot called the Left Bank. And I’m telling you I’ve never seen Mount Vernon so poppin’ in my entire life! It was always poppin’–don’t get it twisted–because we used to do little parties in the hood and stuff like that and everybody would come out. But James Brown — I mean I was seven years old, me and my brother Grap, and we walked in the joint and my mother talked to one of James’ bodyguards or managers or something and was asking him, “Yo, can my kids meet James?” And the next thing you know, he came up behind us and I shook his hand and he was like, “God bless you man, God bless you.” And he shook my mother’s hand and he shook my brother’s hand. And it left something with me. This was before he got on stage. He shook our hands and then we watched the show. And I left that place not the same. So you see how strong black music can be. It had a heavy impact on me in my life.”