The name "Chuck Brown" isn't a household one, but the influence of the man known as the "Godfather of Go-Go," who died today at 75, stretches from funk to dance to hip hop. Brown popularized go-go, a regional style of funk popular in Washington D.C. that focused on conga-based, improvisational jamming, but his music also became hip hop sample fodder for everyone from MC Hammer to Public Enemy to Nelly (the latter lifting the hook from Brown's "Bustin' Loose" for his 2002 hit "Hot in Herre").
So ubiquitous is "Bustin' Loose" to D.C. that when the Washington Nationals held an online vote for fans' favorite songs to be played at Nationals Park, it was "Loose" that came in at No. 1.
"Like a DJ blending records, Mr. Brown used nonstop percussion to stitch songs together and keep the crowd on the dance floor, resulting in marathon performances that went deep into the night," wrote Chris Richards in the Washington Post. "Mr. Brown said the style [go-go] got its name because 'the music just goes and goes.'"
Funk and hip hop fans need to stop what they're doing right now and check out some of Brown's best songs below.
Chuck Brown, "Bustin' Loose"
Chuck Brown, "We Need Some Money"
Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers, "Ashley's Roachclip"