The iconic, music history making faction, P.M. Dawn have just released a new single entitled, “U”, a feel good, true love song, an incorporation of R&B, urban pop, and dream rap. The duo was the first ever to integrate Rap and song together on a track, paving the way for Drake, Kanye, Pharrell, and others like them, and inspiring Billboard to add hip-hop to the R&B Charts.
Doc G., along with K-R.O.k have released the single as a prelude to their new P.M. Dawn album, that will be available later this year. I had an intimate and telling conversation with member Doc G. regarding the true chronicles of the ground breaking duo formed in 1988 by brothers Attrell and Jarrett Cordes known respectively as Prince Be and DJ Minutemix. As a cousin and close friend of the brothers, Doc G. recalls the confidential and dramatic facts leading up to the new release, “U.” I was awed and honored to speak with Doc G. who wound up by the finale of the interview someone I can now call friend….he was cool, fun, caring, emotional and genuine….
Doc G., nice to meet you…
You’re in the 631 area code, I couldn’t believe it… I used to work out there for the epilepsy foundation on Long Island. I always keep local jobs because it’s just fun and keeps you in tune and in touch with people and it kills what I like to call “the male diva syndrome.” This way you never become an aging Rock Star.
How did you begin to record as P.M. Dawn? I mean you’ve managed to keep the sound alive, only better….
Well I’ll tell you, a lot of people don’t know this but Prince Be and I started the group when we were teenagers. My aunt Cheryl had a party at her house and we were there. We locked ourselves in one of her bathrooms. Prince Be was sitting in a dry bathtub and I was just sitting on a hamper. We were just talking it out, what we planned to do, ideas….Then, I went to the Navy, so instead of it being him and I he put his brother Jarrett, DJ Minutemix in it. He always felt that I left him. It wasn’t that I left him, but I was going through some real stuff in the Rockaway Projects. I beat up a bully, but I didn’t know he was a drug dealer. The guy offered a bunch of goons $400 to kill me. That’s all my life was worth, $400. Also, I had lost two friends that year. One I lost to some sort of illness and another one of my friends was shot. Back then the drug dealers were recruiting kids, and some of them were my brothers, to sell drugs, or if you had athletic skills they recruited you to play basketball on their teams. While I was in the Navy, after my brother’s performance in a game cost the guy to lose money, A rival Drug Dealer’s basketball team tried to kill my mother and my 2 brothers on Christmas Eve in 1991. Then they moved to Lefrak City and escaped Rockaway altogether.
I was stationed on the ship called the USS Orion in Italy, and Prince Be and Minutemix tried to get me to go AWOL. They were using their financial resources to try and snatch me off the boat and bring me back into the group. I finally decided to go for the early out because I was going through my own hell in the Navy. So I was at the transit personnel unit in Philly when my mother sent me a newspaper clipping, which I still have it, and I put it on Instagram, and it was when the KLS attacked the group at the Sound Factory. So I said, ” ok I need to come back and be with my guys.” But then they tortured me for years for leaving. They made me make drinks and buy food for other artists. So all over New Jersey, all over New York City, I was buying blimpy burgers and Whitecastle. It was cool though because I was with my guys. So we were supposed to work on the new album called “Maintain the Bliss”, but my cousin God bless, him just couldn’t control his eating habits. I couldn’t talk about this years ago. He was sneaking food all the time behind my back and with diabetes sugary foods are the drug. It will kill you the same way cocaine will. That’s what ultimately killed him. We had a disconnect because he did not want me to leave the tri-state area. But I was losing him and losing one of my aunts to cancer at the same time. Both of these people were partaking and consuming the things that were killing them. I had just gotten married and was the young father of a child and if I didn’t get away from all that death and sorrow I wouldn’t be any good as a husband or a dad. So I moved away. It wasn’t that I stopped loving anybody, but I had to make a conscious decision to take myself out of the game and just breathe. To this day it made me a pariah with my family. Prince Be and I would speak on the phone and it would make me sad. Our last conversation was him begging me to come get him out of the nursing home. He didn’t want to die in a nursing home or a hospital, but he was where he needed to be.
How old was he when he died?
He was only 46 years old.
That’s so sad.
Yeah it’s sad. It took me two years to heal up over that. I cried so much over that. I felt so much regret about not pulling him out of the nursing home, but there was nothing I could do with him. I mean I wasn’t a doctor. When someone dies you can’t beat yourself up and say “I should’ve done this, or that.” I made the right decision for my children. I feel like the show must go on. There are a lot of people that despise me with in the family for moving forward and bringing K-R.O.K into the fold. But let me tell you something when Thurman Munson’s plane crashed did George Steinbrenner say “well this is it the Yankees can’t go on.” He got another guy to play his position.
