By Troy L. Smith
Summer of 2006
I was born in Harlem.
TLS- Damn just like your man Kevie Kev.
Right, I was born in Manhattan although I never lived in Manhattan, over in Flower hospital that I think they later changed to Memorial hospital. The name Flower hospital is on my birth certificate. Then I was raised up in the Bronx over on West Farms Road, over there by I.S. 167.
TLS- What emcees were living close by you back then.
In my area it was the three emcee’s Keith Cowboy, Mele Mel and Kid Creole.
TLS- O.K. so that is why you were so close to the Furious Five!
TLS- So they lived like three and four blocks away from you.
TLS- So ya’ll went to all the schools together?
Nah them n------ didn’t go to school, I never seen them up in school.
TLS- But ya’ll were pretty much the same age right. Except maybe Cowboy who was older then all of ya’ll.
Well today I am 43 Mele might be 45.
TLS- O.K. so is Creole older or younger then Mel because somebody told me Creole is younger?
I don’t remember if Creole is older or younger than Mele don’t start me lying on them.
TLS- How did you get your name?
I was in Junior High school when I developed my name.
TLS- How did you get your name because I heard Master Rob gave you the name Busy Bee?
Well he did give me the Busy Bee name, but I was always Star Ski first!
TLS- How did you get the name Star Ski first, what made you pick that name?
I didn’t, my friends were calling me that. I was into basket ball, football and just sports. I was Truck Turner as a Football player. I was Kareem Jabber as a basketball player.
TLS- My man, I hear you!
I was a short n----- but I played tall like Kareem.
TLS- Like a big man!
Right. All I knew about was Kareem and by 1977 after the bicentennial I grew into Dr. J.
You understand, so I grew up with Dr. J, Jo Jo White, you know what I am saying, the Pearl. This was while I was growing up playing basketball myself and watching them.
TLS- So the guys growing up with you over by West Farms are the ones that named you Star Ski, because Star Ski was the hottest emcee and D.J at that time?
Exactly, see I was with the Casanova’s
TLS- Who Caz and them?
TLS- Oh you mean the Casanova gang!
Right, see I used to run with Tito, Blondie and Rudy and we all used to be together and stuff like that. I used to be the D.J out of the crew. I also used to always be on the microphone doing the rapping stuff to the beats. Plus we were fly n------, we were known as just being dressed up n------.
TLS- So were you there from the birth of the Casanova’s?
TLS- So what made ya’ll pick that name Casanova’s, because ya’ll dressed fresh and ya’ll had a knuckle game?
Right. See we were broken up into crews, Casanova’s were the main crew, but then we had Cooley Highs, and the then there were the Cooley High Fly Guys. That was me Blondie, Timmy Bruce, Rudy, Mickey, and Smitty. Also my man Snoop, God bless the dead. That was us and we used to go to school looking good and fresh. We used to get our money stealing, hustling.
TLS- What type of hustling?
We used to sell the coffee back to the store.
TLS- Ya’ll would take the coffee and sell it right back to them!
TLS- So it wasn’t no selling any Heroine on the streets.
Hell no we was customers buying tray bags and nickel bags of weed. When we started drinking champagne it wasn’t Moet it was Pipers!
TLS- I remember that, and that was good Champagne as well.
Right, you know what time it is.
TLS- So you said ya’ll were called Cooley High Fly Guys but ya’ll were still under the umbrella of the Casanova’s, so when ever there was beef ya’ll got it on?
Right and the main Casanovas are Tiny and Peanut. Peanut was the boss. Also Bambee, those were the Generals, the big guys.
TLS- They were a little bit older than ya’ll?
Yeah, f------ right. They were driving cars and all that. We weren’t driving yet.
TLS- Let’s get back to the name Star Ski. They named you Star Ski because the other Star Ski was doing his thing and on top at that time, and you was so nice at what you were doing, they tagged you with that. Like some one saying there goes the next Jordan?
TLS- So you didn’t name your self that?
No, I didn’t name myself that.
TLS- What made you get on the mic from day one?
I knew I could do that. I saw Mele Mel and Creole do a routine on the microphone while Flash was playing the music.
TLS- So the Three emcees were already formed before you got on the mic?
Right, they were already known to the neighborhood before I got on the mic.
TLS- after the Three emcees was it the Funky 4 or was it the L- Brothers?
The Funky Four didn’t come nowhere near until later, they weren’t even thought of. Let me tell you something I used to go over by The Bruckner Boulevard part of town and see D.J Disco King Mario. But Bambaataa was the ruler over there. It was Bam and the Zulu Nation and they had just formed. I used to hang out over there by Bronx River also. I did all this by myself. I didn’t have no n------ going with me, or have a crew; I just went as I was. I let them know I do this; I can get on the mic and rock. Bam was free; Bam was always the guy that let you do what ever you wanted to do just as long as you could do it. He was like if you can D.J no problem “come on and spin some records, you want to talk on the mic, hold up let me get the mic together.” “Here's Star Ski.” And I made the people happy with whatever I said. Troy you got what I said on tape, I made the people happy. So I was always welcome to the Zulu Nation. Now to be welcomed to the Zulu Nation at that time you really had to be a person with some character, because when you went to Bronx River and you were a nobody, you got robbed.
TLS- Beat down and all that!
Straight up, straight up and down you got beat up and robbed. “I don’t give a f--- who you came to see, kiss my ass we don’t know you.” “F--- you.” And I seen it done, I mean I actually seen it done to people. And it never happened to me. Disco King Mario gave me my emcee break. Every body be trying to shine trying to get credit saying they gave me my start. Mario, Disco King Mario gave me the permission and power to do what ever I wanted to do with the system, the entire system. I wasn’t even a full-fledged D.J, emceeing was my thing. Mario wasn’t even a D.J!
TLS- What, he just liked to dance and put the music on?
Right! He could D.J but he wasn’t a scratchier, nor was Bam. Theodore invented that. Mario was into the sound, he was like Herc. Herc was known for the sound. Mario was a sound freak. He would get dressed up and go to Herc’s party and just stand behind the system just to see what Herc was using to make his sound, sound like that. Also when he heard my voice on the microphone he knew that my voice was different, different in hip hop. I still have the distinct voice today. So he said one day “I want you to talk on my microphone and I am going to make you sound so vicious you are going to out blow all these mother f------s, because I am going to make the system sound so vicious.”
That was his plan. He used to make me laugh saying that, because to me he had like a country talking voice. So he used to say “you are going to sound Sooo Vicious.” (Busy says it the way Tony the Tiger in the Frosted Flakes commercials. He had Troy laughing.) See how you laughed, that’s how he had me. So I was like “yeah word.” (The way Busy said that had Troy laughing again.) So he would see me talk on the microphone, and I would get a groove, see one day he played this record called Scratching and I would catch a groove rapping to that groove. Mario would be sitting right there saying “that n----- is rocking Sooo Vicious.” Yo word up and he would see the crowd happy while I am popping this s--- on the mic. He always let me do what I wanted to do. Every one got the battles twisted. All D.J.s having battles I can show you how to have a battle. Once my feet get planted with all these movies I am getting ready to drop, and the things I am getting ready to do, and I get in when I am able to call some shots I am going to give a D.J battle. When I see these battles of today they just show who can scratch and who can’t. But everybody can do that. But the battle was who can rock a party, it wasn’t about who can scratch! This is what Bam and Mario and them did in battles. Even Breakout, He came and lost a few times, but he kept coming back. As far as Bam he just had records. Bam was always going to be alright, because he had more records then any body can imagine. Back then it was a psychological thing, because Bam had records he probably didn’t know he had.
TLS- He hadn’t even taken the plastic off yet!
Right, because he would take records from Africa stores, Spanish stores. If it was wax in the store Bam would cop a record from there. Then he would find a beat on it and play it for people. Back to Mario, one day he seen Herc’s Macintosh and he said he had to get it. He was obsessed about this Macintosh. Mario was the older guy; he was the hustler doing what he had to do out there. He was one of the leaders of the Spades.
TLS- That’s the first time I am hearing this.
Yeah man you crazier then a mother f-----, this n----- was a gangster.
TLS- Was Jazzy J running with you at the same time?
Jazzy J was a boy, man!!!!!
TLS- From what Red Alert told me Jay was down with Mario for a minute because he had those records.
TLS- Then Bam recruited him.
Right. I am getting ready to hit you with that. Jazzy Jay who I called Pimpie, Jazzy Jay was Mario’s record boy. Jay was trying to be a little Bambaataa. Bambaataa didn’t even know Jazzy. Cool D.J Nicky Dee was Mario’s other D.J, he was from Bronx dale.
TLS- Where were Mario's main places to rock?
School 123 was one of the main places he rocked ,his outside jams at which was in Bronx dale. Right there in Rosedale Park where they do the tribute to him every year. So back to the D.J battles. We rocked Bam. Mr. Biggs was Bam’s emcee. Zombo was Bam’s back up D.J During this time there wasn’t no Pow Wow or Globe around. So I used to eat Biggs up for breakfast. Me and Biggs used to go back and forth snapping. Now inside of the gym of 123 there were these walls that could slide back and forth to separate the girl’s side from the boy’s side. If anybody wanted to go from one side to the other side there was a door on the sliding wall that you can walk through. So now when you came to party you paid your donation of about two or three dollars to get in. When you got inside you had a D.J on one side when you first come in, and the door might be closed or opened but Bam would be on the other side of the that door in the back gym.
So when you first came in if you like the music from the first gym then you would stay there, or you would go to the next side of the gym and listen to Bam’s side and maybe stay. So now at 12 o’clock when the battle begins, and you would hear the crowd say “and the battle begins,” “and the battle begins.” You would hear the crowd amping it on to the beat. What ever side was the most packed won the battle.
TLS- I see what you are saying.
If you could see spaces on your side, like 20 people over here 20 people over there, maybe 15 right here, and then when you walk to other side and if you can’t get in that means you won. Then somebody would say open the wall and the crowded side would just bum rush the weaker side. Bam used to win sometimes and Mario used to win sometimes. When Bam would win the crowd would be yelling “what’s the name of this Nation, Zulu, Zulu!” “I wanna know who’s gonna get down Bambaataa, Bambaataa.” (Busy is real amped now telling the story.) I used to be like “yeah ya’ll n------ got that one.”
Mario used to come back saying yeah we are going to add some bass, we going to buy these 3 records…. Because Bam would play some records that we didn’t have and it would smash our s--- up, word! Mario be like “we got to find that record.” He would send little young niggers over because Bam would have his crates out, and them n------ would be spying. He be like find out what’s the name of that record, get that record. (Busy is at a frenzy now remembering that moment talking fast and mimicking Mario.) Mario said “when I get that record you are going to sound so vicious.” Yo he used to crack me up with that. Then Islam used to come to me on the low and say “yo I am going to have a party and want you to rap for me, I am going against Break Out at 123 Park”. See at that time Break Out was just rocking with K.K. Rockwell. Also Break Out had something different no one else had, he had garbage can speakers!
TLS- Hold for a moment, what was so special about Break Out, because many of the brothers told me he couldn’t keep a beat?
Because he was a sight to see and he had unique equipment. Everybody had box speakers he came out with garbage can speakers. If you watch Break Out spin he is hilarious. He was like E.T. with earphones playing music, but it was a cool sight to see. Break Out was down. He had a system, also he would travel.
TLS- He wasn’t a bum either as far as dressing.
Right he wasn’t a bum.
TLS- Plus I heard he was nice with his hands!
Yeah, that was my n-----; I use to emcee with Break Out. I used to go up to the Valley. See this is what I am saying I traveled.
TLS- I know I have heard that many times.
When I met D.J.s they were from up town or cross town. I never mess with Flash or Mean Gene and them at that time. I never f----- with them, in fact I didn’t even know what the f--- they was doing on that side.
TLS- Why didn’t you?
Because I was over there doing it!!!
TLS- But it seemed like you was all over the Bronx.
I was that’s what I am trying to say. Even Mean Gene said it. He seen me in the restaurant once and we were getting some chicken at this place called Johnson’s restaurant.
TLS- That’s the place over there by Forrest projects!
TLS- Damn is they still giving big portions of food?
Hell yeah big ass plates of food and its still there. I was there one night getting some chicken and Gene was in there. Gene says “yo Starski, why you be going across town rocking and all that and we right here”. Then he says “I am not down with Flash any more, me and my brothers got our own thing, we call our selves the L- Brothers.” “I got Kevie Kev and Robbie Rob, and my brothers Claudie O and Theodore that’s my brothers and we call our selves the L- Brothers. So I am like “where am I going to fit in, I am not any ones brother.” He said “well s--- you be our brother, you live right down the block.” I told him “Kevie Kev and Robbie Rob they was brothers and they are two fly n------ by them selves too, so how am I going to fit into that.” He said “I run this s--- Busy Bee man!” He said “Kevie Kev is going to listen to me.” So he says “I am going to get with them you let me know what you want to do because you are welcome because I want you in.” “We are going to be in the park later on you can get on the mic.” I said “alright f--- it.” I went back the next day.
TLS- Hold up excuse me for a moment. Did Mario give Gene some of that equipment?
No, Mario never gave nobody s---. You would have to see Mario’s equipment and then go buy it like he did. Mario bought his and put it together. He had cats do certain things for him. But he never stole or took anything from nobody.
TLS- Before we get back to Gene, who was Mario’s like entourage, or was running with him? Were you the only Emcee and he was the only D.J. amongst the two of ya’ll?
Nickey Dee was the D.J but Mario was the owner of the system. Then there was his man Dezzy who was big like Shaq from the Miami Heat, and that was Mario’s cousin. These cats were Spades, they were gangsters. They stayed in the projects right there in Rosedale on the second floor. And Troy you know what the projects were like back then!
TLS- Yeah you can’t come inside if you weren’t from there!
That’s right and they ruled it. These n------ wasn’t no bitch ass n------ or none of that s---. You couldn’t come in somebody’s neighborhood and just be alright. You was getting robbed just like Bronx River man. In all those projects it was the same s---, you just not walking up in here, you must be crazy. Now this is the thing I played for gangsters. I didn’t play for the crowds. I played for the bosses that gave parties; I didn’t just walk in the place, I was invited. See cats would be cool with say, the privates or lieutenants. I was cool with the Generals. I am not your friend, I mean I know you but I am your Generals friend.
TLS- You was a young brother when cats like that loved you like that. But they told me that Mario enjoyed the music so much that he would barely D.J... He was mostly dancing instead of focusing on keeping the beat.
