The radio stations strayed away from the raw hip-hop that they were playing in the early 1990s. We were like, 'All this watered down stuff is dominating the airwaves. We should make a record to make fun of that' and Guru's like, 'Let's call it ‘Mass Appeal.''
I'm a bass player and I'm a drummer - I'm a big fan of bass players.
The passing of my accountant, Mary Coleman, who was the first person I shouted out on 'In Memory of...' was particularly devastating for me. She was beyond my accountant. She was my mother away from home.
The main thing is we never dissolved our Gang Starr contract. We are still signed to each other. We never disbanded the group. If Guru really wanted to super-dead it he would have said, 'Yo, I want out.' And I still would have tried to convince him to stay. We are still Gang Starr.
Yeah, Travis Scott's dad taught me how to ride minibikes and how to repair the engines. His name's Jack Webster. Jack had a drum set and his brother had a bass. So I used to play with them, and that's what started me wanting to get into music and take it serious. And this is before rap.
With 'Family and Loyalty,' I didn't already have an idea for that video. So I called Fab Five Freddy. I wanted to get a director that I didn't have to explain Gang Starr to and he was with it.
The great thing was that both K-Ci and JoJo told me to not make an R&B track that was reminiscent of radio hit records. 'Make a Gang Starr track and we'll write our lyrics to that,' they told me. They couldn't stress it enough.
My crew used to listen to 'Taking It to the Top' by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
I remember Bumpy Knuckles came in wearing all mink everything and said, 'Yo, when I spit my verse, I gotta pull my guns out and aim them.' He was serious! I told him that I was going to duck in the event that those guns accidentally went off. He pulled out the twin glocks, spit his verse in one take and said, 'I've got a meeting to go to' and left!
My mom's an art teacher, so I always had music in the house. She always had records, and I was mesmerized by the mechanics of how a turntable works.
Everything I do is in a New York state of mind. I'm indebted to preserving the sound of the city.
If I feel like something needs to be updated, I'll break my neck to outdo the original.
I love heavy metal, Metallica. I'm into Jefferson Starship and acid rock.
Guru was actually who A&R'd and got Lord Finesse signed because he used to listen to the demos at Wild Pitch. And he was the one who actually said, ‘Yo, this Lord Finesse guy is dope.' And Stuart Fine signed him to Wild Pitch. That's how we became labelmates.
I would always have turntable elements in my records even if it was just one scratch.
Every now and then there might be a beat someone turned down that I have as an unused beat. But everything that predominantly matches the artist in my 30 years of doing this, it was me walking in and sitting there with no drums, no samples, no nothing, and making a beat on the spot.
You can't do seven successful albums and just hate each other. Our yin and yang, and night and day, is what made us great when we went into the studio.