Kool Kim and the Cella Dwellas
Editors Note: For everyone who thinks that Kim was just shitting on KRS out of the blue, he was sent the audio included in the last article under the impression that it was recorded recently, which pissed him off to think that KRS was still talking about that shit and inspired him to speak his piece. It’s also worth adding that it’s the first article in an on-going series which he’ll be writing here, addressing some of the problems facing hip-hop today. The following is Part Two, and was sent to me not long after we posted Kim’s first article – I just haven’t had time to put it up until now. As you’ll see, he’s not afraid to put his own actions under the microscope…
Y’all thought I wouldn’t? Let me say first and foremost I am NO PARTS of ashamed of my career or my crew. But I am going to keep it REAL and be honest about how I believe WE caused HIP HOP to suck.
First and foremost you have to understand the UMC’s. Most of you either remember us from when you were in JR High School (middle school) and most of your experience with the UMC’s is limited to the three videos we put out if any at all, the primary being “Blue Cheese”. A difficult thing about discussing a group and it’s musical relevance 15 years after the last song is that there is a lack of temporial context so some of this shit you are either going to accept and take my word on, or you gonna just come back with some sideways shit.
The UMC’s as a group was a conscious effort on our part to represent HIP HOP in a positive light. I myself was the president of my schools Black Awareness club, had led protest and ethnic reforms at my school as well as helped galvanized my peers to increase their GPA’s considerably. I was extremely Black conscious, mind you I was in High School when P.E. was on fire, Jungle Bros, Native Tongues, De La, KRS dropped “My Philosophy” somewhere in that time frame, so being Black and aware was big. Even dudes like Divine Styler was dropping pro-Black music. So when we were trying to come out we were doing a lot of performances we were primarily a performance group and we in all honesty were very influenced by the Native Tongues collective. Our first song was called “Invaders of my Fruit Basket” LOL…that shit makes me laugh cause if you say it now that sound like some gay shit, and a subsequent album called Fruits of Nature…I am over here cracking up ’cause without context these titles sound mad gay.
All the time we are walking our dogs to get on, House music is doing it big in NY – and nah, I ain’t do the Sound Factory on Saturdays…LOL (dick). My crew was some stylish, trendy, party dudes we rolled deep like shit and we loved to party. We were like 16-18 then, so come on man. And that’s what we did in those days, we had fun. So when after about 3 or 4 years of hard work and struggle and sacrifice and all we finally did it. After every label had passed on us Premier brought us into the door with Wild Pitch. Now some of you have heard about Stu Fine (owner of Wild Pitch records) – some haven’t – this dude is responsible for some of the most prolific groups in Hip Hop (Main Source, UMC’s, Chill Rob G, The Coup, Lord Finesse, et al) but this dude was the WORST…he’s been pistol whipped, beat up, chased, threatened, roughed up by damn near each artist on that label – but I digress. Here we are signing to a label notorious for jerking cats. We had this bullshit lawyer that basically sold us out and our manager was a KOOL brother…but he had a quality to him that made him seem like people could run over him. He tried his best though, but that was how it was.
So here comes the first album Fruits of Nature – which was supposed to be spelled “Fruits Uv Nature” which was meant to stand for F.U.N. – that was what the album was supposed to be about. Further, Haas and I were both heavy into the Nation of Islam, and the Security division of the Nation is called the Fruit of Islam. So we have this first song that is slated to come out “Blue Cheese”. Now many of you think that we actually named the song “Blue Cheese” ’cause we was off the bugg – NO! We named it that because we KNEW that the minds of music listeners were like 5 year-olds – that all we had to do was have a catchy hook and a hot beat and y’all would rock to the song. The song in reality is pure nonsense. It was done intentionally to an extent as an insult to sheeple (sheepish people).
