THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE DEVASTATING TWO – RUNNIN’ THINGS

The Devastating Two with DJ Whiz Kid. Left to right: Imperial M.C. Rus Ace, Jayrock
(A.K.A. Jollirock The Black Prince), Whiz Kid, Phantastic Philly Phill (A.K.A. Phill
Most Chill)

A few people have been waiting for me to drop this one, so here it is… another one of those Phill Most Chill TRUE REAL SCHITT STORIES (I’ll try to keep this one a lot shorter than the BARITONE TIPLOVE one if I can)…
Those who may know a little bit about my history may recall me talking about the stuff I did pre-“On Tempo Jack”, In Effect Records, etc. Well, I did get started in the Hip Hop world prior to the Phill Most Chill 12″ back in 1988. A good three years prior to that I was in a group called THE DEVASTATING TWO which consisted of me and my cousin who went by the name of Imperial MC Rus Ace. Deejaying for us was my homeboy Jollirock (who you may know about from his own random rap 12″ “Don’t Miss Me”- me and my cuz weren’t feelin’ his name at the time so we called him “Jayrock” for our project). Plus we had my man Scratchmaster Rob and Rus Ace’s partner Treacherous Troy down with us as well. Anyway, me and Rus had been messin’ around rhyming in his brother’s room for awhile, then we just started taking it more seriously after people were telling us we sounded good on the mic. Wrote a bunch of rhymes and routines, did some serious practicing, then before you knew it we were opening a show for Captain Rock, DJ Whiz Kid and Hashim at this big azz skating rink.
Now this was our first time performing in front of such a big crowd, but we were ready, jack! Set the show off with a little call and response thing over Hashim’s record “Al Naafiysh”, which was big at the time. Had the crowd in the palm of our hands! Then- disaster. Like I said, this was a really big skating rink, and I don’t know what the hell the soundman did with the stage monitors, but suddenly we were hearing two beats- the music that the crowd heard sounded like it was echoing and was not at all aligned with what was coming out of the monitors! So we’re saying our rhymes but it was aaalllll out of sync with the music (Rus heard the two beats and picked one- unfortunately it was the wrong one). The crowd starts letting us have it, booing and throwing ice and shit. At this point we stop the music and try to tell the crowd why the schitt is sounding all f**ked up, but they are not havin’ it. So now we are literally ready to jump in the crowd and start hookin’ off on fools! Finally they get the problem with the sound fixed and we start rhyming to LL Cool J‘s “I Need A Beat” and we are just beginning to kill it when somebody pulls the plug and the music goes totally out! End of show. To this day I think somebody sabotaged our novice azzes, but whatever.
Regardless, it seemed that Hashim had heard enough to be impressed and offered us a contract with Cutting Records (which I didn’t even know he co-owned). Now keep in mind back in 1985 Cutting Records was probably one of the most respected labels in the rap and electro markets at that time. So to just be starting out with this rap schitt, not knowing anybody in the biz and getting a contract after our first-ever show was a disaster? MAN. That was BIG for us. Kinda felt like this was destiny, ya know?
So I guess a few weeks later we go to the Cutting Records office and meet Aldo Marin, Hashim’s partner at Cutting (and I think we met Aldo’s brother too… it’s been a long time, my memory’s sketchy), then we hit Aldo’s apartment where they let me do work on a DMX drum machine to bang out the beats for this record we’re gonna do for a new subsidiary label called NV. I wanted to keep the beats mad slow and funky, but those dudes were on that uptempo electro schitt, so we had to compromise and raise the BPMs a little. The next day we hit Unique Studios and recorded two songs, “We’re Live” and “Runnin’ Things”, plus a bonus little throwaway beatbox track. That was a great experience, just being in that atmosphere for the first time and getting to see two studio pros like Aldo and Hashim work their magic. Cool schitt.
When we got home and had a chance to listen to the unmixed recordings on the cassette we brought back with us, I wasn’t too thrilled with it. Besides it not really sounding like the record I’d envisioned, it didn’t even sound like a real record at all, just a cheap demo. THEN a few weeks later we got a tape the final mix in the mail…. truly an OMG moment. Not only had Hashim and Aldo done some straight up studio wizardry in the mix to make this schitt sound better, they got the great cut-and-paste legend Omar Santana to do the edits. And boy, did he do the edits! Now I’m no expert on all the cut-and-paste jobs that have been done in music history, but it’s hard for me to believe that there’s much out there that’s better than what Omar did for our song. I was floored when I first heard this schitt and now, 23+ years later, my jaw is STILL on the ground. It’s really amazing to me because I know what this music sounded like before he got his hands on it.
All right, I see I’ve gotten long winded with this yarn despite my intentions to do no such thing, so let me try to wrap it up as briefly as possible. Right after all of this happened Hashim split with Aldo and Cutting Records. Around the same time Hashim signs us to his management company. We are naive and don’t realize that this is going to cause a problem as far as us dealing with Aldo. Our record gets shelved due to the Hashim / Aldo conflict. So we are stuck in limbo, tied to a couple of worthless contracts. I continue recording demos solo and in 1988 I drop the “On Tempo Jack” 12″. We’ll stop it right there- that’ll be another real schitt story for another day.
I leave you with The Devastating Two unreleased joint “Running Things” and the “Running Things Dub Mix”. Personally I felt we did pretty good for dudes who were really kinda green to the game, but even if this had been released I didn’t feel we were f**kin’ with new stuff that was coming out like Schoolly D‘s “PSK” or Marley Marl stuff like “The Bridge”. The sound of rap was changing and I wasn’t down with the electro stuff… I wanted THAT REAL SCHITT sound, man! It was cool, though. Oh, and BTW- all you people who like to click on the first audio clip and ignore the second one, DON’T DO IT THIS TIME. If you are at all into mid 80’s cut and paste schitt you’re gonna need this lost Omar Santana masterpiece in your life- killed it he did. Rus Ace, what up cousin!

DEVASTATING TWO – Runnin’ Things
DEVASTATING TWO _ Runnin’ Things (Dub Mix)

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9 Comments

  1. word word … reminds me a little bit of how I enjoy Darryl and Joe … Thank PMC for making it worth coming here daily to see what you got …

    AC the PD
    HipHopPhilosophy.com Radio

    P.S. I will add your lpink to ours asap …

  2. Thanks Phil, it’s great knowing about your history, I enjoyed “Runnin Things”

  3. what up skeme… yeah, music biz 101. ya live, ya learn. getting screwed around in the business of music is pretty much par for the course… roll with the punches and keep it moving or just leave it alone… no one comes out unscathed IMO.

  4. Nice boogie boy break thing going on, Phill.
    Should have been a record.
    And yes, the edit/mix is great.

  5. Most Chill you dropped it and broke it down exactly how it happend (except you left out the part about the Black Price slobbering on the “A” train). Sorry Rags, I had to go there. I was a great experience though … that photo brings to mind some real fun times. Scratch Master Rob, Treacherous Troy rock on!!! My Melo / My Blood – Phill Most Chill legendary king still runnin' things!!!

  6. Yo what up Imperial! OMG, how did I forget the Jollirock slobber episode??? LOLOLOLOLOLOLLL for days! Remember how he tried to play it off when he woke up and realized what was going on? That was one of the funniest things I ever saw in my life. Yeah, those were some good memories… back when life was a lot more simple and innocent, I guess you could say.

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