An Interview with Mr. Sweety G “In The Place To Be!”
Troy- First things first where did the name Sweety G come from?
Sweety G- The name came from an All City High School basketball legend that went to Cardozo High school in Bayside Queens. This kid heard me rapping on tapes and he use to copy my rhyme style.
Troy- So listen before you were calling yourself Sweetie G what were you calling yourself?
Sweety G- I called myself M.C. G.J, my partner’s name was B.J. the D.J.. He may still be in prison, he did like thirty years in jail. We went to junior high school together, we had fun making mix tapes together.
Troy- Ok, so you were saying that this guy in your high school who was one of the best ball players, had took some of your lyrics and he used to say them a lot and that’s what inspired you to take his name?
Sweety G- He called me that because I called myself Sweety G, because I was like you know, singing to the girls. The chicks were always saying stuff like “Oh he’s so sweet” because I would talk to them nicely. Instead of being aggressive like when I was battling. I would be on the Romeo tip. In high school, I would sing over oldschool jams and the ladies would say “Oh, he’s so sweet” and that’s why they would call me Sweety G. Like sweet, you know, romantic. I would try to appeal to the women, but at the same time I would come around the other side and its battle time. I’m tearing up anything that is not tied down, anybody that doesn’t surrender I’m on you like Mike Tyson.
Troy- Ok. Well listen, I did a story with Ralph McDaniel’s and this is what he said about you:
Ralph McDaniel’s -Around our way we had a brother name Sweety Gee, I don’t know if you ever heard of him!
Troy- Yes I have heard of him, in fact I am supposed to do a story with him as well.Mike and Dave produced him.
Ralph McDaniel’s – Sweety Gee was one of the first to come out and get on the mic the way he did. Sweety Gee used to come to the Blue Ice or anywhere else I was playing and get on the mic and do his thing.
Troy- Being as I don’t know the history of the emcee in Queens like I do in the Bronx I am amazed you said Sweety Gee was the first cat like that!
Ralph McDaniel’s – Well he was there, early. He understood the whole entertainment factor of it, he got it.
Troy- He has blown up today doing other things!
Ralph McDaniel’s – Yeah he is into Sports marketing and managing and other things.
Troy- Okay so that was basically it, he was giving you props that you was one of the f…
Sweety G- [interrupting] Wait, wait, hold up, hold up, Ralph McDaniel’s of Video Music Box really said that?
Troy- Yes he did.
Sweety G- Wow.
Troy- So you don’t remember this?
Sweety G- I remember it man, but, for this guy to say that, man, that’s big.
Troy- Yeah that was Ralph McDaniel’s. In fact, he brought your name up to me
Sweety G- Wow.
Troy- So now you got your name Sweety G, how long did it take before you started hearing about Sweet G? Was it before or after Sweet G started making records?
Sweety G- As a kid, I’m running around, none of that stuff existed. So I didn’t even know about the Disco Fever, I didn’t know about that lifestyle. I didn’t know about the fly dudes handling the business in the back with the chicks, you know, partying, balling lifestyle! That was an underground culture. I came up with the hustler and the ballers, but in Queens, you know? There was a counterculture, only in style, but it was basically the same movement. So I didn’t know Sweet G existed until that record hit.
I would say Sweet G was an adult contemporary M.C.. Smooth, always mature, intelligent and he heard of my name. We bumped into each other and you could tell he was the bigger brother, the older brother, more seasoned, mature man. No comment, nothing negative against me, no competition, and I never said anything against him because I knew he was an older brother. We were in totally different lanes. This man had major worldwide hits. He didn’t try to snuff me out, nothing disrespectful so I stayed graceful and I’m proud that there’s a Sweet G, and I’m proud to be a Sweety G. There’s just two different rivers going in a different path, it’s all love.
Troy- You said some good stuff there. I never met him but I watched him on this new video that’s getting ready to come out about D.J. June Bug who ran with D.J. Hollywood. And I listened to
Sweet G talk and I was like, “Damn, he seems like a real cool brother,” and his music was pretty good too. Well, there’s only two records I really know about…
Sweety G- “The Games People Play” and “A Heartbeat Rap.” Yeah you could tell, Troy, he was an older, mature guy because when my name came up on those interviews, he could’ve said “I’m better…” But he said nothing brah, I mean nothing but class. That dude knew I was out there and he didn’t say one word and I damn sure wouldn’t say one word because I’m a man of class and grace and principle, I try to be.
Troy- Where were you born and raised?
Sweety G- I was born in Crown Heights Brooklyn and raised in Queens and traveled many places in between.
Troy- Ok and how old were you when you left Brooklyn to go to Queens?
Sweety G- I was eight years old when I became homeless, around the time my mother had a violent nervous breakdown. We lived in one of the first welfare hotel, which would be in Brooklyn, the St. George hotel. xxxx
We were bounced around through the system and I lived with relatives, social agencies, foster homes, stuff like that, until the seventh grade when I went to Junior High School 109 in Queens Village, New York. From there I went to Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside. I pretty much came up in the school of hard knocks.
During the time of Pappy Mason, Pream, Andrew Jackson high school and Russell Simmons was doing events at the City College with Davey DMX. This was before Davey DMX made his first record, he was in the band. That was my time. And I went straight from the streets to getting our first apartment after so many years and then music saved my life. That’s why I started playing with that machine and we took a box and we would make mixtapes, pause tapes. And those pause tapes became on fire. And some of them would leak into other towns. Brooklyn… And the first person to ever let me get on the mic was Flowers. In 1977 the legendary D.J. Flowers was the first person to let me rock the mic.
Troy- What!? Grandmaster Flowers?
Sweety G- Yeah Grandmaster Flowers, I think the reason why he worked for me was because I always respected that classy mature stuff. Because I must have had that R&B thing, you know what I mean, and from that point on D.J. Divine was there along with the Infinity Machine and Cipher Sounds. So I watched them on the street side, and D.J. Divine was classy, his set was always very classy. The Disco Twins were always very unique.
Troy- Who was your main D.J.?
Sweety G- My main D.J. was D.J.Understanding aka UG, who is Tony Moore from Cipher Sounds. He was two or three years older than me. I met him when was D.J.ing at my high school. Because UG was out of South Side Queens and he heard me rap and I saw him spinning, we looked at each other like ‘Oh man!’ Like you know a wide receiver and a quarterback or like Pippen and Jordan, and we recognized it in each other’s talent and started working together. I also worked with the Disco Twins and D.J. Divine of the Infinity machine who were all just as amazing.
D.J. UG aka D.J. Understanding talks about Sweety G.
Troy- What year was Cipher Sounds established?
UG- We got together in 1975
Troy- How did you and Sweety G connect?
UG- The first time we met I believe was around 1979. We did a function at his high school. I was about 19 at the time and I think I have him by about 3 years. When he introduced himself he was wearing a suit. He was looking dapper in school. He came up to me and liked the way I was spinning. He introduced himself to me and asked me a question or two. One was did I need another rapper because he heard a lot about Cipher Sounds and he said he could rap good.
Troy- How many m.c.s did you have at that time?
UG- I was working with a lot of different m.c.s.. I had my cousin Prince, Young God and a kid name Spanky. At that time when I met Sweety G, Spanky had left the crew. See a lot of times I would do parties with Sweety G and I would have my rappers. So Sweety G would call me up and want me to rock just with him because he didn’t want to pay for my rappers. So what I would do is I would go with Sweety G and put on the flyer Sweety G and UG, Cipher Sounds. A lot of times when I didn’t have the money to pay for my rappers. There was a time I didn’t have to pay them but then their head started getting blown up and they wanted to get paid, but a lot of times when Sweety G would have parties he would have them set up uptown and then after a while he would put me on with the parties in Queens. Sweety G started really getting around once he got with Mike and Dave of the Crash Crew because he started putting me on to guys like Spoonie G and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He also got me with Ed Lover. I already knew the Treacherous 3 because I did a few parties with them and my group.
Troy- So how was Sweety G different from the other m.c.s in your crew and in Queens at that time.
UG- Well his gig was he was the fastest m.c. rhyming as well as a singing m.c.. So when he would rap he would come out saying his rhymes real fast then he would do his singing bit “I’m Sweety G, at the place to be.” And what I remember now was there was another brother name Sweet G who was from the Bronx and there were some problems with that because there were times people said Glenn copied the name by putting a Y at the end of his name and called himself Sweety G! But Glenn made himself more popular then Sweet G.
Troy- Why do you say that.
UG- Because Sweety G was very flashy when he came out to perform and got on the mic and Sweety G always let it be known who he was. Sweet G wasn’t like that, Sweet G was mainly laid back. Glenn will open up and say things and get the ladies going as well as get the fellas involved. Glenn was a real showman. Now back in the days Flash as you know had a beat box as well as the Disco Twins. I too had one because a friend of mine name Mic Murphy of the group The System had a rhythm machine and I asked to borrow it.
He said no problem. Now the one I borrowed from Mic Murphy wasn’t as nice as Flash. This beat box I borrowed was pre set. You couldn’t tap it like Flashes, you could tap it but it wasn’t as good as Flash’s. It was good enough where you could do a show with it because it had a funky beat. So I would do that and Glenn would do his thing and get the crowd nice and hyped.
Troy- So that first day you met Sweety G at his school did you let him get on the mic?
