Naim Go Deeper: FUNK

This month, we have explored the genre FUNK for our monthly playlist.


Funk originated in African-American communities in the late 60’s and draws influences from soul music, jazz and rhythm and blues. Melody takes a back seat and rhythm and groove dominate -  usually played by an electric bassist together with the drummer in the foreground. Like much of African-inspired music, funk typically consists of a complex groove with rhythm instruments playing interlocking grooves.

In the mid-60’s, James Brown developed a signature groove which emphasised the downbeat. This is arguably the birth of funk, influencing other groups and players such as George Clinton, Sly Stone, Bootsy Collins.. Funk continued to develop and ranged from more underground progressive acts to huge artists in popular culture from Rufus and Chaka Khan to Stevie Wonder.

Check out our top 3 tracks from the playlist and Go Deeper into the funk genre with us.

Listen on Spotify
Listen on TIDAL


Steve Monite - Only You

Steve Monite is a Nigerian singer and songwriter best known for his Afro-booking 1984 album, Only You. The track with the same name, Only You, has been hailed as the holy grail of 1980’s Nigerian funk by contemporary critics and record collectors, recently having another lease of life after Frank Ocean covered the track for his performance at FYF Festical. Check out Doing It in Lagos: Boogie, Pop & Disco, a compilation of Nigerian music from the 1980s to hear more..

Thundercat - Them Changes

Stephen Lee Bruner, aka Thundercat, known first for his session bass playing for the likes of Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar, has gone on to perform and produce a solo mini album, which features Them Changes. Opening with a sample of the Isley Brothers ‘Footsteps in the Dark’, the bass line soon brings back the funk. Listen to Bruner talking about how Them Changes became a funk track via song exploder on Wired.

Bootsy Collins - I’d Rather Be With You

Rising to prominence during his session work with James Brown in the early 1970’ and later with Parliament-Funkadelic, Collins famous driving bass guitar and himourous vocals established him as one of the great legends and leading names in funk. ‘I’d rather be with you’ is off Stretchin’ Out Bootsy’s Rubber Band, the first album by Bootsy’s Rubber Band, an offshoot of Parliament-Funkadelic led by Bootsy. The track has been sampled by at least 40 hip-hop and R&B tracks.

Listen to our FUNK playlist on Spotify and TIDAL.

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