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Mixtape Memories with DJ Whoo Kid (Part 1)

Words by Daniel Isenberg (@StanIpcus)

Nowadays, you might catch DJ Whoo Kid rocking a party in Dubai surrounded by foreign models, or interviewing A-list rappers and celebrities on his Shade 45 radio show. But back in the late ’90s and 2000s, he was running around New York City, killing the mixtape game. Many people’s first introduction to Whoo Kid was through his work on the infamous string of G-Unit mixtapes that helped turn 50 Cent into a rap superstar. And before that, he was in the mix with fellow Queens tape monsters like DJ Clue and DJ Envy, chasing after exclusives, trying to make a name for himself, and stay one step ahead of the competition.

In Part 1 of our Mixtape Memories interview with DJ Whoo Kid, he takes us back to his first introduction to making mixtapes, and recalls the ins and outs of his hustle to get exclusive songs, and also how he would tell elaborate lies to Def Jam personnel to get free records. Plus, he goes into detail about the time Big Pun kidnapped him over the release of a diss record, his legendary mixtape collaborations with Stretch Armstrong and G-Unit, and how his craftiness creating 50 Cent duets with unreleased Biggie and 2Pac acapellas had both Puff Daddy and Suge Knight trying to hunt him down. Read below, and stay tuned for more crazy antics and stories in Part 2, coming soon. Sada pop!

Influences/First Mixtape Experiences

DJ Whoo Kid: “The first time I made a tape was at my boy’s house. I used to hang with these Haitians that looked like they were Puerto Rican, but they were actually Haitian. DJ Cash, well, he was known as Blinthon—everyone thought he was my cousin because we went to the same college—he had turntables. I couldn’t afford turntables back then. They were like $1,000 or some bullshit each. I used to just practice and fuck around. He had all the records. And for me, it was like a hobby. I would to go to his house and do blend tapes. At that time, the Ron G tapes were out, Kid Capri had a mixtape. I was in college, so I was like eighteen or nineteen. This is like ‘92.

“Then, this DJ named Dirty Harry came out, and he was a Queens DJ. And [I heard his tapes], and I was like, ‘Holy shit.’ Meanwhile, I was living next door to Clue. Clue and Envy both lived down the block, across from each other. So I was already influenced by what Clue was doing. But Clue was stealing music, and I didn’t have any connections at that time.

“I tried to emulate what Dirty Harry was doing, but Dirty Harry was doing like digital blending with his mixes, using like an early type of Pro Tools. He was ahead of his time. I was doing it the old school way, mixing like [Michael Jackson’s] ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ with Rakim. I’d get an R&B acapella and mix it with a hip-hop joint that was new, like Das EFX or whatever. And blends were hot back then. If you did an ill blend, people would love it. But I still wasn’t a known DJ. I just did it because that’s what I wanted to hear. I just loved the mixes. Dirty Harry, Ron G, Kid Capri, I used to look up to those dudes.

“I made a cassette tape called The Afterparty. That was my first tape. Then professionally, when I started doing hip-hop mixtapes, I went heavy with The Afterparty [series]. I would come out with the exclusives [on my hip-hop tape], and then if I wanted a little extra money because I was hot, I would come out with a blend joint. But back then, all I had was blends.

“I made three hundred [copies of my first tape] and put them out on Jamaica Avenue, and was running around like I was famous. I used to have [DJ Clue’s] dubbing machine, but [he] was so famous that he never knew. The dubbing machines were like $3,000 at that time. So I would have his dubbing machine, and copy all my tapes, and give it back to him before he knew about it.

“You’d put in one master, and [the dubbing machine] would copy like three other tapes [at once]. It was painstaking. You’d have to sit there [dubbing them yourself over and over]. But I had to. When he would leave his parent’s house, [I’d go borrow the machine]. We were all on the same block. I went to Queensborough [Community] College with him, and then he quit and took up DJing professionally. I stayed a little longer before I quit. I definitely got influenced by him. He had the Nissan Sentra, the box one, then went to like a BMW 320i or some shit. I was like, ‘This motherfucker got a Beemer, son! Fuck that shit, nigga! I’m gonna start doing tapes!’

