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.