The Blackbook Sessions – Funk & Flow

I don’t really have a clue how you teach funk or flow but both of these things are what I am looking for when I create and it isn’t exclusive to Graf. Good flow and funk is really important in Breaking, Scratching and MCing. What I can say is that it’s all subjective as some people can see/hear it and some…some just can’t.

Can You Hear It?

I was out a few months ago and one of my friends was Djing at a bar so I dragged my people there. My friend started playing some Danchall and one of the guys I was with started riffing.

He knew I was a Dj and his opening line to introduce the fact he didn’t like the music was… ‘Do you play this shit?’ He was clearly stating he didn’t like the music. Ok fair nuff but he was also wanting to put me in the music dock in judgment of whether or not I liked it too.

I aint into this type of behaviour so truss, my friend could have be playing the winner from last years Eurovision song contest and I would have said that I loved it.

I said to the guy ‘no I don’t play it but I like it…why don’t you like it?’ He said …’errr I dunno, it just doesn’t have a beat.’ I said…’it does have a beat…but you can’t hear it.’

We all have our opinions but often our views can be based on things we don’t understand. The issue wasn’t with the music it was more the fact he wasn’t familiar with it. He couldn’t catch the riddim son! That ish is swung hard and you have to ‘hear it’ before you can like it. If you struggle to dance to a straight (straight meaning it isn’t swung at all) 4×4 beat you will not deal with Dancehall.

We all have our bias and that is why art is interesting to me. What I like and feel isn’t what you are necessarily gona like which is how it should be.

Feel what you Draw

When I draw letters I practice drawing and editing what I think feels right. I look to see what feels right and it’s the parts that disjoint my internal compass that are the bits I change or work on. It’s completely on a subconscious level which is why I find it hard to describe clearly.

The beauty is…what I think feels right may not be what you like. Some people may like a certain flow and others may not. Having the funk is another one. Ha. Ok how do we approach this one.

Some people are great dancers..they are technically great but in my opinion…they just don’t have the funk or flow. It is really down to what you like and I like the funk and I guess this can vary from person to person. The Funk is a timing thing, it’s the space between notes, it can be what you don’t play or draw and the space between the lines in letters…can you swing it?

These people have the FUNK.

Clinton has the funk,

D-Styles has the funk and a dope flow,

James Brown had the funk,

Elzhi has the funk and a smooth flow,

Doze has the funk!

Bjork doesn’t have ‘the funk’ but I love her stuff, she doesn’t dilute who she is and that is my last and main point.


Graf is about creating your own rhythm and movement through the lines interactions. You may not like my flow but it is just about being yourself and being in touch with your own flow and funk. That is what I practice these days.


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