Filed under: Features,In The Trenches,Killa Queens,Marley Marl Special,Not Your Average,Rap Veterans
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Last week I received a book in the mail to review, called The BeatTips Manual, by Amir “Sa’id” Said. I haven’t finished it yet, since I’m also in the middle of reading How To Wreck A Nice Beach, but one of the first sections I checked-out were the interview transcriptions at the back. One in particular – an extended discussion with Marley Marl – contained some quotes which put a very different spin on the Marley story. According to Marley, he had been working on stuff for Biz Markie‘s second album when he severed ties with Cold Chillin’ over financial disagreements. In order to spite him, the label didn’t give him credit for producing Biz’s smash single ‘Just A Friend’, so Marley took another track that he’d made for the Diabolical and remixed his favorite song from LL Cool J‘s Walking Like A Panther – ‘Jingling Baby’. Of course we all know how much of a classic that turned out to be, as it spear-headed LL’s resurgence and resulted in the two of them creating the classic Mama Said Knock You Out album.
But here’s the interesting part – Marley claims that Russell Simmons was dead-against the project from day one. He believes that Rush didn’t want to deal with Marley on any level because he viewed the Juice Crew as competition, and therefore Marley was the enemy. He thinks that Russell only allowed the release of ‘Boomin’ System’ just to spite them, because he thought it would flop, but after it blew-up and the promotions department leaked ‘Around The Way The Girl’, Def Jam had no choice but to release the album. Marley then says that without the success of that album – which went on the sell over two million copies (not exactly that ‘6, 7 million’ that he claims, but still impressive) – Def Jam may have lost their distribution deal with Columbia. But here’s the real kicker…Marley insists that he never received a cent from the album! Even though he produced the entire thing, he states that Def Jam sent so many lawyers at him that the case was tied-up in the courts forever. As if this wasn’t bad enough, he then declares that Russell ensured that no one would ever offer him a label deal in the industry again, which led to his decision to step away from producing for an extended period after 1995.
There may be a touch of paranoia at work here as to the extent of Rush’s hate for all things House of Hits, but it certainly provides an interesting contrast to the numerous stories claiming that Marley took credit for other people’s beats and the other assorted claims from disgruntled Juice Crew members…
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