Rick, Steve Plotnik, Russell discussed on Pantheon



Russell is amped to you. Know be his contact to be his tour guide through you know these clubs and the bronx and queens and that that Host these wrapping. Dj's you know these mc's and It progresses from that point to a musical relationship when the authors of the of the billboard piece or rather the author the billboard piece in his colleague and billboard Rocky ford and jv more decided to create their own. You know talking record essentially so that ends up being christmas wrapping. But they initially want. I think eddie cheever would to do that. Record and again these guys these wrapping. Dj's of harlem. They're not interested in making records again. It's is a very new phenomenon even with rapper's delight like i can't be bothered right. I can make more money in an evening. then i'll make with you making a record So in in ways in many ways it was a restricted kind of vision And so russell insinuates himself into that situation. 'cause i got this great. Mc kurtis blow and that launches curtis blows careers artists and launches russell simmons career as a manager He leaves party promotion essentially behind and he decides that he wants to start Managing more acts and to start producing records. And he does so with the help of a guy by the name of larry smith Who will work with russell. Through the debut of russell's brothers act run dmc which as you allude to really begins to change the game musically and tip it back musically towards the dj and away from the mc or rather to create a little bit more equity between the dj and to bring back that sorta central innovation of hip hop in other words the first hip hop record kinda sounded like disco records with talking on top of them and hip hop under russell. Simmons and larry smith begins to sound more like itself right it. Yeah got its own aesthetic and and this this aesthetic that they that they bring into into into play is much harder and not really dance for us that it's it's a carry the boombox play it loud. Put it in the car and play it loud very macho sound with the drum machines and the scratching and then imitable yelling of russell. Little brother run and his partner. Darrell mack dmc. And the i'd i hadn't realized exactly how explosive run dmc had been and how much from the very beginning. Their commercial prospects immediately exceeded anything else going on. At the time. I knew sucker. He's a big hit. But i the inexorable momentum of run dmc career once they hit the streets once music hits. The streets is pretty incredible. And it's you know russel's famous def jam records but def jam was not the record label that put out run dmc. Sugarhill was out because he knew they had a reputation for not paying. But there's these two partners who have a record label cory robbins robbins. Steve plot nikki. Who have a record. Label called profile and These two white guys. It's one of the fascinating things about the story as compared with the stuff that i've looked out in the show in the past which is more of the fifties and sixties forties fifties sixties. Rb is a pattern of. It's a gradual transformation from white businessmen with black musicians. And now you have. Russell simmons inserting himself in this process. And so the african american business people take a bigger and bigger role but this relationship with profile ends up ultimately that helps run dmc explode but also tied in to their downfall from the very beginning. The relationship is tainted by pretty unfair. Contract How do you look at profiles role in this. I mean they just the next generation of exploiters which is a bit an over generalization or that they contribute as well. Well i have to happen. Sort of Real back a little bit. Because i don't believe that profile Profiles contract was any more use juries than any other independent record contract. It's day in fact. The reason that russell wanted to deal with profile that they had a reputation for paying their artists right so in other words. If they owed money they paid it right. According to the contract according to the book whereas if sugarhill owed money they might not pay it right so i think profile in many ways was a step ahead for business and if you look ahead of profile what comes after profile. Russell's own label def jam def jam horrible contracts. Horrible deal you know It was not contractually. Def jam wasn't any better really than than than on average than Profile had been the difference was the the aesthetic consciousness of the of the owners. Right that Rick and russell made good records and they knew what good records were And they were willing to spend money to make good records and they are willing to spend money to to to make his but that didn't mean that they were willing to give the artists more of a cut. Do you know what i mean. So i'm not what you are right in the sense that they're the seeds of the downfall of run dmc are sewed into the original profile. Deal because what what ends up interrupting their career is run dmc trying to get out of that deal now that they are a bigger artists than any of them ever imagined including profile records. How does profile respond to it. Do they respond like Forward thinking businessmen or do they respond like well. Sorry this contract you know. This is what you promised us. You gotta stick with it I think it was a bit of combativeness in nearsightedness On the part of profiles owners and but also you have to hand it to them as well because most run dmc were big enough to get attention from a major label right For major label to come scoop them up off of profile and give them more money and more opportunity. And all that and i'm sure run dmc would've liked that and i'm sure we would have liked to have been on on def jam which had done a deal with a larger major label columbia Steve plotnik quarter robinson. Were forward thinking enough but they said we're not going to sell our best assets. That's how indies. Go out of business. And that's why major. Stay major in indy. Stay indie maybe. We wanna into a major label. If that's the case we need to keep our most valuable asset. The problem is in keeping it. They created this kind of pirate victory. Where where the whole house. Essentially per down you know. They were willing to torch the whole house just to keep run dmc and it just wasn't the way to do it So it's a more complex more complex history then profile just gave him a bad contract. You know def jam was given bad contracts to the problem was that reasonable adults couldn't work it out and that ended up being very.

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