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
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 "
JQ : Peace and Respect
TLR : Peace.
As told to JayQuan on 9/23/01 ©2001
Magnetic Soundworx/JayQuan Dot Com