Filed under: Features,Great Moments In Rap,Interviews,Not Your Average,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
For the second part of our talk, Doo Wop discusses the Bounce Squad, issues with Kid Capri and teaming-up with Tony Touch…
Robbie: So who was the full line-up of the Bounce Squad?
Doo Wop: Rev. Gotti, All That, Snagglepuss, Uneek. Snagglepuss, towards the end he had brought his brother Leatherface – rhymed on two tapes. He got a good response but he didn’t get too much light. Lord Tariq was like a cousin. He was the first one to rhyme on my tape that I made that nobody probably even heard. It was in like ‘91, this guy named Big-O from Soundview projects that I knew, he’s like, ‘Yo, you’re making tapes right? I’mma bring me man to your house. He gonna spit’. He brought Lord Tariq and I was fuckin’ buggin’. Tariq was spitting that cocaine type rap in 91. Nobody was even really doin’ that shit, so it was crazy.
How did you put the crew together?
Everybody has their entourage soon as they start getting known. Little corny-ass group of dudes that just roll with you, they don’t have to rhyme or nothing. One of my best friends, this guy named Eddie Crest, he said, ‘We should like have a name like ‘Doo Wop and such-and-such’. Even though they don’t rhyme, the just wanted a name – like Kid Capri had a crew called Trooper Love that used to roll with him, but they were just his goons, his boys. His muscle! That’s what everybody had. So my fiend came-up with the name ‘Bounce Squad’ ‘cos I used to always say, ‘Bounce! C’mon! Bounce! C’mon!’ It was just a crew of guys that used to roll with me, like I go sell my masters to stores? They would be with me, just chillin’, making sure everything’s cool. That’s what it was then. But around ’93 I did a party not too far from where I grew-up and my friend took my record crates in a cab and we were just walking back home. We passed this building – it was like 3 o’clock in the morning – and there were these two guys out there, and one of them said, ‘Ain’t you Doo Wop or whatever? My man right here can really rhyme!’ I was like, ‘Let me hear something’, and it was Snagglepuss. From then on, we got cool, and I was like, ‘Yo, we gonna do something’. So I kept his number like, ‘Let me come up with ideas. You know what? Not just me and him – let’s put a crew together!’ Everybody had a ill personality…Wu-Tang used to tell me that before they even came out, they used to look forward to hearing the Bounce Squad. As bugged out as it sounds, because we never blew like we should have, we really inspired dudes like Wu-Tang! They even told me that. So it took me a little minute to come up with…you’ve got Snagglepuss, who’s rhyming like a fuckin’ cartoon character – and it’s dope – he’s got lines and he can really flow, but I’ve just gotta make it even better than that. Then I met Uneek – a girl, she’s rough, she’s hardcore – OK, cool. Then I wanted two or three more MC’s, and I had my boy print up flyers for auditions for dancers – because we were doin’ some type of show or video coming up – then all of a sudden these two guys come, and they said, ‘We’re not here to dance, but we wanna rhyme for Doo Wop’. It was Rev. Gotti and All That, and they were dope! I liked All That more but you had to take both of ‘em, so it’s like, ‘Fuck it. Rev. Gotti’s still cool too’. And that’s how the Bounce Squad came about.
What was happening leading up to the ’95 Live tape?
Before that, I was known as having the Bounce Squad, which is a group of unknown MC’s I put together. We were really becoming known for our intros – we always did catchy concepts. Every tape I put out from ’93 up to right when ’95 came in was with the Bounce Squad. That’s what everybody was really looking forward to – what the Bounce Squad were gonna do next on the intro. But then I got a record deal with Virgin Records around Fall of ’94, and that’s when everything just went down the drain with the Bounce Squad because it just caused all kind of problems. The label wanted us to move to LA for like a year to record the album…as good as that sounds to some people, after we agreed and we signed the deal, THEN they told us about this ‘moving to LA’ thing. We felt we was gonna lose the streets in New York, because every month it was like anticipation for the next Bounce Squad intro. We figured like, ‘We’re gonna record an album, but we’re gonna lose the streets. So what good is the album gonna do?’ So back and forth we went with the label and we asked for a release. We didn’t want to do the deal anymore. They said, ‘OK, we’ll give you a release but we gotta keep Snagglepuss, which was like our Method Man. Like the way Method Man is to the Wu. They told me he agreed to it! Behind my back, he agreed to staying with them and moving to LA to doing a solo album! He was a key component in the intros, so it was like, ‘What the hell is this?’ So that caused all kinds of problems where, ‘How we gonna do these intros and not have somebody that everybody looks forward to? His punch-lines and his character…man, this is crazy’. So we took a little break.
So how did you get the Virgin deal? I only ever saw the 12”.
‘The Bounce Master’ and ‘Hit ‘Em In The Head’. That’s what actually got me the deal with Virgin. What it was, they just signed me and they signed The Luniz at the same time. I was in the process of waiting for my advance and all that to come in, and the A&R calls me and goes, ‘Yo, don’t you have a crew of MC’s called the Bounce Squad?’ Somebody put him up on it I guess – after he signed me. He was like, ‘Can we add two to the deal? We want Uneek and Snagglepuss’. Like a dick, not knowing the business, I added them to my deal. I was being cool to my peoples, but that was bad business. They shoulda got separate deals! It was a good thing that I didn’t fuck with ‘em, ‘cos they were doin’ shiesty stuff from the jump, right from the door.
