Editorial, interview, Main, rileysbest

Leader of the New School: Catching Up With Dinco D

Being in a group isn’t easy, and there are plenty of examples of how complex the dynamic can be. Whether…

Being in a group isn’t easy, and there are plenty of examples of how complex the dynamic can be. Whether it’s animosity towards one member, who gets more spotlight, à la Method Man, or an awkward love triangle like City High. Money can – and usually does – change everything.
When it comes to golden era groups, it’s hard to ignore the imminent rise of Leaders Of The New School. The trio, which consisted of members Charlie Brown, Dinco D and Busta Rhymes came to prominence after their classic appearance on Tribe Called Quests’ Scenario. However, behind the scenes – and in one case in front of cameras – the group seemed to begin unraveling almost immediately. The group left behind two notable albums and was the springboard for Busta’s rise into the realm of rap’s elite.

Last week, I caught up with 1/3 of the group Dinco D. He shared some insight on the group’s break-up, what came next for him and his upcoming album with original Tribe Called Quest member Jarobi.

How did you initially get involved in hip-hop?

Growing up in NY, it was all around me. Plus, my brother Jazz had a DJ crew – so I would go through all his records and play with his equipment.

How did you meet Charlie and Busta?

We grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same school. Brown introduced me to Busta and wanted to form a group. So we begin writing and performing together. The rest is history.

Busta said in an interview with Vlad that he almost left the group before the first album. What was the dynamic like in the group right before it took off?

He was doing his own thing for a minute and was neglecting what we were building. He would miss important meetings, and not put effort into us as a “group” – so understandably it was a bit frustrating.

What caused the group to split up?

It was a combination of outside forces and inside forces. You could see people were helping Busta do his own thing, and not supporting Leaders of the New School as a unit. Brown took it hard, cause he formed the group. We worked hard as youngsters to make our dreams a reality, so to have it dismantled quicker than it took us to make it happen was stressful.

Tell us about Dinco after LOTNS. What came next for you?

Well, I moved to ATL. I was promoting parties and working with artists down there. It was a whole different vibe at that point in history; Jermaine Dupri was blowing with So So Def, and Laface –with Dallas Austin and Outkast – was on the rise. They had their families and weren’t supporting NY artists that much. So, I came back home and started producing again with my brothers Shamello and Buddha (who made Put Your Hands Where Your Eyes Can See for Busta). We did songs for Mc Lyte, Zhané, Pharcyde and couple other artists. We also did scoring for some films.

Can you tell us about the collaborative project you and Jarobi are working on?

Its called the Leaders Quest Mission, a project we have been brewing for the past year or so. We’ve always been around each other, and recently started doing songs; it was very organic. It’s started sounding better and better, so we decided to make it a full LP.

What else have you been working on lately?

I have a single called “MeUwe” coming out with a band called Shinobi Ninja, and a solo project as well. Plus I have some new artists I’m pushing, one of which is Bigg East from Long Island. Also, I do a regular party called Party Flavors (which is a collaboration with Jarobi), and some product branding. I stay busy.

You came up in the golden era, what’s your take on the current hip-hop scene?

It’s cool, not as enjoyable as I wish it were, though. There’s so much repetitiveness in terms of style/lyrics, and no real versatility. Still, my heart is in hip hop, and it will never leave my body. So I find something I like and support it as much as I can.

Who are some of your fave artists out right now?

A lot of unknown underground artists – and a select few established ones. It goes up and down daily. No one stands out as an innovative phenomenal mega star.

Can you share one of your fave memories of LOTNS? 

The whole movement was incredible; from being on In Living Color, and Arsenio Hall on my birthday, to chilling with LL in LA.

Any last words you’d like to share with our readers?

Check me out @DINCOD Instagram and Twitter!

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns
Editorial, Featured, Features

Heavy Hitters’ DJ Flee is About to Takeover

28-year-old DJ Flee, also known as Bodega Flee, is one of the hottest new tastemakers in Hip Hop. The Uptown…

28-year-old DJ Flee, also known as Bodega Flee, is one of the hottest new tastemakers in Hip Hop. The Uptown New York Dominican is a lustrious member of the legendary Hip Hop faction, The Heavy Hitters (DJ Enuff, Tony Tone). The former Basketball player made a name for himself in the city with his signature Uptown sound and irreparable tricks on the turntables.

Discovered by the same legends responsible for presenting the world to today’s legends from across the U.S. like DJ Felli Fel, Bootleg Kev, and Peter Parker. Flee has quickly become one of the most notable faces of the brand with his fast-growing fanbase and credible ear for breaking the undeniable next superstars to the East Coast.

Through his journey in radio, Flee has had the opportunity to discover plenty of new genres of Hip Hop that would help transform his style. Experimenting with trendy genres like Dirty South and Gangsta bouncing West Coast with a blend of his Dominican roots.

In Boston, Miami, Orlando, and New York, Flee is the most sought-after radio DJ in the ever-changing broadcast market. Keeling the prestigious pride and name of the Heavy Hitters brightly lit outside of the East Coast. Artists like Zoey Dollaz can credible a large amount of their popularity to DJ Flee’s exposure.

Hard work, dedication, experience has earned DJ Flee the tastemaking position he firmly sits in within today’s Hip Hop. Ready to transition himself into superstar status, the promising DJ continues to develop a signature style that infusion the old school traditions and new school evolution to the East Coast. Heatseeking, DJ Flee is easily becoming one of the biggest DJs in Hip Hop today, honestly, it’s only a matter of time before he is the biggest DJ in today’s Hip Hop. So stay tuned.

