Former Tommy Boy and Elektra A&R Dante Ross has been in the industry years, directly involved in handling the careers of artists such as De La Soul, Queen Latifah, and more.
Now the VP of A&R at Warner Music Group, Ross spoke with Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds of the “Juan Epstein” show, where he disputed MC Serch’s claims that Serch co-produced the 3rd Bass track “Pop Goes the Weasel.”
“I produced ‘Pop Goes the Weasel,'” said Ross. “Serch had nothing to with producing the record at all. He was like, ‘We chopped up [the sample from] “Sledgehammer.”‘ Only thing he chopped up was a salad. The way that record got to be made, I was standing with Pete Nice, watching EPMD perform. They came out to ‘Sledgehammer.’ Pete Nice turned to me and said, ‘We need to use that.'”
Ross also disputed Serch’s take on the formation of 3rd Bass. “He talked about Sam Sever making them a group and all that. That’s kind of a myth. So Serch was a solo artist signed to [Russel Simmons]. Lyor [Cohen] had paid for him to do his demo. I got Sam, who was my downstairs neighbor, to do the demo. I knew Pete from playing basketball. Pete was going to Chung King. He was in struggle mode. I called up Sam. I was in the studio, I said, ‘Yo, you should help my man out.’ …So Sam came and he laced everything, and I told Sam a little while afterwards, ‘Yo, both of these guys.’ Sam was like, ‘Interesting.’ I was in a car with Pete and Serch… and they were battling. And I said, ‘Why don’t y’all just be a group?’ And they looked at each other, and a few days later they were a group.”
Ross, who has a close relationship with DOOM, also spoke about how the artist formerly known as Zev Love X became DOOM after originally being part of the group KMD. “It was two things: the death of his brother, and the death of his record deal. He got dropped. Black Bastards, the artwork was rejected by Elektra, and actually other people within the Warner Music Group found it offensive… and he drew the album cover himself. …A lot of people within the Warner Music Group, a lot of people in power in the Urban Music Group huddled up, and they said this record was offensive, the cover. But they never listened to the record, and they never really had no cognizance of KMD. So we were supposed to have a meeting with the board of people who are concerned about the artwork… to kind of explain it to them… and the day of the meeting, me and DOOM show up, and my boss at the time, Bob Krasnow, who is a great man, he sat me down and DOOM, he looked me in the eye and said, ‘We’re not gonna have the meeting. I’m gonna have to let the band go.'”
Finally, Ross also addressed the deal KMD had received from 3rd Bass. “And their record deal initially…I don’t want to throw dirt on people, but it was a questionable deal the way it was structured with Pete and Serch. And when we made the second record, I had basically cut all that out.”
Listen to the interview below: