Volume 9: Raw Like Sushi: Georges Sulmers, Raw Shack Records|
June 27, 2000
What's goin' on, y'all. Glad you could join us on yet another mission! Once again we voyage into the world of indy hip hop with one of the leading figures in the scene, Georges Sulmers of Raw Shack Records. Not only is Georges the CEO of one of the most long-lived indy labels of the "Fat Beats" era of underground rap, he's a serious beathead / record collector in his own right.
Georges may not even remember this himself, but my initial meeting with him was back when I did my first Roosevelt (actually Union Square) record show as a dealer, around 1995 or '96. I had mad records but absolutely no experience whatsoever as a dealer. I really didn't know how I should price most of the records, so I just made up the prices as I went. Georges came to my table and asked how much was the sealed Shades Of Lightning lp chillin' in one of my boxes. I said $75... that sounded about right to me. Shit, I didn't really know what it was worth! He didn't want to pay that much, so we haggled back and forth for a minute but no sale was made. Another guy came over to my table a few minutes later and also inquired about the Shades lp. I told him it was $70. George was still within earshot and was like, "Yo, it's $70 for him but $75 for me????" Just that quickly I'd forgotten the price!!! So I learned a valuable lesson for any novice dealers: unless you have a memory like an elephant, put price labels on your records or people may think you're a less-than-honest groove merchant. Gee, thanks, Georges! (By the way, I don't think I ever sold that copy of Shades Of Lightning... I think I ended up keeping it for myself and it's up on my wall of fame to this day.)
Since that Sunday at the record show, Georges has gone on to make his mark with a number of nice recordings on Raw Shack, most notably his initial foray into the record biz, the classic J-Live single "Braggin' Writes"- a unique joint without a programmed track, just an obscure folk record with a break being cut up as J spit concrete rhymes on top. Revolutionary shit for that time peiod. From there came more uncompromised hip hop records, the latest being releases by cats such as Mood Swingaz, Strict Flow and Showdown.
But what made this interview happen was an e-mail I received from Georges on the last Christmas of the last millenium (see New WOB Vol.7). In this e-mail he pretty much jumped foot first into the ass of the dude who does the Dusty Fingers records after checking the interview I did with the mysterio of comps (see New WOB Vol. 3). Mr. Sulmers probably has reason to beef, since the Dusty Kid put that aforementioned "Braggin' Writes" beat on one of his compilations. So not being one to shy away from controversy, I asked Georges to do this interview and here it is. The trials and tribs of running a label, the real deal on J-Live, record collecting, new Raw Shack info, Georges' love of heavy metal and disdain for comps, a mistaken dis of the Soulman... ah yeah, this one has it all! Read on...
SOULMAN: First question I've got to ask- your name is spelled "Georges" but pronounced "George"- singular, not plural. Is there a story behind the unique spelling or is everybody just saying it wrong?
GEORGES SULMERS : My biological parents are Haitian, and in French speaking countries they spell it with an "S" on the end. It is actually pronounced a little different, but I don't have enough energy or desire to correct people all the time.
SM: How and why did you decide to come out with your own label?
GS: I just didn't want to wait for someone else to get what I was trying to do. I worked at majors before and just knew that A & R really is the place where excuses get made - the "Umm & Ahh" department! It was really just about wanting not to have to cater to someone else's idea of what I should be doing.
SM: What have been the pros and cons of being CEO of an indy label?
GS: The pro is I don't really have to listen to anyone. I can really steer things in a way to really get my point across and work with people I think are really interesting. I'm a big fan of both sides of the coin - the real obvious and real dense - so this gives me the ability to make and put out really what I love. The only con is really that you tend to deal with people who aren't as experienced with all aspects of the music biz so you're constantly being accused of jerking someone someway.
SM: Would you advise other up and comers to put their stuff out themselves rather than going the major label route? If so, what kind of tips would you give them?
GS: I think you should really make sure your shit is tight regardless of what route you go. There's more wack indy shit out now than major label stuff. I mean what's fucking with Jay-Z and Ghostface's new joints right now? You can't say "oh well they got so and so making joints for them" anymore. There was a time when the hottest shit was coming out of indies and now it seems there's just a lot of stuff that's not complete out there.
