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Casanova Rud Still Got Em Locked: Part Two It was 1988 when two handsome chaps with shiny red training suits and perfectly shaved top fades from Astoria Projects, NY, got every girl on the block locked. 'Do The James' and 'Girls I Got Em Locked' were just two hits of the wonderful 'Girls I Got Em Locked' LP. Now, more than thirty years later, Casanova Rud is preparing to release a new album with his former partner-in-rhyme Superlover Cee...

This is part two of our Casanova Rud interview, check part one here.

How do you remember Paul C?

Paul C was like a brother to me, a.genius, way ahead of the times musically. He was an avid record collector and was the best engineer I ever met. He was a master at productions. His workstation of choice was the Emu SP12 and we converted over to the SP1200 . He taught me everything about production. He was a kind and generous person and would look out for anybody positive. I remember us hanging at 12 12 studios in the music building on Archer blvd. in Jamaica Queens NY. In between sessions we would take a break playing ping pong on a table we constructed out of ply wood (laughs) smoking weed and brain storming. He would let me sit in sessions while he was mixing people's stuff.

Paul C had a confidence about him that made you feel comfortable about your music and made sure he did his best to make it sound good. He had a unique mixing style, everyone around that time quickly took notice and he became in high demand. So busy in fact, at one point he was overbooked, so Super Lover and I were forced to record somewhere else. That's why you see Green Street studios/SOHO NYC on our album credits. I miss my dude.

On the 'Girls I Got Em Locked' LP, there were lots of great samples...did you know where they came from yourself?

The 'Girls I Got Em Locked' album was a gumbo of soul and r 'n b samples. I can name a few like Joe Tex, various James Brown samples, breakbeats, Whispers etc.. But I was never the one to study who I sampled. Paul hated the fact that I wouldn't take care of the records. I would take a record out of the jacket, put the needle on the record, damn near scracth it everytime looking for that loop, find what I liked and just throw into to the side. I had a bad habit of doing that. (laughs)

The marketing behind the first record was low, but it was succesful right?

When we were signed to Elektra records, we were limited budgetwise in regards to promotions. We only made one video 'Girl I Got Em Locked' and we had to hire our own publicist. They always had our best interest in mind but they lacked true vision. We worked our own record and had our own team pushing us. Our 'Girls I Got Em Locked' album was very successful. It debuted on Billboard at #77, and quickly became radio-friendly and sold roughly 425,000 copies worldwide. Since we had success with it, we were asked to start working on our sophomore album.

But then things started to go bad...

We were going over tracks Paul C and I made, mapping out what we wanted to do. I wish I had some of those floppy discs with the productions, it was gonna be major. Unfortunately and tragically that album never came into fruition. Paul was found murdered in his house. What's sad about it all, the police didn't have any suspects or motives at the time, and they had the nerve to implicate us in his murder. Why? I don't know. The truth came out eventually, but it was too late. The damage was done. We were dropped from our label, our management gave up on us, people that were for us weren't anymore. To me, it felt like we were blacklisted.

It took some time for the smoke to clear and for us to have the confidence to come back out. Super Lover and I grew apart for a moment. I was still making beats and writing but I didn't put anything. I didn't know if we would still be accepted by our fans but it was still in my heart and I knew we still were dope. We did eventually signed with Wild Pitch /EMI Records. That was a mistake. We were just puppets on that label. We had no creative control. Luckily it was only an EP. They didn't have a clue what they were doing. Just Google the history of Wild Pitch Records.

And still a lot of hip-hop fans are talking about your music...

There's not one day that goes by that I don't hear someone saying something wonderful about our music. I am very humbled and appreciative of our stamp on hip-hop history. I owe a lot of our success to Paul C for crafting out our sound. RIP my brother. thank you. As anything in life, things must and will always change. The sound is different now and the content has changed, but it is still hip-hop in an ever-evolving form. We must still embrace it, but never forget were we come from.

So how's making music nowadays?

I am very excited about my current music. I'm a solo artist now and I noticed I have my own style and music taste. I find myself thinking out of the box, having fun with it, just like I did in the 80's. What's funny is they call me and Supe legends which is an honor.

What rappers are you listening to nowadays?

I like a lot of today's artists, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross, Drake and the grind of underground major artists like the LoX, Papoose, Red Cafe,...

What's next for Casanova Rud?

I have my own team grinding. Be on the lookout for Success Club. My partner DroManoti with producers Jnotez and members Vascobar, KingCom, WaveNL, DJ Juice. I'm going to be a legend, twice! Thank you for all of your support. Peace and love.


POSTED 05|13|2012
conducted by cpf

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