“Funk Dat” by Sagat (1993)

Back to the era of regional hits for this New York City house classic.

I don’t know who Sagat is. I don’t know where he’s from. I don’t even know if his name is pronounced like “Saget” (Bob from Bull House) or “Sah-got” (rhymes with Sadat, as in Anwar or X). What I do know is that “Funk Dat” (also sometimes called “Fuk Dat” or “Why Is It?”) has a relentlessly danceable groove and hilarious lyrics that are super relatable.

“Funk Dat” isn’t sung or even rapped. Sagat is talking over the beat, using what I assume is an exaggerated New York accent to ask a series of rhetorical questions. Why does the radio play the same 5 songs 15 times a day for three months? Why do his friends call him just to talk about nothing? These are everyday concerns people had in the early ’90s, before Spotify or caller ID. The reason people gravitated to “Funk Dat” is because everyone identified with at least one of the scenarios Sagat mentioned. Oh, and you could dance to it.

Damn, this video is such a time capsule of New York pre-gentrification!

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