SM: Of course, I'd be derelict in my interviewing duties if I didn't ask you some J-Live questions. If you'd rather not get into any of that we can skip it, but I still gotta ask. As you must have heard or read, J-Live has had some negative things to say about Raw Shack in the press since he split from the label. Since there are always 2 sides to every story, I thought I'd give you the opportunity to tell your side. How were things in the beginning of your relationship with J-Live, and how did things deteriorate to the point that he's now no longer with the label?
GS: Things in the beginning were great. I mean, we made classics- (that's) what I hear from other people. I think the thing we did was impact people. We made people check for us. I'm not a big fan of airing dirty laundry, but I think it'll be great when his record comes out. He's an amazing emcee and I think it's a testament to what we did together that he can not have a record out for three years and people are still checking for him.
SM: People are saying his upcoming album is crazy. Have you heard it, and if so what's your opinion?
GS: I think I heard an old version of it, but what I heard was dope.
SM: Tell me about the acts you're putting out now, Strict Flow and Showdown. What are they all about and what's their sound like?
GS: SF and Showdown are really at opposite ends of the spectrum. Strict Flow are more on some lyrics type shit where as Showdown is like a Biz-type funny emcee. You just have to hear them cuz I'm biased and it's hard to decscribe when you're so close. I guess if you like the Roots you'll like Strict Flow and if you like Biz you'll like Showdown.
SM: You also have a beat record coming out with cats emceeing on it. What's it called, who's on it and when can I get a copy?
GS: I'm still in the process of working everything out but we have a few working titles, one of which is "Leap Of Faith." I hope to have Sole from Anticon, Count Bass-D, the Arsonists, DJ Signify, the X-Men and few others to bless some shit for me, but it's in the early stages.
SM: What's the significance of the title?
GS: Well why the fuck should anyone care about the shit I'm making? I would say it's a leap of faith that I'd even had the balls to think any of this would work in the first place. It's amazing I'm here 5 years later still having some relevance. I just made a move to do something, and was lucky enough for it to work on some level to where people check for my shit, since every single record I've made has been for totally selfish, personal reasons. I've never made a record based on whether I thought other people would feel it. I just sort of made and worked with cats I thought were cool or interesting. I just think people think it's a lot easier than it is, so it's taken for granted. Think about it, there's really only me and Bobbito left from the initial wave in '95. Everyone else is either gone or started some new thing.
SM: You're doing all the beats on this record?
GS: YES!!! I'll do some collabs production-wise, but a bulk of it will be me.
SM: If you could get anybody at all in hip hop (other than the cats you already have) to record on Raw Shack, who would you get that you think epitomizes your philosophy on how quality hip hop is supposed to sound?
GS: CHUCK D!!! That's the cat who always made it happen for me. Outside of him, there's a few cats I'd love to make a record with - Ghostface, Das Efx, De La, and KRS. I guess the un-obvious person I'd love to work with is Chip-Fu from the Fuschnikens. I think he was about to really do some ill shit, but got caught out there so if anyone knows what's up with him... I'm also feeling Lord Have Mercy right about now. I guess I'm really into a combination of the voice and the words. I just think it would be great to weave something around any of them cats.
SM: Okay, that's it for the Raw Shack questions. Now, the moment we've all been waiting for- the records questions. For those that don't know, you're notorious within the crate-digging community as a vinyl fiend and one of the most knowledgable cats when it comes to diggin'. How and when did your interest in beats and / or records in general get started?
GS: Well, I started back in '91 after chilling with DJ Frankie Inglese who was doing Soul Kitchen in NYC (he's doing the 10 year anniversary this summer at Centro-Fly on monday nights). He's the cat that really sonned me to a lot of shit. I was making beats and I wasn't into the comp/beats and breaks shit. Frank told me about a lot of records. It started with me going to the conventions in NYC. Then I realized that these things were happening everywhere and I had friends all over so I would plan trips to coincide with shows. I was always into records - I play guitar and drums and when I was growing up I was into heavy metal shit, so I was always collecting. It's just (that) I got into the funk around '91. I mean I (still) own the first record I ever bought - Kiss Alive I.
SM: At this stage in the game do you find yourself looking mostly for breaks and joints to use specifically for production, or just stuff to listen to and have as a collector?
