JayQuan : What year did you start
Emceeing , who was the first person you heard Emcee and who inspired you?
Pow Wow : I started in 1978 , Herc was
the first person I heard ; and I was inspiredby Dotta Rock . I saw him at a block party at
63 park , and I knew that I wanted to dothis. I went to school with Kevie Kev & Master
G.L.O.B.E : Herc was the first one I
saw , back in 74 or 75 at Aurthur park - I wasnt supposed to be out like that , but
I had an older brother who was into Hip Hop. Herc wason the echo chamber, sayin stuff like
rock rock yall . I started Emceeing around 76. I wasa B Boy before becoming an
Emcee....most Emcees back then were B Boys first like KKRockwell & Keith Keith
from Funky 4 +1 , Breakout , Melle Mel & Pow Wow .
Pow Wow : I was the best B Boy , I
started around '76. I taught Grandwizard Theodore to B Boy.
JQ : What was the musical back ground
for a party in '75 - mostly James Brown ?
G.L.O.B.E : Thats where Bam came
in ; he was the master of records . Before Bam youwould hear mostly James Brown ,
Jimmy Castors - Its Just Begun , Bongo Rock &Apache by Incredible Bongo Band , and
disco records with little breaks. Theodore was fantastic at finding breaks ; when he
played I would just stand at the ropes - even if the party lasted for 3 or 4 hours . He
found breaks on disco records and stuff - but the foundation was James &Jimmy Castor .
JQ : How did you meet Bam ?
Pow Wow : I was at Bronx River center
playin ball ; and I got into a beef with somebody. Bam stepped in to squash it. This was
in '69 .
G.L.O.B.E : I met him
through Pow Wow . Pow Wow was the best B Boy in the neighborhood - he was the best B Boy
Id ever seen , im not sayin it 'cus he's my boy - its the truth. His sister was a friend
of mines - she told me he was nice ,we met & clicked .He was down with Bam already.
Bam heard me spit and saw me B Boy a little - he taught me how to dance more and conversed
on the Emceeing thing. I was looking for a group to be in , so I stepped to Breakout , but
the Funky 4 were already complete .I finally asked Bam what was up with Soul Sonic . He
took me to Bronx River Center and thats where I met Biggs . He asked me to spit and I said
this ryhme about Las Vegas and talked about stacking money etc....they said he is nice -
put 'em on .So that next week there used to be 8 Emcees on the flyer but there were only
3. We were playing playing at the T Connection with Breakout , and my name was on there I
was one of the 3 Emcees .
JQ : Originally the Soulsonic Force
consisted of cats from Cosmic Force , Jazzy 5 and other groups right?
G.L.O.B.E : Yeah Ice Ice , Master Ice
, Master B...a lot of heads.
JQ : At that point before Hip Hop
records were made ; what was the political climate like...as far as the jams and members
of the 5% Nation ,Casanovas , Black Spades etc?
G.L.O.B.E : It was really the 9 Crew ,
The Zulus & The Casanovas. The Spades had dissolved into somethin else . It was
Peace at the party ; outside there was a lot of stick ups...sometimes in the party too .
But it was funny if you brought some 9 crew to a Zulu party - they would be standing
information on a certain part of the floor , but there was no beef as long as nobody
looked at anyone wrong or said anything wrong . When it was time to go home somethin might
jump off .But its not like the Zulus would crash Flashes party or a Casanovas party . And
the Casanovas wouldn't crash our parties...everything was correct.
JQ : Just from what I gather from
listening to old tapes - it seems like the Zulus were thier own self contained unit - like
a party might have Cold Crush , Busy Bee & the Treacherous 3 , but a Zulu party would
have mainly Zulu affiliated groups many times. Whats the deal with that ?
Pow Wow : Its like once you crossed
174th st bridge into the Bronx it was a different world . We didnt need anybody
else....not that we were not down with other crews or antisocial - we just had our
own thing .
