They Reminisce Over You Podcast

Trackmasters cover art for episode 59 of the They Reminisce Over You Podcast

Oct 20, 2023

Episode 59: Trackmasters: Respect

Episode Summary

This week we’re talking about a production team that had a major influence on a time in hip hop that we spoke about in the last episode, the so-called “jiggy, shiny suit, bling bling era.” Even though they had been around since 1990 doing tracks for act like Chubb Rock, Kool G. Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shante and The Real Roxanne, 1994 is when they really started to shine. Making albums and tracks for LL Cool J, Nas, Foxy Brown, Jay-Z, J. Lo, Will Smith, 50 Cent. You can arguably say that the sound of hip hop & R&B music was defined by them. They have 23 number one singles and five Grammy awards, we're talking about Poke & Tone, the Trackmasters.


Miguel: This is They Reminisce Over You. I'm Miguel.

Christina: And I'm Christina. We wanted to take a minute to make a small request of all our listeners. If you're listening to us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Goodpods or Podchaser, leave us a five star rating. You can also leave a review as well on Apple, Goodpods and Podchaser. Ratings, and reviews will help us with discoverability. And we want to get this out to as many like-minded folks as we can.

Miguel: We wanna get on the first page of these podcast apps.

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Miguel: Make sure to follow and interact with us on social media. We're @troypodcast on the ' gram and the bird. Also check out our website, It's where we post links to a lot of the things that we mention in the show, as well as transcripts and themed playlists that supplement our episodes and more.

Christina: Thank you again for your support. You ready to get into the show?

Miguel: Let's do it.

Christina: Welcome back to They Reminisce Over You. We've taken a little short hiatus, but we're back. I'm Christina.

Miguel: And I'm Miguel. This week we're talking about a production team that had a major influence on the era of hip hop that we spoke about in the last episode. The so called "jiggy, shiny suit, bling bling era." Even though they've been around since like, 1990 doing tracks for people like Chubb Rock, Kool G. Rap, Big Daddy Kane, Roxanne Shanté and The Real Roxanne.

Christina: All the Roxannes.

Miguel: All the Roxannes. 1994 is when they really started to blow up. They started doing albums and tracks for LL Cool J, Nas, Foxy Brown, The Nigga Who Shall Not Be Named, Jay-Z, JLo, Will Smith, 50 Cent, everybody. If you were big and on the charts in the mid to late ' 90s, you probably got some work from these guys. Uh, you can arguably say that the sound of hip hop and R&B was defined by them during this time, too. 23 number one singles, 5 Grammy awards, we're talking about Poke and Red Hot Lover Tone, the Trackmasters.

Christina: [mimics air horns]

Miguel: Nice air horn there.

Christina: It's a tired air horn.

Miguel: Oh, man. So, let's get into not only the music that they did, but the style of music that they did.

Christina: Well…I guess I never really made the connection at the time, about how their music was really, their beats really influenced this "shiny suit era."

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: And, it wasn't until just doing research for this—cause to me, I guess, because they still always sounded really hip hop, that, I was watching the interview with them on Rory and Mal[1] and they were saying how, like, when they were going to start working on Nas' album, people were sort of like, uh oh. You know, they're gonna dilute Nas' sound, he's gonna sell out and go pop or whatever. And I was like, go pop with the Trackmasters? Like, as much as they did do a lot of more, like, pop-ish R&B stuff as well, to me they had always sounded hip hop. So I, I never made that connection that you could be quote unquote selling out if you get a Trackmasters hit—um, beat. But... I think, back in those days, what people called selling out was really just being popular.

Miguel: Yeah, pretty much.

Christina: Their style definitely would give you a hit. But they would still maintain, the essence of hip hop. But just thinking about how it is described now in terms of, I guess, maybe what made it sound like they were pop or more commercial, because their beats sound very polished.

Miguel: Yeah, that's basically what it was. The thing that we give Diddy and Bad Boy credit for doing with the '70s and '80s R&B samples that were real danceable and make you wanna party. It really came from the Trackmasters. They were there, at least Poke was, during the early days of Bad Boy, and even when Diddy was still at Uptown. So, they had a lot to do with the quote unquote Bad Boy/Hitmen sound as well. They did "Be Happy" for Mary J. Blige, they did the Soul For Real stuff. So, they were very influential on what we know as the Bad Boy sound.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: Before he was fired from Uptown and started Bad Boy.

