ORIGIN & CHARACTERISTICS
Funk is a genre that emerged during the 1960s as a form of dance music. It gained inspiration from rhythm and blues and jazz music. Funk has elements from blues- styled horn arrangements, rock and jazz solos, guitar timbres, and soul vocal styles. Many people called funk music “soul groups”, “dance bands”, “black rock” and “jazz funk” in its early days. The lyrics in funk music were usually about partying, romance, social relationships and many times had social and political commentary, just like soul music. Through funk music many artists expressed their feelings, identity, emotions, and told their stories. Many funk artists were raised in working class, low- income communities and their lyrics would be about them overcoming that and becoming the successful artists they were. Funk music is also many times played in large groups like Earth, Wind & Fire and Lakeside.
SOCIAL IMPLICATIONS, COMMODIFICATION, & INLFUENCE ON FUTURE GENRES
The Black Power Movement, beginning in the late 60s and ending in the early 70s, was a movement that was all about black unity, black pride, and self- determination. Drugs became very popular in African American communities with the decline of economic resources and recreational programs. During this time many funk artists and musicians began talking about drugs more in their music in order to connect to their listeners more. James Brown’s music became very popular during the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement because it symbolized social and political change that was wanted within the black community. Artists like George Clinton encouraged the black community to rise to the challenge of being heard. Funk music influenced rhythm & blues and soul music. Funk music remained exclusive to the African American community until the 1990s because it received very little radio time. It became more mainstream when it began to be played on classical R&B and soul radio stations through revival tours and broadcasts.
The Gap Band
Earth, Wind & Fire
I really enjoy listening to funk music. Theres something in the music that just makes me want to get up and dance and I can’t help but just move to the music. It is nice to hear music that actually tells a story in and their is purpose behind the lyrics.