Survivors, family members seek justice for girls preyed on by R. Kelly (Video)

Via DN!

In a web exclusive conversation, we speak with Angelo Clary, whose daughter Azriel Clary met R. Kelly at the age of 17 and moved in with him with hopes of advancing her music career. He hasn’t seen her in almost four years. We also speak with Oronike Odeleye, co-founder of #MuteRKelly—a campaign to end R. Kelly’s music career—and an Atlanta-based arts administrator…

“Give Your Love To Me”…

Carlos ‘After Dark’ Berrios gives the backstory on the TKA Freestyle classic…

In the last post, I wrote about “Give Your Love To Me” and how it came to be. Well it seems that I didn’t have the entire story! And it’s a great story to tell.

In the Bronx, there was a small studio that was home to Blue Dog records, which released both Marc Anthony’s self penned “Rebel” and Chrissy I-Eece’s “Love Desire”.

The studio was run by Chrissy I-eece and was a regular hangout for producers and artists, myself included.

At any given time you would see people like Marc Anthony, who at the time was writing songs for, and tutoring the boy band Menudo back when Ricky Martin was still part of the group.

Marc would also sing background on their tours when he wasn’t experimenting in the studio. Marc eventually started recording Latin tracks in that little studio. But not before working on several Freestyle records as writer, producer and singer. Many people are not aware of his work in the dance genre.

It was in this studio in the Bronx that “Give Your Love To Me” was created. Written and recorded by K7, the demo was produced by Frankie Cutlass, with K co-producing, as a possible TKA record.

Chrissy I-eece and Marc Anthony were only feet away in the studio and were easily recorded on the break along with George Lamond, Danny “Holiday” Vargas and Joey Kidd. It was to be an All-Star finish to a TKA record.

The demo was then presented to TKA’s legendary producer, Joey Gardner. But Joey, who didn’t like the record, turned it down.

K7 tells me, “Joey Gardner would often reject my demo’s and it would drive me crazy. He would turn them down but then later come up with something similar only transformed in a different way. For examlple, “More Than Words Can Say” was also rejected at one time and came close to never being recorded.”

With “Give Your Love To Me” rejected, K7 suggested that Frankie Cutlass record and release it as his first solo record. (This is the version that I heard back in 1991)

The demo was presented to Fever Records with Frankie Cutlass’s vocal and was to be released. But there was a dispute as to the ownership of the master with the owner of the studio.

With no compromise being reached, Fever Records decided not to release the record.

But, Frankie had been playing the demo off a cassette tape for anyone that would listen. (That’s how I came to hear it.) Eventually, an underground buzz swirled around the demo with the All-Star ending.

After Joey Gardner heard about the buzz he changed his mind and decided to record the record after all. But it had to be re-created because the master was at the studio and could not be used.

The new version of “Give Your Love To Me” was to feature K7, George Lamond and Joey Kidd as the new TKA. But that lineup never materialized.

There was even a moment when Marc Anthony was considered for TKA, being that K7 and Marc had been best friends since High School. But according to K, Joey Gardner felt that Marc would outshine anyone that tried to sing next to him.

There was also concern over their notorious girl chasing. The idea of having K and Marc on the road together was seed for concern and eventually the label rejected the idea.

“To this day, I feel it was the worst mistake they ever made, to not put Marc in the group”, K says.

K7 finally recorded the TKA vocal with the guidance of Marc Anthony. “Marc coached me through that performance. I did what Marc told me to do”, K tells me.

Ultimately “Give Your Love To Me” found it’s home on the Louder than Love LP, without the All-Star break. The idea was rejected by the label.

Quincy Jones on Hillary Clinton, The Beatles, and who killed JFK…

A very interesting interview with the legendary music producer, to say the least…

You just mentioned the Clintons, who are friends of yours. Why is there still such visceral dislike of them? What are other people not seeing in Hillary, for example, that you see?

It’s because there’s a side of her — when you keep secrets, they backfire.

Like what secrets?

This is something else I shouldn’t be talking about.

You sure seem to know a lot.

I know too much, man.

What’s something you wish you didn’t know?

Who killed Kennedy.

Who did it?

[Chicago mobster Sam] Giancana. The connection was there between Sinatra and the Mafia and Kennedy. Joe Kennedy — he was a bad man — he came to Frank to have him talk to Giancana about getting votes.

What were your first impressions of the Beatles?

