Today I introduce a new segment, called Sunday G-Funk. Over the next couple months, Ronzo’s Word will be showing you our 10 favorite G-Funk records. Join us as we dig through a number of classic records, representing the dominance of this influential West Coast style of Hip-Hop throughout the late 80’s and 90’s.
Starting off at number 10, we have an Oakland native by the name of Dru Down. Besides the title track from his highly enjoyable Can You Feel Me album, his biggest claim to fame may be his appearance on 2Pac’s “All About You”. In the rap game, that is. He has also made a couple film appearances, such as his portrayal of “Kayo” in the movie Original Gangstas.
Being a huge fan of Luniz (who are frequent collaborators with Dru Down as well as fellow Oakland rappers), I was surprised at how little I knew of the rapper. His classic West Coast stylings are surprisingly vintage for an album made in 1996, mostly due to the late G-Funk golden age-sounding beats scattered throughout the project.
The production is handled by 10+ producers, with mostly lesser-known names receiving credit. Among the more recognizable names are Battlecat (concert DJ for Snoop Dogg) and Soopafly (member of DPGC). The album’s production remains incredibly cohesive throughout, even with the myriad of names involved.
Dru Down’s topics mainly revolve around the life of a pimp, and the various women he deals with. “Playa Fo Real” is my personal favorite off the album, featuring the classic high synth synonymous with the G-Funk Era.
With classic material like this, it’s hard for me to understand why Oakland Hip-Hop has never truly evolved beyond underground acts. Besides the classic Bay artists such as E-40 and Mac Dre, the subgenre has mainly been more of a local phenomenon.
If you’re a fan of classic Hip-Hop, and want a great album to smoke during, or bump in the car, Can You Feel Me is the perfect project for you. Be sure to play it on a nice day to get the full effect.