Before then I was just using breakbeat records on turntables and recording over a home stereo. This became so hot which turned out to be Missy Elliot’s best work. The problem is, it didn’t happen exactly like we thought it would.
Famed producer DJ Spinna rose up during the mid-90’s underground rap boom in New York, leading the way for many a rapper to don Jansports and spit at the establishment. Spinna, real name Vincent Williams, came to be a rite of passage for underground rappers. You weren’t sh*t unless Spinna laced you with a remix. Consequently, he worked with everyone from Pharoahe Monch to J-Live to Mos Def to Guru from Gangstarr and even to a young Eminem.
Their first breakbeat hit as Naughty by Nature was a track called O.P.P which sampled the Jackson s hit ABC and was released in on their self-titled album Naughty by Nature. The song peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 , making it one of the most successful rap songs in history to that point in terms of crossover success on the pop charts.
The 10 year “scene” from 1990-2000 in Florida certainly went through a decisive change in its course. In 1993 when I was introduced to the whole thing as a definitive “culture” (not just sitting around listening to music), you would get off work at your construction job or whatever, still be wearing your work uniform, and show up at these late night parties, eat an ecstasy pill, and enjoy some good company. Conversation and the “personal journey” seemed more important than anything else.
I love how the Afrika Bambaata a capella sounds over the Plump DJ’s Shifting Gears mix a lot. Also really like the way the Candi Station and Bounce a capellas sounded over top of Sketch’s Pentangle. But my favorite is the Love Commandments a capella over top of the Boy 8-Bit Cricket Scores track.
What really set things off on the underground was my group Jigmastas and Beyond Real, the single that we had out, starting the label, and working with people like J-Live, Mr. Complex, etc. etc. So I would say ’95 was the year that really started things off. I also had–my first remix was “Microphone Master” by Das EFX and “Stakes Is High” by De La Soul. I did two MC Eiht remixes. And that was it. That was the starting point.
One of the problems with the scene, helping lead to its eventual demise, was that what we were fighting FOR, happened to be exactly what we were AGAINST. As we gathered by the thousands to fight for the respect of this new musical style, when it did morph into something mainstream- we hated it and turned our back on it. 20 years later, electronica is highly respected. Artists like Lady GaGa and 3OH3 have brought techno beats to the masses. Video games have put techno in the hands of 12 year-olds, and car commercials have created techno anthems. WOW- we won! 20 years later techno is still around, and more popular than ever. The problem is, it didn’t happen exactly like we thought it would. Well, it never does. Still, part of the reason the scene is over is that we have nothing to go back and prove.
The Spring Massive at the Paradox is gonna be insane as will Starscape 2009. I am also headlining this huge three-day festival alongside DJ Swamp and like 50 others called Willy Wonka and the Bass Factory on June 19-21 in West Virginia, which I am sure will be an experience!