The feeling of a distorted Jimi Hendrix guitar solo driving a plethora of swirling Minimoogs, paired with the thunderous baritone growl of Mufasa! That is what came to mind when I heard “Freak Somebody” for the first time. Freak Fineman truly nailed it when producing this high energy, floor slamming dance track. He also wrote the perfect lyrics to accompany a feature by none other than the king of party rock vocals himself, Fatman Scoop.
Picture this- It’s a late summer night and I’m headed to the infamous Quad Recording Studios in New York City’s Times Square. I was personally invited by Freak Fineman to witness a studio session where he will be recording with Fatman Scoop, the 2X Grammy winning undisputed voice of nightlife. Chills start to run through my body as I took the elevator up to Room A. Stepping in that building for the first time that evening gave me an intense recollection of images streamed from multiple news channels the weeks after Tupac Shakur was shot here. As the elevator door opens, I am greeted by a tattoo-clad/Frankenstein Monster t-shirt/ripped black Levis/G-Star Raw Sneaker wearin’ Freak.
Being escorted into the room prior to Scoops arrival gave me an opportunity to sit down with Freak for a bit. He explained that recording here was a way for him to pay his respects and give tribute the late Shakur. Pac and Big influenced Freak in many ways, enough to make him move from Chicago to NYC, where he became the ©RIAA Muti-Platinum Producer he is today. I could tell that Freak was amped for this session. He told me that Scoop is one of his favorite personalities. Ingrained in the fabric of Hip Hop, Fatman Scoop has made hit record after hit record with the Crooklyn Clan, Big Kap (R.I.P), Jermaine Dupri, Timbaland, Missy Elliot and countless other international superstars. Giving me some more of the low-down, Freak mentioned that 2X Grammy Award Winning Engineer Bob “Bassy” Brockmann is scheduled to mix the record. Bob has over 30 nominations and has mixed The Notorious B.I.G “Ready to Die” and The Fugees “The Score”. I couldn’t help but think how crazy this all is! I’m surrounded by legends, but I was also a little confused on if I was going to watch the recording of a Hip Hop track, or is this a dance record? Lol. Either way, I’m extremely confident that I was about to witness Freak bring some fire to this studio right in front of my eyes.
Let me give you a little back-story on Freak, and why he is such a huge influence of mine. He has played on records with Bad Boy Bill, Dajae, CZR, Rick Garcia, Daryl Pandy, MC Zulu, and the list goes on. He learned to engineer and mix records from Chicago Legends Mike “Hitman” Wilson and DJ Lee Farmer. He produced “Amusement Park” by 50 Cent, which was mixed by Dr. Dre for 50 Cent’s The Curtis Album. He Co-Produced and added his musical talents (Guitar, Bass, and Keyboards) on Jay Z’s song “Say Hello” for the American Gangster Motion Picture Soundtrack. He was also a co-producer, writer and a touring musician with Roger Sanchez for over 11 years. Freak has told me how he grew up in Chicago listening to the Hotmix 5 and he feels House Music was injected into his blood from an early age, forever being intertwined with his DNA.
I had an idea for a Heavy Metal Guitar track with twisted synths in the style of Electro House and I kept hearing Fatman Scoop’s voice on it, Freak said. With every instrument I layered, Scoop just kept buzzing in my ear over and over! At the time I didn’t know Scoop, but I was determined to find a way to get him on this track. A great friend of mine named June Archer from Eleven28 Entertainment just so happen to know Scoop for several years and made the call on my behalf. I sent Scoop a reference of the Hook, he really liked it, and here we are.
With no introduction needed, Scoop arrives shortly after my conversation with Freak is over. Superstar and all, Scoop turns out to be one of the nicest, most gracious human beings I have ever met. Freak and Scoop randomly start talking about the 1931 film Frankenstein, and how the monster was never called “Frankenstein”. After a few minutes of Horror dialogue, Scoop hits the vocal booth.
I sit for the next two hours completely entertained as Freak and Scoop finish “Freak Somebody”.
Freak has recently found a home for his Creations with Shannon “DJ Skip” Syas and 4X GRAMMY Nominee Steve “Silk” Hurley on S&S Chicago Records. Dropping a monstrous remix pack by production superstars, Steve “Silk” Hurley, Rubb Sound System, Mirelle Noveron, Jump Smokers, Oliver Twizt, VALINTINO, Stanny Abram, Sean Smith, DJ THREEJAY, Matteo Candura and Gettoblaster & ZZX, “Freak Somebody” this record has gone from Electro House banger to something for everybody with multiple mixes now released.
Music Journalist – John Spinosa
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