“People hated Clue because he probably was in the right place at the right time, but he knew how to maneuver to get the exclusives. Stealing exclusives was big. The day I really knew I wanted to be a DJ is when Biggie was on Hot 97 talking about, ‘I want to kill DJ Clue for leaking ‘One More Chance.’ It’s unfinished. It’s one verse.’ But to a DJ, one verse is enough. You’re gonna buy the CD, but we got the record [before it came out in stores]. This is the record. So it was the adrenaline rush of an artist looking for you, and you know you ain’t supposed to put this out. And the fans, they went crazy, like, ‘Oh shit, a new Clue tape’s coming out with more [exclusives].’”

Getting Exclusives

“After I did the blends for a good year and change, I linked up with Clue’s camp. And Envy, who was like his underboss DJ, he introduced me to how to get exclusives. So I would get in their whip, and go through to all the labels with them. Back then, Justo (RIP), he was at Sony I think. We would go there and meet the A&Rs, and they’d give us DATs. Some A&Rs would give us unfinished stuff. But the number one places where we used to get the music from was the rap magazines. They had to rate the albums, so [the labels] had to send them [advanced copies]. And these guys that are rating the albums are making like $5 an hour, or they’re interns. So we’d show up with $300 or $400, like, ‘Give us all the albums you got here,’ and they’d give you all of them. That’s why labels started ink-marking the , putting a drop, or saying, ‘Property of Interscope’ or whatever. So then the people who would rate them, that drop would be on their copy, and [the labels] could figure out who gave [the music to the mixtape DJs]. But for us, it was strictly some hustle shit.

“Another way we would get songs was from mixers. They don’t get paid either, and they’re there mixing the shit until six, seven in the morning. They have all those recording DATs on the wall, and there’s one DAT that records the whole session. So there would be different versions. That’s why we had Biggie rapping Lil’ Kim’s verses on ‘Queen Bitch,’ talking about sucking dick and all this shit. So we’d save those for a month where we had no exclusives. Like, we know [it’s him doing a reference track for Lil’ Kim], but it sounds fucked up. [Laughs.] I still have a lot of those kind of songs.

“[The labels] didn’t understand it. We didn’t even understand it. We just saw it as a way to make money. [If I have a Biggie exclusive], I’m outta here! But I used to look at DJ Clue like, ‘You’re putting out all this new shit. You’re down with Jay Z and all these guys.’ It was too competitive. Every time I’d go to the store [trying to sell them my tapes, they’d be like], ‘Oh, we got Clue, we don’t need your shit.’”

Free Records

“I used to lie like crazy. I used to make believe I DJ’d in Asia and all this stupid shit. But I didn’t even DJ in Queens. So I used to go to the old Def Jam building on Varick and be like, ‘Yo, I’m about to go to fucking Africa, I need some records.’ Because, you know, records were expensive back then. So I used to get free wax. And Chris Lighty, and his brother Mike Lighty, they used to run the wax department. So my lies went up the channels, like, ‘Yo, this is DJ Whoo Kid, he’s about to go to Japan.’ They would need a reason to give me shit. I used to go there so much, just lying. I’d bring them fake flyers like, ‘Yo, you see? Look at the flyer, God. I’m about to leave on Monday, I need the shit this week.’ Crazy.

“But then Russell Simmons just happened to hear, and was like, ‘Yo, who’s this Whoo Kid guy who lives in Hollis right by me? He’s in Japan?’ And I knew Russell, because I used to always see them on my block. So I had to go in and meet Russell. And I was like, ‘Yo, I’m doing it right now!’ I knew for a fact Russell was not going to be checking up on me. Nowadays, you can’t even lie now. You gotta tweet where you’re at, and show photos where you’re at. But back then, there was no technology like that. So I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m killing it!’

