frozen explosion - "mac nife" (download)
For quite some time now, I've been sort of obsessed with this obscure old school hip hop record from B-Boy Records circa 1988 from a group called Frozen Explosion. I've been trying to track down a vinyl copy of this album for years (occasionally, they pop up on eBay but are quickly snatched up). The group has been fairly mysterious. Very little has been known about them, and Google searches have turned up a little less than a page of actually useful information. I decided that I needed to track these guys down and find out at least a little bit more information about them and find out what they're up to now. Through a quick online search, I tracked down Frozen Explosion's main MC, Deep Freeze (Milo Gralnick), who was more than happy to answer a few questions for me. He also directed me to producer DJ Blizzard (Eric Post) to answer a few more questions. I learned about their affiliation with Jeremy Piven, the background to the hockey (or skiing) gloves on the cover of their record, and a bit more. Take a look.
Tell me about what inspired you to form Frozen Explosion?
Frozen Explosion was inspired by the early New York Hip Hop scene.
Do you still talk to Babs/Barbara? Can you tell me more about her, and what her reaction to the song was?
Babs is the one song on the album with lyrics written and performed by Mr. Blizzard. It was written about his ex girlfriend. She had a great body. I think she was flattered by the song. I have not seen her for many years. I don't know if Mr. Blizzard is still in contact with her.
Explain where the idea for wearing hockey gloves on the cover of the Frozen Explosion album. Did you play hockey at the time?
I believe the gloves were designed for skiing. I shoplifted the gloves from a store that sells outdoor adventure gear. I do not play hockey but I do like to skate and ski. I wore them because they were fresh.
When this record was released in 1988, did you catch any flack for your skin color? Or did the presence of the Beastie Boys at the time make it more acceptable?
I never caught any flack for being a white rapper.
Are you still in touch with DJ Blizzard or DJ Mac Nife?
I am still in touch with Mr. Blizzard and DJ Mac Nife.
The intro to “Iwo Jima” is a bit reminiscent of the intro to Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story.” Was this intentional?
Mr. Blizzard wrote and performed the intro for Iwo Jima. I assume it was inspired by Slick Rick but we would have to ask Mr. Blizzard to be certain.
Any memorable show experiences from back in the day?
I do not have any memorable show experiences from back in the day. We did not perform many live shows in support of the album.
Tell me more about your old band God Made Velcro, and how did you get Jeremy Piven to star in your video?
God Made Velcro was a rock band that played live regularly. My most memorable show experience was opening for a band called Pusherman. Jeremy Piven is a personal friend of mine. He did the video for fun and I think he dug the woman in the video. (Catch God Made Velcro's "Shock the Mind" video, starring Jeremy Piven here)
Can you tell me a bit more about your current musical projects? I noticed you released a new rap record as Lord Freak a couple of years ago, and your solo stuff as Milo Gralnick?
Lord Freak is my new rap name. I released Gangsta Hippie in 2004. It's a dope album. I highly recommend it! My most recent release is a solo acoustic album entitled Stones of Love. Both of these recordings are available on cdbaby.com.I currently perform regularly with my band called The Peacelords.
Do you recall where the name "Frozen Explosion" came from?
I came up with the name Frozen Explosion. This was back in the day when every rapper was "cold". Picture a bomb in an ice cube about to explode.
Are Mr. Blizzard and DJ Mac Nife still making music? Do you know what they're up to these days?
Mr. Blizzard has a dub band called Roly. Mac Knife writes about the hip hop scene. I am not certain if he still makes music. He is on Facebook as Darris Hoskins.
Was the "Iwo Jima" / "Babs" 12" and the "Frozen Explosion" self-titled album the only releases you ever put out?
Iwo Jima/Babs 12" and the Frozen Explosion self titled album were the only B-Boy Records releases put out. I have continued to release 12" vinyl and CD albums on my own independent labels (Bootleg Records, Decompose Records, and currently Gangsta Hippie Records).
I'm assuming you have left NYC. Where are you located now?
I live in St. Louis. Mr. Blizzard also lives in St. Louis. I believe Mac Knife is in Atlanta.
Regarding "Babs," could you give me a little more background on the song? Like who Babs was. What inspired it? What did Babs think of the song? Are you still in touch with her?
Babs was my high school girlfriend (now a chef in NYC). We played the hipster couple in a conservative suburb, and had a blast together. She loved the song, but I think we broke up pretty soon after, so...
Any worthwhile Frozen Explosion stories to share?
Milo and I moved to New York from St. Louis 1987 to see if we could get some interest in his raps and my beats. I was living in a rat-infested apartment in pre-gentrification Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and worked as a DJ at the ice rink in Central Park, along with Mr.. Hyde of Dr. Jekyll & Mr.. Hyde fame. There was a little record shop in Williamsburg that had current hip-hop 12" singles, and I was buying everything that I heard on Red Alert's and Marley Marl's radio shows. In those days, the record labels would actually print their phone numbers on the records, so Milo and I called them all. We actually got meetings with a few, including Tommy Boy, 4th & Broadway, Jive, Profile, and B-Boy. Even though BDP had already left B-Boy Records, we were thrilled that they wanted to sign us. Their offices were located about a half mile from the nearest subway stop, and walking that half mile through the South Bronx was always interesting: stripped cars on blocks, lines of people ten deep in front of housing projects wafting to buy crack. We recorded the album in St. Louis, but we put in way too much low end in the mix, and so the mastering had to take out most of the life of the recording for it to be playable on an LP record. The 12" singles had wider grooves in the vinyl that permitted a bassier mix, so a lot of the original fidelity was preserved when compared to the full LP.
Are you still making music?
Since Frozen Explosion, I put out a self-release solo CD , a book of photography , and a very recent CD.