For the rap history books, in 1988, J-vibe wrote a rap called “Norman Bass.” The initial idea was suggested by a sales rep named Eddie Fonseca at JDC records to Sammy Hernandez. J-vibe had recently produced a track in late 1987 for Jonny Chingas called “Mini Truck Lover.” It was a Spanglish track (English and Spanish rapping) that also has an interesting and unfortunate story.
For the “Norman Bass” track, samples from the Alfred Hitchcock movie Psycho were used and it was rapped by J-vibe. The recording sat on the shelf for a year. In late 1989, it was taken to the plant and test pressings were created. The plans were to release the vinyl on Base 12 Records. Unfortunately, the majority of the feedback from many potential sellers was “the rapper doesn’t sound black.” Back in 1989/1990 there were few Latino rappers on vinyl and the market was barely starting to welcome it. The thing was they wanted the rappers to have a certain accent. J-vibe tried hard convincing people that it would work and it should be released. At the time, the distributor and the people that controlled the financing rejected the release. A few suggested to J-vibe he change his accent to make it fit in more with the expected sound at the time. J-vibe refused to play into that and that was the end of Los I.R.A.M. (the name of the group is Marisol spelled backward). Marisol Juarez was a singer that was working with J-vibe at the time.
Looking back, that decision was a major mistake and “Norman Bass” should have gone beyond the test pressing stage. For those DJs which did have the test pressings, they played it at the clubs and had great crowd response.