Appreciating James Brown

Soul music genius. Wife beater. Cultural spokesman. Drug addict. Peace maker.

I remember when I was in my late teens and living on my own for the first time, I would often buy cheap music cassettes from the $5 rack at the K-Mart department store near my apartment. It was from this rack that I purchased a long-play cassette of James Brown's greatest hits and my life was forever changed.

Over the following years and up until today, I have appreciated the music of James Brown for the genius, creativity, emotion and funkiness that it imbues. I listen to James when I want to feel good, when I want to bop around the kitchen while cooking or when I feel like dancing to embarrass my kids. The funk that James was able to organize with the incredible group of musicians with whom he surrounded himself is a revelation, a musical miracle. There surely must be some kind of divinity that touched this man, for he was creating something worthy of the gods.