More Bounce To The Ounce
by Zapp

Album: Zapp (1980)
Charted: 86

Songfacts®:

  • Zapp's debut single is an electro-funk number admiring the way a girl moves her body on the dance floor. It's notable for its use of the talkbox, a device attached to an instrument that allows the singer to manipulate sounds through a tube in his mouth. The group's frontman, Roger Troutman, revisited the effect the following year on his funky interpretation of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" from his hit solo album The Many Facets Of Roger.
  • Formerly known as Roger & The Human Body, the band built its fanbase playing small venues throughout their native Ohio, where former Parliament-Funkadelic members Catfish and Bootsy Collins also performed. The brothers were impressed with Troutman's talent and invited the band to record at United Sound Studios in Detroit, where P-Funk leader George Clinton heard their demo of "More Bounce To The Ounce."

    According to Bootsy, Clinton was instrumental in shaping the final product, then called "Funky Bounce." He recalled: "George Clinton just happened to step into the studio this night and he really liked this one part that we had already re-did on 'Funky Bounce.' He advised us to loop that section and put the other talkbox parts over it. At that time, this was considered a genius act, because you had to actually cut the tape and make the right cut, line it up and loop it. So let us not forget that Dr. Funkenstein was way ahead of his time as well."
  • The strength of the demo earned Zapp a record deal with Warner Bros. Their debut album was co-produced by Bootsy Collins, who also contributed guitar work.
  • This was a #2 hit on the R&B chart.
  • The title was taken from a '50s Pepsi slogan. Pepsi claimed they had "more bounce to the ounce" than Coke because there was more sugar in their product, which at the time was a selling point.
  • The album influenced both the East and West Coast hip-hop scenes of the '90s, with several rappers sampling the lead single, including The Notorious B.I.G. ("Going Back To Cali"), Wu-Tang Clan ("Method Man"), Snoop Dogg ("Snoop Bounce"), EPMD ("You Gots To Chill"), and Public Enemy ("Anti-N----r Machine"). Others worked the title phrase into their raps.

    LL Cool J got the title into the lyrics to his 1987 song "357 Break It On Down" from his Bigger And Deffer album:

    A hundred and ninety-five pounds, punk
    More bounce to the ounce


    A Tribe Called Quest also slipped the phrase into their 1991 track "Scenario":

    The loops for the troops
    More bounce to the ounce
  • Ice Cube, who sampled the song in his 1990 track "The Bomb," said that "More Bounce To The Ounce" introduced him to hip-hop. "I was in the sixth grade, we'd stayed after school. We had this dude named Mr. Lock, and he used to bring in his radio with these pop-lockers. He used to teach [the dance group] the LA Lockers, and he would do community service in after-school programs. He knew a lot of kids and introduced them to all the new dances, he put on that song 'More Bounce', and they started pop-locking. And I think from that visual, from seeing that, it was my first introduction into hip-hop. Period. I didn't know nothing about nothing. I hadn't heard 'Rapper's Delight' yet. It was the first thing that was really fly to me. They started dancing, and since 'More Bounce' goes on forever, they just got down. I just think that was a rush of adrenaline for me, like a chemical reaction in my brain."
  • Despite Zapp's influence on other artists, their own popularity started to wane by the end of the decade. But it surged again when Troutman collaborated with Tupac Shakur (who sampled Zapp's "Be Alright" on "Keep Ya Head Up") on the hit single "California Love" in 1995. Tragedy brought them back into the spotlight a few years later when Troutman was killed in a murder-suicide at the hands of his brother Larry. Although they clashed when Roger fired Larry as his manager, the motive for the killing remains unknown.
  • This was used in several movies, including the following:

    Boyz n the Hood (1991)
    Losing Isaiah (1995)
    Any Given Sunday (1999)
    Blue Hill Avenue (2001)
    Pixels (2015)
    Straight Outta Compton (2015)

    This was also used on the TV shows Everybody Hates Chris ("Everybody Hates Greg" - 2005) and New Girl ("Par 5" - 2015).
  • This was involved in a copyright infringement lawsuit in 2017, when the song's owners, Lastrada Entertainment, claimed Mark Ronson copied elements of the Zapp song for his Bruno Mars collaboration "Uptown Funk." The suit was settled the following year, but the terms remain unclear.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Barry Dean ("Pontoon," "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools")

Barry Dean ("Pontoon," "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools")Songwriter Interviews

A top country songwriter, Barry talks about writing hits for Little Big Town, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean.

Francis Rossi of Status Quo

Francis Rossi of Status QuoSongwriter Interviews

Doubt led to drive for Francis, who still isn't sure why one of Status Quo's biggest hits is so beloved.

Country Song Titles

Country Song TitlesFact or Fiction

Country songs with titles so bizarre they can't possibly be real... or can they?

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"They're Playing My Song

When a waitress wouldn't take him home, Jack wrote what would become one of the Eagles most enduring hits.

Bryan Adams

Bryan AdamsSongwriter Interviews

What's the deal with "Summer of '69"? Bryan explains what the song is really about, and shares more of his songwriting insights.