Funk has always been a very interesting word to describe a genre of music to me. The word itself makes me want to scrunch my nose up and make a sour face. Ironically, this facial expression is seen a lot when listening to Funk music. As I grew older, the word “funk” adequately describes the style of music due to its rhythmic patterns and “funky” instruments used.
Funk music originated from a combination of jazz and soul music. A big influencer of funk music was James Brown. Although he did not perform funk music, his soul music was groundbreaking for the time due to his use of rhythmic patterns, repetition, and instruments such as guitar and bass. Funk music can be described as upbeat and repetitive with lyrics that don’t necessarily need to make sense. Some well-known performers of the time, like George Clinton and The Gap Band were seen in very eccentric attire and were very colorful people. This specific genre of music was rarely imitated by white people because of how the style pertained to the black culture. It was something simply could not imitate correctly.
I can hear a lot of influence of funk in go-go music along with contemporary pop. Some artists like Childish Gambino have taken funk music and incorporated it into the music of the present day with his album “Awaken, My Love”. Bruno Mars is also influenced by Funk music especially when you see him perform.
In my opinion, Funk music will always be a staple in African American culture and we are still listening to these artists today because of its timeless sound.