Dota Rock with Troy L. Smith 9/24/02
Troy L.- Where did your name Dota- Rock
Dota- Rock- The name came from a candy
called Mason Dots. They were like ju ju fruits.My last name is Mason so I took the name
Dot. I originally started out as Dottie Dot, I wanted to get more raw so I went Dota
Troy L.- Who inspired you to want to M.C.?
Dota- Rock- M.C. Geronimo of the crew
called Chaos from up in Edeamore projects here in the Bronx. That was 1974.
Troy L.- Who was the first D.J. you heard?
Dota Rock- Breakout, He was known back then
for having a lot of plates. Then came Flash.
Troy L.- How did you and Whip, Caz and
Dota Rock- Whip and Caz was coming through
my projects the Twin Parks.
They had with them there school brief cases
with thier names written on the side and a Radio that we called a Box back in the days,
one of them joints with 2 mics on the sides. they started rocking the crowd by just
playing one of there tapes. Thats how we got cool. We ended up all going to
Roosevelt H.S.. I met J.D.L. going for try outs to be with the Mighty Force. So I was on
my way to D.J. A1 Mighty Mikes house for the try outs. The way me and the L. met was
he too was looking for the same house. So we walked past each other twice until he walked
up and asked me were the building was at that he was looking for. When he told me the
address I started laughing he did also when he realized that it was the same address. So
we went up the same time and made the crew the same time.
Troy L.- Who were the players in the Mighty
Dota Rock- Me, Whip, Caz, R.C. and J.D.L.
and the D.J.s were Caz, Mike Swat and A1 Mighty Mike. Big Bank Hank (before Sugar hill
gang) was our manager. Back in those days there really wasnt any routines just
rocking on the mic saying your lyrics. One night we were supposed to battle the L-Brothers
at the Audubon but our system broke down on us. Me and Whip stayed there about 2 years and
Troy L.- Where did you and Whip go to next?
Dota Rock- We went to the Cold Crush next.
It was Chase, A.D. and Mr. Tee. We went to the Crush cause they had a better system and
did better partys which meant better money. We also had contracts that said we did
not have to carry equipment any more. We left them after 2 years. While with the Crush we
would do parties with the L. Brothers, and me and Whip were on top of our game so we use
to kill parties that the L. Brothers were at. So they approached us and asked if we would
like to be down. Man they were doing better shows so you know that meant better money. We
went from 2 dollars a man with the Mighty Force, thats because parties were costing a buck
back then, to $20 a man with the Cold Crush. Then $100 a man with the L-Brothers and
Fantastic. First we ran with the L-Brothers that consist of Mean Jean, Claudio and D.J.A1
Mighty Mike and me and Whip. Theodore by now was doing his own thing with him, Kevie Kev,
Master Rob and Busy Bee. Now Ruby Dee lived in the same building with Busy Bee so
thats how he got the juice to be down with Fantastic later. Which was soon because
Busy and Kev use to argue a lot and that started back from them growing up together from
little boys. So Busy Bee chose to step out on his own and thats how Ruby got on.
Even when Busy went solo he would still come back to rock with us. Then it didnt
take long before we combined with them and became the Fantastic Romantic 5 M.C.s
Troy L.- How would you describe each M.C.
of the crew?
Dota Rock- Kevie Kev was the captain and
ladys man. Master Rob, Kevs brother was the baritone smooth talker. Me I was
the story teller, with fast rhymes. Whip was off the top of his head going with the flow
as well as a story teller. Ruby Dee was just the most skilled Puerto Rican M.C. as well as
the most well known. Kev also collected the money and had a pretty good knuckle game so we
never had a manager but we kept our guns right up on the stage with us.
Troy L.- What about the back up to
Theodore, Kevie Kev Rockwell?
Dota Rock- Kevie Kev was the backup but
very important to us! He would set up all the records for Theodore while he was D.J.ing.
Also he warmed up the crowd as well as the equipment before the actually show. Being as
Theodore was serious about this, it was hard for Rockwell to get light because Theodore
would be at every show just about.
Troy L.- Was there a time when the
Fantastic 5 was suppose to battle the Crash Crew?
Dota-Rock- Yes. We did some shows with them
and at the time thier record High Powered Rap was out and they played it at every show we
did with them. Being as the record was good, doing good they thought they were hotter then
us. One night we had a few words with Darrell C and I think G- Man. So we set a date to
battle them but they did not show. I guess they knew we were ready to tear ass! We did
battle some kids from Yonkers, The Devastating 4 and we tore ass!
Troy L.- What started the battle between
the Fantastic and Cold Crush?
Dota-Rock- J.D.L. one night was saying they
were the best and Busy was like Fantastic could take yall out. So they were riffin
about that. One day we passed by Cazs house while they were practicing and they seen
us out the window so they came out side and started arguing which turned into a bigger
argument. I couldnt believe it myself because we were all friends.
Troy L.- Where did Theodore get the idea to
use the handcuffs in the battle?
Dota-Rock- Theodore use to always be
playing with them in practice. So one day he says "Yo man Im going to do this
at the show". I said " you that nice you might as well, go ahead and do
Troy L.- Did the Hip hop world want to see
another battle between yall?
Dota-Rock- With out a doubt, many people
wanted to see it again. There was people still believing we won and there were many others
that felt the Crush won. But it didnt take long before Kev went on to the Furious 5
and Whip later went in to the Navy.
Troy L.- What made Kev leave for the
Dota-Rock- We were loading up our bus to do
a show in Poughkeepsie and out of nowhere Kev says he is not going. We start buggin. It
became a very touching moment for us. Me being the writer of the crew, I always had him
included in all the routines so we were like "what are we going to do now". From
that day on we were never the same. Later on he did come back because his brother Rob was
still in the crew so that left a door open for him. Nobody could take his place anyway.
What happened was Kev took the Kid Creole spot. Creole was going through some personal
problems so being as Kev was light skin about Creoles complexion he took Creoles spot.
That is exactly what he did. Kevs name to the public was the Kid Creole Kev could
not get burn as him self. Man there was a time were we use to go on tour with some of the
Sugar Hill acts and the Funky 4 had a date in South Carolina and they couldnt show
for what ever reason Sylvia Robinson wanted us to act like we were the Funky 4. We
didnt do it but that goes to show you how game tight she was.
So back to Kev. The Sugar Hill was blessing
him with thousands of dollars but now Creole is ready to come back. They might not have
planned for this or what ever but they had to let Kev go. So thier way of thanking him was
a one cut deal. There you have the "All night long" single for Kev and no more.
We were approached by Sylvia to get on her label but we heard too many horror stories.
There would be times we be rockin in the T- Connection or the P.A.L. and the Funky 4 or
Treacherous 3 would be there and they couldnt perform live because they were under
contract to Sylvia Robinson.
Troy L.- What was the difference between
the Bronx crowd and the Manhattan Crowd.
Dota-Rock- The Bronx crowd was hearing hip
hop many years before Manhattan so they pretty much was use to it so they were into
partying, dancing. The Manhattan crowd would sit there and listen closely to your shit and
give you the love that you were looking for and react to your rhyme they way you made it
to be reacted to. I loved Manhattan. The clubs that I really dug was the Celebrity Club
and Harlem World there was a funky flavor crowd plus they had some beautiful women.
Troy L.- Where was the roughest club?
Dota-Rock- The Armory in Do or Die Bed Stuy
Brooklyn. We come one night in a limo and its very crowded in front of the entrance
so we cant get in. The promoter comes out side and says "Oh no I have to get
yall in" So he says hold on and pulls out two guns and starts bustin off into the
air. The crowd turns around and looks at him like what the hell is wrong with this fool
and continues on doing what they were doing. So he finally gets us in there and the Armory
is jammed packed to the walls. So they lead us up to the dressing room tell us dont
worry about nothing they got our back. So we chill because Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde are on
stage. So after awhile me and Whip is like lets go out and peep the crowd see how they get
down. Kev screams out the dressing room door you better stay here were its safe. I
told him we aint scared of anybody. In the back of the Armory brothers are shooting
dice and this kid pulls out two guns talking about "Nobody move thats my
money". Niggers is getting robbed in the corner you go in the bathroom mother fuckers
is getting robbed there. Just heathens even the chicks looked like dudes. All this was
right inside the Armory.
Troy L.- So it was similar to the parties
in the Bronx?
Dota-Rock- No it was Rougher.
Troy L.- What about the thugs in the Bronx?
Did they try to push up on yall?