Christina: Yeah, they were doing stuff for Soul For Real, and then Diddy was like, Why you doing stuff for Heav? Come over here!

Miguel: Yeah, so, they did like I said the "Be Happy" for Mary J. Blige, Soul For Real, Changing Faces, and along with the other hip hop stuff that they were doing at the time too, like Chubb Rock, like I said, The Real Roxanne, Roxanne Shanté. So, they were working. But the style that they became known for is, it started around this time, '93-'94.

Christina: Yeah, cause I don't know any of their, like, pre-'94 stuff, cause that was stuff I didn't really listen to.

Miguel: I did, but I didn't realize it was them. Until we started working on this, ' cause I had the Chubb Rock album, and I vaguely remember seeing, like, Trackmasters on it, but really didn't make the connection.

Christina: Yeah, even the early stuff in like '94, I don't think I realized it was them until maybe more like, '96, '97. Because unlike a lot of other producers, they didn't always do drops. Like, some songs you'll hear "Trackmasters."

Miguel: Right. That was a while later though.

Christina: Yes. And a lot of times it would be just Tone or just Poke working on something. There's a lot of stuff that I didn't even realize was them without looking it up or whatever. And the thing is, unlike a lot of other producers too, they don't really have like a specific signature sound, other than their style. But you know how a lot of producers, you'll just know like, oh, that's a Premier beat. Or that's a Timbaland beat because they just have like a, a tell. Whereas Trackmasters, I think what they did really well was to, cater the style to the artists.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: So, if they had an artist that was a little more pop, a little more R&B, they could take a grimy beat and make it pretty, like Mariah Carey's "The Roof." They took "Shook Ones," which is this grimy, you know, rainy, back alley beat, and turned it into like, a pretty little love song. A little rendezvous on the roof.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: And I was listening to the, the two beats to kind of hear what they changed. Because when you first hear it, you're like, oh, that's the "Shook Ones" beat. Their sampling isn't the kind of sampling where you don't know where the song came from. And I think that's what makes people—cause I've seen a lot of people say that Trackmasters are kind of lazy and they don't really change much. But when you listen to it, what they do is they change the tone. They change the feeling of it. So, when you listen to the "Shook Ones," the, that little click click sound of like when you're turning a gas stove on, they added it in at the beginning but it was quieter than "Shook Ones." And then they eventually took it out and kind of like beefed up more of like the strings, which made it sound more lush, more romantic[2]. But at the same time, it still sounds like the "Shook Ones" beat. You have this familiar beat that you love already, but then it's turned into something else. I don't know if I'm explaining that correctly.

Miguel: Yeah, 'cause when I was thinking about their music and basically all of the things that they, or people say they just sample and really don't do much, they actually do. And the way I was thinking about it is they basically keep elements of the song that is familiar to us and then they strip everything else away from it.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: And I was watching one of the interviews with them and that's basically how Poke described it is, take the drums and the bass lines completely out and then replay it our way. So, you still have the familiarity of the sample, but they changed the bass lines and the drums to kind of fit what they want it to sound like so you can tell that it's been changed a little bit.

Christina: Well, just going back to "The Roof." Like, in "Shook Ones," the dun dun, they kept that at the beginning, but as she starts singing…it sounds similar, but they changed it up a little bit to match the melody of how she's singing. And it's so subtle that if you're not really paying attention, you just, you have that recognizable sound. But when you're like, trying to listen for the differences, I'm like, oh, this part is actually different. Whereas on "Shook Ones," they keep that same loop over and over again. Whereas on "The Roof", they, they started it with that, and then they changed it just slightly. To match the melody of the song.

Miguel: Yeah, and it's really noticeable on Biggie's "Juicy" as well. You have the familiar elements to it, but if you listen to "Juicy Fruit," you can see what was changed, and how different it actually is.

