ROCKMASTER SCOTT & THE DYNAMIC 3
The Original Slick Rick , MBG (Master Blaster Greg) and Charlie Prince blessed us in 1983 with “Its Life (You Gotta Think Twice). Then in 1984 they dropped the bomb on an unsuspecting Hip Hop world with “Request Line”/ “The Roof is On Fire”. They are still working behind the scenes today , as well as still rhyming and touring. This is their story.....
JayQuan: Peace, what year did you guys first hear Hip Hop, and what was it that you heard?
Slick Rick: Well I heard the djs in the parks in the late 70’s - Flash, Bam, Breakout, Baron, Theodore & Herc- but the first record that I heard was King Tim the 3rd by Fatback Band.
Charlie Prince: Same for me, the parks, and then King Tim The 3rd. That was the first record that a lot of people heard. People don’t talk about that one….
JQ: Where are you originally from?
Slick Rick: The Bronx!!
JQ: How did your crew form?
Slick Rick: Well we all went to the same junior high school & we all lived in the same building. MBG’s cousin told us about a club in New Haven, Connecticut that was looking for rappers. We went there and we tore it up, and we ended up doin’ a lotta shows in Connecticut. We actually had one of our biggest followings there.
Charlie Prince: As far as our group, we were originally called the Devilish 3. It was Buster, Charlie Prince and Slick Rick. Buster left the group, and MBG joined.
JQ: How did you get with D.J. Rockmaster Scott?
Slick Rick: We were at this club in the Bronx called Your Spot. We battled another crew, and Scott was their D.J. We basically took Scott from that crew. Fantastic 5 & Cold Crush were there that night. We knew Fantastic thru my Uncle. Cold Crush was real impressed with us that night and kinda took us under their wing. We lived right across the street from them, and Kay Gee went to school with me. They hooked us up with some shows. Fantastic heard that we were rollin’ with Cold Crush, and they wanted to know why we were rollin’ with them. You know that Fantastic & Cold Crush were competition!!! Fantastic was like why are ya’ll runnin’ with those cats when we knew y’all longer?…. We told’em – ‘cus y’all act like big stars, and we can’t get no closer than 10 feet!!! So basically we were rollin’ with both of these crews. We got so good at one point, that we were out performing both of them, and we jumped out there and got records out before both of them.
JQ: Who else did you battle?
Slick Rick: Def Committee a lot. But most of our battles were big major battles. Like Emcees from all the boroughs would come to Harlem World. There were a lotta Emcees in these contests. We always came in 3rd place!!! We would take out everybody except Fantastic and Cold Crush, ‘cus it was all set up!! Like when Moe says in his battle with Busy Bee, how it’s all set up – that’s true. Realistically the winner might not have been the best ones there!!! We won 3rd place 3 times. If we weren’t there, it was Force Mc’s there takin’ 3rd place!! We all battled Def Committee, which was Harlem’s best as far as groups.
JQ: What other spots did you guys rock?
Slick Rick: Harlem World, T - Connection, Broadway International. Our club days really took off when we dropped “Request Line”. When that came out we did clubs that we didn’t know existed in New York! We did Funhouse, Studio 54, The Roxy, The Tunnel, Roseland, The Copacabanna, Red Parrot, Silver Shadows, & Bentleys.
JQ: Wow, you guys truly represented in 2 eras. Which was your favorite?
Slick Rick: All in all they both were. This music took a kid from the streets, and gave ‘em a way out, and got me to travel and see things outside of the hood. I got to take in different people and things, so they both were favorites.
JQ: On your records I see Jerry Bloodrock’s name. I remember seeing his name on Divine Sounds stuff as well ;who was he.
Slick Rick: That was our manager. He managed Divine Sounds, and we brought Dougie Fresh to him. That’s how Doug got his deal with Reality Records.
JQ: Ok let’s get to your records. Was “Its Life” your first, and how did you get down with Profile?
