"When it rains it pours", though in this case its rainin' manna from the heavens.
Yup, once again we got some bonified skinny on an artist lost to the mists of time and temporal fold, and it just so happens to be a personal favorite of ole' RB, as reader and sometime relative of thee Might R.J. Rodger soon discovered while commenting on my unabashedly gushing endorsement:
"I couldn't agree more. I've enjoyed this record since it's release. I'm proud to say the artist was my uncle, so I'm a little biased. I'm glad see "The Fungus" is still "Among Us"
It is indeed still "Amoung Us", alive and well even. So, what is the deal with thee Mighty R.J. anyway?
"First of all he was Kool Ass Uncle!! He only made one record to my knowledge, he was a very successful radio personality down in New Orleans in the 70's. What you hear on that record is him, imagine mild mannered Clark Kent ducking it into phone booth and coming out a BADD MUTHA F------, talkin' sh--. That was my uncle, the record was just an extension of his on-air persona. Some parts of the record actually had a little truth to them (Working on the farm down in NC, the traveling/working in the different cites, etc.) He would go into the studio and record "Mix Tapes" on reel to reel tapes and send them to his two brothers serving in Vietnam. I've always thought that if "Rap" had a Family Tree he would be in the lineage."
Dig the original post below.
You know, there are just some records that you are glad exist. It's not that they have any particular cultural value (to the contrary), or that they redefine any one genre or convention. Sometimes a record is just so audacious that it's very existence seems to bolster the concept of artistic merit in a modern world strangely devoid of such perfunctory gestures. The very fact that these kind of sounds exist at all either proves a total lack of judgement (more than likely), or a sophisticated sense of art so inclusive that it challenges the very existence of what we deem as popular music. 'Fungus Amoung Us' is one such song.
I was originally gonna use Fungus (incidentally, not the the Terry Nolan song) to pad out some bald spots in an up and coming BFTRB soul mix. And while it lends itself well to radio bumpers and between-tune soundscapes, it was only upon my getting royally blitzed and giving the single several listens (it really does require several listens to appreciate it's peculiar charm)that I decided that the mysteriously named 'Fungus'(I have no idea why it is called that) deserves it's own showcase with-which to lay down it's thread.
As is to be expected, there is pretty much no copy on this disc. The 'Soulville' label seems to intone a certain late 60's sensibility, even though the track is straight up late 50's R&B. Upon doing a little diggin' I was pleased to discover that 'Fungus' enjoys a healthy, if not widespread admiration amongst hip-hop aficionados, as the rhyme scheme - along w/ the likes of disc jockeys Jocko Henderson & Pete 'Maddaddy' Myers - typify the rhyming couplet which would one day personify Hip Hop, and the abomination which passed for R& B these days.
Note: It seems to me that 'Fungus pt 1 & pt 2 are reversed on the disc. I'd start w/ pt 2 to get the full narrative effect.
Fungus Among Us pt 2 - His Majesty the Mighty R.J.
Fungus Among Us pt 1 - His Majesty the Mighty R.J.