New York State of Mind 1.0


New York State of Mind 1.0 is a complimentary introduction to the Behind The Music Tales series.

Behind the Music Tales is a book series that captures the mood and the feel of the energy that surged through music in the 90s and 2000s. It presents exclusive original interviews as a honest record direct from the authentic creative forces, transcribed from the original interview recording. It is a distinct historical document as close to the truth as one can get.

New York State of Mind 1.0 features 1992 and 1993 in-person interviews with Tragedy Khadafi, Brand Nubian, and Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth. Each contributed to and furthered Hip-Hop in their own unique manner. The title pays homage to the Nas song “N.Y. State of Mind” off his classic 1994 album, Illmatic, produced by DJ Premier straight out of the dungeons of rap. The song itself pays tribute to “Street of New York”, the vivid Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo track that led off their 1990 album Wanted: Dead or Alive. Not to be con- fused with Billy Joel’s fan favourite, “New York State of Mind”, dating back to 1976.

The 80’s produced and presented a parade of money earning Hip-Hop artists and groups that eclipsed even the highest of projected sales figures. What had once consisted of a savvy cadre of astute forward thinking independents spread to the corporate world of the major labels on the heels of the groundbreaking RUN-D.M.C. and Aerosmith single “Walk This Way”, and the Beastie Boys stream of singles leading up to “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)”.

Gone were the days that one could own or be in the know about almost every Hip-Hop crew. The Art Form was omnipresent as major labels began to snap up buzzing and bubbling independent labels, artists and groups with their ears to the streets. Diversity, quality, innovation and influence ruled the day. The Golden Age of Hip- Hop was in full effect and Eric B. became President for real.

During this period a movement of conscious afrocentric rappers captured the ears and eyes of a nation of millions picking up where groups like Public Enemy and filmmakers such as Spike Lee had left off.

Enjoy this book and stay tuned for news on up- coming releases.