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Future Rhythm

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Album Review

With each new album, Digital Underground develop and deepen their homage to George Clinton's P-Funk, coming up with new, inventive ways to carry on the tradition. Unlike the G-funk-inspired crews down in Southern California, DU play fast and loose with their inspiration, keeping true to the wild-ass eclecticism of P-Funk's best moments. On Future Rhythm, DU have added a concept of their own — namely, the record is a concept album about moving funk and hip-hop into the next century. Unfortunately, the music never sounds any different than the group's previous releases, with the notable exception of the exclusion of the good-time party raps that always ranked among the crew's finer moments. So, the concept never quite takes hold, and the music is similar to the group's other recordings, but so what? Digital Underground has found a way to infuse hip-hop with not only the sound but the spirit of George Clinton in a way no other rapper (with the exception of Dr. Dre, who took the sound but ignored the spirit) has ever done. And that means that even their lesser efforts, such as Future Rhythm, have some fine cuts to offer.


Formed: 1987 in Oakland, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '80s, '90s

While hip-hop was consumed by the hardcore, noisy political rap of Public Enemy and the gangsta rap of N.W.A., Digital Underground sneaked out of Oakland with their bizarre, funky homage to Parliament-Funkadelic. Digital Underground built most of their music from P-Funk samples and developed a similarly weird sense of style and humor, highlighted by Shock-G's outrageous costumes and the whole band's parade of alter egos. Of all these alter egos, Shock-G's Humpty Hump -- a ridiculous comical figure...
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