New addition to the collection. Man, May 4 1993 was a busy release day for hip-hop! Place this one right after Total Devastation.
I consider myself to be a true hip-hop head, and somewhat of a hip-hop historian as well. So there are some groups that I’m not really a fan of, but when I come across some of their albums for a few bucks at a used music store, the historian in me forces me to buy them. Prime example of this impulse is today’s write-up on Funkdoobiest.
Funkdoobiest is the Los Angeles based trio consisting of lead emcee, Son Doobie, his right hand man Tomahawk Funk, and the group’s deejay/producer, DJ Ralph The Mexican (which is both a mouthful to say and a very corny moniker), who occasional goes under the alias of Tribal Funkster (which is the alias written by his picture in the liner notes). They were DJ Muggs’ (of Cypress Hill) protégé and part of his larger collective, Soul Assassins. Thanks to their relationship with Muggs, who was quickly building his brand as a respected producer by 1993, Funkdoobiest were able to score a deal with the independent label Immortal Records (with distribution from Epic) and released their debut album Which Doobie U B? in the spring of 1993.
Which Doobie U B? would feature production by DJ Ralph The Mexican, fellow Soul Assassins affiliated, T-Ray and the Doobies mentor of course, DJ Muggs. The album wasn’t a huge commercial success but it did receive favorable review.
Hopefully, Funkdoobiest can help TimeIsIllmatic start 2017 on a good note. Happy New Year peeps!
The Funkiest – Which Doobie opens with a decent semi-dark Muggs instrumental that has Son Doobie rockin’ the mic solo. Interestingly, when I used to freestyle back in the day I would often say “action packed rhymin’ like Simon and Simon” (anybody remember that show?), and had no idea I was
biting borrowing one of Son’s rhymes from this song. Hell, I didn’t even know I knew any of Funkdoobiests’ records. Muggs’ instrumental uses a shrieking loop that sounds very similar to the one that can be found on “Jump Around”, which probably isn’t a coincidence, considering Muggs also produced that song. Decent start to the evening.
Bow Wow Wow – I believe this was the lead single from Which Doobie. The Muggs instrumental sounds like he was trying to recreate “Jump Around” with an “Atomic Dog” twist. Basically, it’s trash. Son Doobie rolls solo again and sounds like he’s freestyling with corny rhymes like “I’ll put you in my trunk like a goodfella, I’m a gut spilla, yeah I’ll get retarded like Helen Keller” and “then do the polka, I’m iller than the joker”. This one is garbage.
Freak Mode – DJ Ralph The Mexican (who I’ll only refer to as DJ Ralph M from this point on during this post) gets his first production credit of the night, and even spits a verse in between Son’s verses. Unfortunately, Ralph doesn’t make a good first impression, since his instrumental is just as mediocre as his verse.
I’m Shittin’ On ‘Em – Long before Nicki Minaj decided to squat and relieve herself on her competition, Son Doobie did it. By this point it’s clear that Son is not a great lyricist, but he sounds decent rhyming over T-Ray’s drunken piano loop driven instrumental (that uses the same Joe Williams’ “Get Out of My Life” sample used on Kool G. Rap’s “Ill Street Blues”). This is definitely an improvement from the last song.
Who’s The Doobiest – Where is the question mark in the song title, boys? Speaking of question, I got one for Son: why the random diss of Deney Terrio? This song is hot garbage. And not just because he dissed Mr. Terrio.
Doobie To The Head – This is easily my favorite song on Which Doobie. DJ Ralph M lays down a smooth laid back funk groove (complete with a nasty well placed horn loop on the hook) for Son and Tomahawk Funk to rhyme over. Neither emcee says anything worth quoting, but the instrumental is brilliant.
Where’s It At – That’s what I asked when I saw the title wasn’t punctuated with a question mark. But a question mark is the least of this songs troubles. This song is trash.
Wopbabalubop – B-Real stops by to join Son Doobie and Tomahawk as they rhyme over what may be the most generic and boring loop in the history of hip-hop. Not even B-Real or the Little Richard vocal loop on the hook can save T-Ray’s terrible instrumental.
The Porno King – This was kind of a weird (or useless) interlude. I guess the trio wanted you to know how much they adore porn. Moving on…
‘Uh C’mon Yeah! – You might not like it after the first few listens, but the DJ Ralph M instrumental will grow on you in time. While the instrumental might grow on you, Son Doobie’s useless rhymes will not.
Here I Am – Tomahawk Funk waited nearly the whole album for his solo joint and then squanders the opportunity with mediocrity. DJ Ralph M hooks up a decent instrumental that has a bit of a tribal feel to it, but Tomahawk spits underwhelming rhymes and quickly becomes annoying with way too many mentions of his tomahawk.
Funk’s On Me – Son Doobie ends Which Doobie with yet another lackluster solo joint. And DJ Ralph M was kind enough to match Son’s lacklusterness with a forgettable instrumental. Thank God this is the final song of the evening!
After listening to Which Doobie U B? over the last few weeks, I’m very thankful that I didn’t waste my hard-earned money on this album as a kid, and it also proves that snap judgements can be accurate. Son Doobie, who is the chief emcee (and I use the term “chief” loosely) of Funkdoobiest, sounds like a poor man’s B-Real mixed with Das EFX and Everlast, circa his House of Pain days, only less skilled and entertaining. His sidekick Tomahawk Funk, only appears on a handful of songs and isn’t even worth wasting words on. The production on Which Doobie U B? is pretty cohesive, but cohesion isn’t always a good thing, especially in this case. With a few exceptions, DJ Ralph M, T-Ray, and surprisingly, DJ Muggs weave together lazy uncreative loops that lack energy and will leave you bored as shit listening to them. Based on Which Doobie U B? there is really no legitimate reason why Funkdoobiest should even exist in hip-hop, as they bring no real value to the genre. Hopefully they got better on their next few albums, but I highly doubt it.