UG- Yeah he said he could rap so I let him get on. I always gave brothers a chance to see what they could do and Sweety G rocked the crowd and when I seen that I said you got skills and afterwards I gave him my card and said give me a call we can do a little something. But the thing is is I didn’t know he was that progressive in getting work. Like the next week he’s calling me telling me he ‘s got work for me and him up in Harlem and that was how he introduced me to the Crash Crew. Now in those early days of Cipher Sounds and Sweety G it was all new and it was about giving a show. One thing I liked about Sweety G he helped me put on a show! Now with Sweety G and us as Cipher Sounds we knew we didn’t have a big giant sound system but we had enough sound to rock a place. We didn’t have a lot of bass but we were real loud because we had a lot of full range speakers. But we didn’t have it like the Disco Twins, I never battled them because we didn’t have a enough bass to mess with them. But we sounded good and we were loud. When I got with Sweety G we worked on putting together a show. He would come over to my house and we would work out a routine for a show. A lot of brothers wouldn’t do a show they would adlib.
Troy- So are you surprised at what you see Sweety G, who’s legal name is Glenn Tobey has accomplished over the years?
UG- Not at all because he was always a go getter. Put it this way me and Sweety G were always in competition with each other. I told him I was ready to start producing and it just so happened he was also. I would buy musical instruments he would buy instruments. We both bought drum machines, I bought an 808 he got with a Linn drum machine. I was like my joint is better than yours and he use to say the same thing. It was one of those type of things. Later on I had a group called Cipher Sounds that made a record called 3 Card Molly and Get Moved on. He came out with a group that made house music called Cultural Vibe on Easy Street Records. Sweety G was always a go getter.
Going back to Sweety G now.
Troy- Okay Sweety G the borough of Queens is a very big place compared to say Harlem, where we would go from 110th St. to say 165th St. In regards to going to the block parties, you know the jams and the Harlem World, Celebrity Club, as well as the Audubon and the Renaissance. All those places are within at least fifty blocks. It’s a bigger place in Queens, how were you able to maneuver from set to set? How much of walking, taking trains, cabs, riding your skateboard or bike did you have to do? How did you go about that?
Sweety G- When you live in the street, when you know that as your childhood, a grind is nothing. Like a grind for me was just normal. You know we going to get there if we have to walk there! And being that popular you know there’d be twenty cats coming to my door to drive me there or to walk with me as a crew because the mentality of Queens is not really violent . The mentality of Queens… Queens was really a suburb in the tri-state area. In the movie that I’m in…
Troy- The Founding Fathers of Hip Hop?
Sweety G- Yeah, I make a quote in the film, I say that Queens was where if you were from Brooklyn, moving up, the next borough over with more money was Queens. If you was losing money and you were in Long Island and you wanted to cut down, you would come to Queens. Queens was really a very middle-class neighborhood and even if you were hood or poor it was a step up. And it wasn’t such a step up that it was a step out, like going to Westchester or these other places that are socially more advanced. So it was an easy combination. And in Queens, you’re dealing with more money, you’re dealing with generally… the majority of the families at that time had the mother and father in the house, they had these traditional around-the-way girls and you had to talk to a mother or aunt, so, the social setting, you had to really clean it up, you couldn’t really go crazy with it like you could in Brooklyn. It wasn’t just all out there style-wise. It was really the time of, what’s the name of my man? The Cosby’s. You know, a lot of black families were emulating the Cosby life, even if it was a single parent. So you had to come classy and behave yourself or at least act like you did. So that was that period of time, if that makes any sense.
Troy- Great how you broke it down. When did you first touch that mic? I know you said Grandmaster Flowers but what made you first pick it up, who did you see before you to make you want todo it?
Sweety G- Oh I, was just listening to the music, it was probably in my spirit. But I got to his gig and there was no M.C. there, so I was just watching him spin and I think the difference in the records he picked, you know, not knowing his style, having the research, was so different. I think it was very mature, I think D.J. Flowers opened that up because he was playing not just “The Love is the Message,” but he’d be playing certain disco records. And it was a wider selection, in my opinion, than what I may have heard in Queens, because we were more in the B-Boy culture. And it was early in the night so he might’ve moved to a different sound. And I just came up to him like a kid and said, “Hey, can I get on the mic?” and this man let me get on the mic, he loved it, I came back and he let me get on the mic and he told me I was good, he said “Wow, you’re good man! You travel around?” When he told me I was good, I believed it and I went crazy and never stopped.
Troy- How did you get your rhymes together?
Sweety G- From doing my routines off of the mixtapes that I was creating. So they would be rehearsed in my head cuz I never wrote rhymes down, I’ve never in my life wrote a rhyme.
Troy- OK, but even before that, how did you know to say a rhyme? Where did you get that from?
Sweety G- Wow, it was just an inspiration, like, we took the record “The Beat Goes On” by the Whispers, [Sweet G sings the beat for a bit] and I know I was influenced by King Tim the Third, so that was an exposure. And I still heard the Grandmaster Flash tapes, those were an influence as well.
Troy- So what year would you say you came out?
Sweety G- I came out in, I’d have to say, ’77, officially.
Troy- So you heard one of those Flash tapes before you heard anything?
Sweety G- Yes I heard the Flash tapes, I remember “Please get behind the tape,” and I used to wonder, “Damn, what is it like inside these parties, is it dark, are there girls in there?” I used to imagine in my head, paint a picture inside my head what that looked like. And then I heard Mele Mel’s voice and I heard Flash and them cutting, and I could see through the mixtape the way our people used to listen to Joe Louis box.
Sweety G- And that’s the way I envisioned it. I heard them talking and I wanted to be inside that building. So I made those tapes and then when those other records came out, We never paid records any attention, it didn’t even matter. Records weren’t even real. We used to get records when they first came out from Bobby…What’s his name uptown?
Troy- Bobby Robinson of Enjoy Records?
Sweety G- Enjoy Records, right. To me I thought those records were just going to stay in the city. We had no clue that the s— was international, we had no clue that it was going to other states. It was just like someone doing a mixtape and it didn’t really hit me until Run and them came out. That was the changing point in my life.
Troy- Hold up, I don’t understand this part that you’re saying right now. You’re saying that you didn’t realize that the Enjoy Records were sold all over the world. But basically it was just sold in the five boroughs because we started Hip Hop in New York and for it to go outside everything was totally new to them? They had no idea what was going on. It took people that lived here to take it down South.
Sweety G- That’s true. That’s true but I mean, the exports, they were always.. see, look, industry-wise, a lot of people didn’t realize, when those cats were pressing up locally they were still shipping them records bro. They were shipping them records internationally. They just weren’t telling our people so when Bobby was the big Wiz, pressing his 1500, 3500, they were still bootlegging, even in that time Troy, to be honest with you.
Troy- So you’re saying that Bobby was bootlegging or the people that made his records bootlegged without him even knowing?
Sweety G- Oh people making his records were still never giving him an official count, you know the hustle’s always… the pimping’s always gone on. And, you know, they would have a distributor or a one-stop who would always send it to their boys just for recreational reasons or creative reasons. And because this art form was so scarce people were still bootlegging at that time. And it was undocumented, and it was unwatched, because, you know, we were not charted, we were not acknowledged by the RIAA. Until the major labels came in and started spending the proper amounts of money and going through the official channels. It’s was the Grammy committee, BMI and ASCAP tracking the record sales. The underground and the infrastructure of Hip-Hop remained a secret to most people.
Troy- So how did you get your hands on this Flash tape?
Sweety G- Oh, they were everywhere, Flash was such a great influence. Every hustler, every high school kid, every basketball player had it. I mean the things that they did then, forget about just the Hall of Fame, forget about the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame! These guys were almost like on a spiritual mission how the tapes would travel. They traveled to the military. I mean you just said the deepest thing that I just heard! People would go down South to visit their families with those so-called “Different, funny tapes” and the country boys would hear it and they’d jump off to it. But you just opened up a whole other piece bro, you better interview yourself on that, that’s a whole other article.
Troy- You are right about that. So once you got the Flash tape you started mimicking him and rehearsing for yourself and this and that and you was off to the races from there?
Sweety G- Man that was it. Then I got comfortable and I was watching all the so-called competition. I was watching them in a league and a style of my own and I kept building and building my own set because I knew I was unique. But the speed rapping, the talking trash, I was doing so many things. First of all, I’m rapping fast, I’m telling stories, I’m freestyling, and I’m singing, and I’m singing on the records because I’m so influenced by these different R&B records. And I’m hearing it, I’m interpreting it differently than most guys because my mix is like as ill and as hardcore as you can get it. But at the same time I’m hitting you with the love songs. [sings] “I’m Sweety G,” see that’s more on a slow jam.
Troy- [Troy plays the actual tape Sweety G is singing over the phone] You know I got it brah.
Sweety G- Wow, Wow. And I say that to say this, let me go on the record with this. That is not harmonizing. I am singing Troy. And to take that kind of risk at that time brah, listen to me, that could be eggs or bricks. (Troy starts laughing.) You’re doing a lot, right now you are slowing the party down, you are playing with the money in the building. So, in my opinion, you’re going from [example of upbeat music] all that young black dancing, all that fortitude, all that aggression, all that power, all that confidence! And I’m going to slow that up?! To fifty, sixty, seventy BPM’s?! And I’m talking crazy like “Hey Ladies, how y’all doing?” (Sweety G has bought his voice down to Barry White like.) ‘Listen to this man.’ Like I’m talking like I’m one of the Whispers. And you know what? Your going’ wait until I’m ready to sing. “All the thugs in the back with the guns out, put them guns on safety right now. You dig?”
Sweety G- That’s a whole ‘other head. But coming from my background, coming from this homeless piece, coming from the tough life I had, toughness wasn’t tough to me. Tough is watching your mother have a nervous breakdown. Tough is not being able to eat, brah. So that was nothing to me. You know what I mean?
Troy- I feel you. Yes sir.
Sweety G- And at that time, shout out to the Hollis crew, I don’t want to get in too deep with that, but you know the Hollis crew, them dudes when they were sticking everything up and tearing the building down they weren’t really playing with me too much, because I didn’t really care, it didn’t mean nothing to me. I wasn’t challenging these brothers, but, you know, they weren’t talking to me brah. It didn’t mean nothing to me because I was trying to eat. When I was rapping I was trying to get pampers for my sister, and take care of my family and trying to figure out how the hell I could stay in school and graduate and get some nice clothes without selling drugs. So shout outs to the kingpins from South Jamaica, Queens, who told me don’t get in the game, …I would shout out your name but we’re not going to do a Fifty remix tonight.
