Every once in a while an album will actually exceed your expectations. It's a rare occasion since impossible to reach hype is often placed on any major release by a big rapper, making most disappointing, at least in the relative sense. For the independent world, in all honesty it's more often you run into a wack or average album than you get something worth more than one or two spins. Funkoars' "The Greatest Hits" exceeded my expectations mostly because I placed such little faith on them based on their album cover and band name. What does funkoar even mean? And if you already have a greatest hits album and I haven't heard of you chances are you're wack. Well, Funkoars' "greatest hits" are tongue in cheek as the group simply named their sophomore release that. If you haven't heard from the group before, chances are it's because you, along with the rest of the world, don't make a priority out of keeping up with Australian Hip-Hop. But if you, like me, never thought to look down under for dope rap you might change your mind after peeping the Funkoars.
Funkoars are a surprisingly honest group, but don't come into this expecting conscious rhymes or emotional tales. Nope, Funkoars are basically Australia's version of the Beastie Boys, the original 1980s "fight for your right" Beastie Boys to be more precise. The quartet is young and all about partying, being stupid, drinking, and trying to get laid. It's not the most glamorous of lives, but it's one that many a red-blooded American male lives through at least once during their lifetime. When you mix that universal appeal with Funkoars' humor you get an album that's worth more than a few listens. "Da Na Na" starts out dope as a familiar Liks' sample blasts – "From the crew who sets it off by spraying beer in your face." The track itself is a raucous tale that's over the top with the crew's exaggerations and hilarious lines like "All I do – rap about bitches and booze, you don't like it? Take a seat next to the bitches and boo." "The Greatest Hit" makes a mockery of the typical hit song as the hook asks "Ladies is that a bun in the oven?" then recommends "If you want some loving you better suck that gut in." To add insult to injury the second verse starts with "Ughh. They should of left you where they found you, The girl stops traffic cause they can't get around her." But the crew isn't all about jokes or gimmicks, as the album has some certified bangers. Tracks like "Blackout" and "Masterpiece" would be right at home on any DJ Premier mixtape. Even so, when declaring the crew's lyrical supremacy on "Masterpiece" they still manage to keep you entertained:
"My last shit was the next shit
Next shit will be the best shit
Exit the game with a claim to shame, blame the fame
For the reason women need a breather when they hear the name
But they screw up they face when I meet em
I'm in wife beaters for a reason and rocking adidas
See me at my peak when I drink hard
Your happy hour's at 6? Well see me on the floor at 6 past"
Of course, the Funkoars would only be as strong as their weakest beats, and thankfully throughout "The Greatest Hits" the producers come through with dope and original beats. Trials provides the bulk of the production and shines when he delivers tantalizing blends of samples on songs like "Da Nana," "The Greatest Hit," and "Masterpiece." Other producers are not outshined though as Sesta drops energy through hard drums and blaring horn samples on "Blackout." Overall, the production's sound mimics the soulful and organic, yet highly energetic, beats made famous by crews like The Beatnuts and The Liks.
Funkoars wouldn't have had to do much to exceed my low expectations since I put so little faith in them to begin with. But instead of simply exceeding them, they beat my expectations over the head and then laughed at them. With a mix of funny lyrics and dope beats, the crew is definitely worth peeping now and in the future. There's really not too much to complain about on "The Greatest Hits." A remake of "The Symphony" is entirely uncalled for and (obviously) pales in comparison to the original. The crew's promo material highlights how crazy and controversial the topic matter of the album is, but by American standards this is probably one of the tamer albums you could buy if you consider these guys are joking while you've probably heard some rappers seriously say some ignorant shit. But aside from an ill chosen remake and overestimation of controversy, everything on "The Greatest Hits" is entertaining. The only disclaimer, if a British-sounding accent is too much for you to bear you might want to preview their album before committing to purchase.
Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10
Originally posted: March 20, 2007