... DJ TOO TUFF
Joey "DJ Deuce Ace Detonator Too Tuff" Hicks is the DJ and half the production force behind Philly's legendary supergroup Tuff Crew. He's the hip-hop immortal who conducted the cuts and scratches on the anthem "My Part of Town," an essential track no Philly DJ would ever leave out of their crate.
Too Tuff, 34, is also a forefather of the turntablist scene, having created pioneer DJ records like Behold the Detonator and Soul Food. After a 15-year hiatus, Hicks has spent the last year reintroducing himself to the game he helped lay the foundation for.
"Z-Trip brought me out to Central Park last year around April. He brought me onstage with Common," Hicks recalls. "There were about 7,000 people in Central Park, so that was like a soul injection, reintroducing hip-hop back into my life. From there it's pretty much been smooth sailing."
That smooth sailing has led to a relationship with tastemaking L.A. record label Stones Throw, which is currently interested in putting out unreleased Tuff Crew material, according to Stones Throw founder Peanut Butter Wolf.
"The project consists of lost archives, which are being remastered," he explains. "They include [original Tuff Crew members] Ice Dog, Mechanism, L.A. Kid, Tone Love and myself. It's sorta like going into the basement and finding some never-before-heard Eric B and Rakim studio masters from when they were doing Paid in Full. It's our version--unreleased Tuff Crew songs that probably would've been on the album after Still Dangerous."
As if that weren't enough, fans of Tuff Crew have a reunion album to look forward to. "After 15 years pretty much everybody is on board. There's a super buzz in Russia, Japan ... Europe especially is a hotbed right now. It seems like it's '89 all over again."