Here are three live videos of the Bronx's great 1980s funk act ESG

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A funk band from the South Bronx, ESG recorded for 99 Records and Factory back in the early 1980s. Their stripped-down but deeply polyrhythmic tracks have always crossed over between white and black audiences — from being covered by Unrest to being sampled by Wu-Tang and Gang Starr.


I love the band but I didn't know until today that their name stands for Emerald, Sapphire and Gold. I don't always pay attention.


I only saw them live once, myself — in 1990 or so at a weird hippie warehouse space in Manhattan called Wetlands.


These are the only bits of video I know of hosted online currently from their 1980s heyday, but clearly more has been shot.

About The Author

Mike McGonigal

Metro Times music editor Mike McGonigal has written about music since 1984, when he started the fanzine Chemical Imbalance at age sixteen with money saved from mowing lawns in Florida. He's since written for Spin, Pitchfork, the Village VOICE and Artforum. He's been a museum guard, a financial reporter, a bicycle...
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