What is Funk

Funk is a music genre that originated in African American communities in the mid-1960s. Musicians created a rhythmic, danceable new form of music through a mixture of soul, jazz, and rhythm and blues. Funk de-emphasizes melody and chord progressions and focuses on a strong rhythmic groove of a bassline played by an electric bassist and a drum part played by a percussionist. The drums were played at a slower tempo than other popular music. Funk typically consists of a complex percussive groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves that create a “hypnotic” and “danceable” feel.

Where is started

Funk originated in the mid-1960s, with James Brown’s development of a signature groove that emphasized the downbeat with a heavy emphasis on the first beat of every measure. The meaning of “funk” continues to captivate the genre of black music, feeling, and knowledge. Recent scholarship in black studies has taken the term “funk” in its many iterations to consider the range of black movement and culture.

James Brown

James Joseph Brown, an American singer, dancer, musician, record producer, and bandleader, was born on May 3, 1933. Brown began his career as a gospel singer in Toccoa, Georgia. Brown came to national public attention in the mid-1950s as the lead singer of the Famous Flames, a rhythm and blues vocal group founded by Bobby Byrd.

During the late 1960s, Brown moved from a continuum of blues and gospel-based forms and styles to a profoundly “Africanized” approach to music-making, emphasizing stripped-down interlocking rhythms that influenced the development of funk music.

By the early 1970s, Brown had fully established the funk sound after the formation of the J.B.s with records such as “Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine” and “The Payback.” James Brown also became noted for his song “Say It Loud- I’m black, and I’m Proud.”

James Brown
The Payback


Brown recorded 17 singles that reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B charts. Brown also holds the record for the most singles listed on the Billboard Hot 100 chart that did not call No. 1. Brown was inducted into the first class of the Rhythm & Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2013 as an artist and then in 2017 as a songwriter. He also received honors from several other institutions, including induction into the Black Music Hall & Entertainment Walk of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Brown was also ranked seventh on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of all time.

What's your password?

Login to your account

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.