While galavanting around LA last year, I was lucky enough to interview Dam Funk.
Los Angeles is inherently funky. Remnants of the paisley era occupy the city’s 500-mile radius. It’s in the fluorescent sun- set, Dre’s gangsta bounce and sporadic Impalas sweltering on palm lined avenues. As traffic crawls over motorways and humidity distorts the horizon, rare stations transmit bygone grooves. The zenith might be over, but funk is vital to Ca- li’s hub. Pasadena native Damon Riddick understands this. As Dâm-Funk, he’s advanced the genre more than anyone in the last decade. Yet, the modern funkster may never see his deserved recognition.
No fads, no sell-outs, integrity, sincerity, funk-first. Dâm’s unyielding values and uplifting tunes energise masses. Flick through social media and you’ll find someone who re- bukes fame’s façade. Riddick speaks as someone working in the industry, but not of the industry. His feed is stacked with virtuous mantras, every acknowledgement of success pref- aced by “humbly speaking.” Truly uncommon in an attention craving curriculum, Dâm is about his craft above all. In per- son, he exerts a passion for music, often claimed, but rarely possessed. When we convene at his favorite spot, The Cork in humble Ladera Heights, Riddick spends the first 30 minutes curating an afternoon soundtrack. The bar’s NFL commentary is silenced for a groove history lesson, but no one utters a complaint. You can’t fault Dâm for commandeering the juke- box, he’s more than earned it.
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