It’s roughly 20 years since Snoop Doggy Dogg’s seminal album Doggystyle was released and in that time he’s undergone a pretty wild transformation. From the start of his career as hip-hop’s scariest rapper on the world’s most dangerous record label, to a detour down south with Master P, to acting, *ahem* adult movies, Doggy Fizzle Televizzle,
selling his soul commercial songs with David Guetta and…Rastafarianism resulting in an ill-advised foree into reggae… the less said about that, the better.
However, for his latest musical outing, Snoop Lion has now transformed into Snoopzilla and enlisted the help of LA funk producer Dam-Funk for an EP 7 Days of Funk. Now, on behalf of all the real Snoop Dogg fans, I would like to say…THANK YOU!
Snoop’s laidback delivery always sounds best over G-funk drenched beats and this EP is no exception. Yes, there is the inevitable use of autotune, that Snoop has somehow become addicted to (in addition to his other vices), and arguably the production steals the show. Let’s be honest, no one listens to Snoop for the lyrics. But the flow (and the autotune) perfectly fit the early 80’s vibe of the album.
One of my favourite songs is ‘Do My Thang’. What’s it about? Nothing, apart from having a good time. This song, much like the rest of the album doesn’t take itself seriously and that’s what I love about it. Laidback vibes to relax to, so if you’re feeling in the mood, press play. In fact, get the whole album and enjoy 7 Days of Funk.
It might be verging on cliche to do another Funkadelic tune for Funk Friday but this tune is so synonymous with the genre that it’s hard not to include it.
This ode to the funk starts off abruptly with barely an introduction and then carries on to the infamous chorus:
“One nation under a groove,
Gettin’ down just for the funk of it”
The thing that stands out for me aside from the irresistible groove, is the layered production and the sheer variety of instruments on the track. In a time of 808’s and synthesisers, the instrumentation on this track is refreshing.
Just like the other Funkadelic entry on this site, this song has been sampled countless times in recent years but here are a few of the more notable ones:
Ice Cube – “Bop Gun”: Updated for the G-Funk era by Ice Cube, this received full endorsement from George Clinton as he redid the hook and even appeared in the video.
Janet Jackson – “Go Deep”: Huge tune harking back to my early adolescence with Janet looking particularly hot in red hair… *sigh*. Oh yeah, and there’s also a sneaky sample of the Funkadelic tune in there somewhere.
EPMD – “So Watcha Sayin”: Some classic old school hiphop, in the era before they paid royalties for samples (probably), the sample appears at 1:25 in the chorus.
This might be one of the more obvious posts I’ll do on Funk Friday, mainly because it’s a tune that pretty much anyone with a passing knowledge of Funk music will know. Added to the fact that the song has been sampled a million times, you will understand where I’m coming from.
As a wannabe/aspiring/former body popper and locker (all three), Not Just Knee Deep is our quintessential theme tune. If you look up many a bodypopping competition on youtube, that tune is bound to be featured in one interpretation or the other and it’s fair to say that Funkadelic and George Clinton unwittingly provided the soundtrack to many poppers’ lives.
I blame my parents for introducing me to this song but it’s just so damn funky. And then gets repetitive. But then the funk draws you back in and all is forgiven.
After the original was released back in 1979 and shook up the mothership funk connection throughout the 80’s, nothing could brace us for its resurgence in the 90’s, mainly thanks to the popularity of gangster rap and it’s offshoot G-Funk. It’s almost like rappers forgot that there were other tunes out there to sample, or that they could actually try and make something original. But, who am I to hate. I’ve downloaded most of these tunes and they are just so damn funky that I can’t even hate. In fact, if I was a West Coast rapper in the early 90’s, I probably would have utilised that sample too.
In no particular order, here’s a few of the notable interpretations of the song:
- Dre Day – Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg: noticeably slowed down sample but we know what time it is
- De La Soul – ““Me, Myself and I”“: Probably the most blatant use of this sample but tellingly one of De La’s signature songs.
- Can’t C Me – 2pac – One of my favourite 2pac songs. The “Knee Deep” sample is almost made to sound eerie over 2pac’s venomous raps, Dr Dre’s production and George Clinton’s vocals.
So basically, every sample of this song has been pretty good. Shout out’s to George Clinton and Funkadelic for creating such a timeless tune. Salute!