Balls & My Word
D.J. Ready Red, the producer of the first 3 Ghetto Boys lps had crafted quite a soundscape. 1989's Grip It On That Other Level caught the attention of Rick Rubin who had left Def Jam and started his own label Def American Records. He would eventually sign Johnny Cash and comedian Andrew Dice Clay. He would also re-master,tweak, re-arrange,re-title and re-release Grip It on Def American in 1990 as The Geto Boys (Assassins from Making Trouble was re worked and added as well). A few things happened between the release of Making Trouble in '88 and Grip It in '89. Prince Johnny C & Juke Box (the Mc's that I mentioned earlier) had been replaced with D.J. Action and Willie D. Bushwick Bill was now an MC in the group and Red was still D.J./producer. I don't remember which song I heard first from Grip It/Geto Boys, but I distinctly remember being at the Tropicana, a Richmond ,VA night club that we affectionately called "The Trop" and hearing a mixture of the drums from Paid In Full (which were actually a sample from Ashley's Roachclip by The Soul Searchers), Blues & Pants by James Brown and Gimme What You Got by Le Pamplemousse. This incredible sound that I heard was D.J. Action on a song called Scarface. This song would become such an anthem that he would drop the name D.J. Action. The song started with the signature "balls & my word" sample that Red had interpolated to perfection just a year or 2 before. This was the production of D.J. Ready Red. It's not just about sampling, but crafting a song. What are you going to scratch on top of the track? Which samples go well with what? I told Red every chance that I got that Grip It/Geto Boys is a lesson on sampling, scratching and programming beats. Red was a master, because he was a good student.
My first time on the internet was in 1995. My best friend had just got accepted to law school
|JayQuan & Ready Red 2016|
PS: Red was always apologetic in what he saw as his role in rap music's content going where it did. "Jay, we weren't thugs at all. We all came from good 2 parent households, and we were all good students. We were far from trouble makers, we just needed a way to get into the music industry. Life started to imitate our art, and we had to tote guns to our shows because our music was attracting real criminals and thugs".
Rest In Power D.J. Ready Red