Spilt Milk — December 17, 2006
The photo above was taken back during the time when Gloon was The Man.
He was the co-founder of Roster X Records which was valued at $58 million and he was 11 deep in platinum albums produced.
Then he met a girl named Stripes.
Their love affair was full of fire and fury.
The problem was they both entered the affair thinking fisticuffs was a natural part of the deal. When they learned different, it was that same love for each other and the child Stripes was carrying in her womb that caused them to part ways until they could figure out how to love without anyone getting punched.
Gloon hasn’t seen Stripes since. He has yet to meet his daughter Simone (now four years old) because of the pact he and Stripes made that Simone would never see the abusive side of their relationship.
This is where we all thought Gloon had lost his mind.
He began making odd choices in the artists he produced, moved between Europe and Africa for a year and a half taking low key music production jobs and generally kept extra quiet about why he was doing the things he was doing.
While we all thought the man had gone crazy though, he was quiet for a reason.
“All I knew was how to command respect through violence and intimidation. I had to walk away from everything to learn how to earn respect through my character.”
That meant leaving Roster X, but some things aren’t so easy to walk away from.
“I spent two months putting my affairs in order before letting Saul (Jager, Roster X’s other co-founder) know that I was leaving. Behind the scenes at Roster X, things are THAT serious.”
When he left, he took nothing.
No master tapes. No artists. No money.
Spilt Milk: You were entitled to so much, why did you take nothing with you?
Gloon: That wasn’t some kind of benevolent action on my part. It was common sense. You have to understand that to be signed to Roster X Records, someone close to you has to commit violence in your name. If the victim died, you got better points on your deal. I couldn’t be part of that anymore, but I also didn’t want to be a victim for the next signed artist either.
SM: Explain what you mean by ‘violence was committed in the name of the artist’.
Gloon: When Roster X feels like you have everything they want musically, before they put a contract in front of you, a representative of the label will secretly approach someone close to the artist like a friend or family member with the ultimatum that they shoot or stab a particular person the artist has a connection to of some kind. If the friend or family member commits the crime to Roster X’s satisfaction, the contract will be offered. If they don’t, the artist is dropped from consideration.
The entire label’s roster is made up of artists who’ve had someone hurt or killed for them to be signed. Most artists never know it even occurred, but some, like Benjamin Banneker figure it out. That’s why he was quick to depart the second his contract term was up. It sickened him to be associated with us.
SM: How did the practice begin?
Gloon: It was an idea Saul came up with after he used violence in my name to get me out of my deal with Big Giggles. That’s how things get done in the streets, and it quietly gave us as a record label a certain amount of leverage when it came to making business deals.
SM: Can you give us a name of a band that didn’t get signed simply because the violence wasn’t committed?
Gloon: Flame of Halos. It was the guitarist’s dad that was approached. He was supposed to shoot one of his son’s teachers that had always been supportive. The dad refused and told the band what the label had demanded that he do. It took me a month to convince them to let me produce their album for a reduced rate.
SM: So did you only produce them out of guilt?
Gloon: Music is part of the fiber of my being. I knew that if I was going to grow into a better human being, I was going to have to grow into a better musician and producer as well. That’s why I took on the projects I did. They challenged me and forced me to learn new skills and ways of dealing with people. Also, I liked their music.
SM: So now you’re back to working in rap for only the second time since leaving Roster X Records back in 2002. Who are you working with?
Gloon: Aristotle Troublefield. He’s got something that I think hasn’t been fully realized yet and I’m hoping to bring it out.
SM: Can you explain what that something is?
Gloon: There’s a truth there that Aristotle hasn’t told yet. I can feel it in my bones when I listen to his music. I intend on bringing it out of him.
SM: At any cost?
Gloon: I’m not going to hit him if that’s what you’re asking. The thing is, I can hear the mild depression he’s suffering from in his voice and his lyrics. Depression is how I got fat and why I won’t let you take a current picture of me. Now I know how to get to deeper truths than what I was having artists tell back in the old days. It’s gonna be rough, but it’s gonna be worth it once Aristotle comes out the other end.
SM: You do know that Aristotle is signed to Dawn Mega Records and that Dawn’s sister Stripes is the President of Artist Development for Dawn Mega Records, right?
Gloon: I know. I’m concentrating on Aristotle’s record though. I have to keep Stripes out of my head although I admit it’s a hard thing to do.
SM: Do you think this record will be your return to prominence? While Mellow Noma’s album was well received, he got most of the credit for it.
Gloon: I think that it’ll be the best thing I can do right now. That will just have to be enough. Everything else will take care of itself in due time both with my career and with Stripes and our child together.
SM: Well, by all appearances, she’s waited for you.
Gloon: Then when the time is right for her, she’ll take me back. Until then, like I said, my best will just have to be enough for me. Otherwise, disappointment can undo all the work I’ve already done and I’ve been a fool long enough to not fall for that trick again.
As he said that last quote, Gloon was pulling up to take Aristotle on a ‘field trip’. It was to be the beginning of Aristotle’s journey to the truth Gloon hopes to bring out on Troublefield’s new record.
As I listen back to transcribe the recording of our call, I can’t help but think…
…it all sounds like he has this sorted out logically, but if Gloon is going to avoid playing the fool, he better first understand that regardless of what the mind thinks, nothing informs action like the heart and his heart still beats for a woman named Stripes and the daughter they share.
By: Kyle Ryder
NOTE: Photo is a model portrayal of a fictional character.
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