Kooley "C"

Real Name:
Calvin Puckett
Kooley C (born Calvin Puckett) is a Miami Bass and Southern Hip-Hop artist based out of the West Palm Beach area of South Florida. As one of the pioneers of the genre, he has collaborated with notable figures such as Luke, members of the Cut it Up Def Records roster, and Dynamix II, going so far as to write the lyrics for their classic 1988 track entitled Feel the Bass.<p>
<b>Luke Skyywalker Records</b>
Kooley relocated to South Florida from his birthplace of Baltimore, Maryland when he was in his early teens. Meeting his aspiring musician DJ KJ, the two men began working together. Their fortune panned out when the newly formed Luke Skyywalker Records was looking for an act to follow up their one and only group, 2 Live Crew. The second Skyywalker release ever was DJ KJ and MC Kooley C's 1986 track Look and Listen b/w Sheryl and Donna (Luke Skyywalker GR-101). The single was no where near as popular as 2 Live Crew's previous release, but it did gain notoriety when the track Sheryl and Donna was included on the Skyywalker compilation Luke Skyywalker's Bass Waves.<p>
<b>Let's Get this Party Started</b>
The two songs they had on the market with Skyywalker were typical of the mid-1980's gray area between Hip-Hop and Miami Bass, as they made heavy use of the Roland TR-808 drum machine and maintained a mid-tempo at roughly 100 beats per minute. Luther Campbell, owner of Luke Skyywalker Records, gave Kooley and KJ a piece of advice for success in South Florida; pick up the tempo of your songs to maximize club play. Taking Luke's advice, the two men hired Bruce Greenspan and Mark Braccacio to engineer and help build a song of this nature, but they also produced a more traditional Hip-Hop song for the b-side (Let's Get this Party Started b/w We Look Good). Catching the attention of Damon Ware, owner of Beware Records, the single was released to an overwhelming response in late 1986, solidifying the new uptempo Miami Bass sound pioneered by 2 Live Crew.<p>
<b>Our Time Has Come</b>
With the runaway success of this song, Beware Records commissioned an album from the group, and employed them for creative consultation for further acts. Most notably, they helped get Danny D's career off the ground by advising on his debut release for Beware Records, That's the Way I Like It, in 1987. The recording of Kooley and KJ's album Our Time has Come was performed at Freestyle music producer Stevie B's studio that same year, but before the album could be mixed and delivered to the label, Stevie B had a hit record with Party Your Body in 1987, making him difficult to find. As a result, Kooley and KJ's album remained tied up in an inaccessible studio for months, and when they finally were able to retrieve it, it did not have a proper mixdown. Regardless, Beware Records released it in 1988 to a decent response.<p>
<b>Dynamix II and the Breakup of KJ & Kooley</b>
Kooley had befriended the West Palm Beach area Electro Bass group Dynamix II, and for the b-side of Dynamix's second single in 1988 (Techno Bass b/w Feel the Bass), they hired Kooley for vocals. However, after writing the lyrics, an issue arose which made Kooley unavailable, so Kooley's lyrics were recited by future Splack Pack founder MC Kid Money. During this time, friction began between Kooley and KJ. Although KJ acted as the group's producer, Kooley was the voice. Beware Records opted to hold onto Kooley as KJ sought a new deal, releasing Get Retarded on 4-Sight Records before fading away. In return for his past services, Kooley was able to hire Lon Alonzo of Dynamix II for production of his next single for Beware Records, Let Yourself Go, in 1988. As a result, Dynamix II taught the art of record production to Kooley. <p>
<b>Watchin' My Style</b>
Now in the producer's chair as well as being a vocalist, Kooley tried out his newly learned skills with the production of the single Watchin' My Style b/w Let's Dance for Beware Records in late 1988. Unlike previous efforts, the a-side was the traditional flavored Hip-Hop song Watchin' My Style, whereas now the b-side contained the obligatory uptempo club Bass song Let's Dance. Making the a-side the traditional Hip-Hop song showed where the Baltimore native's heart was at, and primed the listener for the sound of the upcoming album. With KJ out of the picture, and his childhood friends Techno Scratch & Frank Cola taking over DJ'ing duties, they produced the full length album Watchin' My Style in 1989, with help from Lon Alonzo again (who was now ejected from Dynamix II). The album was dominated by an unusual blend of Public Enemy like noises over thumping Miami Bass drum sounds, but it also contained a small number of uptempo Bass songs for the South Florida audience.<p>
<b>Cut it Up Def Records</b>
The West Palm Beach rap music scene was a close-knit one, so when something new began to brew, chances are, even the established artists are aware and would help out if the project was quality enough. In 1989, DJ Jealous J and DJ Jock D began producing, scrathicng, and rapping for a man named Scorpio. Scorpio, also known as "Bob", ran a satellite dish store, which doubled as Cut It Up Def Records, and Jock D's partnership with former Dynamix cohort Lon Alonzo enetually led to Kooley, who was already seen as a legend in the West Palm area. Right away, Kooley helped out with the Cut it Up Def released track Get Up by Jonski.<p>
<b>Brush with Major Label Stardom</b>
Kooley's second album made a decent enough mark to keep Kooley on Beware Records, so he was able to follow up the album with the uptempo X-rated single Nibble on my D in 1990. By this time, Miami Bass was seen as a possible commodity for the mainstrem, so major labels came into the area looking for groups to cross over. Thanks to Kooley's status as one of the founders of the genre, he was caught in the limelight, and negotiations began between the major labels and Damon Ware for Kooley's major label debut. However, the major label rep came to Kooley directly, asking how much Kooley wanted as an advance. Kooley was quick to launch a figure he thought adequate, and after the money was divided between Damon, Kooley, Frank Cola, and Techno Scratch, Kooley walked away with virtually nothing while Damon took the lion's share. Unnerved by not only the math, but the fact that Damon was not negotiating the deal, Kooley broke off the relationship with Beware Records. As recoding began on Kooley's major label album, sample clearances were becoming an issue, drying up the budget prematurely. As a result, the album remains shelved to this day, and his stint with the majors ended abruptly.<p>
<b>Partnership with Jock D</b>
Returning to his roots, Cut It Up Def Records was quick to work with him again, so in 1991, DJ Jock D remixed his status earning hit Let's Get this Party Started just as Cut it Up Def landed an album deal with Pandisc Records. The song acted as the grand finale of the album, again solidifying Kooley's legendary status. After Cut it Up Def Records had a falling out with Pandisc Records, Pandisc was quick to seize the talent, commissioning Jock D, Jonski, and Kooley for the 1992 single Da Bootie Crew. However, these men were unhappy with the new direction Bass music was going by this time and the shortchanging of Pandisc, so they maintained a come/go relationship with the genre and local labels. Some Cut it Up Def alumni formed Bomb Threat Productions, which included loose-knit acts that featured Kooley such as Da Product and The Gods of Quad. Some of this work was released independently, and some appeard on a compilation by Da Phat House Records entitled Pure Miami Bass, but mostly, Kooley and Jock continued to record masterpieces throughout the 1990's that never saw the light of day.<p>
<b>Comeback as a New School Producer</b>
Kooley teetered between being in the South Florida music business, and moving around the country avoiding the business, but seemingly overnight, Kooley updated his sound and became a sought after producer of new young acts in the 2000's. Most notably, his work with Pretty Ricky has created a hit, and his reunification with Cut it Up Def alumn DJ Jealous J (now known as Jim Jonsin) is proving to be very fruitful as they work with new school artists such as Pitbull.<p>
Kooley C continues to live and produce in South Florida
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