“Yes, I knew ‘How Ya Like Me Now’ was a diss track. I was there. I was at Harlem World. I was one of the first producers to actually go to that Harlem World club. I don’t think Puffy ever went to Harlem World, which was on 116th St. on Lenox Ave, two blocks from where I used to hustle. I don’t think any of the rappers that call out Harlem World ever went to Harlem World. So this is where all the shows and battles were happening. You had Busy Bee, Lovebug Starski, Crash Crew, Fearless Four, and Kool Moe Dee all there performing.
I was there when Brooklyn used to come and shoot up the whole front door when Manhattan wasn’t taking it anymore. So I knew about the battles [between Moe Dee and LL Cool J]. That’s why Moe Dee [recorded] ‘How Ya Like Me Now.’ That record was so big. I felt like I was a part of history in the making. I mean, me and Moe Dee were kind of messing around when we were making ‘Do You Know What Time It Is’ and ‘Go See The Doctor’. But with ‘How Ya Like Me Now’ everything changed.
This is when our record company (Jive/RCA) started really backing our music. I got signed to Zomba publishing and I was living in London for about six or seven months working on Moe Dee’s album and with other rappers. Between me and Marley Marl we were the first to sample James Brown and really get away with it. The sample clearance laws were not in affect yet. I was even making James Brown sounds with my own voice [laughs]. That’s me saying, ‘Get on up!’ But James Brown and his team started to put a trademark on everything. Everything was changing. Hip-hop was changing.”