Daddy-O Says “Rakim Told The Biggest Lie In Hip-Hop,” In An Unfiltered Interview (Video)
Professor Daddy-O is an MC/producer who has been actively working for 30 years. The front man for 1980s Brooklyn, New York pioneers Stetsasonic, Daddy-O would help introduce the world to Prince Paul (the group’s DJ and one of its producers), as well as Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Kim, and others. The man born Glenn Bolton would take on high-ranking executive positions at MCA Records, and later Motown, working with non-Hip-Hop acts such as Sublime, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Sonic Youth.
Last week, Daddy-O appeared on Sway In The Morning. He was joined by veteran MC and Poor Righteous Teachers affiliate YZ, although D spoke most in the interview.
Daddy-O spoke on his days mentoring The Notorious B.I.G.—something Mister Cee also touched upon while on the show. Notably, the former Tommy Boy Records artist was deeply present for the expansion of Biggie Smalls career into Junior M.A.F.I.A. There, the MC revealed some insight into the earliest days of a popular 1990s Rap beef between the M.A.F.I.A.’s Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown, as well as a possible misnomer about Kimberly Jones.
(15:00) “We’re the street-story side of [The Notorious B.I.G.] and Junior M.A.F.I.A. We lived on the block. We lived right around the corner. We own this neighborhood; he’s the guy that raps. We know [Lance “Un” Rivera], and Un comes to me and says, ‘Yo, man we can make a group […] All them dudes that hang around Big,’ I’m like, ‘[Lil’] Cease and them?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, let’s make a group outta them lil’ niggas, man. But I know one person that can rap, the girl Kim from the Bronx that Big be with, she can rhyme.'” In the interview, Daddy-O maintains that Junior M.A.F.I.A. star Lil’ Kim is in fact not from the borough she has always claimed on three platinum-plus solo albums.
Continuing, Daddy-O warned that “I don’t have a filter,” and spilled more facts. “I don’t know [Lil’] Kim from Brooklyn. I knew Inga from Brooklyn. I remember Kim and Inga almost having a fight—that’s Foxy Brown—havin’ a fight at my house, ’cause they both started in my basement.” By the mid-1990s, Lil’ Kim would sign with Big Beat/Atlantic Records under Biggie’s tutelage, while Foxy Brown would become a Def Jam Records star under Jay Z’s wing, and a Firm member alongside Nas. “Inga’s an idiot. I mean, I love her, but she’s an idiot,” straightforwardly expressed Professor Daddy-O. “She’s a good girl—she’s become a good girl as time [has passed]. But yeah, we’re having these kind of alternate [recording] sessions. I know her management and they’re like, ‘We got this little girl, we think she’s really good. [S.M.G.’s] Smoothe Da Hustler and [Trigger Tha Gambler] raised her, and she’s good. She can rhyme.’ So I’m having sessions with her, maybe two days a week, and sessions with Kim like two days a week. But this one particular time, we had a record label at the house to try look at Junior M.A.F.I.A. to sign them. Inga came by, and Troy wouldn’t let her downstairs. She was like, ‘Why can’t I go down there?’ He was like, ‘They meetin’ down there. [The Notorious B.I.G. is] down there seeing what’s going on with Junior M.A.F.I.A.” According to Daddy-O, this is when Foxy Brown would take action that forever changed the 1990s landscape of female mainstream rappers in Hip-Hop. “She’s like, ‘Fuck Kim!’ Then it gets—I don’t even want to say—it escalated into something really…people almost got murdered that day. It was bad.”
The two New York MCs would release solo debuts one week apart in 1996. In 1997, the two ladies would even grace the cover of a 1997 issue of The Source, together. However, by the time Capone-N-Noreaga’s “Bang, Bang” released, it was again Foxy Brown that put the tensions between the two stars out in the open—forever changing their relationship.
