Funk

Funk

All about the groove.

Cultural Origin

Mid 1960s

Prominent Artists

Kool & The Gang, Slave, Cameo, Ohio Players, The Gap Band

Influenced By

Gospel, Rhythm & Blues, Rock, Soul

Later Influenced

R&B, Hip Hop, House, Techno, Neo Soul

Parliament Funkadelic.
Parliament Funkadelic.

About The Genre

Funk is all about the groove. Melody and chord progressions take a back seat to the bass and drums.

The individual most responsible for the development of the genre is James Brown. Brown, who would be equally at home in the Soul category, and his band, the Famous Flames, developed the style of playing “on the one,” which emphasized the first downbeat of the measure. He essentially transformed soul music into funk.

Funk reached its heyday in the 1970s and 1980s. Established acts like the Temptations and Stevie Wonder used the style to great success. As with many other Black music genres, a culture developed around Funk that went beyond music. Being funky could refer to one's style of dress or walk.

Funk was crucial to the development of electronic dance music and Hip Hop and a was major inspiration for Prince.

Trivia/Famous Lyrics

DId you know...

Fellas, I'm ready to get up and do my thing (yeah go ahead!)
I wanta get into it, man, you know (go ahead!)
Like a, like a sex machine, man, (yeah go ahead!)
Movin' and doin' it, you know
Can I count it off? (Go ahead)
One, two, three, four!

"Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine" by James Brown

Artists from this genre

James Brown

James Brown

The Godfather.

The Meters

The Meters

New Orleans funk originators.

Bootsy Collins

Bootsy Collins

The first great funk bass player.

Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan

The Queen of Funk.

Earth, Wind & Fire

Earth, Wind & Fire

The elemental forces of funk.

George Clinton

George Clinton

The Maestro of P-Funk.

Rick James

Rick James

The Freaky One.

MORE Genres from this era

Disco

Disco

It went from the underground club scene to the mainstream.

R&B

R&B

Polished sound and sophisticated production.

Prince

Prince

A genre unto himself.