I could have talked about earlier than that I used to be a school DJ in the course of the time when hip-hop music got here of age.  And one among my favourite songs of the period was Sally, by the legendary hip-hop group Stetsasonic.  And years after my school DJ years (however I’m nonetheless a DJ…just about not less than) I had the chance to reasonable a tech panel at Georgia Tech, and one of many panelists was Glenn Bolton, aka Daddy-O… co-founder of Stetsasonic.

It was nice listening to Daddy-O speak about know-how and his experiences in enterprise and the impression trendy tech has had on the creation course of.  However on the time he hadn’t picked up the mic shortly.  However a couple of years in the past I began seeing movies of Daddy-O rapping once more.  After which I used to be on LinkedIn one morning and noticed that he posted a sneak peek clip of Daddy-O and the entire Stetsasonic crew teasing a brand new track.  The truth that they hadn’t made an album/DVD is about 30 years however nonetheless sounding nice actually stopped me in my tracks.  And the truth that I noticed this primary on LinkedIn – and never YouTube – actually stood out to me… that’s after I got here down from the thrill of seeing all of them again collectively sounding and searching nice in any case these years!

In it was good timing as I had been catching up through DMs with Daddy-O and simply had scheduled a time for a LinkedIn Reside convo.  So beneath is an edited transcript of a portion of our conv the place we speak in regards to the early days of the band, why they acquired again within the studio collectively in any case these years, and the way he feels he’s higher now than he was again within the heyday.   This was an prolonged dialog which you’ll be able to right here by clicking on the embedded SoundCloud participant.

LinkedIn for Hip-Hop?

Brent Leary:  I simply thought it was actually cool that you just dropped the little sneak peek on LinkedIn. 

Daddy-O:  I did put it out on Instagram as properly. What occurred with me in LinkedIn was I at all times used to make use of LinkedIn only for skilled stuff. I acquired just a little tech firm on the facet and we prepare docs and stuff and know-how and I used to be simply doing that. However lots of people who like what we do are sitting there on LinkedIn and I don’t must really feel unhealthy about it. I don’t must really feel unhealthy about my bodily job resume being on LinkedIn. And my music continues to be me. So …

Higher than Ever

Brent Leary:  I heard you say you’re a greater rapper now than you’ve ever been.

Daddy-O:  I completely know I’m. In 2016 I began making these data once more, you understand, bodily making data once more. After which once I did that, like I inform all people,  the 2 those that I thought of was Miles Davis and and Jimmy Hendrix. And I simply thought if Miles was right here, would he inform any person, man, simply go, hearken to Bitches Brew. You’ll hear what I’m about. Or would he do one thing new? And the proof is the final producer that made Miles Davis labored with was Simple Moe B; a hip hop man who produced Tupac, Biggie, all of that. So, he already was pushing the envelope ahead and I really feel like Jimmy could be the identical approach if he had lived, he would simply do one thing. He wouldn’t say, Hey, go hearken to Purple Haze.  You realize, he would do one thing new. 

So I thought of it lengthy and exhausting between 2015 and 2016 and stated, what am I doing? Not, not what am I doing? I believe that is vital. Not what am I doing to maintain the lights on, however what am I doing with my expertise? And I thought of it. I stated, man, I don’t rap anymore. Proper? If I simply stopped rapping, all they gonna know me for is the previous stuff. And that was approach earlier than a few of the folks which might be massive now had been massive. It’s going to evolve and I’m going to be caught in just a little bubble of like, I don’t know, ‘86 to love ‘91. And, and that’s not unhealthy. Nothing is unhealthy about that. It’s good to have classics. It’s nice to, to be an artist and know that there’s not less than one traditional track that individuals love. That’s an awesome, nice, nice feeling. However as a rapper, I’m like, I’m going to get pushed to the again of the bus, you understand, to be just like the previous man and the geriatric bus. And I didn’t need to be that. I simply didn’t need to be that. I do know I can’t do what Younger Thug does. I do know I can’t do what Rick Ross does, the youthful guys they’re going to do what they do, however I assumed there’s gotta be some line for me. There’s gotta be some opening for me. And so I took  my time and I simply studied it and I trialed and errored. I figured it out. And I do know that there’s a lane for traditional hip hop.

Getting the group again collectively for the primary time in 30 years

Daddy-O:  Once I was prepared, I offered it to Stetsasonic and was similar to, look, man, this can be a highway that we may take, you understand? And I’m glad I’m, I’m actual pleased with the blokes. They picked up the mantle. They had been like, “all proper, we’ll see the place you’re going with it. Present us what you need to do”. I confirmed them. And what they had been writing proper now could be loopy, man. I heard The Mild simply kicked one thing to me the opposite day. He desires to do an interpretation of the Gamble and Huff – OJays Message within the Music. It was loopy. Like that is nice. 

Brent Leary:  Let’s say you’re speaking to one of many old skool people who do need to get again into it. What’s the hardest half? Is it getting again into the manufacturing features of placing a track collectively? Is it going by means of what you may must, to construct an viewers and utilizing these social instruments to advertise the model?

Daddy-O:  Step one I actually really feel solidly is acceptance as a result of what I discovered with my friends sadly, however true, is that they don’t actually settle for the artwork type immediately. There may be some validity to that, proper? One in all my greatest buddies at all times says they shouldn’t even name what they’re doing now, hip hop, they need to name it one thing else. 