“I got so cool with them that the lies became believable. So I started getting free shit. And Chris Lighty starting moving up the ranks, from like the assistant to Russell, then he became like the head of A&R, then an executive. So I started DJing his [parties], and I got really close with the Lighty family. I knew all the brothers, and I became like a ‘lost brother.’ It was a coincidence, even with him managing 50 and everything. I was meant to be down with this family.”

Mixtape Hustle

“Clue was too big, so Envy was the only one I could get at. I knew Clue since we were kids, but I never asked him for a favor. And I hate when DJs come up to you and ask you for favors. Clue did it on his own, so it’s like, ‘I don’t got time for this shit.’ So when Clue would drop, I would drop a week later, and still make money. So if I was making $20,000 or $30,000 from the street, who knows what Clue was making. I’d get like $30,000 cash, off one tape. And the blend tape was like another $3,000 or $4,000.

“We knew the African bootleggers, the Chinese bootleggers. There were Irish bootleggers. It got to a point where we were sending masters overseas. It was a really good hustle. Masters were like the biggest thing, because people would pay $1,000 for a master, or $700 for a master, depending on what songs you had. It had to be worth it if you’re going to steal somebody’s record and hide. That’s why Whoo Kid made sense for me [as a DJ name]. I got my name from mother taking a shit, and my father being like, ‘Whooo weee.’ That’s how I got my name. But when I became a real DJ, Whoo Kid made sense, because no one knew who the kid was that had the exclusive. And I never had my picture on the cover of my tapes. That’s why they always thought I was Clue, like Clue had a secondary name.”

Getting Kidnapped by Big Pun

“I played the original version of [Sauce Money’s] ‘Middle Finger U’ on a tape. On the song, Sauce Money was killing Big Pun, because at the time I think Big Pun had beef with Jay Z. His peoples supposedly hit Jay with a bottle in the club or some shit. But Jay never retaliated or did a record. I think I got it from Envy and them, but they didn’t want to play it because they knew Pun. But I didn’t know how real it was, because I wasn’t out there like that. So I was like, ‘Give it to me, I’ll play it.’

“That record I think was going at Pun. But I made it look like like that, too. Everything was ‘vs.’ I had Nas vs. Cormega. This nigga vs. that nigga. And the cool thing about it was Clue was with Beanie Sigel and all those Philly cats at the time. So it looked like he wasn’t repping Queens like that. So I hung out with Mobb Deep, and LL Cool J, and made sure I knew all the Queens guys. And the cool thing about hanging out with them is I would [hear about all the beefs]. So if Nas did a record dissing this guy, I’d call Cormega, like, ‘Yo man, I just heard, Nas is killing you, son.’ So then Cormega would run and do a record dissing him. Then I’d have both, and put ‘vs.’ I did that with everybody. I’d be like, ‘Yo, yeah nigga I was in the studio, God. This shit is crazy.’ They’d be like, ‘What?! I’m going in right now. I’m gonna kill this nigga.’ Then [they’d do the diss record and] be like, ‘Play this Whoo Kid.’ So I’d have all the beef joints.

“The fucked up shit is, there were no ill photos of Pun at that time. There were no ill head shots. So when I went to do the cover, the only photo I had of Pun was him laying back on a chair looking crazy with his gut out. So he was kind of pissed about that, too. But the thing was, he didn’t know who I was to catch me. So he finally got the number off the tape.

“So, I did some free party with [Funkmaster] Flex in Queens. And Pun acted like he was gonna book me for somewhere in Harlem and pay me $1,000. It was Pun actually talking to me, but I didn’t know. I thought the breathing was kind of weird, but I didn’t know it was Pun. He was like, ‘Yeah, we got this show with Flex and Big Kap. You and Kap are gonna kill it. Where you wanna meet?’ So I was like, ‘Holy shit,’ because I was getting like $150 to $300 to DJ at that time. So I said, ‘Don’t call my manager. I’m gonna come out to the Apollo to meet you, and I’ll DJ your show.’

