On Saturday (January 21), Oakland, California’s legendary, multi-platinum producing pioneer and “Oaktown Funk” originator Ant Banks had his illustrious and prolific career celebrated during the Soul Beat Concert Series Presents: Menace II Society event hosted by Lord Rab and featuring MC Eiht of Compton’s Most Wanted.
Taking place at The New Parish in Oakland, the show opened up with Banks’ long-time collaborator and Oakland legend Pooh-Man performing the classic “Fuckin’ Wit Dank” and “Out to the Bitches”. Pooh-Man then told the crowd how Ant Banks looked out for him after after he returned home serving 13 years by producing the majority of Pooh’s 2014 album Kaos Theory.
Too Short, who made several gold & platinum-selling albums with Ant Banks either producing or mixing, came to the stage and challenged the crowd to take a listen to the albums in his catalog he made before Ant Banks and then to listen to the ones he made with him. Short lauded Banks for bringing him “the bass”, and even admitted himself his records weren’t the same without Ant Banks behind the boards.
After heaping so much well-deserved praise on Banks, Shortdog then let the music speak for itself as he performed and played some of the hits he and Banks had done together including “I’m A Player”, “In The Trunk”, “Rapper’s Ball”, and others.
Host Lord Rab took to the stage to list several of the gold and platinum albums in the Ant Banks discography like Shorty The Pimp, Get In Where You Fit In with Too Short, Based On A True Story with Mack 10, Hall of Game & The Element of Surprise with E-40, as well as the classic soundtracks Juice, Menace II Society, and others.
The Big Badass then took to the stage to share his appreciation for the celebration and ran down the history of his 39-year career making music, as he reminisced on his first independent records with the late MC Ant, getting with Pooh-Man and making the Oakland anthem “Fuckin’ Wit’ Dank”, and connecting with Spice-1.
Banks recalled how his early career wasn’t as lucrative for him as it was for the artists he was producing, but then relayed how in 1990 Too Short scooped him up after hearing the noise Ant Banks was creating with all the music he had been putting out and brought him on board with Dangerous Music. In doing so, Short signed the burgeoning producer to an artist deal, a publishing deal, and a production deal, which totaled over $500,000, I’m just under a month’s time.
After thanking Pooh-Man and Too Short for believing in him, Banks then gave shout-outs to singer/songwriter Stacy Hogg, who sang on the hooks on several of Ant Banks-produced tracks like “Fetty Chico & The Mack” with Spice-1 and Mack 10, and “Pimp Style Gangstas” featuring Rappin’ Ron & Ant Diddley Dog of Bad N-Fluenz.
Closing out the event, Compton’s Most Wanted frontman MC Eiht came out and performed several of his classic songs like “Streiht Up Menace”, “All For The Money”, “Growin’ Up in the Hood”, “Duck Sick”, and others.
In addition to working with Short, Pooh, Spice, E-40, and MC Ant, the “Oaktown Funk” originator has worked with a long list of artists throughout his storied career including Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, WC, Goldy, 2Pac, MC Breed, Rappin’ 4-Tay, MC Eiht, Ice-T, Kurupt, Mac Mall, Mount Westmore, and numerous others.
Congratulations Ant Banks!
Check out Ant Banks giving shout outs to Too Short, Pooh-Man, MC Ant, Stacy Hogg and others below: