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Outside the Lines With Rap Genius

"OTL 40: Milk Dee Excerpt #4 - Behind “Top Billin’”"

SameOldShawn: Someone else who was involved in the Audio Two album was Daddy-O of Stetsasonic, right? How did he get hooked up with it?

Milk Dee: Daddy-O was our mentor. I don't even remember where I met Daddy-O, but once we met, we clicked. I was a big Stetsasonic fan -- all of them, Prince Paul, everybody.

So he started coming over to my studio. Which, by the way, when I say "studio," I'm talking about a cassette four-track, you know what I mean? Not a real studio. A lot of people don't realize that, too. All of those original First Priority Music songs -- "Top Billin'," "I Cram To Understand U" -- that was recorded on four-track cassette in my basement.

SOS: What were you using for drums?

MD: For "Top Billin'," I had a footpedal sampler, triggered by a Roland 707 drum machine. So I would just sample the drums or whatever, and then play it, trigger it with the 707, and record it right to the...because it didn't have a disc, so whatever you were working on, you had to record it right away, otherwise you would lose it -- and record the beat on the one track of the four-track.

SOS: So you had to play the beat through the whole time?

MD: Right. For, whatever, three minutes -- well, "Top Billin'"'s 2:59. However long you thought that you wanted the song. It's not like now, where you can change it afterwards. It's pretty set.

So Daddy-O would come to the studio, and I would go to the studio. I think that's probably where I met him. We used to work at this studio called Calliope, and Stet used to work there also. But he would come over, he would show me things. And most people think that Daddy-O did the beat for "Top Billin'." But he didn't. I did the beat for "Top Billin'." But Daddy-O is the producer of the song in the traditional sense, that the producer of the song is the person who makes the decisions.

And I'll never forget. I did that song late one night, and Daddy-O came over the next day. I played it for him, and he was like, "Yo, Milk, this is the one right here." He was like, "This is the song, this is a hit." If Daddy-O would've never said that, the song probably would have never been released, because it was just something I was messing around with. But he was like, "This is it. This is the one." So then he did the pull-outs, and that's production sometimes. Sometimes, production is saying, "This is it. Leave it just like that." And that was his contribution -- his invaluable contribution to that.

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