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Corey Washington has a theory that Jimi Hendrix was pivotal in the evolution of genres of funk and hip-hop music. With that, he sets out to explore and examine that position with Nobody Cages Me.
As he quotes from Hendrix in the beginning, "What I hate is society trying to put everything and everybody into tight cellophane compartments.They don't get me in any cellophane cage. Nobody cages me."
Washington takes a look at the life and music of Jimi Hendrix from an African-American angle. That, coupled with the fact that Washington is of a different generation than Hendrix, proves to be an interesting perspective that has previously not been presented in the Hendrix idiom.
Admitting the music of Hendrix has generally not been a mainstay of the inner city black community, he goes on to tell his own personal story of how he finally came to discover the music of Jimi Hendrix. And once he did, he discovered the depth of detail of not only Jimi's guitar playing, but Hendrix as a composer and producer.
His historical view of Jimi's life and early years of musical travels are quick summarizations that are to-the-point accurate in his view. By the time he emerges to the Band Of Gypsys chapter, he details his theory on how that short-lived group created modern funk (later expanded with the P-Funk movement).
He talks of Hendrix's influences on other artists including Prince, George Clinton and Lenny Kravitz.
And then he steps into the world of hip-hop, providing a length list of hip-hop songs that include Hendrix samples, noting how his music has influenced even that genre.
Washington closes with a chapter titled "Jimi Hendrix's Unappreciated Status in the Black Community," which originated as a project for an African-American history class at Augustana State University. An appropriate summary statement of this project.
The book is a quick read. It adds another perspective to the genius of Jimi Hendrix. It adds another layer in the historical foundation of the impact Jimi Hendrix has had on music as a whole.
Posted September 19, 2010
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