Tony Baines was a member (MC/Producer) of the Chicago Underground Legendary crew, The Spalaneys (Tony Baines, Coolout Chris, Rif Raf, & Snap). From the early to mid 90s, Spalaneys relentless rocked shows at all the classic Chicago Hip Hop venues and beyond. They also recorded a heavy amount of classic demos that people still talk about and search for quite regularly.
Hailing from out of The Woods, they formed a early alliance with neighboring Rubberom, which resulted in one of Chicago’s most infamous and powerful Hip Hop forces; Elements Of Nature (Spalaney’s, Rubberoom, Children Of Reality, Indigenous Theory, Verb, Immortal Griffen, Dirty MF, Syllabyss Illabyss, Thawfor and Buddah).
With a lot of things going for them, the crew had a variety of opportunities with record deals, management deals and so forth, but nothing every panned out…a common occurrence in this business.
During the final days of Spalaneys, Tony Baines connected with Steffon and Marko from Children Of Reality and started JP Schmedrick. Eventually Spalaneys split up and JP Schmedrick became a focus for Tony Baines and over the next several years they knocked out a series of self-contained impressive demos, including the amazing, “Insect Invasion” and did production for a variety of local crews (Immortal Griffen, Thawfor, Spalaneys, Verb, Chicagoutfitt, etc...).
In the early 2000s he shifted his focus to production and every since has been working non-stop banging out knocking beats and running his studio. Tony Baines is one of the few cats I know that has been able to, not only stay active in making music, but continue to maintain his business by keeping a full functional studio operational and open for business. Over the past year I've stopped by his studio location a couple times and got to hear what he is working on. He is still putting it down something serious with the knocking beats. He has a variety of sound pallets in his arsenal that range from traditional boom-bap to certified street heaters. He has also surrounded himself with a new crop of Chicago talent that is ready to take the world by storm.
If you know Tony Baines from his music then you pretty much know the man himself, he puts himself 100% in his music...he is the original Old Drunk Uncle of Rap...ha. He is always looking really serious, but then he says the most outlandish or ridiculous thing that has everybody laughing. He's passionate about his music, but makes plenty of time for weed, liquor and ladies. It's party music for gangsters and b-boys...
I sat down with the man himself and in this two-part interview Tony Baines breaks down the different stages of his career, leading up to his latest projects:
Spalaney's-Planet S (Early 90s demo produced by Tony Baines and Coolout Chris. Tony Baines drops the
the final verse. This is a incomplete demo missing Snaps verse but it's so ill I had to
JP Schmedrick-'96 Demo: I believe this is the demo that introduced the crew to the
world. The Version I have has 5 tracks on side A and then Side B has Six
beat snippets that I never heard get used for anything, but are all ill
tracks!! This is one of the best all around demos I've ever got my hands
on, particularly from the a crew that didn't go on to a record deal:
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/JP-Schmedrick-Insect-Invasion-Metamorphasizms.mp3|titles=JP Schmedrick-Insect Invasion (Metamorphasizms)]
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/JP-Schmedrick-Mental-Fitness.mp3|titles=JP Schmedrick-Mental Fitness]
Undaground Soulution Featuring Tony Baines-The Meaning: Great cameo from Tony Baines from this circa
'96 demo. I always wished this was on Undaground
Soulution's "In Spring Training..." CD, which had most of the
songs from this same demo.
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Undaground-Soulution-The-Meaning-featuring-Tony-Baine.mp3|titles=Undaground Soulution-The Meaning featuring Tony Baine]
JP Schmedrick-No Offense Playa: This is a '97 joint with Tony Baines on the solo tip on the verses. I believe
this is around the time that Griffen was becoming a member of JP
Schmedrick and he does the hook.
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/08-JP-Schmedrick-No-Offense-Playa.mp3|titles=08-JP Schmedrick-No Offense Playa]
JP Schmedrick-Silence Is Golden '99[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Immortal-Griffen-Silence-Is-Golden.mp3|titles=Immortal Griffen-Silence Is Golden]
Tony Baines-Ni***s Know The Deal Remix [Produced by Coolout Chris for Urbanized Music]:
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/02-Niggas-Know-The-Deal-Remix.mp3|titles=02 Niggas Know The Deal Remix]
BONUS JOINT: Tony Baines-Time Travel Radio Freestyle + Interview (1-08-99):
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Tony-Baines-Time-Travel-Freestyle-01-08-99.mp3|titles=Tony Baines-Time Travel Freestyle 01-08-99]
NEW JOINTS 2010/2011:
Tony Baines-Clear The Runway Instrumental:
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/CLEAR-THE-RUNWAY.mp3|titles=CLEAR THE RUNWAY]
Tony Baines-Pool Hall Instrumental:
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/THE-POOL-HALL.mp3|titles=THE POOL HALL]
Boardroom-My Life [Produced By Tony Baines]:
[audio:http://www.fifthelementonline.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/My-Life-full-mix.mp3|titles=My Life full mix]
Homebasss-StillWutChuGottaNoe [Produced by Tony Baines]: