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The Globe and Mail

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

Title
Finding the Funk
Directed by
Nelson George
Genre
Documentary
Classification
PG
Year
2013

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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