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8 Things We Learned From J. Cole’s Interview With ‘GQ’

Celebrities Attend The 68th NBA All-Star Game - Inside

Source: Jeff Hahne / Getty

For most of his career, J. Cole has been known to be one of the most, if not the most, reserved artist in the rap game. From rarely giving interviews to lack of collaborations with other big-name rappers, everyone knew that the Dreamville honcho kept to himself and that’s just how it was and probably always will be.

But according to him, it’s a new day and the biggest Hip-Hop name to ever come out of North Carolina (Sorry Petey Pablo) has made it a point to change his ways as “I realize, like, memories come from getting out of my comfort zone—great memories.” Looking to turn over a new leaf in this new year, Cole starts off by giving a rare interview to GQ where he talks everything from Hip-Hop stardom to fatherhood.

From explaining how he really felt about the everyone referring to him as the first rapper to go platinum without any features to getting offered a record deal from one of the biggest names in the NBA, J. Cole revealed some pretty interesting stuff to GQ’s Allison P. Davis.

Here are the 8 things we learned from J. Cole in GQ.

Photo: Getty

Source: HipHopWired.com

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DJ Premier Discusses The Making Of Gang Starr’s Hard To Earn 25 Years Later

Twenty-five years ago this month (March 8, 1994), Gang Starr released its fourth album, Hard To Earn. A rightful inclusion in one of the Rap genre’s most celebrated calendar years, the work displays some of the finest chemistry between Guru and DJ Premier, who had already galvanized a creative and personal bond worthy of its title. While the Chrysalis Records LP garnered some “Mass Appeal” in the subsequent quarter century, the two focused creators held tightly to their integrity on the album. This record satiated devoted fans, challenged peers, and punched critics right in the jaw.

During a crossroads for Rap music, an ever-evolving Gang Starr did not yield; they strutted through their pivot. This 25-year-old LP is molded with timeless wisdom, righteousness, and pride. Gang Starr knew the code of the streets, and warned all who didn’t take heed.

Hard To Earn has had a profound impact on the path of my life. A few years after release, its lyrics and music guided me through adolescence. It promoted style, swagger, courage, and authenticity in the face of posturing. Eventually, “The Planet” gave me the faith to uproot and chase a difficult dream under much bigger skylines. That path would lead me up the rickety elevator to D&D Studios nearly 17 years ago, to Gang Starr concerts, handfuls of conversations with Guru and DJ Premier, and ultimately, to writing this Ambrosia For Heads feature. This week, I spoke with Preemo about Hard To Earn, what was happening behind the scenes, and how these songs were reflections of an incredible time in Hip-Hop.

Ambrosia For Heads: “The Planet” is one of my favorite songs of all-time. On the vocal side, Guru tells the story of his journey and the sacrifice to make it happen in Hip-Hop. Musically, on that song, was that you telling the story of your journey?

DJ Premier: The subject matter is always first; I make the music match the subject. Guru always gives me the titles, and we’d type it out, stick it on the wall, and leave it there at the studio until we’d finish the album. We don’t go in any particular order, we just go. I always do the singles last. Whatever our first single’s gonna be…like for [Hard To Earn], he said “Mass Appeal” is gonna be it. And he puts little, short notes under the title. So it’ll say “Mass Appeal (our first single).” So I like to do that when the album’s pretty much done so [the single] sounds literally that new. And I’ve always followed that same map to this day. He’d even [note] our second single.

For “The Planet,” he [wrote] “My journey from Boston to New York, and makin’ it.” That’s what it said; I actually still have that paper. It’s really faded out, ’cause it’s printed out [from] the early copy machine. It reminded me of me leaving Texas and makin’ it. So he spoke for both of us.

DJ Premier Says It’s Still Possible He Will Release The Final Gang Starr Album (Video)

AFH: I know it was “No More Mr. Nice Guy” from the very beginning, but from “Intro (The First Step)” to titling the album Hard To Earn, were you trying to send a statement of “don’t take our kindness for weakness”? That intro is a message that every artist trying to get on needs to hear…

DJ Premier: Oh, you’re talkin’ about the beginning of the album? We were both just goin’ through that. Like anywhere we’d go, people would always [push themselves]. At that time, we were living in Branford Marsalis’ brownstone; he’d moved to L.A. to be the music director for The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. So we were all living with him, his wife, and his son, temporarily until they moved. So all of us were in the house. Once [the neighborhood] found out that we lived there…this was right around the same time that we met Biggie. Because we’d always go down to the corner; we were all 40 [ounce beer] drinkers back then. We drank very heavily; we’d always see Biggie and all of his crew.

