Charles Wright Weighs in on The State of Black Music as Attacks on Hip Hop Rise

April 24, 2007 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

Charles Wright has been writing and performing music professionally for over 50 years. His song “Express Yourself” is a cultural phenomenon.  His career encompasses Doo Wop, Blues, R & B, Soul, Funk, Jazz and Hip Hop, in other words, a compendium of African American music of the last half century. It is from this perspective that Wright speaks about today’s Black music in a searing, eye-opening meditation on the matter that he has published on his Website:  An excerpt follows:

“In my opinion, we are struggling to survive the marketplace today, because of the lack of the single, most important ingredient of all and that is, the lack of pure musical content. It’s as simple as that. Yet, we can not seem to see it objectively because it is so easy, to make cheap computerized recordings with, one man band drum machines. The most important musical instrument in the entire world is and, has always been the drum, the very first instrument we were deprived of upon our arrival on these shores because, the drum was and still is and, always will be the world’s greatest communicator.”

“Our thinking is currently so twisted until one would suggest that, we the elders cannot relate to the youth when, in fact, without the guidance of elders the youth will never be able to relate to reality. Oh! A few of them may be able to make a lot of money for a little while but, in the long term we will all loose everything because, lessons from the elders to the youth is, a natural progression.

“Isn’t it time we face ourselves with these most important questions and, at least begin to deal with them in a realistic manner or, should we continue sliding on down the ramp? Respect is something you cannot demand until you’ve earned it so, why not earn the respect of the entire world by focusing on this, the one industry that we have always excelled in. I mean really focus with the intent of winning back our legacy,” Wright says.

Charles Wright continues to record and to tour. His current release is Finally Got it Wright (M$WM Records), a new 16-song CD that surveys some of the most profound R&B he’s written and recorded over the last three decades with various groups of live musicians including an updated reinterpretation of his greatest hit, “Express Yourself.”

About Charles Wright
Over the course of recording six albums for Warner and three for ABC-Dunhill, Charles Wright – with and without the Watts 103rd Street Band – gained popularity from a string of popular `60s and `70s hits, including Express Yourself, Do Your Thing, Loveland, Your Love (Means Everything To Me) and the underground classic Ninety Day Cycle People. Charles Wright’s music has been covered by recording artists as wide ranging as the legendary Ray Charles, the late, great, Ohio funkateer Roger Troutman & Zapp, neo soul love man Musiq (Soul Child) and N.W.A., A Tribe Called Quest, Gang Starr, Brand Nubian, Naughty By Nature, Silk Da’ Shocker and taste-maker/mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs. Express Yourself has been used to sell everything from Nike shoes and Red Lobster dinners, to Gatorade sports drinks, Botox, Burger King “Whoppers” and Hanes underwear.

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