Pop Life

DāM-FunK Aims to Change the World With the Funk

DāM-FunK has been at the head of the modern funk movement for the last five years, a place he earned one music-festival stop at a time. And while he's secure in his role as funk's ambassador, he's still just a bit bothered that the public's funk knowledge is just a little lacking.

For instance, a tweet that came across his eyes earlier this month. In praising D'Angelo's Black Messiah, a music producer with Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show said that the foundations of modern funk are D'Angelo, Questlove of the Roots, and prolific bass player Pino Palladino.

Nothing against those guys, but what bothers DāM-FunK (pronounced like damn funk or dame funk, whichever you prefer) is that neo-soul musicians -- no matter how funky in their own right -- get pushed into a genre that's uniquely different. Still, that's okay. Because Los Angeles' Damon Riddick has built a solid career on the funk, and just wants you to know its real history.

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Camilo Hannibal Smith started writing for the Houston Press in 2014. A former copy editor, he was inspired to focus on writing about pop culture and entertainment after a colleague wrote a story about Paul Wall's grills. His work has been published in the Los Angeles Times and the Source magazine.