A Salute To Tony D
Monday April 06th 2009,
Filed under: Announcements,Crates,Features,Not Your Average,Steady Bootleggin'
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There’s no denying how important Tony D was to Trenton. When the rap world was all about about New York and Philly, Tony was lacing hard, catchy beats for YZ, Poor Righteous Teachers, Blvd. Mosse and Too Kool Posse, amongst others. He also dabbled in microphone duties himself, landing a solo deal on the strength of his appearance on the first PRT LP and later as part of the Crusaders For Real Hip-Hop.

It’s fair to say he received a lot of attention for some of the disputes he was involved in – he mistook 3rd Bass‘ diss of Idlers RecordsTony Dick as a shot aimed at himself, and replied with ‘Don’t Fall For The Gas Line’. There was also an issue with Naughty By Nature stealing one of his beats off a break album for their smash hit ‘O.P.P.’, following he and YZ’s attack on The Flavor Unit, Big Daddy Kane and Gangstarr (‘Get Off The Rhythm’). And who could forget the fact that he worked with both PRT and YZ while they were going at each other on record? The guy sure had some stones. More recently, Tony has had the Ebay record game in an effin’ headlock, as well as releasing some instrumental records in the UK as well as some ‘Rare & Unreleased’ CD’s. He also contributed vocals and production to Shawn Lov‘s Waiting For A Ghost in 2007.

Drew Huge from Fat Lace was the last person to interview Tony D, and luckily for us he did a superb job of covering the man’s history in the game. This quote sums things up nicely:

FL: What’s your legacy in hip-hop?

Tony D: I think I pioneered the use of the vocal samples in hip-hop. Think of the Average White Band for ‘Thinking of a Masterplan’ and the James Brown one for ‘In Control of Things’. No-one was really using samples or loops that had a voice in it until I did that.

Tragically, Tony was killed when his Jeep rolled on Saturday night, April 4th, 2009. Rest In Peace.

Update: A great tribute from his friend Dan Charnas.

Tony D – ‘Back To The Lab’

Tony’s finest moment on the mic.

Tony D – ‘Adam’s Nightmare’

The infamous Jackson 5 flip. Sound familiar?

Tony D & YZ – ‘Get Off The Rhythm’

These guys took their breaks seriously in case you didn’t notice.

Tony D – ‘Don’t Fall For The Gas Line’

White-on-white crime.

YZ – ‘Thinking of A Master Plan’

YZ + AWB = A Good Combination.

Scott Lark – ‘Movie Scene’

Indy weirdo that wins.

King Sun – ‘Soft Shoe Booty’

Sun don’t play that shit.

Kwest The Madd Ladd – ‘Herman’s Head’

Superb production showcase.

Poor Righteous Teachers – ‘Word Is Bond’

Sounds like an early, early demo. Can’t lose with ‘Nautilus’.

Poor Righteous Teachers – ‘Rock Dis Funky Joint’

The classic.

Poor Righteous Teachers – ‘Black Business’

Late night hype.

Shawn Lov feat. Tony D – ‘Can’t Complain’

This might be his last ever vocal appearance.

Update: Vintage video interview with Tony D, courtesy of The Meaning of Dope:

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23 Comments so far
Leave a comment

this is ill. RIP Tony D

Comment by KHAL 04.06.09 @

My man Jowhite hit me up last night and told me about this Tragedy,I love all his work-Including-DROPPIN FUNKY VERSES that I have noiticed continues to get overlooked in various reports of his death.RIP-TONY

Comment by R.Jones 04.06.09 @

he is one of the best producers period…a true legend—R.I.P.

Comment by T.S. 04.06.09 @

One of New Jersey’s finest, RIP Tony D.

Comment by richdirection 04.06.09 @

Rest in peace…Check the Elevation was my ish!! Going off the topic, WTF is up with that muscular pansie in YZ’s “In Control of Things” video?? Looks pretty suspect…..

Comment by LD 04.06.09 @

Wow….Thats a horrible loss. He was truly DOPE!!!

Comment by Mercilesz 04.06.09 @

Back to the Lab was my shit!! RIP Tony. We will most def miss you!

Comment by Reemycks! 04.06.09 @

Dope post Robbie, R.I.P. Tony D, you will be missed but never forgotten.


Comment by Jaz 04.06.09 @

one of the all time funkiest! r.i.p.

Comment by j.jordan 04.06.09 @

R.I.P. Droppin Funky Verses was one of the first 20 or so tapes I ever copped growing up…

Comment by 357 NYC 04.06.09 @

ahh man that Black Business track was my favorite off that PRT album too

Comment by 357 NYC 04.06.09 @

Easily one of the top 5 producers of all time. I always thought he never got the full props he deserved. Condolences to his family, friends, Trenton, and hip hop community in general.

Comment by PL 04.06.09 @

here’s a recent interview.
tony d interview
Condolences from italy

Comment by italian stanlio 04.07.09 @

Got Black Business in the discman today! My condolences to his family and friends

Comment by chronwell 04.07.09 @

We just had an interview with him, he was italian like us, crazy.


Comment by IlMago 04.07.09 @

You should also check his MySpace with his most recent heavily italian mob influenced crazy dope video “Boss” from his album “Goombaata” – yes he had one more album! Plus few other dope joints he had there (“Jersey MC’s”!).
That’s crazy that at the end of the video he drives home and steps out of his jeep – probably the same one…

Last year I purchased a lot of his unreleased music from the man himself – 5-6 CDRs full of unreleased ish!
I paid him about 100 bucks for the whole thing and was pretty pissed when I got plain CDRs without any tracklists and artworks – I remember he promised to put together smth nicer before I sent the payment, ha-haa
He included the note where he promised to send tracklists later – but after numerous e-mails, he finally said that he doesn’t know the titles and doesn’t know exactly what he put there and that I should appreciate the songs and not the titles and artworks and I should make up the titles myself (ha-haa) – he also said that he’s a producer and not the graph artist and I could never imagine getting unreleased music from the likes of Premier and Pete Rock, but he was nice enough to send these to me – I thought he was a bit shady for burning these 6 CDRs for 100 bucks, but now I guess I must be pretty satisfied for getting those…
That included unreleased albums by Blaque Spurm, Baby Chill, Crusaders, Shawn Lov, Black Prince & Aziatic Roger and his own + the extra disc with unreleased/rare tracks he had done for various underground local artists. I have never even played those discs – as I said I was quite pissed at the time and put them aside… I didn’t feel like listening those without knowing the titles etc
Later I heard that he had a serious hard drive crash and lost everything…. He also said that he must convert everything from the DATs to the computer again and that would take forever – I’m pretty sure he probably didn’t manage to finalize this process…
I must say that his material that didn’t get to the masses may be even doper and his recent beats and style was still that same niceness – he didn’t try to sound mainstream and was showing the finger to the commercial rap (the way he spoke to that old interview) till the end!

Comment by Blanco 04.07.09 @

There are a lot of joints he did.. He played a lot of his own shit on WPRB just like Marley did on WBLS. Definitely a Garden State Great, I am glad to have met the homie personally. Wise Intelligent is one of the illest and Tony D complimented his style. My favorite joint he produced was “Peppermint” by B-Fine (Bobbie Fine).. He used “summer in the city” waayyyyyyyy before Pharcyde did “passing me by.” RIP

Comment by Edubz 04.07.09 @

Tony had a tremendous body of brilliant unreleased work- solo material, instrumentals, group projects, hours of it. I think it is important for us to remember that although Tony D was indeed a Hip-Hop legend, he was also a husband and a father who made it a priority (above all) to support his family.

Tony D had his own label “Cha-Ching” records and I am positive that there will be a time when his unreleased material will be unearthed, remastered, and properly released by his family/close friends and music associates. At that time I hope ALL of his fans purchase a legitimate copy so his family can feel your support.

There are many local artists, fans, family members, and friends who wish to see Tony D’s legacy in hip-hop properly represented. I can tell you for a fact that Tony would want any deserved benefits reaped by the selling of his back catalogue and unreleased work to go directly to his wife and kids.

I would encourage anyone (like myself) who has a mountain of unreleased Tony D cds, mp3 files, ect to keep a lid on it until his family has the opportunity to release it properly in a venue where they will recieve all royalties from any renewed interest in his newer work.

In Hip-Hop too often we are fickle, even to our own heroes- we don’t show our support for an artist until he/she is gone. It is too late to let Tony know on a personal level what his life’s work meant to us, but we can all help ensure that his legacy in Hip-Hop music is celebrated, and acknowledged.

R.I.P. Tony D… he was the Sun that many a local artist revolved around and depended upon for light and nourishment- even those of us who do not admit it. We will never forget you.


Comment by Shawn Lov 04.08.09 @


Comment by ALF ALPHA 04.08.09 @

I was reading Tony D’s bio on Discogs & Wikipedia and both mention that Heavy D also jacked one of Tony D’s beats, which was settled out of court. Does anybody have any specific info on this? Which Tony D beat did Heavy D jack and which Heavy D song was it used for?

Comment by Analog Brother 04.09.09 @

Let’s never forget Tony D

Comment by RememberingTonyD.blogspot.com 05.11.09 @

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