By: Funmi Onadipe
Former Co-Founder and Writer of Ballistic Sounds.
Funk has been reincarnated in the hip-hop duo MindBodynFunk. New Jersey natives Nick “HueGo” Burgess and David “Drok” Grant, bring their listeners back to a time where funk was the premise of hip-hop. Their new project, Musical Selections that dropped this April, is comprised of songs that remind us of summertime, raging hormones, good friends, and good vibes.
Starting out as members of a rap group in high school called MOA, Drok and HueGo along with a couple of friends became pretty popular in their hometowns of Maplewood-South Orange and West Orange, New Jersey. These two came together again after the group disbanded to share their love for the old school.
MindBodynFunk make it a point to show their listeners where the sounds and beats of mainstream music came from. The “Intro” asks, “What kind of music do I like?” Different genres of music are then listed by a sultry female voice. She mentions genres like rock, blues, jazz, funk, hip-hop, alternative, soft rock along with many others. She then lists legendary artists like Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Simple Plan and Ray Charles. This introduction gives a taste of the different musical inspirations and sounds that this project is compiled of, reminding the listener that hip hop music is a melting pot of variant genres that ultimately make one new sound.
Throughout Musical Selections, sounds of old school 80s and 90s hip-hop hailing from both the east and west coast are heard, particularly in “More Funk Than You Do” and “Homies”. They also sample Minnie Riperton’s “Inside My Love” in “Can Hold the Torch” and Al B. Sure!’s “Night and Day” in “Let Me See”, bringing old school and new age together. The result is tracks that have the sounds of the 80s, but content and themes that millennials relate to. Musical Selections contains songs about getting girls, budding romances, partying, and being “that guy”. The incorporation of popular lingo from north New Jersey and New York, (F*ck Wit the Kid), adds to the “forever-young summertime fun” aura of the project, giving it an extra playfulness. Listeners will find themselves delightfully amused by Drok’s parody of Ezail the Crackhead from the movie Friday in the middle of “More Funk Than You Do” and HueGo’s cheeky spiel in the beginning of “F*ck Wit the Kid”.
Drok and HueGo successfully create a cohesive sound and vibe that people of all ages can jam to. Listeners can hear the timeless “no music” beat throughout Musical Selections that in turn, makes this project likeable to anyone who is true to the basics of hip-hop and thoroughly appreciates the flow of the old school. This music definitely speaks to any old soul and can open the mind and musical intelligence of the new soul.
Listen to Musical Selections Here: https://m.soundcloud.com/huego-12/sets/musical-selections-by-drok.