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It's Just Funky

“It’s Just Funky” is another groovy b-boy toe-tapper from Tacoma’s High Performance. The music is assembled from looped funk guitars, soul singers, and cowbell samples, each more clearly evidenced in the instrumental version of the song, also found here on this vinyl DJ release, along with a radio edit and a club remix.

The B-side is a surprise. It opens with “Action’s Intro,” where a new emcee highlights how he was left off the album and so then drops profanity galore, as if to deface the group’s clean, radio-friendly reputation… As though High Performance were now daring to be as explicit as possible.

The EP’s closing track, “Another Day In The Neighborhood,” has a genuinely scary construction: the chorus beats are made from gunshots, looped over and over again, and directed at the listener. By contrast, the verses are made from lemonade-sippin’ relaxed Motown samples. This combo sets up an unsettling verse-to-chorus pivot that each time feels like it arrives too soon.

The song is almost seven minutes long, and the whole time you’re riveted… Nervously never quite able to settle into those verses about sweet sunny days because at any moment they might be cut short in a hail of gunfire whenever the chorus arrives. And sometimes they make you wait. It’s honestly quite a remarkable song, probably the best in their whole catalog. It also demonstrates a group looking in a whole new direction away from their origins in the b-boy scene.

It’s Just Funky was the group’s last record with NastyMix. They left the label shortly after and all but disappeared. They resurfaced once more on vinyl in 1993 on the split single, “Talkin Over Shit” with The 23rd Street Mafia released on Tacoma label Just Cash Records.

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