Disco Rick and The Dogs were a rap group from Miami’s inner city who challenged police, racism, and the drug war.
They also made hellacious party music, strip club anthems, comedy records, and bass-heavy dance.
The group’s leader was Disco Rick, a Liberty City native who has had a long and illustrious career as a DJ, artist, producer, and strip club kingpin. Here’s what he had to say about his musical influences, classic tracks, and where his mind is at.
Congratulations for making all this musical history!
How did you get started in music?
I was a DJ starting around 1980, 1981. I was a skating rink DJ as a matter of fact. And a street DJ. I followed Luke and the Ghetto Style DJs and the name of my group was the Party Down DJs . We basically had our street equipment and sound system and we played fast bass music and the records being put out by Egyptian Lover, the Soulsonic Force, Planet Rock all those things kind of shaped Miami and the bass music itself. Then 2 Live Crew had a couple records, “Beat Box,” and “Revelation” which were hits in Miami. Luke brought them down here in 1984 or 85 to the original Pac Jam skating rink in North Dade, before Marquis was in the group. I remember when I was at the radio station because Ugly Larry from the skating rink made some money one night and gave us $1500 to do a record. We were in front of the Starforce99 radio station by Jackson High School. Luke was walking in with a record that had no label on it. It was fresh off the press. He was carrying a box of em under his arm. He passed me one and I said, “I’ll play it.” He wrote 2 Live Crew “Throw The D” on it, and from there it all started. I played it at my party and then all of the DJ crews started playing it. We all went on the record. It was all love because Miami wasn’t in the scene. We had a couple rappers out but not much. I was following Luke’s footsteps, and me and Fresh Kid Ice was good friends hanging out. We rolled around together when the first album came out, 2 Live Is What We Are. They gave me the album first. And I played it to the whole city heard that motherfucker. I had a bad ass 76’ Chevy Nova full of bass with so much sound in that shit. I would go down the street and play “Hey We Want Some Pussy” full blast. We were Miami DJ’s we didn’t give a fuck
There wasn’t a contract between Luke and 2 Live Crew then. It was all just friendship. I rolled with Fresh Kid Ice and through the years we did our dirt, but good or bad, we were cool. People did their thing, but Luke kinda put the light on Miami and shaped Miami.
By the time I had with Gucci Crew II with “Sally That Girl” I’m watching Luke and doing whatever he does. He didn’t show me, I just watched. I didn’t watch nobody else. This nigga jump this way, i’mma jump this way. When he went that way, I went that way.
I left Guci Crew II with Henry Stone and Joe Stone and I became solo. So one day I’m out there at the Splashdown, which was controlled by Luke, and he was stuck on stage having a bikini pussy contest. All the girls were on the stage and all the guys in the audience were chanting “Take it off! Take it off!” And my brain autmoatically filled in the space between what they were saying with “Show that pussy!” I started ad libbing it between all the chants.Then I looked at my friend and said, “Show that pussy! Take it off!” And that’s when I decided to go into the studio and record it. I needed a beat with a kind of 2 Live Crew feel and this Latin guy Danny Diaz or something did something but the beat wasn’t right. So Calvin Mills from Richmond Heights, I told him the concept and he basically laid the foundation. Then I redid the lyrics to his beat and threw some scratches like I did for Gucci Crew. But you wouldn’t call it biting back then. It’s wasn’t bitin’. It’s called what we did in Miami.
When I got with The Dogs and started recording, our group concept was different than what was going on at the time. I was more political and less about bitches. Luke had hoes gettin naked, but I was like “Fuck the police!”
My album, The Negro’s Back, with the KKK hood and the noose on the cover? That album never made it to the store. That shit got banned quick. The Joey Boy Records company that was my label was threatened and they pulled it off the shelf.
Luke woulda took advantage of the situation, but I had a crew of nice guys. They wasn’t doing anything like that. Joey Armada and Allen Johnston were some nice guys. They weren’t into attacking like that. About a year later they got the attitude like , “Fuck this, let’s sell records.” And Allen would be like, “Go Rick, sing that shit!”
One time I had a show in Orlando at a Let It Loose Monday. Magic Mike was headlining and Jodeci opened up to a sold out crowd. I was censored that night. Police all on the side of the stage. Undercovers everywhere. I think I was snitched out by a rat on the tour. They had the whole stage surrounded.
I said to the crowd, “You got a lot of things going on here. Tear this shit up!” They was gonna get me for inciting a riot. I had a big chant goin with the crowd. When I raised my right hand all the guys yelled, “Hey dirty bitch!” and when I raised my left hand all the girls screamed, “Hey fuck niggas!” Then it went “Dirty bitch,” “Fuck niggas,” “Dirty bitch,” “Fuck niggas.” Everybody was goin fucking stupid.
