Funky 4 Plus 1

KK Rockwell (Kevin Smith)
Keith Keith (Keith Caesar)
Lil’ Rodney Cee (Rodney Stone)
Jazzy Jeff (Jeffrey Myree)
Sha Rock (Sharon Green)

Forming in 1979, this was one of the first hip hop groups that contained a female emcee, Sha Rock.  And unlike many female rappers today, she was not looked at as a sex object, but rather she was just another member of the group. One of the original members of the group was Rahiem who left to join Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five.  He was replaced by Rodney Cee.

Despite never releasing a full length album, they remain a very influential group.  A quick listen through any of their singles will undoubtedly reveal several recognizable samples.

Their single “Rappin and Rockin the House” clocks in at over fifteen minutes and is one of the longest hip hop songs ever. “That’s the Joint” is considered their quintessential song. There other releases include “Do You Want To Rock”, “King Heroin”, “Square Biz”, “Feel It”, and “Superstars They were the first hip hop group to make a national television appearance.  It was on Saturday Night Live in 1981. By 1983 the group had split up.

KK Rockwell and Rodney Cee formed Double Trouble.

Sha Rock joined two other female rappers in Us Girls (the group performing in the house party in Beat Street).

Jazzy Jeff went on  to record as a solo act with Jive.

Check out “That’s the Joint”

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