So now Stu gets the song, hears some of the others like “Never Never Land” and he got us pegged as this teeny bop pop group – I guess that was his interpetation of our style of hip hop. So everything they did was real trippy, real bugged on some “kid appeal” shit, which was cool to me cause I studied all this marketing shit that said that there are three prime colors in advertising – Green (cause that’s the color the human eye can see in almost all it’s variations), Blue and Red. Pimps wore bright loud suits. Song and Dance men from years and years smiled when they performed it was apart of Broadway. This is what I thought you was supposed to do as an entertainer – actually entertain – so when “Blue Cheese” comes out…to be real honest, I was the one that came up with the video concept, but I swear on my soul it was supposed to be this Michael Jackson-level epic with all sorts of ill shit. I did all this research on ulti-mat (the green screen process) and had all these pictures and schematics of what the video would look like. Well, suffice to say it didn’t look ANYTHING how we had planned – that damn “Blue Cheese” monster still haunts my sleep. After that it was a wrap for us ’cause there was nothing we could do we had been type-cast we were “happy rap“.
But here is the thing we WERE HAPPY – I mean help me with this, you get a chance to rap on TV – Yo! MTV Raps, BET, Dance Party USA, FUCKING SOUL TRAIN! You’re rapping some shit you made up while you and your boy are 19 years old over the telephone and your going to be ANGRY? We was suppose to do what? Mean mug? Y’all niggas kill me with that. And half the muffukas that have something to say about how happy we was used to be in the front of the stage with your dayglo green t-shirts and your fucking yellow drop socks – fake bastards – niggas is the Bay used to have a hairstyle called the Kool Kim…..ha ha ha…but WE were happy rappers right? OK, so now we are the happy rap group who are signed to Wild Pitch/EMI – who’s jerking the shit out of us – WE NEVER EVER get paid for selling records. We go on tours and all sort of promo shows and never get paid anything but a per diem, so it ain’t so happy now!1
Now here is a very ill concept about Fans and Artists that I have come to understand after all these years. Fans are in a time warp, while Artists are living in real time. Follow this – I put out an album, 1st single comes out and rocks for 4 whole months – by the 5th it sees #1. The second single comes out and 5 months later it reaches #2. The third single comes out and gets burn for about 4 more months – THAT’S a YEAR and TWO MONTHS that have passed in this artist’s life. In this time my dear grandmother has passed, my mother (my only parent) is away at WAR, so is my only brother, I got a baby’s mom now and an infant daughter, I’m living in a fucking tenament with two windows and they face each other – damn, this is my word – but for YOU THE FAN, last thing you heard me say was “We are the kids of Never Never Land”. So to this point if I was your average internet dick this just sounds like I am making excuses for my group. So HOW DID UMC’s CAUSE HIP HOP TO SUCK?!?
Well here it is. Now as I said we are living in real bad conditions, while niggas is playing our songs in expensive cars. Check it – when i got my #1 plaque from Billboard I had to jump the turnstyle to get home from EMI that day, ’cause I didn’t have a dollar to pay the train. My daughter’s moms was on welfare ’cause I ain’t had the dough. People were kinda carrying us ’cause the image and my dudes that I grew up with and used to work at Statue Of Liberty with were coming out with a group Wu-Tang – a group that we were the first to mention ’cause we came up with these brothers. In fact back in the day – before the first album fully dropped – Rakeem and RNS and Haas used to practice producing at RNS house and RNS was learning MAD SHIT from Haas and vice versa, ’cause Haas was already NICE ’cause I had ALL THAT equpiment – Ensoniq EPS 16 plus, Roland R8, Akia S-900 – holla back if you a real producer. In any event WU’s movement was strong, and instead of acknowledging the fact that we were bigging them up on the first album ’cause we knew they were coming soon enough, they made this anti-UMC’s campaign! Dudes was “soooooooing” at us and shit on the block – lil’ young cats – *sigh* man and near that time we had this beef – if you wanna call it that – with the Hit Squad, which to this day had me baffled. So now we are on full alert. We went to a club one night while we were supposedly signed to Flavor Unit Managment out in LI. Let me tell you, at one point shit was all gravy – we vibing – next thing you know the ENTIRE club was just Hit Squad assasins! Shit was sureal…but that’s another story.
