Editor’s Note: “The Reel Black List” is our annual spotlight of brothers and sisters in the worlds of advertising, film, TV, music, radio and media who are making a difference through their contributions and creativity on a daily basis. For the next 29 days, you will be able to celebrate wonderful human beings, like Tag Team with us.
You’ve seen them in the current number one TVC in the country, Geico’s “Tag Team Helps Make Dessert.” But anyone who knows the popular hip hop duo from the ATL knows that Cecil “DC The Brain Supreme” Glenn and Steve “Rolln” Gibson came on the scene in 1993 with the multiplatinum single, Whoomp! (There It Is), which has been featured in everything from sports arenas and stadiums to countless ads, films, and TV shows.
Let’s meet Tag Team
What’s Your Origin Story?
DC: In 1982, Steve and I met Manual High school in Denver, Colorado. Steve and his friends had a band called the BIZNESS, and I thought that was the dopest thing ever. I desperately want to be a part of their band and badgered them for months till they relented.
This was the beginning. I also was a member of the Bolt vibration choir at our high school along with Otis Preston another member of the band and original member of the Tag Team crew.
How did you break into the music industry?
DC: I got into the industry by being a good DJ. Also when I came back home from college for the summer we would get the band back together and do gigs all over the city until most of us grow apart. Then Steve and I continued to make rap music and get better over time. Steve moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1988 to attend the Art Institute of Atlanta and I moved to Atlanta one year shortly after. Instantly I found myself immersed in the Genesis of what today is the Atlanta music scene.
I dj’d at Magic city and because it was the most talked about club in the country every artist, star and athlete would come to the club and I got to know them all. So when it came time to get a record deal because we created Whoop there it is we had allies. I contacted our Al Bell because he knew how to work bass records and in a month and a half we were platinum.
Who were your mentors?
Steve: I’d have to start with Mr. Avis, my band instructor in high school, after that pretty much any famous drummer. Larry Blackman from Cameo and as far as athletes David Thompson of the Denver Nuggets and Dr. Jay of the Philadelphia 76ers.
DC: My mentors were a group of black women at Manual high school who nurtured my blackness and spirit. Joyce Davis, Alice Langley, Mrs. Patton, Mrs. Perry and Mrs. Tate. As
While there will be others, what do you consider your biggest achievement to date?
Steve: I would say staying positive throughout all the adversity life has thrown me.
DC: My biggest achievement is my intellectual tenacity, do it anyway work ethic, the ability to learn how to learn, and never under any circumstances ever giving up.
Both: Of course, Whoomp and Scoop There it Is!
How about your biggest disappointment?
Both of our biggest disappointments are not being on point like we should have been as young men. Being taken advantage of in the music industry and trusting people who we should’ve never trusted. Having our career stopped in its tracks because of legal woes and the record company going bankrupt. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
How has possessing the superpower of your Blackness helped you?
DC: Throughout my young life I was ashamed that I was dark skinned because people would tease me. They used to call me “skillet” and “blackie,” just the black kids. It affected me in a negative way until I got to Atlanta Georgia and charcoal became chocolate to all these beautiful black women. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If Black culture is your superpower, what is your kryptonite?
DC: The only kryptonite that can stop me is ME. And a fine ass black girl with a big ole booty.
How did last year’s BLM movements affect you personally?
DC: For me, it was surreal because I shot my first movie in the middle of cornfields in Nebraska. It was so peaceful. It was the week that George Floyd was murdered and everything was heating up across the country. But it gave me more resolve to know that I have the power to change the world with my actions and what I choose to do with my life. And if I can be a shining example to other young brothers and sisters out there, That’s the mission.
What can the industry do better to promote true inclusion?
DC: For me personally that is not the question. The question is what can I do to be more on point and to be a better man than I was yesterday. The rest will take care of itself. They’re all kind of forces against you. Everyone has a choice no matter how dire the circumstances. And believe me, Steve and I have both run up on dire consequences. My advice to any youngin’ who wants a career in the music industry. Learn everything you can about music publishing.
If you’re Batman, who’s Robin?
DC: My hustle.
What drives you to create?
Steve: Hearing a great mix from an audio engineer who knows his stuff. It inspires me to get better at mixing tracks. If you open your eyes you can look out the window and anything can be inspiration.
DC: What drives me to create, is to make the world a better place. To touch people because of one song we’ve continued to rock for almost 3 decades is the pay off. But I want it all. I do not want to leave this earth with any regrets or anything undone. So I work toward all my dreams and goals with a ferocious tenacity then makes me a better man than I was yesterday. All I have control over is what I do. And I do this.
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