Edited by Azizi Powell
This is Part II of a two part series on the saying and the 1984 tune/song "Talkin' Out The Side Of Your Neck". by the Funk band known as "Cameo". This tune/song is commonly referred to as "Neck" by Historically Black Colleges & Universities [HBCU] marching bands as well as by marching bands from PWI (Predominately White institutions).
Part II provides comments about the marching band tune "Neck" along with six videos of various HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities)' marching bands performances of "Neck" ("Talkin' Out The Side Of Your Neck"). A video of Louisiana State University, a PWI (Predominately White Institution)'s marching band performance of "Neck" that shows the predominately White crowd's responses to that tune/song is also included in this post. Selected comments about this tune from a Louisiana State University blog are also included in this post.
Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2017/03/what-talkin-out-side-of-your-neck-means.html for Part I of this series. Part I provides definitions of the African American Vernacular English saying "talking out the side of your neck" and showcases a YouTube video of Funk group Cameo's 1984 recording of that song. Song lyrics and selected comments from that video's discussion thread are also included in this post.
The content of this post is presented for cultural, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.
Thanks to Cameo for their musical legacy. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.
"WHAT TALKING OUT THE SIDE OF YOUR NECK" MEANS
"Talkin' out the side of your head" is an African American Vernacular English saying that means to knowingly or unknowingly say something that makes no sense. A lot of political talk-in the past and today- are examples of "talkin' out the side of your head".
"CAMEO'S RECORD "TALKIN' OUT THE SIDE OF YOUR HEAD" AND "NECK"
Shortly after the Funk band Cameo recorded its song "Talkin' Out The Side Of Your Neck", that tune was performed during football games by HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) marching bands. There's considerable debate as to which HBCU was the first to perform that tune whose title was eventually shortened to "Neck". "Neck" is also usually a part of the repertoire of high school marching bands that have Black conductors.
Some time after HBCU marching bands and Black led high school marching bands started performing "Neck" at football games, some PWI (Predominately White Institutions) [universities'] marching bands also began to perform that tune.
EXCERPTS FROM A BLOG'S DISCUSSION THREAD ABOUT "NECK"*
"Where did the song "neck" come from"
*This is an excerpt of a six page discussion. These selected comments are numbered for referencing purposes only. These numbers don't correspond to the numbers that these comments have on that discussion thread.
Previously quoted comments from that forum are in Italics.
Explanations for some abbreviations or some slang terms are given below the comments.
1. CHI96ALASU, Nov 26, 2007
"CEE DOG said:
Morris Brown was blowing neck in 85.
EXACTLY, THAT"S WHO I FIRST HEARD PLAY IT MBC. I REMEMBER EVERY HIGH SCHOOL IN ATLANTA USED TO PLAY SOME VERSION OF IT BECAUSE OF THEM"
"Morris Brown" = a Historically Black College & University that was well known for its marching band
"Was blowing" = was playing (performing)
2. Mr. Phreeze, Nov 26, 2007
"I mean honestly, does it matter who played it first? Neck is just one of them songs like "I'm So Glad", "ESPN", or "Spirit (Old Time Religion)," EVERY HBCU have their own version. If you ever listen to the real song, it has so much stuff happening it. It is just one of those songs that you can play around with. That is also why everybody's version does not sound the same. Even if you take a piece from everybody's band and make one version. As far as LSU playing it, well SU has playing it for years and since they are not too far one another; LSU probably stole it from SU. Isn't that common, "The white man steals from the black man and takes the credit?"
LSU = Louisiana State University (a historically and present day PWI [predominately White institution])
Southern University- A HBCU in Louisiana.
3. "Seeing Spots said:
I love TSU's version of Neck!
As to who played it first?...I don't remember and don't care. But I have always thought of that song as one of TSU's "signature" songs."
