Remembering Tony D: Bobbie Fine (B. Fine)’s Tribute

April 7, 2009 – 12:00 pm

(This is a guest post by Bobbie Fine aka B. Fine from The Funk Family, who had a very close relationship with Tony D through the years.)

I’ve made so many relationships and formed so many close bonds with so many really good people in the music industry but not very many can compare to the love and respect I have for my friend, mentor and big brother Tony D.

My other big brother from another mother YZ introduced me to Tone a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away called Ewing NJ. He took me to Tone’s when I was about 14 before we worked on the Sons of the Father album. I spit something for Tone and he was like we gotta do an album on you too! Knowing his rep as a dope DJ and the songs him and Z were coming up with I was bugging that he thought I was nice let alone record an album with him.

I recorded my very first full songs at his mom house called “I’m the Principal” and from there we made so many really good records. Some got shine, most of them were overshadowed by label politics and bullshit but definitely left a great impression on Jersey as well as the world.

When we worked on the Funk Family project in ’91, Tone was one of the people who convinced me that I could be a star. He gave me some of his hottest tracks and I remember the feeling I got when we recorded each of them as feeling free and that we were doing something amazing that would change hip-hop. I always welcomed the opportunity to go verse for verse with Tone. I knew that even though he loved making beats he was a true Emcee at heart and we did some classics together like “Lose’em” & “Dummy Move.”

All throughout my career, even when I started making beats for myself, Tony said go for it and honestly, I merely considered myself a beat maker until he gave me the thumbs up. Tone has always been my measuring stick for music. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him because he kept me focused always believed in me even when I didn’t. I wouldn’t know as much as I know about this industry and the reason why I should stay true to myself as an artist even if it means you aren’t number one on Billboard because of him.

His legacy is deep from YZ, PRT, Blvd Mosse, Suicide Posse, Black Prince & Asiatic, Too Kool Posse, Crusaders for Real Hip-Hop, Shawn Lov, Kaaos, Scott Lark, Unfound Flavors, Almighty & KD Ranks, Mo Flex, The Funk Family, Baby Chill & the Secret Squirrels, Blaque Spurm, Sworn Secrecy and so many other dope Jersey MCs. He was a pioneer and his sound is the blueprint for the J-Dilla’s (RIP), Mad Libs and 9th Wonders of today. Didn’t matter that he was just a cool ass Italian cat from Trenton, he was our big homie that blew our minds every time he tapped the SP1200 or MPC and I will always be grateful for having him in my life.

I miss you already big bro. RIP!

(ETA: Be sure to check out Rock the Dub’s interview with Bobbie Fine.)

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  1. 4 Responses to “Remembering Tony D: Bobbie Fine (B. Fine)’s Tribute”

  2. Harvey Wallbanger! Man, I just stumbled on this story and almost shed a tear. I first heard of Tony D. from his single “Droppin’ Funky Verses” on Tampa underground radio, very underrated but so dope. Through that I found out he was responsible for a lot of shit I had been diggin on, including working with PRT and King Sun, etc.

    I still have the “DFV” album on both cassette and CD. I remember too…

    By fword on Apr 7, 2009

  3. Thanks, I needed to see this. Tone will be missed.

    By Pumis on Apr 7, 2009

  4. another numba 9 banger. i need to find that cd!

    By khal on Apr 8, 2009

  5. MAN! FINE! I wanted to call you that day and my damn G1 lost all my numbers so yeah, here we sit. This was really nice to read man, and the music! OH THE MUSIC! LOSE EM IS A CLASSIC BRO! I’ll see you soon I am sure man, but stay up and keep doing what you do. I remember some of those early Funk Fam shows in Houston. Those were always off the chain.

    PEACE! and RIP TONY D!

    By MattSonzala on Apr 13, 2009

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