Fresh Roc Productions

Fresh Roc Productions, a hip-hop music production company which was founded in Spring of 1985 by DJ Willie Fressh aka Willie Drew and DJ Roc-D aka Dan Brown, Jr. in Dallas, TX, was instrumental in the birth of the Dallas, Texas hip-hop/rap music scene in the mid 1980's. After listening to cassette tape recordings of New York mix shows which showcased pre-recorded turntable mixes by deejays like DJ Red Alert, DJ Marley Marl, DJ Chuck Chillout, and DJ crew the Latin Rascals, the duo of local party deejays decided to create Fresh Roc in order to create pre-recorded hip-hop/r&b mixes for sale to the public as well as radio publicity.

Fresh Roc became well-known for their creativity by recording their mixtapes via multi-tracking hardware. The crew's 4-track mixtapes were highly sought after by high school kids in the Pleasant Grove section of Dallas, Texas. The crew soon inspired the creation of the "Freaky Fresh Friday Mix Show" hosted by DJ Nippy Jones on community radio station KNON (then 90.9 FM and now 89.3 FM). Nippy Jones, known for featuring live Deejays in the studio like DJ Scratchmaster FDS now known as DJ Dallas Scratch (who introduced the guys to Nippy), was approached by FRP with the concept of showcasing pre-recorded mixes on his show. Nippy was blown away after sampling the work of this duo and decided to showcase them every Friday afternoon on his show which aired Monday through Friday from 12noon til 3:00pm.

This show quickly became one of the most listened to programs in the city of Dallas and facilitated Nippy's move to commercial radio station K104FM (KKDA) in 1987. Nippy continued to feature FRP and their growing roster of Deejays/Producers like DJ Jam Kutter, DJ Davy Def, DJ Sir Snoopy, DJ Curly, Mixmaster Jamm, Winston Flood, DJ B-Insane, and DJ Tip (feat Funky Lee). These Deejays became producers who attracted the most talented MC's in the city and created a title wave of local rap recordings to fuel the rap scene in Dallas and created a foundation and platform for successful artists today.

In 1986, Willie Fressh urged best friend and confidant Michael Sharp to join the organization in order to provide structure and focus to the group. Sharp, recognizing the potential and talent of the FRP roster, quickly formed Razor Sharp Artist Management and began seeking venues for these artists to be heard. Unfortunately, at the time, there were no venues available for young rappers to showcase their skills in Dallas. Sharp decided that if these artists would be showcased, then the best move would be to create venues for them to perform. Behind the scenes, Fressh and Sharp worked along with their entertainment lawyer, Randy Bowman, who also worked with Tommy Quon and his protege, Vanilla Ice.

In 1987, Sharp began setting up shows for his acts in Bowling Alleys, Armouries, Recreation Centers, Skating Rinks, apartment clubhouses, Schools auditoriums, and even as regular guest entertainers at the McKinney Job Corps. FRP became a powerhouse of deejays, producers, rap artists, singers and dancers who went on to provide command performances and release various recordings between 1987 and 1994.

Local Artists who participated with Fresh Roc, enjoyed enormous regional and statewide success, but none were quite able to explode onto the national scene. Fressh Roc included the following acts: MC K-Cold, Miss Vee, Dizzy Def, Gemo, T.Y.E., AGLOVE, K.A.O.S.S., Full Effect, Philly Boy, Sir Snoopy, STO, AMD-Criminal of Violence, Devo X, Mad Wisdom, MC Jesse Jess aka Kottonmouth, Mecca X, Mark Dog Productions, MC Nikki, Elite Gangsters, Michael Sheffield, Mannish D, Infrared, Bo and Solo, UpTighT, BKM-10, NX, Lethal MC, and Dekumposed, to name a few.

Summer of 1987, FRP was the driving force behind the conversion of a fading teen skate spot called "Fast Times" which was transformed into Club Countach (see Lambourgini). Countach was the first Dallas-area club to successfully merge various cultures from Anglo, African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American, and more. There was very little violence thanks to a strong presence of off-duty Garland police personnel. Club Countach wasn't the first hip-hop venue in the Metroplex, but it was the largest with a capacity of about 3000. Club Countach was host to parties, concerts, and live radio broadcasts which quickly became the hottest destination for hip-hop lovers all across the metroplex and launched many artists professional careers. In Early 1988, FRP hooked up with local radio celebrity, Dr. Rock in order to create a Saturday Night Extravaganza that was broadcast all over North Texas via the airwaves of K104. This is where the Dallas music scene showed the most promise due to the increasing number of venues created to expose local artists and their ideas.

After Countach faded in early 1990, Fresh Roc Productions made local music history as their acts: MC K-Cold, Miss Vee, AGLOVE and Gemo along with K.A.O.S.S., became the first hip-hop artists to ever perform at Deep Ellum hotspot, Club Trees in 1990. They later performed before a capacity crowd as the opening acts for the Geto Boys (Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Bill) at the same Club Trees. FRP then became regular performers at the first Hip-Hop Club in Deep Ellum called Club Americana.After Fresh Roc disbanded in 1995, DJ Willie Fressh continued to work under his production company called Knee Deep Productions, with such notables as Erotic-D, MC Breed, Nemesis (rap crew), Ra'koo Nation, DJ Snake, Ron-C, Bumble-B, D-Kru, Litefoot (Credited as "Litefoot and Big Will" as writers on the score for motion picture "The Indian and the Cupboard" starring Litefoot), Liz Mikell, DeJuan, Gugu, MC E-Rock, Top Dolla aka Richie Rich, Quint Black, Dezire (Fila Fresh), MC Azim, Daze and Raggtop, Mayhem aka Corey Johnson, Khrome & Bone, Doeski, Mike Grayson, Gangster C, Willi Will, Los Hill and Groveside.

In 2000, Fressh started EsQwire productions which was setup to produce and distribute mixtapes and mixed CD's which were in high demand for the new millennium.

References


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