“So I called my boy who had a gun to come with me. And I had the Honda Accord with the lights that come up. I had a super-wack whip. So we’re waiting for the guy to come meet me. I get out to use the payphone to call the number that called me, and I’m like, ‘Motherfucker, where the fuck you at?!’ I thought it was a promoter, and I would yell at promoters. I had no respect for promoters. So I’m like, ‘Fuck you, nigga. You better hurry the fuck up! We’ve been waiting out here all day.’ So Pun was probably like, ‘Yo, who the fuck is this guy?!?!’ Let’s get everybody!!’

“Pun was doing the ‘Banned From TV’ video that day. And this was before I was DJing for N.O.R.E. So Pun played the [Sauce Money] record off the tape at the video shoot, and had everybody from ‘Banned From TV’ surrounding him listening to it. So he was like, ‘Yo, we’re gonna get this nigga today. I wanna hurry up and finish this video so I can go get this nigga.’ N.O.R.E. was telling me they were all like, ‘I hope it ain’t Clue. I think this might be Clue.’ So Pun finishes the ‘Banned From TV’ video and goes to meet me at the Apollo.

“So I’m in the car, and I see a Benz [pull up]. I’m like, ‘Oh shit, this guy’s got the paper!’ And my friends are in the car going crazy and shit. So I get out, and some Puerto Rican kid in the car is like, ‘Whooo Kiiiid,’ and does my shout. And I’m like, ‘Damn, Flex be hanging with Puerto Ricans?’ So he’s like, ‘Nah, follow me [Uptown], and we’ll do the business there.’ So I’m like, ‘Aiight, I’ll follow you, kid,’ because it was an ill Benz. So I was like, ‘This guy means business.’

“So I get there, and the road was like one of those project joints with the circle, where you can go left or right. So the way they mapped it out is they went to the right, and I had to park to the left. But there was a van in the middle. And the van in the middle had rims, and you could tell it had a big screen on the inside. So I was like, ‘Oh, Flex is here! I’m gonna go talk to Flex, God!’ You know, because Flex had the car shit he was promoting. So I told my boys to chill, like, ‘I’m gonna get this money, then we’ll go get some weed.’ So everybody’s happy, because they just wanted some weed anyway. They just came for that.

“So I get out, and there’s a Puerto Rican outside all happy, then another Puerto Rican sitting on the bench. And I’m like, ‘Flex got Puerto Ricans all over?’ I wasn’t even thinking about Pun or nothing, until I went around the van. And the way they parked, the van blocked my friends from seeing me. So my friends are in the car chilling, bullshitting or whatever.

“So the door starts sliding, and I see this big shadow in the car. And I’m like, ‘Yo, I didn’t know Flex was fucking fat like that. Is that Big Kap?’ And once I saw Pun, the mixtape came into my head, and I was like, ‘Holy shit. I don’t believe this shit.’ So Pun’s like, ‘Come inside. Let me have a chat with you.’ And I’m like, ‘Hell no!’ So I tried to back up, but I had to go far so my friends could see I was in trouble. And as I was backing up, my hands went down. And when my hands went down, Pun had an Uzi. I closed my eyes, and when I opened them, I was in the van. That’s how fast they threw me in the van.

“So I’m like, ‘What the fuck! I’m gonna die for a fucking song!’ I’m screaming, like, ‘Yo, are you serious!?’ They had me on my knees, and his boys were yelling in Spanish, ‘Callate la boca,’ and all this crazy shit. So Pun is like, ‘Come here and sit next to me.’ But there was nowhere to sit, because he was taking up the whole shit. So I go to get up, and the tape with him on the cover falls out of my pocket. So his boys are screaming in Spanish, and I’m like, ‘I’m gonna fucking die!’

“So Pun kicks his boy out, and he explained that the Latin Kings were laughing at him because of the tape. It was everywhere. It was at Beat Street, which is shut down now, all over the Bronx. It was [not just because of the picture on the cover] but because of the song. He was like, ‘You’re making me look crazy out here because I didn’t respond yet. The Latin Kings are laughing me, like, ‘Who is this Whoo Kid guy? Does he have no respect for you?’’ So I’m like, ‘Do I look like a gangbanger or some shit?’ And he’s like, ‘I’m starting to figure that out right now. I’m gonna go to Roc-A-Fella and handle all this bullshit, like, tomorrow. And on the intro to your next tape, I want you to be like, ‘Fuck Jay Z, fuck [Sauce Money].’ I was like, ‘Whatever, just let me outta here!’ [Laughs.] That was my first reality check with anything that has to do with gangsterism in hip-hop. Some people are fake, but some people are real.”

