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”.