The Time Havoc (Mistakenly) Shot An A&R At Def Jam
Hav, DJ Prince A.D. from Queensbridge, and I were scheduled to meet Russell Simmons at his Manhattan condo around the block from Def Jam. I always kept my gun on me, but I didn’t want to disrespect Russell by bringing that type of energy into his home, so this kid Perry at Def Jam let me leave it in his office drawer until we were done.
Perry walked us to Russell’s apartment on Broadway near NYU. Russell’s assistant let us in. There was a big-ass Jacuzzi tub in the floor in the room next to the living room. The white carpet had just been shampooed and we had to take our shoes off and step on the soapy stinking carpet in wet socks. Oh, so this is what it’s like to have a million dollars and your own record label. Nervous and excited, we waited around for fifteen minutes until the assistant said Russell wasn’t going to be able to make it. He sent us back to the office to meet with Lyor Cohen instead.
Lyor listened to our best songs and told us that we cursed too much and our music was too violent. He said Def Jam couldn’t do anything with us because we were too young to speak like that. They would get in trouble with the law for putting our album out.
What?! We couldn’t believe it. We were pissed off but we weren’t that mad because we knew we had some hot shit. If they didn’t sign us it was their loss, not ours. Although a month later, they signed this group Onyx from Jamaica, Queens. These niggas were screaming, cussing, and waving TEC-9s in their videos, looking like black skinheads!
As we were leaving Def Jam, I went to get my gun from Perry’s office. We walked in behind him and Perry passed it to Hav instead of me. I asked him for some De La Soul and Slick Rick posters I’d seen lying around, and he went to get them. Hav pointed the gun at me, playing around. “Don’t play with me like that,” I told him.
When Perry came back with the posters, Hav pointed the gun at him. “Nigga, give me them posters,” Hav said, joking. The gun went off, hitting Perry in the stomach, his shirt catching fire where the bullet hit as he fell onto me. Hav dropped the gun and ran out of the building with Prince A.D. right behind him. Yo, this nigga just shot this muthafucker! I looked down at Perry as he tried to grab on to my shoulder. “Yo, get off me!” I yanked my arm away from him. I’m going with my people. I ran downstairs to catch up with Hav and A.D.
The most popular duo in rap, Run-D.M.C, was walking into the building as Hav, Prince A.D., and I came running out. My boys knocked them to the ground as they busted out of the front door and ran up Houston toward Broadway to the train station. I wasn’t far behind.
“Stop those kids!” somebody screamed behind us. When I looked back, it was Ali Shaheed Muhammad, the DJ from A Tribe Called Quest. Hav stopped running and started screaming at me. “I didn’t mean it, son! I didn’t mean to shoot him! You gotta hide me, son, take me to Florida!” I saw some detectives riding past us in an unmarked car and told Hav to be quiet. The three D’s got out of the car and came over to us.
“Is there a problem?” one officer asked. Hav started screaming again. “I didn’t mean to shoot him, it was an accident!” The D pulled out cuffs and put them on Havoc. Ali Shaheed Muhammad caught up with us and told the cops what happened. I told them it was an accident, we thought it was a lighter, we found it outside, we didn’t know it was a real gun. They took Hav to the bookings. Prince A.D. and I went home.
The next morning when Moms woke me up for school, she had the radio on Kiss FM as usual. While we were both getting dressed, they announced that some rappers got into an argument with Lyor Cohen at Def Jam over contracts and one of the rappers, Kejuan Muchita, shot an A&R because they didn’t sign us. What?!