Holdin’ New Cards – Scaramanga Interview
Friday June 03rd 2005,
Filed under: Interviews
Written by:

Scaramanga 1

Scaramanga first emerged on the Beat Terrorists EP entitled Big Willie Smith, and went on to drop verses on the Dr. Octagon LP, which he followed-up with an apperance on Kool Keith’s Sex Style. Following these cameos, he released the “Physical Jewels” single on Rawkus. In addition, he put out the “Space Cadillac”/”So Intelligent” 12″ and “Space Cadillac (Remix)” b/w “Gametime” and “Terrorworks” records. In 1998 he hosted The Lyricist Lounge with Kool Keith. Shortly after these appearances, KRS-One featured Scaramanga on The Temple of Hip Hop LP. Finally he released the 7 Eyes 7 Horns LP, with the twelve inches “Special Efx” and “Mind IC Mine”. After releasing this album he did an EP called Big City Hustlers with Don Diva magazine. In 2005 he’s released the Einstein Rosen Bridge LP, the Snake Eyes LP and most recently the Cobra Commander LP. Besides these releases, Scaramanga has appeared on numerous other hip-hop records and compilations. On one of Scaramanga’s most interesting tracks, the Runaways “Levitation (Remix)”, he does a posse track made up of his own different personas…


Keir:
Where were you born and raised?

Scaramanga: I was raised all over. I was born in Manhattan in Lennox Hill, I lived up on Sugar Hill where my parents were from in Harlem. Moved to Queens for a while then moved to Hempstead and Brooklyn. At one point I moved to California with Keith for 2 years. After that I moved back east to Florida for close to 4 years. I’ve recently moved back to New York after 2000 and have been back here about 5 years now. Since I’ve been back I’ve been living in Brooklyn, Spanish Harlem and now Uniondale Long Island, where I went to high school with Dinco D and Charlie Brown from L.O.N.S. (Leaders Of The New School) back in the late 80’s.

K: How did you meet Kool Keith, and how did the whole Dr. Octagon projects unfold?

S: I met Keith at a birthday party for Busta Rhymes with my girlfriend at the time named Stephanie (she is from San Francisco). I went to pick her up from this party she was hosting. When I got there I ran into Ced-Gee, Flavor Flav and Kool Keith. I was like “Oh shit!” everybody was in here. So I was like “Yo I spit flames too, what’s up ya’ll want to go on stage and get busy?”. Everybody was getting on the mic – Freddie Foxxx, Lord Finesse, CL Smooth, L.O.N.S., Tip and Phife, Pete Rock, Large Pro and Diamond D – it was out of control! I was hungry dude you know? So I spit some old ill shit at Keith, Ced and Flavor and they took me on stage. After the show Keith got at me like “I got a deal on Capitol and I want you to come to L.A.”. After a long story with Capitol, Lo and Malik who were A&R’s got fired, and Keith’s deal got canned, soon after that Automator approached Keith about doing an LP.

When it came time to record Dan and Keith picked me up at the airport and told me what was what, then they hit me with a few chips and that was that. I laid two tracks on the LP – “No Awareness” and “Biology 101″. “101” were taken off the DreamWorks version so I got even less publishing. I still have a bitter taste in my mouth. Keith was so hype to do the LP, Dan paid him like 30 G’s up front, and he also got like 200 G’s on top of that.

K: How did you get involved with Rawkus?

S: I stepped to Rawkus after I came back from Cali and they were mad at anything I was down to do. I got tired of waiting to put out the album so I bounced over to Fat Beats and banged out the Scaramanga LP. It was crazy, and then all of a sudden Rawkus was all behind Blackstar and Pharoahe Monch. I told them to sign Monch and Big L. When Big L was alive they would not close his deal… then BOOM! As soon as he dies they swoop in and put his record out. They dissed me, I knew they never would promote my shit like Mos Def and Company Flow, but so what it’s in the past. I’ve still got my label and my records and I’m out to make paper to I’m not mad or hating on anything!

K: What about the industry?