[We] shot the “Code Of The Streets” video on our stoop. Everybody was passin’ by. We shot it with Lionel Martin and Ralph McDaniels from Classic Concepts [and Video Music Box. So then] everybody knew that we lived there. And whenever we’d have a show, our whole crew pulls up. That is where [the concept to] “Soliloquy Of Chaos” came from because it was always the same routine, “Meet us at our house.” We’d get into the cars one by one by one, all with systems blasting, and we’d convoy to the gig.

With all of that, it just became so monotonous with people ringin’ our bell, unannounced, doin’, “Yo, my man raps, can you listen to him real quick?” It’s like, aight. It’d be horrible, then another guy would ring the bell. They’d want you to hear it right now. I mean, I still go through that to this day. Now, the only difference is, I’ll be in the barbershop in the hood and cats’ll take their phone and just put it right in my face, into my ear. I’m like, “Yo, I can’t listen to it like that. There ain’t gonna be no bass comin’ through.” They’ll be like, “Just listen to it a little bit.” It’s like, “No. You can send it to me.” I’ll give ’em the direct email to send the music and everything, but I’m not gonna listen to it on no phone. ‘Cause I don’t come from the phone era. I come from boom-boxes and driving cars—and I been driving cars since I was 11 years old. In Texas, we drive early.

But we were all tired of that sh*t. It comes with what we were doing. But when we’d see artists [in our early days], we’d just be like, “Yo man, love your sh*t”—wanted to say more, but I felt like I’d be sweatin’ ’em and d*ck-riding. So I’d always be like, “I’m comin’ out one day; you gonna see me.” I’d keep it that simple. Whether they believed me or not, that’s it. I didn’t want them to be like, “This guy’s annoying.”

DJ Premier Recalls The First Show Gang Starr Ever Did (Video)

AFH: I was 10 when the album dropped; I can’t front and say I bought Hard To Earn when it was brand new. It was a few years later. To me, “DWYCK” was always part of the album. You recently spoke to my man and former colleague Andreas Hale about how that song was intended to be added to Daily Operation. Twenty-five years later, how do you think “DWYCK” has become part of the fabric of Hard To Earn?

DJ Premier: It was gonna work no matter where we put that one. When it became such a huge hit for the summer of ’92, we got to witness it. At that time, we were still in the hood, in the projects and everything. We had our own crib, where Branford lived, obviously, but we’d still hang out in the projects with our friends that was still in the PJ’s. Drivin’ by, every car in the whole hood is blasting “DWYCK.” Like, majorly.

Again, the fact that it was supposed to be on Daily Operation and didn’t make it, I was like, “It’s gotta appear on some album.” It was an automatic [inclusion]. We got that many complaints from fans that would see us [and tell us they wanted it on CD]. Like, constantly. So we were like, “We gotta put it on Hard To Earn so on at least one of our Gang Starr albums, you can find it.”

AFH: You mentioned drinking a lot of 40 ounces. Was the way you were partying in the studio or elevating your minds any different on Hard To Earn than other albums?

DJ Premier: Nah, it was always like a frat house: girls, gettin’ high, gettin’ drunk, everybody passed out on the couch. I look at certain younger artists now [doing the same thing]. That’s just the scenario of a Rap singer. [Chuckles] But it was always [about] havin’ girls in there, ’cause you want to show off, “Yeah, yeah, we got a session today. You want to come? Oh yeah? Bring your girlfriends.” Even they’re excited, “Wow. Who knows who’s gonna be up in there?” Next thing you know you’ve three, four, five girls; five turns to 10. Next thing you know we’re partying there. Then it’s like, “Yo, let’s go to our house.” The party literally continues. We were 24 hours-Animal House, minus the destruction of tearing the place up. But a lot of things were broken: glass, bottles, all the time. And we’d do it again the next day after recovery from the hangover.

Jeru The Damaja, Big Shug & Afu-Ra Stand Tall On The Gang Starr Foundation (Video)

AFH: You mentioned the crew. The back cover of the album is great. It shows how Gang Starr looked and felt, like a gang of people. We think of Wu-Tang, Hammer’s entourage, Naughty By Nature. Obviously, you guys had always been like that. But at this point, Big Shug is on the album, Group Home, Jeru The Damaja—you’re touring with M.O.P. How did that entourage affect your confidence?