“I kept stealing shit after [the Big Pun incident], because of that adrenaline rush. Once you get past a life-threatening situation, then [you have no fear]. All of a sudden I was DJing for CNN, even though N.O.R.E. was like, ‘I wanted to fuckin’ kill you because you had mad shit of mine.’ Like 50, he was beating motherfuckers up, throwing DJs, ripping their clothes off on the Ave., making them walk naked. It was some real shit back then. Even Clue was like, ‘They want to kill me this year, but next year they want hang with me.’ So you just gotta take risks. I had mad Jay Z shit, mad Nas shit.

“Once I bought my Benz, I quit my job working security at the airport. I was saving, living with my parents, but then I was like, ‘Fuck that job shit.’ You know, all a nigga need is a whip.”

Collaborating with Stretch Armstrong

“Stretch Armstrong had the big radio show on Hot 97, so I abused his name in all my conversations. I was the king of using all my resources. I didn’t have to lie anymore, so the lies at this point were minimal. ‘Yo, I produce Stretch Armstrong’s show. We need this exclusive.’ Or I’d be like, ‘Stretch needs that song. He ain’t playing your shit.’ Everybody wanted Stretch to debut their record, so it started off as me getting music for his show.

“I’d be like to Stretch, ‘I’ll get you this song, you blast it off Sunday, and I’ll put it on my tape the following week.’ So for a while, I was getting exclusives off the strength of Stretch. He didn’t have time to chase records and do all that street shit. So I was like, ‘Let me do that for you, and you let me be on the radio whenever you need me.’ So I made him look good because he had all the new shit, and then I could use the songs for my tapes. And he would let me be on the radio for like five minutes here and there, like, ‘Yo, Whoo Kid got me this new song.’ And he’d talk to me, and we’d laugh. That was my first introduction to the radio shit.

“One day, I was like, ‘Why don’t we do a tape?’ And he was the king of having motherfuckers freestyle. So I was like, ‘Why don’t we go through all those exclusive freestyles you have in the vaults, and put them out on tapes?’ He had freestyles of Jay Z doing ill shit. He has so much shit, we couldn’t even go through his whole archives. He had shit that was unnamed that I would go through. DATs of whole shows.

“But it was cool because the DATs were separated, so the acapellas were separate. And Stretch used to manage Red Spyda, so that’s how I got cool with him. So I was like, ‘If you got the acapellas separate in your DATs, let’s get Red Spyda to do new beats to them, or mixes to them and put them under a Rakim beat or whatever, and it can sound totally new. You got Jay Z on the show one time, and no one’s going to remember it, because you got no platform for them to hear it again. Let’s put it out fresh and new.’ We had mad Eminems, because Eminem was always on Stretch’s show. So we did Murda Mixtape 1, 2, and 3. Then we started getting people to come in and do exclusives.

“I was giving him money. I’d give him like $5,000, and he wasn’t doing shit. I’d go out there, put the shit out, run from the cops. I was like, ‘The streets love you already, and now they love you more with the mixtape shit. I’ll give you $5,000 and keep whatever I make off the shit.’ Because I knew I was making like $20,000. And Stretch was like, ‘This is easy money! I didn’t do shit!’ He was happy.

“Then when the World Trade Center came down, he thought his dog died from the explosion. I don’t remember exactly, but his dog got loose. And he was crying like, ‘I can’t do the radio, man. My pug is outta here! Yo, Whoo Kid just do it, you know how to do it.’ So it’s fucked up, but because of the World Trade Center, that’s how I got my first shot [to do a full show], because he couldn’t do the show that Sunday. And I did it, and Ebro, and Tracy who was like the head boss at Hot 97 at the time, were like, ‘Whoo Kid is actually [good at this].’ And that’s how I got my first show. I was doing Saturdays late night, and then Clue left, and they gave me my own show on Mondays. It’s not like I went to school for this shit, but I was in the right place at the right time.”