Were you rhyming from day dot? Or was that later?
Early tapes that I made – that never even left my door step – talking about ’89 and ’90, the tapes that I made to experiment, that me and my boys would listen to in the car. Obviously I used to listen to Kid Capri, and he wasn’t takin’ the rhyme shit too serious, but it was entertaining to me, ‘cos you hear him – all his personality on the tapes – and all of a sudden he starts rhyming, too. I got a kick outta that – in a good way – so I guess that’s what inspired me to do it. Probably the rhymes was garbage back then, but I just kept at it. He was inspiration to everybody from me era – Ron G and everybody – he gotta be. I don’t know if they’ll admit it, but he definitely inspired us to do what we do, for sure. Even though I had beef with him for a whole two years. But I’m not gonna sit here and lie and shit.
That was more a competitive thing, wasn’t it? Vying for top spot?
He was already killin’ shit, he was at the top. I was just trying to come-up. We went to the same high school, so I kinda knew him already. We grew-up ten, fifteen blocks from each other. He knew I deejayed but I guess he never expected me to try and take on mixtapes. He probably thought I was just gonna be one of these battle DJ’s or whatever, or house party DJ’s. When I came out, I was doin’ somethin’…and everybody thinks – and I’ll let ‘em, I don’t care – that I just started [with Capri] for no reason, to try to get a name. But it was that I had got wind of that at a party he was like, ‘Yo, who the fuck is Doo Wop?’ or ‘Fuck Doo Wop!’ But it all ended-up being a lie, like someone lied just to start trouble. But at that time I had to jump on that opportunity. ‘What? He said that? OK, let me make a tape now!’ Not even considering that it might’ve been a bullshit story. I just ran with it because…it sounded like it was real! But later on, me and Kid talked – it was nothing, it was bullshit. It was all over nothing.
It escalated and got really serious didn’t it?
It got crazy! It was even a time when I was doing a party in Richmond, Virginia, he came up in there with all his people. I was just with my girl and shit, they had to get security to get him out of there. I ain’t gonna lie, I was out-numbered like a motherfucker! That’s how it was in ’94, he came up in there to confront me! Not to chill, not to talk – straight problem. But everything’s cool now. Around ’97, me and him finally got cool. I even went to his house a couple of times and chilled. We even did a song which was gonna be on the Universal album – when I signed to Universal, that album never came out either – and DR Period did the beat and the shit was dope! I don’t even have a copy of it, Universal got the DAT. Trading lines almost like how Styles P and Jada does it, it wasn’t like a verse, then a verse then half a verse each.
Speaking of which, you and Tony Touch have been killing it with that Diaz Bros. stuff.
How that started is he thought I took a shot at him in ’96. I said something like, ‘Niggas caught the vapes off my last tapes’ – some shit I said, where 50 MC’s had came out. He thought I was referring to him – which I really, really wasn’t. At that time, right after ’95 I was really killin’ it on the streets, so I had a lotta of these other little dudes that’s tryin’ to come-up, talkin’ shit and whatever. I didn’t want to say their names, but I would say little slick shit. But nobody knew these little dudes, so the first person who would think it was towards them would of course be Tony Touch, ‘cos he was huge, and he did 50 MC’s after ’95 Live. Then he said a little slick shit on a tape, but we met up at D&D to talk about it, because I think we really had kinda a respect for each other, whether we felt like it was about to be a little beef. But it was not like the me and Kid shit, it wasn’t like a disrespectful thing, it was just like, ‘What’s goin’ on?’ We sat down and we talked, and that night we came-up with the idea for the Diaz Bros. And then we did the ‘Phone Tap’ intro and it was on from there.
How many tapes did you make together?
We did that thing with KaySlay where he hosted it. Tape-wise? We only did about three or four tapes. I did something on probably every one of [Tony Touch’s] albums. The industry is funny – they’ll talk about a deal, but when it’s time to go sit down and do it…that shit gets me frustrated. Fuck it, I can’t really deal with that shit. Like Universal that time in ’98! That wasn’t like Virgin – this was real money. Virgin shit was maybe $150,000 for my first album. $150,000 total budget – including $30,000 advance, which I split up with the whole Bounce Squad anyway, because I wanted everybody to eat. So you’re talking about $120,000 total for a fuckin’ album., and then they wanna move us to LA! That money has to come out of the budget too! Universal was like a $350,000 deal for just me, alone! I start recording mad songs, but they wanted me to do like DJ Clue. They wanted me to get songs from people that are already done and just shout-out over them! I’m like, ‘Why would I do that? ‘ The highlights of my times have always been the fuckin’ intro – I wanna make an album like that! At the time I signed, Cash Money had just signed to Universal, and I was in the office having a meeting with the A&R and he let me hear Juvenile. I said, ‘Yo, I wanna get him over the ‘Top Billin’ beat’ and they was like, “Nah, nah, nah, I don’t think he’s ready for that yet’. I mean by the time a fuckin’ momth or two months came, he was like the biggest thing in the fuckin’ world! I’m like, ‘Yo, we coulda gave him like $5,000! Now he’s gonna want like $35,000!’
For Doo Wop mixtapes, go here.
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