GS: BOTH!!! As with a lot of cats, I had a lot of shit done only to hear it come out by other cats and I think it's wack to use something that's already been used, so I trashed a lot of beats. I just got tired of using shit that could potentially get used (by others) and with Frank's help I found out about a lot of shit early on. But I'm also a big James Brown fan, so I'm forever trying to get all his early production stuff and that's mostly straight soul or gospel.
SM: How big is the collection right now?
GS: Albums - 7,000. 45's - 2,000.
It's pretty modest, but there's a perception out there that it's much bigger. I think that's becasue I have a lot of what's the flavor of the month right now. The thing I'm lacking in, oddly enough, is hip hop shit.
SM: Any genre of music you look for more than others when you're out diggin'?
GS: Well, I try to look at every record in the place. It's very random for me 'cuz I'm still looking for some non-beat shit, like metal stuff and prog-rock shit. Plus it's always in the oddest places that you come up with stuff so I try to leave no stone unturned.
SM: Drop some knowledge on the students out there: who are some of the obscure artists in your collection that most people don't know about but should know about?
GS: There are no obscure labels anymore. With all the cats who can't make beats who are doing comps it's hard to have some shit that no one knows anymore. You have poeple looking for really rare shit like Beau Dollar "Who Knows" when they don't have obivous shit like (Bobby Byrd's) "I Know You Got Soul". I think the thing is about having a foundation. In funk, the roots to me are James Brown, George Clinton, Allen Toussaint and Issac Hayes. Everything comes from those four cats and you should learn and get everything thing you can by those cats. They did a lot of shit, not just heavy on the one shit. It gives you depth to know as much of the whole picture. I know cats who don't feel Clinton's shit because of the rock and disco flavors he brought to it, but that's crazy to me. How do you make interesting shit if you're only influenced by one thing?
SM: Favorite labels?
GS: King (I'm a real huge James fan) and Westbound. I'm real obvious! :-)
SM: I hear a lot of producers say that it's wack to go out and buy a record just because some other cat sampled it. What's your take on that sentiment, and do you do that at all?
GS: Of course!! I can't know everything. I think it's more wack to buy comps. You always get props if you got the orginals in my book.
SM: There was some speculation that the flute sample for Mood Swingaz' "The Final Friction" was taken from a comp, primarily because the original is one of those impossibly rare library records. So right now let's end the controversy: comp or original?
GS: Come on, man!!! You think I would talk so much shit and let that go??? Of course Reasons (the cat who produced the song) has the original. The only reason we made it a 45 was that so many fools had used it while we were still trying to finish the 12". It was supposed to be the A-side with Musslin (from the "Moodswingaz Anthem"12") on the flip. When we were mixing we heard the Young Zee (I think that's who came out with it first) shit and thought we should re-think it. The 45 only came out 'cuz we thought we used it totally different than the other cats. Let others wish they had joints - we got 'em!!!! :-)
SM: Well, I guess it's pretty obvious that you're not too crazy about the idea of sampling from comps. Elaborate on your feelings about people who put out comps and those that use them.
GS: Well, I think it was well documented my feelings about those who make comps. I think you guys are wack. I heard that that kid who does the Dusty Fingers comps got jerked for some credit by a rapper which is why he's so salty about the current state of shit. I can only say - don't get mad, make more hot shit. Prove to cats that it's about more than just having a collection in which you've taken it upon yourself to son us on all things funky. The best part is he'd probably beef about how shit from his comps were used by these "inferior" new jacks!!! There's a "no rules" sentiment with a lot of these new beat makers, so can you blame them for not wanting to dig? Where's the incentive if there's a few hundered comps out there? It's a lot of work and plus how hard is it to get Diana Ross records? Hehehe.
SM: When saying how you feel about comps, you say "you guys are wack". Okay... since I personally don't do compilation records I assume you're lumping the "original beat tape cats" such as myself, Kon & Amir, The Con Men, Muro & the Brainfreeze dudes in with the guys who do comps? If that's the case it's cool with me, everybody's entitled to their opinion. But I think there's a big difference in doing a comp and making mixtapes, and it has absolutely NOTHING to do with not being able to make beats! I think most of us who do tapes approach it the same way they would if they were producing an album- I know I do. I just happen to enjoy listening to the original music more than I enjoy listening to somebody using (usually MIS-using) the music for their own hip hop production. Everybody that I know that makes tapes also makes HOT beats of their own and have either produced or are producing records- we all just have a special love of the original music. If you think we do those tapes for the money... man, trust me, I can find better ways to make money than that!!!
