Sunday, December 27, 2020

N.C.S. ‎- Real Shaolin - 1996

EP - 1996 - Black Prince Records  

N.C.S. a.k.a Nappy Crumb Snatchers was a group formed in 1993, born from a Brooklyn and a Staten Island connection, originated from Benjamin Grinch a.k.a Ben Green one of the core member of the group.

The group consisted of Napps from Port Richmond, Staten Island, Dingie Dust Kicker a.k.a Dingee Drinx from Killa Hill Projects, Staten Island, Crumb Unit 8 from Brooklyn and Benjamin Grinch a.k.a Ben Green from West Brighton, Staten Island but originally from Marcy Projects, Brooklyn.

The wax came out in 1996 on Black Prince Records, composed of the tracks "Black Rain", "Mentals Of The Mind", "Crumbsnatchers From The Slums","Facks", "Zero 8" and "Lump Sums", all produced by Johnell Hill a.k.a Napps. 

Ben Green : " N.C.S. ... I came up with the concept in January 1993. The way we were living at that time, in NYC, during the crack era with the world who flipped upside down... I lived in a house which had roaches all the time ... Crumbsnatchers...well a Crumbsnatcher is basically get what you can take and take what you can get ... and we considered ourselves Roaches... when you look at a roach, they are usually black and brown, so we were coming with the concept we represented the streets, the hoods, the projects and mainly in those areas you only see black and brown people, and we are all out here to take what we can get... that's how I start originally forming the whole concept. 

But we came up with different concepts, we also said we were from the 8 zone. The 8 zone is basically the twisted cypher, like how we felt, we were reversed to the earth... everything everybody was doing, we were doing the exact being like what I said, be reversed to the earth. We were just so high one day that we've taken that zero and twisted it into a 8, that's the twisted cypher... We were so fuckin' high and twisted that day, we were spitting lyrics back and forth with each other, so when we got high we used to say I'm about to drop to the 8 zone... that was usually just us spitting lyrics at each other, during a mad 4 or 5 hours spitting and writing lyrics.

I knew Napps, we were both from different hoods on Staten Island a.k.a Shaolin at the time, we went to the same High School, and like in the early 90s, we were just straight battling always on the back of the bus and everywhere. As we were from different hoods, we had different clicks, everybody had their own squadron at that time...

I knew Crumb Unit 8 from Brooklyn, I had got ties in Brooklyn and the whole NYC and I had heard of Dingee because if you were wicked with it, your name was ringing bell in the street... Dingee lived in the neighborhood opposite of me and Napps as well. I talked to Crumb one night when I was in Brooklyn and I was in Shaolin the next day, I was walking one way and Napps was coming the opposite direction ... there was a low friction from a battle, like a month before, we directly had beef due to the battle and that shit was about to get physical... Anyway I stopped and said " Yo my G, let me highlight you for a second man, about the bullshit that went down... I respect your style and skill !", the feeling was mutual, I brought down the concept to him and he was feeling this shit... he said "I've got my man Dingee from Killa Hill, he's nice, he would be perfect!", so I said "Dingee would be perfect, check it out, I've got my man Crumb Unit 8 from Brooklyn"... from here and a hand check, we agreed to that !!

At that time, me and Crumb had a ritual... everyday, a Monday to Friday ritual.. after he got off from work, we were writing all the fuckin' night. It wasn't easy to access to instrumentals so we were just flowing over beats and words, trying to build our shit up. We were sat there from 5pm to 11pm maybe midnight, spitting at each other... 

Our first recording ever as a group was a joint titled "Hoodie Men" and we were known under the name of the Hoodie Men Click, a collective of emcees from Staten Island, consisted of me, Napps, Crumb Unit 8, Dingee, Neph aka the Last American B-Boy, the Madface Poet, P-Love and Shortstack. That was a big thing at that time because Shaolin was separated by hoods, and this hood could go to that hood, and that hood could go to this hood... and if you wanted to go this hood you better had props !! That was the first time that you had dudes from different Neighborhoods from Staten Island...we represented Shaolin to the fullest ... the WU came out with "Proteck Ya Neck" at the same time and we were also 7 members... "Hoody Men" was platinum in the street but none of us has a copy of that shit unfortunately... 

We didn't know nothing about business, we were angry niggaz, we were about 19, 20, 21 years old at the time, we were angry for everything... Napps knew a dude from Port Richmond, Keith Cormier aka Big Poppa. He was feeling what we were doing at the time, he heard a couple of joints we did and he was down with it. 

We originated in 1993 and started to record an album/demo at the beginning of 1996. Actually that was a good recording process at Unique Studios in Staten Island. At that time we had the pleasure of being in the studio A and the WU was in the studio B recording the Wu-Tang forever album. 

In July 1996 the album/demo was completed. Contacts have been made with labels like Def Jam, Bad Boy, Arista ... there was also another label, Keith Cormier had a brother who was in the game, his name was Roy Cormier, he worked for the independent label but I forgot the name of the label... But due to politic business all the deals from the labels were declined... we wanted to keep our shit to the essence ... From there Big Poppa had the money and we decided to go independent...Black Prince Records... that's how it was formed ! 

The wax was played on College Underground Radio Station on 105.9FM aired on Saturday nights and I believe it was played on Stretch & Bobbito on WKCR 89.9FM. We did college tour (upstate NY) and we also opened up for the WU one night I believe it was in The Arena... 

For the Story, we performed that "Hoodie Men" joint that night... everybody got on stage hooded up and when you were dropping your verses you had to take your hoodie off, so everybody could see who you really were... my man Shortstack, the white boy who was the third on that joint... Eminem before Eminem, Miilkbone before Miilkbone... as he took his hoodie off, I guess ODB didn't like white people, but he bum-rushed in the stage and grabbed the mic from Shortstack... ODB was drunk so there was some frictions and all the Wu warriors stepped on stage... so they emptied out the stage and emptied out half the club because of this shit..."

Mad Props to Benjamin Grinch, thanks for your time. 

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