Who were the DJs that you looked up to when you started out? Were there any local DJs that turned you on to scratching?

Mad kids had crews. I was like "These kids are supposed to be nice? Wait till they hear me!". I just stayed home and practiced my ass off. I didn't look up to anyone locally. I liked Grandmaster Flash and D.S.T.

D.S.T was that cat! We basically dissected his style and came up with mad scratches. Flash was ill too though and not to be slept on. Flash was the first one for me. The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash was so sick. From a DJ aspect I was like whoa!

So you took what New York was doing and just raised it to another level?

Basically. We would battle it out around here – that's how the game got elevated. NY focused on MC battles and we focused on DJ battles. That's how we progressed. If you were the DJ you could fancy all the chicks. The DJ is and was big here. Actually all over the world.

And who were the main guys involved in these DJ battles?

They were mostly crews, like sound crews. But of course there was the Handmaster Flash vs. Jazzy Jeff battle. Handmaster Flash was a cat from the B-Force crew in Bottom West Philly - he was down with this kid called MC Breeze. Jeff was known as the best in Philly at the time - he was with the Network Crew.

Mad kids wanted to battle Jeff. I didn't know him at the time but I was like "Who is the best?". That just made me practice even harder. That's how you got your rep. Battling.

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You guys must have been living and breathing scratching to come up with the 'Transformer' scratch. What's the story behind that?

We used to do parties at this place called the Wynne ballroom - just about every weekend it was jumping. So you would try to be on the bill to show off your skills. Jeff and I and Cash used to play there all the time. A kid named Spinbad rocked this one night and he did 'It's Time' and spun the record back and did the transformer. For the first time! Mad people don't know this. I told this story in L.A. and they thought I was crazy.

Spin didn't know what he did. It was by mistake he spun the record back, like 'It's t – i – i - i - im - ee'. Then he brought it back the same way. Cash and Jeff were there that night. I wasn't but I heard about it. Mad people was talking about it all over the street. Cash came back and named it the transformer like the next weekend. Then Jeff put it on a record.

Were you guys all friends or was there rivalry at that time?

Cash and I used to breakdance together.

And Jeffrey?

I ran with Jeff for a little while. He took me to mad parties with him. I was looking to get on and he had the scene sewed up so he helped me get in with the promoters. I was over Jeff's house when [Will Smith aka The Fresh] Prince came over for the first time.

He was telling me "I have this ill kid coming over". I knew Will before but I didn't know who he was talking about. When I saw him I was like "Ok he's not ill". He wasn't known as an ill MC. When you thought ill you thought Rakim or KRS or Big Daddy Kane. Will was more comical and crafty.