Funkiest Jam: Kraftwerk "Trans Europe Express"

If you look at Ralf Hütter (leader/lead singer/keyboardist for Kraftwerk), the first thought that pops into your head is "Wow. That guy looks devoid of all funk, despite having an awesome name like Ralf."

Oh, how wrong that assumption is. Kraftwerk became the foremost pioneers of electronic music during the 70's and 80's, and had lasting influences on other genres even to this day. Though the whole robot motif is not very funky (and quite frankly a little creepy), Kraftwerk stayed on the cutting edge of musical innovation. Most of the equipment they used were either custom-built devices or self-made instruments, and their lyrics were usually run through a vocoder or created with computer-speech software. Watching concert footage from 1978 makes you realize how advanced these guys were. Instrumentals of songs like "Radio Activity" could easily be put onto a Clams Casino mixtape right now, and none of us would suspect it wasn't made by Clammy Clams himself.

Ralf's biggest contribution to the world, and the real reason he made it onto our list, is that Kraftwerk's songs "Trans Europe Express" and "Numbers" were used as the basis for Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force's quintessential hip-hop/electro hit "Planet Rock." Bambaataa used not one but two of their songs on one record. You don't get much funkier than that. It's also humorous to think that the pale-faced krautrocker you see above became one of the biggest white artists in black clubs during the formative years of hip-hop.

Just remember: You can't spell "Kraftwerk" without "twerk."