Nearly 31 years after Eric B. & Rakim's Paid in Full follow-up, producer Jonathan Hay, Mike Smith and Benny Reid topped the Billboard Jazz Albums chart with their jazzy rework to 1988's Follow the Leader. Hay and Reid return Tuesday (Oct. 29) to introduce the title track's first remix, which calls on NYC's DJ Whoo Kid to bless the "Follow the Leader (Quad Remix)."
"My man Whoo Kid was the perfect choice for the first remix," the legendary Eric B. tells Billboard of having Whoo Kid in the mix. "His tapes and production defined an era when hip-hop was still grounded in vinyl but started to push boundaries on the boards. And you know my dude bleeds New York. It's perfect inspiration."
Recounting the story of how it all came together, Hay says he poetically met the love of his life on the very same night. "This was a magical evening when Benny Reid and I worked on this 'Follow the Leader' remix at the legendary Quad Recording Studios," Hay explains. "I literally met the love of my life that night. The album had just hit No. 1 on the Jazz [Albums] charts and we signed a worldwide distribution deal with Fat Beats, along with a licensing deal with Seven Seas Music. It was crazy!"