D.J. Divine talks about Sweety G
Troy- Divine did you hear about Sweety G before you met him, or did he just happen to walk up on you one day and ask to get on the mic?
Divine- That’s an interesting question. I am not sure if that’s what happen because you never know who is in the crowd. I might have played with him before we met but to be honest with you the only thing I can remember is when I did a show with him at the Olympia Palace. When we did the show there he did his thing. Sweety G is a phenomenal guy. The way he rapped was like…. like an announcer or just like somebody that got the crowd into it. He was like one of the first crowd motivator m.c.s that I seen really focus towards the people and letting them know who he is and not bragging, but just getting people ready like that guy Michael buffer, “Let’s get ready to rumble.”
Sweety G wasn’t one of those type of dudes that wanted to battle people because he knew who he was, so he didn’t have to try to identify himself by destroying other m.c.’s with his lyrics.
Troy- So what was the deal with that routine off Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway’s “Back Together” that you and him did on tape 199?
Divine- We did that at I.S. 8. I did a routine off of that record and he also had his own version that he did. What we did was he did his first and then he like introduced me and I got on the mic and I did my thing. To be honest I didn’t even know he had the routine until he did his first. But I was just as excited about the record as he was so when he finished I did my version.
Troy- So was he ever apart of your crew?
Divine- Nah he was always with D.J. Understanding of Cipher Sounds. Him and Understanding did a lot of things as well as Mike and Dave. A lot of people were getting him mixed up with Sweet G. I think Sweety Gee was out before Sweet G its just Sweet G made that record and that’s where that confusion came from.
Troy- How would you rank Sweety G as a Queens m.c.? Who would you say is better or on his level? Would he be the best m.c. during that time?
Divine- I wouldn’t say he was the best, but I would say he was among the best. Yo when he did parties he use to ignite the party, giving off tremendous amounts of energy with the whistle blowing and the fast talking. He was definitely a crowd motivator, in fact he was one of the best crowd motivators.
Troy- One of the best m.c.s out of Queens at that time for me who could probably compare to Sweety G is M.C. SPUD.
Divine- Okay there you go, Spud. Him and Spud were like on the same level. I’m glad you bought Spud up. Spud would be the perfect example, Spud was that crowd motivator. Him and Sweety G were the only two during that time doing it like that. Some people might have had their little rhymes and routines but the way Sweety G and Spud bought the energy at that time was like no one else.
Troy- How’s Spud doing today?
Divine- I ran into Spud one day by Popeye’s when I was getting off the train. He is doing good and he is very much into black awareness. He is staying over in Far Rockaway.
Troy- So how many times did Sweety G play with you?
Divine- He played several times but a lot of times he just came to parties to hang out and sooner or later he would be on the mic. I can remember Olympia Palace, Empire Skate, Christ the King and their might be times I came to a party with Cipher Sounds and get on the turntables. But like I said the energy Sweety G had he was destine for success. He had a business mind and he was strictly about what he was doing and taking care of his business. When it was about the mic he was just as serious with it.
I remember one time we were playing in The Olympia Palace the music got turned down and he went off on the mic with this routine where he’s rhyming very fast and then slowing it down only to start going faster and then as he coming to the end of this acapella routine you start hearing him blowing a whistle into the mic and it was outrageous, and I mean that in a good way. Then you cut the record and he would go off into some other routine that was very good as well. Man the crowd got super excited because of his style. And I can say this, after the party people were talking about that style as well as imitating it.
What got a lot of people also was how he would rock the mic rapping and then all of a sudden he would start singing and then go back into his rap and that got a response from a lot of people. But with all these things I am saying about his style on the mic and him being passionate about the music he was a very professional dude and like I said earlier he handled his business. He wasn’t just another m.c. that came into the rap game and excelled he came in at a different level, he didn’t come in like an ordinary m.c.
Troy- What does that mean he came in at a different level?
Divine- He came in with a different style. He didn’t just come in with the, “Hip, hop, the hibby de hop” like a lot of m.c.s, including me. See I had a smooth style but I didn’t have something that separated me from the other m.c.s or I should say D.J.s that m.c.ed. I didn’t have a signature. Glenn had a signature style about himself.
Back to Sweety G
Troy- Ok Sweety G so check it out now, Ralph McDaniel’s said you was the first around the block to do it. When you started doing your thing on the mic can you remember the look on people’s faces in the crowd because I know you wanted to make sure the crowd was appreciating what you were doing, that’s what pushed you on, fed your ego, etc. What was the look on their face’s?
Sweety G- First of all homie, that’s one of the illest questions that’s ever been asked! When I sang, I heard my voice on the Disco Twins, Troy I need you to stay with me,
Troy- [laughing] I’m here.
Sweety G- I had heard my voice on them speakers brother. I thought I was in Madison Square Garden!
Troy- Yeah I heard they had one of the best sets in Queens from what people told me.
Sweety G- Hold on though, let’s put the pieces together, let’s keep this real. I would sometimes have perfect sound. There’s no reverb, there’s a natural reverb. There are girl’s CRYING!!!! Emotional with tears in their eyes!
Troy- Like those fans that cried for Michael Jackson when he performed?
Sweety G- Yo Troy! Please call somebody. Ok? The other piece is, the illest of thugs you’ll hear them in those tapes Troy, you got more than I got. Them going [singing] “Sweeeeety G!” That be ill killa thugs! (Troy is laughing some more.) Who are putting the guns down because I’m singing! Dudes are going to get a one and one while I get on this beat. Because that’s when people were bringing it in, ya heard? So I’m saying, “I can’t sing. I’m not a musician. Yo, what the hell is this, magic? What is this sound coming out of my body?” So what happened was, there were guys who were better vocalists than me, God rest the dead, the fella from Harlem.
Troy- Gangster Gee?
Sweety G- Gangster Gee loved that boy. And another one of them [sings the routine from Funk Box] with the female in it. He’s dead though.
Troy- You talking about Master Don, he was their D.J..
Sweety G- Yes, they were like the Blue’s Signers. I was hitting you like Babyface, I’m hitting you like, Debarge, I’m hitting you like a Michael Jackson fan. They were hitting you with the James Brown, with the funk. So when I’m singing, I’m hitting tones so this is just in my spirit, the liberation and metaphorically, and it’s such a thing it’s like steel that can be useful, like steel that can be twisted into great things like buildings and civilization! This was where the whole spirit came from and I was able to transform it into Hip-Hop and in doing that the rewards were quite immediate, because freaks were the around-the-way girls that LL Cool J was talking about.
Sweety G- No tape recorders, no video-taping, no snitching baby. It was a good life. It was no New Edition for a minute ok? So I’m in a paradigm that does not exist! So the world was mine for a few seconds yo. And I wasn’t rough on the girls but I was giving great gratuities let me just say that, in the world of hip hop. And at the time I was getting the benefits of all that drug money from South Jamaica because all the big hustlers and the big money making cats were hiring the top MCs and I was uh, the host, the resident MC for Jamaica Rollerdome, Olympia Palace and Dance Connection. I ran those venue’s. You could not play in those buildings without talking to me.
Troy- Alright, so here go your boys right here from Harlem. I’m going let you hear it for a second. [Plays a Johnny Wa and Rayvon tape] So do you remember them brothers as well?
Sweety G- Yeah, because I respected those guys so much, you know, but in that style, that’s very aggressive, it’s very pronounced, it’s very um, it’s really celebratory and mine was more laid back. Now listen Troy, I’m being cocky, crazy when I’m going [sings] “Sweeety Geee” that’s a long time, bro. that’s a long time. (My sound) is a different kind of sound and I maintained that sound for so long and I look back at it because those are my years, I’m a young kid at the time.
Troy- What about how the crowd responded to you? See you were really the first cat to do it over in your section, and when I would look at like, say, Kurtis Blow, when he was doing say “The Breaks” overseas in Europe, in one of those places and they weren’t dancing, they were just standing there looking at him. So one would think that they weren’t really enchanted with it, but actually what they were doing was just looking at it, saying “This is amazing, this is unbelievable and I finally see what they are doing over in the states!” That’s the impression I get of people in Queens looking at you for the first time because nobody was doing it.
Sweety G- You’re a hundred percent right and I really just gave it to you from my perspective but it’s kind of for somebody else to say, I don’t want to speak of myself in that way but it was a metamorphosis. Check the movie called The Founding Fathers and you will see a lot of testimonies on my contributions to the game.
Troy- What do you mean by that when you say there was nothing else?
Sweety G- At that time, as a traveling MC, the way the great Eddie Cheeba was the ambassador and was the voice to the adult community, as well he was the voice to money! I was that voice to money in Queens as well.
There were always great MC’s in Queens, so many unrecognized, so many I can’t name. But in terms of consistency from the beginning of that art form and the transfer of that art form to the rise of RUNDMC, I was the single most common-known, consistent, all-around-player in the game of hosting parties, singing, rapping as an MC in Queens County.
Troy- Right, I got you.
Sweety G- And I don’t say that with pride, I don’t say that with divide. I say that just to say that’s what that was. And when I hear great men, like great people who really…I gotta say it again, Ralph McDaniel’s is MTV on crack! Ya dig? Ralph McDaniel’s was like BET and VH1 on crack. Before they even seen it because he had to be in the mud, him and of course a shout out my brother Vid Kid aka Lionel Martin, home of stand-up, who was involved as one of my first record makers. He has always been one of my biggest supporters, put ‘em together or don’t put it out. So those brothers had that vision and for them to acknowledge me with such high gratitude and greatness, is one of the greatest, or greatest, I’m humbled for the rest of my life.
