From 2009’s Analog Starship to his 2017 take on “Stars In Your Eyes”, B. Bravo has been flipping interstellar references and galactic funk for almost ten years.
In the course of a twenty minute interview, the Cali producer shares his voyage from g-funk to p-funk before crossing over to make a cosmic connection.
When it comes to these interviews, I would really rather not write about myself, or make myself part of the story. Writers do it in certain publications and I find it kinda narcissistic and unnecessary. But sometimes you’re kind of left without a choice. In order to best communicate this one to you, I have to throw in my side of the story.
I was riding around listening to B. Bravo’s album Paradise. My girl asked me what we’re listening to, I started with this whole explanation; ‘It’s this dude B. Bravo, he makes this like, modern g-funk, there’s a lot of talkbox, it’s dope,” I said. I thought more about what it was that specifically appealed to me about the music and continued, “you know, when I listen to it, I’m sure this guy is around my age. I’d say he grew up on west coast hip-hop, and through that he discovered Funkadelic and Zapp, and the end result in 2017 is what we’re listening to right now.”
My girl just kind of tuned out. I think if I had have just said “oh this is B. Bravo, he’s a dude from Cali,” it would have been fine.
Flash forward a few months, and I’m talking to B. Bravo for this interview. Here’s what I said, word for word; “I feel really connected to your music, man. The sounds you put into it are sounds that come from the shit that I love. It sounds like we’re probably the same age.“
Now I’m not gonna put B. Bravo (or myself) on blast and give specific ages and dates, but from here, Bravo and I realised that not only are we in fact the same age, but we were born one day apart from each other. Shit was wild. It’s bizarre to me that just through music, a lot of which is purely instrumental, so much was being communicated.
As the interview progressed, Bravo dropped a little gem on me. “When I’m really into working on music; it’s a pure feeling, like a high,” he said. “If you can take that feeling and put that into the music, then I feel like the listeners can get it back on the other side.”
I have to admit I’d never felt like I was high listening to Bravo’s tunes, but I probably sound like I’ve just taken a pull of the loudest weed
in Cali when I try to explain the connection I’d made with someone I’d never met, purely via listening to the music they made.
We talked some more and it turned out I was right not only about our age, but B. Bravo’s journey through funk. He recalled walking to junior high reciting “Regulate” with his friends, buying The Chronic and eventually having his mind blown by Doggystyle. From Dre & Snoop, Bravo dug deeper to discover the building blocks of g-funk. “I remember seeing an interview, I think it was on MTV, with Dre & Snoop in the studio. I just remember them saying over and over ‘it’s all about the funk, man, it’s all about the funk’. And through that, it was like ‘wow these [Dr. Dre] songs are referencing these old songs.’”
Through g-funk, Bravo discovered p-funk. George Clinton’s Mothership had Bravo in its tractor beams. The fusion of funk ultimately birthed what Bravo’s press bio calls ‘cosmic g-funk’. He laughs it off when I ask what exactly that is. “I don’t even know who came up with that,” he tells me. While the concept of interstellar g-funk may seem kinda strange, it’s apt for a musician simultaneously looking to the future and paying respectful homage to the past.
“I would say it’s taking elements from the classic g-funk that we all love, and trying to take it a little further, trying to put something new in it,” he explains. “The cosmic element is like, looking up to the stars and toward bigger pictures, bigger ideas. Forgetting your earthly problems and taking them to outer space.”
Now I’ve gotta be honest. If someone else told me about beaming my troubles to Jupiter via music, I’d brush it out of the atmosphere like a cloud of purple haze. But after making this connection, I’m ready to leave my problems behind and step on board the Mothership.