Sometimes, things happen overnight. Other times, culture has to simmer....
Ruff Cut Records has been in the making for 10 years. Hutchy, the
Jamaican MC, started out in 1992 as a club promoter and MC in Washington, DC. The name of his party was Exodus, and it happened every Friday night on the corner of Connecticut & K Streets NW. That¹s where Hutchy developed his style of incorporating a vast array of musical styles rare groove, house, hip-hop, and funk.
"At the time I was doing it it was unheard of," recalls Hutchy. No one had ever done this before. Not even New York. At a later date, I learned from the Brand New Heavies it was not done in London either. So I have to have been the originator or at least one of them. It is also difficult to convince most who have heard my performances that I am not the originatorfor that of music."
The club where this all went down was called "The Down Under." The venue served as a deli during the day and turned nightclub after dark. ³We were the first promoters to have done this in the city,² recalls Hutchy. Exodus immediately took off and there was no turning back. Soon there were large lines forming outside the club's entrance. The crowd was mostly an international, multiracial and the first gathering of its kind in Washington D.C.
Ali, currently with Deep Dish, and Hutchy were the main selectors. While the music pumping and Ali spinning rare grooves, Hutchy would move to the Control Tower (the club¹s dj booth) and introduced himself to the crowd as the master of ceremonies..."Your money, my money, and many money." From the sound system blasting you could hear Hutchy chanting through the speakers,
"Emergency man! Respect! Jesus Christ----- it's nice!!!" and the crowd just went crazy. The party had just started.
Hutchy wasn't the only player in the game: Exodus also featured of Ali & Sharam (Deep Dish); Brian Transeau, who is now known as BT; Eric Hilton, now Thievery Corporation; Farid who is now Rhythm and Culture. "That was a wicked crew, so much talent under one roof," says Hutchy proudly. "People commonly ask me what took me so long to fulfill my dream, but back in 95 I had a record release circulating on pop radio," says Hutchy. "However, the attitude of the whole music business turned me off so much
that I turned to the underground. I was doing a few projects here and there but nothing serious. Whenever I would show up at a gig I was confronted with\ questions of when my cd is coming out. This gave me the drive and support to get back into the game."
"Still a novice to the music business, my mind was made up of what I wanted to do and this was to own my own label, produce and perform. I came up with Ruff Cut label 10 years ago not having any engineering skills or musical training. The first computer I bought was 6 years ago with the assistance of a computer specialist. I totally drove him crazy because my standards were too high until I finally got one custom built for music production."
Hutchy chose to go the digital route over analog for the sake of simplicity. "Simplicity is the best policy,"he says.
Hutchy is a self-taught engineer who had no prior computer experience. "Seven years ago if you asked me what a mouse was I would have said a rat in the kitchen," he says. "I have come a long way since making my first song and defining the future of Ruff Cut. I have the ability to do multiple tasks in the studio, creating my own beats, singing and toasting"(rapping). The first set of releases on Ruff Cut will be all Hutchy's creation, and in the future he will be producing other artists in the genres he's familiar with, including reggae, dub and electronica. Ruff Cut will be emphasizing originality and there will be no profanity in the productions. "Ruff Cut will be known as a clean label," says Hutchy. No problem man.