“From the Corner to the Block,” the latest sweat-drenched funk-hop workout from New Orleans’ Galactic, simultaneously reps a throwback to the old school and a forward-thinking post-modern mashup.
While New Orleans-style funk is the main event here, Galactic ups the hip-hop quotient on their fifth studio release by teaming with an army of guest stars. Half the tracks are the group backing mostly “underground” MCs like Mr. Lif, Lyrics Born, the Coup’s Boots Riley and Blackalicious’ Gift of Gab. DJ Z-Trip adds some turntablist funk to the brief “Bounce Baby,” while Jurassic Five baritone rapper Chali 2na meshes well with the group on “Think Back.” Others join Galactic as well, including New Orleans mainstays Trombone Shorty (on the funky “Tuff Love”), Wild Magnolias’ Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the Soul Rebels Brass Band. Strip away the guests, however, as on the disc’s two short interlude ditties, Galactic doesn’t have much to offer beyond head-nodding grooves.