Hey, guys, really excited to bring you this latest Tom talk. This is actually a real dream come true for me, and I'm sure you'll be able to see me trying to contain my happiness and excitement. I've always been a huge, huge fan of D.J. Premier from the legendary gangster, and he was kind enough to join me for this one. I mean, I took like I had notes of questions, everything I wanted to ask. It was a total nerd Outfest for me and I loved it.
And I thank him for doing I hope you enjoy my talk with the legendary deejay premier.
This is the guy who is Randy don't bring anyone love into this of.
Primo, thank you so much. This is a huge honor. I don't even know where to begin. Let's begin, I guess, with just saying thank you and welcome. And where are you right now? Are you in New York right now?
Yeah, I'm in my studio.
My recording studio in New York is the government are going to shut that down or are you allowed to leave if you want?
I mean that even when the day the hidden everything was shut down, we were just sneaking in our lab and. Yeah, and just working. And, you know, when you're in the lab cooking music and stuff, you're pretty much hit almost 24 hours a day. Yeah. Besides just not moving around and thank goodness we have a restaurant that's upstairs, nice Italian restaurant. And they they were making this food every day. So, you know, it was beautiful.
So you still grind it out there like you're just in in the studio making music all the time. All the time and throughout throughout quarantine, because when we were taxed and you said you were working on multiple albums and stuff, you really you're on it, man.
Yeah, a hundred percent. I mean, it's an addiction. You know, everybody got something. These drugs pills go, yeah, I use music is my addiction. It's like I'm not in the studio making something. Feels weird to be home.
Yeah. See, that was one of the the worst parts of this whole year as a comedian was that's you know, that's my addiction. Right. And there is there's been this long period where they're like, well, you just can't do it like the drive thru thing. And it was dope.
The Yeah. Thanks the drive thru was. But that's pretty like it's really a thing to put one of those together.
You know, we're so used to that take, we take it for granted. But like you could just go to a club, get on stage and you're doing it, you know, so that's it.
But it was a good alternative though. And in the circumstance, that's the problem with most people. They don't know how to find a way. And it's like there's always a way to find a way.
Yes, you're right about that. There's always a way. And now I'm doing like, I don't know, I'm traveling to the places that allow it, you know? So I did I did in Huntsville, Alabama, last week just to do six shows. I mean, just to to get on stage, man.
But there's so much I want to ask you. And I apologize in advance if you're like, man, I've heard that question a million times. I just got to hear it myself.
So I thought, yeah, but it's coming from you. So the fact I'm a fan of your comedy and your podcast and everything, your wife is funny. Christina, shout to her. Your mom is hilarious. Thanks. In Spanish. Yeah. You know, like I didn't even know you spoke Spanish. I didn't know your mother was Latina, you know. Yeah. Like like even on a on a on a ball. And you talked about how your mom is.
You ask her about all her pets, you know, what are you going to do when they die? She's like, I hope we all die at the same time. I love watching black people on the corner of the world. I love it.
Thanks, man. Well, those are all those are all truth stories.
And yeah, she's a wild woman. My mom is something else.
She is something else I want to ask about for a second, because, you know, for me, whatever circumstance and however it happened, I just I fell in love with hip hop at a young age, you know. And it was I remember the late 80s, early 90s being, you know, I was born in 79. So that's kind of a pivotal time when you start identifying with a music, you know, like you, you know, nine, ten, eleven.
It's like that's when you get some money to go buy a tape or whatever you like. And and hip hop really was something that, you know, I just I just took time and it's been a love ever since.
And I'm I'm I'm completely you know, you go through my phone and if you go through my old city binders and stuff, it's all hip hop, you know. But what what's funny to me was like one of the things is I've always, at that age at least, associated you and gangster with New York.
Right. Like, that's that's a think.
Most people that listen and maybe don't know yet, they're like, oh, that's those guys are New York guys, New York sound. But I find it, you know, interesting that your origins are Texas. And I just wanted to know, like, do you feel like Texas had an influence on you and as an artist? Own it in a major way, because I always say that even with hip hop, like how I'm 54 and still bang out the boom bap style, you know, what they call it is child care is one that style I don't want never want to abandon because it's reminiscent of how it sounded when I was being raised on it.
You know, in my era, I'm I'm one of my. Thirteen years older than you, because I was to sixty six, seventy nine, right, that's right. Yeah, yeah. So with that said, I got to see it develop from the very beginning, even though it was in New York, because my grandfather lived in New York and my mother was from Baltimore. So every summer we would always stay at my my mom's house to visit her, our family.
We would drive to North Carolina and South Carolina to see my dad's family in Raleigh and some to South Carolina. And then we go to New York as the final stop every summer. So for me as a kid, it was like, wow, and still bikes. They're still in the tires. On the bikes. Yes. I just I want to I want to steal a bike, you know, as a kid, it's like fun. Sure.
So to be used to it all the way up into my teens, once you get your teenage years, you're like, well, I don't really want to go with my parents anymore. I just wanna hang my grandfather until he was a baseball fanatic. Love the Yankees. And I used to go see the Yankees with him. He's to and I'm into sports as well. So we always just caught games. You know, again, I'm the only only boy in my family.
I have all sisters, which are extremely tight. And there are also sports buffs know this shit. My mother knew her shit. God bless her. I buried her in June. But but but she everybody plays played sports and knows sports. So with that, as I got around 13, I was like, can I go to New York without you know, because it's always going to be chaperoned by y'all. And now I'm at the age where I want to kind of, you know, move around on my own.
And I had made so many friends from coming every summer and some of my friends, their their relatives lived in the same block as us in Texas, coincidentally. So. Wow, that was even. Yeah. Yes, chef. Scott Wood and the Hollywood family that they would come visit us. So now when I go to New York, I'm hanging out with him and he lived on the west side of the city and he was showing me around, could knock and hang with friends and go get into a little mischief in there.
So by the time the hip hop bug got to me, I was like, I only have about a year at 18 credits left in college. And I said, you know what? I don't want to graduate and then see if I can get a record deal and then come back. And if I don't get it, I know that I look for a job, but I let a good year pass by where I graduated with no job or any plan.
I didn't have a plan going in New York either. I just knew that my gut kept saying, go now and see if you can get a deal. And if you can't, you come back and finish school. But you came back to that because a lot of people that are from my town, what's called Prairie View, it's right outside of Houston, right. It's like forty five minutes. But the thing is, I used to hear the rumblings of people that graduate and moved on and moved to a different city or whatever to get that thing going.
And they didn't make it, make it. And they came back and just worked at the college that I went to. My father worked. And you always hear the run I got. I didn't make it and what they did. And that doesn't mean that that's a bad thing. But I don't want that rumbling about me. So I said, if I don't make it, let me at least know that if I don't make it, I'm going straight back to school.
So I was like, oh, well, I don't know if you graduate or not, but yes, he's in school. Yeah. So I said, let's go now. My father was like, you have no plan. What are you going to do? I said, trust me. My gut says it's time to go. I'm going to be I'm a make it.
And I believe and that that's amazing in and of itself. When you went when you made that decision, like, how confident were you in your skill set?
Because you're you're pretty young, right?
I mean, you're in you're in college and also the art form, like you're part of it developing, you know, like that's still early on, right? It's early eighties. Yeah.
Eighty eighty seven was when I went to shot my demo. Didn't get it all got returned. Eighty eight is when Google heard my demo and that's how I got in the game store and then OK so he, he heard your demo and then.
Yeah. And then it was an immediate thing.
I was in a different group.
We were originally called Emcees and Control at the top ski shot the sugar pop and shot the style that was the crew. And we're still all friends to this day and everything. We still check on each other, make sure everybody's alright. But at the time we all went to school together. I was one of the DJs there. I got a shout out our picolo like this call. Yeah, but his name was Randy Petis. That was is Randy Petis.
Excuse me. So Randy was our our Picolo. He could scratch and cut his ass off and I have a mixer with a cross that I had the knobs, which was the early stage of cutting and scratching his way with mixes. So I asked him what he was like, my competition with another crew and I got to shout them out to one of them, passed away down Tapscott, Tony Tapscott and Chris Garrett. They me and Chris would go to high school together and Tony and Darryl, actually.
But they were older. Chris was in my class, but we were the rivals in my town on every party, every gig. It's like, who's getting the gig, me or them? And I also got a shout out Theodore Orce, who was my partner, who also passed away. And so when they came down to that and R.P., what kind of freelance and just either DJs or me, a deejay with Chris and I was like, I got to get that guy to show me how to do all the cutting.
And he was always cutting up Whodini five minutes of fuck and he had the felt pads. And I was like, Man, somebody in Texas knows how to cut like that because I've never seen a deejay do all I know how to blend. I was real quick with blending in quick mics and I didn't know how to scratch and cut yet. How so.
How long would like. Because when you see that, like when you see people who are skilled do it and you know you're seeing that guy do it, how, how much of a lack of a learning process is it?
I mean, you obviously already are inclined, you know, I mean, because you're doing your blending and you're doing everything with records, but like when you're learning how to scratch, was it immediate or did you like one?
