Monday, December 25, 2006

The GodFather Of Soul Moves On: James Brown We Love You

The man that influenced many of the greatest artist of all time has passed away. James Brown passed away this Christmas morning and I am saddened. I will mourn for yet a while and then I will celebrate his legacy and our friendship. I called him GodFather and he called me God Son. I am so glad that I honored him while he was living. The memories of our times together I will always cherish. His contributions to society and the African American community are numerous and significant. When we were weary during our journey and struggle for our civil rights and the country was a powder keg about to explode, when oppression and injustice burned like a wet log on an open fire, when the word "colored", was followed by the words," to the back" and "not served", James Brown gave us our pride, self-esteem and dignity with the song,"Say It Loud" which was followed by the words,"I'm Black and I'm Proud". This was during a time when full lips, and afros where not in vogue and were not considered a fashion statement and a movie look. It took a strong man to make the statement that the GodFather Of Soul made.

I was a young kid and I was amazed at the dance moves and energy that The GodFather put down. He was a one man showstopper! A master of the stage. His songs resonated throughout the community. Please, Please, Please, This is A Mans World, Cold Sweat, Hot Pants, Super Bad, Try Me, and many more. From our many conversations and numerous performances together, I had my own personal relationship with the man I was influenced by and whom I held in the highest regards. He would prove over and over again his love and concern for me and I appreciated him for it. Whenever he requested my presence I would make sure to get wherever he wanted me. I felt it was the least I could do to show my respect for a legend who did so much for his people and this country as well as world relations with his life and music.

For the past 50 years James brown has performed around the world and continued to create hot and meaningful music. From Michael Jackson, Prince, and MC Hammer to Usher, Chris Brown , Ne-Yo and Justin Timberlake the James Brown effect and legacy lives on.

In 1991 when I wrote the treatment for my Too Legit to Quit short film, I thought it would be a good time to honor my legend and hero, especially since he had just went through a tough time and being incarcerated. My perspective was that no one is perfect and his mistake did not take away one bit from his many sacrifices and contributions to music and society. I also filmed a special for HBO in Oakland called, "Influences" and chose The GodFather as my greatest influence. I even honored him on the, "Please Hammer Don't Hurt'em", album and tour with my theme song ,"Here Comes The Hammer", remixed to "Super Bad" and put his images in the video. I did a James Brown solo every night. I loved my God Father. I remember him asking me about some evil looking statues in the video we did together and he questioned the meaning of the symbols on the Kings chair I got him for the video. He was concerned that it could be sacrilegious and I said we on the same page thank you Jesus. GodFather would call me and check on me throughout the years and I'm going to miss his voice and laugh. From now on every year I will play James Brown on Christmas Day and honor his memory.

It's fitting that the King would pass into the King Of Kings arms on Christmas morning. He deserved such an honor. I love you GodFather.


n8ivwarrior said...

I actually met James Brown a few months ago when he was on tour in Joliet. I met him as he was walking from his bus to the theater and was shocked as he crossed my path. I believe "whoa" was what I said to him.

He stopped for a moment, turned to me and shook may hand introducing himself "Hi, I am James Brown."

"I know very well who you are sir. It is my honor to meet you...or even cross your path."

James majestically replies "Young man, I am but singer."

"No sir, you are a legend."

He asked if I was coming to the concert and I told him my child's birthday was that night and I was unable to make it. He understood and said for me to tell my daughter happy birthday. He wished me well and was on his way.

That one moment will be in my memory forever.

William T said...

Years ago it was Hammer who influenced me to hear James Brown's music, buy his CDs', etc. I like 'Living in America' and 'Say it Loud'.

R.I.P. James Brown

William T

Robin Design Group said...

Hammer, glad that you are expressing your feelings of great love and respect for James Brown.
His influence on modern music paved the way for many artists, and he will be sadly missed. I like your blog and will return again.

OneKewlChik said...

We have experienced a great loss with the passing of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Stanley, I am sorry. He must have been a great friend and influence and an inspiration over the years. We will all miss him greatly.
God Bless,

North said...

With you and all mourning the legend of soul, MC... James Brown set my feet ablaze at many dances and parties.. he set the stage for changes, which opened gates and doorways, once closed; to new artists emerging from the shadows of prejudism.... he was an amazing talent; and one not soon forgotten on the tables of memories.

with loving kindness, and deep sympathy for the loss of your deer GodFather, James Brown...


Katz said...

Thank you for this beautiful entry...

I so very much agree with you ~

I truly believe that God gave special honor to James Brown when He called him back home on Christmas...

Born into Eternal Life on the day we honor Christ's birth into our world...

You said it so well ~ the King passing into the arms of the King of Kings...

James Brown ~ your music honors your memory ~ but still, you will be missed.

Mark said...

Rejoice! Hear the news of the coming return of the Godfather!

James Brown seeks disciples to spread the good news of his return and of his redemption of Soul!

Join the Church of James Brown, and be forever known as a Disciple of Soul.

Repeat the words:

I believe that James Brown died on Christmas day to redeem Soul.

I believe that James Brown is still the Hardest Working Man in Show Business.

I believe that James Brown worked hard to spread the Gospel of Soul, and now, he's returned to the cosmic mothership to preach his gospel from on high, eternally united with the Father of Soul, Brother Ray, who plays keyboards righteously.

I believe that James Brown will return to the Apollo three days after his death to proclaim the power and the glory of Soul. Verily, he shall also be on television, to spread his gospel to the world.

Will you see the light of James Brown?
Will you hear, bear witness to, and spread the message of James Brown, the Soul Brother Number One?
Will you let James Brown in to your heart to purify and redeem Soul?

bklynell said...

I did not actually meet The Godfather James Brown but he was one of the first live performers I had ever seen.
I first saw him in Charleston, SC when I was about twelve years old. I was visiting from New York City.
The second time I saw Mr James Brown was a benefit concert in the Apollo Theatre for the Inner City Youth of NYC.
I have to tell you that in spite of myself I fell in love with this mans' tenacity and ability to move and wow the audience.
I saw teachers who never smiled, smile, dance, move to the beat and my respect deepened.
You see Mr James Brown not only was an entertainer, he was an icon who brought folks from all different walks of life together instilling in us a sense of pride of who we are....."Say it loud...I'm black and I'm proud".
I grew up in the St Nicholas Housing Projects around the corner from the Apollo theatre--every time Mr James Brown came to town the Apollo Theatre filled, every show, every day he played - folks lined up to see the "Hardest Working Man in Show Business" perform.
I am deeply saddened by his passing as I feel as if he is somehow a kindred spirit related to me in this positive spiritual flow called nature.
I feel akin to him as I have felt for other spiritual leaders who have gone on to the next leg of their journey.
You see Brother James like other spiritual leaders before him has been called on and we have yet to reach this part of the journey he has left us to endure.
What I will say is he has left some positive example for us to follow. It is now up to us to make sure that we remember the teachings of a humble man who lead by example and gave his all in all he did.
Godfather James, I salute you and what you stood for. You were a man first who made no excuses for your mistakes but proved that no matter what we can overcome any obstacle. GOD BLESS.

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muebles huesca said...

I believe one and all must look at it.

Chris Finessafide said...

We have experienced a great loss with the passing of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Stanley, I am sorry. He must have been a great friend and influence and an inspiration over the years. We will all miss him greatly. God Bless, ~Tina~

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