Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Some Not Quite As Old Sah-B Shit

This 12" is the flagship for the comeback of Sah-B that never quite got off the ground. You'll note she's changed her name to Sakinah "Sah-B" Britton... she'd later drop the "Sah-B" completely. Anyway, this came out in 1998 on Born Hustlers... it's kinda rare now, but probably not all that expensive, because I don't think it's been all that sought after. I reckon this cassette version, which comes in a plain white cardboard sleeve, is even rarer:

The first song is called "The Freestyle" and lives up to its name. Sah-B rocks over a number of crowd-pleasing beats from that period, like Camron's "357" with the Magnum PI loop, MOP & Jay-Z's "4 Alarm Blaze" that took the "Eye Of the Tiger" beat and the "Ruff Ryders' Anthem". .. You know: "Stop! Drop! Shut 'em down; open up shop." Ha ha This is a real artifact of its day. There's no producer credited, presumably because the "guest DJ," DJ A.P. - who does some really nice cutting throughout this record, including a few points where he gets to do solos on the tables - is just flipping instrumentals on the spot. Sah-B's pretty dope here, kicking fairly hardcore freestyle rhymes over each beat - not up to her classic, "Some Ol' Sah-B Shit," but you'll definitely have a good time - as much thanks to the DJ as the MC. Plus, it's impressive how she just keeps on flowing and flowing on this long track.

"There's a lotta corny people
In this industry
Tryin' to get me to sell my soul
In exchange for going gold
Five hundred thousand units sold
I call them the devil
Operatin' on the corporate level
I speak against them
They call me a rebel
Whatever, man
I'm doin' it properly
There's no stoppin' me
I'm God's property
I've got the remedy
For those who wanna be an enemy
You ain't offendin' me
When you pretend to be
Less than my fan
Left me dead and strand
When I was reachin' out to you
You wouldn't grab my hand
I'm not supposed to be bitter?
I watched you like a babysitter
Become a bullshitter
If bullshit was power
You could rule the world
Try to play me like a girl
I'm every woman
It's all in me
Until infinity
Keep my head high,
Walk with dignity
I was tailor-made
To get paid, true indeed
In high school
I was voted most likely to succeed
Sweat and bleed
You gotta control ya greed
Be hungry
For what you want ain't always what you need
Watch where you be
A flower in bloom
Could soon become a weed
As I take the lead
These cats can't hurt me
Sah-B signing out
And it don't stop
One, two, and it don't stop
Up in this piece with DJ APdee
Doin' this Born Hustlers style"

...And that's just one verse.

The first of the two b-sides is produced by Lord Jazz, and its very much like his work for LOTUG's Undaground Buttas 12"s: simple, even a bit under-produced, but solid enough to support some really dope rhymes. But these rhymes are just i-ight, so all in all, it's an underwhelming effort. There's a cool violin sample that they sneak in every so often, and we get some nice cuts from Lord Jazz, though nothing as exciting as the A-side. Sah-B sounds a little more subdued (I guess she'd say "mature") on this record, which is definitely to her detriment.

The second b-side, "Tonight," sounds like some typical studio-fare, with familiar samples and an R&B chorus... it's a slow song and a bit dated, even for '98. It almost sounds like it could be a leftover from her unreleased Epic album. That said, it's not that bad. If you can tolerate this style of song, it's well done - producer DJ Backspin sounds at home handling this kind of production work, and Sah swaps the freestyling for some smart, semi-narrative rhymes... this is essentially her "Summa Day" part two.

Now, this is my third Sah-B post (see here and here), so we've covered all that "where is she now"-type stuff. I'd still very much like to know if she ever recorded her full Some Ol' Sah-B Shit album (if so, who's got them in their vault?), or even if there are just a couple other tracks from that era waiting to someday be released. Maybe if we pester K-Def enough,he'll give us a definitive answer. But until then, stay tuned... there'll definitely be some more posts on Sah-B's comeback material down the road right here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Get Unique

Woohoo! It just arrived today! My copy of Unique's new 12" single from Diggers With Gratitude (DWG003). It's a limited (175 copies) release... mine's #11 and as you can see in the picture, the sleeve is signed by the man himself. 8)

If you don't know who Unique is - or perhaps more understandably, are confusing him with any of the many other people in the rap world named Unique - all I can say is the sooner you stop sleeping, the happier you'll be. Unique's from New Jersey (say word!), and is tenuously connected to Naughty By Nature; but he first came to most peoples' attention in the "random rap" scene. He had two incredible 12" singles (actually, I'm just assuming one of them is incredible, because I still haven't heard it haha) on New Day Records in 1989. New Day was a small label run by the Robinsons, who also own Sugarhill Records. In recent years, his songs started getting featured on some mixtapes, and because they were so undeniably good, they started fetching upwards of $100 on EBay. He did complete a full album, called Die Hard, but Hot Day shelved it... however DWG finally found a test pressing of it.

