Brucie Bee Of
the Legendary Roof Top.
Troy L. Smith
What up my brother, thank you for your time. First question where were you born and raised at?
I was born in New York, at the hospital in Manhattan called Metropolitan Hospital. I believe it’s on 92nd street and 2nd avenue. I was raised in Harlem on 117th street between Lenox and 5th avenue, but we moved to the Bronx when I was about 5. When we got to the Bronx we first moved to 174th street and Vice Avenue. It is close to West Farms Avenue by the number 2 train.
did you catch the bug for this hip hop thing?
I was 6 years old when I first heard it; D.J. Smokey and the Smokatrons were doing their thing over on Webster Avenue, by Grant and 167th street. My public school was 79, on 180th street and Morris Avenue. But I really got in to the D.J thing when I was 12 years old. My junior high school was 137. At that age I was going to all the Hip Hop jams up in the Bronx. I was living on Burnside by this time. Me and my friends used to sell smoke and hang out at all the parks such as Echo Park, Arthur Park, 123 Park, Cedar Park, any where there was a jam we were there. My man Herbie’s uncle had D.J equipment. One day it was like 12 of us at my man’s house. Herbie’s uncle gave each of us a chance to get on the turntables and do our thing. Out of everybody I was the only one that rocked it.
you gravitated to it quicker than every one else!
Yes some how on the first shot I knew how to cut on beat.
So you did this before that day you walked into the house with your friends?
No, I never did it before that day! It was my very first time! But I used, to watch all the other D.J.s. But I never ever touched the turntables before in my life. I then started getting my skills up by rocking with my man name Grand Master Ace who was a local cat. He would let me get on his set. I met Grand Master Caz during that time, because Caz used to come by and sell tapes to my man Danny. I hung out at the Disco Fever because I was living close by. This was when I really wanted to be a club D.J. because I used to watch June Bug. Him and Love Bug Star Ski were like “Oh my God.” They used to do amazing things. Especially June Bug I always told people about June Bug, because it’s like nobody ever talks or writes about him.
I heard he was a real cool brother.
Yes. But I didn’t start to D.J. on the level where I was ready to rock at the Fever until I met Star Child. I later moved to 157th street and Gerard Avenue, I was 15, 16 by this time.
to Yankee Stadium!
Right, it was right around the corner from the Stadium.
you ever catch on to a crew during this time?
No, but how my D.J.ing progressed was my man Lance (Not Lightning Lance.) used to let D.J. Star Child stay at his crib. (Not Kool Kyle the Star Child.) When I got with Star Child I got on to the clubs. Star Child was doing a lot of clubs and skating rinks. He told me just come hang out with him. Back then I think he was jut making $40 a night. Out of the 40 he would give me $20. I always knew how to cut but he taught me how to mix and blend records and keep it like just one flow. I first played at the East side Living Room, which was once called the 371! That spot was on 166th street between Finley and College. Star Child was rocking there and he put me on.
word! They changed 371 to the East Side Living Room?
I never knew that, you learn something new every day.
Right, then from there I went to this after hours spot called the Hill Top! It is closer to 175th street and Ogden Avenue. The first time I went up there this guy that ran the place would not let me in because I was looking too young, mind you I was 16 at the time. Eventually he let me in and I started playing there with Star Child! I used to leave out of my house at three o’clock in the morning to go to work at this after hour spot that would stay open till about 2pm, 4pm in the afternoon!
you had your hustle on the side as well!
Yeah I was selling my loose joints at that time.
Can you imagine selling loose joints today? It would be unheard of. One joint today cost $10. Back then $10 would get you two nickel bags, 5 joints each. (Bruce starts laughing.)
Imagine that, I used to think the same thing.
so now the Disco Fever comes next!
Right, I played in the Disco Fever for like 6 months. I had my own night in there, which was Tuesday nights. Grand Master Flash and Disco Bee were Wednesdays. I think Star Child was Thursdays. Love Bug and June Bug were the weekends. Mondays was Ronnie D.J. When I was there all the stars of Hip Hop and the drug game were in there. Even the Queens cats used to come up in there.
Cat and them?
Yeah Fat Cat and his man Claudee and them used to come up in there. In fact recently Claudee or Biddy got married. I was real cool with all the Queen’s n------, that’s how we blew up. The Queen’s n------ were the rich n------! After awhile Sal, the owner of the Fever had closed down for about a month because he had to do some renovation. When that happened I lost my spot. I don’t remember who took my spot or why. But by this time I went to the next level of drug dealing. My man Gusto who now owns the Entertainers Sports bar in the Bronx leased the Roof Top from Willie, old man Willie. What made Gusto interested in me was I did a tape with Love Bug and Hollywood at the Disco Fever. The tape was crazy hot, and everybody had it. When my man Gus heard it he was like “yo Bee I am about to get Willies spot right now, and I want to put you on.” That is when I started rocking at the Roof Top.
was Willies spot before Gusto got it, just a regular roller rink?
