Stupid me but I JUST realised that last year when I interviewed Joell Ortiz in New York, it was at Powerplay.
This was DJ Premier’s workplace before D&D Studios. The booth where Rakim recorded the whole Paid in Full album, where Nas did the first of It Ain’t Hard to Tell’s many versions… Fat Joe, LL Cool J, Mobb Deep, Run-DMC, BIG, and Jay-Z also laid classic verses here in this one room studio lost in Queens. The place used to be called Power Play until 1998, when it was sold. In Ya Ear is the new moniker, Joell Ortiz, Cory Gunz and Cormega are some of the regular customers… Rob and Ax (formerly of Powerule), the proud new bosses, shares thoughts on the vast legacy of this joint. Greatest moments include the (long) making of The Big Picture , Big L’s posthumous album, by his friend and mentor Lord Finesse.
Baddest moments ? Well… Thing is : Power Play was sold for a reason. The old owner was fed up with rappers and labels not paying their studio time. That’s why he kept each and every reel until somebody paid the bills. That’s why Rob and Ax ended up with dozens of masters from Finesse, EPMD, Rakim, etc.
I’m sure you’ve started guessing already : the treasure was sitting here, and… something bad happened. In a New York Minute.