The Sizzling Seventies/ Krush Grooving in the Eighties
By Dartanya A. Williams Sr. & Tamyara Brown
Two authors wanted to bring some joy to this rough year reminiscing about the 70s his era and the 80s my era. Tamyara Brown and I decided to take you way back when algorithms and social media didn’t matter. The music made you move, groove, and change the world. Join us on this nostalgic ride and slide, slide into the mood. If you are a millennial absorb the history, turn on Spotify, Tidal or go on Youtube and just vibe to our times.
First up The Sizzling 70s by Dartanya A. Williams
Okay, Grasshopper that means you ladies (Babe) put down your phone for five minutes and trust me that last notification was some bullshit, anyway. I’m going to take you to a time when algorithms did not manipulate you all day. Back in the days of the fair ones and zip guns and until the streetlights came on you had to run home because all day you had fun.
Consumerism was not shoved down your throat. Movies, books and music were King and Queen of your soul for real. Oh yes, the 1970s I was a young buck with an afro without the blow out kit and Roberta Flack was not the only one with blue lights in the basement. My entire world was Kung fu movies basement parties and playing sports was my entire world. Black light posters were rebellious nasty super Black and political. The zodiac poster with different sexual positions was my favorite.
The first time I heard Hollywood Swinging on the radio I damn near lost my mind. That happens to all of us because the musical giants of the 1970s stomped a mud hole in your universe. To me the artists of those days put their heart and soul into their work you can tell. Listen to Jungle Boogie from Kool and the Gang, Fire, and I want to be free from the Ohio Players they did not phone that shit in. If it was a sad song like The Beginning of the end by the Unifics, it made you cry. If it’s funky with a message like the O’ Jay’s For the love of money, move your ass deep down into your psyche. And Stay saturated into every fiber of Black people’s existence. I can write a 50-page blog and some of your people will still not get how profound the Black experience was to us. The so-called Black exploitation films like Shaft, Superfly Coffy and the Mack were our heroes. And seeing us up on the big silver screen for the first time blew our minds over one time. The off the hook sound tracks by major R&B soul and funk artists I still listen to this very day. All of them were not super niggas sticking it to the man some were comedies that are still hot right now.
Now I tell you if you watch Let’s do it again with oh yes, the most infamous now Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier and a stellar all-star cast. Calvin Lockhart, John Amos from Good times, Julius Harris from Superfly and James Bond’s lives and Let Die, Jimmie Walker from Good Times. Don’t tell me if you watch that movie now you won’t laugh your ass off. Back then Soulville was real Jimi Hendrix, Al Green, Sly,and the Family Stone and Nina Simone meant more to us than just mass appeal. When you saw a brick house in a halter top made the entire world stop.
The Godfather of Soul James Brown was a genius super bad sex machine and hot. Pro Kids, Pumas,and young girls with different color Jelly shoes and we all got tired of hearing about Vietnam and Nixon and his henchmen on the news.
We see Stevie Wonder come from a Motown novelty act to become bold, outspoken funky,and super Black. Gil Scott Heron and the Last Poets are the true Godfathers of rap. Shirley Chisholm, Donny Hathaway,and Muhammad Ali gave the world nothing but the facts. The Panthers, Chuck Taylor’s Converse all-star’s Marvin Gaye told the truth in every song and broke all the rules. Rudy Ray Moore Dolomite movies the sexy ass Gloria Hendry, Fred Williamson, Diahann Carroll 75% of the NBA was black is just too cool. Alex Haley’s Roots changed television forever and H. Rap Brown took America to School.
George Benson, Herbie Hancock, The Jackson Five, and the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin showed the world how to groove. Ashford & Simpson Is It still good to you, Peaches & Herb Reunited and the Whispers Let go all the way putting you into that mood. While Richard Pryor’s that nigga’s crazy and is it something I said ushered in the real nigga from the streets, revolution. Jesse Jackson Dick Gregory, Donald Goines, Iceberg Slim, Toni Morrison shook all the establishment and the white institutions.
Our Goddess of love was Pam Grier when Fred Hampton’s assassination made all the shuffling conservative niggas scared. Miles Davis Bitches brew, Donald Byrd, Glover Washington change the world while all the squares were unaware. Dixie peach, Afro Sheen and Magic shave.
The Wiz won 7 Tony awards was all the rave. Afro Picks Bucket hats, silk tank tops and girls with finger waves Black Moses won the Oscar for Shaft Isaac Hays. Diana Ross played the lady sings the blues Bubbling Brown sugar the Taste of Honey told you to Boogie Oogie Oogie. Soul Train gave you the hippest trip Parliament-Funkadelic knocked our heads off by landing the mother ship. Let me not forget the Osman’s ripping off the Jackson five pissed us off and made us sick. Elvis times five isn’t that a bitch! Did I mention bussing, race riots Angela Davis getting framed by Co-and Tell liars mind-blowing shows from Earth Wind & Fire? Yeah, we had too much police brutality and niggas selling drugs. But we all stuck together as people all the time. Blackness was not a crime no matter how much hate, they show they could not stop our shine. Now play some Lakeside it’s all the way live Chic Freak out Chaka Khan and Donna Summer and form a Soul train line.
