Jrnl Entry No. 9.13.2000 “MY HIP HOP STORY” PART III

Nelson and I, with his equipment, we started producing songs; sampling snare taps and bass kicks and other sounds. We even had a little mix down process that we did. We’d record something on one tape, and then play that tape back and record it with additional sounds and vocals, etc. It was with Nelson that I wrote “I’m Hype”, “In Effect” using the E.F.F.E.C.T. from Rakin Microphone Fein”, “I’m Getting’ Busier”, “It’s Party Time”, “The Continuous Rap”, and “Parents Stop Buggin”, you can guess where I got the idea for that song. We recorded about four songs in his room and we were just gonna continue building.

Our most promising song that we ever recorded in that room was “It’s Party Time”. We’d discovered this James Brown record. It was so funky. I forgot the name of it. Big Daddy Kane used it on his “I Get The Job Done” album. I think the name of his song was “Callin’ Mr. Welfare” He just used the beginning bass line and the intro horn, but we used the whole entire song. We had to because the song was so funky and melodic with the horns. We looped it twice and that was the song. My verses and breaks fit perfectly. Nelson was transformer scratching on the breaks, and like my second or third verse came right where the song started over again. It was love. We had sampled some record I think by Jackie Wilson where’d he say “It’s Party Time”, and we put some delay on it that was built into the sampler. I thought that this was the song that was gonna get us a call back from a record company for sure. I played it for my family and they loved it. My younger cousins liked it. I remember just listening to it and thinking, “this is a hit, this is the song that’s gonna get us a contract.” I sent it in and of course, nothing happened but some more of those letters.

My cousin Romeo and Angel had told Romeo’s sister who worked for Motown at the time; had been working there for like ten years. They told her that I wanted to be a rap star. They called me with her on the phone on three way, and she told me to send her a tape. So I recorded the songs that Nelson and I had recorded in his room on a little cheap tape and sent it to her. She called me back saying that the tape was garbage, the sound quality stunk, etc. She told me to hook up with my cousin Mantrix and record the songs over.

So Nelson and I began looking for some beats to rap over. We found one perfect one, which was off the first Stetsasonic album. I rapped “In Effect” to it and it sounded dope. We had did it up in Nelson’s room like three times trying to get the right mix and scratches down for it. We had the right mix, and all we had to do was put the vocals over it. Nelson flaked on me. I was calling him all week, but he was hiding out over his brother’s house. I went over there one day to talk to him and he said he didn’t want to do this no more. So that was the end of us as “TWC”. From there, I got like two others beats and looped them at home on my stereo. I had a “Trouble Funk” song for the “I’m Hyped” lyrics, and I had looped a James Brown beat for “The Continuous Rap”.

I went to my cousin’s studio and recorded the songs solo. We layed the looped tracks down. My cousin told me I had to put a drum track over them to give them some umft. I used the bass and the clap sound off that Casio drum machine he had to do this. I really didn’t need the clap sound which made the songs sound kind of wack. I didn’t take notice of this until a couple months later when I was letting my friends listen to it.  I made the tape, was confident in my rhymes and the songs as total packages, and sent the tape to my cousin who worked for Motown. She called back and said that some guy said I had potential but I wasn’t good enough. I had been bragging to her how good the tape was. I was especially hype about the song “I’m Hype” with the “Trouble Funk” beat. It was the first song I put on the tape. I had also sent this tape to companies in New York, and got a few letters back.

After about six months I made another tape. This time I recorded “I’m Getting’ Busier”. This song was the shit, and I know it could have sold millions if it would have gotten into the right hands. I still listen to it today and think about how big it could have been. I looped the “Doo Wah Ditty” beat by Roger Troutman and Zapp. This was about the time of Heavy D’s “Big Tyme” album where he did “More Bounce To The Ounce” and people were crazy about that song. I had looped my song perfectly. It was a perfect arrangement of a song I tell you. I sent this tape to my cousin and she never responded. Right around this time also on Motown, was the wack group “Rodney O and Joe Cooley.” Oh, I called and left a message on my cousin’s answering machine about them telling her how wack they were and that I knew I was better than them. I guess she didn’t like my confidence and cockiness. She never responded still. But her not responding wasn’t that bad after all because I got a response back from New York. I remember when my mom told me one day home from school that Stu Fines from Wild Pitch Records had called me. I was bubbling inside with joy, finally I would get signed and be on tour and all my dreams would happen.

Jrnl Entry No. 9.13.2000 “MY HIP HOP STORY” PART II

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.