Forgotten Treasures

Forgotten Tresure: XClan “Funkin Lesson” (1990)


Just coming off the intense (musical) high of our last edition of the 24 Hours of Vinyl event. So many discoveries that it’s hard to remember everything but let’s just say the whole 24hrs had tons of music lovers asking DJ for track ID’s or people reaching their phones in a hurry to Shazam some tracks. Wonderful!

We’re going to post the DJ sets very soon but while we wait for that we’ll do a couple of “Forgotten Treasures” picks of memorable tracks. So in no other particular order, other than it’s still in my head, here is one by one track we discovered in Simahlak‘s set, one of our favorite Montreal DJ’s.

The first thing every one recognized was the FunkadelicOne Nation Under a Groove” sample, one that has been lifted so many times (46 according to Whosampled) that it might as well be called a riddim! So, after the first couple of seconds of boogieing to the beat we all recognized everyone started racking their brains to try and recognise whose track this is!?? I started debating with a friend… Digital Underground? Hmmm… Maybe but my pick was X-Clan and was damn surprised and kind of proud (yes, I’m a nerd) that I was right.

I remember having an X-Clan CD when I was a kid but I definitely didn’t have that record which turns out is 1990’s “To the East, Blackwards“. The only thing I vaguely remembered from X-Clan was that they were pretty hard on the pro-black activism, which made it funnier for a white Montreal kid to be listening to that I guess.

From Simahlak himself: “I copped this ‘Vanglorious’ piece of wax while doing the Audio Research Tour in the UK with A-Trak back in the day. I was always a fan of Brother J but the production (Stereo MC’s) gave it a lot of burn as samples P-Funk All Stars and Funkadelic with a key, sissssssieeeees!”

Well, personal anecdotes aside. What. A. Banging. Track!!!


[Professor X:]
“Freedom or death, we shall all be moved. Vanglorious! This is
protected by the red, the black, and the green, with a key,


[Brother J:]
Allah baby, professor,
All hail Funkin’ Lesson,
Sweet tongue, grand writer of scrolls,
Now behold, let the legend unfold,
Born unto cosmos, for no timin’,
Space to exist, vibe in the midst of the chaos,
Mourners label me as illogical, mythological,
They couldn’t comprehend when I brought the word,
A stick called verb, a black steel nerve,
Teachin’ those actors and actresses,
Who write a couple of lines on what black is, really?
Then they label me a sin,
Cause a brother just speaks from within,
I guess I’m darker than the shadow of the darkest alley, that they always
scared to go in,
I wear boots and beads, bags and braids, stick and scrolls, rings and
Walk in the light of the moon, but I’ve never been a Batman,
African call it Blackman,
Brother extracts your African steps in your movements, enhance for
Grand funk, a new home for the phrase,
Funkin’ Lesson the pathways,

“Ready or not here we come, get in down on the one which we believe in.
One nation under a groove; can I get it on my good foot, get gone now!”

“Huh!” [x4]

[Verse 2:]
Let me tell you about blackness,
Grits and cornbread how can you act this?
I exist on a plane, where the jar is my brain, I’m livin’ to retrieve
Antenae my stick, picture bigger, made of liquor, figure,
The pull of the trigger goes zoom not boom,
Not a bunch of sissies, but saviors braver,
The red, black, and green,
It’s just so much more than red, black, and green,
You ask what I mean, but yet the sundial shades on lights and dreams,
Watch too late, oops, upside your head!
You drop through abyss like lead,
Where you goin’, what’s your speed, what’s your pleasure, what’s your
Trees to branches, roots to seeds, forwards, backwards many
Questions answers, what’s the sum?
We have come,

[Professor X:]
“Out of the darkness in panther skins comes doctors. Bearing the remedy
of your existence. Yes, it gets blacker, with a Nat Turner lick. Martin,
Adam, Malcolm, Huey, there’s a party at the crossroads!”

[Verse 3:]
I returned from the stone crib,
Bringing verbal milk, a stool, and a bib,
Be filled of the black sap, from the tri-womb,
It flows fully un-attuned,
Wheat bread, tastey jam, come take a stroke to the rhythm of the grand-
Verbalizer comin’ from the temple of void,
Crown from a hat, man from a boy,
Onward ride as I talk of Rah, converse with Horace, create with Ptah,
Arrive to Geb, to roar with Bast, “Aton Tamu” as I ride the raft,
Roof of the world I sit, crosslegged, right over left,
Drums of dance to drums of war,
Who knows the score? Speak no more,
Who watches down with the eyes of black?
To the east blackwards, sissssiiiiieeeees!



Montreal-based DJ and the founder (2007) and 24 Hours of Vinyl (2011).