The funkiest man…in heaven

James Brown is the root to many a song and sample, and this is my unhidden love for of his breakbeats and funkbreaks

Breakbeats has been used for years, and samples from artists like James Brown, Lyn Collins, Graham Central Station, The Shadows to mention the most well-known names. But today is about James Brown, the original roots of hip hop!

Definition of sound: Breakbeat


Its freakin´ great to see that young artists today again has started to use drum loops and the drum samples that sounds as timeless and funky today as they sounded way back then.

Have a listen to the the brand new Destiny´s Child track “Nuclear”

They lift the drum break off Lyn Collins “Think” with great success, and the man behind Lyn Collins? James Brown, the funkiest man in heaven! The original drum track is from 1972 (that´s 2 years before got born) and for fun I did a WhoSampled search for the track and found it had been sampled more than 550 times. That´s many hours of music!

Still listening to the beats again now over 40 years later – they still sounds so cool and so goddamn funky! Now that´s what I call timeless high quality breakbeat!

Emeli Sande has used breakbeats with great success, listen to the funky beats off her already classic “Heaven” and have a listen to Katy Bs “Bitches Brew” both of those tracks makes me want to rewind my old tapes, pick up my MiniDisc and LPs and have a new listen to them again and again and again.

If I should rewind a bit more, i´d choose to stop the tape on the “Funky Drummer” and tracks like:

  • Fine Young Cannibals greatest timeless single “I´m Not The Man I Used To Be”
  • Sinead O´Connors “I Am Stretched On Your Grave”
  • George Michael “Waiting For That Day” and “Freedom ´90”
  • David Bowies “Fame ´90 Hip Hop Mix”
  • Candy Flips “Strawberry Fields Forever”
  • Stone Roses “Fools Gold”
  • LL Cool J “Mama Said Knock You Out”

And this is just a handful of tracks that lifts it´s drumbreak from James Browns “Funky Drummer” from 1970 – or check out the even better “Funky Drummer Bonus Beats Reprise” a track that uses just the drum break. A breakbeat that has been sampled more by more than 600 different artists – and this is just the tracks that is registered in the WhoSampled database.

When the beats are being re-released through artists today they get eternal life for the new generation of musiclisteners – and for generations to come!

The list of great drum breaks is endless – so would this blogpost have been if i should mention them all. So i choose to count it down like James Brown would have done – a one, two, three, four – and stop!