The idea of a hip-hop record was born in 1991, after the record industry and the record companies began to become more sophisticated, but it wasn’t until 1996 when Jay-Z and Biggie released the two hip-hop records that changed this world forever. That record, “Reasonable Doubt” was the world’s first rap album. It’s a really intense, intense record. And it hit the commercial level, and then it hit the internet as well. It became the next big thing in music.
Did Biggie and Jay-Z take some of the concepts from rap?
They didn’t. It wasn’t like, “Yo, y’all have to learn all this and learn these sounds.” It became a matter of, “What can we do with this type of material?”
How had the music business changed?
The entertainment industry changed dramatically. But on the music side, it hasn’t changed at all.
Do you think that is what really gave rap its explosive rise, though?
I’m not sure of the full answer, but from my work with artists, I’ve always told them to get out there and make something that they think is right for their community. That’s what I tell my kids. People say, “What about hip-hop? Who cares?” I like to hear, “Where is the hip-hop?” My kids want to hear what’s out there.
How did he think about how to make that happen?
I had done a whole lot of shows for my friends; I didn’t want to do all the shows, because you get old and you can’t do that much. So I told him to get together people who was really in tune with hip-hop. He’s been doing concerts ever since.
“I just started playing drums. I just had a sound that wasn’t really there yet, so I wanted to get back into it.”
What made you want to break out?
I just started playing drums. I just had a sound that wasn’t really there yet, so I wanted to get back into it and I went to a music teacher in Pittsburgh. My buddy, Andre Carter, started helping me break my back and my back started hurting when I was doing this. So he used my drums in the next show and it took off from there.
When did you start writing lyrics?
When I was in high school, I would go see the
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