Spoken word and funk artist Gary Byrd, the 'Professor Of The Rap', wrote the Stevie Wonder produced The Crown in 1982 for Stevie's short lived Wondirection label. The single didn't do much in the US, but reached #6 in the UK charts in 1983, and broke some sort of record for being up until then the longest ever top ten single weighing in at 10 plus minutes long.
Gary's early example of socially conscious rap isn't included on this instrumental side, but you do get some of Stevie Wonder's accompanying verse about 6 minutes in, which will catch the crowd pleasantly by surprise, as the disco funk groove sort of just loops up until then, never seeming to get old.
New Yorkers may know Gary Byrd better today as Imhotep Byrd, the radio talk show host WBLS 107.5
Posted by Black Shag |