Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chuck Brown X Chips Ahoy

(embedded YouTube video)

When I saw this commercial last night, I couldn't say or do anything for about 5 minutes afterwards. I was utterly in shock. Seeing a suburban soccer mom throwing her school-aged kids and all their multi-culti friends a Chips Ahoy party with a funky, late 1970s jam as the backdrop was kind of...weird. At the same time, it warmed my heart and filled me with hometown pride to know that a genre of music from my native city was getting some play from Madison Ave. Thirty-two years after its initial release, the first official nationally-released Go-Go song has been immortalized in a television commercial. While "Bustin' Loose" doesn't embody the archetype Go-Go sound that came to fruition in the 1980s, it held the DNA of the nascent genre within the components of its groove. If Chuck Brown still holds the copyrights to this grizzly jawn, I'm sure he'll be smiling from ear to ear when that check comes in the mail. Huh, man!

If you scratch your noggin every time I mention the word "Go-Go," as people from outside of the DMV (D.C./ Maryland/ Virginia) area often do, I'm not in the mood for a history lesson just now. Sorry. Not trying to be crabby, but I'd rather give you a Vimeo lesson instead. Though I've been told that the Mike Cahill and Nicholas Shumaker's 2002 Go-Go documentary The Pocket was a more rounded depiction of the scene, it has virtually disappeared from cyberspace altogether. In addition, it has been said that Charles "Shorty Corleone" Garris, lead singer of venerable go-go band Rare Essence, is putting together his own documentary on Go-Go entitled Go-Go: One City. One Sound. One Movement. If all else fails, and you're somewhat of a bibliophile, you could always check out the superb book by Kip Lornell and Charles C. Stephenson entitled The Beat: Go-Go's Fusion of Funk and Hip-Hop. It's pretty comprehensive.

Check out the original video from 1979:

(embedded YouTube video)

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