Now, this is a new 12", but it's not newly recorded material - it's four of the best, unreleased (nothing from the two singles) tracks off the LP. For those who haven't heard Unique yet, he has a really clear, strong voice and comes with kinda fast (not Tung Twista fast, but more like Kool G Rap "It's a Demo" fast) over classic tracks. In fact, I immediately recognized three of the four breaks that other rappers like Lakim Shabazz, K-Solo, and The Poison Clan have used before... although slightly tweaked in each case. And with fresh cuts provided by his DJ, Godfather D, you're not gonna be bothered by the familiarity of the samples. It's three smoking freestyle/battle rhyme cuts, and one admittedly kinda corny anti-drug dealing song ("selling crack is wack, and not cool") that even in '89 might've garnered some rolled eyes, but it's still fresh.

None of his music is easy to find (even this 12" is already sold out), but it's all worth whatever effort you have to put in to get your hands on it. And if you come across his "I'm Untouchable" 12", don't forget to pick up a spare copy for me. ;)


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Shut 'Em Down for MLK

"Shut 'Em Down" is the second single (following "Can't Truss It") off of Public Enemy's Apocalypse 91: The Enemy Strikes Black album. The song consists of almost constant, fresh scratching over a wailing sample and hardcore beat, while Chuck kicks what are essentially freestyle rhymes with a message. Ultimately, the song seems to be about shutting down the major corporations that are oppressing us: "I like Nike; but wait a minute. The neighborhood supports; so put some money in it. Corporations owe; they gotta give up the dough to the town, or else we gotta shut 'em down." But he's just as apt to be tossing around battle rhymes or whatever the heck else just randomly pops into his head: "1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9: what I use in the battle for the mind. I hit it hard like it's supposed; pullin' no blows to the nose. Like Uncle L said, I'm rippin' up shows."

Now that track is just lifted straight off the album, but what's new to this 12" is the "Pe-te Rock Mixx" ...it's tempting to ask, "why the hyphen?" but I find it's best not to question PE's kooky, pseudo-intellectual spelling games. A better question might be how well does Pete Rock's cool and soulful production style jells with Chuck's angry, hardcore delivery; and the answer is: not too smoothly. This is early in his career, remember... before he'd broadened his range to include a rougher edge. It almost sounds like a mixtape remix, where the DJ just takes the acapella of one record and matches it up as best he can over another instrumental. But after a few spins, you won't care; because it's just a really dope instrumental you'll want to listen to again and again. The constant, high energy scratching of the original is replaced with some new, subtler scratching that blends better with this new groove. It's good stuff, but won't make you think, "damn! I gotta have this record for the scratching alone!" like the original version. Pete also replaces the hook with his own ad libs of the phrase "shut 'em down" (anyone familiar with Pete Rock's records from back then will know exactly what I mean) and he plugs himself in with the requisite "remix producer bonus verse," like Warren G on "Behind Bars" or something... where he name drops but never really speaks on topic:

"I wreck for respect
Check one, hit the deck.
Let the man of the hour
Commit the soul power.
For once I gotta say, 'shut 'em down' on the regular.
'Causin' mass hysteria... in ya area.
Kickin' it for my man Chuck D,
Down with PE
On the remix,
Hun, on the flix.
So check it:
Before I step down,
When I'm in your town,
Ya know, I got ta shut 'em down."

So the reason to get this is the "Pe-te Rock Mixx" of "Shut 'Em Down," but the reason I'm writing about this, naturally is the B-side, "By the Time I Get To Arizona." Why? Because it's Martin Luther King Day, of course; and this song is all about today. This is the big hit off the album, which featured the controversial video (I think "Shut 'Em Down" had a video, too; but it's the stuff of PE completist DVDs, not influential pop culture fare), but surprisingly - this was only a B-side.