The LOX “Freestyle” (off Murda Mixtape Part 3)

Murda Mixtape Part 4 and Murda Mixtape Part 5 Covers

“Clue was our competitor. When Clue dropped, everyone just chilled, like, ‘Yo, we ain’t dropping this week.’ So I had to go hard with the music, the hosting, and the covers. I had Nojo, who did everyone’s cover at that time, but I used to pay Nojo extra to do ill shit. I used to do photo shoots. Me and Stretch, we went to like a car crash dealership in Queens. We were like, ‘Yo, you got a Benz or something that’s fucked up that we can sit in?’ Dude was like, ‘You guys alright?’ Just picture me walking into this car crash spot with this tall ass white dude, like an eight foot Jew. Then we had fatigues on, and wanted to look like CNN from [The War Report cover]. Stretch saw the money and creativity [with the music] of course, but he saw that it was some funny, creative shit [with the artwork], too. He allowed me to make him do all this weird shit.

“People thought we died [when we put out the cover with the fake crash on it]. Imagine if we had Instagram or Twitter back then. I would’ve been killing it out there. There were like rumors, like, ‘Yo, I heard Whoo Kid and Stretch Armstrong died in a car crash, and the cover’s out.’ I was like, ‘Are these people stupid?’ But it was like a comedic aspect [to us putting out tapes together].”

50 Cent Is the Future

“I left the exclusives [game], because it’s hard to have ten rappers with a new song and every one of them be hot. So I switched it to one artist tapes. 50 Cent was the first one who woke me up with that.

“I knew 50 musically, and he knew I was playing his music, but I didn’t know him [personally]. I used to see him on my block, on 111th. He was like 300 pounds, riding up on a Ninja and smacking drug dealers and then leaving. They owed him money, or they were trying to go on his turf. I don’t know. I was just a dumb Haitian kid. But he was notorious.

“So 50 got shot the fuck up, and he didn’t trust nobody. So 50 told Sha Money XL, who’s my blood cousin, ‘Why don’t you get your cousin to host the mixtape?’ He knew I was doing mixtapes at the time. So the first time I got to meet Fif, Banks looked like he was gonna rob me. Yayo didn’t want to talk to me. They were street thugs, and they didn’t trust nobody. They just tried to kill their boss, so they were on some not-trusting shit. There were guns everywhere, and vests. I was like, ‘What am I getting involved in?’ I didn’t even take the music with me. I just did the drops and everything right there in Sha Money’s basement, and I left. Then Sha Money was like, ‘I’m gonna put it together, and you put it out there.’

“When I first went to meet 50, it was like a couple months after [he got shot]. It was crazy, because we all had Benzes and ill cars. But 50 would drive down from the Poconos, and you’d see a piece of shit van. And that was his car. And Banks and Yayo would be in there. They just didn’t have money at that time. But he had plans of what he wanted to do.

“I was ready to have my head down [when I first saw him], because he got shot in his face, and they told me the bullet went through his mouth, and his teeth were gone. But when I saw him, I was like, ‘Oh shit, it kind of looks like nothing happened.’ So I got comfortable. Then he was like, ‘After this shit comes out, we’re out. We’re gonna go on tour. So whoever you’re with, fuck ‘em.’

“We did 300 shows off the strength off 50 Cent Is the Future. People knew the raps from beginning to end. I couldn’t believe it. Freestyles. I didn’t [have anything to do with the creative process of the records in the beginning]. I just got thrown in the car while they were robbing the bank. I was a passenger, and they were like, ‘Motherfucker, play the songs.’ They did freestyles for me, but I didn’t have any creative input until maybe like the third one.”

