Peace, Unity, Love and Having Fun 1984
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"Unity" is a song recorded by Afrika Bambaataa and James Brown as a duet in 1984. It is notable for being the first recording in which James Brown collaborated with a performer associated with hip hop, a then-new idiom heavily influenced by Brown's own funk music. The record's title and its cover showing the two performers clasping hands express solidarity between the two styles. The song's music is similar in its structure to Brown's own funk songs of the late 1960s and 1970s, but uses the drum machine and keyboard-generated timbres of electro. The song's rapped lyrics are on the themes of "Peace, unity, love, and having fun".
"Unity" contains several references to Brown's earlier recordings. The song's a cappella opening paraphrases the beginning of his 1970 song "Get Up, Get Into It and Get Involved", and an instrumental passage in the middle of part 1 is borrowed from his 1969 hit "Give It Up or Turnit a Loose".
A videotape was shot of the vocal recordings of the song in Studio A at Unique Recording Studios, NYC. The tape was given to Fred Seibert and Alan Goodman of Fred/Alan Inc. to make into an inexpensive music video. The team worked with their in-house producer/director Tom Pomposello and creative director Marcy Brafman and Peter Caesar to create the video.
James Brown - co-lead vocal
Afrika Bambaataa - co-lead vocal
"Chops" - horns
Brian Banks- keyboards
Anthony Marinelli - keyboards
Robin Halpin - keyboards
Skip McDonald - guitar
Doug Wimbish - bass
Keith LeBlanc - drums