As the lead singer of brotherly trio The Gap Band, the pioneering group whose late 70’s early 80’s funk still serves as a guiding light for producers and singers, it has been a long road for Charlie Wilson. From the dusty roads of Tulsa, Oklahoma to the neon lights of Cali to being homeless in the city of angels, the brother has seen it all.
Anyone familiar with the rhythmic repertoire of the Gap band, including classic tracks "You Dropped a Bomb on Me," "Burn Rubber (Why You Wanna Hurt Me)," and "Yearning for Your Love," can hear traces of Charlie in the contemporary voices of current R&B royalty. Their music continues to be sampled by hundreds of artists including Madonna, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Ashanti, Will Smith, and George Michael to name a few. "From day one, R. Kelly has always proclaimed himself a modern day Charlie Wilson," he says. "He and I have been talking about collaborating for years, and now it’s finally happening." On Charlie, Last Name Wilson, his first disc since 2001, the former cowboy boot wearing bro is now gator stepping in Chi-town with the king of urban grooves. "This was a big step for me, because the Gap band always did our own music," Wilson recalls. "Letting others write and produce for me, is a big step." Fortunately, coming through on his promise, R. Kelly has stepped to the plate to produce four mackadelic tracks. "The first song we recorded was the title track.