Funk is a music movement from North America. Funk is a strong rhythmic style of music and relies heavily on the rhythmic staccato interplay between percussion, bass lines, percussion guitars and wind instruments.
In funk, the rhythm section (especially the bass) emphasizes the first note of the measure. Furthermore, syncopes are very prominent.
The word “funk” originally means body odor or the smell of sexual intercourse and was generally experienced as an indecent word.
In Afro-American music the term “funky” was used to indicate that part of the music that was loose, sexy, slow, riff-oriented and / or danceable. Funk can thus be seen as a subgenre within rhythm-and-blues and the term has been used as genre designation since the mid-sixties.
In the sixties funk developed as a music genre, mainly developed by James Brown and the group of musicians around him and later also by The Meters, both from the United States.
Artists from the very beginning included Bootsy Collins, George Clinton, Maceo Parker, Sly & the Family Stone, the Commodores and The Isley Brothers.
In the seventies, a new movement arose within the funk that George Clinton and his Parliament / Funkadelic collective called p-funk. Funk is also at the basis of the disco, which came into being at the end of the seventies. Famous artists from this time were Earth, Wind & Fire and Rick James. Also in the seventies the jazz funk arose with, among others, Herbie Hancock with the album Headhunters from 1973. In the music of Mother’s Finest, a group with both black and white band members, the funk melted together with rock music.
In the eighties the funk became more and more mixed with other musical styles. Thus a separate funk scene arose in the American city of Minneapolis, mainly thanks to the success of the artist Prince. These mixed pop, new wave and rock with funk. The music of the American band Red Hot Chili Peppers, which broke through in 1989, was also strongly influenced by funk. This group mainly played funk metal and later also funk rock. There was also arc-like funk, which became popular in the Western United States and especially California. The group Zapp & Roger from Ohio had several hits with it. Also the megahit Another One Bites the Dust of Queen from 1980 is often associated with funk.
The funk also had a lot of influence on the more commercial pop music in and from this time.
The nineties and 2000
From the eighties funk mainly influenced the grooves and samples in dance and hip hop respectively. In hip-hop, especially the rap group Digital Underground saw itself as a continuation of the P-funk. Well-known rap songs like Hit em up from 2Pac and California love from 2Pac and Dr. Dre contain samples of funk numbers. Another form of funk that emerged in the nineties is G-funk, made by the rappers.
A more jazz-based revival came about with American artists such as John Scofield and Soulive.
In addition, the hammond beak that came from the United States, characterized by mostly instrumental and hypnotic funk grooves, in which ripping hammond organs and wah-wah guitars are central.
The influence of funk is still present in dance music.
Among the most important Dutch funkartists, Bastian, Gellybooty, Gotcha! and Seven Eleven. The new hammond organ sound can also be heard in the Netherlands: songs from, among others, the band Sven Hammond Soul even appear under the American record label Hammondbeat Records. The Lefties Soul Connection has success at home and abroad with a funk sound that is based on funky drums, screeching hammond organ, smooth bass lines and rhythmic guitar playing.
- Johnnie Taylor
- KC and the Sunshine Band
- Kool & The Gang
- Larry Graham
- Maceo Parker
- Manu Dibango
- Midnight Movers
- Midnight Star
- Ohio Players
Genres that have many funk influences are: