Real Rap Stories

S1 E3 | FULL EPISODE

Super Lover Cee and Casanova Rud

Hosted by James Billings, Real Rap Stories is a five-part mini-series delving into the origin stories of some of hip-hop's most influential characters. Follow along as these hip-hop pioneers, family and friends discuss how they obtained success in a music genre that was still in its infancy. From the lyricist to the dancer, this series shows how each artist contributed to the hip-hop genre.

AIRED: July 22, 2020 | 0:12:00
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TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

♪♪

What's up, everyone?

And welcome to a new episode of "Real Rap Stories,"

and I'm your host, James "Kraze" Billings.

Now, if you remember doing the dance, the James Brown

back in the late '80s,

then you're probably familiar with the hip hop duo

Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud.

This episode is dedicated and highlights

some of their success and milestones

from the golden era of hip hop back in 1988.

Let's go take a look.

So, it was -- ♪ Girls I got 'em locked, so similar to a prison ♪

♪ In my awesome jams that are causin' me favoritism ♪

I want you to just visualize this, creative-wise.

When I wrote the song...

♪ I'm the boss rappin', you're the crowd for hire ♪

...I heard everything in my head.

I couldn't... I didn't have multi-track.

So I couldn't take the sample,

the riff itself, "Blues and Pants."

I couldn't take the riff.

I couldn't take the sample of Malcolm McLaren.

I couldn't take the "Impeach the President"

and create this whole thing.

♪♪

Billings: Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud

was a hip hop duo that followed in the path of EPMD,

Nice & Smooth, and Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

Supe and Cas dropped a single in 1988

called "Girls I Got 'Em Locked"

and became instant stars and teenage heartthrobs.

Representing the borough of Queens,

they came out of the Queens-based studio 1212

and worked closely with the legendary producer

and engineer Paul C.

Super Lover Cee: Um, and didn't want to be producer.

I mean, my thing, I was a rapper, you know?

I wanted to be a rapper and I wanted to be --

I wanted to make a record, and that's what I would say.

Super Lover Cee wanted to make a record.

But never looked at it

as producer aspect or anything like that.

I just thought I was a great rapper.

So what I did, we went in, and now we're looking at Paul C.

You know, and first of all, this is my first time

in the studio at this board, and I'm seeing all this stuff.

I'm like, "Wow, this is phenomenal."

And then I'm watching this man work, and I'm saying, "Wow."

Like, he's doing some work here

that, how is he doing this, you know what I mean?

So I told him... We told him what we wanted

and how the verses went, had to go.

But to pull that whole thing together,

you couldn't do it without Paul C.

So, he did exactly what it...

And what he was great at is, because it didn't take long.

You told Paul, "Hey, this is what I want,"

and he'd do that little nod,

and that was it, man.

And he put that whole thing together.

Billings: At that time, Supe was brand-new to the studio,

and Paul C ended up taking a liking to him.

What was supposed to be an hour in the studio turned out to be

Super Lover Cee's and Casanova Rud's biggest record.

A friendship with an emerging hip hop producer

that would go on to be credited with working

with Eric B. & Rakim, Stezo, Ultramagnetic,

and bringing Large Professor under his wing.

Stezo: Paul would enhance a beat.

Paul C -- a lot of people think...

You know, Paul did a little bit of producing,

but Paul was more impressed with the producers.

And they would bring these beats up to Paul,

and Paul would thicken them up.

He would enhance them. He was a master at sound.

Like, you know, you got to think who came through Paul.

You know, Large Professor. Some great hip hop records.

Biz Markie, "Just a Friend" --

you know, ♪ Yooou

[ Mimics beat ]

Ultramagnetic -- their whole album, man.

Listen, let me tell you something.

I'm a major fan of Ultramagnetic.

Billings: Let's take a step back and give you the true origin

of how Calente Frederick and Erik Rudnicki --

also known as Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud --

got things rolling.

Rud actually... Me and Rud met in our community,

back when we were growing up.

Rud played football. I was a big football fan.

And, you know, when he moved into our community,

then we kind of gelled as friends, man,

because we were into football. We started with sports first,

and then after sports, we got into the music.

♪ One, two, I pump it up

♪ A-one, two

♪ One, two, I pump it up

Now check this out, Rud.

♪ Come on, get on

♪ Get some, stop yelling it

♪ I know you like the jam

♪ But his name is still seldom selling it ♪

Super Lover Cee: Junior high school,

banging on the table -- you know the whole story, man.

Banging on the table and rapping, man.

So, yep, Super Lover Cee did that, as well.

And then eventually, went to United Skates of America,

where they held a local rap competition.

Billings: Back in the '80s, the way to get discovered

was through talent shows.

Supe and Cas got their record deal

performing at a local talent competition

where the winner was offered a record deal

and a chance to work with hip hop producer Marley Marl.

Now, I thought I was good,

but a lot of my friends thought I was great.

And I decided to take a shot at it.

So, taking that shot at it, man,

was probably the best career move, you know what I mean?

But it was a lot, you know,

to get up there in front of all these people

and, you know, it just wasn't me.

I'm not -- I wasn't that open, you know.

