An Interview with DJ’s Breakout and Baron and their Funky MC’s

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Troy- You two were still djing that night right?

Baron- Yes.

Troy- Who was the dj for the battle that night?

Baron-  I was the dj but I don’t know what the hell happened.

Troy- I heard it came close to a fight right on the stage and all of ya’ll were about to get busy and even D.J. Tony Tone who was running with ya’ll before he started Cold Crush pulled out a burner.

Photo from Timothy Brown

Baron- Yes all of that. Tone bought it to a halt.

Troy- So KK what happened that night when ya’ll went against The Furious Four that night? Can I get it word for word, if you can remember for me, because I hear so many different stories, man. Raheim wanted to go to the Furious Four, the Casanovas intimidated ya’ll. They said that your guys didn’t want to MC and Raheim ended up MC-ing by himself. I’m getting four and five different stories.

KK Rockwell- We had rehearsed for a while.

Troy- Hold on, KK. Who put the party together? If you remember that part.

KK Rockwell – Jazzy D did.

Baron- I think Ray Chandler approached Jazzy.

Troy- Okay and why? Why did ya’ll want to face them or did they came to ya’ll?

KK Rockwell – Um, we wanted to play with them. We let them play with us.

Troy- No, no, not play with them I’m talking about battle them.

KK Rockwell – Battle them, yeah. Well that’s what we called it back then.

Troy- Okay, I gotchu. I never knew that.

KK Rockwell – So, Ray Chandler didn’t want them to play with us. Because he said that we didn’t have enough clientele yet. Most of the people that came would be the Furious clientele so we ain’t bringing anything to the table.  But the Furious Four knew that we were making noise and they wanted to kill that noise. They wanted to show everybody that they were the best, “It don’t make no sense in ya’ll keep talking about this Funky Four, know what I’m saying, so we will kill them now and get this over with.”

Troy- That’s how it was? That’s how the streets was talking at that moment?

KK Rockwell – That’s how they was talking.

Troy- And that was mostly Mel or who?

KK Rockwell – That was all of them.

Troy- Man, ya’ll was banging like that and they really started thinking like that. So what about the L Brothers at that time? What kind of noise were they making?

Baron- Troy you better find out what happened that night, man.

Troy- (Troy starts laughing at what Baron said.)

KK Rockwell – The L Brothers was out, they was doing their thing, you know what I’m saying’? But I guess the Furious were just hearing a little bit more about us, you know what I’m saying’? So they came to us like “Yo, let’s do this. Ray Chandler don’t want us to do this but we going to play with  ya’ll.” Matter fact, they was sneaking and doing it. How they thought they could do that, I’ll never know.

Troy- Right, right, right. Cause everybody is going’ to be there.

KK Rockwell – Right and they’re going to give out flyers? So when the night finally came, we let them go first, ya know what I’m saying? They did everything they had. They did the beatbox, all the dance routines. Everything we knew they was going to do, they did. But we sat and we watched them. We was like ok, you finished now? Now was our time. So all through the night, Raheim kept complain’ about his voice “Yo something’s wrong with my voice. Oh, oh, my voice…oh, oh, my voice.” So, I didn’t really pay too much attention to it. But then, when it was time for us to go on, he said “Yo, I don’t want to do it.” We all looked at each like “What do you mean you don’t want to do it?,”  He just said “I don’t feel good, I don’t want to do it.” So we were just standing on the wall just looking at each other and we didn’t get on—that’s how disgusted we were. Then out of nowhere Rahiem gets on the mic and starts rapping. So me and Keith are really looking at him. Sha was looking at him too, everybody was looking at him, Breakout, Baron. We was like you suppose to be sick, ya know what I’m saying? That night Jazzy D wound up getting in a fight with some of the Casanovas.

Troy- Right, Baron said that but Breakout doesn’t remember.

KK Rockwell – You know that story Troy?

Troy- No he didn’t go all the way into it but why did they have a fight?

KK Rockwell – Because Ray Chandler was like “Well that’s my crew and I deserve some of this money from this party” and Jazzy was like, “No you don’t,”  So Ray had already told his crew that, “if they act funny with the money make trouble.” So that’s what they did they started the trouble. So they broke-up the little issue on stage and they took Jazzy downstairs in this room and Ray Chandler was like, “Well Jazzy get in the ring with him-you and him fight.