DJ Premier: Everybody was comin’ with their A-game. Group Home had “Supa Star.” It wasn’t a single [yet]; they weren’t signed yet to Payday [Records]. Jeru had “Come Clean” and [The Sun Rises In The East coming], so he was really making a lot noise in New York. Shug had just come out of prison. That’s why on “F.A.L.A.,” he says, “I did my time and now I’m free” you hear Guru [exclaim in the background]. We bought Shug a whole wardrobe of clothes; he’s just getting his feet back into the [Rap] game. He’s one of the founders of the group, so we were like, “We gotta work on demos until he gets tight.” When he spit that verse, it was, “Shug sounds dope!”

Guru did that [original beat]. I was like, “Give me the reel.” I just re-tweaked it to make it better sonically. Guru [had planned that] for either Ill Kid Records or Baldhead Slick. Guru always liked when I liked one of his tracks. He was like, “Yo, you like that?” I was like, “Yeah, we should put this on the album.” [He was really happy], because sometimes he’d think I’m not gonna like it ’cause he produced it. I’m like, “Dude…” Guru—all the time, my whole career, would wonder if I’d be against [something] ’cause it’s not produced by Premier. Nah, if it sounds good, I don’t front on anything. I don’t care if it’s somebody I don’t like. I don’t care if I don’t like you personally. The same thing with R. Kelly and [Michael Jackson]; I can’t abandon the music if the music’s good.

But [“F.A.L.A.”], I liked it off rip. I [just wanted to] mix it down and match the sonics of my tracks. Guru would usually produce one [song on every Gang Starr album], and it was usually a chick record. “She Knows What She Wantz,” he did that. On Group Home’s [Livin’ Proof], he did “Serious Rap Sh*t.” And Guru’s a good A&R; he has a good ear. He used to tell me what scratches to use.

Gang Starr Hit Yo! MTV Raps Amidst Their 1994 Mass Appeal, With A Freestyle (Video)

AFH: Like two Hall Of Fame athletes on a championship team, the two were brothers and teammates, but I know that sometimes, in the moment creatively, you would have differences of opinion or tiffs or whatever. Did the times when you were frustrated with one another creatively make for better art?

DJ Premier: Um, I don’t think it really ever affected the music, because we would always get that in-sync with one another when we made joints. I even smoked crack and would do coke and everything else and it never changed me. We all did. We were all smokin’ woolas; we’re from the woola era. Like ’85-’86, not everybody but a lot of people in the industry were doing it. Even when I ask other artists, [they admit it]. I wasn’t a pipe smoker, I didn’t smoke the stem; we’d put it in a blunt. But it’s still crack. [Laughs] But it never affected my creativity either way. I’ve never been ashamed of anything I’ve ever done because it is what it is. You never saw me walkin’ around with my teeth missing, selling my equipment, or all skinny and falling apart. We looked normal, and we weren’t on it like that. It was more recreation—a new way of spiking your weed. I’m off of it, I been off it. You get to a point where you’re like, “This ride is over.” None of us had to worry about going to rehab or anything like that. It was never that serious. In the music business, drugs, sex, R0ck & Roll, it all goes with the same territory. Fighting [too]. We’d fight, punch each other, bloody lips. Even that stuff was normal, in my opinion, because I watched Sting talk about him and Stewart Copeland from The Police talk about getting off stage and throwing punches like, “F*ck you.” We’ve done the same thing. I never looked at like it was bad for us. Because every time another record had to get made there’s no way we could’ve made this group [last] seven albums [without tensions].

AFH: One of my favorite illustrations of your and Guru’s chemistry is “Brainstorm.” The way that he hits the rhythm of those drums–

DJ Premier: –I love that; that’s one of my favorites. I love that song so much! I wanted to show that I could use other sounds, besides Jazz, as samples, being that we were heavily on that for Daily Operation, and especially Step In The Arena. I would see so many [reviews] talking about how that’s all we do [and] make our beats from, I said, “Man, I’ma strip this album down and show I can use anything: alien sounds [and] weird space effects. That’s why with “Brainstorm,” you hear that weird effect. [Mimics the beat] It’s still effective. Even “Aight Chill” is just a drum beat and phone calls. I knew the Hip-Hop Heads would get it and the reviewers would not. They said the same thing on The Ownerz when Panchi from NYG’z did the “(Hiney)” skit. They said, “Premier must’ve ran out of ideas.” No, [they] didn’t get it ’cause you’re not a f*ckin’ true Head. [They were] one of those motherf*ckin’ fake wannabes, and I don’t acknowledge those people, man. I respect all, but they’re so in the way of understanding a culture.

