Featured image by Paulo Cesar Salazar
Brooklyn-based hip hop and R&B duo The Funklabb has an extensive career in the world of hip hop and R&B. Ranging from the Notorious B.I.G to Miley Cyrus, the soulful duo have produced music for icons since the 1990s. Now, The Funklabb takes center stage by releasing music of their own, turning their exquisite skills in music production into a full-time passion. The songwriter’s effortless sound in their two new singles “Mama Said No” and “Pretty Please” defines the timeless exegesis of funk, keeping alive the classic qualities of Hip Hop and R&B.
We caught up with Ed Lawson and Wes Davis of The Funklabb to discuss their new single “Pretty Please” and how Brooklyn is the root of their funk-infused Hip Hop and soul sound.
Congratulations on dropping your first single earlier this year! Why did you decide to step forward and release a debut single today in 2021 after nearly three decades of working behind some of R&B, Soul, and Hip Hop’s most profound records?
First, we want to thank you and all our followers for your support! To make a long story short (literally lol), we’ve been making music throughout the years usually for different artist on major and independent labels allowing other people to decide what music is released or not. The music industry is a little different now. The internet makes everyone a little more accessible and you can reach different audiences on your own allowing artist and producers the ability to release their work their way!
How would you describe the sound of The FunkLabb? What is funk? Can funk really be defined?
If I may answer your last question first, yes! Funk can be described as a mixture of different genres – R&B, pop, hip hop, jazz, and folk rhythmic and melodic with an element of grit mixed in! We try to incorporate a lot if these elements in our music!
How has living in Brooklyn, surrounded by its inventive culture and people, directly impacted the music you make?
Brooklyn!!! We both we’re born and raised in Brooklyn and it has definitely changed over the years but when growing up you were surrounded by many different sounds and cultures. I could hear R&B, hip hop, jazz, Latin, and reggae music in a 5 minute walk to the corner store. It becomes a part of the sound you produce.
Can you walk us through your perspective on Hip Hop’s evolution from your time working with icons such as The Notorious B.I.G. and Will Smith in the 1990’s to the new artists of today such as Megan the Stallion and DaBaby?
I can say we are a little more biased towards old school hip hop, but there are some incredibly creative works out now. I guess if something evolves it’s changing and for many of us it takes time to get used to the change, lol.
Your debut single “Mama Said No,” featuring the mesmerizing vocals of Myah Marie, is entirely electrifying! Tell us a little bit about the making of the track and its video.
Thank you! “We had the track for “Mama Said No” for a few years before connecting with Myah Marie. After working on a few other songs with Myah, we dusted off the track and sent it to her and I guess the rest is history!
The past summer of 2020 was met with the harrowing realities of police brutality following the murder of George Floyd, among many other heinous acts against BIPOC people. Has the Black Lives Matter movement, displayed through the summer’s protests, influenced the way you create your music moving forward? Or have these already present realities, embedded in America for centuries, always been a part of your music-making?
Like we said, we are born and raised in Brooklyn, NY (old Brooklyn, lol) so these realities have been part of our lives from a young age, up close and from afar. Your environment becomes a part of you, so it does impact how you view and hear the world.
Let’s talk about your new single “Pretty Please.” How did it come about, and what was it like working with Myah Marie, Ruba, and Young Dinero?
“Pretty Please” is a funky, sexy, feel-good song with a seventies groove. We wanted a danceable track with a seventies feel you’d hear back in the day’s at a roller skating joint and developed it for Myah Marie. Myah has an insane ability to give a track just what it needs to complete the vision. Ruba! (Ruba Wilson) is a singer, a TV personality, and an incredibly fun guy to work with who brought his crazy personality and laid it down on the track! Young Dinero Banks is one of the hottest upcoming MCs and puts the exclamation point on the joint with his dope style and verse! The music video, directed by Deathcats, will be out in a couple of weeks and it’s going to be crazy! we tried to get away from the typical video you’d think you would see for a song like “Pretty Please.” Stay Tuned!
Stream “Pretty Please” on Spotify!
What is next for The FunkLabb? Can we expect an EP or full album drop this year?
We plan on dropping a full FunkLabb compilation album in the coming months and we are currently working with different artists. We’ll have many different genres on the album, a little something for everyone!!