A Tribute To Father Shaheed of PRT


DJ Father Shaheed of Poor Righteous Teachers was killed in an accident while riding his motorbike on 26 May, 2014. After releasing “Time To Say Peace” on the independent North Side Records in 1989, Wise Intelligent, Culture Freedom and Father Shaheed (who was going by the handle of Devine on the original pressing), they were picked up by Profile Records, who re-issued the single with a remix and followed up with the Holy Intellect LP the following year. This contained what turned-out to be their breakout single – “Rock This Funky Joint.” Offering perhaps the rawest 5% rhetoric of the era over addictive rhythms, PRT made quite an impression and quickly gained a loyal fanbase. Their manager at the time, Kevon Glickman, who I interviewed in 2007, had this to say:

“To this day I’m still kinda partial to ‘Rock This Funky Joint’ by PRT, because we made that on our own for no money, and it just exploded, it was a hot record that affected popular culture a little bit with the whole 5% thing. That was a really nice time for me. We did three or four albums with Profile which I executive produced, and then I did a solo album called Killin’ U For Fun. I didn’t have much money to promote it, but they didn’t want to do anything for Profile, they wanted to try something independently, so I was happy to do it. But it was just OK. I had a cover which was banned by retailers. It was a burning body, a lynched body, it was an historical photo of a black man that was being lynched and burned on a tree – and it got banned. I’m sure that’s a collectors’ item, the few that were made. But I probably shouldn’t have backed down from it, ’cause it was pretty radical. I got sued many, many times, and settled many times. The first one – my first hit – we got creamed. ‘Rock This Funky Joint’ was War ‘Slipping Into Darkness.’ We got creamed on that. I’ve given away a lotta money in sample clearances, but that’s the cost of a hit record.”

While their musical direction was almost entirely driven by Trenton production mastermind Tony D, by the time PRT dropped their third long player – 1993’s Black Business – they had taken more control over their sound, and handled the beats themselves on nine of the twelve tracks, while their fourth and final album for Profile found PRT enlisting strong assists from KRS-One, Nine, Fu-Gees and Brother J. Father Sha also dabbled in outside production, contributing to projects from close associate Nine, Special Ed and even a cut for the debut album from Destiny’s Child. Here’s a selection of videos, b-sides and beats from Father Shaheed to pay tribute to many years of hardcore Trenton rap. Salutes.

Father Shaheed productions/co-productions:

Poor Righteous Teachers – Freedom Or Death

Poor Righteous Teachers –Here We Go Again

Poor Righteous Teachers feat. Nine – Gods, Earths and 85ers

Special Ed – Just Like Dat

Nine – Uncivilized

Destiny’s Child – Know Dat

Poor Righteous Teachers – Word is Bond

Poor Righteous Teachers – Butt Naked Booty Bless

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6 Comments so far
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Never knew Father Shaheed produced Just Like Dat for Special Ed that’s the joint right there.

Comment by Ben 06.04.14 @

ahhhh you beat me to it, thanks Robbie, dope post.

RIP Father Shaheed.

Comment by Jaz 06.05.14 @

Thank you Unkut!!! Salute and rest in Paradise to DJ Father Shaheed one of the illest DJ’s to cut, I was heavily influenced by all your cut choruses The malty tracking was out of this world I mean Without the cuts on Rock this Funky Joint WOOOOO gives me Goose Bumps!! Holly Intellect and Pure Poverty Beat wise, Lyrics and Cuts are just flawless CLASSIC material, essential HIPHOP right there. I’m losing all my Hip-Hop Heroes man SMH. Please keep repping the culture there’s not that many of us left, And uh can we get Wise Intellect and Culture Freedom on here… we need a classic Unkut interview about Poor Righteous Teachers just sucks the Shaheed can’t be there…Salute Brother travel in peace!

Comment by DialTone 06.05.14 @

Ill Street-Approved

Comment by RBi 06.05.14 @

Oh and the New World Order LP is a em as well @DialTone

Comment by RBi 06.05.14 @

Yes sir Brother RBI very true!! I know you know how nice the brother Shaheed is LOL!!! Oh And please can we give some props to Tony Dee one of the illest white boys in HIPHOP history!! Those beats still make me crazy like how you do that daaam i’m going to go rock out right now to Back To The Lab by Tony Dee of the Jazzy Jay album CLASSIC!!!

Comment by DialTone 06.06.14 @

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