Archive for the ‘Rap’ Category

Charlie Brown of LONS Interview! (Not an April Fools’)

April 1, 2009

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So after years of wondering how I was going to get in touch with one of my favorite MC’s of all time, I was finally  able to interview C Brown of Leaders Of The New School (shout out to Raheem for the big assist). Where has he been? What has he been doing? Yes, these were my first questions. Well, Brown informed me that he is still in the music industry in a way, but not in the way you may think. He is currently creating jingles for commercials and companies and has been doing it for the last ten years. According to Brown, they reached out to him and asked for him. Nice to know there is an LONS fan in advertising!

What were the specific artists that you listened to growing up?
Melle Mell, Grandmaster Caz and the Cold Crush 4, Afrika Bambaataa. From there hip hop was on vinyl a lot more and I started listening to Run DMC, Beasties, Whodini, and Jungle Brothers. I’m a big fan. I listened to a lot of reggae, which influenced my vocal style like the noises they make when they chat. Brown raps and gives an example of his style on A Future Without A Past.

When did LONS form?
That came about in 85. I started the group, I hand picked each member of the group.The group name came from Chuck D.

And your MC name came from Chuck D as well?
Yes.

Was there a reason why you picked each member?
Well, Dinco I liked the way that he wrote. He wrote good rhymes and he lived around the corner.We did demo tapes at a mutual friends house, that’s how we hooked up. Busta, I met him through battling. I used to battle and he used to beat box, one day I was gigging on him and he was beat boxing. I started snapping and he didn’t like that and wrote a rhyme called “The Annihilator” (laughs). He came back and wrote a dope rhyme and he got me that day cause I was freestyling. So I said “Ok, lets become a group” and we became a group.

And how did you actually meet Chuck D and break into the industry?
I met Chuck D through my brother and he had a studio in Hempstead. They used to have a group called Spectrum City. I used to be a crate boy for my brother so I met them through them and going to parties and handing out flyers for Chuck D’s parties. I started going to the radio station when Chuck, Flava, and Dr. Dre from Yo MTV Raps had a show up at Adelphi University. He used to take us to a lot of seminars.

What was Chuck’s reaction when he first heard you?
They loved it! They thought our styles was different and they felt the group name fit us. We were in school, we had new styles, and Busta played drums it added a lot more dimension to the group.We were cutting our demos just trying to get on, we was real young though.

Did being young make it more difficult?

We had to come up with some of the money for recording. We wrote about different topics. It was fun recording the first album and we were doing shows.

After the first record was finished what was the transition between that and the 2nd record?
The first album was conceptualized like a school day and everything that happens in school like cutting out and going to a hooky party that’s like “Zonecoaster.”  Just  different topics that happen in a school day, talking about that from a young perspective. The T.I.M.E album was more  getting into depth about things.

The first single from T.I.M.E had a different flavor than a lot of the stuff on the record.
Dinco produced “Whats Next?” and I helped him out. He had the loop but he didn’t have the whole drums, and some of the ideas. I made a lot of the chorus for the group. Brown raps the chorus from “What’s Next?”

Production wise what kind of input did you guys have within the group? Did you take a more active role in the studio with the 2nd record?
The first album we had Backspin , SD50s,and on the 2nd album we let Large Pro do the remix for the first single and Diamond D do the remix for the 2nd single.

At what point in the 2nd record did the group start to pull apart and cracks form?
During “Scenario”, like in between albums. Everyone wanted Busta to go to solo and they were saying we were having problems in the group. He wanted to do Flipmode and make his mark that way so we started having problems.

It seems that in the past that those problems got talking about happening solely between you and him. Was that the case? Was there friction within the whole group?
There was a lot of friction between me and Busta, there was a lot of friction between everyone. Everyone wanted to make decisions. A lot of it came down to me and Busta because we made the most decisions in the group. It was more like a democracy and everyone had a share 25% like a corporation. Most of the decisions were still made by me and Busta and if we agreed with it everyone flowed but if we didn’t agree, there were problems.

Was he unhappy with the direction of the 2nd album?
He wanted different tracks… he wanted gutter like how he raps now. I didn’t want him to do that I wanted us to keep our stuff clean not too much cursing. Keep our stuff like De La or Tribe.

Native Tongues rather than Coke Rap.
Yeah, we were differently a part of the Native Tongues. Our vibe. We were down with Zulu nation as well.

Can you discuss the Yo MTV Raps performance?
I just walked off the set. Busta kept talking shit and I didn’t feel like hearing his mouth so I just got mad and left.

Was it dominating performances?
Performances were always great. It was mostly behind the scenes shit.

