D.J. Yoda of the Mighty Crash Crew.

By Troy L. Smith Spring 2005

 

 

Where were you born and raised?

 

Harlem, New York. 135th street. 5th avenue. Riverton complex.

 

Who inspired you to want to be a part of hip hop?

 

D.J. Hollywood and Love Bug Star Ski. I used to see them rocking in the 140th  street block party’s.

 

The Treacherous 140th street between 7th avenue and 8th avenue, that was buck wild back in the days?

 

Yeah. But that was where the block party’s were at, at that time.

 

I hear you, go were the music is at!

 

Right, and Flash and Bam also.

 

So Flash and Bam you seen rocking down in Harlem or ya’ll had to go up to the Bronx?

 

Up in the Bronx, and that was 123 park for Flash, Bronx River and T- Connection for Bam. But Hollywood was the very first. I just liked the way he rocked the crowd, and the way he was controlling the crowd. Also his record selection. Hollywood was very much in control. He made it look like the D.J. was in control, and the m.c. was actually window dressing.

 

Was there every a time you tried out m.c.ing?

 

No, and the reason is I never liked my voice.

 

How did you and D.J. Darrell C meet?

 

Darrell and I met when we were like five years old. We grew up together in the Riverton Complex.

 

So from my research Darrell C and you already had a D.J. crew before y’all went over to the Lincoln projects to get on with the Crash Crew.

 

Yeah, basically, it was a bunch of us that used to roll to together, Darrell, Butter Bean, Gerald C, Dary, Jay Boy. We used to call our selves the Divine 9. There was a bunch of D.J.s and one D.J. that m.c.ed also.

 

So how did ya’ll formulate with the Crash Crew?

 

What happened was, the first time they came out, Darrell already had a reputation, because of his system and records. We were never the type that would just stay in Riverton, we were everywhere. So when the whole thing was going down, they came to Darrell and said they wanted him down with them, because they had a new group. Like I said Darrell had the records, and he had the set in the house. So it was like a natural thing. Plus they came to our complex as well, to chill, so we already knew who they were.

 

So did you and Darrell and the rest of your crew from Riverton have a name before ya’ll merged with Crash Crew?

 

We were called the Divine Nine. It was mostly me and Darrell that went to the Crash, then later John came over and Butter was always coming back and forth, because the music didn’t really matter to him. But with me and Darrell the music started coming first.

 

Do you remember the relationship Darrell had with the other D.J.s such as Bam, Flash and Theodore and other guys in the industry?

 

Everybody loved Darrell. Darrell was one of those likeable type cats. He was out going, he was the type of guy that would make you laugh. When we used to be on the road he used to be messing with everybody, playing pranks. (Yoda’s laughing.)You know what I mean? But when it was time to be serious, and we doing shows, competition was stiff. So nobody as far as other D.J.s were taking anybody under their wings. Our feeling was when we come to do a show “we coming to crush ya’ll.” With Theodore they were like our nemesis. We used to try and out shine them. Cold Crush and Treacherous Three were on a lot shows with us.

 

So with all those groups, who went on first mostly?

 

Well all of us used to have three and four shows a night so we wanted to be in there and out. But on the most part we all wanted to close.

 

So what part would you play when you and the Crash Crew would do, say Harlem World? Would you open up the crowd before Darrell C and the Crash Crew would get on, or would you also be apart of the routines?

 

No I was never a part of the routines, by this time we are doing shows and I was mostly backing up Darrell, and the five best m.c.s would be out there. Also you must remember that Crash Crew was twenty members. We had like six, seven d.j.s, and like eight m.c.s, as well as security and others. So by this time I am just there helping Darrell with the records and keeping cats off his back. Back then you had the saboteurs who wanted to reach over your shoulder, bump the needle and s--- while you are d.j.ing.

 

So now who were the six d.j.s?

 

L.S.D., Mace Gee used to d.j. he also used to make the speakers, the Mace Monsters. 45. was a d.j.. Matter of fact G- Man was a d.j. before he rhymed.

 

Yeah I heard G- Man usde to carry the equipment back in the days before he m.c.ed, but I guest everybody carried equipment in the crew at one time.

 

Exactly, back in those days everybody E.C.ed (Equipment carry.)

 

So who were the other m.c.s after the best five?

 

We had Fly Guy, Disco Dave. My man Jeff Onion used to get on sometimes. A lot of times we use to practice right down in the basement of this lady’s candy store that was right on 135th street and 5th avenue. It was a game room down there. She let us practice, because it was good for her business. People be in there watching and listening and buying what ever, but no problems.

 

The block was in there. So who are all those people at the end of the record?(Hi Powerered Rap).

 

That’s all Crash Crew Poison Clan members. Debbie Deb played the door for us some time, 45. you know already who that is, Buzzy Buzz was security. There were a lot more names shouted out, but by the time the record was complete the names were cut down. Names like Stan the Man and so many others. It was such a long time ago I just don’t remember the names. But it was everybody from the Poison Clan as well as my name.

 

Were there times Darrell gave you pointers?

 

Yes I learned a lot from watching Darrell. I was reckless, I was the type of cat that wanted to do the old wild back spinning, and other crazy stuff. He was the one that taught me to take my time, and sit down and make the record ride, as far as bring the breaks back and forth, to keep the beat on time. I just want to go in there and tear it up. Darrell said “no, no take your time, chill.”

 

So did you and him ever battle inside the house, going head up trying to make each other better?

 

We never really battled but we would do the back spinning, by him being on one table and I on another, and we would see who would mess up first. That was always fun for us.

 

Did you and him ever go record shopping together?

 

Always, any d.j. would tell you the second best thing about being a d.j. is to hunt for the record. The first part is just rocking the crowd. The second part is the hunt for the record.  Digging and going from store to store, the little out of the way shops in the village that nobody ever seen or heard of. Catching somebody throwing records in the garbage. Going to your boys moms house and raiding their records.

 

What is the longest you and him might spend in a day searching for  records?

 

Like six hours.

 

So did ya’ll have a specific day like Saturday morning before a party, ya’ll go record shopping?

 

Wednesday, Thursdays, right before the weekend. By about noon, because nobody really had no jobs back then. By the evening we were back uptown or home.

 

So Disco Dave and Mix Master Mike used to go with ya’ll also?

 

Nah, Just Darrell and Me or some one else with Darrell. Or me by myself, because that d.j. competition will have you not wanting anybody to see what you got.

 

So there were times you went and found you some joints by your self?

 

No question, and I would bring it back to the crew and they would be like oh s--- where did you get that from? (Yoda’s laughing.)

 

So as a whole on Crash Crew do you remember any records that ya’ll bought out that might be classics today. Like say Freedom, it was said Bam was the first with it, he found it first.

 

Well by the time we got out and started really putting in work all the standards were all ready out. It was just about making those records our own. Putting our signature on what was already there. Like say Freedom, although Bam broke the record, we put our signature on that. When you hear Freedom you think Crash Crew or Furious.

 

Well Reggie Reg told me that Bam gave Freedom to Darrell C, because he liked him.

 

Well I can’t say yes or no on that one because I don’t know. But he was cool with Darrell C. But when we first did our show up in T- Connection, Bam made Crash Crew part of Zulu Nation.

 

How is that, why?

 

Basically because we were up there and we were the only cats from Manhattan. It was our first time up there in the Bronx as far as performing. You know how the Bronx is things tend to happen, you way up on Gun Hill road. Cats might have wanted to step to us, and we was getting ready to do our thing, but we found out everybody had mutual friends. So the beef wind up not escalating. So after that Bam put us under the Zulu Nation banner. It is ironic that you said you would later talk to Pow Wow about doing a story about Whiz Kid because, that night when I was in the crowd, Pow Wow was on the mic doing his thing, and Whiz Kid was d.j.ing and he was unbelievable, he was tearing up Bounce Rock Skate.

 

Glad to hear that about Pow Wow. He is my favorite m.c. of Zulu.

 

Yeah him and Ikey Cee.

 

Ikey is cool but Pow Wow is the best to me, then Lisa Lee.

 

Oh yeah, a lot of people slept on Mr. Biggs.

 

I think what it was, was he didn’t say enough. He didn’t get on the mic a lot. As far as the tapes that I have, that’s why I say that. Pow Wow told me that Biggs mostly played the door collecting that money. How far did you go to collect your records?

