Throwback: Three Times Dope-Funky Dividends
EST, Chuck Nice and Woody Wood were a rap trio from Philadelphia who starting rhyming as 3-D before they renamed themselves Three Times Dope. They were members of Philadelphia’s Hilltop Hustler’s collective that included, but was not limited to Steady B, Cool C, Da Youngstas and Mentally Gifted. “Funky Dividends” is an iconic rap song for Philly and hip-hop overall because of its early acknowledgement of capitalism and materialism that would later became hip-hop’s mainstream identity. The video for “Funky Dividends” was a style snapshot of ’80’s hip-hop because of EST’s Gumby haircut, the dancers, the catchy sample of The Delegation’s “Oh Honey” and the presence of the woman defending her stance on money. Original Stylin’ (’89) was a strong debut also held up by “The Greatest Man Alive” and an album’s worth of classic boasting over raw production. Live from Acknickulous Land was their sophomore album and it was a nod to their personal slang terms like Acknickulous and The Giddy Up. The project didn’t take off like their first album but their core fans enjoyed the coolness of “No Words” and the remake of Steve Arrington’s “Weak At The Knees.” A third album came out in ’98 but the group had already disbanded. EST continues to work as a songwriter in the music industry and has co-written songs with Scott Storch for Mario, Britney Spears, Beyonce and Trey Songz.