He didn’t add any mixing, he is not any D.J. He didn’t add anything to the culture of hip hop but sound. He was a person that liked sound and he wanted to make it sound perfecto. He felt like if you were on Tremont, he wanted you to be able to hear him on West Farms crystal clear. So if you say “testing one two”, you could hear that one, one, one, two, two!
TLS- Way on the other side of town damn near.
Right! That’s what he wanted, and he had the perfect sound. He had the certain records. Then he had the voice of Busy Bee that was so “Vicious.” (Mimicking Mario again, sounding very funny again.) And he loved that.
TLS- So Mario, Break Out and Herc had the strongest systems at that time.
I wouldn’t consider him having a strong system.
TLS- This was before Break Out got the Sasquatch?
Right, what happened, Mario and Bam made Break Out go get the Sasquatch!
TLS- Even Bam had a strong system? I thought his was light weight in the early days because people more talked about his records opposed to his equipment.
Nah, Bam had a community, so whether Spanish or Black, if a brother had a system in his house he would give to Bam what ever was needed. I have to switch up for a minute. The brother that made that saying should be able to get $500,000 right now for that saying “Puerto Rico”! Just on the strength of that. He set the bar for Puerto Ricans in Hip Hop. With just that one saying. “Puerto Rico Ho, Puerto Rico Ho!” That person is the same person that gave me the name Busy Bee.
TLS- Master Rob!
That’s his voice. It’s on a cassette tape that you probably have.
TLS- That’s the Live Convention tape. (Tape 57.)
That’s where he did it. Before he did it he said “Bee look at all the Puerto Ricans in here yo.” “You got to give them some shouts.” I didn’t know what to say at that moment.
TLS- I heard he is a real cool brother.
You damn right. He is that. So I was like what the hell am I going to say for some Puerto Ricans. I said “s--- you do something.” (Troy starts laughing.) He grabs the mic and says “Puerto Rico Ho, Puerto Rico Ho” and Kev is helping him. That’s Robbie Rob Yo. That’s on Lord Professor, Fat Joe, J Lo……..
TLS- Monie Love also.
Monie Love, everybody used that saying on the radio right now. Puerto Rico Ho. They better pay that man.
TLS- Who really started that Hut routine because J.D.L. says he started it first, he even sounded like he was mad at you on one of the tapes with the Cold Crush?
We did it together, but he didn’t hang with me all the time. He didn’t go where I go so I kept on doing it. So I guess when I did it again some where where he wasn’t at he was upset. Stop that s--- L, f--- out of here with that, what’s wrong with you. I am very where, I don’t do that today but that was the s--- back then. N------ did our s--- you didn’t call Teddy Riley. You didn’t get money for that. I didn’t even argue about that one. (On Guy’s second album,-The Future the cut is called Her and it uses the Assembly Line break.)
TLS- I told Caz one day “you do Hut better then J.D.L.”, you know Caz got the jokes, but with his loyalty to his man he was like nay J.D.L. got that locked.
TLS- Then the Cold Crush ended up making a routine out of it.
Right, them n------ had so many routines I forgot about that one. That was the reason why after awhile I left it alone. I had other things; I didn’t need to do that. It was also up to the D.J if he played it, then I would f--- with it for a minute and then they would take it off.
TLS- Who is Lil Star Ski?
He was a little home boy named James that just wanted to be down. You know how you have your little protégé around you and he want to be like you so he would be like the little Troy or Shemar! Just somebody that wanted to emulate you or do what you do. He ran around with me for about a year. This was during the time I was with Mario, when I left the Bruckner boulevard scene that was the end of that.
TLS- Did you run with Herc before the L- Brothers or after the L- Brothers?
I got down with Herc even when I was an L- Brother, because I was free to do what I wanted to do.
TLS- From day one you were roaming. Kev told me he was mad at the idea of you floating around and you supposed to be L- Brothers so that’s the reason why he had to let you go!
Right, but if a n----- invites me some where to come do me I am going. Kev was getting mad because cats were feeling that way about my style. So I felt that vibe from Kev, so I broke out. This is when I said I was great. It was three emcees Kevie Kev, Robbie Rob and Busy Bee. Busy Bee broke out. They added on three more. They had to add on three for my one. Then they still weren’t great, they were good but they weren’t great. Together we were great. We crushed Flash, Mele Mel Creole.
We crush them. They know it.
TLS- I never really heard it that way. But ya’ll didn’t have routines right, ya’ll just passed the mic back and forth.
Right they had routines, but we had finesse. We was pretty, we looked good.
TLS- I hear you but weren’t Flash and them dressing as well?
They weren't fly like us!!!
TLS- Hold up Cowboy wasn’t dressing?
Cowboy was the coolest n----- of the crew. He was the flyest, he came from Boston Road. Mele Mel and Creole weren't fly and pretty like me.
TLS- I ain’t going to front Busy I am surprised you are saying this because I thought those were your boys.
They are my boys! But I am saying they weren’t fly n------.
TLS- So that is similar to what they were saying about the Cold Crush?
The Cold Crush N------ was….. Now those cats werent fly either, excuse me. Let’s go back, now Mele Mel and them just wasn’t fly n------. I was always and they know that’s how they got to be my f------ friends. I used to have on some s---, I used to be like yeah n----- what up, what’s going on n----- let me get on that, let me do that. That’s how it was, look me up and down.
TLS- Well you right, back then a cat would want to associate with a fly dressing brother.
You f------ right. If n------s was fly you want to talk to them. So I was one of them. Cowboy was cool with me. Cowboy was like a gangster.
TLS- I heard about that, him and his father.
Right. I knew Cowboys daddy. And Mean Gene was my friend. I got in like that.
TLS- So was Gene rolling with Flash when Cowboy and Creole and them were down?
Yeah, Gene was the system man. Flash used to be able to put it together, but Gene had the system.
TLS- That was Gene’s system?
Yes, Flash had no speakers, and none of that type s---. Gene had records and Flash had records. Theodore was the little baby on the side. Gene wasn’t the best D.J but him and Flash had an argument and so Gene and Flash parted ways. Now Theodore starts developing some new s---.
TLS- I heard about Gene not being one of the best D.J.s of that time.
You right he couldn’t catch the beat; he was either Def in one ear or some s---.
TLS- You buggin’…
No Bull S---, he would be off by one, you would be rocking and you would look at Gene and be disgusted.
TLS- (Troy is laughing.)
I be wanting to get of the mic or tell him to get off the turntable, that little black mother f-----!
TLS- Hold up they told me Gene ain’t take no shorts, that’s why they called him Mean Gene.
That’s right, there it is. That’s why I got a book and movie coming out. People are going to know about Mean Gene. You have to know about him. Mean Gene saved a lot of us from Gangsters that could have robbed us. But they wouldn’t f--- with us because they were scared of Mean Gene. Gene will smack the s--- out of you. Fast!
TLS- Gene ran by him self or did he have a crew with him?
He was by his self but he had the Boston Road crew. He had Joe Sefa’s, Big Dee. He had the Gangsters of Boston Road. They were called the Boston Road Crew.
TLS- So they were just as strong as Spades and other big name gangs?
They were Spades, but the names and all that was done. They are crews now, and homeboys. There are no more Gangs with colors. They changed that from Casanovas to Gestapo’s to Zulu Nations.