Right it was always Roof Top roller Skating rink with the after hours spot up stairs. That was the real reason why it was called Roof Top.
was the D.J before you got there?
Sir Lord Carlton and Howie Dee! At that time Roof Top was only open on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
when you got in there for the first time you….
….I changed the whole atmosphere. When I got in there I played everything from Reggae to Jazz, and mind you this is while they were on Roller skates. I played old school, the original Hip Hop beats. I was playing Sex Machine, all type of stuff.
were some of the records you broke in there?
I broke Big Mouth, Over Weight Lover. In fact I broke Heavy Dee’s first record – Mr Big Stuff in the Roof Top. That’s how Andre Harrell got his first deal, which was through the Roof Top, and then he went to Uptown records, after messing with Gusto. As far as the music, I played everything. I broke the Phil Collins joint in there, In the Air Tonight!
I know kid tell me about that, what made you play it from jump street, being as it was a pop record?
That record made people take notice that I played everything and knew when to rock it! Any time I played that record you knew that after I played it it was about to “pop off in here.” It just had that little slow mo and then the drum break. (Bruce starts making the beat sound of the record.) Ba da da boom.
That record was unbelievable.
would be some what like your intro!
Right after that I would do my routine and I would then slow it down, that record would be like for when I come out of my slow routine. I would go from that to “Keep Rising To The Top”, then “That’s What You Get for Being Polite”. Also, “Because you Love Me”, by Denise Williams. I used to just go from there. That record by Phil Collins was considered by everybody as a Roof Top record. There were a couple of them. Another one called Wang, by Al B and his man I can’t remember his name right now.
you talking about Al. B from the Disco 4?
Yes. He was rhyming back then.
thought he was all the way a D.J
Also the Sex Machine. I used to play some of these records every night for 8 years. I would get different responses, but mostly the same response. When they would hear it they would go crazy.
those where the famous words you were waiting for, “Oh S---, that’s
Right, exactly. But all those old joints were Roof Top records.
notice you never really said too much as you were spinning these
records. What ever
you said was cool. I dug you more then anybody else, and I am not trying
to front because I am interviewing you right now. Kid Capri is next but
I dug the sound of your voice, which had a certain type of street class
about it. Why did you keep it so simple? Why didn’t you run your
Actually I never used to talk.
I remember you used to tell me you were an emcee back in the early days
before you were a known D.J. and you were running with your man Grand
I was an emcee but not like a hood emcee! I didn’t start talking on the mic as a D.J until Love Bug! Love Bug used to always tell me “yo Bee you know you being doing your thing, but nobody knows who you are; you have to at least say your name.” From there that’s when I started talking. But I still kept it short and sweet. Instead of long and boring! That’s what I learned.
I got you, instead of long and boring! Did they have certain nights for skating, because I went in there one night when Busy Bee was rocking his joint Suicide and not a person was skating?
It would be skating until 3 or 4 in the morning and the last hour you would take off the skates and party for the last hour. When ever there was a show there would be no skating.
bar on the first floor and the after hours bar would be on the second
Right. After the party they would go upstairs and get their high on, because those were the Coke days. Either that or hit the avenue and hang out.
Or hit the S and S club over top of Willies Burgers on 145th street and 8th avenue. Did Gusto have anything to do with the S and S spot?
Yeah, because the person that owned the S and S owned the Roof Top. This was once again Old man Willie. Who also owned Willies Burgers.
Willie still alive to this day?
Yes he is.
is one money making dude.
Yes a real old timer, from Harlem. To be honest my brother T- Rod and him were more cool with each other.
Rod was getting down for his too.
Yeah he was doing his thing on streets also. He also boxed, so he was more or less the enforcer!
brother, that’s good to hear. Nobody touched you huh?
Then on the side inside of the Roof Top was the picture area.
Right that was Cisco. He had that locked, he had to give money to the house but it was short paper. Even today he is still taking pictures.
Greg Gee of the Disco Four had the Recording studio upstairs.
Right, Greg pretty much over seen things for Gusto in that department. Greg and Cool Gee. Cool Gee was the host for all of our shows.
Right, I got a couple of tapes with your man Cool Gee screaming on a couple of chicks and fellas on the Doug E. Fresh birthday (Tape 155.) party and Heavy D, Moe Dee party (Tape 156).
You got a lot of joints then if you got the Doug E. Fresh joint, because I am about to hit the streets with that. I am getting ready to hit the streets with the Krush Groove party also!
was at the Krush Groove party?
The Krush Groove party was from the movie!
so was the whole cast there?
