If Clyde Stubblefield was just the drummer for James Brown who worked on tracks like “I Got The Feelin'” and albums like Sex Machine, he’d already be the backbone of some of the greatest music ever recorded. But as the originator of the “Funky Drummer” breakbeat — a cornerstone of early hip-hop and perhaps the most-sampled track of all-time — Stubblefield’s impact and importance spreads even farther than the reach given to him by performing behind the Godfather of Soul. When the 73-year-old Stubblefield passed away this Saturday of kidney failure, many musicians who are indebted to his indelible drum sounds came out to pay respects.
DJ Premier — who knows a thing or two about drum sounds — posted a digital tribute to the late percussionist.
Public Enemy famously sampled Stubblefield for their breakthrough hit “Fight The Power.” The group reacted to the news of his passing by tweeting out a tribute and then re-tweeting their own fans reactions and condolences.