You know this record. If you’re a fan of hiphop/rap and music, you have probably heard this record a 1000 times and never even realized it. If you’re a DJ or Producer, you’ve likely have sampled it.
But do you know the history of Funky Drummer? Well…Good News! Today, the lesson is given!
Funky Drummer was recorded by James Brown in 1969 and was released in 1970 on his “In The Jungle Groove” album. A somewhat obscure record and not as celebrated as most of his other hits, this record in many ways is effectively the foundation that hip hop music is built on.
The drummer responsible for the infamous drum break that gives the record its name is Clyde Stubblefield, who was one of James Brown’s mainstays in his backing band, “The J.B.”‘s for at least 5 years plus. In fact, Stubblefield is credited with introducing swing and syncopation to R&B music with this record. This drum break which appears around the 6 min mark of the song has inspired many a battle routine as well as many a freestyle session. Not to mention, a slew of hip hop producers have broken those drums apart to create many of the modern day hip hop drum kits (kicks and snares) that you will find in any sample pack you can purchase online.
Most Infamous Uses:
1. Public Enemy “Fight The Power”
2. LL Cool J “Boomin System”
3. Eric B and Rakim “Lyrics Of Fury”
4. Run DMC “Run’s House”
5. En Vogue “Hold On”
The Bet You Didnt Know It Was Used “Extra Hidden” category:
1. N.W.A. “F Tha Police”
2. A.Z. “Rather Unique”
3. Big Daddy Kane “Mortal Combat”
4. Run DMC “Beats To The Rhyme”
5. Above The Law “Freedom Of Speech”
6. Geto Boys “Mind Of A Lunatic”
7. EPMD “I’m Mad”
8. Gang Starr “The Illest Brother”
9. LL Cool J “Jack The Ripper”
10.Rah Digga “What They Call Me”
And there are a ton of other uses too. Stay tuned, this is just the first in a series of infamous hip hop mainstays. Next Week, the history of More Bounce To The Ounce by Zapp.