Not everybody, but Kurtis Blow and the Fat Boys came through. Also home boy that played the main role!
Right, he came through, it was crazy.
Sheila E come through?
Nah, not her.
were some of the acts that you had came through there?
We had Doug E. Fresh, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, Salt and Pepper, Jazzy Joyce, Sweet Tee, Teddy Riley. Teddy Riley played there before he put together Guy.
they called Kids at Work or something like that?
Yeah they had the song “Singing Hey Yeah”. L. L. Cool J came through, Eric B and Rakim. Kool Moe Dee was signed to Roof Top records for a minute.
I think he did one album with Roof Top and then broke out to Jive
Right Jive! I know a lot of Bull S--- went down with that as well. He made his come back through Roof Top records and then left.
I remember that because I talked to D.J Lee about that and he told me that record “Go See The Doctor” should have went platinum but it was poorly advertised.
You are right it should have gone platinum. I broke that record as well. Any record that came out of Roof Top records I broke first.
are all the acts that came out of there?
Kool Moe Dee, Tony Tee, an emcee that passed during that time - God bless him. Teddy Riley, B Fats and Donald Dee also.
Fats made the Whop up in there right?
Right. Raps New Generation as well.
New Generation! I used to dig the hell out of them brothers.
K- Born and L.A. La Brew. I bought them to Roof Top records from the Fever. La Brew died and K- Born went on to be a writer for the Source magazine. I saw them in the Gong show at the Fever one night.
starts laughing.) The Fever had a Gong show, I didn’t know that!
Yeah, yeah. That was the first time I caught New Edition. I forgot I was also Star Ski’s D.J when he made that record You Gotta Believe.
I remember he did that video up in the Fever also.
Right, I also was Busy Bee’s D.J when he made Suicide.
I saw the picture up in Rocks store (2028 5th avenue. 125th
street.) with you and Busy. So the Gong show at the Fever was like
Amateur night at the Apollo.
When I did Amateur Night at the Apollo that was when I made my name, because I was a judge then. I took Raps New Generation because of that night, because they were hot, even though they took second place that night in the finals after winning a couple of nights before that. I ended up taking them to Gus, and Gus gave them a 12 inch deal. This was to me the hottest track Teddy ever produced.
Ted was doing it like that at that young age.
He was nice, he also did the show for Doug and Slick Rick.
I know about that one.
But everybody doesn’t know that Doug E. Fresh used most of Hollywood’s s--- from the Roof Top on that record!
Here we Go, come on! That was all Hollywood.
Most of that record was Hollywood. Who ever knew..…say a Roof Top head; he knew most of that was Hollywood.
hear you kid. That’s like Caz with Big Bank Hank.
People knew Caz language so they knew right away when they heard Hank say those lyrics. Who were some of the judges in the Gong Show at the Fever?
Different Celebs. It was a three panel judging. One person would do the gonging, but if it was really wack everybody would get up there and gong. It’s hard to remember but a lot of different cats were on the panel. Flash or one of his emcees. Larry Smith and many others I can’t remember right now. But on Thursdays that Gong Show s--- was real big. Sal used to run the Fever and he was a real cool brother, he only f----- with the brothers. In fact he was the only Italian dude that the brothers would f--- with also. In terms of that, Hip Hop up in the Bronx. He had his label Fever Records with Love Bug, Sweet Gee and Gigolette as well as June Bug. Gusto had some big things going on over at the Roof Top. He had Andre Harrell, Heavy Dee, Teddy Riley and others. These were young and up coming stars of the game.
Alright I am going to name some names give me your rating on their D.J skills and Showmanship. The first one is Kid Capri!
Kid is a 10. Kid Capri and my cousin used to live in the same part of the Bronx. Cats used to always argue who was better between me and Capri. The whole thing with me was I had the Roof Top. He was mostly a hood D.J. When he came to the Roof Top I let him get on. Star Child was the one that bought Kid Capri out. Star Child used to let him rock with him at the S and S. Capri has played in the Roof Top but he always played the Sand S spot and the Zodiac.
got a tape with him Busy Bee, Cowboy and Star Child (tape 85.)
That one there is my birthday party joint.
To be honest all those years I thought Kid Capri had his own night in the Roof Top. You are not the only one that told me he only played one night there. His joint was actually the Castle and him doing recordings in his house.
Right, Kid was playing with Star Child in the S and S, and I think that happened because somebody bought Kid up there to battle Star Child. That’s how they became cool.
battled in that tiny little S and S?
Yeah, but S and S was really the get high spot.
Right cats would open up bills of cocaine right there. Smoke weed, woolers anything went in there. I would not have been surprised if a n----- was waiting to take his meth there.
