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Eddie Hazel
Eddie Hazel
A mythical figure, original Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel pioneered an innovative funk-metal sound in the early '70s, best exemplified on his mammoth classic instrumental jam "Maggot Brain." This mythological status arises from his brief, mysterious era of productivity, a shadowy three-album cycle capped by Maggot Brain that came to a close as Hazel's notorious drug problems began to haunt him, resulting in personal disputes with George Clinton, a jail sentence, and ultimately his slow death to liver failure. Yet even though Hazel's notable accomplishments are few -- reserved mostly to the first three Funkadelic albums, a 1977 solo album, and legendary live performances -- these accomplishments were highly influential. At the time, Hazel seemed a clear successor to the deceased Jimi Hendrix, one of the few black guitar players merging an acid rock approach with an R&B aesthetic. Furthermore, Hazel took things a step further, integrating a heavy dose of funk into his fiery guitar work as well, setting the precedent for successive Parliament/Funkadelic guitarists, as well as later generations of funk-metal guitarists.
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