Very. Yeah, very immediate. Just out of excitement. Yeah. Wow. Because watching him, I can you know, I'm very good at just taking it all in. Yeah. I'm better at a crash course. I can study for a test and not have studied at all. Yeah. Go to it at night and literally pass the whole thing. Right. I haven't, I haven't memorized.
By the way, I want to just point out something that you because you've been you know, you started out a bunch of people I noticed something about like your Instagram because I followed you on Instagram for a long time before we even like messaging back and forth. And that is that you really meant like it's definitely part of who you are.
You always acknowledge people like you're always you're always remembering, like shouting out anniversaries of records, singles, albums. You're always honoring people's birthdays and acknowledging people who have passed away.
And like it's it's funny that it's it's kind of like it strikes you as you're like, I don't even know anybody who does this.
You're the only guy I know.
There's other the ones in a cloth and a certain without seeing old tennis right today as a birthday. And I'll forget these are all from your memory.
No, no, no, no. Well, a lot of them I put in my calendar, OK, I was like, Jesus, man. Now put in my calendar on my phone and it'll alert me that that's that day.
But it's a really like it's a really, like, nice, kind hearted thing. It's how it strikes me. Like, yeah, you're always, you know, and I think I mean, part of, you know, someone's probably perspective of like a superstar hip hop producer is not that like he would spend the time to post about all these people. And it's like it's kind of refreshing men. Oh, damn, that's dope.
Yeah, I'm grateful on a different level because New York accepted me when it was not easy to get in. You know, Willie D and Scarface always talk about the trip to New York when they got booed by.
I remember that they said they did a show and they and it took the new music seminar. Yeah.
And they said that they got booed the hell off. And then it took my mind playing tricks on me to. Yep. Up to like everybody to you know.
Yeah, I saw them, I saw them open up for Ice Cube was headlining the Apollo, which is not easy to do. And but you know, America's Most Wanted was poppin and could you were and Polo opened up and Sky and Geto Boys open up first. And the Apollo does an early show at seven and another one at eleven. The seven for the kids and mom and mom and dad all at once, they leave the thugs, the wild.
You are the scariest amount of people. Fill up the Apollo and you could feel the energy. You better be on point. But they're there for the music. And I'm telling you that eleven o'clock show is no joke. And the crazy thing is the seven o'clock show was dope. And to see everybody singing along with the ghetto boys made me feel so good. They were the dressing room. My children, even though Ice Cube, I've been friends for years, they were the ones I chilled with backstage because we were homies.
Yeah. And that's my emcee. Tomsky used to beat boxer Willie D in battles at this club called The Rhinestone Wrangler, which was ah loved hip hop club back in the 80s. Yeah, so so should s all the of these big. Bushwood, Bill, and again, a lot of people say arrest of these two people we were running run in contact with and all were from the same 90s era predominantly. So all of us saw each other in the same clubs everywhere on every week.
Was it, by the way?
Because, you know, there was like obviously there's that point where shit got wild for a minute, where it was everything was like East Coast, West Coast.
And, you know, there was real violence happening and people calling each other out, like in that era. Did you run into problems? Like, was that something that, you know, walking into a club, you'd see people that, you know, whatever other coast or was it something that it hit you or people because because we were cool with both sides.
And and honestly, that that really, truly was a media thing. Like really the violence and everything that went down with the whole east west thing had nothing to do with the music that had to do with individuals having issues with individuals. So even though the music is going to be blended into the the you know, it wasn't click bait, but was definitely going to be the headline of the paper before digital age. But that we that's what it is.
If you're cool with the east and on the West, with everybody with that drama, with another artist, we were still, you know, giving full passes and love and respect. There was never know where you're from that side, too. So it counts when you come to our town. You know, I check, you know, I say check in. And all this artists have to check in our check ins different because again, we have a relationship.
We're just checking on on guys. I'm called Rathmell coming to town. He's you know, he's like, come on to me. I'm in the lab and, you know, I'm on call C, I call you, you know. Yeah. And even even was security, you know, say I'm in town and they're that they're all dudes. Yeah. And they're gonna be like, yeah, come on down. I got you.
Yeah. You're fucking royalty, man.
Like, who's going to be like, no, I appreciate it.
So we've had our squabs and our deficits and everything as well. Of course.
Have you ever had studio sessions like in all your years of doing this, that you're like, oh my. Like because, you know, there's all there's famous stories. And I mean, I even I remember listening to an interview with Dre one time where he was like, man, dudes coming and talking about how many people they shot and shit like get the fuck out of here, which I can feel how that could fuck with your energy.
If you're trying to, like, be creative, someone's like, you know, I shot someone, you know, like I and like.
So honestly. Yeah, good, good. No, no, I just I just wonder if, like, if that aggression is around you or I don't know, things can you know, there was a story Rakim told about.
That he would keep Rottweilers in the cage in the studio, and if somebody got out of pocket, he opened the cage, I was like, that seems like an intense working environment.
Yeah, I like that. You like we we've definitely had had a studio fights and all you hear is ba dum dum ba dum ba dum ba dum enough and all the rumble. What the fuck's going on in there. Yeah. Obviously we were not 20 cents. Sure. But we've, we've had we've had the typical fights. We used to be on Bloxwich Drugs, Central Herot here on the blocks and stuff like that. Just this really crazy shit.
And you are certain artists would actually be like, I don't want to come to your studio because I'm not comfortable because of where you located.
Oh, really? I'm like like hip hop and you don't. Street music. Yeah. Frater what are you afraid of.
But you bring your guns, bring your guns because girls respect for the guns when there's a certain line of energy that we bring on both sides. Yeah. It turns out being we roll dies, we play pool, you know, and talk and just talk shit. Barbershop talk. Yeah. You know, and and guess who's coming home from jail. Guess who's locked up and guess we just got to ten years. It becomes normal in our culture because it just is.
It doesn't even phase you when people were scared of neighborhoods. Was this like in the 80s and 90s or even now you're saying this is like ninety two.
Ninety three. Ninety one. Yeah. A lot of major artists that.
What part of town would they be scared of.
Like Uptown in in Hell's Kitchen. Hell's Kitchen. OK, so which everybody doesn't want to go to hell. Yeah.
Even though we do devilish things. Yeah.
So do you remember when, when Dweik came out, is that when you felt is that the first time you're like where you're like oh we're we are part of, you know, a big thing happening. Like is that, is that the song that makes you feel like, you know, it was one thing to get, you know, signed or whatever, and we're making music. But like, when you when you realize that this is playing on everyone's radio and probably coming out of bars and clubs and everything, is that the one that makes you go like, no, this is like this is that now you can tell your dad this is a career like this.
I made it.
Is that the one or not before I would have to say just to get a rep or just to get it wrong? OK, yeah, I did. Really. That was in ninety. We did the single video came on ninety because the 12 inch has 1990. The album came out ninety one. But just to get around it all I just, it's all the sound systems. Did you know we're from the cost everywhere. Yes. We got that system so we made it for the cause.
We didn't even make it for, you know, obviously we weren't at the level of computers and. Yeah, but it's cost us. So I still have that same mindset when I make my music. It has to be for a car that's like big, big radio.
That's that's my favorite place to listen to. Music, especially hip hop is like to get it get some, especially like the kind of music you make to put it out in the car, blast it.
And, you know, it had its head bobbing, driving me, you know, like that's the best.
That's that's that's that's always the the other M0 and Dwek. Ninety-two, right. So that was Operation Take It Personal was the single Dweik was the unreleased B side, but being on it took off. We wanted to add it to daily operation because that that was the era of cassette singles and they called them singles. And a lot of people were buying the album and complain and going, Hardwicke's not on in a bunch of them.
And the cassette singles sold like hotcakes. And then we were supposed to strap it onto the album. And then at the last minute the label said, we're just going to move forward and not strap it onto the album. But I'm like, yeah, you're going to lose sales because everybody's looking for work. Right? So a lot of people wondered why it was on hard to earn, which came out in 93 and 94 because we wanted to be on one of our albums.
The next one following with at that time we were doing an album every year.
So that's why all of those all of them still Scatman, like just to get a rep like you could if I didn't know if it wasn't like from reference that, you know, I would be like, yeah, that that's a new hot. That shit still hits hard.
Man shouting Greg it's Greg. Nice and smooth beats maybe with that man recipe's to his wife. Man, She just passed and he said, man, great, great, great woman. Man So loved as well. I got to ask you this.
So I know you've been asked this before, but I need to ask you this. So when anybody looks at Illmatic and you look at the team that that. Came together to produce that it's bananas, right, like you go, and then I heard all this, I always heard stories about people seeing us perform, you know, because you're I mean, you know, guys like you, your producer and D.J., obviously, you know, your ears are open to talented emcees.
But like, do you recall seeing him for the first time and just being like, what the fuck you?
Well, at that time when I was like 90, law professor was the one that I used to hang with a lot and go over to the two deejays from from our main source. Their mother ran the label. So we used to go to their place all the time and hang and lots sets of showed me so many techniques on programming beats. And then when they were working on the last few songs, he's like going to do a policy cut because that was a new thing.
