UK hip-hop crew formed in Blackpool, Lancashire, in the mid-80s by James Folks, Damon Savage and graffiti artist Timeone. Their first musical excursions were doing pause-button mix tapes and in Timeone’s case decorating some of the dreary buildings in and around Blackpool. On one of their frequent trips to Manchester (the nearest place to buy good rap music) they met Mark Rae (of Rae And Christian) at Fat City, Manchester, one of the best hip-hop stores around. Rae was in the process of setting up Grand Central Records and released the Funky Fresh Fews’ debut EP Slow For Focus, in 1996. The trio had one more release, ‘Through These Veins’, on Grand Central featuring Jeru The Damaja’s friend Afu Ra in 1997 before starting to drift apart. Rather than completely dissolve, they lost Savage, who was replaced by another Blackpool MC Glenn Reynolds, who had already released a material under the guise of OSC.
In 2002, the new look trio had pieced together enough equipment to have a little studio set-up, enabling the music to flow at a much faster rate. Funky Fresh Few’s 2002 debut, Stealing attracted some quality US MCs in the form of Craig G (who wrote the rhymes for Eminem’s 8 Mile) and newcomers Jimmy Grand and Dirk Diggla. However, the stars of the show were the guest UK MCs in the form of Wig, who shone on ‘24.7’, and the superb Sage on ‘Never Simple’ and ‘Sageblaze’. This accomplished debut confirmed the growing reputation of UK rap as a musical force to be taken seriously.