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Music curator and journalist Questlove from the iconic band, The Roots, had The Gap Band’s lead singer, Charlie Wilson on the Questlove Supreme episode featured on Pandora. By the way, The Gap Band used to appear in Right On! long before Charlie Wilson became a mega-solo star who has since sold millions of singles and CD’s.
Host Questlove weighed in on a variety of topics with Uncle Charlie Wilson who shared his trutruth about his humble beginnings before becoming such an admired R&B diner.
On not being allowed to hear secular music growing up:
“We had to go next door. My Dad is a preacher. My Mom was a state minister of music and you’re not doing that here….We went next door to hear the records of all of Sam Cooke, Harry Belafonte, anything that was going on because, at that time, it was just one chart. It was one radio…It was like no Black radio…And all of the big artists was coming on down that radio station, white or black…”
On the explanation of the meaning of the name The Gap Band (Gap is an acronym for the first letters of the streets names: Greenwood, Archer, Pine in his hometown Tulsa):
“That was Black Wall Street. And all of the Black-owned businesses were very rich black people, entrepreneurs, bankers, hotel owners. Everything was just Black-owned and very, very rich. And they had their own bus lines, their own car service. They had their own everything…And Tulsa just didn’t like that…”
On being homeless for a period of time:
“…you probably don’t think that you was homeless because I didn’t move by day. It was at night…And so if you left there, then where you going? So after you finally found some cool place to lay down and nobody’s looking at you so that’s why you did it.”
Known as Uncle Charlie, his voice is on songs recorded by such celebrities as R. Kelly, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, The Eurythmics, Mystikal, UGK, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon, Common, Pusha T, Kid Cudi and Big Sean.