Originally Published in City Pulse, Lansing, Michigan

Get up. Get into it. Get involved.

Are you going to disobey James Brown? That would be unwise, according to Detroit neo-funk mainstay Nadir.

Nadir gives you funk for your grind and funk for your mind. He reaches into rock, hip hop, world beat and jazz, but keeps his feet planted in goldenage funk.

“James Brown saying ‘Get Involved’ is what our popular music is supposed to do,” Nadir said. “It’s supposed to encourage us and move us forward, not talk about buying a Bentley, Benz or Beamer — none of which is an American-made car, by the way.”

Nadir likes to keep it positive, but right now he can’t stop gnawing on a bone: rapper Lloyd Banks’ hit single, “Beamer, Benz or Bentley.”

Nadir’s cousin, who is in the Air Force, is about to be deployed in [Iraq]. Several friends of his have done multiple tours. One of Nadir’s latest tracks, “Guantanamo,” is a notso-gentle reminder the nation is still at war.

“How can you sit there and talk about my Beamer, Benz, or Bentley?” he fumed. In his view, “keeping it real” has become an empty catchphrase. “Gangsta rappers are talking about all this money they’ve got, and we know everybody is broke.”

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