 

If we were on the road I definitely hit the stores out of town.

 

How far have you traveled with the Crash Crew doing shows?

 

All over the United States. I never went with them out side of the country. But I have been out of the country with other groups. I also road managed Rob Base and E.Z. Rock, plus other stuff.

 

I am going to get back to that. What are other places that you liked to shop for your records here in New York?

 

I always liked Down Stairs record shop.

 

You talking about the one that use to be on 43rd street and now moved to I think 39th street and 6th avenue?

 

Yeah. Also Rock and Soul.

 

Over on 35th street and I think 8th avenue?

 

Yeah they been around for awhile also. Those two were pretty much my favorite. Then there's Colony that also had vinyl and they was good, but too damn expensive. Over on 49th street and Broadway. Downtown in the Village there are a lot of good places too. Like around the N.Y.U. area. Or where Vinyl Mania is at also.

 

Well Vinyl Mania is more towards the West Forth area. Over there you will find a lot of records shops.

 

Yes sir. You can spend a whole day just going from shop to shop.

 

So today is a whole lot different shopping for vinyl, opposed to back in the day?

 

Yeah.

 

Meaning the places to shop, it is more record shops today to shop at?

 

Yeah but it ain’t more records.

 

So everybody pretty much got the same thing?

 

Yeah, and now it is a bunch of represses. A lot of cats aren’t making vinyl of their joints and there isn’t any real original music that you would want to buy now. There ain’t no real hot beats. If I want to hear something somebody sampled I just get the original and cut it up my self.

 

So how do you feel about those Super Disco Breaks and other stuff like it, that have been out here for the younger cats that didn’t grow up putting in work digging like you did?

 

I mean its good because a lot of people don’t have the originals. Like a lot of my originals I don’t have any more, so its cool I am cool with that but, some of them are missing stuff, some of them are not pure like they use to be. Like there might be a beat off of stuff.

 

You talking about the represses?

 

Yeah the represses and some of the super disco breaks.

 

Did you and the Crash Crew ever battle anybody?

 

The main one I remember was the battle with Master Don and the Def Committee.

 

Yeah how did that go down, because I hear different story’s? I have Master Don got on the mic and tore it up, then I got another one that said nobody was really there, cats were free styling on the mic.

 

Cats were free styling, but it started with Don and Darrell on the turn tables. What set it off for them was when Don said F--- it and grabbed the mic. (we both start laughing.) He took it to the next level and said he can m.c. too. But for us the most infamous battle that never happen was with Flash vs. Crash.

 

Over the Freedom record, right?

 

Yeah, and there were a whole bunch of flyers out that we was supposed to battle them. But the night of the battle they weren’t in town. That was the biggest battle that should have happen that never happened, because there was always controversy behind that Freedom record. Even on the tours certain individuals used to get mad when Crash Crew did Freedom on the road. They felt that we shouldn’t do it because it wasn’t a Sugar Hill record.

 

I thought you were going to say because they felt theirs was better. In actuality I like High Powered Rap better, although Flash Freedom would come on right now and I would hum along. But I guess that comes with me being from Harlem. HPR would be played all over Harlem for ever, during that time. Who was your distributor at the time?

 

 Other than Mix Master Mike taking us to every mom and pop store, as well as us selling out of the trunk of our cars and at all of our party’s, we had a distributor in Queens called GP records. It was a big record store out there.

 

How did you get with Rob Base and E Z Rock?

 

I was their road manager, they also came from Lincoln projects. They were cats that were under us. Darrell C was originally their road manager. With the blow up of Rob Base, Darrell said lets put the Crash Crew back together. Every one came back except Barry B- Stro, only because he moved down south. Now Darrell wants to get on the mic, so he is writing rhymes and we come out with two cuts, one is called “The Real Hip Hop” and other one was called “Champagne Flights.” A lot of cats felt we went away from the Crash Crew style, which was the harmonizing. We made the mistake of doing what a lot of other people do when they come back into the game, we tried to sound like what was out at the time, which might have been that whole, thug gangster type, of style. Instead of being the pioneers that we are and trail blazing the way. But I have to say I am happy that we got back together and started doing shows again.

