Tony "Da Wizard" A reflects on the widespread impact of Dr. Dre.
Hip-hop history is important. We've come to love so many of these legendary figures, and value the intricacies of their come-up stories. Earlier today, an interview was brought to my attention by the Murder Master Music Show, in which they linked up with iconic West Coast figure Tony "The Wizard" A, DJ for Hi-C and the west coast establishment The Roadium. Now, the interview originally ran in April, but it felt important enough to share a few months down the line, especially for those of you who value tales of this nature.
Speaking with the Murder Master Music Show, Tony reflects on both his own mixtape run and that of Dr. Dre, who both spent time making tapes at iconic West Coast Flea Market The Roadium. "Dr. Dre was doing them from 84 to 87, and I took over around 87 to 91," explains Tony. "As a matter of fact, in 1990 when I released my last one, one of the songs that was on [DJ Quik's homemade mixtape The Red Tape], the infamous song that dissed MC Eiht, that song was on my tape from The Rodeo."
As it happens, many of Da Wizard's early tapes featured appearances from a pre-fame Eazy E and Dr. Dre. "Even though they weren't to the magnitude they are now, those guys were real professionals," reflects Tony. "Me being from the streets, and hearing some street shit, I knew this was something the world had never heard of. I didn't know it would blow up all over the world, but I knew it would blow in my neighborhood...I remember asking Dre if he knew it would take off the way it did. He said 'no, but I knew controversy sells, so we went controversial with it."
Tony A speaking on Dr. Dre with The Murder Master Music Show
"Dre was a very very smart dude, even then when he was just doing mixtapes," says Tony. "He knew the business already. Ten steps ahead of everyone. Every time I went to Sir Jinx's house, I never saw Dr. Dre sitting around eating a bag of chips watching TV. He was always on the phone, always on the drum machine, he was always making moves. Eazy E was the same way. He was always showing people his music, his demos."
"Dre loved east coast music," continues Da Wizard. "A lot of their beats were sampled from east coast artists. I'll take it further, east coast artists love Dre's production. I was in the studio when EPMD went there, and Chuck D went there. They wanted Dre to produce some of their songs. The east coast was definitely influenced by Dre. Madonna, Michael Jackson, wanted Dre to produce tracks for them. Let me tell you why he didn't. Not only because he was signed exclusive to Eazy, but he had so many projects, he couldn't. He didn't have the time. It was only one goose to lay the golden eggs."
Imagine a world where Dr. Dre had linked up with Madonna and MJ? What might have changed?