Great interview with the legendary Silver Fox, peace to Unkut

How did you develop your style?

I learned from other MC’s, just listening to what they did, how they’re music was structured. I didn’t just listen to their rhymes, ‘cos me myself, I couldn’t listen to people’s rhymes all the time, ‘cos then I’ll start emulating them and I’ll start sounding like ‘em – and I couldn’t do that. And that’s what happened with these guys [LL and G Rap]. They listened to me all the time, they would be with me and then they start emulating me. They couldn’t help it! And this stuff is timeless – it lasted for over 25 years. I’m the only cat that call him CJ, trust me. I told him, ‘LL Cool J’s too long, man. I ain’t sayin’ all of that stuff.’ I take the ‘Ladies Love’ stuff outta there and call him Cool J. ‘Yo! CJ!’ I could do that, ‘cos I’m Fox.

Who was your main influence?

Mel is the one who influenced me to really do it. He just kept goin’ with his rhymes and he was so articulate and he used current events and put it into his raps. How could you top ‘Beat Street Breakdown?’ I went to go see Melle Mel and the Furious Five at a party when the Cassanovas robbed everybody. He said, ‘Throw ya hands in the air…now keep ‘em there!’ And everybody was gettin’ stuck up! I’m looking around, going, ‘Oh, snap! They robbin’ people right in front of me, man!’ People gettin’ punched in the face, people gettin’ stuck-up, people gettin’ their jewelery taken! And I went there by myself because I wanted to see Melle Mel – I wasn’t thinkin’ about the rest of the guys – I wanted to see him. I’m from Manhattan and I’d gone all the way to The Bronx. I always felt in awe of Mel, and that was the only cat in rap that I was actually in awe of. Other than that, everybody else…I mean I liked their raps and I appreciate it, but I only listen to them for a minute and that’s it. When I started creating stuff, I was my own influence.

Previously: LL Cool J Was As Impressed With This Interview As We Were