See, at the time, Martin Luther King Day wasn't an officially recognized state holiday in every state except two (although, of course, it was a federal holiday in those states anyway): Arizona and New Hampshire. And there was a bill being proposed to make it a holiday in those two remaining states, so PE took up the cause: performing in Arizona and writing this song about it (for some reason, New Hampshire got a pass, as it's not even mentioned in passing). The bulk of the controversy resulted form the video: showing the band going to Arizona, training, and then killing the governor and his political staff (snapping a cop's neck, sniping someone, delivering a mail bomb and ultimately blowing up the governor with a bomb planted in his car) - probably not the way most people choose to respect and honor the memory of this nation's greatest advocate of non-violent protest and civil rights. I've heard it argued, in fact, that the only violent message is in the video and not the song, and that's certainly where the bulk of the violence is; but with lines like, "I'm on the one mission to get a politician to honor, or he's a goner," and "what he needs is a nosebleed," I think it's safe to say that it's in the song, too.

At any rate, it's a hot song. It's definitely the stand-out single of this album (and possibly the last stand-out single of their career), and the only one with real hit potential, even if I am partial to the True Mathematics cameo on "Get The Fck Outta Dodge" myself. The beat is a nice blend of soul, banging beats, and a grinding guitar... and on the breakdown, when most of the instrumental is stripped away and replaced with screams of terror? Forget about it. That's just powerful stuff. Now, interestingly, the notes for this and the LP version of "Shut 'Em Down" say "rhythm of the cut" by Terminator X and "Additional scratchwork" by Kamron. So, let me guess... does that mean Kamron did all the real cuts and scratches and Terminator X just sorta "oversaw" it... kinda like how Eric B and Puffy produce? Well, it's just speculation. Kamron, by the way, is part of Young Black Teenagers, and you'll probably remember him best as Kid's wacky, white dreadlocked roommate in House Party 2.

So, for this Martin Luther King Day, rock a hip-hop holiday classic, and then enjoy a nice Pete Rock remix (the instrumental's included, yes).

Saturday, January 19, 2008

(Werner Necro'd) DWYCKypoo

Ah, elusive "DWYCK." Seminal, quasi-underground hip-hop classic first released on Chrysalis Records in 1992, as the B-side to "Take It Personal," and then again, as the B-side to "Ex Girl To The Next Girl" that very same year, until finally being released as its own Chrysalis single in 1994, off the album Hard To Earn. With your internally unreferenced title and seemingly random, non-sequitorial lyrics... what do you really mean? In interviews, members of Gang Starr and Nice & Smooth (who collaborated on this piece of eternal, yet bafflingly mesmerizing song-writing) were known to claim in interviews that "DWYCK," meant "dick," as in one's happy Johnson, meatstick, or schlong. Still others believe it to be an acronym for "Do What You Can Kid" or possibly "Diddle Widdle Yiddle Cibble Kiddle," for why else would it be all in caps? Compelling, yes, but I have another interpretation.

I propose that "DWYCK" is in fact a modern re-imagining of the 1881 Oscar Wilde poem, "Amor Intellectualis," though I have vague memories of Smooth Bee later confessing in a Rap Pages interview that he drew, as ever, most of his inspiration directly from Sylvia Plath (who, herself, has got to be the sure shot). I'm not sure; maybe I dreamt that. Still, compare these lines, and I think you'll see the inherent parallels are unmistakable:

"Oft have we trod the vales of Castaly
And heard sweet notes of sylvan music blown
From antique reeds to common folk unknown;
And often launched our bark upon the sea
Which the nine Muses hold in empery"

"I'm feelin' satisfaction from the street crowd reaction.
Chumps pull guns when they feel afraid, too late;
When they dip in the kick, they get sprayed.
Lemonade was a popular drink and it still is.
I get more props and stunts then Bruce Willis.
A poet like Langston Hughes can't lose when I cruise
Out on the expressway."

...Updating the reeds of Wilde's "common folk unknown" to the guns of Guru's "chumps," may whisk us away from the vales of Castaly to our decidedly more urban, and therefore more accessiblely contemporary "expressway," but the sentiment remains clearly and remarkably unchanged. As Wilde says we "had freighted well our argosy" in that we "ploughed free furrows through the wave and foam... spread reluctant sail for more safe home," so, too, did Greg Nice get "way uptown," as he "took deuce to the tre."

