To be honest, I’ve found post-Prince Paul De La Soul to be hit and miss. They basically lost 90% of their sense of humor and became Mad Rappers with sometimes questionable beats. That being said, this new song has ESG‘s “UFO” on it, so it’s good money.
Marlon Williams, Jr. is the son of the greatest hip-hop producer of all time, Engineer All-Star Marley Marl. That’s a lot of pressure to deal with. Nevertheless, this classically-trained musician eventually found himself drawn into the world of beats and rhymes. His last couple of instrumental projects – dedications to Dexter Wansel and Alan Parsons demonstrate that he’s been able to develop his own individual sound. We discuss Future Flavas, his relationship with his dad and of course that elusive TJ Swan album!
Robbie: What part of New York did you grow-up in?
M. Will: When I was 5 or 6, we moved to Flushing, Queens. I lived in The Bronx for a little bit and went to school in Manhattan forever.
What made you want to make music?
I was into classical music as a child, and I was around my dad a lot when he was making a lot of stuff – late 90’s, early 2000’s – when Future Flavas was wrapping up, at the height of that. There was a lot of beats going on. I would be in a few sessions, just staying at my dad’s for weekends. They would record Future Flavas there live, every weekend when it was broadcasted on Hot 97. I wouldn’t necessarily be in the studio but I would be in the house. Those experiences steered me in the direction I’m going in now. (more…)
Here’s a preview of the 12 Reasons To Die comic and another track from the album. There are a bunch of different limited-edition sets for the album, featuring all kind of RAERness over at Get On Down. Hopefully the Apollo Brown remix tape will be available separately in the future.
Concluding my discussion with Lakim Shabazz, he talks about leaving Tuff City, remembering his friend Apache, Queen Latifah incorporating the Flavor Unit name and plans for his final album.
Robbie: So how long after the second album did you get off Tuff City?
Lakim Shabazz: I was being managed by Dave Funkenklein. At one point in time, if you wasn’t managed by Red Alert or somebody like that, then you was under Dave Funkenklein. He had me, he had Ultramagnetic – he took us to Paris. I went to Japan through Funkenklein – me, Latifah, Chill Rob G and Latee. Other companies were interested in me, they had tried to buy my contract from Tuff City. The first offer that was presented to Aaron Fuchs was $150,000. You’re talking 1990, ‘91. I think Epic Records had offered him $300,000 to let me up outta my contract, and he just would not do it. So part of me recording all of those extra little songs on those breakbeat albums 45 King was putting out was to fulfill obligatory responsibilities I had on the contract. I did that for two or three years and eventually got smart and got my own entertainment lawyer and managed to get off Tuff City without having to pay no funds or anything, and at this point we’re fighting to get back money from them, so actually it worked in my favor. I don’t have any sour taste in my mouth toward Aaron Fuchs. I was a young guy, I wanted to hear myself on the radio and I was able to achieve that. (more…)
With the exception of Queen Latifah, Lakim Shabazz proved to be the most prolific of the original Flavor Unit line-up, releasing two albums and a long list of guest spots on 45 King projects during his time at Tuff City. Despite his diminutive frame, Lakim wielded “the voice of power” with authority, as he combined the teaching of the Five Percent Nation of Gods and Earths with Brag Rap with a previously unseen finesse over some of the best beats of the era.
Robbie: Where did it all start for you?
Lakim Shabazz: I was always interested in music since I was a little kid. I used to always listen to my mother’s albums and things of that nature. I’m from Newark, New Jersey, and out here spinning club music was a big thing as I was growing up. I started out deejaying, spinning club music, and that’s how I got introduced to hip hop. I met a couple a few DJ’s, and when I first saw somebody spinning the wax back and forth, scratching records, that intrigued me.
When did you start writing rhymes?
I met my DJ, Cee Just, when I was in ninth grade. I was still deejaying, and he convinced me to write my first rhyme. There were a couple of other guys that used to come over to his house and they’d be rhyming. I never even thought about picking up a mic, and he asked me to write a rhyme. I credit my man Cee Just and my brother Lamel Born for that. They inspired me to write my first rhyme and I’ve been rhyming ever since. (more…)
There was a time when I was rocking as much, if not more, LA Rap than I was stuff from New York. This was a time when rapping about shotguns over old Zapp loops was all that was required to impress. So in the spirit of rap blogging from 2006, here’s an hour of great Californian rap music to drive by.