James Brown


Two fiery Brazilian boogie compilations explore the bumpin’ sounds from Rio to São Paulo

Before I get all academic and try to explain the historical, political, and musical context of these boogie-oogie tunes, let…

March 9th, 2015 | Allen Thayer | Articles
Pete Rock

Back to basics with Pete Rock

Pete Rock keeps active nowadays by doing what he perfected as a teenager: putting sounds into his sampler and banging…

February 20th, 2015 | David Ma | Record Rundown

Bohannon set the stage for house and modern dance music by keeping four on the floor

“As some folks say, I helped create the disco music, the house music, and a lot of other different things.” –Bohannon…

January 28th, 2015 | Ronnie Reese | Articles
People Records Box Set

Get On Down releases R&B 45 box set of JB’s People Records

Get On Down’s People Records deluxe reissue series launched on Record Store Day last April with the release of the…

January 20th, 2015 | Wax Poetics | News

Keyboardist Mark de Clive-Lowe keeps pushing things forward

Musicians who venture into new frontiers of sound are often the ones who inspire future generations. Born in New Zealand,…

January 6th, 2015 | Korby Benoit | Record Rundown
Notorious BIG Biggie Smalls WhoSampled Mixtape 20th Anniversary

Wax Poetics and WhoSampled present the Notorious BIG ‘Ready to Die’ 20th Anniversary Mixtape

Mixtape by Chris Read in celebration of the 20th anniversary of Biggie Smalls’ rap masterpiece Ready to Die.

September 12th, 2014 | Wax Poetics | Mixtape
Orlando Julius with the Heliocentrics

The Heliocentrics pair with legendary Nigerian Afrobeat saxophonist Orlando Julius

Over the course of nine tracks, the group explores unrecorded music written by Julius, reworked arrangements, and a cover of James Brown’s “In the Middle.”

August 19th, 2014 | Eric Luecking | New Releases
Joao Donato e Gal Costa

João Donato steered Brazilian music in new directions

  Where’s João Donato? It’s a frequently asked question, referring simultaneously to the physical location and the musical moment he…

July 9th, 2014 | Allen Thayer | Articles
Bobby Womack

Bobby Womack is a thread that runs through soul music

Perhaps more than any other artist of his era, he connects the major players in a six-degrees-of-separation game that keeps going until it seems that Womack must have known and played with everyone.

June 27th, 2014 | Travis Atria | Articles
Willie Mitchell at Hi Records

Hi Records producer Willie Mitchell set the tone for polished Memphis soul

  I’ve been fortunate enough to know “Poppa” Willie Mitchell for a handful of years. When we first met, in…

June 25th, 2014 | Andria Lisle | Articles
Gabriel Roth at the piano. Photo by Jacob Blickenstaff

Behind the “scene” with Daptone Records founder Gabe Roth

Behind two of the most important R&B singers to emerge in the last ten years, there’s a pair of shades…

June 5th, 2014 | Brad Farberman | Articles
DJ Scratch James Brown Big Payback

DJ Scratch and J. Period pay homage to James Brown with The Big Payback mix

DJ Scratch and J. Period come correct with this one. The Big Payback – The 45s, Volume 1 pays artful respect…

June 3rd, 2014 | Wax Poetics | Mixtape
Photo by Henry Diltz

Ned Doheny went from the folky Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter scene to R&B heights

After an album on Asylum failed to make waves, Ned Doheny wrote a couple songs with Average White Band’s Hamish Stuart that would find great success in the R&B world. Teaming with Steve Cropper, Doheny embraced this new funky direction and recorded two albums that made him a star in England and Japan.

May 28th, 2014 | Allen Thayer | Articles

12 records crafted by disco architect Randy Muller of Brass Construction

This is the story of how an eighteen-year-old influenced the sound of an era. It is the story of how…

May 27th, 2014 | Andrew Mason | Record Rundown
Painting by Dion Bello

10 top records from world-famous Beat Junkie DJ Babu

  “Up until I was eight or nine, I was bouncing around a lot, all the time as a kid….

May 23rd, 2014 | David Ma | Record Rundown
D'Angelo - Wax Poetics Issue 42

D’Angelo and the organic sweet soul of his debut, Brown Sugar, shook up modern R&B

  Singer, songwriter, and musician Michael Eugene Archer, who later adopted the jiggy stage name D’Angelo, released his groundbreaking album,…

May 21st, 2014 | Michael Gonzales | Articles
Photo via strictlyskilled.com

Lord Finesse digs through his crates and shares 10 of his favorite gems

As founding member of the D.I.T.C. Crew, Lord Finesse’s search for vinyl is routine and has remained so for decades.

May 20th, 2014 | David Ma | Record Rundown
Pete Rock and Buckwild at the Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention

New York’s golden era had hip-hop luminaries digging in the crates at the legendary Roosevelt Hotel Record Convention

It is no small privilege to have been invited to share with you the story of New York’s legendary Roosevelt…

May 9th, 2014 | John Carraro | Articles

Working-class Scots Average White Band found R&B magic stateside with soul-music maestro Jerry Wexler

Confounding conventional racial stereotypes, resulting in transmissions of cognitive dissonance across the radio waves, these five White Scots became the green-eyed soul group for the blue-collar U.S. soul scene, most of whom were Black.

January 3rd, 2014 | Allen Thayer | Articles
Deep Cotton Runaway Radio suite art 2

Nate Wonder & Chuck Lightning talk about their band Deep Cotton and producing Janelle Monáe

Music is once again leading the way in creating a world without racial separation, a world without the distinction between “us” and “them,” just as it did during the civil-rights era.

December 17th, 2013 | Travis Atria | Articles

Soul Fire Resurgence

Back in the late 1990s, there was a burgeoning underground scene for soul and funk licks that sounded dirty and raw…

November 26th, 2013 | Eric Luecking | New Releases

A Tribe Called Quest Midnight Marauders 20th Anniversary Mixtape

On November 9, 1993, A Tribe Called Quest also released their third studio album, the classic and oh-so-sublime Midnight Marauders.

November 12th, 2013 | Alice Price-Styles | Mixtape
Soul Train book

An excerpt from the book Love, Peace, and Soul: Behind the Scenes of America’s Favorite Dance Show Soul Train

By 1979, the music industry was changing fast, and Soul Train and Don Cornelius were struggling to keep up.

October 2nd, 2013 | Ericka Blount Danois | Articles

Average White Band cofounder Onnie McIntyre on the making of the album Soul Searching

By the middle of the 1970s, Average White Band had paved their own road to success among a crowded field…

September 23rd, 2013 | Chris Williams | Articles