Another pseudonym!?! Dr. Stockley is the newest alter ego/creation of Dudley Perkins. A Holistic Healer with the gift of the gab. He is an uplifter of downed souls. He is the go to guy for musical remedies. He is the Isaac Hayes of the all-inclusive head nod. He is the basis for Mr. Perkins first solo outing for 4 years, and he presides over arguably the funkiest Hip Hop album I have heard all year.
That must have been the remit Dudley sent out to his beat makers of choice. The legend that is Madlib, One of Hip Hop’s most underused producers, Kankick, and Yin to Dudley’s Yang, Georgia (Anne) Muldrow. The drawn out strings and tingly piano of the intro however, don’t give off the impression of an imminent funk-hop-athon. Even the albums first full song, Stokley’s Cafe, is funky of beat but the moody bass and repeated chant fool you into thinking darker times are afoot. But from then on every song is lifted by their (slightly left of middle) funky nature. The swanky organs, the clapping snares, the pitch warbled synths, the slightly over done bass lines. At times it’s almost as if the metaphorical spirit of Warren G was channeled through the mixing boards.
All three ‘Beatsmiths’ are on top of their game. Madlib makes a stuttering haphazard bass warble sound cool (State Of Emergency). Kankick’s stomping beat is apt due to the songs title (Foot Surgery). But in Georgia Muldrow a beat genius has emerged. Handling all but three of the beats on show without a single let down amongst them, I will be hunting for her back catalogue with glee. Whereas some albums seem to be trying too hard to be unconventional, Dr. Stokley is in a lane of its own and there is not a hint of effort in staying there. It’s catchy but not immediately so. I found myself studying the structure of songs without realising that I’m already snapping my neck to it.
Weaved into the outpouring of funky jingles is the good Doctor, don’t be fooled by track titles like Hearing Test, Lung Specialist and Geriatrics. These are all themes that are used as a bouncing board for the Doctors prescription for Better Hip Hop. There are a few skits and samples thrown in that allude to the various positives on an encompassing outlook to medicine but for the most part, the operations are being carried out on wack MCs. Indeed, Dr. Stokley is more a holistic outlook on Hip Hop than anything else. A few interludes and some corny titles does not a great concept album make.
But Regardless of the slight lack of medicine orientated rhymes, Dudley’s quirky, almost ‘talkboxish’ delivery is brilliant (as it always has been) and his gravitas more than makes up for the lack of more ‘doctorisms’ in his lyrics. This plus the superbly crafted beats makes Dr. Stokley’s surgery one I will be visiting regularly (did that last bit sound weird?).