My 1st Beat Placement

The breaks’ over? Nah, not really. I’m just posting this for all of those who truly miss my blog posts updates. I must admit I have seriously been “slackin’ in my pimpin’.” My sincere apologies. I had to take a break to get some work done & family time in. I don’t know how ‘ye does it to be honest. He is a beast with his blog (as busy as he is on a daily basis).

Anyway, for those who follow me (& I’m not talking about Twitter here) & my career you may have heard me mention quite a few times in my interviews, when asked, that the first beat I ever sold was to a group called Network Repz. Everytime I’ve told the story of how that beat came to be I always mention how I strongly tried to convince the group to switch my beat out which was used for a beat which was way better, but they refused. They liked what had originally been given to them via my boy Matt Fingaz; that beat was the very first beat I ever made on my MPC 3000. The beat was pretty bad & was my poor excuse to TRY & sound like DJ Premier. The song title was “Dos Collabo (Hip Hop’s Delight)” which was a remix that featured Bahamadia & a few others. Even my ‘group1‘ was on there; I think we were listed as background vocals. Yes… I said, “my group” but more on that in a future I Heart My Polo Lifestyle post. ;)

Now, for the record, being asked “what’s the first beat you ever sold” is quite different from being asked “what’s the first beat you ever placed.” I remember the day I got the news when my boy Consequence hit me up & said he wanted 2 beats out of a small batch of beats he got from me via my former manager Shaka Doc [r.i.p.]. I was happy as a failing student on a snow day. I couldn’t believe one of my beats was actually going to get written to & recorded, tracked, mixed AND mastered. I didn’t even know what mastering was back then but I knew I wanted my beat mastered. Even more to my surprise, ‘Quence told me, “yo, I think I’m going to get Busta on this one too.” Man… I was hype WILLIAMS at this point. Dope!

I want to say this all went down in ’96 I believe. I may be off by a year. I think we recorded this at Battery Studios. This song was to be 1 of 2 songs I recorded for what would have been Consequence’s debut album entitled Hostile Takeover. Believe you me when I tell you this album would have been an insta-classic had it seen the light of day. It was set to be released thru [my hero] Q-Tip & the god Ali Shaheed Muhammad‘s label imprint on Elektra Records called Museum Music. Dope name right? Consequence was first up to bat on Museum Music. I have to say ‘Quence did not have one wack verse or beat on that album. It was flawless. Production by Q-Tip, Ali-Shaheed Muhammad, Havoc, the late great Jay Dee (pre-J. Dilla moniker) & myself 88-Keys. What a line up aye2?

I’m not 100% certain why Hostile Takeover never came out but I believe a lot of this hasn’t surfaced (just yet) because, from what I vaguely remember hearing way back then, the masters (along with hundreds of very rare collector’s vinyl, DAT tapes & other items) may have fell victim to the infamous & tragic fire that happened at Q-Tip & our boy Litro’s house in NJ.

So recently, while looking through my own record collection for drum samples to take with me to Santa Monica, CA for my studio sessions, I came across this ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ white labeled album. I totally forgot I had this. Normally my records are in alphabetical order but my collection has seemed to have outgrown my system; so now when I leave my records lying around, my wife pretty much just sticks them in any box which has space in ‘em. *booo* Anyhow, the recording you’re about to listen to comes from a BOOTLEGGED copy of the song “Armani Frames” (incorrectly titled as “The Riot” & credited to Jay Dee – r.i.p.). Again, this was one of two song I produced for Hostile Takeover. The other song was called “Willy Overnite” which featured our boy Lo-Income of Know Naim. We were all part of a crew lead by A Tribe Called Quest. More on that in a future I Heart My Polo Lifestyle blog post. Please pardon the vinyl ‘pops’ on this .mp3 converted song & (just so you don’t think ‘Quence rapping or my beat programming was ‘off’), I just noticed a ‘skip’ in the song @ 1:11. Damn bootleggers!
They couldn’t even get the transfer right.

So, without any further ado (from my long winded self), I hope you all enjoy, comment & spread the holiday cheers with this long lost & almost completely forgotten about song:

Humanoids Charles & Dexter w/android Kanye @ Complex Magazine party.

Humanoids Charles & Dexter w/android Kanye @ Complex Magazine party.

“Armani Frames”
featuring Busta Rhymes
produced by yours truly

(Click On Photo Above To Get Your Head Bus’ Wide Open)


  1. I was in a group called ACG Live! with one of my then best friends Nat (a.k.a. Reckless) & my current DJ (Drastic… the REAL DJ Drastic damn it!!!)
  2. I feel absolutely NO shame whatsoever for giving myself props when I feel I deserve them. :)


  • Shaka Doc my former manager & manager/friend to Q-Tip, Mos Def, Consequence, Know Naim, Jane Doe & PJ. Rest In Peace! You are greatly missed.
  • Consequence my brother for giving me my first shot at this music sh*t. We both have come a LONG way. I had to pay you back for that by introducing you to Kanye2Tha. ;)
  • A Tribe Called Quest for puttin’ me on (like Bonita… but not quite like Bonita.) *pause*
  • Busta Rhymes. Thanks for breathing even MORE & life n’ hot fire into this song.
  • To the bootlegger(s) out in Germany who got our sh*t. I guess I should be thanking you… but not really. WHERE OUR MONEY AT!?!?!?
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~ by 88-Keys on July 8, 2009.

61 Responses to “My 1st Beat Placement”

  1. [...] {document.getElementById('splittitletext').style.display = '';} } How to Select Ballet Class MusicMy 1st Beat Placement // .broken_link, a.broken_link { text-decoration: line-through; [...]

  2. Consequence gets mad props…

  3. We want to know how much u got for the beat. Some niggas been making beats since 17 yrs old and still never made a dime as if niggas really buy beats anyway?

  4. Blessings my friend,..Well I hope to actually meet up someday? Since I didn’t get the chance to at URB’s cover party in I have to quote you on- “I feel absolutely NO shame whatsoever for giving myself props when I feel I deserve them.” Thankyou for the inspiration and send nothing but positive vibes to you and your fam bam.

    -Liz Lopez

    • Oh were you at that party? Fun times huh? Yeah, I believe in what I say because I’ve said it many times over & it’s the truth.

      88-Keys – The Death of Adam

  5. It’s great getting a chance to catch up with you after your performance in Bmore last night. I just want to say thanks again for being a cool down to earth person and making dope music for me to enjoy. And like I said if you want a jpeg of the piece I can you, just hit me up and let me know where to send it.



    PS. I had to leave before Cudi’s performance since I was a bit under the weather last night, so I don’t know if you all performed together. if you all did, let me know so I can start a small riot somewhere.

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