Perhaps it is futile to attempt to grasp the full meaning behind and within this song until the "Horny Instrumental" is finally heard married to its text in the elusive "Mix #2" - promised, but never delivered, on its "Take It Personal" debut. One can merely speculate. And yet, it's hard to ignore how deeply reminiscent Greg Nice's calling upon the names of Red Alert (the legendary DJ), Kid Capri (another DJ) and Muhammad Ali (boxer guy) is to Wilde's drawing up the spirits of Sordello (the early thirteenth-century troubadour, perhaps best known for being the subject of Robert Browning's famous 1840 poem), young Endymion (the perpetual youth of Greek myth and subject of poems by Lyly, Drayton and Keats1), and lordly Tamburlaine (as in "Tamburlaine the Great," by Christopher Marlowe, 1590) to complete his vision. And, indeed, stirringly unforgettable as it was when Nice ended his verse by calling upon Premier's fader to "take [him] out," so it is hauntingly familiar to all of us for whom Wilde's final line, wherein he calls to "grave-browed Milton's solemn harmonies" for his graceful exit, still echoes in our ears.

1And later Longfellow and Wilde himself.

This was written in 2001... In 2003, HipHop-Elements.com finally put the question of what "DWYCK" means to rest in an interview with Guru. "T.JONES: What does 'DWYCK' mean? Some people on the Internet say it means 'Do What You Can Kid.' What does 'DWYCK' really mean? GURU: No, but that's pretty good though, actually. 'Do What You Can Kid.' It probably could've meant that. It was just a slang that we used to use back then. It was like a slang thing we used to do. Greg Nice used to do it to everybody. Biz Markie started it actually. You used be in a crowd and say someone's name and go 'Yo! Son!' The person would turn around and go 'What? What?' and you would say: 'Dwyck!' It's like 'My dick!' It means the male genitalia. We switched it up to 'Dwyck.' It was just some sh*t to psyche eachotherout."

...That still doesn't explain why it's all in caps. But even more noteworthy, it struck me, was the similarity between that anecdote and this excerpt from the Wilde biography written by Sir Isaac Horton, "while studying classics at Trinity College in Dublin, from 1871 to 1874, he was well regarded as an outstanding student, winner of the Berkeley Gold Medal - the highest award available to classics students at Trinity - and while typically referred to as 'serious' or 'earnest' by his schoolmates, one of his juniors' memoirs recalls a common schoolboy prank he would pull on his mates. 'Oscar would stand behind a fellow during the headmaster's address and whisper into his ear, "sir! Sir!" When the dupe would turn to face him, "pardon?" Oscar would exclaim "cock!"' However it would seem Wilde's penchant for sudden outbursts of joviality was not to not stand in the way of his teachers' high regard, who awarded him full scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he continued his studies until 1878."

...It's possible I dreamt that part, too.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hip-Hop Music and The Lost Sequel

"Well, it's about time for us to get off. Cut the rattle, yo; get set in your saddle. Mount your horse; the countdown's begun. The Groove B Chill surprise:"

Today, Groove B Chill may be best known for providing the forum for the production debut of Pete Rock. But to those of us who were around to experience them at the time, Groove B Chill will be forever remembered for their wacky but catchy "Hip Hop Music" video, along with their roles in the original House Party. Remember that bit about the guy who passed out drunk at the party, so his friends drove him home, propped him up against the front door, and rung the doorbell, so he collapsed on his parents? Well, if you're a hip-hop fan and you're my age, for some reason you do and you always will... pop media etched onto our psyches. Well, anyway, that was them.

And this was their big, hit single (it's #7 on the "Rap Celebrates Itself" list from Ego Trip's Book of Rap Lists).

In 1986, Groovy Groove, B. Successful, and Chill-E-Dawg were featured on an Uptown/MCA Records compilation called Uptown Is Kickin' It (that song, "Why Me," was also released as a promo 12" single). The group then went on to record their lead single, "Hip Hop Music," featuring the infamous Daddy-O vocal sample, "It ain't nothin' like hip-hop music. You like it 'cause you choose it," (from "Go Stetsa I" off Stetsasonic's On Fire album) on the hook, and remixed by the one and only Hitman Howie Tee (A&M Records, 1990). If you were really up on it, you caught the 12", with the "Super Hitman's Theory" remix, which features a cheesy six-second Superman theme song snippet at the top, and is otherwise completely unchanged. There's even a separate instrumental version for that. [Did they cut Howie a seperate check for that? If so; that's game right there.]

