Last week we lost 2 absolute legends- Toots Hibbert & Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Toots was one of a handful of standout artists that really shaped my early obsessive listening habits around age 14- my band in high school even performed covers of “54-47” & “Funky Kingston” with me on drums! Several of his songs and melodies remain all-time favorites that I always find myself singing on walks with the kids or long car rides. His melodies have enough hook to catch a whale, and the rough scratchiness of his voice (coupled with his insanely energetic live performances, which I was lucky enough to catch several times) brought a unique funk and soul element to reggae that seemed like a direct link to the godfather James Brown. His song “Bam Bam” is the embodiment of timeless earworm- being reworked by Yellowman & then Sister Nancy (in on of hip hop’s most frequently sampled sources) as well as the Chaka Demus & Pliers version which helped solidify the dembow riddim as one of the global backbones in popular music. Then there was the news that Ruth Bader Ginsburg (aka the Notorious RBG) had passed. This incredibly strong, fierce, moral force of nature was doing her damndest to live long enough to avoid opening a seat for Trump to fill, fighting cancer and incredible odds with sheer will. Finally it was her time. The void she leaves open, in one of the most lasting positions of our government, has me terrified, but in this moment at least, I just want to thank her for her selfless service. Toots too, cheers to the light you both shared! I’ve got some visual inspiration above from fellow global soul Orly Anan, she has plenty more to feast your eyes on too. Stay up my friends!
Going with the flow does not necessarily mean being complicit. It means finding your way forward despite the obstacles, eroding stones and entire mountains to accommodate your movement. We have lots of work and growth to do. There’s a major reckoning underway- an uprising, a collective questioning and expansion of consciousness. Dire straits and uncertainty will do that to people. I’m all for it. Past due. Let’s keep the good music turned up loud while we make our way. Sounds that know no bounds as per usual. Heaters from around the world, various points in time, and a pretty wide range of genres. Maybe it’s hard for some people to make sense of the connections, but aren’t the best things in life always a bit challenging? I hope you all are staying up, staying positive, staying connected to friends and fam and all that brings you joy.
P.S. Today marks 3,000 songs that have been shared on this blog over the past 10 years!!! DAMN, that’s a lot of music. Cheers to another 3k and 10 more years…
Well here we are, uncharted territory of the soul, a place of near constant existential questioning. There is so little that feels certain right now, so little security or predictability. It almost feels like a yogic mindfulness of the present moment is being forced upon us due to sheer lack of a future. I’m thankful my kids are so young, because school is still technically optional, but even for them this extended separation ain’t good. I’m remaining optimistic that this is a rock bottom moment, the type that are necessary for massive purging and transformation. These are some ruminations that have been keeping me company during these mostly isolated-with-family days. Inspiration is always medicinal, and I’m getting a nice dose from the work of Rosie Lee Tompkins today (featured above). The funk remains, the groove continues, and I’ll be back on Instagram live and Zoom tonight doing what I always do to share and spread uplifting vibes >> @chuckwild or tinyurl.com/captainplanetzoom 9-10pm PST. PEACE
I have an album out and there’s an uprising going on! I hope you are all finding a good place for yourselves in this current explosive anti-racist movement. After months of global pandemic and building anger over racist violence, I am feeling seriously invigorated by what is happening in the streets. I’ve found ways to get myself and my family out there safely too. It feels good to get involved, any which way we can. It also feels great to be able to share this album with you all, and with the world, especially right now. Hard to know where to begin, but I can definitely say this is my most ambitious project yet. 13 songs that travel through the borderless landscape of my mind. 9 featured vocalists (HUGE THANKS TO ALL OF YOU, without you this album would have no voice). 6 languages. It’s a truly global collaboration, and my hope is that it helps bring people together, brings people joy and positivity, and helps us all loosen up our bodies and shake off what needs shaking!
I’ll be going on ZOOM for a virtual release party / listening session / conversation with several of the featured vocalists, and I’d love to have you join us. Tomorrow, WEDS JULY 1st at 5-6pm California time, on my Zoom channel >> www.tinyurl.com/CaptainPlanetZoom
Lawwwwwd have mercy. This is not getting any easier. I don’t know how it’s going for you out there, but here in lockdown LA, the little kids are suffering from stir craziness, with a complete lack of playmates and no park to enjoy a simple swing. Us extroverted parents are feeling worn thin with no child care help, no social gatherings, and and no restaurants or cafes to enjoy a relaxing meal which doesn’t involve us cooking and cleaning. This working DJ right here is also suffering from serious wage deflation since I have almost no real gigs (save for my beloved Friday night live streams!) and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon. All of this, of course, is nothing to complain about in comparison to the overall state of the country I see around me, with total lack of organized science-based leadership, numbers of new Corona cases still rising here in California, and overt racism seemingly on the rise, being exercised by those in power. Once again a black man was brutally killed by police this week in broad daylight while onlookers pleaded for them to stop. It’s maddening, totally outrageous, and waaay too regular at the same time. Didn’t this just happen two weeks ago??? Most likely 2 days ago somewhere else, and again today, undocumented and unaccounted for. Sorry, I know you guys don’t come here for me to rant, but this is the outlet I have. I guess it helps to at least acknowledge and share just how real all this is. Maybe taking stock of the wackness, putting some light on it and bringing it into focus, helps me to dismantle it better. Music, of course, always helps me too. These are some of the best ones I’ve stumbled on lately, and as they shake their way through my system I always manage to come out feeling better. Shouts to my boy Futura on his new release included in this set. Also, while it ain’t the real thing exactly, I do love seeing folks tune in to my live stream from all over, and I’m actually doing a big fundraiser Zoom party this upcoming Saturday with my bro Nickodemus and some very funky Brazilians. Ok, that is all, check out more beauty (like the painting above) from Kerry James Marshall if you’re not already familiar. PEACE
Man oh man, I have been anxiously waiting for the day I could finally let this one loose on the world- today is the day! This song happened about a year and a half ago, on my first day ever working with the extremely talented and prolific, Zimbabwean-American, singer/songwriter Shungudzo. We have since written a bunch more together, but this one holds a special place for me. Almost as soon as we finished it, I felt strongly that this was the anchor for my next Captain Planet album, which was just a handful of songs and unfinished beats at the time. The message, the focus, the hard hitting sound, all these things were a culmination of what I’ve always tried to create as Captain Planet. Well, my album NO VISA is now done (set to drop June 26th on Bastard Jazz) and I feel confident that because I used this first single as my anchor, the whole project has a consistent cohesion and power. You can read more of my thoughts about this song on the nice write up that Complex did as an online premier, and I’m extremely flattered that today this song made it to NYTimes Notable Songs Of The Week (alongside Aventura & John Legend). But most importantly, I hope this one hits home for all of you out there, who know and appreciate the work I do, who go on spreading the good vibes in your playlists, your dance parties, and with your friends and fam. Press play and bump loudly! And as always, go support if you’re feeling it.