Hip Hop Be Bop

Awesome Foursome

Members:

Milk Dee, DJ Gizmo, Mike Master, Sugar K

The Awesome Foursome were a group of friends from Brooklyn. The group consisted of brothers, Milk Dee (Kirk Robinson) and DJ Gizmo (Nathaniel Robinson Jr.), who would go on to form the Audio Two plus Mike Master and Sugar K who would go on to form the Kings Of Swing together with female DJ, Cocoa Chanelle.

They debuted on Nairobi’s electro cover version of Manu Dibango’s ‘Funky Soul Makossa’ in 1982 before releasing their own single, ‘Funky Breakdown’, in 1984 on Partytime Records produced and arranged by Arthur Baker and Chris Lord-Alge. The track was reissued some years later on the Canadian Unidisc label with the Nairobi track on the flip side. Two years later came the highly collectable ‘Monster Beat’ on Reality Records which was produced by Greg G of the Disco Four and Teddy Riley.

Following their Reality Records release, the group split amicably and later formed Audio Two and Kings Of Swing

As is often the case when groups make music, there are often a lot of tracks which never see the light of day. Many are unreleased because the label doesn’t see any commercial viability. Other times the record labels close, leaving behind unreleased material and demos which are very often lost forever.

Fast forward to 2018 and Canadian record label Roots Forward. Since 2011 they have been releasing new material from the likes of Craig G and Madman Shawn plus reissuing hard to find material by Schoolly D, 6th Floor, Frankenstein, Krown Ruler’s, etc. As an addition to their catalogue they had the idea to officially reissue Nairobi & the Awesome Foursome’s ‘Funky Soul Makossa’ as a 7″ single, however, after enquiring about licensing the idea was cancelled in favour of a full 12″ release when a tape was discovered with two unreleased tracks by Awesome Foursome from 1983. The end result is the excellent ‘Awesome Foursome EP’ containing two unreleased tracks from 1983.

There are also dub versions of ‘Subway’ and ‘Big Turnout’ but they couldn’t be added to the EP without compromising the sound so luckily Streetwise decided to release them digitally.

Funky Breakdown [1984]

Label: Partytime Records
Catalogue #: PT 107
Year: 1984
Format: 12″
Country of Origin: US

Side A
Funky Breakdown [7:59]
Bonus Breakdown [4:35]

Side B
Funky Mixdown [6:31]
Scratchy Breakdown [6:18]

Label: Unidisc
Catalogue #: SPEC-1618
Year: 1993
Format: 12″
Country of Origin: Canada

Side A
Awesome Foursome – Funky Breakdown [8:19]

Side AA
Nairobi & The Awesome Foursome – Funky Soul Makossa [7:25]
Nairobi & The Awesome Foursome – Free Beats [6:45]

Notes: Note the incorrect spelling of Awesome on both sides…Awsome.

Monster Beat [1986]

Label: Reality Records
Catalogue #: D-266
Year: 1986
Format: 12″
Country of Origin: US

Side A
Monster Beat [6:07]
Monster Beat (Short Version) [3:16]

Side B
Monster Beat (Dub) [6:07]

Awesome Foursome EP [2018]

Label: Streetwise / Roots Forward Records
Catalogue #: RF12-02
Year: 2018
Format: 12″
Country of Origin: US

Side A
Subway
Funky Soul Makossa (Rap)

Side B
Big Turnout
Funky Breakdown