The sexiest music artists today “get down” with the whole creative process, treating everything they do as art, and recognizing their power to create as one Big Ol’ interconnected self determined design. Their artistry does not come to a slam after the jam is over. They are brave, independent, trailblazing, innovative, holistic, business savvy music conspirators …is what. “Walking to the beat of their own drum” to manifest their dreams; these sorts characterize the booming musicians of the new millennium.
So naturally, I was pleasantly surprised when I caught wind of a magnanimously shaped musical development known as “The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown.” When I first heard about this special project involving the multi-colorful legend, George Clinton, I was clearly fascinated. I had a hunch it had to be something cosmically funkrageous if Dr.Funkenstein himself had a role in steering this sound ship. So as always, I was down to explore new musical galaxies.This trip took me to a totally new supersonic dimension, one that funked me in a totally unexpected way. Listening to the album for the first time, I felt immediately stung by a “lyrical Superfly;” causing me to intermingle into a vast array of dynamic mood- making melodic shifts. I could feel a revelation buzzing in the air, sliding and gliding its way deelply in and out of my auditory perception. I felt then that the Evolution of Funk had begun.
The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown’s Story
After three decades of funk-plosive jams pumping through the veins of American music culture, a civilization began to amass, and a love seed was planted. This band-project, is in essence the “Love Child” born out of a deep adoration and respect for the rich history of Funk in America, and a mindfulness concerning the future of this music movement. The entrepreneur-minded creative catalysts for this ambitious endeavor are John Heintz of “Trulio Disgracias;” also the bassist , founder, and executive producer of The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown; and multi- instrumentalists Derrick Johnson and John-Paul Miller also a co-producer, who are both from “YO Mamma’s Big Fat Booty Band.”
The Rearing of “Love Child” Baby B.O.N.G.
The rearing of baby B.O.N.G. (an “unintentional” acronym that this musical cluster has been affectionately called) was a romantic one. It all started in 2007 when 17 killa funk groups got together for a jam session in the most funky of all places; N’awlins (New Orleans). It was in the bosom of the Crescent City herself where the project was given birth and started gaining momentum, as the collection of musical cohorts began to bud and flourish like blossoms on a funky fragrant family tree.
The Ongoing Musical Metamorphosis of a Living Band
The ongoing collection of musical players lends an organic life force to this venture, which gives this musical army a transformational element which allows for exciting shifts and unexpected metamorphoses. Although this is not the first musical collaboration in history, it seems somewhat divine to find this kind of collective synchronization that gave way to such large scale cooperation. This environment allows dreams to turn into action, and action turn into accomplishments. That’s the toughest part of any mission, especially amongst such an extensive crew of diverse and magically minded artists and gifted musicians. To my astonishment, much of the album was apparently written and recorded in only 8 days, all while a clan of 35 musicians got cozy in the french quarter of New Orleans, sharing a maison on Royal Street in fact. (how ironic right?). The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown is in fact a project within a perpetually blossoming band. Super remarkable Stuff!
The Current Supergroup
A rotating line up of roughly 100 musicians from 50 touring bands is extraordinary in and of itself. On top of that, the line up includes Funk Royals from the most well known music machines around, like P-Funk (Parliament-Funkaliscious), Blackalicious, Graham Central Station, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Dumpstaphunk, Galactic, Warren Haynes Band, Derek Trucks Band, The Lee Boys, Sun Ra Arkestra, Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band, Kool and the Gang and Fishbone, to name a few. The complete list of this Supergroup GetDown Funk Family is quite extensive, but worth checking out.
The Eternal Flame of The Funky Revolutionaries
There is an enduring and sentimentally nostalgic feeling about “getting down just for the funk of it;” something that will forever be the fuel that ignited “The Funk” in the first place. We can never forget that first flame, set by the ones who lit the way, sparking up the funk revolution, followed by the funk revival. This album takes it from there, breaking out and embarking on bright new funky frontiers filled with vividly evolved visions.