So like I said, we are on amber alert like a muffuga, and then the final catalyst kicked in: the UMC’s Kool Kim – Mr. “Need no narcotics” – started drinking and smoking weed! HARD CORE. And that was it – that did it. Whatever restraint I had up to that point had succumbed. Stu Fine – the bastard – demanded that we produce 5 songs a week…meanwhile we are begging for rent money. I got locked up for assult on a cabdriver who hit my baby’s carriage. Shit just goes bad – and we are making music under these circumstances – and here you have the next album Unleashed. The realest shit ever, ’cause it was honest. If you would have ran across me I would have murderd you. And ANYONE that knows me knows that ain’t my steez at all, but believe me at that point you have no idea how many people have to walk around right now with the knowledge that they got fucked up by them “UMC niggas”.
Still making excuses right? Well here is how we caused hip hop to suck: I feel like the UMC’s were faced with the trial of JOB. If you are familiar with Job he was a servant of God who was favored for his good works and faith. The devil “wages” with God that if he would take his protective hedge off him that he would curse his name. And those that know the story knew that after losing EVERYTHING, Job doesn’t falter he remains true to his GOD to what made him and GOD rewards him with a better life. When things got bad for us – real bad – I was hurt ’cause I was a BATTLE MC. That was my shit – battling and sex rhymes – I would have been that dude with that shit. And again, those that doubt – if you really know what it is – ask Young Zee and the Outsiderz about Kool Kim, ask niggas in the ATL at 5 Points Underground about Kool Kim, ask niggas in Washington Square Park, ask SuperNatural, ask anyone that has faced off against me if I am a battle rapper. I have only lost ONE battle in my life – ONE – and I beat that cat too. So i am fucking pissed ’cause I feel like GOD betrayed me. HERE it is I come out with an album with positive words NOT ONE CURSE, no disrespect to women, I ain’t shame my race with a bunch of fool shit and cooning. Not getting on TV and dumbing out (man, I remember when the Beastie Boys won that Grammy years ago, and these bastards get on stage dippin’ extra low on some super stereo-typed shit, and at the time they were the first to represent HIP HOP like that on a national level. We was mad like shit cause we felt like they made clowns of us. At the time Hip hop was something u had to justifiy to your moms and shit, when she would be like: “This ain’t real music!”, so I swore if I ever got a chance I wouldn’t go out like that).
Here it is after all that, after all this “sacrifice”, here we are with LESS than nothing. For what? For fucking what?! I remember this day clearly: I was tryna bring these clothes up the stairs of my apartment – mind you I used to be a tumbling fucker and have mad balance – and somehow I just trip and go falling down the stairs, bust my nose and the whole shit, it was crazy. It takes the weirdest things, but at that moment I snapped and I just left the apartment and walked to my then baby’s moms house and vowed that if GOD was going to forsake me like that then I would take as many people to hell with me as I could. I vowed to be his enemy. I wasn’t as good as Job – not by a long shot.
And that is why Hip Hop sucks because of ME. Because I failed myself at that moment. I wasn’t a strong enough man and I succumbed to this bullshit business. I wanted success more then I wanted to make good music. I didn’t understand that being a good man was its own reward. I couldn’t identify the fact that my crew was beloved by the HARDEST dudes we – were able to go anywhere and be safe because people had love for us. We were like everyone’s lil’ brother. I ain’t peep how dudes like Cube would break they mean face and start dancing around like kids when they saw us cause we were FUN. People loved us for that, and I wanted to be respected for fear! I lost it all, and the world lost my group…and that shit sucks.
So that was the fruit of my nature…KOOL KIM – HIP HOP SUCKS BECAUSE YOU!
- 1. Side note – groups that have made radical changes and become “hardcore”:
Mobb Deep – two backpackers singing a song called “Hit It From the Back”.
Brand Nubian – niggas was dancing around a room singing “Feels So Good”.
Jay Z – was Jaz’s side-kick singing about “Hawaiian Sophie” and “The Originators” with a fucking hawaiian shirt on (that shit was hot in them days, fuck that).
Rza aka Rakeem – “Ohh we love you Rakeem”…”thank you”.
Black Moon – this nigga Buckshot and Evil D somehow got my home number and used to call me with all his ideas. I remember telling him I thought the name Black Moon was wack… LOL…shows ya what I know!
Dre – World Famous Wrecking Cru – the dude had a glitter suit on.
How soon we forget…now stop fucking fakin’.[back]
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