RedefineHipHop: The Mad Thinker (East Of The Rock) Interview!!

July 14, 2010 3 min read



East Of The Rock is one of the most mysterious crews from Chicago’s 90s Hip Hop underground. They don’t have any official releases (except for the 2010 Reissue pictured above), yet they are considered by many in the know to have classic songs…available only as tapes or the infamous test-pressings. There’s at least two noted 12” test presses of E.O.R material, but neither materialized into a proper release. They rocked a series of shows thru out the 90s, but weren’t known for mingling in the crowd or hanging out otherwise.

East Of The Rock = The Flux, The Mad Thinker, Mac 10 & Mr. V, their most well known demo contains four songs- “Egyptian Musk”, “Galaxy Rays”, “Mr Producer”, and “Burnout Assassin” a.k.a “Funky Prescription”. The closest thing to an actual release is their contributed track to Chicago’s 1995 Talent Fest Compilation, “Check The Mic.” Each offering is top notch: musically, lyrically, and stylistically.

For years I wondered not only about their history, but also their disappearance, by the time the late 90s arrived. Then after stumbling upon a Talent Fest Press Release semi-recently I discovered some useful information. Armed with some government names and a Facebook log-in I began a simple investigation, which lead to contact with The Mad Thinker.

Below is a five part interview series that offers some great and well -needed insight on the crew formation, creations, disbanding and current status. He reveals the identity of the producer being dissed in "Mr Producer". He talks about getting production from Grandmixer Muggs (sort of...), Plus the unearthing of some unreleased demos and new music! All that and even a jab at a key Hip Hop respected figure is thrown out and later explained. This is untold history...

 Part One:

Part Two: In this piece The Mad Thinker discusses the story behind their song "Mr Producer". He also breaks down the science of the East Of The Rock live show experience at classic spots like The Avalon and how that helped build their name.

I included "Mr Producer" in Sampler Set below. Check the interview, then go back and listen to the track, particularly Mad Thinker's verse (Verse #2) and see how his lyrics are a direct reflection of the reality. I also included the "East Of The Rock" theme song. This is the song that, in some ways, started the situation that lead to "Mr Producer". The producer in question reportedly got the beat from Grandmixer Muggs (Cypress Hill, 7A3) and then got upset when East Of The Rock altered the beats to fit their sound, as discussed in the tail end of Part One.

Part Three: OK, this is the one many have been waiting for! A key part of the mystery solved and discussed; the breaking up of the crew...

Part Four:  Mad Thinker talks about his moves after East Of The Rock which include some solo projects. He talks about the pros and cons of having a integrated crew with a white mc (Mr V). Plus he finally explains the issue he has with Chuck D of Public Enemythat he mentioned in part one!! Which includes a claim of some East Of The Rock music being used for the Apocalypse '91 album and a problem at a show they were supposed to play together...

Part Five: Mad Thinker reflects on how he may have done some things different and the choices they made as a group. 

East Of The Rock Music Sampler (90s Demos + Rarities!!):

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