My name is Dartanya A. Williams Sr. I’m a crime writer and a blog provocateur my website is Dartanyaawilliamssr.com
Krush Groovin 80s
Dartanyawilliams and I decided to take a nostalgic ride down memory. He took over the 70s and I took over the 80s. Let me take back to the days of Kangol hats, boom boxes, Marvin Gaye’s sexual healing, being caught up in the sounds from Michael, Janet, Prince, Luther, Anita and let us not forget the rap music that stole my soul. The 80s were all about black music and culture kicking down the door to the mainstream and capture every ethnic group’s sound of music. Are you ready to Krush and Groove into the 80s?
One word describes black music and our culture and that’s innovative. Dartanya A.Williams took you on a nostalgic ride of the 70s and enlightened millennials of a time when music made you dance. Sitting in front of the television watching classics created a moment of family time. When fighting the power wasn’t for likes and social media prestige but true social change. Join me as I collaborate and expand the journey of what the 80s bought, and that is a fearless mindset to go mainstream in the music industry. The 80s opened the door for black artists to stake their claim and mark in history. From Michael Jackson becoming the King of Pop and being the first black artist to feature his video for Billie Jean on MTV.
Michael’s little sister Janet Jackson was the first to empower women to take control of their lives and bodied woman empowerment. Whitney Houston’s iconic voice blew the door open of national and international airwaves. Talent kicked open the doors and with music videos to match our favorite song there was no stopping us now. Black music was going mainstream no matter, but the black music culture created unforgettable sounds and a new era of music.
The Power of Funk equaled a Groove of music like no other. Rick James music was upbeat, raw, raunchy and the signature sound of bass guitars, percussion, keyboards and drums to funk to another level. The Buffalo native was the first to be nominated for a Grammy as best male rock vocal. George Clinton’s Atomic Dog is still an 80s groove staple. The Gap Band Outstanding is still one of my favorites. Cameo’s Word up took funk to another level. Each artist became innovative to open mainstream doors. Let us not forget the legend itself
Prince brought an eclectic soul, a mixture of rock, and making his guitar cry Purple rain of hypnotic tunes and sexual innuendos. Yes, the music was excellent but going to a concert in the 80s was an absolute experience. Everything from the band to production one thing for certain and two things for sure you were going to have a damn good time. George Clinton mothership, outrageous costumes, Ric James leather costumes, and that is where you danced your press and curl out. The experience of a concert was worth every dollar spent.
Whether it is getting caught up in the rapture of love crooned by Anita Baker, Rufus and Chaka Khan asking you to tell them something good or Luther Vandross reminding you a house is not a home. Patti LaBelle went solo and sang her face off on every record. Marvin Gaye made everyone desire to have some sexual healing. Stephanie Mills and Teddy Pendergrass made us feel the fire with their beautiful voices. Lionel Richie All night long, Stephanie Mills I never knew love like this before is still a favorite. New Edition’s Candy Girl, Cool it Now, and Mr.Telephone Man had me sweeping hallways for my landlord to buy their album.
Sade’s smooth voice brought the sounds of jazz. I could go on and on about the RnB but there was another sound that brings me back to Kangol, Adidas sneakers, boom boxes, beatbox, scratching and mixing.
Hip hop emerged in 1979, but exploded in the eighties with Grandmaster Flash, Run DMC. Roxanne Shante, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Eric B & Rakim, NWA, Ice T, Salt and Pepa, McLyte, The Fat Boys, Dougie E. Fresh, and a host of rappers. Every Friday night on Hot 97 the airwaves filled with scratching, mixing, hard beats,and a sound like no other. The youth danced, rap and every teenage boy had the desire to be the next big rapper. Rap music speaks innovation and brings creativity and poetry to music. The rappers back then had to fight for a place and it wasn’t until hits like Rapper’s delight by the Sugar Hill gang kicked open the door. Also, another hit was The Wheels of Steel by GrandMaster Flash. Run DMC, NWA, and the rest gave fearless energy of making damn good music and letting the world know that rap was here to stay.
The eighties were the birth of fearless music, creativity, and everlasting trend that has been duplicated throughout music today. The musicians of today need the 70s and 80s sound because it has set the master-plan of glorious music. The music of yesterday was about being original, fighting for a place in the mainstream but also leaving a mark in history. The innovation of music and its sound opened the door to today’s music.