James Brown: 1933 - 2006

James Brown. The hardest working man in show biz. Together with Five Percent Islam and P-Funk, his gravity shaped hip hop in its earliest form and thus set it on its course.

I loved Brown's work... I even paid cash money for the rights to print just a few lines of his classic song "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" in my first novel, The Coyote Kings of the Space Age Bachelor Pad:

"This is a man's world, this is a man's world
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

"You see, man made the cars to take us over the road
Man made the trains to carry heavy loads
Man made electric light to take us out of the dark
Man made the boat for the water, like Noah made the ark

"This is a man's, a man's, a man's world
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

"Man thinks about a little baby girls and a baby boys
Man makes then happy 'cause man makes them toys
And after man has made everything, everything he can
You know that man makes money to buy from other man

"This is a man's world
But it wouldn't be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl

"He's lost in the wilderness
He's lost in bitterness...."

The Chicago Defender printed the following on th
e Christmas Day death of James Brown:

"The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, issued the
following statement today following the death of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, who died early this Christmas morning in Atlanta at the age of 73.

"'James Brown was a great American story. He went from an at-risk child to a global cultural icon, and that is a part of the Christmas story. After all, Jesus was an at-risk child, who grew up to be King of Kings.

"'James Brown, who was born in South Carolina and abandoned by his mother, left us in a very dramatic and poetic way. Since we must die, why not on Christmas?

"'We all remember James Brown for his great contributions in the entertainment business. His top of the chart hits "Please, Please, Please, It's a Man's Man's World, "and "Say it Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud" shaped our lives and culture.

"'James brown was an entrepreneur. He owned radio stations. He encouraged artists to become investors, not consumers. He owned his masters, challenging entertainers to be business people, not just entertainers.

"'While some put their focus on his brushes with the law, I visited him in jail. They shot up the truck, blew up the tires, and unloaded guns at him. Fortunately, the bullets did not strike him.

"'When ever he had the chance, James Brown always visited the jails. He always reached out to youth trying to make it. He was a mentor to Rev. Al Sharpton. He reached out to me. He did benefits for our movement. He was a socially conscious entertainer.

"'If James was alive today, he would be on stage today in every house in America. This week, with all the focus on the war, James Brown will be center stage. He was an opponent of war, who toured Vietnam to give our soldiers hope. It would still be classic James Brown.

"'He was the hardest working and probably the longest working man in show business. He was not sitting on a stool performing. He was still dancing. He will be the topic of discussion all over the world. When people wake up this morning, looking for gifts under their trees, they will hear about James Brown. He would have it no other way.'"


Anonymous said…
Rest in peace, James!
MJH said…
I remember the first time I heard King Heroin. It still gives me goosebumps to think about it.

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