We’re always creative, man. My creative juices have not faltered. I’ll be 53 next week, and my creative juices are still dynamically heavy. I’m always [thinking]. I’m still like that. Look man, my brain is…all the partying and sh*t—the drugs and drinkin’ I’ve done, I still function very, very normally. [Chuckles] And I give thanks everyday, man. As soon as I wake up, the first thing I said is, “thanks.” I’m glad to be alive and still be able to bang out this Rap sh*t. I love doing Hip-Hop joints, and I love still keeping it boom-bap style.

DJ Premier has released a special merchandise collection for Gang Starr’s Hard To Earn.

Twenty-five years ago this month (March 8, 1994), Gang Starr released its fourth album, Hard To Earn. A rightful inclusion in one of the Rap genre’s most celebrated calendar years, the work displays some of the finest chemistry between Guru and DJ Premier, who had already galvanized a creative and personal bond worthy of its title. While the Chrysalis Records LP garnered some “Mass Appeal” in the subsequent quarter century, the two focused creators held tightly to their integrity on the album. This record satiated devoted fans, challenged peers, and punched critics right in the jaw.

During a crossroads for Rap music, an ever-evolving Gang Starr did not yield; they strutted through their pivot. This 25-year-old LP is molded with timeless wisdom, righteousness, and pride. Gang Starr knew the code of the streets, and warned all who didn’t take heed.

Hard To Earn has had a profound impact on the path of my life. A few years after release, its lyrics and music guided me through adolescence. It promoted style, swagger, courage, and authenticity in the face of posturing. Eventually, “The Planet” gave me the faith to uproot and chase a difficult dream under much bigger skylines. That path would lead me up the rickety elevator to D&D Studios nearly 17 years ago, to Gang Starr concerts, handfuls of conversations with Guru and DJ Premier, and ultimately, to writing this Ambrosia For Heads feature. This week, I spoke with Preemo about Hard To Earn, what was happening behind the scenes, and how these songs were reflections of an incredible time in Hip-Hop.

Ambrosia For Heads: “The Planet” is one of my favorite songs of all-time. On the vocal side, Guru tells the story of his journey and the sacrifice to make it happen in Hip-Hop. Musically, on that song, was that you telling the story of your journey?

DJ Premier: The subject matter is always first; I make the music match the subject. Guru always gives me the titles, and we’d type it out, stick it on the wall, and leave it there at the studio until we’d finish the album. We don’t go in any particular order, we just go. I always do the singles last. Whatever our first single’s gonna be…like for [Hard To Earn], he said “Mass Appeal” is gonna be it. And he puts little, short notes under the title. So it’ll say “Mass Appeal (our first single).” So I like to do that when the album’s pretty much done so [the single] sounds literally that new. And I’ve always followed that same map to this day. He’d even [note] our second single.

For “The Planet,” he [wrote] “My journey from Boston to New York, and makin’ it.” That’s what it said; I actually still have that paper. It’s really faded out, ’cause it’s printed out [from] the early copy machine. It reminded me of me leaving Texas and makin’ it. So he spoke for both of us.

DJ Premier Says It’s Still Possible He Will Release The Final Gang Starr Album (Video)

AFH: I know it was “No More Mr. Nice Guy” from the very beginning, but from “Intro (The First Step)” to titling the album Hard To Earn, were you trying to send a statement of “don’t take our kindness for weakness”? That intro is a message that every artist trying to get on needs to hear…

DJ Premier: Oh, you’re talkin’ about the beginning of the album? We were both just goin’ through that. Like anywhere we’d go, people would always [push themselves]. At that time, we were living in Branford Marsalis’ brownstone; he’d moved to L.A. to be the music director for The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. So we were all living with him, his wife, and his son, temporarily until they moved. So all of us were in the house. Once [the neighborhood] found out that we lived there…this was right around the same time that we met Biggie. Because we’d always go down to the corner; we were all 40 [ounce beer] drinkers back then. We drank very heavily; we’d always see Biggie and all of his crew.

[We] shot the “Code Of The Streets” video on our stoop. Everybody was passin’ by. We shot it with Lionel Martin and Ralph McDaniels from Classic Concepts [and Video Music Box. So then] everybody knew that we lived there. And whenever we’d have a show, our whole crew pulls up. That is where [the concept to] “Soliloquy Of Chaos” came from because it was always the same routine, “Meet us at our house.” We’d get into the cars one by one by one, all with systems blasting, and we’d convoy to the gig.