GS: Well, I only said cats who make comps are wack. (I wasn't) lumping the mixtape cats into it as well - let's not get defensive! :-) The Brainfreeze shit... I heard it's dope but isn't that what Shadow and Chemist do on their albums anyway? I mean I haven't heard it, but isn't it very similar to "Lesson 4" type shit? I guess I should say it again - I think it's dope if you freak shit or at least try to freak shit and wack if you just make a comp of a bunch of "rare" records and release it. And worse, I think you're just a punk mutherfucker if you not only make a comp but then go into detail about who used what. I just think there's a difference betweeen Brainfreeze and Dusty Fingers and I was only speaking on the Dusty Fingers' of the world. It's not about the financial implications or anything - just don't dis Hip Hop unless you're trying to make it a bettter place and I haven't been clued in as to how making a comp of rare records broadens hip hop's scope. But then again maybe it's not about the Hip Hop which just makes it more pointless from my point of view. See, I'm thinking that Hip Hop is the thing that brought us to search for these old records. That was the shit I loved about it - the fact that someone used this old shit I never really paid much attention to and made it fresh. That paradigm to me is: old shit (music) with new shit (lyrics and the mixing of elements from that old shit). That's what I'm down with. Now I'm all for expanding that horizon, but I think there's still so much exploration to the initial idea that can still be made.
SM: Another controversial subject right now is the absurdly high prices on a lot of the more uncommon records, especially at New York shops like the Sound Library and A-1. Is it important to you to do your own digging and try to find stuff at cheap prices, or do you have no problem going to one of the shops and paying top dollar for a hot record?
GS: Hey, the price is based on how hard people fiend for them. If there weren't these stories of "well, it's hot in Europe right now", or "the Japanese are looking for it", shit, prices would probably be at the very least consistent. But with cats trying to one up each other it's hard to ever see a time when shit would normalize. Plus shit runs hot and cold. Remember when finding Meters records was the shit? Now you can catch them all day for around 20-40 bucks. I wish it was like baseball cards or comic books where there was a consistent price range for shit. This world is still under even Goldmine's radar so it's unlikely it'll ever calm down. I remember when 45's were non-factors - now everyone's collecting them!!! It's really crazy, but you just got to get outside the major cities and shit gets back to reality. I have no problem paying for shit I don't have 'cuz I think the only records I regret are the ones I could've bought and didn't 'cuz of a few bucks. Weldon Irvine's "Liberated Brother" still haunts me!! I could've gotten it for 7 bones in '93 but didn't 'cuz I thought I'd see it again (I was pretty arrogant at the time!) and I'd already gotten the Hank Ballard and Bobby Byrd from (that dealer) for 5 a piece and thought they were rarer records!!!
SM: Oh my god... who was selling those records for THOSE prices, even back then???
GS: LOL... I got around, dun. I was getting mad shit for 3-5 bucks back in the day. You just had to want to get out there. Now I'll still bitch about paying for something (I always want a deal), but now I'll just get it instead of attempting to prove a point.
SM: Right now the whole diggin' for beats scene seems to be getting stronger and bigger all the time. Do you see it continuing to grow in popularity, or do you see it dying out anytime soon?
GS: I hope it dies out soon!!!! I'd much rather have cats who really love the music buying this stuff than the cats who are Shadow-clones who are gonna fall out and be into something else in a few years. But it just makes being ahead of the curve that much more satisfying. I figure (that) every new jack who only wants to catch shit on Brainfreeze but doesn't have "Chinese Chicken" is just another kid who will raise the price of everything. But seriously, I think it makes everything better 'cuz more shit gets unearthed. I realize I wouldn't know a lot of shit if it weren't for some of these new cats. Hell, I retired in '98 and had to come back like Jordan to show cats how hard you can put it down.