Christina: So, then on the flip side, as I was saying that I think one of the things they do well is really cater to the artist. So, you have them, you know, kind of smooth this out for Mariah Carey. But then on the flip side, they could take like this kind of fun, funky '70s soul sample and make it more grimy for a rap artist. Like, AZ, for example, there's the song that I like, "What's the Deal." I can't remember what the sample is, but it's kind of like, you know, one of these funky 70s samples[3], and it turns it into this sort of Big Willie style, New York rapper sound, and, bumping up the bass lines, and just, I don't know. So, yeah, it's just, I think that's probably why they've been able to work with so many different types of artists. It's because they really like, think about how to make it match the artists instead of just, here's a Trackmasters beat.

Miguel: Yeah, and go away. Just put your vocals on it and we're done.

Christina: Yeah, yeah, do what you do with it.

Miguel: And we're done. Well, since you mentioned Big Willie style, they played a really big part in Will Smith's quote unquote comeback when he was doing the Men In Black soundtrack. And then they ended up doing his next two albums as well. I think it's funny that they were, they were saying that Coko refused to be in the video for "Men In Black" because she was like, this is wack and I'm not doing it. And that ended up being such a huge song and she's not in the video. If you watch the video, there's like, an alien that Will Smith is dancing with, singing her parts[4].

Christina: I didn't even realize it was her for the longest time. Well, now that we know their personalities a little better after watching, their reality series and stuff, I can see why she'd be like, pssh, I ain't doing this corny ass song.

Miguel: Yeah, and even Poke said when they first started working with Will, he was like, look, I know I'm corny, but I'm willing to do whatever y'all want me to do. And just put me in a place to succeed and I'm here to do whatever you want. And it worked because those songs, I wouldn't say they were corny, but they weren't your typical, I'm going to listen to this all the time type of hip hop songs. But if it came on and you were the club in '96, you gonna dance to "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It."

Christina: It's like um, like, vacation songs.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Because that, what I actually wrote down in my notes, that there's a couple, couple styles that they do, like I said, the Big Willie style, which I also think that that applies to when Nas does his, like, "Street Dreams" and stuff like that with the fancy suits and whatnot. I'd put that in the Big Willie style category too. But, and almost like when they take the soul samples and they make it like, luxe and flashy and whatever. To me it sounds like what I picture New Yorkers on vacation would be like. Like they'd be out on the beach in Timbs. Their shirts flapping like, a lot of Trackmasters beats is perfect for that. And you see it, like, in the Allure videos[5], like, Noreaga's videos. It fits. New Yorkers got a little bit of money, and now they're going on vacation in exotic locales, but they're still wearing the Timbs on the beach.

Miguel: It's funny that you say that, because I'm pretty sure in the "Miami" video, Will Smith is wearing Timbs on the beach.

Christina: Probably.

Miguel: I could be wrong, but I see him in my head with a tank top, shorts, and Timbs on.[6]

Christina: Did they, Trackmasters just do the Nore, the "what what" beat too?

Miguel: No, that was Neptunes.

Christina: Okay. Cause, he's definitely out in the sand in that video,[7] but that's how I picture it. It's like New Yorkers on vacation.

Miguel: That is funny.

Christina: Either they're on vacation or, dancing around in shiny suits and spending a lot of money. Or, like the AZ video where it's just like, I don't know if it's a drug dealer or a heist but there's money involved[8]. And there's girls and there's like, flashy.

Miguel: It's basically—

Christina: Casino. Like the movie Casino, stuff like that too.

Miguel: They are to like, the sound of music what Hype Williams is to music videos.

Christina: Yeah, okay. That makes sense.

Miguel: So, it's really shiny and flashy and expensive looking.

Christina: Right, but it's still hip hop.

Miguel: But it's still hip hop. Their music is expensive and lush and very detailed and it sounds a lot bigger than the original samples are.

Christina: Yeah, because the one thing I kept coming up with when I was trying to describe it is "lush" and "luxe."

Miguel: Yeah, and that's basically what they are. And a good example of that is, if you listen to "Street Dreams" by Nas and Tupac's "All Eyez on Me." Same sample, but one of them is just a lot more polished and shiny than the other. Like, "Street Dreams" came out a couple months after, but like I said, it's a lot more polished and it's cleaner than "All Eyez on Me."

Christina: And I think you have to, listen to it with a discerning ear. Because if you're not really, it just sounds like, oh, they just used this sample that we all know. But when you, compare it to the original, you're like, no, this is way more.

