Five of punk funk music’s most influential artists

More of the top influential artists behind the incredible fusion of punk and funk music
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Punk funk and the Dirty Minds of Prince

Living Colour

Another band that emerged in the 1980s with a punk-funk tag is Living Colour. Like others mentioned here that attracted labels from several genres and was a fusion of metal, jazz, hip-hop, rock, funk, and punk. In case anyone is unaware, their UK guitarist Vernon Reid insisted on the British spelling of colour in their name to help them stand out a little.

Their 1988 debut album Vivid embraced all those genres. The exposure it gave helped them secure a place as an opening act for The Rolling Stones and Guns N’Roses. Follow-up album Time’s Up had similar broad styles and both charted in the Billboard 200 top ten.  Although they split up for a few years in the 90s, they reformed in 2000 and continue to record and tour.


Was Prince punky amongst his funk? Initially, your mind says no, of course not. But then have a listen to Dirty Minds, his third album. Aside from the explicit lyrics and rampant sexuality, it’s much rockier than usual for Prince. It's also very punk in places. “Sister” on side two is a great example of him taking that style on. 

It’s worth noting that Prince wrote a lot of the album while on tour as opener opener for Rick James. Perhaps he was influenced by that self-acclaimed king of punk funk. Like James, Prince isn't an ideal fit for the punk funk genre. You imagine he’d be outraged by even the suggestion of him being tagged as a punk in any way. On the other hand, if you said he was a rebel, you'd not be far wrong. 

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