“I’m Ric Flair! The Stylin’, profilin’, limousine riding, jet flying, kiss-stealing, wheelin’ n’ dealin’ son of a gun!” -Ric Flair
I didn’t have a title for this song when I wrote it, but that quote sums up the vibe. It’s like that feeling you have when you’re going out with your squad and you’re not going to hold anything back. It’s 100 all night! It’s pulling out your alter ego. “I’m gonna run wild all night long. I’m gonna be Ric Flair All Night Long.”
In order to set the groove on this track, I started by creating a simple drum line. Kicks on the 1 and 3 and snares on the 2 and 4. Then instead of straight 8’s on the hi- hat, I put them on the upbeat or the “and” (1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and…). This naturally creates a delayed backbeat giving the groove a laid–back, relaxed, head- nod type of feel, which creates a “pocket” to work within.
This is a very important and integral part of Shuj Roswell music. I always try to create this feeling in my funk tracks because to me, that’s what the funk is. It’s laying back on the beat while everything sits in its right place working together and in time. I also think it’s what gives my music more of that human touch or live band sound. You can find this technique elsewhere in my catalog in tracks like, Funslinger, Burn It Down, The Teacher Lounge, Murdered Out, and Big Booty Bomb.
Keith Wadsworth of Wax Future once said to me after attending a Shuj Rowsell show that he loved hearing the presence of a pocket in my music. For more on the pocket, check out, The Meters. Specifically, listen to the tracks, “Rigor Morris” or “Look-Ka Py Py.” These guys were the masters of laying back on the beat while creating and maintaining a pocket.
Once I had this groove set, it was time to drop in the guitar, synths, and keys. I really wanted to use a Reese synth bass in this track. To create that classic “Reese” sound, I went to the Moog Voyager, detuned three square wave oscillators dialed about 35 cents apart, and got started. I thought it would sound good to compliment the Reese with a Hammond B3 organ which turned out nicely.
Once these were in place, I started to stack all that wonderful ear candy. Once I felt I had sounds to work with, I started subtracting. I believe that less is more, especially with funk. The space created in music is just as much, if not more important, than what’s being played.
I’m gonna run wild all night long
I’m gonna be Ric Flair all night long
Ugh, there’s no tellin how I’m gettin by
Should a been a Fuji how I got the whole city high
Cocaine music, fret music addict
Now my whole city got a true passion habit
Crunkin’ with your best friend gonna break shit