Every wondered about that Israeli Radio advertisement on the Root Down EP? We did and so we investigated...
How did you come to be on the Root Down EP?
Since the end of 1992 I became a music editor in The Israeli Radio. I was an enormous rap & hip-hop fan, and
that was the exact music the Israeli mainstream didn't acknowledge, so I did everything I could to spread
it wherever I could, and I'll allow myself to say I became one of Rap's biggest pushers in the
Israeli media. My favorite group in the world were The Beastie Boys.
When The news arrived that Beasties
are coming to perform 2 shows in Israel in 1995 , I've immediately asked to air a special show about
them, which was the first special show about the beasties here in Israel. I've edited the music, and the
host was my friend Tal Berman, who was the station's rising star. To promote the special I've
recorded a 30 seconds Jingle based on "So Watcha Want", in Hebrew. We got into the studio, and with
no computer tricks we've tried to follow the distorted vocals sound of the original, with brilliant sound
technicians Shmulik Lederman & Itay Vexler. I did the vocals, and Berman and a super cool friend from the
station called Eldad Levy both joined me.
It's important to understand that back in those days
there was no such thing as Rap In Hebrew. It was considered so strange and illogical here, that people used to
mock even just the concept of rapping in Hebrew, and even the band Shabak Samech, which became super
successful a few years later, haven't released their 1st album yet. So what happened was that when that
jingle was released there was such an excitement about in the radio station, that the dj's there started
to play it as a new joint in their regular shows, not only in it's original promotional purpose.
Two days after the special show was aired, Adam Horovitz & Mike D came for an Interview in Berman's
daily show. I sat there in the studio as a guest interviewer. We played them the jingle and they've
really liked it! It was a huge thing for us. Later on during the interview, Berman, who knew I knew all the
lyrics to the B-Boys' songs by heart, closed the mic and told them: "Hey, My man here knows the
lyrics to "Get It Together" so why don't you do it together?". And I just became so scared
- never rapped in public before in my life, not to say in front of my biggest heroes in the galaxy - so I said
"no no no no no no no no". Ad-Rock said "Hey, your man here doesn't want to do it, so we
won't do it". And then Berman, The Bastard, opened the mic and said these exact words the same, only
this time on air : "Hey, My man here knows the lyrics to "Get It Together" so why don't
you do it together?" and he simply started playing the "Get It Together" instrumental.
I've had about a second & a half to think - and there and then I found myself rapping the Q-Tip verses
from Get It Together with Adam & Mike freestyling the rest of the verses! When the 3rd verse came along I felt
I'm about to blackout from all the excitement and I rapped "I don't want to do this shit
anymore nomore". Mike D rapped "why man?" and I've quoted A Tribe Called Quest's
"Oh My God" and Rapped: "I don't know man I don't know man I don't know man I
don't know I don't know". Ended the song, the beasties stood and hugged me, I was in awe and it
was the greatest moment of my life.
A few minutes after They've left the studio, their record
company representative in Israel, called Uzi Preuss, called the studio and told me the Beasties want a
recording of the Jingle and of the live "Get It Together" with me. Of course I've immediately
send him a cassette with both, and the day after he called to tell me that the late Adam Yauch played that
cassette to himself all day long.
I've been to both of the Beastie Boys' shows in Israel,
that night and the
night after, both were unreal, and they even asked
Preuss to call me to meet them afterwards backstage, and I did and had a beautiful amazing small conversation
with Adam Horovitz.
Later on that year the same Preuss called me for a meeting, and showed me a document
sent by the Beasties, in which they've asked to use the recording of the jingle. Of course I said YES and
signed immediately. And that's how it landed as the last 30 seconds hidden track of the Root Down EP, and
years later also as the looped music in the Sounds Of Science DVD, when you enter the So Watcha Want screen.
In the Root Down inner sleeve I'm credited as "Eyal Deep Friedman" but nowadays everybody knows
me here as Quami.