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T La Rock & Jazzy Jay

Back in 1985 when the Beastie Boys opened for Madonna on the “Like a Virgin” tour, they preformed a song entitled “It’s Yours” which was originally recorded by T La Rock and Jazzy Jay. Although the Beastie Boys were not credited on the album, more than one source has eluded to the fact that Adam Horovitz helped Rick Rubin and Jazzy Jay create the track’s beat and that the Beastie Boys actually supply some of the song’s backing vocals. In a conversation that Bill McMullen had with beastiemania.com in January 2005 he stated that, “I talked to Horovitz a few years back about 'It's Yours" and he told me he did some of the crowd noise in the loop. One of my favorite songs.” It is one of beastiemania.com’s favorite early hip hop songs too!

For those unfamiliar with the recording, the “It’s Yours” 12” (Cat. PT-104) was the very first Def Jam record. Now before hands come flying up in protest and you’re tempted to state that LL Cool J’s “I Need a Beat” 12” was the first, let us set you straight. The “It’s Yours” recording was something Rick Rubin put out on the Streetwise Records subsidiary label Party Time Records, a few months before joining forces with Russell Simmons.

As the hip hop mythology goes, Rick Rubin had arranged to put out a record by rapper Special K and Jazzy Jay, of the Treacherous 3 and Afrika Bambaataa’s Zulu Nation, respectively. When the arrangement with Special K fell through, Special K’s brother T La Rock filled in and the rest is history. If you’re looking for the original pressing of this old school classic, avoid buying the 1990 vinyl repress that came out on the Warlock Records label (Cat. 805). The one you want can usually be picked up on eBay.com for less than $20.00, and actually includes four versions of “It’s Yours” on it.

Although T La Rock is still collecting beats he hasn’t put out an album in ages. Therefore if you like what you hear on “It’s Yours” your best bet is to pick up his two full length releases Lyrical King (1987) and On a Warpath. If you are interested in checking out more of Jazzy Jay’s work, pick up the 1985 Def Jam 12” that came out between the release of the Beastie Boys’ Rock Hard 12” (Cat. DJ002) and Adam Yauch’s solo effort “Drum Machine”(Cat. DJ004). It is Jazzy Jay’s “Def Jam/Cold Chillin' In The Spot” 12” and it even features a guest vocal appearance from Russell Simmons.

"Rick Rubin then went into the studio to make a record with Jazzy Jay and T La Rock, who is Special K from the Treacherous Three’s brother. That was called “It’s Yours.” And actually if you listen to the background track you can hear Adam (Horovitz) and myself (Mike D) and I think also Adam Yauch and Dave Swift and some other friends of ours saying ho and getting our claps on. Anyway so that record came out actually through…I think it was through Arthur Baker’s label …this label called Partytime. I think Arthur Baker had something to do with it. That record came out and Russell (Simmons) heard it. I think for him… it was shocking for someone he didn’t know had made it or someone that wasn’t from his world." - Quote taken from Mike D in a 1998 BBC Radio special..

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