A First “Ear Feel”
I was gripped by the album’s variety of styles that grooved, soothed, rocked, rollicked, folked, funk-tified, electrified, and amplified me, from 11 different sonic directions. I was particularly drawn in by the way every single song, seemed to reflect a personality and identity of its own. This really incited my senses to hone in and explore the entire rainbow of vibes that where shining through. Although I have personal preferences, I couldn’t resist reviewing every single song on this album, for the simple fact that every track I listened to, had that “element” that pulled me in, letting me tap into something I describe as musical essence, or something wine connoisseurs refer to as terroir. As a matter of fact, each song on this album stood out to me in such an intoxicating way, that I took the liberty to “get funky with it” and attribute moods to each track. I invite you to read on and see if you felt the music channel through your systems in a similar way.
Track 1: “Big Ol’ Nasty Get Down” MOOD (Uplifting, Elevating)
This album opens things up with some powerful lyrics, which describe what the Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown is all about. The awe striking vocals of Michael Chip Payne once of P-Funk fame, tell it like this, “…Banded together by a jam, a psychedelic sandwich of sorts, cohorts escorted together by a revelation from the members of a deep civilization.”
Woooeeee! If this isn’t a wake up call to get down like you were born to do, then you just ain’t been born yet, or rather reborn. This first song felt like a soul mate calling out from across time and space hollering “Hey soul sisters and brothers, where ya be, remember me your funky friend, before the separation of the cosmic sea?”
The whole intro felt like a reunion of deep delving music connections which had been swaddled away in an ocean of time; a funky ship ready to set sail into the deepest heaviest grooves yet to be imagined. Soulfully speaking it felt like a revival, a revelation, a personal invitation to your funky soul to be born again, free to just be, to move and groove to your own ebbs and flows; to seriously “GetDown” and feel your funky self.
The deep decreeing voice sounds like the Father of the Funky Universe himself, calling on us to recognize the Funk as “the has been and what will always be, the what is, and the what’s coming.” It’s the mirror of music’s history, reflecting a timeline of funk music revolution, funk music revival, and now funk music evolution . It’s recognizing that funk is rooted to many styles of music, and an invitation to your soul to have fun with a rich range of melody making expressions. This first song incites true music aficionados of the world, to ready themselves for some of the deepest heaviest jams yet to be created. A revelation in music is on!
Track 2 : “Include Me” MOOD(Groovy, Bluesy)
Unmistakably the bluesiest groove on this album, Belita Woods really belts out the goods, like a woman who isn’t going to take it anymore. It’s hard not to hear that Etta James attitude when you feel this groove blended with lyrics like, “If you just cant do right to me, if you just cant be right for me, if you just gotta play around on me, all you gotta do is include me, an invitation will do.” This is one lenient lady, who is down with her man’s appetite for variety as long as he includes her in the nasty get down. She’s so “chill,” that no matter how crass goes the brass, she’s still goin’ for the class, even if it means sharing her man’s ____.The brassy trombone and sax is killer in this piece, and the guitar turns on the heat in a funktastic frenzy, before the trombone comes in and nestles the listener into bed, nice, tight and alright.
Track 3 : “I Will Wait For You” MOOD (Sultry)
“I Will Wait For You,” is a song about steady love and enduring hopes. This song feels hot, and slow like the beat of the heat waving along the bayou. Laura Reeds sings this one in raspy sultry tone, which feels like summer time in N’awlins, drawling out the lyrics with the patience it would take to peel a grape. Lyrics like “life is a blessing and love is a prayer, oh we gonna light it up… oh oh when the next time we unite, …woo woo.” It’s a sweet one, so all I gotta say is woo woo to waiting for your Boo!
Track 4 : “College Funk” MOOD (Cool, Free-Form, Fun)
This song gets the grades, and a Funky Star to boot! The points on the star stand for fresh, fun, free- form, funky and flow! This jam definitely puts the fun in the Funk! It’s the all around free feeling of just jamming for the fun of it, while partying with your friends, getting into the flow, getting down, getting low, feelin’ high, feelin’ superfly, lettin’ it go to let in mo, be lit with your superglow, naturally hitting it , and fortunately by accident coming up with some cool a** Sh**. College Funk is all about the free-form jam session that happens to you just by chance in the freshness of a moment. It’s a tribute to that trigger of raw creativity and uncensored self expression that tends to be most prevalent during those crazy college years. So don’t be lazy, get some college funk into you already, …pssshh…damn!
