Grandmaster Caz

Scris pe 22.02.2007 de InKha D

Originar din Bronx, Grand Master Caz se numara printre pionierii culturii Hiphop, fiind primul DJ care reusea sa mixeze si sa livreze rime la microfon in acelasi timp. In '79 se alatura grupului Cold Crush Brothers, devenind liderul acestora. Ulterior, CCB punea bazele unui nou tip de reprezentatie live, ce avea sa fie determinant pentru intreaga cultura: battle-ul. De asemenea e unul din personajele principale ale celei mai mari dispute din perioada de inceputuri, fiind autorul de drept si de fapt a o parte din versurile primului hit hip-hop: Rapper's Delight interpretat de Sugarhill Gang.

Have you become aware of your talent and musical skills only by the time you saw what was going on at DJ Jool Herc's block-parties, or the passion was already there? What role did he play in your career as a hip-hop artist?
Well as far as Kool Herc no one was doing it before Kool Herc. Kool Herc and Bambaataa was the 2 people that really put it together. The elements and the music became one and some of us understood what was happening at the time, it was a exciting time, especially when the original parties where moved to cedar park, it really started to take off then. So yes Kool Herc was the one who made Hiphop happen.

In what matter can we suppose that the conflict between you and Big Bank Hank was salved? I'm referring here at the authenticity of the "Rapper's Delight" verses that he supposedly copied from you.
He did not steal anything, it was given to him (Big Bank Hanks) we thought he made a deal that he was going to promote the Cold Crush Brothers to Sugarhill Records and get us signed at the time, the Big Bank Hank parts where written by me, instead he did not live up to his end of the bargain. No it's not salved in fact Hank has left the group recently, and still to this day he hasn't owned up to what he did. And acknowledge it.

Being at the same time DJ and MC, what occupation do you find closest to your heart, both of them considered to be major ways of connecting with the public.
Both DJing and rapping are my passions. I was a DJ. before I was a MC/rapper, I was also the first DJ, to also MC at the same time. I think MC-ing or rapping is closest to my heart, I have many books with written rhymes. And still work on this passion.

Can you name the first type of turntables that you used, back in the day?
This is a good question... When we all first started, many of us used our home turntables, like Gerards and those brands you bought with your stereo, we even used home made speakers, and the needles and records used to back spin, on these, and skip quite often, of course there wasn't the same type of technology as 2007. But we made do with what we had, the scratch was not even invented yet by Grand Theodore .

When did you first start to write lyrics?
I first started writing rhymes and lyrics around when I was 16 or so years old. I was always writing and stuff since then.

Why did the Cold Crush Brothers never come out with an official record?
What is a official record? We turned down Sugarhill Record's after the thing with the group Sugarhill and Tuff City did not pay us any money in the end after selling a good amount singles.

Can we talk about a possible reunion of the CCB?
We come together every once in while Tony, Charles, and I, if it's a good time, and makes business sense to us we work together, The Cold Crush is still a group up to this date.

What was it like to pose as a model for the street-collection of the Sedgwick and Cedar house?
Well Sedgwick & Cedar began with a idea from Ray the Ceo , He was touring the Bronx locations where Hiphop began, I was the tour guide, He then came to me with the basic idea of S&C brand, I got all the guys together, Bam, Theodore, Busy Bee , Melle Mel. To come in with Ray, We thought it was a excellent idea. So we signed with him, we are all also co-owners with Ray, So posing for S&C was something we all had to do. I am also the entertainment director for the company. We are all very proud of Sedgwick & Cedar, We would all pose anytime for the brand.

On your myspace page we can find an action figure for sale that represents you - is it sold for commercial reasons or just for the true fans?
Well right now those actions figures are for show, they will be sold soon commercially, but of course the true fans will be the ones to buy them.

Throughout your career you had a great deal of collaborations. What artist do you believe had the best and closest "connection' with you, in terms of music?
I have worked with many artists in the past true, but my closest connection would be with Tony Tone and Charley Chase, they are like my brothers as far as others, Nas and Melle Mel is another one too. I can connect with them well too. I think there are others, but those are my main guys...

What did receiving the honorific title that was given to you in The Technics Hall of Fame in 1999 mean to you?
Being inducted in to the Hall of Fame was a big honor. The name wasn't so bad, I thought they would use Casanova Fly (laughs). But I would take any honour with my peers.

How do you comment, after a period of 25 years, the appearance in the classic Wild Style movie?
The Wild Style movie was great because it keeps the true form of the art like in a library. it really brought out the four elements to the entire world like never before. We still watch it every once in a while, I am glad I was a part of it.

Regarding what some artists say today, that the days of Hiphop culture are over, do you consider that it needs to be resurrected by those that created it?
Alot of people is saying that it is over because they are not really living Hiphop culture, they are living rap and letting other people tell what Hiphop is and how to do Hiphop. All music is going to evolve, The problem is they took the credibility and the original structure and the elements out of it. And made it too commercial. I don't think it will ever die, I think the true form of the art will be look at again and bring some of those elements back into it. It need's to get back to having fun and for people to understand it's enuff for everybody.

What does Hiphop culture need in 2007, from the perspective of one of its pioneers?
I think what Hiphop needs is the fun to be a part of it again, Now it's all the gangbang, hoochie stuff. It needs to have that message of unity, and peace, and just having fun.

Grandmaster Caz - South Bronx Subway Rap

Grandmaster Caz - MC Delight