Funk Music History

1802 Words 8 Pages
Throughout hip hop music’s history, community members have debated over what constitutes “real hip hop”, yet recent trends have proven that hip hop as a genre is very open and fluid, where an artist with a unique musical flow can blow up overnight and influence the hip hop music of tomorrow. Of course, hip hop music did not spring out of the blue, but rather it was a newly packaged form of musical delivery that ascended from the music that preceded it. Thus, hip hop was not just a music style that followed funk music, it was directly influenced by this genre and it is a musical descendant of both funk and it is evident through its lyrics, feeling, and recurring themes. Although funk is such a large and diverse genre musically, one of its strongest …show more content…
Much like funk of the past, the hip hop of today is seeing a shift that heavily focuses on the feeling and good vibes that the music brings to the listener. Funk would eventually pass the popularity torch to disco music, whose focus was more so on dance and the listener’s reaction, than the lyrics and message of the song. Earth, Wind & Fire was a group that seemed to be caught in this transition and continued to succeed commercially by adapting to the changing audience preference and creating music that would make the listeners feel the need to dance to the music. Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” is a perfect example of a commercially successful song put out to appeal to the changing funk audience. This song continues to be a dancing phenomenon that can engulf the listener with an overpowering urge to dance as they try to remember what happened on that 21st night of September. As the listener is dancing the night away to Earth, Wind and Fire’s hit song, the lyrics and some of the song’s meanings may not be heavily considered. Dan Charnas, a hip hop writer who appears on NPR’s Morning Edition, recounts the story of the creation of Earth, Wind and Fire’s song that never ends. Through an interview with songwriter Allee Willis, who cowrote September with Maurice White, Charnas reveals the story behind the “ba-dee-ya” line that seems to have no lyrical significance. Allee Willis remembers begging Maurice White to change the “ba-dee-ya” line into lyrics that meant something and related to the song. After continuing to question that infamous lyric, Willis confesses that Maurice White taught her the greatest songwriting lesson, “never let the lyric get in the way of the groove” (Charnas). In today’s hip hop music, the trend seems to a very similar shift between funk and disco

Related Documents