Production Pioneer Marley Marl Still Has The Juice. He Remixes At Least One Song A Day (Video)
In Marley Marl’s 30-plus-year career, he has made the remix an exciting part of Hip-Hop. From Big Daddy Kane’s “Raw (Remix)” to LL Cool J’s “Jingling Baby (Remix)” to 3rd Bass’ “Product Of The Environment,” the Juice Crew figurehead made the kind of records that eclipse the originals. Many of these versions were in fact used for the music videos.
Speaking with HOT 97’s DJ Enuff, Marley reveals that he still makes remixes every single day. “My preferred go-to [exercise] is to do some jumping jacks first,” says the Queens, New Yorker of his stress relief in his basement studio. At around 10:45, Marley adds, “Then I’ll look at my drum machine, and I’ll tap out a remix. That’s how I get steam off. I do about one or two remixes every day. I gets it in,” Marley reveals. Last month, the veteran producer laced a track for M-Dot for his Ego and The Enemy album. Asked if he would bring those guarded remixes to a platform like HOT 97, the pioneering Hip-Hop DJ returns to his famous on-air bravado: “I’ll share [them]. But when I share it, I’ll have to share my ratings, ’cause when I play [my music], I get ratings. [Laughs]”
Marley’s remixing abilities, first on turntables and later using edits on reels is what made him a legend of radio. With mentor Mr. Magic, Marley broke some of the most important Hip-Hop records in the 1980s and 1990s, while taunting competition, and artists who he felt could not cut the mustard.
The interview, which begins with a brief mixing session, shows that Marley Marl still uses some of the very equipment that started his career. “Basically, I came here with my customized SP-15 Technics. If you ever worked in production at any radio station in your life, you’ve seen these.” Those turntables often feature case lids for protection, similar to home hi-fi players. “These are Technics; these were out before the original 1200s. So when me and Mr. Magic used to DJ on the radio, I used to rock with these, actually. I got used to these. I always used these ever since. As you can see, I modified it. I put a lil’ 1200 platter on it and made [the table] float appropriately. I put on a 1200 [shell] so it’s gots that rugged lil’ 1200 look, when you Marley believes that the SP-15 is quicker for DJs to cut and back-track. “These was made in the ’70s, I believe.” Relics from the defining years of Rap radio, Marley says he personally made the modifications approximately five years ago. “These are…were the original ones that me and Mr. Magic used to use on WBLS back in the day.”
Marley Marl also reveals that he was high school classmates with DJ Polo, who began as Kool G Rap’s band partner, under the Juice Crew/Cold Chillin’ Records foundation.