TLS- They the Spades and the Savage Skulls used to go against each other that is where it all stemmed from?
Yeah well over there on that side of town Bronx River! That’s what was going on, Skulls and Nomads battling each other along with Spades.
TLS- You said Mean Gene kept some cats off your back, meaning the stick up kids was coming at ya’ll?
No, no, no, hell no, he knew all of them. It wasn’t like we had to be afraid of them. We used to live on the corner of the Nine. There was the block called Washington Ave. which was on 169th street. They used to call it the Nine. We lived on the corner where the n------ hustled. These cats that were called the Nine were the fly gangster stick up artist, and all this is on one corner. There was peace there, but only until a new jack would come in and disrupt it. You would then get the whip. We the L- Brothers use to sell Marijuana. We bought ours by selling weed. We were connected like that with the Jamaicans. We was selling weed to bus drivers, fire men, kiss my ass they was buying weed too. Tailors, old men and old ladies. It was no kids. You know how they kids smoke and buy weed today. Not back then, we didn’t do that. It was adults and grown folks.
TLS- You right, I remember. When we were kids one or two dudes would sneak off and smoke weed, but nobody else. By the time we got to be 13 and 14 we started. Butt now I see kids 9, 10, 11 years old, chiefing. Families were more connected.
Right, so we were living right under all of that s---. The pizza shop was right there on the corner, we were on the second floor looking at everybody on the corner. We had no fear with none of that. N------ was looking out. We would come outside and brothers be like some b------ came by looking for ya’ll we told them ya’ll wasn’t around because we knew ya’ll had some other b------ up stairs.
TLS- Right Kev did tell me that.
See Kevie Kev told you the same thing. It was like that. We had protection with everything. I was in high school running with the L- Brothers. I got kicked out of Clinton High, and went to Morris High.
TLS- Was Red Alert in Clinton with you at the same time?
Yeah Red went but it was all n------. I saw Red. I did three years in there, my last year they kicked me out. I had to graduate out of Morris.
TLS- You were Busy Bee during all that. Doing parties and going to school the next day.
Yep that’s right, going to school in the morning. When school was out we would go right to the Fever and the Black Door. Of course I had to go home first and get argued at!
TLS- I read the story about how your mother used to get on you about hanging out late and not having it.
Right my moms was not having it. (Busy starts laughing a long time about that.) I wasn’t one of those n------ that could hang out all night. I snuck and would get on punishment. I am going to tell you something you have to have the courage to be who you want to be in Hip Hop. My name is David Parker I haven’t been called that since 1960 something. They call me Star Ski or Busy Bee. Hip Hop is a thing of being who you want to be. From the time I planted the seed that I am the Chief Rocker Busy Bee that is who I am. I told the world my name is not David Parker but Chief Rocker Busy Bee, and I have gotten respect from that day on. My Wife calls me David because she thinks it is something special. But my name is Busy Bee to the world, and I mean to the world. I have been to Italy, Rome, Paris; I have been to Switzerland, Ireland, and Denmark. The only place I haven’t been to is Africa and Russia. And Russia I am not trying to go to.
TLS- What kept you from Africa?
I just haven’t been invited yet. When I say have the courage to be you, half these guys right now that’s making money in the corporate world are not being them selves.
TLS- These are Rappers what Caz was talking about.
Right. Some of these cats feel if they have to be them, they might have to go to jail. Or I might have to leave home or divorce my wife. So the thing is you have to stand up and be you in hip hop or you not going to make it. There are a lot of names you don’t hear about or have fell off. Why is it they have fell off, it’s because they weren’t real from the start. They started something and got a little bit of shine and then they let it go. I have been doing this since 77. I haven’t worked 6 months no place, a day in my life. I have been around the world twice, I own what I have. Hip hop, I am living hip hop. It’s a culture, rap is something we do. Hip hop is something we live. I been living hip hop since they invented the name, and Cowboy invented the name by giving Billy a going away party. He was going into the army and we ain’t never did nothing like that. Cowboy told n-----s “Billy is going to get with the sergeant and they going to have Billy going down the street marching hip hop hip hop.” And hip hop was the name since Cowboy invented the name. It started from us saying “they jamming in the park.” “Flash in the park jamming.”
TLS- Right we were saying the same thing down in Harlem.
Before hip hop was hip hop, it was called the Jam.
TLS- So did you float hard in Harlem as well?
Yeah I did that, you damn right I did, how do you think I met Master Don and Spoonie Gee. And what’s my mans name from 116th street that went to jail and just came home?
TLS- Who Crazy Eddie?
Nah, Crazy Eddie wasn’t no rapper he was a gangster.
TLS- No he’s a D.J. but that’s who I thought you were referring to.
Nah Rayvon, Rayvon and Johnny Wa!
TLS- Oh my man Rayvon, I have done a story with him as well.
Yeah Johnny Wa and Rayvon. These guys were into hip hop and did their thing also.
TLS- Do you remember a night when it wasn’t a real battle, but Rayvon came on after you instead of before you and ripped it, and all hell bust loose because you were declared the winner and not him? This was at the Audubon Ballroom!
Yes very much, Rayvon was my n-----, f------ right!
TLS- (We both start laughing.) He said the same thing about you!
That was my n----- because he did something totally different that night. That’s right that n----- rocked the spot, f--- me up. That n----- made me come to Harlem and hang out with him.
TLS- (Troy starts laughing hard.)
TLS- I know he would be happy to hear that.
I used to go hang with him and Johnny Wa, I will never forget them n------. I used to always mention them in my s---. Whether they were hustlers or stick up kids.
TLS- That be them!
Man I was from the Bronx; I would be in Harlem on 123rd street, down to Shomberg projects, to the King Towers all over. I had love all over. I went places that emcees can’t go right now. You the number one rapper in the world but you couldn’t go to none of these blocks right now and stand there. F--- is wrong with you. You can’t stand there with out discrepancy, disrespected or you might get your ass whooped or robbed. “Busy Bee came here and got love” “F--- that!” This is from gangsters, real killers.
TLS- Yo bust this Busy; the Rucker got good games, real goods games. But for me King Tower tournaments were the best for me back in the early eighty’s!
Hell yeah, nobody had the games like the King Towers; the Rucker had no wins over the King Towers. The Animal (Richie Adams, U.N.L.V.) came from the King Towers!
TLS- Remember those All- Star Games?
Come on man (Busy Bee is getting real hype again.) Come on man, you crazy n------.
TLS- Kenny Smith, Kenny Patterson, Billy Goodwin!
Come on man!
TLS- Kenny Hutchinson, Pearl Washington!
My n----- Pearl, he see me right now he be on some “yo Biz, my n-----, what up” Half of the hall of fame. Many of them got championships and playoff wins and got their props, and they came from the King Towers. Then there was the coach Smokey who was an African wearing the African suits and b------ and n------ lost their mind, word is bond. I just told my wife the other day those African suits I might want to cop a few because that’s going to f--- n------ up. I could remember his name until we started talking about King Towers. He was rich in Harlem.
TLS- But yo kid you know who used to be on the block with us on 23rd, your man Alonzo Jackson that use to slay them in the King Tower tournaments!
Yeah. Like a mother f-----!
TLS- Well how did you catch on to Master Don because I have done a story on him as well?