Troy- Who was Jazzy suppose to fight?

KK Rockwell – I am not sure who he was but the fight didn’t go down and Jazzy gave Ray Chandler a few dollars.

Troy- Now Tony Tone got involved as well?

Baron- Yes because they started pulling out guns. And Tone was trying to keep them at bay.

KK Rockwell – I don’t remember what happen with Tone but usually our security always have some type of weapon with us but this particular night nobody bought anything.

Troy- So who was the crew that was there?

KK Rockwell – The crew from Edenwald Projects but they didn’t have any weapons.

Troy- So once Rahiem says all these rhymes what happen after that?

KK Rockwell – Well we talked about what happened because we felt like he let us down. But even before that night Raheim use to sing the Furious 4’s routines around us. And I use to always say why are you always doing that, they the enemy! When I asked him why he is always singing that he said, I just like it.” Come to find out years later he had thoughts of going to them.

Keith Keith- Yeah his style started changing. His cloths started changing and he wasn’t really into Funky. He  was into the Rhinestones and all that.

KK Rockwell – So, after the P.A.L. incident and I think this was during the summer time he would play on other peoples’ sets, which we didn’t really do. And I kind of told him, yo cut that out. But he kept doing it. So me and Keith, we went to Raheim’s house and we said “Yo, you out the group.” And he said, nonchalantly, “Cool.” And he went to the Furious after that.

Troy- How long you think it took him-like the next day he was running with them?

KK Rockwell – It wasn’t that long.

Troy- Do you remember the next time ya’ll seen each other once he became a Furious Five member?

KK Rockwell – Um, I can’t be 100% sure but by the time we got Rodney and Jeff. See Grand Master Flash and them didn’t have a sound system that summer.

Troy- Oh, that’s when Charlie Chase ended up being their DJ and Flash went solo for a minute because they was mad about that money situation. So that’s what you mean when they didn’t have a system?

KK Rockwell – Right. !979, summer of ‘79.

Troy- Right, right, right.

KK Rockwell – And that’s when the new and improved Funky Four came out. And we played all over that summer.

Troy- And ya’ll had to talk Sha-rock into coming back into the group?

KK Rockwell – Right, Sha had left because we let Raheim go. She said “What are ya’ll crazy letting Raheim go?”

Troy- Did ya’ll have to explain to her that it looked like Rahiem didn’t really want to be with the Funky any more?

KK Rockwell – Yeah, yeah we did, but she was real close to Raheim. So she took a hiatus for a while. She was like “Yo, I’m just going to chill for a while.”

Troy- Although the mc’s were supposed to go at each other. Did one of ya’ll go at Flash on the turntables in the battle with Furious?

Baron- No.

Troy- The mc’s went at each other, didn’t you guys have to show your talents were the dj’s went against the dj’s?

Baron- Nah it was all about the mc’s, it was a battle between them not us. See believe it or not I don’t think Rahiem wanted to come back and the mc’s didn’t want him back any way.

Troy- So did you or Breakout try and talk him into staying?

Baron- The mc’s already decided, “yo he’s out!” There’s no talking that was a group thing. The mc’s were a group, me and Breakout didn’t have anything to do with that.

Troy- But Baron that was originally your crew. That was you and Breakout’s mc’s!

Baron- That was my mc’s but it got to a point Rahiem wasn’t even talking to me. Well the mc’s could really tell you the truth. Rahiem wanted to come back but they wouldn’t let him come back and it was an emergency, we had a block party coming up and we were down an mc and Sha wasn’t there either. So I had an emergency interview and I interviewed Special K. Special K came to my house and I don’t know what was wrong with him but at the time but he didn’t sound too good. I said yo you have to practice more K. I said you are okay but you have to practice more. So KK bought Rodney and Jeff to my house. Rodney got on first and he was banging and then Jeff got on. Rodney said I am not getting down without Jeff. So there we have it the Funky 4.
Breakout- It wasn’t like that Baron. We had an mc try out because everybody knew Rahiem was no longer with us. At my birthday party at 118 Park over on Southern Boulevard along with the Ching Alings gang, who was there…

Baron- No but they came to my house first…

Breakout- No we had an m.c. try out.

Baron- At my house…

Breakout- We did not say they were down at your house we said they were down at the party because many people were trying out to see if they could be down with us.

Baron- Oh okay.

Breakout- You couldn’t say they were down by yourself we all had to agree together. That’s when Rodney and Jeff came and they did that Got to be Real routine back and forth. I said let’s get them and then we all said yeah let’s get them they rocked and everybody said yeahhhh.

Troy- That doesn’t sound familiar Baron?

Breakout- Come on Baron let’s get it together!

Baron- Well…(Breakout starts laughing.) put it this way they came to my house first to do their thing, then let me approve if they were good enough or not ok. I said they were good enough to be down.

Troy- From what Rodney Cee told me in the past the reason why Special K didn’t make it was because he had the letter K in his name, so that wasn’t going to work because it was KK Rockwell and Keith Keith, so there were too many K’s.

Baron- That’s not why.

Troy- Maybe that was part of the reason.

Baron- I heard Special K and at the time and I had an ear for it. I wasn’t with it. KK probably felt in his mind he really didn’t want him because he is a K! I didn’t think about that at the time I just said nah.

Troy- So what came across your mind when you guys seen him get on with the Treacherous 3?

Baron- To be honest I didn’t even know he got down with Kool Moe Dee. But as time went by I found out he found a place to be.

Troy- So once Rodney and Jeff gets down how did Bobby Robinson approach you guys to make your first record?

Breakout- My brother had something to do with that as well as Errol aka Pumpkin.

Troy- So how cool were you guys with Pumpkin?

Baron- He lived right around the corner from here.

Breakout- That was my man. The baddest drummer of all time, the baddest drummer.

Troy- So Breakout you knew him from when you guys were little boys?

Breakout- Yes

Troy- Ya’ll about the same age?

Breakout- Yes. His brother still plays. Yo KK who came up with the name the Funky 4?

KK Rockwell – The name was on a shirt Rodney Cee use to wear.

Baron- RODNEY????? Yo wo wo wo. The Funky 4 man!?

KK Rockwell – Yeah

Baron- Before Rodney became Funky 4 he had a shirt?

KK Rockwell – Yeah him Cowboy and these two other guys they use to call themselves the Funky 4, they weren’t no rap group or anything like that it was just a little hangout crew.

Baron- Oh, so who actually came up and said we are going to be the Funky 4, you?

KK Rockwell – I said it.

Baron- Okay because we didn’t know where the name came from.

KK Rockwell – Remember Heatwaves record, well on the record they use to say, “Because were the Funky 4.” (Later on Lil Rodney Cee said it came from the record “Ain’t No Half Steppin” on the “Too Hot to Handle album.” 1976.)

Troy- Cowboy! Damn Rodney Cee and Cowboy together calling themselves the Funky 4. Who were the other two?

KK Rockwell – Shotgun Rob and Sacoya.

Troy- So Shotgun Rob was down with D.J. Stevie Steve and Rodney Cee’s Magnificent 7 of the Bronx.

KK Rockwell – Right but that was the older brother. Lil Shotgun was the one down with Stevie Steve and The Magnificent 7. That was his little brother. Like I said they were just a hang out crew and Rodney decided to get the shirt.

Troy- So Rodney how long did you know Cowboy?

Rodney Cee- I met Cowboy in 1975. I use to hang out with Shotgun Rob. Shotgun Rob took me around Cowboy because they were cool. From their I met this guy Secoya Walker and Vince Vince. They became the Funky 4 and I was plus one more.

Troy- So you got to see Cowboy in the early days touch the mic?

Rodney Cee- Yes Cowboy was actually the first person I ever seen touch the mic.

Troy- Who was the second person you seen touch the mic?

Rodney Cee- Mele Mel

Troy- Now when you first heard Cowboy was there any other whispers around the neighborhood about Starski, Hollywood or Coke La Rock?

Rodney Cee- Yes but you have to remember that it was still a territorial thing you know what I mean? Cowboy was from the south Bronx but he was from the east side, 166th street and Boston road. Coke and them were from the Westside.

Troy- So does that mean he was a part of the Boston Road crew, do you know about that?

Rodney Cee- You got it.

Troy- Where you also a part of the Boston Road crew and do you remember the members?

Rodney Cee- Yes I was.

Troy- Now the Boston Road Crew I am referring to was the one that was getting down thugging, protecting the block and whatever came with it.

Rodney Cee- No you got two circuits of that. You got the n—— that were thugging and you got the brothers that were doing the music.

