Toppa Top 10: Salaam Remi Breaks Down Ten of His Classic Records

Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 BONUS BEATS
August 28, 2012

Funkmaster Flex and 9 Double M, “Six Million Ways to Die” (1993)

I was on the air with Flex until โ€™97, as the Overseer Salaam. Regardless of how big a record Iโ€™d have, whether it was Fugees’ The Score or whatever, I would still show up on Fridays and write down the records they played at the station, keeping my ear to the street, opening those manila envelopes with the songs of the week in it. We were in the heated radio wars and Iโ€™d be listening on the other line like, yo they playing that, play this real quick, everybody is gonna turn the station. Being in the clubs, he had the chance to create some records on Nervous. Flex had the ideas, he knew what he had wanted to use, and then I put it together. He wanted to use “Six Million Ways to Die,” I was actually putting my hands on it. It was like left and right hand at that point.

At that time, we were both with Chuck Chillout. Chuck went from being a DJ to a personality [on New York’s WBLS], and let Flex DJ, and thatโ€™s where it became “Funkmaster Flex on the 1&2โ€™s.” Flex at the time was working in the kitchen at Pratt [College] or something, and Flex would be coming up with things like, “Donโ€™t be a biscuit,” “donโ€™t be a bagel,” “you’re like a hot pickle.” He always had these sayings. Chuck had a record deal, and DJ gigs, and when Chuck didnโ€™t show up, I did the records, and Flex did the DJ gigs. Flex knew that since we came out of the same moment, he could always trust me to give him a clear view of what was happening club-wise. What I got out of it was not a friend that was going to play my record, I understood what records were going to work for my friend. Up to this day when Iโ€™m creating Nas’ “The Don,” or “A Queens Story,” I already know whatโ€™s going to motivate him, whatโ€™s going to work for him. When he plays this people are going to move like that, cause Iโ€™ve watched the emotion come up so many times. We’d be in the clubs til 4 in the morning, then heโ€™dย  call me back at 7 like โ€œyo I came up with a new one, what if I cut it like this.โ€ Flex always has been driven. At one point, he could have called himself the number one DJ in the world before the house music DJs took back over, and I did well at the production level.