Published On: Sun, Feb 19th, 2017

Hip Hop Remembers Iconic “Funky Drummer” Clyde Stubblefield

Hip Hop Remembers Iconic “Funky Drummer” Clyde Stubblefield

Clyde Stubblefield, James Brown’s drummer and creator of the “Funky Drummer” breakbeat, passed away at 73.

Clyde Stubblefield, the drummer for James Brown whose solo on “Funky Drummer” became a backbone of hip hop sampling, died of kidney failure on Saturday. He was 73.

Stubblefield’s groove on the 1970 song “Funky Drummer” has been sampled by LL Cool J (“Mama Said Knock You Out”), Dr. Dre (“Let Me Ride”), Public Enemy (“Fight the Power”), N.W.A. (“Fuck tha Police”), and countless other artists.#

“There have been faster, and there have been stronger, but Clyde Stubblefield has a marksman’s left hand unlike any drummer in the 20th century,” Questlove said in a 2011 interview with the New York Times: “It is he who defined funk music.”

Questlove, Just Blaze, DJ Premier, and other music figures have taken to social media to remember Stubblefield. Read their tributes below, and learn more about Stubblefield in Rolling Stone’s eulogy.

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