So it crossed over into that?
At that point he started talking shit on the set and it started leaking into it and I didn’t feel like hearing it so I was like, “fuck it.” He wanted to piss me off so he could go and do his own thing and he wanted an excuse to do his own thing. And I understood that later on, you know what I’m saying? I haven’t spoke to him, my brother saw him  when he performed at BB Kings recently. Busta gave him a lot of respect cause he started us out by just DJing up in theroom, so he showed my brother love. So I guess he ain’t feeling that bad and has no ill feelings towards me. I have no ill feelings towards him and I’m glad he’s doing his thing and is successful. It just shows that his beginnings were humble and we were too. We were an underground group but we were breaking new ground. “Scenario,” that goes down as one of the best posse cuts ever. As far as two groups collaborating it goes down with the “Symphony” and other great collabos of artists.

What happens if “Scenario” never came about? Would the future have been different?
I think we would have made better records. I think we would have started making different records. I would have listened to Busta more and started making more hardcore records. After that time, Onyx came out and groups started making harder records. Busta wanted to come hardcore, I didn’t mind it but I wanted to make shit that was more universally accepted. Shit you could play from your grandparents to the little ones.

I don’t know if that rough style would have fit the group if it would have been received.
Not so much like the rest of the him cause like hardcore to us is like old school hardcore. Like “Bass Is loaded” was kinda hardcore to us.

T.I.M.E. was a lot darker in content.
Yeah, darker. We would have went  darker on our shit.

What about the rest of the guys and your relationship with them?
I’m cool with Milo, Busta’s cousin. He also MC’s and he has a website Milo In De Dance Productions (http://www.myspace.com/miloindedance) and a lot of music is on there.

What about Dinco?
I saw Dinco last night he dropped me a beat, we are supposed to do a track. The beat is hot.

So is there a possibility of you releasing a track together in the future?
There is a possibility of that.

What happened in between because you had the solo track on Busta’s album?

It was kind of a fucked up funny vibe, we talked about the money a little bit. We did it out of respect for Busta and the label didn’t want to let us go. It was kinda fucked up we were looking at Busta to help us out and it created animosity for mad years and mad hard feelings towards him. Dinco, Milo and myself weren’t feeling him. He wasn’t taking care of certain shit that he coulda looked out on and he felt like “I’m not looking out for shit, I’m looking out for myself.”

So basically he could have helped your situation out at the label and stayed solo?
Yeah.

You said you have been making commercials for the last 10 years what has your involvement been behind the scenes?
I see cats in the city sometimes. Different artists and producers. But when I go to the studio to work Ive been recording my own stuff there. Its good for me to record my own stuff and see how my skills are. My skills aren’t bad. My stuff sound old school it doesn’t sound like this new shit that’s out, but its cool.

So you are saying  it would sound similar to stuff fans heard before? Have you changed?
My style has changed a lot. My voice, I use more metaphors in my writing, you would have to hear it. It’s a revolve-olution. The content I got a song about me growing up in the hood, women. With Leaders, we didn’t talk about women a lot. A lot of the stuff we could have talked about as Leaders we didn’t and we would have gotten a broader appeal and sold more records. We just talked about us, skills and shit. Dark metaphors, different analogies and whatever topic we were rhyming about whatever the song title was. Just trying to conceptualize T.I.M.E, The Inner Mind’s Eye. The source gave it 4 mics they said it was one of those go out and look for it albums.

I believe its aged well. People still dig that record. Do you have a favorite track from everything you have done?
The “Scenario” and “Scenario” remix. The Leaders cut would be ” Teachers Don’t Teach Us Nonsense,” “Sound Of  The Zeekers,” “Bass Is Loaded,” and “Syntax Era.”

What about “Quarter To Cutthroat”?
I produced that.

You tried to  kill that verse!
Brown raps the intro- “Bring one mc, two mc….”
That was when I stepped up and tried doing different things. Busta was doing his own thing, I had to try and do mine. I had crazy styles. Leaders tried to concentrate on having crazy different styles and sampled a lot of different shit. We really worked on the arrangement.

So are you producing your own tracks?
Yeah.

Anyone you would want to work with?
Large Professor, Diamond D, Pete Rock. Anyone Nas used on his first album.

Anyone from back then that you are listening to currently?
I’m an old school cat so I really don’t like these new cats or their production. Their content, they are getting paid. Soulja Boy, I don’t like shit like that. (We proceed to talk about recent quality hip-hop and Sean Price for several minutes.)

Have you set a time line regarding release?
I’m supposed to have a meeting with someone from Europe on Monday about getting some stuff distributed. I don’t know how that’s going to go. I’m thinking about just putting it out over the internet and releasing the shit. The buzz will be there.