50 Cent “Whoo Kid/Kay Slay Shit” (off 50 Cent Is the Future)

50 Cent “Realest Niggas” ft. The Notorious B.I.G.

“We were still stealing music like crazy. So I happened to go through one of my DATs, and I found a whole session of Diddy and Biggie on there. I think an unfinished version of ‘Who Shot Ya’ was on there, and Clue played it first, so I got the DAT later on. I got it from Trackmasters. They were like, ‘Clue used it first, but there’s probably some acapellas on it you can use for a blend.’ [I had it because] we were gonna do a Trackmasters mixtape, but we never did it. So I just had the DAT collecting dust.

“One day, I was playing the shit, and I was like, ‘What the fuck? There’s [an unreleased] Biggie verse on here.’ I called Spyda, and he was like, ‘Yo, I don’t think I ever heard this.’ I was like, ‘You sure?’ I called eight people in the industry, and they were all like, ‘I don’t know what the fuck this is. Where’d you get this from?’

“Then I called Fif, like, ‘Yo, I think I got a Biggie acapella that nobody’s ever heard.’ Diddy had been recycling Biggie, so I didn’t want to do it like that. Then Fif was like, ‘Yo, bring that shit over here.’ We heard it, and we were like, ‘What the fuck?!’ Then Red Spyda did some crazy track, and Fif got on there.

“So I went to get on Hot 97. I wait until Flex went home, and was driving home. And I was like, ‘Yo, New York City, it’s about to go down right now!’ And I did a mixtape with Diddy a while before, and he had did drops for me. So I put Diddy on the intro. ‘Yo, Whoo Kid, Shadyville Entertainment, Bad Boy collabo.’ So Diddy’s in his office, and just imagine an intern being like to him, ‘Yo, there’s a new Biggie song on the radio.’ So Diddy’s listening to ‘Realest Niggas’ like, ‘Yo what the fuck is going on?! I’ve never even heard this shit!!!’ I played that shit like twenty times. My boy said Diddy was swinging like dude in Boyz n the Hood after the cops fucked with him, flipping tables. Flex was in the car like, ‘Where’d you get this shit from?!?!’

“Then Diddy was trying to call up. There’s like an artist line that’s green [on the phones at Hot 97]. But we were like, ‘We ain’t picking that shit up.’ And I kept playing it, bombing. Bomb, bomb, bomb. I knew that shit was serious when we were in Africa performing that shit, and like 20,000 Africans knew every word. I was like, ‘Yo, this shit is outta here!’ I don’t even wanna remember what tape I put that on. I just remember that Hot 97 moment.”

“Diddy was looking for me for months, but he couldn’t find me. Then we were doing Saturday Night Live, so we had to go for rehearsal. So Diddy’s like, ‘Yo, I gotta go to Saturday Night Live to get this nigga, have him tell me where he got this shit from.’

“I’m last off stage, and I see Diddy’s head in the back. So I start to run off stage, and go into 50’s dressing room, because Diddy wasn’t gonna do nothing with 50 there. So I’m trying to run, and Diddy corners me. Then he puts me in a headlock, and brings me to 50’s room. So 50’s drinking apple juice or whatever, and can you imagine the door opening, and it’s Diddy with me in a headlock? At Saturday Night Live?

“He’s like, ‘Yo Whoo Kid, where’d you get the song from?!’ I’m like, ‘Yo, I don’t be snitching. Yo Fif, you want me to snitch, man?’ And 50’s laughing like, ‘Yo Whoo Kid, just tell him where you got it from.’ I’m like, ‘I can’t tell. Code of the streets, yo!’ And Diddy’s like, ‘I wanna know right now!’ So I’m like, ‘Trackmasters.’ He’s like, ‘What?!?!!’ Them niggas?!?!!?’ Because you know him, he’s supposed to have every Biggie joint. So the fact that I had a Biggie joint he never heard, and I put him on the intro, it made him even more crazy. I played that like a hundred times on purpose. Man, I wish there was a video camera of when I first played it. Him flipping tables like, ‘Yo, niggas is ripping me off!!! Niggas is hiding shit from me!!!’”