That they were the worst musicians in the world. They were no-playing motherfuckers. Paul was the worst bass player I ever heard. And Ringo? Don’t even talk about it. I remember once we were in the studio with George Martin, and RingoJones arranged a version of “Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing” for Starr’s 1970 solo debut album Sentimental Journey, which was produced by the Beatles’ frequent collaborator George Martin. The song, and album, are more than a bit gloopy. had taken three hours for a four-bar thing he was trying to fix on a song. He couldn’t get it. We said, “Mate, why don’t you get some lager and lime, some shepherd’s pie, and take an hour-and-a-half and relax a little bit.” So he did, and we called Ronnie Verrell, a jazz drummer. Ronnie came in for 15 minutes and tore it up. Ringo comes back and says, “George, can you play it back for me one more time?” So George did, and Ringo says, “That didn’t sound so bad.” And I said, “Yeah, motherfucker because it ain’t you.” Great guy, though.

Drink Champs: Steve Stoute (Video)

Happy Turkey Day to everyone out there! Here’s a recent interview from NORE’s Drink Champs with Steve Stoute. Pretty interesting stuff. On hearing Nas’s original beat for his Ether diss of Jay Z: “I take off my coat like, we staying here all night. we gotta fix this. This is a mess.. If this shit comes out, your career is over”. Rumors say it was a Swizz Beats beat. Ouch!

AZ talks new song ‘Save Them’…

The full AZ interview is up now. You can catch this cut on my May Mixtape.
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    The latest single “Save Them” features a snippet of a speech by Louis Farrakhan. Why was it important for you to take a clip from the Minister and place it in this song?

    Farrakhan is the voice of the hood. He’s a voice of the world. He’s for our people and he’s been there since the beginning. So at the end of the day, he has that powerful speech that was needed to reach the people. When you hear his voice, you will fall back and you’ll take notice and listen. And that’s what I was trying to get across to get the ears of the youth. When I was putting this record together, a lot of my peers and fans were like, ‘Yo, you got to save us!” And I use to be like, ‘Save you from what?’ and they would say, ‘The music now has no substance. We need substance. Save us.” So that’s where I got the title from.

    Why was it an important decision to add Raekwon and Prodigy on this album?

    They’re swords are sharp lyrically. And we all love lyrics. We wanted to bring that to the table. So me knowing that their discography contains nothing but that and they specialize in that.

Snippet of a new AZ interview…

Here’s a snippet of an interview AZ did over at Billboard, which includes his Buckwild-produced new cut with Raekwon and Prodigy…

It’s wild that this is the 20th anniversary of The Firm. What was that whole experience like working with Dr. Dre and being on Aftermath?

I mean you got to understand, we all were popping before that, so dealing with Dre, I was appreciative and I could respect it, but at the same time, the family thing was better. We all could connect and had love, especially me and Nas, and [Foxy Brown] was doing her thing. So to come together and do a project — it was a blessing. Of course Dre was going through his transition at the time too. He represented that West Coast so crazy. I just wanted to really get some of that Dr. Dre music, and that “Phone Tap” really set it off.

That crew solidified two strong MCs. It put a blueprint together. What do you think The Firm brought to the game?

We brought something together that some people probably have never thought of. As of now, a lot of powerhouses come together, even in R&B. I think we set that off. Usually, groups came in the game [already together]. It never was people coming together individually. We were the first ones to get together after having our own lane.

Are you still collaborating with a lot of people from the era?

Yeah, [my new single] “Save Them.” The sound was shifting. A lot of brothers in the street were [telling me], “You got to save us.” And I’m like, “Save y’all from what?” So I took that title to save the people, then [producer] Buckwild played a joint in the studio called “Save Them,” and I was like, “This is it.” I just wanted to bring some brothers who I know respect the craft. Raekwon — that’s my brother from day one, and Prodigy [of Mobb Deep] is from that era as well. I just wanted to put something together that I know that audience will appreciate. Even the shorties will say, “Oh that’s what this about,” and they will gravitate towards it. So that’s the goal: We want to save the people and save them from themselves.

“Building was where Kid Capri really made a splash.. He came to Building and utterly destroyed the place on a weekly basis. And, you know, that was before the internet, but the word of mouth was so strong, and what Kid was doing in that room, it just elevated him to a whole other plateau as a celebrity”

DJ Stretch Armstrong takes us back to the Building club days


*pic from the personal archive of Stretch Armstrong*

THE STANDARD: How old were you when Building opened and what was your life like at that time?

