Hip-hop crew The CUF, an acronym for California Underground Funk, are readying their latest project CUF Caviar Vol. 1 on CFO Recordings. Their newest release adds more of a nuanced sound and technically sophisticated LP to their ever-expanding discography. This 5-man wrecking crew is comprised of MCs: N8 the Gr8, Pete, Crush, Brotha RJ, and Taktics (Lil N8). Guest appearances on CUF Caviar Vol 1 by R&B singers D Moe (cousin of LA MC Dudley Perkins) and fellow CFO Recordings artist Maryann round out this release.
Based in Sacramento, CA, the CUF took years to complete this record, but it is their most dynamic work to date. On the track “We Keep the Flame Lit” N8 explains that they wanted to do a song that speaks to how they are still doing what they’ve always done, which is make quality music. “That’s fire!” he declares.
On the last track, “More” MC Pete sums up the album’s theme: “We never made cuts to be famous, he notes. “All we ever wanted to do was rap in different places!”
The guys met in in 93, where they were working and MCing on their own in Sacramento. “We were all struggling on our own so thought, we should join forces,” recalls N8 of how the group formed.
Gaining national exposure by performing on The World Famous Wake Up Show two consecutive times with Notorious B.I.G. in 1996, The CUF’s sound and live shows have influenced many of the Bay Area’s current icons including Living Legends, Hieroglyphics, and Bored Stiff.
Their new release is their fourth album together. In 96, they dropped Federal Expressions which was followed by 1997’s I Love this Game. After back-to- back releases Cufbaby (1998) Cufilation in 99, and the critically acclaimed Cufdaddy in 2000, they went on a brief hiatus from the group.
In between albums, the guys dropped solo projects like Good4Nuthin (Pete and N8 the Gr8) in 2001, then two albums under the name Deep Fried Funk Brothers where they collaborated with artists such as The Grouch, Casual, Murs, Bicasso. Pete B also dropped two solo albums, including the well-received 2008’s Beans and Rice.
In the past fifteen years the CUF has blessed over 500 stages worldwide along side some of the biggest acts, including KRS-One, Dr. Dre, RUN-DMC, Xzibit, and the Living Legends, to name just a few. CUF songs have appeared on Microsoft’s Xbox video games Amped and Amped 2.
The CUF today is a bit more refined but they are still making great pure hip-hop. CUF Caviar Vol. 1 drops direct to fans on April 26, 2011 and to the rest of the world in late May, just in time for the summer.