UMe’s Urban Legends division’s Black Music Month’s celebration of 50 years of funk, soul, hip-hop and R&B is under way today (18) with a trailer for its new mini-series on Godfather of Soul James Brown.
As reported, the events will include live DJ sets, new mini-documentaries, fresh episodes of the docu-series Through the Lens and new releases of remixes of classic songs. The focus will be on four genre-defining periods in music history over the past half a century. It begins with the examination of how James Brown’s trailblazing catalogue laid the ground for the foundation of hip-hop, and made him one of the most sampled artists of all time.
The Godfather’s official YouTube channel is unveiling the trailer for Funky Drummer, which is episode one of new three-part animated mini-series titled Get Down, The Influence Of James Brown. The films are narrated by Questlove from the Roots and feature Lord Finesse and Wax Poetics magazine co-founder Andre Torres.
Funky Drummer, Funky President and The Payback
The mini-series was created by UMe with Dreambear and explores the sonic DNA of James Brown. The full Funky Drummer episode will premiere on 10 July, to be followed by part two (Funky President) and part three (The Payback).
On that date, at 4pm PDT/7pm EDT, DJ Premier will mark the premiere with a special DJ set on his official YouTube channel. He will pay tribute to James Brown by playing key tracks and giving a first-hand sampling history lesson, also taking questions from fans.
Other events and releases for Black Music Month events and releases include:
19 June: Original Def Jam/UMe three-episode mini docu-series Through The Lens, focusing on the iconic hip-hop photography of Ricky Powell, Janette Beckman and Jonathan Mannion. This original series covers 40 years of the music and culture of the hip-hop movement from its infancy
19 June: A special DJ set by DJ/producer Clark Kent paying homage to Def Jam
24 June: A live DJ set by DJ Natasha Diggs honouring Janet Jackson
26 June: Lord Finesse will perform a special Motown State Of Mind live stream on Motown’s social media networks
26 June: Motown State Of Mind, a set of Motown classics handpicked, remixed and reimagined by rapper and hip-hop producer Lord Finesse