One Time for the Funky Drummer

by g.o.a.t Hip Hop

On February 18th, Hip Hop (and Funk) lost one of its architects. The original funky drummer, Clyde Stubblefield (April 18, 1943 – 2017) was a self taught musician who is most known for his time spent with James Brown and for the heavily sampled drum patterns on the song, “Funky Drummer”. We pay homage to this giant below with a few of our favorites songs that sampled him.

Davu Flint

Using the Funk Drummer break (“Sound of the Funky Drummer!”) as the bedrock upon which to layer James Brown grunts, live Branford Marsalis, saxophone solos, Terminator X scratches, and a veritable gumbo of samples from The Dramatics, Trouble Funk, Bob Marley, and Sly and the Family Stone, Public Enemy succeeded in making the most incendiary song of 1989.

A true classic from the jeep era, LL Cool J drinks, drives, and stunts over this midnight marauder. A return to form, after 1989's commercially successful yet critically ambivalent Walking With A Panther,  Booming System is the first single from Uncle L's wildly popular Mama Said Knock You Out. Producer Marley Marl throws the ubiquitous Stubblefield loop in a blender with James Brown's Payback and hits the puree button for the win.


I'm going with Digable Planets.  *Ice Cube voice* Taddow!

"Im from where the phat beats stretch for mad blocks"

Corina Corina

Oh that's easy then: "Mama Said Knock You Out”, "Let Me Ride" (Dre), “Fight the Power” & “Fuck tha Police” aka like 4 of the best hip hop songs of all time. What a legacy.


Not only a dope simple take on the Funky drummer pattern/break, Mos puts his foot into this joint lyrically weaving through the kick and snare that makes you feel like you in the middle of a cypher. The cuts and added samples also add to the overall flavor of boom bap classic.

As with many of the thousands of songs that sampled this record, Japanese Hip Hop group Rhymester went the straight homage route with their joint, Funky Grammar. This is straight early ‘90s Hip Hop with the booming drums, Das Efx steez, and crew vocals.

Lastly, peep a clip from Copyright Criminals, where Clyde talks about his time with James Brown and how he came up with the sound and the patterns that would make him the most widely recognized drummers in the world.

It is also a cautionary tale as Clyde was never fully credited or compensated for the all creations that would use his original works.

We honor you Mr. Stubblefield, your memory and work with live on in our hearts, souls, and speakers.

We hope that you find peace and fortune wherever you are.

g.o.a.t Hip Hop