Right but one night somebody told Star Child he had somebody that was able to take him out. So somebody bought Kid up there to battle him.
to be honest Star Child is not getting enough recognition as he should
Star Child is not getting any recognition! I think that is F----- up, so I put him in all my interviews. That’s who bought me out to the club scene.
So in actuality your man Star Child (not Kool Kyle.) put out the mix tapes before you and Kid Capri?
Right and I won’t really say he put them out first ,because Caz was selling tapes before we were. There used to be a Jerry’s Den (a franchise of popular Barber Shops.) right on Tremont and Arthur Avenue and people used to get all the Cold Crush and Grand Master Flash tapes and other groups.
You right but that’s a different level. The Cold Crush and Harlem World, T- Connection and Flash and them, that is different from what ya’ll were doing. Ya’ll were mixing records and this and that. They were doing routines and shows. So you really couldn’t put those in the same category as a mix tape.
in actuality Star Child was first, but you and Kid Capri blew it up!
It was really Star Child and Love Bug.
O.K. and Hollywood was out of the picture caught in the streets for a minute, at least during that time!
Right for a minute, but I bought him back out once he was ready. He rocked with me for a couple of years.
I remember because his voice was sounding real wild for a minute when he first came back. BRUCIE BEE!!!.
I’m telling you Troy from him doing that I went to another level on that. They would hear that BRUCIE BEE!!! That was that s---. Hollywood was amazing in the Roof Top. We had so many routines in the Roof Top that people didn’t come just to skate, but just to watch and listen.
That’s what I was going up there for, I wasn’t going up there for skating. I couldn’t even fathom that.
We had the Ontang poon tang joint. That was all Hollywood.
Now my man Johnny Wa had told me one day that the
record Hollywood did with Donald Dee producing it was first bought to
him by Donald Dee. Donald Dee felt Johnny Wa had the right voice for
that record. Johnny Wa turned
it down for what ever reason, I can’t remember at the moment and it
was then offered to Hollywood. Then Holly wood blew up off of that. Does
that sound accurate?
Not really , because a lot of cats sounded like Hollywood and in fact Hollywood was the only person I knew that did four parties in a night.
around like the Cold Crush and Fantastic and them, I hear you.
Right, but the Poontang I never heard anybody do that but Hollywood.
No see somebody had written those lyrics, maybe it was Donald and his brother B Fats but they wanted some one else with the type of voice that they were looking for. So once Johnny Wa declined then the next voice they wanted was Hollywood.
I don’t know about that one. I never heard about Donald Dee writing that because I thought Hollywood thought it up one night, wrote it down and the next night he was rocking it in the Roof Top. I am going to have to check that out one day.
you gave Kid Capri a 10 and you and him have always been real cool.
While I was home it was only me, Kid, Star Child and Star Ski that I knew of. Then I caught a case and it was 1990. When I came home in 1993 there was all these other D.J.s. it was Doo Wop, Triple Cee and Buck Wild.
Buck Wild from Star and Buck Wild?
Nah, also Jazzy Joyce.
about Clue and S and S?
S and S and Craig G. Clue wasn’t out yet. These were cats that were out when I first came home and I started hitting the streets. Also Action Pack.
Pack was Rock right?
Right, from Rock and Will and them. This was in 1993. Now when I was up north I was hearing people saying that Ron G started the blends on the tapes. So when I came home I was like how are they going to say that when that was being done before I was even doing it. The way I was doing it was with roller skates on. That used to have n------ f----- up. I bought a whole different dimension to the Roof Top. I used to play one record and play the acapella to another record. They used to be bugging out saying this n----- B is ill. I used to play two different records and you probably always thought it was one record.
I feel what you are saying.
That’s why my s--- was so crazy. N------ would say s--- like “yo this n----- B is ill,” did you hear what he did last night? That was always the talk. I used to have all types of s---. Matter fact I got a couple of joints that I am going to let hit the streets. My man listened to some joints I had out back then and he was like “yo B these sound crazy, you was a BEAST back in the days.”
on money you know I know about this!
n------ still think I am supposed to sound like I did back in the days. They don’t know that n------ grow. You can’t keep doing the same routine.
Cats act like I am supposed to have the same hype when I was 21, I am 42 now.
for nothing but Kool Kyle asked me how did you keep your street
credibility soon as you hit the streets after doing that bid.
Who said that?
Kool Kyle the Star Child gave you those props. He said he was that same n----- again all over again when he came home from that bid. How the hell did he do it? Second how did they treat you up north?
First of all when I was locked up n------ couldn’t understand, they was like yo B what you doing up here? When I was up there anybody from Harlem would show me love.
I ain’t going to front I was the same way. I was on some “you supposed to be giving out the package what the hell you doing in the spot?” But I am going by what the streets told me once you went in!
