Dallas Penn: “For several years I’ve wanted to politic with Steele from Smif-n-Wessun on the Boot Camp Clique Chronicles. Steele is the self-proclaimed ‘Timberland King’ and after I witnessed a portion of his archives I can cosign that statement.
Timberland actually gifted a couple pairs of boots to me so I could issue them to Steele. Under that pretense I met up with the homey to talk Timberland and what the tree logo means to him. I got WAY more than what I bargained for with my visit. Here’s the 1st of three(3) videos I’m dropping with the Boot Camp Clik general”.
Continuing the session with Video Music Box legend Uncle Ralph McDaniels, he discusses his Classic Concept Productions music video company, dealing with the competition, working on the movie Juice, his Lifer’s Group documentary and why $amhill is ahead of his time.
Robbie: When did it get to the stage where Video Music Box became your full-time job?
Ralph McDaniels: Eventually the station was like, “You’ve got to make a choice. You’re either going to be an engineer or you’re going to do Video Music Box”. From that point on, that was my full-time thing. On the show it was Ralph McDaniels and The Vid Kid – Lionel Martin – he was a guy I grew-up with, who went on to direct some of the best hip-hop and R&B videos in the 80’s and 90’s. I produced and directed, but he directed more than me because I was doing Video Music Box more at the time. We formed a company called Classic Concept Productions. Some of the first videos that we did were MC Shan “Left Me Lonely”, Roxanne Shante “Roxanne’s Revenge”. We worked a lot with Cold Chillin’ Records, so all of Biz Markie’s first videos, all of Big Daddy Kane’s first videos, Kool G Rap and Polo. If it wasn’t for Cold Chillin’, I don’t know if we’d have been as successful in the video business. Before the Genius was the GZA, we did his early videos, Masta Ace, “The Symphony” for Marley Marl. We started to move into some R&B stuff, all of the Bel Biv Devoe stuff. I did all the X-Clan videos, I did Wu-Tang Clan “C.R.E.A.M”, Raekwon “Ice Cream”. (more…)
“Uncle” Ralph McDaniels is an institution in New York hip-hop. Creating the city’s first music video show – Video Music Box – in 1983, he delivered rap videos, concert footage and interviews years before Yo! MTV Raps and Rap City hit the airwaves. He was also involved on the other side of the camera, producing and directing music videos for the Juice Crew, Nas and Wu-Tang Clan amongst others. Celebrating thirty years on the air this month, Uncle Ralph took some time out to discuss how he started off his career as a DJ, the birth of music videos and the impact of filming Fresh Fest 2 in the first part of our interview.
Robbie: Where did you grow-up?
Ralph McDaniels: I grew-up in Brooklyn and then I moved to Queens as a teenager, and that’s where my music really took off. In Brooklyn I was young, but I was influenced by my family, they’re Caribbean and American, so we listened to all types of music in the house. We listened to soca, we listened to reggae, we listened to R&B, we listened to soul music. By the time I got to Queens and started getting some type of DJ set-up in my house, then I could play new music that I listened to and that’s how that whole thing jumped off. When I went to college, I moved back to Brooklyn.
How did you get your start in music?
It was me and my partner, Lionel Martin. Back then, he was called DJ Trip. We had a crew we used to call The Brothership – don’t ask, it’s a crazy name. We started doing clubs, and my first gig in a club was a place called The Blue Ice. People used to pack it in, 300-400 people. That was a lot to me. Back in the days when DJ’s would play, there would be a band, and the band would be the headliner. The DJ was secondary, and then after a while the DJ became the headliner because the promoters didn’t want to pay for a band. Around that time I met Russell Simmons, he lived in our neighborhood and he was a party promoter. They were called Rush parties. Somehow he started working with these record companies and he started becoming a record promoter. (more…)
New Ill Bill track with Pete Rock on the beat. The Grimy Awards drops February 26th and features a helluva good line-up of producers, including Psycho Les, DJ Muggs, DJ Premier, Ayatollah, and Large Professor to name a few.
Check this hour-long 2010 documentary about Freshco & Miz, the winners of the MC and DJ divisions of the 1990 NMS Battle For World Supremacy. Featuring appearances by Ice T, Ice Cube, DJ Enuff, MC Lyte, Treach, Kool DJ Red Alert, Monie Love, Dres, Phife, Yo-Yo, D Nice, MC Serch, Ed Lover & Dr. Dre, Guru, and DJ Wiz of Kid N Play.
New track from Hannibal Stax (who was part of Fabidden Fruit from the Ill Kid Records days) with production from the ever-reliable Marco Polo. Taken from the The Honorable mixtape, which drops next year, hosted by DJ Premier & mixed by PF Cuttin.
The other half of the Metal Clergy has decided to let all of you CD buyers what you’ve missed-out on if you didn’t grab the Grief Pedigree LP on vinyl with this exclusive bonus track. In case you missed it, two tracks from this supurb release made it onto The 40 Oz. 2012…