Old School Artist Of The Week —- Billy Bill


When asked about the ongoing discussions within Hip Hop about the stylistic differences between the boroughs Bill states that you have to give the Bronx credit because they started it, but Manhattan refined it. “As a B Boy I went where the music was good. It was always between Manhattan & the Bronx in the beginning. Then the other boroughs got into it, and made it bigger than what it was as far as on records. With the B Boy Records and beats, I witnessed Kool Herc first. But on the mic with the call & response and rhymes it was Hollywood, Cheeba and Starski – cats like that”.
Concerning Kurtis Blow’s signature sound Bill credits Larry Smith, Danny Harris and Davy DMX. “Dave was Kurtis Blow’s D.J. when The Breaks and Christmas Rappin’ was out. He bought a bass and learned how to play, and then he just started to expand. That’s him playin’ bass on If I Ruled The World by Kurtis Blow. Davy D did stuff on many of Kurt’s productions. “On the Fat Boys song by the Disco 3, I didn’t do any writing. I just created the melody and Larry Smith played it out. On Sweet G’s Games People Play, I just wrote the rhymes – he wrote all the harmonizing parts. I got paid on some songs and then on some I didn’t. Sometimes management will change your words just to get writers credit. Like on Basketball it’s supposed to say “me & Billy Bill go one on one ‘cus playin’ the game is a lotta fun”. They took my name out and put homeboy”. Because Bill educated himself as far as publishing on the front end , he recieves royalties when Run DMC covers Hard Times, or Lil Bow Wow remakes basketball. “Don’t be surprised if you hear us one more time. Our childhood friend Danny Harris was a master musician, and he gave Kurtis a track before he passed. Kurtis wasn’t gonna use it at the time, but now that he is gone we are gonna put something together. It’s an incredible track.

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