Charlie Wilson

Snoop Dogg knew what he was doing when he reached out to Charlie
for a sam­ple and four guest vocals to enhance Tha
, the rapper’s 1996 follow-up to Doggystyle.
Charlie Wilson’s original act, the Gap Band (named for Wilson’s North
Tulsa neighborhood of Greenwood, Archer and Pine, which was once called
the black Wall Street and was burned to the ground by white Tulsa in
the 1920s), was a ’70s and ’80s hit maker with a difference. Aaron
Hall, of the band Guy, credits them with inspiring New Jack Swing, and
it’s easy to hear that in the way Wilson’s smooth yet powerful vocals
hug the band’s keyboard-heavy groove on hits such as “You Dropped a
Bomb on Me” and “Early in the Morning.” Wilson himself recognized how
his band’s sound inspired a new generation of rhythm and blues with his
2000 return, Bridging the Gap. Since then, he has been
everywhere, performing with UGK, Pharrell, T-Pain, Justin Timberlake
and R. Kelly. He has also released two more Top 10 solo albums, one
that hit No. 1 on the R&B chart this February, and his voice only
sounds stronger and more supple with age. Though Wilson has just been
through a battle with prostate cancer, he reportedly is cancer free and
elated over reaching the highest chart positions of his career. Both a
fine singer and showman, Charlie Wilson’s visit to Kansas City promises
to bring the generations together in the here and now.

Categories: Music