Sunday, February 27, 2011
illuminati2g interview with Chris "The Glove" Taylor
If you don’t know who that is
ya might want to do your homework.
The legendary DJ/producer talks about his work with;
-Ice T (Radio crew,Breakin' (the movie),Reckless,Breakin' 'n' Enterin')
-Ruthless Records, Death Row and Aftermath records.
-Working with Eazy E and Dr. Dre.
-Po Broke N Lonely and so much more.
How’s it going?
Going great, how about you?
With those unfamiliar with your start,
tell me a little bit about how you got your
start in music and who are some of
your musical influences out there coming up.
Oh wow, I got my start in music 1983,
I became a DJ and basically
taught myself how to DJ. I had one person,
Tony Joesph, that showed me the ends and outs
and he was the only person I knew from
the east coast that had any understanding of DJing.
He taught me a few things and everything
else I learned how to do on my own.
I taught myself how to scratch, mix,
blend and all those good old things.
After that I moved along and kind of
conquered Los Angeles by doing alot of
house parties and moving on to the bigger clubs.
I ended up at this one club called Club Radiotron...
(It was located on Park View St. between
7th & 8th Streets, near MacArthur Park in Los Angeles.)
...where I pretty much got my nickname The Glove
and it got me in the movie Breakin and Breakin 2,
hooked up with Ice T and a whole lot
of big things branched off from that.
That actually leads right into my next question.
What was it like working with Ice T
back at that time and being in the Radio Crew
and being one of the founding pioneers on the
west coast as far as DJing is concerned?
Well to answer the first part of that question,
working with Ice T was great,
that guy is a fun guy (laughs).
Everytime we got together it was a blast
and as far as being a founding member of
the Radio Crew and a west coast DJ,
you know you really don’t know you
are doing all that when you are doing it.
But as I look back on it,
it was really a great learning experience
and I am proud to be a part of that.
After that, you then started to work with
Ruthless Records with the group Po Broke N Lonely.
At that time for that R&B group,
that was a pretty groundbreaking
group and style that you had.
Tell me a little bit about your time
in being with the group and being with Ruthless.
Oh wow, yeah the whole thing with Ruthless
was also a great learning experience.
Me coming from a DJing background,
I wanted my music to be in the club all the time.
I wanted it in the clubs with BBD and all
those other groups that were out at the time.
But I wanted our sound to have more of a edge
lyrically as well as musically.
A friend of mine introduced me to Dr. Dre,
I would say around 1989,
and its funny because we never met even
though we were coming up at the same time in LA,
he was over in the Compton area
and I was on the west side.
Actually I was the first one to get
a platinum record out here for Breakin.
Me and Ice T, Breakin sold 4 million so we were
the first to go platinum before everybody else...
...Me and Dre met, and I told him about my
concept of the group and I let him hear a few things.
Him and Eazy jumped right on it because
Ruthless did not have a R&B group at the time.
RC, myself and Mike Lynn we just had another
party making those songs man and we did
alot of things that people are not aware of.
We have alot of stuff that
I like to call the Lost Sessions,
I probably have…., shoot, 40, 50 songs
that no one has ever heard that would still
be relevant today if you heard them.
Moving along though,
when we were just trying to break
loose with Ruthless through Epic,
there became a problem.
We discovered a issue financially that
Eazy and Dre were gonna fall into.
A friend of mine was looking over the contracts
and told Dre that Eazy was screwing
him on his contract and not
playing him what he was owed.
Dre and Eazy fell out and that left us in limbo.
Without a unified front to push our music,
we was just kind of stuck there swinging in the wind.
We decided to leave Ruthless along with Dre,
and I worked with Dre on the Chronic
in the meantime and we also worked
on a song called The Sex Is On,
which was on the Deep Cover soundtrack.
Deep Cover was the first
release from Death Row actually.
From there, we finally got our
release from Ruthless after Eazy E
passed and then he went on
and signed with Atlantic Records.
That is where we did our biggest work,
Twisted and all those other songs,
those were on Atlantic.
