Bigger Than It Really Is – Granola Funk Express
If there is such a thing as "hippie hop," Granola Funk Express is it. Their
combination of tight rhymes, hip hop bravado, solid musicianship and good
old fashioned Rainbow Family positively has been keeping kids dancing and
head bobbin' for years.
Having been born in 1994 from a communal kitchen that served up free food,
poetry, performance art, and plenty of drums at Rainbow Family gatherings,
GFE is ever-changing and constantly evolving. The cover art for their latest
album, Bigger Than It Really Is visually manifests the feel of GFE —
a spacey psychedelic image underneath tight graffiti art.
The fact that it's not uncommon to hear the Wu Tang Clan or Mos Def blaring
when you're walking through the lot at Dead or Phish shows or any summertime
festival is a testament to the fact that there is an audience for hip hop in
the jamband community. GFE not only cater to that audience, they are that
audience. Having been steeped in the scene, they've earned the right to
rhyme words like "Phish lot" and to reminisce about "hippies in beat up vee
dubs/ that kick down free nugs/ and give trees hugs" on their
autobiographically titled ode to tour life "Bounce Around The Map."
GFE enlist funk royalty George Clinton for some rhymes and a little chorus
help on the Parliament-esque weed anthem "Everybody Get High." The spaced
out rock of "Lamp Oil" shows their willingness not to confine themselves
musically. "Asheville Smoke," features a slew of guest MCs from GFE's home
base, and keeps it funky with a little wah-wah guitar, a move-your-booty
bassline, and a hook that'll stay in your head for days.
A line from "Bounce Around The Map," seems to epitomize the GFE philosophy
when they promise that they "won't stop till we make one shakedown of this
land mass." Somehow though, you know that regardless of whether or not they
succeed in this goal, they are definitely not going to stop trying.