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King of Go-Go music dies

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
May 17th, 2012
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Chuck Brown, the Washington, D.C. Funk band leader, died Wednesday at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore at the age of 75. Known for the 1978 hit, "Bustin' Loos," Brown was the king of a sub-genre that rose with New York funk and hip-hop in the 70's and 80's.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Brown's music was for partying. It features congas and rototoms, a variety of brass, and Brown shouting phrases to get the audience responding to the grooves of songs that lasted over eight minutes long. The songs lasted almost two or three times longer than the original during live shows. The music today has remained a regional phenomenon, being known as a unique strain of American dance music.

The rhythms Brown made were some of the earliest tracks that have been sampled by electronic dance music producers and artists, especially when the rave culture was starting in England. In hip-hop, multiple artists use Browns songs as a base and have adapted many of his songs.

Fans of Brown spoke nothing but great things about the artist. When talking about his version of go-go music, it was said that it was produced to be experienced live, in order to move the crowd. Writer Natalie Hopkinson said that the allegiance to the live experience is actually what separated it from hip-hop music.

"It stayed true to time-honored cultural scripts such as live call-and-response, live instrumentation, as well as its locally rooted fashions, slang, dance, distribution and economic systems," she writes. "Simply put: Go-go never sold out. There is a grit and texture to the music - sometimes derided as 'pots and pans' - that gives voice to the communities where it was created and from which profits are taken."

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