With all of that, it just became so monotonous with people ringin’ our bell, unannounced, doin’, “Yo, my man raps, can you listen to him real quick?” It’s like, aight. It’d be horrible, then another guy would ring the bell. They’d want you to hear it right now. I mean, I still go through that to this day. Now, the only difference is, I’ll be in the barbershop in the hood and cats’ll take their phone and just put it right in my face, into my ear. I’m like, “Yo, I can’t listen to it like that. There ain’t gonna be no bass comin’ through.” They’ll be like, “Just listen to it a little bit.” It’s like, “No. You can send it to me.” I’ll give ’em the direct email to send the music and everything, but I’m not gonna listen to it on no phone. ‘Cause I don’t come from the phone era. I come from boom-boxes and driving cars—and I been driving cars since I was 11 years old. In Texas, we drive early.

But we were all tired of that sh*t. It comes with what we were doing. But when we’d see artists [in our early days], we’d just be like, “Yo man, love your sh*t”—wanted to say more, but I felt like I’d be sweatin’ ’em and d*ck-riding. So I’d always be like, “I’m comin’ out one day; you gonna see me.” I’d keep it that simple. Whether they believed me or not, that’s it. I didn’t want them to be like, “This guy’s annoying.”

DJ Premier Recalls The First Show Gang Starr Ever Did (Video)

AFH: I was 10 when the album dropped; I can’t front and say I bought Hard To Earn when it was brand new. It was a few years later. To me, “DWYCK” was always part of the album. You recently spoke to my man and former colleague Andreas Hale about how that song was intended to be added to Daily Operation. Twenty-five years later, how do you think “DWYCK” has become part of the fabric of Hard To Earn?

DJ Premier: It was gonna work no matter where we put that one. When it became such a huge hit for the summer of ’92, we got to witness it. At that time, we were still in the hood, in the projects and everything. We had our own crib, where Branford lived, obviously, but we’d still hang out in the projects with our friends that was still in the PJ’s. Drivin’ by, every car in the whole hood is blasting “DWYCK.” Like, majorly.

Again, the fact that it was supposed to be on Daily Operation and didn’t make it, I was like, “It’s gotta appear on some album.” It was an automatic [inclusion]. We got that many complaints from fans that would see us [and tell us they wanted it on CD]. Like, constantly. So we were like, “We gotta put it on Hard To Earn so on at least one of our Gang Starr albums, you can find it.”

AFH: You mentioned drinking a lot of 40 ounces. Was the way you were partying in the studio or elevating your minds any different on Hard To Earn than other albums?

DJ Premier: Nah, it was always like a frat house: girls, gettin’ high, gettin’ drunk, everybody passed out on the couch. I look at certain younger artists now [doing the same thing]. That’s just the scenario of a Rap singer. [Chuckles] But it was always [about] havin’ girls in there, ’cause you want to show off, “Yeah, yeah, we got a session today. You want to come? Oh yeah? Bring your girlfriends.” Even they’re excited, “Wow. Who knows who’s gonna be up in there?” Next thing you know you’ve three, four, five girls; five turns to 10. Next thing you know we’re partying there. Then it’s like, “Yo, let’s go to our house.” The party literally continues. We were 24 hours-Animal House, minus the destruction of tearing the place up. But a lot of things were broken: glass, bottles, all the time. And we’d do it again the next day after recovery from the hangover.

Jeru The Damaja, Big Shug & Afu-Ra Stand Tall On The Gang Starr Foundation (Video)

AFH: You mentioned the crew. The back cover of the album is great. It shows how Gang Starr looked and felt, like a gang of people. We think of Wu-Tang, Hammer’s entourage, Naughty By Nature. Obviously, you guys had always been like that. But at this point, Big Shug is on the album, Group Home, Jeru The Damaja—you’re touring with M.O.P. How did that entourage affect your confidence?

DJ Premier: Everybody was comin’ with their A-game. Group Home had “Supa Star.” It wasn’t a single [yet]; they weren’t signed yet to Payday [Records]. Jeru had “Come Clean” and [The Sun Rises In The East coming], so he was really making a lot noise in New York. Shug had just come out of prison. That’s why on “F.A.L.A.,” he says, “I did my time and now I’m free” you hear Guru [exclaim in the background]. We bought Shug a whole wardrobe of clothes; he’s just getting his feet back into the [Rap] game. He’s one of the founders of the group, so we were like, “We gotta work on demos until he gets tight.” When he spit that verse, it was, “Shug sounds dope!”

