[Picture: Infinite, Rockin' Rosh]
Words from Infinite:
I started DJing when I was about 12, me and two other kids. One named Rasheed, that’s Rockin’ Rosh, who was making beats and stuff, and then another dude Ed, we called him Icee Ed. We used to do old cabarets at the Colisseum and the American Legion down in East Liberty, and that was our hook, we were so young and playing adult music and we were professional, did weddings and everything.
Since I was 12 I’ve been immersed in music. We got our beat machines from Tuffy Tuf, everything Tuffy had… we bought it when he got something new. He had a Dr. Rhythm, when he bought the Alesis we grabbed his Dr. Rhythm. When he moved on to a SP-1200, we grabbed his Alesis. And by the time I was able to afford the SP-1200 they had stopped making them, so I paid an ass-load of money to have one built. They sold for like $2500, I think I had to pay $4500 to get one built, but I had it at that time cause we were out in the streets.
Rockin’ [Rosh] got a full engineering ride to Penn State, big campus and everything. We took his DJing equipment up there and I made the mistake of giving him the SP and he flunked out. And from there it was music all the time.
Around that time was when we did our first white label tapes. The thing that held us back, well, me primarily, was that I always had one foot in the streets. And I believe that if you’re juggling you’re never gonna be the best at one thing, nah'mean? You’re only gonna be so good at this and so good at that. So, I never made the decision like, I’m gonna do this music whole-heartedly. … Sometimes they couldn’t get me to the studio [even] if they paid me. Other times when I was working a job, and wasn’t in the streets, the job interfered.
I can remember the first tape I sold… It was to a dude that… You know, a customer… I’m standing on the block with this gray bag of tapes. His name was Tom, he just passed away, Rest In Peace. He pulls up, I’m like, Tom I got this music, and these are full songs… the “It’s Ya Birthday” tape. He said, “man, this better not be no bullshit… here, man… ,” he was like… reluctant to pay for it. So it’s the dead winter like, I think it was December of ’92, and after about ten minutes he spins back around the block like “Wooo!!,” and then peeled off. And that’s when I said, yeah, we might have something.
I feel like we did a lot as far as the city. The entrepreneur thing… most people were chasing deals. We were one of the first, well… Tuffy kinda did it first… to come out the trunk with it. But, I believe we were the first to like… get the whole city behind us. Because, our first white label came out in ’92, at the exact same time that gang bangin’ hit the city, so it was real territorial. It was hard for cats from Homewood to be on the Hill, or in Garfield. I don’t know how we did it but we crossed all those lines. You could go anywhere in the city and hear people bangin’ “It’s Ya Birthday.”
I think part of it was that they didn’t know who we were, cause we didn’t put pictures on the tapes. To this day, even with Multiple Shots, we didn’t have our pictures on there, and that was me, because of the street shit... like, why would I be talking about this shit and put my picture out... nah... just never went out, and… I think I was scared of fame a little bit, and looking back, I should’ve been more outgoing and more of a self-promoter. I’d have rather our company made money, or we made money just showing up and do the shows, rather than being all in the [public’s eye]… that wasn’t me.
F3 - The Fanatics Tape '92
01. Fanatics of Unique
02. It's Ya Birthday
03. We Only Wanted 8
04. Riff Raff
For those that have problems with Rar files, here is a Zip file:
My personal experience... Infinite hooked me up with severals discs worth of his music. Overwhelming to say the least. But with this first tape... I was blown away.
I was playing the role of transportation for Elzhi, of Slum Village fame, when he was in Pittsburgh for the Rhyme Cal competition in December '10. I figured, hell, might as well put him on to some Pittsburgh classics (rightfully assuming that he had an appreciation for the '90s hip-hop sound). I put on "We Only Wanted 8" and saw his manager's head bobbing uncontrollably. He was bugging out about how the beat drops at the end of every 2nd bar. Elzhi was feeling it too. I just smirked, and proceeded to nod my head.
This is part one of an on-going interview with Infinite, of F3/Ruff Chemistry. More words and music coming soon, including the history of the Ruff Chemistry label and Infinite's experience working with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mel-Man, and more.