Entertainment & Arts

Jimi Hendrix 'would have pioneered rap'

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Media caption[LISTEN] Eddie Kramer tells BBC 6 Music about the new Jimi Hendrix documentary 'Electric Church'

Rock star Jimi Hendrix would have helped pioneer rap music had he stayed alive, says the producer who worked on his final album.

"This whole idea of street music would have definitely influenced him," Eddie Kramer told BBC 6 Music.

"Jimi was aware of everything that was going on, he was a musical sponge. The next step? Who knows... He may have even gotten into rap."

The star would have been "an enormous force" had he survived, Kramer added.

"I think about this all the time. Not only would he have been a great record producer, but he would have had his own record company, a film company, a musical production company.

"He would have been an enormous force - pretty much like Jay-Z is today. He would have been king of the heap."

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Image caption Hendrix never completed work on his final album, The Cry Of Love

Kramer was speaking to Matt Everitt ahead of the release of a new documentary, Electric Church, which revisits one of Hendrix's final shows, at the second Atlanta Pop Festival in 1970.

The musician played a 16-song set, featuring several new songs from what was to become a posthumous album, Cry of Love.

The documentary features interviews with his bandmates Billy Cox and the late Mitch Mitchell, as well as Sir Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood and Kirk Hammett of Metallica.

"We had just finished recording a lot of these songs at Electric Lady studios," Kramer recalled. "So when the band are playing, they are tight."

"The amount of freedom that he had doing a live gig, based upon the work we had done in the studio - all of a sudden he could stretch out and make the solo twice as long and put all the bits that come to him as an improvisational guitar solo.

"Any time Jimi straps on a guitar and plays live it's going to be pretty damn good. He was in his element. He loved playing live."

Hendrix, one of the most influential guitarists in rock music, died on 18 September 1970.

A coroner recorded an open verdict on his death. An inquest heard he had taken nine sleeping pills but there was no evidence of drug addiction.

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