I could have talked about earlier than that I used to be a school DJ through the time when hip-hop music got here of age.  And certainly one of my favourite songs of the period was Sally, by the legendary hip-hop group Stetsasonic.  And years after my faculty DJ years (however I’m nonetheless a DJ…just about no less than) I had the chance to reasonable a tech panel at Georgia Tech, and one of many panelists was Glenn Bolton, aka Daddy-O… co-founder of Stetsasonic.

It was nice listening to Daddy-O speak about expertise and his experiences in enterprise and the impression trendy tech has had on the creation course of.  However on the time he hadn’t picked up the mic shortly.  However just a few years in the past I began seeing movies of Daddy-O rapping once more.  After which I used to be on LinkedIn one morning and noticed that he posted a sneak peek clip of Daddy-O and the entire Stetsasonic crew teasing a brand new track.  The truth that they hadn’t made an album/DVD is about 30 years however nonetheless sounding nice actually stopped me in my tracks.  And the truth that I noticed this primary on LinkedIn – and never YouTube – actually stood out to me… that’s after I got here down from the joy of seeing all of them again collectively sounding and looking out nice in any case these years!

In it was excellent timing as I had been catching up through DMs with Daddy-O and simply had scheduled a time for a LinkedIn Stay convo.  So beneath is an edited transcript of a portion of our conv the place we speak concerning the early days of the band, why they acquired again within the studio collectively in any case these years, and the way he feels he’s higher now than he was again within the heyday.   This was an prolonged dialog which you’ll be able to right here by clicking on the embedded SoundCloud participant.

LinkedIn for Hip-Hop?

Brent Leary:  I simply thought it was actually cool that you just dropped the little sneak peek on LinkedIn. 

Daddy-O:  I did put it out on Instagram as effectively. What occurred with me in LinkedIn was I all the time used to make use of LinkedIn only for skilled stuff. I acquired slightly tech firm on the aspect and we prepare docs and stuff and expertise and I used to be simply doing that. However lots of people who like what we do are sitting there on LinkedIn and I don’t must really feel dangerous about it. I don’t must really feel dangerous about my bodily job resume being on LinkedIn. And my music continues to be me. So …

Higher than Ever

Brent Leary:  I heard you say you’re a greater rapper now than you’ve ever been.

Daddy-O:  I completely know I’m. In 2016 I began making these information once more, you already know, bodily making information once more. After which once I did that, like I inform all people,  the 2 those that I thought of was Miles Davis and and Jimmy Hendrix. And I simply thought if Miles was right here, would he inform anyone, man, simply go, take heed to Bitches Brew. You’ll hear what I’m about. Or would he do one thing new? And the proof is the final producer that made Miles Davis labored with was Straightforward Moe B; a hip hop man who produced Tupac, Biggie, all of that. So, he already was pushing the envelope ahead and I really feel like Jimmy could be the identical method if he had lived, he would simply do one thing. He wouldn’t say, Hey, go take heed to Purple Haze.  , he would do one thing new. 

So I thought of it lengthy and exhausting between 2015 and 2016 and mentioned, what am I doing? Not, not what am I doing? I feel that is vital. Not what am I doing to maintain the lights on, however what am I doing with my expertise? And I thought of it. I mentioned, man, I don’t rap anymore. Proper? If I simply stopped rapping, all they gonna know me for is the previous stuff. And that was method earlier than a few of the individuals which are massive now had been massive. It’s going to evolve and I’m going to be caught in slightly bubble of like, I don’t know, ‘86 to love ‘91. And, and that’s not dangerous. Nothing is dangerous about that. It’s good to have classics. It’s nice to, to be an artist and know that there’s no less than one basic track that folks love. That’s a terrific, nice, nice feeling. However as a rapper, I’m like, I’m going to get pushed to the again of the bus, you already know, to be just like the previous man and the geriatric bus. And I didn’t wish to be that. I simply didn’t wish to be that. I do know I can’t do what Younger Thug does. I do know I can’t do what Rick Ross does, the youthful guys they’re going to do what they do, however I believed there’s gotta be some line for me. There’s gotta be some opening for me. And so I took  my time and I simply studied it and I trialed and errored. I figured it out. And I do know that there’s a lane for traditional hip hop.

Getting the group again collectively for the primary time in 30 years

Daddy-O:  After I was prepared, I offered it to Stetsasonic and was identical to, look, man, this can be a highway that we may take, you already know? And I’m glad I’m, I’m actual happy with the fellows. They picked up the mantle. They had been like, “all proper, we’ll see the place you’re going with it. Present us what you wish to do”. I confirmed them. And what they had been writing proper now’s loopy, man. I heard The Gentle simply kicked one thing to me the opposite day. He needs to do an interpretation of the Gamble and Huff – OJays Message within the Music. It was loopy. Like that is nice. 

Brent Leary:  Let’s say you’re speaking to one of many old-fashioned of us who do wish to get again into it. What’s the hardest half? Is it getting again into the manufacturing elements of placing a track collectively? Is it going by means of what you would possibly must, to construct an viewers and utilizing these social instruments to advertise the model?

Daddy-O:  Step one I actually really feel solidly is acceptance as a result of what I discovered with my friends sadly, however true, is that they don’t actually settle for the artwork type right now. There’s some validity to that, proper? One in every of my greatest buddies all the time says they shouldn’t even name what they’re doing now, hip hop, they need to name it one thing else. 

