Troy L. Ė Give us
the scoop behind the story of Caz and Big Bank Hank, what really
J.D.L. - This
whole situation happened before the Cold Crush 4 started with
us. We were first a group called the Mighty Force which consist
of D.J./ M.C. Grand Master Casanova Fly (aka Caz), D.J. Mighty
Mike and the 3 M.C.s Prince Whipper Whip, The Magnificent Dota-Rock
and the Rhymethologist Jerry Dee Lewis.
Troy L.- How did
you meet Hank , and how did he become your manager?
Caz- This was
about 1977 or 78, I used to go to this club up here in the Bronx
called the Sparkle to see other cats perform when things were
slow. So I would chill and talk to him right by the door cause
he was bouncer / door man. Hank was about a year or 2 older than
I. So one night we struck up a good conversation and from that
night I felt he had a good head for business and I felt he could
be a like a good spokesman, aka manager.
J.D.L- Hank lived
in the Bronx on Ogden ave. He used to be like a bouncer at the
Sparkle, which was formerly the Executive Play House on 173rd
and Jerome Ave. in Mt. Eden in the Bx. He was with Caz when I
joined on. He was real cool and fun to be with. We were all like
family. Hank had gotten shows for us and shit and when the money
was funky he would take a loss right with us.
this time our system was always suspect ; cutting off on us all
the time. We just didnít have the right components, the
amplifier was straight trash, the 2 Pevey columns and that 4
channel Pevey p.a. system- ass amp wasnít doing shit for us
either. The only thing good we had was the Sansui belt drive
turntables, the Numark mixer, our extensive record collection
and the two GLI bass bottom speakers. The other amplifier was
really a tuner so you know we canít have that hooked up to all
that stuff and have that tuner pushing it for hours and not
cutting off. You canít put the volume but so high and to top it
off you had to have someone standing over it fanning with
cardboard album covers! If we had decent equipment back then,
there may not have been a Cold Crush 4. Because the talent was
there, itís just that no groups were taken serious if you didnít
have a system that bumped.
So when Caz gave
Hank the Rhyme book all he told Hank was if he got money off the
record to just give us money to upgrade our system. Thatís all
we wanted from him, and him being our manager it was his
Troy L.- Come on
Caz he wasnít even an M.C.
Caz- Like you
said he wasnít an M.C. so I didnít take it seriously. I figured
if anybody was going to put Hank down on a record their shit was
not too much together.(Troy starts laughing) So I said what
Troy L.- Did you
ever see him again?
Caz- He came over
one time for us to hear the record. Me and L. listened and it
was mad long and wack ; in fact I fell a sleep on the couch.
Troy L- Did the
Hip Hop world know right away that Caz wrote Hanks part?
Everybody thought that Caz had made a record, I mean everybody
was calling his house saying "Caz I didnít know you made a
record" We hadnít even really heard it yet but when we did we
could see what everybody meant because Caz was known for those
rhymes Hank said. Outside of N.Y.C. nobody didnít know about Caz
yet but it was purely phenomenal the way the world had grasped
I immediately started getting hit when the record came out it
was on every station and it was all over the place - you
couldnít avoid it. Automatically the fans knew because my rhymes
were already out in the streets you know what I mean and people
used to listen to my shit and remember it ; you know recite my
rhymes you know what I mean. People came up to me right away "Yo
I heard you on the radio, I heard your rhymes, you made a
record"? This and that! So for almost 2 years I am explaining to
people (Troy laughs) I just wrote the lyrics for Hank. So now
itís like a pain in the ass all this explaining I am doing for
this record. Mind you I am still in high school. So after the
realization that those were my rhymes but it wasnít me that said
it the people were like "whatís up I know you got paid then?" "I
know you got this and that"? Well no not exactly.
Troy L- I know
the crew was never on her label, but did you ever do shows with
the Sugar Hill Gang or ask to do shows with them. Also did they
ever in your memory do the T- Connection, Harlem World, Disco
Fever, P.A.L. etc.
never played any of those spots because they wasnít real M.C.s.
First of all they would have had to M.C. to the beats that we
were M.C.ing to and that means rocking to 10 to 20 records,
showing some real m.c. skills so you tell me how do you pull
that off when youíre a gimmick act. Simple you play where nobody
never heard the real m.c.s yet which is the outskirts and other
states. They couldnít come no where around us! So they didnít.
Troy L.- Did you
ever meet Wonder Mike and Master Gee.
J.D.L.- I never
met them but I did hang out with Master Geeís lil brother Leo
the kid that played in the "Last Dragon" as Bruce Leroyís lil
brother. Me and him is still tight to this day.
Troy L.- Did you
and the crew ever talk to him again (Hank) in life?
J.D.L.- The 2
times I seen him in the Disco Fever I barked on him telling him
he ainít about shit and how he forgot about us but we going to
be alright with out him and how much of a fraud he was. I didnít
give him no time to respond cause I walked away both times!
Caz- I seen him
at the Fever too. He never asked about us or addressed the
situation he just went into "we are about to go on tour, weíre
going here weíre going there." I told him I didnít want to hear
it. I just asked him about his family and kept it moving.
Troy L.- Over the
years what was your thoughts Caz about Hank and the whole
Rappers Delight situation?
Caz- At first I
didnít think about him at all. I was like let me move on and let
me keep doing what I got to do itís not like I am going to get
hung up on that! That was like a small thing but as the years
have gone by this shit is like monumental. I am realizing how
much more serious it was then I took it. After the record came
out and all that, I was like yea o.k. what ever, Hank went on
about his business, I went about my business. See I can write
rhymes at a drop of a hat ; I am not going to sweat those 3
rhymes! But those 3 rhymes keep coming back at me (Caz laughs)
even 20 years later you know what I am saying.
Troy L- Now 20
years later what made you put out a retaliation record?
Caz- Itís not
even a retaliation it was just an explanation. Look even to this
day I am giving interviews about this! 20 years later you know
what I mean? Whatís this? Whatís that? What happen? So I said
let me do the record. It wasnít me trying to get back at Hank
and this is not a diss record to him. The shit donít really have
him in mind. Just that damn 20 years later people still ask me
about it. So let me just set the record straight on the record.
Troy L. Who lied
and said they did not know you and the crew, to Sylvia? How did
you find out?
J.D.L.- All of
those groups that were on the Sugar Hill label didnít give
Sylvia Robinson no information on us when she wanted to recruit
and sign us she was asking them "Do yall know where I can find
them at". "They said "We donít know where they are at!" How do
we know this? When the Treacherous 3 signed on they told us she
been trying to get at us for a while now. When we did see her in
the Disco Fever we didnít want to sign with her cause it was a
known fact she was jerking her artists.
Caz- Yeah I donít
remember any Sylvia Robinson or her representatives from the
Sugar Hill camp looking for us. We werenít trying to get with
them any way because if you was the type of organization thatís
going to put some dudes on that arenít even m.c.s, that right
there was showing me that she was suspect and we were far from
Hank and them (meaning very much better). I really had a
resentment against them. So thatís why I didnít want to be a
part of that. Thatís why I went Arthur Armstrong or any one else
for that matter. As long as it wasnít her.
So there you have
it a world with in a world!
Note: None of
this is fake it is all fact. Be on the look out for my book
titled J.D.L. The Man, The MythÖThe Legend (the untold truth!)
Thank you to
J.D.L. and Grand Master Caz from Troy L. Smith
Also thanks to
Jayquan and the Foundation for letting us put it where it should
be put. ONE