Funk The Music, The People, and The Rhythm of The One

Rickey Vincent; Foreword by George Clinton

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

416 Pages



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Winner of an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award

Funky music hasn't received the critical attention that rock, jazz, and the blues have—until now. This intelligent, accessible, and engrossing study takes an unprecedented look at the songs, the musicians, the philosophy, and the meaning of funk. Vincent, a noted critic, scholar, and DJ, takes readers from the earliest efforts of James Brown (the Godfather of Funk) up to the masters of today, investigating such crucial phenomena along the way as funky soul (Stevie Wonder, the Temptations), jazz-funk (Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock), monster funk (Parliament, Funkadelic), disco-funk (Chic, K.C. & the Sunshine Band), funky pop (Kool & the Gang, Chaka Khan), P-Funk Hip Hop (Digital Underground, De La Soul), funk rock (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Primus), and more.

With sixteen pages of photos, thorough annotations throughout, and a complete discography, Funk gives us the history of a uniquely American music born out of tradition and community—a music of energy, attitude, anger, hope, romance, mystery, and irrepressible spirit that now stands as a cornerstone of African American popular culture.


Praise for Funk

"The first [book] to examine seriously both funk music and its accompanying culture."—The New York Times

"Vincent writes in a style knee-deep in both sociological insight and love for the music . . . With Funk, a whole new school of discourse has been kicked open."—Vibe

"An exuberant, exhilarating, and enlightening book that [belongs] on your bookshelf next to copies of Robert Palmer's Deep Blues and Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music."—Rap Pages

"Comprehensive . . . The first and only take on [this] genre."—San Francisco Bay Guardian

"The intellectual equivalent of a Funkadelic album: On the surface [this book] celebrates the spirit of funk, but underneath it is a statement on black culture and the politics of getting down, i.e., it is really saying something."—Urb

"Engrossing."—San Francisco Examiner and Chronicle

"Certifies the cultural heritage of a Hip Hop nation."—Publishers Weekly

"A scholarly, entertaining treatise on an exceedingly worthwhile subject."—Paul Shaffer

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Rickey Vincent; Foreword by George Clinton

  • Rickey Vincent has written about music for Vibe, Mondo 2000, and other periodicals. An instructor at San Francisco State University, he also hosts an all-funk radio show on the Bay Area's KPFA. He lives in Berkeley.