Shaliek [or Big Sha aka Poetry] recorded a single, Reload The Clip, for Kult Recs in 1994. Kult was a New York based house/dance label that hadn’t release any other hip hop artists. About 20 test pressings were made, with studio time funded by the group, but the record was never released. A [shady] label called Funkin Recs bootlegged the TP soon after and a small number were pressed, just ripped from that very rare TP [an inside job perhaps?]. The joints for the 12″ were recorded at Bryan’s Studio in Astoria, Queens and due to limited funds, each track had to be tied up in a matter of 4 hours!
Producer Artwell Smart came up in Corona Queens and he, Sha & Shabay had a group called Zig Zag Zig. Artwell was in high school with Dr Butcher, original X-Men member and producer. Artwell learned a whole lot about production from Butcher, who went on to do scratches on Kool G Rap & Polo’s albums, as well as production on G Rap’s & Akinyele’s mid 90s material, among others. And on the subject of Kool G Rap, Artwell was in an early [unknown] rap group with him called Rappateers – all music now lost, alas. Back then Artwell was known as Spanish Fly [due to his Puerto Rican origins] and they gave the last copy of their demo tape to Herbie The Luv Bug. A short time after, G Rap signed with Marley and the Rappateers were over.
We gained access to the original DAT recordings of the “Reload The Clip” 12″ single as well as 2 incredible, unheard demo joints off cassette. Shout out to Artwell Smart, DJ Mista Sinista & Simon Pehlgrim who helped make this happen.