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Funky 4 + 1

Funky 4 + 1 were one of the first hip-hop groups that contained a female MC and were certainly the first group of their kind that released records commercially. Further, the group were the among the first wave of Bronx crews to release records after the initial success of the Sugarhill Gang in 1979. The Funky 4 consisted of DJ Breakout, K.K. Rockwell, Keith Keith, Lil' Rodney Cee, Jazzy Jeff, and the "plus one" -- Sha Rock. Among DJ Breakout's peers in the early to mid-'70s were such hip-hop pioneers as DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Flash. In fact, one of the earlier members of the Funky 4 -- Raheim -- left to join Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, who was replaced by Lil' Rodney Cee. A unique aspect of the group was that Sha Rock wasn't portrayed as a sex object but was more or less considered equal among the male members of the group. Aside from the minor success of the all-female Sugarhill Records rap crew Sequence, Funky 4 + 1 signified the last moderate success of a woman in the rap industry until Roxanne Shanté and Salt-n-Pepa came along in the mid-'80s. Aside from the novelty of having a woman in their ranks, they are one of the most influential but overlooked old-school hip-hop groups -- having been sampled by a wide assortment of later hip-hop artists including the Beastie Boys (on their Paul's Boutique record). Along with Grandmaster Flash, they began recording 12" singles for Enjoy Records -- releasing what is considered the longest rap song ever: "Rappin' and Rockin' the House" (at over 15 minutes, it outlasts the lengthy "Rapper's Delight"). After they grew displeased with what they considered to be Enjoy's poor distribution, they followed Grandmaster Flash to the Sugarhill Records label. There they cut the all-time classic "That's the Joint" but never went on to release a full-length record. After only moderate success, the group went their separate ways in the early '80s with Lil' Rodney Cee and K.K. Rockwell forming Double Trouble and Sha Rock joining Lisa Lee and Debbie Dee as part of US Girls (who appeared in the 1984 film Beat Street). While no full-length ever was released by Funky 4 + 1, many of their singles can be found scattered on old-school hip-hop compilations. ~ Kembrew McLeod
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Definitive Groove: Sugar Hill Records

Disc 1

3. Freedom

4. 8th Wonder

5. The Birthday Party

6. That's The Joint

7. The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel

9. Let's Dance (Make Your Body Move)

11. Hey Fellas (Long Version)

Disc 2

1. Message

2. Apache

3. It's Nasty (Genius Of Love) (Short Version)

4. Sing A Simple Song

5. Whip It

6. Scorpio

7. Message II (Survival)

8. New York New York

9. Break Dance-Electric Boogie

x

Track List: The Sugar Hill Records Story

3. Rapper's Reprise (Jam-Jam)

5. Hot Hot Summer Day

6. And You Know That (Short Version)

7. Freedom

9. Baby Let's Rap Now, Pt. 2

10. People Get On Up

11. 8th Wonder

12. That's The Joint

13. The Birthday Party

14. Check It Out

15. The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel

16. Showdown

17. Let's Dance (Make Your Body Move)

18. Spoonie Is Back

19. Apache

20. It's Nasty (Genius Of Love) (Short Version)

21. Hey Fellas (Long Version)

22. Sing A Simple Song

24. The Lover In You

25. The Message (Feat. Melle Mel & Duke Bootee)

27. Scratching

28. Ooh Baby (Short Version)

29. Scorpio

30. Making Cash Money

31. Here Comes The Bride

32. Message II (Survival)

33. Breaking Bells (Take Me To The Mardi Gras)

34. Yes We Can-Can

35. The Word Is Out

36. New York New York

37. Girls

38. Kick It Live From 9 To 5

39. Break Dance-Electric Boogie

40. All Night Long (Waterbed)

41. At The Ice Arcade

42. White Lines (Don't Don't Do It) (Long Version)

43. We Are Known As Emcees (We Turn Party's Out)

44. Jesse

46. Livin' In The Fast Lane

47. We Don't Work For Free

49. XMas Rap (Un-Censored)

50. Busy Bee's Groove

51. Turn It Up

53. Vice (From Miami Vice)

x

Track List: Tommy Boy Presents: Hip Hop Essentials 1979-1991 Volume Five

1. That's The Joint

2. Freedom

3. Bring The Noise

5. Wild Wild West

6. Fat Boys

7. Making Cash Money

9. Jimbrowski

Comments

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whoot whoot
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spensoid
Parrrtay!
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These are real rappers having fun on the M I C love it
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O you or right
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I agree with sonjafelton these new age rappers sucks
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The music was soooo much fun back then!
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sonjafelton
These are true hip hop artists. Some of these new so called emcee's could learn something here. Know your history!
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rudeboy66200 7
Actually the first to appear on national TV
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weloveenigma
did you know that funky 4 + 1 was the first hip hop group to appear on Saturday Night Live?

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