Do you remember when Hip-Hop was good and everything that came out was, well fresh? I’m talking about the days of Tribe Called Quest, Pharcyde, Freestyle Fellowship, Nas, DJ Shadow, The Roots, Paris, KRS- One, The Fugees, DJ Greyboy… I do, that’s when I fell in love with it. Before shorties having birthdays, and milkshakes in the yard. When grillz donned by Method Man were being sold on the back page of The Source and before the term ‘bling’ was added to the dictionary. I am ready for this goodness of Hip-Hop to return.
DJ Peanut Butter Wolf is a Bay Area legend, known for his breakthrough work with his late partner in crime, Charizma. He’s long been a producer, and was a pioneer of Stones Throw Records, and now has come back to hit the decks. To me, his remix of “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On” was a signifier of his readiness to step back into the cut as a DJ, letting his fans know that this is PB Wolf round deux. The house was full, the vibe was good, and everyone was happy to see Chris (PBW) once again.
I asked my buddy DJ Hacobo about PB Wolf’s sound and in the words from one DJ to the next, he described it as being Hip-Hop mixed with future disco and Brit Funk Pop. I thought, true, true and true- and yes. I like all of those things. Once the music got started, no one escaped the sound. Whether they were standing in line for a drink, standing in line to get rid of their drink, or making their way back home, every single person was in constant motion to the sounds of the evening.
I have to say though, my favorite part of the evening was meeting the Sweater Funk Crew. Tag-teaming the set were DJ’s Guillermo and Hacobo. When I first heard their sound I thought it might be rare groove, so I got a chance to ask Guillermo:
“We started the Sweater Funk Crew, which is a collective of DJ’s about 2 ½ years ago. We spin Boogie, which from a time after disco and before G Funk. “
I thought, A-HA!!! I have heard Boogie so many times, and have loved it. However I think my mind just lumped it in with rare groove as this specific, yet hard to find parts of the root to hip hop and funk. He went on to explain:
“It’s from about 1979-1983 when music became Black and Gay again, before Prince hit the scene and brought it around to Pop music.”
I think I need to add serious amounts of Boogie to my LP collection. Hopefully Chris Veltri at Groove Merchant can guide me. Until then, I can always go check out the Sweater Funk Collective spinning live at Som-Bar on 16th in the Mission.