What more can you say about Mr. Funke of the legendary Hip Hop collective, Lords of the Underground, that hasn’t already been said? This Rap God has been actively spittin’ since the early 90’s, and is far from done. With a minor hiatus since LOTUG’s “LOTUG 20: The 20th Anniversary Collection, Vol.1”, the first in a series of EP’s entirely produced by the Juice Crew legend — Marley Marl, Mr. Funke is here to present you his first solo project — Deus Ex Machina.
As a member of the Golden Era, he feels that it’s his duty to carry on tradition. But he does it in his own special way. After tremendous success with the LOTUG, “the Funky Child returns” with a dope solo project, and a message destroying the stigma that hip hop is strictly a young man’s game. But seasoned vets have more experience in the game, therefore they have more to say.
On this record, Mr. Funke lets his creativity and wisdom shine. His beats are different from what you would expect. Nothing typical about this joint at all. He definitely took a different approach. It just doesn’t sound like a Lords album, which is great. And he doesn’t have a bunch of guest appearances, which I’m sure he could have gotten considering that he comes from a group with multiple plaques on their walls.
My favorite tracks on this album has got to be “Everything”, “Where Ya Moma”, and “All Ain’t Forgiven” featuring Big Twins.
Scroll down for the exclusive 1-on-1 interview.
Weekly Rap Gods: After much success with the Lords of the Underground in the past, why did you wait so long to drop a solo album? And what’s your motivation?
Mr. Funke: I always knew I would do it. I had offers in the past. But they kinda always came with stipulations that made the offers unacceptable. I’m motivated by testing how much further I can go past the old Mr. Funke. I believe I’ve gotten better over the years, and I’m interested in testing my limits artistically.
Weekly Rap Gods: Who produced the tracks for your new album — “Deus Ex Machina”?
Mr. Funke: I have a pretty nice team of producers here in Paris. My DJ Keshkoon produced 5 songs. Boss Raw did one, Klim Parker did one, and I did one.
Weekly Rap Gods: What was the creative process like in putting this album together?
Mr. Funke: This process was to see if I could actually create a single body of work that you could appreciate as one piece of art. Not a bunch of songs just thrown together because all your homies like them. The process was like a download of all the ideas I’ve had over the last ten years.
Weekly Rap Gods: Do you have any particular studio rituals when you’re getting ready to record?
Mr. Funke: Marijuana.
Weekly Rap Gods: What’s the meaning of the name “Deus Ex Machina”?
Mr. Funke: It’s a Latin term taken from Greek. It means “A God from the Machine”.
Weekly Rap Gods: What’s the overall concept of the album?
Mr. Funke: In modern times the “DEUS” in a story is the one who comes out of nowhere, and solves the problem. I don’t claim to be THEE answer; just AN answer.
Weekly Rap Gods: What are your favorite songs on this album?
Mr. Funke: Every last one.
Weekly Rap Gods: I heard you’re living in France. Whats the vibe over there? And why the move?
Mr. Funke: I’m a world traveler bro. I’ve stayed out here for long stretches through the years. My brother Lord Jazz lived here since forever. I like the city. And hip hop is alive and well.
Weekly Rap Gods: Any tour plans?
Mr. Funke: YEP! Lords tour Europe in April, and I have solo shows. So you will def see me on the road.
Weekly Rap Gods: Will there be another Lords album soon?
Mr. Funke: LOTUG is retired as far as recording studio albums. I spoke to Doitall yesterday, and we said we would come back for only one producer. So we will see.
Weekly Rap Gods: How do you feel about your rhyme partner entering politics and running for office in Newark, NJ?
Mr. Funke: Fucking Genius. It’s the next phase of Lords of the Underground. And if he’s elected, he makes history, I think. The first emcee to be elected to major public office.
Weekly Rap Gods: I love the way your videos come together. Very creative. Who are the directors? And how do y’all come up with the ideas and concepts?
Mr. Funke: Myself and DJ Keshkooon do my videos. I do the concepts and treatments. We both direct and he works with our homie Lodi on the post production graphics and editing.
Weekly Rap Gods: Who’s your Top 5 of all time in no particular order?
Mr. Funke: That’s too short of a list and hip hop is too broad bro.
Weekly Rap Gods: If you could pick anyone, who would you love to work with?
Mr. Funke: Stevie Wonder.
Weekly Rap Gods: Who are you listening to these days?
Mr. Funke: It might sound crazy, but I couldn’t tell you about anything that came out the last year or so. When I’m recording, I kinda “go to the mattresses”. I hardly listen to the radio, so I’m not listening to anyone right now.
Weekly Rap Gods: If you ruled the world, what would you change?
Mr. Funke: People.
Weekly Rap Gods: In closing, is there anything you want the fans to know? Any sites or networks, where we can find your new music and videos online?
Mr. Funke: YES! My 1ST SOLO ALBUM “DEUS EX MACHINA” IS AVAILABLE NOW ON ITUNES AND EVERYWHERE ELSE! Peep my videos for “DXM” featuring Lord Cartel and “FOH” on YouTube.
Mr Funke – “DXM” feat Lord Cartel (Official Video)
Mr Funke – Pass The Lighter [Prod by Dj Keshkoon] (#DXMTeaser)
Mr Funke – FOH [Prod by Dj Keshkoon] (Official Video)