Back at the listening party, the band asks for requests. People begin shouting titles like “Cult of Personality” or “Love Rears Its Ugly Head.” But it’s the request by drummer Will Calhoun’s 11-year-old son that catches everyone’s attention: He asks for The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” Glover gives his bandmate Calhoun a good-natured ribbing for his son not asking for a Living Colour song. But they oblige and launch into what Cortes calls “the most raucous, funky, fun, melodic mashup of the song that I’ve ever heard.”
Not only do they carry on and evolve the traditions inherent in great black music but, as Will’s son demonstrates, they’re passing that vocabulary and sense of possibility onto the next generation. And that’s just it, Reid says. “From Mother’s Finest, War, Parliament/Funkadelic, Bad Brains, and on down the line, Living Colour is part of an unbroken chain on the continuum of black music.”
Rob Fields writes about black rock and the evolving black imagination on his blog, boldaslove.us.