When most people think of California in the context of hip hop, they think of Compton and the origins of gangsta rap. Compton birthed such artists as NWA, Dr. Dre, and Game. But 400 miles North in the bay area, a different movement has been happening in hip hop. The underground movement up there has been lead by artists like Lyrics Born and the Quannum Project crew as well as Zion I & The Grouch and OM Records artists. These are the movements that the Cuf was born out of.
Cuf is actually an acronym for California Underground Funk. The crew runs five members deep but they are not Wu-Tang wannabes; their laid back, funky style is similar to Del the Funky Homosapien mixed with Colossus.
I listen to a track like “I’m Too Much” and it seems Wu-Tang-esque because of the minimalist hip hop production but the dynamic flows of the five members are much more akin to Del or Q-Tip. The flow and the production work well together; my only problem with the track is that none of the rappers distinguish themselves. The rappers have fairly similar voices and they seem to match each other’s flow which makes it nearly impossible to tell one rapper from another.
I have a similar problem with the album’s lead single “Wish You Would.” The track is less minimalistic and instead takes a more R&B-tinged root. It actually is a pretty good single; it reminds me of Floetry but with male rapping.
In the end, the issue of not being able to tell one rapper from another is not a major problem. The album is well produced and the flows are on point for the most part. Some of the more R&B-tinged tracks drag a little but the album as whole is pretty good.