Father of Funk: James Brown

By: Alexia Khalil

Funky James

Born in South Carolina in 1933, James Brown lived an interesting life and left an incredible legacy. In his early adolescence, Brown stole a car and served time in prison where he became the leader of the church choir on the inside. While in prison, James met Bobby Byrd, who later reunited with him to join his own R&B group.The coupling of fortunate and unfortunate events, shaped his life from that point forward. He went on to expand his musical expertise and wrote many influential songs. He soon created his own style consisting of elements from genres like gospel, folk, blues, and R&B, but most notably, funk.

Funky Funk

James Brown was quickly labeled as the “Father of Funk”. He gained this title by most heavily influencing the development of funk music. In his album “Out of Sight” he introduced a new sound that had a rhythm and blues vibe but focused more heavily on rhythm. In the album, James emphasized downbeat and incorporated a preaching style in his performances. This makes sense when considering his background and understanding how funk music served as a source of expression for those going through hard times.

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