But he did not end with that controversial determination. Daddy-O went on to name names--Fat Joe, Ja Rule's Murder Inc., Jay-Z--of some of the rappers whom he felt made millions from promoting black on black violence. Though Jam Master Jay's band, Run-D.M.C., had nothing to do with the Thug Rap scene that has dominated black popular music since the mid-'90s, Daddy-O felt that the present pro-violence rap environment inspired the as yet unknown killer to end the life of a mild-mannered man.
"When they find this idiot who pulled the trigger on Jam Master Jay, I want to see his record collection, 'cause it will prove me right in terms of the things I have been saying all along," says Daddy-O over the phone. He is sitting in a Miami Cheesecake Factory and about to have lunch with members of Nocturnal Rage, an emerging Seattle hiphop trio that's touring major North American hiphop markets. "You don't subsist on a diet of Sly and the Family Stone or Gil Scott-Heron and go out and kill people. But can you subsist on a diet of the LOX, and these other idiots who are talking murder this, murder that, and think you are going to have a healthy worldview? I mean these guys are idiots already and their music confirms their idiocy."
For those who don't remember Daddy-O's first band, the great Stetsasonic, they were a b-boy band who had a street hit in the mid-'80s called "Just Say Stet," and in the late '80s, a worldwide hit called "Talkin' All That Jazz." Stetsasonic counted Prince Paul as one of their founding members, and though many ignored their last CD, 1991's Blood, Sweat & No Tears (which, like their previous recordings, was produced by Prince Paul), it will certainly make a glorious return before this decade is over.
Daddy-O has also had a long career as a hiphop producer. In the late '80s he produced the U.K.'s best hiphop group, Cookie Crew, and in the mid-'90s he produced L.A.'s experimental hiphop band Freestyle Fellowship.
Currently he is a consultant for Seattle hiphop startup Noc on Wood Records, which has J. Thomas Wood as its president, Gene Dexter of Crazy Pinoy Promotions as its vice president, and Nocturnal Rage as its flagship band.
Because of his business relationship with the hiphop startup, Daddy-O frequently visits Seattle. In fact, he is launching his ambitious response to Jam Master Jay's murder, Self Destruction 2 Compilation, from Seattle. For those who don't remember the first "Self Destruction," it was hiphop's late-'80s version of the U.K.'s mid-'80s "Do They Know It's Christmas" benefit song (which in America was initially repeated as "We Are the World," before it spread to all other genres). "Self Destruction" gathered the top rappers of the time--Heavy D, KRS-One, Kool Moe Dee, Public Enemy, and many others--on one recording to address black on black violence. This time around, his compilation will benefit various charities against family violence in the U.S.
The day after his appearance on Hot 97, Daddy-O flew to Seattle to start rehearsals for Nocturnal Rage's Miami shows. The following week, he had breakfast with Dexter, and both started exploring the idea of doing Self Destruction 2 (Daddy-O had first made mention of the idea during the Hot 97 interview). Soon after the meeting, Dexter sent out a press release stating Daddy-O's intentions and since then Busta Rhymes, Foxy Brown, Chuck D, and Redman have signed on to the project.
"Drugs, guns, violence, I'm just really tired of it," says Daddy-O, "and it seems like there is no end to it. No one is jumping out, no one is taking any responsibility. We've just got to do something, anything.... But it's not an easy task. In the old days of 'Self Destruction,' there weren't that many rappers. There were a couple of artists out of Houston, a couple in Miami, and a bunch of artists out of New York--whereas now it's a bunch of artists out of everywhere, and so it's harder for us to hold specific people accountable because there are so many. But even if it's hard, I think we can do something, and Self Destruction 2 is a start in that direction."