James Brown & Funk

Who was James Brown?

 

James Brown was an African American singer and musician. He was born in Barnwell, South Carolina on May 3, 1933. Growing up Brown and his family did not have much. Growing up black in the south during the Great Depression was hard on him and his family. When he was four he went to live with his aunt in Augusta, GA. As Brown got older he would do whatever jobs he could get his hands on. From shining shoes to dancing, Brown tried every way to make the most money possible in order to get by.

Getting Into Music

 

As a child Brown used to sing in his church’s choir. When Brown was 16 he was arrested for stealing a car. He was sentenced to three years in prison and during his time there he organized a prison choir. During his prison sentence was also where he met Bobby Byrd. The James Brown and Bobby Byrd duo from this day forward would become one of the most iconic in the history of African American music. After prison Byrd invited Brown to join an R&B group, eventually known as the Famous Flames and they performed all throughout Macon, Georgia. Eventually Brown moved to New York where he began to perform with other artists, do tours, and eventually skyrocket in his music career. 

James Brown’s Influence in Music

 

James Brown had a huge impact on music in America. Brown had an iconic call and response system that he used throughout his songs that made his music stand out. In addition to this his rhythm and beats inspired different styles of dancing such as breakdancing and other dancing with heavy intricate footwork. James Brown truly left a mark on the American music industry and inspired many artists that we know today such as: Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, and Prince. 

 

My Opinion On James Brown 

 

To me, James Brown is one of the most influential African American artists of all time. As a black person in America, no matter how old you are, what class you come from, where you live, and what your cultural background is, you probably know who James Brown is. From his incorporation of dance, rhythm and soul into all of his performances to his iconic call and response songs and mix ups, James Brown is without a doubt one of the most influential African American artists of all time. I think one thing that makes James Brown so influential is that for one, he truly came from nothing and worked his way to the top. He did not do it completely on his own, but he was not really put on by anyone. He struggled from childhood to prison, eventually got his life back on track and became one of the most influential artists that we know to this day. In addition to this I think he is one of the most influential artists because he had such a unique style and voice. When you turn on a James Brown song, you hear the funky beat, and his strong unique voice in the background, you automatically know that it is him. He does not sound like anyone else and he paved the way for future African American artists we have known and grown to love. 

 

Popular James Brown Pieces

 

  1. Get Up Offa That Thing 

  2. The Boss

  3. Get Up

  4. Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud

  5. I Feel Good

 

 

 

                     Works Cited 

Adaso, Henry. “How James Brown Influenced Hip-Hop.” LiveAbout, LiveAbout, 8 Mar. 2019, www.liveabout.com/how-james-brown-influenced-hip-hop-2857334.
“James Brown.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 16 Dec. 2019, www.biography.com/musician/james-brown.
“James Brown – Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – I Feel Good.” YouTube, 15 May 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJgkuyJ8NLo.
Shmoop Editorial Team. “James Brown Influences.” Shmoop, Shmoop University, 11 Nov. 2008, www.shmoop.com/say-it-loud/influences.html.

 

Adaso, Henry. “How James Brown Influenced Hip-Hop.” LiveAbout, LiveAbout, 8 Mar. 2019, www.liveabout.com/how-james-brown-influenced-hip-hop-2857334.
“James Brown.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 16 Dec. 2019, www.biography.com/musician/james-brown.
“James Brown – Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – I Feel Good.” YouTube, 15 May 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJgkuyJ8NLo.
Shmoop Editorial Team. “James Brown Influences.” Shmoop, Shmoop University, 11 Nov. 2008, www.shmoop.com/say-it-loud/influences.html.
Adaso, Henry. “How James Brown Influenced Hip-Hop.” LiveAbout, LiveAbout, 8 Mar. 2019, www.liveabout.com/how-james-brown-influenced-hip-hop-2857334.
“James Brown.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 16 Dec. 2019, www.biography.com/musician/james-brown.
“James Brown – Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – I Feel Good.” YouTube, 15 May 2013, www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJgkuyJ8NLo.
Shmoop Editorial Team. “James Brown Influences.” Shmoop, Shmoop University, 11 Nov. 2008, www.shmoop.com/say-it-loud/influences.html.

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