(Photo by strangefruit.pitas .com)
This is a great track - they were not kidding calling themselves Funky. If you're looking for one of those lolloping, acrobatic basslines that Bootsy Collins can pull out, then here's what you're looking for, and the rapping is great, the beat is great, it's all great. Which makes it all the more surprising that the Funky Four Plus One never released a full-length album.
That's not to say that the group are not without their significance. For example, who do you think were the first hip hop act to appear on national TV in America? You guessed it, the Funky 4 + 1 were on there in 1981. Who was the first major hip hop act to feature a female MC? That would be Sha Rock (Sharon Green) of the Funky Four Plus One. The group, once they went their separate ways, also provided a bunch of fairly prominent players in the nascent hip hop scene: first to leave was Raheim (Guy Todd Williams), who left to join the Furious Five. He was replaced by Rodney Stone, aka Lil' Rodney Cee who teamed up with Kevin Smith (no, not that one, this one was known as KK Rockwell) to form Double Trouble. Sha Rock formed Us Girls and Jazzy Jeff (again - no, not that one) went on to a solo career. The only one that I can't find went on to more things was Keith Keith (the name of whom baffles me - why not use your cool real surname, Caesar, and why concentrate on Keith?).
So there you have the Funky Four Plus One, with their little longevity but large importance, and their excellent hit, That's The Joint - sampling from A Taste Of Honey's Rescue Me, and sampled by De La Soul and Beastie Boys, amongst many others.
A Taste Of Honey - Rescue Me
Funky Four Plus One - That's The Joint
Beastie Boys - Shake Your Rump
Buy: Funky 4 + 1/Beastie Boys/A Taste Of Honey
Tags: hip hop; rap; Funky 4 + 1; That's The Joint; Sha Rock; Jazzy Jeff; Sugar Hill; Saturday Night Live
PS - check out the ever-whacky Contrast Podcast, this week with added interest, in that the entries are introduced by singing. Yes. You can hear me styling here.