The Funk Excursion with Badd Kitti

Brieze Thompson

The podcast that takes you on a musical journey to the World of Funk; the history, the culture, and The Grooves! read less
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Episodes

PRE35 - Funk Gets Political
Nov 4 2023
PRE35 - Funk Gets Political
It's election time again, and on this episode Badd Kitti delves into the political side Funk. Actually, Funk is political in and of its self. Born in the termoil of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements, Funk began as protest music, sometimes overt, sometimes disguised, but ALWAYS true unto itsself. Part 1 - Funk Gets Political *Podcast Only) From James Brown's, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", to Marvin, Stevie, Curtis Mayfield, and more. This hour examines Funk through the lens of some of the most controversial, inspirational and important songs of the 20th century.   Part 2 - The Get Down (Web Exclusive www.thefunkexcursion.com) On it's surface, the phrase "Get Down", was a popular party or dance chant. But in actuality, the phrase had (and still has) cultural meaning and political implicaitons that went far beyond it's simplified disguise. In this hour Badd Kitti has some fun playing songs with "Get Down" in the title. Check out the double entendre while you "get down" to the groove! About the Host Badd Kitti, (a.k.a. Brieze Thompson) is a multi-talented keyboardist, vocalist, composer, band leader, and educator, working in the Philadelphia area. Her role as a pioneer of the city’s mid-2000’s funk revival earned her the title , ‘Philadelphia’s Queen of Funk‘. Badd Kitti’s lifelong love of funk music, coupled with her experience as a professional musician, combine to offer a unique and insightful perspective on the program’s topic.
PRE23 - Motown Gets Funky - pt1
Jun 17 2023
PRE23 - Motown Gets Funky - pt1
Part 1 - Motown Gets Funky ***Podcast Subscribers Only No doubt about it, Motown ruled pop music in the 1960s. But by the late 60s a new sound was taking over - Funk. James Brown's infectious grooves, and Sly Stone's psychedelic flair embodied the social-political sentiments of the Civil Rights, Black Power and Anti-War movements. Funk became the soundtrack of a new generation searching for a different cultural identity.  Motown's bubble-gum pop soul and clean-cut image was OUT, but it would take several years after Brown's first Funk track dropped for Motown founder Berry Gordy to adapt. His delay left Motown scrambling to stay relevant, and was the beginning of the end for the label Part 2 - The Jackson 5 Get It Together ***Exclusive Web Content (goto www.thefunkexcursion.com to hear the episode) On this episode we survey the Jackson 5's most pivital, but probably least know album, "Get It Together" In the early 70s, the changing musical and political landscape brought about concerns from Motown's teeny bopper idols. Their fan base was growing up - but their music and image weren't. Responding to the demands for change from his once chart topping boy band, Berry Gordy enlisted "The Corporation" to craft a new direction for the "J5".  "Get It Together" was the Jackson 5's first attempt at a Funk album. It spawned the hit song, "Dancing Machine", and propelled the band in a new direction that would eventually lead them to become the first major Motown act to successfully leave the label.
PRE21- East Coast Funk/Living Room Jam
Jun 3 2023
PRE21- East Coast Funk/Living Room Jam
In this hour, Badd Kitti curates a cross section of east coast funk, highlighting the regions' influence on the development of the genre.  Part 1 - East Coast Funk (1970 - 1980) ** Subscribers Only ** Featuring Kool & the Gang, Mandrill, MFSB, The Black Byrds, Skyy and more... Part 2 - Living Room Jam ** Website Only ** It's a Party in Your Living Room! Kick off your shoes, push the furniture back and jam to Badd Kitti's set of Heavy Funk! Featuring The Gap Band, Rose Royce, Mass Production, Slave, and more... - Background - From the time James Brown released the first Funk song in 1967, his new sound was almost immediately adapted to the musical styles of nearly every region of the country.  While the west coast, led by Sly Stone, mixed funk with psychedelic rock,  and the mid-west and south had a heavy blues influence, east coast funk is mainly characterized by a mixture of jazz, and afro-cuban rhythms.  With bands such as Kool & the Gang, Mandrill and Cameo, New York's progressive, jazzy funk dominated the east coast funk sound. However, Philadelphia's Gamble & Huff would fuse funk with doo wop soul, and a heavy gospel feel to create what we now know as disco - a dance rhythm just as influential as Brown's (and Clyde Stubblefield's) "fat back" groove.   Of course these styles were mixed and matched. War (west coast) and Mandrill both adopting an afro-latin style, and Parliament/Funkadelic (east coast) under Sly's influence, creating arguably Funk's most enduing sound.
PRE20-The Cosmic Funk of Dexter Wansel
May 20 2023
PRE20-The Cosmic Funk of Dexter Wansel
Funk Excursion host, Badd Kitti, was recently awarded a Black Music City grant to produce her project "Life On Mars: A Cosmic Funk Odyssey", a work inspired by the music of Philadelphia International Records producer, Dexter Wansel. On this week's episode, Badd Kitti features music from Wansel's groundbreaking 1976 album, 'Life On Mars', as well as the contemporary music his work continues to inspire. ** This week's show is also featured on our website - www.thefunkexcursion.com ** More About Dexter Wansel:While a producer at Philadelphia International Records (PIR) in the mid 70s, Dexter Wansel was among a handful of African American musicians in the recording industry experimenting with synthesized sounds. “Life On Mars”, his first solo project, truly exhibits Wansel’s genius for crafting, and seamlessly integrating synthesized music with the orchestral arrangements of the Philly Sound. This achievement, dubbed “Cosmic Funk”, is seen as a hallmark of early synthesis, and influenced the way electronic music was produced. Coupled with its innovative musical concepts, “Life On Mars” was also the first PIR project to connect science fiction themes with Black culture, a precursor to Afrofuturism.  Wansel’s “Life On Mars”, like the works of fellow electronic music pioneers, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, and Bernie Worrell (Parliament-Funkadelic), both modernized 70s funk and soul, and elevated its cultural relevance. Subsequently, Wansel’s music has informed electro-funk, Chicago house, Detroit techno, hip-hop and other music genres that emerged in the decades to follow.