Osten Harvey Jr. (born December 8, 1965), better known by his stage name Easy Mo Bee, is an American hip hop and R&B record producer, known for his production work for artists such as Big Daddy Kane and Miles Davis, as well as his affiliation with Bad Boy Records in its early years, and his production involvement in The Notorious B.I.G.'s debut album, Ready to Die. He also produced two songs on 2Pac's album, Me Against the World.
Easy Mo Bee
|Birth name||Osten S. Harvey Jr.|
|Born||December 8, 1965|
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
|Genres||Hip hop, jazz rap|
|Labels||Bad Boy, A&M, Priority|
Easy Mo Bee was born in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York City, and raised in the neighborhood's Lafayette Gardens projects. He began producing after hearing music by Ced Gee of Ultramagnetic MCs and Marley Marl, producer of early hip-hop hits for the Juice Crew and LL Cool J. His first production placement came on Big Daddy Kane's breakthrough album, It's a Big Daddy Thing, after which he was approached to work with another Cold Chillin' Records artist, The Genius — an early alias for now - Wu-Tang Clan co-founder GZA. Mo Bee produced the majority of the rapper's debut album, Words From the Genius, as well as produced "Sexcapades", a track that featured on the B-side of fellow future Wu-Tang co-founder RZA's first single, "Ooh I Love You Rakeem", which the rapper/producer released under the alias Prince Rakeem.
Around that same time, Mo Bee had a group with neighborhood friends A.B. Money and J.R. called Rappin' Is Fundamental. The trio released only one album on A&M Records in 1991: The Doo-Hop Legacy. Jazz pioneer Miles Davis approached the young producer to help fuse jazz and hip-hop. These sessions would become his last studio album, 1992's Doo-Bop. The project, released posthumously after Davis died during the recording process, leaving the project unfinished, garnered generally mixed reviews.
Mo Bee first linked up with Sean Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment in 1993, when he produced the first single for Combs' up-and-coming artist, the Notorious B.I.G., "Party and Bullshit". Easy also went on to produce much of the label's two flagship releases: Project: Funk da World by Craig Mack, and Ready to Die by B.I.G. Additionally, Mo Bee produced the "Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)," a driving single for both projects, featuring Craig Mack, Biggie, Busta Rhymes, Rampage and LL Cool J.
In 1994 and 1995, Mo Bee was also associated with 2Pac, having produced songs for both, including one called "Runnin' From tha Police," featuring both Pac and B.I.G. as well as rapper/producer Stretch and 2Pac's crew Dramacydal. In addition to featuring 2Pac and B.I.G. on the same record, the song is notable for inventive production techniques he described in an interview with HipHopDX. "There’s a bassline in the original version. Go back and listen to that record. I played the bassline live all the way through that record from the SP-1200 through multi-pitch. It was like a bass guitar strumming, and if I messed up, it was like 'Yo bring it back, and plug me in.'"
Mo Bee went on to produce two songs for Pac's 1995 album Me Against the World, although the two recorded several other songs that did not make the cut. During this time period, he also crafted moderate radio hits for the Lost Boyz ("Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz"); Das EFX ("Microphone Master"); and Busta Rhymes ("Everything Remains Raw").
In 1997, Mo Bee produced for Biggie's double-disc album, Life After Death. The producer crafted two songs, "I Love the Dough" and "Going Back to Cali"; these songs would mark the last time Easy would produce for Bad Boy.
Over the next decade he would craft songs for Kurupt, Big Daddy Kane, Ras Kass, the Wu-Tang Clan, Mos Def, Black Rob, Sean Price, Wiz Khalifa and others, eventually winning a Grammy for his work with Alicia Keys on her album, The Diary of Alicia Keys. In 2000, he put out an album called Now or Never: Oddysey 2000, featuring East Coast staples Busta Rhymes, Raekwon, Prodigy, Smif-N-Wessun, Kool G Rap, and Sauce Money, along with Goodie Mob and Kurupt.
- Studio albums
- Now or Never: Odyssey 2000 (2000)
- Two for One (with Emskee) (2015)
- This Is My Life (with Big D) (2019)
- with Rappin' Is Fundamental
- The Doo-Hop Legacy (1991)
- Instrumental albums
- ...And You Don't Stop! (2015)
- "Easy Mo Bee". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-11-28.
- Considine, J.D. (July 6, 1992). "Jazz And Rap A Jarring Mix". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
- Fernando Jr., S. H. (2021). From the Streets of Shaolin: The Wu-Tang Saga. Hachette Books. ch. 6. ISBN 0-30687-444-X.
- "Back Tracking With Easy Mo Bee". Nodfactor. July 14, 2009. Archived from the original on November 20, 2009. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
- "Easy Mo Bee On Producing Miles Davis, Early Wu-Tang, Big Daddy Kane". Cratekings.com. 2009-04-13. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "Easy Mo Bee". Discogs. Discogs. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- Scott, Dana. "Easy Mo Bee Traces Ice Cube & Big Daddy Kane's Influence On Biggie's "Ready To Die"". hiphopdx.com. Cheri Media. Retrieved 2015-02-10.
- "Rappin' Is Fundamental: The Doo Hop Legacy". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-02-10.
- "Easy Mo Bee: Interviews: The Last Miles: The Music Of Miles Davis 1980 - 1991: A book by George Cole". Thelastmiles.com. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "Easy Mo Bee – Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2021-11-06.
- "Easy Mo Bee: Talks Eminem Beef and Producing For Pac and B.I.G." AllHipHop.com. 2010-01-30. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- "The Making of Life After Death: Many Men". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2011-11-23.
- Alicia Keys. "The Diary of Alicia Keys: Information from". Answers.com. Retrieved 2011-11-23.