I didn’t catch on to Master Don, Master Don caught on to me. I didn’t know none of these guys, I happened to be in the area where hip hop was being played and I was standing there and they came to me and told me who they were, because they knew who I was. So I was like let’s do something together, let’s work, let me get on. Master Don was nice on the wheels of steel. He had his own style. He was also a handsome guy. The girls like Master Don and he formed the Def Committee. Don was his own man. You can add the Def Committee if you want or anybody else but Master Don was Master Don. Don developed beats and styles that go along with the culture that we have today in hip hop.
TLS- Do you remember playing with him?
f--- Yeah, I rocked with Master Don at Harlem World, and that park that was his home base. (Colonial park on 145th street and Brad Hurst Avenue.) I also did King Towers Park (115th street and Lenox Avenue. Diagonally across from Harlem World.) I was welcome in Harlem.
TLS- For sure.
I mean I was hustling in Harlem and lived in the Bronx.
TLS- I am going to go away from that for a minute. How was the relationship with you and the original Love Bug Star Ski?
He was always mad from day one. He was always mad about what I did. See I was doing stuff that he couldn’t do. Once he saw me with Mario that was it. Every time he saw me I was with a general. He wasn’t even a general then.
TLS- He was rocking with Pete D.J. Jones.
Right but Pete D.J. Jones was a Disco D.J.! See I was nice on the microphone and doing my thing and he was mad about that. But he had to get over it because who I was running with and what I was doing he couldn’t touch.
TLS- Was there ever a time when you and him rocked together?
Yes for sure many times.
TLS- And the two of you became cool people?
Yes after he found out he couldn’t do anything about it.
TLS- So that’s like your man today?
Yes, that’s my n----- right.
TLS- So what were your thoughts on guys like Hollywood, Eddie Cheba etc that were more of a Disco sound? And you know that they looked down on hip hop at that time. Talking about go on with that hippty hop bull s--- take that down to one of those Flash parties!
Right, now they on ours!
TLS- But during that time did you ever play with Hollywood?
Nope, I didn’t care about what they were doing, because I was doing what Hollywood was doing. I was doing the same thing, but he had Guy Fisher and them giving him money. I didn’t have that I was still street thugging.
TLS- Guy Fisher and them was giving him money because they were going up in 371 so much they seen how he got down and liked it a lot.
TLS- You played for Herc, Break Out, Bam, and Mario, who were the other cats you played for?
Well Master Don of course.
TLS- What about Smokey?
No I never played for Smokey! I played with Lay Lay.
TLS- Yeah Whip was telling me about him.
He used to rock up in the Bronx too on 180th street by the pool area in the park of 129. He used the head phone as a microphone.
TLS- (Troy starts laughing.) I remember those days!
You had to talk through the head phone as a mic and he didn’t have any of his four front teeth. So when he talking he be going hees hees ya’ll. He couldn’t say yes yes ya’ll.
TLS- (We both start laughing.) You is a funny dude. But they told me Lay Lay was wild he also didn’t take no shorts.
But that was that n-----, you are right. Lay Lay didn’t take any s---. Then there was Tom and Jerry the first two Puerto Ricans in hip hop. I never rocked with Kane and Able. Also Kenny Ken, he is still playing music today.
TLS- I know Kenny Ken I have talked to him in the past.
Yeah I used to rock with him help him get his name out there.
TLS- Have you ever came over to Harlem on my side and rocked in the Grant Projects or Manhattanville Projects and played with the Fearless Four or Treacherous Three?
I did that but I never really had a D.J I mostly just hung out with them brothers over there. Where I do remember is Harlem prep.
TLS- Over there on 135th street, where you get your G.E.D.?
Yeah, see A.J. used to go to Harlem prep and we used to party’s over there as well as the Renaissance.
TLS- Over there with B- Fats and them!
Right and his brother Donald D God bless him. He was another D.J. I used to rock with also. Also Disco Dave and his brother, Mix Master Mike I rocked with. Darrell C was my n-----, I used to rock with him too. Also you must remember this was a cocaine era and not a chronic era (street name of marijuana.) It was the Champagne and Cocaine era.
TLS- Right I remember Eddie Cheba using that saying in his show.
So I would say half of the guys that are doing what they are doing today smoking the Chronic and drinking the champagne today wouldn’t last a year if they were doing what we were doing.
TLS- Was there ever a time when somebody said you couldn’t rock their mic?
No and there never was a time where I had to ask any one.
TLS- I hear you they would be on some “come on Busy here goes the mic do something.”
Right. It never was a time somebody said f--- that n----- he can’t get on my mic. I would sit on the side just chilling and cats would be like “yo Bee come on man you got to get on do one thing stop that bull s---!’ I always got that.
TLS- So what was up with you and Herc?
I was Herc’s only emcee when I was with him.
TLS- Did you come before or after Whip?
I was before Whip; in fact I opened the doors for Whip and everybody else. People were scared to talk to Herc. Herc looked like one of those n------ “if you look at me I am going to smack the s--- out of you.” I was that cat that would say “yo Herc let me get that mic, put the echo on.” He would say “come on Star Ski and get on the mic.” After I did that Whip and everybody wanted some. Some of my boys might get mad but I set the bar for your Whipper Whips, Grand Master Caz’s icons and pioneers. Had I not done that they would not have been here. They would be gone. See they had no versatility. They wanted to stay with the crew thing they didn’t want to come out of the circle. I came out the circle; I was already out the circle.
TLS- You were really the only solo emcee for a long time other than Love Bug Star Ski or Spoonie Gee.
You are right but I am the first solo emcee in hip hop period.
TLS- So you are saying you were the first solo emcee even before Spoonie in Harlem?
I bought Spoonie out, me and A.J. Spoonie was the janitor at the P.A.L. on his block in Harlem. Over there on 123rd street. I told you I used to hustle over there on 123rd street.
TLS- What you talking about the Chunky Black days, you use to sell that?
Yeah kid that was me; I was running with those cats!
TLS- Damn kid you were getting around the block it used to be hot out there when we was flipping. We had the leaky leak.
I was doing that too; remember when they used to call it the Busy Bee?
TLS- Damn kid you going back to the block for sure!
My other people were Shack crew from 118th street.
TLS- I knew them cats too, the D Bomber Z Crew.
TLS- I always wanted to ask you how did you get so cool with them, was you getting bundles from them also.
Yes I knew the boss, the General. He was messing with some chick up in the Bronx and I was messing with her daughter. And you know how them Gangster n------ want to show off, he told me any time I wanted some work holler at him. I said yeah I am there!
TLS- So you flipped on 118th street as well?
Yeah I flipped there as well as 123rd street that we all used to just call 23rd. I used to flip more on 23rd so when I finished I would walk right over to British Walkers (shoe store on 125th street.) and get me a pair of British Walkers.
TLS- There was more money on 23rd any way.
Right I was getting crazy paper over there fast.
TLS- Hell yeah, you could flip many bundles over there and nobody was fighting over turf over there.
No bulls---. Say it was two o’clock in the after noon I would go in the block with 7 B’s come out at 3:30 done. I can go and buy me some Blue British Walkers and go and give him his, and get 5 more B’s if I wanted.
TLS- It was 60, 40 back then too!
TLS- Opposed to later it being 70, 30.
