By  JayQuan

             Where did you first hear Rap , and who did you hear?


             Well I heard King Tim The III (by Fatback Band) at a park jam in Hollis Queens . Dj Reggie Reg       Reg was spinning it ,at I believe it was Jamaica Park. Then Rappers Delight came out & every    eve        body lost thier minds. That’s how I got indoctrinated into rap.


            So there were actually park jams in Queens in the 70s?



Yeah man '75 ,' 76 cats would hitch up to a street pole , and you would hear it from miles around. Half of South Jamaica , St Albans would be at the jam , and it stayed free of violence for the most part. Sporadic fights would break out , but looking back it’s amazing cuz you had different neighborhoods together at a park , at night and cats were touching on other cats girls. Back then cats were doin’ the freak and lockin chicks up – it was crazy. Davey Dmx's crew – Solo Sounds was around ; rollin to different parks and battling , but there was no shootin'or anything. The Disco Twins used to rock in the Lefrack , Elmhurst , Queensbridge areas , the North & Southside had different factions , but of course we got all that shit from Uptown. Cats went to the jams Uptown , and they had boxes , and some boxes had microphones on ‘em so they would record the whole jam.


Besides Davy DMX , yourself , & Run DMC who else was doin things in Queens in the early days?


Sweety G – in fact we were tryin’ to put out something at the same time and its debatable who's record was first. As far as I know mines was first , Ron “Spiderman” Hunt ( made Raptivity & Spider Rap) who had the nerve to ask me to change my name. First of  all I spell my name with a Y and I got my name from playin’ Basketball.


 Was “Big Apple Rappin” your first record?


No , actually it was the Roller Skating joint. Initially Vaughn Mason’s label – Brunswick vetoed me using Bounce , Rock Skate & Roll – but Vaughn was willin' to help me. He insisted that I write about roller skating , and I ain't know shit  about it. We did that and my man Delmar – Donell who was basically a hustler from Uptown pressed it up – no money exchanged or nothin'. I forgot all about it ‘till I saw that he sold the rights to Aaron Fuchs (Tuff City CEO). I didn’t give anybody publishing rights – I gave him the right to put it out as a 12” , and I never saw a statement , money or nothin'.


So Big Apple Rappin was 2nd?

Yeah , I went to Michigan for college , then I quit school and went back to live and go back to school , but I never did. These cats I was goin' to school with – this drummer named Ruben  had a band called Frosted and I booked some studio time & told them what to play . I had this sound effects record with an actual Delancey St vendor on it , and that’s what I used to start that record. I was actually missing New York , so that’s why I wrote Big Apple Rappin'.


You did some interesting production on West End records , my favorite was “Get Into The Mix”…….


Get Into The Mix was actually an accident. Mel Cheren (West End Records) brought us this record that Flash used to actually spin a piece of called Sessomatto. It was from the soundtrack of this Italian movie called “How Funny Sex Can Be”. We were supposed to extend the beat and then put our own beat inside the breakbeat. When we came up with our beat ,  I was like this is good enough to be another whole record so we can hold off on Sessomotto. So our beat became Get Into The Mix & ”B Beat Classic” ended up using the Sessomatto break. I couldn’t record at the time , cus I was in a beef with Vaughn Mason and Telestar Records over who had the right to record me , so that’s why on the West End releases I didn’t do any vocals.


So that’s not you on Get Into The Mix?


Nah that’s Dj Divine from Infinity Machine. Telstar swore that they did a voice analysis and that it was me on the record , but it wasn’t. I said something to Divine at the end of the song , but that’s it. They messed up the mastering on that record, 'cus they rushed it into mastering. But there was a part of the record where the needle couldn’t track it , so it skipped. Therefore there were a lot of returns from people who initially bought it. So they basically lost out , 'cus I know they shipped 10,000 the first week. Herb Powers showed me with a microscope how the grooves on the record were squiggly. But that was a good scapegoat for West End to lower the number that we sold.


So for “B Beat Classic” you actually sampled in 1983?


No, we actually spliced tape together , so technically it was a sample , just not from a sampler. But we did go straight from the “Sessamotto” tape and I had to splice a million little pieces of tape together.


What kind of drum machine were you using at the time?