The jaw-dropping revelations Daddy-O made in the interview do not stop there. (32:00) The MC makes no bones about criticizing one of his contemporaries. “Rakim told the biggest lie in Hip-Hop. [On ‘I Know You Got Soul’], he said, ‘It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at.’ He fucked everything up. They think he’s the best MC. So where [people] are in the scope of this is they’re not seeing this thing right.” Daddy-O, who said he now lives in Mississippi, maintains origin is everything in music. “It’s always been about where you’re from. Any MC worth his salt is gonna talk about where he’s from. What did they just [re-name] Kool Herc’s street—Sedgwick Avenue? In Boston, is that where they did it? Or Chicago? They did it in the Bronx. It’s always been about where you’re from. [Bruce] Springsteen: Asbury Park, Nirvana: Seattle, I could go on and on. It’s always been about where you’re from.”
According to Daddy-O, when artists neutrally try to employ other styles and identities, it is a short-lived path. “They came through on this neutrality thing where everything is ‘hot’ so that if we wet the ground, it’s so hot that if you throw an egg on it, it’ll fry. But the local bands—if we want to call them that, or local Hip-Hop scenes is what made it hot. ‘I guess [King] Tech and Sway are from…Compton?’ ‘Fuck outta here!’ You see what I’m trying to say? It always held. It’s not like Shock G is gonna say he’s from somewhere [besides Oakland, California]. Even Ice-T represents L.A. and he was born [in New Jersey]! It’s always been about where you’re from. So with that neutrality in Rap, all this stuff kinda went through. I’ll go out on a limb and say Rob Base will never make another hit in his life, ’cause [Chicago-inspired Hip-House] came through on neutrality, not this gritty thing.”
However, Daddy-O who has four albums planned for 2016, called out his peers for stagnant discographies. “The reason Rakim can’t make records now is ’cause he doesn’t have anything to talk about. I almost lost friends [over Rakim’s most recent album, The Seventh Seal].” The album—Rakim’s first in almost a decade, was largely panned by critics. Daddy-O pointed beyond the Hip-Hop genre to urge all artists to do as he believes they are supposed to, and make music. “So my thing is 2015-2016, Led Zeppelin makes a record, Megadeath makes another record, we know what U2 is doing, an Anthrax record—all these records. [My class in Hip-Hop] is supposed to be the Golden Age—what the hell? We already started making records, so this is not about what T-Rex and them do. This is not about me and Rakim battling in some office or some hallway. This is records now. We became recording artists. Where are the records? I’m puttin’ out an album a quarter; I’m not putting out bullshit. Even my videos don’t look like bullshit, and I shoot them in a day. Come on! And if you’re not, just stop saying you’re a legend, stop saying all that shit, just go home.”
While Daddy-O is critical of Rakim, he maintains that Brooklyn, New York’s best-selling artist is in fact the genre’s GOAT. “I’m not even a Jay Z fan, but if Jay’s not the best to ever do it, then who the hell is? Come on, man! Knock it off! He makes records! People could talk about everything outside of records—and they love [that] conversation. Dude, I’m talking about records. It’s the way people know you [as an artist]. Honestly, I love [this interview], but by playing [my single] ‘Graffiti,’ it made everything official. ‘Now there’s a record.’ You understand what I’m saying: that’s all it is. We’re in a position now where we don’t have to wait anymore. I mixed two records yesterday. My mic’s there. I can make a whole [anywhere] if I want.”
With that, Daddy-O called out other Hip-Hop legends, including Grandmaster Melle Mel of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5 fame. “Now you can go do it, and now you sit home, [Grandmaster] Melle Mel? Get outta here, man! Make records! And if you can’t make records, please don’t come next to me when you see me at the [Fantastic Five member] Dot A Rock [funeral service]. ‘Cause I’m gonna be over here with all these [Decepticons], and I ain’t really got time to talk about all that, man. Make records, man.”
Following the nearly 40-minute interview, Daddy-O and YZ participated in Sway In The Morning’s 5 Fingers Of Death freestyle competition.
Daddy-O just released #EverybodyButKRS last year.
#BonusBeat: Professor Daddy-O’s just-released video, “Blood Got Shot (Now The Blues Got Me), from 2016’s The Odad, The Gun, And The Children