K: I paid Don, Diamond D, DJ Spinna and Showbiz out of my budget and nobody can complain, even though the records took years to come out. It’s not like Sun Large Records wasn’t handling business, but my distributors – Caroline, Fat Beats and some newer ones I have – were ripping me off left and right. That’s why hip-hop underground dies, because nobody supports the real cats that make this shit go to the next level. The Menelik’s, the Rass Kass’, the Saafir’s, the Del’s, Pharoahe’s or Jeru’s. They always want to talk shit how we use big words and we’re “Back Packers” but our records sell. Then they bootleg our shit behind our backs. Now all you got is fucking Nelly and Lil Jon, well thank you miss hip-hop! You aren’t shit, you just prey off real MC’s struggling to make it in the game. On that note, holla at the last real poetical one under KRS-One and Ultramagnetic MC’s the real hip-hop shit! Representing the Temple of Hip-Hop…

K: How did you meet Godfather Don?

S: Don was great! He really worked with me to get my spitting razor sharp. That’s my best man right there he got a live band, they’re putting an album together.

K: How did you hook up with so many producers worldwide?

S: I met producers like Headdrillaz and Expansion Union at conferences across America. That’s what happens, I have people who recognize then bamm its on!

K: How do you go about writing lyrics?

S: Secrets… I am still amazed myself grasshopper!

K: What’s the deal with performances?

S: I have done live shows, nothing recent of course. I just can’t afford for suckers to bite my style, you know how it is. Don is the same way, the promoters always want to give us trash money like we aren’t nice or anything, we turn down a lot of smaller venues. Usually we don’t feel the promoters or they’ve got no paper for us. They’ve got two or three acts sitting around watching me and Don to bite our style so they come out sounding like me and Don or doing the same type of shit you saw in our routines… 2K5 is Scaramanga year, its Cyclops year, I will not mess with the lames.

K:Now that you’ve released the three-prong Scaramanga/Sir Menelik album attack what more can we expect?

S: Sun Large Communications/Sports Athletic Management. I’m working with Derrick Blaylock from the NY Jets on some projects to come out, “Chamz 9 times Ultra” My next alias is Sir Menelik A Knight’s Tale, Blood Bath Mafia LP, Dre the Don, R&B Lee and a few other acts I am developing!

Scaramanga 2
Photography by Anais Carayon


Runaways UK featuring Sir Melenik -
Levitation [Remix] (Three-Sixty, 1998)

Scaramanga - Mind I.C. Mine (Sun Large, 1999)

Scaramanga - Thorough Niggas (Snake-Eyes LP, Sun Large, 2005)

Cyclops 4000 - Let’s Build For A Sec (Sun Large, 2005)

Sir Melenik Discography

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on TumblrDigg thisShare on StumbleUponEmail this to someone

42 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Even though he has a slew of classic beats, “mind ic mine” is one of Show’s greatest beats. And that 2nd Scaramanga verse..Good god.

Another notable Scaramanga appearance is his rather splendid verse on Godfather Don’s “no competition”.

I always hated most of the Sir Menelik tracks though. Way too artsy.

I’ve not heard “cobra commander” yet. What’s it like?

Comment by Brian Beck From Wisconsin 06.03.05 @

word, that mind i c mine beat was fucking heat

thanks for getting at scaramanga, i hope he keeps doing his thing

Comment by Anonymous 06.03.05 @

this guy had some good verses on dr. octagon but you can tell he’s crazy and dellusional. he isn’t doing shows because people will bite his stage routines? lol

Comment by max payne 06.04.05 @

this was an informative interview though, we appreciate it.

he doesn’t do enough interviews, maybe he’s afraid someone will bite his interview style!

Comment by max payne 06.04.05 @

^ hhahha yeah that does sound a bit paranoid

but yeah seven eyes seven horns was a dope ass album, so was snake eyes… cyclops 4000 had its moments but some of it is just fuckin out there.

still gotta hear cobra commander, from the clips it sounds dope

Comment by Air Alex 06.04.05 @

damn “lets build for a sec” is dope!!