Miguel: Yeah, exactly.

Christina: I'm still just awestruck with how they changed the tone of the samples, too. So, I have another example that they did for Mariah Carey. So they did, an "Underneath the Stars (Drifting Remix)." And you probably don't know this one, or do you?

Miguel: I don't.

Christina: Their sample is Smif-n-Wessun, "Sound Bwoy Bureill."[9]

Miguel: All right, I'm gonna have to look this up.

Christina: You're gonna have to pull this up.

Miguel: Yeah, I don't know that one.

Christina: I mean, you know Smif-N-Wessun, though.

Miguel: Yeah, I know that one, but I don't know Mariah's.

Christina: And "Underneath The Stars" is one of those sweet little ballads.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: So, you definitely have to listen to this, too, and just how they flip the sample and make it work for Mariah.

Miguel: Okay, I'm gonna have to dig into this.

Christina: 'Cause as much as Mariah's down to do hip hop, she still isn't like, her music isn't like, hip hop, hip hop.

Miguel: Which is why it worked for her.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: Because it's hip hop, but as we've been saying over and over again, it's really polished and refined.

Christina: But Pretty.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: It's pretty hip hop.

Miguel: Yeah, exactly. It's not the My Life hip hop that Mary was doing, but it's still hip hop.

Christina: Yeah, this is the partying on a yacht, hip hop.

Miguel: Yeah. This is I got money now, hip hop.

Christina: I got money and these designer labels are real.

Miguel: Exactly.

Christina: I've said this before on the podcast where, when we do research and review and whatnot for each episode, I think I start to listen to things more intentionally because I'm trying to think about, like, what I want to say about it. And as much as I loved Trackmasters over the years, just really, taking the time to compare it to the original samples and really listen to it, I have like, even a bigger appreciation for what they've done.

Miguel: Yeah. They are very, very, very, influential in that time period that I mentioned before.

Christina: Specifically, I think like, '96 to '98 was like…

Miguel: Yeah, that was their window. Because they had Foxy Brown, Jay-Z, LL, Will Smith, Nas, Biggie, Allure, 50 Cent. They signed 50 Cent.

Christina: Right.

Miguel: He was their first artist on their label.

Christina: The list is even longer than that. I mean, yeah, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson. Well, I think that was a little bit later.

Miguel: Yeah, it was a little later. But, they did remixes for him. They did the, "You Rock My World" remix with Jay-Z.

Christina: Yes. Mm hmm.

Miguel: So, yeah.

Christina: And "Butterflies," I think.

Miguel: Yeah, they did the "Butterflies" remix as well. So, they were working with everybody at this point.

Christina: And you know me, I'm always saying justice for Allure. Like, that album, the one album. Well, I think they have a second album with like... cause like, one member left? I know there's three.

Miguel: I don't know.

Christina: Anyways.

Miguel: That's your wheelhouse. I know nothing about Allure other than they were signed to Mariah. And Trackmasters did the production.

Christina: Yeah, that first album, like, justice for Allure. If you like "Honey" era Mariah Carey, this is just the group version of that. And they had heavyweights, like, you had features from Nas, Raekwon, 112, LL, and Mariah Carey singing background. Like, this album is really good.

Miguel: And I noticed that the people that they work with, they always work with them. So, even if they have Michael Jackson's song, we're gonna put Jay-Z on it. If we're doing Mya's "Best of Me" we're putting Jay-Z on it. If we got another remix, we're putting LL on this JLo song, we're putting Nas on Allure. They worked with the same people over and over again, in addition to doing these people's full albums as well.

Christina: Yeah. Not only do I like a lot of songs that they produce like some of my favorite albums are the ones that they produced like said, Allure. I love Ill Na Na by Foxy Brown. It Was Written is probably my favorite Nas album actually. And there's a bunch of songs on the Soul For Real album that I like so it's like they're capable of doing more than just giving you like, a hit here and there.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Like, they can do a full project.

Miguel: Which they did. And, like I mentioned before, they didn't only do the pretty stuff. They did "Respect" on Ready to Die.

Miguel: They did "Ill Street Blues" for Kool G Rap. LL's "I Shot Ya."

