A3 Friday Nite Live
A5 Underground feat. AMP
B2 Dontwanamcee feat Shalamar De Vinci
B3 Stimulated feat Shalamar De Vinci
B4 No Tolerance
Produced and mixed by Supreme The Rude Boy for Soul Child Music/Unlimited Images Entertainment 1996/7.
Remastered by Jee Van Cleef.
£9.99 + shipping
350 copies ONLY
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Interview with Supreme
What are yr earliest memories of the culture?
I was only five when Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rappers Delight” was on the radio (1979). Although I do remember hearing it, I couldn’t honestly say I had a grasp on hip hop culture at that time. It was around 1983 when groups like Run DMC, Whodini, Ice-T, Doug E. Fresh and The Get Fresh Crew etc. were getting played on Detroit radio that I started to get a feel for the music and style of hip hop culture.
Did you have an older family member that got you into the art form?
Yes. My father Johnny Malone is a famous (well, at least I think of him as famous lol) songwriter who has penned songs and played on albums for artists like The Blackbyrds, A Taste of Honey, R. Kelly and The Mizell Brothers (who are my godfathers). He released his own album “Freedom Serenade” with the Malone and Barnes group in 1976 on the Washington D.C. based Humpin’ International label. I learned the music business from him and he bought me my first professional equipment.
Where did you grow up – area and school?
I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan until age 16. I then moved to Greenville, Alabama after the passing of my mother Liz in 1989. I graduated from Greenville High School. Greenville was interesting because even though I got bullied for being different and from out of town, eventually I became a big fish in a small pond. I knew I had greater things to achieve. Greenville was also where I started making my first rap demo tapes (which I still have).
What local influences [if any] did you have?
Right before I left Detroit in ’89 the Pistons were the NBA world champs and Awesome Dre was the hottest local hip hop artist. It was a great time to be from Detroit. As far as my radio career my biggest influence was and still is The Electrifying Mojo. I remember listening to his show every night being in awe. He would land the “mothership” every night at midnight. It was so theatric but on the radio. Some of his tapes are on Youtube.
Which came first the mic or the beats?
The mic definitely came first for me. I was always writing raps especially in high school when I was introduced to Slick Rick, Public Enemy, BDP, Kane and Rakim. I was an avid reader and pretty decent story teller so I soon became a formidable wordsmith when it came to hip hop. I first called myself King Boogie, then Poet Supreme, ultimately becoming Supreme The Rude Boy. One album did make me want to make beats though: Diamond and the Psychotic Neurotics “Stunt Blunts and Hip Hop”. That one did it for me. The beats were so dope and the sampling was so unique. It would shape the music to come and the influences that followed like DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Muggs, J-Swift and Jay Dee.
When did you first record?
In 1990, the first demos I produced were in Greenville, AL. I was part of a group called Code Nine with one of my best friends Chris Teate (who called himself Vendetta). He was a dope emcee and DJ and I was a dope emcee and beatmaker so in that small town it was inevitable that we would connect. I had a toy drum machine at first (Mattel Synsonics drum pads) but soon after that we got an Alesis SR-16 drum machine and a Casio SK-1 sampling keyboard. We really thought we were doing something radical because we were actually sampling lol. But seriously we were able to maximize the limited sample time by playing the source sample on high speed cassette, then recording it into the keyboard. It was primitive but genius or so we thought. After high school in 1991, I went to college at the University of Montevallo in Montevallo, AL and me and my college friends (Michael “Shalamar DaVinci” Merritt and Steve “The Griot” Spears) started a hip hop group called Joint Effort. We would do shows on campus and branch out into the nearby Birmingham, AL hip hop scene. I left University of Montevallo in 94-95 to work at Motown Records in Los Angeles, CA. I was very excited because it was my first music industry job. My father was living out there at the time so that made it even more perfect. I worked in the A&R department alongside folks like Darrale Jones (the genius behind Usher’s “Confessions” album) and Daune Cummings (public relations expert who now represents actress Gabrielle Union). In 1995 Motown closed the doors on their L.A. office and that left me without a job. I left California, went back to school and settled in Birmingham, AL. Soon after, my father moved back with me and brought with him a bunch of equipment including an Akai MPC3000. My goal was to use the experience at Motown and my newly acquired equipment to release a single for Joint Effort.