Troy- Well tell me about the brothers that were doing the music because all I knew about was the brothers that were thugging.

Rodney Cee- That was Flash and his m.c.s before they formulated the group. Remember it was Flash and then Cowboy. Then it was Flash, Cowboy, Mel and Danny. (Creole.) So before that name Furious it was Flash and the 3 m.c.s.

Troy- And they were the Boston Road crew?

Rodney Cee- They were a part of the Boston Road Crew, yes.

Troy- But Flash wasn’t from up there during that time?

Rodney Cee- Well Flash was from Tiffney street originally. You have to remember at this time the f—ing south Bronx is burnt down to a point where you know everybody in a 10 block radius. So even though he lived on Tiffney street he hung out on Boston Road.

Troy- How many blocks is Tiffany from Boston Road?

Rodney Cee- If I had to guess I would probably say about 10 blocks.

Troy- So now with the Boston Road Crew you said one was the thug crew and the other was the hip hop crew. Who was in the hip hop crew?

Rodney Cee- You had Flash as well as Mean Gene and the L Brothers. All of us were Boston Road crew because we were on Boston Road. You had Boston Road up on this hill and then you had The 9 crew that lived down in the projects over in Webster Projects.

Troy- So how many blocks were the 9 Crew from the Boston Road Crew?

Rodney Cee- Like 3 or 4.

Troy- Damn that was very close.

Rodney Cee- Yeah, we all knew each other, they were the n—— from the projects and we were the dudes off the hill. So this is a small community and everybody knows everybody. There was a lot of n—— down with the 9 because that was a housing project and the projects run from 168th street up to 171st. street and then it runs from 3rd avenue down to Webster avenue. So you got 3rd avenue, Washington, Park and Webster avenue. So that’s a lot of brothers down with them. See they had it set up special also. They had dudes calling themselves the Webster avenue crew because they lived on Webster avenue. They had dudes that said they were the 9 crew because they lived on 3rd avenue.

Troy- So the Boston Road crew were never kool with the 9 Boys aka Crew?

Rodney Cee- Well we hung out at the same joints, we did the same s— but it was just like anything else your block was your block.

Troy- Was there a lot of beefs between projects and tenements?

Rodney Cee- No I don’t remember having too much…but the n—— that I ran around with were real thugs so nobody messed with me, I had no problems at all. There was very little gun play but n—– that had the guns we all knew them and you just didn’t f— with them. As far as The L Brothers they lived right there on 168th street and Boston Road, so all of us considered our selves the Boston Road Crew.

Troy- So before you heard Cowboy nobody was getting on the mic, records were just being played?

Rodney Cee- Well I went to a kool Herc party and I heard Coke La Rock on the mic as well as Clark Kent but that s— was like the radio to me, you know what I mean. Cowboy was the first person I heard put together phases and he use to have a melodic tune going with it.

“To the Westside
make money,
to the east side
make money
to the rock and you don’t stop
keep on and don’t stop.”

Rodney Cee- You know what I mean, so he was first to kind of put a little melodic twist to it. Now Hollywood was doing that type of s— but remember Hollywood is disco. Hollywood is playing to a disco audience/crowd so he is playing disco music and that was really the difference. Now a lot of people don’t want to give Hollywood the credit because it was different, but for me he is pretty much the catalyst to hip hop. I remember being 13, 14 years old hanging out in front of 371 because I was too young to get in but I was able to listen to him through the doors or windows. I never got into rhyming like him but we developed our own style. Just like today its different from what we did, but every 3 years it seems to change.

Troy- Okay bust it Hollywood said he came out in 1972, Coke La Rock came out in 1973 but you heard Cowboy in 1975 did you hear Coke La Rock in 1973?

Rodney Cee- I just moved to the Bronx in 1973 so I wasn’t going to hip hop parties at that point, I was only 11 years old in 73. I don’t remember hearing him in 74 but I did hear him in 1975.

Troy- So you heard Coke La Rock around the exact time you heard Cowboy?

Rodney Cee- Yeah

Troy- So would you say 1975 was the same time you heard Hollywood also?

Rodney Cee- No that would be 1976.

Troy- So when you heard Hollywood did it seem as though his music was just as hot as what Cowboy and Coke were doing?

Rodney Cee- It was hot, It was just disco but it was just as hot as what was being created in the streets.