Christina: Well, LL's "I Shot Ya" and then Biggie's "Who Shot Ya," so, a lot of shooting.

Miguel: Well, they didn't do that one.

Christina: I thought that they didn't, but I found an interview where they said they did, but, you know, Puffy and—

Miguel: Oh, so Diddy didn't give them credit for it.

Christina: Diddy and his sort of little credit issues. Let me see if I—let me pull it up.

Miguel: Oh.

Christina: Hold on a second. Just wait one second.

Miguel: Because I knew they did "I Shot Ya," but I didn't know they did "Who Shot Ya."

Christina: Yes. hold on. I want to get exactly what they said. Okay. This is Poke. "That's me and Nashiem Myrick from The Hitmen on the record, but they fucked up the credits. I don't stress that. I'm like, okay, it's over. He didn't know how to produce a record. He had a lot of great ideas, Puff tells me, get with Nash, try to fix this shit, there's something there, it sounds crazy, but the drums is light." Blah blah blah. So, basically what he said was, Nashiem Myrick, hopefully I'm saying his name right, from The Hitmen, made the beat. But then, Diddy was like, can you go in there and like, clean it up?

Miguel: As they did.

Christina: Yeah. so, he basically went in there and fixed it up and didn't get credit for it.

Miguel: There's a few things that happened on those early Bad Boy albums that they didn't get credit for, and I didn't know that "Who Shot Ya" was one of them.

Christina: Same, so I will send you, and we can also link to it, it's a weird article because it's on the Complex website, but it's like, this weird copy and paste, so like, the same paragraphs are repeated.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: Like, you'll read three paragraphs and then like, one or two paragraphs will be repeated again, so it's a weird read. And I'm like, did y'all just chop this from some other article, but basically, it's a part one[10] and a part two[11] of an interview with them reminiscing and talking about songs they've done. So, there's a lot of stuff on here that are not officially credited. So, I will send you those links and we can add it to our transcript notes.

Miguel: Sounds good.

Christina: But yeah, so, they did all the "shot ya's." "I" and "Who."

Miguel: And on that note, I think this is a good time for us to take a quick break and we will be right back.

Christina: Right back.

Christina: Are you enjoying this podcast?

Miguel: Hell yeah.

Christina: If you are as much as he is, there's a couple things that you can do. You can feel free to drop some coins into our collection plate at . And that's "ko-fi" K O dash F I .com. Link is also in the show notes. We're self-funded, so any support would be appreciated. And if you don't have any extra coins to spare, just leave us a 5 star rating or review. Like JLo's love, it won't cost you a thing.

Miguel: You just sitting at home on the couch anyhow.

Christina: Alright, thanks.

Miguel: Back to the show.

Miguel: Okay, we are back and we are talking about the Trackmasters and some of their productions. So, now what we're going to do is, we're going to give our top five Trackmasters songs. And we don't know what each other has picked, but I put together a list of what I think you're going to pick.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: And then we're going to see if I was correct and see how well I know your music.

Christina: Okay, because I did not think about what you would pick though.

Miguel: I know you wouldn't. And mine is all over the place. So, you probably wouldn't have been able to guess it anyway.

Christina: All right.

Miguel: So, as we've spoken about, they've done songs for Nas, Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, Foxy Brown. What are your top five Trackmasters productions?

Christina: Well, first of all, picking five was very hard. I think you should have given me ten.

Miguel: I know.

Christina: And…honestly, I'm not even final on this five. I think I was just tired of thinking about it.

Miguel: Yeah, because I chose eight for you.

Christina: Okay, so, technically this is my top five right now, and I'm gonna give you a few honorable mentions too.

Miguel: All right.

Christina: Okay? All right, you're not gonna be shocked by this. "Head Over Heels," Allure. "Affirmative Action," The Firm, you know, Foxy, Nas, AZ, and sometimes Cormega, I think.

Miguel: Cormega, Nature. Depends on when they were beefing and not beefing.

