Con Funk Shun is a Funk & Soul band formed the early 70’s. The group was formed by Michael Cooper (vocalist/guitar) and Louis “Tony” McCall (drummer), along with Karl Fuller (trumpet), Paul “Maceo” Harrell (saxophone/flute), Dennis Johnson, Cedric Martin, and Danny “Sweet Man” Thomas. Felton Pilate (trombone/lead vocals) was the last to join the group. They all have been playing together since their high school days in the city of Vallejo, Ca.
Sly & The Family Stone
Sly Stone, born Sylvester Stewart is a Rock Funk & Soul and R&B artist. He was the lead member of Sly & The Family Stone. Sly Stone and his brother, Freddie Stone (singer/guitar), combined their bands in 1967 (Sly & the Stoners and Freddie & the Stone Souls). Sly, Freddie, Cynthia Robinson (trumpet), Gregg Errico (drums), Jerry Martini (saxophone), and Larry Graham (bass) are the original members of the original lineup. Sly and Freddie’s sister, (singer/keyboard) Rose Stone, joined within a year.
Rick James, born James Ambrose Johnson, was a Funk & Soul/R&B artist/bass player who grew up in Buffalo, New York. He first started off singing on street corners with some neighborhood friends. He fled the country at age 15 in an act to avoid the Navy. He was sought to be selected in the draft, so he fled to Toronto, Canada where he then pushed his passion for music.
Bootsy Collins is a Funky bass player/artist from Cincinnati, Ohio. He first started of playing bass guitar when he was a child. He took bass strings off of a bass guitar and put them on a regular guitar because he didn’t have a bass to play. He formed a band with his brother Catfish and neighborhood friend Franky Waddy called The Pacemakers. They were noticed by James Brown one day just having a jam session until his band showed up. James liked them enough to keep them around in case he needed them, and luckily one night James flew the band out to Columbus, Georgia to play with him that same night. Bootsy, now 18 years old, was now the bass player of James Brown’s band.
George Clinton first started of as a member of a local Doo Wop group in the 50’s called The Parliament. They sung on the street corners, and against other Doo Wop groups. In the 1967, George released a song with The Parliament called “Testify”. The song reached #20 on the Pop Charts during a time where his hometown as well as other cities in the US were having “Race Wars” as the media called it.
James Joe Brown Jr. aka “The Godfather of Soul,” “Mr. Dynamite,” “Soul Brother Number One” and “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” is by far the most influential and popular Funk/Soul artist in America. He is known as the creator of Funk music. He is also responsible for the development of many different musical genres. He was born in Barnwell, South Carolina and raised by 2 aunts and a brother in Augusta, Georgia. As a child, James sang at talent shows, and performed buck dances for a little extra change. He learned how to play the harmonica, drums, guitar, and piano. As a teen he decided to focus more on music in his teens after he met Bobby Byrd, who later became a member in his band.
Roger Troutman is a funk/soul R&B artist from Ohio, and lead singer of the band Zapp. He made many Funk and R&B hits throughout the 1980’s. Roger made the Talk Box instrument popular and used it as a center piece of his music. Most of his music sends out happy vibes and danceable sounds. Some of his more popular songs as a solo artist include “I Wanna Be Your Man” and his cover of “I’ve Heard It Through The Grapevine.”
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Zapp is a soul/funk band form Ohio, established in the late 70’s. The band consists of The Troutman Brothers: Roger, Larry, Terry, and Lester as well as Gregory Jackson. The band’s distinct sound was the use of an instrument called the Talk Box. This instrument at the time wasn’t used as a lead instrument, but this band embraced it. This being played over a happy upbeat dance style of Funk is the original sound of Zapp. Some of the more influential songs from this band are “More Bounce To The Ounce” and “Dance Floor.” The groups success was due to Roger and his Talk Box which gives off and creates a more happy atmosphere. Larry and Roger were the head of the group. Larry was the road manager and the leader of the group in terms of all major decisions and connections. Roger dealt with the production and lead singing.
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Funk is a distinct style of music originated by the African American Culture. It hit the scene in the late 60’s early 70’s.
Its name originated in the 1950s, when “funk” and “funky” were used increasingly as adjectives in the context of soul music. The meaning being transformed from the original one (pungent odor) to a re-defined meaning of a strong, distinctive groove.
Funk consists a blend of soul music, jazz music and R&B. What separates this genre is the strong bass-line usually played in a style called “slap bass.” The blend of this baseline, complex drum licks, choppy guitar strumming, and synchronized horns (trumpets and saxophones) composed in a rhythmic groove gives Funk it’s distinct sound.
Nas – I Can
“I Can” is a very informational and meaningful hip hop song that was created in 2003 by Nas. “I Can” is the second single from Nas’s album, God’s Son. Nas dedicated this song to the youth, mainly young black kids.
He uses his status and creativity in the hip hop culture to send a positive message to our youth with this song. Nas was a very popular hip hop artist during the time he composed this song. He uses kids in his song as well as in the video to help attract more kids to listen to the positively influential song. This song is very meaningful and informational to kids, especially Black kids. As far as the video, there are many things used and shown that link back to African roots. This shows how important and influential Africa is in our present society.