 

So what separated ya’ll at that time?

 

Life, brothers were some what moving on doing other things.

 

Weren’t they under contract to Sugar Hill?

 

Man everybody ripped that contract up. Nobody was honoring it. Nobody was doing nothing for Sugar Hill. Reggie ended up going solo with Rob Base new manager at that time, Kurt Hamilton. He did a few solo things one I remember was something with HBO. Other cats got jobs, all this was because the music wasn’t fun anymore at Sugar Hill.

 

Why was that.

 

First of all nobody was eating, second they tried to take creative control. Also we wasn’t getting paid what we were suppose to be getting, nobody knew about royalty’s.

 

Were you signed under Sugar Hill Records?

 

No. But I still did shows with them and got paid at the end of the night.

 

Who was Rob Base signed under?

 

He came under Profile, but his first cut “D.J. Interview” was under Mike and Dave’s label.  

 

Why did Mike and Dave stop doing their thing?

 

That party at the Savoy Manor took a lot out of Mix Master Mike.

 

Talking about the shoot out? (tape 73.)

 

Yeah somebody got hurt and died, and it took a lot out of him.

 

So Dave tried to do it himself?

 

No! What  Mike did, Dave followed.

 

I thought it was the other way?

 

Naw, Mike is the oldest, and he was the business man. Dave wanted to be the m.c., while Mike worked the door and did all the deals, the payrolls. Its funny because he was very nerdy looking but very professional.

 

What was Mandiplite’s association with ya’ll?

 

He was from The Lincoln project also. He  hung out with us. But he latched on to Flash and the Furious Five, and he became somewhat of a promoter.

 

So why would everybody start out with Mike and Dave and then break out once they made their hits? Was Mike and Dave just a spring board for everyone else?

 

It wasn’t done on purpose, that is just the way it went down. Positive K, his first joint was on Mike and Dave label. Boogie Boys they first joint also.

 

So Boogie Boys broke right out after their first cut?

 

boogie2.jpg (26583 bytes)No. it wasn’t like that, everybody was still around doing shows with Mike and Dave. It wasn’t like they record a joint and then break out. When Boogie Boys got signed Kool Ski had already left the group, Delight had actually got that deal. I also managed him before he passed. But a lot of people don’t realize, Mike and Dave put a lot to the game.

 

Yeah, I heard they were second best if not the best when it came to promoting and producing shows in New York. Next to them would be Donald D and his brother B- Fats.

 

To me I would say Mike and Dave, But Don and B- Fats were big too. But to me the majority of party’s going down in Harlem were a Mike and Dave production. Whether it be Celebrity Club, Randy’s Place, I.S. 201, Audubon. Mike and Dave even way down town to the Grand street Ballroom on the lower East side.

 

Alright I am going to give you some D.J. names. I wan’t you to give me a rating on them and your thoughts on them.

 

Darrell C-

 

8 half to a 9. he was good at keeping the beat, he had a lot of m.c.s behind him, so when routines are being done you have to be on time, so you don’t throw your m.c.s off. He also had a knack for throwing the right records on before the actual show, so the m.c.s wouldn’t be just standing there. His scratching was on point. The crowd often lost their mind when he was on. I remember one time in Long Island he lost it! Disco Dave and G- Man were right in the middle of a routine and Darrell was feeling his self catching the “Get down” part of Bounce Rock Skate, over and over, and just shining, and leaving the m.c.s out. I remember Dave saying slow it down. The crowd was loving it cause Darrell was catching it. I loved Darrell, he was my brother. He went over sea’s with Bam and them the very first time they went over there. He actually went with them when Bam took Phase, Dondi and Futura and all these other cats. In the early nineties after all the b.s. that went down at Sugar Hill, they asked him to go on tour again as a d.j. He always stayed a float, keeping his art work going, you know.

 

So Darrell C and you, left with the Crash Crew to go with Sugar Hill to do shows, who would d.j. for Mike and Dave when they did their shows? Jomo?

 

Yeah Jomo, other cats like Barry Bee. E.Z. Rock started d.j.ing with them and other cats.

 

Master Don?

