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Big Hutch & Kokane Come Full Circle

Big Hutch & Kokane Come Full Circle With ‘A.O.G.F.’

It doesn’t take much digging to see the impact of G-Funk.

Not only did it help the West Coast rise to prominence and enjoy massive radio love, but it gave us some of the culture’s most important and innovative bodies of work such as Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, Warren G’s Regulate… G Funk Era, and Snoop (Doggy) Dogg’s Doggystyle. Even on the East Coast, its influence was seen in songs like The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa.” 

Before the sound manifested into a cultural staple, it was an idea conceptualized by a Hip-Hop artist and producer, whose musical roots would play a part in the realization of the sound. 

Big Hutch AKA, Cold187um, was the lead producer and co-MC, along with KMG The Illustrator (RIP) for Above The Law, a group founded by Eazy-E, who was expanding the reach of Ruthless Records as the company entered the 1990s. One of the other staples on the L.A.-based label was a crooner named Kokane that put a funk-laced twist on hooks and features that could only be described as a gangsta George Clinton. 

As the group put out their third project Black Mafia Life, G Funk was taking off, but while many people credited Warren G with creating the sound and bringing it to Dr. Dre, Warren G himself acknowledged in his 2018 documentary G Funk, that it was Above The Law that first created the sound. 

More than 30 years after Big Hutch (who currently goes by Mansa Musa Royal) and Kokane made their debut on N.W.A’s Efil4zaggin album, the two have now connected on a new project: A.O.G.F. (Architects Of G Funk); a journey through sound that they say will put a modern twist on a timeless sound.

“We did AOGF like a funk/soul band. We lead the band and everything you hear around it is a musical experience. When we say we’re Architects of G-Funk it’s all those elements in that,” Big Hutch told Rock The Bells in an exclusive conversation with the duo. “ It’s Kokane’s vocals, it’s both of us singing and rhyming at various points and it’s more musical than it is just a Hip-Hop record. It’s funky and it also has that 70s band feel fused in with the modern way we’re moving with music. A lot of people wanted to be featured on this record but I told Kokane, the greats all sung their own shit, and that’s what we’re doing,” he added. 

With literally thousands of features alongside some of Hip-Hop’s biggest names, Kokane has remained one of the genre’s most recognizable and consistent symbols of G Funk. On this project, the Bud E. Boy Records CEO comes full circle with the sound that he cultivated over the years. 

“We both have been blessed to bless people with our gifts, and when you look at some of the great stuff we did with N.W.A, 2Pac, Eazy-E, me doing some of the most classic hooks that have people saying ‘there’s only one Kokane,’ I think it’s at an all-time high for us to show you this music that we’re doing,” noted Kokane. “With all the stuff that you’ve ever heard from us, this Architects of G Funk is the creme de la creme. The bar is set.”

quotes
...When you look at some of the great stuff we did with N.W.A, 2Pac, Eazy-E, me doing some of the most classic hooks ...I think it’s at an all-time high for us to show you this music that we’re doing..."

- Kokane

Rappers Kokane (L) and Big Hutch aka Cold 187Um (R) (Photo credit: Jake Rohn for Rock The Bells) Rappers Kokane (L) and Big Hutch aka Cold 187Um (R) (Photo credit: Jake Rohn for Rock The Bells)

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Architects Of G Funk is set to drop September 18, but for Big Hutch and Kokane, the grind does not stop or even slow down. Kokane has his solo project as well as a joint venture with fellow Pomona legend, Suga Free and Big Hutch is working on something that should have Above The Law fans excited.  

“We actually have enough unreleased music from KMG for two [Above The Law] albums. We’re gonna do this A.O.G.F. run to celebrate the legacy. It really puts us back in the frame of mind of making records as Above The Law and Kokane,” Big Hutch revealed. “Once we finish this record, we’re gonna put the final touches on Kokane’s album The Adventures of Dr. Kokenstein and then we’re gonna go in and put together the final Above The Law record which is a book and a bio-series. It’s gonna be phenomenal. The records we did have never been heard by anyone, never leaked online, we even have a video that we shot before KMG passed on.”

In Part 2 of Rock The Bells’ exclusive interview with Big Hutch and Kokane, the duo speaks on how the ‘Straight Outta Compton’ film reignited the West Coast, Hutch reveals how “Black Superman” almost didn’t happen and Kokane a verse that many people don’t know he wrote for Eazy-E.  

quotes
We actually have enough unreleased music from KMG for two Above The Law albums..."

- Big Hutch

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