The song is zany; the boys even break out singing the Roy Rogers theme song ("happy trailllllls to yoooouuuu... until we meet again"). And the video was on the same tip, with Groove B Chill rapping and dancing in day-glo suits along with little kids, an old lady, two guys dressed as construction workers, a russian immigrant with a photographer, nuns... I guess every outfit A&M's models had in their costume department.

The beat uses the same basic drum track and sample that Kool G Rap & DJ Polo rocked on their album track "Jive Talk" a few months later, except minus the horn sample, and this version's constantly being juggled by a DJ scratching it back and forth on the tables. Groove combines a little singing with his verse, while Chill drops a more straight-forward but doper verse about the genre:

"Who said rap ain't music? Please tell me how;
Elvis Presley ain't do nothin' that we ain't doin' now:
Sellin' records by the millions, girls gettin' laid;
We must be doin' somethin', brother, because bills gettin paid.
You mean rap is selling?
Nah, rap done sold.
We been overcame, but you just... wasn't... told."

"I loved 'Hip Hop Music' because we made a statement with that song," Mitchell told Vibe magazine in 2005. "Hip hop is not a culture. Hip hop is not black. It's a vehicle of expression that will invite any culture that will embrace and accept it."

Their subsequent full-length, Starting From Zero (A&M/ Uptown Records, also 1990), was kinda fun, but sales were lackluster. I mean, they weren't the greatest lyricists (and the singing on their token love song, "Where Were You," was downright frightening), but the production was late '80's/early '90's-style hype, and their rhymes were at least smart and sometimes clever. Pete Rock provided the two opening tracks on the album: the title cut, "Starting from Zero," which is especially fresh, and "There It Is," while Prince Paul did two others. In fact, one of his, "Let It Roll" (featuring a brief sample from the classic "Music for the Stetfully Insane," amongst about a million others), is pretty ill; too bad it wasn't a single. ...There was a follow-up single in fact: "Swingin' Single;" but even though it's a solid album track with a hot rhythm and hook by Dave Hollister and co., it wasn't really designed to stand on its own, and it fell flat.

Rather than for his MCing, though, Chill is known to mainstream audiences as actor Daryl "Chill" Mitchell, who made the leap from those House Party flicks to becoming a regular on The John Laroquette Show. After TJLS's run, he took co-starring roles in films like Sgt. Bilko with Steve Martin, until ultimately landing another major sitcom role in the relatively successful Kirstie Alley vehicle, Veronica's Closet. And his biggest role to date is probably his part in Galaxy Quest.

So, in a not-at-all recent, open on-line interview for Talk City Presents (circa 1998), Chill fielded questions mainly about Veronica's Closet, his films, and even a few about Groove B Chill. But more interesting than any of that was when someone asked if he had any new musical projects in the works, and he said, "Look for my new single; it's 'The Sequel.' I have a new production company. It's called Two Jams Production Company with Nigel Miguel; and we are getting ready to produce music, movies, television shows and videos." He later added that, "well, I have been approached by Puffy and Rapper Kim, both to do songs together; and my own producer-DJ 'B' of Groove B Chill... They're talking about doing a Veronica's Closet soundtrack. If it ever comes to reality, I'll be doing a song or songs on the soundtrack CD, but the project I'm doing is a solo project by Chill, produced by Groove B Chill, due out this summer and called The Sequel."
Well, of course, the soundtrack never surfaced (and it's not gonna... the show's been off the air for the past eight years), and if Puffy hasn't put him on by now, it's probably not happening. I haven't been able to find anything to suggest that Two Jams Production Company is actually in existence anywhere, either. But who knows what had already been recorded and is now sitting in Mitchell's garage? And of course the other question would be: if it exists, could it be any good? I certainly wouldn't expect a lost hip-hop classic, but maybe some decently produced parry grooves with some reasonably witty Will Smith-level lyrics sound very plausible. I'd certainly like the chance to find out.

