Members: Silver Fox, Charlie Rock, Larry D
The Fantasy Three were Silver Fox (Reginald Hobdy), Charlie Rock (Charlie Jimenez) and Larry D (Lawrence Mack).
Originally a member of The Light Brothers in the 70’s, Silver Fox was an early rap pioneer from Harlem, NYC and established a reputation as a battle rapper. He honed his skills growing up in The Grant Projects whilst hanging out with the likes of the Fearless Four and Special K, amongst others, and is credited as a mentor to LL Cool J and Kool G. Rap, whom he used to frequently battle at a place called Joe Grant’s.
Tito of the Fearless Four was a great friend of Fox’s and put him in touch with Larry D and Charlie Rock. They formed Fantasy Three with Silver Fox and recorded a demo. Fox wrote the lyrics, music was courtesy of the legendary Pumpkin and the mix was completed by Master O.C. with an instrumental edit by Aldo Marin, however, they shopped the demo to various labels but no-one was interested.
The break came when they joined forces with Julio Guina aka Chico, who was friends with Larry and Charlie. He invested money in the group and negotiated a deal with Specific Records to release the now classic, It’s Your Rock. There are a few label variations pictured below, the most significant of which is the first pressing, which has the originally intended artist name of simply Fantasy. The Three was added due to an artist with the same name releasing music at the same time. It was also pressed in 2019 for the first time on 7″ vinyl by Fraternity Music Group.
Rumour has it that the Crash Crew may have managed to get hold of the masters somehow and copied the music for their track, On The Radio, which caused friction between the groups and was also a major factor in the next Fantasy Three release appearing on a different label. Fox called them out on the radio and the groups met each other at what was billed as ‘The War of 84’ at Broadway International Disco in Harlem. Charlie and Larry just wanted to perform their records but Fox had a reputation to protect so battled the group alone until it evolved into an all-out brawl.
Chico, Charlie and Larry joined forces to form C.C.L. Records and release Fantasy Three’s second track, Biters In The City, a direct diss to the Crash Crew. Once again, music was by Pumpkin and the mix was by Master O.C. with some added input from Aldo Marin (Cutting Records). The track was also engineered by another unsung hip hop hero whose name appears on many releases, Dave Ogrin.
Following this track the group released their final single, Summer, which included music from Hashim. The Buck Stops Here was originally intended to be a stand-alone single but when it appeared as the B side, that was the last straw for Fox. As a result of irreconcilable differences between Fox and Charlie, the group split.
Years went by and in the 1990’s, Larry persuaded Fox to reform as a group with himself and Charlie to release new music as Renegade Tribe. Although Fox was hesitant at first, he decided to agree. However, the group was short-lived after Charlie wanted to cut Larry out. This wasn’t acceptable to Fox so he pulled the plug on the project. Music from the sessions was released years later by Charlie under the banner of Charlie Rock Productions but there was no input from the other members.
Charlie Rock continued with his recording career after Fantasy Three, releasing dance/freestyle tracks for Next Plateau Records Inc. (1986), Micmac Records Inc. (1990’s) and also PKO Records (1993).
Silver Fox still records today. You can here some of his more recent releases via Revernation, Soundcloud and Bandcamp, not forgetting the two 7″ releases he made for this very label, Hip Hop Be Bop Records.
Label: Specific Records
Notes: There are a few label variations for this release:
Label: C.C.L. Records Inc.
Notes: There are four label variations that I know of.