Ninetines 12" Hip Hop single purchasers cannot forget East Flatbush Project's "Tried By 12." The Asian string samples made for a socio-political track that landed its way on a slew of New York City mixtapes, freestyle instrumental usage, and licensed to projects from Fat Beats and The Beat Junkies. While the East Flatbush Project would prove seminal in launching the career of Ruste Juxx [click to read] and gaining producer Spencer Bellamy some Roc-A-Fella work, the crew failed to deliver a full-length LP.
Today (August 4th) that is all changing, as Traffic Entertainment has joined 10/30 Uproar Music, Bellamy's label in releasing First Born, the long-awaited debut collection. Last week, Bellamy spoke with HipHopDX about the status. "Traffic had approached me a while back about doing the [First Born EP] and then, they were like, 'It would probably be a good idea to add some of the stuff that you've put out in the past as well.' I didn't want to do it at first, but [eventually] I thought it might be a good idea. I had some material that I've never released, so I'm putting that out as well. This is material that I've leaked over the Internet, but basically, you have everything that I've ever done in this package."
The aforementioned EP was released digitally last summer in June of 2008. The LP will be packaged as a "deluxe edition," including the six-song EP plus six more previously released East Flatbush recordings, as well as new remixes. Some of this rarely heard material features Paul Cain, now famous as a member of Fabolous' [click to read] Street Fam crew.
Spencer's career began with Kid N' Play and Chubb Rock producer "Hitman" Howie Tee, as a deejay with 1980s Brooklyn Rap crew Count Disco. "I watched him do a lot of those songs like [Special Ed's] 'I Got It Made' and a lot of Chubb Rock's albums right in the basement; I was right there. That sparked the interest," Bellamy said, along with a deep respect of LL Cool J's production on the Walking With A Panther album.
That production interest took a hiatus while Bellamy attended college, and returned home to New York, hoping to work with CL Smooth on a solo album. That not happening led to the founding of the Project.
As far as the near decade-long delays in the full-length, Bellamy blames himself. "It's sad to say, but it's me being a procrastinator. [Laughs] I'm not gonna sugar-coat it. It's me. I'm the reason why it took so long. There was a time when I would just do a beat or there. I guess you get caught up in the other things in life where you don't dedicate or devote as much time as you need to. That was one factor. And then, I think the other factor was just dealing with the politics of getting your stuff out there. Even with the mixtape deejays, if they didn't know who you were, you know how the game is. You gotta pay. It turned me off." The producer did affirm though that Hip Hop music was and remains his passion.
The politics became apparent to Bellamy in the wake of the success of "Tried By 12." Borough brothers Jay-Z [click to read], Sauce Money and Memphis Bleek recruited the young producer in the formitive years of Roc-A-Fella Records. "I think Jay-Z wanted me as one of his producers. It was him and Chris Lighty at Violator. They basically wanted me. I did a song that was supposed to be on Foxy Brown's album, that [also featured] N.O.R.E. I had some stuff with Memphis Bleek, some stuff with Terror Squad. "Today though, while Bellamy did secure a placement on the Belly Soundtrack with Sauce Money, the producer says most of his work went unheard on artist demo tapes. "I got paid for it, but it never saw the light of day," Bellamy added. "It's been a frustrating journey."
Famed for his hardcore approach to Hip Hop, Spencer Bellamy said that his recent musings have actually veered slightly from the genre. "To be totally honest with you, I haven't left Rap - I'm still doing that, but I have ventured off into R&B now. It's kind of funny. It's something that I've been fighting off for a long time. When I would always approach a track, it was like I wanted to do something like somebody else. That was the biggest mistake. When I decided to let go, it just started to flow from there."
The deluxe edition of First Born is available today.