I believe the year was 1993. I was in the midst  of a studio session with my New York crew. Men of Exquisite Talent is what we called ourselves. “M.O.E.T.”

(yes.. like the champagne) 

The engineer of this particular session was a man named Troy Hightower. A extremely talented man. He would go on from that period in time to do a lot of work for EPMD. Yet at this moment, at this studio session the feeling in the air was that both him and I were on the verge of “breaking through” With (breaking through) being defined as (achieving commercial success)

As far as studio sessions go.. It was pretty typical. Vonlyn & Valmon would typically lay the beat and I would typically perform the vocals I wrote over it. Something else would happen “typically” too. Every time I finished laying my vocal track in a studio session, the engineer would “typically” talk shit about my crew. (Behind their backs of course)
Yet Troy Hightower’s speech to me that day didn’t sound any different than any other speech that any other engineer hadn’t already said before.

“I love your flow” He says..
“You’re clever with words” He also says..
“If you’re going to make it, you might want to think about going solo” he continues and concludes with with this.
“I really dig your positive messages in your rhymes but if you expect to make you’re going to have rap about money, cash and hoes”

Which brought me to a crossroad I’ve experienced many times over the course of my creative life.

This crossroad split into two paths at the metaphoric fork in the road.

One path was to do what everyone else was doing. Get a record deal, Make tons of money.

The other path was to stay the same and watch fame pass me by. I would watch as producers and engineers like Rockwilder and Troy Hightower that we once worked with go on to be industry icons. While groups of the day like Onyx and the Lost Boys who once opened for us, went on to achieve gold and platinum record sales.

At the end of the day. I chose integrity. I would have had to betray my brothers Vonlyn and Valmon to go solo. I would’ve risked my life for talking gangster shit on a record and not be about that life.
I can’t predict what I would have done with the money I could’ve made had I chose differently. However.. what good is money if the public outside you as a fraud? I am sure Milli Vanilli can answer that better than I.

Crossroad…