Skip to comments.Did He Feel Good?: James Brown’s epic life and career (Review of New Bio)
Posted on 06/11/2012 12:45:26 PM PDT by mojito
...He dubbed himself the Funky President, and in most important respects, he was a stand-alone black conservative: anti-drug, pro-school, anti-revolution, prohard work.
He urged black people not to riot. He was deeply suspicious of using the apologia of societal racism to excuse inertia or failure. In Browns world, you only had yourself to blame or praise. A man was what a man did: he had to step out there into a hostile world and shape it according to his own desires. Brown had no truck with blaming whitey; he was at war with destiny itself. In this sense, he was colorblind. Nothing and no one would halt the procession of his irresistible will. A part of this was mere grandstanding (one more street-theater way of getting the crowd to stop and look at him), but it also went deeper, provoking serious disaffection within his core black audience.
In 1972, Brown supported Richard Nixon for reelection over his challenger George McGovern because he liked the presidents policy of New Federalism. Nixon depicted the Democratic faith in big government as only skin-deep in its equity, being in reality deeply patronizing to anyone a few rungs down the socioeconomic ladder. Nixon presented his initiative as a way of putting start-up money where it should be: in the hands of states and individuals, not Washington. This harmonized with Browns own street-level ethic: he didnt think black people should get any special breaks....
(Excerpt) Read more at city-journal.org ...
I am so glad the article gave props to Bootsy Collins, the WONDERFUL Bass Player! :-)
Get off of that thing, UH!
Bartles and James Brown Wine Coolers
What is more conservative than a song with the title,
“I Don’t Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door I’ll Get It Myself)”
But I say we won't quit moving until we get what we deserve We have been bucked and we have been scorned We have been treated bad, talked about as just bones But just as it takes two eyes to make a pair, ha Brother we can't quit until we get our share
James Brown didn’t allow computer monitors in his home or office. He believed there were people on the other side, watching him...
Maybe he read too much George Orwell.
“And then, at the age of 52, Brownwho had been virtually drug-abstinent his whole lifetook a bewildering swan-dive into the depths of drugged-out madness: he contracted a heavy and coarsening addiction to PCP (a.k.a. Angel Dust), a drug avoided by all but the most desperate street addicts. Even pre-PCP, Brown seems always to have been in motion, a multi-tasking blur for whom downtime was just a different form of work. This sudden and escalating intake of PCP meant his legendary testiness began to shade into genuine paranoia. He thought the trees on his estate had been co-opted by the FBI to capture his speech.”
Thanks for the information, I have always loved the music of James Brown. It made you "feel good"
I met JB and a few of his band members in Athens (early 90's ?) It was after a "small bombing" incident during the elections in Athens.
I believe that after road Manager, Bud Hobgood died, AL SHARPTON took his place!!! UGH!! I’ve met JamesBrown many times and he was a very nice person.
“black conservative: anti-drug”
Well, in theory :)
James Brown was more of a do as I say, not as I do kind of guy. I’m surprised they didn’t call him “pro-family” because he had so many of them.
What’s racist about it? The “get what we deserve” part? I don’t think he’s talking about welfare, since he says later in the song:
“Now we demand a chance to do things for ourselves
We tired of beating our heads against the wall
And working for someone else”
Sounds like he just wanted equal opportunity to me.
His full message was hard work and dedication and starting your own businesses from within the black community. He was decidedly capitalist.
It was an affirmation message, if you actually got up offa that thing and went to work, you could make it. Not a hand out.
i had no idea. always loved his music. i could never remain seated when his songs would come on the radio. this was who i learned to dance to.
From my perspective it stems from the whole double standard with regard to race. Say It Loud (I'm Black And I'm Proud) pretty much gets a pass and is praised as an affirmation of sorts. Yet imagine the outcry from liberals if a singer penned a song with the title of Say It Loud (I'm White And I'm Proud).
Alright, that’s sensible. I don’t see either as racist, but the double standard IS racist.
L O V E Bootsy Collins.
Oh Yeahhhhhhhh! :-)
I also was disgusted by James Brown's antics on the Grand Ole Opry back in the 1970's. He showed no respect whatsoever for that genuine American institution, performing his usual set of rhythm and blues at that venue. He was met with, at best, muted applause and some boos. Of course, Porter Wagoner gets the blame for having the audacity of inviting someone not at all appropriate for the Opry.
So, I'm really not a James Brown fan and am somewhat cynical at any attempts to paint him in a favorable light. Tastes vary, of course, and I fully understand that there are those who like his music and performing style.
It is true that Brown's personal life spun out of control at an age when most men have gained some perspective and have settled down, and in the end came to represent many of the things that he had preached against earlier in his career. That is his tragedy.
Still, despite his many flaws as a man, in my book he's a great and unique American artist.