Filed under: Features,Not Your Average,Philly Jawns,Speaker Smashers,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
To begin the Hilltop Hustlers story, you need to go back to Steady B. After his uncle Lawrence “LG” Goodman lost his New York talent thanks to most of the Juice Crew signing with Cold Chillin’, he set out to form his own local all-star team to keep his Pop Art label buzzing, and MC Boob was the obvious choice to set the ball rolling. Jesse Serwer got the story behind the early singles when he interviewed DJ Tat Money, who went on to become Steady’s main DJ:
JS: On “Bring the Beat Back,” the DJ was someone else, right?
Tat Money: Grand Dragon K.D.
JS: Right. That was the first time the transformer scratch was on wax, right? Was he known for that?
Tat Money: Not at all.
JS: So who is the real originator of the transform?
Tat Money: I’ve been digging up some of my old tapes I had archived. And I’m like damn, I was really focused on this transformer stuff at the time. I totally forgot. The transformer was like this: We were all doing it, and he got the break and put it on wax. K.D. wasn’t a well-known DJ or anything. He was okay. We were all really competitive so at that time, it was like, “Damn I could have been on the record.” You had that mentality. It was like, “Who the hell is he?” In your mind you think, “I’m better than him.” He happened to be in the right place at the right time probably on some, “Yo I need a DJ, you want to do it? Come on” shit. Cause that’s Steady. I know him like the back of my hand. That’s just how he is. He’s a real kindhearted cat, and I think K.D. was hanging around the area and they just became a duo. The thing was Boob already had two other DJs at the time. He was kind of notorious for switching DJs. This big fat dude named Tank, who was his first DJ, actually came with him when he came to Funk-O-Mart looking for me.
JS: That’s odd.
Tat Money: Boob was kind of weird like that. I actually visited Steady [in jail] a couple months ago. He was a little sporadic. But we actually talked about when he was first getting on wax. He told me stuff I didn’t know before. This guy Jimmy who he went to Overbrook High School with was trying to rap and had this idea about dissing LL Cool J and a few people around the way heard about it. I heard about it. It was like, “Whoaa, you’re gonna do what? You’re crazy.” For somebody to come out and diss a person like LL that’s really hot at the time and go against the grain was considered crazy. You’d think, “I don’t like that idea or I love that idea.” All different opinions. Steady heard about that, and Steady heard that Lawrence was making records so he hooked up with Lawrence and told him, there’s a guy with this great idea for a record to diss LL all written and everything. They went around the guy’s house twice and they couldn’t catch the guy. His name was Jimmy the Jawn. Which is a funny ass name. That’s amazing. Cause you know jawn is Philly’s version of saying that’s the joint. And the word was real hot at the time. It was a brand new phrase. He was basically saying, “I’m that dude.” After they couldn’t catch him, Steady just said, “I’ll just write a song and we’ll put it out.”
It could be said that Steady never really moved beyond his classic Shout Rap style later in his career, but back in ’86 that shit worked. Here are three of his finest speaker smashers from his Pop Art days:
Steady B - ‘Take Your Radio’
Steady B - ‘Just Call Us Def’
Steady B - ‘Bring The Beat Back’
Next Up: Early Cool C and Three Times Dope…
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