I wasn’t even in the spot when I got hit. I was in somebody else’s house. Back then we had 7 apartments, but that was one of those days I got caught out there. To be honest I didn’t have to do no time, I could have told and kept it moving.
you ain’t a rat from what I was hearing.
So when I came home that’s how I got a lot of love because I didn’t tell. I did what I did. When I came home I did a couple of scratches and my brother said “n----- you still got it.” When I came home n------ was “like yeah B is back.” Plus cats knew n----- was doing my s--- out here any way. I have to give Ron G his props because although I had done that already, he did a whole mix tape of that.
I didn’t do the whole thing like that because I thought it was fly just doing two acappela’s and keep it moving. Then I heard Doo Wop battled Kid Capri. I was up north hearing this. So I was like these n------ is trying to come up. When I came home cats gave me respect off the top. No one bought any battles to me. But I was never that type of cat trying to floss like that. I am just Brucie Bee. I had a strong crew but to be truthful with you it was just me and my man Pookie Do. Pookie Do is my man; he is like a brother from another mother. That was my crew. Matter fact my crew was Harlem, because I could go on anybody’s block. People used to come to the Roof Top just to buy tapes from me. Cats didn’t come there to roller skate or party they came to get that tape, go in the back smoke their weed and get their liquor on.
were the prices that cats were paying for your tapes back then?
I was getting a hundred dollars!
is for just one tape?
One tape! Alpo might give me two or three hundred.
me ask you something was Alpo your man or just an associate?
That was my man. Let me run out of money, any time I got I broke I was on some let me go find Alpo. I go walk through his block and lamp for him. When I see him I say “let me hold something.” I’m thinking he is going to hit me with a hundred, he throw two hundred at me.
he would hit you off with out it being a loan or anything like that?
None of that, and he a funny type talking dude, talking about “yo B you good with that?”
“You good with that?” (Bruce mimicking Alpo talking real fast.) Plus he is Puerto Rican so it really threw n------ off. I just found out the n------ is Puerto Rican.
Back to the tapes, Rich Porter might give me two or three hundred as well.
A.Z. the same thing.
about Nappy Redd?
Nappy Redd didn’t really f--- with me too much. But he had to cop joints from me because everybody else was copping from me. Kevin Childs used to hit me with $100. The Queens n------ always had a hundred for me. Baby Wise, Black Just, all of them had a hundred dollars for me. Me and Redd wasn’t tight like say me and Alpo. Me and Alpo used to talk about the different girls we got with when I would come through the block. I wasn’t like that with Nappy Redd. Redd was just a dude I knew in the streets getting money. He had to cop though or just have somebody else that did get it from me. Because it was like if you didn’t have a Brucie Bee tape you weren’t down. You weren’t even part of Harlem if you didn’t have a Brucie Bee tape. Today it is classic material.
what made you shout out all the blocks that was getting money back then.
You even shout us out when I was over on 123rd street and 7th
avenue getting money.
Because I used to get money off those blocks that were pumping. Alright I would make a tape in the Roof Top on Friday night. The tape I made that Friday you weren’t buying, you were buying from the week before. So while I am rocking in the Roof Top, crews was coming in there from different blocks, and I used to go back in those blocks and make my money, selling tapes. In one week I used to make two and three thousand just selling tapes. Back then everybody had money. Everybody’s block was rocking.
hell yeah, there was crazy money back then we was all eating.
And I was eating off of all those blocks. And like I said there wasn’t a block I couldn’t go in. It wasn’t anything like that. I used to go on Edgecombe with the Jamaican’s from 145th street. Remember them wild n-----?
yeah those crazy asses.
Well you remember they was warring with them other Jamaicans from 148th street and St. Nicholas Avenue! So bust it, if homeboy heard a n-----‘s name from off that block on the same tape I gave him he would say “Blood clot, don’t put this blood clot name on my tape!” (Bruce is using a Jamaican accent to get his point across.)
But I was still able to go in the block because I used to tell them I have nothing to do with that I just do the music.
what you had a half a million dollars before you went into jail? Because
you got your hustle in the under world as well as your hustle with the
After awhile I didn’t need the under world after all those tapes I was hitting the people with. I would spend a day in my house just making tapes. I would come out with about 100 tapes and then go into everybody’s block that was getting money. I go to 145th street. I would hit on A.Z. over on 132nd street. I would go over to see Alpo on 106th street on the East side. Troy I was all over. No car or anything. I would just jump in a cab and go up in they block. They would be like yo Bee you got it.
you would sell out like you got a bundle of drugs, but you got a bundle
My tapes were killing them. The most I ever got for a tape was $400 from Alpo. Anytime I got that type of money it was for those special made ones.
the special makes in your house or the Roof Top?