After Molly Ball did the symphony, all of a sudden everybody is getting two or three guys to do a cut together, you know, on the album. And I feel like Molly's really set that off on that scale when he did the symphony. But he said, you're going with these new guys on from Queens. And he said, I got this guy named I. Kanelli said, my man Joe fatele. Everybody knows Joe fatele, you know, in that circle.
And then he goes and he said, this dude called the rapper Nas because a lot of times back then, Queensbridge would put a rapper in front of their name, just like Noyd is the rapper Nords from Objects Group. OK, and he was he was a rapper. Not so he the day they cut the record, he said, you I want you to hear this and see what you think. And he played me loud from the barbecue. So I heard it before I was even on the album out the lab yesterday from the lab.
And when I heard that, I was like, oh, that dude's going to even tell. I said, he's going to blow as well, because I can tell he had a dope style nose. And next thing you know, everybody was talking about Nas, everybody, everybody.
And then everybody, not ninety six. Reasonable doubt that, like, how long did you know Jay-Z before, like, you know, like years before that.
Yeah, I know Jay probably around 88. Oh that far, that far in advance.
And had you seen had one in the club, the big chain and everything. Yeah.
Had you heard him. Because everybody talks about how you know the no pen to paper thing, how he can just rip off the top of his head.
Did you see that early on and go like this. This is like a gifted dude. Yeah.
Well that's a biggie. Do it first. Oh right. Biggie. Biggie. Same thing that they just sit there. Biggie, just sit there and I want to say waste hours because whatever it is, the energy is what you've got. The respect for the artist as long as they deliver good, good shit. And he would just sit there drinking Bacardi Lemon and my wedding and Hennessy and and just be blown up to blown up the blonde and girls coming and coming and coming and coming and coming in.
And he and he's always offering you a little bit of that like you want to get with her like. Yeah, yeah. You know. Yeah. And yeah. It sounds like an artist I'd like to meet.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. And then from there I'm like big ass, you know, the session ends and about another two hours he's like already like he's like I'm ready and he goes in a booth and does it. You like them. All this time we've been sitting around it even though there was things to occupy the time. Right. Man, that's C that's unbelievable.
Well, like like that song, hey, so so that's that's like unbelievable comes together like, you know, end of a session kind of thing. Like you're like you're saying like you've been in there for hours and he's like, oh yeah, I'll just go on.
And an album was already done because it was the updated version of the album because. If he had done a promo when we had one of the seminars called the Big Mac because Craig Mack and begins, we sign, so it was like a Big Mac little container with the burger and the bun and the little green paper to look like lettuce. And it was a cassette. So that's why it's called the Big Mac. And, you know, so and you open it looks like a Big Mac, but there was a cassette and instead of the Beatles, the cassette was in the bun.
And it was just snippets of Biggie and Craig's album. Biggie had already given the full versions to all his homies in the hood. But back then, in the 90s, we always wanted our team to have a copy so that they could memorize and sing it along with us whenever we go out in the street. So that it is hard to. That was the thing.
Oh, really? So you're actually saying like memorize the lip so that it's like it almost creates like street marketing in a way.
Right. You'll know the words. Wow.
And so I was like, well, you can't be giving out to everybody is now they're going to it's going to be leaked that that was going to leak and things started to get things and things like these are these are my friends. And we were the same way I want it. If it's 30 of us, all 30, I want them to know it at least two months in advance. You know, I'm saying. But now you're like not give it out until now or even your own crew, like, yo, I got the album already and people can be like, oh, you got it.
You've got to get it on me. Let's hear it. You know, don't tell nobody. But yes, it's like a thing. Hip hop still has that much of a of a an anticipation and want, you know. This episode is brought to you by Babille and some of you know that I speak pretty good Spanish and I'm always trying to give another language, a try. I've really tried to get good at French because I got a D in French in high school and it's sits with me.
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Did you so because, you know, I'm thinking about like your whole your catalog. It's so insane. What? Like, I imagine that 92, 93 come along. I mean, you're obviously now associated with the biggest acts.
What how how are people?
I just think that you'd be getting hit up left and right. People asking you for beats, right? Every M.C. be like Primo. Let me get let me get something like. Are you just how how did you even filter people out? Like, there's just there's too many people coming at you. It varies.
So in so many ways that they'll even have hours ago. Man, you work with that person in a big and and a large and you know, I have more stature, whatever. Why would you work with me? It just varies. My part of it is just my deeds. I have what you call a DJ mentality and and, you know, so it can be based on your voice, because that's what attracted me to Guru was his voice.
I never heard a voice like that. So I'm really in the voices. You know, certain people can rap the ass off and that vocal sounded doesn't grab me. Yeah. And they can be nice and I'd like like them music to a degree. A voice may not make me want to do a joint for them, you know.
So do you make do you make beats with artists in mind or is it always just you only only your own. And when it's time to do it, like I don't be like oh I got twenty beats to play. Pick one that you think fits. No I'm making it for you while you wait and then it's ready to go. That's why I think they match better because it's massive. I'm a big fan. It's like oh I know what you need.
So when it was like if we go to it's unbelievable. Like with big you had that track lay. No, no, no.
He called me. The album was done and he called me and he one more for the streets. And I'm like, dude, I don't even have time to go in. He's like, come on for him. Because we were friends almost a year prior because I lived at Branford Marsalis, I was the jazz, the jazz musician. I lived to me and go live to Branford Marsalis, his house, because he became the music director for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, had just taken over for Johnny Carson.
So he was the music director. So moving out of L.A., his brownstone that he had in Brooklyn, he's like, yo, if y'all looking for a place to live, y'all could take my place and just pay me the rent. I'm going to sell it eventually. But while until I sell it, just pay me to rent and y'all can stay there with, like, cool, because we met to Spike Lee from doing jazz music for his or better blues soundtrack.
And that's how we got cool with Branford Branford. I mean we were on Washington Avenue between Lafayette and Green Big and then hang on Washington Avenue and Fulton on that corner or everything. And you see in the videos, like old videos on the corner, they don't pull up anything. That's that's the block that they hang on the rag. And big is always there every especially on the weekends. So every Friday, Saturday, me, you know, Jay Root, Dave Melika, should we always go down to the end of the block and just drink 40s and get drunk with big and junior mafia and smoke and smoke all the trees that we can smoke on my car and just talk about music and whatnot?
And he hadn't didn't even have a deal back then. You know, Puff would pull up in the Lincoln town car, what was always advanced on the new way of a fly when it came to, you know, we were taking limousines. We're still the movie is already. Yeah. Lincoln Town guys. Yeah. In a way to get around, you know, it's inconspicuous. You know, you just pull up, you get out. You have a driver.
I was like, wow. And we that became the new standard. Then later on it became the SUV. The black SUV. Yeah. That's still.
And it it's so funny. You said you guys were drinking and smoking all the trees and just shooting the shit, and then we would all be like, oh, that's what we should be doing.
So then, my friend, let's go buy and roll and listen to these guys talk about doing it.
Yeah, but but when Bigo said you need a track, he goes, yo, just anything I know you can pull one off. So that's why it's just it's just little. We call him stabs when I just those short notes and deejay and producer talk. So he's like, yo, it could be that simple. I started doing that and he goes, that's dope. Do different versions of that. So like even the. On the hook, it's in a different pattern, and then when he's wrong and sometimes he goes down to the end of the ba ba ba up.
Yes, so that's it. And he was like, that's it. And he gave me he gave me the R.. Kelly, I did.
I got nets in the winter. He is the one to say I'll scratch. Unbelievable. From your body's calling. That was one of our favorite on Kelly song. Oh yeah. And and I said it might be out of key, but let me let me do it tomorrow at another. At that time you can use Cerrado and. Sure.
Had to go. You got to go get the retitle. Yeah. Yeah.
And I did it and it just sounded so insane and I mixed a record same day and maybe like even three days later I remember we're driving back to Brooklyn and Hot 97, which is the biggest station in New York. Yeah, Fleck's is playing it, but I know Biggie always gives his friends the shit in advance. I'm hearing a blast and this other guy's car and trying to pull up to him to see who it is. We think maybe he's one of these peoples and be like I was is somebody we don't know.
And I'm like, yo, how'd you get that? This is only three days later. Yeah, it's my album. Not out yet. He's like, who the fuck are you, man?
He's a yo disorganize seven right now. I put my radio on, I go, oh, you know, of course. Oh for me it was so gangster or whatever but and we got there all the time back then and still do. But but that was like, wow, it's already moving. And next thing you know, I remember Puff said, I'm going to make that the B side of of of Jussie. So we got the streets and we got the radio.
And then that was the first gold single I ever got in my career. Really?
That was the first one on the wall. Man Yeah.
I got to ask this, I because I heard this and I was like, this is just bonkers to me. How the fuck does cannabis pass on the Devil's Pie beat?
