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The Track Masters are Back w/ The ARE

By April 8, 2008Music

After Three Year Production Hiatus, Poke and Tone Complete 230 New Songs

Having just wrapped up a three-month residency at Manhattan’s Battery Studios — a $300,000 expense expected to yield $30 million by Poke’s hasty calculations — Poke and Tone have left their respective posts as television producer and Universal Motown VP to “get back to what we do best,” Poke asserts with a sense of manifest destiny, “to save hip-hop.” Along with their newly assembled team of underling producers, consisting of Frequency, The ARE, Just Nyce and Ace 21, Track Masters are back in full swing, and they’re looking for hits.

In the mixing room, Tone and Poke worked out the finishing touches while advising engineers and rearranging song structures. Simultaneously, in an adjacent room, songwriters and ghostwriters — including rappers Iron Solomon and Punchline and R&B crooners Quo, Range and the Wonder Twins — wrote ferociously on a variety of artist-specific topics. “We always have someone in mind for the songs that we make,” Poke says. “If I’m making a song for Snoop, it’s going to sound like some West Coast funk shit. We’re gonna do more than just put a Moog on there; we’re gonna get the feel of those records — Parliament, Funkadelic, etc. The same can be said for the hooks, choruses and verses. They’re artist-specific.”

The last leg of Track Masters’ assembly line ends with in-house studio musician and producer, Spanador. An adept musician who once taught Vernon Reid guitar and bass during his days in Living Colour, Spanador re-creates samples and grooves with live instruments, adding a thickness and swing that recorded samples and MIDI simply can’t replicate. “He does more than just replay samples; he’s adding a feel,” Poke says. “He’s a producer more than a studio musician.”


Founder of Rappers I Know and Art Director to the Stars...of the Underground. Follow him on Twitter @fwmj.


  • Forge says:

    good to see the are getting some shine

  • Just Nyce(Trackmasters) says:

    ARE wasup dog, we in here…Trackmasters!!!!!

  • jae diggs says:

    dem damb jacksons is a f***ing monster…….understand that this is hip hop!!! ….the are is my favorite along with nicolay……and also ……..can you release an extended version of your track called “FLY”?…….keep the heads bobbin’……(Brooklyn Diggs)

  • robc says:

    I’m really looking forward to that new lil’ Kim project that they’re working on. I’ve some interesting stuff about the album so far !!!!!!!!!!

  • TOOPair says:


    is that where they were??? i thought they were producing still. is music THAT bad, where icons have to find real jobs??


    I love that fact that music is in a direction for a better place with tone and poke at the helm, THEY ARE LEGENDS!!!!

    BIG UP to NEW HIP HOP!!!!






  • Rick Grimmett says:

    Poke,whats good bro.I haven’t seen you in over 24yrs since we were kids growing up in Poughkeepsie N.Y. We became good friends,when you moved from Brooklyn to P.K. I have been trying to contact you for many years,but have been unsuccessful.I reflect on the times you taught me how to break dance,pop and flip.I especially enjoyed you teaching me how to do the Superman.LOL I haven’t heard from my cousin Barabas or Johnny Lucas in Years.Have you heard from them?I live in Atlanta,and i had just missed speaking to you on a radio show you were on about five years ago.The D.J.who interviewed you guys,said you just left.I was really disappointed.Jean if you get this message,can you please contact me,by my e-mail address or by phone.My number is 404-573-8472.I’m going to take up Spanish,so i can converse with you.If anyone knows how i can get in touch with my long time friend.Please,help us to be reunited. Peace, Rick-G from,Power Kingdom!!!

  • Rick Grimmett says:

    jean….my email address is [email protected]

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