Then when I did “Yo Mama’s On Crack Rock” so many people was jumping all over the stage that I started singing the X rated version. Then I had some girls. ANd I said, “If they cut these mics off, tear this shit up!” By now I know I’m goin to jail so I’m doin everything I can think of. The crowd went wild, and by the 5th or 6th song they cut me off. I dropped the mic and it didn’t make a sound so the audience started booing. The chairs start moving and I got pulled tothe back with the police.
This was in 1990.
Finally I had to walk out there on the balcony and let the people see me and The Dogs, that we were still in the arena and everything was ok and nothing happened. The crowd calmed down and then they brought out Magic Mike to get his gold record presentation and me and him are still cool to this day. But I won’t forget that I was censored.
I remember going to Brazil and filling stadiums. Soccer stadiums. It was crazy. They was having political problems and the only song of mine they cared about was “Fuck The President.” They hated Fernando Collor so much. There was all this security on me going to these political radio stations to promote in this 3rd world country. I’m thinking I’m gonna get killed. I get up there an do “Fuck The President” and they know every single word to the song. I got to sayin’, “Somebody say Hey, Ho,” and everybody gets quiet and now they don’t speak English. I’m like, “Somebody needs to interpret this shit.”
But I learned a lot from being on the road. Between Luke and all the rappers in Miami I learned a lot. We all close. Me, Trick Daddy, Luke. I was with JT Money last night. We all legends of Miami and we all stick together. Me and Luke hang out a lot.
How did you get involved with Steve Alaimo, Ron and Howard Albert at Audio Vision studios?
I was working for Henry Stone and then they went and opened up a studio. Steve Alaimo was a big promoter and I wanted to be a part of the studio movement. So I went over there and started producing.
Bone Thugs came. Then I got the call from Krayzie Bone to do his album and it just became a bigger and bigger relationship. Krayzie was the first one of them living out on South Beach out there on an island.
I always been family with them and any time they on their way they call and say, “Hell yeah, we comin’” I love the whole Bone Thugs and Mo Thugs. They gave me a platform.
Luke gave me a platform. Henry Stone gave me a platform. He might not have given what I want, but….Henry Stone once told me, “If I make a million dolla, you make a dolla.” I always remembered that. ANd when he died I was at his funeral.
I met Henry through Disco Joe. He had a record pool. He brought me in and I presented Henry with Guci Crew II. I knew of him since an early age and being around him I learned a lot. Him and Luke. Just from watching, listening, and following his every move.
I remember he told me, “Don’t hang around broke people. Two broke people don’t make shit.” I heard that in 1976 and been going by it ever since.
I’m a partner at Vision Studios. I have a key. That studio was built up a lot by Bone Thugs and Harmony.
We made a lot of money from Relativity to Ruthless and Sony we made a lot of money and the studio was able to rebuild itself
How did you get involved in the strip club world?
The strip club world was always into me. A lot of babies were born during the 2 Live Crew era and my era as well. We were strip club moguls. We had it on the road. In the Winnebago. On the tour bus. Travelling with bitches in the van. We always brought pussy to the show, well before strip clubs. We’d show up to nice places full of blue collar motherfuckers, put the bitches on stage, and take it back to Africa with the ass shaking. And the media just made us bigger.
What is the story behind the infamous song, “Let Them Hoes Fight?”
We was doing fight night at a club in Ft Lauderdale. Every Monday night for a whole year, nothin but a bunch of white people there, money flyin everywhere. This was 1992 or 93. I remember it was Damyon, a white guy, with Green House Productions. All the ballers used to hang out there at this white club, looking at girls fighting. One time we invited Queen Latifah to come and put on the gloves. This white girl got up there and punched the shit out of her. Latifah looked over at us like, “Is it ok to go in?” And then Latifah went and whooped the shit out of that white girl. She was all on Queen Latifah’s ass. So the song came from that, and mixing up the white people dance music with the chant. Time to rumble. Bitch get ready. Let them hoes fight. That song got big and made it up to Detroit and Chicago. They liked the beat and took to it. If I go there today, they can’t play that song. They showed me why. They put it on at the club one night. One bitch push another. Then another bitch pull a rollerskate out of her purse and split a bitch’s head wide open. That song cannot be played in Detroit. I didn’t intend for it to go that way. It was just a fun song to do in Ft Lauderdale.
Who did the hilarious voices for the comedy skits on your albums?
A guy named Master Blaster from down South. He’s a preacher now. He went bad into drugs for a while. Then after Hurricane Andrew he got off of it. And he still got the same wife. He became a minister. But he actually played all the characters. He would record 5 or 6 tracks in 5 or 6 different voices and build up a bunch of jokes like that.
