James Brown – singles “I’m Real” and “Static”

In the Studio with Mr. Brown

In 1988, James Brown worked with production team Full Force on the hip-hop influenced album “I’m Real” which spawned singles ‘Static’ the song which went to #5 and ‘I’m Real’ which went to #2.
How do you even begin to describe the experience of working with the James Brown, the godfather of soul? We got the opportunity to take in a lifetime of musical knowledge, showbiz know-how and plain ol’ Funk! Each day was filled with proverbs..brand new one liners…i.e. Sitting in the presence of both Rev. Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton, Mr. Brown says ” fellas…my shades are yella but today i’m seein’ Blue”. All we could do was think damn..wish we had the record button on the tape machine pressed. In the midst of one of our many all day sessions, he asked our engineer, Tony Maserati “Mr engineer, Where ya from”? After he had mistakenly erased a vocal part. Uh..me? Boston sir..NO man, I mean, where ya FROM? Where ya family from? Mr Brown raised his voice. “Uh, Italy sir
OH Italy that’s where the name come from huh..Maserati-and then went on a pseudo Italian-ish tirade of sentences.. CLASSIC!! Way too many stories to tell.. We heard stories from him about being on the road with the JB’s, Maceo Parker, Lynn Collins, Bobby Byrd– all who along with himself laid down tracks that they had No idea would become the Blueprint of an entire genre called Hip Hop. Everyone from Eric B & Rakim, Public Enemy, NWA and a host of others sampled either this man’s vocal or music tracks to try and re-create the funk and here we were sittin’ at an SSL board watchin’ this Icon sing lyrics we wrote- over tracks we produced. UNREAL…

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