Christina: Right. "Juicy." This one was a bit of a, I was like, should I include it? Because, okay. "Juicy" is like a classic. But it's also become a huge marker of gentrification when you see a sign that says, "Spread love it's the Brooklyn way." Especially if you're in gentrified Brooklyn. So, it's kind of has this like, weird space, but the song, it's a classic.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: "What's the Deal" by AZ. And I found out recently that the guy that's singing the hook, I should have known, because voice sounds so familiar. He's the lead singer of Intro. And remember when we had talked about, male R&B groups[12], we were sort of like, justice for Intro as well. I actually like the, radio version of this song better because in the album version they have one of those stupid like, sex interludes at the beginning so there's like, a woman moaning and there's slapping sounds and stuff and the interlude is part of the song so you just got to sit through this weird thing, at the beginning. But the radio version obviously doesn't have that but the R&B hook at the end it's a little bit longer so I forgot his name, but the, the guy from Intro, he gets to belt out a little bit more, too. And the last one, "The Roof", Mariah Carey, because I also love "Shook Ones."

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: And I also love Mariah Carey, so it's kind of like, perfect. So those are, my tentative top five.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: Do you want the…honorable mentions?

Miguel: Yes. Because like I said, I chose eight for you.

Christina: Okay, so, after I made my top five list is when I found that Complex article, and that's when I found out that they also did the "One More Chance" remix, which is also a classic. I didn't know that was them because they're not officially credited for that. So, that's one. And I really like "The Message," from Nas's album. "Horse and Carriage."

Miguel: You got to have that one on the list.

Christina: "I'll Be." Well, I was tossing back and forth between "I'll Be" or "Get Me Home" by Foxy and now that I know they did "Who Shot Ya" as well, that's also another classic, so that's 10. I had "Break Ups 2 Make Ups" on the list too, but then I realized it's not one of my favorite beats, it's just I love it because it's Method Man and D'Angelo.

Miguel: Yes.

Christina: But if we're talking beats, then it's lower on the list. So, yeah. That's my...

Miguel: Your top 10.

Christina: My top 10-ish, for now.

Miguel: Okay, so these are the ones that I chose for you.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: I got half of that.

Christina: All right.

Miguel: I had for you, "Candy Rain."

Christina: I actually don't like "Candy Rain" that much.

Miguel: I figured you would go with "Candy Rain."

Christina: See, if I pick a Soul For Real song, I'd go with "Every Little Thing I Do" or "All In My Mind."

Miguel: Okay. So, next I have "If I Ruled The World."

Christina: That's a good pick.

Miguel: I also have "The Roof."

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: "Break Up to Make Up.[13]"

Christina: Well, now you know why it's lower on the list, but that, that makes sense that you would pick that.

Miguel: "Head Over Heels."

Christina: Which I picked.

Miguel: "I'll Be."

Christina: Yep.

Miguel: And "Jenny from the Block."

Christina: Oh no, definitely not "Jenny from the Block."

Miguel: I figured you would go with "Jenny from the Block."

Christina: No, nah. I think that was a little too crossover, pop hit for me. I do like some of JLo's earlier songs. But that one I was just like, ah, I don't know if I like that one. That is one of those like, Will Smith, "Miami" type songs. If it comes on at the club, you know, I'll dance to it or whatever.

Miguel: Right.

Christina: But I wouldn't listen to it for fun on my own.

Miguel: Okay. All right, so, here's my five, and it's actually six, but I had to save number six for what we're going to talk about at the end. So, here's my five. "The Message" by Nas.

Christina: Heeey.

Miguel: "Be Happy," Mary J. Blige. "I Shot Ya," LL Cool J.

Christina: Mm hmm.

Miguel: "Take You Home," Jay Z and The Nigga Who Shall Not Be Named. And "One More Drink" by Ludacris and T Pain.

Christina: All right.

Miguel: That's my five.

Christina: Okay, okay.

Miguel: And I'm sure you probably wouldn't have been able to guess that five.

Christina: No.

Miguel: So, I win.

Christina: What do you mean you win? What was this contest or…?

Miguel: I don't know. I just decided.

Christina: All right. I actually have a list of 19, by the way.

Miguel: Oh God. Oh man. Uh, there's some remixes that they did that I found interesting.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: The "U Remind Me," Usher, Method Man and Blu Cantrell.

Christina: Yes.

Miguel: Do you remember that?

Christina: I do. I totally forgot about it until you sent it to me and then I remembered it.

Miguel: And then we have "Loungin'" by LL Cool J and Total.

