UNTOLD STORY OF BIG BANK HANK AND GRAND MASTER CAZ- by J.D.L. , Grand Master Caz and Troy L. Smith from HARLEM......

Troy L. Ė Give us the scoop behind the story of Caz and Big Bank Hank, what really went down?

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.

During 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 obligation.

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 ever!

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?

J.D.L.- No! 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 the record.

Caz- 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.

J.D.L.- They 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!)

 

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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