February 4, 2011

Old School Friday: Oscar Brown, Jr.

Originally Posted: 3/28/2008

The only decent thing that came out the Hot Ghetto Mess controversy brought to us by BET in 2007 was the re-introduction of an American legend, Oscar Brown, Jr. to a new audience of young people. Do y'all remember the Bid 'Em In song?






I have a dozen or songs from Oscar Brown, Jr. on my I-Pod. Dat Dere ... Signifyin' Monkey ... The Work Song and others. He was a talented brother. Check out these clips from a documentary done on his life.





Oscar Brown, Jr. was rooted in jazz. He was a singer, poet, and activist. At the end of the day it was impossible to put a musical categorization on his long and eclectic career -- a forerunner of the political consciousness that would become predominant in soul, funk, and hip-hop in the decades to follow, his efforts to exact social change spread across the arts and even into government, spurring two unsuccessful but memorable campaigns for office.

Oscar Brown, Jr. appeared on Def Poetry Jam at least three times before he died in 2005. Check out his jazzy poem called, 'I Apologize'.




15 comments:

Quick said...

Happy OSF to you as well! I do remember the first time is saw "Bid Em In," i was with my parents and we were all silent. The video is really a strong statement about our experience as black people-

MrsGrapevine said...

I heard Bid Em In, Get Em In, somewhere before, I think on TV, but it certainly wasn't on BET's Hot Ghetto Mess.

I did see him on Def Poets, I saw this episode.

I like this choice, it's certainly unconventional, and something to think about. Now, I have to go google Oscar Brown, Jr, and learn more about him. I', fascinated, so I need some more works.

ShAé - ShAé said...

Happy OSF. I've never heard this. Thanks for the education.

Villager said...

Quick, LaTonya and Shae-Shae - I really enjoy this weekly meme. I appreciate y'all for the visit. Hopefully, you have a chance to view some other posts while you're here...

Lisa C said...

Wow...it's so true, you learn something new everyday. Thanks for this history lesson. Would have never even known who he was if I had not stopped through.

Thanks!

Mine is up! Come on over when you can~

Regina said...

Hey Villager! Happy OS Friday to you!

I have heard "Bid em in" before, my mother was adamant on us (me & my sister) knowing all about our history. Thanks for the refresher course! Not what I expected for Old school Friday but a most excellent choice!

Have a great weekend!

MsMarvalus said...

Happy OSF, Villager! Great choice for today...speaks to the heart and gives us all something to think about...

Cassandra said...

Happy OSF, Villager. I remember seeing Mr. Brown on Def Poets and was very moved by his poetry.

Kieya said...

Wow, I've never heard of him but that poem was hot!

Rosemarie said...

Well, I mentioned on someone else’s OSF post in our group that I was the student today. I wasn’t lying!

Oscar Brown Jr. is a great choice for many reasons, and for everyone, I thank you for sharing.

Villager said...

Lisa, Rosemarie, Ms. Marvalus, Regina, Cassandra and Kieya - Asante sana for taking time to share my OSF vibe with Oscar Brown Jr ... I couldn't find my favorite Oscar Brown song in video ... "Dat Dere"...

Danielle said...

Oscar Brown is a new discovery for me. I can see he was made of legend. It is disturbing to me that I didn't know of his work.

I think I will join the OSF meme. It's been awhile since I participated in a weekly meme and this is something I could definitely do and enjoy.

In light and love

Villager said...

Danielle - It is nice to see your face in the place! I look forward to seeing your old school memories in the weeks to come...

Michael Davis-Dallas Progress said...

When my family used to play Oscar Brown Jr back in the day, my step-pop used to sing "signifying monkey" and "dat dere" to my little sis. The Work song and "bid em in" always had a great significance to us as well.

Villager said...

Michael - My pops introduced us to Oscar Brown, Jr. as well. My pops had these reel-to-reel tapes with some awesome jazz players and other eclectic items, such as original radio broadcast of Malcolm X speeches from back in the day. My dad was a closet-revolutionary...