The Coup’s Pam The Funkstress Explains Working With Prince On Tour
Although she may not be a household name, Pam The Funkstress is one of Hip-Hop’s most acclaimed female DJs. Since 1993’s Kill My Landlord, the San Mateo, California native has been riding alongside Boots Riley as one of the steadfast members of Oakland’s 20-plus-year political Rap outfit The Coup.
From cult-lauded singles like “Fat Cats, Bigga Fish” and “5 Million Ways To Kill A CEO,” Pam has instrumental in The Coup’s successes—even as a member who solely speaks with her hands. This onetime battle DJ was recently called upon by Prince—and that pair appears to be just getting started.
In an interview with Pitchfork, the turntablist also known as “P-Dub” explains how she was recently tapped by one of Hip-Hop’s biggest influences to keep the party rockin’ on the road.
“A friend of mine asked me to [a gig] in February. He said, ‘It’s a Prince after-party, and he requested a female DJ.’ I guess [Prince] really liked what he heard [by me]. From what I understand, he likes Funk, old-school classics. That’s up my alley.”
She continues, “Then, when he popped up with a surprise show [in the Bay Area] in March, I DJ’d another after-party at the Great American Music Hall. He came up to me and said, ‘DJ, give me a scratch,’ and I scratched with him right there, him playing [guitar] over it. That was the first time we ever jammed together—no practice, no [rehearsing], just a connection that happened.” She added that the only playlist request Prince has made is Ohio Players’ “Love Rollercoaster.”
After the parties and jamming together, Pam became a fixture in the post-show galas on Prince’s most recent tour, crossing the country.
The DJ who was partially trained by world champion DJ QBert out of San Jose says, “I don’t know [when it will be that I work with Prince]. But I will be called again soon.”
Over his 40-year career, Prince has also played and/or recorded with Hip-Hop artists including Common, Questlove, and Kendrick Lamar.
As a related note, early yesterday (April 15), Prince was hospitalized after an emergency plane landing in Illinois. According to Rolling Stone, the artist has been suffering for several weeks from the flu and dehydration. He is now reportedly home in Minnesota.
Read: Meet Pam the Funkstress, Prince’s New DJ by Stacey Anderson at Pitchfork.
#BonusBeat: Pam The Funkstress’ 1994 DMC USA West Coast Eliminations battle: