Dark Funk Music: The Sound of the Underground

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for something a little different in your music collection? Check out our picks for the best dark funk tracks around. With a sound that’s both moody and funky, these tracks are perfect for any mood.

What is dark funk?

Dark funk is a subgenre of funk music that originated in the late 1970s. It is characterized by its dark, gritty, and often sinister sound. It is often compared to other genres such as disco, hip hop, and electronica. Dark funk artists often explore themes of paranoia, crime, and corruption in their music.

The history of dark funk

Funk music has its origins in the African-American community, and was created as a way to give voice to the struggles and triumphs of black people in America. The original funk sound was a mix of soul, R&B, and jazz, with a heavy emphasis on the groove. In the 1970s, funk began to evolve into a more aggressive and political sound, with bands like James Brown and Parliament Funkadelic becoming major forces in the music world. This new style of funk, which came to be known as “dark funk,” continued to grow in popularity throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

Where did it come from?

The history of dark funk can be traced back to the early days of funk music. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, James Brown and other artists began to experiment with different sounds and techniques, resulting in a new style of music that was heavier and more experimental than previous funk. This new style, which came to be known as dark funk, was characterized by its use of extended jams, psychedelic elements, and complex arrangements.

While dark funk never achieved the mainstream success of other genres, it did gain a loyal following among underground music fans. In the 1980s and 1990s, dark funk experienced a resurgence thanks to the popularity of hip hop and electronic dance music. Today, dark funk continues to be popular among underground music fans and is sometimes used as a descriptor for other genres such as trip hop and nu jazz.

Who were the pioneers?

The history of dark funk is closely intertwined with the history of hip hop. The earliest examples of dark funk can be traced back to the early 1980s, when artists like Afrika Bambaataa and Marley Marl began experimenting with incorporating elements of funk and soul into their hip hop productions. This new sound quickly caught on with other producers and rappers, and by the mid-1980s, dark funk had become a staple of the hip hop landscape.

Notable dark funk pioneers include Public Enemy, who popularized the genre with their groundbreaking album Fear of a Black Planet; N.W.A., who brought dark funk to the mainstream with their controversial album Straight Outta Compton; and Dr. Dre, who would go on to become one of the most successful producers in hip hop history thanks in part to his work in this genre.

In the 1990s, dark funk began to evolve away from its hip hop roots, as artists like George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic started incorporating more electronic elements into their music. This new sound would come to be known as acid jazz, and it would go on to influence a wide variety of genres in the years that followed.

What are the defining characteristics?

Dark funk is a subgenre of funk music that emerged in the 1970s. It is characterized by a heavy, driving sound, often with horns and strings, and with a strong emphasis on the groove. The lyrics often deal with dark or taboo subjects, such as drugs, sex, and violence. Dark funk bands often have a gritty, edgy feel, and they are often compared to hard rock or heavy metal bands.

While dark funk shares some similarities with other genres of funk music, it is distinct in its heavier sound and lyrical themes. Dark funk bands such as Parliament-Funkadelic and Bootsy’s Rubber Band were innovators of the genre, and their music has influenced many subsequent dark funk artists.

The current state of dark funk

Dark funk music is often overlooked in today’s music industry. It’s a shame, because dark funk artists are some of the most creative and innovative musicians out there. If you’re looking for something new and different, you should definitely check out dark funk. Unfortunately, the current state of dark funk is not as strong as it once was.

Who is making it?

There is no denying that dark funk is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. But who is behind this new wave of music? Here are some of the biggest names in dark funk today.

Nile Rodgers is one of the most influential figures in the history of dark funk. He was a founding member of Chic, and has since gone on to produce and write for artists like Madonna, Duran Duran, and David Bowie. In recent years, he has been working with Daft Punk, and helped them create their smash hit album “Random Access Memories”.

George Clinton is another legend of dark funk. He was the mastermind behind Parliament-Funkadelic, and has been credited with popularizing the genre in the 1970s. In recent years, he has collaborated with everyone from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Puff Daddy.

