Under The Radar… The Funtouchables

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.

Here is the ultimate booty anthem (Warning – video is NSFW):

Anyway, below you will find the 4 songs that keep The Funtouchables LP in rotation. You’ll recognize one of the rap tracks samples a certain television show theme show. I digs. And if you jit, then you’ll love “Funtouchables In Da House!” and “The State Fair.” Also, I think all strippers should have “3rd Shift” in their Ipod Shuffles.

“3rd Shift”
“Get Back” featuring Lil’ Riley Fizzle
“Funtouchables In Da House!”
“The State Fair”

New Q-Tip Video!

Check out the latest video for Q-Tip’s upcoming release The Renaissance. Dilla fans may recognize the beat. Rik Cordero directs.

Q-Tip – “Move” from Three/21 Films on Vimeo.

I’m not sure that this track will blow up, but it’s good to hear Dilla again on a legitimate joint.

Is TYT right? Is this the future of fashion?

I subscribe to The Young Turks YouTube channel. I have been catching up on the stuff I missed while I was out on vacation and I came across this number:

Ha ha ha! I put this on this page in jest, but this might be a serious topic to debate. Why don’t more women brave the elements and allow the tig ol bitties hang the open end of a cut-off t-shirts? Readers, is this something that may catch on? Let me know!

Another Good People Feature… Now On

Here’s an interview over on MichiganHipHop.com

In a city where sunshine and silicone reign, Hip Hop group Now On are showing Californians how Michigan puts it down. Initially, the trio of Jackson Perry, Haircut and IX Lives were living in Ann Arbor: where the closest thing they had to a beach was Belle Isle, snow boots were used during 10 months per year, and widespread success was just an aspiration. But the group’s big move three years ago has them bringing substance to the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles.

It all began with each member performing with separate groups; Haircut with Athletic Mic League, Jackson Perry with Funktelligence, and IX Lives with Ace Deuce Clique. Crossing paths while performing at the same venues, friendships led to the three collaborating until their collective chemistry prompted a permanent partnership. Fellow Detroit artist and friend, Buff1, coined the rapping/singing/producing trio “Now On”, which is an abbreviation of their motto: “Live from Now On to the future.”

With several quality full-lengths already padding their discography—“Eye Level,” “From Now On…,” “Don’t Call It a Mixtape”—the group drops their new LP, “Tomorrow Already,” last week under A-Side Worldwide. Jackson Perry and Haircut (IX Lives couldn’t join the interview because he was attending a college business course) connected with MichiganHipHop.com to talk about changing locales, loving home, and the importance of voting.

Peep the rest here.

Here are Now On videos:

New single – “The Willows”

“Now on and on”


 … and a bonus – my favorite track “White Girls”