7 Days of Funk (DâM FunK + Snoop Dogg aka Snoopzilla) – Hit da Pavement
7 Days of Funk (DâM FunK + Snoop Dogg aka Snoopzilla) – Hit da Pavement
Man, I’m hesitant to hit you all with two super-long interviews in a row on here, but I just love ’em and I feel like this one’s just as necessary as that TI one was yesterday.
This is in keeping with the precedent I set a little while ago when my man Mondre from Main Attrakionz started following me back on Twitter, and I made an extra little dedication post for him to say thank you. Yesterday, I got a message to let me know that DâM-FunK is now following me back on Twitter as well, and I think one of the best ways to get into DâM’s style (besides listening to a bunch of his music, of course) is to watch this interview he did around the time his Toeachizown album was coming out. You will never hear a dude more dead serious about funk music, and I have so much respect for that. He makes that point early on in the interview, that it’s good to be strong and really outspokenly stand for something. That’s something I always strive to do, and it’s nice to see a dude with that philosophy getting some success and exposure in today’s music world.
I feel like I was guilty of not taking a lot of funk, especially 80s funk, very seriously because of how it gets portrayed a lot of times, but listening to DâM-FunK’s music over the past few years has really altered my perception of that music. I remember when I bought the Toeachizown vinyl box set, I wasn’t even that familiar with DâM’s style, but I just had this feeling that it was something that might be good for me to give a solid chance to, and over time his sound really got inside me and I’ve grown to truly love it. That seriousness and dedication really comes through in the music, and through his style I’ve been able to gain a better appreciation for a lot of the 80s funk he talks about in that interview. One of my favorite things in the world is learning to like and appreciate new things, so I totally owe DâM-FunK everything in that regard, he opened my eyes.
Another mixtape that I’m hoping to finish up during this time I have in Tulsa is my tribute to DJ Screw which is a collection of songs that DJ Screw didn’t get to remix in his lifetime, but I feel would gain something from his basic technique. I tried to emulate his technique as much as possible, mainly through the use of vinyl instead of digital sources for the remixing to get that, as DâM-FunK would say, warmer sound, and also to be able to change the speed more drastically without losing audio quality. I say all this to let you all know that once that mixtape gets finalized and put out, the opening track is going to be a chopped & screwed version of this DâM-FunK song from Toeachizown.
DâM-FunK – 10 West
You’ll just have to use your imagination on how that will sound chopped & screwed until I get it all completed and released.
And one more bonus for you all, because it’s one of my favorite DâM-FunK moments, is this video which is an acoustic version of the song he talks about in that interview doing like 21 takes of to get it right.
DâM-FunK – I Wanna Thank U 4 Steppin’ Into My Life
Thanks for keepin’ the funk alive, DâM, and for always taking it to the next level. Much love.
Those of you that are on the REDLiteDJ email list (just send an email to REDLiteDJ@gmail.com to join!) already heard that I joined Twitter a couple days ago. I have to say that so far, it’s been a very positive experience. I’m reconnecting with some people I haven’t talked to in a while, and I’m connecting on a new level to people I see regularly as well. Awesome.
The other cool thing that’s happening is that I’m getting nice little updates from artists I’m interested in, especially those that don’t get much press buzz around them every time they do anything. For instance, I started following DâM-FunK, and I quickly learned that he has a Tumblr page that he runs called Galactic Funk Federation, and on that page I found this crazy little 4 song mix that some dude named Damon Swindell made where he took some DâM-FunK instrumentals and put some Gucci Mane acapellas over the top. It’s called Gucci Funk, and it’s free, so I snatched it up and listened to it immediately.
The only real complaints that I have are that he uses censored acapellas (probably that’s all that was available, but it’s still kind of a bummer to listen to Gucci Mane without cursing) and the way the vocals sound doesn’t particularly blend with how the beats sound (only in a mixing capacity, and most likely that’s just how the acapellas he was using sounded to begin with, I’m not talkin’ shit on the man’s work). But the rhythm of Gucci’s flow works pretty well over some real synthy, west-coast style funk, so it was still a very nice listen. My favorite is probably this one, where he mixes Gucci Mane & Shawnna‘s “Pillz” with DâM-FunK’s “10 West“.
I wish more really dissimilar artists would collaborate on stuff like this. I know Gucci and DâM didn’t actually get together to do this, it was mixed by a third party, but I think this proves that there’s some definite potential for the meeting of these two dudes’ styles. I feel like artists get pigeonholed by their labels, fans, and probably themselves at times into this subgenre or that, but I feel like there are constant reminders that dudes and ladies from different zones can really get together to do some cool shit if they put their minds to it. I remember first hearing about the Freddie Gibbs/Madlib team-up that’s happening right now and thinking “Whoa, I have no idea what this is going to sound like, but I know it’s gonna be awesome”, and so far it is. Another good example is the cLOUDLIFE EP that came out recently with members of cLOUDDEAD and Main Attrakionz. That shit came out of nowhere, to me at least.
I feel like it might even be pretty marketable too, I could see some Gucci Mane fans really warming up to DâM-FunK’s style if they got introduced to it through a collaboration between the two, and vice versa. What do I know though? Maybe it’s easier to sell records if people stay in their own lanes, I don’t pretend to be an expert on how to make money with music. But I do know a thing or two about what sounds badass, and in that spirit, I’m gonna continue to be on the lookout for cool, unexpected collaborations in the future. Let me know in the comments if you know of any that I didn’t mention.
If there’s one record label I’ve followed more consistently and for a sustained period of time since getting into rap, it’s Stones Throw. I first got into their stuff because of the Madvillainy album, that was one of the first rap albums that really spoke to me, and I’ve religiously checked in and followed every move they’ve made since. One cool thing about them is that even though they’re a devoutly un-commercial label that I’m sure has had some tough times financially, they still do cool extra stuff like make videos for their artists when they make new music. And not just recently, when 50 homemade videos for new rap songs pop up on the internet every day, they’ve got Jaylib and Lootpack videos from the late 90s/early 2000s too.
Stones Throw has also changed a lot over the years, and they’re way more than just a hip-hop label now. This is clearly demonstrated by their two newest videos, both of which have come out in the past week.
Tony Cook – What’s On Your Mind? (feat. DâM-FunK)
Aloe Blacc – You Make Me Smile
You can tell these videos have some budgets behind them, which I think really shows how much Stones Throw really cares about and supports their artists. But they’re not too pretentious and uptight to let some obviously homemade shit represent their music either. Just check out their video contest from last year, where, to celebrate their 15th anniversary as a label, they asked for fan-made videos for any Stones Throw release with a chance to win $1000 and an opportunity to direct an official Stones Throw artist’s video in the future. How cool is that?? And I have to say, some of the submissions were pretty sweet. Keep it up, Wolf, you’re still killin’ it after all these years.
I think that’s the only way I could describe this. Fuckin far out.
DâM-FunK & Master Blazter Live – It’s My Life
Man I love it when DâM-FunK comes out with new shit. Modern funk magic.
DâM-FunK – Forever