Craig G Details The Making Of “The Symphony,” Including Who Wrote What (Video)

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This month, Queens, New York MC Craig G released his seventh studio album, I Rap And Go Home. The Soulspazm Records effort features Buckshot, Ras Kass, and Jarobi of A Tribe Called Quest, among others. The battle-tested lyricist has enjoyed a professional recording career that has endured more than 30 years, spanning major label contracts, and working with Eminem and Nas. However, to many, the MC will always been most celebrated for his seminal 1980s work with The Juice Crew.

As one of Marley Marl’s first lyrical discoveries, Craig’s career spans back to 1985’s “Shout,” and never stopped since. In speaking with Watch Loud, Craig Curry recalls his earliest recordings, the two differing mixes of his hit “Droppin’ Science,” and how the Juice Crew set the table for Wu-Tang Clan.

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Approaching the 3:45 mark of the video interview, Craig drops some science surrounding the biggest record he was ever party to. Holding up one of the few photographs of the Juice Crew (and debunking a few misnomers about who is in it), Craig recalls getting driven to the shoot by Masta Ace—who had just graduated from the University Of Rhode Island.

“The interesting fact about this photo is—after this photo [was taken], we did ‘The Symphony.’ [Big Daddy] Kane and Marley [Marl] were like, ‘We need to do one more song.'” It was the summer of 1988, and Marley Marl was completing his debut album, In Control, Vol. 1 which released on Cold Chillin’/Warner Brothers.

Before going into the album’s iconic single, Craig G refutes a televised report surrounding his rhymes. “Shout out to the moron on the [Big Daddy Kane episode of] Unsung that said [Kane] wrote all of my rhymes. You are incorrect, sir.” Then the QB MC moves ahead with his recollection, “First of all, Kane had a show. Kane came to the session—came and made up the hook—’next up, I believe that’s me‘: he made that. Then he left. We were all sitting in the living room writing; everybody was taking they time. And no one wanted to go first. I don’t know why—some kid shit, I guess.”

It was Craig’s driver that day that would step up. “[Then Masta] Ace got on, and bodied it. After me—I do my lil’ verse; I had it written—[Kool] G Rap goes. Remember, I told you [that] Kane wasn’t there. [Kool G Rap’s] verse goes until the [recording tape] comes off of the spool. There’s like another 20 bars of G Rap just spittin’ charcoal flames that you may have never heard.”

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In 1991, in the Juice Crew’s later years, the same lineup of MCs—including Craig G, would create “The Symphony II” from In Control, Vol. 2.

#BonusBeat: The original 1988 video the “The Symphony” featuring Craig G:

I Rap And Go Home is available now