Who? Baby Elephant’s musical pedigree runs deep and long through esteemed producer Prince Paul (Stetsasonic, Handsome Boy Modeling School) and original Funkadelic keyboard legend Bernie Worrell (also Talking Heads). Longtime Prince Paul co-collaborator Newkirk rounds out this trio, which churns out a resonating blend of funk and soul with more than a touch of weird on the full-length Turn My Teeth Up!, which dropped this month via Brooklyn-based imprint Godforsaken Music.
What’s the Deal? As expected, Prince Paul and Newkirk bring the humorous skits, deep grooves and What the hell?!?!?! moments as Worrell alternately dresses and undresses the tracks with his trademark keyboard whirls. “Baby Elephants N Thangs” and “Scratchinatanitchoutareach” are funkaliciously spacey George Clinton collaborations; Reggie Wats’ number “If You Don’t Wanna Dance” is mired thick in rhythm, and longtime P-Funk apologist Shock G lays a quick verse (as Humpty Hump) over the unnerving, yet playful beat of “Plainfield.” David Byrne’s “How Does the Brain Wave” serves as the trippy centerpiece of Baby Elephant’s ass-shaking, though the trio does just fine on it’s own with straight-up funk raves “Turn My Teeth Up!” and “Fred Berry.”
Fun Fact: On Turn My Teeth Up!, Bernie Worrell actually uses his teeth as an instrument. “Newkirk and I thought it was hilarious when he did it and thought it would be cool to record Bernie clacking his dentures as percussion on one of the tracks,” Prince Paul tells SPIN.com. “I’ll let you guess which one. But this album is all about Bernie, what he can do, and how he does it, and that includes even his teeth tricks, so we decided to turn ‘em up.”ï¿½
Now Hear This:Baby Elephant – “How Does the Brain Wave” DOWNLOAD MP3
Talk: Does this Baby Elephant swing to a funky beat?
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