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Finding the Funk: Demystifying the booty-shaking genre

Hip hop band The Roots rehearse at NBC Studios, Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009 in New York.

Charles Sykes / AP

3 out of 4 stars

Finding the Funk
Directed by
Nelson George

Not to spoil the ending, but director Nelson George absolutely does find the funk. Narrated by Questlove of the hip-hop band the Roots, Finding the Funk is a straightforward chronology of the booty-shaking genre, from James Brown's downbeat to Sly Stone's celebration (and bassist Larry Graham's industrious thumb), from P-Funk Mothership's futuristic visions to sample-happy hip-hop artists to the pop genius of Prince. By using musicians to demonstrate with their instruments – D'Angelo on the guitar or Questlove on drums – a lively genre that words could never fully explain is entertainingly demystified.

April 30, 7 p.m., Royal; May 2, 4:30 p.m., Bader; May 4, 1:30 p.m., Bloor.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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