Music Reviews
RZA and Keb Darge

RZA and Keb Darge

Kings of Funk


BBE is once again proving that they are one of the most intriguing and exciting hip-hop labels in operation today. After string after string of critically-acclaimed albums, these Brits still take nothing for granted and have now launched the incredibly compelling Kings of… series. Following the double-disc compilation Kings of Disco by Joey Negro and Dmitri from Paris, they now bring together RZA and deep funkster Keb Darge for this second tribute in the series.

As opposed to a Greatest Hits series, this is more like Six Degrees’ old Under the Influence line. Kings of Funk is a tribute to the crate digger in all of us. RZA’s disc is much more of a chill session and definitely the more recognizable of the discs. Lynn Collins, Bobbi Humphrey, Sly and Booker T. and the MGs are on this one. Ken Boothe’s “It’s Because I’m Black” is a reggae gem, Boothe’s plaintive voice haunting long after the gritty track’s finished. And Harlem Underground’s version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” is so RZA it must’ve appeared on 36 Chambers.

Keb Darge’s compilation, however, is more for the obscure dance freak. It’s a hipster DJ’s dream. There are crypto-juke joint stomps by Sharon Jones and Quantic. MFSB’s “Family Affair” is pure adrenaline funk. And cuts by Brand New, Mighty Generation and Skying High will definitely get you moving.

The Kings of Funk has something for every dedicated funkateer and old soul fan. Whether chilling or dancing, this is a compilation you’ll quickly grow to appreciate. Once again, BBE must be commended for a job well done.


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