Like you said earlier,
Dre then leaves Ruthless
and goes to Death Row.
Tell me a little bit of the differences
working on Death Row as oppossed to
working with Dre at Aftermath.
Well I will tell you the thing
that was definitely different on Aftermath
than Death Row was you was not
seeing the beatings (laughs).
There was alot of beatings going on at
Death Row and none of that was
happening at Aftermath.
At Aftermath it was strictly business
and at first I was not interested in
joining up but the lead singer of
Po Broke N Lonely, RC,
convinced me to come on along
and jump on the train.
I agreed and started out as
a staff producer and co-collaborator
with Dre as I always was.
It was good,
interesting times in my life and
I believe that the first album,
it sold like a million copies,
that album was unheralded.
Musically there was alot of
good stuff on there and we
reached out and did some different things too.
The most that I can say about that
time period was that it was another
instrumental learning period leading up to
Chronic 2001 and everything after that.
Dre at that time did not work on alot
of albums outside of the label,
even when he was on Death Row.
The one album that he did do was The Firm,
which from the outside looking in had
crazy expectations that almost seemed unattainable.
What are your thoughts and opinions working
on that album and memories that
you have in working with The Firm?
I will tell you this,
Nas and AZ,
those are some great dudes man.
Nature too, but I’ll tell you the
thing that did The Firm wrong was that
their first release was the wrong release.
When they came out with Firm Biz,
that was not what people were checking out for.
When Phone Tap came out,
it resurrected that whole project and
if they would have released Phone Tap first,
all the expectations would have been achieved.
People would have been like woah
this is what they sound like,
I can’t wait to get the album.
That record was dead in the water before
Phone Tap and that single pushed it to
platinum on the strength of just that one single.
It was a real heavy political thing and
the releases were chosen by Steve Stoute.
He was trying to push his crew,
and they wanted a more traditional
east coast sound and the first single
to not be a Dr. Dre one with a more west coast song.
We totally redesigned what
we was doing before that project.
Our music was all mob music,
we was not trying to be east coast or west coast,
it was just about the mob.
Firm was a family and we was coming with
mafia music and that is where my mind was,
being the co-creator of Phone Tap
and all that mafia music on there,
that came from my mind and Dre’s mind.
We sat there and brainstormed on a ton of stuff.
Bud’da was there and Mel-Man was there as well,
on the other side they had
Trackmasters and L.E.S. as well.
If you really listen to the records
you can almost hear the difference
in production styles and values throughout.
It does not have a cohesive sound
from beginning to end the way it should have been.
Even if you look on the back of the album,
there was like a thousand logos on it.
You had every record label in the world on there (laughs).
You had all these strange deals,
Foxy had to have her label and logo on there,
so on and so forth,
Cormega was not on the record because
him and Nas fell out so
we ended up going with Nature.
Nature is a beast on his own,
but that album really was not
a fair place for him to catapult
from because people were expecting Cormega.
We had fun making it and we
did the album all in Miami,
because back then they were not coming to
the west coast and we was not going to New York
so we did it in a neutral site.
Kind of like how they do the Super Bowl (laughs).
It was great times man.
I had nothing but good times doing all of that stuff.
So basically now after that album,
you transition into Dre’s sequel,
which I consider the best sequel
to a debut album in hip hop history.
What was it like linking back up with
the artists that you worked with at
Death Row and then linking up with the fresh,
new talent, Timebomb, Knocturnal, Hittman?
Hittman was great and he did a majority of
Dre’s lyrics on that album.
He was a writer in A LOT of those raps
and that is why Hittman did not come out.
He was supposed to be released as a solo artist
but people would have said that he sounded like Dre.
Dre kind of swallowed him up because he needed
him for that album and after he got through with him,
you hardly ever heard anything from him.
On each album,
I have a signature song on there that
I co-produced or did work on.
For instance, on the Chronic,
I co-produced Stranded On Death Row...
...and on The Firm I co-produced Phone Tap.
At the time I was not getting the…,
I mean people always knew what I did,
I would get phone calls from different celebrities
or people that were in hip hop or in the business that knew.
