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Ron Banks

Master Percussionist & Master Engineer: Carl ‘Butch’ Small

in Introduction by

Learning percussion from listening alone led Carl ‘Butch’ Small to travel the world with the Undisputed Truth, the Dramatics, Parliament, and the Four Tops. Small’s understanding of music led to a respect, knowledge, and love for studio engineering which guided him to production, arrangement, and composition for Bootsy Collins at the height of his success in the 1970’s & 1980’s. Butch Small was a centerpiece providing all the sounds you notice but can’t recognize in records like Parliment’s ‘Tear the Roof Off,’ Dr. Dre & Tupac Shakur’s ‘California Love,’ and LJ Reynolds ‘Key to the World.’


Also, his love and support of his son led him to start Detroit’s flagship hip-hop record label World One Records. His encouragement of his son DJ Los moved him into open one of Detroit’s first studio’s welcoming rappers to perform, release, and shares their music with the world. Acts like Kaos & Maestro, DICE, and Nikki D all were given a national stage from a studio on 6 Mile road run by Butch Small. In the 1980’s and 90’s at Shantinique’s Music, Harmony House, and White’s Records World One Record releases rivaled the success of NWA, Public Enemy, & Salt-n-Pepa selling tens of thousands records. Small’s life is a rich narrative which makes and keeps Detroit so Different. Work with Tupac Shakur, Don Davis, Ortheia Barnes, David Ruffin, Mariah Carey, Dr. Dre, RJ Latest Arrival, are just some of the people who have relied upon the percussionist with golden hands and a better ear.

How Detroit’s flagship label for Hip-hop music World One Records started

Butch Small talks about how he started World One Records out of support and love of his son DJ Los.

Butch Small talks about how he started World One Records out of support and love of his son DJ Los.

How a drummer for Detroit became a lead engineer for Death Row Records

Butch Small talks about the phone conversation with Dr Dre that led to Death Row Records sending him thousands of dollars to drive cross country and work alongside Suge Knight, Dr Dre, and Tupac Shakur.

Butch Small talks about the phone conversation with Dr. Dre that led to Death Row Records sending him thousands of dollars to drive cross country and work alongside Suge Knight, Dr. Dre, and Tupac Shakur.

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