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.
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.
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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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.