G.L.O.B.E : Yeah you could say
that...the way Bam programmed me to think was to be at Peace and take care of yourself and
each other ; and we did that. We didnt go outside of our circle too much 'cus it was
always somethin to do in our circle. As far as goin to another party or somethin like that
, spittin wit other Emcees ; I was one to go and watch and listen and learn from cats. Its
not that we didnt want to be bothered with other cats ; we just didnt have to.
JQ : Was the first official recording
by Soul Sonic Zulu Nation Throwdown on Paul Winely records ?
G.L.O.B.E : No it was actually a somg
called Cotton Candy on Tommy Boy . We just did a lil 8 bar thing on it . But the real
first thing with just us was Zulu Nation Throwdown .
JQ : Did you have any idea when you
were making Planet Rock that it would be such a Phenominal song and actually give birth to
actual styles of music ; and have international appeal .
G.L.O.B.E : Honestly no . I just
wanted to do what no one had done before . I came up with a rap style called Emcee Poppin
and no one ever did it like that. I wasnt educated to realize that it would go
international like Kraftwerk ; and I was just so glad to meet them !! We were in
Germany doing the Beat Street tour and they were in a club that we were at....I broke my
neck to get over to meet them . They were a little like " those are the guys who took
our sound " . It was big for me....2 of them walked away,but the main guy stayed with
me . Bam ,Biggs and the rest werent trying to get with Kraftwerk . In fact I dont think
Bam was there - he rarely went to the clubs after shows he just stayed put. Pow Wow and I
were the ones who did all the bouncing around . But I had no idea it was gonna go Ka Pow
like it did - not at all.
JQ :How much creative input and
control did you have in the song , I know that Aurthur Baker and John Robie did production
, and Bam had his input as well.
G.L.O.B.E : I suggested that we base
the beat around numbers ; and everybody agreed 'cus it was fast and somethin that nobody
could touch. My next move was to go and make a style to it I usually wrote the bulk
of the lyrics and then showed everyone how to do thier part in the studio . Aurthur would
call me when he was mixing and ask me certain questions. John Robie always had his act
together ; when
I got to the studio he just rocked
shit . I played some keyboards on Renegades Of Funk , on the instrumental , just noise but
they kept it .... I just wanted us to hit em like we did , I spoke up a lot , Bam
came with his ideas....it was just perfect .
JQ : It was.......that record ruled
the summer of '82. I am in Virginia and when we heard it every body who was an Emcee
wanted to Pop and lock...Planet Rock merged the breaking aspect of the culture with the
Emceeing aspect ; for those of us outside of New York ! Perfect Beat was right up ther
with it .
G.L.O.B.E : Thats
beautiful.......Robert Palmer ; God rest his soul was a writer for the New York
Times he said "Perfect Beat " was the record of the year. I showed that to Harry
Belafonte & he almost fell on the floor !! I wished my father had lived long enough to
see that .That was the biggest thing to get that.
JQ : Was that a computer generated
Scratch on Perfect Beat ?
G.L.O.B.E : It was an instrument that
looked like a drum ; with this rubbery thing that made the Scratch sound.
JQ : I finally saw the videos for
Renegades Of Funk & Perfect Beat recently . At that time ('82-84) what was done with
those videos since there was no Mtv , Vh1 or BET ?
G.L.O.B.E : Well you had Video Music
Box with Ralph Mc Daniels & there was Hot Tracks before that , but also they were used
overseas as promotion . And Tom (Tom Silverman - Tommy Boy founder) was the best at
marketing . But those really blew up internationally.
JQ : How did Harry Belafonte seem to
feel about the culture of Hip Hop...did he seem to respect it , and be amazed by it ? And
how did Soul Sonic get chosen to perform in the movie Beat Street ?
G.L.O.B.E : He didnt really seem to
respect it...it was just something to make money from...it was like forget Wild Style ive
got money and im gonna make a bigger movie . I did a lot of work on that movie. I should
have gotten production credit for all the work that I did !!! I met Harry every morning at
his office and just talked for hours....schooling him about Hip Hop over breakfast . That
scene in the movie where the Dj is rapping and Us Girls are about to perform...I wrote
that whole part!! We got chosen to perform just based on our international
JQ : I hear Run Dmc and a lot of what
I call 2nd generation old school groups critisize Soul Sonics dress code ; ive heard Bam
say that you were performing with bands like the Barkays & Cameo and that you had to
give a show equal to those groups...is that accurate ?
