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Breakbeat Manifesto
by Leon Lamont

The Breakbeat. As familiar to you as the smell of human doo-doo. The Breakbeat. That which transformed Madonna from a Mid-Western schoolgirl into a Pop Diva. That which propelled Hip-Hop from dark, basement house parties to the top of the Billboard charts. The Breakbeat. That which turns people of different races into colorless brothers and sisters of the groove. Brothers and sisters who have subconsciously decided to make the capture of the beat their prime directive whether it be the upbeat or the downbeat.

And what moving or growing thing functions without a beat? Without a rhythm? From the heart in your chest to the gears that move your car from point A to point B , rhythm is essential. And what brings more attention and appreciation to the rhythm? The drum. No matter what race a person is or what part of the Earth that they live on , every culture has a drum. Every culture has a beat.

Breakbeat culture is the marrying of the human soul and technology. With technology we capture a beat that can stand on it's own and move you without the assistance of other instruments. The foundation of all grooves. Technology can also be used to assist a beat in it's movement. In Breakbeat culture, the beat takes center stage as opposed to just serving the purpose of being a glorified metronome behind lyrics or other instruments. The Breakbeat is the celebration of life through rythm and dance.

For years, the authors of the breakbeat have been unsung, underpaid heroes that have had their work pirated and distributed to the masses without adequate compensation. Over the course of the last ten years or so, most people have danced to or bought the drumming of Clyde Stubblefield and have no idea who he is. Clyde Stubblefield is the legendary James Brown drummer whom unwittingly came up with the most popular breakbeat in American pop music. The funky drummer loop. If Mr. Stubblefield were properly paid every time someone used his loop he would be a millionaire several times over. Many top ten recording artist and more Rappers than you can shake a stick at have all used his loop. Clyde Stubblefield had never taken a drum lesson in his life and to this day could not tell you most of what he does. He can only show you. What Stubblefield does is the essence of all Breakbeats. Honesty and soul. Uncalculated feeling transferred to the drums. His story shows us that you can make dozens of hit songs using the exact same beat. The funky Breakbeat.

The Breakbeat drummer doesn't try to impress the listener with drum rolls and odd time signatures. The breakbeat drummer is dedicated to the groove and is on a mission to move the crowd. When a drummer plays an overabundance of rolls and splashes he/she is mostly playing for himself/herself or people whom just like the sound of drums. A good example would be a Jazz drummer.

The reason that Jazz music is not as popular as many other forms of music is because it distorts the one universal thing that all people can relate to. The groove. A steady beat. Everyone can relate to a steady beat. Not everyone can relate to the abstract genius of Jazz. Fast or slow, steady is the way to the primal soul of the human being.

Who is the Breakbeat drummer? The drummer whom couldn't afford to take drum lessons but somehow found his/her way around the kit. The drummer whom runs home from school everday to play the drumset. The drummer whom makes his/her living working in a kitchen in a deli across town. The drummer whom can't read music but can see music. The drummer whom can actually hear the rythm of the swaying of a woman's hips as she walks down the avenue. The drummer with the food stain on his/her t-shirt. The drummer with the mix-match socks. The drummer killing the roach with a shoe. The drummer whom owes you ten dollars from a loan back in 1985. The drummer that makes you want to dance.

Soon the Breakbeat Revolution will come and many drummers will rise from the basement and hit the stage. When you deliver yourself to the groove you don't have to go anywhere because the groove is inside of you. Peace, Love and Give the drummer some.



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