Most hip-hop fans know Tyrone “Fly Ty” Williams as co-producer of Mr. Magic’s “Rap Attack” radio show and manager of the Juice Crew. But there are some things you probably don’t know. The former roommate of Russell Simmons and godchild of Sugar Hill Records’ founders Joe and Sylvia Robinson now runs a program for kids called the Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band.
“I have a program now over with over 200 kids everyday,” he says swelling with pride.”Since 2002 we’ve sent 800 kids to college.”
But taking care of kids is in his blood. During a taping for TV One’s upcoming “Unsung” episode on Big Daddy Kane TheUrbandaily.com talked about his days as hip-hop’s first “scout master,” his conversion to the Nation of Gods and Earths and playing football for the 49ers.
1. Football Player
I played [football] for the San Francisco 49ers in the 1980-81 season. I got hurt and I was a rookie. I got hurt and that’s the best thing that happen because they can’t cut you if you’re hurt/injured. So I was on the taxi squad, then they brought me in that year and we won the Super Bowl. I played special teams, stuff like that. I played few series at linebacker.
I was raised by my grandmother who was a Pentecostal minister;I became a minister at 14, they called me a junior minister, in fact it was me and Al Sharpton. We both came from under the same church, Washington Temple in Brooklyn. Except they didn’t allow women in the pulpit in those days ; in other words you couldn’t be a woman and be a reverend or pastor. So my grandmother and other women broke away from the Pentecostal church and started what they called Pentecostal Church of God and Christ, which is where they have women pastors. Al Sharpton was with the men and I was with the women, which is where I like to be anyway.
I wrote and produced one record in my lifetime, actually I co-produced “Make The Music” because I put the shakers in, there was no break [or] no hook. See, I taught my producers how to produce. I had to teach them about music. So all those producers that you hear of, I kind of taught a lot of them how to structure a song. They can get nice beats, Marley was a master of sampling and rearranging stuff, but they didn’t know how to make a bridge to a record so I taught them that, those shakers was my way of showing what a bridge is.
4. Peace God
Oh when I was 16 I became a 5 Percenter. A 5 Percenter is the belief is that we’re God. We don’t eat pork, we call our women Earth, your mothers a old earth and we used to go to Parliaments, a place we meet to kind of exchange ideas and drop science. I don’t drop science no more, I call it raising conscience “con-science” because dropping means you missed it, I ain’t missing nothing no more. Now my grandmother reverend Icely Williams, I knew I had to have my argument tight [when I told her]. So I would go up to her and say “You heard of the 5 percenters? She’d say “Yeah.” And I said, “Well I joined, and my name is not Tyrone anymore it’s Shalek; which is Shalom-Healer-Allah-Leader-Equality-King,”and she just looked at me. And then I said “oh yeah I’m God.” I told my Pentecostal Minster Grandmother I was God. She turned kind of slow looked at me and said I’ve been taking you to church pretty much all your life right and you actually spoke and preached at times and you come to me and tell me that your God today, I said yes. She said “It’s about time you figured that out!” Here I was like what? Your not suppose to say that. She said to me “Of course you’re God. The Bible says you’re God and you’re made in His image so when I look at you I’m looking at God. But now that you told me that, from today to forever you got to do Godly things. That’s how deep my grandmother was.
5. Hip-Hop Scout Master
So what people don’t know is I was the unofficial Scout Master for hip-hop. Many times we used to go on the road on wacked out charter buses. Me, Roxanne Shante, MC Shan, Salt n Pepper, LL Cool J and I’m like the coach. We on dark roads and the bus broke down and I got all these kids I got to look out for because that’s what they were, they were kids. I don’t care what artist it was, when they got on the road and they saw me they got happy because they knew everything was going to be all right. They might not get paid they might get stranded, but they knew when they saw Tyrone and the Juice Crew [everything was ok]. Salt-N-Pepa and Will Smith they got taken advantage of all the time because Herby Azor was their manager and he was a quiet soft-spoken guy. So if you would go out of town they would go “I ain’t paying Salt n Pepper, we ain’t paying Jazzy Jeff Fresh Prince.” But if they saw us they knew, because I always had a headliner and I always said: “If everybody don’t get paid ain’t nobody playing.”