"Black dialect is an expressive, vivid, living language. If we reject it, how little have we gained, and how much have we lost?," asks the voice in Theo Parrish's now-classic "Ebonics." Even without these words, the track would have represented a related argument: music that is "rooted in reaction to racism, birthed in struggle" is an assertion of its creator's subjectivity. Gentrified Love Part 2. arrives on the other side of that argument. As the underground canonizes Parrish and his peers, the styles of music they've wrought have been increasingly distanced from the contexts that produced them. It's not a big leap to connect the movement of musical tastes and that of taste in neighborhoods. Parrish continues to assert the significance of historicized listening.
Enter "Leave The Funk To Us," whose vocals shift from the words in the title to "leave the love to us," and then to "we belong to us." The track works in the same densely melodic idiom of recent Sound Signature releases by Ge-ology and Dego & Kaidi, but with less steady sequencing. There's an emphasis on rhythm as human effort: claps change timbre and intensity as they proceed, and güiro and woodblock percussion are subject to basic fatigue. "Warrior Code," with Duminie DePorres and Waajeed, is also full of colliding melodies and rhythms, but it's less a general exploration than a purposeful mission. The track is firmly grounded by a broken rhythm, its solemn guitar and insistent chords creating a sense of urgency. The funk represented here is improvisatory—not freedom on display, but another step in a tradition of "preparation for the unforeseen."