|Georges Sulmer's Ten Favorite Albums Of All Time:
|1. Van der Graaf Generator, "Still Life"|
|2. JB's, "Food For Thought"|
|3. Rush, "2112" |
|4. Iron Maiden, "Number Of The Beast" |
|5. Syl Johnson, "Is It Because I'm Black" |
|6. Miles Davis, 'Kind Of Blue" |
|7. Public Enemy, "Fear Of A Black Planet" |
|8. James Brown, "It's A New Day.." |
|9. Metallica, "And Justice For All" |
|10. KMD, "Mr. Hood" |
SOULMAN: SHIT I'M FEELIN' RIGHT NOW
EMINEM: The Marshall Mathers LP
Man, some of these rap magazines I've picked up lately have been reeeeally hatin' on Slim Shady... seems like the sentiment is that a successful white rapper, regardless of his credentials, just can't get love from some critics simply because he's not the right color. Reverse descrimination, is it? I don't know, but regardless of all that, the bottom line is that the kid is crazy nice on the mic. This is not another Vanilla Ice or Mark Wahlberg here, black people. After peeping the latest album by this cat I think it should be clear to anyone that studies the science of lyricism that Eminem is one of the best emcees in history. I know it hurts, but accept it- it's true.
Other than the overboard shock-value shit, which I don't think Em needs to resort to, the biggest problem with the album is the guest appearances. Even Xzibit, who actually drops a tight verse on "Bitch Please II", can't come close to matching Eminem's wit and advanced rhyme construction. Snoop sounds like amateur night on Crenshaw compared to his "nephew" Em. And Marshall's Detroit homies seem better suited for careers on the General Motors assembly line than appearing on records alongside "the great white American hope".
As for Slim himself, I think he takes a little too much artistic license with some of the rhymes... I know every single word doesn't have to rhyme, but he really stretched it at times on this record ("I'm sick of you little girl and boy groups / all you do is annoy me / so I have been sent here to destroy you"... well, it kinda rhymes, I guess). Yet and still, dun is unbelievable throughout the whole album. Only a true connisseur of rhyme writing will be able to understand just how dope he is with his.
So, is Eminem a multimillion selling success in part because he's blond, blue-eyed and has a pointy nose? Undoubtedly. Would a black rapper who makes a record as offensive to women and gays as "The Marshall Mathers LP" be such a media darling and standing atop the charts for weeks on end? Maybe, but I think it's more likely they'd be trying to pull his shit from the record stores, especially with this being an election year (remember the 2 Live Crew?). Regardless, if you look at it strictly from an emcee standpoint, Em is clearly one of the best who's ever put it down. There, I said it. Now let the hate mail begin!
CUT CHEMIST / DJ SHADOW: Brainfreeze CD
At last I got the copy of Brainfreeze that Beni B sent me last October (can you believe they sent it to the Phillipines instead of Philadelphia??? What the hell are they snortin' up at the Bay Area P.O.??). With all the hype about this CD going for crazy dollars on Ebay, I just knew that it wouldn't live up to expectations. Well, I was wrong. It totally EXCEEDED anything I could've imagined it would be. Where as most of us who do beat mixtapes have been said to merely be "showing off" our record collections, Shadow & Cut actually move the crowd with this set of almost all rare 45's. With a set up including 4 turntables, an effects processor and a DAT machine, this diggin' duo don't neccessarily reinvent the wheel but they do take "originals" mixtapes / cds to the next level. Instead of rockin' stuff that others have sampled, they just rock. Obscure funk joints, old radio commercials from the '60's and '70's, and the infamous "Dance The Slurp" 7-11 promo all get destroyed. The biggest thing is that they did the whole thing LIVE, nonstop (although I still would like to know the deal with that Stu Gardner beat... did they chop it and put it on a DAT or what, because they sure didn't just play the record!). Rumour has it that the next Shadow / C.C. joint will be based on the rare American Farmers Of Mississippi record... yee haw!!!
THE NEXT MEN: Amongst The Madness LP
I've had my advance copy of The Next Men's debut album for many, many months now, and I've been meaning to add this to my "Shit I'm Feelin'" list but for some reason kept forgetting. Okay, the madness (no pun intended) has to stop. If you're not up on these European beat kings, wake up time is now. The ill samples are in vast abundance on this record that the good chaps over at Hip Hop Connection are calling a classic, and the arrangements are so lovely by Brad Baloo & Dom Search that you just know these guys have some kind of serious music training. It's not just random chops here, daddy... the samples are regurgitated so musically that you'd probably swear it was all original, not even samples at all.