Right it was 60, 40 split. You crazy British Walkers were $95 back then. I used to get some British on two flips.
TLS- That was the days when you would go on 125th street with $100 and get a mock neck some Lee’s and some kicks and be straight for 100 bucks. Tell me about the Ranch Crew? What was up with that?
I invented that. Those were my n------. I used to be like “come on lets go back to the ranch.” Those were the projects I was staying at, that time. Which was Davison projects right on Holmes Street. That’s where I was living when I met Mean Gene. My personnel home boys came from there. Bub a Lub, Mike, Fuji Fuj. That was my homies, the Ranch Crew. I got to mention this though about Mean Gene. Mean Gene started this for Theodore, and Kevie Kev and me. I really can’t say he started this for me but he asked me to come aboard. He invited me into the L- Brothers. He was the only one that could invite me. Theodore couldn’t ask me to come aboard. He didn’t have the strength to tell me that. Mean Gene his big brother told me that. He bought me to the table, and he must have told Kevie Kev and them something because when I got there it was love. I was cool with Rob any way from when I used to come home from school and I see them and I would go in the house and change my clothes, come back out and see Rob on the corner he would say “hey Star Ski”, looking me up and down. It was the eye thing “yeah that n------ fly that n----- is fresh!” (We both start laughing.) And that was how me and Rob were cool, because we were always fresh. One day I was in their house and my mother had already gone to Alexander’s. You remember Alexander’s right?
TLS-Yeah over there on 3rd avenue under the El train back then!
Right, well my moms bought me a brown suede front sweater. Kev’s mother comes in one day and says “come in the room I bought something real nice for ya’ll”, “hey Star Ski.” It was a Friday night and we were getting ready to go to a party at the Sparkle. They came out the room with the same suede front sweeter that I had but in blue. Yo we were looking like the bopsey twins and we stayed fly. Then we went to the spot and ripped it.
TLS- Well how did you and A.J. get so cool?
A.J. was Flash’s man. I knew that! Kenny Gee went to Morris High School with me. Here it is again I was a fly n----- going to Morris. Kenny Gee was an alright n----- but he used to steal cars and that was A.J. and Love Bugs man. One day Kenny Gee told me I should come down and get down with A.J. So one night me and Kenny have this talk again about I should be down with A.J. and then he tells me come take a ride with him in his car. At that time I didn’t have any car so I went with him and soon as we get down the block the cops pull us over, and now I am sitting in a cell in the precinct because of a stolen car talking about what the hell is this! (We both start laughing.) That was how I met A.J.! That is also how I knew he worked at Harlem prep because he told me one day take a ride with him as he went down there to the school, because he had to pick up some money. Remember the O.J.s?
Well A.J. used to keep them on hold for something like twenty dollars an hour. He used to have those 98’s on hold at the corner while he was giving out flyers with that big A.J. hat. He used to have on the valor brim. Those brims used to cost like $80 back then.
TLS- He got his name because of that hat?
You remember the store on 125th street called A.J. Lester?
TLS- Of course!
That’s how he got his name!
TLS- O.k. my man that came out of the building that Keith Sweat lived in, in my projects got the same name because of that fly store on 125th street!
A.J. used to wear A.J. Lester clothes on the regular.
TLS- That store had it real good back in the days, with the overlaps and the double knits and all the other top of the line gear for that era.
Right, and A.J. Lester used to put their name in their clothes and he always was rocking them. Plus he stayed dusted. He walked real cool to people when they would see him coming. So they would say “there go that n----- Cool D.J. A.J.” They would say “that n----- is cooler then a mother f-----.” But that n----- be dusty. They didn’t know.
TLS- You is a funny n----- Busy.
That’s my man. But he started telling me “yo come to Morris project this day I am going to be rocking that day.” I go down there and meet Seville Gill and all his gangster friends and they used to love me because I used to say their name “Seville Gill is in the house and what’s up to my man Trey Bag who’s in the house.” Trey Bag is down here in B- More with me right now.
TLS- Who was the toughest crew back then when it came to the Nine, Casanova’s and Zulu?
Casanova’s was all over! Zulu Nation too but Casanova’s are all over. There were even Casanova’s in Zulu Nation.
TLS- How long did you and A.J. run together?
This is where the fame stepped in with me and A.J. We were going places that the Cold Crush couldn’t go to. We saved the other half of the hip hop culture. Because we gave parties and invited guys like the Cold Crush and Fantastic to come and get paid. A lot of those parties the Cold Crush and Fantastic played at they didn’t do them, that was me and A.J. that did them, we hired them. We would be like “would you like to play with us at Harlem prep we are going to put you on the flyer, come down.” “Yo Tony Tone you have to bring the system this night”, “we are going to give you such and such” you understand?
They never had a party of their own! They never had a Theodore party and he was at the door and he got the money, Cold Crush never. It was always an A.J. party and they were invited to play. A.J. gave the parties and Mike and Dave. As far as those days.
TLS- Mike and Dave, and B. Fats and Donald D in the Renny!
Right, but nobody else gave parties’
TLS- But what about Armstrong or Sandwich etc. that gave parties also?
Those were outside guys that found clubs or spots for no money and try and tell people to come in and play in them and pay them at the end of the night $100 dollars after charging people $5 a head and making like $300 that night. Those were just promoters that would say I got a club and I can give you this, because they know that if you come by and put out a flyer you are going to make the spot this much, and you are going to get that much. That’s when the math started coming in.
TLS- How did Smalls get on that record with you and A.J. and y’all called your selves the Marvelous 3?
This guy name Terry came to A.J. and said he wanted to do a record.
TLS- Terry Lewis?
Yes, Terry Lewis came to A.J. and said he wanted to do a record. A.J. called me, at the time I didn’t know Smalls, A.J. told me about him.
TLS- Smalls was out of Queens’s right?
Right, he said I got this kid name Smalls who is Son of Hollywood; I want to put him down on the record. So we went to the studio and we did it. It was called Rapping All Over, on Brass records.
TLS- That was your very first record ever!
Right it was my very first record. They put it out but it didn’t do anything.
TLS- Was there a specific reason why A.J. picked him over all the other guys in the Bronx?
I really don’t know but A.J. and Terry put that together. But I guess they thought we were going to get rich like the Sugar Hill Gang!
TLS - What was up with that song 'School Days"?
That was on Master 5 records. Flash introduced me to the guy who ran that label because he wanted to record them, his name was Clarence. I never got paid for that one
TLS- Here goes a question for you; during the time you were rocking who did you like when you were emcee, as far as another emcee and D.J.?
Mele Mel! And as far as a D.J. Flash!
TLS- Was there ever a time you were close to becoming a member of the Furious 5?
Yes, Mele Mel wanted to put me down, but I didn’t want it! In fact they wanted me down instead of Rahiem. I was the one that introduced Rahiem to Mel and Mr. Ness. I told them I am going to do my thing on the solo tip but this n----- is nice, and he wants to be down with ya’ll! The rest was history.
TLS- During the Funky 4 days with Rahiem do you remember those routines that they had, because I heard they were legendary? I have one but it isn’t the clearest copy. Now what I did hear on the tape made me feel like they separated them selves from everybody else, because were not only singing before any one else but then I hear the Crazy Eddie routine and others that sounded tight.
