Much like his idol Marley Marl, Frankie Cutlass gathered MCs and vocalists under the umbrella of projects -- which he spearheaded as producer and mixer -- while still maintaining an edge as a DJ by playing consistently in clubs, both dance- and hip-hop-oriented. Originally from Puerto Rico, he moved to Spanish Harlem in New York with his family while still a child, and began to grasp America's culture firsthand through the influence of hip-hop. His brother, a member of the Zulu Nation, taught him to DJ, and Cutlass first hit the decks in the '80s at the age of 12. He joined his own crew later on, working with DJ Funkmaster Flex's Flip Squad. By the early '90s he had moved into production as well, working with TKA, K7, and the Cover Girls. The recording sphere beckoned, and by 1994 he had produced his first record, "Puerto Rico Ho." It and the later single, "Boriquas on the Set," became underground hits, spurring Frankie Cutlass to sign with Relativity Records. His first album with the label, 1997's Politics & Bullshit, showed his enthusiasm for the old-school rap he had grown up with. The album's single, "The Cypher, Pt. 3," reunited several veterans of Marley Marl productions, including Biz Markie, Roxanne Shanté, Big Daddy Kane, and Craig G. Also lending their talents were Mobb Deep, Redman, Method Man, and Smif-n-Wessun.