Sonny Cool: You hear that?
You know there ain't no free lunch. You gotta earn it. And
that's what we been doing. Gotta make this happen and happen
fast. Keep this thing together. It's
basically two years. Secret Agent Bill been together since
they was 14 years old. I had 'em in my camp for two years
I look at bands like Disturbed and all those guys and I figure
my kids got the same juice. We keep trying. They call it punk
but it's got a different kind of edge to it. That's what makes
so good. We added the funk to it, know what I mean? Blackbyrd
McKnight. What he did for this band was uplift them. He came
to town and stayed two weeks. Worked with Secret Agent Bill,
did shows. It was a great scene, man. But it was so much to
deal with at the time. And I got my business partner, Mr.
Wolf, he had to take care of a lot of that stuff. My original
business partner took sick. Hadn't been for Mr. Wolf we would
have had to shut it all down. But we still in the game! Comin'
2004, you better watch me!
Steve Wolf: 2003?
Sonny: We gonna own it in
2004, that's what I'm saying. We gonna get our feet wet in
2003. Real time. But I figure 2004 we'll be where we want
See, really it's three acts in one. I got the punk thing,
Secret Agent Bill only. Bu has her own thing, then we got
the thing that merge, what we call the punk-funk, with Kei-Key
"Bu" AND Secret Agent Bill. And each side is gonna
have an album. A Secret Agent Bill song will come out on Bu's
album and a Bu song will be featured on their album. It's
a total concept. You work it.
Right now I'm here in The Circle fixin' to blow Titus up.
I want to blow into Hollywood on
a real good note. Titus works over at the Dance Academy with
Debbie Allen. And I'm here in the Circle with Sanni the designer.
Come to find out both our names are "Sonny." When
I got back to Chicago I got a call, she says, you wanna come
work for me? I said, no, I can't work FOR you. We could work
together. Know what I mean? So here I am in The Circle.
We were talking about the George Clinton Showcase of New
Stars - you also have bands like Ism, which is Eric McFadden
in San Francisco. You got Drugs, which is Clifford Payne -
he's from P-Funk for years and years. He's out of Woodstock,
NY. So be on the look out for Drugs, be on the look out for
Eric McFadden, be on the look out for Blackbyrd, Lige Curry
and Frankie "Kash" Waddy, those three got a group
together called Nu Phound Nation. You got Mr. Sean Healy booking
the shows in L.A., one of the best in the business, and you
got Downtown Melissa Brown holding it down in Chicago. We
all comin' with it.
(Suddenly) Be on the look out for Sonny Cool fuh SHOW! I'm
comin' to get you, baby! I'm gonna getcha! Wait 'til you see
this - you ain't seen nothing 'til you seen the RAW Funk
- the RAW Funk is the extended version of the P-Funk. There
ain't nothing like the RAW Funk. Back in the day when they
shut the funk down, the RAW Funk was on the verge of climbing
up the ladder. But things happen for a reason. I'm still here
to tell the story. A lot of my friends can't tell the story.
(Points to sky) This is for you guys (laughs).
But this guy, Mr. Wolf, he documented all the information.
He's been with my daughter since she was 14, he's been her
Steve: Bu's always had all
this great energy about her. It just comes across on the camera.
It's always been so easy to capture.
Sonny: This being my daughter,
I didn't want to wish this game upon her. This is something
she had to make up her own mind up she wanted to do. My
other daughter Leticia, she graduated from college last year,
she's going for her master's right now. With Bu, I said hey,
either you go to school or you do this and do it for real.
(Agent drummer) Stefan B. brought it to the table. He told
me things we could do in the 'hood and make it successful.
He showed me how to work the punk scene and the hip hop scene
at the same time. Adding Bu to a punk band made a big difference
on everything. We would book these shows and we would put
the hip hop and the punkers on the act. It was a great idea
- all you gotta worry about is the punkers breaking all your
windows and the hip hoppers writing on everything. They gonna
tag your place up.
Anyway, when we were starting, I put the kids in a rehearsal
hall, three days a week, 12 hours a day. They was mad at me.
They was MAD at me. I remember
they said I had no respect for the game of football. But it
paid off. We started playing underground punk parties, keggers,
$10 gets you in. Pretty soon we got a buzz going in Chicago
and we're selling out shows with 600 people. Meanwhile they're
rehearsing and one day I pull up outside the rehearsal hall
and I can hear the band. I listen for a minute and I go in
and tell them, "Y'all got it. Y'all got it." And
I cut rehearsal down to four hours a day.
I was heading down to Cincinnati to do the Tom Joyner show
with George Clinton
and the P-Funk All-Stars. We end up in Nashville at the NAMM
show (National Association of Music Merchandisers) and that's
where me and Mister Fogerty start collaborating on it. A year
went by then we show up in Nashville again. This time I bring
it back to Chicago. Funkadelic was in Chicago for four months
- more like a year, you know what I mean? I produced it, took
all the rough edges off, now it sounds like music. Now I need
someone to fine tune it and send it in a direction. I'm a
funketeer. Jeff, he's a funketeer, but he's a rock head, rock
and roll straight up. That was
a big help to me. He could get in the studio with these guys
and really show these guys how to really pull this off. He
Steve: We finally play "Smoke
That Dope" for George and he says, "That's what
I said! That's what Bu needs! She needs to be a rock and roller!"
