Then we started moving on to bigger and better Hip Hop concerts like at The Front Row in Cleveland, OH. They (Samuel, Clay, Shaneequa, Shaniece) had tickets already. I didn’t have my ticket and had no clue how I was gonna get one. I had planned on standing outside until they came out. It was the summer before I entered the ninth grade, and I was freshly dipped in my Korea Fila suit that no one in my town had ever seen before. I also had a satiny Adidas one. I knew nothing about ticket scalpers. So I was standing there in line, and a guy asked me if I needed a ticket, I said “yeah.” He got his boy and they sold me one for $30.
The concert was legendary. A Fresh Fest starring LL Cool J performing fresh off his platinum Bigger and Deffer album. The other groups were: Stetsasonic, Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim, Dougie Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew, and Whodini. The way The Front Row was designed was stadium seating and you could see from back to front. It was a circular hall with a rotating stage. I remember at the end of the concert Estacy of Whodini complimented me on my Fila suit. There was a second show so most all the rappers were hanging out by the tour buses. LL was probably on one of his sexual episodes because he was nowhere to be seen. He was the big star anyway so he couldn’t come outside. The next show we went to was also in Cleveland, a Fat Boys show, featuring U.T.F.O. U.T.F.O. rocked the house, doing dance moves and what not. This was the biggest concert hall I’d ever been in. This was like my third time seeing The Fat Boys. They were performing their “Chrushin’´album which I had bought that summer.
There was something about U.T.F.O.’s performance that struck me and made me want to become a rapper who performed out on tour. When I got back home that night, which was a Sunday, and school was the next morning, I wrote my first rap song called “Dance”. I finished it at like 1:00 AM. I wrote another song about two days later which included my cousin Donavan. It was called Doc and Don, describing how two guys treated girls; me treating a girl kind, and Donavan treating a girl cruel. We rehearsed the song, but Donavan didn’t take it serious. I eventually a month later, took his name out the song, and just made it as another personality of me.
My older cousin Mantrix had a little recording studio down in his basement. He said he’d charge me $25 to make a tape of the two songs. I had produced two little beats in my head and beat boxed them onto a tape to rehearse the songs before I went to the studio. I had one problem though, my mom said that she was not going to give me the $25 to do the tape. Well, that problem was easily overcome. I made the appointment to do the tape and I just stole the money out of my mom’s purse. She found out and asked me about it. The last whipping I had was when I was 12. She wasn’t mad or anything, she didn’t do nothing, but she still mentions it to me to this day.
So I went to my cousin’s studio. He had a Casio little drum machine that he didn’t know how to program. I called Clay and asked him how to program it because he had the same one. He explained something to me and I tried it. I had the sequence going but the beat wouldn’t come out right. I just played it manually. I played the whole drum track from pad to pad: bass, hi hat, clap, hi hat, bass, clap, open hi hat. I still know how that beat goes. I did the vocals, overdubbing the whole song, to give it a stronger voice my cousin said. The songs were pretty wack for the most part. The second song with the two personalities was the better of the two. I had my cousin play the bass guitar. It was the bass line from LL’s “I’m Bad”. I didn’t think about it at the time when making it, but that’s what it was as others pointed out to me when I let them listen to it.
When the tape was finished, I went over to Samuel’s house and got addresses off of the back of his records to record companies. I had like twenty addresses. I sent the tapes off with just one stamp on them. About two days later, they all came back “insufficient postage”. The maintenance man had them all in a bucket and gave them to me. I put like two more stamps on them and sent them off again. I probably got about two of those infamous letters in the mail like six weeks later. “Thanks for submitting your material, however, at this time we are not looking for new material.” I’d always get a letter back from Profile Records. I got one back from Virgin Records saying they didn’t accept unsolicited material. I called their office to ask what that meant. They told me it had to be submitted by a lawyer.
Later that year I got hooked up with some guy, who was a beginner DJ by the name of Nelson. We got hooked up through some guy who talked a bunch of shit like he was a manager. He even had me do this one song for Nelson’s brother like I was auditioning or something. Nelson’s brother named Remmington was just a working man with a wife and kidz. But Nelson and I hooked up and he was the DJ and I was the rapper. We later named ourselves TWC (The Warren Crew). Nelson had two turntables and a mixer with a little button on it to help with transformer scratching. He had basically taken over his cousin’s little Casio sampler. I think Prince Paul used the same sampler on the De La Three Feet High and Rising” album because I heard the lion roar on the album, the same lion roar from that little sampler.