Thrust – Past, Present, Future EP (1995)

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Transcribed from an audio interview with Thrust on August 7th 2018. Conducted by Samantha Vaters.

RR: The title “Past Present and Future”, I imagine the “past” element of it had to do with the 88’ freestyle on Fantastic Voyage but beyond that, can you break down the title? There’s no song on here with the same name, which was the usual formula rappers of the era would follow.

Thrust: The title actually had nothing really to do with that… well, I shouldn’t say nothing, it had to do with the Fantastic Voyage, but it didn’t really conceptualize from that. I was just more in that phase in my life; into a lot of like metaphysical type stuff and I was really exploring […] spirituality and that’s where that came from.

So that’s just the concept like there’s no such thing as time. Often people will [say that] time is an illusion. Cause you can say “Past, present, and future, past, present, future” and you’re still in the same moment.

I also felt that as an artist [it fit]; cause of my style, the way I came up in the game, and that I would still persevere in a sense, so that was just the vibe of it.  

That’s dope that you touched on Fantastic Voyage though. a lot of people wouldn’t [have] even gone there, that is actually where the whole scene started where I started too.

RR: What was the reason for adding the EP to Frankenstein’s “Knowledge Of Self” label. Why not continue with the label as years went on?

Thrust: Because at that time, just before I did the EP, I was in school. This music school called Haris Institute and so was Frankenstein. We both went to high school together. Me and Frankenstein were friends a long time. […] So Frank was doing the production and I was doing the business side of it. So he finished just before I did (like a semester before) and he already had a studio. We were kicking it at lunch and I just finally decided that I wanted to  put out my own record that I was recording. If you notice the songs he was on; he either mixed the songs or produced the songs on the EP so all those were recorded in studio. So I already had it at a studio and it just made sense; he had a label, and I was going to school with him, I was taking the business course and I wanted to come out. So I just basically said to him “Why don’t I just put [down] my own money”. That’s what I did essentially.

So I came out on his label but the funding was from me. […] It was my way of learning how to put myself out as an artist and go though the whole label process as a form of piggybacking. Then after that we went on to start our own label.

From that, we used the same distribution channel and the same hook ups and we did a record at the same place. So yeah it was just an springboard cause we were at the same school at the same time.

RR: The freestyle included as the last track on the B-Side “B Poet” recorded at Fantastic Voyage in 1988. Was that the first appearance on radio? What do you remember of that night?

That freestyle wouldn’t be the first time but […] that was the only snippet that I had of him [Rage] like really rhyming clear […] that I could get my hands on at the time that I was doing the record. So I just threw that on so people could actually hear his voice and hear who it was I was talking about,for those who didn’t know, [and for] those who did know him they would just be like “Yo, you actual captured his voice”.  

RR: Do you have any stories related to the recording of the EP, or during the promotional period of it?

Yeah there’s a million stories, but the coolest part of it was when we went to master it. If you notice, if you look at the back, it was mastered by Tom Coin. Tom Coin is one of the main masterers for the whole music industry. If you look at the back of most of your CDs; […], you’re going to see his name on it. I’m not even talking about just hip-hop. I’m talkin’ everything from the Backstreet Boys, to the Wu-Tang Clan, he does every genre.

So we connected with him. And I went to New York City when I did my label deal. You can negotiate anything with a record deal. So I negotiated; said “Fine, we’re gonna do this deal, but I want to make sure it sounds right. So I want it mastered by the best. I want it to come out of New York, with the same place that everyone else uses that you hear. That was written into the contract for Tom to do it.

And that was crazy, cause he started telling me all of these stories about these recording sessions… and mastering… and Wu-Tang Clan. Ol Dirty Bastard showing up to the session in this Ferrari, just messed up, how you can imagine Ol’ Dirty Bastard to be, just stories about interludes and albums.. We just sat there and listened to him talk.

The best thing about that inning. The only time he opened up; we’re from Canada, right? Being from Canada, he’s from New York, so he didn’t open up with people he’d talk too. […] But then, what do you think it was? What was the one thing you think of when you think of Canada? Something you do?

RR: Hockey?

Yes! […] a lot of people born and raised and Jamaica, but I’m born here. I know my hockey. If you’re born here you know you’re hockey, you have no choice. Right? So yeah that’s how we opened up. So that was the craziest story. So once I got to tell him that I know my Hockey, so he was on about the New York Rangers, and whatever else was going on, and that’s when all the stories started coming out. It’s always good to be Canadian, that’s where my Canadian Passport came through. It opened up a can of worms as far as stories go.

RR: Anything else to add?

Nah, other than to look for it, it’s going to be re-released at some point. People have been asking. I own all my music, so there’s going to be a place to get everything. I know people have been asking, so it’s going to come back out. So yeah, as far as the love,  people have been bangin’ it forever… Made it a classic. I just got love. I get calls, messages, almost every week saying how much they love that record, and that they play it every week. It’s a blessing!

 

Below you can find an audio version of Thrust answering these questions.

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