Ego Trip’s Miss Rap Supreme Finale Recap

June 9, 2008

All things must come to an end. If you read my initial post on Miss Rap Supreme and my evaluation of the contestants, then you know I am Nostradamus when it comes to making predictions.

What I said in April:
WHAT… THE…FUCK. That look needs to go. However, I am going to go with Rece as my dark horse and pick her to win the Miss Rap Supreme championship. She has a style that will appeal to Yo Yo and Serch. Based on her Myspace music, she seems to be the best of the contestants at crafting a song.

I was pleased with the outcome of MRS and feel that the best contestant won. Cough, Rece Steele, cough. We all knew that it wasn’t going to be Ms. Cherry.

The show began with the ladies being told they were going to have to battle to determine the final two. Immediately, Ms. Cherry and Byata began to panic, because that is not their style. Ms. Cherry actually asked for any alternative spellings and the language of origin. They brought Dr. Roxanne Shante out, who told the ladies to give up rap and go to school. Nahh, she stated that there are no friends in battling, a lesson which Rece Steele would take to heart.

Ms. Cherry led off the diss challenge rapping in that accent which continues to irk me to no end. Her flow was choppy and disjointed. She didn’t really drop any original punchlines, and faltered when she tried to go at Rece Steele’s mother. Yawn

Byata went second and looked like she was battling her mother. She had a cheesy ass grin on her face and dropped lackluster rhymes. Byata can’t battle. I imagine you gathered that from her hippy attire. She did sound more fluid than Ms. Cherry.

Rece Steele went last and stepped up the mic angry as hell. That mother line musta upset her because she tore Byata and Ms. Cherry down. She even made a reference to Ms. Cherry’s ug mug! Now that is what I am talking about. Her ferocity and intensity was so beyond her competitors it wasn’t even funny.

Serch and Yo-Yo met and decided that Ms. Cherry was the weakest of the three and she was required to give up her sash. Next up, was Will.I.Am, who MC Serch had a billion nice things to say. A legend in hip-hop? To make reference to Serch’s new favorite word- Really? Really, Serch? I thought he was pop, forgive me. Will.I.Am had a seat next to the ladies and I thought Hurricane Katrina’s cousin was going to pop off because that dude was floodin’ like a motherfucker. The exchange between Will and the ladies basically involved him asking them to spit, them spitting, and Will looking dazed and saying “wow” and other unintelligible responses. Fascinating. Rece kicked a straight up rhyme while Byata delivered a more hook focused melodic rhyme, knowing a pop artist would respond better to it.

We didn’t get any footage of the ladies constructing their final 16 and song for the final challenge while it cut straight to the dressing room of the final performance. The ladies had to share the same dressing room! What kinda bs is that? Ego Trip is on some old price cutting tactics crap! It would have been much better if the ladies would have been separate dressing rooms and we could have heard some straight up trash talk, heard some more. All we got was them rehearsing over each other. Oh, and Yo-Yo telling them it was a historical moment for women in hip-hop. Was Shamrock winning the WRS a historic moment for white rappers?

Serch arrived in the building and introduced the judges- Mona Scott and Missy Elliott. What, no Dante Ross? Initially, I believed that Rece Steele was royally screwed. Missy Elliott is not similar to Rece in any way whatsoever and is not a real lyrical type chick. She is a pop artist, like Byata. The ladies were required to begin by spitting a 16, in which I felt Rece stepped her game up a little by showing more stage presence and delivering better lines. Byata continued to do Byata. She isn’t awful, but she doesn’t give you anything you will ever remember or quote.

Byata led off the song performance with a little number about her struggles growing up and breaking into the rap game. She rapped for several minutes about people not wanting to hear her, getting booed off stages, and hated on. Yet, she kept going! Someone just can’t take a hint. Byata is def the last person you want on your crib right before dinner is being served and you need her to bounce. Byata’s hook was ehhh, not mind blowing but her crowd participation was decent. Not that she got much back in return.

Rece stepped up and destroyed it. She didn’t rap like she was scared to look at the crowd, she actually gave a pretty dope performance. She destroyed Byata in the lyrical department, created a song that the crowd enjoyed listening to more, and pleased the judges. Despite some of the judges stating that Rece needed to conquer her fear and anger, they gave her the 100G prize and the title of Miss Rap Supreme. What will Ego Trip do next? Best hip-hop group? Asian Rapper Show? Elderly Rapper Show? I believe I shall tune in.

20/20Proof Podcast Episode 13

March 26, 2008

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For the 13th episode we delve into a theme loved by all- beef.