Dota-Rock- When it came to thugs in the
partys we kept it up front with them soon as we seen them we would say thier name on
the mics so they didnt have to ask (or tell us). The Ching Aling Gang told us (when
we were with the Cold Crush) if you dont say our name every 5 minutes we are going
to take all your equipment out of here and keep it. See you had to look at that as that
was how they were, and we were the music. So they would not go too far because if we were
gone then there would not be any music. And they were not having that. They may act funky
with us but nobody else would bother us because the Ching Alings would go to war for us.
Mele Mel and Flash had the Casanovas back then and when we were the L-Brothers we
had the 9 Crew backing us. The 9 Crew and The Casanovas were rivals like the bloods
and crips. As we all got older that intimidating played out, we knew everybody. They still
had marks but they knew who to do it to and not to.
Troy L.- What about the promotors of
Dota-Rock- Jerry Blood Rock was a good
promoter, Mandiplite was also good. He use to pay us up front before we performed. There
were other good ones then there were guys like Ray Chandler who you had to be on your
Ps and Qs because he was straight gangster he was an ex-cop and Casanova had
Troy L.- Why did the Fantastic 5 change
your name to Fantastic Freaks?
Dota-Rock- We wanted to start doing
something different. The girls always loved us. In our routines we at times humped the
floor. This is also during the time when Kevie Kev came back. Since he did that record
called "All night long" it labeled us just right.
Troy L.- How did the Fantastic 5 go about
doing your record "Fresh out the Pack"?
Dota-Rock- A gentleman by the name of
Johnny Soul talked to us about doing a record on his independent label. He was a decent
man and he gave us some good ideas. So we did the record. It sold pretty good here in N.Y.
Mr. Soul also had a tour bus for us with our name on the side of it. Mr. Soul died before
we could do a second record.
Troy L.- Where did "My mic sound right
check one" come from and how did the Fantastic feel about the girls "Salt and
Pepper" using it?
Dota-Rock- Kevie Kev made that up. He got
tired of saying "one two, one two
checking the mics. We never really got a
chance to meet Salt and Pepper but we met Herbie Luv Bug thier manager and producer. He
came to one of our shows one day with a bunch of body guards and told us he really admired
our music and he was a big Dota- Rock fan. We just looked at him and said thanks and
walked away. We really didnt appreciate him using "my mic sounds right check
one" with out permission. That was not the only thing he stole, there were other
routines that we wrote he used for the girls.
Troy L.- How did Fantastic get on with the
Wild style movie? And what was the pay like?
Dota-Rock- Well we were the hottest group.
So Charlie Ahearn and Fab 5 Freddy came to one of our shows and asked us if we would like
to be in the movie, we said sure. They paid us $1000 a man each set we did for the movie.
That set we did in the basketball courts was at 7:00 in the morning. Us and the Cold Crush
did shows that night before the game so we never went to sleep, everyone looks tired. If
you look close enough I still have on a collar shirt under my sweat shirt from the night
before at the party.
Troy L.- How do you feel about Hip Hop
Dota-Rock- Hip Hop is Hip Hop but its
not Hip Hop from before its more practiced, more gangster, its more record. Its not
enough imagination. I think the gangster took a lot out of Hip Hop. I enjoy some of the
records now but thats all it is records. Its not an art any more. I hear
brothers freestyle and say the same thing like the next man talking about he goin to
pull out his glock. Blazy blah what he goin to do on the block. Any body can do
that. But hes just promoting violence. I dont see anything party about that.
Theres no skill there. If you dont have a dope beat behind what your saying it
dont mean shit because no ones going to buy it. The majority of it is gangster
and I am getting tired of it I think it is killing Hip Hop. I never talked about killing
in my rhymes in fact no one did in those days.
Troy L. Who do you dig today as an M.C.?
Dota-Rock- L.L.Cool J. I like the way he
gets on that Gangster but gets right off of it. Hes able to be versatile and has
longevity. Even though he breaks out for movies or his show he still comes back and lays
down his rhymes good. I checked him from day one I even went to his Raising Hell tours.
Thats who I think is a great m.c.
Troy L. Are you finished with Hip Hop? Do
you still write?
Dota-Rock- I have always wrote but I took a
couple years off to be closer with my family and just chill and collect my thoughts. Now
its back on. I am always Dota-Rock but I am Darrell Mason first.
Troy L.- ONE. TROY L. from HARLEM
© 2002 Troy L. Smith No part may be
reproduced without authors permission.