January 24, 2022

Various Artists - The Funky Precedent (1999)

Country: U.S.A.
Language: English, Spanish (Español)
Genre: Hip-Hop, Cumbia, Acoustic
Label Number: LG-0023-2

© 1999 Loosegroove Records
There aren't many records that you can recommend with no hesitation whatsoever, but this is one them. For one thing, The Funky Precedent, a compilation featuring artists such as Dilated Peoples, Jurassic 5, Aceyalone, Ozomatli, Black Eyed Peas, and more, benefits music education at Fremont High School and Manchester Elementary School in Los Angeles and Mission High School in San Francisco. In addition to supporting a good cause, however, The Funky Precedent is simply a damn fine record. Particular highlights include J5's triumphantly groovy "Concrete Schoolyard," Ugly Duckling's psychedelic travelog "Journey to Anywhere," and Divine Styler's "Make It Plain," which seamlessly melds hard-nosed 1999 rap with Stevie Wonder circa 1972.

While concentrating mostly on L.A.-style hip-hop, The Funky Precedent extends its stylistic reach to old-fashioned soul ("Getcho Soul Together") and acoustic Malian-inflected balladry ("Building"). Almost every track is a winner, and the others are merely unspectacular, not actually awful (not many compilations can say the same). The only quibble worth mentioning is that Ozomatli's contribution, "Cumbia de los Muertos," is lifted from their self-titled album, not a new track as the CD's packaging implies. This is a minor point, especially since it is in any case a breathtaking song well worth hearing again. The Funky Precedent is one solid good vibe from beginning to end.

tags: various artists, the funky precedent, 1999, flac,

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