Thursday, December 9, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
..Don't get it twisted,they did have tough times in the beginning.It wasn't always peaches and cream.I remember getting paid for sessions in singles and fives,maybe a ten or a twenty will show up,but yall get the idea.One time in particular will always stick out. Dame came to me when he was ready to pay with his Dame Dash shit on full tilt,as usual .."Yo Did-Ex..my nigga..how much we owe?"..me.."$2,500"..him.."Aight hold up"..Now Dame was good for wearing sweats all the time, unless he had to carry money, back then.Depending on the amount it was either cargoes or fatigues, cause all the loot was loose bills.Today it was cargoes.He's reaching into every possible pocket pulling out money and putting on top the piano in the "A" room vocal booth.Now there's a pile of money sitting in front of me, he points at me and says.."It's all there..Peace"..me.."HOLD ON MONEY!"..him,real calm.."Wah?"..me.."You stay here while I count this madness,you always do this shit Dame"..him.."Aight Aight Calm Down..Lemme get Biggs and Jay we gotta sort some shit out with this kid"..me.."Sort away nigga".
..Few seconds later Jay and Biggs walk in,with some kid,I can't remember who, but he was lookin a lil disgruntled.Dame.."What's the problem Nigga?!"..me(to myself)..(yikes!)..dude.."Yo I aint makin no money with all this shit yo,I'm sayin,this shit is crazy right now man ..I dunno.."..Dame.."Yo HOLD ON!"..(me again to self)..(YIKES!)..back to Dame.."NONE OF US ARE MAKIN MONEY RIGHT NOW NIGGA!"..Dame proceeds to lay into this kid with a series of "Shits" "Damns" and "MotherFuckers",not in any specific order.The kid is now nervous as all out doors and the room is a lil tense..and I lost count of the friggin money..DAMMIT!Dame now thoroughly heated,begins to poll the room.."Jay you makin money yet?"..Jay.."Nope"..Dame.."Biggs you makin money yet?"..Biggs.."At all"..Dame back to dude.."nigga we tryin to make this money nigga but we gotta sacrifice!We the only ones payin up this bitch anyways...why you complainin?!..I don't see you complainin when everybody up here having a ball and shit,so what's the problem?!"..Dame then turns to me.."This nigga here is probably the only one makin money!"..my reply.."yea right!".Few more words are spit in dude's direction by Dame as Jay and Biggs look on and occasionally chuckle at Dame's antics.Homie's train is now derailed and my money count is done..$2,500 is present and placed in the envelope..me.."Dame we good"..him.."I told you nigga..fuck outta here..I ain't that type"..me.."I gotta do it son,you know!Nigga You Know!"..him.."Yea yea nigga I got you..Fuck outta here though(ha ha!)"..me.."Asshole"..There's more about my Roc days..Lots more,lemme get my thoughts together..Stay Up..
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
..This is all...My mother...my lovely,lovely mother...started buying me vinyl instead of toys when I turned seven.Had a pretty decent collection of music,Reggae,Soul,Funk,Calypso(I am Trinidadian..and I don't need a T-Shirt to prove it!).Get it straight..I AM HIP HOP!...Don't need a T-Shirt to prove that either.1982,my mother helped to create a monster though.You see back home on my lil island,we had one decent record store in my area of San Fernando,Jimmy's Record Shop..and my mother knew the guys who ran the store.Her bright idea for my birthday present this year way to let the guys pick the record for me..their pick..Planet Rock Afrika Bambaataa...yeah ok,what were you thinking my friend!I think I played that record all of seven straight hours before my grandfather told me to "STOP IT BOY!!"..young me.."OK OK"..but I knew that I loved that shit from the moment I heard it..where can I get more of this?Believe me that my allowance went to records,specifically anything Hip Hop..I cared about nothing else.Honestly I only cared about the music..the rappers annoyed the shit outta me..for real.I learned every lyric though,had to..why not.Not until "The Message"did I really care what dudes had to say but that goes without saying right?
Friday, July 2, 2010
Till The Next One...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
..So by now yall know I worked at D&D Recording Studios.Good,GREAT.It was the best place to work in HipHop at the time for sure.We made more than hits there we made classics.Not to say that classics weren't made anywhere else but,let's face it, if a client ate ramen noodles for almost a year just so they could mix their record in the same room Premier mixed "Mass Appeal",that says a whole lot..right?!I'm also a fan of Rap music,I got my faves,my top ten,Blah Blah Blah..but a lot of times,these rap dudes will let you down.This time we won't get into those dudes.However one cat will forever stand out as the most humble, down to earth dude I have ever met...KRS One.To this day I can't say a bad word about my dude Krs...(or Kenny his brother for that matter)..