TSU = Tennessee State University
4. s phi s, Nov 27, 2007
"I like the uniqueness that everyone has in their version of Neck, but I WISH someone would play it more closely to the original. Some of these versions, I can't even tell it's Neck anymore until they start chanting.
I like SU's version, but to me, it's not even Neck. It just has Neck sampled in there somewhere."
5. BLAQUE PRINCE, Nov 27, 2007
"^^^ I think thats the fun of the whole thing. The song has taken on a new life and everyone wants to one up the other with their new mutation lol."
6. JR, Nov 27, 2007
BLAQUE PRINCE said:
^^^ I think thats the fun of the whole thing. The song has taken on a new life and everyone wants to one up the other with their new mutation lol.
And that's what I like about it. It's always fun to hear all the different versions. But when they crank it up, I don't identify it with Neck anymore. Speaking of which, does TxSU even play it anymore? Seems as though I haven't heard it in a while.
"Okay.......time for ole JR to chime in since I was in the band during the original Talking Out the Side of your neck years.
TxSU played it before any SWAC band I can remember. SU used to play them early in the year so they unleashed that song as well as Cameo's "Tribute to Bob Marley" Those were signature songs for them and they played both of them well. We didn't play Neck back then. We became the Single Life, Attack Me with Your Love, Word Up band back then and right after my class was gone SU played Skin I In and made it a staple.
Just a little history lesson.”
TxSU= Texas Southern University, a HBCU.
SWAC = "The Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) is a collegiate athletic conference headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, which is made up of historically black universities (HBCUs) in the Southern United States." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwestern_Athletic_Conference
7. JR, Nov 28, 2007
Being that I marched at SU and we traveled in 84 I can be almost certain that TxSU played it first in the SWAC. Now I can't say who else across the MEAC or SIAC or CIAA or whatever HBCU conference had a band play it first. It would make sense if Mo Brown played it first since they are in the ATL.
Also that album was released during the spring of my Senior year of HS. I remember we jamming to it on our Sr trip. So it is possible that the song got some airplay somewhere like Atlanta or a big city in Fall 83 if some DJ got a promo copy of the album from the record label, which I can see especially with Cameo and Blackmon being in the ATL. But I doubt that song got played everywhere because it was not the big song on the album. She's Strange was the cut that got released first before the album came out. That was the title track. The album was definitely on sale during the early spring of 84.
But no doubt about it, the Ocean unleashed it first in the SWAC. SU didn't even play it our Freshman year. Nobody else played it against us that year either. Not even Tn State who was known to have a book of music.
"MEAC" = "The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) is a collegiate athletic conference whose full members are historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the Southeastern and the Mid-Atlantic United States." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Eastern_Athletic_Conference
"SIAC"= The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) is a collegiate athletic conference consisting mostly of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), with all but one member located in the southern United States. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Intercollegiate_Athletic_Conference
"CIAA" = The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) is a collegiate athletic conference, mostly consisting of historically black colleges and universities https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Intercollegiate_Athletic_Association
"The Ocean" = abbreviation for Texas Southern University's marching band "The Ocean Of Soul"
"HS" = high school
"Tn State" = Tennessee State
8. usa today, Mar 30, 2011
"No one actually knows who played it first. It was a popular song that most HBCU bands played when it was released. People can easily say TXSU started because they continued to play the song when everyone else hit and quit it and dug it back up. Nothing more nothing less."
9. CEE DOG, Mar 31, 2011 [quoting himself, date?]
CEE DOG said
In 1983, Blackmon moved his base of operations to Atlanta, GA and formed his own label, Atlanta Artists, which was distributed by Polygram Records. This is how Morris Brown came into the picture. The song hit V-103 first. Larry hung out at Morris Brown alot with Prof Johnson(RIP) who was the head band director at Mo Brown for years. Prof Johnson is what Doc Gregs Su and Doc Foster Famu is to MO Brown. I remember Blackmon coming down to the band hall going over it with MBC many times. Thought I'd throw that part of history out there also.
