James Brown Influence of the Funk Genre

James Brown Early Life

James Brown is a prominent musician that is known for being one of the founders of the Funk music genre. Before his music career, James Brown was arrested for stealing a car. Later on, that led to him leading a church choir is prison. That was the start of him becoming interested in specific music genres. He then met Bobby Byrd and accepted his invite of joining an R&B group after being released from prison. After joining the R&B group, James Brown went into secular music and began to create many influential songs. Brown began creating his own style rooted from R&B and Gospel influences. 

Invention of Funk

James Brown was certainly known as the heaviest influence on funk, considering he was known as the “Father of Funk”. He states the funk genre was created from his 1964 “Out of Sight” album. The music and sounds from that album sounded quite different from the Rhythm and Blues genre. And the music from that album focused more on rhythm rather than the melody. The style focused more on the downbeat as well. Brown was inspired by the “preaching” style and using phrases to initiate a call and response technique within his music. From the combination of music styles described above, Funk was made. Funk music was used as a creative channel for hardships. Songs including “Say It Loud” were the results of Funk that were born in the 1960s. 

James Brown Influence and Legacy

James Brown’s techniques not only influenced the genre he created music in, such as rhythm and blues and funk, but he also influenced current genres as well. His style of deliverance is shown in music that includes adlibs, such as rap. His style is long-lasting due to his influence living through many forms of music. James Brown influenced many musicians including, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Prince, and many others. He directly assisted in creating funk and modern R&B, as well as indirectly influencing a wider variety of artists and encouraged them to go outside of standard musical conventions. His music was also sampled in many rap songs throughout the 1980s and 1990s. 

Some of his well-known songs


James Brown was a very well-known funk musicians that directly created popular music genres listened to today, as well as influenced the artists who make these forms of music. His amazing legacy was a result of his ambitions to go outside the traditional music conventions. 

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