Monday, February 6th, 2006

E-40 Vs. Trouble Funk: The Go-Go/Hyphy Connect

E-40 (featuring Stressmatic) :: Da Dummy
From E-40 Presents The Bay Bridges Compilation (Sick-Wid-It 2005)

Tilt :: Arkade Funk (B-Side Mix)
From 12″ single (D.E.T.T. 1983)

First of all, thanks to all of you who’ve fallen through the blog in the last couple weeks. I’ve been on the road keeping an unbelievable sched. Back in the house and playing catchup, so this one’s a gift to say thanks.

Now yall who know me know that I make some crazy leaps of logic sometimes, stuff that doesn’t always hold up on scrutiny, at least not in the details even if I’m good on the big picture. But stay with me on this one.

I realized the reason I have such a visceral love for hyphy isn’t just due to the fact that I call the Bay Area home (A’s, baby!), but that I like what’s happening with hip-hop musically these days…which is that the tempos are going back up, and the rhythms are getting more slippery, more polyrthythmic, and interesting again. Whether it’s Missy going back for “Clear”, Amerie mashing up with Ziggy, or whatever, these are the sounds that got me hot-footing back then, and sound extra-futuristic right now. Plus, who doesn’t have nostalgia for the days when videogames only cost 25 cents?

So check this little thing out. Here are two incredible tracks: one from last year’s brilliant Bay Bridges comp, and the other a go-go B-side by DC champions Trouble Funk from 20+ years ago done under the pseudonym Tilt.

The first is E-Feezy’s club-friendly shout to his New Bay offspring, The Frontline and Mistah F.A.B. And it works, not least because it’s a Droop-E./Pharmaceuticals production. E-40’s flesh-and-blood offspring is the truth, the Lebron James of hip-hop. Nuff said.

The second is a rare track that has been cited by lots of electro and vocoder fans, let alone go-go heads. It’s not that rare, but has taken on a helluva rep over the years, based on the sheer immensity of the groove. It was done during the whole “Trouble Funk Express” phase, a way for T-Funk to catch up with the post-Planet Rock club audiences.

The record actually has a history among Yay Area funkateers. Back in 1987, when I was an apprentice to the funk historian Rickey “Uhuru Maggot” Vincent, I was dispatched to find this record for him in Washington D.C. I scoured the bins for weeks before turning this up. It was that popular. Now you know why. Anyway, he played it for months and months afterward.

I’m not gonna argue that the links between “Da Dummy” and “Arkade Funk” were conscious–it’s not clear that there’s a direct sample going on, and who knows if Droop E. ever heard this track? He was born quite a while after it was made.

(Also, I know I’ve gotten some producers in trouble over the years for making comparisons that were more fortuitous than note-for-note-beat-for-beat exact, and I’m sorry for that!)

But here is the beauty of black music, the way that rhythms and textures circulate in the diaspora like memes, traveling over thousands of years and thousands of miles.

So mix ’em together and go dumb!

BIG CORRECTION 2/14/06: Tapan at Youth Radio corrects me–Bosko, not Droop E, was the genius who produced “Da Dummy”. Portland transplant Bosko is old enough to remember “Arkade Funk”!

posted by @ 10:37 am | 4 Comments

4 Responses to “E-40 Vs. Trouble Funk: The Go-Go/Hyphy Connect”

  1. wayne&wax says:

    wow, jeff. thanks for dropping some gems on us. great to hear an electro/go-go/hyphy connection. at first listen, it’s striking how much the trouble funk track sounds like cybotron’s “clear” (and thus missy’s “lose control”), from the cadences to the synth-stuff.

    i just may have to take you up on playing these two together! sounds like they’d mix/mash well.

  2. Hummingbyrd says:

    Family. You had me at Visceral Love.
    I might have to borrow that.

  3. Jeff says:

    Cool with me, but you know I bite back. ‘Fuck You Couch” Awards? I need that!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been trying to get the cut you’re playing for years. Is it search and destroy, arcade funk,…?? What’s the name and who is it by?

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