Comment by pen 06.04.05 @

Mind I.C. Mine 2K5 off the new Snake Eyes LP was convincing my sub-conscious to take over the world… he embodies that multi-syllablistic originality. Good god that beat and Scara’s flow and ridiculously omnipotent tone and lyrical content had me ready to destroy everything in my path. I know a little intense, but dude’s nice like that.

Comment by Tezla 06.08.05 @

big respect for the site.

Comment by tizwarz 06.09.05 @

nice interview. scara’s an ill mc, i’ve copped everything he’s dropped and always will.

Comment by kq 06.14.05 @

I agree that he’s a lot better as Scaramanga than Menelik. That “Rap Dictionary” style didn’t work for Robert S. either (“Big Words”, anyone?). I haven’t heard the new albums yet but I’ll try to get my hands on them to review.

Hopefully we’ll hear more “Group War Commission” tracks from Scara and God Don.

Comment by Robbie 06.15.05 @

Scara needs to do a few live shows, I know the money is not that good doing them but a lot of his fans would like to see him perform live so hopefully if he reads this he will reconsider doing a show or 2 in new york. Also it is good promotion for new people to see hear his material.

Cobra Commander is a hell of a CD, The beats are really scortching hot and the lyricaly formats will leave your heads sore black.

Comment by daledavis 06.18.05 @

dope interview… too short though. oh well, at least we got one.

lol @ dudes watching his show to bite his style

cobra commander is just as ill as snake eyes (saigon ruins track 10 though)

anyone know what scara’s third lp this year is gonna be titled?

Comment by Machiventa 06.25.05 @

“Mind I.C. Mine” original version and the 2K5 version ARE THE FUCKING BEST SONGS EVER IN EAST COAST UNDERGROUND…….. so many Scaramanga songs that rule…….”So Intelligent” is proof of human alien life on earth. worked with Dinco D and KoolKeith MAKES YOU HELLA SICK ARTIST NEW SCHOOL RULER.
http://www.soundclick.com/conspiracysupreme

Comment by Conspiracy of SBU 07.05.05 @

thanks for the comments people !!!
Sun Large 2k5 !!!
Sir M

Comment by Sir Menelik 07.20.05 @

ill as kill unfilled with consonant

sir menelik is future

Comment by linz 08.02.05 @

Sir Menelik is the TRUTH. Real Talk from Brooklyn.

Comment by Steve 1989 08.25.05 @

dope interview, hopefully he’ll keep releasing new material

Comment by tech 08.30.05 @

MENELIK IS THE SHIT! NOT TOO MANY MC’S CAN SEE SON ON THE STRAIGHT AWAY! KID IS MORE THAN THE FUTURE…HIS SHIT FOREVER!

1 LOVE! Kepp.It.Movin!

Comment by BIG CHRIS DAWG 09.13.05 @

“Holy” and “Jordan” are 2 of his best tracks.. Looking forward to any new albums.

Comment by SeaBass 11.23.05 @

Scara is an unappreciated legend – keep it busy, stay true forever nigga !

america is – count slow – cash flow – all out playaz – o’starr … plus all the old classics – need I say more – kop all his shit NOW if you ain’t got it :D

props to unkut for the interview !

Comment by MonsterIslandCzar 02.18.06 @

You were ambitious and “so intelligent” before people knew who you were.

I’m happy to see that others now know it too!

Comment by Park Slope Lady 03.14.06 @

Muthafunk the Temple Of HypeHope !!! Comin from that note, I am the last R.E.A.L Poetical one under Krs One and I was the head of the department of the society. I dropped that shit cause it Hype……Keep on believing while I know the truth….Holla !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by FunkyJ 07.18.06 @

a true legend with hard flowin raps, cash flow is truly my fav.0 keep up the great work!

-carlos from scarazona

Comment by carlos 09.11.06 @

btw can someone email me if you got a back up of snake eyes or cobra

Comment by carlos 09.11.06 @

I am currently in the midst of writing a book on the Golden Age of Underground Hip Hop. I would really like to interview or speak briefly to Scaramanga and Godfather Don. If anybody with any info on how to contact them can get at me, my email is [email protected]

Comment by Rhyme patterns 09.11.06 @

Yo Scara! What can i say, your flow is the badest! Nowadays there’s no rappers like you, that good-daam flow! The lyrics & words what you use our thing!!!Keep ya headUp! Continue to do your thing that Scaramanga-way!

