Bumpy Knuckles (also known as Freddie Foxxx), drummer extraordinaire Daru Jones and bassist/singer-songwriter MonoNeon come from somewhat different musical backgrounds. Bumpy rose to notoriety through cameos on music by Boogie Down Productions, Naughty By Nature and Gang Starr. Jones tours the world with rock juggernaut Jack White. MonoNeon has played with Prince, Mac Miller, Ne-Yo and, more recently, Nas. But when they bring their individual talents to the collective table, magic happens.
Around the time COVID-19 was beginning to make its presence known, Jones and MonoNeon got together at the famous Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee to record several produced by Bumpy Knuckles for a collaboration project—but they hit a snag.
“Once we finished those tracks around 2 a.m., we just started jamming and creating short original beats to add in between Bumpy tracks for interludes,” Jones tells AllHipHop. “That session took place around December 2020. Fast forward, months later, Bumpy finally finished the songs and started sending us the mixes one by one. After a while, Bumpy went quiet, so I reached out to Bump and got the news that an important hard drive crashed that was not able to be recovered. So unfortunately, the project was put on hold.”
As fate would have it, some of those sessions were eventually recovered and the project resumed. As Jones explains, “2023 came around and I went through some files on my computer. I randomly found a folder with ‘The Interlude’ beats MonoNeon and I recorded and sent them to Bumpy. The next morning, Bumpy sent the entire instrumentals recorded with vocals.
“My head was cracked because it sounded like a pregame album sampler. It was surreal and inspiring, and that’s how the project was born. We were able to salvage some of the session files from the original tracks we recorded over Bumpy tracks.”
Soon, PHUNKINTRYBE (pronounced Funk N’ Tribe) was born. The project is a contribution to the 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop and pays tribute to its roots in a live band setting showcasing the musical influence of funk, rock, urban, alternative, blues, soul and reggae. The trio is readying their collaborative project, Interludes, with a preview.
“I first heard of Foxxx work back in the Flavor Unit days with Queen Latifah, also one of my favorite Hip-Hop groups, Gang Starr,” Jones says. “Everything Foxxx gets on, he takes the song or project to another level. Some of my favorite verses are from projects with M.O.P. , rapper O.C, and of course Gang Starr ‘The Militia.’
“You’ll have to do ya Google’s on Bumpy’s catalog to get the valve on his contribution to the game. He’s not only a skilled and versatile MC but also an amazing beatmaker/producer. Such an honor to work with Bumpy on this body of work.”
As for MonoNeon, Jones calls him “a phenomenal bassist, experimental musician, singer and songwriter from another planet.” He continues, “He was Prince’s last bassist before he departed so that should speak for itself. We’ll be here for days and hours if I’d mentioned all the established and legendary artists MonoNeon worked with in a decade. He’s my Leo and musical galaxy brother from another mother that I’ve performed and worked with since 2016.”
Jones and MonoNeon are both members of the original lineup in Pete Rock’s band, The Soul Brothers. They completed an EP called Gospel According to Little Green Man in 2021. They also recorded and worked with Parliament-Funkadelic legend Bootsy Collins on “Bewise” and another forthcoming project. Needless to say, the boys have been busy.
- THE WARM UP
- JUST BELIEVE
- INTERLUDE: SOUND GOOD
- THE POCKET
- YOU BROKE MY HEART
- THE CATALOGER
- MELANIN MUSIC
- BEEN A GOOD MINUTE
- NO LOVE FOR YOU
- THE COUNT
- THIS DEFAULT
Side A (Raw) (Tracks 1-12)
Side B (Radio Edit) (Tracks 1-12)