T LA ROCK INTERVIEW

                                                                                                                    

JayQuan : Lets start with the beginning ...what year did you start emceeing ,and is T La Rock your original Emcee name ?

T La Rock :  Man....I first picked up the mic in like '78 or '79 , and I was always T La Rock ...it came from when I was a Breakdancer. Then I was in a  crew called the Undefeated 4.

JQ : Special K from Treacherous 3 is your brother right ?

TLR : Yes he is my little brother .

JQ : So who started Emceeing first ?

TLR : I did ....he got a deal before I did....but I was Emceeing before him .

JQ :  We have to talk about " Its Yours " . It has been said that "Sucker Mcs"     by Run Dmc was the start of a  new sound  - because of the stripped  down  track - " Its Yours " was actually the start of the Bass and Drum machine era.

TLR : Yeah even Luke (Uncle Luke Skyywalker) credits me with having the first   official bass record .

JQ : How did that song come about ?

TLR : Originally Special K was supposed to do that record and Louie Lou was supposed to do the scatching. My brother kept telling me " man you need to do this record " . I didnt even want to make records , I had a job at a pharmacy making good money - K hooked me up with Rick Rubin and that was it .

JQ : That record is a classic...I bought it on the strength of the cover with the curve arm turntable....also because it had Jazzy Jays name on it. So you actually had the first Def Jam release ?

TLR : Yes and no . Def Jam was just a production thing that Rick (Rubin) was doing...it wasnt a real label...the label was Partytime/ Streetwise. But it did have the Def Jam logo and Curve arm turntable .

JQ : So its safe to say that because of " Its Yours " careers for LL Cool J , Public Enemy , Ja Rule, 3rd Bass  and Beastie Boys are possible .

TLR : Yes.

JQ : You and Special K wrote " Its Yours " together right ?

TLR : Yeah its funny....it wasnt even like writing... we were literally finishing each others sentences .

JQ : You used the Uncle Louie break for the intro right ?

TLR : Yes , there is another break within the drum programs...but you have to listen close.

JQ : A lot of cats dont listen to lyrics...but I always peeped that the whole record was actually about the process of recording a rap record.....then the next Def Jam release was " I Need A Beat "  by LL Cool J , which was very close in subject matter and style to " Its Yours " .

TLR : Yes..me & LL used to talk all the time . He use to always give me props when we talked.....he had a hard time at first....thats why the original " Rock The Bells" ...the one with the actual cowbells was so hard . He felt he had a lot to prove...he was mad.

JQ : Ok the next thing you released was the " Hes Incredible "  multi single .

TLR : Yeah on Fresh Records....Me & Special K wrote and Produced that too.

JQ : That was a dope record....even on " Hes Incredible " you are rhyming about Dj Louie Lou....but you still have some dope battle lyrics .

TLR : Some of the stuff on that record wasnt even written....like " T La Rock Rockin The Party " - some of it was off the top .

JQ : So what  record did Greg Nice ( of Nice & Smooth) appear on with you first?

TLR : That was " Breaking Bells / Bass Machine"  in' 86 .

JQ : How did you and the legendary Mantronik hook up ?

TLR : He was supposed to come in and add some stuff to "Breakdown" from the " Hes Incredible " single....but it never happened.....and we were label mates..I wanted some stuff like what he did with " Fresh Is The Word " .

JQ : Then came  " Back To Burn "....that was bigger in the UK right ?

TLR : Yes it did very well there...along with the first Mantronix Lp....Mantronik was ahead of his time ...people werent ready for it .

JQ : Yeah....on "Breaking Bells" he was sampling....not many people were then . He used " Brother Green" by Roy Ayers on there.

TLR : Actually I bought that record in the studio....that was me.

JQ : It was dope how you put out non lp stuff like " Scratch Monopoly"  and "Nitro" .

TLR : Yeah " Nitro " was on the Rap Pack lp...Quincy Jones son QDIII produced it.

JQ : You had an Lp called " On A Warpath " ....it was a UK only release right ?

TLR : Yes...it almost didnt come out at all . Greg Nice was on tour in the Uk with Nice & Smooth , and he brought it back....I was like damn I didnt know Fresh (records) had put it out at all .

JQ : What is T La Rock doing today ?

TLR : Im doing a movie....it wont really be a Hip Hop movie...stay tuned for it...I just did a joint with Percy P for his upcoming lp .

JQ : What is your opinion of todays so called Hip Hop ?

TLR : Its a little too much emphasis on Girls  , Drugs and Guns....these things always existed in Hip Hop ....but there was more versatility back then...we talked about other things too .

JQ : Whats Special K up to ?

TLR : He is maintaining....he is a family man now...kids and everything.....but he is still doing his music .

JQ : On " Runaway " you mentioned " Its Yours 2 "....did that ever come out?

TLR : No...it was recorded though...there are several mixes to " Its Yours"..I did one with Charlie Brown from Leaders Of The New School...there are about 7 mixes....one is on the " Warpath " lp.

JQ : Peace and Respect

TLR : Peace.

 

As told to JayQuan on 9/23/01   2001 Magnetic Soundworx/JayQuan Dot Com

 

 

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