When Wu Tang's eccentric producer extraordinaire RZA and Scottish trainspotting funk collector Keb Darge are together in the same room, can either understand a word the other says? From the sounds of Kings of Funk, they do, albeit through a cryptic language of break beats, catalog numbers, and contemplative Sly Stone quotes. Following in the wake of Kings of Disco, on which Joey Negro and Dimitri from Paris explored disco's exciting and creative reality (versus its mainstream face's tired and pallid drone), Funk continues pulling out old favorites alongside painfully obscure sides.
RZA's disc is more the former, with tracks such as Booker T's "Melting Pot" and Lyn Collins' "Do Your Thing," that most funk fans will find in their crates, along with sampler faves like Pittsburgh legend Jimmy Ponder's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." As is his wont, Darge's tracks are mostly rare, such as Skying High's bizarre "Getting Off On Your Loving." But he slides in a couple of newies to turn fans on to: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' "Genuine" and Quantic's "Don't Joke With a Hungry Man" (featuring another one-time Pittsburgher, Spanky Wilson) may be 2004 recordings, but they stand out only because they're so damn good.