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These days Brown is staying away from straight sampling and live instruments, instead working on computer-based programs such as Logic and Reason, while playing his own bass and horn lines that recall his hip-hop roots. He's planning on turning some of this new music into a beat album, but without MCs, more for the soulful, boom-bap faithful.
And with his Sunday-night engagement at Uva 69, he's trying to bring positive change to his surroundings. "My daughter had said to me: 'I have a feeling you're going to bring a lot of life and soul to your new neighborhood.' That's what we do at the Aché lounge party," he explains. "We promote our spiritual tradition in a fun way, and it's part of the revitalization of this neighborhood."
It's an uphill battle, but Brown has never backed down from a challenge.
"To use a martial arts analogy: You should know what it's like to lose," he says. "If you don't have the tenacity to fail and get back up, you're not going to succeed. The best lessons to learn are when you fuck up, when you clear a dance floor, or when you're boxing and you drop your glove and get knocked up. You've got to get back up again."