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by Mosi Reeves

August 23, 2012

Bay Area Funk

by Mosi Reeves  |  August 23, 2012

This modest playlist is a tribute to the enduring legacy of the San Francisco Bay Area's funk sounds. The region celebrates funk like nowhere else, and it's no surprise that one of the primary books on the subject, Funk, was written by UC Berkeley scholar Rickey Vincent. When you roll through the intersection of Broadway and Telegraph in Oakland, you're likely to hear that hard-thumping bass guitar. And yes, you're also more likely to hear E-40's "Function," or even The Luniz' smoker's classic "I Got 5 on It" (which, incredibly, is still played almost daily on local radio stations), than a Sly & the Family Stone chestnut. But there's a clear lineage between the funk troupes of yesteryear, from Tower of Power to Tony! Toni! Toné!, and the modern-day East Bay rappers who rely so often on samples of those old-school hits. Whether it's a body-slammin' jam from back in the day or the latest Oaktown blapper, the funk rolls on in the Bay.

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