Saturday, September 4, 2021

Da Phenoms - Old School Rule - 1993


12" - 1993 - C & S Records 

 "Da Phenoms - Old School Rule" is a good jazzy single produced by DJ Scribe which came out in 1993 on C & S Records. I've had this 12" in my collection for a long time but to be honest I had no info about Da Phenoms when I bought it. 

Here is what you can read about this 12" on the promo sheet written by C & S Records : "Previously unavailable as a single, "Old School Rule" by Da Phenoms was originally included on the Street Jazz I Compilation, but has now broken out as a phat hip-hop track on the acid jazz tip that gives props and much love to many of the influential fathers of hip-hop."

What wasn't written on the promo sheet is that this track isn't from Da Phenoms but from the Bronx-based MC Jokazwild... in fact Da Phenoms doesn't exist and has never existed ! The track was released by Scribe on vinyl via C & S Records without telling it to Jokazwild... 

Jokazwild is cool... I had a talk with him recently and he told me the story behind this single.

Jokazwild : "I just found out my producer/friend cut a deal and released this song... The Phenoms was the original name of the session not even the album title, it was more soft title for the song then I said let's do an ode to the old school because the game at the time was changing. Scribe added my name as A writer, I am the writer and linked it to his publishing company on BMI. I wrote the song and Scribe (Ben Goldfarb) produced the track with my direction. It's good that it was released so I'm honored and frustrated at the same time....I'm glad people like it.. no deal, no check and now it's on vinyl..."

Jokazwild : "Being from Uptown and moving to the BX, I was always into HipHop from day one back then you had to carry record crates or speakers to get in the jams for free and I got to meet the guys who I listened to and looked up to. Like GMC Grand Master Cas, Melle Mel, GWT Grand Wizard Theodore, Charlie Chase, Kool Herc, Jazzy jay,GMF, Bam, Red Alert, All these guys are like my uncles they got me in alotta spots screaming let shorty rock rhyme, and the older dudes (MCs) was like somebody writing for em... they be like naah he got his own rhyme books lol. I was about 13 at the Harlem YMCA rocking the mic with The Cold Crush, Fearless 4 and The Sapphire Crew that's how I met Bfats.. and I later wrote songs for him once he found out my pen game was serious. So it was them I let critique my songs straight out the lab. It was them that nicknamed me JOKAZWILD, so it wasn't hard for me to dedicate a song to them and I first wrote the lyrics for a song called the Phenoms and was testing tracks to see which fit the flow and feel it didn't fit it was to hard for that jazzy track...we tried.. because you had my G Kieth (Guru from Gangstarr) and the older GOD Rakim going jazzy so we already had The Album title "Laugh Now Cry Later" I just figured we get this one done with the same old school format concept, lyrics with a message, hooks, and a dope chorus and Uncle Red would brake it on Kiss FM.

The direction of hip hop was changing everyone took the thugged out approach must with none in 'em no more concepts no more catchy flows no more messages. And me the way I've always moved is call 'em out on they sucka shit and show and prove.  I remember I did a show at The Parliament at The Allah School in Mecca (Manhattan) and did 2 songs "Allah is God" and "Save The Babies"...with King Sun, Just Ice, Ced G from Ultramagnetic, Rakim and Daddy O from Stetsasonic. So going to record this record was on my mind if not for the track I wrote to a harder beat originally. Then I thought lemme try it and it locked in the flow and there was a cool Block party/house party vibe that I remembered so I wrote down a list of the elders I knew that past and shouted them out in the chorus snatched DougE Fresh looped him and that was it.

At that time, I used to go to clubs that had Open Mics... I spit, I rock the mic and rock the crowed... "Yo you have to do some more !!! "... So I came back again and rocked the mic again !! It was at the Lion's Den in Greenwich Village, that's the place where I met Scribe... he let me know that he made beats and we took it from there...

We did a lot of tracks. I told Scribe "just make me like a whole package of beats that you think it would fit with my voice" he gave me like 10 or 11 beats and put them on a tape. I wrote the name Da Phenoms on it ... that's how the whole shit came about with Da Phenoms, because Da Phenoms was what I named the whole session, the tape of songs that he gave me...Da Phenoms was supposed to be a track and It didn't happened that way, but still it was a beautiful time, because we had so much music done, you know what I'm saying...

That's crazy, basically that's the problem I'm having right now... we had a whole album, it was called "No Laughing Matter". At that time I had a DJ, my man DJ Shames , and Scribe was also like my DJ ... when we did the album , half of the tracks was from Shames and the other half was from Scribe... basically I'll let them 2 battle it out, Producer vs Producer in this crazy shit biz. Shames is black and Scribe is white, so you've got like the uptown nigga vs the Jewish kid, and I was in between both of them... Uptown vs Downtown ... I said "Fuck all this shit ... let me get them both together !" , so I brought them both together, like I would do with 2 women lol !!! so we figured it out and worked together."

Jokazwild : "The reason why the album never got released is that we had 3 different labels interested in the album. We had Tommy Boy, Atlantic and a silent deal with Elektra. What happened was when Tommy Boy went down... Treach (of Naughty By Nature) is my man... Treach was basically the face of the label at the time... so Treach being my man was like "Yo Joka, don't fuck with Tommy Boy right now, because they've got this other nigga from the West Coast coming in and named Coolio, and they put a lot of money behind this nigga, and it's gonna eat the whole Tommy Boy budget" ... fucking with me and my new shit and Digital Underground and their new shit, and De La Soul and their shit ... So when Treach gave me that information, I knew they didn't have the money ... thinking about releasing a new artist under Naughty By Natures's second album, Digital Underground's first album and Coolio's first album, you already blew your budget... so when the Tommy Boy deal came through, I was like "Fuck" and I didn't show up ...

At the time I was young, I didn't figure out the fact that all these motherfuckers worked together. They hung out together, they talked shit with each other and all that... so for the deal with Atlantic, I was like " Yo, you want this product or what ? , because I've got it and I'm not gonna give it to Tommy Boy ! "... so when they hit me, they hit me with a baby budget !!! They didn't have the money like a Def Jam, like a Tommy Boy you know what I'm saying... They didn't have the money to facilitate what I tried to do...

"No Laughing Matter" consists of 12 tracks. All have been record at the same session. To be honest, "Old Shool Rule" was number eight on my tracklist. I come from an era where the whole album is a vibe, you know what I'm saying... so the vibe of the record put "Old School Rule" number 8... and like I told you, it was never Da Phenoms... Da Phenoms was just the name on the tape, It was what I named the whole session... "

Mad Props to Jokazwild, thanks for your time.

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