Large Pro Details The Bobby Brown & Kool G Rap Album That Didn’t Happen & Why (Video)
In mid-1990, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo released their sophomore album, Wanted: Dead Or Alive. Heavily produced by Large Professor (then of Main Source), the LP is widely considered one of G Rap’s best works. The Cold Chillin’/Warner Bros. Records release spawned dynamic singles like “Streets Of New York” and “Erase Racism,” and featured Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Freddie Foxxx, and others.
Speaking with 24HH, Large Pro’ reveals that Bobby Brown was not only a fan of G Rap and Polo, but he wanted to make songs with the pair. As a follow-up to Bobby’s 1988 #1 Don’t Be Cruel album, he stepped to the MC and producer and invited them to his Bosstown Studios. Reportedly, the former New Edition member wanted to do an entire album.
“Bobby Brown, he really loved [Wanted: Dead Or Alive]. So he had reached out to ‘Fly’ Ty Williams, which was [Kool] G Rap’s manager at the time, and was like, ‘Yo! I need to work with G Rap!’ At the time, me and G Rap was like real, real tight — anything G Rap was on, I was the one producing it at that time. [It was a] short stint, but that’s how we was rockin’ it; we was goin’ to the banks together, and gettin’ checks cashed and all of that. So we go out there [to] Atlanta, we get to the airport, Bobby got a convoy of all these cars. He’s the first one in the red coupe and all that; we get in the coupe. He got a box of G Rap albums [inside]. He [complimented the album and said], ‘We gon’ work.’ We go to the studio…that’s when he’d bought the studio in Atlanta; he’s basically the man in Atlanta at that time. Crazy.”
Extra P says he came prepared with ingredients. “So we’re in the studio. I [brought] like a trunk of records, like a treasure [chest] that I brought with me [from New York]. I got my records, I got my [E-mu] SP-1200, everything. We [are in] the studio, Bobby comes in. I do a lil’ something on the boards. [Bobby Brown says], ‘Yo, y’all wanna go to the strip club?’ You know G Rap…that’s his whole sh*t, ‘Hell yeah! F*ck that sh*t! We come back, we work again, man. We work again.’ We go to the strip club that night; we never come back to the studio.”
The next day, the trio is back in Bosstown. “The next day, we gonna try the studio again. Bobby comes in, ‘Yo, I wanna show y’all this new house that we gettin’ built over here, man,’…the studio [session] is dead, again. Another day [gone].”
After that day had washed, the plans to record were interrupted by holiday parties. “We gettin’ close to January 1 or somethin’, it’s [the holidays]. He was like, ‘Yo, I’m throwin’ a party at the studio.'” Large Pro recalls a wild party in the lab. Specifically, he says that Bobby Brown left early, memorably with his bodyguard’s girlfriend.
Unfortunately, after the distractions and parties, the schedule was no longer open. “The next day, we gotta go! Fly Ty done left; we didn’t get no work done. Long story short…we’re sittin’ in there. I ended up tellin’ Bobby Brown, ‘You bullsh*t, man. You bullsh*t. Straight up, man, you bullsh*t. I came out here, I brought a trunk full of records, I brought an SP-1200, man, and we ain’t get no work done. You bullsh*t, man.’ He had like a .22 [caliber pistol that he was walking around with]. Bob was kinda stunned a little bit when I said that sh*t because the whole time, everybody gettin’ [high] or whatever, so there wasn’t no real focus on nothing. He was stunned, because maybe he was sorta walkin’ around with a lot of yes-men. So for somebody to actually say somethin’…’cause there was a lot of tiptoeing around Bobby. Nah, dogs.” Large Professor, who was still a teenager, adds that he was not talking down to the MCA Records superstar, but giving him a rare reality check.
Large Professor, who would transition to an MC career, ran into Bobby Brown again in 1991-1992. “When [Main Source’s ‘Looking At The Front Door’] came out and I saw Bobby at Jack The Rapper, he was like, ‘Yo! My man! Why you ain’t tell me you [had that],’ I was like, ‘Yo B, come on, man. I told you.’ But that’s my man, Bobby Brown. He was just out there wildin’, man. Early.”
Notably, Bobby’s N.E. bandmates Bell Biv DeVoe used G Rap vocals on their biggest hit, 1990’s “Poison.”
Bobby Brown’s subsequent album, 1992’s eponymous effort featured production by Teddy Riley, Babyface, and L.A. Reid. Demetrius Shipp, Sr. also co-produced several songs. He would later work with Tupac. His son currently plays Shakur in All Eyez On Me.
Bosstown Studios became Stankonia Studios following its sale to Outkast.
This past Friday (July 7), Large Professor performed during Eric B. & Rakim’s 30th anniversary Paid In Full concert in Harlem.