My weekly throwdown called THE BRIDGE at Blizzarts is welcoming a hip-hop legend this friday, December 11th. And I am not using the word legend lightly… Check out the details right here. Thanks to Morgan Steiker, writer at the Montreal Mirror and fellow beat-head, MIMS got the chance to have a brief exchange with the man behind some serious classics who normally talks with his hands.
First experience with turntables:
My sister had turntables back in the day because the guy that lived below us had turntables and she wanted some too. She had a job so she got some turntables and a mixer. So I use to DJ on her stuff when she went to work and when she wasn’t home.
Meeting DJ Breakout and Funky Four Plus One:
Somebody moved on my block that knew Breakout but I wasn’t aware that they knew each other. Eventually he introduced me to him ad I started passing him records. Then my friend told me that his record boy quit or got fired and he said “maybe he might get you to do it.” I went to his house, Breakout liked me and now we’ve been friends for about 30 years. I loved the job. They had Sha Rock, she was dope. Rahiem was killing it. He would be singing at every show.
Moving to New Jersey from the Bronx:
That experience [with Breakout] gave me my b-boy style. Then when I moved to Jersey, I learned the club style. I got into that club stuff. I knew the hip hop stuff from the Bronx and I learned the club style in Jersey. They were blending two records together. They wasn’t going back and forth on the record. They were blending.
Early hip hop:
I can’t listen to it too much. I don’t listen to old school stuff very often. Maybe in the next five years I can listen to it for a few minutes here and there but that’s it. It’s like a really good movie that you don’t wanna see again for another few years once you’re done watching it.
The 900 Number:
Well, 900 Number…I took the sample, put drums on it, slowed it down. I put it out at the time but most labels wouldn’t put it out like that. They were saying “that needs something else, you cant just put it out like that.” So I was lucky that the label that I was on put it out the way it was and didn’t force me into making it a song. It’s still getting played now because it’s simple and major labels wouldn’t put it out. When I started making beats, I wasn’t buying that many records because I already had so many from being a DJ. I already had those records. I just got lucky with that one.
Forming Flavor Unit (Queen Latifah, Black Sheep, Lakim Shabazz, Naughty by Nature):
Basically Flavor Unit started out as a bunch of friends getting together smoking weed. Having a good time, whatever. Some drank beer, some were smoking. A bunch of comedians. They were all really funny so I brought them in. If you were funny and seemed like a nice person, let’s hang out. The nice thing is that I have good relationships with every last one of them. I cant say I liked one more than the other. It’s like loving all your kids equally. They all was talented too. They all knew how to rhyme good. But some ended up with better record deals than others.
Fondest memory of that era:
DJing with Latifah. Kid Capri brought me under his wing when he was DJing the Def Jam Comedy All-Stars. Latifah was there, Jamie Foxx was there, also that dude my sister likes, Steve Harvey. That was one of the most exciting moments for sure.