The Linn Drum , a Roland Juno Synth and Divine's Scratching is all that’s in Get Into The Mix , but we were using the Linn Drum for beats. But I was just being creative , not trying to be first to do anything. I learned a lot from watching Aurthur Baker also.


On “Fresh Avenue” it is credited to Diamond D…is that the same cat from the Bronx?


No, he is my best friend from Detroit , we went to school together and he always wanted to get in the business.  I originally took Fresh Ave to Aurthur Baker , and he didn’t wanna touch it because it sounded too much like Newcleus (Wikki Wikki).


I noticed that you mention Hollis Queens , and Farmers Boulevard in your music , how close were you to LL?


LL was further down more like St Albans right when you cross outta Hollis. LL was never out on the street ,he was a youngster ; and he didn’t really hit the boulevard ‘till after “I Need A Beat”. Farmers and Hollis Ave crossed right where I lived at. We were in the middle and my part was Henderson Park. You also had Jamaica Park & Libbie Park . When we had the park jams , the factions from one of those parks was giving it.


Was “Buckwheats Beat” motivated by Eddie Murrphy’s SNL skit?


Nah , it was the product of being in the studio all night and getting sleepy. I was talking to the engineer in that voice; based on Eddie Murphy , and he said use that. At that point I would have jumped off the roof if somebody asked. I had been up working on “Rap Is Here To Stay” which was also on the single.   What were you saying on the hook part – take a break? Nah that was some drug influence. My man the original Lee Love from the Bronx was wit me and he said “say take a freeze – they gonna love that in the Fever”. Have you ever heard how Kid Capri takes that phrase , and makes it sound like his name? No , I never heard it.


 I saw that on “Placin’ The Beat” Dj Doc is credited , is this the same Dj Doc who was down with BDP and did production in the late 80s?


Yeah , I met Doc at Russell Simmons office. Doc felt like because he was Puerto Rican , he wasn’t getting his fair share. Almost everything that Kurtis Blow turned down became my project.  Doc & his Emcee Speedy C did a demo and took it to Russell , and Russell would always give Kurt stuff first – 'cus that was his man. Kurtis heard it and was like “its alright whatever”. I always got the Kurtis Blow hand me downs. Doc had just graduated engineering school , and he was a Dj , so I took him under the wing , got him into Power Play studios ; and he started engineering for BDP , EPMD , and a bunch of cats.


I noticed that you sound a lot more hyped on “How Ya Like Me Now” than previous records , and you mentioned how people thought you fell off.


Yeah , I left Profile and I hadn’t recorded in a minute , so rumors of my demise were rampant in the industry. So that was the perfect thing for ,me to say…you thought I fell off – how ya like me now….that was a saying that Kurtis Blow always said on the road. The track was Prince influenced he had “Sign O The Times” out and I loved that groove , so it was heavily influenced by that track . That was when everyone else was goin’ James Brown  - I went Prince. Prince is the man – he gets his props but is still underrated to me – he plays every instrument fluently. Yeah he is the best ever  - cats kill me comparing him to Michael Jackson – he is so much more talented. Yeah they are in different universes.


What was the atmosphere like at Profile Records? When I was 13 or 14 listening to your stuff I pictured board meetings with Jeckyll & Hyde , Disco 4 , Pumpkin , Run Dmc etc….


Not like that at all. In fact the label didn’t really want artists around at all. If you came by without an appointment they would get a lil pissed. As far as between artists – even though you were label mates you still all these boroughs on one label so there was still lots of competing. The label did meet with you regularly to discuss sales , radio play etc. They were real good with that.


Being from Queens , how did you feel about the KRS vs Shan situation?


I always knew that KRS misunderstood what Shan was sayin' in the first place , 'cus Shan never said that Hip Hop started in Queens. You could get that impression if you heard it , but I knew from being with Shan & Marley a lot at the time that wasn’t the case. But having Red on one station and Marley on another it was like a lil battle , but it kept people listening. Every week you wanted to tune in to hear the latest part of the saga , and that’s how Sparky & Shante’s thing really blew up , and to me it was good for Hip Hop , and it kept Hip Hop in the forefront. I wasn’t offended – I always gave Uptown respect , when we wanted the latest fashion we would go to Harlem & the Bronx. We went to Aj Lesters to get the latest gear. We always gave them respect , but I don’t feel that it was always a mutual situation.