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
D&D Studios was legendary for the sound that came out of that place.You couldn't duplicate that for anything,with anything and I'm glad to have been a part of the era that was the Golden Era of Hip Hop and to be where alot of it went down,and even more so, to be a part of the process on a lot of those classics.A question I get asked a lot of times by Hip Hop cats,"What Was It Like Working In D&D?".I tell 'em.."D&D was like high school,and hazing was a must for everyone..EVERYONE!"Believe me clients weren't immune to the pranks or getting in on it.They were worse than the staff half the time.If we had camera phones back then..well let's just say the D&D antics put "Animal House"(that's a movie for some of you who don't know) to shame.I was quickly schooled by everyone at D&D.."Don't Sit In The Back Ground And Say or Do Nothing..We'll Murder You If You Do That!". Through out my ten years over at D&D,I got to do,see and be a part of alot of things most engineers never did or can say they did.I mean it's not every day you get to work with people you looked up to and inspired you to get in the game.Alot of names are gonna be mentioned when I really get Blogging but all can say for now is..I met Donald Byrd and Roy Ayers there...WHAT!...a handful of people can say they walked into a Hip Hop studio and saw Donald Byrd sitting in the room with a collection of original quarter and half inch tapes of his master recordings...try and find em..I'll be here.And he was sooo friggin' cool.Said to me once and I'll never forget this.."Some Stuff He Did Had No Real Plan,Just An Idea..We Just Went With The Vibe At The Moment.We Just Wanted To Make Good Music"..how many of you so called artists can say that?...
Monday, May 24, 2010
I first met Guru during my internship at D&D studios in '93.I began working as his assistant engineer on his solo projects soon after and ultimately, with him alongside DJ Premier on GangStarr projects from '97 till ‘03. I have countless memories of Guru and Preem working on music for GangStarr or JazzMaTazz…sessions that seemed to go on forever but the end result was pure magic. During all of this he became a great friend and mentor to me. Guru was overly kind and generous, he loved helping others achieve their goals anyway he could. As an artist he remained student of the game, despite his own impact, knowledge and status in the Rap world. He loved Hip Hop and everything that came with it. He listened to every album he could, cover to cover, without prejudice and appreciated what every artist brought to the game.
The birth of his son was the happiest I had ever seen him. His lil man was a catalyst for him to change his own life and as he said to me “be a better man for this kid”. This was one of the last times I remember seeing Guru before D&D closed and I left for California. His impact on the game will never be duplicated. His rhyme flow was impeccable and his perspective on life was optimistic. He always thought we as people could turn things around, if we wanted to. He pressed the importance of educating the young generation so they could excel past our accomplishments and continue a legacy of great Black leaders.
Monday, March 15, 2010
So she starts in on what she's doing now that she has moved to France and all that,married and a mother but still working on music and plans for new projects and getting back into marketing,her company "Pickininny", and..I sit..I listen..I'm loving what I'm hearing.It's the movement that can make it all make sense.Fresh view on old structures.Perfect.."Sign Me Up When Do We Start"."Now'..she goes.."Great Let's Get It!"..We are on the path to revolutionize the way things should and could work for the indie artist.Face facts that the money train is still running but alotta you cats are waiting at the wrong platform"Gimme A Deal!"..WHY?!..Time to tear down the prehistoric notions of how things ought to be.So many other ways to make it out there.Pay attention and become a student,shut up and listen..nothing wrong with that.You don't stop learning until you die,if you feel differently,you are missing out on a lot of life.
So be on the lookout for us this year..yes this year...we got alot going on that will have everyone rethinking their formulas.Till then check us out : http://pickininny.com/BGirlChronicles/
Thanks And Stay Tuned!
Friday, March 12, 2010
I'm getting a lot of support from people regarding this blog,and I am very appreciative.I wasn't even sure I was going to do a Blog,but the day I started it I just felt like writing.People always ask what it was like being a part of the industry in the era when expression meant something and the money wasn't the main aim.Others said I should write a book about my life working in D&D,which I'm still thinking about doing.Maybe I'll just compile all these lil blogs into one book,I dunno.I already started to write about my first day at D&D and all,will post that later.Somethings have to be left out,because I am not on here to make folks look bad,spread rumors,gossip etc...it will however reflect what was going on at the time I was going through it,so its all facts,NO BULLSHIT.I will talk about studio sessions(working on Da Shinin & Moment Of Truth..Yeah!),road trips(every time we went to Chicago and Connecticut it was crazy).As it comes I'm just write and post..Cool?..I'll holla at yall..thanks again..