Who knows, and he hates to talk about it. It's all good. I mean, he still my enemy, but I mean, it was simple. You don't like it. And I'm one of the few to give the check back. You get you can have a front when you do the job, turn it and you get the other half. I gave it back like the next day or day after officers opened and gave it back out of respect for him, because I don't want to take your first half of your budget.
You use it or keep it for your pockets. But since it didn't click. It just happened that D'Angelo called right wing cannabis, is leaving the left and right when he's leaving is like, you know what you mean? Has a lot of friendships already. So when he said, what are you up to us now?
Just leaving me cannabis worked on some, but he didn't use a beat.
And he said, What are you doing with it? I was like, I don't know. I mean, we just did it. He goes, Can I hear it? I'm like, Well, it's not really for a singer to sing on. Come bring. I'm an electric lady. Jimi Hendrix studio.
So at this point, he hasn't even heard it like over the phone.
He's just like, just bring it on, you know, just bring it right. Because I just cooked it, you know. And so because because because we call them BESE. This said I need a driving mean bass baseline record. I'ma do a song called Nigger Non-military.
But I mean that's what that beat is. Yeah. It's called Nigger Nominee and and he said I'm going to do that. And that's what I cooked up. And we just didn't see eye on that being the right track.
So when I got to D'Angelo and played it for him, he just started going, whoa, oh, I'm going to look at this.
And I'm like, You sure? And he's a year and next thing and I don't know if you've seen the picture of me, D'Angelo, Alchemist's and Jadallah together because Jadallah was recording some drums and Koslov was they recording some stuff actually for the how does it feel record. And I remember the Angelo's trainer was there. He had just walked in, say, yo, you ready to work out? And he was like, yeah, give me a couple hours, because in Indiana Gojo, my first video, I'm going to be naked in it and it's going to be, you know, and I'm just going to be standing there naked while they were not like, yeah.
And then when that video dropped man, I mean, yeah I remember that.
I mean that was that was a while like that was such a crazy choice, you know, I mean, like to make it was a statement thing where people were like, this dude's naked butt naked thing.
And and even men that were like, oh man, when was out there watching it and like they're watching it and they're like, you know, you're what you're watching.
This guy's dude hired a trainer for sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But it's funny because his reaction is how I like I reacted to hearing that, like that's that's a lie because I actually, you know, really like beats even more like I'll listen, I'll just listen to instrumentals because I just enjoy them.
I mean, I like listening to the finished record too. But but that thing, it just it hits so hard that when I first when I heard that bass passed on and I was like, that doesn't even add up in my head. It's such a grimy just punch you in the face, you know, I mean, like headbang. It's just it's a wild thing. Yeah.
And honestly, that's how a lot of us are. You know, we have a big circle of producers that all respect the game a different way. You know, I can always talk show biz and alchemist's and just, you know, not to, you know, just blaze to Mr. Walding, evil deeds and just so many Tomalin more and. We like to beat first because he will beat us ill. You got to spit some shit. Yeah, so it's about to be, you know, for us, you know, it's just I mean, Ajin.
I mean, yeah, I mean, I and I'll listen to just instrumentals all the time because I love I love the beat. You know, that's I think that's what hooked me to to this music are the beats.
I appreciate the fact that you've been born into what we've been doing. It lets me know that we're certified in so many different, you know, areas of the world.
Oh, my God, man. I mean, it's just what, by the way, because you mentioned Dilla, I remember that I watched the interview one time.
It was after he passed and his mom was doing the interview and my dog's shout out to her and she she said I just it was so funny the way she said it, that that people would come up, hit up and be like, hey, man, let me get let me get a let me get that beat. Like, they'd hear it. And he would be like, that's not for you.
That's wait to hear that.
But she would say and she said that she was like, nah, nah, nah, you're not appropriate for this right here. Right. Right. Right. Which I just love. I'm not like that nowadays. Shit like that with so many artists, you know, it's like I'm glad our era still exists. And the age thing is it's actually not even a factor anymore because you know, everybody, oh, when I'm 40 and retire and most of the 40 and over are doing the best shit in comedy too, by the way.
Yeah. 100 percent not even close. I mean, I would say the best comedians are basically 50 or older.
It's it's you know, that's. That's when they're the best artists. I don't know, man, I mean, it makes yeah. Yeah.
Do you ever feel do you mean like I know this sounds ridiculous asking you this, but did you ever have or do you ever have moments feeling like I need to? You know, there's whatever the sound of today is, I need to do more for change what I'm doing. What does that ever enter your mind or do you just feel like a I stick to what I what I want to. Yeah.
And never, never I, I can do that I think is actually easy and it's not a dis. Yeah. It's just very simple for me to do. It's very reminiscent of the earlier drum machines that that we were raised on. Shout to Amaney Fresh. I remember when he said a lot of his style and sound comes from like a man optronics, an artist like that, that drum machine style. And I love the fact that he paid homage to an artist like Man Optronics, who's one of my favorite producers ever in hip hop, and I'm a huge fan.
And so for him to recognize that and still be heralded as one of the best producers is one of the best ever as well. Manifested. Oh, yeah, man.
Just what he did for the whole cash money for you and to have such a variety of beats for Wayne and Kurgan and Juvy and anybody else. Again, that same area with the big timers. Yes, baby. Everything you know. So that's that's what it reminds me of. And again, if you're revisiting that style, that's cool. I choose and the young generation should have their land to enjoy what they like, just like how our parents like to rapping and music.
You listen to Marvin Gaye is like we are listening to Marvin Gaye because we love that too. Yeah, but this shit is dope too, you know for sure.
Now I know you have probably a million stories about like Guru, but do you ever remember, for instance, like I was thinking about, like the first time I heard Mass Appeal and then I always wanted to know what those moments were like. You must have had a thrill to have beats and then play them for him and see his face right like that. Had me like, do you remember playing that?
Because that still is in such an insane iconic beat, you know, mass appeal. I beg you. I imagine that, you know, after that came out, everybody was like, what the fuck, man? Give me a piece.
Oh, you like? And I've told the story about how we made that to make fun of radio, really the whole the whole little dinky little Whitcombe Tinkerbelle beats. And just it's not like elevator music.
You know, I sit there, just wait for to get to your floor and look at another thing and up and down. And that's what that's what it reminds me of as far as the concept, because with gangster, we write the whole album out and stick it on the wall. So he writes every title, sticks it on the wall, and then I just randomly go, I'm working on that one today, more on this one today. It's not in any order.
It's just the entire album written.
It'll say mass appeal on the wall. Yeah.
And then they'll say our first single. So I saw the singles I do last because I want the single to be fresh when we turn in the album. Right. See, here's our first single, just made it last night. This is where we're going with and the label never gave us a problem with us saying these are our three singles. Our deals were usually three singles in three videos, three singles, you know, and then and in concert tour support for four tours.
And then you start another album that was kind of like the road, the rotation for the first three, actually the the the the second, third and fourth, because no more Mr. Nice Guy. We call that our resume because I was still just learning how to be. So we actually were doing it together. Meet our engineer Shlomo and Gurel. So the three of us were all of the drum machine. Stephanie Arenas, when I was like, let me take over and really learn how to master making beats D.J. and I got down.
I mean, master beats in the past, I think I got better by day operation, but that was our routine of how we would circulate the money every album. And, you know, so with that said, with mass appeal, that was when the music was starting to get a little more watered down with hip hop. We felt like, man, it can't go can't lose the integrity of the sound. Yeah. So he would like I said, he always writes the album out and has a little description, you know what you want this time about a line chick.
So that lets me know make the track match that concept. That's how always done heavy album.
Do you have like great memories though of his reaction to something that you're playing for him. The yeah.
Tell me, what do you remember one that like you check this out, you just press play on this, you know, my CDs because that was our first single for the Moment of Truth and. And your first single is everything we always like to make sure the core audience that grew up with us and support us from day one gets their record, even if we do a royalty with Casey and Jojo who love sick or we do go to Mexico, we make sure the first record is for the streets and that one was just so unique and purposely done.
And next thing you know, that record is so good for us, man. And I knew he would flip out with the way with the reaction. And not only that, he's a fan of all the other people from a NAS to a gig to a Kim or Cain or or, you know, anybody. I would produce outside cameras. And even when I do beats for them, I've still got to make sure we get these two. Because, one, I'm going to be on the cover with your interviews with magazines, everything with you.
So we got to have heat as well. So I never would like give them give him less flavor. Sure. Than I gave of the artists. It's always 100 percent love with every artist, including the gangster.
So, yeah, you know, my style is also iconic. Incredible. Do you ever wait is there was there ever a phone call for you?
Were you like you gave that to him? Never, never, never.
People spread rumors about it like, oh, yeah, and you would give hot stuff to other artists, but that's not that's not even how I get down there was that there's a thing about your production style where I mean, I think the best way like I feel like there's a I can listen to I got to the point where I feel like I could identify that you had made a beat, but it doesn't sound like another one of your beats, if that makes sense.
Like I could go like Primo made this. But it doesn't it's not like it sounds like this other song, absolutely, which I don't like, it's such a unique, you know, thing as an artist to be like, I, I feel that that's who who made this.
