Eddie Kramer believes Jimi would have been bigger than Jay-Z if he’d lived

Jimi Hendrix producer Eddie Kramer believes the guitar icon would have embraced rap music if he’d lived – and he’d have become an industry player like Jay-Z and similar modern artists.

The producer continues to take a hand in the release of material left behind when Hendrix died in 1970. He was involved in the production of documentary movieElectric Church, which tells the story of the Hendrix’s appearance at the Atlanta Pop Festival, just weeks before he passed away.

Kramer tells the BBC: “This was the crossroads for him. The next move would have been incorporating some of the stuff that was on the street. He was aware of everything that was going on – he was a musical sponge.”

He describes Hendrix’s foray into “funky R&B” as a “first step” and continues: “Who knows where he may have taken it? He may even have gotten into rap. The idea of street music would have influenced him had he stayed alive.

“I think about this all the time. Not only would he have been a great record producer, he’d have had a record company, a film company, a musical production company.

“He’d have been an enormous force. Pretty much like Jay Z and all these guys are today – he would have been king of the heap.”

Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church features interviews with Kirk Hammett, Paul McCartney, Steve Winwood and others. It’s released on DVD via Sony on October 30.

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