Kool DJ Red Alert Breaks Down the Making of BDP’s “The Bridge Is Over”
Thirty years ago today
With BX representer Remy Ma steady throwing shots at NIcki Minaj from Queens, the smell of inter-borough beef is in the air and hip hop’s competitive juices are flowing. What a time to be alive!
The Bronx has a long and proud tradition of legendary MC battles, perhaps none more so than the epic Bridge Wars of the late 1980s, when Boogie Down Productions waged lyrical war on Marley Marl and the Juice Crew. Today happens to be a red letter day in that chapter of hip hop history: the 30th anniversary of the release of “The Bridge Is Over.” Three decades ago DJ Scott LaRock and the Blastmaster KRS-ONE delivered the killing blow over a dancehall-flavored track laid down by Keyboard Money Mike and Ced Gee of Ultramagnetic MCs, and the hierarchy of hip hop changed forever.
To make sense of this day, Mass Appeal reached out to Kool DJ Red Alert, who premiered the record on his groundbreaking 98.7 KISS FM mix show. “It made quite a stir,” Red says with characteristic understatement. The DJ who was instrumental in the breaking countless classic hip hop records and nurturing the careers of Native Tongues acts like The Jungle Brothers and De La Soul, actually made a cameo appearance on “The Bridge Is Over,” which BDP recorded at Power Play Studios in Queens—not far from Queensbridge(!)
In our exclusive interview, Red breaks down the roots of the conflict, going all the way back to when BDP was known as 12:41. Apparently they brought their record “Success Is The Word” to Mr. Magic who was not trying to play it on his “Rap Attack” radio show, leaving hard feelings all around. So when Magic’s boys Marley Marl and MC Shan dropped “The Bridge,” the members of 12:41, now known as BDP, decided to bust a shot in their direction. The song “South Bronx”—also premiered by Red Alert—set the streets of NYC ablaze and elicited a response from the Juice Crew in the form of “Kill That Noise.” The follow-up to this somewhat lackluster answer track was “The Bridge Is Over,” and the rest, as they say, is history. “The whole thing was fun,” Red Alert stresses. “It was all about the microphone and who demolished who.” Listen up ladies!
BDP “The Bridge Is Over”