Motor City Cribs

Jun 20, 2007 at 12:00 am
There’s nothing better than when something so wrong winds up being so right. Like classic DJ Assault jams — “Ass ’N’ Titties,” “Sex on the Beach,” “Dick by the Pound” and “Mr. Muthafukka” to name a few. This guy Ade “Mr. De” Mainor was the mastermind producer behind DJ Assault irresistible beats, up till 2000.

Short story: In 1996, Ade and Assault (Craig Adams) quit their record store gigs at Buy Rite Music. They promptly founded Electrofunk Records, which they ran out of Ade’s grandmother’s house in Detroit.

They didn’t dream things would take off so fast.

“We went from being two broke asses to having instant business,” Ade says. And all they wanted was to make some money to set up a studio.

When three employees and four phone lines became too much at granny’s house, Ade moved operations to a building on Fenkell that his grandfather had purchased in the ’60s. Downstairs is the warehouse and studio, upstairs is the office. Ade even lived there for a spell.

Ade and Craig parted in 2000. In an unusual arrangement, they each got complete ownership to different songs they worked on as a group. (Which is why amazing albums such as Belle Isle Tech, Assaultland and Mr. Muthafukka are out of print.)

Ade and Assault’s innovative mix of sped-up hip-hop and electro beats (accompanied by Luke Campbell-inspired lyrics) produced a new stripped-down sound, which profoundly influenced Atlanta’s burgeoning hip-hop scene.

Not to drop names, but Ade has since worked with Public Enemy, George Clinton, Daft Punk, Funkdoobiest, UNKLE and the Pet Shop Boys. Dude is all over the place musically. Oh, yeah, he also founded and runs the Submerge label for Detroit’s legendary Underground Resistance, where he’s recorded Galaxy 2 Galaxy, Blak Presidents and B. Calloway among others. He mans the label, its studio and the online music store Detroit Digital Vinyl, all out of his grandfather’s building. “I love this place; it’s like Snoopy’s house,” Ade says, smiling. “All nondescript on the outside and pimped-out on the inside.”