Guru did that [original beat]. I was like, “Give me the reel.” I just re-tweaked it to make it better sonically. Guru [had planned that] for either Ill Kid Records or Baldhead Slick. Guru always liked when I liked one of his tracks. He was like, “Yo, you like that?” I was like, “Yeah, we should put this on the album.” [He was really happy], because sometimes he’d think I’m not gonna like it ’cause he produced it. I’m like, “Dude…” Guru—all the time, my whole career, would wonder if I’d be against [something] ’cause it’s not produced by Premier. Nah, if it sounds good, I don’t front on anything. I don’t care if it’s somebody I don’t like. I don’t care if I don’t like you personally. The same thing with R. Kelly and [Michael Jackson]; I can’t abandon the music if the music’s good.

But [“F.A.L.A.”], I liked it off rip. I [just wanted to] mix it down and match the sonics of my tracks. Guru would usually produce one [song on every Gang Starr album], and it was usually a chick record. “She Knows What She Wantz,” he did that. On Group Home’s [Livin’ Proof], he did “Serious Rap Sh*t.” And Guru’s a good A&R; he has a good ear. He used to tell me what scratches to use.

Gang Starr Hit Yo! MTV Raps Amidst Their 1994 Mass Appeal, With A Freestyle (Video)

AFH: Like two Hall Of Fame athletes on a championship team, the two were brothers and teammates, but I know that sometimes, in the moment creatively, you would have differences of opinion or tiffs or whatever. Did the times when you were frustrated with one another creatively make for better art?

DJ Premier: Um, I don’t think it really ever affected the music, because we would always get that in-sync with one another when we made joints. I even smoked crack and would do coke and everything else and it never changed me. We all did. We were all smokin’ woolas; we’re from the woola era. Like ’85-’86, not everybody but a lot of people in the industry were doing it. Even when I ask other artists, [they admit it]. I wasn’t a pipe smoker, I didn’t smoke the stem; we’d put it in a blunt. But it’s still crack. [Laughs] But it never affected my creativity either way. I’ve never been ashamed of anything I’ve ever done because it is what it is. You never saw me walkin’ around with my teeth missing, selling my equipment, or all skinny and falling apart. We looked normal, and we weren’t on it like that. It was more recreation—a new way of spiking your weed. I’m off of it, I been off it. You get to a point where you’re like, “This ride is over.” None of us had to worry about going to rehab or anything like that. It was never that serious. In the music business, drugs, sex, R0ck & Roll, it all goes with the same territory. Fighting [too]. We’d fight, punch each other, bloody lips. Even that stuff was normal, in my opinion, because I watched Sting talk about him and Stewart Copeland from The Police talk about getting off stage and throwing punches like, “F*ck you.” We’ve done the same thing. I never looked at like it was bad for us. Because every time another record had to get made there’s no way we could’ve made this group [last] seven albums [without tensions].

AFH: One of my favorite illustrations of your and Guru’s chemistry is “Brainstorm.” The way that he hits the rhythm of those drums–

DJ Premier: –I love that; that’s one of my favorites. I love that song so much! I wanted to show that I could use other sounds, besides Jazz, as samples, being that we were heavily on that for Daily Operation, and especially Step In The Arena. I would see so many [reviews] talking about how that’s all we do [and] make our beats from, I said, “Man, I’ma strip this album down and show I can use anything: alien sounds [and] weird space effects. That’s why with “Brainstorm,” you hear that weird effect. [Mimics the beat] It’s still effective. Even “Aight Chill” is just a drum beat and phone calls. I knew the Hip-Hop Heads would get it and the reviewers would not. They said the same thing on The Ownerz when Panchi from NYG’z did the “(Hiney)” skit. They said, “Premier must’ve ran out of ideas.” No, [they] didn’t get it ’cause you’re not a f*ckin’ true Head. [They were] one of those motherf*ckin’ fake wannabes, and I don’t acknowledge those people, man. I respect all, but they’re so in the way of understanding a culture.

We’re always creative, man. My creative juices have not faltered. I’ll be 53 next week, and my creative juices are still dynamically heavy. I’m always [thinking]. I’m still like that. Look man, my brain is…all the partying and sh*t—the drugs and drinkin’ I’ve done, I still function very, very normally. [Chuckles] And I give thanks everyday, man. As soon as I wake up, the first thing I said is, “thanks.” I’m glad to be alive and still be able to bang out this Rap sh*t. I love doing Hip-Hop joints, and I love still keeping it boom-bap style.

DJ Premier has released a special merchandise collection for Gang Starr’s Hard To Earn.

