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!