Producer: Diamond D
Album: Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop
Diamond D: “I was working out of Calliope Studios at the time. Most of my album was recorded at Jazzy Jay’s studio, but I did a couple songs there. Lakim Shabazz gave me the record with the bass line sample. Lakim is a beat head, but most people wouldn’t know it. They know him from ‘Black is Back’ and from being an MC.
“It took me a couple days to find the right drums to match with with the bass line, and then I added some horns. Back then, I would just sit around with records and try to find horns that would match, because the horns had to be in the same key [as the bass line]. There really was a science to that shit.
“When you’re layering samples, they all have to be in key. You might have to go through a lot of records to find that thing that sounds good, and doesn’t sound forced. I played in a band class, but I’m not gonna sit here and front like I knew keys and chord changes. But I have a good ear, and I can hear when something is in key. I might not be able to tell you what key it’s in, but I know when something is in the right key.
“That video was made on a boat on the Hudson River. It was an old boat, and it had that military, submarine look to it. There was a lot of metal. You saw Sadat X swinging the hammer. Fat Joe was swinging the hammer with the goggles on. Big L was there. I remember Fat Joe almost fell out of the little boat we took out to get to the big boat. There was a little slip-up in the transition. Everyone there from Mercury Records was praying he didn’t get hurt. But nobody got hurt.”