Brent Leary:  That’s type of like the standard “get off my garden, It’s not so good as once I did it again in my yea”.  There’s some validity.  There appears to be a sure specific sound that has taken over hip, proper? And there’s not as a lot creativity right now.

Daddy-O:  I feel you’ll be able to say there’s not as a lot creativity. You’ll be able to say that. I imply, that’s confirmed as a consequence of laptop computer producing. That’s confirmed. As a result of it’s evolution. Whether or not we wish to imagine Younger Thug and all people else that comes together with that group is evolution or not. It’s evolution. It did evolve into that. Some individuals would possibly say it’s all backwards; that’s one other argument, proper? However it’s evolution. 

I feel that step one is acceptance. And what I imply by that’s accepting that they’re who they’re they usually can do what they do. Proper. Then you determine who you’re. And that’s the exhausting half. The place is Daddy-O know pertinent to the dialog? The place does Stetsasonic slot in?

Defining success right now

Brent Leary:  What does success appear like to you now, in comparison with again within the day while you guys had been very profitable doing your personal music and producing others, however how do you measure success now in comparison with again within the day?

Daddy-O: One of many issues I’ll say, that’s type of bizarre. It’s only a freaky flip of occasions most. I don’t name myself old-school as a result of I, I got here after Grandmaster Flash and them, who I used to be with the opposite day, too.  Most aged-school cats make extra on stage now than we ever did. So, bizarre flip of occasions. It’s like, we make extra onstage now than we did in our heyday due to this uber demand for traditional hip hop and, and nostalgia and all of that. 

I’ve been making an attempt to persuade my friends to make information, however now issues are opening up once more, pre COVID and now submit COVID, a whole lot of them earn more money now than they made prior to now.  Perhaps not on gross sales and notably there’s nonetheless royalties there, however they exit on the highway they usually make an entire lot of cash. So, so success type of seems to be slightly completely different to all people as a result of for them, success is simply having a superb tour and going out on just a few days, some guys are going out solely on the weekends, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Friday, Saturday, Sunday, making wherever between 4 and 10 grand an evening that ain’t nothing to shake a stick at. That’s candy. And most of them are making $7,500 to $14,000 an evening.

Success for me proper now’s precisely what occurred to you this morning. I don’t care if it was two individuals, which is far more than two, however I don’t care if it’s two individuals after they both acquired up or they noticed it late final night time once I posted it, they checked out it they usually mentioned, man, that’s my man. That’s my man. And these are guys that haven’t made a report in over 30 years. 

Focus of right now’s artist

Brent Leary:  Do you assume that due to the benefit of manufacturing that as a substitute of focusing their efforts on the craft of making music, they’re virtually centered on the craft of branding and promotion?

Daddy-O:  That’s completely true. What you’re speaking about is what I described because the making of a masterpiece, proper? So, you already know, you take a look at Dr. Dre’s Power, otherwise you take a look at Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Tens of millions to Maintain Us Again, otherwise you take a look at Stetsasonic In Full Gear. This was all a making of a masterpiece, proper? So it’s all trial-and-error, determining sounds getting in options, even for those who get in options the way you match these options in; we’re recording on two inch tape. In order that’s an entire different factor, proper? Recording on two inch tape versus this digital recording that we do now in DAW is a completely completely different factor. In order that being virtually extinct, it does make individuals focus extra on model.

Greatest yr in hip-hop

Brent Leary:  So I’ve to ask, why do you assume 1988 was the perfect yr in hip-hop?

Daddy-O:  I simply assume sonically, it culminated the whole lot. I feel ‘86 was nice. That’s the place we noticed the introduction to Salt-N-Pepa and some different individuals. After which ‘87 was virtually the yr, Eric B and Rakim. However by the point ‘88 got here, we had all come to the conclusion of figuring out find out how to make information. If you concentrate on it, Public Enemy had a primary album and Yo Bum Rush the Present, and I’ll simply use us too. Stetsasonic had a primary album On Hearth, nice information. And for some purists, these are the perfect information on the planet. They nonetheless take these information over anything we made, however by the point ‘88 got here round, we understood extra issues concerning the studio. We had been on the highway, no less than for a trial run for us and Public Enemy was greater than a trial run trigger LL cool J took us out. 

So we went on the Def jam tour. We simply discovered and acquired our footing within the music enterprise; what we had been going to be as recording artists. So by the point all of us got here round, most of us had made these sophomore information. These information had been excellent as a result of sonically, we knew the place it was at. And I don’t know if any yr may even compete with the Sonics of ‘88 as a result of, let’s face it Puffy with Dangerous Boy makes good information. However for probably the most half they’re loud, proper? So they may not be nearly as good as they’re loud as a result of by that point they found out find out how to flip quantity up within the mastering studio. However nearly as good as these Biggie information sound, for those who put it up in opposition to a Public Enemy monitor, it’s not going to truthful off sonically. The Public Enemy monitor continues to be going to eat it as a result of we acquired our groove then. 

Right here’s the opposite a part of by ’88; when one thing is – and software program engineers can establish with this – when one thing is deliberate and experimental, that’s what makes us tremendous dope.

That is a part of the One-on-One Interview collection with thought leaders. The transcript has been edited for publication. If it is an audio or video interview, click on on the embedded participant above, or subscribe through iTunes or through Stitcher.

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