Fan from Finland!

Comment by Oppera 03.23.07 @

Big willie style EP; Space Cad. Bionic Olds: I bump dat shit on a regular still today. One of the best hip hop underground artist out there.
I have the cyclops 4000 album also. It never leaves my ride. WORD.
Chi-Town born.. Lived. Las vegas is home now.

Comment by enormousmatter 05.18.07 @

Telll Menelik SLYWEFLY says what up.. laced me on the Einstein Rosen Bridge… I got the Crown of the 12 stars…. Bless Rex Roland too!

Comment by Slywefly 07.10.07 @

In 2007 I still love Space Cadillac.

RockAwn.

Comment by DoerOne 10.10.07 @

yo, menelik scara sun large god!
7eyes7horns is forever in my ipod
can’t get enough of it…dude a lot of cats don’t know about scara down here in south africa. man you gotta holla this side, everytime i play 7eyes they say i’m on some futuristic tip…enough commercial and more under…more menelik for mzansi..big up man south africa’s hearin ya boy!!!!

Comment by zweli abd-al-fatah 11.24.07 @

Scara, when are we gonna go to Nassau Coliseum to see the Islanders whupp up on the rangers? lundqvist SUCKS!! hahaha… you still in Uniondale? i’m a dig up your # and hit you on the horn one of these days. peace! btw NOBODY can even see you, A-Butter, and A.L. on “At You,” (for those who don’t know, it’s the B-side to “Let’s Build For A Sec,” which is also dope (Spinna tuned that s#!t to the perfect mental Cyclops 4000 frequency).. maybe that joint should’ve made this page since it was only released on vinyl….

steve F

Comment by onthaStrenff 11.26.07 @

Anyone know a way I can get my hands on on a Blood Bath Mafia album????

Comment by Mark 05.11.08 @

its 2008 and i’m still listening to tracks like “game time” and “alphabetic hammer”…Menelik..you just gotta understand that out of those cats in the small crowds who came to see you (and show support in BUYING your material), it was because you had something in your flow that inspired a cat (no one was trying to bite)..only support my dude..

Comment by elly 10.05.08 @

Scara is dope! I hope he releases some new shit. His style is that super-dense, scientific yet street, kind of like early Doom or Supreme Clientele era Ghost. Fucking next level shit.

Comment by mike g 03.06.09 @

Vicious emcee!

Comment by Distrakt 04.29.09 @

Where is Scaramanga aka Sir. Menelik been? I want to hear more material! Kool Keith and him should do an album together. That would be outstanding.

Comment by hip hop hero 01.15.10 @

Love that Death Letter track, first verse is awesome. Now own up!! There no such person as Scholarwise is there? That’s another alias isn’t it Menelik?

Comment by Vinny 01.30.10 @

New Scara coming soon…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0A94wjcVF0

Comment by REAL6 05.12.11 @

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGmimHqKrcM
Scaramanga – Shallah Magnetic Video

Props to REAL6 for the youtube channel. Some good stuff, freestyles, interviews (I’m watching the Natural Elements one) on there.

Crazy to be posting on this, the first article I ever read on here so many years later.

Comment by Lair 06.21.11 @

Scaramanga is a mysterious motherfucker who promises way too much, but then pops up out of nowhere and wets your taste for that signature flow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_Fitu44KgI

No idea what the story is behind this track. Demo from around Snake eyes/Cobra Commander? New shit?
As usual the verses are impeccable.

Comment by Lair 06.16.12 @

Update: Jabbar EL official release date is 12/22. But I’m doing 100 secret advanved copy limited edition autographed official cds at $100 each the advanced copies are different from the lp and have rare exclusives. They will be numbered and the exclusive numbers 2-10 will be auctioned from a starting bid of $200 with the number 1 cd being auctioned at a starting bid of $500. money order only please pass the word!

Comment by Jabbar EL 10.22.12 @



Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)