Here at Music Selections we are all Italians: if you think about any Italians that made a great contribution to hip hop, it’s really difficult to think of any.
Some people may come up with Kid Capri (well, he’s half afro-American and half italo-american… but the name says it all and he’s the best mixtape dj ever..) and that’s it (I don’t count local Italian mc’s because all they did was copy American mc’s…).
Well, Kid Capri it’s not the only one in the hip hop history who left an heavy mark on it: have you ever listened to a Poor Righteous Teachers album or Yz ‘s “Thinking Of A Master Plan “? If yes and if you were wondering who produced those gems, here’s the answer: Mr. Tony Depula a.k.a Tony D.
Dj MP45:First of all, thanks for letting us have this interview. We should start from the beginning: what was your first exposure to hip-hop? I read that you started as a DJ, so which were the songs you were playing at that time?
Tony D: Grandmaster Flash and the Sugarhill stuff but Run DMC and the Def Jam early 12′s really were my favs.
Dj MP45: How did you switch from DJing to production and which equipment were you using when you started?
Tony D: the Mantronik album cover with roland 909 made me go buy one. So back then I had that and a 4 track cassette. ..
Dj MP45: Did you do a lot of crate digging in the past and do you still do it these days?
Tony D: Of course, but the record stores have dried up so it’s more of a challenge. I find myself digging in my own stash more than going out and breakhunting I have gathered so many old records that I still have fresh stock to go through…digger for life.
Dj MP45: Which are your top 5 non-hip hop records?
Tony D: I like the funky people James Brown lp’s, Monk Higgins, Andy Bey, Children of all ages: dope lp!
Dj MP45: Who are other producers that inspired your work and why?
Tony D: Marley Marl: he was the first to samples drums……
Pete Rock : trademark sound with horns and he pioneered the raw remix. .
But Paul C was the best on the SP1200 which I still use today. . . Plus he was ahead of time. . .
Dj MP45: Which songs do you wish you had produced yourself?
Tony D: Give The Drummer Some by Ultramagnetic Mc’s, T.R.O.Y. by Pete Rock and C.L Smooth and DWYCK by Gangstarr
Dj MP45: You produced a lot of politically-charged acts such as Poor Righteous Teachers: were you comfortable with their message or was it just music to you?
Tony D: Sometimes I felt a little odd hearing all the anti-devil stuff but I was pretty much accepted into the hip-hop urban community because I been down since day 1 . . .
Dj MP45: One of my favourite songs you produced is the Blvd Mosse “Move to something funky”: I tried to find more info on this group, but I couldn’t find any: how did you start working with them and do you have any interesting anecdotes about that time?
Tony D: Actually with the explosion of random hip hop, BLVD MOSSE unreleased is in demand as I have other material from them as well as other artists from Trenton that never came out.
I met them in North Trenton. They were from that area where I was already scouting acts.
Dj MP45: Let’s move to the present: what do you think about the state of hip hop at the moment and do you think there are producers who can still carry that flag?
Tony D: It goes up and down. Sometimes I think Hip-Hop’s dead then Kanye or Lupe Fiasco comes out with something dope.
But overall, crunk, bling and gangsta rap have put a dent in the culture of Hip-Hop
Dj MP45: Many thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, it is very much appreciated , I know readers of our blog will be happy to find out that a fellow Italian gave such a great contribution to hip hop.
Tony D: Thanks paisons…peace.
Check out one of his former groups, Crusaders For Real Hip Hop. Dope production here….
Check out also this YZ video… respect for the necklace
…NOW GO TO TONY D MYSPACE AND SHOW HIM SOME LOVE!