Is this material the first recordings of yours that were released?
Yes it was. In 1996, Joint Effort released a cassette single called “Far Left/Da Sho’ Shot” on me and my fathers’ label Brojay Records/Unlimited Images Entertainment. It got a nice amount of airplay on college radio and a few other local Alabama stations in Birmingham, Greenville, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa. Jocks like “Killer Diller” Roscoe Miller, Steve Sloan, Chris Coleman and Kori White gave us some of our first “burn” on radio back then.
How many tapes did you do make?
Three. After the first release, Joint Effort’s cassette single “Far Left/Da Sho’ Shot”, Steve The Griot left the group. Me and Mike went on for a little while as a duo but soon after he left to join the U.S. Air Force. My father believed I was strong enough to go on as a solo artist so he executive produced the next two releases, my solo debut full length cassette “Supreme’s Lounge” (UI9601) and the cassette single “Friday Nite Live” (UI9602). Both were released on Brojay Records in 1996-1997.
What was the response back then?
The response was so-so. I got a little bit of airplay on Birmingham radio and won some talent shows but all that really allowed me to do was some shows and I got to record intros for Birmingham local jocks like B-Brian and Dwight Stone. That got me a name in the streets though. That I was a talented up and coming emcee, host and producer. Because of artists such as myself and local legends Attitude and Red Light District, the Birmingham hip hop scene was starting to get noticed. I started a hip hop event called The Eargasm (the first of its kind in Birmingham,AL to feature all elements of hip hop). The event ran from 1999 to 2004 but the best was yet to come.
What happened after you dropped the tape?
I completed a follow up album called “The Sting” in 1998. It was much better quality and not as lo-fi as “Supreme’s Lounge” but I never released it. After that I just kinda moved on. “Supreme’s Lounge” was a great spring board for me into the industry. I was able to parlay my industry experience into a successful radio career and I’m proud to say I’ve been at it for the past 20 years. I’m currently Assistant Program Director for Cumulus Media’s WUHT FM Birmingham’s Hot 107.7 and Music Director for Westwood One’s Urban AC network “The Touch”. Since 2006 I’ve hosted the “Classic Hip Hop Show With Supreme” podcast and I’m also host of the nationally syndicated “Hangin’ Out With DJ Supreme”.
In 2006, I was able to re-release my fathers’ “Freedom Serenade” LP on limited edition vinyl through a joint venture with the Ubiquity Records imprint Luv ‘n’ Haight.
As a producer I’ve been blessed to work with artists such as Amp Fiddler, Dwele, Wes Felton and Raheem Devaughn. My production work laid the ground work for my latest music venture, as ½ of the duo Shaheed and DJ Supreme. Our most recent releases “Knowledge Rhythm and Understanding” (2013) and “TAOTD – The Prequel” (2017) were released on the Communicating Vessels label, spearheaded by Jeffrey Cain of the groups Remy Zero and The Church. Shaheed and DJ Supreme’s next release “The Art of Throwing Darts” is slated to drop in 2018 with guests such as Chali 2na and Akil from Jurassic 5, Slug from Atmosphere and Raheem Devaughn among others.
Were you looking for a deal back then?
Not really. My experience in the industry plus my fathers’ influence always pushed me to be independent. We always knew we wanted to have our own thing and we tried to maintain that mindset. To own our masters and our publishing is and will always be the goal.
Anything else you wanna add/include for the heads to know about this project?
I’m excited about this partnership with Chopped Herring. I never realized this project was so sought after. It wasn’t until I Googled it and saw a couple of tapes on Ebay (one asking for $95 US dollars) saying it was rare and out of print and whatnot. It really threw me for a loop. Then I posted on a Facebook page specifically for collectors and the response was through the roof. I really do appreciate this resurgence and reexamining of my past work. A big shout out to Chopped Herring Records. Peace!