Kool & the Gang had long been known for wrapping up their albums with massive studio jams, and "Funky Stuff" was no exception. Recording at the tiny Media Sound Studio in New York, one floor above Latin rockers Santana, the band jammed the track together as Santana's own session bled through the walls and floors. The resultant fusion was as inspiring as it was exciting -- certainly the sound of two so-disparate bands clashing in one tiny space helped to influence Kool's grooves and, by the time the session was over, this nine-minute marathon was on course to becoming a genre standard -- one of the best ever committed to vinyl grooves. Vital evidence of the band's new direction in sound, the song is the embodiment of heavy, deep funk, driven by horns and an effervescent beat.
Edited down for a single in summer 1973, "Funky Stuff" became Kool & the Gang's first major smash, reaching number five on the R&B charts. It was also one of the first big hits to employ a whistle throughout, an innovation at the time, but one that would swiftly be subpoenaed by the disco movement. Here, however, the sound is first and foremost a call to party for funk fans everywhere.