Funky 4 + 1 was an American hip hop group from The Bronx, New York, composed of Jazzy Jeff, Sha-Rock (b. Sharon Green), D.J. Breakout, Guy Williams, Keith Keith, The Voice of K.K. and Rodney Stone. The latter two members also performed together as the duo Double Trouble, notably in the film Wild Style. They were the first hip hop group to receive a record deal, as well as the first to perform live on national television. The group was also notable for being the first to have a woman MC, Sha-Rock.

Funky 4 + 1
Also known as
  • Funky 4 + 1 More
  • Funky Four Plus One
  • Funky Four Plus One More
  • Funky Four
OriginBronx, New York City
GenresHip hop
Years active1977–1983
LabelsEnjoy Records
Sugar Hill Records
Past members

History edit

"That's the Joint" was interpolated from A Taste of Honey's "Rescue Me". Music critic Robert Christgau of The Village Voice named it the best song of the 1980s.[1] In his 1981 review of the single, Christgau gave it an A rating and wrote of its musical significance:

The instrumental track, carried by Sugarhill bassist Doug Wimbish, is so compelling that for a while I listened to it alone on its B-side version. And the rapping is the peak of the form, not verbally—the debut has funnier words—but rhythmically. Quick tradeoffs and clamorous breaks vary the steady-flow rhyming of the individual MCs, and when it comes to Sha-Rock, Miss Plus One herself, who needs variation?"[2]

Funky 4 + 1 was the first hip hop group to appear on a national television show; on February 14 (Valentine's Day) 1981 they performed on Saturday Night Live hosted by Blondie's Debbie Harry.

The group was subsequently asked by Harry to open up for Blondie on tour, but were forbidden to do so by Sugarhill Records' CEO, Sylvia Robinson.[3]

In 2008, its song "That's The Joint" was ranked number 41 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.[4]

Discography edit

Compilation albums edit

List of compilation albums
Title Album details
Crash Crew Meets Funky Four[a]
That's the Joint
Back to the Old School 2: That's the Joint

Promotional singles edit

List of singles, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Rappin' and Rocking the House"[b][8] 1979 Non-album single
"That's the Joint" 1980 Crash Crew Meets Funky Four
"Do You Want to Rock (Before I Let Go)"[c][9] 1982
"Feel It (The Mexican)"[c][10] 1983

Members edit

  • The Voice of K.K. aka K.K. Rockwell (Kevin Smith) (1978–1981)
  • Keith Keith (Keith Caesar) (1978–1983)
  • Sha Rock (Sharon Green) (1977–1983)
  • Rahiem (Guy Todd Williams) (1977)
  • Lil' Rodney C! (Rodney Stone) (1977–1981)
  • Jazzy Jeff (Jeff Miree) (1977–1983)
  • D.J. Breakout (Keith Williams) (1977–1983)
  • D.J. Baron (Baron Chappell) (1977–1980)

References edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Also recopilates works of Crash Crew.
  2. ^ Released as "Funky Four Plus One More".
  3. ^ a b Released as "Funky Four".

Citations edit

  1. ^ Christgau, Robert (January 2, 1990). "Decade Personal Best: '80s". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (March 30, 1981). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
  3. ^ Piskor, Ed (2013). Hip Hop Family Tree. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics. ISBN 978-1606996904.
  4. ^ "VH1′s 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs". Stereogum. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2014-08-01.
  5. ^ Crash Crew Meets Funky Four (track listing). P-Vine Records. 1983. 540065.
  6. ^ That's the Joint (track listing). P-Vine Records. 1989. PLP-6519.
  7. ^ That's the Joint (track listing). Sequel Records. 2000. NEM CD 372.
  8. ^ Rappin And Rocking The House (track listing). Enjoy Records. 1979. 6000.
  9. ^ Do You Want to Rock (Before I Let Go) (track listing). Sugar Hill Records. 1982. SH 586.
  10. ^ Feel It (The Mexican) (track listing). Sugar Hill Records. 1983. SH-463.

External links edit