Category Archives: Funk

Watch: Chaka Khan At The Rose Parade

Chaka Khan was the Grand Marshall of the 130th Rose Parade on Monday. She waved to fans from a car and she later performed on a float and then on the street. The parade took place in Pasadena, California and Khan sang “I Feel For You” and her recent single “Like Sugar.” At the end of the clip, she is joined by her younger family members. The Tournament Of Roses Parade has been around since 1890 and it happens in conjunction with the Rose Bowl college football game. It was Khan’s first time as Grand Marshall and she was honored to be a part of their Melody Of Life celebration. 

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Throwback: Jamiroquai-Little L

Jamiroquai’s “Little L” was the first single from their fifth studio album A Funk Odyssey. The funk and disco styled song was another win for their catalog of dance-oriented music. Lead singer Jay Kay wrote “Little L” with late keyboardist Toby Smith wrote the song about Kay breaking up with a girlfriend because of his cocaine use. The video features Kay at the club with mirrored balls and pretty woman surrounding him. A song about the end of relationship sounded like a party and had a visual to support the festive vibe. “Little L” was another Jamiroquai song to receive a noteworthy remix for clubs. New Jersey house music veterans Blaze retooled “Little L” and stretched out the groove with handclaps, synthesizer and congas. A Funk Odyssey was another platinum album that added to Jamiroquai’s status as the third-most successful act in the U.K. during the ’90s. They released their eighth album, Automaton in 2018 and had their first United States performance in 13 years at Coachella where they were joined onstage by Snoop Dogg. 

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Sly And The Family Stone Documentary Coming In 2019

A documentary about Sly And The Family Stone is coming out in 2019. Dance To The Streaming Music is a 10 year in the making film about Stone’s impact on music and his relationship with the Music Modernization Act. Sly And The Family Stone were the first co-ed, multiracial band to succeed in the mainstream with their unique sound of funk and soul. Independent film director Brady Spensor was able to develop a rapport with Stone through his son Sly Jr. who he knew from other previous projects. Spensor was able to chronicle Stone’s financial problems at the time. Stone won a lawsuit in 2015 against his former manager, an attorney and a production company for $5 million dollars in royalties but a judge ruled later that year he would not be able to collect the money because he signed his royalties over to the company for an ownership stake. The singer was living in a van and desperately needed the money to live. The recently passed Music Modernization Act has changed his financial situation by paying him streaming royalties hence the title of the documentary. 

Sly And The Family Stone dissolved in 1975 and Stone released four solo albums. His well-known issues with drugs stopped him from reviving his career but he has sporadically performed through the years by collaborating with Jesse Johnson and George Clinton and appearing with The Family Stone. 

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Watch: Madlib Meet Ethiopian Funk Musician Ayaléw Mesfin

Madlib meets Ethiopian funk artist Ayaléw Mesfin years after sampling his music. Madlib and Egon of Now-Again Records sit and talk about Mesfin’s music and how they discovered it. Mesfin shares his obvious love of James Brown that can be heard in his songs and the struggles he’s had as an outsider in his native country. At one point, Mesfin’s music was banned by the Derg Regime after the Haile Selassie era. Last winter Now-Again released the Hasabe compilation of Mesfin’s songs. 

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Tuxedo Gets Ready For The Seasons With Holiday Love

Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One acknowledge this time of the year with “Holiday Love” from their Tuxedo partnership. The song is in line with their love of ’80s funk and it’s really about sharing the holidays with the one you love instead of materialism. “Holiday Love” is a gift from the duo to their fans for Xmas and follows the tradition of R&B Christmas music. 

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