Biz Markie talks about Sweety G.
Biz- I met Sweety G through Mike and Dave. Me and Mike and Dave use to promote parties in Long Island and I.S. 201 in Harlem. Before I met him I had seen him on a lot of Queens flyers. I also have a lot of tapes with him rocking with Queens crews like Infinity Machine. When I finally met Sweety G he had already did a record with Mike and Dave.
Troy- How would you compare him and Sweet G?
Biz- Well Sweet G was real laid back. Sweety G was a different type of package. When I say that I mean he could speed rhyme. He could battle rhyme, he could sing, he could story rhyme. To me he was the complete package. A lot rappers sounded like Hollywood out of Queens or other m.c.s. Sweety G sounded like know one but himself. Sweety G was one of the first dudes I ever saw with a fur coat!
Troy- (Troy bursts out laughing.) A fur coat, that’s a good one.
Biz- Yo Troy when I seen him I was like what the hell does he do for a living!!! (We both laugh.) I was a struggling rapper coming up you know what I mean! Plus he had girls. Yo Sweety G was one of the first m.c.s that I seen come off the top of his head and just keep going. And he was one of the fastest rappers I ever heard, besides Kool Moe Dee. But Sweety G use to go fast like those dudes down south.
Troy- You talking about those auctioneers that talk fast selling things?
Biz- Right, but Sweety G would do it with a rhythm. Sweety G was incredible.
Troy- I heard you and him did a routine at one of the parties in Queens and the crowd went bananas! How did you and him get together at all to do that?
Biz- Well it wasn’t like we practiced the routine, we made that up right there on the spot! Sweety G started rhyming and I followed him beat boxing. So he started going a little faster so I started going a little faster too. (Biz starts talking fast as he describes the sequence.) He is going faster and I am going faster with and now he is going even faster and I too am going just as fast as him until now it sounds like Chinese or something pushed fast forward because we are going so fast. We killed all the other people that night on the bill. Which was Love Bug Star Ski and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Yo let me tell you something If Sweety G had the right producer he could have been a bigger recording artist. You know what I mean?
Troy- Yes I understand.
Back to Sweety G
Troy- So Sweety G what made you pick the M.C. over the D.J.? Why didn’t you want to be the D.J. as well, or pick that instead of M.C.ing being as the D.J. was a powerful thing at that time. The D.J. was like Michael Jordan in the parks?
Sweety G- Wow, there you go again..I think the reason…Well I can tell you what I think and I can tell you what I see.
Troy- Let’s get both.
Sweety G- What I have seen is a man that has started the Book Bank Foundation, for ten years that has fed families across the nation, who has brought education to 400,000 people, unfinanced by the government, uncontrolled by the churches, an independent organization, of a person who speaks for those with no voice, I see for those without sight. I can see in the dark because I have vision versus having the visual. So I’m probably a Minister or a clerk, or an Imam or a Rabbi or a Buddhist minister and instead I chose to speak through this religion called Hip-Hop. As a spiritual man I don’t really put labels on any of these things but what God was training me for is to lead the few people that I have led and to build this fabric that I have. Those were stitches of thread to make this blanket that we try to spread across this country, helping people with literacy, education, fortitude, critical thinking, and change. Not just politically, but humanly. So, I was led by the high spirit to go to the microphone and I was probably trained by the offerings of sound, lyrics, melody, rhythm, and I was able to touch people through different communities, whether it be balling, partying, praying! I was in there. That’s what I think.
Troy- Ok, I got you on that.
Sweety G- Is this too real, let me know?
Troy- No, I understood what you were saying mostly, it was as if Moses said “Why me,…
Sweety G- Wow!
Troy- How am I being sent to speak to my people?” and HE said “Don’t worry, I got you”and he’s like “but still, I don’t understand” and HE said “No, don’t worry, I got you.” So, it was like you were being trained early, through Hip-Hop, to do what you’re doing today, you know, your mouth, you have the gift of gab, you have a good way of communicating. You’re a leader of men, you’re able to pull people in, and so that was the best thing as far as grabbing that mic to hone your skills to be prepared for the next level of your life. So I get where you are coming from.
What happened that day when you seen the turntables first?
Sweety G- Nah, I never touched them because I always felt like the music… I think even to this day I always respected the DJ, but I always felt like the music was greater than the DJ. That was because the DJ thought he was greater than the music at that time. So, I just saw the D.J. as a tool, as a tool to deliver a message. I was about the message, not necessarily the music as much as I thought. So, a lot of people did it for expression, some people did it because they liked the sound of the music but there was a secret element which was delivering this message and this message was greater than me. So I must have overlooked the D.J.ing, I even overlooked the mic, I didn’t know why I was doing what I was doing. But I knew the waters, I was cutting a strong way. I was innovating and creating and I didn’t know why. And I was blessed to have these brothers to let me get on their sets, Disco Twins, shout out, Crash Crew shout out, Mike and Dave shout out, Jamaica sounds, Cipher Sounds, Infinity Machine, all these brothers gave me a platform to do what it is that I did. It reigned for generations, from 50 cents mother… excuse me for a minute.
Sweety G- She was a very big supporter, respectfully, but Rapper/Actor “50 Cent” Jackson came back in my life and has helped me with the Book Bank Foundation, and has had my back when no one else in the world…let me say this again brother… 50 cent, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson has had my back with feeding the poor across this country when nobody else was there.
Troy- I hear you, thank you for saying that.
Sweety G- I know his mother, who was a big supporter of mine, she use to listen to my mixtapes. Then I met Mrs. Jackson’s child at the homeless shelter, the oldest one in New York, and we just met on a professional level. His whole movement has moved the movement of the people through the Book Bank Foundation. Talk about that!
Troy- I got you. I’d love to talk about it.
Sweety G- Because I’m not that important homie. I’m telling you.
Troy- I got you. So in your neighborhood, other than you, who else was making power moves, other than the Cipher Sounds, was there any competition, friendly competition? Any real battles? Just in that one area. See I’m from the Grant Projects in Harlem and Tito and Crazy Eddie of the Fearless Four come from their as well. Grant is on the west side of 125th St.. Across the street from the Grant projects is Manhattanville projects and that’s where Mike Cee and Peso come from. Up the hill from us to the right of Manhattanville is Convent avenue and that’s where the Treacherous Three is from. Two blocks heading east from Grant is Doug E Fresh. Two blocks from Doug is Spoonie Gee. So in that little circle that was my neighborhood and we always had outside jams and battles but not real, major, killer battles unless somebody from outside came inside. How was it for your block in that small radius of an area before you started getting international in the borough of Queens?
Sweety G- There really wasn’t a…Oh, God bless Woody Wood, he was another great MC in Queens um, and uh, what’s the other one, he was dangerous, what’s that kid from Laurelton.
Troy- Oh you talking’ about Mikey D?
Sweety G- Mikey D! He was a rhyming machine, vicious, problem, Mike Tyson, gloves off, bang! …oh! And M.C. Spud.
Troy- I feel SPUD was the nicest one, after you, to me. I mean he really got the idea. When I came around I was like “Damn, this boy is going nice and hard.” You know he’s clear.
Sweety G- In his prime he was one of the greatest that ever lived. Someone should be indicted for him not making the old time greatest m.c.s list.….Where is he? I’m looking for him. I’m putting out a reward if you can help me find this dude. (Sweety Gee is speaking tongue in cheek.)
Troy- In ’77, ’78, ’79, you stayed in that same block in Queens right? What was the actual location you were in?
Sweety G- Francis Lewis Boulevard. And then there was Hollis and Jamaica in the same circle. And I was a physical resident in all these places, and everybody was at every single block party and park jam and you know of course Run DMC, LL Cool J were shorties and they use to come to my jams too before they blew up.
Troy- What about Ed Lover
Sweety G- Me and Ed Lover are the same age. He went to Andrew Jackson high school. He was like a mini-Russell Simmons, Ed Lover was like a baby Clive Davis but with no power at the time. He touched everybody, you know what I mean? The fact that he was a comedian, he was a lifestyle kind of guy, and he was cool with everybody, he wasn’t really going for the big money.
Troy- So he was just enjoying that Hip-Hop as well. Not really chasing the money but he enjoyed parting and producing good work.
Sweety G- Having fun, you know living his young life and enjoying that Queens life. Just bugging out, going to Long Island, running around, he made it happen.
Troy- Alright, so now here we go, you were never part of a crew, like other MCs, you were always solo running with Cipher Sounds and other groups that had a D.J. or two. But you were never down where you were doing routines with one or two other M.C.s right?
Sweety G- I did routines as a guest with some cats who were on the card or at the party and we got along. D.J. Divine and I rocked together but most of those guys were on that card because it was better to be on that card with me then for me to blow you off that card. Because I would eat you alive, you know what I mean? Sorry! Better they come that way, better they can roll with me than for me to roll on ‘em because I wasn’t rolling with nobody, even when I was rolling with Cipher Sounds I was not with those other MCs. I was with the D.J. and they were my brothers and I respected their art form. But I don’t claim any of that.
Troy- And why did you prefer to always be solo?
Sweety G- I was a battle type competitive guy and I did not see any competition. It was just no competition, not on that mic dead-on! Not on some battling, not on some MC to MC. Not on any showcasing, not on lyrics, not on style, there was just nothing there. So I showed up respectfully. I let everybody exist, I wasn’t eating everybody alive. They gave me my lane. I’d come in, shock the party, get out the building. Yeah, Mike Tyson style homie. Yes sir, and I’m saying it the same way on this microphone, I’m saying it the same way in this interview, or whatever. That’s what that is. Anybody come here, we can remind ‘em. That old fire comes back Troy, you getting me crazy, you got to stop pushing my buttons!
