Large Professor “The Mad Scientist” (1996)

Album: “The Mad Scientist”/“Spacey” 12 Inch

Label: Geffen

Producer: Large Professor

Large Professor: “To this day, I love performing that song. And people [still say], ‘That shit is ill.’ I found that loop out in Jersey. It was me, Q-Tip, and JuJu [from The Beatnuts] going through these records at this factory. I found that loop, and I was like, ‘Yo, I’m gonna use this.’ So I went back and hooked it up.

“This is when I was starting to work on my solo stuff, right after Main Source. I was still on Wild Pitch, and [they] were like, ‘Well, if you’re not going to do Main Source, we still want you to do a solo project.’ And [K-Cut and Sir Scratch] went on to do the Fuck What You Think album.

“I felt like Main Source was very broad, and I wanted to get more into who I was and how I came up. So [this record] was almost like an introductory type of thing. Basically, I just tried to keep it B-boy hip-hop. At that time, there was a different movement getting ready to come up. Everybody was jiggy, and nothing was wrong, like, ‘I got all the flyest cars.’ And here I am like, ‘Never had a basement, never had an attic.’ I’m kind of belly-aching and shit, and dudes are like, ‘Aiight, aiight.’ Meanwhile B.I.G. is like, ‘I got the 5 Series Benz’ and all that. It was just a different time. I wanted to get deeper into the style, but a different wave was happening.

“The laughs on that are from ‘Thriller.’ That’s the Vincent Price laugh. On some real mad scientist shit. That song came out in the jiggy era, but I come from when we were getting kicked out of hallways for breakdancing. I come from the rebellious era of hip-hop. So I created that feeling, where it was edgy, but it was danceable, and putting the laugh and the strings to create that vibe, that’s what I wanted to do.

“When you’re working with a bigger machine, things have to turn around in a timely fashion. With me taking my time with that album, and really getting it to my liking, and being one man, whereas with Main Source I was like, ‘Yo, you scratch this,’ it took a little bit longer for me to put it together.

“When it did come together, I don’t think it was getting the response they wanted at Geffen. I think they signed me off the strength of, ‘You heard about this guy Large Professor?’ And they had the bread, so they were like, ‘OK, Large Professor. Here.’ But after a while, when ‘Mad Scientist’ came out, and it wasn’t blowing off of the shelves like crazy, they were like, ‘Well, we’re not going to bail on you just yet. Let’s drop another single.’