Friday, April 12, 2019

Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three

Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three was an old-school hip hop group best known for the singles "The Roof Is on Fire" and "Request Line", both of which have been sampled by many other groups, for a large variety of genres. Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three grew up in the Bronx, New York, New York, where three of the members lived in the same building on Webster Avenue.

As youngsters, Richard Fowler (a.k.a. Slick Rick; not to be confused with the much more famous rapper of the same name) and Gregory Wigfall (a.k.a. MBG or Master Blaster Greg) played sports together, while Charles Pettiford (a.k.a. Charlie Prince) preferred to remain indoors playing music. Richard was also into music, and he played drums, mixed music, and belonged to another group; however, this was never known to Charles. And MBG (Steve Ward)

Gregory, a photographer, gathered the two together for a show performance in New Haven, Connecticut, at a club called Le Joint which run by his cousin Cody. Richard did not want anything to do with Charles due to the fact they had a previous dispute about his childhood sweetheart. Therefore, he wanted another person, Buster, to accompany them. Buster also lived in the building across from them. Gregory brought Charles anyway, along with both Richard and Buster. At the New Haven show, they had yet to come up with a group name, so they were just called Charlie D and the Crew. They performed, stayed out there with Gregory's family members for a several days and then returned to New York City. They then decided to call the group Devilish Three. Buster could not continue to be with the group because he was an MC for another DJ named Smitty Rock and his MC partner's name was Charlie Rock. Gregory decided to replace Buster himself.

They were still called Devilish Three until they entered a battle at a club across the street from their building. The club, Your Spot, was a former Burger King fast food restaurant which was converted by Jerry Blood Rock to a nightclub. Rock needed to get some known MCs to perform there as a grand opening. The Devilish Three was one of the groups he asked. The only problem was they did not have a DJ.

They all knew of a neighborhood DJ known as Kool Dee. Since Charles was taught how to mix and scratch records by him, they asked him to be their DJ for the battle. He agreed, but they never had time to practice with him, and so they practiced amongst themselves.

Although the group won the battle with Kool Dee, they felt they needed to get a reliable DJ. That is when they joined with Mark Scott, a.k.a. Rock Master Scott, previously known as Rockmaster. Scott was the DJ of another group who was also in that battle.

The group was inspired by The Cold Crush Brothers and The Fantastic Five who participated in many battles. Practicing at Gregory's mother's house from time to time, the new group's main spot to practice was at Richard's mother's house. She acted as a mentor and gave inspiration. They would be rehearse in her living room while she would sit on the couch watching them, making sure they did it right. She acted as hostess and critic and was involved in their act until her death.

The group started performing with other local groups such as The Cold Crush Brothers, Grand Wizard Theodore and The Fantastic Five, Master Don Committee, and DJ AJ when he was with Chief Rocker Busy Bee. They started performing in places like T Connection, Harlem World, also places in New Jersey with other groups such as Sweet, Slick and Sly.

Some shows were for a promoter named Armstrong. Scott had a connection with another promoter, Man Dip Lite, who always had shows lined up for Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. He organized gigs for Master Scott & the Dynamic Three at a roller skating rink in Long Island. Eventually, Jerry Blood Rock wanted to record the group in the studio. It took one year from the time of him asking them, but finally they recorded their first song, "It's Life (You Gotta Think Twice)". DJ Wiz Kid was responsible for the music. This was the first time they had ever seen a recording studio, which was called Unique Recording Studio. Once the song was complete they waited for about one to two weeks, and Jerry Blood Rock (the song's producer) showed the group the pressing of the records on his record label, Reality Records.

These records were hawked to local record stores. Charlie Prince was working at a record store, Rock N Soul, part-time. He convinced the store's owner to buy a few boxes. After the group began receiving some radio exposure, Profile Records became involved, particularly for distribution. The group became neighborhood superstars in 1983. In 1984, they recorded the songs "Request Line" and "The Roof Is on Fire", using two different studios. One was Joey Moore's small home studio; Moore was one of Jerry Blood Rock's associates. They laid the track "The Roof Is on Fire" there along with "Request Line" then took it to unique studio to complete the work. Once Reality Records released the new music, it was well received.

As the group's popularity increased, shows were booked more often and further away from the group's New York homes. For example, Master Scott and Charlie Prince flew to a performance in Fayetteville, North Carolina while Rick and MBG remained in New Jersey. That is when they met Divine Sounds. Eventually the group performed on a tour called The Jamatron. Other rap artists included Kurtis Blow, Doug E. Fresh, UTFO, Lisa Lisa, Roxanne Shante, Whodini, The Real Roxanne and many others.

The Dynamic Three released a subsequent album, Still on Fire, in 2008.

Rock Master Scott, or Mark Scott, is retired in Stewartsville, New Jersey.

Charlie Prince has produced albums for up-and-coming artists such as Sean XLG Mitchell, Murda Mommies and Triple T. He has also released his own music, under the name "Charlie Prince And The Family". His albums include From the Dark Womb and Just Matured At It. Charlie Prince also started his I See Entertainment Inc. in 2004, and continues to record in his home studio in Virginia.

Greg Wigfall (MBG) became a Connecticut state trooper in 1985. He has since retired, and is now a photographer/videographer

The member of Rock Master Scott & the Dynamic Three known as Slick Rick is not the much more famous rapper also known as Slick Rick. The two were rappers at the same time, and both were on the same label, Reality Records, which has only added to the confusion. The Dynamic Three's performer contends that he is the original Slick Rick, as the release date in 1984 of "Request Line" by Rockmaster Scott & the Dynamic Three precedes the release in 1985 of "The Show" by Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew, which features MC Ricky D who would eventually use the moniker Slick Rick.

The group released more than these two songs, but "The Roof Is on Fire" (1984), which charted at #5 on the Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales was the main focus at the time. The A-side track "Request Line" reached #21 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.

The phrase and hook from "The Roof Is on Fire" has become more notable than the band itself, having been sampled by groups such as Chemical Brothers, Coal Chamber, Kid 'n Play, Rancid, The Pharcyde, and the Bloodhound Gang and many others.


The Roof is on Fire

Request Line


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