Lettuce is an 8-piece funk band comprised of drummer Adam Deitch, guitarists Adam Smirnoff and Eric Krasno, bassist Erick “Baby Jesus” Coomes, keyboardist Neal Evans, saxophonist Ryan Zoidis, and trumpet players Eric Bloom and Rashawn Ross. Many of these individuals are highly sought after musicians in the hip hop world: Deitch is one of the best break drummers not named Clyde Stubblefield. He and Krasno also contributed to 50 Cent’s Curtis, Redman’s Reggie, and Pharoahe Monch’s W.A.R. just to name a few. Baby Jesus easily has the most prolific rap résumé of the group, as he stated to LiveForLiveMusic in an interview, “I played bass and guitar on Kanye West’s first album on a song called ‘All Falls Down’ but before that I was originally put on in this business by DJ Quik.” He and Kamasi Washington have both been outspoken about working with Proof before his untimely death. Coomes’ bass playing is also the reason why Dr. Dre’s Compton album sounds so thick. With that said, it comes as no surprise to see these musicians come together for some serious hip hop flavor.
Those who have followed Lettuce for the past several years throughout the festival circuit (Bonnaroo, Bear Creek, etc.) should be familiar with their history of J Dilla homages, like their bombastic rendition of the highly celebrated Donuts instrumental, “Workinonit,” in front of a hyped crowd of hetty Chi-towners seen below:
Lettuce recently announced their fourth studio album, Crush, and released their new single, “Phyllis,” which according to Baby Jesus, “Is ‘Mr. Yancey’s cousin and she was born in Santa Monica, CA at a beautiful Mansion with a studio in the top floor.” Like “Mr. Yancey,” this track doesn’t seem to directly borrow from the Dilla catalog. However, the swing in Adam Deitch’s drumming along with the filtration in their flaring horn section make for a funky, modern take on what sounds like something that could have been dug right out of that famous MPC 3000. Crush hits retailers worldwide via Lettuce Records on November 6.