Source: AmbrosiaForHeads.com

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Part 2 Of R. Kelly’s ‘GMA’ Interview Featured Girlfriends Defending Him

US-ENTERTAINMENT-MUSIC-ASSAULT-RKELLY

Source: JOSHUA LOTT / Getty

In the second portion of the Good Morning America interview with R. Kelly, women connected to the singer tearfully defended him. From their vantage point, Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary both believe that the allegations Kelly faces are all lies and a ploy from their parents to get money.

CBS News reports:

The two women who live with R. Kelly are defending him and their relationship with him. Azriel Clary, 21, and Joycelyn Savage, 23, told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King they love Kelly even though their families claim he has brainwashed them. The women said there is nothing inappropriate about their relationship with the 52-year-old.

“What is your relationship, both of you, with R. Kelly?” King asked.

“We’re with him, that’s our relationship,” Clary said.

“Yeah, we’re with him, yeah, that’s what it is,” Savage said.

“We live with him, and we’re in a relationship with him, we just said it,” Clary said.

“A very strong relationship as well,” Savage added.

“Both of you?” King asked.

“Yes,” they said, with Savage adding, “Most definitely.”

Watch the GMA interview with Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage below.

Photo: Getty

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Part 2 Of R. Kelly’s ‘GMA’ Interview Featured Girlfriends Defending Him

US-ENTERTAINMENT-MUSIC-ASSAULT-RKELLY

Source: JOSHUA LOTT / Getty

In the second portion of the Good Morning America interview with R. Kelly, women connected to the singer tearfully defended him. From their vantage point, Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary both believe that the allegations Kelly faces are all lies and a ploy from their parents to get money.

CBS News reports:

The two women who live with R. Kelly are defending him and their relationship with him. Azriel Clary, 21, and Joycelyn Savage, 23, told “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King they love Kelly even though their families claim he has brainwashed them. The women said there is nothing inappropriate about their relationship with the 52-year-old.

“What is your relationship, both of you, with R. Kelly?” King asked.

“We’re with him, that’s our relationship,” Clary said.

“Yeah, we’re with him, yeah, that’s what it is,” Savage said.

“We live with him, and we’re in a relationship with him, we just said it,” Clary said.

“A very strong relationship as well,” Savage added.

“Both of you?” King asked.

“Yes,” they said, with Savage adding, “Most definitely.”

Watch the GMA interview with Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage below.

Photo: Getty

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R. Kelly’s ‘CBS This Morning’ Interview Airs, Twitter Gets R&Pee Singer Out The Paint

Gayle King interviews R. Kelly

Source: CBS News screenshot / CBS News screenshot

Tuesday night (March 5), teaser clips and images of R. Kelly‘s CBS This Morning interview with Gayle King hit the online airwaves and reactions were swift and passionate. This morning (March 6), the interview aired in full and Twitter is getting the Pied Piper of R&Pee out the paint.

Kelly sat down with King for 80 minutes yesterday and at one point, Kelly tearfully defended his actions while saying his accusers are lying on him in his words.

“I’m very tired of all of the lies. I’ve been hearing things, and you know, and seeing things on the blogs, and you know, you know, I’m just tired,” Kelly said early on. He was then asked by King by which lies caused him the most distress and he ran down a list of things.

“Oh my God. Um — all of them, got little girls trapped in the basement… helicopters over my house trying to rescue someone that doesn’t need rescuing because they’re not in my house,” Kelly added. “Handcuffing people, starving people. I have a harem, what you call it – a cult. I don’t even really know what a cult is. But I know I don’t have one.”

Right.

The trending topic #rkellyinterview took off this morning and boy, are they cooking R. Kelly right now. We’ve got some of the reactions below.

Photo: CBS News

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[WATCH] De La Soul Talks About Still Getting Robbed By Tommy Boy Records 30 Years Later

“Tommy ain’t my motherfuckin’ Boy..” -GZA “Labels”

Legendary Long Island trio De La Soul announced to the public this week that they are currently unhappy with their former record label, Tommy Boy Records.

For the group’s 30th anniversary of their debut album 3 Ft High And Rising, the group announced via social media posts throughout the week and most recently during an appearance on Sway In The Morning how they would only be receiving 10% of the streaming revenue of their six albums that would now be available online.

On the show, Sway confirmed that Tommy Boy founder and president Tom Silverman and producer Prince Paul were expected to join yesterday’s discussion, but only De La appeared.

Om a positive note De La does have two upcoming albums with DJ Premier and and Pete Rock respectively.

