Fillmore Slim

Blues Legend: Godfather of Hip Hop

Black Music Hall Of Fame Icon

  • Fillmore Slim Cover on Blues Blast Magazine June 2020

    Blues Blast Magazine

    Featured Interview – Fillmore Slim

    There’s a good reason why other bluesmen stop what they’re doing and stand dead in their tracks and keep their eyes on his every move each time Fillmore Slim takes the stage, eagerly soaking up every detail as the legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist launches into his act.


    A tall, lean, man and flashy performer, he’s definitely one of a kind – a stylish dresser and self-professor whose vocal delivery and guitar stylings are rooted in the past, but his often humorous, occasionally self-depreciating delivery has a timeless appeal.


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Fillmore Slim Walk of Fame Plaque

Blues Legends National Monument, Seventh St. Oakland, CA
Fillmore Slim - Walk of Fame Plaque

"The Music They Played on Seventh St" Oakland's National Monument Honoring the Artists Who Performed on Oakland's Seventh St:

This Blues Walk of Fame honors the legendary musicians and artists who performed on Oakland's 7th Street and those businesses who worked to build a community. It has finally come to fruition after 40+ years. The last installment of 88 name plaques including Fillmore Slim's on the "the Music They Played on Seventh St" Walk of Fame National Monument: paying tribute to the blues/R&B artists who performed on Oakland's Seventh St when it was the Bay Areas' main musical destination, Beale St of the West, have finally all been installed in Oakland's Seventh St sidewalk.

https://www.mercurynews.com/2011/12/19/oaklands-legendary-blues-district-getting-a-walk-of-fame/

 

Fillmore Slim in Virtual Reality

  • Son of the Seven Sisters Album Cover

    Fillmore Slim's 1st Album in 10 Years

    Voted Best Independent Blues CD 2019 by Golden Gate Blues Society

    Baddass New Orleans inspired funk blues with San Francisco Bay Area Blues Legends Rick Estrin, Kid Andersen, and the Greaseland All-Stars Band.


    Fillmore Slim's new album Son of the Seven Sisters features 13 Unforgettable Tracks. Many have reported this album is an addicting listening experience!


    "Son of the Seven Sisters is a wonderful album, a real gem."

    --Tom Mazzolini: KPFA Radio Blues by the Bay, Berkeley, CA


    "Kid Anderson led this project at Greaseland and he plays guitar on several tracks with Rick Estrin and a cast of great players from the Greaseland Crew. If you are not up to speed on what Kid Anderson is doing at his Greaseland Studio, you need to get hip right quick as he is producing some of the best blues related discs available today. He also plays a mean guitar on many of these releases and the whole group of players associated with Greaseland are top notch."


    "This Fillmore Slim disc is excellent across all 13 tracks and is highly recommended. Hopefully we will get another release from Slim soon as he sounds vigorous and ready to lay down some great blues. Thank you Kid Anderson for all you are doing for the blues!"

    --Six String Guy: Amazon Music


    "Fillmore Slim is back with some backing by his younger friends from a while ago like Kid Andersen (bass, guitar), Rick Estrin (harp, vocal) and Jim Pugh (piano, keys) with guests Billy Price, Bob Welsh (guitar) and many other backups. This is certainly one of the best produced releases Slim has had and he is funky as he wants to be. He does a straight up blues – Little Walter’s “Last Night”. Most of the songs are Slim’s however. This uptown/down home combination is a solid blues thing and it’s a certified Professor Bebop “Wax Devoid Of Cracks!”"

    --Professor Bebop: WTJU Jazz Radio


    "Clarence Sims, the West Coast hustler/pimp/guitarist/vocalist who performs under the name Fillmore Slim and now bills himself as the “Godfather of Hip Hop,” has been recording, off and on, since the late ’50s. He’s joined here by a rotating crew of first-rate sidemen including harpist Rick Estrin, a longtime friend whom Slim mentored when Estrin was still a teenager."


    "Slim’s favorite subject matter can be gleaned from some of his song titles (Legend in My Own Time, I’m a Playboy, et al.)—but he can also go in unexpected directions: Fast Gun Annie is a faux-C&W tale of a mythical border-town lady sheriff; the title song is a voodoo-drenched proclamation of prowess (supernatural and otherwise), complete with otherworldly sound effects. Elsewhere, buoyed by backing that veers from swamp funk through juke-joint boogie through hard-edged urban R&B grit, Slim serves up gritty-sweet slices of street life like I’m a Bad Brotha Foya (toughened by a rhythm-section-and-horns accompaniment that sounds like a Soul Heaven face-off between Tower of Power and the JBs) and Emma Lou, Queen of the Homeless (featuring some stinging, Elmore-style slide work from Kid Andersen). Rock Star finds Slim deep in his James Brown bag, name-checking blues, soul, and rock ’n’ roll stalwarts ranging from B.B. King and Bobby Rush through the Rolling Stones and Elvis, all the way to Judas Priest and Van Halen (!); and, of course, his playfully self-aggrandizing anthems, such as the ones mentioned earlier, both amplify and signify on his hard-won pimp/playa persona."

    --David Whiteis: Living Blues Magazine #3 Top Ten CD Reviews, MS


    The dude is complex. He’s a love bandit, Cadillac craver, sidewalk poet, pimp extraordinaire, ex-con, eager entertainer, velvet-wrapped urban legend, and, above all, bluesman. Fillmore Slim is all that. T-Bone, B.B., and compadre Johnny Guitar Watson could vouch for him. Ice-T, Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg have name-checked him. Etta James called him her first boyfriend. Others still call him the Godfather of Hip Hop or the West Coast Godfather of the Game. He’s bucked the straight and narrow. He’s lived to transcribe it (the tell-all Blues Man Mack: How I Conquered the Stage and the Streets), but more often sing about it.

    “You Got the Nerve of a Big Brass Monkey” was Slim’s ballsy world premiere. From that day in 1957 forward, both blues and funk would have their hands full.
    Still do.

    Son of the Seven Sisters, the latest in Slim’s long line of streetwise albums, proves that game still runs in those 85-year-old veins of his. “I’m a Playboy” and “I’m a Badd Brotha Foya” play up the funk, with horns and clavinet getting their freak on atop thickening basslines. Whereas it’s the blues that shuffle along “Emma Lou, Queen of the Homeless” with bottlenecked gusto and lead to Little Walter’s “Last Night” getting harped out with freshly unabridged dialogue. “Jody Must Be in My Business” draws Diva Ladee Chico into a bedroom tête-à-tête. “Son of the Seven Sisters” casts deep New Orleans hoodoo. “Dedicated to Johnny Guitar Watson” is self-explanatory. With guitarist/keyboardist Kid Andersen and harpist Rick Estrin actively chipping in as hands-on player-producers, Slim needs only focus on sewing his oats with vigorous personality to spare. Everything you’d hope from a pimped-out hour with a fired-up, funk-boned bluesman.

    --Dennis Rozanski: Blues Rag Magazine, MD


    "Fans of funky blues and soul will never get enough of this…" (ESC for Rootstime.be)

    --Eric Schuurmans: Rootstime Magazine, Netherlands


    "New Orleans. Voodoo. The mysterious Seven Sisters who lived in bamboo huts across in Algiers. It’s all here. Clarence Sims was born in Baton Rouge in 1934, and as Fillmore Slim he purveys a product steeped in eight decades of swampy blues mystery. This is a lively, kicking album with a fine band backing a man who, among other plaudits, has become known as the Godfather of Hip Hop. And he’s in the Black Music Hall of Fame. The track I’m Broke is a classic rolling blues with Slim taking time off the singing to tell us the problems he has with his woman who goes shopping too much. I’m a Playboy is a real journey into southern funk “I’m a heart breaker, I’m a money taker, I’m a playboy. You’d better believe it. The slow Last Night, with its rumbling piano and serious harmonica, is as solid gold urban blues as you could wish for and Fast Gun Annie is infused with New Orleans honey and humour. Just to remind you what a consummate bluesman he is, he rounds off this collection with Little Bluebird with those amazingly strong vocals and tasty guitar. If you’re in need of some true blues authenticity and a well-produced album to boot, Son of The Seven Sister is it. Highly enjoyable."

    --Roy Bainton: Blues Matters Magazine, UK


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My Memoir: Blues Man Mack

Blues Man Mack: How I Conquered The Stage And The Streets (Volume 1)

  • Blues Man Mack Book Cover

    Fillmore Slim breaks down how he went from becoming the legendary gentleman Mack to an eminent blues/funk musician later in life performing internationally with top artists such as Sly Stone, Rick Estrin, Joe Louis Walker, Johnny Guitar Watson, JJ Malone, BB King, Etta James, Ike & Tina Turner and many more. Recognized as the Godfather of hip hop, many famous rappers such as Ice-T, E-40, Too Short, Frank Stickemz & Snoop Dogg pay homage to him in the lyrics of their songs.


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  • "A fascinating and artful autobiography. If readers have any interest in the blues or hip hop culture, the game or pimp literature, or black cultural history of the last fifty years, Blues Man Mack is necessary for their collection."

    --Justin Gifford, professor of English Literature, University of Nevada, Reno


    "Fillmore slim is a compelling man who has experienced so much, highs, lows and in betweens, a truly fascinating story and where he came from and where he went. One of those books and reads where you are gonna be hooked, and you can hear him talking as you read the pages."

    --Maximillian Muhammad


    "A cultural icon praised by rappers and hip hop artists, plus a down-home blues man who continues to make appearances at clubs and festivals, Clarence “Fillmore Slim” Sims has lived the high life, traveling across America and the world as a pimp and a blues singer. He clearly relishes the high points he experienced, and accepts the low points, like the prison term, as part of bargain you make with yourself when choosing to be a pimp. He celebrates his accomplishments without a hint of remorse or regret, giving this book a refreshing level of honesty that makes it a worthwhile read."

    --Mark Thompson Blues Blast Magazine