 

Don definitely a 9! Don was one of the fastest d.j.s. I remember him cutting up Funky Drummer in Kennedy Center, 1111, 2222, 3333, 4444, hit hit hit hit.

 

That’s something somebody would do with a pause button, and he is doing it with turntables. I would have loved to seen that, and hear it.

 

I will never forget that. I gave him instant props. I used to also see him rock at the Dome at Colonial Park (145th street. Brad Hurst avenue.) He used to lose it. He used to rock that beat box too, he was nasty with that. Not too many people had that at that time.

 

His was a higher level compared to Flash’s beat box.

 

Krazy Eddie?

 

I would have to give him a 7. I never really caught him doing anything spectacular. He had a real good crew behind him.

 

I’m a tell you something, a lot of guys I never seen live, but Theodore, Jazzy Jay, Islam and I have to say Krazy Eddie, are the only D.J.s that I can say that I can hear through the tapes, as if I was there. That was how good they were d.j.ing. I have a tape (114.) I’ll let you hear it one day, were Krazy Eddie sounds like he is using 3 turntables. He is cutting the whistle from Spoonin and the beat from Love Rap, and a third record. (don’t know the name.) I’m like how the hell did he do it. somebody said it was a plate, Ed said it wasn’t.

 

O.C.?

 

I would give a 7 to O.C. he is a better producer than D.J.

 

Barry Bee?

 

One of the nastiest, underrated, slept on d.j.s

 

Yeah I got a couple of them tapes were he is killing it.

 

Yo Barry is the illest, yo I give him a 9, 9 and a half. Barry is up there. You have to remember that Barry is from Lincoln behind us. He used to come up to the house wanting to practice, talking about “I got this new cut”. “I am going to cut no beat”.

 

No beat!

 

Yo Barry was ill. I ain’t going to say was, because he still doing his thing. He is definitely one who is slept on. Back when he was down with Devastating 3 thing with Kid West, Magic Dee and Baby Flash. Barry used to tear it up. Another kid name Sugar Rock used to rock with them also. I remember Barry ripping it in Lincoln park. Back then he was one of those cats that always wanted to get on.

 

Funny you say that because he always seems like a shy laid back dude. I am always asking him for a interview he just smiles, saying “I don’t really do interviews.” I be like “yeah alright, I catch you sooner or later.”

 

All that shy s--- goes out the window. Barry’s laid back, but when it comes time for him to do his thing, Barry’s a monster on them turntables.

 

Chill Will?

 

I don’t really remember Will d.j.ing back in the day too tough. I know he was around with Doug E Fresh from the beginning. But I don’t really remember his style too much from back then, but in recent years we have done a lot of stuff together. But he still has it, as far as rocking the party’s and the shows. I really can’t rate him.

 

So you seen a lot of Barry with Devastating 3, then with Doug, or both?

 

Barry started with Devastating and Doug snatched him from them.

 

D.J. Spivey of Johnny Wa and Rayvon?

 

(Yoda starts laughing) that’s an ill cat. That’s another cat that be like “just give me the tables”, and he still like that. Spivey is like the ultimate B- boy. You see him cutting up the records, the next minute he is on the floor B- boying. Him cutting up for Johnny Wa, Rayvon and E- man was just window dressing. That just made him stand out even more. I give Spivey like an 8.

 

Ronnie Green

 

I can’t really grade him as a d.j. because I seen him more as a m.c., Captain rock. As well as do the summer tournaments at King Towers basket ball games and he was an m.c. at times with Charlie Rock and them at Harlem World.

 

You know he did d.j. for Jeckle and Hyde?

 

Yeah but I didn’t see him during that time.

 

So what would you give him as an m.c.?

 

He had the voice and he used to come out with some slick s---. So I give him an 8 as an m.c.!

 

Artie Art?

 

I give him a 7.

 

D.J. Easy Lee?

 

7, I never really seen him do his own sets. Everything was always routines and shows. I never really seen him get loose at a party, where it was his time to shine type of thing.

 

Reggie Reg of the Treacherous Three?

 

I only seen him rock once, before he bounced. But I heard he was a hell of a d.j. and a nice party rocker. I just had the pleasure of meeting him not to long ago.

 

Pernelleo?

