Funk music’s influence on a range of rhythmic genres cannot be over-stated. The style is a key component in much of modern rock and roll and disco, as well as hip-hop, R&B, and rap. At the same time, its evolution was interwoven with such movements of the era as acid jazz and bebop. Funk is without a doubt rooted to an African heritage. Predominant in the style is its drum and bass, forward like the first whiff of a wine.
Funk, as well as its tangential genres, was an outgrowth of the musical revolution that epitomizes much of the 1960s and 70s. At the time a kind of urban soul was already a part of the African American music scene. Funk drew on jazz influences, blues and rock and roll. In fact, which influenced which first may be debated. A range of loosely associated genres emerged almost simultaneously, out of the tumult of the socio-political milieu that characterized much of the era.
During the early funk days classic acts like Sly and the Family Stone, Earth, Wind and Fire and Tower of Power branded the style in the mainstream. James Brown often called the Godfather of Soul is as credited with Funk. In jazz bars greats like Miles Davis and John Coltrane defined themselves as much as invention when they dipped into funk, bebop and blues terrain.
When rock and roll came around it smacked as much of funk and blues as if it had no other access road by which to travel to its new ground. Jimi Hendrix, one of classic rock’s most innovative and aggressive guitarists, drew freely on funk to form his stylistic vocabulary. Contemporary rock and rollers like Prince aggressively kick up a funk style, as well.
Contemporary funk is alive and well in hip-hop artists such as the Black Eyed Peas and Outkast. Funk influenced rock is epitomized by Red Hot Chili Peppers and Prince and funk jazz evolves due to continual efforts from Liquid Soul and Galactic.