Aight I'm gonna be as brief as possible with this.Most of yall know Guru from GangStarr is not in the best place health wise and I just want to say to everyone who has been praying for him,thanks for supporting and showing love for my dude.I met Guru in late '93 and consider him a really close friend,brother and mentor.I was able to work on alot of Guru's solo stuff and with him and Premier on three GangStarr albums.A lot of speculation has been circulating regarding Guru's current situation but it really is just speculation, so all you sidewinders please knock it off.No one really knows whats what,keep your rumors ans hate to yourself.Guru is a good dude and he's had his moments where he made bad decisions,but who hasn't?
I pray that my dude makes a full recovery and thank all the friends and fans for praying along with me.
I pray that my dude makes a full recovery and thank all the friends and fans for praying along with me.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
My first recollection from childhood besides my great uncle's funeral was playing records on my grandparents' record player.That same record player cut off the top piece of my thumb,but that's a different story.I got pictures some where of me holding up Betty Wright's Live album and albums by Isaac Hayes and Millie Jackson(yeah do your research),Hot Chocolate,Bob Marley,Jacob Miller..all those and others opened me up to what music can really do as far as expression of thoughts,feelings and everything you could want to do was concerned.I didn't really see where it would fit into my life as a career until my teenage years.I never wanted to be a performer or a musician,but I wanted to be involved in music somehow someway.Watching TV one day,can't remember who's video or documentary it was,but they were in the studio messing with the music.Creating shit..I was like yeah that's me all day right there...
Fast forward to fall 1990..NYC..University Place above D'Agostino's..I'm enrolled in the Institute Of Audio Research.Nine months and several agonizing episodes later I'm out and looking for an internship.My big sister Kim got me my first gig(and my second)..the first was "The Writing Room",where I worked with Lord Finesse,who at the time was working on Big L's demo.This was my first actual session.Then "The Writing Room" shut down(shady dealings),and along came the Apollo Theater.Loved working there.Got to work with Onyx on their first album so of course I got to meet Jam Master Jay(yall know him right?).Did live albums for Public Enemy and Patti LaBelle.Niceness.Then the Apollo got new "Mangement"..everybody's fired!Months go by,I'm living in the Bronx(Parkchester off Metropolitan) and nothing is happening.What the hell?!
1993 Brooklyn,29th & Ave.D.Pager goes off..hit up the corner pay phone."What Up?Who Dis?"..answer.."It's Swift Yo..What You Doing?"..my reply.."Nothing..What You Got?"..his reply.."Umm You Ever Heard Of D&D?".
Few days later I'm sitting in the then office of Doug Grama(studio owner and partner with Dave Lotwin)..brief meeting,showed him that I knew what I was doing.He said "I'll Call You"..I'm Like(to myself of course).."Aight Money"..I'm thinking this cat aint calling nobody,lemme get back to BK and go smoke away my troubles.Get of the train 30 mins later..pager goes off.."212 736 7774".."Hello?"(can't be ghetto might be a job on the other end).."Yeah This Is Doug Grama From D&D"..me.."Hey Doug"..him.."So We Wanna Bring You On,When Can You Start?"..me.."Tomorrow!".."Great..See You At 11am"..Next day I'm there and shit is what I wanted to be messing with from day one..EVERYBODY WAS THERE!..And for any real HipHop head you know that in the '90's D&D was the spot..period.Met every single artist I ever wanted to meet.Couldnt be in a better place..worked on some of the most influential records in Hip Hop..(didn't get credit for most of it but who cares now)...I mean I worked on Classics..Thank God For HipHop.Fast Forward To 2003(yeah I know some of yall want dirt but this Blog aint for that..maybe later..)..end of an era as they say..D&D is shut down..people fade out..change their mind about their life's direction..get old and tired of the bullshit..basically we grow up and see a bigger picture.Me,I move to CA...I worked on One record while I'm out there(Da'Kah,a HipHop Orchestra)..and stayed away from the studio for 3 years.Why?Cause I got tired of the music cats was putting out.I stayed in entertainment..working with a production company that did documentaries and TV shows for Discovery Channel and ended up working for a porn website.CA was a great experience for me,but I was ready for change again...
Now I'm in GA and my industry homies are reaching out to me...them.."Son You Need To Get Back In The Game!"..me.."The Game Is Dead Yall"..them.."Nah Son We Just Gotta Re-Focus And Use Our Knowledge With The Technology,We Can Still Make Paper"...me...."Oh Yeah?..them"YEAH SON!"..me.."Aight What You Got"...
.....Keep Checking In..You'll See What I Been Working On.....Till Then..