Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tone Lōc - Funky Cold Medina

An early and somewhat forgotten rap success story belongs to Anthony Smith, aka Tone Lōc.  Born and raised in Los Angeles, Lōc left Compton (and the infamous Crips gang) to seek fame and fortune as a rapper.  He then had the good fortune to work with Young MC and The Dust Brothers; the result was 1989's  Lōc-ed After Dark, which became the second rap album to hit #1 on the charts, following The Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill.

"Funky Cold Medina" was the second Young MC penned song to become a huge hit, reaching #3 on the charts ("Wild Thing" had previously hit #2).  The song used Foreigner's "Hot Blooded" as the main sample, but also sampled "Honky Tonk Women" and "Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones and "Christine Sixteen" by Kiss.  (Ahh, the pre-litigation days of sampling ...)

Sadly, "Funky Cold Medina" was it as far as Tone Lōc's successful rapping career went -- he would never have another charting LP or top 40 single.  He then transitioned to acting, and seems to be making a decent living.

The video is Lōc-tastic and shows off his larger than life personality and sense of humor.  Definitely one of our favorites from back in the day.


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