Thursday, 4 February 2010

Classic Was The Day

Funky DL has always been overlooked in the UK rap scene since he released his debut back in 1997. Since he's constructed over a decade's worth of brilliant material yet never gets mentioned when people talk about UK's finest. The reason for this idiotic sentiment boils down to one thing. Rap accent.

Born and raised in our very own capital, the Hackney, London-emcee has taken a lot of stick throughout his career as to why he raps in a faux-american accent. His answer? "Its just my style". Get past the initial oddity of the accent and you find that DL has probably created some of the greatest albums in UK hip-hop history. His production alone is world-class - evoking the jazzy stylings of A Tribe Called Quest, Jay Dee and early Slum Village, and The Ummah.

You can even hear the vocal and horn samples from some of that classic material hidden deep within his tracks. We're not talking about some knock-off version here either, Funky DL has been creating these stellars beats his whole career and its almost unfathomable that he doesnt hold his place in UK hip-hop history right now. And all just because some stubborn bastards don't like the accent he raps in.

Near the beginning of his career he won a MOBO award for his hip-hop contribution (back when MOBO awards were actually relevant and trash like N-Dubz didn't take the plaudits) and has continued in the same vein ever since. Strangely enough, DL recieved massive support and still to this day holds a large fanbase in Japan where he achieved most of his success.

Here is two of DL's best albums, 1998's Heartfelt Integrity and 2002's Blackcurrent Jazz. Over the two albums there are some classic songs and sounds. Take a journey from the horns on the sublime 'Tangible' to the almost 'Lords Of The Underground'-era Marley Marl sounding 'Fromage Frais', and then onto the fanfare of 'Prediction' and the undoubted Jay Dee-esque sound on 1998's 'The Positive' (may I add back before Jay Dee was considered one of the best - if anything Funky DL helped create the sound rather than be influenced by it). Take in two albums by one of the most overlooked emcees and producers in the history of british urban music.

Funky DL - Heartfelt Integrity (1998)

01. Main Features
02. Rock To The Beat
03. Consist & JQ
04. 2nd Flow
05. Snares featuring ESP The Overseer
06. Fromage Frais
07. Billie Holiday
08. Buttermilk & Sex Appeal
09. Where Am I? / Who Are You?
10. They Don’t Know featuring M&EM
11. Missing Link
12. I Thank God
13. The Positive
14. Me & My Rhymes

Funky DL - Blackcurrent Jazz (2002)

01. Talk About
02. 2Long
03. & Ask For DL
04. Confused?
05. Hit Me
06. Roll The Dice
07. Tangible
08. Prediction
09. Wonderful featuring Guile
10. What You Saying Girl?
11. Simply 2 Complicated
12. High Endurance
13. Keeping It Classic
14. The Music featuring Sienna
15. Turntables Hate Me
16. It Still Rocks
17. 2Long Remix

Check out Funky DL's website also which actually has a FREE mixtape download of Funky DL and DJ 279's J.Dilla tribute from last year. Basically it features DL rhyming over classic Dilla beats with some mixing in for good measure. Check it out and also check out his discog, support the artist and buy his albums!

This is the tracklisting for the Dilla tribute mixtape and the link to the d/l page. It gives you the option to either download it as a one track full mix or the individual tracks. Just right click and save.

01 Intro - Dedication To Dilla
02 CM - Mixtape Mix
03 Me and You and Him- Mixtape Mix
04 Rock To Her Beat Beat 2000 - Mixtape Mix
05 About The Things - Mixtape Mix
06 So Sexy - Mixtape Mix
07 The Saturday Night Love Affair - Mixtape Mix
08 Confidential Information - Mixtape Mix
09 Moonlight Girl - Mixtape Mix
10 Queen of Diamonds - Mixtape Mix

And finally here's some videos from the guy just to give you the full lowdown on him. First is a callabo he did with the legendary Nujabes production crew from Japan (showing you the Japan links again) and second is the single from his most recent album. Enjoy and support.


Jos-B said...

Word, now that I think about it, I got familiarized with Funky DL only because of the work he's done in the Japanese hip-hop scene, I don't think I've ever seen him brought up in the context of UK rap specifically.

SniperInTheMist said...

Yeah its a shame really. I mean yeah, the guy might not exactly be Rakim on the mic, but he's done a lot more in his career than 99% of most UK emcees and rarely gets the recognition for it sadly.