Troy- Nah we got to do that, I want you to turn it up. Turn it up! Turn it up because I want them people to be taken there to that moment.
Sweety G- No, I mean like for real.
Troy- No for real I got you brother, that’s why me and you talking, I already checked your history.
Sweety G- And I’m obviously a little bit eloquent at times, semi-political, but just imagine if I show up on that set, throw my arm around somebody, say “Yo, homie, I did this, this, this, that, this, this and this.” That’s how that go man. No names called. I’m telling you Troy I got in this Hip Hop thing to feed my mother who had a nervous breakdown and I was homeless from the age of eight. I got in this M.C. thing the way Mike Tyson got in the fighting game. That’s what it’s always been, what it always will be. The guns were always out, never let em down, I am a gentleman. I used to go around like the notorious Jesse James, the stick-up kid. I would definitely romance the girls and give them a nice show. Guns up to the gangsters and to the players trying to eat like me! Stay out of my lane negroes.
Troy- (Troy laughs.) I got you. Alright so check it out now you said you wanted to stay solo. How long did it take before you started going from party to party getting that money, giving them twenty minutes or half an hour, and leaving out and going to the next jam?
Sweety G- I give the credit to Mike and Dave productions, Mike signing me on as an MC, running through Harlem, running through the Bronx, running through Queens, Long Island, Brooklyn. I have to ask you, as a historian, do you really think you could find a way for you to get certified on this sir? I think you have flyers that show me written as number one while I’m in Manhattan sir.
Troy- We got some flyers so I can put it out that you were showcased as number one…, (Props to my man Jeff Aka Sure Shot La Rock a flyer King for sure.)
Sweety G- Troy, I got to stop you again, I got to stop you again, I’m rewinding this, I’m going to do a little Barack O’bama on you.
Troy- [laughs] OK.
Sweety G- In the nation of Harlem, in the nation of Harlem, I’m written as number one in New York City. By promoters who are number one in the country. Mike and Dave were from Harlem. Doug E Fresh is on that flyer. Treacherous Three is on that flyer. And anybody else you name in them five boroughs is on that flyer but for one year I’m listed as number one in Harlem homie. In all five boroughs, number one, on the mic!
Troy- Alright so let me ask you this, other than Mike and Dave who said that, who else said that? What other promoter that you can remember exactly?
Sweety G- I don’t know if it was any promoter but I know it was the MCs and…who was on there that had those big records baby, now Troy we going World Wrestling Entertainment . Of them MCs that was on their Mike kept preaching number one. Now if you got the number one record in the country and you’re the number one MC, you’re gonna say “You’re not gonna bill me next to this nobody with no record that just came out of Queens.” Or you going to get on that flyer and let me do what I do brother and then show up an hour or two after I’m out of the building. Sorry Troy, check the record.
Troy- So how was the hateration coming from Harlem, now that you coming out of Queens and you coming up in there busting that ass?
Sweety G- None at all. I think for a few reasons.
Sweety G- No, let me tell you why I think not. I grew up in a time where it was love and compassion and possibility. You look at the crimes, a thug would stick you up and say “Look dog, just drop your watch, drop the sneakers kid, you know what this is. BK in the building, keep it moving, I’m a see you, see you in Harlem sometime n—–, maybe your luck will change yo, keep it moving.” Ok? That’s how it used to go back then. Today? Somebody might kill you for a starter hat or because, “What you lookin’ at?” Pow! So we were in a period of love. Brothers were talking’ about eating collard greens and “I love my mother” and “Oh this girl dissed me, I’m a square!” You know, so it was a lot of reality back then at that time so when I’m coming around, I’m not coming with deceit. I love Harlem. I’m looking up to Harlem. They’re innovators in the game of Hip-Hop so I’m coming home, it’s the motherland you know what I mean? When I’m go to Brooklyn, Brooklyn just revered it because my style was so different. They just loving that. Brooklyn-born, Queens-sworn. Queens was like “Wow, look what we got.” So, I wasn’t coming to Harlem with arrogance, I’m coming in bowing my head like you know, homage to hip-hop. And Doug, this brother is putting out the illest, sick records, going nuts, icons, you know what I mean? I realized that I was not that important. My goal was to enjoy myself, be creative and earn money to help my family so there was never a problem.
Troy- I got you.
Troy- How did you meet Mike and Dave? Take me to that night when you knew them brothers from Harlem were up in there. Did you know Mike and Dave before they walked up on you?
Sweety G- Nah, I just so this regular dude, real smooth, real humble, with the afro and glasses looking like his flyer. (We both laugh.) Real humble and listening to me talk as a businessman, listening to me talk as a person, listening to my passion. Then I played him some of my mixtapes and he was blown away like, “Wow, Wow, where are you from, etc etc?” And I said to myself “Man, why is this dude saying all this!? Am I that good?” Then I thought as I went home, “I am that good!” Because I didn’t see myself as being better than anybody Troy. I wasn’t even competing with them. I was only competing in Queens because the competition was, “I need to get this battle money! Ya’ll was going back home to two dogs, a cat, and a picket fence over the better part of Queens. And remember nobody knew I just got a place a to live. No one knew, but I had nowhere to live two years ago. Anything moving is getting killed on the farm. Bang!” So that’s why I’m in my own neighborhood like that. So I had evolved and records were evolving now, so it was less about your ego, your individuality, it was always about serving that crowd. I never cared about the reputation. I never really cared about winning as much as I cared about serving that crowd. I served the people, that’s how I got down. I hit ‘em with every piece there was. Clothes, fashion, jewelry, rolling with the fly cats from uptown. I’m bringing Harlem into Queens.
Troy- You said you met Mike and you played some tapes for him? How did he know to come to you and how did you know? What was the connection?
Sweety G- Mix Master Mike was passing out flyers for a party he was doing in Harlem. He told me about a show he wanted to do in Queens. I was at Cardozo High School, I had just finished my last class. it was the first time he was coming to Queens, it might have been Martin Van Buren High School. I was an ambitious kid so I was going to do some of the flyers. I told him that if I promote I could pack that whole building. And that first party was a moderate party, it wasn’t that big of a deal. It might’ve been, Boogie Boys, somebody emerging. It wasn’t one of them bigger cards and that’s probably because somebody was on tour or the records were a little bigger than whatever or Crash Crew was just doing… For some reason the crowd wasn’t that big, but me alone, my following was so insane Troy, I guess it would’ve been like… I’ll tell you what it would have been like. I would have been like 50 Cent back in the day, aggressive, controversial and overly competitive. You know affecting the entire game of hip hop, you know, everything, because there was not a lot of hip hop being played on TV or radio at this time and there wasn’t even any internet.
It was just word-of-mouth and a bunch of loving, passionate kids having fun with this new artform. So Mike coming through put me on, and I promoted myself and what I was doing that night and showcased it to my people in my community that evening. Mike and Dave brought in some other rappers, and those rappers were dope, and then we all continued to grow together with the emergence of artists being signed, different flavors, and Queens went crazy because now you had different hot chicks from other boroughs in Queens. Now you had different hustlers coming into Queens and you also had different acts coming into Queens. So Queens started growing from the exposure of being sexy enough for the other boroughs that everybody listened to their tapes; now they’re in our backyard.
Troy- So you do about four, five parties with Mike and Dave before you went to Harlem and played with them?
Sweety G- That’s a good question. I think it was…nah he took me immediately. After he auditioned me and heard my mixtapes he took me straight to Harlem.
Troy- Right. What about up in the Bronx with Mike and Dave?
Sweety G- We didn’t, we touched the Bronx a little because the revenue wasn’t as strong. I became a co-promoter with them after a few years and we earned a few dollars and we would not have made those few dollars there.
Troy- So you was getting it good in Harlem!
Sweety G- Come on Troy… I was a real young cat. Five G’s in my pocket. I ain’t put up a dime! Huh! and real thugs ain’t beating me, they are not ripping me off. Love! And you’re like, “I’m in high school!” Troy I got five thousand on me, I’m not selling no drugs. And I got a BMW in 1977!
Troy- You ain’t breaking no laws!
Sweety G- No sir!
Troy- So once you got with Mike and Dave this was like ’81, after, “High-Powered Rap?” When the Crash Crew ended up going with the Sugar Hill.
Sweety G- I’m right in there before that. You know, actually Troy, if you go online and Google me with their label, you know, I grew up with them man, I mean, that’s it. I reps that, Mike and Dave reps that. I reps that Doug E Fresh, I reps that Crash Crew. I love Queens, all of that, we rep everybody, this is the hip hop world, it aint about no borough thing, you know what I mean? I reps it all. Queens was my launching pad, Brooklyn held me down, c’mon yo.
Troy- We spoke earlier about Woody Wood, Spud and Mikey Dee but what about Kid N Play?
Sweety G- They were younger kids than me, they were recording artists and then they rapped. I did not know them as m.c.s brother, hold on, I hope this is not controversial, but Kid N Play were recording artists, who rapped, but they did a great deal for the Hip Hop Culture.
Troy- Ok, here’s one for you: Jimmy Spicer.
Sweety G- Jimmy was a recording artist sir. That’s my people
Troy- Because you know he said he got down back in the day early as well. He said he goes all the way back.
Sweety G- He was a party rapper like the great Master D’s crew and the great M.C.s that were party MCs.
Troy- Alright because he’s actually on that flyer with you when it was a singing battle and I’m not sure if it’s Harlem World or where but you on there, Caz is on there, a few other MCs, it’s just a strictly singing battle. Do you remember that flyer?
Sweety G- We probably sang. It was competition but it was no battle. Because if you used that word battle, when everybody got finished singing we would have done some off-the-top-of-the-head raw dog, burn-em-out rapping, and that did not happen on no flyer that I was on. That does not happen, that did not happen.
