Welcome to ChosenByTheFunk.com! I have been thinking about starting a website like this one for years, and today I am very excited to put it out there for the world to see. For the past few years, I knew if I ever started this website, it would be called Chosen By The Funk. I will explain what that means to me but first I want to explain why I am starting this website.
I am involved in many different creative pursuits, and I don't really have anywhere to put all of them together, in one place, so that is what you can find on this website. However, my main reason for wanting to start this website is to do some writing. I have always enjoyed writing. and I kicked off my writing career with this review of an Insane Clown Posse show that I wrote in October 2010.
Over the years, I made a jump to bigger publications first to City Pages and then very recently I was honored to be asked to write something for the Current's blog about the Prince parties at First Avenue (by the same person who asked me to review ICP all those years ago, Jay Gabler). I only write a few pieces per year. I write about what I really care about, I have a hard time faking it.
About a month ago, I pitched an idea I've had for quite a while to a website I greatly respect and would love to write for. The idea is to write a guide to the annual techno festival in Detroit that's held every Memorial Day weekend. The editor responded quickly and said that he thought the idea was interesting but it was just not something they do on their website. It was a punch to the stomach, this is something I've dreamed of for years and I just assumed it would all work out as planned.
At first I was upset at the editor and the website, but they are just working in the confines of what they think will work best for them and their readers. I decided then that I would finally start this website to write the guide in the way I wanted to. No one but no one is going to tell me what I can and can't write!
Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy writing for publications and will continue to do so if the situation calls for it. On Monday after my Prince piece was published on the Current's website, I saw my neighbor in the laundry room and he told me had seen it and liked what I had to say, which was pretty much the best feeling. Those are the kinds of experiences that make this kind of thing worth it.
Though it is a freeing experience, not having the backing of a publication is scary. My main goal in writing is to share my thoughts on topics that i think I have something important to say. I want it to be read by as many people as possible. I don't care about the page views, view counts, etc, that's not the reason I do this. But it's still nice to know my words have reached people. So I ask for your support. If you like something you read here and think your friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, or anyone else should read it, please share it with them.
So like I said, the plan was for the first piece to be a guide to Movement festival in Detroit. The guide is still going to happen, but plans changed. Though I am very sad to have a reason to do it, the first series of posts on this website will be dedicated to Prince. It seems fitting, considering the name of this website.
In the coming days I will be writing about my experience with Prince, and I will also have interviews up with one of my oldest friends and First Avenue employee Eli Flasher, my cousin Nancy Altman (who Prince wrote a love song for shortly before he signed with Warner Brothers in 1978), and Bryan Black aka Black Asteroid (who worked for Prince in the 90s and played at one of the memorial parties at First Avenue). There will very likely be at least one more HUGE interview but I haven't 100% confirmed it so I don't want to make any promises.
I used to be afraid to dance, to the extent that I pretended to be sick to get out of dancing at summer camp one time. I was very shy. I listened to some of Prince's hits as a kid but I didn't quite relate to his music like I do now. When I was 20, I heard a recording of Ween doing a cover of Funkadelic's "Red Hot Mama". I was very drawn to the song and I did some research and found that it was on an album called Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On, I didn't realize it until years later, but that's exactly where I was when I bought that album.
I put on the album in my bedroom with the door closed. I listened to those seven songs over and over. I would be sitting at my desk doing homework, and my body started moving, almost as if it had no free will and was totally controlled by the music. I kept this newfound appreciation of dancing to myself. A year went by. I got deeper in to P-Funk's catalog. My roommates and I decided to throw a house party the day after Thanksgiving in 2005. At some point I put on a Parliament greatest hits CD I had, and for the first time ever, the world saw what I could do on a dance floor.
I've come a long way since then. Getting over that hump opened the floodgates so to speak, and I made a lot of other changes in my life. It felt to me that the funk sought me out, not the other way around, and I am forever grateful for this. Hence the name of the website.
I was already kicking things into high gear creatively before Prince died, but since then I've been on fire. I like to think I caught a little of his soul. I went to two of the three all night parties at First Avenue the weekend after he died, and on that Sunday night I registered this website. For the past week and a half I have gone to work (as an accountant) all day and then worked on this website, the piece for the Current, and other projects all night and weekend. I have been cancelling plans with friends, forgetting things I shouldn't forget, and sleeping terribly. It's worth it. This is an amazing feeling and I am not going to fight it.
On Monday, my Prince piece, the biggest and most read piece of arts writing I have ever done, was published on the Current's website. On Tuesday my friends and I debuted our new cable access show And Now It's. Today, I turn 32 years old and this website is launching. I don't think I've ever felt so proud in my life. I think this must be what Prince felt like every day. Don't get me wrong, if I'm Prince, I'm the guy who was being treated just like a child in "I Wanna Be Your Lover", definitely not the Prince proclaiming "My Name Is Prince".
Yes, I know I'm not Prince. I'm not one hundredth of the man or artist that he was, but I am getting better every day. There was only one Prince, there will never be another like him. There is also only one Bobby Kahn, and I don't think there is another person on this planet who can claim to do all the things I do. I think I would be making Prince proud. You may think I am being cocky, and I am, but I do believe I have earned the right to be.
If you don't agree with that, just wait till you see what I have in store! I look forward to showing you.