Slow Suicide Stimulus: Suicidal Thoughts

T he mid-90’s 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 Home’s “The Realness” or Common’s “Nuttin’ To Do” made for audiences to relate, regardless of socioeconomics or […]

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he mid-90’s 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 Home’s “The Realness” or Common’s “Nuttin’ To Do” made for audiences to relate, regardless of socioeconomics or location. Likewise, the recognition of the past was much greater. 2Pac’s “Old School” and Biggie’s “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 90’s. 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. 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-Hop’s antidote. Tame, you’ve been doing a lot of collaborations: Slow Suicide Stimulus, The Weathermen, The Leak Brothers. Do you prefer being a soloist or collaborating?

Tame One: I’ll 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. Don’t judge me for it or try to capitalize off of it, or try to rape the talent like, “I don’t even f**k with dude. I don’t even like money, but he’s who he is and I can get this audience off of him.” Nah, that’s 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 don’t have no problem, and that’s all I ask for in return. 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 didn’t mean for all of these albums to come out as fast as they did. It just happened that way, but I’m not mad at it. Initially, I was trying to attract different audiences and just give people choices. I’ve got to work that much harder now, by separating myself into these different genres, but I’m not mad at all. I don’t know what everybody else’s goal in this Hip-Hop s**t is, but when I’m 70-something-years-old, sitting up in my chair, I don’t want to say I wasted 30 or 40 years in this rap s**t. I’d 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. A while back, you mentioned that after over a decade in the game you weren’t really eating, did you ever think about just getting out of the game altogether?

Tame One: Honestly, on a daily basis. It’s trials and tribulations, every other day I’m thinking, “Why the f**k am I doing this? For what, other than self-gratification, self expression, and the little bit of chump change I’m getting for it?” But, it is what it is, I love this s**t.

DJ Mel-Ski: Even if we didn’t have this record out we’d still be doing it. We’re grown ass men and s**t, we’re some no job havin’ n***as, word is bond. But we’re just making this music like we got it like that. We’ve been doing it like this even before those golden years, we were in the basement. So even if we weren’t putting out records and going on tours we’d be doing this s**t anyway. And that all just comes from having the love for it?

DJ Mel-Ski: You know what’s up, that’s why we’re talking right now. You can’t get away from it. You’ve 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 I’m not going to make up anything. Plus, I don’t really want to put myself on blast like that. 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, “We’re 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 didn’t 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. 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 we’re 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 didn’t 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. 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 “Rapper’s 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. He’s been doing it as long as I’ve been alive, and to me, he actually sounds better now than when he was crushing back then. 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 you’re f***in’ with because he’s so down to Earth. He got jerked in this game and he’s still down to get with cats like us and stay humble. What more can I say? If it wasn’t for him none of this would be happening.

Charlie Chan: He was real down to Earth, and he has the energy of someone who’s like 24. It’s crazy how much passion and love he has for this game that basically f***ed him over, he’s not bitter or anything. 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 don’t teach anything to a dude like that! I mean, did you take anything away on your end?

DJ Mel-Ski: I was standing there like, “Damn you’re bad!” My knees were knockin’. But, I’ve 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, he’s still spinning the original joints and he’s shinin’! Those breakbeats that he was f***kin’ up in the Bronx, he’s still got those, he didn’t buy them again-he’s still cuttin’ with the originals. I’ve got a decent record collection, but I treat my records like s**t, I’ve had to buy the same joint like five different times. The s**t that I do would’ve never come to be if he didn’t set it off. During the early-to-mid ‘90’s 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, what’s the scene looking like now?

Goveone: Hopefully, it’s looking up. I think that we’re doing something really important that should be heard. As far as the entire scene, I don’t pay attention too much.

Charlie Chan: I think it’s 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 you’ve 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 aren’t really checking for Jersey right now.

DJ Mel-Ski: They’re all still here, but as far as new acts are concerned, it’s hard for them to be heard because there’s 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 don’t even think cats like Joe Budden get their [credit], even though I may not be huge fans of them, cats are doing their thing. Off hand you could name Pete Rock, but there aren’t too many DJ’s 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. I’ll 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 I’ve been doing both just as long. So, I’m really not a rhyming DJ-I do both. I can spin on my head, I can throw my name up, beatbox, scratch and rhyme, that’s just from the era that I grew up in. A lot of people don’t know that Tame can cut too. During our set, when I go up to rhyme Tame gets on the wheels. That n***a won’t leave my equipment alone! It’s ill because I went over to his gate and he’s got his own setup, his own wheels and his own wax and everything. I was impressed with that. And he’s ill as hell, so it’s not like he needs to do it as a gimmick or anything.