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Zapp

One of the most underrated funk groups of the 1980s, Zapp revolutionized the computer pop of electro with their trademark vocoder talk boxes and bumping grooves, emulating the earthier side of Prince and Cameo, with a leader in Roger Troutman who was more than efficient at polished production. The family group, with brothers Roger, Lester, Larry, and Tony Troutman, grew up in Hamilton, OH, influenced by hometown heroes the Ohio Players as well as Parliament and other funk groups. Tony was the first to begin recording, with an obscure single for Gram-O-Phon Records, "I Truly Love You," which scraped the R&B charts in 1976. Joined by his brothers (with Roger on vocals and guitar, Lester on drums, Larry on percussion, and himself contributing bass) and christened Zapp, the group played around the Midwest and gradually picked up backing vocalists (Bobby Glover, Jannetta Boyce), keyboard players (Greg Jackson, Sherman Fleetwood) and a horn section (Eddie Barber, Jerome Derrickson, Mike Warren).

Zapp's following quickly gained notices, and Bootsy Collins himself was hired on to work with the group on their debut album. Released in 1980, Zapp hit the Top 20 on the pop charts, thanks to the single "More Bounce to the Ounce." The following year, Roger worked on Funkadelic's The Electric Spanking of War Babies and released his solo debut album, The Many Facets of Roger. His special cover of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," complete with vocoderized talk box, pushed the album into gold territory (as Zapp had done). Zapp II appeared in 1982 and proved just as popular as the group's first, including Zapp's only number one R&B single, "Dance Floor."

Zapp III barely made the Top 40 pop charts upon release in 1983, and Roger's second solo album, The Saga Continues, was also a disappointment, though his cover of "Midnight Hour" featured the Mighty Clouds of Joy. The New Zapp IV U fared slightly better after release in late 1985 (thanks to the single "Computer Love"), but in 1987, Roger's third solo album, Unlimited!, featured the group's biggest hit yet, "I Want to Be Your Man," a chart-topper on the R&B lists and a respectable number three pop. Though Roger and/or Zapp hit the R&B charts frequently during the rest of the late '80s, the unit had effectively halted recording with the 1991 Roger LP Bridging the Gap. Roger continued to produce and play with other artists, and it was his talk box that graced Dr. Dre & 2Pac's Top Ten 1996 single "California Love." The 1993 Roger & Zapp collection All the Greatest Hits sold well, earning the collective their first platinum record. The Zapp story ended in tragedy on April 25, 1999, when Roger was shot to death by Larry, who then turned the gun on himself. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Dancing : )
oh yeah, in Atlanta, working on a Tuesday morning sounds so good!!!
Low riding time.
Love it!!!
Without Roger and Zapp there would be bo no T-Pain and auto-Tuned hip-hop! #Pioneered
NOTHING LIKE THE OHIO SOUND ROGER HAD A GOOD SENSE OF HUMOR! THAT'S HOW I REMEMBER HIM.
A'll way jacking to the ladies on the phone mphs10 class of 19888
Vivacious sound with a position of power for a life time!!! My goodness you need to make come back.
Mega medley awwwww yeeaa :)
computer love!<3
harleycat62
I didn't know the brothers were fueding...th a t ' s tragic
One of my favorite songs ever! When I tell you I just got my childhood!
Love this song!
Pure genius.
beanerman_99
Love this old school jam
Very nice song 2wake up 2! Thanks Zapp n Roger!
A very special song.
there will never be another roger...
Chilln con mi carnal Julio n the camaradas back in South Modesto the good old times ,house party!!
Rip Roger!!!!
I would have love to see Roger & Zapp at San Manuel. His band was their on Jan23, 2013. Your music still lives on.
More bounce to the ounce.
RIP My Brother's From Zapp Really Miss Both Of You Loved All Of Your Music Back In My Day !!!!!!
Thiss rola ggoess out to all HOMIESS from GRANDE GROVE VARRIO HARD TIMES. HEARTBREAKER
Groovin'!!!! Love this medley by Zapp!!
At the skating rink backwards skating #memories
Yaassss! Im putting my skates w/ the pink & purple pom poms ;)
selena10987
This song always when i hear it reminds me of Love & Basketball My fam. Loves that movie Mississippi memories
Memories of old school house parties I will never forget nice!!!
treasure2cut e
Lovee this song
This will always be the song to play, but especially on Saturday or Sunday mornings when its time to hit the streets and enjoy life. Driving by the beach, daydreaming of the past, and picturing where I am headed in the future, are things I like to think about to this song. I love this song!!!!
I knew Roger and his brother Larry. Met them while I was attending Central State University.. . t h e y were good and fun loving people...and they threw fabulously funky parties. Couldn't believe the tragedy and the loss of two good friends. I like Computer Love, and I Wanna Be Your Man
ooh soo much funk and groove... that feel good feeling that only real poeple can get |-)
definition of west coast rap. if it wasn't for zapp and roger . hip hop in L.A. and all California wouldn't of made it. they are the roots of rap on the west coast
My mom played this song in the car every time she took my little brother to football practice
I love this song I Want To Be Your Man By Zapp & Roger please tell me why young people have to die
This will always be my number one
chrissmiley5 0
I knew and love this man..one of the funniest dudes ever..a relative he was
Great song
Long time no hear. Love it love it!
I'm gonna love you anyway
Anyway you want me to
Don't read this because it actually works.You will be kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the love of you life.Tomorro w will be the best day of your life.However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days.Now you've started reading it so dont stop.This is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in 143 minutes.When done press f6 and your lover's name will come on the screen in big letters.This is so scary because it actually works
This is lady T brings back memories
10chadfoya
One of the greatest ballads ever!!!!! Also a
timeless classic! This song will NEVER get old!
10chadfoya
Timeless Classic! This song will NEVER get old!
Number one always
Talking to girl on the West coast, she put the song on for me on the East coast. I 've jamming since then (1980).
Love this song Sexy Song!!!@@##$ $
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