The new book by UC Berkeley African American Studies Lecturer Dr. Rickey Vincent is coming out on October 1st.  

(It is available on now, from Lawrence Hill Books)

“PARTY MUSIC: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music” is a groundbreaking first hand account of the Black Panther Party’s foray into Rhythm and Blues, as well as an analytical treatment of the intersection between Soul Music and Black Consciousness.


Here is an interview/discussion of the book with Davey D on KPFA:




From Publishers Weekly:

Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers’ Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music

Rickey Vincent. Lawrence Hill, $19.95 (400p) ISBN : 978-1-61374-492-5

It’s not common knowledge that the fiery Black Panthers organization had a rocking house band, the Lumpen, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but Vincent (Funk) sets the record straight in this book about a tight-knit group of activist musicians who sang their revolutionary ideology to the community. Although the band performed for less than a year, Vincent, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley, stresses the important role of music in black culture at that time, with the Lumpen piggybacking on the triumphs of James Brown, Sam Cooke, and Aretha Franklin, giving high-energy performances “of blackness, hyper-masculinity and hyperbole, of smack talk that put the Man in his place and exalted everything gloriously black.” If this well-detailed book accurately chronicles the funky black power groove of the Panther band, it truly succeeds in recapturing the mood of that turbulent time when Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panther Party stole national attention with their bravado and purpose. Comprehensive, complex, and revealing, Vincent’s nostalgic journey provides an insider’s look at a remarkable band and a piercing snapshot of black history. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/09/2013

From Emory Douglas:  


"Rickey Vincent, The Funk Master of the radio air waves has merged together in his book "Party Music" a wealth of comprehensive knowledge and insights about Panther Party Music and the history from which it evolved.


 Rickey masters the art of interviewing and writing about the revolutionaries in "Party Music" with the same will power and self determination as the Funk Masters he writes about, an amazing achievement."


 -Emory Douglas,

Former Minister of Culture & Revolutionary Artist,

Black Panther Party, 1967-1981"


From Davey D:

There are not enough words to describe the groundbreaking analysis and in depth musical and political history lessons skillfully laid out by the Rickey 'The Uhuru Maggot' Vincent' in his new book 'Party Music'.. This book not only brings to life the overlooked contributions of the Black Panthers funk band the Lumpen, but it also captures, the hopes, triumphs, challenges, victories and setbacks of a generation that was determined to find its voice during one of our country's most turbulent times..

Party Music is not just about the Lumpen but also about the Black power Movement and Freedom struggles they were a part of.. This book breathes new life into the many of the organizations and leaders who bravely challenged the system and have been all but removed from current versions of our History books. From The Black Panthers to US to the Black Arts Movement to SNCC.. No stone is left unturned.

Where Rickey shines best is his breakdown of the music heroes and sheroes who were influenced and oftentimes a part of the Freedom struggle.. from Chaka Khan to Aretha Franklin to James Brown to Sam Cooke to Mtume,  from Motown to Stax, Vincent doesn't miss a beat. Each word is a searing drum beat Each paragraph is a thumping bassline that leaves you holding up a clenched fist yelling Black Power and making one proud of the history Vincent unearths. This book is a serious game changer

Davey D

Hip Hop Historian Journalist

SF State, Hard Knock Radio


Until now, the story of The Lumpen has never been told. Comprised of four ‘rank & file’ Black Panther Party members, this politically charged R&B group left behind few recordings, but broke ground both musically and socially. Using the band’s own first person accounts, Ricky Vincent effortlessly weaves their personal story with the larger then life personalities and the pain-ridden struggles they encountered. Party Music captures an era when music and politics did mix, with all the subtlety of a Molotov Cocktail.

- Pat Thomas, author of Listen, Whitey! The sights and sounds of Black Power 1965-1975

"In most accounts of the Black Power revolution, the stoic nationalist and the ultra-cool soul brother/sister never meet; culture and politics don't dance together. But here Rickey Vincent reveals a lost but fecund moment from a brief era of ferment when the Black Panthers and James Brown were both at their creative peaks. In this brilliant and riveting book on the Panthers' funk band The Lumpen—and the sweep of culture and politics that produced them—Vincent conjures the rhythms of the revolution and gets everyone dancing to the music again."

—Jeff Chang, author of Who We Be: The Colorization of America and Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation


The Black Panther Party remains one of the most compelling stories of radical Democracy in the 20th Century.  In his new book Party Music, Rickey Vincent provides the soundtrack—that soulful and funky place where “Power to the People” meets “The One.”

—Mark Anthony Neal, author Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities

Mark Anthony Neal

Professor, African & African-American Studies

Duke University


Rickey Vincent, our Minister of Funk among music writers, has unearthed in splendid fashion a little known facet of the Black Panther Party: it's funk band The Lumpen.  Party Music, the richly contextualized story of this collective, deepens our understanding of the strategic cultural position of the Black Panthers in American society by bringing to life the "soul" of the organization. With this bold contribution, Vincent shows just how liberating "the One" was at this important historical juncture. 

Guthrie P. Ramsey, Jr. is the author of  Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip-Hop and The Amazing Bud Powell: Black Genius, Jazz History and the Challenge of Bebop