Track 5 : “Wake Me Up” MOOD (Deep , Emotive)
Prepare to descend into the deep with this funk infused ballad. Ralph Roddenbery’s voice is meaningful and moving. His tone dives low, as it merges with stirring lyrics like, “…and the colors of the dream, maybe you know just what I mean, fall like rain…No need to explain, all you gotta do is feel, let it be, and the motion of the morning (or mourning) will surely keep you company … I can hear every word you say and you keep remindin’ me of the best parts of myself.”
Belita Woods’ vocals come in and submerge the listener with profound lyrics like: “Now I’m singin from the bottom of my heart, Im gonna love ya till death do us part, cause I’m wide awake, but I feel just like I’m dreamin …Wake me up, don’t want to sleep too long, cuz I don’t wanna miss what’s goin on.” This song will take listeners in to the deepest parts of their folksy hearts. It contains so many nuances, and is so emotive, that those who hear it will drown into it, when they go deep into it. It tells a soulful story about juxtaposing unions, night and day, falling rain and sunshine, colors and sounds, mornings and mourning’s, waking and sleeping, feminine and masculine, all connected to one big unexplainable and unending dream within a dream.
The unexpected blending of mellow, soothing country instrumentals, embraced by the deep soulful rhythmic outpours, is an example of the music revelation, stylistic surprises, and musical marriages funk can harbor at its deepest core. This is one evolved piece of work.
Track 6 : “Platinum” MOOD (Sexy ,Teasing)
Platinum feels like a provocative taunt. It tickles tender ear drums with a firm, sensual surge of inter-twining brass and vocals escalating in a constant scale, pulsing predictably for most of the track, continually building a feverish force and filling up desires. Just when it seems the song has reached its peak performance plateau, an alluring prosaic interlude of female vocals seems to encourage the music to keep on pleasing, and don’t forget the loving while you keep on teasing. In fact, she promises that if you keep on going deeper into the sexy sonic unknown, and then turn up the love and put some passion into it, you’ll be satisfied beyond your wildest – funkiest dreams and back. She says it like this, “If you were to love me sonically, then volume would be your passion, and if sound became the economy, enormous would be your ration, expression relates to our fantasy, and amplifies with satisfaction. I turn the music up in my heart so loud, that my dreams become action.”
This is the sexiest tease on the album, because it really leaves you begging for more. It feels like total satisfaction needs to come with the formation of a Platinum Part Deux. My sense is that you better not leave this hot and bothered lady hanging on too long, or she might just call back Issac Hayes for some “Shaft” samples. With Shaft’s love detective skills, and her passion for satisfaction, an afternoon delight is all in the makings for a Platinum II. Right On!
Track 7 : “Room 2012” MOOD (Freaky)
After listening to this track, you’ll be ready for a freaky funkfabulous apocalypse, cause this doomsday is all about getting your freak on, prepping for the boom boom in “Room 2012.” Well this song will get you bunking down while you’re funking down to the booming beats that end with a naughty treat in Room 2012. So if you’re in the mood to get your freak on, and like the song says, “kissed right on top of your Apoca-LIPS,” then this song’s got your number on the Door.
Track 8 : “Away from the World” MOOD (Soulful, Smooth)
This song taps listeners on the shoulder and sweetly steers their soul to come out from hiding. The first verse lead vocals of Laura Reed, awakens the song as she harmoniously hums “You will miss the world of endless beauty, if you close your eyes to this song.” The second verse lead vocals of Kendra Foster (P-Funk), effleurages your inner Starchild to meander its way into the fearless funky flow and let go. Kendra’s voice has a quality reminiscent of Erhyka Badu, whose mellow goddess-like grooviness strokes your soul into totally letting go.
On this track, she lays down a nurturing message that entreats listeners to reach new funky heights as she croons, “If we could just rely on love to help us by, we could let go of all our fears and take off to the sky…every time that you feel tripped up, misunderstood with that empty cup, remember that your dreams are validity, and your purpose the door to serenity.” Away from the World is a song the carries you deeper into the funky seat of the self, so buckle up and get ready to let your soul soar to my pick for most soulful groove on this album.
