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The Unfortunate Commercialization of the Funk


Way back in the ancient days of 2007, we, the admirers of pure, uncut, sounds-so-good-you’ll-slap-your-mama Funk were sucker punched by a most disgraceful advertisement. Although many called it “cute” and “cool” and even “funny”, this ad was a disgrace to all that the Funk stood for.

According to the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, the band behind “We Want The Funk” and promoters of all that is Funky, Parliament-Funkadelic, “frequently resorted to allegorical concept albums to make larger points about societal injustices and ways in which a community of like-minded souls could liberate themselves from its constrictions”.

This was a major blow to the Funk. It’s revolutionary mentality had been pummeled by a posse of grooving third graders. In his headquarters high on Madison Avenue, The Man had taken the Funk, shined it nice, smoothed it out, made it safe, and re-packaged it as a pitch tool for gluttonous, misappropriated, irresponsible spending. The type of spending that led to 19% interest rates, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and all sorts of financial misfortune. Tied eternally to one of the greatest anthems in Funk History.

But we, the True Funk-a-teers, grooved on. The Man was not going to hold us down. Oh no, we had to keep on groovin’.

Now in 2009 comes another attack. With the pressure of the credit crisis raining down on The Man and the emergence of a new less materialistic America, The Man has unleashed another offensive on the Funk. Once again, The Man has associated the Funk with materialism, greed, excess, and the need for instantaneous possessive gratification that has put America on its current crash course with destruction. This time his target of choice is Funk Legend Rick James and his smash hit “Super Freak”.

At first, this ad gave me hope. There were people all over the world singing “Super Freak”. Ballers, babes, bros, cyclists, cowboys, and even consiglieres were all breaking it down to Rick James. Then I saw an attractive woman using her Visa credit card to buy some much needed tunes. I was still ok. Cautious, but ok. Then Mr. Morgan Freeman completely shattered my utopia. He utterly and absolutely destroyed my hopes for all that is, was, or ever will be ever holy. Out of this once respectable, once proud, once strong man’s mouth came the most heinous phrase to ever be adapted to sound:

“More people go funky with Visa”

The Man has struck again. I wonder if the Funk can ever recover.


1 comment on The Unfortunate Commercialization of the Funk

  1. One, I don’t care what you say – that commercial cracks me up.

    Two, one of my good friends from college is a keyboardist for Parliament Funkadelic.

    These two things are not related at all.

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