Yes you are absolutely right. They had all those routines and Rahiem was putting them together, I believe. But I guess he wanted a little more out of it because they still couldn’t compete. Also they weren’t getting the shows with us. It was like a circle, Flash Mean Gene and us were the circle. Rahiem wasn’t down with us so he wanted to get down with Flash. See with our two groups that’s where all the chicks were coming to.
TLS- So why would ya’ll not allow the Funky 4 into the circle if they were so good?
They weren’t nice.
TLS- Oh they weren’t nice!? I thought they were nice because of those routines!
Nah they wasn’t nice enough for us, we was smashing them all the time.
TLS- Hold up ya’ll was still smashing them even though they had those tight routines.
Yeah! This is what I am trying to tell you we was smashing n------ man, we was like the Beatles man.
TLS- I hear you.
We was smashing n------, word is bond. We were packing houses by our selves. We were packing the Sparkle and T- Connection before 12 midnight by our selves. It wasn’t like two or three other groups it was just Theodore and the L- Brothers. 5 hours of non stop jumping off of us.
TLS- n------ was exhausted.
It wasn’t no two d.j.s and 5 emcees, it was just us. Later it became 5 emcees and it’s all good because it was a change, but when we did it, it was just us.
TLS- Alright I am going to take you to the Moe Dee Busy Battle! When you started your routine you told the crowd “this is for that other emcee that’s in the finals that bit my s---!” who were you referring to? I say that because the people that came on before you were Johnny Wa and Force Emcee’s!
It was another guy before them that didn’t get on the tape. It was some guy saying my thing, “where’s that place we work it out” that was trying to get on by saying my routine. So I was just basically saying I am going to show you how it’s done. As far as Moe Dee I didn’t even know he was there.
TLS- I thought he was one of the judges!
I didn’t even know that he was a judge.
TLS- This is what I got for you on the Moe battle, what do you remember on the second battle between you and Moe on New Years night?
I came to the second battle but Moe wasn’t there.
TLS- Alright this is what I got from L.A. Sunshine, He said you supposedly did your thing on the mic but Moe, L.A., Special K and D.J. Lee weren’t around for hours because they were in Long Island performing at another show.
TLS- L.A. says you were on the stage talking to the crowd saying “I told you he wasn’t going to show, yada yada yada.” Then L.A. busts through the doors and says “Moe is here.” Mean while Moe and the others are parking the car making their way through the crowd. Then Moe gets on stage gets the mic and says “I know I am late, but I know my advisory said this ba diddy ba etc etc.” but this is how you really rock a rhyme and then Moe went into his routine.
The same s---!
TLS- So Moe was actually there for the second battle?
Yeah, but he said the same s--- everybody got on the tape!
TLS- So ya’ll both did the same exact thing ya’ll did Christmas night?
I didn’t do a show during the contest. I just did a routine to win the money. The second time I did a show.
TLS- So you are saying you did a show the second time and not another battle routine again the second time?
Right because he wasn’t there the second time, so I did my regular show. Towards the end of the night I did say the battle didn’t happen because of him not showing up. Then at the end of the night L.A. did come busting through the doors talking about he is here. But all the hype is gone. He did say I know what Busy said but for those of you here who didn’t hear what I said last time and then he says the same routine he said last time.
TLS- Were you prepared a different way this time for Moe?
No because I wasn’t prepared the last time. I said it in my record Suicide “no practice or rehearsal”
TLS- “You mess with me I hurt you” I love that joint kid.
So there it is.
TLS- Do you think Moe practiced that routine before that night?
Yep! You f------ right, he been practicing that rhyme for about a week or so!
TLS- How do you know this?
Because it was in the routine, you don’t just wake up; you can’t wake up……because he said it again! Now if you had something new to say you would have said it. That s--- was rehearsed, come on man.
TLS- He says he said everything off the top of his head!
Get the f--- out of here he didn’t say anything off the top of his head. All the s--- he said is the s--- that we did. Like the part where I asked Spoonie Gee for some s--- or stole some s---! Spoonie G was supposed to write me….him and A.J. was running together. He was supposed to write me a song to do with Sugar Hill Records, but I didn’t get a chance to do it. So when I got another contract some where else I want to do it. I asked Spoonie did you finish writing that s---, Spoonie said he used it.
TLS- So Spoonie used the rhyme he was supposed to give to you?
Right, Spoonie said he used it for a record he was doing, because at the time I said I didn’t need it. But Moe Dee talking about I took and stole it like a f------ thief. But I never got a chance to use it.
TLS- But what is he talking about when he said coming to buy rhymes? Ya’ll used to buy from Spoonie from time to time?
No see it was a record company and they would give you a budget and I told him I would pay for it. Spoonie didn’t come to me and say he will sell it to me that was my idea to go to him and say I will pay for it.
TLS- So more or less public thought was why is he paying for a rhyme instead of using his on thoughts?
F--- what they saying!
TLS- No I know what you’re saying but at that time no one was buying rhymes every one was going originally off the top of their head. That’s what they are saying really!
No, no the rhyme he had for the record was so fly I said yeah I want that! I will f--- with that, I will even buy that. It was some funky s--- Spoonie wrote! One night I was snapping on them n------, Moe Dee, Lee and Spoonie were all buddies. I guess what ever story he got out of that….. Can’t you tell that’s something he had to put together? “Yo Spoonie what about this” “and what about that”? You know what I am saying he had to put together a puzzle, and then put it on paper and map it out.
TLS- Did you and him ever talk about that later on in life after that night, like “come on n----- how you going to do something like that?”
Nah after that night I didn’t see him for a while. Then when I saw him it wasn’t anything to me, because I didn’t lose anything. It wasn’t like I was finished or done.
TLS- Of course not, not at all! But it was totally different because no one had ever emceed against another emcee that way!
Right but it wasn’t a JaRule 50cent and I am done now type thing!
TLS- Now your man Kevie Kev felt like “how you going to be dissing my man when it’s about skills of an emcee.”
Right see he was snapping! Back then we called it snapping. He was snapping instead of rapping that’s what they tried to tell him! “You are snapping on a n------ that ain’t rapping.” “You ain’t won any rap battle”! “You were snapping on a n-----, f--- out of here.” That was their argument, it didn’t bother me. So what he was snapping, that’s what n------ do! I didn’t have to do that, that’s not me. But today me and Moe is cool he was on tour with us recently.
TLS- When Cowboy passed away did you think about being part of the Furious 5?
They asked me, but they also asked me when Cowboy was alive. I wasn’t going to get down with them I just did shows with them. I did one record with them, The Miami Vice song. We did it for the sound track to Miami Vice. That’s when I got to meet Phil Collins.
TLS-How did Sylvia Robinson of Sugar Hill records approach you?
Oh I was just there. It wasn’t even no approach, “Busy Bee come on get on this, this is going to be big (Busy is mocking her voice.) this is Miami Vice.”
TLS- I am talking about the beginning of your career with her?
Oh I went to the office and I told her who I was and I wanted to do something. They asked me to hear something. I did something for them right then and there! Then they said alright lets try and put something together. I did three records with them, Making Cash Money, Busy Bee’s Groove and the Miami Vice!
TLS- What made you step away from Sugar Hill?
I wasn’t getting any money! Today I am getting more money than I ever did back then. I got over $100,000 f------ with Sugar Hill right now. That’s from Kid Rock, my Cash Money record “Ba with the Ba,” I am going to get millions for that. I made him with the Ba Diddy Ba.