What music did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to everything we didn’t have. Miami was all KC and The Sunshine Band. Everything else was Motown. New York. On the hip hop side, before guys were walking around with the big radio on their shoulder it was “Rap Dirty” by Blowfly, Clarence Reid. He was the first rapper out of Miami. The first rapper. He shaped the world with his explicit lyrics. A lot of people don’t know him, but he was way before “Rappers Delight.”
How’d you get your name?
I was in Party Down DJs. That was Pretty Tony’s crew. He’s the one that named me Disco Rick when i was young. First he named me Dynamite Rick back when I was just a little kid on the microphone people thought was cute. But later he changed it to Disco Rick. Every time I see him I say Pretty Tony gave me my name. My other name is Mr KOD. That came from Buttafucco. So I have different names to different people thanks to Pretty Tony and Buttafucco.
What’s the connection between strip clubs and music?
Guys understand strip club music. But it’s different now. It don’t gotta be a strip club record to be a strip club song. If you got a song where bitch spending money then the hoe controlling certain things. But to me a strip club is like a prison. We gotta control the situation. It’s our world. They the prisoners and we the wardens. If you let the girls go crazy they start talking and saying no and it becomes Planet of The Apes. You keep control of your club. If you let the girls do what the fuck they wanna do, you lose control. The connection with the music is if you remember the song, you remember the girl, and if you remember the girl, you remember the song. It makes a music video in your brain. And when you finally hear it on the radio, you remember the girl dancing off it and those songs be locked in your head by a stripper.
So it’s important for breaking records?
I tell guys every day, “Quit paying the DJ to play your music!” Pay the girl, and the girl will tell the Dj what to play. Give a bitch $100. The DJ will only play your song one time, but the girl will dance off that shit every time she sees you.
Are you back doing music again?
I’m pretty much back in the studio about 35% or 40%. I know there’s records that need to be made to get paid and for shit to keep goin around. They come and they go. They come and they go.
That French Montana, Uncle Luke, Drake and Rick Ross song is gonna stick around for so long. You can play that right now and the floor will pack up. It keeps people dancing. One thing a DJ never has to worry about is people saying, “Why are you playing that song?” They’re never gonna ask that. A real thug nigga is gonna bob his head cause there’s bitches dropping low in front of him.
When Luke walks around all Luke hears is one thing, “Where the hoes at?” That’s for the rest of his life. I don’t care if he’s 90 years old, it’s “where those hoes at?” Now they say the same shit to me. I became that person too. Luke passed it to me and I learned it from him.
I remember I broke up with a bitch I was madly in love with and Luke had to pull me to the side and say “There’s always a better bitch.”
I seen more pussy than a bitch seen their own. Pussy come all kind of shapes. And all the hoes wanna be Instagram models now. They get 120,000 followers and start getting booked over the internet.
Most of the ones getting booked is the ones I started. Blac Chyna was from Virginia. I found her at Diamond’s and tried to keep her away from everybody but she followed me to KOD and all of a sudden Drake talked about her in a record and she became pop.
Can you describe a Liberty City block party from the old days?
The best outdoor parties were at African Square Park in Liberty City on 62nd Street and 14th Ave. That was the center of all of us. From 1977 to 1980, that was everybody. T go watch Ghetto Style, Pretty Tony, Vicious Funk, everybody in that park battling each other with all those speakers against speakers every Sunday afternoon till night time. Till the first shots ring out. Or if we had to pay to go somewhere it would be the National Guard Armory for the biggest DJ battle ever. I’d be in there as a little kid dancing my ass off. I learned from the battles the art of war when it comes to music.
Are you gonna continue as an artist in the studio?
We shaped Miami. And I thank all the rappers that were part of it. But some of the old ones still be trying to do it and they should just stop. I’m not gonna destroy my history. Dougie Fresh not in the studio. You don’t see Kool Moe Dee trying to make a record. You gotta put it down. I’m trying to tell people, you gotta let it go.
Michael Jackson can’t thrill no more.
Run DMC can’t raise hell no more.
LL Cool J can’t rock the bells no more.
Rakim can’t be paid in full no more.
2 Live Crew can’t be so horny no more.
Betty Wright can’t clean up another house.
Janet Jackson can’t control nobody.
That’s the peak. I can’t do what I did before. All you gon do is destroy yourself.
This young generation and this internet shit. If you go gold and sell 500,000 copies, that really mean 5 million people downloaded your shit somewhere else. Now that it’s all computers, what is the music business?
