Low Ridin’ Funk


If you are of a certain age – don’t worry, you don’t have to tell us – and grew up in California, then you may remember the time when lowriders roamed the urban streets, blasting chunky bass out of their massive stereo speakers. And in the early 80s, just before the likes of Rodney O & DJ Cooley and Too Short became the soundtrack of choice for West Coast car freaks, the sounds pouring out of these would-be mobile discos was “Atomic Dog” funk. Noise pollution meant nothing to the players rattling nearby apartment windows with Zapp, Mtume, Midnight Star, the Gap Band, the S.O.S. Band, and other synthesized delights. It was annoying: I like Prince as much as the next person, but I got pretty sick of hearing “Erotic City” several times a day, and always cranked up to 11. Now, with those years thankfully past, they’re just pleasant memories.


  • George Clinton, “Atomic Dog”
  • Zapp, “More Bounce to the Ounce”
  • One Way, “Cutie Pie”
  • The S.O.S. Band, “No One’s Gonna Love You”
  • Yarbrough & Peoples, “Don’t Stop the Music”
  • Mtume, “Juicy Fruit”
  • Zapp, “Computer Love”
  • Midnight Star, “Freak-a-zoid”
  • Dazz Band, “Joystick”
  • The Gap Band, “Party Train”
  • Prince, “Erotic City”
  • Lakeside, “Raid”
  • Roger Troutman, “So Ruff, So Tuff”
  • Fatback Band, “Backstrokin'”
  • Cameo, “Keep It Hot”
  • The Isley Brothers, “Between the Sheets”
  • Zapp, “I Can Make You Dance”
  • Ray Parker Jr., “For Those Who Like to Groove”
  • Ronnie Hudson, “West Coast Poplock”
  • Rick James, “Cold Blooded”

(Rhapsody – June 17, 2014)

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