Funk Inc: Kool Is Back

From Funk Inc (Prestige, 1971)

Hardhouse: 11:55

From 12″ (Easy Street, 198?)

De La Soul: Saturdays (6:00am)

From 12″ (Tommy Boy, 1991)

For funk fiends, “Kool Is Back” by the aptly-named Funk Inc. is unbelievably perfect. From the opening guitar licks to the percussive build-up to the organ vamps and brass section, the first minute and a half is already stone solid but then you come to the second chorus and WHAM, one of the all-time classic, monster breakbeats (not to mention a sick ass bridge). Brings a tear to the eye, doesn’t it?

The break’s been sampled a zillion times but I wanted to highlight one track in particular: the Toddy Terry-produced “11:55.” It opens with dialogue from the Hustler’s Convention album and then slams straight into one baaaadass cut n’ paste dance jam that lives up to the name “hard house.”

If “11:55” is designed to amp you up, it’s up to De La Soul and the

6:00am” mix of “Saturdays” to cool you down. This is, by far, my favorite hip house song, so laid back and patient (the drums don’t kick in for at least 32 bars!) That chill vibe is just right to help you slide out of your evening and into the new day.