The Funky Four Plus One More
KK Rockwell (Kevin Smith)
Keith Keith (Keith Caesar)
Lil' Rodney Cee (Rodney Stone)
Jazzy Jeff (Jeffrey Myree)
Sha Rock (Sharon Green)
Forming in 1979, this was one of the first hip hop groups that contained a female emcee, Sha Rock. And unlike many female rappers today, she was not looked at as a sex object, but rather she was just another member of the group.
One of the original members of the group was Rahiem who left to join Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. He was replaced by Rodney Cee.
Despite never releasing a full length album, they remain a very influential group. A quick listen through any of their singles will undoubtedly reveal several recognizable samples.
Their single "Rappin and Rockin the House" clocks in at over fifteen minutes and is the longest hip hop song ever.
"That's the Joint" is considered their quintessential song.
There other releases include "Do You Want To Rock", "King Heroin", "Square Biz", "Feel It", and "Superstars".
They were the first hip hop group to make a national television appearance. It was on Saturday Night Live in 1981.
By 1983 the group had split up. KK Rockwell and Rodney Cee formed Double Trouble. Sha Rock joined two other female rappers in Us Girls (the group performing in the house party in Beat Street). Jazzy Jeff went on to record as a solo act with Jive.
The Funky Four~s background is an interesting one,with Lil` Rodney Cee having been part of the street-jivers the Magnificent Seven between 1977 and 1978. The Funky Four were founded when KK Rockwell and D.J. Breakout,adding first Keith Keith and then female MC Sha Rock. Rahiem joined,then departed to take up an engagement with Grandmaster Flash. Keith Keith also left.
With the addition of Lil` Rodney Cee,then Jazzy Jeff,the group became the Funky Four,with D.J. Breakout and Baron.None of the group were older than 17 when they signed with the Enjoy label,opening that imprint`s account(in rap terms)with"Rappin` And Rocking The House".
This utilized the Cheryl Lynn break,"Got To Be Real",over which a 16-minute rap commentary was placed. The drums were programmed by Pumpkin,arguably rap`s first production hero,and it was an impressive overall introduction.
Shortly afterwards they switched to Sugarhill,adding the Plus One More suffix. In addition to this cast D.J. Mark The 45 King would act as Breakout`s record boy,locating and passing records up to the decks as his D.J. requested them. They made their debut for Sugarhill with "Thats The Joint",a song arranged by jazz-funk organist Clifton Jiggs Chase. Their performances at Bronx house parties included full blown dance routines.
After a clash album with the Cash Crew,their career petered out somewhat,through Jazzy Jeff would go on to a brief solo career with Jive Records. Lil` Rodney Cee and KK Rockwell would go on to be partners in follow under achievers,Double Trouble.At which time Rodney Cee would marry Angela(Angie B)Brown of Sequence fame
Back to Articles | Rap Videos