Company Flow
Funcrusher Plus


4.5
superb

Review

by somberlain USER (64 Reviews)
January 5th, 2011 | 170 replies | 17,083 views


Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A startlingly original album that laid the foundation for underground and alternative hip-hop.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Sean “Puffy” Combs had quite a year in 1997, albums released on his Bad Boy record label that year went on to sell a combined 20 million copies. That year, even Jay-Z and Notorious BIG followed up their classic debuts with more radio friendly albums keeping with Puff’s (who executive produced both albums) “All about the Benjamins” motto. On the other end of the spectrum were Company Flow, they were everything that Bad Boy wasn’t: low budget, uncompromising, intelligent but most of all original. After releasing their EP Funcrusher, Company Flow got several record deal offers which was what they wanted, provided it was done on their terms: 50% percent of the net profits, maintain ownership of their masters and publishing rights. If you know anything about the music business, you understand how preposterous those demands are, thus only one label agreed to their terms and as a result, Funcrusher Plus was the first album released on Rawkus, an upstart independent label.

Funcrusher Plus ushered in a new era of underground hip-hop and it exemplifies what the underground is all about: simple, minimalist beats, low budget production and no regard whatsoever to commercial appeal. MCs El-P and Bigg Jus attack the mic with incredible ferocity and unbelievably intricate rhymes that take several listens to fully digest. Co-Flow tie together references from a seemingly bottomless grab-bag of comic book, pop culture and sci-fi references. Over time, El-P became the better known member but Big Juss is a very capable MC and may have a more fluid style than El-P. Together, El-P and Big Juss cram every bar with as many ideas as possible and it will have you catching more and more on every listen., nearly every line is quotable. With nineteen tracks, Funcrusher Plus runs a bit long especially since there isn’t much thematic variety, just battle rap punch lines but the highpoints are the stuff classic albums are made of.

Produced mainly by El-P(with some assistance from DJ Mr. Len) Funcrusher Plus completely defies the mainstream, there is little semblance of hooks or samples, opting instead for simple, sparse beats. The three note bass line on ‘Vital Nerve’ best exemplifies the production on this album, it’s simple yet memorable. You don’t even notice how basic and repetitive the beats are because of how much is going on lyrically, the spaced out production is built for the types of MCs El-P and Bigg Jus are and it allows them room to flex their lyrical muscles, which they do in spectacular fashion. From the sitar loop and stuttering drumbeat on ‘The Fire in Which You Burn’, the clipped horns on ‘Krazy Kings’ to the acid-drenched, psychedelic guitar of ‘8 Steps to Perfection’, there is outstanding production work, a foreshadowing of what was to come from El-P.

In 1997, Funcrusher Plus was like nothing else at the time and years after its release it remains a refreshing listen proving just how far ahead of their time Co-Flow actually were. With this release, Co-Flow revitalized the hip-hop underground and Rawkus became the most respected indie hip-hop label, proving El-P’s words to be prophetic when he said “The independent representation of what MC's can and should be”. Will Smith’s 1997 album Big Willie Style ended up going 9x platinum and even though Funcrusher Plus didn’t reach as many people, it had a much greater impact on those who it did reach something Company Flow knew all along: When sales control stats, I place no faith in the majority. Shortly after the release of this album, Co-Flow broke up and El-P went on to create his own label, Definitive Jux, providing a home for similarly minded artists interested in further pushing the boundaries of hip-hop.

Recommended Tracks:
8 Steps to Perfection
Vital Nerve
Silence


(note: album was re-released in 2009 on Definitive Jux)



Recent reviews by this author
Nas Street's DiscipleLloyd Banks The Hunger For More
The Haunted The HauntedOrganized Konfusion Organized Konfusion
Roadrunner United Roadrunner United The Concert (DVD)AZ Doe or Die
user ratings (200)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
somberlain
January 5th 2011



2121 Comments


I'm back at it again
redid this review, been listening to this again, awesome album

MUNGOLOID
January 5th 2011



4275 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

re-saying my comment:

album sounds like the fucking apocalypse.

somberlain
January 5th 2011



2121 Comments


didn't even talk about the album cover, one of the best in hip-hop imo

Manic_
January 5th 2011



447 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

underground classic. good review too

Urinetrouble
January 5th 2011



5754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

love this album, even if el-p isn't a good rapper. excellent producer though

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
January 6th 2011



15332 Comments


omg a somberlain review

excellent job man, couldnt tell you've been away from reviewing

keep it up!!

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

Tupik
January 6th 2011



671 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There wasn't a review for this ? damn. Great album, I'll give my opinion on your review once I read it.

Maniac!
January 6th 2011



26246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5


What happened to the other review for this?

Regardless, good review; this album rules

cvlts
January 6th 2011



8954 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album saved me in the beginning of uni last semester. sweet review

MCGF
January 6th 2011



361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i love this album, great review. also who is j treds and why is he so awesome?

somberlain
January 6th 2011



2121 Comments


thx Sowing
I had reviewed this but had it removed and re-did it

J-treds kills it on 'The Fire in Which You Burn' but I haven't heard him outside of this album


Bulldog
January 11th 2011



3796 Comments


good review somberlain. welcome back.

was gonna comment earlier but i was banninated.

posd

Urinetrouble
January 11th 2011



5754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

waddya think of this bulldog? if you give anything less than a 3 i'll rape your soul

captaincrunch11
March 30th 2011



1198 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Used to listen to this every morning before school. Great times.

Hocmat
May 6th 2011



648 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is lieek, really cool, guys.

Maniac!
May 6th 2011



26246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

obvs

Maniac!
May 27th 2011



26246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Rules so hard.

liledman
May 27th 2011



3826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yep

just like olivia wilde

Maniac!
May 27th 2011



26246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

indeed

Maniac!
May 27th 2011



26246 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I wish Olivia Wilde would rule me hard....



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy