Forgotten Treasures

Forgotten Treasure: J Treds “Make it Happen” (1998)


I moved to London around a year ago and while I love the place, few cities teach you so quickly the importance of music like this. It’s the kind of record that ought to be encased within break in case of temporary insanity glass, complete with little hammer. One of those Sanctuary joints.

As far as I know, Make It Happen is pretty much the only commercially available solo 12” from J Treds. Other than this, he’s an evasive character. Close friend of Bobbito Garcia and his Fondle ‘Em imprint, J Treds made a handful of radio appearances as well as rapping on records with Company Flow and label mates the Juggaknots to name two. Committed Lyricist Lounge loungers will also recognise him as part of the Indelible MCs.

For me, this is what makes Make It Happen stand out. In spite of keeping such battle-hardened company, J Treds steps in with a different style on this track; upbeat, positive and philosophical. I remember having to dig Make It Happen out of Shadout Mapes’ flawless Fondle ‘Em mix, rewinding it constantly. It’s a classic, up there with the best late 90s rap records you could hope to find.

Optional snitch sentence: For the curious, producers Supe and Kan sample Jail Cell by Air to great effect.


Yes yes, the time is now
It’s time to rise and shine, it’s time to proceed
It’s time to succeed
Comes a time in your life when you gotta make it happen
It’s J-Treds y’all, and it’s my time
So check it out

[Verse 1]
There’s no stopping the sands of time, no one can define
How fast hours pass in the hourglass of eternity
Divine uncontrollable; only fast learners realize
To shoot for the stars before they last burner is empty
Time’s crucial, moving swiftly; goin nowhere if I’m in neutral
Don’t wanna have to get shifty
Fuck that, “let it be” attitude
Detrimental to gettin my papers, has me settling for pencils
No. 2, no worse, no better
I wanna grow cheddar on my family tree
Guess the go-getter’s what I gotta be
I admit, wouldn’t hurt to win lottery
But ’til then I’m payin dues – everyone got a fee
And I’m paying out the ass; ain’t no stacking bills
Just relayin the cash in one hand, out the other
With no cloud of buddhas to show for it, no soaring
To heights out of this world – I’m in a low orbit
So it’s countdown to takeoff, make every moment count
Cause future plans got me fiending, foaming at the mouth
Hungry for success, helps me sell out my mother’s address
My money’s a mess, I’ve yet to discover the flesh
Of the one I call my essence who makes me shine in her presence
I’ll consider the questions, of all these dime pieces
Walking these city streets, with crazy fly features
Holding hands with matchin Tag Heuer timepieces
Access, et cetera, and the mind of a predator’s needed
In this cold world, where it’s kill or be killed
So I’m goin all out, to get a taste of the good life
After that, you best believe, I’m coming back for weed, son
Son it’s just one life to live, I’mma live it never fake it
Going all out to shine
And what nobody’s giving, I’m takin, never slacking
Cause time is life and I’mma make it happen
Just one life to live, I’mma live it never fake it
Goin all out to shine
And what nobody’s giving, I’m takin, never slacking
Cause time is life and I’mma make it happen

My plan of action is do it, get it done, and keep it movin
My peoples included, and my family maxing
My crew’s essential, to realize, full potential
Strength in numbers eases the mind, suits the mental
Knowin it’s a team effort to stack the green, and treasures
And the pleasures in life, that can never be measured
Steadily rise and spreadin my wings, forever striving
Determined to make it happen or die trying
To realize my wildest dreams, no time for childish schemes
Or violent means, every day see thugs, gettin his
Custom price of glamorous, way too extravagant
All I have to invest, is blood sweat and tears
I’m aiming high; ain’t just about, mansions and yachts
It’s about plantin the crop, and watch it get large
Cause mom said, God bless the child that’s got his own
Give a man fish it’s a meal but teach him, he never starves
I’m kinda slim – so it’s time to build this foundation
TNF collaboration, we at the top of the buttons
Time to get down to business, close knit, with assosciates
So it’s never “Could you look out” but “Fam I got you covered”


Fat paystubs, by all means, and dates loves
Conquer hate and make love, these are the things, men are made of
Handle a Honda, but hold the weight with suede gloves
Plant seeds, 8 Is Enough, that’s way too much
No matter the number, it’s now or never, rainy days, cloudy weather
Can’t stop me, from making it happen
My plan of action’s, to be following, a solid scheme
Cleverly planned, takes more than a dollar and a dream
Now I realize, me and my team can live real lives
And no longer, peep the next man, with green eyes
If he can, why can’t we? We just as able
If at first we don’t succeed, we’ll try Plan B
However many attempts, I’m forever ready
Any setbacks is only temporary, they’ll be through in a flash
So that one day, son I’ll look back and laugh
So when detected, don’t stress it, cause this too’ll pass
Like the sands of time
Remember that, from when the track was beginning?
Since then its been like five more minutes
Wastin, time to chase it, know what I’m sayin?
Cause those finer things in life are what’s awaitin
It’s time to make it happen


It’s like that, J-Treds making it happen
My man Coms makin it happen, shalom
We all doin this
The time is now
It’s time to see what life holds
Yo it’s time to find out
Ain’t no stopping this
Keep movin on



Son of a walking talking music Encyclopaedia, Cal appeared many years ago in a cloud of Al Green, Imagination and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Likes hip hop, house, disco, Steely Dan and the Fender Rhodes. One half of Slow&Low.