After much anticipation for the James Brown Biopic Get On Up, the film starring Chadwick Boseman finally premieres today. Get On Up has put many fans of the late James Brown in a nostalgic mood as they reflect on the legend’s life. Amongst those sentimental fans is legendary hip-hop producer (and self-proclaimed “Soul Brother #1” in the mold of James himself) Pete Rock who shares a personal recollection of the time he first meet his late hero.
“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.”
In acknowledging the personal inspiration that is James Brown, Pete Rock has created the “James Brown Tribute” Mix. The tape is 35 minutes of non-stop funky grooves showcasing James Brown classics with hit hip-hop hits from the 80’s like Rob Base‘s “It Takes Two” which samples Lyn Collins‘s “Think (About It).” Supporters on Soundcloud claim the mix, one refreshing and revolutionary in its nature, is long overdue. Perhaps it’s safe to say that we all appreciate such a revitalizing connection between these monumental times in Black music, especially coming from a person who is actively furthering the legacy of musicians of these times. Well done, Pete Rock!
Enjoy Pete Rock’s “James Brown Tribute” Mix and visit peterock.com for your Soul Brother Logo Tee.