Archive for August, 2018

Kerwin Young Sets the Record Straight

Posted: August 28, 2018 in Press

Contrary to belief, and due to much ignorance by interviewers who constantly reject publishing the facts I give them, I come from a traditional music background.

I may not have had piano or violin lessons, but I was first chair alto saxophone in my elementary school band for four years, where I learned how to read music. I also studied with my dad, who was a legendary trombonist, and he taught me how to transpose parts and read both alto and bass clef when I was a pre-teen! I also sang in a church choir (to my reluctance) from 1977-1983, and we performed at Carnegie Hall.

I was in my school’s band from 1979-1983, and rap music was in full force (The Treacherous Three, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Kurtis Blow, Sequence, Crash Crew, Funky Four, Run DMC etc…). I was feeling the current music scene a whole lot more than Sousa. I was feeling pop music in general, and not just rap music. So, quite naturally I discontinued playing in band.

I did, however, resume playing the saxophone in 1994; but I switched to tenor saxophone (heavily influenced by John Coltrane). I was also mentored by famed drummer Roy Haynes, who was a local resident in the neighborhood.

Yes, I was a professional disc-jockey, which did launch my career spinning alongside DJ Tommie Allen at the Spectrum Café, in East Meadow, Long Island, five nights a week (August 1988-Spring 1990). I was an under-aged dj in a grown up environment. Everything was overlapping. I graduated high school in June 1988, and I had already begun working with Public Enemy a year earlier.

Here’s An Unknown Fact: I actually began needle dropping and making mix/pause tapes in 1978! That’s one year before Rapper’s Delight!! My eldest brother would bring home party tapes in 1977 and ’78, so I was well aware of the beats used underneath the mc’s. I had a thorough knowledge of pop music since the age of 4, and my dad always kept me with a musical instrument since that time as well. I grew up when the radio was not stylistically segregated and splintered as it is now. The playlists were quite diverse. AM radio was popular when I was a youngster. FM didn’t become mainstream until 1979, and that’s when the division became more and more apparent. I was exposed to all genres of music as a child, and I was also fascinated by movies and film music.

I began composing to paper in 1994, and by 2000, I had completed 2 large orchestral scores, and was writing my first symphony (symphony no. 1 took ten years to complete). In 2002, I enrolled at the Paris Conservatory, and they told me that I was too old! Stunned by this, I spent the next six years off the grid, disgusted; though remaining creative. In 2009, I enrolled at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance to resume my studies in orchestration and harmony. However, at that time, I had an enormous body of work already.

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Rap Artists Kerwin Young Has Worked With

Posted: August 23, 2018 in Press
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Several people have requested that I post a list of all the rap artists I’ve worked with over the years. There may be a listing somewhere in a previous blog, but here is a dedicated blog that addresses this concern.

Here is a complete list of artists that I as a producer have collaborated with since 1989. This list ONLY pertains to artists who have had recording deals with national and/or international releases.

  1. 5ive-0
  2. 8-Off the Assassin
  3. Apache
  4. Brothers Grimm (aka The Gravediggaz)
  5. Busta Rhymes
  6. Chief Groovy Loo and the Chosen Tribe
  7. Chuck D
  8. Cracka Jacks
  9. Daddy-O
  10. Dr. Dre
  11. Dream Warriors
  12. Eric B. & Rakim
  13. Fric-n-Frac
  14. Grandaddy I.U.
  15. Ice Cube
  16. I.G.T.
  17. Intelligent Hoodlum (aka Tragedy)
  18. Interrogators
  19. Kings of Pressure
  20. Leaders of the New School
  21. Lejuan Love
  22. Luke Skywalker and the 2 Live Crew
  23. MC Trouble
  24. Mobb Deep
  25. Poison Clan
  26. Prodigy
  27. Professor Griff / Professor Griff and the Last Asiatic Disciples
  28. Public Enemy
  29. Punk Barbarians
  30. Queen I-Asia
  31. Roc Marcy
  32. Rich Nice
  33. Rahiem (of the Furious Five)
  34. Schooly D
  35. Sista Souljah
  36. Smooth Ice
  37. Son of Bazerk
  38. Sonny Skillz
  39. True Mathematics
  40. Undercover Anarchists
  41. Young Black Teenagers
  42. Yung Joc