Music

A Documentary On Clyde Stubblefield, Most Sampled Drummer In Hip-Hop, Is In The Works

Titled Give The Drummer Some, the documentary will not only explore who Clyde Stubblefield was as a person, but also highlight his impact on hip-hop culture and music.

Clyde Stubblefield and his drumming as part of James Brown’s band not only shaped the sound of funk music but hip-hop music, too. His iconic breakbeat from “Funky Drummer” influenced hip-hop culture and music, with the drum groove having been sampled over 1,300 times, according to whosampled.com. Now, a documentary hopes to not only shed light on who Stubblefield was as a person, but his undeniable impact on hip-hop.

Titled Give The Drummer Some, the documentary is being made by director and video producer Trevor Banks. According to an interview with Madison, WI, publication The Capital Times, Banks first met Stubblefield when he was 10, helping his father Joey B. Banks — Stubblefield’s bandleader — put away equipment after the band played a set. Fast forward to now, and Banks is working on a documentary about Stubblefield, which will include interviews he did with the drummer prior to his death in 2017.

Banks is currently raising money for the project via Seed & Spark, with his goal amount being $10,000 for the next phase of interviews for the documentary. Banks has already spoken with George Clinton, Fred Wesley, Fred Thomas, and Bret Stubblefield (Clyde’s nephew). So far, he has raised $5,670.

“I was fortunate to get to know and spend time with Clyde Stubblefield starting at a young age in my hometown of Madison, WI. Clyde embraced me at a point when I hadn’t fully comprehended just how impactful his work was,” Banks said in a statement via Seed & Spark. “I not only cherished our friendship, but I cherished his existence. His willingness to invite me into his life to tell his story is a priveledge I’ll never take for granted.”

In that statement he also goes on to share how Stubblefield’s lack of credit for his contributions motivated him “to ensure that not only his full story be told, but that his legacy as a pioneer and innovator becomes cemented within American music history.”

To learn more about the film, visit its Seed & Spark fundraising page.

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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