Clyde „Funky Drummer“ Stubblefield R.I.P.

Clyde Stubblefield, James Browns Original „Funky Drummer“ und einer der meistegesampelten Trommler aller Zeiten, ist im Alter von 73 an Nierenversagen gestorben.

Stubblefield spielte auf James Browns größten Hits inklusive Sex Machine, It's a Man's Man's Man's World und I Got the Feelin' und sein Drumsolo in der 1970er Single Funky Drummer machte ihn zur Legende.

Sein Break wurde zum zentralen Sample von legendären HipHop-Tracks wie Fight the Power von Public Enemy, Mama Said Knock You Out von LL Cool J oder Fuck Tha Police von NWA. Sein Funky-Drummer-Bit steht derzeit in der Liga der Supersamples auf Platz 4 (Nummer Eins natürlich nach wie vor der Amen Break).

Mach's gut, Clyde, und danke für den ganzen Funk!

Stubblefield, while a member of Brown's backing unit, performed on the funk legend's classic cuts like "Cold Sweat," "Ain't It Funky Now," "I Got the Feelin'" and Brown's landmark LP Cold Sweat and Sex Machine. However, it's a 20-second drum break, a snippet of a Stubblefield solo found on Brown's 1970 single for "Funky Drummer," that marked the drummer's biggest impact on music.

The drum break served as the backbeat for countless hip-hop tracks, ranging from Public Enemy's "Fight the Power," "Bring the Noise" and "Rebel Without a Pause" to N.W.A's "Fuck tha Police" and Dr. Dre's "Let Me Ride" to LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out," Run-D.M.C.'s "Run's House" and Beastie Boys' "Shadrach." Even Ed Sheeran's "Shirtsleeves" and George Michael's "Freedom '90" were among the over 1,000 songs to sample Stubblefield's beat.

"We were sitting up in the studio, getting ready for a session, and I guess when I got set up I just started playing a pattern. Started playing something," Stubblefield said of creating the famous drum break. "The bassline came in and the guitar came in and we just had a rhythm going, and if Brown liked it, I just said, 'Well, I'll put something with it.'"

Stubblefield wurde beim Funky Drummer nie als Songwriter aufgeführt (obwohl die Patterns laut seiner Aussage von ihm geschrieben wurden) und erhielt in Folge nie einen einzigen Cent aus der Sample-Orgie, die Kohle haben sich wohl das Label und James Brown geteilt:

"All the drum patterns I played with Brown was my own; he never told me how to play or what to play," Stubblefield told SF Weekly in 2012. "I just played my own patterns, and the hip-hoppers and whatever, the people that used the material probably paid him, maybe. But we got nothing. I got none of it. It was all my drum product."

Stubblefield added in a 2011 New York Times interview, "People use my drum patterns on a lot of these songs. They never gave me credit, never paid me. It didn't bug me or disturb me, but I think it’s disrespectful not to pay people for what they use."