Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Love and Hell
My second interview almost didn't happen. Arrangements with the record label (Elektra) fell through. The more I got involved in the video game, the less this would happen, but it wasn’t uncommon. Luckily, I was armed with a copy of music video trade magazine that I wrote for and I was able to convince them of my legitimacy when I told them about my video show, which hadn’t really started yet.
I think I ticked group memeber Charlie Brown off as I went about setting up the interview, I went to Busta first. Apparently, Mr. Brown was the leader of the leaders. Sorry, Charlie.
No group out today touches what the Leaders of the New School were about: teamwork. They performed as unit, setting off verbal exchanges between themselves and punctuating their punchlines with gestures and movement. Compare them to today’s rap lords, pacing the stage like caged beasts, stepping on each other’s lyrics and sneakers. Nobody rocked it like LONS did, and nobody has since.
The group disbanded after their second album in 1994. Busta Rhymes ran with respect he gathered as the centerpiece of the group and began a successful solo career. Brown has made occasional guest appearances on other rapper’s songs. Dinco D posted a dis record aimed at Busta on his myspace site recently. If anyone knows what became of the group's DJ, hit me up.
CRAIG: Yo, what's up I'm here with Leaders of the New School.
BUSTA RHYMES: What's goin' on, What's goin' on?
CHARLIE BROWN: Charlie Brown in the house.
BUSTA: Busta Rhymes, lyrical monster!
DINCO D: Dinco D!
BUSTA: You know what I'm sayin'? Yes, Yes, Yes!
CRAIG: You guys have an old school flavor. What were some of your influences?
BUSTA: I mean, definitely influences and examples have to be set, you know. You got a start from a foundation.
CHARLIE BROWN: Cold Crush Brothers, Flash is in there, Afrika Bambaataa –
DINCO D: Chuck D.
CHARLIE BROWN: Chuck D, Run-DMC. There's a lot of people that influenced us. As far as that old school sound, it's only because we work as a unit and as a team, together an that's what the old school was about. Not just one person coming out there by themselves.
CRAIG: Speakin' of teams, a lot of new rappers have come out this year, but one of them has already self-destructed, Brand Nubian. What's going to keep the Leaders of the New School from doin' the same thing?
BUSTA: Well we can't speak on the situation with the Brand Nubians, 'cause we don't know nothin' about it. I mean, sometimes things happen, you got to go through love and hell to come out right. Whatever happened, happened. I just want all of those brothers to still prosper do and do what they got to do.
CRAIG: Have you been approached by any R&B artists to perform on their records?
CRAIG: If you were, would you do it?
BUSTA: We don't know, it depends.
CRAIG: What was it like working with A Tribe Called Quest?
DINCO D: It was cool working with them. They got the same vibe we have. We met up through the business, in New York.
BUSTA: It was lovely.
CRAIG: What do you think about the editor of Billboard asking retailers not to sell Ice Cube's new tape?
BUSTA: I don't agree with it, I don't appreciate it. Because, a man should always have the opportunity to express what they feel. You know what I'm sayin'? If you feel somethin', you should have the opportunity to express it–
CHARLIE BROWN: They tryin' to limit it!
BUSTA: What you feel is for real, you know what I'm sayin'? Bein' that what you feel is for real, and you're real, and you exist in reality, you should have the opportunity to express what you feel.