But it's not reminiscent of another song. Yeah.
I called those my left field beats. Mm hmm. You know, I just did one for Conway, the machine shop. That s m your Benny. Hold your head and get well shot. The West Side gun, the whole out of yourself. And that's and the whole Buffalo scene is now a new additional sound to New York and the one on Conaway's new album, From King to a God. The song the last song on the album, which I don't really shout out for the I out for the right reasons, but just a sad reason.
Oh, D.J. Shea, who was there, the guy that that kept the Buffalo scene, pop and he just passed right before Kawase album dropped. And the song is called Nothing Less. And the emotion of it is just so dope for me as a fan of of him. And and and he even said, you know, you got to be the hardcore hoodie's stuff this time. We've done that before. He's like, go the left. Feel shit you do is dope too.
And it's real mellow, but it's just funky. I love this vibe of the beach. And he sprayed it especially after shape because he I hit him like after the funeral was like, lf you don't want to do it, you know, go on, turn your album. And he's like hell no. I said he passed. I got I'm even going deeper on it. He said I'm going to be sent to the next couple of days. Damn.
And then he said Yeah, yeah.
I was thinking that the first time that I heard something where I was I think I was a sophomore in high school where I heard mce act like they don't know and like and my head turned and I was like, like in my head I go like this sounds like, like premier, you know, like I and I didn't, I just didn't know at the time, you know, just someone has to like tell you because it wasn't like searching online or something.
I just, I heard that and I was like it sounds like his kind of beep.
And I didn't even I didn't have the concept that, like, a producer works with all these different artists. And it started to, like, make sense to me. And I was like, oh, shit. Because that that song also, you know, that that iconic record for sure. Thank you.
Thank you. Yeah. The fact that me and Chris had already worked together on the return of the boom bap heavily him show biz and Kid Capri and Chris did some of the beats as well. He makes Dolby's. He did Madisen for fucking channel. That's one of the yeah. They were records. And so he was just like, let's get back and do some more. And he said, I need I need that first jump off record. And I was that man.
I mean, that's, you know, whatever. Now, what, 25 years later, that's it's still. Yeah, man, that's amazing. Actually, you know, my Steve is 23 years old as of yesterday. Yeah.
Yeah. That's crazy, man. That's crazy. Do you ever have a I mean, because, you know, you make so many beats and Marcus, do you ever have a record where you're like, you know. It's cool. We did it. We're done and it surprises you that it became a huge hit like you weren't expecting it to take off yet.
We knew it was going to take off, but it exploded, right, to take off. And explosions of different things. Yes. Explosions just kaboom and everything disintegrates. But that was one disintegration that that we were. So I mean, it did so much for us. You know, I'm saying. Yeah, glad to have a nice smooth who. Not one of the great performers. You know, Greg Nice does predominantly all the beats on, but on all the albums.
And he has a dope style that that Matt is the same. The MLP had little fame, does a lot of the Beats MLP because he, you know, he knows how to make it and make it work for them. You know, besides D-R period who's who originated the MLP sound very nice to also such a unique guy on the mic.
I mean, that's his own style completely. Yeah, it's incredible. What about the opposite of that?
Did you ever have a record where you're like, this is going to blow up, man, and you were surprised that it didn't commercially succeed? The. I never really thinking that fast I get is going to be hot. I mean, this is going to be big. We just let it ride. And if it if it blows a blow and goes, they're cool. If it doesn't, it doesn't. But because we knew we had enough fan base to wear out and our tours have always done good for us.
So the fact that tours made so much money and success and even everybody we took with us, we we understood that what we have so much involved with, with staying consistent EPMD was one of the artists that made us that the first one to ever take us on tour. First of all, I think looking like the. Yeah, EPMD, with the first artists, take us on tour with Red and yes, but for them to see that you dig like sermon's beats where you and he was like, super funky to do it.
Yeah. The demon that that there is an original name and the music matched them. I always like the music to match the way you look when you get Eric, the Iraqi army and you see what they look like with the music they match. Yeah. You know, I think they match our songs, you know, deep. That's their songs, you know, so that's important. You know, Van Halen looked like the way this song sounds. Exactly.
David David Lee Roth and Sammy Hagar, you know, so I want to ask you something about Beat Me because I've actually, you know, I've never seen it done.
Do you have like I was thinking about, like a manifest. Right. You got that loop. There's the Miles Davis. Charlie Parker. Right, in Tunisia. The song starts and that's that's that loop that's that's used in manifest in your head. Like, I'm just trying to get into, like, how you actually come up with this shit.
What the fuck is going on in this guy's head?
Is that something that you remember a song from way back? And you you know, you you either have that isolated or you wrote it down, or is it that you're just listening to records and you hear it and you just stop in that moment, you're like, what about this? Or is it both? It's both.
Yeah, sometimes I hear, oh, I know what I could do or I know something that's equivalent to what I'm looking for sound wise. And then the other one is like what we call digging, you know. Yes. Just crate digging for records. Yeah. And yeah. And just surgeon and surgeon. They could take 20 records just to find that sound to go with what's in your head. But it's in my head first. It is in your head first.
And in that case, in that case specifically like with manifest. Is that like a song you, you did hear like was it in your memory bank as like a kid or was it.
No, no. The only thing that was in my head was to take key to the words that I manifest from Baghdad, came from the words of the mother. We were already playing that record in our bodies. So I'm very good. I'm a very good Rolodex of remembering lines from records because JTS especially bad old days, they look for lines to be able to scratch scratching a battle, you know how to do the such and such and such and such and do this and such and such and such and good rights.
A lot of battle lyrics, you know, like, you know, I'm a dope emcee, you know, rap like me. And those lines work in a battle. So I have that same year. I'm just not a battle ground that I had, just scratching and cutting, you know, with a certain precision that that Molly Ball influenced me to want to be as sharp the way and what was chosen to cut, you know. So that's incredible.
I got to ask you this, because I remember this story coming out and I don't even feel like it's fully appreciated.
I don't think people fully appreciate what you did with one of the best yet with the, you know, the most recent gangster album. Meaning like like the way that I understood this is that. You know, you wanted to do an album, obviously, Guru has passed and you hear about the fact that there are all these vocals that you haven't heard yet, right?
That's my man to my manager. And I told Ian because I just know the guy that had them. I just knew based off how everything ended, and I just I just want to be a detective before I got into music, so I still have that mentality where I'm always going. I bet you. Yeah. You know, like that's still how I am on it. Is everything even just what's going on in the world today and everything. I'm always like, I bet that will happen to this, you know?
So I'm still that way. Same thing with this guy. I was like, oh, man, I know he's sitting on something. I know he is. And that was almost nine years later.
And then did you get word that he was set on something or did somebody go ask?
My manager is all points out the end. He you know, he reached out to the right people and said, you know what? If. Certain things could be handled, you know, business wise, to get our hands on what you might possibly have, you know, and how much further might possibly happen, and it just went back and forth. And plus I have them. I'm like, I'm not I'm willing to go this far, not this far.
If it goes beyond what I my numbers forget our history. Our history is made. I'm good, you know. But but I know it'll be great for the fans, of course, whose family to get at least one more record out of him or a few more, you know. Sure. What he what he was sitting on.
So then you go you actually have to go verify that these aren't just like shit. That's things you've heard before. And you're like, oh, I got. So then you go to like a listening session of sorts to verify that, oh, these are all lyrics that I've never heard that I recorded and he's not there right now.
And then then there's not there. But then you agree you acquire these right. Like you buy buy them back essentially.
And then now you're left with you have the these lyrics and you're creating songs like you're creating records for for each you have to make a beat.
Right. Like based on the lyrics, they're like a remix is like a remix. But but because I've got a list of the beats that were on there and they were records I never heard from, from a couple of people came out of the woodwork, was like I was my record. And we have the original version. And, you know, if they produced it properly all the way across the board legally, like, I will deal with that business when we deal with it, which is foul because that means they weren't something that they did together.
They were things that were that were taken when obviously when he wasn't he had already passed. Yes. And we were when I started checking dates on, you know, thank goodness for all tools. If you don't alter the dates from when it's created, there's a date created. And then the date modified. They created were years before that guy existed. So I'm like, wait a minute, I want to. Six, this is like after the album drops, right?
You know, you're like I'm like your Detective Ryan is coming alive again, figuring out what it's like about stolen goods, man.
You know them, but fuck, I got they're mine now. Paperwork was airtight that they belonged to me.
And I said, let me just make it work. And, you know, it's emotional, man. I had his ashes in a room and thanks to his family to give me a little peace, you know, obviously more people have it, but they gave me a little peace that I'm not going to give to also the big show because they started gangsta before me. So I'm a give him give him something other than that. I just messed around and messed around until I could get it going.
And the first one I did was bad. And it was actually the last song on the album was the last song in the album. I have it right here, let me let me tell you. Yeah, the blessed Mike blessed. OK, that's the mike. That's the first one I did. I was like, wow, man. Feels good to see him. Robinov My music again, it sounds like gangsta are the traditional sound that we have together.
