“Mary Jane”-Rick James

Jams

I thought the first time I heard this was a few weeks ago in Michael’s car. I felt the feeling of the funk inside of me. It’s a wonderful thing. I had to Shazam to find the name of the song because most of my Rick James knowledge comes from Charlie Murphy.

“We the People Who Are Darker Than Blue” -Curtis Mayfield

Jams

Many people can’t weave social issues like “team light skin vs team black skin”, street violence, economic empowerment, and racial unity into a lyrically concise six minute song. Well, that’s unless you were one of the leading voices in funk and psychedelic soul during the Black Power Movement. Mayfield’s vocals and words carry a deep conversational tone that leads straight into a DPJ approved percussion solo by Henry Gibson (not the actor, but that would be crazy). The horns, bass lines, and socially conscious lyrics heard throughout Mayfield’s debut album Curtis showed his evolving style from his days as the lead singer of the Impressions. Powerful and poetic, the song elevates above being preachy and instead inspires.