Larry Smith passed away on the night of Thursday 18 December 2014, seven years after suffering a stroke that left him incapacitated. His son, Larry Smith Jnr. apparently read Larry the article I wrote about him for Cuepoint in October and he is said to have enjoyed it, so at least he knew that there were a lot of people who still appreciated his contributions before he left us.
While his the tributes are flowing on Twitter, there seems to be no mention of the fact that Larry was a ward of the state since his stroke, receiving the minimal attention from the staff for the final years of his life. Where were all these hot shot celebrity friends of Larry when he really needed their support and financial assistance? People such as Talib Haqq, Akili Walker and Spyder-D took the time to visit Mr. Smith in his time of need. I wonder when was the last time that Russell Simmons or Reverend Run took the time out to check up on the guy who helped to get them where they are today?
Russell Simmons actually sold-off Larry Smith’s half of the publishing from their Rush-Groove company to fund the deposit that Columbia Records required to give Def Jam their distribution deal, effectively selling him up the river so he could hand Rick Rubin the keys to the rock/rap blueprint. I can’t help but feel like the hip-hop world let Larry down when he needed them most.
A great moment in rap – the time that LL Cool J went at Run at The Roxy:
Dr. Butcher: That was not Jam-Master Jay, that was [Jay] Philpot [the second Cut Creator] his DJ on the turntables when he was rhyming. Run-DMC was performing after him, so when he’s freestyling he’s talking about Run in that rhyme. They were walking in and that’s why he wouldn’t let go the mic – he had something to say to Run because they weren’t getting along. Then they took the mic from him and pushed him off stage so Run-DMC could perform.
Queens battle MC veteran Mikey D hit up Unkut HQ the other day to make the following announcement:
Mikey D: All through the years, since the 80’s, with [LL] Cool J, each interview that I have the topic of the conversation is always about me and him. Although we went through what we went through, me looking back as a grown man, technically he didn’t do anything to me that was wrong. He did everything that he was supposed to do! But I got caught-up in people’s misery. You know how they say “misery needs company”, so by me still drinking 40 oz’s and still trying to hold on to being the “baddest MC in the neighborhood” title – and you’ve got these miserable people in your ears all the time, hating on him for what he’s doing? Of course I fell into that. I’m going to keep it real and say to him that I apologize for any form of disrespect. I can’t fault a man for my failures. After I left the beer and all of the negative people alone, that’s when I started seeing clearly. Melle Mel also, what happened happened at the New Music Seminar, that was 25 years ago. Let’s get over it. I want to apologize to both of them as a man, because we are all under the same umbrella. Let’s get it poppin’!
Mikey’s new crew Elements of Hip-Hop consists of Mikey D on the mic, DJ Mercury (who worked with Professor X) and Philly DJ legend Grand Wizard Rasheen. Calm Before The Storm drops April 2, with Day of Destruction following later in the year.
Watch Black Rock and Ron drive around in a limo and rap over “To Be Real.” Please note the extra deep V-neck sweaters, Ron Scratch’s portable drum machine and their dancers sporting the world’s most colorful overalls. Just remember kids, “When it comes to skeezers, I lay pipe like a piper!”