During the rise of the UK Funky scene the number of Hosts/MCs were rather sporadic. All had gained their veterinary within a previous underground music scene and the aspiring Hosts/MCs were reporting to find it hard to gain platform to showcase their talents. With the veterinary wanting to pioneer the new club scene alone, this resulted in a lack of guidance for newcomers. Feeling pressured to not apply too many bars over the music, as to not make it sound too much like Grime or even Garage, the only clear instruction given to those with ambition to be the man with the microphone in hand, was to keep the bars simple. A hook that is gentle within it’s flow. This changed however as soon as the ‘Nursery Grime’ phase arose.
Within the release of these ‘Nursery Grimes’ it became standard practice for an aspiring Host/MC or artist to find a Funky instrumental and make a track in the way that is heavily witnessed within the Bashment genre. This lead to an influx of new ‘artists’ on the scene and an evolution within the UK Funky sound. Which also left the scene facing a divide.
On the plus side, this change has not only aided in success of limelight, with interest shown from major labels and also media, but this also brang with it a large influx from other UK genres from artists who recognised the opportunity as a genre that could bring them their much desired and previously thwarted success. The result has been many chanced one-liners chanted over and already known Funky production with the most identified being repeated in general conversation amongst followers and non-followers having become the current representation of music.
The composers of the one-liners are receiving the most media and record label attention, leaving the original Funky styled productions at the waste side. A track like “Oi You! Are you gonna bang!?” is jumped on by a major record label A&R with Apple (the producer of Chantes, the track underneath) not even recognised for his talents. Chants like “Show me how you get down!” repeated by the youths who become all to familiar who Gracious K is, but are more than bewildered at the mention of DJ Gregory or Hardhouse Banton. Maxwell D has managed to continue his musical surf across the UK homegrown genres, making a ground breaking effect within his BlackBerry Hype anthem, even to the extreme of stocking a beverage sharing the same name. But the rise of Lil’ Silva has remained a pledge of his own, even with many of these one-lined tracks being applied over many of his productions!!
This is a major turn of events since the Funky scene first arose, when the common complaint was that there were too many instrumentals. Since, there have been many ‘soulful’ styled productions but only a fair few receive any recognition. Minus Egypt’s In The Morning produced by Fuzzy Logik, the same attention from major record label A&Rs has been failed to be achieved. Attacca Pesante ft Shea Soul – Make It Funky For Me, Footsteps ft A.L. – Tell Me, MVP ft Louise Williams – Take Me Away, these are a handful of very well produced soulful Funky tracks that have been disregarded by majors and media, yet they hold a much larger diversity of appeal to the general music listener.
The Funky scene has become to signify a sub-genre where you can gain success from a simple one-liner that requires no level of wit or intelligence to compose. Yet gain the most exposure in commercial media via radio and TV. But how long will this mainstream media last? Can a genre survive on a plague of one-liners? Is Funky due to go down in history as the genre remembered for it’s punchlines? Will any of the one-line composers be able to adapt into what the Funky sound was originally about? Will they start working ‘with’ producers to compose their tracks? Will the more talented ‘artists’ within the genre start getting the same level of attention from media and major label A&Rs? Who knows?…..
If we reflect on the short-lived spotlight received by K.I.G. Family following the release of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, it has been proven that without a follow up that holds the same degree of impact, a one-liner has the same lifespan as a seasonal flower. However in saying this, follow up tracks are proving to be a major task within the artists of the scene at present. Donaeo is the only artist to have already released an album at the moment. We can only hope the majority of fellow artists can follow suit.
So we’ve witnessed a rise and takeover by MC/Skank tracks, I am intrigued as to what the next step in evolution holds for the Funky scene.
Filed under: Funky | Tagged: A.L., Attacca Pesante, Blackberry Hype, DJ Gregory, Donaeo, Footsteps, Funky, Funky Dee, Garage, Gracious K, Grime, HardHouse Banton, Head Shoulders Knees & Toes, K.I.G. Family, Lil Silva, Louise Williams, MC/Host, Media, MVP, Oi You! Are You Gonna Bang?, One-liners, Shea Soul, Show Me How You Get Down, Skank, UK Funky | 4 Comments »