Sadly, in November 2001, he was paralyzed from the waist down in a motorcycle accident, suffering a complete spinal injury. Despite now being wheelchair bound, he returned to acting, including a recurring role on the TV series Ed. He founded The Daryl Mitchell Foundation (http://www.darylchillmitchell.org/), originally known as All Fa Wheels, and has been a spokesperson for The Christopher Reeve Foundation and The Paralysis Resource Center's Minority Outreach Campaign. "We were just rappers in the 'hood who caught on," he said in '05. "And 'Hip Hop Music' allowed us to move around. I'll forever feel blessed by where that vehicle took me."
During the Talk City interview, when user Halfbaked asked him, "if I wanted to buy just one of your songs, which would you recommend?" Daryl replied, "okay, I would say 'It Ain't Nothing Like Hip-Hop Music' ...but just wait for 'The Sequel'!" Well... I think ten years has been a long enough wait. Go pick up a copy of "Hip-Hop Music;" it's dope. And if he ever leaks The Sequel on his myspace (surely you knew that was coming), you know which blogger's gonna be all over it. ;)

Friday, January 11, 2008

EBayers, You Have Lost Control!!

^Look at that. An auction that just ended.
Now look at this:

^What it's currently available for, new.

We rap collectors (I'll include myself since I recently paid more than that auction price above for a record... albeit a more legitimately rare one) are paying crazy prices for records on EBay and other places (but mostly the 'Bay). Every couple of months, the standard gets raised even higher. Not so long ago, you were the crazy super collector if you paid 60-80 bucks for a long lost rap classic. Now we've got rap records breaking the four-digit mark just because some corny college DJ included them on his mix CD.

And it's not even like Basquiat's hand-made picture cover of Rammelzee vs. K-Rob's "Beat Bop;" it's often pretty questionable material from the late 90's... stuff indie labels still have boxes of in their parents' garage because they couldn't move them. What's more, a lot of you guys are paying $100+ for bootlegs and represses! (The seller listed that record picture as being "Date: 1990," but of course, that's not the original 1990 Flavor Unit LP, which has a different track-listing and a completely different cover... that's the repress Tuff City put out in 1998 with a couple of bonus tracks).

I know some of you can afford it (note how I've not stopped including myself here haha), and don't feel like waiting for those records you want to turn up a second time in the course of your digging...* but some of the prices you guys are paying are just dumb. Not only are you putting yourself in the poorhouse unnecessarily, but you're inflating the cost of hip-hop music for all of us (though buyers with patience will find the crazy prices won't last on the not-so rare items).

I wouldn't presume to tell anyone what to pay for anything they want... some records are definitely worth shelling out the big bucks for, and surely there can't be a more deserving genre than hip-hop. But remember: you're bidding with real money there. In the words of Special Ed, "please think twice;" ...and at least check to make sure the record you're buying used for over a hundred dollars isn't available new for five. ;)

*And lately there's been a lot of fake, shill bidding to either raise the price on the winning bidder, or to inflate the apparent value of the record (lest we forget the infamous case where Popsike listed Doug E Fresh's "La Di Da Di" as selling for $4000 when it was still selling for... about $10) for future auctions.


Random Rap! 2

^Video blog!!
(as if you didn't already know)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

(Werner Necro'd) ADOR Still Reigns - Interview

I've just heard that ADOR has a new album coming out in '08 called Reign of the Machine (as well as a greatest hits album called Tru-Jewelz that promises to have some unreleased cuts on it as well)... so I figured it's the perfect time for another Necro'd thread. This is an interview I did with ADOR (plus K. Terrorbull) in '98. ADOR was a cool, nice guy who's kept putting out under-appreciated record after under-appreciated record.

Alright, let's start at the beginning. Why don't you tell us about how you signed up to Atlantic and all that?

Oh, you wanna take it back there? I'm from Mount Vernon - I'm actually from Manhattan, but then I moved out to mount Vernon when I was real young - and I was always making music. My father was a musician, so I was always makin' music. And, to make a long story short, it just came to be that... I was making some nice tracks, some nice demos, and stuff like that... and Puffy was the first person to really hear it. This is when Puffy was on Uptown. Now Puffy went and started shopping my music, like to Tommy Boy and stuff like that, like the demos that I had made. Then Eddie F came into it, and then he had Untouchables Music, which is just a production company that he had with Pete Rock and CL Smooth. That's where Pete Rock and CL Smooth were coming from. So, he knew who we were, we all knew each other from Mount Vernon, and they liked what I was doin'. So, basically, Eddie offered me a nice deal. Puffy kinda got a little mad at me, 'cause I went and did a thing with Eddie. And that was it. I was with Untouchables and me and Pete started makin' records. You know, we made the record "Let it All Hang Out." That's my classic, the hip-hop classic joint. Lettin' you know, that's there, but there's a lot more to ADOR than "Let It All Hang Out." That's the most important thing. But, ever since then, I've just been rollin'. I've been transmittin' frequencies and tryin' to make good records.