But the credits were not in print like it should have been,
but I never had a problem with it.
I always compare it to a college education,
you learn and then you go out and do your thing.
In between that though,
I played the keys on Hello for NWA on Cube’s album...
...That was a comeback for them (N.W.A) at the time.
It was a big record out here on the west coast
but working with all those guys,
I got to say man, it’s like when people play the Lakers,
they bring their best game.
All these cats ALWAYS came with it,
even guys like Hittman that you never heard of.
I don’t know what is taking Dre
so long to come with this next album though.
This is a great sequel,
but if you have 9 years to create your sequel…,
you got to remember the first Chronic came out in 1992,
Chronic 2001 came out in 2000 and
Detox is still not out and we are nearing
20 years since the first one came out.
Dre has only done 2 albums but I expect that this next one…,
some kind of way his albums meet expectations.
So what caused you then to leave
Aftermath and what have you been up to since then?
I wanted to strike out on my own and
I wanted to show that
I am a great producer without Dre.
People would always say oh you are
great when you are with Dre,
and that’s cool, I mean Shaq & Kobe,
when you are part of a team, you use teamwork.
But I wanted to get out on my own
and get out of the whole umbrella.
Eminem came out and his lyrics…,
I used to have to listen to
my music in my car and study it.
I had a young daughter at the time
who would repeat everything that she
heard and I wanted to get away from the words
and gangster rap can be very sick and sinister.
I felt like at that time, that is not
the direction I wanted my music to go.
So I decided to step away,
and I also had a medical situation and
I had to have brain surgery,
so that also made me step back for a bit,
and I also got involved in television.
I started composing for different shows,
but alot for the UPN Network back then.
I did all the shows on there,
I did Girlfriends, The Parkers, The Game,
not to mention network shows, Medium, NCIS,
you know all over the place.
It was better for me because
I got away and I was able to put together a different,
but more stable type of life.
I ended up meeting my future wife and
having another child and ready got core
family values and that is what happened
to me and got me to step away from that.
You are currently working with
a artist named Young Pistol.
What makes Young Pistol different from
the artists that you have worked with in the past?
I am actually working with another cat,
Pimpin Ten aka John Wayne.
Young Pistol is actually my prodigy and
I will be honest with you,
he reminds me of Kurupt.
I think he has a million lyrics and
he will freestyle anybody and go in a circle
until everyone is done with lyrics and just keep going.
That is what I like about him
and cats are not doing that anymore.
You meet artists and they are about one thing,
they players, partying, banging,
and he is not about all of that.
Even though he grew up in the jungle,
the hood, he is a good kid.
Almost seems misplaced and he should
have been born on the east coast.
Being that you have worked with
so many west coast artists,
what are your feelings on this supposed
new west VS old west rivalry that is going on?
I love the new west,
I don’t know where the term came
from but I like it.
New, young talent infused into west coast hip hop,
but I don’t know the whole old west,
new west seems to me that there is
some bitterness coming from the older guys
that are trying to not let go or something,
I don’t know man.
When you are coming from the
perspective of a producer,
you can produce old west and new west.
If you are a rapper and you have what
people consider a old west sound,
that is what it is.
I can see Ice Cube’s point also and
I know he felt disrespected but also these kids
grew up listening to us and I think they have respect now.
They may not always say it but alot of
them know they would not be rapping if
they daddy was not listening to
Ice Cube, NWA or Ice T, King T.
They would not even know how to make
these records and in LA there is a studio
on every street because we showed people
how to put a studio in their house.
When I was coming up there was no
studios accessible like it is now.
I had to go the valley to work in a studio,
so yeah I believe in the new west and
I want to see someone come out and shine.
Like how Drake blew up and now he is everywhere,
I want someone from LA to come up and be that.
I mean this is LA,
this is not some small market,
we need someone that will stand up and represent us.
New west, old west, it does not matter to me,
they just need to be tight.
Do you see any new artists out there now
that can step in and take that role?
I will be honest with you,
I think Young Pistol could be something serious,
but there is so much politics out here.
