#ClassIsInSession: Ultramagnetic MC's Funky Edition

Posted On Wednesday, February 27, 2019


The first #ClassIsInSession piece I wrote started off with me talking about those damn drums that I could never get outta my head. Well this piece starts off about  those damn keys that I could never get outta my head. And the keys I'm talking about are the Joe Cocker keys from his song "Woman To Woman" that were made famous to us hip hop heads by the Bronx Bombers the Ultramagnetic MC's classic "Funky." 

The year is 1987. I'm 13 years old and besides girls, all I care about it hip hop...literally. My grades in school were slippin' cause all I did in class was write rhymes or tagging up my notebook. My routine was simple in '87. Get up and write rhymes. Go to school and write rhymes. Come home from school and write rhymes and work on my DJing, do enough homework to keep me off punishment and write rhymes. Talk on the phone to whoever I was kicking it to and you guessed it...write rhymes. But when Friday came? That's when all I did was write rhymes! See, if you were a hip hop head in Friday during the 80's you were either one of two places.  One being home with your tape deck on record listening to Lady B's Street Beat radio show or two, you were at After Midnight watching what 80's MC was in the building performing! Me, being 13 at the time all of my Friday's were spent in the house listening to Lady B and whenever I think of Street Beat, there are 5 songs that ALWAYS come to mind for me. And one of those five songs is Ultramagnetic's "Funky." I mean, it's those keys. Those damn keys that are just as hyptnotizing as ole girl in Get Out hyptonizing money with her spoon and tea cup. And then after you finally get past those keys you hear Ced walking in the stduio, giving pounds & shouting out Keith for bringing the beat through to Keith response of "told you 'bout it!" And after that Ced counts Keith in and that ladies & gentlemen, just like Heltah Skeltah said, let the madness begin. 


First things first, let's talk about the way Kool Keith sets off this record, "I brought a band, Sam is on trombone, he's blowing hard back to back notes" wait...what?!?!? Now, understand that I'm 13 years old and for the past 3 years I've been listening to Run DMC, Whodini,  LL & the Fat Boys. Now I'm hearing some hyprnotizing keys AND some mofo talking about he just brought a band! At this point my mind is completely blow and melting out the side of my head. I've NEVER heard someone make no sense and so much sense at the same exact time. This my friends, is the TRUE greatness of Kool Keith who was literally light years, and I'm talking those Battlestar Galaetika/Buck Rogers light year ahead of his time on the mic. 


And then Ced comes in set his verse off talking about this damn band again, "understand the sounds you're listenin, it's a band with nitroglycerin" wait, what? Now the band's got freaking nitroglycerin along with Sam who's on trombone?!?!?! At this point I don't know what the hell is going on but I do know it sounds so damn good. And do ya'll even want me to go into the ending of the track when the Ultra's are getting ready to break north but this somehow turns into a relationship counseling session with TR saying he's going to his girl's house & Ced asks Keith where he's going to what Keith answers with "I gotta go to my girl's place to pick up my underwear." Wait, what?!!??! Then Ced says he's going to his girls house to drop this tape off to let her know what he's been doing for the last couple of hours because she always thinks he's out here schemin." I apologize, isn't this suppose to be a hip hop song?!?!? What kind of hip hop songs, in the 80's, coming outta the Bronx ends with a relationship counseling session? That's simple...a classic one. 


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