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Ready Rock C article


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Long before he moved to the Philadelphia suburbs, acquired a beautiful wife and four rambunctious kids, was born again through Jesus Christ, and sued boyhood-friend-turned-superstar Will Smith for $2.6 million, Clarence Holmes, now 38, was simply Ready Rock C, the human beatbox. "I was always ready," he explains. "To do what? Rock. What's the first initial in my name? C. That's how it came about: Ready Rock C. Ready to rock a beat!" He's yelling all this while reclining in a plush leather love seat on a recent afternoon in his duplex's spotless living room. Ready's personal website lists his favorite color as "all of them"; he's just as magnanimous in person.

Like most beatboxers, he discovered his unusual gift early in life. A shy kid from the black middle-class neighborhood of Wynne-field in West Philadelphia, Ready liked making funny noises with his mouth. One particular routine he became known for was the Sanford and Son television theme, but with a twist: He pretended he was underwater. "That came about, me just sitting home in the kitchen with a cup of juice or something," he recalls. "I was drinking at the time, blowing bubbles, you know? And then God inspired me. I just felt it in my spirit. Like, OK, that's cool, now lemme see you do it and make a beat." Ready tries to resurrect the tune, but he's nursing a nasty cold and only manages to cough out a few frustrated notes before giving up. Embarrassed, he scoots to the kitchen and grabs a box of Clorox disinfectant wipes.

Around the time Ready's big mouth evolved into a booming beatmaker, he met a lanky rapper with big ears who called himself the Fresh Prince. "We played basketball together, went to the arcades, put change together to buy burgers from McDonald's," Ready recalls of his new friend Will Smith. The young MC needed to build his reputation as a freestyler, and it helped to have a mobile percussionist like Ready Rock C to supply the beats. Hanging out in West Philly, they were always looking to test their skills against other crews. "I mean, we would literally pull up on guys," Ready remembers. "If we seen them bobbing their heads on the corner or in a B-boy stance and it looked like they was rapping, Will was like errr!!, pulling over, out of the car, kachutt!! 'Yo, you wanna battle?!' And we're going at it." The scene is captured on the beatbox classic "My Buddy":

up4 Tryin' to beat us, that doesn't make any sense

He's Ready Rock C, and I'm the Fresh Prince

In the rap industry we're ranked as first

Ain't a better combination in the whole universe!

up4 So if you wanna battle your future looks muddy

up4 'Cause you just can't beat my buddy

"That's when hip-hop was fun, you know?" Ready says. "You could just go head-to-head, display your craft to one another, and no one gets offended or pulls any guns." The duo eventually brought in local DJ Jeffrey Townes, and the rest was history. Unfortunately, Ready was largely left out of it�"My Buddy" appeared on 1988's wildly successful He's the DJ, I'm the Rapper, credited to DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Ready appears on a number of tracks from that album and claims to have conceived the idea for mega-hit "Parents Just Don't Understand." He says he didn't mind being left out of the group's name at first, because his beatboxing was often at the forefront. But over time the omission was telling. DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince went on to sell millions of records, winning rap's first Grammy in 1988. At the awards ceremony Ready was asked to sit out the group's performance onstage, and shortly thereafter was booted from the group altogether.

Ready blows his nose clear of mucus and spits in a small Styrofoam cup. "I mean, I was kept in the background. 'Cause to be honest, I was a threat, and Will wanted the spotlight all to himself." He creases his brow. "'My Buddy' was written by Will Smith and composed by myself. In spite of how Will Smith treated me in the long run, that's how I know he felt about me. That song was about our friendship."

It's a friendship that's grown acrimonious over the years. A few years ago Ready filed a lawsuit asking for back royalties he contends never came his way. The case went before federal court but was thrown out due to the statute of limitations. Ready shakes his head. "He promised me and lied to me all these years, which is why I waited. He's very smart and manipulative." (Through a PR rep, Will Smith declined to comment.)