Was “Heart Of Hollis” Run Dmc inspired – it had the 808 bass and the guitars….


It’s funny Run was in the studio with me at the time. But I had left Profile . I recorded that at Chun King and Profile wouldn’t even pay the tab. After Moe Dee released his version of How Ya Like Me Now , Profile’s answer was to promote Heart Of Hollis which was the B side.


How did you hook up with B Boy Records?


At the time KRS was leaving , and I was working for B Boy. So they said we are losing Kris , but with the money we’re getting  from Jive for him we need another flagship artist , and they wanted that to be Sparky Dee.


Yeah I loved “Throwdown” by Sparky – cus “Lowdown” by Boz Skaggs was my joint back in the days.


Yeah I asked him for permission to sample it , and he said no – I said F**k it and used it anyway.


What was your most successful release on Profile?


Probably “I Cant Wait”. It could have been better , but  they waited until Nu Shooz had fell down the charts to approach me with it.


Lastly , I know you are still producing – what kind of set up are you working with?


Im  still using the Old School Roland W30 work station , Kurzwiel 2500 and recording on a Roland 1680 with Acid Pro and Soundforge on the computer.


For more on Spyder D , peep his website


Also check his interview with my man MarkSkillz




Big Apple Rappin':
1. Big Apple Rappin' (National Rappin' Anthem)
2. Rapple (Big Apple Rappin' Instrumental)
(Newtroit - 1980)

Rollerskaterrap/ Spinnin' Webs and Rappin' Rhymes:
(Delmar International - 1980)

Smerphies Dance:
1. Smerphies Dance
2. Smerphies Dance (Make Your Own Rap)
(Telstar Cassettes - 1983)

Placin' the Beat:
1. Placin' the Beat
2. Placin' the Beat (Instrumental)
(Profile Records - 1984)

Rap Is Here To Stay:
1. Rap Is Here To Stay
2. Buckwheat's Beat
3. Rap Is Here To Stay (Instrumental)
4. Buckwheat's Beat (Instrumental)
5. Buckwheat's Beat (X-Rated Version)
(Profile Records - 1985)

I Can't Wait (To Rock the Mike):
1. I Can't Wait (To Rock the Mike)
2. I Can't Wait (To Rock the Mike - Instrumental)
(Profile Records - 1986)

How Ya Like Me Now:
1. How Ya Like Me Now (Vocal)
2. How Ya Like Me Now (Instrumental)
3. How Ya Like Me Now (Dub Version)
4. The Heart of Hollis (Vocal)
5. The Heart of Hollis (Instrumental)
6. The Heart of Hollis (Dub Version)
(Profile Records - 1987)

B-Boys Don't Fall In Love:
1. B-Boys Don't Fall In Love (Voc.)
2. My Whole Life Flashed... (Voc.)
3. B-Boys Don't Fall In Love (Inst.)
4. My Whole Life Flashed... (Inst.)
(Fly Spy - 1988)

Try To Bite Me Now:
1. Try To Bite Me Now (Vocal)
2. Try To Bite Me Now (Instrumental)
3. The N.Y. Butt (Vocal)
4. The N.Y. Butt (Inst.)
5. The N.Y. Butt (Dub)
(Fly Spy/ B-Boy Records - 1987)

Try To Bite Me Now:
1. Try To Bite Me Now (Voc.)
2. Label Sez - What's Up Doc? (Voc.)
2. Actual Track - Try To Bite Me Now (Instr.)
3. Label Sez - Try To Bite Me Now (Instr.)
(Fly Spy/ B-Boy Records - 1987)

Gangsta Wages:
1. Gangsta Wages
2. Hooked On Your Look
(Macola Records - 1990)

Yes, Yes Y'all:
1. Yes, Yes Y'all (Mixshow Shout-Outs Mix)
2. Yes, Yes Y'all (Mixshow Instrumental)
3. Yes, Yes Y'all (LP Version)
4. Yes, Yes Y'all (Clean Radio Edit)
5. Yes, Yes Y'all (Hazy Blue Mix)
(Mecca Records - 2000)

©2004 JayQuan Dot Com  No part can be reproduced without authors consent.