Feelin’ It – TR Love Interview
Tuesday March 27th 2007,
Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Ced Gee Special,Crates,Interviews,Steady Bootleggin'
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When I first started this site, one of my earliest unpublished interviews was with TR Love, the most low profile member of the legendary Ultramagnetic MC’s. Towards the end of 2005, I was put into contact with Ced Gee, Moe Love and TR Love thanks to their man Marc Davis, but after several phone calls to both Ced (who was busy “entertaining” a female on one of the mornings I rang) and Moe (who’s grandma I managed to piss-off), I was still without any material. TR “The Funk Igniter” turned-out to be the only one of the three who I managed to pin-down long enough to speak to, and since they recently dropped a new album I thought it was about time I released this from the Unkut Dot Com vaults.

Robbie: How did you first get down with the crew?

TR Love: We were basically classmates at school. We all knew each other from our childhood. We met through rival schools, we went to different schools. We were interested in music, but we were just doing it in different aspects. Everybody had their own little set group – Keith had his group, Ced had his group, I had my group – but when the groups didn’t work, we all got together and decided to make our own group.

What was the name of your first group?

My first group was The Hardcore Brothers.

So the guys from that didn’t go onto anything else?

Nah, not really. I mean, we tried, doin’ what we did, but it just never really evolved into what we thought it could be.

On that “Feelin’ It” single, on the instrumental version there’s your verse in the middle, but it’s not on the actual song?

That was my introduction into the game, as far as lettin’ everybody knew that I rap. No one knew it was there until they started playin’ it. That was my very first rhyme that I put to tape.

Is it fair to say that Ced did a lot of the programming, but you and Moe used to dig a lot of the records?

Yeah, that was basically it. Ced knew how to program ’cause he had the fundamentals down, so he was teaching us at the same time as we was workin’. But as far as the knowledge of the music and everything, we all had knowledge of the music but it’s just that, in the vast majority, I had knowledge of the records ’cause I had a lotta records that were unobtainable.

So stuff like the Joe Cocker was from your collection?

Well Keith had the 45 – I had the album. We came together on different things, but the vast majority of the grooves that were on Critical were supplied by myself and Maurice. Keith came in with certain other records and stuff like that.

And Ced had the SP-12, so that was his area of expertise…

Yeah.

On the cover of Beatdown, you’ve destroyed this building and you’re standing on the bodies of a few people. Was that meant to be anyone in particular?

T: Nah, we were just doing it to make a statement in the rap industry to let other people know that we were just superior to other formidable MCs that they called at the top of the line, at that particular era. The LL’s, Kool Moe Dee’s and all that other stuff.

Was Ronnie T an official member?

He was a friend of ours, we let him do the intro [to “Ego Trippin'”].

When you guys came back with the Funk Your Head Up album, I noticed you were rhyming a lot more.

I was opening up my production skills to let people know that I had the skills to do it, and to let people know that I was a full producer and a beatsmith and a rhyme sayer.

Word. I also heard that you guys had a bit of trouble with the label on that record. They wanted to remix a lot of the tracks and…

Yeah, yeah. Everybody got their own say on what they want you to do, so at the time we were going through some…diplomatic issues, y’know?

So were songs like “I like Your Style” the kind of direction you wanted to go in, or was that more their “encouragement”?

No, that was the label telling us that they wanted those type of records, so we had to give ‘em what they wanted. If it was for us, everything would have been hard. Groove, soul and hard.

When you did The Four Horsemen, the liner notes were good value. You were the Hamburgular!

We were just bashing each other on the liner notes on the album, making jokes and fun of each other.

Do you still work with Keith? Are you planning anything as a group?

Yeah, the reunion has already been set. We started working on everything now, we commenced recording now. We’re like three songs in, but other than that we’re not really lettin’ nobody know what’s happening until we feel comfortable with what we have, as far as a body of work, and just to let people know that things are for real. We’ve been doing shows, we’ve got dates comin’ up, we just did a show a month ago. Everything is real, the group is back together, workin’. Constantly working to make this record a good body of work, where people can feel comfortable that they got somethin’ that they’ve been waitin’ for. But at the same token, we’re four different entities, we’re all separate mindstates, so we’re trying to work that together cohesively as well. It hasn’t been like we’ve been in a room together for the last six years doin’ records, so getting everybody back together is a slow process at the moment.

Trying to build back that chemistry as a group.

Not even the chemistry – just getting the ideas together. The chemistry is always there, because if the chemistry wasn’t there we wouldn’t be able to do shows. It’s just the fact of people believin’ that we are really trying to do what we’re doin’, ’cause a lotta people are non-believers. They’re doubting and they’re hating, they just can’t believe that we’re actually trying to make this happen – but it is happening! I just wanna let the public know that I don’t think we’re gonna make another Critical Beatdown, but we’re trying to do something to that level, but better.

Another thing I was wondering about, when Tuff City started putting out The Basement Tapes and everything, was that something you guys were happy about?

Actually, those tapes had gotten stolen and got in to the wrong hands, and when Ced found out he immediately thought he needed to get it out there, so he started doing The Basement Tapes. There was rumour goin’ around that Ced was on drugs, this, that and the third, that’s why he was sellin’ the tapes – but it wasn’t that. It was just the fact that we wanted to get those songs out, but we were gonna do something like a compilation of our greatest hits, but when the first couple of songs started leaking, everything just snowballed. So we just let it go. Aaron Fuchs was just a lucky person to buy into the situation and be able to do what he had to do to produce it.

What was up with that record Freddie Foxxx made about you guys? Was that just a misunderstanding?

It was a misunderstanding. Everything is good between him and us now. Somebody’s gotta get a tongue lashing sometimes. We were just the bearer of that situation. It’s good for publicity – it helped us just as much as it helped him.

On “Ego Trippin’” you guys are talking about “Peter Piper rhymes”, were you just going at them ’cause they were big on the charts, like “we can destroy these guys”?

Yeah. But at the same token we were also trying to let people know that we needed to change the vocabulary, so things have to start with us. If we were gonna set the tone we had to let people know. Our biggest influences were Run-DMC, so for us to even talk about them and diss them on that record was unique at the time.

In between Ultra stuff, you did beats on that King Tee album…

There were quite a few. King Tee, Ice-T, Big Daddy Kane, quite a few people, around 94-95. We collaborated with Keith on that Big Willie Smith EP. We were beginning to start our own label at that particular time with that record, and we had “The Mack Is Back” and some other things that we made at that particular time. That was the first instalment, and we did some more things after that. Kutmasta Kurt got involved with it, then things happened to pan out differently, so I started doing something else. Then I got involved with Raw Breed. I started working on their record and putting their situation together with Warner Brothers and I let Keith run with that and do what he had to do.

That Big Willie Smith EP is a valuable record now. I’ve seen that go on eBay for $500.

[suprised] $500? On eBay for it? That’s crazy. A 12 inch for $500!

If you’ve got any left you’d make a nice bit of change. So are you rhyming on the new stuff or mainly working on the production side?

A little bit of both. We’ve trying to feature some new people that we have in our camp – Fred Beans, Big D. We have a couple of other people that we’re dealing with right now.

Is that all guys from the Bronx?

Mostly from the Bronx and Harlem. We’ve got one from Brooklyn.

Are you feeling much new music?

I listen to everybody. I’ve been listening to everybody in the game since I took my break, but nothing that’s really moving me, as far as what they’re sayin’ out here. I mean you’ve got Jay-Z and The LOX and everybody else but…Nas is good, Jay-Z’s good, B.I.G. is not here, Pac was good but there’s only a selected few that really carried their weight and gave us their heart and soul. The rest of ‘em are just copycats. The music has started changing, once that happens everything starts to go in a different way. Everybody wanna be hardcore, but if the public is not accepting the hardcore music then you have to go a different route. That’s why you have the Black Eyed Peas and the likes of everyone else that’s out right now.

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Ultramagnetic MC’s – Feelin’ It (instrumental w/ TR verse) [“Watch Me Now” single, Next Plateau, 1988]

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Ultramagnetic MC’s - A Chorus Line [“Travelling At The Speed Of Thought (Remix)” single, Next Plateau, 1989]

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Ultramagnetic MC’s - You Ain’t Real [Funk Your Head Up, Mercury, 1992]

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Ultramagnetic MC’s - TR Love The Superstar [Smack My Bitch Up, Tuff City]

Note on videos: Even though TR and Moe are in the cover photo for the new Ultra LP, I wasn’t able to find any evidence of their contributions to any of the songs, and both of these videos only feature Keith and Ced….?

Ultramagnetic MC’s - “Party Started” video

Ultramagnetic MC’s - “Late Nite Rumble” video

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33 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Ultramagnetic MCs are one of my all time favorites, but I found their latest LP almost unlistenable.

Comment by End Level Boss 03.27.07 @

On Best Kept Secret, Moe Luv gets production credits for ‘Mechanism Nice (Born Twice)’, easily the best track and ‘Vibrato’.

As a side note, on the ‘Is It Them?’ snippet track which you put on this site last year, which was apparently a teaser from the then forthcoming album, Moe and TR get mentions at the start of the track but it cuts off at two and a half minutes right after the Keith and Ced verses.

What gives eh?

Comment by End Level Boss 03.27.07 @

Check out Raw Breed’s album ‘Blood, Sweat & Tears” for quality productions by T.R Love Da Funk Ignitor.

Ultramagnetic MCs are one of my all time favorites, but I found their latest LP almost unlistenable.

Ced Gee’s new crying rhyme style is horrible.

Comment by Lotuz 03.27.07 @

I am the biggest Ultramag fan there is, but I must agree that the new LP is shit. I am thouroughly disgusted. Hearing the “Is It Them?” snippet and that other track with Fred Beans and that chick on it with them had me hyped, but what the fuck? What was the budget for this thing? Did they produce it with the Playstation MTV Music Generator disc? This disc really should be left off the discography…

Comment by jay 03.27.07 @

“Ced Gee’s new crying rhyme style is horrible.”
That is sooo true. It’s almost hilarious how garbo his newly acquired rhyme style is. The new album is straight trashola; are they for real with this thing? The Tim Dog LP was way better.

Comment by Fosterakahunter 03.28.07 @

yes TR, but the newies not even as good as FYHU.
And no way is it a progression-up from Critical..it’s really more like what the hell are we listening to, guys?????
That said, the lead single Mechanizm Nice still growing . But the album’s about as interesting as a beans on toast supper.

Comment by P.m.ES 03.28.07 @

to the four horsemen:

your new lp is pure garbage!!!

ced gee: you’re just ridiculous!!!

Comment by mario 03.28.07 @

I vomited a little in my mouth while watching these new vids. What a shame…

Comment by floodwatch 03.28.07 @

When Ced Gee rhymes, a baby dies.

Comment by Rapstallion 03.28.07 @

Im a fan of ULTRA.A huge fan. But y wud any of you guys buy the new album?like u didn’t see this coming. They had 2 good albums in 20 years. The tuff city shit was fly though.but damn U guys talkin about them like they de la or epmd or sumthin.Ultra was never known for albums.They are known 4 SINGLES. 1

Comment by MERCILESZ 03.29.07 @

Chorus Line was absolutely incredible. TR shined really brightly on that particular track, but Ced and Kool Keith def. blazed that joint too. Like everyone else, I cannot believe how far the mighty Ultra have fallen. A travesty!!!

Comment by Brock 03.30.07 @

One of my favorite jointz that TR and Moe put together was that Bronx Nigga remix for Tim Dog – there were two of them but both were heavy!!!! I’d love to get hold of those again – nudge, nudge, wink, wink! Miss those joints.

Comment by Brock 03.30.07 @

fuck ultra’s 2006!!!

Comment by mario 03.30.07 @

:( Ya I no. There not sounding to good to good these days. I think I liked Ced’s rhyming on The Four Horsemen better than this. This is not Ultra.

Comment by MC Bucky 03.30.07 @

Oh yeah and has TR ever released his own material?

Comment by MC Bucky 03.30.07 @

damn……..*wipes tear from eye*

Comment by dj shortee blitz 04.01.07 @

I thought new Ultra Magnetic LP would be crazy but was highly dissapointed as I see most of you were also. Whoever said the new Tim Dog LP was better is definately right. His shit is still raw as ever.
That being said I still got alot of love for TR, Ced, Keith and Moe. These dudes are living legends.

Comment by dj forcefed 04.02.07 @

the new ULTRA album is pure garbage…i just dont understand how such a legendary group could put out such trash..kool keith still drops good shit from time to time though…

Comment by T.S. 04.02.07 @

Maybe producers came in and mixed it all up like wut they did to “Funk Your Head Up”.

Comment by MC Bucky 04.08.07 @

I have always been a big fan of Ultra especially when they rhymed live on the radio. Ced Gee was always the hottest when it came to rhymes kool keith just as good but since keith released all those solo albums it was just a pure disgrace. They let me down !! Their new album a waist of time it couldnt have involved CED Gee and TR on any sound production. It all sounds week like kool keiths albums all that off key style.. Bring back the chorus line era.

Big up to shortee Blitz
MK U still ow me a tape from back in the day you know who I am !!!!!
Peace

Comment by Robgee 06.09.07 @

“Did they produce it with the Playstation MTV Music Generator disc?”

Hahahaha. It would be funny if someone did that shit.

Comment by Rah-Love 06.09.07 @

And by the way, is “You Ain’t Real” directed toward N.W.A.? Kool Keith says in his verse “drop science, math, ENGLISH, fuck it i said it.” In “Express Yourself”, N.W.A. kep talking about “dropping english”, so it kinda sounds like he was going at them. Either that or it’s a coincidence.