And then next thing you know is I did a bad name and I was like, that's like a Steese. Yes. You know, mass appeal, job loss. And then my manager was like, yo, we should get a call to get on a record. And I and my family a little bit I made and he was like, you should get them on that, you know? And I was like, I don't have clothes on, hop on it.
And I and I reached out to him and he immediately was like, Bro, this shit got me fucking bug and I'm on it. I got, you know, and he sent back some of the Dobies lyrics ever on a gangster record.
I mean, the album was a gift to your to your fans, man.
It was definitely you know, it was a gift in this episode is also brought to you by troughed what is better than food.
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And I've come out and hit man because it just put me in like I mean, it puts me in a mood, you know, I love seeing you wear my merch.
Yeah, I love it, man.
I mean, coming out like I'm coming out to, like, your your musical choice. Even that walk from backstage to the mic and you're about the comedy. It just even if it's like 20 seconds, it puts you in a headspace. Yeah.
Yeah. Like the feel good. Yeah. I immediately after I heard the vocals over my beat, I was like, that's got to be to doing the hit, playing the hit man and being the one that's going to do the job because girl described it well and shoots up. I just got to having throat surgery. So he was like, man, my voice is really scratchy right now.
His hook is up on that man. Yeah. He said I could do it, but it might not sound right. You tell me. And if not, don't use it. And I was like, just send it to me. You went right in and did it. He sent me a video of them doing it in his studio. And then at the end, there he goes. I was that. And that's how the video ends. Oh yeah.
I deleted it and I called him right back and I said, Oh, fuck it, is it? And I was so happy, man. I was like, that's got to be the third song. No seconds after the intro. Like I know out of sequence album.
That's my thing that should hit hit so hard man.
I mean love sequence and yeah I think yeah.
By the way you just did like the I think the intro for Joe Biden thing has been.
Yeah. For the podcast mean we have same that we have same management. So that's the I was like God damn that's a yeah that's a way to open a podcast man.
That's Joey. Like I said, I've known Joe for a long time, but since we have the same management, we always did together a lot and see each other. So when he asked me to do it, I was like, cool.
I might I might ask you the same thing.
Like, let's talk about let's talk about me.
I mean, I got a number and if it goes above my number, I'm just I'm cool.
So and I got to say, man, I heard when you mentioned the album, who were you doing the interview with? And you said your GANGSTA'S album and the fact that you just discussed how what I had to go through to do and I think I texted you that day like you, no matter what you said about, you know what you could imagine what I had to go through to get this album to sound like that man.
Primo, that's like it's a it's a remarkable feat. Like if even, you know, as gifted as you are and you have all the accolades and everybody like the fact that you that that's the story of that that album. I mean, I think it's one of the most amazing stories I've ever heard of putting together an album. I mean, you took your you know, your your partner's lyrics who passed away. And you had to I mean, the whole process, it's like it's a real story, man.
It's a real life. And there should be a documentary about that album.
But we're working on this documentary anyway of our career. Thank goodness we have that many tapes of our old footage and we've been digitized. Noam Chomsky, he's been digitized and in the next room and and everything's getting, you know, to where we can call in our interview lineup is amazing from, you know, so many people have done the interview already and it's going to be want. I cannot wait.
Are you do you I don't know if this is cheesy, but do you have a favorite gangster? The biggest question I know, I mean, you know, I just and I know that, like people ask me in a different way, obviously they'll ask you about, like, jokes and like, you know, like, I don't know, man, you know.
But I feel like with music, it's.
There's different like for the people that make it, you might have, like, you know, different feelings about you, like it's not just the final product.
You know, sometimes it's like you remember what it was to make a song or something.
Yeah. Do you have one or. No. You know, like if I had to pick a couple definitely like, you know, Mercedes above the clouds, I love Robin Hood theory. Yeah, I like next time because I just lost my accountant, but she was like a mom to me. So recipe's to marry. I got a tattoo on my arm of hers. Wow. I must have been definitely missing her. And then so next time was done the day she died and I'm just in a sad mood.
And girls I go to one more song. I'm like, man, I'm so stressed out to sea bass. He goes, didn't do it in memory of her. And whatever comes to mind, do it. And so next time the sample has almost a. Funeral, yes, sounding horn and then body the lyrics, yeah, so so for you, like you hear that and that memory comes to you every time you hear that. Every time you.
Them. Just to get around to that was one of my favorites. Yeah, you know, it's funny, I remember because CCDs used to be big and they would come out on Tuesdays. Right.
And full clip came out in 99. Is that right? Yeah. And I was a junior in college and I went Tuesday morning to the CD store and I picked up a full clip and then I put it on and I shit my pants. And then so I had my two friends, Casey and Justin.
We were roommates and we loved hip hop. We love gangster. And I remember. Case getting in the car, and I was like, I was like, fucking put your seatbelt on, you're going to you're going to bash your head against the window when you hear this. I just you know, you just have those memories, no doubt.
You know, it's like it's one of the. If you're extraordinary things about being a lot, there's so many great things about being alive and one of them is if you have the good fortune to have the ability to hear you get to experience music and you hope that you can have music.
That really moves you in some way that you connect with, you know, and for four different people, it's different things, you know, like my wife, like, you know, for her it's like punk stuff that she grew up with or like she loves Joy Division and too.
Yeah. Yeah. The goes he's dead and, you know, love tears apart all that shit. Yeah. Because that's my era too, because as I graduate high school in eighty four. So that's really part of our sound of now. Not gangsta but just my upbringing. Early utsu like October. Yeah.
Well yeah but for me those classes, the Smiths, the Smiths, she's big investment is for me though that experience is like most enhanced by like what you've done. So your music to me has been like just an absolute you know, it's like one of the joys of my life is listening to you.
Thank you so much. Can I ask you one more thing?
I don't know now if you want to do. I'm so happy to hear that.
So one thing I also remember, because, you know, there'll be surprises if you're not like sometimes you just hear hear something and you're like, oh, my God, what is this? Right. So picking up Tony, touch the peacemaker, right to toke set setout.
Tony Toca, how does like how does an album that like. So Tony as a DJ, you know. Huge cut, came up, huge making mix tapes and everything in New York, right, and then when he goes, I'm going to make an album. Does he like how do those albums come together, does he call you and go, I'm I have an album coming out. I want you guys to just do a record on it. Yeah, because we are in New York, everybody knows everybody.
I mean, it's really like that and say even with Jazy and all that before they got to where they are now, we all saw each other on a regular, you know, it wasn't like, oh, oh, there goes big egos. It's like, oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
Like that was then that was regular. We were all in the same spots like that much because there was so many different things in New York, hip hop wise that was damn near every day of the week. Yeah. You know, you know, like the tunnel and all that's on the weekends on Sundays or whatever. But there's always something else going on. I mean, that's why I like on So Ghetto with Jay-Z said, you know, the day I met Cheetah Club this day and like, you know, this day I'm at this place because that's really how it is, you know?
Yeah. And to all of us were running around together, you know, we'd be like like the Tupac stories.
You hear a certain number like that hasn't happened because we were really, really with him. You know, we we know we know more PRAIN. We know the outlaws and everybody, you know, way before all the drama and all the stuff, we all hung with each other.
You really did. So that we see those pictures of him. You got like three pictures together.
Yeah. So when but when when Tony calls you, though, it really is like that casual. Hey man, when you guys do a record for me.
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Because with Tony just the regular guy, we see everything and he's doing a lot of the gigs, you know, so there's just so many, you know, even a hole in the wall space where the same fans and the same people, the same music that you love from us to Tribe Called Quest and on and on to Lateef Latifah. She's in all the spots back then. And I'm saying because she was still on the come off, she was not right.
Not in there. But yeah, I lost my mind.
I lost my mind hearing the the peacemaker. Like when I heard, I was like, what the fuck is this man?
And that was easy. That was easy. Just just leave. Tony's like I new theme song with you and girl sources. We knew each other. It was that's why was stabs again.
Bling bling, bling bling. Simple. Well it's official.
I love Starbucks new shirt.
So do I know simple music does outsell more the more complex stuff. Yes. Simple. Yeah it, it resonates a lot, lot more really.
In most cases, yes, at least for me, I know you've been asked this a million times, too, but I'm going to ask you the million one, is there any artist that you haven't worked with that you want to work with?
Yeah, dear Max, I've always wanted to work with them because I've been pushing them to get that to happen now, and I'm saying, yes, it's I'm always lean on swings.
I'm always leaning on whoever he deals with in his camp that that's that's in charge of this is his point person. And I'll leave us once again.
You always say, listen, the world needs busy DMX. Please listen to us.
Oh, my God, man, call Premo back and send some fuckin lyrics on X. Come on, man. Man X. I mean, why don't you just start sending him a sample of just different dogs barking and see if that gets him going.
Know that's a good idea. Man should I make sure you get a writer's credit. Appreciate that, man. Yeah. Yeah. I always make sure everybody that deserves a credit gets and their share of the money, you know, if they deserve it. Absolutely.
