The Red Hot Chili Peppers' previous album, Freaky Styley, was produced by Parliament-Funkadelic founder George Clinton, who shared his views on the music industry with the band. RHCP frontman Anthony Kiedis recalled in his autobiography, Scar Tissue, how one such conversation inspired this song: "'Funky Crime' was basically a lyrical description of a conversation that we'd had with George Clinton, in which he maintained that music itself was color-blind but the media and the radio stations segregate it based on their perceptions of the artists."
Although Freaky Styley received mostly positive reviews for its funky style, some critics sneered at the band's appropriation of black music, with Spin magazine calling the album a "Day-Glo minstrel show." Kiedis claps back on "Funky Crime," claiming, "Funk is my attitude," and asking:
Don't you know funk's colors blind Well I've committed a funky crime Against a state of mind
Geffen Records made history on June 27, 1994 when Aerosmith's "Head First" became the first major label song made available for exclusive digital download. Download speeds at the time were so slow it took around 75 minutes to download the track.