Westside Connection- Westside Slaughterhouse
Common-The Bitch In Yoo
Cypress Hill- No Rest For The Wicked
Westside Connection- King Of The Hill
Kam & DJ Pooh- Whoop Whoop
Ice Cube-No Vaseline
MF Doom- Deep Fried Frenz & El Chupa Nibre
MF Grimm-The Book Of Daniel
Canibus-2nd Round KO
LL Cool J-The Ripper Strikes Back
Wyclef- What’s Clef Got To Do With It
LL Cool J- Rasta Imposta
Jeru-Friends

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20/20Proof Podcast Episode 12

March 4, 2008

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For the 12th episode of the 20/20Proof Podcast we take a look at some lesser known and underappreciated gems.

Lord Digga-My Flows Is Tight
Powerrule-Dawn To Dusk
LONS-Shining Star
Da Lench Mob-Ain’t Got No Class (Beatnuts Remix)
E Money Bags Ft Nas & Noreaga-Thugs Calm Down
Extra Prolific Ft Del- Critics
A Tribe Called Quest- Scenario (The Unreleased Original Version)
The Wascals Ft Fatlip-Dream & Imaginate

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20/20Proof Podcast Episode 10- The Peter Gammons Ep Pt. 1

January 24, 2008

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We rock the first part of a two part concept episode focusing on baseball and hip-hop. Listen to us discuss the whiteness of the Pittsburgh Pirates, MLB’s choice of Bone Thugs N Harmony to record a track to honor Negro League players, Nate Dogg’s post stroke singing abilities, steroids in baseball and music, the mass appeal of Peter Gammons, and our love (no Ennis Del Mar) for Harold Reynolds.

Playlist:
Roberto Clemente’s 3000 Hit Call
Ultramagnetic MC’s- Saga Of Dandy, The Devil & Day
Natural Resource- Negro League Baseball
Camp Lo-Negro League
Kanye West-Barry Bonds
Crooklyn Dodgers-Crooklyn
Mic Geronimo-The Natural

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Chuck Knoblauch To Enter Studio With Kool G Rap

January 23, 2008


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The Feds
got your man Chuck Knoblauch on the run pumpin’ Kool G Rap and shootin’ up HGH for no damn good reason. Dude has been retired for a minute. All we know at this moment is Knoblauch ain’t getting served those subpoena papers without a fight.

WASHINGTON — Former major leaguer Chuck Knoblauch had not been tracked down as of early Wednesday evening by federal marshals trying to serve him a subpoena from a House panel investigating steroids in baseball, a committee staffer told The Associated Press.

Knoblauch, a four-time All-Star who played for the Yankees, Twins and Royals from 1991-02, originally was asked to appear Thursday for what was supposed to be the first of five depositions or transcribed interviews scheduled by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Those sessions are in preparation for a hearing Feb. 13, when the witnesses are scheduled to include seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens and his former personal trainer, Brian McNamee.

When the committee didn’t hear from Knoblauch or a representative, it issued a subpoena to force the 1991 AL Rookie of the Year to submit to a deposition next Tuesday.

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, though, that subpoena had not reached the former infielder who, like Clemens and more than 80 other players, was accused of using performance-enhancing drugs in last month’s Mitchell Report on baseball’s steroids era.

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Where you at, Chuck? It would be hilarious if all the accused baseball players shut off their computers, turned off their TV’s and hit the road. Then G Rap could get them in the studio to record “On The Run 2k.” The Feds would lose their damn mind! We have people moving massive amounts of cocaine and heroin into the country at this moment, Brad Renfro and Heath Ledger dropping dead, yet one of our government’s main priorities is finding a man who magically lost his ability to throw to first base? Remember “the yips”? If Knoblauch decides to answer any questions about this whole steroids thing he should simply state:

“Steroids didn’t help me throw to fucking first base from 30 feet away! Get off my dick, fool!”

20/20Proof Podcast Episode 9- Prince Po Spotlight

January 18, 2008

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We present a special 20/20Proof Podcast episode which is dedicated to the legendary Prince Po of Organized Konfusion. You will hear all Prince verses as well as audio snippets of an interview I conducted with him awhile back. Enjoy!

Organized Konfusion-Releasing Hypnotical Gases
Organized Konfusion-Stray Bullet
Prince Po-Meet Me At The Bar
Prince Po-I’m Hatin
Prince Po-U Right Hear
Prince Po-Pretty Black
Prince Po-Land Of Perfect
Organized Konfusion-Fudge Pudge
Organized Konfusion-Decisions
Organized Konfusion-God Send
Prince Po-Against The Grain
Prince Po-Shine
Organized Konfusion-Hate
Prince Po (GA)- My Peeps
Organized Konfusion-Stress
Organized Konfusion-Maintain
Prince Po- Feel It 4 You
Prince Po-It’s Going Down
Prince Po-I Got A Right To Know
Organized Konfusion-Bring It On(Blockhead Remix)
Organized Konfusion-Invetro

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