Thursday, January 12, 2006
The Origin of Funkyman
The origin of Funkyman is in Three Parts. Part 1, Part 2, and . . . um . . . Part 3.
Part 1 - The Disguise
I once wrote a song (I'm a musician by the way) called "Jamaica Plain." It's a section of urban Boston where I used to live - Jamaica Plain, MA (a must-live for post graduate students). The song went like this:
I live in Jamaica Plain, I'm not kidding.
I could have lived somewhere else, but I didn't.
I chose to live here and that's where I'll stay.
Now let me tell you 'bout what I see day to day.
We've got prostitues, pimps, and drug dealers
In little-bitty cars and 18-wheelers
That drive by my house both day and night
So I never get to sleep but that's alright
It was a rap song, and obviously a pathetic one. I love rap music (a must-listen for all haters) and like all real fans, I dream of what it's like to be a rapper. But I never took that risk, because in the rap game, if you suck, you get called a "Sucker M.C." Everytime you hear a rapper talk about sucker m.c.'s, they're talking about me. So, better that I stay out of the game.
However, there is something that I do well - music. I'm adept at almost every musical style and have studied music for 20 years. I have a Master's degree in Composition (a must-have for all cab drivers), and teach and play professionally. Anyway, my lack of skills in rapping are overshadowed by my accomplishments in many other musical genres.
Part 2 - The Secret Identity
Since I love hip-hop, and play rock, gospel, blues, jazz, classical, R&B, and musical theater - I like finding a common link between different styles of music. I've found it - funk. All of these musical genres have a groove - you just have to find it. My versatility at the different styles is centered in finding the groove in everything. I don't mean just rhythms. I mean, finding the heart of the music. As an adult musician, I started finding myself in very different atmospheres - concert halls, churches, theaters, and clubs - all in the same weekend. I thought it was pretty cool. I thought I was a musical hero. If I could just come up with a name . . .
Part 3 - Funkyman
Part 3 is that I also love comic books (a must-read for all geeks). I've collected off and on my whole life and have amassed a small library. My favorite hero is cliché, but when you're the best, well, you're the best. Of course, I speak of Superman (a must-love for all people with low self-esteem). In all my imagination about being of hero, of course I used the Superman model:
By day, a mild-mannered whack rapper - Sucker M.C.
By night, Funkyman!
I now had an alter ego. And yes, Funkyman raps. You see, it's O.K. to be whack if you know it. I even have a rap CD. Hey, I'm an artist and this is America. I should be able to express myself, and well, I love rap. So Funkyman it is and here to stay.
Nice to meet you.