I wrote a few weeks ago at Circa 45 about Brand New Funk, one of the many great tracks off He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper by DJ Jazzy Jeff (the DJ) and Fresh Prince (the rapper).
I praised the song’s production/sampling value and even gave props to Fresh Prince’s lyrical prowess (shocking, I know). Then last week, a comment was left by Ready Rock C (born Clarence Holmes), part of the production team who was pictured inside the liner notes for the album, a tip-off that he might have had a big hand in the album’s creation. There appears to be bad blood, from some cursory research.
Here’s what Ready Rock C had to say in the comment at Circa 45:
THe reason Jeff used the Original Bass Line and Beat is that He never did the original to begin with. So rather than be creative and make a new version He used the same track that I produced on the original Hes THe Dj Im the Rapper album. I am also behind the Lyrics Parent Just Dont Understand, The Music of ITS TIME TO CHILL, JUST ROCKIN, ROCK THE HOUSE, HUMAN VIDEO GAME, JUST ROCKIN, TAKING IT TO THE TOP, MY BUDDY, and a few more. I was discredited for alot of work that I performed and wrote. These guyz have particularly Will Smith has made it big time and never thought once to act on Helping me back in the music game. Its hard to get back in after being severely discredited. THier music simply has not been the same since my departure. Peace and Blessings to All.
Ready Rock C
Now as Jazzy Jeff reintroduces the track – Brand New Funk 2K7, though not really brand new because it’s mostly the same musical foundation – I’m not sure what to believe. If Ready Rock C lost his lawsuit for unpaid royalties (per Wikipedia), then maybe Jazzy Jeff has free reign on the catalog and would use it to spite Ready Rock? It’s weird, though these sorts of dealings likely are the norm for the music industry.
Of course, I meant no disrespect to Ready Rock C – if he is, in fact, the producer of the track, then the man deserves his credit. And I applaud him for commenting to speak his mind. (Somehow, I don’t think we’ll get Will Smith to weigh in on the issue.) The label on my vinyl copy of the album offers production credits to DJ Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince, though that doesn’t mean Ready Rock C didn’t play a major role. Who knows?
In any event, Jazzy Jeff has revived Brand New Funk with lyrical stylings from Peedi Crack for his new album Return of the Magnificent. It’s not terrible, but it’s awkward to hear a familiar song coupled with an altogether different emcee and rhyming scheme. Jazzy Jeff seems to be making a play for the nostalgia factor while at the same time updating its relevance. I’d just hate for this version to somehow cheapen the value of the original, which I hold in high regard.
DJ Jazzy Jeff (feat. Peedi Crack) | Brand New Funk 2K7