A.D.O.R. - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  


August 2005

A.D.O.R.'s story is one that epitomizes overcoming the odds. The Mount Vernon resident was once a promising young superstar in the early 90's, as a then unknown figure by the name of Sean "Puffy" Combs became one of his biggest supporters, and helped to personally shop him around the industry. With such support behind him, A.D.O.R. ended up signing a production deal with DJ Eddie F and the Untouchables Entertainment family, which was responsible for acts like Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Mary J. Blige and Heavy D & The Boys. From there A.D.O.R. started to blossom in the underground market. His two classics "Let It All Hang Out", which was produced by Pete Rock, and the Marley Marl & K-Def produced "One For The Trouble", became mega hits in the Hip Hop community. However, as time went on A.D.O.R. fell victim to industry rule number four 4080. After his relationship with Atlantic Records went sour, A.D.O.R. went on to release three independent albums over the years, which have all gained critical and underground praise. A.D.O.R. took some time out to tell his intriguing story to MVRemix.com, as he preps to drop his new album Signature Of The Ill next month.

MVRemix: I just want to start off with some background and history questions so the younger fans reading this who are not familiar with your work can get to know who you are. So to start, can you tell us where you were born and raised, and what it was liking growing up there over the years?

A.D.O.R.: I was born in Washington height's In Manhattan N.Y. I moved to Mount Vernon N.Y when I was about 7 years old. Mt Vernon was a rugged city right out side the Bronx, and I grew up with a lot of righteous and Ill Kidz. All sorts of stuff was going on in the Vernonville especially in Hip Hop Music.

MVRemix: In what ways has your environment or surroundings helped shape who you are today as a man and an emcee?

A.D.O.R.: That's a good question. the first thing I would say is that I am a survivor, hard worker and blessed with talent and passion for my music. All that came from not really having no one or anything to fall back on growing up. I did not come from a wealthy family and I had to make something out of my self from nothing to work with. My father left when I was real young and I had to help my mom raise my brother and sister. That taught me a lot of things also. It was tough, but fun growing up. We were some N.Y kids making the best of what we had and music was one of the things that was in my blood from my first days, as my father was a musician also. All of those things make me the man I am today and have made me the artist I am also. Passionate, responsible, relentless, and rugged.

MVRemix: How did you first get into rhyming?

A.D.O.R.: I started out with DJ equipment and poppin' when I was like 12 years old. Then I started writing my own rhymes and rockin' them at school wherever! It was just what we did at school and in the parks. I grew up in a real mixed neighborhood - black kids, white kids and Spanish kids. That was what we did - play sports and Hip Hop.

MVRemix: How did you start to make a name for yourself locally?

A.D.O.R.: I would say the first thing was in like 1990, when I completed my first official demo at a studio in downtown Manhattan. There where a lot of cats from Mount Vernon that where already in the Music making moves like Puff Daddy. He was one of my best friends Will was real close with Puff and we went to go see him and he liked a couple of my demo joints. So word got around the hood that I had some shit and Puff was feeling me. That's how my buzz started locally.

MVRemix: I was reading that you went to school with a variety of Hip Hop legends like Puffy, Heavy D, Pete Rock and Al B Sure. Tell us about that.

A.D.O.R.: Yeah they knew who I was, but it was also like I was from the other side of town so we where not the closest of boys. But I was making noise and they knew I was talented, so I was cool with them when we would see each other on the streets wherever.

MVRemix: Tell us about your relationship early on with Puffy and what he was doing to help your career?

A.D.O.R.: Yeah Puff really was the first one to make me feel like something big was going to happen. But then I did not really believe he really was down for me, so I took a deal with Eddie F from Heavy D & the Boyz to be down with his production company. He had Pete Rock & CL Smooth coming out, so I felt like this is real. He offered me a contract. Puff never had no contract for me, but I came to find out he was really shopping my material to labels and things where starting to happen. Are relationship changed after he found out I did a deal with Untouchables.

MVRemix: Tell us about your deal with Untouchable Management and what it was like?

A.D.O.R.: Man that's like a book, so I will keep it short. I signed with Eddie F through my man Tim Dawg. I really never knew Eddie that much because he was always on the low. Me and Pete Rock went into the studio to start making some records for Untouchables to then shop to try and get me a deal. We recorded the first song which was "Let It All Hang Out," and from there it was on. I had a couple labels interested in me. Atlantic offered Eddie F the Best Deal for me, so that's were I went. "Let It All Hang Out" started blowing up crazy, but we had no album ready yet. Then things got bad with Untouchables. Pete was having problems with Eddie F that effected my project as, as me and Pete where supposed to do a lot of records for my debut album for Atlantic. It was really bad, but I did not care and I started making records with my people. I was like fuck Untouchables there not going to fuck me up. Ultimately, I was finally able to get my album done like two years later with me doing the A&R with my people at Atlantic direct. But the excitement for me was not as strong as it once was due to all the problems with Untouchables and the time it took to get album done. Then after all that hard work Atlantic had a shake up. They cut a lot of acts and me and my album The Concrete was one of the victims. That was a tough time for me in my career. The Concrete was a real good album.

MVRemix: Your debut single "Let It All Hang Out" (prod by Pete Rock) is a Hip Hop classic. So take us through your mindset and the process while you were making that song?

A.D.O.R.: Me and Pete clicked right off the bat musically. Pete was playing me some tracks in the studio, and I heard the horns and the vibe and I loved it. This is how I wanted to set it off for the people! I always think about moving the people in my music first and giving them a vibe to take with them after listening. Some people think that :Let It All Hang Out" was a Pete Rock Remix because there is a longer version on it that says that. But that is an original A.D.O.R. record produced by Pete originally. Not a remix of another version of "Let It all Hang Out." And yeah, it sure has become an official real Hip Hop Classic for real - I love that!

MVRemix: Also, tell us about the Hip Hop scene at the time of "Let It All Hang Out's" release and the reactions the song got?

A.D.O.R.: That was one of the best times in Hip Hop. That's when "Fakin' The Funk" came from Redman and that was blazing. Pete & CL came out, EPMD with "Crossover," and House of Pain's "Jump Around." It was crazy, as there where a lot of big records out and "Let it All Hang Out" started charting higher then those records. It was a monster! I was really one of the first solo non black emcees to have a real street Hip Hop hit in the hoods across the country. The response was of the chain!!

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"Puff really was the first one to make me feel like something big was going to happen. But then I did not really believe he really was down for me, so I took a deal with Eddie F from Heavy D & the Boyz to be down with his production company."