Pass The Popcorn: Documentary on Soul Music Legend Syl Johnson In The Works
You’ve heard the sounds of Syl Johnson if you dig soul music deep cuts or have ever knocked Wu-Tang‘s “Shame On A N**ga,” one of the many hip-hop tracks that sample Johnson’s body of work. Father of R&B songstress Syleena Johnson and a severely under-celebrated musician, Syl Johnson may finally be getting the recognition he deserves with a recent Grammy-nominated box set Complete Mythology and a forthcoming documentary by Robert Hatch-Miller called Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows. After a career recognized more for his lawsuits against perpetrators of copyright infringement than for his contributions to the canon commonly associated with the likes of Al Green and Marvin Gaye, the singer has experienced a bit of a renaissance in the last few years. Click through for the link to the Kickstarter campaign and check out a bit of what the filmmakers had to say about Johnson’s legacy:
Syl Johnson’s songs have been sampled so many times in the last 25 years that he’s practically had more radio presence than Lil Wayne. When you hear artists like Run-DMC, Public Enemy, De La Soul, Boogie Down Productions, Kid Rock and Cypress Hill, you hear Syl. He’s got so much money from licensing his samples that he calls his home “The House That Wu-Tang Built.”
At almost 80 years old–he’s not telling!–Syl Johnson has outlasted Jay-Z and Kanye West in the courtroom, gone up against Elvis and Paul McCartney at the Grammys, run a chain of seafood restaurants, started an organic urban garden on the South Side of Chicago, and played hundreds of concerts for fans all around the world.