SHOWCASE VIDEOS [HBCU MARCHING BANDS]
These videos are presented in chronological order based on their publishing date with the oldest dated video given first.
Example #1: Howard Neck 06'
goodie mob Uploaded on Nov 5, 2006
At SCSU Homecoming.
Howard = Howard University (Washington D.C.)
SCSU = South Carolina State University
Example #2: University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Keno314Uploaded on Sep 25, 2010
UAPB performing at the Gateway Classic Pep Rally
Neck by Cameo
Example #3: Neck" Comparison Study - HBCU Marching Bands
BMAN94 Published on Jul 11, 2012
This is a study of the different styles and arrangements of Cameo's "Talkin' Out The Side Of Your Neck" featuring HBCU Marching Bands Alabama State University, Jackson State University, Norfolk State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Southern University, Florida A&M University, Texas Southern University, South Carolina State University
Example #4: Grambling State University Marching Band - Neck (2013)
ZymbalistiK Published on Oct 6, 2013
Example #5: Tennessee State University Marching Band - Neck – 2015
Killa Kev Productions Published on Sep 8, 2015
Example #6: NC A&T - Neck/Hay 8.20.2016
Thomas L. Jones, Jr. Published on Aug 21, 2016
NC A&T = North Carolina Agriculture & Technical State University
VIDEO EXAMPLE OF "NECK" PERFORMED BY A PWI [PREDOMINATELY WHITE INSTITUTION
LSU Band and Students - "Neck"
Will Leverett Published on Dec 3, 2013
LSU band and students singing "Neck" was LOLtastic.
Notice the Louisiana State University football stadium fans chanting "talkin out the side of your neck" while performing a hand waving gesture.
Here are selected comments about "Neck" from http://www.tigerdroppings.com/rant/lsu-sports/history-of-neck---lsu-band/6713178/page-3/ "re: History of "Neck""
[Numbers have been assigned for referencing purposes only.]
re: History of "Neck" - LSU BandPosted on 10/30/09 at 3:13 pm to AlxTgr
"Neck started in 2006. I don't know if it was because the HBCU bands had played it and the band administration wanted to mimic that or not, but it was a song in a collections of songs (those usual 3-4 song collections called "Stand Jams" and other stupid sh&t*) and the 2 songs we took from it were "Apache" (Jump on it) and "Neck". "Do What You Wanna" was played in (I believe) end of 2004 or 2005 (don't really remember) but I do know we really started playing it after the Final Four run by the basketball team."
re: History of "Neck" - LSU BandPosted on 10/30/09 at 3:13 pm to lsuj2006
"Stay Strong, lsuj. You're right.
In pre-season new songs are given to the band to play through. Some of them are immediately voted off the island. Others are inserted into the repertoire. In 2006, the band directors passed out a sheet of music with four different songs on it. I think they were called "Time Out Fillers" or something like that. "Neck" was one of them, I think "Jump On It" may have been another one on there as well. I don't even remember what the other two were, so the must have sucked. (Paging Picc for confirmation).
The band, crowd and team immediately responded well to the song, so it stuck as a permanent song played by TGBFTL.
Southern did play it before Tiger Band, and probably other schools before that, and Cameo before that, but that's pretty much the history of "Neck" regarding the LSU Band."
re: History of "Neck" - LSU BandPosted on 10/30/09 at 3:40 pm to BlueTiger602
"Neck is one of my favorite things. The entire student section loves it. And I never thought it looked "thuggish" or "ghetto". I guess I'm just not the kind of person to find race in a hand motion.
I think everyone looks awesome waving their hands around. Just look like they look great moving them up and down during Bandits."
re: History of "Neck" - LSU BandPosted on 10/30/09 at 3:53 pm to BlueTiger602
"neck is fun. the students love it. therefore the band plays it. youre not obliged to like it, but honestly, why complain? it gets the crowd (and probably the players) pumped up."
This concludes Part II of this two part series.
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