Thursday, February 25, 2010

Da Basment Days: Day 4

For today's Basment info let's go back to one of my favorite sites of the moment New Jack Swing 4Ever and check out an interveiw with Accion. Who? I know I was with you too but Accion was another memeber of Da Basmement that you might not have known about before but you defienitely heard him. Check Devante's "Gin N Juice" Remix), yes that's Accion on the rap with the rest of the crew.

Here's the interview and I suggest you read the whole thing as it is the best to date of a first hand account of life back in Da Basement days:

Page 1
NJS4E: So were you the last to join out of the original members of Da Bassment then?

Yeah- I was the last artist that was part of the original Bassment crew. The group had already been formed for a while before me and were known as ‘Swing Mob’ initially. As the concept grew under DeVante, the name changed- probably around 2 years later- between ’92-’93. Da Bassment crew itself used to be called The 45.4 Q Clique.

NJS4E: ’45 point 4 Q clique’- what does that stand for?

Well there was this house that DeVante owned in New Jersey when he first got the inspiration to put the crew together. The address of that house was 454, Queen Anne Road. The 45 point 4 Q clique was an abbreviation for that. So that’s what Da Bassment crew was originally called and at that time he didn’t have all of the original members- he had Sista, Sugah, Darryl Pearson, Playa, Tim, Magoo & Ginuwine. In ’94 when he moved everyone down to Rochester to produce Jodeci’s album & Renee’s project- that’s when the rest of us joined including other Rochester artists- and the name of Da Bassment crew came up. And that name came up because of the way that the studio was-we all worked in the basement. Although there were multiple studio rooms in this one particular studio building we worked in, a lot of the groundwork was made in the basement of that building. And what we liked about that name was not just the fact that a lot of the work was done in the basement- but also the analogy behind it which we thought was kinda cool- the idea that the music we were living and doing at the time was taking it back to the old school basement party. That’s why the first single that was supposed to come out of the bassment project was "Nothing But A B Party Y’all."

Page 2
NJS4E: I'd have loved to be sitting in the studio at that time to witness that! You mentioned creative sounds- DeVante & Da Bassment as a collective developed an incredibly unique and special sound- not just melodically or beats-wise or even in terms of the style of singing- it was a combined result of all three and one that's unique to each and all of you and has helped launch a number of careers which are still going strong to this day. Do you think that 'sound' which we have seen with Timbaland, Missy etc. was born from the days with Da Bassment & DeVante?

Definitely. Let me tell you- that musical sound that you heard back then that creatively moved mountains in the music industry- that musical sound was mostly DeVante. It developed in Da Bassment and was managed between him & Timbaland but it was mainly DeVante in terms of the development, because he really was the only one who had the skills to do that. Timbaland at that point was a very talented young man but he was learning and being schooled by DeVante. The actual bass drums, and the way Timbaland would pattern his drumbeats, that was actually a combination of my mouth and a producer called SMK that DeVante liked and brought in from Rochester. What would happen is, like I'd already described- a typical day in the life of Da Bassment consisted of what we called vibin'. So we'd be vibin' in a cypher and we'd all be just impromptu singin', rhymin' freestylin' and somebody would have to bust a beat out. So the way I used to beatbox with my mouth- I don't know if you're going to hear this clearly over the phone properly, but I'd do this (Accion beatboxes for 15 seconds and it sounds uncannily like what we classed as a Timbaland drum beat between 1997-1999). So I'd beatbox like that, but I wasn't producing music, so what would happen is DeVante & Tim would go into the studio and duplicate my pattern with the drum machine and develop it. SMK's music was very bass heavy so he brought in the bass pattern to match with my beatboxing & DeVante's drum pattern, and it sounded like this (Accion beatboxes for another 15 seconds). So basically DeVante & Tim took those two ideals and then developed it further and made that sound you're referring to.

Did your mouths just fall open?? Mine did!!

Page 3
NJS4E: So was that when Timbaland, Magoo & Ginuwine followed her [Missy] out too?

Well yeah. Missy, Tim & Magoo were very good friends from the same hometown. And you have to remember that the three of them and Ginuwine had been together a part of Da Bassment longer than anybody else, so quite naturally once the door of opportunity opened for Missy, she was still plugged in to what Tim, Magoo & Ginuwine were doing. No sooner than her thing popped off, Tim & Magoo were silently establishing their progression musically with Missy. Like I said before, Ginuwine was pretty much doing the same thing but not directly with Missy. He was the first person to leave Da Bassment and Rob Reeves was silently establishing a connection with Sony/550 Music and negotiating a deal for Ginuwine, based on the song "Pony." That record was penned by Static & arranged by Smokey & Black, who as you know were Playa- it was made in the basement, for Da Bassment and was supposed to be Ginuwine’s first single off the upcoming Da Bassment compilation album. Ginuwine obviously left and signed a deal with Sony/550, based on the song "Pony," and soon after Tim & Magoo left. Tim was then pulled in to produce Ginuwine’s first album. All that stuff pretty much happened without DeVante being aware of it and from that point on DeVante just cut off any personal ties with them because the professional ones were severed in what he believed to be an unforgiveable manner.

How incredible was that interview!? It doesn't get much better than that folks!

Ok so we're down to the wire. We got a few hours left before the Skype Listening Party over at Static Major's Blog. 7:00PM Eastern, go get a Skpe account, and get ready to hear some new music fresh out the vaults!


  1. Dam if only they would have recorded his beatboxing lol..

  2. yeah. i know this story...great find Boogie


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