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DFC were originally known as Da Flint Crew before changing to Da Funk Clan. They first gained acclaim when they teamed up with MC Breed on the co-credited 1991 album, MC Breed & DFC. Fast forward a couple of years and the Flint Michigan boys were ready to serve up something entirely of their own recipe, with their 1994 gangsta funk debut “Things in tha Hood”.
I initially overlooked this album when it first hit the UK stores. Being a US import it carried a hefty price tag and having never heard anything from Da Funk Clan before I wasn’t going to risk £25 on it. It wasn’t until the following year while digging through the sales rack at my local HMV that I finally found a copy at a more reasonable price so I decided to take a chance on it. A decision partly based on the guest producer/artist collaborations, D.O.C, Warren G, MC Breed and particularly MC Eiht and DJ Slip whose “We Come Strapped” album had been virtually glued to the tape deck of my Walkman for months.
1994 was one of the strongest years in West Coast hip hop history, with Spice 1, MC Eiht, Above The Law, Kokane and many more all dropping monster albums. In retrospect Things In Tha Hood had a lot to live up to and although it doesn’t quite compare to these bonafide classics it still has enough going for it to make it somewhat worth checking out.
MC Breed appears on almost half the tracks, with solid energetic upbeat production, especially the George Clinton inspired “Put Your Locs On.” The best tracks are the collaborations, namely “Caps Get Peeled” and “Mo’ Love,” a pair of summertime jams with Compton legend MC Eiht. “Hand’s on My Nine” and the D.O.C’s dark and moody “Digga Bigga Ditch” are solid too. “Roll With The Clan” was also a track that resonated with me and of course the title track “Things In The Hood” with it’s insanely deep bass. A definite one for a hot day in the whip with the top down. All in all the album is fairly solid. Nothing is truly outstanding but nothing is completely awful either, except for maybe the Warren G produced “Pass The Hooter”, in which he also makes an appearance spitting the very same verse he used on his own album on the track “What’s Next“. The final track “You Can Get The Dick” also sounded a bit sloppy to me too.
D.F.C. returned in ’97 with “The Whole World’s Rotten” but have remained quiet ever since. Those of us who still remember DFC will no doubt give respect to Alpha Breed and T Double E as early Michigan rap pioneers, but for the most part their musical legacy has been fairly forgettable. I wouldn’t recommend that listeners go too far out of their way to own a copy of Things In Tha Hood but if your a 90’s hip hop collector then this one might be a nice addition.