articles: Word from the Inside


C-Lig: The Chameleon Homie – Part 2

By a Gossiping Bitch on March 24th, 2004



C-Lig: The Chameleon Homie - Part 2

Big Daddy Kane’s story is typical of many hip-hoppers within the industry who have had dealings with C-Lig. Countless careers have been ruined by C-Lig’s suggestions, too many to mention in this article (researchers at several institutions of higher learning are busy compiling this data in a combined effort to release a completed report by 2007), but the following timeline, accompanied by C-Lig’s comments, should get the point across:

1987 — C-Lig coaxes Queens rapper MC Shan into hastily recording “Kill That Noise” in response to Boogie Down Production’s “South Bronx”, rushing to get it on his first album. Boasting such sissy battle rhymes as “I don’t really mind bein’ criticized,” the song proved to be devastating to Shan’s career-eer-eer.

1990 — C-Lig, while standing on a ladder painting a studio wall, spills a can of white paint on an unsuspecting young rapper named Kwame walking below. The resulting splatter of paint on Kwame?s hair and clothing give C-Lig all kinds of horrible, horrible ideas. The Polka Dot Revolution is born. “To be honest, Kwame’s whole career was just me seeing how far I could take things,” C-Lig notes. “I mean, we had motherfuckers in polka dot trench coats, dyed slant-top hairdos, and dancing in unison, all choreographed and shit. I still have a lot of that shit left over just in case these trends come around again. I might could get these Dipset cats in pink polka dot jumpoffs by summer.”

1992 — Let the boys be boys? C-Lig did nothing of the sort, instead opting to meddle in others’ business, bringing together the unbearable voices of Onyx with the unbearable music of Biohazard. The unholy union took place in a Brooklyn area Taco Bell over enchiladas, 40’s, and blunts, where all parties concluded that this was the best idea ever. C-Lig’s rationale for bringing the groups together mirrors that of every record executive since — rock plus rap, what could be more natural? The result of this was an unbearable song called “Slam” that had a music video featuring alternating shots of a bunch of white dudes rubbing up against each other and a bunch of black dudes doing the same in an overcrowded venue that was more fire hazard than biohazard. “I’m in that video, by the way,” claims C-Lig. “Right below where Run-DMC was standing, I was like seventeenth from the right. It was not a fun shoot. Between the claustrophobic atmosphere and Fredro Starr’s losing personality, that shit was assed out, man.” C-Lig would subsequently serve as tour manager for the combined Biohazard-Onyx “Bionyx” tour/crime against humanity.

1993 — C-Lig’s uncanny ability to catch hip-hoppers at their peak, and then proceed to send them careening back to obscurity is perhaps best exemplified by what he did to the Bomb Squad. Pre-C-Lig, the Bomb Squad was known as one of the greatest production teams in hip-hop history, producing highly acclaimed works for the likes of Public Enemy, Ice Cube, and Tupac. Once they hooked up with C-Lig, the Bomb Squad soon found itself working with a string of white rappers, including the fateful signing of Chilly Tee. They, like hip-hop, like Tupac, like Earnest Byner, like our economy, never recovered. “First they started with Son of Bazerk, then Young Black Teenagers, so what was one more white boy? There was some argument about it though. Sure, white rappers are a dime a dozen these days, but back then it wasn’t like that. So, it took some time. I know Wiz was already having some regrets about YBT, you know, putting on a white dread and shit. It got embarrassing for them. But it all became academic once we found out that Chilly came with his own funding. I personally got hooked up with three pairs of Air Flight’s from the whole shit, so I ain’t mad at all, nahmean?”

1995 — Inanimate object Eric B. is encouraged by C-Lig to record an album as a rapper. “The crazy shit is,” C-Lig remembers, “that when he was in the booth, he’d still have that pose that he had in all the Eric B. and Rakim videos. All like a statue and shit. So, he’d be up in there rhyming, but his mouth would not move! Almost like a dummy without a ventriloquist. Um, or vice-versa. You know what I mean.”

1997 — Back in Brooklyn, C-Lig assures Notorious B.I.G. that the west coast, “got mad love for him,” and that there was “nothing to worry about” from an upcoming trip to L.A.

1999 — In Long Island, C-Lig convinces De La Soul that they do not need Prince Paul anymore. “I told them, ‘Yo, boom, right, son, yo, it’s like this — Stakes Is High proved you don’t need that weird motherfucker no more. You need to link up with cats like Supa Dave West and Rockwilder. They a lot hotter than Paul ever was. And don’t just be giving us one album of this style. Hit motherfuckers over the head with three! Then, if you want, you can get back with Paul. Nobody will ever say De La fell off.’ Yo, I still say both parties are better off without each other; I think I’ve been proven correct on that shit.”

2001 — Phife Dog, the rapper who once declared, “if I ever went solo, my favorite MC would be me,” got to do just that as he went out on his own in the wake of Tribe Called Quest’s breakup. It didn’t take much pushing from C-Lig to convince the “5 Foot Assassin” that this would be a successful move. C-Lig even admits to feeling something of a kinship with Phife. “Word, I got mad love for the sidekick rapper. Many start out as members of the crew, and then get promoted to Hype Man status, and sometimes all the way to Second Banana level. Usually, you gotta be non-threatening to get to that level. They want to make sure you will never, ever take their shine.” Oddly, when C-Lig asked Phife who his favorite MC was, Mr. Dog answered, “Jigga.” Here’s to that Tribe reunion!

2002 — C-Lig responsible for pretty much every decision made in this hip-hop year. You were wondering what the hell happened, weren’t you?

Now you know the rest of the story.

This is PART 2 of a 3 part series. Click here for PART 3
In PART 3: The Hammer Years, Wu-tang Clan, Chameleon Homie, and the current state of the homeboy.

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