Tone of the Trackmasters isn’t only a producer, but he’s also founder of the Staten Island Hurricanes youth football league. He spared some time from the gridiron and spoke with the NY Daily News on some of his biggest hits.
Michael Jackson featuring Jay-Z – “You Rock My World (Remix)”
“That was the only time I ever met Michael. We had Jay-Z come down and listen to the record. He loved it, but Jay wanted a favor. He said, ‘Okay, I’m going to put my vocals on this, but Mike has to appear at (Hot 97) Summer Jam with me.’ That was the trade-off.”
Will Smith – “Miami”
“Will isn’t from Miami, but he wanted to make a song about vacation. We put down the hook and there’s a part that says, ‘Welcome to Miami’ in a girl’s voice. But there’s no girls in the studio that day … and there’s always girls in the studio! I went downstairs at the Hit Factory (recording studio in Manhattan) and on the street. I had to stand outside and tell girls passing by, ‘Excuse me, we’re making a record upstairs with Will Smith and need a female (for) vocals.’ They would all look at us like we’re crazy. We finally found two girls who were courageous enough to come upstairs. They signed waivers and they made the record.”
Nas featuring Lauryn Hill – “If I Ruled The World”
“We could have went and got Mariah Carey – we could have gotten anybody – but Lauryn Hill was hip-hop certified and she was right on the rise. This was Nas’ chance to cross over, and it was a perfect marriage. We went upstate, about three hours away, in a studio in Bearsville, N.Y., to record most the album (“It Was Written”). There was nothing to do there. We recorded it in a barn, a barn with a studio inside it. No city distractions. It worked.”