The post [WATCH] De La Soul Talks About Still Getting Robbed By Tommy Boy Records 30 Years Later appeared first on The Source.

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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[WATCH] 2 Chainz x Lebron James Share Second Trailer From ‘Rap Or Go To The League’ Interview

2 Chainz, the multi-platinum, Grammy Award®-winning MC and “One of the Very Best Rappers Alive” (Noisey), confirms his highly anticipated fifth studio album, Rap Or Go To The League, which is A&R’d by LeBron James, is set for a March 1st release on the Def Jam imprint.

The countdown to March 1st is officially on, as Apple Music rolls out the first two trailers for 2 Chainz x LeBron James Rap Or Go To The League, an exclusive in-depth conversation between two of the biggest titans in their respective fields. As long time friends and fans of one another, 2 Chainz and LeBron represent the true intersection of music and sports.

The post [WATCH] 2 Chainz x Lebron James Share Second Trailer From ‘Rap Or Go To The League’ Interview appeared first on The Source.

Click Here to Discuss in the Forums

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21 Savage Talks Arrest, Threat Of Deportation & More

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 6

Source: NBC / Getty

The ongoing saga of 21 Savage has sparked a much-needed conversation about immigration and the reach of the law. In a new interview, the Atlanta rapper talks about his ordeal, the potential in facing deportation, and much more.

The New York Times exclusively writes:

Do you remember first arriving here when you were young?

Yeah, everything was like, bigger. I come from the poor side of London. My grandma house is real skinny. So when we first moved here, we was living in the hood still, but it was, like, way bigger. The toilet size, the bathroom size, it was just different. But I fell in love with it. It’s all I know.

Did you have a British accent?

Yeah, I had a accent, ’cause my first day of school they was making fun of me so I beat somebody up, and they was calling me “taekwondo kid.” My mama whupped me, she made me stay in the house. So I know I had a accent, but I been here 20 years — I don’t know what happened to it.

Do you remember when you became aware that your status wasn’t settled?

Probably like the age when you start to get your driver’s license. I couldn’t never take driver’s ed, I couldn’t never go get a job. About that age.

Read the rest of the interview by following this link.

Photo: Getty

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21 Savage Talks Arrest, Threat Of Deportation & More

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon - Season 6

Source: NBC / Getty

The ongoing saga of 21 Savage has sparked a much-needed conversation about immigration and the reach of the law. In a new interview, the Atlanta rapper talks about his ordeal, the potential in facing deportation, and much more.

The New York Times exclusively writes:

Do you remember first arriving here when you were young?

Yeah, everything was like, bigger. I come from the poor side of London. My grandma house is real skinny. So when we first moved here, we was living in the hood still, but it was, like, way bigger. The toilet size, the bathroom size, it was just different. But I fell in love with it. It’s all I know.

Did you have a British accent?

Yeah, I had a accent, ’cause my first day of school they was making fun of me so I beat somebody up, and they was calling me “taekwondo kid.” My mama whupped me, she made me stay in the house. So I know I had a accent, but I been here 20 years — I don’t know what happened to it.

Do you remember when you became aware that your status wasn’t settled?

Probably like the age when you start to get your driver’s license. I couldn’t never take driver’s ed, I couldn’t never go get a job. About that age.

Read the rest of the interview by following this link.

Photo: Getty

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Jussie Smollett Talks Alleged Racist & Homophobic Attack On ‘GMA’

ABC's 'Good Morning America' - 2019

Source: Stephen Green / Getty

Jussie Smollett is now speaking out regarding the alleged racist and homophobic attack he suffered in Chicago, despite some believing the story to be fabricated. The Empire star sat down with GMA Thursday (Feb. 14) and stood fast on the fact that the attack did indeed happened and explained some of the developments in the wake of the incident.

ABC7Chicago.com reports:

An exclusive interview with the actor aired Thursday morning on ABC’s Good Morning America. Robin Roberts asked him what was making him so angry.

“It’s the attackers, but also the attacks,” he said, adding of those who don’t believe his story, “It’s not necessarily that you don’t believe that this is the truth, you don’t even want to see the truth.”

The interview comes more than two weeks after Smollett told police that he was attacked in Chicago by two masked men yelling racial and homophobic slurs, including “MAGA Country.” He said that the attackers poured a bleach-smelling liquid on him and put a noose around his neck.

Smollett said the attack was so quick that he didn’t see much of his attackers. In fact, he said it was so fast he did not notice there was a rope around his neck until it was over.

Jussie Smollett’s GMA interview can be seen below.

Photo: Getty

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