[the origins of g-funk]

Ohio Players

Frankie Smith
Children of Tomorrow

Let’s start this off right!

Welcome to my new blog dedicated to music. The Ohio Players’ Pleasure is a good place to start, since pleasure is at the heart of my love of music, and few forms of music give me quite the gut level of pure pleasure that funk does.

“Funky Worm,” from 1972, is narrated by Grandma and tells the story of “the funkiest worm in the world.” Naturally. What makes the song really stand out, though, is the astonishing synthesizer noise that takes off at 0:45, from which the entire edifice of G-funk was built. I only recently discovered this track, but it demonstrates definitively that Dr. Dre owes his whole career to about 10 seconds by the Ohio Players. As Grandma says, “Like nine cans of shaving powder: that’s funky.” A statement like that brooks no argument.

While we’re at it, that whole wacky Snoop Dogg “Izzle” language also has a point of origin: the proto-hip-hop song “Double Dutch Bus” by Frankie Smith, from 1981. The Izzle kicks in at around 1:51.