 

(Yoda starts laughing.) Pernelleo and Disco P!

 

That’s his little brother?

 

Yeah, Parris is his little brother that rocked with him. Pernell is nice. He was kind of under rated. His crew and other things never transpired for them to get that far. They came out of Saint Nicholas projects here in Harlem. In fact that is how the Boogie Boys got their record deal with Mike and Dave. They battle Pernell and his crew for a contract to do that record “Rapping ain’t a thing.” Cats slept on Kid Delight, he was nasty. I give Pernelleo a 7.

 

Donald D of Harlem?

 

As a d.j. I give him a 8 because he could definitely rock a party and keep it moving. Him and that whole Sapphire Crew, they kept it going, doing the block party’s and s--- like that.

 

Well Sapphire Crew was more like the Cigar Mob, a gang or brothers just hanging out making sure everything was cool. (or trouble makers.)

 

They was like a Crash Crew, Poison Clan, Cigar Mob type thing. Everybody fell under that banner of the Sapphire Crew. You had B- Fats, Donald D even if I am not mistaken Kool Kyle the Star Child and Love Bug have rocked with them.

 

D.J. Randy of the Harlem World Crew?

 

Randy was nice I give him a 7 or 8. he was like that party rocker guy. He could keep it flowing. He would keep it flowing at intermissions and all that s---. Keep people dancing and entertained. So the natives didn’t get restless.

 

So how was it dealing with him on the promoting end?

 

Basically with Crash Crew when we did a show we had our own promoter. We didn’t trust nobody to do nothing, so when we did shows we made sure we had enough flyers to give our little teams to promote and do what they had to do. We always felt somebody was going to try and sabotage us because we were the man, the top dog at the time.

 

But ya’ll still had to go through Randy to rent Harlem World that night?

 

Yeah, but he was always cool.

 

So Rob Base wasn’t doing his thing yet, to get any light at Harlem World?

 

Nah, he didn’t come along until the Roof Top open. In fact D.J. Brucie Bee broke Rob Base Record “It takes two” at the Roof Top. Once Bruce did that it became in demand. I remember E.Z. Rock saying he was kind of nervous because he didn’t know if the record was going to be a hit in the neighborhood because of its tempo.

 

In actuality when we first heard it on the block, it was a corny record. But when we listened close to the melody or the beat, it grabbed you.

 

You are exactly right.

 

So after awhile Rob started growing on you as far as his lyrics are concerned.

 

To this day when that record comes on I say “those f------ nuts.”

 

I ain’t going to front I still dig it, even the second one. “Joy and Pain.” in fact the lyrics got a little better or they weren’t as transparent as “It takes Two.”

 

Mix Master Mike?

 

You have to remember Mike was older than us, and they been doing it for a long time. Mix was d.j.ing before Crash Crew even formed. So Mike was like that mix Disco type of guy.

 

That kid named Yoda?

 

That brother ain’t nobody. (We start laughing.) I give him a 1.

 

The most humblest cat in the crew, huh? For real what would you give your self from 1 to 10. hold up Tony Tone gave himself a 8 or an 8 and a half, because he says he got better over time.

 

I give my self like a 7 or an 8, because I was average, you know what I mean. I wasn’t that guy that stuck out or shined. I held the beat. Like I said, I used to like that back spinning trick s---. But today I am some what the opposite of Tone. I don’t do the tricks and stuff  but I do what I have to do for the shows. I pass the torch to my man D.J. Supreme. He was the 1991, 92 DMC winner. He was Lauren Hill’s D.J. for the MisEducation tour. The cat is nasty, as far as doing the tricks and all that other crazy s---. He even has a routine where he does the Spider man. He walks the table while he is cutting.

 

What?

 

Yeah,

 

How does that work out.

 

He will back spin the record, step up on the table while he is still spinning the record and cutting, and walk around the turntables.

 

Where is he from?

 

He lived in D.C. for a hot minute. I met him in D.C. but he has been around for awhile. He is now down with Crash Crew. I give Supreme a 9 or a 9 and a half.

 

How did Darrell C pass?

