The Godfather of Go-Go
was one of a kind.
By Blurt Staff
DC, legend Chuck Brown,
originator of the funk-based musical subgenre known as Go-Go, passed away
Wednesday (May 16) at the age of 75. The gregarious, much-loved North Carolina native died
of multiple organ failure related to heart failure.
Go-Go’s signatures – polyrhythms racing constantly
throughout the tunes and often stitching them together, plus heavy use of horns
and call-and-response vocals – left an indelible imprint on popular music,
notably in hip-hop (Eric B. & Rakin’s Paid
In Full album had a pair of Brown’s tunes, while Nelly’s “Hot In Herre” adapted Brown’s “We Need Some Money”) but also in rock
as well (for example, Coldcut borrowed heavily from “Bustin’ Loose” for their “Say
Kids What Time Is It?” hit).
Go-Go was primarily a live phenomenon, although Brown did
have a number of chart hits such as the aforementioned “Bustin’ Loose,” and
anyone who saw Brown and his Soul Survivors perform will attest to the non-stop
dancing and just sheer viscerality that would mark a Brown gig.
Brown received his first Grammy Award nomination in 2010 for
R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals for “Love”
(with Jill Scott and Marcus Miller), from the album We Got This.