Impossible funk from a legend of the genre.

Steve Arrington is a master of funk originating from Dayton, United States, an epicenter of soul which, through the ’60s and ’70s, was home to the likes of Ohio Players, Zapp, and Lakeside. Inspired by these legends of the genre, Arrington has been making and releasing music for nearly half a century, and just last year signed his first solo record in 11 years to the inimitable Stones Throw. Though Arrington actually dreamed up the album decades ago, it only came together with the oversight of label head Peanut Butter Wolf. Arrington created it alongside a slew of contemporary producers signed to the Los Angeles label, including Knxwledge and Mndsgn, demonstrating his rejuvenated creative stride.

Born into a spiritual family on Dayton’s westside, Arrington exhibited an interest in music at an early age. His career in music dates back to the ’70s when he began drumming and singing with Ohio group Slave, where his irresistible style of singing propelled classics like “Watching You” and “Just A Touch Of Love,” before he formed a new band, Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame. In 1985, he went solo, releasing several successful albums for Atlantic, before quitting music to pursue his spirituality. In the years since his reemergence in 2013, he’s become a hugely respected elder statesman of a thriving Los Angeles music beat community, releasing a DaM-FunK collaboration and working with Thundercat. His music has been sampled by A Tribe Called Quest, Snoop Dogg, and Jermaine Dupri, among others.

As he embarks on the latest chapter in a stellar recording career, Arrington pulled together some of his favorite records for the XLR8R podcast. He recorded it in November last year, mixing artists that have inspired him over his career, ranging from Prince and Earth Wind & Fire to Kool & The Gang and George Clinton. His aim was to “let the generations discover each other,” he says. Whatever the era, it’s music to be played loud, and it’s sure to have you shuffling around wherever you are.

01. What have you been up to recently?

Working on new music. Enjoying good comedians!

02. How has lockdown been for you?

It’s been a bummer since I haven’t been playing live, but in other ways I’ve continued to move things forward so I’m not complaining.

03. What music have you been listening to?

Lately, as in March 2021, Chick Corea, BlackPink, Miles Davis, Kenny Beats, P-Funk, Mono Neon, James Brown, Ghost Note. I’ve also just got hip to The Koreatown Oddity and I’m lovin’ that.

04. Where and when did you record this mix?

I recorded the mix in the lab at my home in late November.

05. What can the listener expect?

A flow of funk music that’s real to me. Music to ride to played loud. It’s to listen to at home also loud.

06. How did you go about choosing the tracks that you’ve included?

Tracks that move me from older artists but also younger artists. Let the generations discover each other.

07. What’s on your agenda for 2021?

Will continue to put out new music and there will also be some cool collaborations too.

XLR8R has now joined Mixcloud Select, meaning that to hear the podcast offline you will need to subscribe to our Select channel to listen offline, or subscribe to XLR8R+ to download the file. The move to Mixcloud Select will ensure that all the producers with music featured in our mixes get paid. You can read more about it here.

Full XLR8R+ Members can download the podcast below. If you’re not an XLR8R+ member, you can read more about it and subscribe here.


01. Parliament “Funkentelelechy” (Casablanca)
02. Zapp “Doo Wa Ditty” (Blow That Thang) (Warner Bros)
03. Prince “D.M.S.R.”(Warner Bros)
04. Rick James “Give It To Me Baby” (Motown)
05. Faze-O “Good Thang” (She Records)
06. Cory Henry, The Funk Apostles “Rise” (Ground Up Music)
07. OPOLOPO “Get On Up” (Z Records)
08. Earth Wind & Fire “Saturday Nite” (Columbia)
09. Slave “Party Lites” (Cotillion)
10. Recloose “Catch A Leaf” feat. Rachel Fraser (Sonar Kollectiv)
11. Kool & The Gang “Jungle Boogie” (De-Lite Records)
12. Fatback “Backstroke” (Spring Records)
13. Thundercat “Them Changes” (Brainfeeder)
14. George Clinton “No Mos” (Capitol)
15. Zapp “Radio People” (Warner Bros)

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