You have to live your life, it’s not a dress rehearsal.
Yeah. I tell people all the time, I praise God for the group P.M. Dawn. I used the group to save Prince Be and his wife’s mortgage three times. So when these people were trying to slander me I was going to sue them. But then I had a conversation with Larry Zerner who is an entertainment lawyer now. We are friends on the PlayStation network. He told me, “Look Greg, this is the life you chose. You are going to have haters. If you want to be in this business you are going to have haters.” He actually told me to stop being a bitch. So once I made that decision not to let what people say online bother me anymore my blood pressure went back to 120/80.
There ya go.
Then peace and tranquility come over you and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. So that’s where I am now. I dealt with a lot of adversity on the way. Some people just believe their own hype too much.
What inspired “U”?
I’ll tell you something funny. This song almost didn’t happen you know. I’ll tell you where it came from. I had a lady I was dating. She was a very nice person but she had little temper tantrums sometimes. Sometimes women get upset, they don’t like immediate change. It was one of those deals where I told you, I like working regular gigs, to stay grounded. So what happened was I was transferred from the place I was working to working in another spot. This young lady did not appreciate that. It really bothered her and affected her. She was used to me running the hospital security. Her being night supervisor we would walk up and down the stairs together and that’s how we established our relationship. So it turned out she was not seeing me all the time and she was going nuts. I wanted to do something to make her understand that I felt the way she felt. Only I had a more mature and adult approach about it. That’s the gift of writing. I realized this gift when my parents were going through their divorce. It hit me pretty hard and my mother took me to meet a wonderful guidance counselor. She taught me the power of my pen. Once she saw that I could write and when she heard that I could rap that beautiful woman taught me how to turn my rage into my passion. That’s what hip-hop was for me. It was a way to cope with everything I was going through.
She must have been a great inspiration for you.
For me, my father was like my real-life superhero. When he went away it was too much. It was too much to deal with. I really didn’t know how to handle it and there was nobody around me that I could open up to. I couldn’t tell my mother because it was hurting her and I didn’t want to burden her. It was hard seeing your dad who is my best friend and then seeing him suffer from addiction and things of that nature. Let me tell you I loved him, but he would beat the hell out of her and he would beat the hell out of me. He’s a better man now. I’ve long forgiven him for all of that stuff. He is an outstanding grandpa and I got my best friend back.
I love that story.
One of the things I’m trying to tell other people who have daddy or mommy issues, I tell them look, if you really want the relationship to heal then you have to learn to say “I forgive you.” I’m 46 years old now and I’ve learned and truly understand what forgiveness is about. It’s not for the person that did you wrong, it’s for YOU, so that you can move on from the wrong that was done to you.
That makes a lot of sense. That’s brilliant.
I have a song that K-R.O.K gave me a beat to and it’d called, “An Unfinished Life.” This song is strictly about me and my old man. So going back to “U”, I was trying to let this girl know that just because we’re not working together doesn’t mean that I don’t love her anymore or that the level changed. That’s where I came up with:
“So blessed to have a woman like you. Especially after everything we’ve both been through. I’m your Carvel bliss static heart throb. My love for you is growing every day it won’t stop. The more I spend time with you the more I see, Cupid must’ve did a drive-by on me. Undisputed love is all you give to me. And when you go away you’re on my M.I.N.D.”
Then I try to throw a little nod to the people I grew up with. I love real songwriters. One of my favorite songwriters of all time is Boy George.
Myself as well.
That’s why I say, ” Call me the opposite of Boy George on the rhyme, Your love is so powerful I’ll never miss you blind”.
So you’re a single parent, what is your main reason for doing all this?
I’m going to tell you the real reason why I want to do this thing. My oldest son Gregory III, who my friends “Baby Doc”, googled me. He saw one of my videos at a concert and said, “Daddy that’s you.” I said, “Yeah it is.” He asked how many people were there and I told him 50,000. He said “Daddy, can you do it again?” I did all this cool shit before my son was alive and I just want him to see me apply the spirit from a musical perspective. I just want what any parent wants. I just want my kids to be proud of me. I’ve done all these jobs security, garbage man, but what I really am is a bad ass MC. With or without my favorite buddy Prince Be, I can still kick ass on any stage and Maintain the Bliss. K-R.O.K acts so much like Prince Be I think that Be possessed his body, Be is reincarnated in him because he has all the damn equipment in the studio as Prince Be had, and he never met him a day in his life. He came to me on Twitter and said, “Doc, I’m sorry for your loss, I just want to help you.” That’s how he came into it. He wanted to be a part of my rebuilding and restoration.
P.M. Dawn have just released the second single off their highly anticipated new album entitled “How Can I Not Feel Love?”