Trawling through old funk, soul and rare groove records is a time consuming and demanding mission: more often than not, after hours of listening to strained falsettos and improbable breakdowns, the results do not justify the commitment. The digital crate digger has an easier task - the internet is an invaluable commodity, especially if, like this blog, the starting position tends to almost always orbit around hip hop.
The Gap Band – Yearning For Your Love
The Sylvers – We Can Make It We Try
Steve Parks – Movin’ In The Right Direction
Both Madlib (Madvillainry) and Digable Planets (Reachin…) have chopped these records up extensively, but out of the three, it is L.E.S’ use of the first cut on Life’s A Bitch that stands out. The result is the dopest track on the dopest rap album of all time, a stonewall classic beat that stays true to the original and simultaneously sounds fresh and new. Originally released in 1980 on the very successful, but very bland The Gap Band III album, it is the one track off the LP that is worth multiple listens. The second joint is from the distinctly average The Sylvers II (1973), whilst the mysterious Steve Parks only released one record, also titled Movin’ In The Right Direction, in 1981. From all three albums, the tracks above are the only ones I’d listen to repeatedly, and herein lies the question of commitment: does rare groove justify the hours of crate digging and archiving that is necessary to unearth these diamonds in the rough? Perhaps, perhaps not…