TLS- So it’s not really coming from Sugar Hill it’s coming from Kid Rock?
TLS- On one of your records (Making Cash Money) you used the same beat that Spoonie used in his(Spoonie Is Back), what was that all about?
Well I used it first for the cut called Making Cash Money, but he was a little hotter than I was. We were both on Sugar Hill records at the same time, but he had just came over from Enjoy records where he was killing it. I had came up with the idea and told him about it before he came out with his version.
TLS- So this is kind of like he bit from you!
Yeah, right that’s what I am saying. It was the Funky President beat but Sugar Hill let the in house band do their version so James Brown wouldn’t sue them. But that was my beat and some of the rap that Spoonie wrote I was supposed to have, but when he went to Sugar Hill with his they felt he was hotter then me so they put his version out first, although I put mine together first.
TLS- What happened with that record you did with Bam, Mel and the Soul Sonic Force called I think “What time is it”?
Oh yeah I did that with Tommy Boy Records, I don’t know what happened with that they owe me some money for that. I be hearing that cut over seas.
TLS- Yes I hear a lot of you guys get a lot of play over seas.
Yes I found it over there, and I want my money. I got to get with Tom Silverman about that. That record is out and it is being sold, and being played. It’s me, Pow Wow, Mel and Bam. Bam got the deal hooked up. It was a compilation(Beware the Funk is Everywhere) because I did another cut with I think just me Globe and Pow Wow.
TLS - Why did you have a video for Busy bee Express , and not Runnin Thangs or Suicide?
Suicide and Runnin Thangs were already singles. by the time we were able to make a video, Express was the new single.
TLS- How did you and Fab 5 Freddy meet?
I meet him down on 34th street and bought him to the Valley up in the Co-op City area!
TLS- So how did you meet him, you were going to Down Stairs record shop or something?
I was performing in the Empire State building, me and A.J.
I ripped the spot, they was in the building they came up to me and asked me “what the f---?” I told them who I was and what I do. They said they saw that. They said they would like to do some more stuff and they would like to do this. I gave them a number and they came up to Harlem we walked around Harlem for a minute then I took them up to the Bronx to the Valley. Everybody thought I bought detectives up there.
TLS- Fred told me that.
When I ripped the mic I then told everybody that these were my peoples and they are doing a movie, then people got relaxed and everything. They were on after that. I introduced Freddy to the Hip Hop culture.
TLS- He told me I did a story with him recently.
This year I am being honored by Fab 5 Freddy and VH1 Hip Hop honors.
TLS- How did that go down with you and KRS1’s Temple of Hip Hop?
KRS1 came to me one day when him and Big Daddy Kane were doing a show over here in Washington D.C. along with Speech about 2 years ago at a place called 9:30. Soon as I come in the spot Teach sees me and we happy to see each other. The D.J. had my record Suicide; he threw the first verse on. I ripped the spot up crazy. When I finish I told Teach you need a hype man like me down here when you be coming. He said Bee you might be right. He gave me a number and told me to bug his phone, he said yo bug me I don’t care call me until you get through. I called him twice. F--- all that, I ain’t going to be doing all that calling s---. But he called me back out of the clear Blue he called. It was like a week to two weeks later he called me. He said what do you think? We started talking I said I am still the greatest he said I know that. (Busy is smiling through the phone!) He said check this out I am going to fly you out to L.A. and we are going to do this, and do that. We are going to go on this tour and see how this works and if it works out alright then we can do this. I get to L.A. and its January the 5th, he called me on New Years Eve and said he would fly me out to L.A. and we are going to do this and that and we are going to make money, I said alright. I am up in Willies celebrating me and my wife, partying and January 5th I am in L.A. I was there until April on tour with him. Then we went on a world tour over seas. I stayed over there for 35 days. He really liked it because we did everything we broke down the culture of hip hop. This is how I do my show, I have a d.j. I show you the art of d.j.ing and scratching. I do me, old school, I am an old school pioneer, and then I have a young brother who will put you up to date with the new stuff. Then I will always have a special guest from the eighty’s either KRS1 or Erick Sermon etc. to bring back the old times.
TLS- To tie everything back into one.
Right, then I have a segment for the b-boys and I play Apache or something for the break dancers.
TLS- So this is more less yours and not KRS1’s?
Right its mine.
TLS- I actually thought Temple of Hip Hop was a whole bunch of emcees!
Well it is that but I have my own show and I break it down to the elements while he does his own show. But I let them know this is HIP HOP not that watered down bull s--- where we coming down from the ceiling and the smoke screen and all that dumb s---. The fans love it and go crazy. I just got back after doing a lot of time over seas with him.
TLS- How did you get on with Pan Disc in Florida for the “Than God For Busy Bee” lp?.?
That’s through Rocky Buchano, me and Jazzy Jay. Me and Jazzy did “Running Things” with a SP 1200 and the Suicide joint was with a 808. Then we got the go ahead to do another record once we got out of Universal records. We got with Pan Disc, they wanted to do an album, and this was in 1992. We put the album together but a hurricane came to Miami and blew away the office.
TLS- What, oh man!
Yeah, there was no office. Say Tuesday you woke the next day Wednesday and the hurricane was gone, the office was too.
TLS- (We start laughing.) I am sorry to hear that.
“It used to be right here.” (We start laughing again.) “I parked my s--- right here”.
TLS- So they didn’t try and set up shop some where else.
No once it was gone it was a rap. We didn’t owe them money they didn’t owe us money! It was just an album on the shelf.
TLS- So the next question is do you have anything new coming out or any unreleased music out there?
I got an album getting ready to drop; I got a movie that’s getting ready to drop.
TLS- What’s up with this movie, I keep hearing you talking about it?
It’s a life story about me. It’s going to be a two part. A documentary and movie about me. The movie is going to be about me and the times of 1977 to 1981 my glory years of hip hop. My side of the story with Mario, Mean Gene and all that. The other one will be me talking to Herc about me, Bam about me, shows about me in Harlem World and the Bronx. Shows with me over seas. It will be an interview, show, interview, show. Video, interview, show. I will be talking with certain n------ in hip hop. It’s about 90minutes or something.
TLS- So both of them are actually documentaries?
No well Mos Def will play a young Busy Bee in the movie about me. He just signed his contract.
TLS- Oh o.k. I like his work. He did his thing in the16 Blocks movie. So who is backing this?
TLS- Word? That’s good. Sounds real good.
What’s the time table for that to come out?
TLS- Next year, 2007.
Do you have a name for both of them?
TLS- The Life story of the Chief Rocker Busy Bee hip hops Pioneer. The other one I am not sure yet probably Busy Bee live. People like Chuck Dee, L.L. etc will be in on it.
Alright Busy Bee this concludes this interview I am very thankful to be able to talk to you, I have been trying to get with you for a while peace.
TLS- Thank you also. My man, one.
Busy Bees web site is called www.Urbangold.com
I want to Thank my man Tony Tone of the Cold Crush Brothers that put me on to the Chief Rocker Busy Bee and the very knowledgeable website known as www.oldschoolhiphop.com for their contribution to the story and my man 50 Grand Jayquan.
Praise God and God bless you from me and my sons Shemar and Troy Jr.
Troy L. Smith from HARLEM, One