Do anybody see a platform where a nigga actually making money besides shows? These niggas putting out records don’t even come with a record company. It’s not Atlantic or Capitol, it’s Homeboys Records Presents. It’s millions of motherfuckers in studios now saying they got a hit, but it’s only room for about 6 new artists a year on the market.
And people need to stop worrying about putting their picture out with the song. Nobody even knew Fetty Wap only had one eye till the record was a hit. You can’t stop a hit. He could have come out there with no legs in a busted wheel chair and they would have had to accept him. I told DJ Khaled that a long time ago. All these niggas paying for promotion just cause they like something, don’t mean anybody else like it.
Even Prince had to face the music. His own band had to tell him, “Look, Prince, nobody like your music but you.” Finally he went and made Purple Rain and he got that paper.
That’s why I got a box of bobble heads when I’m in the studio. I don’t need all the motherfuckers saying yes to my shit. I pull out my bobbleheads and now all you niggas can get the fuck out the studio. My bobble heads bobble they ass of shaking they head up and down. They’re fake as shit and I get reassurance from them. I’d rather have my fake fake motherfuckers with me than some real fake motherfuckers.
I have learned to do records. Some nigga might get pissed off when I tell him how he needs to change his song, but I stick with what I know. And right now I know pussy. I know pussy and I know niggas with money wanna watch some pussy.
I know the the same thing that the arabs with the stores in the hood know. It’s why they sell sausage sandwiches, pigs feet, chicken wings, and hair weave. They have it all in the store cause they know what niggas like.
I know what niggas like and what they want to look at. It is what it is.
I love my city.I love my niggas. I listen to the music, the bitches, and the money. I’m lookin at 3 artists right now. K Cutta, Zoey Dollaz, and BallGreezy.
Ball Greezy haven’t got that crossover hit yet but i guarantee it’s coming. I can hear it in his rapping and his style. I got that ear.
But I always tell artists, “Nobody is waiting on you.” You can always come out of nowhere witha hit so take your time and do it right, but when you get that hit, nobody is going to stop you.
All you gotta do is come with the right song at the right time. Nobody needs to see you. When your shit becomes a hit, that’s when everybody wants to see you. That’s what this world is about. You ain’t shit till you make some motherfuckin noise.
It’s like the time I let Justin Bieber into King Of Diamonds to go look at some pussy. People was mad cause the sign say 21, but guess what Justin Bieber was 19 years old. He could go to war and kill for his country but he can’t have a fuckin’ beer? Justin Bieber is a grown ass man. People never want to let their child stars grow up.
They won’ let Monica grow up. They won’t let Moesha grow up. Boyz II Men can’t be men, they still treated like boys.
Is it true you gave an MPC 3000 to Lil Jon and showed him how to use it?
Yes. I gave him his first MPC before I left Atlanta and he got good at it and then asked me to come help him with the King Of Crunk album. He wanted the bridge the gap from Miami Bass to Atlanta Crunk. I asked him if he would do a song with Krayzie Bone cause I was working with Bone at the same time. And I got 3 Bones and Mystikal on it.
When we got to the first single, Jon asked me did I have someone in promotions. I called Lex and at the time he was only doing fliers. So I called Big Teach who I knew from Luke and I said “Come do this, come meet Lil Jon,” and he brought Pitbull with him cause he’s his manager, and it all came together from there. Big Teach always thanks me for that and I never ask one of those guys for anything.
Same with Cool N Dre and JT Money. That was their first record together.
I remember Fat Joe with a big bottle of Hennessy and everybody trying to play beats for him. Khaled was there. Everybody got on. Danny Diaz too. Everybody got on while I’m there working the boards.
I remember recording Rick Ross at my home studio. Him and Dirtbag too.
Did you work with Big Pun?
I did lots of things where I was surrounded by a whole bunch of artists. I was able to sit on sessions with Big Pun and leave the studio with Fat Joe and them to the opening of Big Pun’s game room. I got Pun on the Krayzie Bone album too.
I remember bein’ in the studio for The Saga Continues with Puffy. I’m one of the guys. I was here.
I remember bein the engineer for Ray Benzino and watching him record and bring in Bobby Brown and the whole Boston click. I was able to see that shit. I was able to sit in the studio with KC and The Sunshine Band, and Clarence Reid, and Henry Stone. I was able to eat with Luke, and call him for advice, and pick up the phone when he called me. Those things are precious to me. I was able to embrace Chinaman and Brother Marquis and I’m always happy to see them. They was mentors to me. I was always looking up to them. Even though we’re the same age, it didn’t matter. I appreciate when they talk about me, and I’m always gon’ talk about them. I didn’t know RUN DMC. All I knew was 2 Live Crew.
©Jacob Katel. All Rights Reserved