Schoolly D: The Father Of Gangster Rap Explains The Creation

Schoolly D is an indelible part of African American History as well as the overall landscape of worldwide music. For those that may not know, Schoolly D, nee Jesse B. Weaver, Jr., is the Philadelphia rapper credited with the creation of the Gangster Rap genre of Hip-Hop. His 1985 hit song “PSK,” Schoolly put it down for the Parkside Killers in a way that had not been seen before in rap. In this conversation, the rap legend explains how his style spread like a virus to the West Coast and then the world.

When was the first time somebody called it gangster rap?

John Leland. Spin magazine. 1985. He was in Baltimore checking out these gangs, the Yo Boys. These guys in Baltimore, there were like Yo Gangs. When he was down there for like the weekend, all they did was listen to me. The s**t started getting scary. If you listen to “PSK” like 20 times, it was like (slower) down there. He was like, “Gangsters. Rap. Gangsters that rap.” He was like Schoolly D is gangster rap. That’s how gangster rap was f**kin’ created – “PSK.” I was making so much f**kin’ money, but I still lived with my mom. I was out every week for like a year and a half.

I get home and my mom is like, “This guy T…I don’t know…Ice…Ice-T. He keeps calling.” So I call him back…(I) call his manager George. Ice-T gets on and he’s like, “I got the West Coast f**kin’ ‘PSK.'” And he brought “PSK” to the (West Coast). Gangs in Philly were like the same in L.A. I did not know that s**t. First of all, when I was doing (“PSK”), I didn’t know mother f**kers were going to like that s**t. I didn’t know there were gangs anywhere else. I just thought gangs were in Philly and New York.

And he (Ice-T) says, I’ma bring you out here, man. And he brought me out there and said, “This is the West Coast ‘PSK’ – “6 In The Morning.” He’s the one that took me to Dre and Eazy (of NWA fame) and all those guys. They said, “What did you use for this?” (He tells Dre and Eazy) “909” (a drum machine) And all of a sudden, you hear the West Coast start changing the whole f**kin’ s**t. They wanted to sign me, but I had just signed a deal with Jive Records. I tried to give them the money back. And, they gave me more money. I took the $175,000 and said, “I don’t want this mother f**ker.” And they said, “We’ll give you another $150k…just keep it.” But, I still didn’t want it. It didn’t feel right at all. I’m an artist that should have never been on a major label, But when those guys did it, they made the s**t so entertaining. You know the East Coast. We’re so uppity. You know, Malcolm X and s**t. On the West Coast, they’re like f**k that s**t “Kill, Kill, Kill.” You know, because its like Hollywood. The next thing I know, like two years later, them mu-f**kers were like everywhere.

“PSK” (Parkside Killers) – Schoolly D

“6 In The Morning” – Ice-T

This conversation originally appeared in the DVD “The Adventures of Schoolly D: Snowboarder.”

Props to AllHipHop