Hip Hop legend Professor Daddy O has blessed the hip hop community with some iconic music. Most popular from the dynamic group Stetsasonic, Daddy O ushered in a dope sound that floored fans. I remember watching the videos and trying to do the dance moves. Hits like Talkin’ All That Jazz, Sally, Float On, A.F.R.I.C.A. and many more. The videos, the clothing, the dance routines; everything was next level with Stetsasonic. The group’s legacy is rich and still flourishing as they are still performing and selling out venues! Daddy O is a major hip hop advocate giving us layers as a producer as well as a lyricist. I had a remarkable chat with him regarding his career, new music, and the changes he’s noted in hip hop over the decades. It was refreshing, fun, and quite informative. I’m honored to have been granted an interview with such a major figure in hip hop. Let the lesson begin…
Who are your musical influences?
When I first started rapping there wasn’t a lot of rap out. It was around 1979. Records was just starting. We had Rappers Delight, Super Rhymes. Melle Mel and all of them were my heroes. Most of us were influenced by the R&B that came before us. Flash and them with the spikes were influenced by Rick James. For me it was the larger bands like Earth Wind & Fire, Mandrel, it was bands like lot of people with music that could change at any moment. Disco , some Latin a ballad. I was into musicians that could do more than one thing. it was Kool and the Gang. All the big bands that R&B made.
How did Stetsasonic form?
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It was a lot of steps. There’s a street knock out legend. His brother bought a tape around. I had a box and he played me Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five Tape. I was like wow what is that. He said that’s hip hop. I never heard anything like that before. We started writing routines off what we would hear the guys in Manhattan and the Bronx do. We got a Dj found another emcee. It was the Stetsasonic 3 . I just found our first routines on tape it’s dope . When I moved to Brownsville I met a guy named Kevin Porter. He asked did we really want to do this . I was like yeah. So he became like a drill sergeant training us. He bought Wise Fuquan to the group. We always looked for opportunities to get on the mic. Paul was playing in the square in Brooklyn. He was young so we had to get permission to get him to be our DJ.
What do you think of the culture’s growth from when you first started out?
First off , I think there’s more than one golden age of hip hop and true school. There was one before us. One credit I give me peers and my crew we were the catalyst for how we were moving forward. No disrespect . As I listened back to some of the older music I was like this is not rap. Public Enemy , Big Daddy Kane, I think our generation I talk about this on my ‘We Survived’ song on my album. Burying Scott La Rock , burying Heavy D . We we’re creeping our head above water. God bless Mr Magic. Awesome Two . We had people that would play our records. We weren’t sure how we were going to break through
How has hip hop influenced music as a whole?
We really dope. I didn’t think about it like that. It like If a house was built and you add a pillar. Now make that house music. We are a strong pillar keeping it together . Hip hop is a pillar. We gave a lot of people life. People like Red Hot Chilli Peppers , Blondie. They had nowhere to go rhythmically with what they were doing. They couldn’t follow a Bruce Springstein. Madonna is another one.
Who are some current artists you listen to and why?
I mean it’s a few things right. One is a of times people say they don’t listen to this new stuff” I can’t call it hip hop. ” people that be around me. It makes me cringe they put fingers at the artist. I listen to Future . I listen to Thugger. Young Thug can rap. Listen to the album with Swiss Beats and one with J Cole. Like don’t get them confused with the stuff you hear on certain records.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
I learned this from Jay Z . Im not like most cats . I’m not huge fan. I love him though. I can be in a dessert island and listen to American Gangster over and over again. But yeah one thing I learned is Rapid fire Repeat. We never did that. We learned the music industry from the people before us. Single single album then exiting. Then three four years later you put out another. I think that’s why we don’t have too many great albums. Thank god we don’t have to live that y’all do. We could be in the market six months with one song but now. You gotta put out lots of content. You gotta become Lil B. Put out a video everyday . You gotta do the work . You live in a climate where everyone has access to a camera to shoot a video, access to record. So there’s a bunch of content. I didn’t come from that era.
Tell us about your latest project.
All I want these records to reflect is an old man rapping . The latest is called from My Hood 2u. First single is Drumma Man. I’m not really big on features. I got POS Dnous from De La Soul. I have Smif n Wessun RA the Rugged Man. I got my secret weapon L Jack. I wasn’t into the feature thing. I didn’t understand what features mean. I see feature this person that person it seemed like albums were based on features. But I figured it out.
How do you feel about coming back into the folds as an artist?
I was basically stock in Atlanta last year. I went to studio. First time I been in years. I got a call to shoot video and I was like yeah let’s do it. That was the first time I saw so much action. 50,000 streams on Spotify , tons of views on the record pools hitting me up. It basically gave me direction.
I would like to thank Daddy O for such an insightful, enlightening and candid interview. He shared lots of jewels. It was definitely a delight hearing how the legend went from humble beginnings to stardom. Weekly Rap Gods would like to thank Professor Daddy O for his endless contributions to hip hop! We look forward to more music , more shows and more greatness from this hip hop pioneer!￼