Sunday, May 9, 2021

B.L.A.C.C Heart - Take It Back To The Essence - 1997

The group B.L.A.C.C Heart is releasing his 5th album entitled "The Legacy", so it's the good time to talk about their classic "Take It Back To The essence" released in 1997 on Pitch B.L.A.C.C Records

The 12" consists of the single "Take It Back To The Essence" available in its Street, Radio Edit, Alternative Mix and Instrumental versions, everything produced by Dwayne Buckle a.k.a 3Sixdy. The wax is very very rare, only 10 copies were pressed in 1997... you are lucky if you have it in your collection !

For those who aren't familiar with B.L.A.C.C Heart, acronym for Beats, Lyrics, And Creativity Combined with Heart, you need to know that the group is from RW, the great Ravenswood Projects in Long Island City, Queens, and consists of 3Sixdy, Shambo, Laky-Don, Bo-Ballintine, Mystery & P. Long.

3Sixdy, could you tell me who were the original members of the group  in 1997 ?

3Sixdy : "With Gods grace, the members of 97 are still the members today, which are Shambo, Laky-Don, Bo-Ballintine, Mystery & P. Long and me."

How did the connection happen between all the members ? 

3Sixdy : "We're from the same neighborhood... Me, Shambo, Laky-Don, Mystery & P. Long are all from Ravenswood, we've been knowing each other since we was like 12, I built a studio inside my apartment in Ravenswood when I was 18 and we made the bulk of the albums inside that apartment, Bo-Ballintine lived Jamaica Queens, but he always came to Ravenswood to rhyme with us."

How and when did you fall into hip-hop productions ?

3Sixdy : "I always loved hiphop, my grandmother used to play records and she bought me a radio when I was 8, I also started watching video music box around that time, I started making loops on cassette when I was 12, starting buying turntables at 14, at 16 brought my first drum machine and sampler, also ran away from home and lived on my own about that time, prior to the studio in Ravenswood, I rented a small studio apt in Brooklyn 2 years prior that's when we did some early demos like The Knotty Head stuff, but when I got that crib in Ravenswood we took it more seriously and started making better songs."

What were your music influences as a producer ?

3Sixdy : "I used to like EMPD, Main Source, G.Rap & Rakim a lot when I was real young, and a lot of the conscious stuff like Poor Righteous Teachers, Black Sheep, etc... and I was heavy into Gang Starr, so DJ premier is a big influence, also RZA was a big inspiration, also Mobb Deep, Tribe Called Quest, I was also heavy into Black Moon & Smif-N-Wesson and Nervous records stuff, so my biggest influence on production is Premier, Rza, Beat Miners, Havoc, Large P... and Qtip.

Who did manage Pitch B.L.A.C.C. Records  ?

3Sixdy : "Everything was in house, recording, distribution, management... I created Pitch B.L.A.C.C in like 95, as just a way to get our stuff out locally, I have always been the CEO of operations at the label which includes management. We had some other people help out in the early days but it was mostly just me as it became my lives work, and everybody was really into the street life I was always into books and stuff, and not just management into music, also at life too, we all became better people from the B.LA.C.C Heart philosophy."

Three 12-inches were released in 1997, what happened with the album at that time ?

3Sixdy : "We pressed up "Once Upon A Time" at 300 units and the intention was to give it to the best DJs which I did, Kayslay got copies, Evil Dee got copies, Tony Touch and many other Top DJs, but it was hard to get through and some said they would spin it or put in on mixtapes but I don't think anybody ever did, we did some small shows but nothing really happened, I started taking matters in my own hand and invested in a street marketing campaign across NYC, we got featured in STRESS magazine in 98 and the article was a good article but nothing ever happened, so I decided to put some cassettes in local bodegas on consignment, when I came back to check on the tapes...they was always sold out ! So I knew we had something good but it was hard to get play in the industry ! We kept on going the indie route until much of the industry changed to the Jiggy era and we kinda faded out."

Why did you decide to press 10 copies of "Take Back to the Essence" only ?

3Sixdy : "We needed more records to give to some DJs, and 10 is a lot cheaper than the $2000 it cost to press 300 at the time, it took me a long time to pay that debt down from the first pressing of 300... my man gave me a few hundred dollars for the "Once Upon A Time" pressing, that's why his name is on the record... R. Croker."

Mad Props to Dwayne Buckle, thanks for your time bro.

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