DJ Premier Blog » Tales From D&D Studios: Part 2

Tales From D&D Studios: Part 2

..So by now yall know I worked at D&D Recording Studios.Good,GREAT.It was the best place to work in HipHop at the time for sure.We made more than hits there we made classics.Not to say that classics weren’t made anywhere else but,let’s face it, if a client ate ramen noodles for almost a year just so they could mix their record in the same room Premier mixed “Mass Appeal”,that says a whole lot..right?!I’m also a fan of Rap music,I got my faves,my top ten,Blah Blah Blah..but a lot of times,these rap dudes will let you down.This time we won’t get into those dudes.However one cat will forever stand out as the most humble, down to earth dude I have ever met…KRS One.To this day I can’t say a bad word about my dude Krs…(or Kenny his brother for that matter)..

I’m a big fan of KRS,one of my favorite Emcees without doubt.So of course the opportunity to meet your favorite artist would make anybody’s day.Imagine getting to work with your favorite artist on their new project…yeah exactly!I’m still an intern at the time mind you but who cares, I get to sit in on the the sessions and learn a few things and get a preview of the new KRS album.Can’t get no better right?Wrong!Here’s why.Everyone has their favorite snack food..KRS Loved cashews…I mean he LOVED them joints.In particular the ones that came in the slim pack that would be on the counter of every corner bodega in NY. He would have me go to the store about every two hours or so to get him five packs of cashews,which were like a buck a piece.Why he didn’t just buy a big ole can of em is beyond me,nor did I care.He would give me $20,each run,to buy five packs of cashews.So on my first run, me being the good intern, I bring him his cashews and hand him his change.He looks at me and says” What Are You Doing?”.. In my mind I was like..”FUCK! What Did I Do?…’This Cat Is Gonna Chew Me Out!”.Oh by the way,Preemo is the room,Kenny,ICU,Willie D,Pal Joey..it was packed in there and I’m expecting to be clowned thoroughly.He says..”The Change Is Yours”…..me..(whew!)..”OK!”..Now mind you intern status means you work for FREE!If you’re lucky you’ll get clients that give you tips but basically you’re free labor.And $15 for a dude that been working since 11am and it’s now like 9:30pm(cause the night intern flaked so I had to stay) was alotta money!I could get chicken fried rice instead of plain!…Repeat the Cashew scenario, and this time I’m sure he wants his change,he just gave me $15.,no way he gives up another $15.WRONG AGAIN!..He gives me the same look and laughs at me..”Yo This Kid Is Buggin’” he goes..”Take The Money Man I’m Good”..From that day forward I worked on every KRS One session they put on the board,and he worked daily!

So let’s fast forward a bit to when Krs is working on the”KRS ONE” album.I’m still an intern but they let me assist certain sessions. This day I’m assisting,not on Krs’ session, but I’m still in the studio cause my session got cancelled or whateva.Krs is working with Norty Cotto and Luis Tineo(engineer and assistant engineer).Luis comes out the room and says to me” Krs needs you”..I go into the room…”Whuddup Krs?”..him..”Yo could you go to that store up the street and buy me a cheap pocket recorder..you know the ones you tape your voice notes with?”..me..”Sure no problem.”I go to the store, come back , drop off the recorder,bounce out the room.Louie comes out again..”Krs needs you again”..me..”Sup Krs?!”..him..”OK this is what I need you to do for me…”..his instructions.. I was to go out into the street and record street noises and say as loudly as possible..” These Are The Streets..Shit Is Real Out Here..This Ain’t No Fucking Joke!”..apprehensive and feeling a lil silly I did it anyway(plus Louie went with me so I wouldn’t look completely bonkers) ..and that’s how I ended up on the song “R.E.A.L.I.T.Y.” off that album.Oh did I mention I got to keep the change from the $100 he gave me get the $15 pocket recorder?And got another $30 for looking out?How could you possibly hate a dude like that?My point?..not all rappers are A$$E$!(But Some Are!)…One!..

Written by Dexter Thibou


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8 Responses to “Tales From D&D Studios: Part 2”


  • Comment from Wiktor

    we want more! :)

    KRS! can i go to buy you something?! :

  • Comment from Luis T

    Dex,
    I def remember that recorder story you and I standing in front of the bodega on 8th ave. People were looking at us crazy..Here’s Dex yelling “These are the streets” lol
    KRS is def a real cool dude.
    And really 37th and 8th ave was no joke either.
    We had Big Willie the crack dealer, mad crack heads,trannies,hookers. I mean if you dont know where you at you might have been violated walking around looking stupid.lol
    So many stories…Good article Dex brings me back..
    Good times

  • Comment from 808shirts

    Thats GREAT!!! I love that line in Rhymes Equal Actual Life In The Youth. SWEET!! Feels good to know that history!

  • Comment from DJSmu

    Dope Story Dex.
    Gotta Love reading those stories. Keep them commin’!
    1 Love

  • Comment from LamarMatic

    such a great read, keep them coming. Agree – feels so good to know history behind a hip-hop classic.

  • Comment from midimadeoff

    Yo that’s a dope story. I was just listening to that album the other day. Is that the same recorder he used to record all the guests on the interludes??

  • Comment from *alfreako*

    I used to work at Power Play Studio in Queens, when I first started I had a chance to assist one of KRS-One’s sessions & he did the same thing as far as the change thing.

    He sent me to store for Snapples but the way he did it to me was, handed me a $50 bill, I went to get the 5/6 Snapples for all the people in the session & when I returned I gave him the juice & his change..
    he turned to Dj Doc who was engineering for him at time and started laughing at me. I thought I did some thing wrong & as that happened the general manager walked in & KRS handed me the change & said it’s yours.
    I was happy but the tool manger was like “What are you doing? Don give him money, take it back Kris”
    Here’s the best part, as I was returning the money to KRS he says somwthing like.. “you’re an assistant here, I know they’re not paying you much so keep it man!”
    Which turned from being to a bummer scene to a winning moment.
    The manager(Gary Shea) was pissy about it because he always had it in for me but as always whatever the client says goes..

    Alfredo Romero
    Power Play Studios LIC Queens NY
    Intern / Assistant eng.
    1991-1993

  • Comment from Jeremiah

    Wow I was an intern / assistant ant power play from like 89 to 91 or something.. I remember Norty, Alfedo, Yanni, DJ Doc, Robert Porter all you cats I even did my stint as desk manager.. I remember running equipment down the street to the other studio at night thinking I was gonna get robbed.. I remember KRS coming in the dub room and just chillin while i made tape copies for him to take home.. he was cool to be around.


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