In the Roof Top but I did it in the day time. I did one for Rich Porter he gave me two hundred dollars for it. All he wanted was all James Brown records on it with his name. Some times I don’t like to talk about those days because I be saying to my self “yo B you f----- up a lot of money.”
I hear you.
I was spending house money
never really had no beef with any body?
No but I kept mine on me, but I wasn’t that type of dude any way. Even though I didn’t live on the block I still hung out there when ever I came down from the Bronx. The block a lot of live n------s came from. Like Preacher and them which was 149th street and 7th avenue. My brother and his whole crew were from there also. That was the block nobody f----- with. Nobody came in that block! Man even Preacher bought tapes from me. Where ever I went I even had old timers copping. I even did Mekile Phifer’s party back in the days. He sent somebody looking for me. Saying he didn’t want anybody doing his party but me. Then I met him again when we did Paid and Full in Canada.
Yeah we did Paid in Full in Canada!
Yeah but the majority of it was done in Harlem right?
No the majority of it was done in Canada.
The only scene that was in Harlem was in front of Willie Burger in Harlem and that was at the end.
Well the part when Camron was playing Alpo and he walked into the basketball court with the pistol at the end and he’s talking to A.Z. I said to my self “that ain’t no basketball court in Harlem” because I could not recognize it to save my life. But I didn’t wait to read the credits at the end to tell me it was Canada.
That was Canada.
did it cost too much to film in New York?
Yes, but I learned a lot about the business after shooting that movie. A lot of people shot their movie in Canada because it’s cheaper and Canada has a lot of looks like New York. Their hoods have a lot of looks similar to ours.
am going to get back to Paid in Full. You were closer to Alpo then A.Z.
or Rich Porter!
Yes, Alpo hung out at the Roof Top more than A. and Rich. But I made tapes for all of them. I made many tapes for street dudes. Alpo came in the Roof Top a lot because he likes to skate. He would be wild and crazy skating like he would be on the motorcycles.
What is the truth about video tapes of girls having sex on screen with other drug dealers and then it would be shown at the Roof Top?
All a myth!
for nothing I heard back then that this happened more then once. Girls
would be embarrassed running out of there.
Trust me it didn’t happen, I was there every night. It was shown in the movie but it was a myth, and we figured keep the myth going! Now it could have happened up stairs because they had a t.v. with a video player, but as far as it being downstairs on the wall of Roof Top Roller Skating Rink it never happened.
I bring it up because a lot of people thought it was a very disrespectful move, and it bothered the hell out of me just to hear it myself back then, and I didn’t even know the women.
I strongly believe it was a myth. What I do know is it was a hard thing for me to come out of the Roof Top and see my man killed. I seen two dudes killed in front or around the Roof Top but never inside. Vaughn Drew my man got shot and killed by the Roof Top.
Hold up isn’t that the story that just made the paper that they found the killer after twenty years?
Yes they just found the killer, like a couple of weeks ago.
Damn ain’t that something.
Another brother got killed sitting in his car, I didn’t know him. He was sitting in his car arguing with another dude and they left him there dead in his car!
am sorry to hear that. So the block would be jammed pack with all this
Yeah it would be pandemonium.
So when you would come that night to get on the turntables it would be very packed out front and they would open up like the Red sea for you!
The Roof Top would get packed early, and I always got there late. I still go to parties late. N------ see me coming through with my record crates they would just open up saying “here comes Bee ya’ll its ready to pop.” “Getting ready to have it going on.” Howie Dee and Carlton are official D.J.s. but when I came I just bought that extra energy. Me I am doing everything. I am in the booth sniffing, I got drinks, and I got my n------ in there chilling. I got chicks in there. Ah man its crazy. Gusto made my booth bigger, where I could put in about 50, 60 bodies in there.
In the beginning only about 3 or 4 people could fit in there. So you was the main man like Flex is at hot 97, you was that man at the Roof Top?
Exactly I was that man! In fact I am not going to say just the Roof Top; I was that man in Harlem, period! Big Dave that was getting money over by 115th street, on the East side (R.I.P.) used to send his girl to get tapes from me. He was the one that bought me a set of turntables.
bought your first pair of turntables?
Yo n------- used to bug out when I told them I never owned a pair of turntables. I bull s--- you not. People used to be like “stop playing!” “You don’t own turntables.” I be like “nah I just….” “So Bee how you be like doing all that s---, you don’t be practicing everyday.” I am like “nah n----- when I go home I am home.”
Matter fact I didn’t get any turntables until 1989.
you weren’t making tapes in your house?
No, I would do all my joints in the Roof Top.
when you were a kid before you got to the Fever you didn’t have any
I never had any turntables.
So your skills are like embedded in you! You were like practicing and doing a show at the same time! Damn I ain’t never heard nothing like that before in my life!
