Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Suave House Revisited

Here is rest of the Suave House story I posted up over at Black Ice today. Like I said over there, I wasn't sure if anyone cared about the two Suave House posts since there weren't alot of comments. But, people have been telling me personally that they felt and liked it, and that feels good. Thanks to everybody reading and appreciating.

Suave House Revisited (con't)

Details remain sketchy as to what specifically happened to cause dissention in the house. When asked, the artists don’t go into much detail outside of Mr. Mike emphatically saying, “Yeah,” when asked if they felt if they were getting cheated out of money.

“It was a number of things, just a bunch of small shit,” offers Eightball about the situation. “Its like the sand in the hourglass. It starts off a grain at a time and before you know it, it was a lot of sand at the bottom. We felt like if we didn’t move on, it would ruin our lives, not our careers, but our lives.”

Adding, “The record label itself was trying to come between the artists. A lot of lies were being told. It was a bunch of other shit that made us wanna make a lifestyle change.”

He pauses with slight agitation in his voice, “I don’t think its anything I need to get into and I don’t think you need to ask me [again] another way.”

While feelings are still tense surrounding the aftermath of what happened at Suave, everyone for the most part has little to no regrets.

“I don’t think anything was taken from me but shit, I didn’t have all the knowledge I have now,” admits Crime Boss who along with Mr. Mike made arrangements to be released from their contractual obligations. “If I knew then what I know now, I would not have put myself in the position to be taken.”

“We wasn’t paying attention to everything like we should have,” sighs Eightball. “We was just making good music and having fun. But we got a lot of things out of it all. It was good and bad like any situation. We’ll never forget it, but we don’t feel like we have to dwell on it.”

Thorough chimes, “I don’t have nothing bad to say about my time there because it was an experience that I learned from. From my experience there I have built ties that can never be broken. But I also have ties that can never be repaired.”

At the turn of the century, Suave CEO Tony Draper made efforts to resurrect his label. He signed then unknowns Noah (now signed to Jive Records), Big Duke (one fourth of Boyz N Da Hood) and Rick Ross (now signed to Slip-N-Slide/Def Jam). While the future once again looked promising, fate would take another turn.

“My album was actually finished in 1999,” says Noah. “But it didn’t happen because it wasn’t a part of God’s plan. I went into the situation blind though. So it was kind of a blessing. I appreciated the whole experience. I take it all as a positive though. I knew what I was getting into. I knew what kind of niggas I was dealing with.”

“We lost the deal with Universal before my album came out so we was in shambles at that point,” reveals Big Duke as to why his album never saw the light of day. “I wasn’t sure where the company was going, plus I never really signed a contract. I don’t wait around for no hand outs so I moved on. But I don’t have any complaints. I ain’t see nothing there that I ain’t seen at So So Def, Bad Boy, anywhere. Everybody got issues. I ain’t see nothing shady there that I ain’t seen nowhere else.”

Ultimately, lessons were learned by everybody that’s ever walked through the Suave House’s doors. Hell, notes have even been taken by people came about long after it was closed.

“People are sampling our shit more than ever,” smiles Eightball. “Shawnna sampled us on her new album, Trick Daddy redid “9 Little Milimeta Boys”, “Lay It Down” has been redone and cats sample our hooks now.”

“People still come up to us talking about shit we said ten years ago,” gleams Thorough. “There ain’t nothing wrong with that. I wouldn’t change that for nothing. God put us in a situation to do great things, but as men its hard to handle it sometimes. Everybody had talent. It was unfortunate that we couldn’t do better than what we did.”


Anonymous said...

Good Article, I can remember listening to Suave House artists when I was in High School. I always wondered what happened to that crew and it seems they just grew apart. That was great music and a great era in hip hop.

koop said...

thanks for posting this throwback. it's good to see "a," how you put the article together and "b," the fall of a southern institution chronicled.

all parties involved needed an outlet for their perspectives and they found it with you.


Anonymous said...

That suave clik is so thik!

Kenny J said...

This was a real nice article man you get mad props for this one! They had as tight a group of MC's that was ever assembled and it's a shame it ended that way. Thanks for shedding light on the situation.

Andrew Barber said...

This is great, I've wondered about a lot of these artists, especially Mr. Mike (who was probably my favorite of the crew at one point).

Thanks so much for this.

Do a follow up!