Track 9 : “The Beauty of Pretty” MOOD (Nasty)
Those who like their funk “spunky and stunky” will want to turn up this nasty track. George Clinton and Sidney Barnes are the voices behind this rambunctious little Funk fantasy. The “Dawgs” up in here clean up good, just so they can get nasty and dirty in it. This jam is hot on the trail, sniffing their way to a dirty little castle in the sky where the purrfect little pretty plays. These lyrics portray what I’m trying to say, ”yes you’re so pretty that’s why pretty is your name, girl you are my grand illusion, you’ve been there each time I came. You’re all the colors of the rainbow in a multi-colored sky. I bet your tears sparkle like diamonds when they fall from your eyes.” Throughout this musical jiggy – funkflatteries abound, because every nasty dawg up to dirty deeds will become a howl of a charmer if need be. On a mission to “bury the bone,” the piano is the only thing that temporarily distracts with her flamboyant flirtatious wiggles. Soon enough, the sexy scent of the sax, leads things back on track, where finally it’s time to get it on dawgy style while a guitar sounding synthesizer blasts out one last howler. It’s a dirty one, what can I say?
Track 10 : “Its So Hard To Go” MOOD(Rockin’)
This one electrifies you by surprise and then lulls you into a state of sweet simpatico. Your toes will start out tapping in an easy going way, as your heart thumps in contentment. Suddenly the tempo takes you away; blastin’ out the slammin’ jamz like a “funkified rock n roll rocket,” taking you all the way to the sonic limits of your pounding heart. This turbo boosted trip comes to a feather soft landing, with a heartfelt adieu that coos, “It’s so hard to go, I’d wish you’d stay by my side.” After that explosion into music motion, all I’m hearing is “encore!”
Track 11 : “Amplify” MOOD (High Stylin’ Inspirin’)
Amplify is a volt of high style future-focused, soul-seeking funk with evolved lyrics to work the hippest parts of your hiphop heart, to get your booty motorized, your dreams magnified, and your soul amplified; completely powered up with da Funk. Some of my favorite lyrics off this whole album return again, using samples of the song “Platinum.” This mix is like liquid sunshine pouring into my ears and flowing right into my mind’s eye with funky rhymes that chime,“Trying to get your mind right, navigate this world with a third eye’s sight, my psychic compresses, begins to shine bright… so most of you are probably feelin’ about as depressed as the economy, and honestly it ain’t like I’m immune but never consumed, because I know how to fight it with tunes … I feed the fire to keep it higher…turn the brain off and the heart just speaks right up … only spit the gift never the curse, reverse doom from the woom to the tomb, hurts to the hearse …So life is a funhouse mirror, so I look inside so it comes out clearer out here, hear em’ out, nearer to the center of the universe … we’re in dark times surrounded by stark minds, don’t be afraid of the dark, amplify, you can make your own life…sound the non verbal communication, the heart of hearing, sign language from the mind, Be Quiet”!
Amplify is all about blasting away the negativity with stylish tunes that fire up and fortifunkify the heart. It’s all about turning up the positive vibes, keeping up, getting down in funky fashion, and tuning in to your intuitive mind’s eye. This is a funk evolution, so raise it Up, Shaaat Up, and Amplify! Listening to this song gives you a natural high. Before you rush out to download this, get ready to Amplify on High by viewing a live jam of “Higher” for starters.
Tying it all up in a funky little bow
After that expedition into a kaleidoscope of funky moods and vibes, you may be feeling alright about the sign of the times, yet perhaps a bit gushy realizing that the grooviest funk creatures of all time can never be replaced, as no one will ever shine in the same way. The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown treasures those sentiments and pays tribute, as it carries the torch for the next stage in the evolution of The Funk. In its mission to keep things lit, it weaves and rolls along new inspired tracks of its own locomotion in this junction in time and space. In this path of inspiration everything is art if you put in the heart, which is why self directed music minded endeavors like this are a thrilling thing to watch unfold. With Volume 2 in the works, we can count on more collaborating revelations from this fine tuned party engine, fired up and on track to lay down more rockin jams and soulful grooves to keep us swooning and swaying all the way to the ends of the universe. So keep up with the moves of The Big Ol’ Nasty Getdown, and don’t stop getting down with your own funky soul!
By: Air Ambrosia
I make fragrant potions out of radio personalities, djs and music artists with essence. I write for my social-radio gurus at RadioFlag.com . If you are an DIY artist that smells good, or a Dj that likes artists that smell good you may contact me, and I will blend you together into one sweet wave of aromatic airplay.~ AA