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Nomaads aka Q-Unique's pre-Arsonists outfit...

Updated: Feb 16, 2022

This 3 three piece from the Bronx has sadly now only one living member, Arsonists’ MC Q-Unique. Peep this short interview for more info on this dope early-mid 90’s NY project – overseen by ATCQ producer Skeff Anslem. Yeah, he gets props too!!

How did you guys meet?

We were a trio, myself, MC Baretta & DJ Mel Ice. Story begins with Mel Ice reaching out to me because he like what I did with C C music factory, which I thought was weird, but anyway we started building, I was recording solo material at the time but always wanted to have a group. I met Barretta though his brother and my Rock Steady crew fam, Fast Feet.

Where did you record?

We recorded our single “The Ultimate” at D&D studios, the rest was recorded at Platinum Island, Skeff Anselms studio and Groovy Lou’s studio.

Did you know anyone in the biz to help setting things up?

I knew a few people but, looking back now, it probably wasnt the right time for anything to happen, even though we experienced some cool moments.

Were any labels interested?

Not really, but then again we didnt really understand the ins & outs of the game to truly play, and because of circumstances way beyond any control, the group never had the chance to grow.

Did you do many shows back then?

No, but the shows that we did were cool because of what they were, 1 was opening for Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5 while sharing out set with Tony Touch & D-Stroy who would later become my band mate in the Arsonists, and the other show was Q-tip from a Tribe Called Quest inviting us up during their set to have a live cypher with them at a Zulu jam in the Bronx River projects community center.

So whats the general story of the group?

Myself, Mel Ice & Baretta formed our group, The Nomaads in the streets of the Lower East side in NYC, that’s where Mel lived. 1st we started recording demos with a producer that had been working with me named Thomas Owens. Then from that point, Skeff Anselm (A Tribe Called Quest, Brand Nubian, MC Serch and many more) reached out to Mel Ice to build on some music, so we recorded a few demos with him. Through Skeff is where I started to learn about the biz and he connected us with Q-tip who would invite us to the studio while they were recording “Lyrics To Go”, I mention that to give an idea of how “sorta” close we were to possibilities. Then Thomas introduced me to Groovy Lou, who would go on to produce our 1st & only single “The Ultimate” released on a very small record label from the Bronx called VIP hip hop. Tragically during that time Mel Ice passed away. That knocked us out for a little, then we decided to push on and recorded music with Groovy Lou. Baretta disappeared into the streets and I did most of the final recordings with Lou. It was at this time that I met Dstroy from the Arsonists and he invited me to build with the crew. Oddly enough, Groovy Lou ended up disappearing as well, and sadly Baretta passed away last month, July 15th 2017. The Nomaads was one of the roughest patches in my career but there were moments that made it seem like we were doing something good. Overall I miss everyone involved because theyre not just part of my career, they were part of my upbringing. You have no idea how surreal it is to have Bob/Chopped Herring make this happen, especially at this emotional time with the passing of my former bandmate. Thanks so much for making this happen.

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