Welcome to Chi Grooves and my inaugural post of A Quest Called Dig series. I’m starting out at Reckless Records on Milwaukee avenue. I squeezed this trip in between a yoga class and a tarot card reading (I’m making one of those up) so I only grabbed four records to write about on this trip. Without further ado…
Funkadelic- Let’s Take It To The Stage
This record is funky as sh*t from the start and just as apropos to kick off this series as any other album. According to whosampled.com 8 of the 10 songs on this record were sampled in various hip hop songs. Most notably “Get Off Your Ass and Jam” was sampled over 60 times by such greats as NWA, Public Enemy, 2Pac and many others including twice by A Tribe Called Quest in “Pressure” and “Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts).” Another track sampled heavily is “Atmosphere” (Stetasonic, Three6Mafia).
The sample pulled from “Get Off Your Ass And Jam” in many cases appears to be the “screechy” guitar at the very beginning. In “Rhythm (Devoted to the Art of Moving Butts)” Tribe also uses the baby like sound that immediately follows the “screechy” guitar. “Screechy” guitar, baby sound… not convinced you need to run out and buy this album? Check out the album art! That sh*t is crazy!
To sum up it all up I present a quote in the title track: “Have no fear, mac funk is here!” It is classic Funkadelic and as such a must have. Between you and me this is my first Funkadelic vinyl. I’m looking forward to owning the rest of them.
B.T. Express- Non-Stop
This album hit #1 on the billboard R&B charts in 1975! I’d say the album is more disco-y than funky but both influences are definitely there. It’s amazing to me that the first song on a 1975 #1 record was called “Peace Pipe” and only now in 2016 is marijuana just starting to be legalized for recreational use, but this is a tangent for another forum.
A Tribe Called Quest used the first couple of seconds of “Still Good Still Got it” as the break beat in “Description of a Fool.” A small number of other groups have done the same. Notably , EPMD (featuring LL Cool J) used this break beat in “Rampage.” So Put that in your peace pipe and… you know…
Here’s some controversy I’m going to throw your way. According to the best possible source I could find, wikipedia, B.T. Express was originally called Brooklyn Transit Express. However, I also saw claims that they were originally Brooklyn Trucking Express from a guy named Ron Wynn. So which is it? I dunno, but everyone agrees they are from Brooklyn, they will get your @ss groovin’, and their afros are THE best!!
Earth Wind And Fire- All N All
What incredibly solid funk from Earth Wind and Fire on their eight studio album. You’ll be rocking out to this immediately. Could they really have put out an album and omitted the slower, ballady funk (of which I’m not the biggest fan)? No. I’m rockin’ along until the B side where the the funk ballad takes over in full force. I’m not philosophically opposed to this style of funk just sayin’ kinda puts me a little to sleep.
All in all 😉 this is a solid Earth Wind And Fire album. “Brazilian Rhyme” is one of the very noticeable themes of Tribe’s “Mr Muhhamed.” It is definitely the most sampled song on this album (Big Pun ,Easy E, MF Doom, Black Eyed Peas). Several other songs are sampled (the next heaviest being Fantasy) by several notable hip hop groups (2Pac, Three 6 Mafia, Nas).
Serpentine Fire kicks of the album and is going to bring you right out the gates- groovin’, shakin’, head bobbin. Damn son… Fantasy comes up next. These two songs are the only ones on the album that really garnered any success on the charts, but still, the album itself had great reviews when it came out. This is a very happy addition to the EW&F section of my collection.
Average White Band- Soul Searching
This album kept my head nodding with the jazzy funk style that is the Average White Band. I really liked this album. It’s chill. It grooves. It never rise too bubble over, and it is certainly a funky treat.
Thanks to this album we have the sample for one of Tribe’s classics. “Check The Rhime” is a sample from “Love Your Life.” Kool Keith, AZ, Brand Nubian, and Redman are all samplers of this fantastic album!
AWB should certainly not be considered average by any means. Wikipedia (best source in the world) claims they are the 15th most sampled act ever! This proves they are waaaaay better than average! They are currently my second favorite thing to come out of scotland. That being said, grab my first favorite thing on the rocks, sit back, and enjoy the sh*t out of this album.