Song of the Day: James Brown “Funky President (People It’s Bad)”
On this President’s Day, the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, brings the funk with this 1974 campaign platform for the office of funky president. Found on the underrated LP Reality, the song features Brown at his most socially observant. With its refrain, “People, people, we got to get over before we go under!” and “People, people, we got to get together and get some land!”, Brown lays out a platform for liberation as well as for, simultaneously boogieing down. “Funky President” is propelled by the work of the sadly recently departed original funky drummer, Clyde Stubblefield through a drum track that was sampled on Naughty By Nature‘s old-school classic, “Hip Hop Hooray”. The song also features one of the greatest bass lines ever put to wax. The rhythm section couldn’t get any funkier than this.
James Brown was born in Barnwell, South Carolina in 1933 and enjoyed a career both performing and recording that spanned from the 1953 until his death in 2006 at the age of 73. Brown began his career as a soul and R&B singer, known for his explosive vocal delivery and high energy dancing before going on to invent funk music. Though Brown’s career had several ups and downs, but was extremely productive throughout and laid down more classic soul, R&B and funk cuts than any of his contemporaries. He may also be the most heavily sampled musician of all time with the grooves of his funk and soul tracks fueling decades worth of hip-hop producers. Though sadly no longer with us, Brown remains a legend.