STRETCH ARMSTRONG: I was 19, 20 years old. At that time, I was going to clubs every night. If I wasn’t working in them, I was hanging out at them. I was club-rich. I could go and drink for free. Anytime a new club opened that was the place to be, it was completely normal for me to go there three, four nights of the week. For a lot of us who were not just in the scene, but kind of connected to the scene, a club just became like everyone’s living room. When Building opened, it was the place to be and I was just kind of connected to that network of people.

Was the music the primary attraction for you?

That was a big part of it. Part of my reason for being in clubs every night was to be noticed, and to be a recognized face, so that it would make my chances of getting on easier. I totally wanted to play at Building. It was a great room to play in—massive, super high ceilings, big sound system, dark space. The dark space allowed people who might be self-conscious to lose their inhibitions and dance.

What was the most memorable thing you saw there, musically?

Building was where Kid Capri really made a splash. If you were into hip hop, you might know him, but if you were just more of a downtown club person who liked hip hop, you may not have known Kid Capri. He came to Building and utterly destroyed the place on a weekly basis. And, you know, that was before the internet, but the word of mouth was so strong, and what Kid was doing in that room, it just elevated him to a whole other plateau as a celebrity.

What was so unique about his style?

The DJs that I idolized coming up, like Clark Kent, they didn’t really talk. They were just nasty with their hands and their music. Kid Capri was the first deejay I ever saw who would regularly turn the music off, just like oozing with confidence, and with this super loud voice just command the crowd to do stuff. He would have them in the palm of his hand and the music would come back on at exactly the right time, just as he was getting the crowd into a frenzy. There was this give-and-take that was incredibly dynamic and powerful. He didn’t use the mic because he was making up for any deficiency as a deejay. It took his deejaying to another level because he was always nasty on the turntable, but the added dynamics of that crowd control, that was just something that people downtown hadn’t really seen.

Do you recall the people you’d see there?

De La Soul had a party there, Black Sheep did a party, A Tribe Called Quest. It was one of those clubs where the hip hop industry—whether people from labels, managers, or the artists themselves—were commingling with the club scene, the club clientele.

My favorite invite was for a short-lived night that Jessica [Rosenblum] started on Saturdays called Jessica’s Nickel Bag Lounge. The area was really, really high up, like four stories up, and it was closed off from the main floor. You took these industrial stairs. The flyer was a green piece of paper with a little Ziploc bag, the kind that you would cop marijuana in at Washington Square Park, with a chunk of oregano in the Ziploc, like a dime bag.

What made you keep the flyers from the club?

I think at some point I realized that these were ephemeral items that were a part of a really exciting time of my life. And I was right. Because as time goes on, you realize that that era from ’88, to maybe like ’92, was a really, really special time—in clubs, in music, and everything.

Are there specific tracks you associate with that time and the club?

Oh yeah sure. For house music: Lil Louis “I Called U”, Lidell Townsell “Nu-Nu”, Crystal Waters “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)”, Underground Solution “Luv Dancin”, Frankie Knuckles feat. Robert Owens “I’ll Be Your Friend”, Jay Williams “Sweat”, Bobby Konders “The Poem”. For hip hop: Nice and Smooth “Hip-hop Junkies”, Jungle Brothers “J Beez Comin Thru”, Black Sheep “Choice Is Yours”, A Tribe Called Quest “Can I Kick It”.

What you’ve got to remember is that back then New York was still the center of the world when it came to clubs and music and particularly hip hop. I mean all these records were breaking out of New York on the weekend mix shows and in clubs like Building. Back then, people went to clubs to hear their favorite song, which they heard on the radio. You would go to a club, to hear records that were hot, but you’re also going to hear new music. And that wasn’t something that would frustrate people—that was something that people looked forward to.

How was Building different from other clubs that were around at the time?

Building was a short-lived club. People were genuinely heartbroken when it closed down. It never went through the normal lifecycle of a club where, when it opens it’s hot, and then it gets less popular, and then, sadly, it becomes a hip hop spot. Building was very pro hip hop. I mean they had a lot of different things going on, but the hip hop nights weren’t just an afterthought or a footnote to a club’s previous glory days. From the jump, they were doing hip hop nights.

Do you have any Building stories?

Actually, I do have a Building story…it’s kind of a sad story. Kid Capri and I eventually became friends, I would say this was probably like ‘93, ’94. And we were hanging out and he tells me that he wants to buy Building and reopen it as his own club. I said, “Oh that’d be so cool, a deejay opening a club.” And then later that day, I happened to be in that neighborhood and I drove by where the Building was and it had just been torn down. It was a pile of rubble.