Trackmasters Tell All: The Stories Behind Their Classic Records (Part 1)

Red Hot Lover Tone "Give It Up" (1992)

Album: Red Hot Lover Tone
Label: Select Records

Tone: “I was a rapper before I was a producer. I had Heather Hunter in my video. Back in the day, I think I was one of the first rappers to have a porno star in their video.”

Poke: “If not the first.”

Tone: “That album came about because I was a rapper before I become a producer. I started out writing for Finesse & Synquis when Puff Daddy was their A&R. I wasn’t signed as a rapper but that gave us our segue into the production side of music. Being an MC always stayed on my mind, so when we hooked up with Chubb Rock and produced his I Gotta Get Mine Yo album, Chubb got me the deal at Select. We actually made two albums. The albums were cool.”

Poke:“For back then, they were good.”

 

I had Heather Hunter in my video. Back in the day, I think I was one of the first rappers to have a porno star in their video. - Tone

 

Tone: “My budget was $60,000 to do the album. We had Biggie on the record back then. I had a Hip-Hop Quotable in The Source. We had a lot of people on the album: Pharoahe Monch, Charlie Brown from Leaders of the New School, Diamond D, Greg Nice, and Buckwild.”

Poke: “We got a little more hip to the business side of things. We knew Select wasn’t really a good label to fuck with. But we were making more money on the production side than we were on the rap side so it was like, ‘Fuck that.’”

Tone: “I remember the day I hung up my mic as a rapper. I was up at Select and we had put out the red vinyl on my song ‘4 My Niggaz’ which featured M.O.P., Prince Poetry, and The Notorious B.I.G. It picked up real fast in the street and Select wanted to drop the album in like three or four weeks. That was only a set-up record in my eyes.

“I was like, ‘We have to come up with an official single.’ But they wanted to drop the album and it was a huge argument up there. I was like, ‘Fuck y’all. I’m not doing anything.’ I walked out of the door. I said, ‘Fuck you. Fuck y’all.’ I walked out and I just never went back. I’m still probably signed to them. [Laughs.]”

Poke: “[Label founder] Fred Munao was probably mad after he seen all of our success. He was probably like, ‘I was an idiot.’”

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