Archive for September, 2015

Prodigy [Mobb Deep] appeared on a [unreleased] demo by Dr Seus from 1993 and also in a little-known group called Blitz. Those tracks were produced by Kerwin “Sleek” Young, who also produced half of Mobb Deep’s debut album “Juvenile Hell”. Read on…

Kerwin Young worked in Public Enemy’s Long Island studio at 510 South Franklin Avenue in Hempstead from 1988. He did production on all of Professor Griff’s solo albums and his magic wand [pause] has touched many a Bomb Squad production. In 1993 he produced a demo by a cat called Dr Seus which made it into the Source Unsigned Hype section and he also produced half of Mobb Deep’s debut album “Juvenile Hell”. So we hit him up….

HERE’S THE FIRST PART OF THE STORY:

Kerwin “Sleek” Young is steeped in Hip Hop flava. Born in 1970, Sleek grew up in Rockaway, Queens. At the age of 9 his family moved to Roosevelt, Long Island. The son of a professional trombonist, he was exposed to music from birth. He took up alto sax at school, and played in the all-county band. But, it was through his brother, ten years his senior, that he discovered early Hip Hop music and culture. In 1977, his brother went to a jam in the Bronx, where Kool Herc and the  Herculoids were playing, and he came back with a tape! That was one of the first sparks that ignited his interest in Hip Hop. By 1978 he was making 8-track pause button mixes and needle dropping. By 1982 he was selling pause button mix tapes at school and by 84 he started DJ’ing out. He was doing house parties with Darryl Spivey in St Albans and Springfield Gardens in Queens that year, and eventually landed a job spinning at the Sprectrum Cafe in East Meadow, LI in August of 1988.

To be continued…..

Tracks:

A1 Dr Seus – Dearly Beloved
A2 Kerwin “Sleek” Young feat. Blitz [incl Prodigy] – Pushin Off The Lead
A3 Sonny Skillz – I Want It All
A4 Bad Influence – What Flava

B1 Sonny Skillz feat B-Wyze – What Time Is It
B2 Kerwin “Sleek” Young – Aint It Funky Enough [Instrumental]
B3 B-Wyze – Da Bomb Rap Party
B4 Sonny Skillz – The Slaughter Continues

Purchase your copy HERE

Being active in the recording industry for more than 25 years has exposed me to a lot of scenarios, hustlers, liars, etc… It’s necessary for anyone new to the recording industry to speak with the right people! If you’re fortunate to meet someone in the business that is willing to show you the ropes, and teach you about the business, by all means, allow them to do that. If the relationship proves beneficial, you should remain loyal, continue to ask questions and learn.

Be aware of fast-talking hustlers who can make shit seem sweet! I’ve come across lots of characters that can spit game, gaining the trust of young talent and mismanaging, misdirecting them.

Know too that if you receive a contractual agreement pertaining to the recording industry, you would need an industry-licensed attorney to look it over for you; not a real estate attorney, or any other attorney outside of that practice. Find and locate the right people who specialize in the very thing in which you are involved. Talk to the right people.

If you’re a performing artist or producer looking to sign to a recording label, find whether or not if that label has an internet presence? Do they have a website? Are they looking to pimp you, or is their interest in you an honest one? Do they mention all of the people involved on a particular song or project when engaged in an interview? If there’s a song-writing session, are split sheets distributed? Do they openly discuss business so that everyone is on the same page? What forms of compensation is there? At the end of the day, do you have a share of the song? Is the situation benefiting your financial progress or theirs? Is it a balanced relationship? Is everyone eating from the same plate, or are you one of the pawns in the game, watching the label heads benefit from your efforts and genius? Were you promised something that still has not materialized? Is it in writing or just by word of mouth? Who are you talking to?

If you are looking to set-up a publishing company, are you going to speak with someone who’s owned one for 25+ years, or are you going to speak with someone who appears to know about it, but really does not? Or with someone who has very little publishing experience? I’ve seen lots of newcomers become fascinated by individuals merely by the way they dress and speak? It’s amazing! But, individuals in search of knowledge, will totally ignore the individual in their midst possessing the proper knowledge. Who are you talking to?

You should always spend time studying, researching what you’re into. I spent the first 4 years in the recording industry without knowing ANYTHING about publishing, and didn’t own a publishing company. I did no research, and acted as if I knew what I was doing…….seeming to know everything. I was green, and didn’t know the components of the recording industry. I worked on some of the most popular albums and motion pictures during that time; many of which have become cultural classics.

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You should know what you’re getting into before you set foot in it. Take it seriously, as it is your livelihood and source of income.

Hope that this benefits many!

K