Troy- So Rodney was cool with you KK before he got down with The Funky 4?

KK Rockwell- I knew him because we lived in the same neighborhood.

Troy- So what happen with Special K?

KK Rockwell- Because you had KK Rockwell and you had Keith Keith and Special K. It just sounded like too many K’s you know what I am saying.

Keith Keith- Plus being as Rodney and Jeff had their routines together and me and KK had something together we just picked Rodney and Jeff. Special K got mad at me because we didn’t pick him. Special K lived right down the block from me so we was cool, he told me later “Yo I am mad at you because you didn’t pick me!” But it wasn’t about friendship it was about what you got and Rodney and Jeff had something together and we did too so we put it all together and that was how you got Rapping and Rocking the house. I told Special K it’s not up to me, we as a group picked the best and that’s what auditions are for.  It’s all good because me and Special K are still friends to this day. And see all Special K had was rhymes that day, Rodney and Jeff had back and forth routines like me and KK had.

Troy- So that’s what really sealed the deal.

Keith Keith- Right that did it, definitely.

Troy- So were you guys feeling Special K’s lyrical style at that time?

KK Rockwell- He was alright.

Baron- Where did all this auditioning happen at?

KK Rockwell – At your house.

Keith Keith- It was at Baron’s house.

Baron- Where did everyone get approved at?

KK Rockwell – At your house.

Breakout- It was at 118 Park KK when Jeff and Rodney tried out.

Baron- Nope, tell the truth.
KK Rockwell – Well it went to Baron’s house first and we made the tape and then Baron said they are cool. Then we said well we got to let Breakout see them. It happened to be Breakout’s birthday and we were playing.

Breakout- My word was the final!

KK Rockwell – Huh?

Breakout- My word was the final!

KK Rockwell – Negative. (We all burst out laughing.)

Breakout- I’m going to kick your ass later KK. (We continue to laugh as Breakout walks away for a moment laughing going into the house.)

Troy- Did anybody else try out with a big name at that time?

KK Rockwell – Nah just some local brothers that I knew.

Baron-  I am a truthful person.

Breakout- Nah not all the time. Troy ask KK who was the star of the show, it wasn’t you Baron.

(Breakout has a hell of a delivery and sense of humor and we start laughing some more.)

Troy- O.k. Lil Rodney Cee what was the reason why you left The Magnificent 7 of the Bronx to go to The Funky 4?

Lil Rodney Cee- I left them because they weren’t real about what we were trying to do. Breakout seemed to have a well uniformed team. I liked the uniformity that they had. So I was glad when they told me they were having tryouts and was even elated when they put me down.

Troy- How did you know about the tryouts?

Rodney Cee- KK, Jeff and I went to Lehman high school. Keith Caesar was going to Gompers and Sha was going to Evander High up on Gunhill Road. When we were with The Magnificent 7 Jazzy Jeff who was on the JV team got us to do a fundraiser for our high school athletic department so they could get uniforms and etc. KK came to the party and he saw us and he liked the way I did it on the mic and he kind of said if he had an opportunity then he would have bought me into the crew.
After the Lehman party The Magnificent Seven started having differences and since there were seven of us so there was always a difference of opinions. So this was during the time we had a battle with the other Magnificent 7 from Harlem with Rayvon, Johnny Wa and Spivey and we won. So we get the little money and while we coming back uptown to the Bronx were discussing what we going to do with the winning money and I wanted them to buy microphones for us mc’s and the dj wanted records. So were trying to figure it out but they end up going to White Castles with that money! They bought like a 180 hamburgers and s—. (Troy starts laughing.) So they let me know at that point they weren’t serious about it so when the opportunity came to audition to join Breakout and Baron I took it. It wasn’t like I was looking to be out they just did something against what we agreed to and that’s just one thing about me Troy I am a man of my word. I am not going to tell you something I am not going to do, my expectations are the same for everybody else as well, which might be a bad thing but that’s just the way I live.

Troy- Okay so for the Magnificent 7 it was 5 mc’s and two dj.s?

Rodney Cee- It was 4 mc’s and 3 d.j.s and one record boy. So it was actually 8 of us.

Troy- And Jazzy Jeff was one of the mc’s with you right?

Rodney Cee- Right

Troy- So why did Jeff come with you and not one of the other mc’s running with Magnificent 7?