Ready is wearing a white T-shirt emblazoned with his own "READY ROCK C" logo stretched over a pronounced paunch. He strokes his close-cut beard and sits forward in his seat. "See all of this?" he asks, gesturing with his brawny arms at the comfortable middle-class possessions that surround him. "None of this is Ready Rock C money. I worked hard, got an education, and made this through my IT company. Will hasn't done this�pulled himself up by his bootstraps, I mean." The burly beatboxer is a seesaw of emotions. "But I'm blessed� children clothed, roof over our head, meat in the fridge . . . " His voice fades out as his face tightens into a grimace. "Even though I pray for Will, I need my money. I need to get paid!" By now he's almost growling, but quickly laughs it off.

"Ready Rock C's a cat who got hurt," Lucky says. "No doubt." He's been trying to bring his childhood hero out of retirement for some time now. "But it's like he's trying to recoup all his lost dollars�crazy dol lars� at once. We can't do that, but we can give him a mic and a stage."

http://www.villagevoice.com/music/0649,john,75213,22.html

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some advice for ready.. if you are a man of god..you shouldnt be chasing money :eusa_naughty:

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Ready did some dope material with JJFP. That's undeniable because beatboxing is also a part of hip-hop. However, the music changes ever so often and even by the end of '88, I can't say that I could see beatboxing being in the mainstream anymore. It's phased out, hell even DJs are phased out of hip-hop nowadays. It's just all drum machines and the rapper rapping over the drum loops and patterns. Rappers today don't rap to the cuts and scratches of DJs. I'm talking about mainstream though. Hopefully Rap will be taken back to its roots soon. I don't think Ready could've taken beatboxing far because of this. Sure he worked hard got and education and all-that but so did Jazzy and Will. To say that they didn't work hard to get what they have today its senseless. Ready should've taken what he was offered and shut up about it. It's over and done with.

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some advice for ready.. if you are a man of god..you shouldnt be chasing money :eusa_naughty:

What would you do if you were lied to and cheated out of all the money that you worked hard for then? Especially if you had to go out and find a new job just to feed your family? Would you want to have the money that you already earned?

Being a man of god doesn't mean that you can't have money, or get the money that you earned. Why would anyone have a job then? The main idea of having a job is to earn money, to support yourself/family, right? Well, are you suppose to not work then if you are a man of god? I'm just wondering these things because your statement doesn't exactly make total sense to me, no offense.

In my opinion, I don't blame RRC at all, even though I think he should move on from this whole thing. I would feel the same way if my closest friend backstabbed me too. He should be able to get the money that he earned. Now Will is a great person and all, and just because most of us on this meassage board are a fan of Will's, doesn't mean that Will messed up and made a bad decision/mistake. These are just my thoughts though, because I think Will did make mistake. No one, not even Will Smith, is perfect.

Thanks for the article though Tim.

Edited by bart5
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I don't think he came across 2 bitter. I mean, that's his story and having one of your best friends move one without u has gotta sting. At the same time, as a man of God, it's way past time 2 move on. I wish the best 4 him and really wish he'd do something musically in a big way. I've talked 2 him quite a few times (he's even signed my "He's The DJ..." insert and sent it back 2 me and left me a voice mail on my cell. He's good people, he's just stuck in the shadow of the early JJ+FP years.

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Ready did some dope material with JJFP. That's undeniable because beatboxing is also a part of hip-hop. However, the music changes ever so often and even by the end of '88, I can't say that I could see beatboxing being in the mainstream anymore. It's phased out, hell even DJs are phased out of hip-hop nowadays. It's just all drum machines and the rapper rapping over the drum loops and patterns. Rappers today don't rap to the cuts and scratches of DJs. I'm talking about mainstream though. Hopefully Rap will be taken back to its roots soon. I don't think Ready could've taken beatboxing far because of this. Sure he worked hard got and education and all-that but so did Jazzy and Will. To say that they didn't work hard to get what they have today its senseless. Ready should've taken what he was offered and shut up about it. It's over and done with.

I see what you are saying Jim, and I agree that Ready could have handled this situation better also. Its definitley true that Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince worked hard for their money, but RRC worked hard for his money too and didn't get what he was promised to get. I think that is what RRC was trying to say. But RRC should definitely just move on with this whole thing too, because its all in the past.

Edited by bart5
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What would you do if you were lied to and cheated out of all the money that you worked hard for then? Especially if you had to go out and find a new job just to feed your family? Would you want to have the money that you already earned?

