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“Now you are taking me back the beginning [laughs]. Sista was a group that I was a part of coming out of high school. We were the biggest Jodeci fans! So we somehow was able to get into DeVante Swing’s (Jodeci’s lead producer and arranger) hotel room and sing for him. It was crazy…he signed us to a deal just from that. That’s why being on the Dangerous Minds soundtrack with Craig Mack was a big moment for us. We thought we were superstars. We were like, ‘Wow, this is our first record on a major soundtrack!’ We couldn’t wait to hear it. We brought the soundtrack so we could just listen to our record. We were happy. Anytime Sista recorded music we thought, ‘We are going to make it.’ I know that we felt a little bit closer to our dreams being on a record with a lot of major artists.
We were all a part of DeVante’s crew of artists (Swing Mob—which included future stars Timbaland, Magoo, Ginuwine, Tweet, and late producer/songwriter and member of the R&B group Playa, Static Major). We were in that basement practicing and recording day and night. DeVante was very strict, but as we grew older, we realized that it also made us who we are today. We couldn’t listen to the radio and watch TV, but that was good thing. Back then, we were young and wanted to see whose videos were out and what was the hot record playing, but because we couldn’t, that forced us to create our own sound. I think that was actually a good thing. There was so much talent there you were forced to keep up on your game. You knew the next person was coming with the hotness. You had to make sure your shit was hot. Everybody was on top of their game, but Static was the one. He was an incredible writer, an incredible rapper and an incredible singer. As far as me being a writer, I looked to Static and was like, ‘Wow, I have to get on top of my shit. Static is amazing.’
But I think everything started changing when it became overly competitive. It got rough. That’s when I decided, ‘Maybe I need to start all over again.’ I left and then Tim, Magoo and everybody else ended up leaving. We hadn’t been out into the real world…so you felt trapped. But once we got outside the basement, we realized, ‘Dag, that was rough…’ But DeVante was only preparing us for what the music business was really all about. It’s not a game out there. It’s very serious and cut throat. I never want to make it seem like Swing Mob was the worst thing ever because it allowed us to grow and create our own sound. Once I left, it was like coming from boot camp. Now I was ready.”