“Get the Funk” by Billy Ray Rock
“Get the funk – you gotta give it up” croons a passionate Billy Ray Rock in the chorus of his new single “Get the Funk,” his vocal channeling much of the emotion in the backing band behind him. In this track, he’s making himself perfectly clear what matters to him in this world, and that’s getting funky as much as possible. You don’t have to be a connoisseur of R&B to get into this jam, but those who are should expect to have their socks blown off shortly after giving it a listen at any point this season.
I can’t get enough of the wind component in this song, and when taking into account how much competition it has for our attention in the mix, its contribution to the melodic faceting here is nothing to shake a stick at. There’s a jazziness that exists in “Get the Funk” which I don’t see being here were there any less of a complex structure to every part of the song, and while it would be a tall order for other artists to put something like this together, Billy Ray Rock is making it look and sound all too easy in this release.
The textural contrast between the bassline and the drums is pretty significant and tension-inducing, but that’s a deliberate setup on the part of Billy Ray Rock. He uses that tension to pivot in and out of the hook whenever the chorus comes around, and by keeping as much of our focus drawn to instrumental intricacies (such as this one) as it is towards his singing, there’s scarcely a moment in which we’re made to feel anything but highly stimulated by the music and lyrics simultaneously. “Get the Funk” is a mood-driven single which, in this age, can be awfully hard to come by.
Personally I’m very happy with the raw finish that Billy Ray Rock decided to go with in the mix here, primarily because it adds an excitement and edginess to the song that I wouldn’t usually plan on hearing in a studio single. There are a couple of embers spilling away from the flames, i.e. the bassline getting a little fuzzier than some pop addicts would care for, but for what I look for in an original funk composition, this is exactly the type of unrefined, rhythm-first audio that brings me back to an artist time and time again.
Those who, like myself, refer to themselves as funk fanatics can’t afford to miss what Mr. Billy Ray Rock is turning out in “Get the Funk,” as it could be the most relevant indie funk single I’ve had the chance to check out since hearing Ronnue’s groundbreaking debut LP last year. This player has a lot more in common with the OGs of the genre than the aforementioned Seattleite does by far, but what will be most interesting to learn is what he does to evolve and cultivate his sound further in the future. He’s got mad potential, and I’ll be following his development from here on out.