From its inception in the mid-1960s, funk music has been all about the rhythm, groove, and unmistakable cool of its (sometimes ridiculously attired) frontrunners.
While bandleader James Brown paved the way, the trail he blazed was shortly followed by fellow innovators. Sly Stone, The Gap Band, Chaka Khan, The Commodores, and a slew of others brought the noise – each with their own unique flair – and inspired both contemporaries and future generations, who blended elements of the style into their own genres.
Those halcyon days are long past, though, and the golden age of the genre is but a distant memory. Just because it isn’t mainstream any longer, though, doesn’t mean that funk died. It has merely evolved, with the banner passed on to a new crop of artists intent on upholding the sacred tenets of rhythm and soul.
Though the old guard might not be as active as it once was, these fresh(er) faces are keeping the tradition alive, helping breathe life into the genre by hitting us hard with inventive, unadulterated, and undeniably funky grooves blended with new school production values and top-notch instrumental skills on their latest albums.