Especially when your trying to
direct artists in the right direction
they need to be going, and that is causing alot
of good artists to fall by the wayside.
I remember when Glasses Malone
first came out and he is tight to me.
Guerrilla Black was cool,
and he could have been something,
but we don’t tend to work cohesively
with one another here on the west coast.
We don’t get together and band behind something out here.
We are like the 5 boroughs but all separate.
We are not trying to come together like say a
New York does, we don’t do that.
You have Los Angeles, Compton, South Central, Watts,
you know that is really just one city.
I mean Compton has their own mayor but
it is really LA County, but yeah it is really
alot of separatism here where it should be more unity.
I don’t think that it is ever going to change
and I think it is because of the diverse backgrounds
and where our parents were all from
different parts of the country,
nobody is really 2,3,4 generations
of grew up in Los Angeles.
They are 1 or 2 generations
removed from being somewhere else,
like I was born and raised here but
both my parents were from somewhere else.
Once you have some generations that
grow up and go to school together,
then we will have more unity.
But until we get unity,
we will have division,
we will have old west VS new west,
how stupid is that?
In being that you are a producer,
besides the obvious changes in technology,
what do you feel about the production game
that has changed the most now as opposed to
10, 20 years ago and who are
you feeling as far as new producers?
Well to answer your first question,
my first records,
I had to go to these lavish studios,
do all this work, spend all this money,
hire a engineer until I learned how to do it myself.
Now everything that I have is on my laptop,
including my pro tools,
which I can use without hardware.
I carry around 10 studios in one bag
and I really love that.
If this had been out when I was young,
we would have changed the game 10, 20 times over.
It would be something completely different right now.
When I started producing,
they did not even really have MIDI,
it was just instruments being connected together.
Then MIDI came out and I grew up during
that whole development,
it might seem like a long time ago
but we are only talking about the 80′s.
As far as producers,
I really have not kept up with alot
of producers that is new that stands out to me.
It seems like it is the same people
still out there doing it.
My favorite producer is Timbaland.
Yeah he is up there for me also.
He is incredible.
He is something else and he is the same way,
his studio is in his bag as well (laughs).
Last question for you,
if you had any advice to give to people
wanting to get into the music industry,
rappers or producers, what would you tell them?
I would say before you get into the
music industry, you have to have
a certain type of mentality.
You have to be dedicated because people
will hate on you and no one will believe in you.
Could be your girl or someone else
giving you a hard time.
Definitely stay in school and finish school.
With the technology out now,
you can work on your music in your house
and put it up on I-Tunes for sale (laughs).
I have songs for sale on Facebook,
but yeah it is so easy for people
to get their music out there
and for people to buy it.
If we could have went from the
roota to the toota like that and
sold records 10 years ago like that,
record companies would have BEEN out of business.
We were selling CDs literally out the trunk of cars,
now you can sell them out of your bag or your laptop?
But the problem is,
people do not have enough cash
to promote and really develop their art
and their craft the way that they should.
It is just a whole bunch of junk that is out there,
there is good stuff out there,
but you have to shift through
all the other stuff to find it.
When I used to go a dig in the crates
for records when I was a DJ,
I would go through 70 records to find 1 dope one.
The main thing I can say is be
tenacious with doing your craft.
That is words of wisdom right there.
Alright well that is all
the questions I have for you,
appreciate you getting down for the interview.
Is there any last words or
shout-outs you want to get out there to the people?
Yeah I just want to say what’s up
to anyone that I have ever worked with.
They know who they are and I also want to
say sorry it took so long for us to link up
for this interview but
I have been working but I am glad we linked up.
Everyone out there in the music world,
just keep working and hopefully things
will change and we will be
getting rich again like we was before.
All good, well worth the wait.
I appreciate your time.
Blast from the past part 3;
Ice T & Chris "The Glove" Taylor in Breakin' 'n' Enterin'
Download the "Breakin’ ‘N’ Enterin’" documentary
Weekend fun part 5; Jean Claude Van Damme´s scene in Breakin´
illuminati2g interview with Chris "The Glove" Taylor