Troy- Alright, this is the question: Did the battle of the singing MCs at the celebrity club ever go down? If not do you remember the reason? The flyer is February 1981. I know you said you took the solo titles hands down but do you remember that one?
Sweety G- Well on that one I must’ve showed up late Troy, or everybody was gone when I got there. Because I was not in any battles with any of these dudes; that must’ve been a marketing term. Because when we were singing, we were all different brothers singing in our different styles and there was maybe some competition for the ladies but we were all gentlemen, acting like good brothers supporting each other and the art form. I am sure good sir, in terms of MCing, rapping, freestyling or going at it, none of it was happening with me on that flyer bro.
Troy- I got you on that. I just wanted to see if there was anybody of any name that you actually went against.
Sweety G- Nobody can remember it. But each person would say, “We seen this dude dismantle people like Tyson in the first round.”
Sweety G- Nobody will remember names. Nobody will remember because I don’t remember their names. In fact, they probably changed their names if they got in my lane.
Troy- I found the flyer, here it goes. The Celebrity Club, 125th St. Battle of the Century, $5000 stakes, winner-take-all. Busy Bee versus Love bug Star ski is one and then a spectacular battle of the singing MCs. It’s Rayvon, G-Man, Johnny Wa, Cisco, Ronny G, Sweety G, Grandmaster Caz, Paradise, Super Rhymes, Sweet G, Kool Kyle, and the Wood.
Sweety G- That was one of my greatest shows. I think that actually opened up a couple of things. Let me tell you something that flyer was like a rite of passage, when I was on that flyer I was like, “Yo I quit, I did it I am done!” It’s crazy you got that… you’re a historian brother!
Troy- Thank you very much. (Props to Sure shot La Rock. Aka Jeff who is the owner of the flyer donating it to the story.)
Sweety G- Thank me very much? Are you crazy? If you didn’t have this yo, my life is a lie! Are you kidding me? I needed proof because we couldn’t document things like you can today with video, audio, internet as easy as you can today. We didn’t have the resources and thought we would never grow up or our careers could end.
Troy- Understood. Do you remember anything about that night of the battle?
Sweety G- You know, I won all my joints. When they included me in the mix I brought a new diversity to Harlem so I was the new kid on the block. They were so used to seeing Rayvon, it didn’t mean as much to them. “Oh, we know Rayvon, that’s Ray, ooo who’s this kid? Mmm. Wow.” So that helped me. Respectfully. There was definitely a measure of an adult. So I was the new kid on the block. And that had everything to do with everything.
Troy- I feel you. February 4th but there’s no year on it and it says: “High School & College Throw Down. New York City’s Hottest MC, Mr. Sweety G,” and your right in the very middle of the flyer. Underneath of you is New York City’s Master Don, to the left is the Treacherous Three and to the right is the Crash Crew but you are New York City’s Hottest MC. So I got you on that.
Sweety G- Allow me to respond. “Mop anything moving in the building. If you breathing your dead! Killing anything on the farm.” Next question.
Sweety G- You tell me who was in there. He’s a body.
Troy- I got you, I got you.
Kool Kyle the Star Child talks about Sweety G
Kool Kyle The Star Child- We did a couple things together and for a while it seemed like every party I was doing, especially Queens, it seemed like Sweety G was there. This was like 80, 81. But Sweety G was doing his own thing too, he actually had a following, a good following. But I paid attention to him because his name was Sweety G and I use to hang out with my man Sweet G from The Fever. So I was like this guy calls himself Sweety G, “What he do bite that s—!” Troy you know how historical I am, I’m like where you get that name from! But actually he was pretty good, he had that Disco thing down pack. Sweety G was like a Hollywood, Eddie Cheba type dude and he rocked it, Sweety G was good. So we did a couple things together in Queens. We did Riis Center in Long Island City. Shan and Marley Marl were there but they were young at the time. Me and Sweety G also did The Empire Roller Rink back in the days.
Troy- So take me back to the part you said about Sweety G and Sweet G.
Kool Kyle- Well there was a promoter by the name of St. Clair I believe that booked me and Sweety G together but at the time I didn’t know who St. Clair booked me with. So I asked St. Clair who else is on the bill with me and St. Clair said a dude from Queens name Sweety G. I heard a tape of him already so I knew who he was, but what I am saying to myself was there’s a Sweet G in the Bronx and by this time The Fever was rocking a little bit, this was like I said 1980, 81. But this guy was giving out plates calling himself Sweety G. Just like there was another dude that sounded just like Hollywood…what was his name?
Troy- Woody Wood?
Kool Kyle- Woody Wood right. I was like cats from Queens are like biting dudes from over here, what the hell! (Kool Kyle chuckles.) So I really wanted to hear Sweety G to see what he could do, so I looked forward to it. What’s
crazy is I got along with him real cool. I shook hands with him let him know I was Kool Kyle whatever, “Sweety G, what up!” As we were saying what’s up I was like what’s up with him calling himself Sweety G, he had to know there was another Sweet G! He had to have heard that name. I don’t care what nobody says. Who would think to call himself Sweety G?
Troy- Alright are you listening?
Kool Kyle- Yeah
Troy- Glenn Toby aka Sweety G came out in 1977. He got the name because he was sounding so sweet on the mic to the girls, at the same token his name is Glenn. So the girls was like this dude is a sweetie, like a sweetie pie and they named him that. Then Sweety G’s name blew up more because cats were digging his style and so they started mimicking his style and it just carried on. So now out of Glenn’s mouth he told me he never even heard of Sweet G especially because Glenn is way over in Queens. Glenn said he never even heard of the Disco Fever at the time because he was a young brother. And I have to say hip hop was not carrying all over the five boroughs just yet. So when he did hear of Sweet G for the first time he was like, “Oh wow!” When Glenn met Sweet G he had the utmost respect for him because Sweet G treated Glenn with kindness. Glenn felt Sweet G could have been like, “Who the hell are you, trying to sound like me, I am the one and only.” But Sweet G didn’t he treated Sweety G with respect and kept it moving. But my question to you Kool Kyle is where the hell did Sweet G come from? I never even heard of Sweet G until he did those records. Was Sweet G on the circuit like everybody else?
Kool Kyle- Absolutely not, he was Sal of the Disco Fever’s man. Sal had him in The Fever as a manager. He could d.j. which I am sure went on his resume before he got the job. He probably told Sal push come to shove he could d.j. if needed. To be honest with you Sweet G d.j.ed a lot before Star Ski was in there on the regular bases. I think June Bug came in there very early on but Sweet G was like the original D.J. in there but he was really a manager. So that was where he got his start from and everyone knowing him. He wasn’t in the street with us, he wasn’t running around. He wasn’t at the centers or parks and all that. I can’t really tell you where he was from. Sweet G and I hung out, we were cool, but we weren’t homeboys like that. So I don’t know that much about him like that.
See first of all you listen to us talk on the mic and at that time like I told you in my interview that Hollywood voice, that real d.j. voice, that radio voice with the baritone sound, Sweet G was doing that and I was doing it too. But my main influence at that particular time was Hollywood because he did it too. So I figured that was the way I needed to sound. Now as I evolved I got out of that style, but had a little bit of it in me, but I really left that alone. It wasn’t about the, “Get down everybody.” (He says it in a baritone voice.) It was about “Get down everybody.” (He takes the baritone out of his voice.) with a little bit of street roughness on it. Because I was now hanging out with b boys and the Furious, Fearless and Disco Four. I was hanging out with these dudes and they were a little bit younger so they weren’t down with that baritone sound. But they had that in their voice if you listened very closely. Listen to Whipper Whip, Dota Rock, Mel and Cowboy. They all had it.
But my main thing was playing for older crowds where that was all you heard. But when I started hanging out with Mel, Whip, Tito and Mr. Troy I changed up a little bit because it didn’t sound old but it sounded more adult because these dudes were sounding like kids a little bit. Well at least to me they were sounding like kids. and they use to always say, “Yo Kyle got that Disco voice!” And you could tell the difference. I modified, not on purpose but as my experience evolved and I started going to different places and being with different cats and playing with different dudes and I started realizing you playing with these 17, 18, 19 year olds. And not that I am that much older, but you wanted to fit in and be relevant. Now that voice happen to have worked fine in the 25 and older crowd.
So we in The Fever one night and here comes Sweet G and he’s doing that baritone sound, “Sweet G, to the beat!” And he went hard with that and I was like okay and it worked for a minute because The Fever was suppose to be an adult club, but it evolved into being the Mecca of Hip Hop because everybody started hanging in there. Once Love Bug started playing there, Star Ski bought that street click in there with him. He could also play for the older crowd so he was able to fit in. Me and Flash started hanging in there and when Flash got on it was a rap. Because now it’s about Flashes crowd knowing that he’s there. Also knowing that the Furious 5 is hanging in there cats were coming and eventually some of the Furious would get on the mic once a or twice a night. Just because they were there. George aka Sweet G’s style evolved also.
Troy- So with you playing all over the 5 boroughs and with so many different m.c.s and d.j.s all over New York did Glenn aka Sweety G passed the test, was he a part of the real nation of Hip Hop?
Kool Kyle- Yes you have to say he was. First of all he was getting mad work, Sweety G was getting shows. You don’t get shows for just running your mouth and people know who you are. Someone had to put money up to rent a place and figured Sweety G could entertain the crowd, you feel me? If they hired him he was there for a reason. Now we all had a hook up so maybe somebody would hire him once or twice, somebody he knew would put him on. But I seen Sweety G at a lot of places in Queens. Yo he was hot Troy. He was one of those Queens dudes that rocked the way you expected somebody to rock. He wasn’t a straight up rhymer, rhymer, rhymer but he could do that and he did it well. He was more of a club dude like Hollywood, Cheba, like me in the very beginning. But he could rhyme and he was hot. The stuff he was saying was working, he knew how to work the crowd and that combination which I kind of perfected, rhyming, talking to the crowd to get the crowd participation. So I would say lets shout the girls out, shout the fellas out, now we do the zodiac signs. We doing jeans, sneakers all that, that people could recognize and then rhyme and Sweety G was like that too and he was good.
