Published 14th November, 2016
In the lead up to one of the most anticipated RnB events to ever touch down on Australian soil, RnB Fridays Live, we’ve caught up with each RnB legend set to take the stage around the country. Placing a spotlight on the iconic artists, we look back to where it all began and where they are now.
We all remember Fatman Scoop from his seminal hit “Put Ya Hands Up”. The song, originally released in 1999 but re-relea
sed in 2003, encapsulated everything about a hip hop anthem. It’s sampling of past hits and use of sing-along all somehow managed to meld together to create something that was catchy, energetic and memorable. So much so that 17 years later, you can still go out and hear the song.
“To be honest, when i wrote the lyrics – I put everything into one song that i thought would work but you don’t know when it’s coming. I was just making another song. Hearing it slowly start to penetrate the radio about 6 weeks after constantly selling out of records was when i knew it was a hit,” explains Scoop (Isaac Freeman III).
A self-defined student of music, Scoop’s ability to understand hip hop came long before his musical debut. For years, he’s worked as a DJ for New York based hip hop radio station Hot 97 doing daily radio shows. It was in this role that Scoop was able to witness all eras of hip hop.
“I was able to see everybody come up. I saw The Chronic and All Eyes On Me. But I saw the change. I saw the birth of real hip hop.”
As both a witness and an active participant, Fatman Scoop has lived and breathed hip hop. Ironically, this experience hasn’t left Scoop to dismiss modern day hip hop. Instead of discussing the idea of nostalgia and how the golden era has passed, Scoop instead chooses to pinpoint the common element that unites all forms of hip hop throughout history – dedication to the craft.
“It’s [Hip Hop] not as skillful as it used to be. These days you work on a song and put it on the internet but they’re both work you know. Some of it’s good, some it’s not good but it’s the same thing as it was in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s a different era but work is still work.”
Although a long time has passed since the days of 80s hip hop and 90s gangsta rap, it’s all immortalised in Fatman Scoop. His performances and his classics invoke a sense of nostalgia that you can only have from living through a certain era and understanding what the genre is. And he loves it.
“When you’re performing, it’s the closest thing to you can to get God. When i can see the whites of people’s eyes, when i can feel the energy there’s just no comparison.”
RnB Fridays Live kicks-off Friday, November 18 in Sydney. For all info, visit here.