We recently spoke with Poke and Tone of legendary production duo Trackmasters and they told us the crazy stories behind the making of many classic hip-hop records. However, there was one story they shared that didn't quite fit with the rest.
Although Easy Mo Bee produced Craig Mack's 1994 classic "Flava In Ya Ear"—a song best remembered for its remix that featured a show-stealing Notorious B.I.G. verse—Trackmasters were in the studio with Puff Daddy during the making of the original record. Since today is the track's 18 year anniversary, it only makes to sense to share the borderline hilarious story of how it was crafted.
As told to Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)
Trackmasters Recall The Making of "Flava In Ya Ear"
Tone: “Easy Mo Bee was just eclectic. This guy just lived in a small apartment in Brooklyn. He used to have his SP12 on the floor in his crib. It’s just how he did things. He’s a weird guy. He never got caught up in it but he had a sound. That sound he had for like two or three years. He had that noise that came out the MPC. That ‘Flava In Ya Ear’ shit.”
Poke: “I’ll tell you a funny story. I’m in the Hit Factory in the small room and I’m working on something. Easy Mo Bee, Puff Daddy, and Craig Mack all walk in. Puff don’t say nothing. Easy Mo Bee says, ‘We gonna play you a record and we want you to tell us what you think.’ They play the beat to ‘Flava In Your Ear’ and I’m like, ‘What the fuck is this?’ Mo Bee was like, ‘Told you!’ to Craig Mack.
Craig is like, ‘Where’s the instruments, where’s the bass?’ We were like, ‘You don’t feel that?’ Puff basically had to drag him in the booth kicking and screaming to get on the beat. - Poke
“Craig Mack is like, ‘This Mickey Mouse beat man...I don’t know what the fuck I’ma do on this.’ I was like, ‘You are bugging!' And so we had this 30 to 50 minute argument. Puff was jumping up and down kicking the walls like, ‘Nigga, if you don’t rhyme on this fucking record!’ He was going in.
“Craig was like, ‘This beat is wack, I don’t know what to do on this.’ Puff is like, ‘You rap! Nigga, that’s what you do.’ And Craig is like, ‘Where’s the instruments, where’s the bass?’ We were like, ‘Nigga, you don’t feel that?’ Puff basically had to drag him in the booth kicking and screaming to get on the beat. Craig didn’t see it. But [in the end] he did it and it did what it did.
“A lot of artists don’t see that. When you making records, the producers are feeling it a certain way. Just like how DJs know when to put a record on and how to scratch it in at a right time to get the crowd reacting a certain way. That’s what we do as producers. We’re sizing you up. This is what you need to be on. But the artist be like, ‘What the fuck is that. I don’t get it.’ They don’t know the swag, they don’t know how to get on the record. They just don’t get it sometimes.”