Detroit is known for many things. I have no desire to do any reminding, so I will leave you to your own personal resources to conjure all that yourself. In the area of hip hop, we’re making some noise, particularly on an international level. I hear that we kind of get some respect out in Los Angeles and that’s all well and good.
Apparently, Detroit hip hop has a sound. It was ushered in by the Jay Dee aka James “J Dilla” Yancey-led group – Slum Village. The quirky soul sample chops, unquantized kicks/snares and hand claps quickly became the gotta-have ingredients for your standard Detroit rap track. Dilla eventually left the group and was able to collaborate with other artists who also adopted his unique style of production, which then was incorporated by many beatmakers around today.
Dilla’s influence lives on (R.I.P.) and Detroit is left with the immense task of keeping up the vanguard work. Let me tell you folks, it should come as no surprise that this is not easy. There are some that are definitely talented enough to hold their own, but it hasn’t translated to mainstream success for anyone quite yet. I’d say Black Milk may be the closest to actually breaking through though. We’ll see if he makes it on MTV or something. In the meantime, allow me to introduce you to a group that you won’t find on your post-everything-rap-related blogs. They are The Funtouchables.
The group is basically Blackreign and Ohkang of Blackreign & Ohkang and Blake Eerie from Autopilots / Butter Made crew and other affiliations. Back in the spring, they released a self-titled LP. Now I am friends with most of the Detroit hip hop acts, but I don’t discriminate in my criticism when it comes to music – friend or not. I am not going to lie and say The Funtouchables LP is the best thing since sliced bread, but I will say it’s one of the more refreshing releases that has come out on a super-indie level around here. I wish the fellas were doing more to promote their efforts, but I’ll do what I can to try and influence them to amp up the grind.
What makes their release special to me is two things… the sample selection and the fact that there are two (read: 2) booty instrumentals on the LP. If you are not familiar what booty music is, let me hip you with a Jit video:
… apologies for the crap sound quality. But shouts out to my mans Cryzko in the video.