 

He had complications from Cancer and other things. He went into a coma one day and never came out of it. I think it was 1999. One thing I can say is the whole group was with him when he passed. We were all up in the hospital with the family. I actually left the night he passed because I had a show, down in Florida. I told E.Z. Rock that I had a bad feeling that Darrell was going to pass. Darrell knowing me ain’t going to let that happen while I am there. You know what I mean. That was just my feelings, me and Darrell was so close. A lot of our first things we did, we did together. Me and Darrell were friends at the age of 5, when we were first able to cross the street and go to the store together.

 

(Troy and Yoda laughing.) that’s a good one.

 

It was a big service for him at Abyssinian church on 138th street between 7th and Lenox avenue. So many people were there. Bam, Red Alert, Pop Master Fabel, Rock Steady, Rob Base, E.Z. Rock, the whole Crash, Fearless, Treacherous, Cold Crush. It was many. Everybody loved Darrell. Darrell was cat you couldn’t stay mad at. He was like that clown prince. 

 

So what are you doing today for hip hop as a whole, Reg and Tone was telling me about your association with the preservation of Hip Hop?

 

I am actually the President of the Universal Federation for the Preservation of Hip Hop Culture. Which is an organization of the pioneers, Africa Bambaataa is the chairman. Toney Tone is on the board. Grand Master Caz is on the board. Kurtis Blow is on the board. Ernie Paniccioli, who is the first hip hop photographer is on the board.

 

My word kid I thought Joey Cain was the first hip hop photographer, because I always heard the Cold Crush say Joey’s name.

 

Joey too, he was around back then, taking pictures at shows and boat rides. Ernie has a lot from the streets and Bronx River.

 

Who was Ernie running with back then?

 

He was independent, but he was protected by Zulu. Also he is a native Indian.

 

Very interesting.

 

Our goals and mission is to open the definitive Hip Hop museum, hall of fame type of thing. Everybody calling us up doing this and that but nobody has the pioneers. We are going to open up a multi media cultural learning center along the lines of the Shomberg. But dedicated strictly to Hip Hop, where we will actually be teaching the kids and holding classes, doing things of that nature. Eventually we want to be the watch dogs, so to speak, towards the industry. Like when cats are coming out with stuff that’s not right, we want to be like “yo hold up, back up ya’ll can’t do that.” Try to redirect some of these negative images that people claim is Hip Hop.

 

So do ya’ll have blue print on how ya’ll are going to stop some one from doing that. like say 50cent and other cats with those crazy lyrics of “Killing up, killing up, and hustling and sex”……..

 

Basically its about talking to these cats and sitting down, holding a summit with these cats. Talking, talking, talking, what ever we have to do. But some how we have to change the mind set. It is not a matter of making them stop, because you know that would be censorship, and we not even all about that. You have to remember we are artists too. But it is about bringing a balance. With every negative rhyme you have, why don’t you show a positive side of what’s going on too. Everything in our neighborhood isn’t shoot em up. Along with every gangster you have ten hard working people, that go to work every day. We want people to get in the process of thinking for every 50 there is a Common. You know what I am saying? For every JaRule there’s a Talib Kweli. For every thug you have one with a moral technique. But why these cats aren’t getting the same air play, press and publicity as the gangsters? The so called image that they trying to portray us in, and the light that they are trying to portray us in, is that they want to keep us ignorant, negative and killing each other. That is not what it is about, so why don’t we have a balance, that’s what we are trying to get out there. Just to keep a balance and keep the playing field right, give our kids a choice. We don’t want our children thinking they have to take their clothes off, and act like little strippers……..

 

…Right….

 

…..to get a deal. You don’t have to sell your body to make it.

 

What about the young fellas, thinking they have to have a crime record, just to get a record deal?

 

That’s another thing we have to change, that whole mind set with these cats coming out with the idea that they have to have a record to make a record. You got cats right before the record comes out, they go to jail.

 

That’s right, ain’t that something? Like they have to keep up that image.

 

What type of foolishness is that? That is what gives the government the right and cause to say we need a hip hop task force. So now they are getting these millions of dollars funded through their little agency’s and company’s, because they need a hip hop task force to watch us. Which is bulls---. We need a task force to watch their ass. Nobody is really educating the masses or the children. Its like everybody is scared to speak up and talk to these people. So somebody has to be the voice. That’s part of what the preservation is going to do.

 

So how is the response now from any of the m.c.s of today. I know ya’ll have been reaching out with mission statements to some of these people, have ya’ll been getting any response?

 

Of course guys like KRS1’s is down with us, cats like that. We haven’t heard from Doug yet.

 

Talking about Doug E. Fresh, he is always down. I been listening to a lot of Zulu Anniversary tapes, and I said “Dam, no matter how many shows I listen to Doug is always there giving back.” Him and the Jungle Brothers.

 

Exactly.

 

What about the m.c.s of today? Like the JaRule, or DMX?

 

These are the cats that are not really responding yet, but its alright. I don’t expect nothing to happen over night.

 

Who are some of the camps ya’ll have sent out to?

 

The Russell’s, the Puffys, we haven’t heard any responses so far but it is all good. Once the Federation gets up and running at full speed, you have to remember we are still very new. So once we have the power that we want to have, you going to have to get down or lay down. Like my man said in State Property.

 

Cats like Dr. Dre, Suge Knight, cats in the dirty south have been sent this mission statement as well?

 

Yep, we sent it to everybody, everybody we in contact with in our travel and beyond. It’s a matter of time. I guess nobody wants to be the first to jump on.

 

What about Cornel West?

 

I think our executive director has, because she has been reaching out to the academic type of people.

 

I have read that Cornel West has a great love for hip hop.

 

Your right

 

So I can see if ya’ll put him on there, I can see things escalating. Him among other people as well.

 

We are planning a big power summit brunch and sit down type of event with the industry insiders and artist, to really do a formal invitation. This is not no letter or e-mail this is a sit down, face to face, and say this is what it is, this is what we want. This is what ya’ll got to do.

 

When do ya’ll plan on doing this?

 

In August. It will be a close meeting, no press. Once we get everything taken care of, we will do another one and every one can be invited. This is not just about the pioneers but everybody that spit a rhyme, spun on their head, any one who has lifted an aerosol can. This is for all of us. You have to remember cats started this from nothing. This thing didn’t even have a name when it first started, this thing came from the inner city of the South Bronx. This is something we must preserve, the essence of the culture, not just the so called vehicle of rap. Rap is just a part of the whole culture, this is about everything. The B- boy, the painter, the d.j., the m.c., because the d.j. ain’t s--- right now.

 

Exactly right there is no shine for a d.j. on  these labels, radios, nothing.

 

It all started because of the d.j. If it wasn’t for Herc, Pete d.j. Jones, Disco King Mario, Star Ski and all these dudes like that we wouldn’t have no culture, we still be listening to Disco. Mother f------ still be wearing platform shoes.(we both start laughing.) If cats would have gotten frustrated in the early days and said the hell with it, and started listening to everybody else’s bulls---, there is no telling what we would be listening to now. So this is the essence we must preserve, and protect our people. As it is going now the people are leading the kids in the next generation, down the road into slaughter. They are actually building more prison’s just for our kids.

 

Life is supposed to be getting more better, and here they go building more prison’s.

 

That is a multi billion dollar industry. The two biggest industry’s are the penitentiary and the pharmaceutical businesses. And they are working with each other because they are testing the drugs on the inmates. This is just things that people don’t see and they sleep on. We have to educate. As long as the bootie shaking and killing music is out there, it is taking their minds off of the real issues that are out there. That’s what we mean by you have to have a balance of things. We have to educate while we also entertain too. So that’s what it is in an egg shell. Now I am going to get off my soap box.

 

No Yoda, I understand. Somebody has to do what you and the fellas are trying to do. That is what we used to have growing up in the sixties and early seventies, people fighting for us. Now its our turn. Because nobody is really doing it now. We had Al Sharpton for a minute, he broke out. I guess he is trying to regroup or something like that. But this is definitely a positive move on your part. But like you said you have to keep moving forward and hopefully the right people get on then everybody will want a piece. Then you’re going to have to be prepared for the devil trying to slander ya’ll.

 

Of course.

 

Thank you D.J. Yoda

Peace Troy, Thank you also.

 

Peace and blessings to the family’s

Praise God and God bless you.

 

 

 

 

 

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