Rodney Cee- I am not really sure I believe the others were not assessable at the time. When I got the call Jeff was near me because me and Jeff lived in the same block. Our record man Kevie Kev use to play basketball with Breakouts record man Pookie Dee. Pookie Dee told Kevin that Rahiem got fired and Sha quit and that they were holding auditions and Pookie told Kevin that he should tell me and Jeff. So I think Pookie and Kev kind of picked me and Jeff to go and audition, so I guess they weren’t feeling the other two.

Troy- So how did Stevie Steve take the news?

Rodney Cee- He took it hard because he was looking at me as his number one and I was and I had his back but they s—ed on me. It was July 11th 1979 Breakouts birthday and it was the same day we auditioned for the Funky 4 as well as played for them. It was also the first day me and Sha kind of had it out with each other. She was pissed because I had her mic and that meant Jeff had Rahiems mic. So she came to the park and tried to bark on me telling me to give her the mic. So I was like this is my mic. So that was our little thing.

Troy- So why would she come to you if the whole crew put you on?

Rodney Cee- Well she left the group but according to Jazzy Dee she didn’t really leave the group. So we were the new Funky 4, me, Jeff, KK and Keith Keith. Sha wanted to get back in or Donnell wanted her back in because he thought it would be a good look with four guys and a girl because we would be kind of like the Pips of Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Troy- O.k. I never thought about that. So did you and Sha ever make up after that mic situation?

Rodney Cee- Well me and Sha got real cool.

Troy- Alright guys so what was your feelings about Bobby Robinson when he came on the scene?

Baron- Let me tell you something my father use to have a singing group and he was signed to Bobby Robinson.  This is back in the 1950’s. I can’t remember the name of the group at the moment, I am going to have to ask my mother but back then they were getting jerked off too.

Troy- So your pops knew what time it was and he was trying to tell you to be careful?

Baron- Yes and I don’t know where Bobby came from; did he come to the T- Connection? I don’t know how he came up but he was the first guy to do the record with us.

KK Rockwell – What happen was we did a block party in Harlem on 129th street and St. Nicholas Avenue and we played outside.  I think Bobby Robinson got wind that we were playing there.

Troy- That wasn’t too far from Bobby Robinsons Record shop on 125th street between St. Nicholas Avenue and 8th avenue.

KK Rockwell – Right, so we had another date to play down there but this time it was inside of a community center in St. Nicholas projects over on 129th street between 7th and 8th avenue. I am not exactly sure how Bobby got in contact with us but I know Jazzy D was like “yo a record producer is coming to see ya’ll tonight.”

Troy- So you guys signed a contract with Bobby Robinson?

KK Rockwell- Yeah.

Troy- As far as the D.J.s did you and Breakout…

Baron- Nah I didn’t sign anything.

Troy- So once you guys did this record the date is now February 14, 1981, how did you get that deal to be on Saturday Night Live?

KK Rockwell – Fab Five Freddy use to come to the jams in the park and once we made the record he would come to the shows every now and then, but he also use to hang out in the Village with Charlie Ahearn. These guys as you know where the producers of the movie WildStyle. So Fab 5 Freddy was around Blondie and them at that time. When their record Rapture became a hit we got a chance to go on Saturday Night live.
So Blondie seen us down in the village perform because we use to do some clubs down there like The Mudd Club, The Rock Browns etc.

Troy- CBGB’s?

KK Rockwell – We never did CBGB’s but we did do the Kitchen. Blondie seen us at one of those jams, so when she got a chance to perform at Saturday Night Live she got in contact with us and asked us would we want to go on t.v. with her.

Rodney- Don’t forget we got the deal to be on Saturday Night live because of Sha Rock also. Sha Rock inspired Blondie to write Rapture and that was because Sha Rock was the first female Blondie and her people heard on the microphone. See back in those days Fab 5 Freddy use to walk around with a cassette tape with Flash on one side and the Funky on the other and he would play this tape for all of his white friends from downtown to hear and they would ask him what is that and he would say it’s hip hop and of course they would ask well what is hip hop! I guess he would do his best to explain what it was and then they asked him can they see what hip hop is for themselves and he said, “Yeah, I can take ya’ll to a hip-hop jam.” So now Fab 5 Freddy brings his people to a Funky 4 jam in the Valley of the north Bronx. At the end of the Wild style movie you see that amphitheater because when Fab 5 Freddy bought Charlie Ahern to see the Funky 4 we were in the Valley in the Bronx and the Valley had an Amphitheater. This is where Charlie got the idea for the finally in Wild style to be at the amphitheater on Delaney street next to Smith Projects. So now back to Fab 5 Freddy and his tape. They hear the tape with us on one said and Flash on the other and when they hear Sha they fall in love. Debra Harry also gets an opportunity in meet Flash and that is why in the beginning of her song she says
“Fab 5 Freddy told me everybody fly
dj spinning I said in my mind
Flash is fast Flash is cool.”

Rodney Cee- Debra Harry then goes and does her little thing and that’s because Fab 5 Freddy is explaining to her what’s going on in the hip hop world at this point. The record goes through the roof for them, so to kind of like say “Thank you” because Sha inspired her they decided they wanted to help us. See Debbie and group were coming out of a hiatus at that time. They were signed to a label and they had some issues with the label. They ended up living out the contract by doing nothing. The label would not let them go so they had to sit out the contract. So they were out of the game for a couple of years so when they get out and they get their next deal the first thing they do is Rapture. Rapture puts them back on the map. So to say thank you to us this is what they do, they want to look out for us. What ends up happening in the negotiations is Charlie Ahearn and Fab 5 Freddy want to do a Documentary on the Funky 4. Today they will tell you it wasn’t a Documentary on the Funky. But if you ask any of the Funky they will tell you originally it was a Documentary because the Funky was their first introduction to hip hop. Now Charlie is trying to get us to do this Documentary but Silvia is not going for it. Charlie and Fab 5 Freddy get a connection with Debra Harry and say since you guys are getting ready to do Saturday Night live why don’t ya’ll use The Funky 4 as the musical guest. Now I don’t know if that was Freddy’s brain child or Debbie’s but I know that they discussed it and they agreed that it would be us. So they offered it to us and gave it to Charlie and Freddy to take to Silvia. So Charlie says to Silvia if you let them do this documentary we will get them on Saturday Night live. Silvia says sure. We did the Saturday Night live and then she reneged on us doing the Documentary. That was the reason for the split, that was why the crew broke up!
Wildstyle photo by Michael Markos

Troy- Why did she say she didn’t want the Funky to do the Documentary?

Lil Rodney Cee- Well at that time the Sugar Hill Gang is actually the epitome of hip hop.

Author: Troy Smith

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  1. I’m an Old School D.J. from Ventura County, Ca. I was trying to figure out on the Double Dee & Steinski mix “Lesson 1” the song sampled towards the end, it goes “Everybody’s dancin’ & we’re having a real good time” Also M.C. Twist uses it on “The House Jumps” Does anybody have a listing of samples used in that mix? I know most of them, except that one & the Bernard Fowler acapella “It’s looking real good to ya bay good,so good that i can do it right” Does the actual 12″ have the listings?

  2. Perhaps you should post the question on the OSHH Message Board.

  3. Dj Breakout was the best, Don’t forget about The Jazzy 4 , Petey, Mushy , Judy aka Jazzy J. and Yvette aka Twiggy. we travel with the Brother Disco, B-Herion, Iron mike, and Smiley, Edo,

  4. Yall Need to interview the H.Q. Brothers -Rockmaster Formalo-Skip laRock-Wally G-Charlie Rock and of course the Prince Rapper Acey Ace Barday

  5. Get at me Yvette I have some questions for you and thanks for posting.

  6. I remember dj breakout and baron the funky four plus one i grew up in edenwal pj whats up with DST AND

  7. When Double Trouble were here in the U.K in 1990, I and a few other London emcees recorded a track with them and we showcased it at Hammersmith Palais.
    I remember Rodney moaning at me cos I turned up late for the sound check.
    I was called Blacksheep then but I had to change my name for obvious reasons. The name better suited me cos I’m white.
    I also remember meeting up in Brixton, all listening to the finished track from a car stereo. I was with my girlfriend who was pregnant with our son, he’s now 23! Damn

  8. Blondie released the album Auto America and released the first single which was The Tide Is High it become a mega number one all over the world. Rapture was the second single released a few months later it also went to the top of the charts. But Rapture wasn’t there first mega hit off that album as someone stated in the interview.

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