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Kerwin "Sleek" Young... Top 200 Shop
Kerwin worked out of Public Enemy's Long Island studio at 510 South Franklin Ave in Hempstead, 7 days a week; sleeping there several days at a time. He worked out of a room rented by Paul Shabazz. The spot was legendary. Back in 1984, Charles Casseus had produced and recorded the Electro classic "Breakin In Space" there. The premises was owned by a dentist, a Dr Gant and Bomb Squad member Paul Shabazz was renting out rooms in the building. Kerwin first hooked up with Public Enemy in the summer of 1987. He had met them through two friends from the Hempstead N.A.A.C.P. Youth Council. He began making beats in 1988 and would bring tracks to Keith Shocklee & Eric Satler to listen to. He began assisting Eric in the studio in 1989 while working on "Fear of a Black Planet" & Ice Cube's "AmeriKKKaz Most Wanted". He started to work with Professor Griff in the summer of 1989, around the time of the "Fight The Power" video shoot. He went on to produce tracks on all Griff's solo albums and spent time down in Miami at Luther Campbell's studio.
He began production with his college friend Rich Simmons who had a small home set-up [MPC60 + Juno 106]. The two of them had a daily routine in the early 1990's. In the evenings they would be in the studio writing, mornings Kerwin would play ball in the gym at NYIT, before riding out to NYC to shop tracks. It was at various label offices, studio's and cutting houses that they would make valuable music industry contacts. When he was up at Rush Management HQ at 298 Elizabeth Street, he saw the young Havoc and Prodigy. He later ran into Prodigy again at Tong Kwon Chinese restaurant just opposite the Hempstead studio. Prodigy told him that they were shopping a deal at Island Records and Kerwin asked him to swing by the studio and check out his beats, which Prodigy did. This led to a meeting with 4th & B'dway where Kerwin was paid to produce 5 tracks for the debut Mobb Deep album "Juvenile Hell".
Kerwin worked on a bunch of high profile Hip Hop projects throughout the 90's. As well as all the Public Enemy releases, he was project coordinator (lit. Producer/Song-Writer) for Eric B & Rakim's "Don't Sweat The Technique" LP, he worked on the Gravediggaz demos, was in the studio and helped out [uncredited] on a LOAD of Hip Hop records incl. sessions with Busta Rhymes ["Woo Hah"], Young Black Teenagers, Schoolly D, 2 Live Crew [while down South], Lauryn Hill [debut album] and many many more. Later into the 90's he began writing for film and TV.
Outside of Hip Hop music, he had begun studying composition in 1994 and composed his first orchestral works
in 2001. His first classical piece to be performed was for a work entitled "Tales of a Fon Griot" at Jackson State University in Mississippi in 2008. He was a resident composer at Spelman College in 2008, before going back to school in 2009 at UMKC for a bachelor and masterdegrees in music composition.
So Volume 2 of "Beats, Breaks and Rhymes" includes more SICK joints from heads who passed through Kerwin's room at the Public Enemy Studio on Long Island, from the early to mid 90's. Props to the man himself for [after many months of pestering] taking a flight back down to Atlanta to locate the original DATS from the Dr Seus period. They sound ILLL!!!!!!!!!!
|A1.||Catchin' bodies||Prodigy||Dr Seus|
|A3.||Don't let This One Slip Away||510 Posse|
|A4.||Don't Pull The Trigger||Prodigy|
|B1.||Freestyle For Fun||Son Of Bezerk|
|B2.||Lost in the Storm||Sonny Skillz|
|B3.||Rough & Rugged Motion||Smoov|
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