There was a gentleman that managed the place.

I'm not sure if he was the owner or a manager,

but I can tell you this -- his name was Jerry Waterman,

and big inspiration in my career

because even when I thought, "Well, I think I was okay,"

you know, Jerry Waterman says, "Man, are you kidding me?

You're phenomenal. You're great."

So Jerry Waterman pushed me through with the career,

and then I traveled with United Skates of America

with some of the people that we know.

DJ Scratch actually came out with me

because he won a DJ contest and I won a rap contest.

It was a contest. United Skates of America.

-Oh, "skates." -Skates.

United Skates of America. I'm sorry.

Um, and then basically, yeah, so DJ Scratch was out.

I met a lot of...

I met a lot of the entertainers that came up in the '80s

when we were all amateurs,

at United Skates of America.

Billings: Doing the talent competitions

helped Super Lover Cee build his confidence

to start taking his craft more serious.

According to Supe, he took his money he made

from working at the local McDonald's

to book one hour of studio time.

That would be the spark that ignited the group's career.

What's up, man?

And, uh, what's your name, homeboy?

[ Feedback screeches ] Super Lover Cee.

And your name, my man? Casanova Rud.

And who's this, um, fly guy over here on the dance floor?

T-Spunk.

Hey, um, fellas, can I ask you a question?

Where y'all come from?

Queens? Astoria, Queens.

Astoria, Queens. Uh-huh.

How long y'all been together?

Well, me and him about 7, 8 years, right?

Mm-hmm. And...

This guy, he's off the street.

[ Laughter ]

Aw, but I tell y'all one thing.

Y'all sure picked a good pick right here, you know.

Fellas, y'all got a lot of other hits

coming up for a future time?

Huh? So otherwise, like I always say,

we can do this? -We can do it.

♪ Girls act stupid-aly

♪ When I'm pumpin' 'em

♪ Girls act stupid-aly

♪ When I'm pumpin' 'em

That's what it was.

That was entertainment in the '80s.

That was entertainment in the '80s.

The truth about Super Lover Cee was he was very picky.

It's the truth.

Very picky, and, um...

I wasn't the one that had all the girls.

So, big misconception.

Casanova Rud was the ladies' man.

[ Laughs ]

Not to say that, you know,

if you put something out there like that,

what ends up happening is, people pick up on it

and think, "Hey," you know what I mean?

"This is the guy -- Super Lover Cee.

He's got the name, and look at the eyes," and you know.

So that's something that had been put out there,

but that wasn't me per se.

-Got it. -You know what I'm saying?

So, um...and, yeah, I'm telling the story now 'cause...

[ Laughs ]

[ Indistinct ]

I'm telling this story now because, you know,

I'm 52 years old

and, you know, and that was a chapter in my life.

But, sure, it was one of the biggest misconceptions,

that I was the ladies' man and, you know...

Did I like the ladies? Of course I did,

just like the next guy, you know what I mean?

But as far as...

As far as being out there and picking up on ladies

all the time, nah, that definitely wasn't it.

Billings: Once "Do the James..." record came out

and hit the airwaves, the duo was rolling high.

They followed up the single "Girls I Got 'Em Locked"

to fit more of their persona as the Romeos of rap.

Super Lover Cee flow was very catchy,

and his wordplay was a step above average.

In a lot of ways, he ushered in a new rhyme flow

for that time and era in hip hop.

Super Lover Cee: Maybe this will work.

Now, this is the interesting thing.

I want you to just visualize this, creative-wise.

When I wrote the song, I heard everything in my head.

I couldn't... I didn't have multi-track.

So I couldn't take the sample,

the riff itself, "Blues and Pants."

I couldn't take the riff.

I couldn't take the sample of Malcolm McLaren.

I couldn't take the "Impeach the President"

and create this whole thing.

But in my head, I heard it.

And I wrote this whole song based on that,

where the break was gonna come in and all that.

And we take the song down to 1212 studios,

and mind you, I had no idea how to do that.

And then this... -You just knew what you wanted.

I knew what I wanted.

Billings: 1988 was what most consider

the golden age of hip hop

because the landscape was so diverse.

Artists were forced to be different,

which gave the culture more options of music

and more artists to choose from.

Everybody was different. It was coming from everywhere.

'88 was a pivotal year in music.

So we were waiting for the time of arrival.

So, we had some moments with "The Message,"

with "Rapper's Delight", but they were only moments.

They weren't lives.

'88, we began to have lives. You see who we are?

We are Whodini. You see who we are?

We are KRS-One. You see who we are?

And so that's why it means that much to me,

but going back to what you were saying,

'88, um, that was '88.

A lot of people call that the golden era.

♪♪

I practiced that song to no end.

So, remember, I told you --

it was 25 bucks an hour.

I worked at McDonald's.

I took 25 bucks to the studio.

It took, of course, more than an hour.

Paul appreciated the track as much as I did,

and we all did, and Rud was doing this...

Now, of course, there was scratches, everything,

but when someone believes in you

and thinks that something is gonna be great,

you know what I mean, they put their input into it.

And that's what ended up happening.

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

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