Billy Ray Rock drops new Single “Get the Funk”

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Bouncy, blisteringly volume-packed and constructed to make a funk fan out of even the most discriminating of music critics this July, Billy Ray Rock’s “Get the Funk” is indeed a track worth its weight in gold if you like stone cold beats of the most lucrative value.

I’m as much a rap fan as the next gal, but if you’re craving a groove-happy jam that strips all of the excess elements out of the mix altogether, leaving behind the very foundations of chill melodicism alone, you need a song like “Get the Funk,” just the latest in a string of enticing new recordings from this artist out this year. Bringing funk into the 21st century the right way is no easy feat – many have tried and failed miserably, from indie artists to mainstream hotshots, but I don’t get the impression from Billy Ray Rock that he’s feeling particularly pressured in his performance here. On the contrary, he sounds in his element and, more than anything else, ready to turn the heat up on a generation that has been missing something as rhythmically-defined as his brand of his songwriting most definitely is.


Billy Ray Rock’s lead vocal is in the eye of the hurricane of harmonies that come pouring out of the speakers shortly after pressing play on this track, but it definitely shares the spotlight with the swing in the percussion here without creating any sort of a war for our affections in the grander scheme of things. The drums are very prominent in the mix, setting off the groove that gets us going at the start of the song seamlessly, and I can absolutely understand why they were positioned the way they were. Were the percussive component to “Get the Funk” not as magnified behind the board as it was in this instance, the depth of the bassline (which I’m a big fan of, for the record) would have probably overtaken the harmony driving home the lyric in the chorus. This would have rendered both sides of this single muddy and unpleasant to anyone but noise buffs, which typically isn’t the crowd an artist like Billy Ray Rock is trying to win over.

If “Get the Funk” is just a preview of what its creator is going to be putting out in the 2020s, it won’t be the lone hit he has under his belt by the time the next chapter in his career commences. His sound is coming into focus beautifully in this single, and even though he’s got a couple of rough edges that will inevitably be sanded down as he finds his way into the mainstream scene, there’s nothing about the blueprint behind his sound that I would recommend changing anytime soon. This has been a great year for experimenting artists in R&B, and while I won’t go as far as to call this an alternative anthem, it’s definitely giving us something else to listen to as opposed to the recycled rhythm and rhyme of a tired commercial R&B realm.

Emily Knudsen

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