JayQuan : Peace ...Definitely
honored to speak to you.
Lil Rodney C : Thanks
JQ : I understand that you
originally started in a crew called the Magnificent Seven.
LRC : Yes I was down with them from
1976-79 . It was Stevie Steve , Shaft , Calipo 9 , Lil Rodney C , Shotgun , Davey Dave and
Jazzy Jeff . Kev Kev was the record man and Pookie Dee was the record man from Bros.
Disco. Funky 4 was originally Sha Rock , Rahiem , KK Rockwell and Keith Keith
. During a 3 month period in 79 all the groups were changing members....Busy Bee was down with Fantastic &
Cold Crush for a minute , Caz & JDL were doin they thing....Rahiem left Funky and went
to Furious (5). No crews were formed at this time....the only actual crews were Furious
and Funky .
JQ : So who was the first person
you ever saw Emcee...and who influenced you ?
LRC : The first person I ever saw
Emcee was Keith Cowboy . He was a crowd motivator....he was mostly doin chants . The
person that made me say that I can do this is Melle Mel....he really influenced me . Kid
Creole was an early Emcee too . Hollywood and Starski and all those cats will tell you
that they were first . They are right to an extent , but there were two classes of Hip Hop
at the time...Disco & then the hard B Boys that used breakbeats . Hollywood and them
were Disco Djs. Also Mel & Creole were the first Emcees to do back & forth
JQ : What made the Funky 4 Break
up....and when did you officially break up ?
LRC : We broke up May 9 1981 . See
Wild Style was gonna originally be a documentary on the Funky . Fab 5 Freddy used to hang
around in Soho....and he knew all the art people...he was down with Debbie Harry ( Blondie
). He used to play Hip Hop tapes....and she heard a tape of us and was interested....she
hooked us up with the Saturday Night Live show....we were the first ever Hip Hop crew on
national TV . Well she wanted us to tour with them...but we couldnt as long as we were
signed to Sugarhill . She had a good lawyer that could get us out of our contract....but
we all had to sign.....no one was willing to sign but me & KK....that was the birth of
JQ : So on Wild Style when yall are
on the stoop and you say "they tried to hold us back , from fortune &
fame"....was that the other members that you were speaking of ?
LRC : That was directed at anybody
who stood in our way.....record labels....whoever . See people misunderstood the message
we were sending . When we came out at the Ampitheatre with guns and suits it was directed
at the industry....it wasnt "gangsta rap" . Then two years later you
sawRun Dmc on the " Rock Box " video looking just like us , except thier
jackets were leather . Many crews that came after us took something from us .
JQ : Along those lines how do you
feel about the Sprite commercial with Nas & AZ ?
LRC : We are in court with Sprite
now....and we are taking Nas & AZ to court also.
JQ : Did Funky 4 record anything
for Sugarhill other than " Thats The Joint " ?
LRC : Thats all that me & KK
recorded with them...after we left they did " Do You Wanna Rock ", " King
Heroin " , " Superstars " , " Square Biz " and " The
Mexican ". They just called themselves Funky 4...they dropped the Plus One.
JQ : Its always been my belief that
the Sugarhill label would have survived longer if they moved more into the drum machine
era......by 1983 people were into the stripped down sound . But Sugarhill was still using
a band....the band was dope....but the sound was kida out dated. Do you agree ?
LRC : No.....what Sugarhill
was trying to do was create an original sound that would be identified with them.....like
what Motown did.....and it worked . Till this day if you put on a record on that label you
know its them .
JQ : Yeah they played some stuff
better than the original bands that made them....like " Freedom " , " Disco
Dream " ...and " Thats The Joint "....that sounded better than Taste Of
LRC : Thats right.....and they are
getting back together...im gonna do some stuff with them.
JQ : I read that you dated Angie B
from Sequence....who of course is Angie Stone now.
LRC : Thats my ex wife ; we have a
17 year old daughter together...we are the first Hip Hop couple. ....I see some magazines
say that Treach and Pepa were the first....thats not true.
JQ : How was the experience on
Enjoy records ?
LRC : Not bad actually ...he just
didnt promote us properly....he just was into Hip Hop just to see what he could get out of
JQ : Ok....I noticed that you and
KK went back to Enjoy as the Deuce 2 .
LRC : Oh yeah we did are you ready
. We couldnt use the name Double Trouble anymore...Stevie Ray Vaughn had the rights to it
. We had a song on Capitol called " Think About It" . We didnt stay there
long...it was hard making the transition from working with bands to drum machines .
JQ : What do you think of current
LRC : Its too negative . I dont
like the subject matter . I like some voices and some music....like Jay Z , Jadakiss and
Nas...they all have good voices and beats....but i dont like what any of them talk about.
JQ : What is Rodney C up to today ?
LRC : I helped to organize what we
call Safe Night Talent Search . Its an outlet for youth to express themselves in a
positive , non violent environment . Today youth dont have many options as far as music
...there is no balance....either you liten to whats out there or nothing at all . I have
been involved in srtting up 6 safenight sites .
JQ : Keep me posted on that....its
good to hear cats doing something positive . Will the Funky 4 ever get back together
? Do you all still talk ?
LRC : We talk periodically.....but
there isnt much chance of a reunion....some people would have to change....every time we
try to get together there are differences that keep us from doing it .
JQ : At what point did you know
that Hip Hop was gonna be around for some time ?
LRC : When we first formed Double
Trouble we were rehearsing at a friends house. There was a kid there maybe 10 or so
....when we got up to go to another room he was repeating word for word what we did ....in
that little time he could repeat it. I knew at that point that it wasn't going anywhere .
JQ : Lastly were there any
rivalries between Funky and other crews....any battles ?
LRC : There were no crews....they
literally hadnt formed ...by 81 when we did " Thats The Joint " Cold Crush
, Fantastic....all them were just forming . Emcees were scared to death of us . We put out
a flyer around Christmas time calling out Emcees.....it even had a little ryhme on it
inviting them to battle us .
JQ : You schooled me to some
facts....good luck with the Safe Night project.
LRC : One.
© 2002 JayQuan Dot Com
No part may be copied without authors permission .
As told to JayQuan on 1-13-02
* Special Thanks to my man Troy Smith *