DJ Flee’s journey continues on, follow the Heavy Hitter sound today via Instagram and Twitter.

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@KorleonKOJ – “Motion”

Today RichBoy Ent. CEO and founder Korleon aka “The King of Jackson (K.O.J).” releases his new song, “Motion,” debuting the new track with a music video on YouTube.  Released just…

Today RichBoy Ent. CEO and founder Korleon aka “The King of Jackson (K.O.J).” releases his new song, “Motion,” debuting the new track with a music video on YouTube.  Released just in time for Memorial Day, the highly anticipated music video for “Motion” precludes a host of releases by the ATL veteran by way of Jackson, Mississippi. Hoping to continue the momentum, Korleon will drop his mixtape The Four in the coming weeks, which will be followed up by Strictly 4 My Sippers this Summer.

Basically I’m just tappin in with the ladies. They rock with me and I rock with them equally so I felt I needed to satisfy my female fan base and cater to them. I wanted to create something that they could vibe to and something where I remained true to myself,” Korleon K.O.J. explained. “I feel like it’s a way better look for me to be with 7 different women in all shades and colors around the city, rather than me rolling around with 20 of my ni**as.”

Within the last two years Korleon launched a new studio in Atlanta called Walker St. 2.0 where his RichBoy Ent. team has been building a movement. To date Korleon and his team have recorded a host of artists including multi-platinum artist Slim Jxmmi of Rae Sremmurd, Mase, Jose Guapo, Big Bank Black and of course D4L’s Fabo.

“We opened back up the studio in March of 2017, we’ve had a lot of indies, superstars and its just been a blessing, I’m just glad that we have been able to make it happen. Its been a whole host of people to record there over the past few years,” Korleon said of his studio. “Of course me and Fabo been working on music together and I got The Four project that will preclude the Strictly 4 My Sippers project. I got the visual coming for Colorado soon and I got some stuff coming up with DJ Twin in the immediate future sometime in July.”

K.O.J. is often seen touring alongside and has frequently collaborated with on tracks with Fabo, who he says is his brother and day 1.

“Fabo my brother, Giksquad! Those my brothers. We been down since day one and we gonna be down forever, that’s my brother. He stays booked out and if you go through the archives, I’m at most shows, so it’s really just mores what’s continuing to go on. We were at Rolling Loud and everything, he stays booked.”

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#IndieSpotlight: Major D-Star Drops Off “Stack Pray & Stay Out The Way” Visual

Gotta love when an artist you like drop a project you’re feeling, and proceeds to give a visual identity to…

Gotta love when an artist you like drop a project you’re feeling, and proceeds to give a visual identity to the records you were feeling the most. That’s the case for AAHH mainstay Major D-Star; after releasing his long-awaited Trap Star  mixtape back in February, he is dropping off “Stack Pray & Stay Out The Way,” a song I personally described as an illustration of his immense focus on his “current hustle of choice, music.”

RECENT: Major D-Star Drops “Trap Star” Mixtape

The video, like his others, delivers on quality. Directed by Wally Woo, with a multitude of scenery interspersed around a loose storyline of himself working as a mechanic — which he playfully describes as his way of “stacking and staying out the way” in the into — it gives ample life to one of his project’s most infectious earworms. If you have yet to bump his full mixtape, go ahead and click here; either way, press play on this catchy little banger, below.

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#IndieSpotlight, Main

#IndieSpotlight: Silas Luster’s “W.A.V.” Is A Slice Of Subversive Goodness

Provincetown, Massachusetts, MC Silas Luster released a brand new EP W.A.V. on March 29th that I’ve meant to share my…

Provincetown, Massachusetts, MC Silas Luster released a brand new EP W.A.V. on March 29th that I’ve meant to share my thoughts on, but to be honest, it was a dense listen. Not in an unapproachable way, mind you. Instead, it’s like an onion made of many, discussion worthy layers, painted atop lush soundscapes that are (at points) reminiscent of OG EL-P production from the early Def Juxx days.

RELEVANT: Getting To Know Provincetown Artist Silas Luster

The EP kicks off with “Sion,” which starts with his wordy flow over a head-nodding instrumental that switches up halfway through, into this bongo drum pattern over which he drops the strongest verse easily on the project; I’d love to see it live. “Diewittit” is another song that I found myself revisiting over and over. His cadence and rhyme schemes at times have this loose appeal that reminds me of the Freestyle Fellowship-esque aura that dominated college radio in the 90s.

He speaks a lot about his journey, and also a lot of spiritual topics — from the universe to putting meditation over medicine. It’s a lot to unpack, in a good way. You can hear the spoken word elements that seem to be the backbone of his bars — check the acapella interlude “What’s Love?” as a great example of what I mean.

The almost haunting chorus on “O.S.H.N” wasn’t necessarily jarring but did set the song apart as a black sheep of the EP. Not that it’s a bad song — it’s one of the strongest tracks — but, it’s just a different vibe that stuck out to me.

Overall, I dig this EP a lot. If you find yourself a little inundated with the sea of Lil rappers, and the endless sea of meh that often dominates the mainstream consciousness, Silas offers up a slice of subversive Hip Hop. It’s music crafted to both cathartically get things off of his chest and also get your thinking — depending on your aptitude on some of his topics, maybe even get you googling and reading shit.

He is currently touring throughout New England and the Tri-State. Check the schedule.

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Black On Both Sides – 16 Years Later

Brooklyn-born rapper Mos Def is one of (underground) hip hop’s finest. He’s witty, bar heavy, insightful and socially/politically conscious. He’s...