♫♪  J-Zone - “Funky”

Sometime in late 2012/early 2013, I met J-Zone. I was in Breakdown Records, a store in Bayside that stocked only used records, each of which was priced at $2. If memory serves, it was around that time that I’d just started buying rap singles. I’d previously considered them a waste (preferring albums to singles, as I didn’t and still don’t DJ), but once I started really getting into collector mode, I began to see the value in them, so I was stocking up on all the essentials, and Breakdown was proving to be a great place for exactly that, as I was able to amass a stack of 12s by everybody from Eric B. & Rakim to Lil’ Keke. And I’m talking classics, like Check the Rhime, I Ain’t No Joke — all the shit I should’ve owned on vinyl but only had on mp3 up until that point. Some were unsalvageably wrecked, but I snatched them up anyway; $2 is $2.

Anyway, at some juncture, J-Zone started digging near me, so I said something like, “Hey, you’re J-Zone, right?”

To which he said, “Yeah.”

So I kind of awkwardly introduced myself and told him I liked that song he had just put out with Breeze Brewin. He replied reminding me that it also featured Prince Paul and Oxygen and was available as a 7” single, and I nodded, and that was that basically. Or so I assumed…

You see, at some point while I was going through the “section” containing all the rap singles, J-Zone walked behind me, passing the stack of records I’d accumulated thus far. It was sizable, but I wasn’t just grabbing shit willy-nilly. In other words, I knew what was in there. However, next time I went through it, I found that the 1970 self-titled debut by blues rock outfit Sugarloaf had somehow made its way into my pile. Now, like I said, I had a very good idea of what I’d picked up at this point, and aside from the guy working the counter, J-Zone was the only other person in the store, so I could only deduce that either A) I’d accidentally grabbed a copy of Sugarloaf along with some other album (unlikely, I thought, as I’d barely picked up any non-rap albums from the place), or B) J-Zone, for whatever reason, slipped a copy of Sugarloaf into my stack.

This, I thought, was very strange, but regardless, I decided to conclude that this is exactly what had happened, and I wasn’t going to question it; at least, it would make for a good story. It wasn’t until years later that I considered how adding Sugarloaf to someone’s record haul might actually be a diss, not because their music’s bad — it’s not; it’s great, actually — but maybe J-Zone was using “sugarloaf” as a funky, derogatory term for “white person.” Odds are it didn’t go down like that at all … but I really hope it did.

As it just so happens, “Funky” b​/​w “Go Back To Sellin’ Weed” is currently available on 7”, and both songs will also be on the album Fish-n-Grits, due out April 1.

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

Most Read