And then, you know, you could do is you send him like a like a shit zoo and you didn't like that shit. And then you send him like a German shepherd. You send them a different dog barks You know, he's going to know what I was a little shit.
Are are you are you a fan?
Are you a fan, like a genuine fan of any, you know, newer artist today, like a anybody coming up that you're like that for?
Like Riding Ridge, I mean, that's the new sound of stuff I love riding, which was the I like. I love Travis Scott's work, which I've told this several times, that his father taught me how to play drums and his uncle Travis taught me how to play bass. What, and his and his grandmother was my English teacher.
So I always all Travis Scott's family. Yeah, except this is his aunt Sarah, who's the younger sibling of the Miss Webster. And Mr Webster had three children, Travis, Jack and Sinora. We call Sinora Vehbi with our V.
Every time I do this, somebody said because they call me Chris about on this because I don't watch on associativity. But she's the only one that really didn't mess with the music like that. But her brother Travis and and Travis Scott's real name is Jack Webster, like his dad. So he's joining he's junior. And, you know, I'm happy for his success. I've been trying to get at him to subside some things, and I still haven't made it happen yet.
So I'm just. I'll catch him. Yes. Around Christmas.
We need that happen. We need that to happen.
But, yeah, I like writing Rich. I like what he does. I love the baby. Yes, and I love what he's doing. You know, I like comedy, you know, of course. Yeah, I like Courteney.
Let me. When did you like I know you realize that you're first realizing, like, you made the right choice, right? Like when you're making music, hey, we made it. You know, we made it like as in it's playing on the radio. Did you feel like everything is completely other level with NAS is like because that is one of the albums or the records that I hear and I'm like this. I just remember how big that that was.
I know that it would just be like an even bigger ascent within the world of hip hop. Like you made this. This is insane. Yeah, I mean, it's witness, it's always fun because you know what you're going to get once you give them the beat, you know, I'm saying and and, you know, being that I've been there from the beginning of his career, from being with main source all the way into doing his Illmatic, I sequenced and I mastered the Illmatic album for him.
You know, I actually was on I met Jay-Z the last day of all recording, coming to pick up the Masters. And he was like, Yo, I got one more song on the album. I want to come pick it up. And I want you to hear this is called Life's a Bitch has got to Wrap. It was easy. And and and his father was there to all who was there. And he said, my dad's a play horn on the song and I write both of them.
And then I waited for him to finish running. The master took that with me and he said, just make sure, you know, he created the intro, the genesis. He did that Nasrat that himself. I said he said, make sure that at first everything else put in whatever order you want.
And then do you remember getting a call like when he heard it or did you do you play became the master.
Became a master. Yeah. So he was at the master session, but he trusted me to put it in the sequence and shot Tony Dorsey, one of the best mastering engineers ever. I've never seen I had other mastering engineers, but he was the first one I would see dance like turning knobs. Would it sound like a single.
Yeah. Oh man. Did they drop in this first like he's doing all that shit. Why he's blasting the music turning out. You know, I'm saying he's like that now.
I realize that like just even talk like what I want all producers to do now is just have cameras mounted everywhere so that I can see everybody's face when they first hear the beats.
I could get lost in a YouTube wormhole of seeing people hear shit for the first time.
Because I just remember every one of these I was going through like I love that that I've committed. Murder Remix. You did the amazing.
How amazing. Oh, I most like that shit is so amazing. I remember the first time I heard that because I had picked up that song like Lyricist Lounge Volume two.
I think, you know, you sit and I remember that I picked it up just going like, well, I'm just picking it up.
I didn't I didn't, you know, that's when you would just go like you look at names and you're like, this got to be at least something's going on here. And just hearing that and being.
Yeah. What the fuck this is. That's an amazing remix, man.
Oh, thank you, man. You had lyrics as loud as a real pop thing in New York. I mean, a lot of artists got broken to do that, that channel. And, you know, that was another good platform back in those days and a lot of emphasis on.
Yeah, and I I also remember I picked up when you did the bumpy knuckles, the studio time when it was like, oh, yeah. A few tracks, right. Yeah. What was it. A collection was was the studio time is the EP. It is the EP, OK that we had and all that was just that in collection. It was just bits that we. That would turn to turn down by other artists, and he was like, yo, give them to me.
We'll make a collection of songs and I'll write rhymes to those dates. And we actually got to rerelease it because it was part of another distribution at the time and now we own it. Oh, I'm going to re upload that. Oh, no. And we have five new songs that we're going to add to that that you're never heard, you know, to give it a nice extra plus for the people that supported it. Nice. And the ones I didn't even know.
Yeah, I'll just shut up and.
Yeah. And also I was not into like as a as a band. I never listen to Limp Bizkit until you made a beat for them until like end together now.
Me neither. Yeah.
You know, yeah.
I just remember that like just like I can vaguely remember this like hey you know Limp Bizkit got a song with Method Man.
I'm like, what. And then hearing that. And I was like, this is unbelievable. It's like, yeah, well they didn't make out. That's why it's unbelievable.
So that's that's what enticed me to do. It was my former manager at the time was like, yo man, you do this record. You know, they even offered me a nice sum of money and I was still saying, no, I'm not feeling it. And he goes, Metha man's on.
And I go, oh, really? SC1 it.
So so once he told me motherlands and I said, well, let me hear it, because it was already done. So that that that.
Yeah. Yeah. That was already there. That was a lethal shot. That's my guy who did four hours of pain in the neck with a Limp Bizkit for me, a little girl way back, little step that version with the lyrics and everything to that. But it was different drum programming. It didn't have the bass line and all that in there. So I said the only thing I could see myself doing is I would need to rerecord Fred's vocal to get it better locked into my style of how I do things.
And all I need is a baseline in my drum bounce and let me put my drums on it. So I just took his sample and reworked it to bounce to my drums and set it right back to him. And they were like, This is it. And Fred came to the indie studios to actually record the vocal with me.
And so in when he comes in, do you you then direct him like you need. I want you to do it like this. Mm hmm. And how did he take Tuktoyaktuk direction? Well. Oh, absolutely, he was super cool and then even after it blew up, actually the plaque is sitting right there, six million.
So damn looking at looking at it right now, six million sold. Yeah, yeah.
Get six million platinum. Sixty six times platinum album.
What year was that. I'm trying to you remember when it came out, I had to be around 98 as well. It was. Had to be. Had to be. Yeah, what was that that was that was it has to be and then what it was, is we shot the video and then that took off and then right after we. Right after we did the recording, the video took off, you had me do the 25th anniversary of MTV and we performed with them on that.
And then the best part. Fred hired me to deejay the Playboy Mansion pajama party.
Oh, shit. You like. And that's when I saved his number.
It was already saved.
But 1999, significant other drop, June 22nd, 1999. So 24 hour full clip time around full time. Yeah, man, that was an experience being in the Playboy mansion. All the bunny rabbits running around and all the playboy, you know, Playboy bunnies and your deejay in that party.
He did me and God bless them and was my God, too. And I met him when he was 14, him an alchemist where group were on tour with Cyprus Hill and House of Pain. And we all smoked the blood together. And next thing you know, we became the best of friends. So this is what I want to do.
I want to have a post covid party. When they finally go, it's over and you deejay it and we just throw it back. Now, I got a number and I love it. But I want to do it. We're war to go talk about what's the other oh, what one video. I love that you did just because, you know, it gives you the feeling that you're watching someone make the beat is on classic.
You know, the better than I've ever been. That's such a dope concept to see because you feel like you're in the moment in that video.
I think that's another remix is just not the original. No, that's true. Yeah. And then you did the remix. There's one in the video is the remix. Yeah.
Did you come up with the idea to do that in the video though. No cameras called out in the video to do the drum machine. Yeah, yeah. So you got like you feel like you're like I don't like I don't like Sean.
Sean, I make beats like if you're with me, like if you came to my lab, I don't mind cooking in front of you. Yeah. But I don't like everybody saying my methods and everything. So when they were coming to film the video I was like, man, the best thing I can do since the beat is already done, I'll just tap the Patrick quick and just do a little thing like I am working. Right.
You don't want to give out the recipe? No. I'm with you on that, I'm with you on this. You'll see, you'll see. Yep, here that guys. But in person you're good. In person you. Yeah you can any job.
That's what I want to see that that's that's a dream of mine to see that in person. When I want to give a shout out to because you inspired me to do this.
Shout out to spin bed rest in peace when recently I have a very vivid memory.
So I've been friends with Russell Peters for a long time. I used to open for him. He brought me to London, to London, England, to do a bunch of shows in 2010. So 10 years ago it was October of 2010.
We're just past the 10 year anniversary and I went there with scratch, starting from scratch, start from scratch.
Who is a fucking encyclopedia of music?
Yeah, I mean, that guy knows everything and spin and brass and his whole crew, I still remember vividly.
One of Ross's security guys had a son who was like a teenage son, so like 17 year old pick, I think it was picked, son.
I think it was picks OK to pick.
Yes. Yes, I did.
