Thursday, May 21, 2020

Trybal-Men ...

I've been a huge fan of the "Survival Series - 11355" EP since day one, this wax means a lot to me and when B2DS released the JAM Dot Project in 2017, I felt very lucky to be able to cop the unreleased tracks from this group. I wish the same thing could happen with Trybal-Men... 

Trybal-Men members consisted of Dre Don a.k.a Don Mega and KapGain. They came out of Wastelanz (Flushing Queens, NY) the same neighborhood as Large Professor, Chyskillz RIP (producer of the first Onyx album), Mic Geronimo, and Royal Flush...

KapGain & DreDon - 1996  with Ran / B.U / Leep / Big Bro & L.A. - Photo courtesy of KapGain

EP - 1996 - Mr Eggs Records

The "Survival Series - 11355" EP came out in 1996 on Mr Eggs Records, a record label managed by Dj Eggs from Flushing Queens as well. Trybal-Men dropped 3 songs on the A-side of the wax. "Down Like That" was the first track and was produced by B.G Skillz (Bern.Got Skillz).

B.G Skillz : "I'm from Flushing Queens, NYC and Large Professor was my mentor, I produced under his production company PaulSea productions. Chyskillz, my older brother, and myself deejayed together in the neighborhood. Dre, KapGain and Me all grew up together and lived in the same building. We would go over each others house and practice deejaying, rhyming, etc... Dre and KapGain decided to form a group, I was more on the production and deejay side of things so I would always give them beats, but DreDon and KapGain do beats as well."

Dre Don : "We formed the duo in the mid 90’s...We were all from the same hood, matter of fact the same building. And BG Skillz crib is where a lot things connect at. I started Djing before rapping. His older brother had 1200 and a lot of records. And BG and I were the same age and he could cut so I was amazed... his household had an influence on me..."

KapGain : "Around '95 we formed the group. I was focused on rapping, money, and girls at the time. Our neighborhood was full of talent and opportunity to make money illegally or with music, we chose music. We would go to BG Skillz house and he would make beats on the sp1200 that large professor gave him, large professor lives a block away from our building (a good friend). Also at the time in hip-hop or basically in the 5 boroughs it was all about rap groups. So we decided to form a group and just start recording since we had the resources right at arms reach.
Trybal-Men was formulated between myself and Dre Don. We wanted a way name to separate ourselves from the rest, at the same time describe how we operate and move in the street. We were 15-16 years at the time, but did things that grown men would do.
Survival Series 11355 EP was a great piece of work, and I  didn't realize that it would circulate from our hometown of Flushing Queens, to around the world. It was an amazing time in hip hop my friend."

The other tracks "Watch Me Blow" and " Money To Make" were produced by Dj Sur, who is Dj Eggs's Brother. He was also known as the legendary graffiti artist named SUR167 (RIS / TPA / KAT...) aka Surviver 167 since the early 80s. 

Photo courtesy of Greed 

Dre Don : " Dj Sur lived up the block so he’s from the neighborhood as well. I believe we linked with him through the good brother JAM... Matter of fact that’s false Eggs was the plug in the neighborhood and going to his crib to get right is how I found out his brother made beats."

KapGain : " Sur & Eggs... we met them through a mutual friend and they also lived in our neighborhood. We noticed they had equipment and were DJ's. And DJ Sur made beats, they took an interest in us and wanted to put out a record.
For the Survival Series 11355 EP, Eggs owned the label so he wanted his brother Larry (DJ Sur) to have a beat on the record, we had a chance to have BG Skillz do a track, and we mutually liked "Money to Make" instrumental so we did that track too."

The same year the group released an other 12" still on Mr Eggs Records "Down Like That / Greenary (What Would Do For...)". 

12" - 1996 - Mr Eggs Records

On the A-Side, you can listen to "Down like that" which is the same song taken from the Survival Series EP.  The song is available in its Radio Mix, Album Mix, Accapella and Instrumental versions.  On the B-side, "Greenary (What Would Do For...)" is available in its Radio Mix, Real Deal Mix and Instrumental versions. It's a new Trybal-Men's song produced by Dj Sur and introducing two other emcees named G.A.M (GrownAssMan) and Infinite, but KapGain doesn't feature on this track due to law problems at the time... 

From Left to Right : G.A.M. / Ice Bezel / Dre Don & KapGain - Around 2010

Could you give me more info about Infinite & G.A.M ? 

Dre Don : "GAM was around for our entire musical journey, he was rolling with us perfecting his craft. Very talented MC from the neighborhood. I put him under my wing early onWhen things went left, I formed Shadow Company and made him the front man. 
Infinite was a dope MC also from the neighborhood who I brought in to collaborate on the record."

KapGain : "Infinite, G.A.M... We all are from the same neighborhood in Flushing... They had to keep the music flowing in my absence... Everyone at that time did beats, sold drugs, or rapped. That's was our common bond amongst each other.

Why is there no album released by Trybal-Men after that in 1996 ?

KapGain : "... Great question... at the height of the album and also us being in high school, I was battling a court case that set us back from getting signed to a major at the time, we had the buzz, records were selling like crazy, apparel etc... So literally one week before I went to jail we went to the studio and Don Mega brought G.A.M. with us. I had him rhyme for me and I was like ok cool, as long as y'all keep recording something while I'm gone...
Once I came out there was a lot of discrepancies between us and Mr Eggs Records. So we left them, and Don Mega and G.A.M. formed a group called shadow company. I was more interested in recording and mixing artists music, and just helping them put their music out without getting jerked. I recorded many more solo tracks and did alot of beats for mcs..." 

Mad Props to KapGain, Dre Don & BG Skillz, It was nice to talk with you. Peace
Vinyl rip courtesy of 90's Hip-Hop blog . 

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