Album: The Untold Truth Label: Rowdy/Arista/BMG Producer: Erick Sermon
Erick Sermon: “The weird part was that we won a Billboard Award for Best Rap Single of the Year. Clive Davis ran the Billboard Awards, so Arista was winning everything that night. Whitney was winning everything. It was Arista's night.
"So when niggas saw that we won, we were looking at him, like, 'Yo, Clive is a beast.' But it was on the charts for so many weeks. Like, ridiculous weeks. It was up there. It was a No. 1 single.
“[Illegal] were brought to me by Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes. Lisa and I were talking back and forth for like two months, on like a dating thing. And Dallas was doing TLC. So Lisa had these two boys, and anything Dallas had that was rap [he gave to me] because Erick Sermon is now in his studio. Shadezof Lingo, them, and whatever was hip-hop.
[Illegal] were brought to me by Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes. Lisa and I were talking back and forth for like two months, on like a dating thing.
“Malik was already out. He was on the Snoop Dogg album, on 'Pump Pump.' Then, they were also cool with Naughty by Nature. So they had relationships with all these top rap people, and the biggest R&B group in the world is TLC, and Left Eye's cool with them too. They started calling me Uncle Erick. 'Can Uncle Erick come over?'
“I end up living with Lisa in a hotel, and we became cool [and made some music]. The single came out, 'Head or Gut,' and the B-side was 'We Getz Busy.' And the guys didn't like DaYoungstas, and they didn't like KrissKross. And that's why they got so big. Because they were calling their names out. They were not afraid.
“Jamal's first album, with 'Fades 'Em All'—oh my God. I still to this day don't understand how that record didn't go. That record had us, Diamond D, Rockwilder, Mike Dean who worked with Scarface. It was put together so [well]. Rowdy Records didn't do it right.
“Jamal was so dope that Busta Rhymes put him on records. He rocked with Junior M.A.F.I.A. A lot of people reached out to him. When it comes down to MCs, it's what I did. I never lost with rappers. I knew the flavor of MCs, and had an ear for it, and knew they were going to be special. I had some special people in my crew.”