Hip-Hop Gave Syl Johnson’s Career New Life. A Film Featuring RZA Shows It (Video)
From Wu-Tang Clan, to De La Soul, to Kanye West, Syl Johnson’s music has permeated the Hip-Hop consciousness through sampling. However, many audiences—new and old—are not hip to the 79 year-old Holy Springs, Mississippi native.
A onetime label-mate of Reverend Al Green at Hi Records, Syl’s churned out R&B, Soul, and Blues records that have endured the times, often reissued by modern labels, and featured on compilations. The father of Syleena Johnson has recorded since the late 1950s, and remains active today.
Upcoming documentary film, Syl Johnson: Any Way The Wind Blows looks at the man behind the timeless grooves. A character in his own right, Syl is featured in trailer chanting Ol’ Dirty Bastard lyrics in a vacant lot, touring on the road, and finding the new pockets of sound (and insightful verses) nearly in his eighties. RZA is among those who supported the cool-looking doc, which hits the festival screening circuit this year:
#BonusBeats: Some Syl Johnson not to be slept upon: