When Chris “The Glove” Taylor first appeared with Ice-T in the break-dance classic movie, Breakin’, he was already one of the most respected DJs on the West Coast. Spinning at the legendary Los Angeles club The Radio a.k.a. The Radio Tron, The Glove was known for his lightning speed scratches. Like a lot of DJs in the Hip-Hop game, The Glove turned to producing and soon became the right-hand man for Andre “Dr. Dre” Young and found himself working side by side with the iconic producer on classics like The Chronic, Doggystyle, All Eyez On Me, and later, The Chronic 2001.
Since The Glove rarely does interviews, AllHipHop.com has the wonderful opportunity to tell his unique story about the ups and downs of working with Dr. Dre. Although disappointed by some of the uncredited work he’s done, The Glove appeared by no means a bitter man when we spoke to him, and was more than glad to share some stories that he’s never had the chance to really tell. Read Part 1 of this exclusive story:
AllHipHop.com: You were in the 1984 movie Breakin’ DJ’ing for Ice-T. How did you get that part?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: It all started with a club called Radio. The spot was a phenomenon because we used to have lines going around the block and it was open to any age over 13. The L.A. Times put us on the cover of their Calendar section and the producers of the movie came to check it out. Back then, people like Sting from The Police and Malcolm Mclaren would come out to the club.
So they began shooting the movie at the club and one day, I overheard the producers talking about how they needed music to capture the feel of a certain scene. I walked over to them and told them that I could do it. I was just a DJ at the time and had never produced anything up until then. They agreed to it and originally it was supposed to be just a music score for the scene. They had already hired Ice-T as the rapper for the movie, so I approached him about rapping over the beat. We recorded “Reckless” in the middle of the night and finished at 2 am.
AllHipHop.com: That was your first track? It must have been a quick learning experience.
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I played all of those party tracks like “Planet Rock.” I got my hands on a drum machine after the producers agreed with my request. I learned how to program the beats on it. It’s hard to remember all of the details, but I believe The Egyptian Lover showed me the ropes on how to do it.
AllHipHop.com: Tell us about the experience of DJ’ing in Los Angeles back in the early ’80s before the West Coast Hip-Hop scene blew up.
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: We used to have big time East Coast DJs come to the club. I wanted to prove that L.A. DJs were just as hot so whenever they performed at our club, I made sure that I tore their a** up on the turntables. Each time, they would tell me that I was tight. People back East didn’t know much of what was going on in the West. Back then, they used to call Los Angeles “Southern.” For real! But myself, DJ Aladdin, and Bobcat were shredding whoever came in to town.
For the longest time, it was just me and The Egyptian Lover who were at the top tier. There were other DJs but they weren’t on our level yet. I met Bobcat when he was 16 years old and he told me he was the best. I told him to get down and he looked at my mixer and said he didn’t know how to work it. I laughed and was like, “I thought you were the best?” I showed him how to work the mixer and he was great! Later on there was a point that Bobcat was the best in town – even better than me when it came to scratching, speed, movement and techniques. After us, I would rank DJ Aladdin and then Tony G. Tony was bad! Egyptian Lover was bad too. We were like Superman and Lex Luthor [laughter].
AllHipHop.com: You didn’t list Dr. Dre.
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I never saw him DJ. He played at Eve After Dark near Compton. As a producer I only rank Quincy Jones higher than Dre because of his work with Michael Jackson. That’s how I feel. But as far as DJ’ing goes I never saw him play live.
AllHipHop.com: How did you end up working alongside Dr. Dre?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I did the “Reckless” song and it sold 4 million copies by being on the Breakin’ soundtrack. I decided that I didn’t want to do rap after that and that’s why there is a huge gap between that song and my work with Dre. I felt like R & B music paid more at the time. I had an organ and piano background from church and high school, so I was writing songs. I was a part of a group called Po, Broke and Lonely. We were making hot songs and a mutual friend told Dre about our group. Dre had already heard of me through the DJ scene. We met him out at a party in Palm Springs and e signed us as a group because he was looking for something that was self-contained to where he didn’t have to produce everything – and that was because of me. I was also an engineer, which a lot of producers aren’t. They’ll just lay a beat down and leave it at that.
AllHipHop.com: So what did you and Dre start working on?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: The first thing we started working on was the Po, Broke and Lonely album. We had this song called “Funky Vibe” and he did the remix. We were at a studio in Carson and I was the first person to show to introduce him to an SSL studio mixer. The way he had been recording was by having all of these different hands pushing the faders up and down on the board. I told him he was working too hard and said, “let me show you this thing called Automation.” It was the reason why I got to mix The Chronic album with him. The credits say, “mixed by Chris Taylor” but I admit that he mixed more of that album than I did. He sat in front of those boards.
AllHipHop.com: Did you have any production or co-production on The Chronic?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: Yes. I produced a song called, “Stranded On Death Row.” That was me and Dre. There’s been a long standing rumor that I did everything and Dre did nothing. That’s not true. You will never hear me say that. But I also did a hell of a lot that I never received credit for.
AllHipHop.com: Like what?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: Oh my God [pauses]. The Chronic not so much because I mixed it with him and it was all going good at that point. Although I never got credit for producing “Stranded On Death Row” and that’s where the f*** up’s started. I thought maybe that it was a mistake or an oversight at the time. So we go on to Snoop’s album Doggystyle and I worked with Dre hand-in-hand for about 70 percent of that album. I mixed more of that record than The Chronic.
AllHipHop.com: Did you produce any songs on Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle album?
Chris “The Glove” Taylor: I produced a song called “Doggy Dogg World.” Dr. Dre did the beat as far as the drums; kick, snare and hi-hat. The bass player wasn’t playing it to Dre’s satisfaction, so I took over and played it on the Moog. Then Dre asked me to put the keys down on it, so I did all of the keyboard parts. He told me to record the beat and then he left – so I laid it all down. I also recorded Snoop’s vocals. I recorded everybody but The Dramatics although I sat next to Dre when that happened.
When that record was finished, Suge was standing on my right side and Jimmy Iovine was standing on my left. They were waiting for me to finish editing it so they could put it on the album and fly it on an airplane to the pressing plant. They told me that it would cost them $42,000 for every hour that it went over. They had trucks lined up, and they were waiting to ship it – Snoop’s first album was a monster. The main thing back then was making sure that the order of the songs was right – because the album has to flow right. We put as much work in to that as anything else on the album.
Check back on Monday for Part 2 of our exclusive interview with Chris “The Glove” Taylor!