I used to tell people that story and they be like “come on n----- you bulls------.” My brother would tell people that I never owned turntables. He would tell people when you would come to our house you would see that I just had tapes. Man I didn’t even have records in the house, I kept them at the club. Where I was playing at that’s where I kept the records. To be honest I wasn’t like other D.J.s that wanted to wake up to turntables. With me it was just something I did and I would be like “ok I got to go play some records!” I didn’t get any turntables until 1989 when my man Big Dave bought them for me. He even said “what you don’t have turntables?” “Get the f--- out of here.” That’s when he said “I am going to buy you some turntables.”
did you get so cool with Big Dave?
Selling those tapes!
I see that was like your calling card.
You know how it was back in the days, dudes coming down the block with cars blasting. Cats were like “Bee how am I not coming down 8th avenue with Brucie Bee tapes and everybody else have them?” “Brooklyn dudes got it, Queens dudes got them.”
kid. So Roof Top closed after you left?
No, Roof Top closed after Vaughn Drew got killed.
did it close, because many other clubs had killings right in front of
I think because Vaughn and the other brother died right in front of the Roof Top and the kid L.A. from 144th street got killed over there also.
I remember L.A. he was real young getting money like that. So the police put the padlock on it?
Nah the police never shut us down. I think it was Gusto just had enough.
now after the Roof Top closed down you went to the Castle up in the
you do the Castle before Kid Capri?
Yes. In fact the dude that was running the Castle at that time came to the Roof Top and told me that he had a club and he wanted me to come and play there. I remember the conversation well. He said “I need you to come to my club even though I know this is your house.” “You can just come do one night, a Saturday night.” I did it but I wasn’t really feeling the location.
How did you get with Puffy when you came home from prison?
What happened was I was home for about two months and Kurt Burrows, Puffs general manager at Bad Boys at the time called me. I didn’t know him, but he reached out to me. He picked me up in a car and took me to a nice restaurant and made me feel like Michael Jackson or somebody. You know to get me to sign with them. He sat me down and told me Puff wants to get with me, and do this and that with me. He was on some “he is going to make you bigger than life.” All that stuff he told me never came to pass. Puff is a very controlling type dude. I don’t really get into all that arguing and fighting stuff, I just stop f------ with you. So after a couple of months I was out. Kurt Burrows didn’t like the way it went down so he also made sure I was alright. To be honest with you I didn’t need anybody telling me how to get no party started. I think we were in L.A. doing a party and he was trying to tell me what to play and I was like “yo my n----- relax don’t do that.” It was me and Clark Kent out there. And I was on some “chill kid I don’t need nobody telling me what to play, you got your s--- from me.” So how are you going to tell me how to get somebody hyped, or get the energy flowing? See what people didn’t understand is you had to wait to get people to that point. You don’t just come in there ready to party. You have to get your little drink in you. You have to let that s--- build up, then we can get crazy and I can keep it going. But I ain’t coming in no party just jumping off. I can’t even jump off. I got to get myself right too. I got to feel who I got in here; I want to see what I am going to do and how I am going to take it. Even though he stopped working with me, he had to get back with me because he was hearing I killed this party, that party, this industry party, my name was still banging. I used to do the Chuck Bone parties and Wendell. I did a lot of Bad Boy parties , but I never went through Puff. He used to tell a n------ to get me, but Puff never called me. But if we see each other he shows me love. It ain’t a hating thing from neither one of us.
hear that kid.
Then you had the dudes that were kissing up, certain D.J.s were doing parties for him for free. I would never do anything for P. Diddy free. Is ya’ll crazy, he is rich, and he is a millionaire. But this is how n------ f--- up the game. Ya’ll n------ be so thirsty to get on, ya’ll n------ will do some free s---, and this n----- is a millionaire. And he called me on that bulls--- one time. He said “yo Bee (----) is doing it for free why I got to pay you?” “Because I am not (----)!”
I feel you.
And my n-----, you, Russell, any of ya’ll I am not doing your party for free. I am sure there are a lot of cats that would do their party for free but it’s like an insult if they ask me.
I guess part of it is just to see if they could get away with it. But at the same token a lot of those cats that are doing the free parties are not you. The only way for them to be able to get their foot through the door was by doing parties for free and doing it just for the networking aspect.
I understand that but a lot of them didn’t have to do that, because their name was growing or they already had a name.
are some of the other parties you have done in the past?
Russell, Phifer, I did Stephone Marbury when he came out of Georgia Tech. I used to go down to Atlanta every other weekend for years just to do parties. I was doing Atlanta before a lot of cats up here were.
Freaknics and all that?
All that! I remember way back doing a party for Biggie in L.A.
that same night when he was out there and got killed?
No, no. this was like when they were first coming out. I was in The House of Blues. Cats were surprised I played in The House of Blues. They were like “damn kid you blowing up.” That was big for back then. Andre Harrell flew me out to do an award show in L.A.
the Soul Train award after party?
