Jonathan Shecter aka Shecky Green – The Unkut Interview, Part 2
Concluding my sit-down with Shecky Green (you can read Part 1 here), he explains catering to an expanding readership, getting Illmatic six months before the rest of world, the Game Recordings era and working the party scene in Las Vegas.
Robbie: As you began to expand, you were able to start putting on shows like The Source Tour, right?
Shecky Green: We did the tour and we had some legendary shows in New York. One of them was Cypress Hill when they were red hot – “…Kill A Man” had just come out and they were the biggest record in New York. We did a show that was so insane – there were people jumping off the fuckin’ ceiling. It was nuts! The walls were coming down! Then we did an incredible show with the Hit Squad, at this spot on the West Side Highway. It was the entire Hit Squad – EPMD, Redman, K-Solo, Das-EFX and many more guests. Every single incredible song they ever created was performed that night.
Jonathan Shecter aka Shecky Green – The Unkut Interview, Part 1
Jonathan Shecter rose up from his humble beginnings rapping over Wild Cherry loops as a member of Big Men On Campus to starting The Source magazine, which was the definitive hip-hop bible for many years, setting the stage for other great publications that followed in the mid 90’s such as On The Go, ego trip and Stress. Shecky took some time out of his busy schedule as a Las Vegas party promoter to reminisce about the early years spent documenting the music he loved.
Robbie: How did your involvement in hip-hop start?
Jonathan Shecter: I’m just old enough to have heard “Rapper’s Delight” when it came out on vinyl. Somebody came into school and played the record on a plastic Fisher-Price turntable. I heard that beat, and I kinda recognized it, ‘cos I was already into disco at a very young age, and I was immediately intrigued. A couple of days later, I went to a record store in Philadelphia and asking if they had the record where the guy talks about a bottle of Kaopectate, and he was like, “Yeah, that’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’”. They gave me the vinyl and I bought it. I was hooked right away. I was consuming the radio in Philly at the time, which in the early ‘80s was Lady B. I would record each show on cassette and analyse it and try to figure out what each song was. I had some friends in New York, and they would bring down tapes from Red Alert and stuff like that. I would go to the record store all the time, and I would try to stay up on records from Sugarhill, Profile, Tommy Boy, Enjoy and later Def Jam. I was an avid consumer from day one.