G.L.O.B.E : Thats right ....... the
showmanship....to just blast 'em . We had to do it . We would have blown 'em away without
that ; but if you paid your money for a show we gave you one . I usually don't mention Run
Dmc 'cus they dont mean anything to me ; but if our showmanship was so bad how come they
came right after Planet Rock with Its Like That with the same beat ? And isnt the black
blazer & derby a costume ?
JQ : At the time no one was going
solo...a group was a group...what prompted you to do " Play That Beat " ?
G.L.O.B.E : Tom always told me
that Whiz Kid (God rest his Soul) did beats and he asked me if I wanted to do a record
with Whiz Kid.... I said sure...Whiz dropped a beat ; I took it home & wrote to
it . I got every little kid in the neighborhood and rented a van and took them to the
studio and they screamed on the record...I gave 'em pizza and everytime I got paid I broke
them off with somethin'. Tom saw that I was capable of carrying the group and going solo
so its like " lets make some more money off of this guy ".
JQ :Did you have any idea that Play
That Beat would be so big ?
G.L.O.B.E : Well I wrote it for the
radio . I remember the first night that Scratching was ever played on the air , Jazzy Jay
(Soul Sonics Dj) did it...it was phenominal . Once I saw the world get into what we were
doin at home ..I said time to do it.....make it bigger .And it worked !
JQ : How did the song "B Boys
Beware" with Two Sisters come about ?
G.L.O.B.E : Tom knew the guy who owned
their label - Sugarscoop .That was fun makin' that.
JQ : What exactly is Emcee Poppin
...gimme an example
G.L.O.B.E : Its like a melody..with
fast rappin.....like on Planet Rock when I say .." Its time to chase ya
dreams ".....or on Renegades when I say "Poppin & Shockin' &
Rockin' , puttin aside the Hip Hoppin" just the melody.
JQ : How about royalties....your
stuff has been remade , remixed , do you see anything ?
Pow Wow : We see money , but
nothin close to what we should see for what those records did . My contract was
renegotiated behind my back ; im about to take Tommy Boy to court .
G.L.O.B.E : Monies are being sent
through Tommy Boy ; we have to see what our next statements say.
JQ : Damn...you cats built Tommy
Boy...there is no Naughty By Nature , De La or nothin without y'all .
G.L.O.B.E : Thats right and they all
came in under Zulu....Queen Latifah all of' 'em.
JQ : Is Soulsonic still together
today....whats in the works ?
G.L.O.B.E : Yeah we're still the
click....we just did Miami a few weeks ago with Busta Ryhmes. Im in the process of
collecting beats right now for Soul Sonic....this Rap thing is really in me ; I thought id
outgrow it but its an art andI think I will be 80 still spittin like a Jazz artist.
JQ : Thats a beautiful thing...lastly
, what was the deal with Planet Patrol....Planet Rock is credited to them , and they used
the beat for "Play At Your Own Risk"....also was there a family vibe with the
Tommy Boy artists like Jonzun Crew & Special Request ?
G.L.O.B.E : Planet Patrol is Aurthur
Baker and John Robie....the vocalists are just some guys they got to sing...we never hung
out or partied with our labelmates .....we had record release parties...we cameate &
left . I was supposed to do a song with Jonzun Crew , but it never happened . People still
didn't like rap at the time. We did a show with Zapp , Cameo & Gap Band . Zapp &
Roger - rest his Soul were incredible , we didnt see Gap Band - they were the
headliners....but Cameo sabatoged our set. We would go to do a song and the drum machine
would be erased or playin the wrong beat - but we had Jazzy J on the wheels as backup!
JQ : Peace.....thanks for your time.
© 2002 JayQuan Dot Com
May not be reproduced without authors permission
As told to JayQuan 5/6/02
My man Troy Smith comes thru again...thanks fam!