The Rhythmic Innovations Of James Brown Helped In The Shaping Of Hip-Hop

If there is a “Godfather Of Soul”, it is James Brown as he is popularly referred to. He lived up to the title with his own combination of music and message. But then, he also put his “Good Foot” forward by inventing a funky new sound that later became famous the world over as “hip-hop”. It is no twist of fate that James Brown is to date, one of the artists most sampled in the world of hip-hop (take a look at the “Get Up, Get Into And Get Involved” song on Nas’ “Where Are they Now” from Hip-Hop Is Dead). His influence was profound in popular music styles that include, rock‘n’roll, disco, funk, soul and without doubt rap.

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Let us look at some of the key elements that James Brown introduced into the genre:

Ø Hip-Hop choruses were influenced by his call-and-response style.

Ø Funk drumming and break beats were inspired by his dynamic rhythms in his earlier recordings.

Ø Young breakdancers were inspired by some of his footwork and musical showmanship.

Ø His 1969 recording with drummer Clyde Stubblefield is a very often sampled break.

James Brown passed away on December 25, 2006 at an age of 73.

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