The Best of Trackmasters
The Trackmasters were one of the biggest producers of the mid 90’s to early 2000’s.
Nobody was churning out more hits than Poke and Tone except Darkchild.
They were in such high demand that Sony/Columbia decided to give them their own vanity label/production group to keep them happy. Trackmasters, along with Nas,Fugees,Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson made Sony/Columbia into a heavyweight.
They started producing and remixing for various artists before they got their big break. Poke & Tone helped usher in the “Jiggy Era”. The Jiggy Era sound was defined by recognisable 80’s R’nB hits, that were sampled to make a laid back or upbeat radio ready record. Other producers who were known for this style were L.E.S and Bad Boy Hitmen.
Brought into the game by the legendary producer L.E.S, they first got their break working for Motown, where they helped on the production of Mary J Blige’s sophomore album My Life. The album went 3x Platinum while the Trackmasters produced single Be Happy reached No. 29 on Billboard Hot 100. After Juicy and Ready To Die, every major label in New York wanted their artist on a Trackmasters beat.
50 Cent was originally signed to Trackmasters Entertainment before Columbia dropped him.
Their sound later dwindled. The horror story that is R.Kelly and Jay-Z’ s Best of Both Worlds and Unfinished Business was supposed to go Multi-Platinum. In the industry, big budgets mean big results and the $250’000+ checks were deemed too expensive to justify.
Another factor was that The Neptunes, Irv Gotti,Timbaland and Mannie Fresh had helped bring in new sounds that didn’t require the headaches of sample clearances and song splits.
Today, Poke and Tone are still active in the music industry, making hits, managing producers and artists on Trackmasters Entertainment.
The Best of Trackmasters:
Mary J Blige: Be Happy (brings back good memories)
Nas: Escobar 97 (this is what The Firm album should have sounded like)
Biggie: Juicy (they still spin this record!)
Method Man ft D’Angelo: Make Up’s to Break Up’s (I used to bump this after I broke up with my girl years back..roffle)
Will Smith: Men In Black ( music to 2-step to)
The Firm ft Canibus : Desperados (Canibus killed this shit)
Will Smith: Just Cruisin (summer time, sunroof, open toe sandals shit)
LL Cool J ft Boyz II Men: Hey Lover (LL could do those RnB crossover tracks with ease and not sound corny or forced)
Foxy Brown ft Blackstreet: Get Me Home (they still play this too)
Allure ft Nas: Head Over Heels (If you listen closely you can hear Mariah Carey in the background)
City High ft Eve: Caramel Remix (I used to get City High nd Wyclef records before they did!..shoutout to Ernesto
The Firm: Executive Decisions (“guns long like Mutumbo”)
Will Smith: Gettin Jiggy Wit It (Harlem Shake FTW! Co-produced by L.E.S)
LL Cool J: Loungin Remix (90’s music >>>. The singers had class and the crossover records were respectable)
Jay-Z ft R.Kelly: Fiesta (This was hot when it dropped, cant front.)
50 Cent ft The Madd Rapper: How To Rob (the birth of 50 Cent)
Nas ft Lauryn Hill: If I Ruled The World (This is what I miss about hip hop, music with a message)
Michael Jackson ft Jay-Z: You Rock My World Remix (This is extremely rare, I first heard Trever Nelson spin this over in the UK some time back)
Nas: Street Dreams (classic Nas)
Noreaga ft The Firm: I’m Leaving (Noreaga had the best track on the Album along with Phone Tap)
Will Smith: Miami (Will Smith was in Miami before all your favorite rappers. Wrote by Nasir Jones)
Fabolous: Damn (the percussion on this >>>>>. Back when Fab was that dude.)
Noreaga: N.O.R.E (hard shit)
Ricky Martin ft Big Pun/Cuban Link/Fat Joe: Livin La Vida Loca Remix (Pun and Terror Squad blew the fuck up that year, doing records with Ricky Martin *no homo*)