8 Million Stories, a series of short video portraits of New Yorkers. Enjoy!
Alonzo Brown is known by Hip Hop fans as Mr. Hyde of the significant early 80’s rap duo Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde.
Alonzo is a born and bred Harlemite. He got his first dose of Hip Hop at the historical Harlem establishment The Renaissance Ballroom. Known as the Renny, it was located on Lenox Avenue and 137th Street, and had a long history as a casino, venue and cinema. One particular night at the Renny, Lovebug Starski’s performance left a lasting impression on Alonzo. It was then that he found his calling and started practicing his skills on the mic.
Through Alonzo’s older brother he would meet future partner-in-rhyme Andre Harrell. Later they formed the group Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, got signed by Profile Records and left us with such urban anthems as “Fast Life”, “Gettin’ Money” and of course the masterful “Genius Of Rap”. Before Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde recorded anything though, Alonzo put out a song, “Young Ladies”, under the name Lonnie Love, produced by the Aleem Twins.
Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde were known to perform at Harlem World, located on 116th Street and Lenox Avenue. The establisment was owned by “Fat Jack” Taylor, a legend in Harlem, and the mastermind behind Rojac and Tayster Records. Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde eventually became close with both Fat Jack and his right hand man OC Tolbert. Alonzo even wrote a song for OC who had been recording Soul and Gospel music since the late 60’s. By 1986 the Champagne of Rap, as Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde were sometimes refered to because of their welldressed appereances released their last 12” single.
If you have any stories to share about O.C. Tolbert, “Fat Jack” Taylor or the Harlem World Cultural Center please get in touch:
vingaard–films (at) hotmail.com
(please remove the spaces)