The roots of funk as a music genre go back to the 1960s mostly in the African-American communities where musicians were creating a new sound, which was a mixture of soul, jazz and r&b.

Notable, key elements of the funk music are the presence of a groovy bassline (electric bass) and complex drum patterns. The music is often described as extremely vivid, dynamic and empowering. One of the key artists responsible for the expansion of the genre in its early days is James Brown. Other notable artists from back in the days include Chaka Khan, Sly and the Family Stone and Kool & The Gang.

The genre and traces of its key elements can be found in various genres nowadays - afrobeat, house, vaporwave, hip hop and of course future funk.