Ultramagnetic MCs’ Ced-Gee Reveals He Produced Most Of BDP’s Criminal Minded (Video)
There is a bevy of pivotal and highly influential Hip-Hop albums celebrating landmark anniversaries this year. Ambrosia For Heads has recently published articles about the 20 year anniversaries of both Black Star’s self-titled debut and OutKast’s Aquemini. The 25th anniversary of Wu-Tang Clan’s initial offering, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is taking place next month. However, an era before any of those incredible albums, the Ultramagnetic MCs were pushing the boundaries of rhyming, subject matters, and sampling on their opening salvo, Critical Beatdown. Simply put, 30 years ago this month (according to the group) Kool Keith, Ced-Gee, Moe Love, and TR Love changed the game.
On the Sway In The Morning Show this week, Sway and Heather B. welcomed Kool Keith and Ced-Gee of the MCs Ultra to chat about their legacy and impact. When the veteran host asks Ced about working with KRS-One, the Bronx, New York legend revealed a number of interesting details. First off, he states just after 19:00, “Me and Scott [La Rock] grew up together. So, Scott was like my big brother.” He is talking about the Boogie Down Productions mastermind who was shot and killed shortly after the group’s debut. So, Ced first met Kris Parker in the late-1980s when The Teacha was still a part of a trio known as the Celebrity 3 with Cas and Jerry Levi. He qualifies the information by stating that KRS rarely speaks about his former group for personal reasons.
Next Ced tells Sway and crew that he was the first in his neighborhood to purchase an Emu SP-12 sampling drum machine. “It was just something nobody had in the hood,” says the double-threat. Notably, band-mate Moe Love’s mother, Ced’s late aunt Bernice, cosigned the loan to buy the coveted equipment. “Scott said, ‘I’ma do this with Kris, ’cause he’s the dopest out of the crew.’ They’d just come over, and they’d just drop the records. Boom, boom, boom; I’d just hook ’em up and rearrange ’em.” Though he is uncredited, it has now been established that Ced co-produced most of Boogie Down Productions’ 1987 debut, Criminal Minded.
Ced used the 1.2 seconds of sampling time on the equipment and was able to chop, and bounce samples. “I was able to chop and make it sound like I had a full loop in there,” says the producer. “Nobody was doing that,” Sway asks Cedric which songs on the Rap classic he produced. “I did everything except [‘9mm Goes Bang’], ‘South Bronx,’ ‘Elementary,’ I didn’t do, and there’s another—’Criminal Minded.’ Those four I didn’t do.”
Ced also shares that an early B.D.P. song titled “We Got To Advance” was recorded on four-track and that the original mix is vastly superior to the mix Sleeping Bag Records had done for the official release. Co-host Heather B. adds, “If you go back and listen to like one of the remixes of “I’m Still #1,” Kris says, ‘Sleeping Bag Records, you just can’t trust.’ Hit play and get a history lesson.
MC-Ultra announced that they are going to plan a 25th-anniversary tour for their beloved third album, The Four Horsemen. That was the squad’s lone release on Wild Pitch Records.
#BonusBeat: Part two of the interview with Kool Keith and Ced-Gee features Roxanne Shanté and Lil Fame joining the fold: