Charlie Wilson, lead singer of The Gap Band, who brought us great music including "Outstanding," "Early In The Morning," "Drop The Bomb," "Party Train," "Humpin," "Burn Rubber," is a man with many personalities. Besides his well-known persona, there is, as he explains it, other facets to who he is. There's Uncle Charlie Wilson who we hear singing in the Hip-Hop community with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Mystikal, and Master P. Then there's Charlie Last Name Wilson who's music we're hearing at the present.
BlackVibes.com recently sat down with...um...the last one to hear him tell his story so that the current generation has an understanding of who this legendary musician truly is and what he's all about.
BV: A lot of contemporary producers like to do a lot of samples. How do you feel about them sampling both your Gap Band music and your individual work?
CW: I think they were searching for something that felt good because music stopped feeling good for a long time. Good music was put to the shelf. I'm not calling what Hip-Hop was doing junk but when Hip-Hop came through it became a lifestyle and America was eating up. Everybody started doing it and its sound broke through. It sort of took R&B out of the shuffle and it's been out of the game for a long time but that's the reason I'm back doing it.
BV: What do you think about contemporary R&B versus the music you've done and the music you're doing right now.
CW: The music I'm doing right now is R&B music and that's why I'm saying R&B has to come back. I'm having 7, 8 and 13-year olds asking me for my autograph. They're listening to what's out now and evidently they're tired of listening to it `cause they're jumping on this quick! It's gotta be soothing to the soul. You can't just knock R&B out of the game. Somebody has gotta slow dance and make babies. What you gonna make babies to? That's why I love Usher and the music he makes. He makes it because it feels good.
BV: Tell us about the single, "Charlie, Last Name Wilson." It seems to have a very personal story to it. Tell us about the process you went through in creating that song.
CW: Actually it has no truth to it. It was written by R. Kelly and he thought it would be a great way to re-introduce me to the world. It (the chorus) is actually a great pick-up line. I bet you used it already! (Laughs)
BV: (Laughing) I might have to replay this interview for some ladies and use it. Tell us about the album. What can we expect in terms of guests, producers, etc.?
CW: The album is called Charlie, Last Name Wilson. R. Kelly executive produced 3 cuts and executive produced the album. There's also Justin Timberlake, Will.I.Am from the Black Eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg, and Twista. My other producers were The Underdog, KG, mysel