Nice and Smooth – “Funky For You”

Ayo, Dizzy Gillespie plays the sax / Me, myself I love to max / Redbone cuties I’m out to wax / Stick up kids is out to tax!

If there’s ever an old school rap karaoke night somewhere, this would be my ace.

Nice & Smooth was another one of those fun, fairly harmless rap duos that were all the rage in the first golden age of hip-hop, much like Kid ‘N Play or DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. While on first glance Bronx emcees Greg Nice and Smooth B may seem just a slight bit corny to you, the duo really had some joints, and they carved out a solid career which garnered them success and respect from all quarters of the hip-hop world (hell, they got their start on a Big Daddy Kane joint, collaborated with Gang Starr frequently and Greg Nice was making moves with 2Pac). Their second album, ’91’s Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed is regarded as a hip-hop classic due in part to their huge, Tracy Chapman-sampling hit, “Sometimes I Rhyme Slow,” which still goes 27 years later. Nice & Smooth earned their props, and I can’t stress enough: They had some joints.

It was a nice day out today and this line came to mind on my walk home from work: Spring again, and I’m feeling fine / Pass me an ice cold glass of wine…I’m really not kidding, this is one of the handful of hip-hop songs I can recite line for line with ease, and it’s easy to see why. “Funky for You,” from their 1989 self-titled debut, is quite possibly one of the catchiest songs in rap history. Like everything is just perfect about this listen: The infectious, playful beat, the sing-songy rhymes that are full of quotables, and that easygoing, lighthearted joy that is absolutely palpable. This is a terrific spring and summertime bop with golden lines and a warm, fuzzy feeling. It’s pretty good!

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