Hot 16…Or More…”The Cross (Bringin it Back To NY Remix)””

Another one of the early tracks I recorded when I first arrived on the scene post Fall of 2006, this song arised out of an oppurtunity to appear on a Tapemasters Inc. Mixtape when mixtapes were still all the rage.

The myspace boom had helped me reconnect with alot of people (and damn near got me into serious beef with an old crush’s dude). One of these people was my boy Lavell “Vegas” Evans. We had linked up and started doing some R&B writing and collaborating as he introduced me to a slew of his creative team. Most of these people went to the famed Alma Mater of 5Towns College, where my homies ChellezBoogie, Krystle and Hasan Insane attended and rubbed elbows with the likes of Chrisette Michelle (who I had the pleasure of meeting along the way).

Another of these such peoples was a Photographer/producer who goes by the name of John Shotti. He was then apart of a production duo, Shotti and Lefty and had recently released a dope concept mixtape that mashed up Prince’s classic music with Cam’ron songs.

Since he and The Tapemasters were peoples, he reached out to me when he was working on a track for their Nas dedication tape that was slated to release to promote his Hip-Hop Is Dead album coming out (see; Tapemasters Presents Nas – The N; Resurrection). The track that resulted was a smoothed out version of the Eminem produced “The Cross” off of the God’s Son album, which I think is better than the original. Shotti added all kinds of sampled harmonious voices, light drum kicks, and even got a real saxophone player and spoken word artist to round things out. He went in as a producer! He told me he chose me because he wanted to reshape it to have that feeling like we were bringing New York City rap back to the forefront (back then, that was a major concern to most East Coasters) and I was a good choice for it. And so became my very first serious mixtape placement. Not like Tapemasters showed me love or remembered me when it was time for me to release my own mixtape later on…but I digress…

I was summoned down to the music lab in The New School, in a room to lay my verse right then and there on limited time. The boy Jesse Boykins the 3rd was in the room and I remember writing the verse on the spot and having to  do it in just a few takes. But it came out quite nice. I may even be so bold to say I gave Nas a run for his money, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. Remember these are ’06 lyrics;

“They say New York’s been soft since them buildings fell,

Nigga we are sick! – we ain’t feeling well,

put the apple on their heads like William Tell.

Re-animated, Shotti got Malik to Murk these punks,


Rihanna haters;

“I don’t wanna be a Murderer!”

The Cross Bearer – Iam permanent,

Ya’ll just temporary – my contemporaries got,

learner’s permits.

I been riding clean,

with the NYC plates since,

In my teens,


M-16, nigga he don’t play!

What he say is law like them Ricos – This Maliko’s Way,

Maricons keep reaching for my Chips and they get Frito-Layed!

Straight out of Harlem is the Secret Weapon

-we gon’ speak for skeptics, who been throwing Salt,

he just bring the Pepa!

(I’m Hot!)

Kriss Kross me,

can’t jump the King,

-Ain’t no checkers – this Cross means,

They not Punking me


Ashton Kutcher – I’m hooder than pumpkin seeds,

They try ta’,

Spit on New York like Pumpkin Please!

Citizens, consider Mr. 1,6 in this Bitch again as the Christening for all those who’ve been listening

To Rap at it’s worst,

The game keep gettin Fucked,

cause it’s no Birth Control, like the Catholic Church!

The Cross”.

Hope you learned something.

Here’s that song;

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