Linking with Snoop Dogg

“We were getting so popular that I started contacting everyone in the industry. And because we were so hot, people would listen. Snoop didn’t understand what a mixtape was. He was like, ‘What the fuck is that? I don’t do no freestyle. I don’t give shit out for free, cuz.’ And I was like, ‘Yo, I’m just gonna send this record.’ So I sent him ‘P.I.M.P.’ because he was on that pimp shit, like, ‘Yo, get on this.’ So he was like, ‘I’m getting on this remix, cuz.’

“It started as a freestyle, and 50 was like, ‘Yo, I’m gonna make this the official remix,’ because it was hot. The Smoking Day tape was the first time [that remix came out] and the first time we fucked with Snoop. That was like the illest shit. We broke barriers with that shit. When they did the video for that shit, I was like, ‘Yo, we’re at the video shoot. This is the official remix.’ They threw Buck on there, and Banks. Yayo was locked up. Then I called Sean Paul, he was super fire at the time. I got him to do a joint with Fif.”

50 Cent “Realest Killaz” ft. 2Pac

“Then, Snoop had issues with Suge. He couldn’t clear a lot of joints. I went out to L.A., and he was like, ‘I heard that shit you did with Biggie. Yo, fuck that nigga Suge. Take this 2Pac shit.’ And I was like, ‘What? You want me to do something with this?’ I thought it was a 2Pac joint that was out already. But nah, here we go again! It was crazy, because it was right after the Biggie shit. Meanwhile, we had ‘Wanksta’ on the radio, ‘P.I.M.P. (Remix),’ ‘In Da Club,’ ‘21 Questions,’ and mad freestyles that were on radio, too. He had the LL Cool J joint [‘After My Chedda’], and LL was mad because they played 50’s joint more than his single. The Sean Paul record was on the radio, too.

“I called it ‘Realest Killaz’ because I just did ‘Realest Niggas.’ So then Biggie’s mom calls 2Pac’s mom, like, ‘Yo, this Whoo Kid guy. I heard in the streets [he’s got an unreleased 2Pac song].’ So they sent a cease and desist to Chris Lighty, because he was managing 50 at the time. So Chris Lighty calls me like, ‘Yo, I heard your dumbass got some 2Pac song. I got a cease and desist letter.’ I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ He said, ‘Nigga, you know what the fuck I’m talking about. Don’t put that song out Whoo Kid!’ I was the first DJ to get a cease and desist, and we didn’t even have the song out yet! So I called 50, because I know 50’s crazy. I was like, ‘Yo man, Chris Lighty called me and said we can’t put this 2Pac shit out.’ So 50’s like, ‘Nigga, fuck what Chris Lighty say, put that shit out.’ I was like, ‘Aiight, remember you said that! Peace!’ [Laughs.]

“So we’re mixing the shit down in the studio. I’m over there humping like I’m Bobby Brown, like, ‘This shit’s about to cause mad trouble.’ Then Chris Lighty came to meet up with Troy from Ruff Ryders in the studio next door to us. So he’s working on a song with them or some shit, and he hears us blasting off in the other room. Stretch Armstrong was there, too. Me, Stretch, and Red Spyda were going crazy, like, ‘Yo, this shit’s gonna be the bomb!’ Then Chris Lighty comes in, like the weirdest coincidence. And he’s like, ‘Didn’t I tell you, you can’t put out that song?!?!!! What the fuck is you doing?!?!!!!’ [Laughs.] Yo, I’ve never been so scared in my life. It was like my mother came in on me while I was fucking a bitch or something. ‘Fuck outta here Whoo Kid!!! I told you that shit ain’t coming out!!!!’ I was like, ‘Yo, we’re just mixing it!’

“I went to Hot 97 the next Monday, and waited ‘til Flex was in the car, again. ‘Bbbbbrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrtttttt!’ Flex was like, ‘Oh shit, this nigga Whoo Kid did it again!’ It was like the wildest month of chaos. That’s why Fif had to do so many records for the future 2Pac albums. His mother was ready to sue. It was the best illegal shit we ever did.

“Plus, 50 dissed Ja Rule on there. He was like, ