Why My Middle Name Is Funk by SloFunkPump

My mother named me “Funk” because she said she heard trumpets when I was born.  As an infant, she said I would scream and cry when she played goofy kid’s music.  But if she played a bit of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child”, I was off to dreamland.

But that’s all about how a name is given.  When do we earn our names?  Catholic confirmations are all about making your baptism as a baby a conscious choice as an adult.  You choose a name to signify the new era of your life.  Many cultures have a similar ceremony for young men and women.

The moment when “Funk” became my chosen middle name — as well as my given name — came when I witnessed the revelation that is Rocky Balboa as a young adolescent.

James Brown’s “Living In America” was the theme song to Rocky IV — a glorious tale of cold war politics played out in a fight between two boxing rivals.  Put simply, Brown’s funk rhythms became the soundtrack for my life.  Simultaneously, Rocky’s gritty determinism became the code I would live by.  It was then that the son of an Italian gigalo and an African-American sitcom star found his identity.  I am the perfect cross between Rocky and James Brown.

With songs like “Runnin’ Blind” and “Long Live America” — even “Flesh & Bone” — I like to think I propel the world of funk into the 21st century and earn my mother’s gracious naming.  I add just a bit of “Slo” and a touch of “Pump” to my brand of “Funk”.