various artists: The Funky Precedent

various artists
The Funky Precedent
No Mayo/Loosegroove Records

BECAUSE THE FUNKY Precedent is more about chronicling bohemia than presenting a genre critique from the streets, this forthcoming document of the L.A. hip-hop-funk scene won't seem nearly as urgent as similar recent collections from San Francisco's Bomb! Hip Hop imprint. Viscerally, it's not even close. The acoustic espresso-rap of Blk Sunshine and the acid jazzing of Mikah certainly suffer from a sun-dazed softness that's been spoiling Californian communal folks since 1967. But by juxtaposing the soulful playground pastoralism of Jurassic 5, the cumbia-funk of Ozomatli, and the turntablist Beach Boys send-up of This Kid Named Miles ("Good Vibrations"), the album fabricates a utopia as believable as any the West Coast has produced since the heyday of SST, if not the Dead.

There's a new sense of pan-cultural optimism here, in the face of what one contributor, Abstract Rude, reminds us is still a hyperfragmented Southern Cali. Throw in cuts from scene ringers Aceyalone, Divine Styler, Cut Chemist, and Black Eyed Peas, and you've got a record with as much right to call itself the West Coast answer to Soundbombing II as Quannum: Spectrum or Return of the DJ, Vol. 3. Besides, you can chill, read, dope, and dance to it better than to both of the above combined.

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