The Gungle Gym consists of South Sacramento cohorts, Simon and Corduroy together with additional members, Skcunk, Skip and Lil Dee. The Gungle Gym has dropped their 13-track debut album entitled, “JUST FOLLOWING THE SUNSHINE”. The album is consistently potent and musically focused, yet always dynamic and unique, with some of the coolest, grooviest, soulful and jazzy beats I have heard this year.
“JUST FOLLOWING THE SUNSHINE” is a seamless listen that must be listened to in its full rotation. The album finds this collective in a morosely reflective mood. It’s the aural equivalent of someone, giving themselves a deep, hard stare in the mirror. Reflecting on the past, checking out the current situation and pondering the future and wondering where his or her place is in the world. This deep introspection is achieved by mood and texture, not just heavy-handed thought, which is what makes JFTS even more powerful and intoxicating.
The Gungle Gym has the chops, in that they are a hip hop band who has their own unique lane. They give the impression that their music comes from the heart, not solely from the mind. This album is such a pleasant surprise. Not only is it instantly captivating and beautifully produced, it’s actually has sheer emotion. Not well-thought ideas but genuine feeling. Not only does “JUST FOLLOWING THE SUNSHINE” sound good, it feels good!
I seriously thought about naming standout tracks like “Ain’t It Life (Simon, Corduroy, Skcunk)”, “Asian Orange (Skip, Corduroy)”, “Summertyme (Simon, Corduroy, Skip, Skcunk, C-Bo)”, “Miss Me (Simon, Corduroy)”, “One Last Time (Remy Rob, Corduroy, Skip, Simon)”, when I noticed that these were all the tracks that Simon and Corduroy perform on together. On their own, each do pretty cool stuff, but together they are just phenomenal, in my book. They obviously have a strong artistic affinity which comes shining through when they work together.
The Gungle Gym is a perfect example of why I still listen to Hiphop music. With all the mainstream garbage they have been playing on the radio and MTV for the past decade or more, The Gungle Gym has stayed humble and has made a tremendously good quality debut album. I could rave on about the creativity, the uniqueness, the flows, rhymes, and the storytelling or about how warm the instrumentals sound, but this technical stuff all becomes irrelevant in the face of music that truly moves you in a number of ways.
Simply put, “JUST FOLLOWING THE SUNSHINE” is amazing, and a strong contender for my personal Hiphop album of the year. The sound is organic, melodic and soulful; it’s the kind of album you can play over and over again!
More About Corduroy: Growing up in the 80’s in California, Corduroy (or simply just, De) was not only influenced by the classic California neighborhood lifestyle, but it was embedded in him, it’s what created him. The gang-infested era of the 80’s and early 90’s did not only affect Los Angeles and southern parts of California but also other cities such as Tulare, Fresno, Stockton, and Sacramento were hit hard with the grimy life of gangs and drugs during this time. Corduroy continued to perfect his rhymes and recordings throughout the mid-90’s and even early 2000’s.
More About Simon: Raised by his grandparents in the Oak Park blood-infested neighborhood of south Sacramento, he started recording BBQ jams and producing G-Funk music after dropping out of high-school. He was incarcerated for gun charges, and by the time he got out his crew of rappers were now in jail. Simon had two older uncles who were close friends with Corduroy. So one studio-night, he sees Corduroy hanging out on 53rd and asks if he could come out of retirement. Now, Simon got himself an authentic rhymer to compliment his melodies and flows, and Corduroy got a musician that actually hears the music, and not just listening to it.