Back to Sweety G
Troy- Tell me the difference between a Queens party and a Harlem party during that time? If there’s a difference.
Sweety G- A Harlem party was very upscale, very sophisticated, you could have a dude in there with twenty million dollars. You could have a man that was fifty dating a twenty-five year old girl, who jumps into an exotic car. You could have young girls who were fifteen and sixteen, well-behaved, you could have stick up kids from Brooklyn, you could have Puerto Ricans, Hispanics, Dominicans, even some Asian people who had traveled and came over to follow the Hip Hop music world. In Queens it was more of a club, in Queens it was more elite, it would be like actually being in the Harlem club in the fifties where everybody is dancing, that specific art form, it’s all of us knowing each other, growing up, it’s almost like a spiritual or art thing. You know, like a gang, like “Oh, this Queens County.” But Harlem was so diverse, so sophisticated and it’s like Manhattan as it was, but Queens was very exclusive and specific.
Troy- Ok, so you can actually say you seen some Asian people in there in 81, 82?
Sweety G- Yeah, I saw some Asian people in there, some of them were more photographers, hip-hop dancers, and most of the time I think they might have been journalists to be honest with you because you could see they were more professionals versus fans. Or they had a video camera and they were doing a story, or taping somebody who had a record out.
Troy- What was up with the club in Queens known as Encore?
Sweety G- I was the resident MC if there is such a thing. I would sleep at my house until 11:30pm, come in the party at 12 midnight and sing “Sweety G at the Place,” grab $3500 and go home after an hour and forty five minutes.
Troy- Encore was no joke?
Sweety G- Yes sir. American Gangster sir. Sound of Queens County. Sound of Queens County. Who is that, Pappy? Who is that, Pream? Who is that, Fat Cat? I don’t know. Every weekend, my house, my building.
Troy- Right, I got you. So what was it like for you now to cross over the river and sit with Master Don and the Def Committee, the Crash Crew, the Fearless Four and these guys had shows with three or four people in the group and they’re putting on a hellified performance like something at the Apollo. There’s no booing because these guys are like the top of the line like the Temptations, Smoky Robinson and the Miracles and people are screaming and going crazy. Now you witnessed the screaming and going crazy in Queens for yourself, how did it feel for you to see those guys do it?
Sweety G- It was like coming to Madison Square Garden to see creme dela creme. This was the Super Bowl. This was the next level. This was me going from being a Park Legend to being in the NBA. These brothers were more well-rehearsed, they had a worldwide following, they had more experience with taking pictures, their lifestyle was more advanced. How do I say this respectfully, some of them engaged in social activities and partying beyond my imagination. Some of them had access to different, flyer type of women, or y’know money, and luxury in certain things. So I stayed in my lane and I have to say these were great guys and I saw nothing but love how we came up. I want to say thank you sir. (Sweety Gee gets the email from me and for the first time see’s the flyer after 30 years.) Friday, February the fourth. Harlem World. I am in the center of your flyer. Hold on for a minute Troy. I’m in the center of your flyer! This is the Treacherous Three at the top of their career. Kool Moe Dee, Darrell C, whoever could have boycotted this flyer and there could have been another story, another day if I was handled the way Kool Moe Dee handled somebody. I ain’t never been handled in this MC game. I do what I do, when I stay in my lane.
Troy- While you were coming over to Harlem, and hanging out with these guys and all that, where was your connection? Like did you have an actual residence in Harlem, like one of the girls you were staying with, one of the fellas, did you have an apartment in Lincoln, Grant or Drew Hamilton housing projects? Because some people don’t want to leave!
Sweety G- [has been laughing for a minute] I always had some sweet young lady yeah, you know, I would stop off in Harlem, a beautiful town. I have a question for you sir why do I keep coming up on these flyers if I didn’t do well in Harlem. I don’t know why I keep showing up because Harlem will boo you, Harlem will boo you and put you under the card.
Troy- Now let’s talk about that battle with the Treacherous Three, what brought it on? How long were you with Mike and Dave before this opportunity came to you?
Sweety G- I built up my fights over a year and I was running through mad communities, I was even going out to Long Island hanging ‘em too by the way. So shout out to Long Island, and Connecticut as a matter of fact, you know, killing everything moving. So I had built up my fight record over that twelve months and that battle never went down with those brothers. I respected them, Moe Dee was so smart and so advanced. He wasn’t even thinking about me, I would’ve been like a fly on his back for him to take a risk of battling with me. He thought so well of himself it wasn’t even an issue, he had moved on a little bit. He’s always been a very wise person, nothing but love.
The young pit-bull, a monster himself, L.A. Sunshine, very tenacious, combative, aggressive! I loved him, he was just like me, you know he would ice grill and kind of growl…And then we’ve got Mix Master Mike, not agitating it, but setting it up. He had me ready in case he could’ve sparked it off to get them to get into it. I knew as a tactician three against one didn’t look good. But I knew I would have got one of them. I knew being three on one, I would’ve had enough skills and enough of an angle to get that crowd to see me as the underdog that never had a chance to win. But I also realized if I went up against them great boys, all that would’ve did was hurt my record, I did not have records. And I did not have a campaign Troy to get me back on if I lost. So I was glad it did not happen and Mike and Dave being my friends, they didn’t taunt me or manipulate me. They let me go and also reminded me of how it could’ve turned out and I was smart enough not to let that happen.
Troy- Ok, but still I don’t understand this. Where did the seed come from?
Sweety G- Just when I used to come to Harlem I would aggravate them you know, come into their building and they wasn’t feeling it. Queens dude coming into their building, they gave me
Troy- What was your location in Long Island where you was tearing’ it up at? What was your connection?
Sweety G- Every flyer that’s up, every Roosevelt, you name it baby. I mean, I can’t even name them all. You know I’m going Alzheimer’s on the kid right now, but you know, check the record, if it ever rained, I rained on it. But I appreciate what you are doing by documenting my existence in Hip Hop but you’re taking this so lightly because you’re humble but you’re not getting it.
Troy- You say I’m not getting it?
Sweety G- But this is what you do!
Troy- Hold up you said I’m not getting it?
Sweety G- No, you don’t understand what you’re doing for history, you don’t understand what you’re doing for society, you don’t understand what you’re doing for education, you don’t understand what you’re doing in terms of your documentation brother. You have no idea what you’re doing. My daughter wasn’t around. You’re documenting all this stuff. You are researching the s—. When I sound real strong and aggressive, you’re going casually, “Yeah you’re right” or “He said this!” You are changing the world. You have not seen your day yet. You will have a legacy that goes beyond and you know, sometimes, they say the prophet has no honor at home, and great things done in a legacy come in another lifetime. But the work that you’re doing is a steadfast and important, strong as these Caucasian and American institutions like the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and like these agencies that document what goes on. You are documenting a history of fallen leaders, of artists that would not exist if you did not in your passionate pursuit of truth, and what gives you light, I would have no breath, are you hearing me?
Troy- I appreciate what you do as well. Thank you for what you’re saying, it makes it easier for me to keep going forward. Like I said, everybody’s story is important to me, I love it, I love the way it connects, the way you feel, you know, the way you felt at that moment, that’s why I wanted to get so deep about Mike and Dave, like, tell me about that moment, because nobody knows about Mike, you know what I’m saying? So I wanted to get it from you to give to the world about him, and possibly Mike coming outside and sharing his experience one day.
Sweety G- I’ll tell you something about Mike. And I’ll ask you three questions. I want you to put your seatbelt on. Do you know who produced Positive K’s first record?
Troy- That would be you.
Sweety G- Yes I produced Positive K’s first record. I discovered and managed Positive K. I was on that first compilation with Rob Base and them. Mike and Dave are so essential to Hip Hop. They are essential to Hip Hop as Ronnie Specter is to Rock N Roll.
Troy- That’s why I want to do their story.
Sweety G- Motown. What Motown is to Hip Hop, Mike and Dave are. I mean what Motown is to Soul music and music as whole, Mike and Dave are to Hip Hop.
Troy- Why do you feel that way?
Sweety G- They set the breeding ground, the growing ground, okay, and they were the design and the blueprint of Doug E Fresh, of Rob Bass, of the Crash Crew. They designed that! Those two brothers and that production company. They started the touring, they started the groups, they toured in your projects, they toured in your parks, they toured at those basketball games. People came to Mike and Dave’s house and took the speakers downstairs. Mike and Dave learned entrepreneurialism. They learned about getting the deposits and having a show and rehearsing and renting out a space. They learned how to duck the cops and move around, move the records. They learned how to keep records and books and how to take a contract and start a record company. They watched that little tiny company fight Sugar Hill Records as best they could until those boys could not take the pressure of signing to another label. And they took it from a brother that had no contract. This man had love, love for them! He was a breeding ground for these giants. Rob Bass. Doug E Fresh. Crash Crew. Master Don.
Troy- So what was it like just sitting down and having some Kentucky Fried Chicken and some French fries with Mike and Dave?
Sweety G- Dave was always very surly, no bull—-, honest, compassionate, humble and sincere kind of guy.
Troy- (Troy is laughing.) I love it!
