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Drummer Clyde Stubblefield Dead At Age 73

Clyde Stubblefield, drummer for James Brown and originator of one of hip-hop’s most popular beat samples, has passed away at age 73. His cause of death was kidney failure.

If you don’t know Stubblefield’s name offhand, you definitely know his sound. A 20-second snippet of a Stubblefield drum solo found on James Brown’s 1970 “Funky Drummer” single that made a HUGE impact on music, serving as the backbeat for countless hip-hop tracks — totalling over 1000 samples of the beat.

Songs using the iconic percussion include Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” “Bring the Noise” and “Rebel Without a Pause,” N.W.A’s “F*ck tha Police” and Dr. Dre’s “Let Me Ride” to LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out,” Run-D.M.C.’s “Run’s House,” just to name a few.

Needless to say, his death is being felt throughout the industry. Star drummer Questlove left the following message about the passing of the man who inspired so many songs:

He will be truly missed.

Madison Guy

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