Matador – 2001 – 63 minutes
The premise for the first 'Funky Precedent' was to showcase the crème de la crème of Los Angeles underground hip-hop. At the time luminaries like Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples and Black Eyed Peas were literally cutting their teeth in the big bad world of HH. This time the talent emanates from the San Francisco Bay Area and pledges to drag the latest underground rookies overground. Packed to the rafters with soul, hip-hop and turntablist trickery, this album features more than 50 MCs, DJs and producers.
First track – Skhool Yard's 'Here We Come' samples '2001' A Space Odyssey under an intermittent bass pulse. Rasco's 'Uncut' is pure, unadulterated funky gangsta, which is not surprising given his roots and influences. He was previously a member of the West Coast hip-hop group Various Blends and his production team includes members of Dilated Peoples.
'Funky Precedent' has the ability to mutate into a variety of styles – but all remain steeped in hip-hop rhythm. There are far too many good tunes here to single out highlights but the contribution of SF experimental turntablist trio Live Human is a definite pearl. Their infectious 'Lagoona's Bliss Elephant Mix' combines jazzy double bass breaks, chopped up funk and flashes of scratching. Azeem's worthy diatribe on 'Ruminations' is sombre but slick and the Foreign Legion's 'Bicycle Thief' takes it back to the old skool streets.
Not only do you get an excellent bag of hip-hop treats for your cash, all proceeds from the album go towards funding music education in deserving Californian high schools. This is pure ne plus ultra hip-hop and - to borrow a classic Ninja Tune title - 'funkjazztical tricknology' at its finest.
Tracklisting: Here We Come (Skhool Yard) – Uncut (Rasco) – Lagoona's Bliss Elephant Mix (Live Human) – Contradictions (Azeem) – We Got It (Zion I) – Bike Thief (Foreign Legion) – Clear The Slate (Eye-Cue and Rashinel) – Pity Party People (Anticon) – 3ThaHardWay (DJ Vinroc of Triple Threat DJs) – Fan Club (Stymie and the Pimp Jones Love Orchestra) – The Movement (Encore of Executive Lounge) – We A Warrior (Kemetic Suns) – Condiments (Eb. F of Various Blends) – I'm K.U. (SDM feat. Khaos Unique) – Warrior Poet (Pep Love)