“When Ghetto Music was being recorded I was getting away from D-Nice, Harmony, Scotty Morris, who was our manager at the time, and Ms. Melodie. I was getting away from them because we all had a big falling out. I had gotten divorced from Ms. Melodie and D-Nice quit the group and went to Flava Unit. Boogie Down Productions fell apart after Scott’s death, so I went on. Here’s Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip-Hop, and as you can see from the earlier days we were trying to write out a cultural plan for hip-hop. Let’s look at the music more than just sounds and lyrics. Let’s look at this even from a spiritual point of view…let’s start questioning the philosophies and the theologies that are around us. This is where we started doing songs like ‘You Must Learn’ and ‘Why Is That.’ We were questioning what everyone thought was real. We were questioning the interpretation of the Bible. We were questioning how black kids were being taught in school.
I won’t take all the credit for Ghetto Music’s [groundbreaking sound]. At the time I was surrounded by some very talented people. Now I had some new people with me…some new influences. One of those new people who joined BDP was Sidney Mills who came in around 1988. He was one of the producers of this reggae jam ‘Telephone Lover.’ This record was disgustingly huge! At the same time I was producing Sly & Robbie, major reggae artists that did every reggae beat that you could imagine. I’m in the studio working with them and they were lending me ideas, and samples and basslines and all kind of craziness. And in addition to that, I had my own set-up in my basement…the SP-1200 is in full effect!
I got people like Kid Capri, who was just starting his DJing career. He’s sleeping on my couch in my house. I had people like Fat Joe who I was starting to take under my wing…just street dudes I was surrounding myself with. Ghetto Music comes out of all this. It’s very reggae-based, very dancehall…it leans to that side. It reflects the time when reggae and hip-hop was starting to merge after I did ‘The Bridge Is Over.’ These were the experimental days. That’s why we called the album The Blueprint. The lyrics and sound on that album was drawing a line in the sand for DJ’s, MC’s and producers: this is what hip-hop is. We were defining it in 1989.”