he mid-90s are fondly revered by Hip-Hop fans for several reasons. For starters, they defied convention. The things that were said and how they were presented were very different from today. The uncertainty on records like Group Homes The Realness or Commons Nuttin To Do made for audiences to relate, regardless of socioeconomics or location. Likewise, the recognition of the past was much greater. 2Pacs Old School and Biggies Juicy are loaded with past Hip-Hop appreciation.
Tame One is a product of those times. By way of The Artifacts, he held a lot of attention in the mid 90s. Perhaps that is why his latest venture, Slow Suicide Stimulus, has achieved these lost values. The independent group packed with New Jersey talent not only can open a show for Fat Joe or Lloyd Banks, but they included Grandmaster Caz and DJ Kool Herc in their group self-titled debut.
AllHipHop.com recognized Tame and the Dusted Dons for their true-to-form Hip-Hop intentions. The music is daring, brash, and chaotic. Interviewed however, each member is precise in his purpose and dedication to the craft. While the name sounds self-inflected, Slow Suicide Stimulus, in the eyes of some, is Hip-Hops antidote.
AllHipHop.com: Tame, youve been doing a lot of collaborations: Slow Suicide Stimulus, The Weathermen, The Leak Brothers. Do you prefer being a soloist or collaborating?
Tame One: Ill collaborate with anyone who will let me be me, free of judgment. If you want to collaborate with me then you have to accept my terms, and my terms are just let me do me. Dont judge me for it or try to capitalize off of it, or try to rape the talent like, I dont even f**k with dude. I dont even like money, but hes who he is and I can get this audience off of him. Nah, thats not gonna fly with me. Accept me into the mix unconditionally. If a motherf***er walk into the studio but-ass-naked with a chicken under his arm, as long as he spit his verse on that song, I dont have no problem, and thats all I ask for in return.
AllHipHop.com: Are you worried about dropping so much material all around the same time?
Tame One: I need to clear up one misconception, Spazmatic is like three-years-old. I didnt mean for all of these albums to come out as fast as they did. It just happened that way, but Im not mad at it. Initially, I was trying to attract different audiences and just give people choices. Ive got to work that much harder now, by separating myself into these different genres, but Im not mad at all. I dont know what everybody elses goal in this Hip-Hop s**t is, but when Im 70-something-years-old, sitting up in my chair, I dont want to say I wasted 30 or 40 years in this rap s**t. Id like to have a nice, strong catalog of good music to look back on. That way the next generations can say I achieved something other than industry stress and trying to win all of the time.
AllHipHop.com: A while back, you mentioned that after over a decade in the game you werent really eating, did you ever think about just getting out of the game altogether?
Tame One: Honestly, on a daily basis. Its trials and tribulations, every other day Im thinking, Why the f**k am I doing this? For what, other than self-gratification, self expression, and the little bit of chump change Im getting for it? But, it is what it is, I love this s**t.
DJ Mel-Ski: Even if we didnt have this record out wed still be doing it. Were grown ass men and s**t, were some no job havin n***as, word is bond. But were just making this music like we got it like that. Weve been doing it like this even before those golden years, we were in the basement. So even if we werent putting out records and going on tours wed be doing this s**t anyway.
AllHipHop.com: And that all just comes from having the love for it?
DJ Mel-Ski: You know whats up, thats why were talking right now. You cant get away from it.
AllHipHop.com: Youve been in the game for a minute and Redman is your cousin, do you have any crazy memories/stories of things you did together?
Tame One: Red is just a hilarious motherf***er. Every time I get with him its something funny. But, no one memory just really stands out and Im not going to make up anything. Plus, I dont really want to put myself on blast like that.
AllHipHop.com: How did you guys come up with the concept and name Slow Suicide Stimulus?
Charlie Chan: We had all just finished getting paid and were chillin in the studio talking about how we all live and s**t. I was like, Were the Slow Suicide Stimulus, throwing the idea around of doing a project. We just started building on it and we were all feeling it, so we rolled with it.
Govone: The group and this album didnt really come into fruition until we already had about six cuts done, then we said, Wait a minute, what are we going to do with all of this? This is kind of hot. Then we decided to push forward with it.
AllHipHop.com: How did you guys get connected with Tame One?