Prince Paul is a hip-hop producer who has been instrumental in the revival of dark funk. He rose to prominence in the 1990s with his work on De La Soul’s seminal album “3 Feet High and Rising”. He has since gone on to produce for a who’s who of hip-hop royalty, including MF DOOM, A Tribe Called Quest, and Beastie Boys.

Madlib is a producer best known for his work with the hip-hop group Madvillian. He has also released a number of solo albums under the alias Quasimoto. His unique production style blends elements of jazz, soul, and psychedelic rock, making him one of the most innovative producers working today.

What are they doing with it?

The dark funk sound has undergone a major resurgence in recent years, with artists like BadBadNotGood, Kamasi Washington, and Thundercat leading the charge. While the roots of dark funk can be traced back to the 1970s, it’s taken on a new life in the hands of today’s generation of musicians.

So what exactly is dark funk? It’s a tough question to answer, as the sound can vary greatly from artist to artist. Generally speaking, dark funk is a type of jazz-fusion that incorporates elements of R&B, soul, and funk. The result is a sound that is both experimental and accessible, with a heavy emphasis on groove.

If you’re looking to get into dark funk, there’s no better place to start than BadBadNotGood. The Canadian trio has been at the forefront of the genre for the past few years, and their latest album III is widely considered to be one of the best dark funk albums of all time. From there, you can check out Kamasi Washington’s The Epic, which is a three-hour tour de force that will leave you feeling both exhilarated and exhausted. Finally, Thundercat’s Drunk is an eccentric and pop-influenced take on the genre that is sure to get your head nodding.

Where can you find it?

Dark funk can be found in a variety of places. Many independent record labels specialize in releasing dark funk music, and there are also a number of online radio stations that play this type of music. In addition, dark funk artists often perform at nightclubs and music festivals that cater to this genre.

Why dark funk matters

Some may say that dark funk is the sound of the underground, while others might say that it’s the sound of the future. But what is dark funk, really? Dark funk is a genre of music that is often characterized by its dark, mysterious, and edgy sound. It’s a type of music that often incorporates elements of hip hop, R&B, and soul.

It’s the sound of the underground

Dark funk is a musical genre that is often overlooked and misunderstood. It’s the sound of the underground, of artists who are pushing the boundaries and experimenting with new sounds. It’s raw, it’s gritty, and it’s often dark and atmospheric. But that’s what makes it so special.

dark funk is a genre that is constantly evolving, and it’s one of the most exciting and innovative genres of music today. If you’re looking for something new and different, something that will challenge your perceptions of what music can be, then dark funk is definitely worth checking out.

It’s raw and unrefined

Dark funk is the sound of the underground. It’s raw and unrefined, full of grit and groove. It’s music that makes you move, that gets under your skin. It’s the sound of the streets, of the night.

Dark funk is dark because it doesn’t follow the rules. It’s not polished or perfect, it’s rough around the edges. But that’s what makes it so attractive, so dangerous. It’s music that you can lose yourself in, that can take you to places you’ve never been before.

If you’re looking for something different, something exciting, something dangerous, then dark funk is for you. It’s the sound of the underground, and it’s waiting for you to come and explore it.

It’s the future of funk

Nearly everybody loves funk music. It’s upbeat, it’s groovy, and it just makes you feel good. But what is funk, really? And where did it come from?

Funk is a genre of music that arose in the mid-1960s. It is a fusion of African-American music styles such as soul and R&B with rock and roll. Funk music is characterized by its heavy groove and often contains elements of rap and hip-hop.

So why is dark funk so important? Well, for starters, it’s the future of funk. By definition, funk is constantly evolving, and dark funk represents the latest evolution of the genre.

Dark funk also has a unique sound that sets it apart from other genres. It’s often been described as “the sound of the underground.” This is fitting, because dark funk artists often explore themes that are not typically covered in mainstream music.

If you’re looking for something new and different, give dark funk a try. You might just find that it’s your new favorite genre of music!

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