The one that’s been put out, ‘Black Beatles?’ That’s right, the same record that had a number one hit too. That started it. That’s not a song. It’s a record of a single, an instrumental, a single thing, like on an A&M album, an instrumental called ‘Auld Lang Syne.’ I think they had another record that was almost done in England, or something, but I never heard it.
“It’s actually not that. That was the first rap record that I have ever seen. It’s not like I’m listening to it, and I’m saying, ‘Oh my goodness. It’s the great rapper that he is, the greatest rapper that ever came through the Bronx. Here he is, the greatest rapper that ever came in the Bronx. It’s amazing.’ You’d be surprised what you can learn about hip-hop, but you can’t learn it, it’s not the words out that make it cool. It’s how it’s put out. It’s how it’s presented.”
On The Mamas and the Papas
“I think what’s funny is that the whole thing happened because of a family trip. I had never met anyone from another country, no friend of mine either. The trip was actually on a plane, and I was sitting in the back and all of a sudden, I see all these people, and I just thought, ‘Oh, well. Of course we’ll meet this person and talk a little bit.’ It was a small thing, and a small thing turned into the biggest thing in my life. But it was a great little way in.”
On what inspired the song “What’s Up, Tiger Mommy?”
“I think people who look for what makes hip-hop is trying to find what makes it unique. You’re not really gonna find if you don’t come from Harlem or if you don’t go to college. You’re going to find something special if you never gone to school, or if you go to a different university. You’ve got to be creative, and you’re going to find something special just because you’re from the Bronx. I always thought that was the essence of hip-hop because it was just, from a young age, all about being yourself. The whole story about ‘What’s up, Tiger Mommy?’ [was] a whole way about showing that you’re just the best version of what you feel you are.”
On how he