Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, the borough of Brooklyn was devoid of vegan, Pabst Blue Ribbon chugging hipsters. Before its most recent round of gentrification, Hip Hop heads associated Brooklyn with gold fronts, classic Timberland boots, beatdowns, robberies and great music. Emcees like Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and Mos Def have become synonymous with the borough, but during the mid-nineties one Hip Hop fan used his stature in another field to shine a light on some less heralded but equally dope emcees.
“That’s Spike Lee, man,” producer DJ Premier told Complex.com, when asked how the 1995 edition of the Crooklyn Dodgers came together. “He wanted me to do it. He wanted Chubb Rock, Jeru, and O.C. I said, ‘Say no more.’ And we saw the footage of Clockers, and I said, ‘Okay, got it.’ We went in, did it in two days.”
One year earlier, Q-Tip was behind the boards for the Crooklyn Dodgers’ initial run. According to him, Spike Lee also sought out Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Jay-Z for appearances.
“I think they all came,” Tip recounted. “I think Ol’ Dirty Bastard left, and I think Jay came late. So Spike was like [Q-Tip shrugs his shoulders].”
Not that Jay and the late, great ODB wouldn’t have been a great combination, but maybe everything worked out for the best. When Lee stepped to Premier in 1995 with the obscure concept of O.C., Jeru the Damaja and Chubb Rock he laid the blueprint for what many feel is the best of the two original Crooklyn Dodgers posse cuts. Which edition of Crooklyn Dodgers do you think is best?