Another Walk on the Wild Side

Still Standing By the Funk Bs (Suave Dawg Records, $8.95) The Funk Bs are a direct descendent of Marky Mark’s Funky Bunch, and no, Mark Wahlberg is not involved. It’s just the other guys, the ones you’ve never heard of: Great Scott, HB, and D.J. T, the butt of more jokes than Gladys’s Pips and Huey’s News combined. But no matter. With five new members—a diva, three rappers, and a DJ—and updated rhymes about smacked butts, sipped Hennessy, and Apple Bottoms jeans, they perform a miracle: They’ve gotten funkier.

Much like Music for the People, their double-platinum 1991 debut, Still Standing is straight-up dance music (feel the vibrations!). With a throwback pop/R & B sensibility and fast-bouncing tracks, the Funk Bs can come off like Young MC and Sheena Easton with some unnecessarily theatrical flourishes—precisely the sound that break-dance-happy hipsters are after these days. The group even retains its original mission of avoiding the "gangsta" posturing that dominates mainstream rap. Sure, the Funk Bs could use Wahlberg back for the commercial exposure; they are, after all, now on an obscure Canadian record label. But musically they’re a talented unit—really—that outshines even a certain former frontman’s glistening pectorals.