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.
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.