Christina: Mm hmm. That's also another classic.

Miguel: Here's one that's gonna come way from left field.

Miguel: "Hold Me" by Brian McKnight and Kobe Bryant. And Red Hot Lover Tone.

Christina: I think I heard that one.

Miguel: You've heard it.

Christina: I'm trying to remember. I can't remember off the top of my head,

Miguel: You've heard it. You got a verse from Kobe Bean Bryant. Speaking of, they actually produced Kobe's album that never came out.

Christina: Oh.

Miguel: After the disaster of K.O.B.E. with Tyra Banks on the hook,[14] the label pulled it and was like, nah, we can't do this. But about three to four months ago, someone posted the full album on Reddit and I downloaded it.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: And I'm gonna link to the Reddit post[15] if other people would like to hear Kobe Bryant's album that never came out.

Christina: What are your thoughts on it?

Miguel: I haven't listened to it yet.

Christina: Oh, okay.

Miguel: I've heard a couple songs from it that had gotten leaked over the years. Uh, there's one with him and 50 Cent called "Thug Poet."

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: There's another one with him, 50, and Destiny's Child. Because they were all signed to Trackmasters. Well, not Destiny's Child, but 50 and Kobe were. And there was one other one that had gotten leaked a few years ago. Like, a long time ago. But the full thing is out in the streets.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Apparently, this article[16] I was reading about Kobe last year said that he was actually a really good rapper, but the stuff he was trying to do wasn't fitting the times that he was trying to come out. He was one of those spherical, lyrical, miracle—

Christina: Oh!

Miguel: Type rappers.

Christina: Yeah, we kinda moved past that.

Miguel: But he was trying to do this Trackmasters stuff as well. And yeah, he was with a crew that got signed by Trackmasters after his rookie season.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: Some other remixes that were very interesting to me. The, uh, "Bills, Bills, Bills" remix with Destiny's Child and Sporty Thievz. That one was funny. One that's really, to me, it's bad. "Livin' La Vida Loca"—

Christina: Oh that was bad. I didn't like it.

Miguel: With Ricky Martin, Big Pun, Cuban Lake, and Fat Joe.

Christina: I couldn't get through that one.

Miguel: That one is so bad. It is so bad. Uh, we mentioned "Butterflies" with Michael Jackson and Eve. What else did they do?

Christina: So many.

Miguel: Amerie and Foxy Brown "Talking to Me" remix. So, it was just a lot of stuff that they were getting involved in—

Christina: So many.

Miguel: That I loved.

Christina: Yeah, we're kind of just scratching the surface, actually.

Miguel: Yeah.

Christina: Because I'm just listening to all the stuff that you mentioned. I have stuff on my list and then I have like, the list from Wikipedia. I have the list of uncredited stuff on Complex. Like, we are, yeah, there's so much. I have, um, the "Wishing On A Star" remix with Jay-Z. That one I really like too cause... now, that's a bass line that they put on there.

Miguel: Now, it's funny that they've done all these albums with people, and then there's two albums that nobody even pretends that they exist, and it's the two Best of Both Worlds albums. Nobody talks about these at all, but I remember. "The North remembers" that the Trackmasters did those two albums.

Christina: I just, at the time when it came out, I just didn't like it.

Miguel: Yeah, it's a hard listen because—

Christina: I mean, now, I mean, we really don't want to listen to it.

Miguel: Yeah, you don't want to listen to it now, but the problem with it back then is Robert didn't fit on those songs the way that Jay-Z did.

Christina: You just named him!

Miguel: Yeah, I had to. I didn't use his stage name, I said Robert. So, like, those songs, it seemed like they forced him onto some Jay-Z records. And that's why it didn't work for me.

Miguel: There was a couple of them that I liked, but listening to it last week, I was like, eh, yeah, this didn't hold up at all.

Christina: Yeah, I mean, I tapped out before most people anyway, so, I guess when the reckoning came I wasn't too hurt by it. However, I am hurt that there are some of the 12 Play stuff that I can't listen to anymore. I'm very hurt by that.

Miguel: So, now that we're getting close to the end, I would like to know, what is your favorite Trackmasters song?

Christina: Well, considering you asked me for 5 and I have a list of 19. Um...

Miguel: You can choose one from your 19.

Christina: Now, instead of favorites, cause this is sort of our recommendation section as well, I would recommend listening to the playlist that we're about to make.

Miguel: Okay.

Christina: That we'll make for this episode. But my recommendation instead of favorite, cause I can't pick one is, if you're looking for something more rap, then "Who Shot Ya." If you're looking for something that's more R&B, then "Head Over Heels." If you want something a little in between, then, "The Roof." And that's, if you don't know, that is Biggie, Allure, and Mariah Carey.

Miguel: Those are all some solid suggestions. I'm not gonna suggest for anybody to go listen to this song.

Christina: Okay?

Miguel: Because it's from somebody that we were just speaking about.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: And as much as I hate to say this, my favorite song that they've done, and he tainted it, but it's still my favorite song that they've done, it's the "Fiesta" remix with—

Christina: I guess.

Miguel: Robert and Jay-Z.

Christina: Well, like I said, for me, I'd already, I just, it never, none of it worked for me. It's one of those in the club songs for me.

Miguel: Exactly, and this is prime Miguel in the club time.

Christina: Okay. So, you have, you have some memories locked in with this.

Miguel: Exactly. So, I hate to admit it, but that's my favorite.

Christina: But don't go listen to it, and it will not be on our playlist.

Miguel: Don't go listen to it, just think about when you used to listen back in the day.

Christina: Or you can listen to it but don't, don't tell us, don't tell anyone we sent you.

Miguel: Exactly.

Christina: You can do what you want on your own time.

Miguel: Or, or this is what you can do. You can listen to the song from Jay-Z saying "after the party, it's the after party," until he ends his verse and then turn it off.

Christina: All right, that's a good compromise.

Miguel: So, you can just do it like that.

Christina: All right.

Miguel: All right, you got anything else you wanted to add before we end this Trackmasters episode?

Christina: I don't know, maybe we'll have to do a part 2. Nah, we won't do a part 2. Just go listen to the playlist, you get the gist. We don't have to talk about every single song and album they worked on.

Miguel: Yeah, cause it's a lot.

Christina: It's a lot. Oh, I will mention we can also link to this in our, transcription stuff as well is, if you're really into, like, digging into samples just look for them under the website and just, just listen to how they change it and it's really apparent when you, compare it to the original song[17].

Miguel: All right.

Christina: Yeah.

Miguel: That's a good place to end this off.

Christina: Okay.

Miguel: All right, so, thank you again for listening to They Reminisce Over You. We're gonna try and get back on a more consistent schedule, every two weeks. We took some time off in the summer and early fall because we like to enjoy life and go outside.

Christina: Yeah, and we went to a lot of concerts.

Miguel: A lot of concerts.

Christina: So, I recommend also going to our YouTube and see all the videos we took of all these concerts we've been

Miguel: We've been to a lot of concerts. Cross country, multiple countries, and we still have some more coming up over the next couple months throughout the winter.

Christina: So, subscribe to the YouTube as well.

Miguel: So, go, go check that out. Also, you can follow us on social media, @troypodcast, pretty much everywhere. Whatever they're calling the Twitter app now, X, Twitter, we're there, we're on Instagram, we are on Threads, we are on Facebook, @troypodcast, everywhere. Make sure to go to so you can listen to the playlists that we mentioned. Also to click on the links that we're gonna put in with this episode. Go to if you wanna buy some merch. We have t shirts, hats, mugs, all sorts of stuff there that you can buy for your friends and your family or just for yourself.

Miguel: Go ahead and get some of that. That's

Christina: Treat yo' self!

Miguel: Yes, treat yo' self. T E E T H A N G dot com. We also have a newsletter, Liner Notes, it comes out once a month, it's free, there's tons of fun stuff in it, so make sure you sign up for that at tee thang slash newsletter, and it will arrive in your inbox.

Christina: Tee thang slash newsletter? You're getting them mixed up.

Miguel: It is troypodcast slash newsletter.


Miguel: And you'll get some goodies in your inbox once a month, sometime between the first and the fourth, depending on what Monday is. The first Monday of the month. That's pretty much it. If there's anything else, we'll have to talk about it on the next episode. Until then, bye bye.

Christina: Byee!