James Brown’s “Funky Drummer” Clyde Stubblefield dead at 73

The iconic drummer for James Brown, Clyde Stubblefield, who became a staple in hip-hop sampling, has died of kidney failure, Rolling Stone reports. Stubblefield played on several of Brown’s classics, including “Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine” and “Cold Sweat.” He is best known for his iconic solo in “Funky Drummer,” prominently sampled by LL Cool J (“Mama Said Knock You Out”), Public Enemy (“Bring the Noise” and “Fight the Power”), and N.W.A. (“Fuck tha Police”). Prince, the Beastie Boys, Dr. Dre, George Michael and more.

“There have been faster, and there have been stronger, but Clyde Stubblefield has a marksman’s left hand unlike any drummer in the 20th century,” Questlove said once about the drummer in a 2011 interview: “It is he who defined funk music.”

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