Eddie and I remember us all being in one of the vans and Pick Son had a gangster shirt on. And then I want to say I want to say it was spin was like, do you know about gangster?
And and then goes he goes the dope and he goes, OK, name three songs. And they everybody just bullied his son, right? Because, I mean, the poor kid was, like I said, probably 17 or something. Yeah.
And then and then, like, we we just we just mocked him because he was scared and he didn't know top of his head.
And I don't know, I just it's just one of those memories that I had that just, you know, didn't leave my mind because I just started listing songs and then we all just started to mock him. It was just a fun memory.
Russell's one of the greatest comedians ever. He is. And he's one of the greatest guys ever to men. Yeah, yeah.
But it was ated all the houses except for the new one. Oh yeah.
Yeah, there's a lot of houses.
But it was also such a cool thing because Russ is such a hip hop junkie that, you know, when he, his ascent, you know, grew and he brought jazz on stage. And so for me being like the opening act for him, I was it was such a cool peek into, like, what things can be, you know, I was like, what? You can do this. And he's like him.
And he goes by and they're like, they would have fun and like battle the little scratch offs as people are being seated.
And then I would get to pick songs. They go, what do you want to hear tonight? And I would, you know, walk out to whatever I want to hear that night. And, you know, it was like I was such a. Yeah, such a dope experience and.
Yeah, and spin was such a good guy man.
So great guy man to say I had a troubled lane that he couldn't get out of near the end. And, you know, I reached out to him many times. I go get it together because we've not we go that far back. Yeah. 90S. Yeah. You know, Avey and Jazz one and you know that rocked the Kasbah. Mixtape is a classic classic if you have a sign up sheet on decided to the world and everything else.
But yeah man yeah he gave me man he would give me those little, you know, little jump drives like with mixes. And as soon as they saw that I really liked it the him and Scratch would just get like send me shit.
It was such a great creative magnet and they, and they were just such well there are, you know, great guys but never forget that experience and yeah, just rest in peace. A spin back for Sullivan dope on a dope.
Yeah man. Um, well look man, I'm gonna let you go.
I, I absolutely cannot tell you how much I appreciate you doing this. It really is a and yeah. Hopefully we can meet up at some point, you know, next time when the disease leaves the air and we're allowed to actually move around, I'll definitely be there.
We'll get over it. The strong survive. And I'm sure you're part of that strong soul. Yeah. That's all.
So yeah. Right. I kids are good and that's it man. You know, we're still this man, that just old man that just the security for the way I parked my car. He always goes any day above ground is another good day. And I'm like, God damn right Zimride dude.
Oh by the way, let me ask you this. I know you're a Texas guy who lives in New York now, many years. Are you a big sports guy? Yellow sports, what's like your what what are your teams? Since I'm from Texas and Houston is where we were, I was born in Houston anyway, but ah, but for me it's it's sad because Houston always was my childhood.
Sure. I remember when I moved to Tennessee, they would have tells you all this briefly for a few months. And then I remember Bud Adams, who lived near our town where I grew up and, you know, okayed them to change the mascot name. And I know they made the announcement was going to be a new name. We're going to announce next Sunday or whatever, you know, and yeah, we are now be the Tennessee Titans. And we're like, what about the others, you know?
Yeah. How do you strip that away? And I know when I did a throwback jersey game that they usually do, they didn't do it this season, but they were the Oilers jerseys. But I've been using everything from the Rockets to the Oilers baseball played baseball and Little League, and I played football for a little while. And and, you know, you grow out of all of that when you start running the streets and doing stuff. But I've had my experience in sports and I'm still a big fan.
I got all the apps from NFL are you do the ESPN, the apps and all that stuff. And then on top of that, I just unrolls. You know, it was a great analysts' on everything with sports. You know, it's great what it is. Yeah. So my son plays baseball. He's in a travel league. He's ninety nine years old. So the travel league, you know, it's really it's a serious business. Yeah.
It's not like a little league, but he is cute and they play for the summer. They're their coaches is on them like you, you, you see. But we all, both are yelling and it's so crazy when a kid's button they go but you know, like, like together and run towards home plate like to position themselves to make sure they can stop the run and get them out before he gets it gets to first. It's just a trip to see all of that, you know, after, you know, my childhood and things I did and we were coming up to in Texas since we were small town, we had a thing called NY, SB, the National Youth Sports Program, and everybody in our neighborhood that was our summer doing sports, sports, sports, sports every summer.
So you grow with it, you know, but everything. Houston for me, when I moved to New York, I started to support the Knicks and the Yankees and. But but not the Mets, but the Yankees. But I'm a diehard Houston. Everything you know so well.
You might be having one of your your Houston guys come up to your area because all the rumors are swirling that Hardin might leave the Rockies and he wants to go to that.
Yeah, yeah. I saw that today in Brooklyn. Brooklyn's Paul Newman. I mean, we he's still there and and getting a year off to not play to get his his injury really on point. But that's that's a very sensitive injury. Yeah. Reinjured. So he was smart to set the whole season out. Yeah, I think so too.
It's got to be crazy because like Harden they're like we'll give you 50 million dollars a year and he's like, nah.
Thinking about other things, like what Harden is crazy because Harden is Houston to us, you know, he has low Casey, he is Houston to us, you know. You know, yeah.
Just like Carmelo after playing with the Nuggets and and even OKC Orleans, he's still a nick to us, you know. Right. Like certain players will get that stamp. Yeah. Forever. And but the Texans is my team now. But but I you know, I didn't grow up on an expansion team, so.
Sure. Weird. It is weird. I get that now.
Yeah. Yeah. They're having a rough season man. Yeah.
My brother in law's brother played for the Packers back and forth. Played in.
Oh really. They want a ring. Yeah. So my, my my brother in law's brother. So what is your brother in law's brother.
Brother in law's brother. Oh yeah. He's my brother in law's brother. Yes. But he is he's with us. He's with the 49ers now. He's a linebacker coach, but he played linebacker Johnny Holland. He played for the Packers back then. They won Super Bowl with a fox. He got a ring. Oh, nice.
Got a ring. You can't ask him what happened. That's tough. Yeah. And actually, when I was back there when he was there, but he was with the Texans and he was with the lions and he just moved around and around. But now he's with the 49ers, even with the Super Bowl. Last year he was there and my sister when I was married to his brother and they all got to go and and they go to Super Bowl last year, you know, they lost.
But still, that's just to get there.
It's a huge thing. It's a huge thing to get their team. I mean, I have some sadness, too, because I was born in Cincinnati. And when I left Cincinnati, we left when I was in eighty eight and they went to the Super Bowl. That's that famous Super Bowl where Montana had Taylor in the end zone on that. I know you drive so and then the Cincinnati Bengals were like, we're going to be dog shit for twenty years.
So it was just one of those things where like, you know, I get excited when they have a decent season every now and then.
But just as a franchise, they're fucking terrible. And then we we moved a lot. And my dad's a big college football fan.
So as a kid, I was a young quarterback. Then you're having a quarterback from LSU then? I mean. Oh, Boros.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, he's dope. He's he's the real talent. He's the real deal. Yes.
But we we moved around and we watched I mean, college was like the big thing in my house. So when we ended up moving to Florida, I was already kind of an FSU fan, but it just made it even I was became more of a fan. And that was like during the nineties. So every year was like Christmas, you know, they just kicked it right out of everybody. And then now they are fucking terrible witches.
It's wild to see.
I mean, sports, especially like big time college ball. It's cyclical. You know, they'll have like their ups and down years. But right now they're in a real, real drought. Yeah.
Especially when what's was name there who just got thrown team the team and they start playing baseball.
You talk about Tebow.
Yeah. Tim Tebow. Yeah. He was at Florida though. He was at Florida. I'm talking he said, oh he's an FSU.
Yeah. About the Gators. Think about the game. My father. Yeah, I'm, I'm seeing gators but yeah. Yeah, yeah. So I was a big seven.
Yeah, yeah. No, but Tebow it's funny. I met Tebow in a restaurant out here and one of my friends was like, oh, he's a comedian. And he's like, oh what kind of comedy do you do. I go you wouldn't like.
And he was like, yeah, because he's not a Christian shit. Yeah. He's on some Christian shit. And that's what I do. I mean, I went to I went to Catholic Church, but I still talk filles.
Yeah, dude, the same I was raised very Catholic and I am absolutely disgusting what comes out of my mouth. That's why I told him and he just laughed and he was like, no, no, no, I'd like it. And I was like, no, you wouldn't. No, you wouldn't.
Yeah, but but he was a super nice guy.
So I got to say that he was a SFX you man, you know, hopefully they'll get better. Hopefully they get better. Man prayers up to FSU.
Yeah, man, this was a real pleasure. Dude, I, I can't thank you and hopefully we can do it again sometime in anytime you got my number.
All right. Take care, brother. That's love to eat out. I salute.
I am Miles and I'm going to teach you I need to know about. You're all I need to know about. So I need to know about. He was wanting to know about. I need to know about. Slimeballs. I have to ask you, why do you want to be here? Yeah. De de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de de.