How do you know Ready was lied and cheated out of money? Will and Jeff didn't make any money from Jive or record sales.. They made their money from a 1-900 number that ready rock c had nothing to do with.. His beef has nothing to do with Will or Jeff..perhaps Jive or record labels..

Being a man of god doesn't mean that you can't have money, or get the money that you earned. Why would anyone have a job then? The main idea of having a job is to earn money, to support yourself/family, right? Well, are you suppose to not work then if you are a man of god? I'm just wondering these things because your statement doesn't exactly make total sense to me, no offense.

I'm not talking about money to survive.. Ready sued for 2.4 million dollars.. He thinks he deserves that money.. He could have taken the 400-500, 000 dollars they offered to settle the case.. he refused and lost the case.. Well damn I would have loved 400, 000 in my bank account, but he made the decision to go after more money and lost..so he should deal with it. This is all over 18 years past when he was kicked out of the group.. I think its time to move on...

In my opinion, I don't blame RRC at all, even though I think he should move on from this whole thing. I would feel the same way if my closest friend backstabbed me too. He should be able to get the money that he earned. Now Will is a great person and all, and just because most of us on this meassage board are a fan of Will's, doesn't mean that Will messed up and made a bad decision/mistake. These are just my thoughts though, because I think Will did make mistake. No one, not even Will Smith, is perfect.

Do you know the full story? Ready thought he was the whole group..and got a very big head when they were touring in 88. I think ready rock c is one of the greatest beat boxers of all time.. I think he made an important contribution to JJFP. I also think it was right for Will and Jeff to move on in 89 without him..unfortunately the time of the human beat box had passed. Ready rock says Will is "very smart and manipulative" I disagree.. I think ready's bitter, and I think he's chasing millions of dollars(which he's not gonna get, and he needs to forget about) That's just my opinion, you may disagree.

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Will gave a lot of money to RRC before he sued him, I dont remember how much though but it was a lot of money. He also gave him the chance to be on Willennium but RRC refused... as they say, those who open the mouth for everything gets nothing... or something like that.

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You wanna tell me that beat boxing was out of time back then? not commercial enough right? well, we have the same problem nowadays with music labels, too. Jazzy Jeff is even complainig about this, and you wanna tell me that it was right to kick RRC out of the group (in 1988), just because Will thought that he's useless?

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How do you know Ready was lied and cheated out of money? Will and Jeff didn't make any money from Jive or record sales.. They made their money from a 1-900 number that ready rock c had nothing to do with.. His beef has nothing to do with Will or Jeff..perhaps Jive or record labels..

I'm not talking about money to survive.. Ready sued for 2.4 million dollars.. He thinks he deserves that money.. He could have taken the 400-500, 000 dollars they offered to settle the case.. he refused and lost the case.. Well damn I would have loved 400, 000 in my bank account, but he made the decision to go after more money and lost..so he should deal with it. This is all over 18 years past when he was kicked out of the group.. I think its time to move on...

Do you know the full story? Ready thought he was the whole group..and got a very big head when they were touring in 88. I think ready rock c is one of the greatest beat boxers of all time.. I think he made an important contribution to JJFP. I also think it was right for Will and Jeff to move on in 89 without him..unfortunately the time of the human beat box had passed. Ready rock says Will is "very smart and manipulative" I disagree.. I think ready's bitter, and I think he's chasing millions of dollars(which he's not gonna get, and he needs to forget about) That's just my opinion, you may disagree.

Yo Tim, I guess I don't know the whole story. I didn't know that RRC didn't take the court settlement money. Thanks for letting me know some of those things, because it changes my opinion on this. RRC probably did make the mistake by becoming big headed. But I still think JJFP should have kept him on the crew for awhile, unless he was doing some things I don't know about. That article on RRC was definitely favoring him, so maybe I shouldn't have listened to all of it.

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I think that there is no one to blame in this situation,but I agree that RRC should get the money that he earned.He was as much of a part of JJFP as Will and Jeff were in the beginning.But Will definetly shouldn't have stabbed RRC in the back.They would be the moste dope guys around now if the three of them formed JJFP back together.They would be the most old school rappers around :wickedwisdom:

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