Charlie Chan: I knew Tame from back in the days, before Artifacts had their deal. Plus were all from Jersey. They used to have open mics at this spot called The Pipeline and Artifacts used to murder it, plus I knew a few Boom Skwad cats. After Artifacts broke up I didnt see Tame for a long ass time, but I remember seeing his manager after a show we did in New York, so we booked him for a show. It was curtains after that.
AllHipHop.com: How did you guys hook up with Grandmaster Caz?
Charlie Chan: I actually booked [DJ] Kool Herc through my man, and when I was talking to Herc, he said, If you really want to have an ill show, you should bring Caz through, he rhymes, he does everything. So we were booking Caz for a lot of shows and it was some of the dopest shows we ever did. He did Rappers Delight and mad other s**t too. He really just broke down Hip-Hop to all of these young cats, he turned that s**t from a show into a school session.
DJ Mel-Ski: It just reminded me of when I fell in love with this Hip-Hop s**t. Just taking a long shore ride with my family and The Message coming on, I had to be like eight or nine-years-old. I rented Wild Style from my local video store and kept it! So that was just taking me back to my first memories of Caz. Hes been doing it as long as Ive been alive, and to me, he actually sounds better now than when he was crushing back then.
AllHipHop.com: I had to double-check the credits on Roll Up, because he was spitting like a younger cat.
DJ Mel-Ski: He actually gets it in like that; he kicks it with us like that. Sometimes you forget who youre f***in with because hes so down to Earth. He got jerked in this game and hes still down to get with cats like us and stay humble. What more can I say? If it wasnt for him none of this would be happening.
Charlie Chan: He was real down to Earth, and he has the energy of someone whos like 24. Its crazy how much passion and love he has for this game that basically f***ed him over, hes not bitter or anything.
AllHipHop.com: Charlie Chan mentioned that you guys worked with DJ Kool Herc, who practically invented DJing, so were you guys trading tricks or anything like that?
DJ Mel-Ski: You dont teach anything to a dude like that!
AllHipHop.com: I mean, did you take anything away on your end?
DJ Mel-Ski: I was standing there like, Damn youre bad! My knees were knockin. But, Ive had more stage experience since then and rocked bigger crowds. Just to be on stage with him and get accepted by somebody of his stature-that is Hip-Hop right there. You know the wax that he spins is no remakes, hes still spinning the original joints and hes shinin! Those breakbeats that he was f***kin up in the Bronx, hes still got those, he didnt buy them again-hes still cuttin with the originals. Ive got a decent record collection, but I treat my records like s**t, Ive had to buy the same joint like five different times. The s**t that I do wouldve never come to be if he didnt set it off.
AllHipHop.com: During the early-to-mid 90s Jersey was making a lot of noise; Redman, Artifacts, Queen Latifah, Naughty By Nature, and even Lords of the Underground, just to name a few, whats the scene looking like now?
Goveone: Hopefully, its looking up. I think that were doing something really important that should be heard. As far as the entire scene, I dont pay attention too much.
Charlie Chan: I think its still crackin Hip-Hop is still the heartbeat of Jersey, you hear it everywhere you go. I think Hip-Hop goes through cycles, the South is blowing up right now and youve got a handful of cats from New York that are doing it. Redman kind of got adopted by New York and the whole national scene, so dudes arent really checking for Jersey right now.
DJ Mel-Ski: Theyre all still here, but as far as new acts are concerned, its hard for them to be heard because theres not really an outlet in Jersey for them to showcase their s**t. When you think of Jersey you really only think of those names and a few others. I dont even think cats like Joe Budden get their [credit], even though I may not be huge fans of them, cats are doing their thing.
AllHipHop.com: Off hand you could name Pete Rock, but there arent too many DJs who still rhyme and cut, right?
DJ Mel-Ski: Oh yeah, the thing is that most of the people who try to do both, suck. Ill admit that for me to be a rhyming DJ is a big risk. Usually, people are telling them, Ah, stay on the tables. Before I touched a turntable I wrote my first little rap, so Ive been doing both just as long. So, Im really not a rhyming DJ-I do both. I can spin on my head, I can throw my name up, beatbox, scratch and rhyme, thats just from the era that I grew up in. A lot of people dont know that Tame can cut too. During our set, when I go up to rhyme Tame gets on the wheels. That n***a wont leave my equipment alone! Its ill because I went over to his gate and hes got his own setup, his own wheels and his own wax and everything. I was impressed with that. And hes ill as hell, so its not like he needs to do it as a gimmick or anything.