So what happened to your album The Concrete? I know you came out with that second single...

That album got lost. Man, I don't think we have enough time... That's a book. That's a Let It All Hang Out book we gotta get into that, to see something like that. But, just to make a long story short, everything got... You know, it was a great album, I loved makin' it. Two years, it took, about a year and a half, to make it, 'cause of all the politics and controversies of dealing with Eddie F. and the Untouchables and stuff. And we made it, and it got burned in a fire of, like, WEA. 'Cause Sylvia Long fired everybody from WEA. My A&R got fired. And I was just like, "I gotta get outta here. This is not where I wanna be." I'll tell you what, though. If everything didn't happen the way it happened, I wouldn't be where I'm at today, exactly where I'm at today, and where I'm at today I love. That's right.

Do you think it's helped you, having all these years, before having your first full-length album out?

Yeah. I think, because I love where I'm sittin' now. I'm sittin' here, with you. I've been all over the world. My music is doin' well; it's out there. I have total control over the album. I have a good distribution deal. I have Tru Reign Records, which is my biggest dream, to have a record label. A strong record company. And I think Tru Reign is gonna be like the next Nervous Records when they first put out Black Moon, or like the next LOUD and Jive when they were first beginning. You know, we have the machine behind us to do it. We're gonna come with quality music. keep the illmatic frequencies for the heads.

Do you own Tru Reign? Is it your label?

Yeah, I own most of it.

And we got K. Terrorbull here.

Yeah, word up.

So, what's up with you? What've you got coming out? We know you did some stuff with Diamond D and all...

K. Terrorbull:
Yeah, you know, the last LP that came out... Did a couple of joints on there. So, went overseas, you know, touring and all... but now, trying to get everybody together and put this Tru Reign joint out. K. Terrorbull. Got Diamond, Jess West, 45 King, you know what I'm saying? So we're gonna bang with this thing, this Tru Reign thing.

I think it's a frequency of music, and it's true hip-hop in the sense of illmatics. 'Cause New York, that's really where comes the banging New York horns and sirens... Hank Shocklee and the Bomb Squad... Things like that.

And you were also part of the Fantastic Four, right?

K. Terrorbull:
Yeah, that was a thing we did with Ras Kass...

How'd you hook up with him?

K. Terrorbull:
Well, I met Ras Kass through Diamond. It was a while ago. So, he had come up and we vibed that whole weekend. He did that single with Diamond. So we got in the basement, got down and everything and did our thing... Just put that out.

And so now you're comin' out on Tru Reign, too?

K. Terrorbull:
Yeah, we're workin' on this album now.

You got a title for it?

K. Terrorbull:
Nah, it ain't even titled yet. The Adventures of K. Terrorbull Something Crazy, it's gonna be crazy.

The Adventures of Francis Xavier (Laughs) Francis Xavier: Shockbliss...

K. Terrorbull:
You are so crazy, so crazy...

Nah, it's gonna be good music, good music.

So tell us about Shock Frequency. It's got some tracks from The Concrete on it...

Yeah, there's a couple. I had to put on "Let It All Hang Out" 'cause that's my record that was born to be on my debut album. This is my debut album. And I took two other records from The Concrete, which are so special to me they had to come out. "From the Concrete" and "The Kid Is Crazy," you know what I'm saying? And these records are timeless, because the world hasn't heard 'em yet. And, I don't know if you've heard them, but they're pretty powerful records, so, you know, we're gonna put them out there... And the great thing is it's doing really well here, and it's doing really well overseas... but the greatest thing that I feel, one of the greatest freedoms I have, is that when I give up on this album is when the album is over. You know, a lot of kids now, especially kids who are staying true to their music, when they're putting a hip-hop album. The label doesn't see SoundScan 50,000 in the first week, they start calling up, "What's going on with my next single? When's it gonna come out?" And it takes a long time and sometimes it don't even come out. And you have no control over it. And that's something I would never put myself, or any of my artists, through. We're gonna keep streaming to people and keep giving it to them until they understand that we're probably mixed up in some of the best music in the world.

And, so, what's up with the stuff on Uppercut?