A gang of mc's show up (Pete Rock's li'l bro Grap Luva, Asheru of Unspoken Heard, my partner Soulson and others) to join in on the fun, and that's what this joint reminds me of- the way records were made when it was more about having fun and less about making money. Dope hip hop, crazy production... yo, run out and buy this joint NOW. Beat fiends will not be sorry.
|Ten Random 45's In This Old Shoebox That's Over By The Window:
|1. The Charms, "Soul Woman" |
|2. John Philip Soul, "That Memphis Thing" |
|3. Cal Roberts, "International Funk" |
|4. Benny Sharp, "Music (I Like It)" |
|5. James Becton, "Tell Me Why" |
|6. Bobby Rush, "Mary Jane" |
|7. The James Young Blues Band, "Funky Booty" |
|8. Nu Sound Express Ltd., "Ain't It Good Enough" |
|9. Marvin Gaye, "You're The Man" |
|10. Jimmy Bo Horne, "Clean Up Man" |
THE E-MAIL MUST GO THROUGH
World Of Beats Tapes: Good Music Or Sinister Sex Drugs?
Before I get into the questions, I gotta tell you them World of Beats tapes are the shhhiyyyytttt... But, more importantly I've found 2 uses for them joints. Not only do I get amped offa listenin' to 'em... I found that the broads get open (literally and clitorally) off them joints. Shit, I tell hon to come to the crib, have one'a your joints on ( Vol 2's the best for that, I've discovered... around the Patrice Rushen and Bobby Caldwell joints) and... bam! Off wit' tha panties....that shit works eyee time!!!!! Word!
Anyway, I hope all's tite wit' your fam and child.
P.S. -- Oh yeah, I still got my Baritone Tiplove joint, but I'm finna burn it at your request... (ha)!
I Like Madlib
Hey, I just finished reading the W.O.B. 8... Once again you done well, son... Check out Madlib's QUASIMOTO "Unseen 2" single, man, that shit is totally hot. Fuck, Madlib switches up the beats all over that track, it's like nothing else I heard before. It's so refreshing to hear that kinda shit... we need more of that shit out there. Yeah, you're on the money with Dilated's lp , it's just hot from start to finish. No complaints there from me. How about a little surprise next time with W.O.B. 9 , drop a MADLIB interview?
Soulman Sez: This is just one of many notes you've sent me advising me to interview Madlib, bruvah... sounds good to me! Numerous people have written in, asking me to interview cats such as Madlib, The People Under The Stairs, DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist and some of the other "loop diggas" in this new generation of hip hop producers. Well, I'd love to do it but I don't know any of these jokers personally. So if any of youse guys are out there in cyberspace and want to be down with this World Of Beats thing, get with me and let's give the people what they want. Remember- no matter how many rare 45's or library records you have, no matter how many indy 12"s you sell, no matter how many coffee houses you tear the roof off of... you still ain't 100% official until you've been interviewed in The World Of Beats!!! In the words of soul sister Momie-O, "you're welcome, stop on by".
Yo whatzup, Soulman. This is Kornbread. You got a tight ass site, nigga. I was wondering if you wanted to trade some shit because I got a few records you might be interested in. So if you can email me back about that shit. Oh yeah, I was wondering if you could tell me what the loop was for that Gangstarr "Royalty" shit. I think it's Latimore but I'm not sure and I really enjoyed a couple of your tapes because I do that same shit and that shit tripped me out to hear that Lou Rawls "Christmas" shit. So I was wondering if you had a copy of East Coast, that band which included Larry Blackman and ol' girl that sung that J.O.B. shit "If You Want To Be With Me". So holla at me about that record shit and let me know if you are going to be in the Dallas area because there is a store called Forever Young Records that has a lot of shit and a store called Paperbacks and Books that goes hard. SO HOLLA AT ME NIGGA!
PS: What is that nigga's name on the Sesame Street albums that has a red head and black hair (I believe) standing sideways and shit. An old Sesame Street nigga- I forgot his name but fuck it, I aint gonna bore you, nigga.
Out - Don't Front,
Soulman Sez: Maybe that "nigga" is Roosevelt Franklin?By the way, I hope you're at least black using that "nigga" word so much (although that still doesn't really make it cool).
thanks for the love!
peace, my nigga,
dat nigga soul
WHO'S WHO IN THE WORLD OF BEATS
HELLO! MY NAME IS:
DJ Bombjack (Jess Fleet)
CLAIMS TO FAME (Look What I Done Did):
Hmm. Had three releases, licensed one to 'Return Of The DJ Vol 3'... used to manage the Scratch Perverts... digging buddy with DJ Cash Money... damn fine club DJ...and a real nice guy too.
HOW I GOT INTO DIGGIN':
Through my main man Mr Thing. Always wanted to know where this great music came from that these people were rapping over... that was around '89, but didn't start buying stuff untill about '92 (when I started earning money). We still go out digging now, secretly competing against each other, although we'd never admit it. Also, my dad used to buy import (I'm UK, you see) albums, so he had James Brown and Cannonball Adderley stuff, and loads more... some really good 60's soul.
FAVORITE SHITE TO SAMPLE:
Ooh, too many. Just depends on the tune, I guess. Funk is great for up-tempo, hard club stuff. Jazz is nice for laid-back shit. We've got a lot of good easy-listening stuff over here, so we can get a real mix going on. As long as it has a groove... I just done a remix of "Breathe & Stop" and used a Country & Western tune for it! Yeah, made me laugh too.
LEVEL WITH ME, DOC... IS DIGGIN' AND SAMPLIN' GONNA DIE ANYTIME SOON?
Only until the breaks run out. But then, people are flipping things still. I loved the way Q-Tip and Jay-Dee flipped (Kool & The Gang's) "NT" for "Breathe & Stop". I'm not too keen on all the new Busta-Missy-Timbaland-Neptunes productions coming out. Sounds too clinical and Human League to me. Beat innovators for the millenium to me will be Shadow, Cut Chemist, Cash Money, The Creators, DJ Format, Mr Thing and of course, moi.
THE GREATEST, MOST ILLEST DAMN DRUMBREAK I EVER HEARD:
Damn, that's a toughy! When I play "Give it Up Turn It Loose" (by James Brown) in a club, that beat feels like someone cracking your skull with a sledgehammer; it's the re-mastered version on Urban. I suppose that or (James') "Soul Pride" simply because of the way the breakdown teases you, and then the break hits you like BLAM! If you had to explain to someone who knew nothing about funk or breaks, just play them "Soul Pride"...
RIDDLE ME THIS, CAPED CRUSADER- ILL ASS BEAT OR ILL PIECE OF ASS?
Well. seeing as I'm currently very happy with my present lady, I'd go for the break. Actually, even if I was desperate, it'd still be the break. At least they stay with you, although I'm sure a woman is cheaper... (HAH! --sm)
BOMBJACK'S BEST STEAL EVER:
What, you mean like "oh, I know where there's a copy of that for a pound/dollar" or actually stealing? I'm far too honest to steal things. I really am. If you're refering to the other "steal" it'd have to be the Titanic album which a dealer friend of mine sells for at least £50 and I got for £6. Done that a few times actually.
HOW COME PEOPLE AIN'T RIDIN' PETE ROCK'S JOCK ANYMORE, EVEN THOUGH
HIS STUFF IS STILL DOPE AS HELL?
Did you guys get that J-Live bootleg with a track that he produced on it? That is the shit! With the greatest of respect, I think the heads in England probably have a broader and more defined taste in music than most (not all) Americans. We've always loved Pete Rock. Except for side 3 of his albums which mysteriously always have the weaker tracks on them...
BOMBJACK'S TAKE ON THAT DAMN "WOBBLE WOBBLE" SONG:
Erm, bad point this, but I don't know it...oops! (Good for you! --sm)
FAVORITE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT:
Without a doubt my MPC2000. I paid full price for it when it came out, with all the optional extras, and then they reduced it by around £400/$600. But it's worth every penny. One of my best investments ever.
THE PLACE TO BE FOR FINDING BEATS:
People always said to me "New York's pointless for digging, you won't find shit", but that simply wasn't true. You just have to be very open minded and look in EVERY rack. It is hard to find stuff for cheap, but it can be done. I was in the Village last summer in Generation Records and I found a Multiplication Rock for $6. I also found stuff like the Andrew Hill album, part of the Blue Note reissue series from the mid seventies. That was $15, and that album goes for £40-£50 in England. People overlook it, but it's a great album. So it would have to be either NY or London, but you do have to dig and I mean REALLY dig.
