As the New Year of 2017 begins, its time for another funky song to set the new year off right. This week has a song I’m particularly proud to bring you, from Los Angeles California’s own Lord Gord, with his group, The Posse. It has always been my hope through my blogging activities on “riquespeaks” and “Andresmusictalk” to not only share the finest in classic Funk/Soul/R&B/Jazz/Afrobeat, but also to help introduce the public to new music in that vein as well. In the case of Lord Gord, we have a talented artist who enjoyed my funk based content on this blog and reached out to me to keep an eye out for his music. Lord Gord is a young artist from SoCal who is extremely serious about bringing back the funk! He reminds me of the attitude me and my friends had back in the ’00s. Gord would like nothing more than to see the Funk come back to its rightful position and for bands and instrumentalists to regain a prominent position in the presentation of Black popular music in particular, and in mainstream music as a whole. His first step towards that goal is his album, “This Isn’t T.V”, with its lead off single we’re featuring here, “Leave My Curl Alone.” The song is his modern funk, live band interpretation of the West Coast tongue in cheek rap classic of the same name by Hi-C. I remember when the original came out back in the early ’90s, and the way it stood as a kind of defiant anthem. Lord Gord uses it here to display both his talents for funky musical arrangements as well as his Morris Day influenced sense of funky showmanship and humor, because, to quote him, “You cant spell the Funk, without FUN!”
Hi-C’s original song was based on a sample of Brick’s “Dusic”, which was later used by Hammer in his song “It’s All Good.” Lord Gord eschews the sample of the original for his own funky arrangement. The song begins with him counting off and the drummer striking up a phat breakbeat style drum pattern, accented by high on the neck, choppy rhythm guitars and a high string like synth melody, while Lord Gord gives his introduction, “but when you’re cool from the inside out/those are things you just don’t have to worry about.” After a high pitched Mack laugh, the full groove is introduced for Gord’s verse, which adds a heavy bottom end bass guitar line that has a rolling quality to the beat, along with a Fender Rhodes electric piano line that begins on the 3rd beat and plays a nice accenting riff, alongside a single note rhythm guitar line. This is the foundation for Gord to drop the lyrical story, a humorous tale where the narrator faces rejection for his Jherri Curl. When he goes to the “Leave My Curl Alone” chorus, the song adds sharp horn blasts, while the groove keeps bubbling underneath. One interesting facet of the horn arrangement is the way it melds sharp blasts of brass on top, with more reedy sounding sustained notes underneath. Lord Gord’s appreciation of developing horn parts is confirmed by the different horn line that supports the latter half of his second rap verse. Also of particular interest is the super funky breakdown at the end with the drummer ending with a drum fill quotation from Stevie Wonder’s “I Am Singing!”
“Leave My Curl Alone” is a perfect introduction to the type of fun, energetic, modern day instrumental funk that Lord Gord is unleashing on the musical world. A Funk full of personal quirks, individuality, hearty party enthusiasm and a strong appreciation for Funk’s foundations. Support his music and sit back, and enjoy grooving to the musical journey of a new funk artist!!!