Peanut Butter Wolf knows how important it is to keep the funk alive; it’s his job as a skilled producer and as founder of Stones Throw Records. While his label is mainly recognized for underground hip-hop phenoms like Madlib, the Lootpack and Wolf himself, it’s also becoming funkier – as exemplified by funk-cover band, the Breakestra, and now, The Funky 16 Corners.
The first actual comp released off Stones Throw, this album is a blend of both soul-filled instrumentals and raw, funky vocal compositions. The 22 tracks are chock-full of ’60s and ’70s breaks and samples as well as timeless social commentary.
The Co Real Artists’ “What About You (In the World Today)” is arguably a crucial transformation of rap music. Spider Harrison’s “Beautiful Day” could be considered a tribute to Santa Barbara’s weather: I think it’s rained a total of 5 days this year.
Cut Chemist’s “Bunky’s Pick” is a CD bonus track and an excellent way to sum up the album. He performs a miniature “Brainfreeze” by flippin’ and cuttin’ pieces of almost every track on the album, making 7 minutes of his very own funk.
Besides background info on all the artists, the liner notes contain personal stories from Wolf and Egon, the master funk collector who arranged the album.
The Funky 16 Corners is a great homage to the original, underground old-school funk mothafuckers, who seriously could have kicked James Brown’s ass any day, if only given the chance.