THE ULTIMATE RECORD IN BOMBJACK'S COLLECTION:
I know some people would say that there are rarer, tougher albums in my collection, and although it's an easy thing to say, probably James Brown's "Payback" album. Quite simply, one of the best albums ever. Nobody fucks with James. Period.
MOST CHEDDAR SPENT ON A JOINT:
If you mean in terms of cold hard cash, about £40 ($60), for a Baby Huey. But I done some trades with a bit of cash for the Bill Doggett album. That was £150 ($240). But what an album...
BOMBJACK'S TOP WANT OF THE MOMENT:
Wow. What a question. Thousands spring to mind... I'd have to say Pleasure Web - "Music Man". Those who know it know why... Oh yeah, or the Rhyme & Rhythm album...
FAVORITE ARTIST TO SAMPLE AND / OR LISTEN TO:
Ramsey Lewis is consistently good. The "Mother Nature's Son" album is in my top 5 albums ever list, put it that way. That song "Cry Baby Cry"...ooh, makes me go weak at the knees.
ANY RECORD DEALERS THAT REALLY PISS YOU THE HELL OFF?
No, not really. Even Bleeker Bob's is good for a laugh. We usually just go in there and have a good old chuckle at his prices, which obviously pleases him to no end. Even the crappiest of stores has something in it every once in a while...
THE MILLION $ QUESTION: HOW MANY RECORDS YA GOT, AND HOW MANY CAN BROTHER SOUL HAVE?
Not that many really, probably just under 2500. If I don't like an album or have no need to sample it, I sell it on. Also, I was moving house a lot until a year ago, and I was fed up shifting crates of bastard heavy records, so I off-loaded around 700 pieces which surprisingly did help. Yeah, you can have all of them as long as you pay for them!
YOUR GIRL CATCHES YOU WITH ANOTHER WOMAN. SHE IMMEDIATELY HEADS FOR YOUR RECORDS AND BEGINS DESTROYING THEM. HOW DO YOU REACT?
I'd just bear-hug her and throw her out of the house. I've put in too much sweat, money and early mornings for that shit.
|DJ Bombjack's Top Ten Breakbeats:
|1. James Brown, "Soul Pride" |
|2. Titanic, "Love, Love, Love" |
|3. John Schroeder, "Get Out Of My Life Woman" |
|4. Keith Mansfield, "Soul Thing" |
|5. James Brown, "Give It Up Turn It Loose (Urban version)" |
|6. Silhouettes, "Fonky First" |
|7. The Showmen Inc, "The Tramp Pt1" |
|8. Cliff Richard, "Jesus" |
|9. Tower Of Power, "Squib Cakes" |
|10. Bill Deal & The Rhondells, "Turk's Theme" |
The Soulman Choice Joints & Funky 45 Joints CDs have been selling like crazy... thanks for your support! Since everybody's CD prices seem to be dropping, I've gotta drop mine as well to stay in the game. So from here on in, single CD's are $12, double CD's are $15. All the new info on tapes and CDs will be on the tapes and CDs page, so check it out...
Many people have been asking about the new Soulman World Of Beats Vol.4 cd, wondering when it's coming out. Soon, very soon- just trying to get a few other projects out of the way first. The title will be simply "Soulman- Neva Stop Diggin'". It'll be new and improved, with better sound quality than the other World Of Beats joints, professionally printed covers, widespread distribution (hopefully), etc. We ain't playin' in 2000!
Some of y'all may know that I've been selling some of the overstock from my collection of breaks and beats on Ebay periodically. For the complete list of what I have selling you can CLICK HERE to check it out. Check back every now and then to see if I have anything up for bid...
Folks in the UK should peep out Breaking Point magazine for a recent article on The Soulman... which issue I can't say because I don't even have a copy of the mag myself! Try to find it, and if you get an extra please send it to me!
And anyone else who wants to send stuff (tapes, records, naked pics of your wife) can address it to:
Soulman World Of Beats
Philadelphia, PA 19119
I'll be back next time with an up close and personal chat with the king of the kung fu battle break records, DJ Paul Nice. The rest is up to you...
Soulman'll say PEACE.
e-mail the Soulman