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

Starting Out

Poke: “We formed Trackmasters back in ‘87. We met one day, [made the group] the same day we met, and we’ve been together ever since the first day.”

Tone: “ When I met Poke, our ties into the business was through connections I made while trying to become a rapper. I became a producer because I couldn’t find anyone to do my music for me so I started producing myself.

Poke: “Me and Tone met through this manager from Brooklyn. Him and his boy were partners in a management company that they were trying to put together. His man knew Tone and he knew me. Then there was a third party, this guy named Andre Brown from L.A. who wanted us to work on this artist named Lou Ski, one of the famous dancers from Soul Train.

“Andre Brown was managing Lou and he was looking for New York style producers to make records for his L.A. artist. He knew these two guys who were our managers and these guys said, ‘We know some guys that can produce.’ He said, ‘Let’s get these guys together.’ Andre Brown flew in from L.A. and met us at the Trump Plaza. This is how everything started.

“I was 17 at the time and Tone was 18. He had to actually speak to our parents in order to get us to work. My mom was like, ‘I’m not having it. I don’t even know who you are. You’re not just going to take my son.’ So Andre spoke to my mom and he spoke to Tone’s mom. [This is the first time] Tone and I had met. We met at the Trump Plaza and Andre took us to lunch.

“Andre had all his artists there and he said, ‘I got a vision in my mind and this is what I want to do.’ He introduced his artists. He turned to me and Tone—we had just met—and he was like, ‘And these guys are going to be my track masters.’ Me and Tone was like, ‘That’s a hot name.’ And we just ran with Trackmasters ever since.

“That spawned things. We started formulating where we were going to work and what kind of music we do. We had a couple friends that were real good producers—or at least I thought were real good producers—and then Trackmasters became four guys, initially.”

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