Brent Leary:  That’s type of like the standard “get off my garden, It’s inferior to once I did it again in my yea”.  There may be some validity.  There appears to be a sure specific sound that has taken over hip, proper? And there’s not as a lot creativity immediately.

Daddy-O:  I believe you’ll be able to say there’s not as a lot creativity. You possibly can say that. I imply, that’s confirmed on account of laptop computer producing. That’s confirmed. As a result of it’s evolution. Whether or not we need to consider Younger Thug and all people else that comes together with that group is evolution or not. It’s evolution. It did evolve into that. Some folks may say it’s all backwards; that’s one other argument, proper? However it’s evolution. 

I believe that step one is acceptance. And what I imply by that’s accepting that they’re who they’re and so they can do what they do. Proper. Then you determine who you might be. And that’s the exhausting half. The place is Daddy-O know pertinent to the dialog? The place does Stetsasonic slot in?

Defining success immediately

Brent Leary:  What does success seem like to you now, in comparison with again within the day whenever you guys had been very profitable doing your individual music and producing others, however how do you measure success now in comparison with again within the day?

Daddy-O: One of many issues I’ll say, that’s type of bizarre. It’s only a freaky flip of occasions most. I don’t name myself old-school as a result of I, I got here after Grandmaster Flash and them, who I used to be with the opposite day, too.  Most aged-school cats make extra on stage now than we ever did. So, bizarre flip of occasions. It’s like, we make extra onstage now than we did in our heyday due to this uber demand for traditional hip hop and, and nostalgia and all of that. 

I’ve been making an attempt to persuade my friends to make data, however now issues are opening up once more, pre COVID and now publish COVID, quite a lot of them earn more money now than they made previously.  Possibly not on gross sales and significantly there’s nonetheless royalties there, however they exit on the highway and so they make an entire lot of cash. So, so success type of seems just a little totally different to all people as a result of for them, success is simply having tour and going out on a couple of days, some guys are going out solely on the weekends, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Friday, Saturday, Sunday, making wherever between 4 and 10 grand an evening that ain’t nothing to shake a stick at. That’s candy. And most of them are making $7,500 to $14,000 an evening.

Success for me proper now could be precisely what occurred to you this morning. I don’t care if it was two folks, which is far more than two, however I don’t care if it’s two folks after they both acquired up or they noticed it late final night time once I posted it, they checked out it and so they stated, man, that’s my man. That’s my man. And these are guys that haven’t made a file in over 30 years. 

Focus of immediately’s artist

Brent Leary:  Do you assume that due to the convenience of manufacturing that as an alternative of focusing their efforts on the craft of making music, they’re virtually centered on the craft of branding and promotion?

Daddy-O:  That’s completely true. What you’re speaking about is what I described because the making of a masterpiece, proper? So, you understand, you have a look at Dr. Dre’s Power, otherwise you have a look at Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Hundreds of thousands to Maintain Us Again, otherwise you have a look at Stetsasonic In Full Gear. This was all a making of a masterpiece, proper? So it’s all trial-and-error, determining sounds getting in options, even in the event you get in options the way you match these options in; we’re recording on two inch tape. In order that’s an entire different factor, proper? Recording on two inch tape versus this digital recording that we do now in DAW is a very totally different factor. In order that being virtually extinct, it does make folks focus extra on model.

Finest 12 months in hip-hop

Brent Leary:  So I’ve to ask, why do you assume 1988 was one of the best 12 months in hip-hop?

Daddy-O:  I simply assume sonically, it culminated every little thing. I believe ‘86 was nice. That’s the place we noticed the introduction to Salt-N-Pepa and some different folks. After which ‘87 was virtually the 12 months, Eric B and Rakim. However by the point ‘88 got here, we had all come to the conclusion of understanding how you can make data. If you consider it, Public Enemy had a primary album and Yo Bum Rush the Present, and I’ll simply use us too. Stetsasonic had a primary album On Fireplace, nice data. And for some purists, these are one of the best data on the earth. They nonetheless take these data over the rest we made, however by the point ‘88 got here round, we understood extra issues in regards to the studio. We had been on the highway, not less than for a trial run for us and Public Enemy was greater than a trial run trigger LL cool J took us out. 

So we went on the Def jam tour. We simply realized and acquired our footing within the music enterprise; what we had been going to be as recording artists. So by the point all of us got here round, most of us had made these sophomore data. These data had been good as a result of sonically, we knew the place it was at. And I don’t know if any 12 months may even compete with the Sonics of ‘88 as a result of, let’s face it Puffy with Unhealthy Boy makes good data. However for essentially the most half they’re loud, proper? So they may not be pretty much as good as they’re loud as a result of by that point they discovered how you can flip quantity up within the mastering studio. However pretty much as good as these Biggie data sound, in the event you put it up towards a Public Enemy observe, it’s not going to honest off sonically. The Public Enemy observe continues to be going to eat it as a result of we acquired our groove then. 

Right here’s the opposite a part of by ’88; when one thing is – and software program engineers can determine with this – when one thing is deliberate and experimental, that’s what makes us tremendous dope.

That is a part of the One-on-One Interview collection with thought leaders. The transcript has been edited for publication. If it is an audio or video interview, click on on the embedded participant above, or subscribe through iTunes or through Stitcher.


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