Sonny: Once me and Blackbyrd
got everything happening and I put the Fogerty on it, once
Jeff got it tightened up, me and George was riding around
his farm in Michigan. I put the CD in, we just driving, he
was listening. And George said, "Yeah. They ready now."
And I been funky fresh ever since.
He loved it. We showed up here in L.A. and did the Schrader
and Dragonfly gigs and we been living off that energy ever
since. If we can keep on making that kind of noise, I know
we gonna be successful.
The only group I remember did a father and daughter type
thing onstage was Pops Staples and the Staples Singers back
in the day. Me and Kei-Key "Bu", we gonna take you
to another level, Pops! I understand what you was doing! I
got another daughter! She's bad too! I got a grandson. He's
bad! We comin', Pops. So be on the look out for Kei-Key "Bu"
and her dad Sonny Cool! We comin' for you!
Sonny: The punk-funk, so much
energy. I mean, Ben Stupid and Kei-Key take to the
stage, it's on. You got Dan Agent, Stefan B. You know they're
for real, playing together since they were 14. None of this
would be happening if weren't for Stefan B. Every day he would
come and sit on my couch for two weeks: what are we gonna
do? Are we gonna do this?
When we started to do it, it's been nothing but goods things.
Bad things too, but that comes with the territory. Trying
to keep these young kids focused - they don't know how to
take the good with the bad. So we have to keep flowing. When
they fall off, I have to keep going. Because if I fall off,
When me and George started talking about doing projects,
first thing he told me, he says, hey: I give you a vehicle,
but you gotta drive your own thing. I gotta drive mine. I
gotta keep my thing happening.
A lot of people don't understand. Even though someone like
George is in a position to do certain things for you, you
have to really help yourself. I've been blessed in that way.
I can always help myself. Once he gave me my driver's license,
I been driving ever since. I'm driving in the right direction.
It's been rough. But I do this for the love of the art, the
music and the people around me, the energy. That's what I
feed off, good energy. Secret Agent Bill, they have so much
energy, we gotta share it with the world.
I went to a partner's show recently and he's awesome, don't
get me wrong, but for some reason, I'm looking around and
I'm bored. I been in the mosh pit for a year. With kids. They
took me back to being 21 years old.
Sonny: This is Sanni. And
we're in the Circle. And she calls this the rhythm of life.
I enjoy myself while I'm here. We just run around here all
the time. I call that my mothership. I sleep in the treehouse.
This I call the foxhole. You gotta check this out. There's
a house down in there, you can really live there. Could you
imagine havin' a girl down there with you? Nobody could get
to you. But she kicks me out from time to time. Because you
what time that is. Time for the rhythm of life to keep moving
And then we take a walk into the twilight zone is what I
call it. You got all Sanni's designs. She's quite an artist.
My favorite place is right here. When they be lookin' for
me and can't find me, I'll be hidin' out right here. This
is beautiful. This is my girl. She's the one that brought
me to L.A. I'm an East Coast guy, you know. I like being out
at the East Coast, but the West Coast stole my heart.
(Falls in the goldfish pond.)
I lost my shoe! (laughter)
Good Shit 2003: Be on the look out for Titus, Secret Agent
Bill, Sonny Cool and Kei-Key "Bu," Father &
Daughter. You can't beat it. I got one shoe.
Sonny: Actually when Bu got
her start, it was a Raw Funk project, working with Garry Shider,
the Diaperman. My cousin, Farris Yelder, is the bass player.
Me and him write all
the stuff for the RAW Funkers and Kei-Key "Bu,"
we write a lot of the tracks. At that time we were recording
and we needed someone to come out and lay a rap down. And
the Diaperman said, (raspy) "We ain't hirin' nobody,
we gonna get Bu to do it."
And Bu come in off the streets, one take and out. She was
through. We knew then that we were onto something good.
Garry was supposed to go home, but we stayed in Chicago two
months recording the project. We recorded a couple nice songs,
"Why Can't We Talk About It?", "It's Time To
Make A Stand," all the positive side of the Funk that
people sometimes leave out of the picture because of the image
they see - behind the scenes it's a lot of hard work.
Shider helped jumpstart Bu's career along with me and George,
Blackbyrd, Miss Belita Woods, Frankie "Kash" Waddy,
Lige Curry, Miss Sheila Brody.
We also have George's grand-daughter Shonda, she's real good.
Be on the look
out for the New Stars. I'm sure George is coming with the
whole thing. Really what's happening with George and the P-Funk
- people don't realize that he gives a lot back. He's helped
so many new artists like the Chili Peppers, Snoop Dogg, Ice
Cube. Like George say, he been bit on so many times, he feels
like he needs a tetanus shot.
I just like doing the Showcase of the New Stars. It's totally
different from what people are used to seeing. So be on the
look out for Kei-Key "Bu," Secret Agent Bill, Kendra
Foster, Kim Manning, RonKat, Gina Hall in San Francisco with
Eric McFadden - tune into Gina Hall and Atomicdawg.com. And
if you want any more information you contact Nate Nichols
at Hollywood Five-O, because he is the man with the plan.
Like George say, (cartoon G. Clinton impression) "Ooh,
Sonny, what we gonna do??"