So as you all know, Da Bassment crew was where it all started for such artists like Aaliyah, Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Magoo, Playa, Ginuwine etc... If it wasn't for this movement during the 90's we would not of had/have such great iconic people to look up to. Anyone who was raised during that time, already knows the deal when it comes to anything during that era. The music back then was so influential and impacted everything, from what we wore, being socially/politically aware and paving the way for more female artists in both the Hip-Hop and R&B genre.
Since I love to read interviews I happened to come across one which Trevor Banks kindly shared with me. I'm sure the majority of my American readers will know who he is, but for all my other folks out there, Trevor Banks is an Artist/DJ Anchor of Inet6 WSTR Radio. Now...this is a very special interview which took place between 2006–2008 on Banks radio show back in college, where he interviewed the whole Playa crew members – Static Major, Smoke E. Digglera and Digital Black. So without further a due, peep the interview below and have a happy read! :o)
In 1994, at Andrew's in building in Rochester,NY, DeVante of Jodeci formed a collective called Da Bassment . The collective consisted of artists: Sista, Timbaland & Magoo, Accion, Ginuwine, Sugah, Playa, Nikki Bonz, Traedonya, Renee Anderson,Reboc, Pretty Boy, Mr Brendal, Da Boogieman,Dante Hawkins, Sarah Jo Martin, Stevie J, Derek DeGrate,Virginia Williams, Darryl Pearson, Reggi Moore, Lamar Mitchell, and of course Jodeci. Timbaland surely mentioned Pharrell & Larry Live who were in a group together with Magoo called SBI. I also heard Malice & Pusha T were hanging around them in Da Bassment days. Da Bassment recorded several songs for soundtracks such as Dangerous Minds & Nutty Professor. Unfortunately the collective split and went on to record music as solo artists or groups. 20 years later they are still putting out music. In this blog post we are celebrating Da Bassment's 20 Year Anniversary.
Da Bassment Interview:
1. Who Influenced you musically?
Static Major: Project Pat, Lil Flip, UGK, Lil Wayne. I listen to street music. The streets influence me.
Smoke E Digglera: I'd have to say one of major influences would be DeVante Swing of Jodeci. Also Take 6 & John P Kee.
Digital Black: My influences first would be my father and brother. Others would be Donny Hathaway, Al Green, Bobby Womack (RIP),Ron Isley, and Jodeci.
2. How did you meet DeVante of Jodeci?
Bazaar Royale (aka Da Boogieman): I just ran into the dude, he was with Timbaland and all them cats. Walked right up to De and said "WSUP" . I did my freestyle type thing, he liked, and he gave me his contact info.
Playa: Singing for DeVante, backstage at the Jodeci concert.
3. How were Da Bassment days?
Bazaar Royale (aka Da Boogieman): For me it was dope. It was like a college for artists.
Trevor Banks: Stevie J said the same thing.
Static Major: Oh maaan .. It was like music school. We all lived in the same apartment building. The studio was like within walking distance of the apartments. We were over there all day everyday.
Trevor Banks: That was in Andrew's Building in Rochester,NY?
Static Major: That's right!
Smoke E Digglera: Maan , it was just like any first phase of trying to get in where you fit in, it was raw. It was definitely a situation you could look back on and say "That was beautiful". You begin to appreciate the fact that certain things don't happen overnight. Seeing it first hand from a genius like DeVante was, as well as a multi platinum writer/producer/artist. De gave us the opportunity to work on our craft , and to get in where we fit in.
Digital Black: Yeah! it was definitely like a college. It was where me, Static, and Smoke honed in on our skills. DeVante was the type of cat that he let you learn by doing, not just watching. All of us had our own studio room, and it was just a blessing. It was like living a dream. Where one of your idols sign you, ya know. That is where we met Timbo, Missy, and Ginuwine. We all lived together for about 4 or 5 years. I have no hard feelings from that experience. Don't believe the VH1 Driven story..
4. How did the group get its name 'Playa'?
Smoke E Digglera: Hmmm ( as he sips from Hennessy & Pepsi ) That would be DeVante, just from us kickin it, sitting around listening to music, and getting to know one another. So De said "You know what, ya'll some lil playas maan, for real". So he goes "That is the name of the group...PLAYA"
Trevor Banks: What was the name of the group before Playa?
Static/Major: It was still the same guys, but locally we were called 'Touch Of Class'.
To be continued..... (We will try to add more from Da Bassment members down the road.. SO STAY TUNED)
Damn it! Just as I was getting into it! Lol! Nice way to keep us wanting more though! ;) My favorite part had to be when they mentioned how Playa formed their name, since I have always been curious to know that, so thank you for clearing that up :o) To read the remaining parts where Banks shares some of his mixes, unreleased tracks and demos from Da Bassment crew, click on the link above where you will be pleasantly surprised! You can also get in contact with Trevor Banks via his Blog, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.