Sweety G- But he had X-ray vision, he looked through you, if you were fake or a phoney, if you were a user, if you were a con man, if you were not for everybody, Dave wouldn’t piss on you. That’s how he was. Those brothers held me down. They held me down more than anybody in Hip Hop. Mike was a visionary, he was everybody’s big brother, he was the coolest dude, he had the coolness of Miles Davis and he had the vision of a Quincy Jones. He didn’t want to own anybody, he didn’t want to control anybody. And you look at his ownership, and how those boys were able to go over to Sugar Hill. Obviously he did not protect his self legally. If he did Mike and Dave would have benefitted when they went to Sugar Hill. He didn’t even want to sue Troy. He was heartbroken but today he has a master’s degree from a University. Today he has his own business that he’s kept all that time.
Troy- Ok, I’m glad to hear that…He kept it quiet, I hear you. So Mike wasn’t the type that had to raise his voice?
Sweety G- Never. Never. He said, [Sweetie Gee does an impression of Mix Master Mike] “Yo bee it’s up to you…ok! “(Troy starts laughing.) He would be like, “This is what I am going to do I am going to give you 35…” He would pay these brothers more than some of them deserved, yo. He got in there, he knew how to work a budget, he knew how to find the right venue, he knew how to get the flyers cheap. Ok? What’s the greatest flyer dude? My man?
Troy- Uh, Buddy Esquire, Phase Two?
Sweety G- Phase Two my dude, he was like Jean- Michel Basquiat. He should also be in the Hip Hop Hall of Fame right alongwith Mike and Dave.
Troy- Right, exactly and that’s why we have to talk about those people. What brought on your first record “At The Place To Be”?
Sweety G- The first record I did was with a guy named Charles K. Fischer who I co managed LL Cool J with. Charles Fischer who was the first guy on his record, Starfish Records. It was his label and he believed in me and we put that record out and that record was more of a underground, you know, more of a dance/hip-hop record before music had really blown into the commercial piece that Sugar Hill was on. And then from there was the Mike and Dave joint that I did with them, “We Want to Get down.
Troy- You also had a reediting of the song?
Sweety G- Yeah, that played around the world which is so crazy, I don’t get it. It played in Europe and…I don’t know what that’s about brah. Troy this is really, you couldn’t make this up.. This joint is played in Romania, in Budapest. Have you ever seen it on youtube?
Troy- Yes I did, nice. Did they ever ask you to go on tour and perform it?
Sweety G- No cuz the record was like one of those cult records that blows up years later. The record sells and it plays in other countries and festivals. I get requests on the dance music stuff. Like I did something two years ago. I could literally get 5,000 to 10,000 dollars strong on the dance side if I wanted to but….I’m just honored that people love the music, that’s a gift in its own. That my music has some value to people that’s a great enough gift to me. I don’t care about the money.
Troy- I got you. How did that thing hook up between you and LL Cool J, as far being his co manager, and why you didn’t stick with him?
Sweety G- Well Charles Fischer had some legal issues and because Charles Fischer brought me in to co manage, when L.L. and Charles no longer decided to work together, as a man of honor I could no longer work with somebody that somebody brought me to. I believe in loyalty and honor.
Troy- I got you. You hooked up with Mike and Dave again in 1986 to work with Rob Bass on “Getting Paid” from the Fast Money compilation. What made you go back with Mike and Dave?
Sweety G- The artist that he had on there were brothers that I toured with, worked with, so I thought it was dope to be involved. Mike really wanted me on it. Mike came to me for the project and then I bought Positive K to the table with me.
Troy- Ok, so how did you meet Positive K to get him over there?
Sweety G- His older sister was in my class and he used to listen to all my tapes, he was my biggest fan. He looked up to me like a big brother, he was my baby brother and he had some skills. He wrote something down on paper and I liked it. So I let him come over and start and soon he was incredible. He was smart, he was so intelligent, but I didn’t know that he had the street savvy and he had that little edge. You know I saw him as a shorty from Queens but you know he was exposed to different things obviously because he knew a lot more about the culture and the lifestyle, in many ways, than I even knew. You know? So, that being said, that’s how he emanated. I became his manager and I took him to Mike and Dave and after the Mike and Dave record he went over to Nat Robinson and First Priority Music under the management of Lumumba Carson (the son of activist Sonny Carson.) I was the launching pad for that great artist, know what I’m saying, I feel great about that.
Troy- I got you. Alright so from Hip Hop was the next step Garage music or did you stay out the business for a minute?
Sweety G- I stayed out of the business, maybe for three or four years, then I joined this group called Cultural Vibes, we had dance hits like Mind Games, Ma Foom Bey and Power which would be called New York Garage House Music. Similar to what you have in New Jersey Garage Music. And then you had the Chicago house, which was different.
Troy- What’s the differences between the three of them.
Sweety G- Well there was a little bit of difference…Jersey and New York was pretty much the same but the New York artists were very much Hip-Hop, heterosexual, R&B, straight male guys. I think the Chicago artists were more diverse, it was, you know, some Latin, Gay, African-Americans. Even foreigners were different mixed more diverse. And Jersey was kind of like, that was their little thing, you know they had that dance music. For us dance music was inspired by Frankie Crocker and the Disco mixers. We took it more like the Renaissance or, you know all them clubs with Sugar Daddy who was the DJ, you remember Sugar Daddy would be downtown.
Troy- No, I’m not familiar with him.
Sweety G- He did the disco…I would have to do the research in the club because I didn’t really go in those clubs but that was a huge inspiration because they’d be playing all that stuff. Frankie Crocker, WBLS. Then we changed it and took that Hip Hop or that percussion beat and put soul and vocals to it and that became dance music that I became a part of.
Troy- So did you actually change that sound yourself?
Sweety G- A brother named Winston Jones, Paul Simpson, and a guy named Boyd Jarvis, and guys like us contributed to the sound that brought you Colonel Abrams, that brought you Sybil, that brought you Ten Cities.
Troy- I love them guys.
Sweety G- This is that music. Check out the dance music world because what that will bring on the google and the searches is a whole ‘nother world for you. Um, the D-trains. Ok, this is where… The Divas! [sings} In and out of my life. All those dance records. What’s the hip-hop shit? [raps a little] That Jersey record. They used to have those Hip-Hop rap records. Those became big too. The dance rap records. I forgot their names. But you know what I’m talking about right? Those hip-Hop dance records? I forgot the name of it because as a rapper I never really respected it that much. And when I was doing the dance I was really doing it as a musician, doing it as a guy who liked to sing because I was a singer. I didn’t feel like I was trained in the R&B traditional format so I did a dance music beat with rhythm percussion, funky hip hop, and then I did my little lyric to it and then I did African style and International style like the way Brown Bottle was multicultural. And that emerged to be the biggest thing I’ve ever done in music.
Troy- I dug Colonel Abrams as well as Ten City and those other joints but I looked at it almost like it was dance music, you were saying it was House Music?
Sweety G- Ok. You had like Chic, D-Train, that was just disco, that was you know Diana Ross. Then you had your Hip Hop, kind of dance-house stuff, which would be what I was doing. You know I wrote “Sybil” [sings the song he’s referring to, “Sybil, you’re the love of my life”] So I did some things.
Troy- So how long did that last with the house music?
Sweety G- I would say from 1985 to ’91.
Troy- From there what was the next phase? No more music and now you getting’ more with business as far as when you started working with the book club and helping the community as well as being a sports agent?
Sweety G- Yes. My partners name is Alonzo Shavers. We built and sold a few sports management companies. We were registered sports agents, licensed and I took the marketing, the management and the business piece. He was a licensed Rep. We represented over thirty NFL players such as Asante Samuel, #22, we got him sixty million dollars two years ago. We have had the honor to represent guys like Damian Robinson, Josh Evans, Chester Taylor, Travis Taylor, Antonio Freeman, too many to name. And in this business we built it to be a multi, multi-million dollar business and during that time I started doing strategic business developing and managing…
Troy- How did you know about this sports management thing, did you go back to school, did you go to college for this?
Sweety G- I connection with Alonzo who was younger than me and admired what I did in music and I invested into the firm and helped him get his feet off the ground and become a force in the NFL. He had already made some major inroads, and then we figured we would start a company together. I would use the swag, the speed and the creativity of Hip Hop and he would use the structure, the tenacity, and the power of the NFL. We put it together and made one firm.
Troy- I got you. Okay. How long did you do this before you went into the next phase as far as the charitable things that you’ve done for the communities?
Sweety G- Oh, I’ve been doing that for about fifteen years, it was always a part of my life.
Troy- Even while you were doing the Garage Music?
Sweety G- It started just at the end of it. Book Bank started in about ’92. Just as soon as I stopped managing LL Cool J I started this foundation , literacy, education, critical thinking and homeless people.
Troy- And why? What was the seed for that? I know about the past that you told me about, but what hit you that one day? Was it always in the back of your mind or did something hit you that day?
Sweety G- One day I said to myself, “Wow, how did I make so much money, travel around the world, doing all these things?” And I said to myself, “What made it possible?” And then I said, “Whoa, education.” It was me reading all the time, it was me learning all the time. So I said, “Wow, it was books,” because we didn’t always have TV or radio, but we always had books. I said, “Yo man, I got to turn people onto this reading thing and let ‘em know how I became successful.” So I’ve been just pushing education and that’s how I became Harvard man of the year in 2007. I have the congressional medal of honor and the keys to eleven different cities.
Troy- How did you get the congressional medal?
Sweety G- Congress presented it to me for the work I do in the five boroughs. You know every year, and I would love to see you in December Troy, we come to all five boroughs and we feed the poor, the needy, we hit shelters, we go in the subways, we go in the streets. We deal with the single mothers, we deal with the incarcerated, we deal with men and the most hardcore cases in the five boroughs and we serve those boroughs every year and we do this throughout the year.
Troy- Right. Well listen, I just told you before the last time we talked I would like to be down with that part. Please can I get some type of way in with that?
Sweety G- You’re right. You going to hear from the person that’s putting it together, you going to get on the bus with us. Homeless with the hip hop homie, you gon’ cover it close up, Ya heard?