The stuff on Uppercut is just a licensing/ distribution deal I have in Europe. I'm like Michael Jackson out there. I just came back from, like, a press tour over there. In Germany, France, and England, we did all of that stuff. And I gotta tell you, man. I'm in, like, thirty magazines out there, full-page spreads... It's great to see. But, you know, I'm from New York. My music bangs in America. That's my thing. And, still overseas, while I respect what they're doin' over there, but it's kinda hard. Like I was on the Kut Killer show, that kid over there in France, it's like huge. Like he's in all the magazines out there; I don't know f you ever heard of him, but he's got me freestylin' for like fifteen minutes and I don't know if anybody can understand what I'm really feelin', what I'm really saying. So I don't know how strong they'll really take to me out there. My vibe is strong and my music is good; they can understand that. But, as far as what I'm sayin', what I'm trying to say, and what I'm giving my generation and the future generations, I don't know if they could get it, like, if they could get the full grasp of it.

So tell us about the production.. You've got some big-names...

Yup, no doubt. Got Pete. Well, Pete did "Let It All Hang Out," which you know. He also did a joint called "Enter the Center" which is a favorite record of mine that I made last year kind of on some underground... And it did well, man; it's on the album. D came through with the first single off the album, "The Rush." And"The Rush" did well, man. I did Top Twenty Gavin... Miramax Films used it for the movie She's All That. It's done well. Radios like it. I can't be mad at that. I definitely can't be mad. I'm happy that I'm sitting here and that I can be talking, politicking with you. And, you know, we got some nice things happening.

You kinda touched on it real quick, but what's your next single comin' out?

It's gonna be "The Kid Is Crazy" maxi-release. This is the banger, too. I like this record, personally, better than "The Rush." As a single, there's more I could do with it creatively. It's a story about a friend of mine, actually. So, it's a "The Kid Is Crazy" maxi-release with a remix of "One For the Trouble" that Sam Sever did... I don't know if you remember him. Some people know Sam Sever from Third Bass, and he just did a remix of "Intergalactic" for the Beastie Boys...

Yeah. he was with, uhm... Downtown Science.

Downtown Science, right right. So, Sam is a very talented producer. He's a very talented brother, so we have him on "The Kid Is Crazy" maxi-release; Diamond did the single. And then Sam Sever did the remix for "One For the Trouble" and then I got, like, a nice - I just got it, too, and I love it - a nice remix of "The Rush." like a Mecca and The Soul... Almost like a "Reminisce" with the horns and the "Let It All Hang Out" vibe to it, but "The Rush," that I'm really feelin'. So, you know, we're gonna keep comin'. We're gonna keep bangin'. Can't stop the Reign, baby. That's the truth.

So, why don't you tell us a bit about the name, the acronym? 'Cause it seems to stand for a couple different things...

Yeah, It's A-D-O-R. It means Another Dimension of Rhythm, 'cause basically I like to make my music the way I wanna make it. And that was another thing with Atlantic... I could've went out and did a lot of things if I wanted to, and stayed with Atantic... been a totally different artist. Really, artistically, my integrity was definitely checked there. For the type of music they wanted me to make because I'm not of black skin. That was something that I could not do, I didn't want to do that. So ADOR stands for Another Dimension of Rhythm, which means, I think, my sound can't be identified with anyone. I think you can really listen to it, and my lyrics, and how my music is arranged... I don't think you can identify me with anyone, or say, "Oh, he's tryin' to sound like this cat. Or he's trying to be in this style, or this genre of rap." It's ADOR. Another Dimension of Rhythm. A Declaration of Revolution. Against Discrimination of Racism, you know, from both sides... So, I just wanna say, yo, if you want a quality hip-hop album, honestly, that I think is timeless and ageless and be able to tell you something years from now, check out Shock Frequency. I just want to give a lot of peace and love to all my brothers and sisters out there that's supportin', and just make it happen. We're just makin' it happen, baby. And check out the K. Check out the K-T, too. For The Stupendous Adventures of Sir Francis Xavier. Comin' to the stores soon.

K. Terrorbull:
(Laughs) It's comin', it's comin'. Tru Reign.

Tru Reign, baby. From now 'till forever, it's goin' down, son. That's for real.

And like I said in the opening, he's still doing it on Tru Reign in '08. Check out his myspace
, and be on the look out for Reign of the Machine. If his 15-year track record is anything to go by, it's sure to be quality.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Werner's Year End Spectacular!

^Video blog!!
(I know it's not the new calender year... but it's my 1 year anniversary; so get ready to retrospect!)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Random Rap!

^Video blog!!
(Just linking some lame Youtube vid created by somebody else... Just kidding! Pure, original content like always.)