Boomkat Product Review:
Utterly crucial faded Memphis rap from 1995, "Paranoid Funk" is a lost-and-found ruff diamond that barely made it out of the state when it initially landed on cassette. With a co-sign from Three 6 Mafia's Juicy J it depicts a more stripped down - and plenty more terrifying - picture of the Memphis landscape than Triple 6's trunk-punishing cartoon doomscapes.
Lil NoiD isn't as well known as Juicy J, DJ Paul or even Tommy Wright III, but "Paranoid Funk" is one of the most unsettling and exceptionally skeletal Memphis rap tapes of the era. The rapper was only a teenager when he released the Blackout-produced album, and ended up performing with local royalty Three 6 Mafia for a couple of years, but this album still stands out with its chilly synths, icy triplets and evocative bars.
Dubbed from tape, the productions haven't lost any of their grit on L.A. Club Resource's reissue. Each track pumps with saturated breath as the snappy TR-808 rhythms roll over odd, awkward samples and spinetingling horror movie synths. 'Hamptown' is an early highlight, with customary FM bells distorted by Transformers foley fuzz and screwed vocals. 'Try Me' meanwhile zeroes in on NoiD's nasal flow, that twists narcotically over a beat that's so brittle it sounds as if it's about to shatter.
It's an all-too-brief record but an essential listen for anyone excited by the noisier, doomier side of rap >> there's no SpaceGhostPurrp, Denzel Curry or Lil Ugly Mane without this! Killer biz for the ballers and smokers.