A&E Network has recently announced that a new documentary series about funk, R&B, and soul music legend James Brown is set to arrive in 2023. James Brown: Say It Loud will be a 4-part docuseries that features interviews with close friends, family members, and creative collaborators of Brown in addition to rare and never before released archival footage of the singer during his career. The series will take a deep dive into the influential life of the singer-songwriter in order to explore the impact that this musical icon had on several music genres and social justice issues.
James Brown: Say It Loud will be directed by accomplished filmmaker and activist Deborah Riley Draper, and it was announced that Mick Jagger, Questlove, and Black Thought will be executively producing the special. Mick Jagger expressed his excitement for the project in a statement, saying that he is “thrilled to be producing the four-part documentary series with A&E delving into the fascinating life of James Brown.” Black Thought and Questlove talked about their mutual and deep-rooted admiration for the singer in a statement, saying, “Brown’s life is a crucial and timely story of struggle, redemption, and self-identity and we are honored to have the chance to share it.”
Mick Jagger has been an active supporter of Brown’s music career for a long time. In 2014, Jagger executively produced the biopic Get On Up starring Chadwick Boseman as James Brown. That same year, Mick Jagger served as a producer for the documentary Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown on HBO.
James Brown was an American singer, dancer, musician, and record producer. His music career lasted over 50 years, and his musical domination has made Brown a major figure of 20th century music. His legacy has earned him honorable nicknames such as the “Godfather of Soul,” and being one of the first 10 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its inaugural induction and the first class of the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame, He is ranked seventh on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time for his outstanding legacy.
Brown’s approach to his artistry represented a symbol of black pride, and his music is known as a timeless cultural force. In 1966, he put out “Don’t Be A Drop-Out,” which stood as a rather direct acknowledgement of the heavy dropout rates in the 1960s, a deeply personal and important cause to the singer. His activism was also on display during the Civil Rights Movement, having performed charity concerts for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and headlining a rally at Tougaloo College in Mississippi during the “March Against Fear.” James Brown stood up constantly for his patriotism with notable songs that encompassed political and social change. The bravery that James exhibited throughout his lifetime will be highlighted during the docuseries.
James Brown: Say it Loud outlines the legend’s dynamic journey from a 7th grade drop-out arrested for armed robbery in the Jim Crow era South to an expert musician with an undoubtable effect on how music developed in the 1960’s and into today. The documentary is a reflection of the immense impact Brown continues to have as a musical and cultural trailblazer.