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MC Serch – Return of the Product

“I have been building my company, Serchlite Music, and hosting the morning show at WJLB in Detroit for three years,” Serch, born Michael Berrin, begins, attempting to explain his MIA, from the record industry, status. Continuing, “I like being behind the scenes, because I like dealing with the professional side of the business, and not the performance side. I know how things work on both ends, and I find it much more lucrative to be behind the scenes. Of course that will change a little bit with the new TV show on VH-1 debuting September 19th. The show is called ‘Ego Trips: The White Rapper Show’. I (do) still write rhymes everyday, and have been recording some songs, here and there over the last four years that I have been in the D, but I am in no rush to get in front of the crowds.”

MC Serch - Return of the Product

"I went to the High School of Music & Art in Harlem in 1980, and saw in the lunch-room Dana Dane and Slick Rick, with their original crew, the Kangol Crew, as well as Jay Kool, from the Fresh 3 MC’s, and that was that," Serch reflects, before adding, "I knew (then) I wanted to be an emcee and rock parties. When I left high school, Slick Rick and Dana Dane both had put out records, and while I was (still) in school, Jay Kool, from the Fresh 3 MC’s, (also) had a joint out. I knew then I wanted to be an emcee. My influence was the first ripple in what would become Hip-Hop culture — I am so lucky to have seen that." 

Young Michael grew up listening to virtually every song that came out that was considered Hip-Hop. He further cites the Talking Heads [because as he puts it, "They were so funky!!"] and, then, Kiss FM deejays, (Kool DJ) Red Alert and Chuck Chillout, as major musical influences as well. 

"I met Pete through mutual friends of ours; Dante Ross and Sam Sever," Serch says, recalling how fate brought the two exceptionally skilled melanin deficient rappers together. "Dante called Sam to help out Pete who was in the studio working on a demo. Sam thought we would be a great team, and he turned out to be right. We met and wrote ‘Wordz of Wizdom.’ and decided to pursue a career as a group." 

3rd Bass, comprised of emcees MC Serch and Prime Minister Pete Nice, along with producer ingenue’, Prince Paul, and, later, DJ Daddy Rich, dropped their critically acclaimed Def Jam Records’ debut in 1989. "We came up with the name out of desperation," Serch answers, when asked how the monicker 3rd Bass came to fruition. Expounding, "Originally we were called 3 The Hard Way, but Universal Pictures, who owned the rights to the name, would not let us use it, and the album was slated to come out in a few months. Pete came up with the name (3rd Bass), and we recorded the conversation with Russell (Simmons, then CEO of Def Jam) when we told him the name –  That is the intro to ‘The Gas Face’ on the album, when the name was agreed to and used." 

Following the release of the group’s sophomore project, Derelicts Of Dialect, 3rd Bass quietly disbanded. Both MC Serch and Pete Nice eventually went on to make a solo album apiece, before disappearing altogether. "We made Hip-Hop music for those who wanted to be funky and intelligent," Serch reminisces, while trying to put his finger on the pulse of the group’s overall vibe. 

Although Serch went on to discover one of the premier lyricists in the biz, then known as, Nasty Nas, he has continued to remain a very focused and humble individual. "I have been lucky to have forged great relationships in the business, and that has been key. I hope that I have integrity when it comes to my work ethic. I know that Serchlite stands for quality in Hip- Hop; be it marketing, promotion, and our website," he mentions very assuredly. 

On a long standing rumor of a, possible, 3rd Bass reunion album, Serch clears the air, "In 2000, when I had my Serchlite distribution deal with Sony, Pete and I recorded some songs that we were going to put out. We had a name for the album, and some great concepts for records." Sighing, "It turns out that Pete is in another place in his life, and can not commit to recording. We will be putting out those songs (though) on www.serchlitemusic.com for the fans to hear, but when you take as much time off as we have, you cannot go into an effort for an album without the proper concentration. The songs were there, as you will soon hear, but the time was not."

{Pete Nice, ne’ Peter J. Nash, is an author, and baseball historian, who relocated to Cooperstown, N.Y. (home of the Hall of Fame) in 1997. His third book, Henry Chadwick: Father of Baseball is due out soon, and he’s currently working to complete a documentary, Royal Rooters, about the early history of Boston Red Sox’s loyal fans} 

"We are two totally different people, but when you hear the songs that we did, you can see that the elements of what made us who we were are still there," Serch believes, when the subject of the new material comes up again. Re-iterating, "The lyrics are very forward thinking, and no matter when you hear them, most people will heart the songs we did in 2000 — They sound timeless. That was what it was for us. 3rd Bass put out music that could not be defined by a moment. Most people we speak to still listen to the old albums like we put them out this year."
 
MC Serch, who had a small role in Spike Lee’s Bamboozled, hasn’t altogether ruled out the Silver Screen either. "I have acted in one film, and would enjoy that (again). I (also) really want to be in the publishing business. I see a lot of growth in that sector — Books and such."

"I am a father first, a husband second, (a) Jew third, and (an) emcee fourth," Serch prioritizes. "I tell my wife that is what I want on my tombstone when they unveil it. Michael ‘MC Serch’ Berrin. Father, Husband, Jew, and MC."
 

In closing, MC Serch, who thoroughly enjoys playing with his kids, and hanging out with his wife, Chantel [This year the couple will celebrate 15 years of marriage], had this to relay, "Hip-Hop has allowed me a lifestyle. (The fact) that I can live off of Hip-Hop is a constant moment (for me)." Predicting, he concludes, "I see Serchlite being one of the most recognized brands in Hip-Hop/Urban Culture. I see many different lines that are broad, and varied, coming from Serchlite. I see a major media outlet buying my company for a lot of money, and me, and my partner, CC (Smooth), going off and doing something else. (Also) please remember to say what you mean, and mean what you say, if someone says to you, ‘Have a good day.’ Respond, ‘You have a better one,’ and remember that if you don’t have an agenda in your life, someone will give you one, and it might not be nice, so always have a plan — R.I.P. Jay Dilla, Proof, and Scott La Rock."