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

The Notorious B.I.G. f/ Faith Evans & Mary J. Blige "One More Chance (Remix)" (1994)

Album: Ready to Die
Label: Bad Boy/Arista

Poke: “Puff was like, ‘We need a sexy record. My fat dude is sexy. He ugly and sexy.’ We’re like, ‘Really?’ So he was like, ‘Let’s try to fucking attack one of these DeBarge joints, let’s go in that direction.’ So we got the DeBarge album and he was like, ‘This ‘Stay With Me’ shit, this shit right here is the shit, nigga!’

“I’m looking at him like, ‘Are you fucking nuts? You can’t be serious with what you’re talking about. It’s a ballad.’ That’s what I was thinking, this is a fucking ballad. So I go home. Now here’s the thing, he’s singing all over the fucking song. Even when it breaks down, he’s singing all over it. There’s no bass lines, there’s no nothing. So how do you chop it up? So that comes back to our Fadies technique.

 

It’s no big deal [we didn’t get the proper credit for that record]. It’s not like Puff don’t know what he’s doing. He is—if not one of the all-time greatest—the best A&Rs in the business. He knew about putting proper elements together and making hits. He probably wasn’t thinking, ‘I may be f**king up some of these people’s lives by not giving them the proper credit.’ - Poke

 

“So we take it, chop it up, and bring it to the studio. ‘WOOOO!’ Puff jumps on the table, do all the shit that he does, and starts going crazy. Biggie, he’s smoking his la in the back of the studio, bobbing his head. You don’t know what the fuck he’s doing but the whole record is being written as he’s smoking his chronic. Then he goes into the booth, Mary and Faith come in, and that’s it.”

Tone: “Puff is really good at putting records together. He’s a great executive producer. I guess he just wanted to take all his resources—Mary, Faith, his whole camp. I think the video was supposed to have more people in it singing the hook. That’s basically how that record came together. But because it was a remix and today it’s looked at as the main version.”

Poke: “Obviously. I don’t know when the last time I heard the original. Back then, anything that came out under Bad Boy was Puffy’s record. So he does take credit. Sometimes not on purpose, but just because it came out on Bad Boy.”

Tone: “But there’s great producers that produced for him for years. Easy Mo Bee, Chucky Thompson, Deric ‘D-Dot’ Angelettie, the whole Hitmen crew.”

Poke: “It’s no big deal [we didn’t get the proper credit for that record]. It’s not like Puff don’t know what he’s doing. He is—if not one of the all-time greatest—the best A&Rs in the business. He knew about putting proper elements together and making hits. He probably wasn’t thinking, ‘I may be fucking up some of these people’s lives by not giving them the proper credit.’

“Mind you, this is pre-e-mail, this is pre-everything being typed out. Stupid shit would happen. Let’s say we’re working on an album and we did two songs. Then the artist goes and works with other producers. Then they want to do more records when they get to the tail end of the album and we do more songs. The first set of songs get a first set of credits and then the last set of songs gets a different set of credits; it’s two different pieces of paper that you hand in.

 

Puff goes in, he puts the proper team together, a hit record comes out, and he takes the [credit]. He’s the pool shark, he’s the best at getting credit. He knows how to seize the opportunity to make sure the credit favors him. - Poke

 

“The information may be the same so the label’s administration will say, ‘We can’t find the other pieces of paper so we’ll just go with these credits because we’re running out of time.’ Then they just mirror whatever the first set of credits were. Then you get writers and musicians getting mad at you, the producer, like, ‘Yo, you dicked me on the credit and all that.’ It’s like, ‘Yo, I have no control over what these guys at the label do.’

“It’s a little different now because you have email, you can hand it in really fast. But prior to that, there was no email, so you had to physically go in there and hand in the credits. Stuff like that got twisted out a lot.”

“You’re young. You don’t think. You’re just trying to do your thing and make the best situation for yourself. Puff goes in, he puts the proper team together, a hit record comes out, and he takes the [credit]. He’s the pool shark, he’s the best at getting credit. He knows how to seize the opportunity to make sure the credit favors him. It’s cool though.”

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