Charlie Prince: Well “It’s Life” was our first, but it originally came out on Reality Records. We were sellin’ it from the trunk of the car, then Profile picked it up. We were only on Profile for a hot minute. Then we went back to Reality Records. That song was getting’ major airplay, until Profile signed Run Dmc. I remember hearing “Its Life” every morning. After they signed Run all you heard was Sucker Mc’s.
JQ: Whose idea was it to replay “Nautilus” by Bob James?
Slick Rick: Well we had a routine, where we used “Nautilus”, the “Theme From S.W.A.T.” and “Action”. We just incorporated some of it into the record.
JQ: “The Roof Is On Fire” is like a part of Pop Culture. It’s heard at sporting events, on movies, tv shows, concerts etc..... 3 questions – did y’all make that up, do you get royalties and did you think that it would be that big?
Slick Rick: We didn’t make it up. In fact its something that we heard a piece of down there where you are in Virginia. We were in the studio, and Jerry said let’s do the thing that we heard in V.A. We didn’t wanna do it, ‘cus we had to curse. Our moms were very upset over it also. In fact Jerry approached Divine Sounds with it first, and they didn’t want it for the same reasons that we didn’t. We were eventually talked into it. Yes we do get royalties. Missy just used “Request Line”, - LL, Nelly, Metallica have all used some of our stuff, not to mention all the movies and tv shows. We have 16 or so tv shows and 10 movies that play on cable. I love the repeats, and im waitin’ on a check now!!!
Charlie Prince: We didn’t think that it would be that big at all. It was just the B side of “Request Line” and we didn’t wanna do it, but im glad that we did.
Slick Rick: Whenever we see Divine Sounds we thank them for passing it up (laughs).
JQ: You actually did a sort of remix of “The Roof”. That was kinda rare to have a remix in 1984.
Slick Rick: We did that because Soul Train wanted us, and they wanted us to do “Request Line” and “The Roof”. We didn’t have a clean version so we said we would do “It’s Life”. They didn’t want us to perform “It’s Life”, they wanted "The Roof". By the time we recorded the new version they didn’t want us anymore, so we just pressed it up and put it out there.
JQ: Are you still rhyming, or just doing the business side?
Slick Rick: Im doing both. We are touring and working on a new lp. Im also producing music for groups overseas, and here that are signed or about to sign. We are doin’ the “Unity” tour with MG Squad – which is the Original Master Gee and Wonder Mike from the Sugarhill Gang, Furious5, Crash Crew, Busy Bee, Nice & Smooth, Big Daddy Kane may pop in & out, Rob Base, Kurtis Blow may come in on a few dates, Salt N Pepa, EU, Ice T will join us in L.A.. Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keyes and some other new artists. It’s the “Unity Jam” just mixin’ up the new and old, and tryin’ to keep this thing peaceful like we started it.
JQ: That brings me to my next question. What do you think of the scene today? As far as business, subject matter – all of it.
Slick Rick: The business is beautiful, and the technology is too. People thought that it was a fad, and now businesses are investing in it, and people around the world listen to it. As far as new artists I think there should be more respect. If it wasn’t for us there would be no them, so respect these cats when you see ‘em. When they try to come back don’t shut the doors on ‘em – show ‘em some love!!! At least hear what they have before you shut the door. And lastly they got to kill that violence. We battled and kept it on wax, or in the clubs. After it was over we went out to drink with each other.
Lastly you call yourself the original Slick Rick. What’s the story on
Rick: Well I knew Ricky D that’s down with Dougie Fresh. Originally I
called myself Ricky D before he had it. When he blew up with it I
changed my name to Slick Rick. The public and Russell Simmons started
calling him Slick Rick. He never called himself that as his official
name, that was Russell that tagged him as that. So I got tired of changing my
name and I patented “The Slickster” and that’s what I go by
SPECIAL THANKS TO KENNY YODA FROM THE CRASH CREW........