Right, I did a couple of parties for that.
you met Don Cornelius?
I met everybody. The only thing I messed up at was I didn’t take enough pictures back then. I did like a hundred parties for Jermaine Dupree.
did you get to work with Damon Dash?
Through the movie Paid in Full, but even before the movie his baby’s mother was already my manager (Linda Williams). Linda Williams is the reason the movie was bought to the screen. She advised A.Z. to take his story to Damon Dash. In fact I am the only person in the whole movie that plays him self. This is because she suggested it to Damon. As far as the sound track to the movie I basically picked the music from that era. I over seen it but he used everyone from his label such as D.J. Clue, Beans, Jay, every one that was down at that time.
now how did you feel about the movie it self?
The movie was hot. Everything was pretty cool, although a lot was left out but it isn’t easy to put everything in. Once the movie started being played I then thought about things that could have been added in such as at the very end I felt he could have let A.Z. play him self. Like in the movie Traffic with Johnny Depp.
The kid that was selling drugs, and in the end the real person that Johnny Depp was playing was shown.
Right, so instead of homeboy that played A.Z. all through the movie they should have used the real A.Z. to stand in the back of the crowd.
Right when they were on 145th street, by Willie Burgers at the end.
Right put the real A.Z. right in that spot and that would have been hot. After I did that movie with Dame I was Roc A Wear’s D.J I did all the Roc A Wear party’s. I also did like 6 C.D.s called the Warriors that his artist didn’t put on their albums. I did XM radio with him for two years.
Right, since he has split from Jay Z I haven’t done any parties with him lately.
How would a person go about getting your classic shows from back in the days at the Roof Top?
By checking me at www.myspace.com/ as well as checking Brucieb@brucieb.com or E-mailing me at email@example.com . Clark Kent hit me up and said about time n-----! S and S said the same thing. I already have gotten a lot of feed back. I have a lot of tapes and I tell people back in the days I used to do a tape every week. I also have a lot of shows that stand out from others, like that Doug E. Fresh joint you have. I have Biz Mark, because he used to do a show for us at lease once a month at the Roof Top. Off the top I have over 100 shows. Damon said once I get it all together he wants to be a part of it. He said as long as the budget isn’t too high he wants to be a part of it. I don’t really recall but Damon said he copped a few of my tapes from me back in the day.
A lot of cats are always asking me where to get your tapes from. So many people will be happy to know that you are now selling your shows. Tell me what’s the deal with this B U No Entertainment?
I am finally starting my own entertainment company. My daughter made up the name, where did she get the name I have no idea, but I liked it. The title sounded as if some one was saying “home boy, you know who I am”! This entertainment company consists of my tapes; the parties that I do and if you want me for your party. I also have three artists now. Two are a duo of emcees. I got a two man group called The Pack. But we now have to change their name because Jive records signed these guys name The Pack also, and they made a record called the Vans, talking about the sneaker. That messed us up because we had this name now for 4 years. So we made it shorter to TP. Meaning The Pack. I also have a girl artist named Peaches. She is sixteen and she is white.
she is an emcee!
Spit it like…..if I would not have told you and I played her tracks you would have thought she was black right off the back.
is she from?
Staten Island, both of the groups. So far we have done three C.D.s. the last one we did is called CSE. Coldest Summer Ever! I have them rapping over the raw Hip Hop beats from back in the days, with me cutting them up. This next C.D should be coming out in November. Peaches could be signed before TP because she is white and can spit hot. I feel she can spit so good that I already had her heard by Kurt Burrows, and other people in big places. Not trying to front but I can go to a lot places that other cats can’t. The response was “yo B you have to get some paper work on her before you do anything, because she is butter.” Also with my Entertainment company if I can’t do a party for you I will recommend you to good people such as my man Pete Rock of Pete Rock and CL Smooth, Hollywood, Star Child, L.A. Love, E Kim. I am not saying they are out right in my company I am saying if I can’t do a gig for you I will recommend some body.
That’s good my brother. I want to thank you my brother for giving me this time. I know you are a busy man with your family, it seems as though I have been trying to catch you for a couple of years.
Sorry about that my brother it’s a hell of a coincidence that I ran into you with Busy
Bee on 125th street. But I am about my wife and children today. I lived my life twenty years ago it’s not about me any more; it’s all about them today.
totally understand. Peace
O.K. Troy Thanks.
I want to thank the family at www.oldschoolhiphop.com for their contributions to this story. This site is full of very knowledgeable fans of hip hop , as well as hip hop legends. When ever we do a story the first people to know about the story is this site which has a dynamite message board I strongly recommend you go there.
me and my son’s that I love so much Shemar and Troy Jr.