Comment by Rah-Love 06.09.07 @

^ Yep. That whole song was a continuation of the “Fuck Compton” saga.

Comment by Robbie 06.10.07 @

This is probably the worst hip hop video I have ever seen. When people talk about how destructive and deleterious the hip hop industry is in terms of the libidinal and laschivious material that affects teenagers this is the type of bullshit that I see and it hurts me because now I know that it truly is just like what nas said hip hop is dead and it truly saddens me.

Comment by Niko 06.10.07 @

was not that bad but………………why bite 1996 stytlz…….be ultra innovate!

Comment by Grandmixer JulianG 06.26.07 @

Actually the album had the potential to be hot. Ced and Keith took it upon themselves to not let Moe nor TR to really contribute with production that had samples. They were totally against samples because they didn’t want to pay out and give up any of the publishing!! They even fucked up “Mechanizim nice” that’s not the real version on the album. They made Moe take out the “Baby” voice sample that took the groove to another level funk wise!!

When you deviate from what made you who you are, that’s the results!! Ultra was the most innovative group from that era. Rap has changed now and people get older, even Bronx legends!!

Comment by Marc Davis 08.31.07 @

Yep true people get older but you would also expect people to get wise. With age there is wisdom. The new Ultra album was not wise. True fans will fall off as this is for new Hip Hoppers who are just getting on the band wagon. I know people change but I would expect better quality from Ultra more competitive rhymes on point, not this off key crap !!

Comment by Robgee 12.17.07 @

I am 33 in less than a month and grew up listening to hip-hop in the 80’s. When ultra drop critical beatdown it was different or certainly more on the edge both musically and lyrically, than most of the cats out at the time. The last joint is in true Ultramagnetic style and different to what cats would expect. The shits fresh and i for one am glad its not sounding like some new-jack kicking out mid 90’s beats. I don’t get why so many so called true hip-hop heads are scared by originality and are happy to stay in some sort of comfort zone.

Comment by 2cocky 12.24.07 @

Yo I’ve been losing my mind reading your blog but a TR LOVE interview forreal?!?

man my hat is off to you!! this blog is the meaning of DOPE!! only real heads can feel this UNKUT raw!!

Comment by SAADIQ1 07.24.08 @

Mentally Mad is the greatest Ultrasong ever made and Ego Trippin ties with that as far as i’m concerned. Yeah E.T is the one to set the illest scientific/ psychotic template but they got geopolitical and psychotic on M.M which was incredible to a brotha’ at the age of 13. I understood then. It changed how i looked at hiphop. Mc ultra 2. Funky the original. We are the horsemen. Poppa Large. See that man on the street. Checkin my style return to zero cenobite version. Is it them. I didn’t touch on everything just some key fav songs then to now that give off gamma explosions in the mind. They were master’s of the 12 inches indeed but critical and horsemen were groundbreaking albums handsdown. Respect to the Mighty Ultramagnetic MCs

Comment by BIN GRIM 09.06.09 @

Yeah, when a rap act of any age comes from being out in a different era and took a break, it’s a monster to re-establish momentum. Especially when tryna either recapture the heyday or make “stay relevant” records or both. It’s generally in any musical act’s best interests to have never left, if you know what I mean…then the fans will buy into whatever they make. This is really necessary in Hip-Hop, which seems to become completely different every three years.

That said, I thought Keith’s wacky solos worked in the context they were presented. Not for the Hot 97 crowd, but the fans that were ready for it ate his stuff up just like they did MF Doom’s.

Comment by Stuff Ghetto People Like 09.19.09 @

See the problem as I see it is…all these classic artists/groups that put out new material are putting it out for the wrong people. They are putting out material for the younger generation of, not hip hoppers but rap listeners who dont even know who groups like Ultra Mag are in the first place and thus dont buy there release, while cats like us wanna buy there release and support, but get a taste and learn it wasn’t mad for us, thus not buying it. Its maddening to me! recognize your fanbase and reward them with some dopeness every once in a while!

Comment by LLINGO 02.16.10 @

I agree “Mentally Mad” was one of the best rap tracks ever made. I paid homage to it with my ebay name! I believe that song was the starting point for underground/random rap, when it really started taking off. I have that demo on tape still, and if you think that track is ill now? You should hear the demo! I first heard the demo around the time the second single dropped (Traveling at the speed of thought) and it didn’t have that whistle sound in the backround, or the crowd noise. I heard back then that after P.E.’s “Rebel Without A Pause” dropped, next plateau wanted that same sound, so Ultra added the whistle sound to the track.

Comment by Classic MC 06.14.10 @



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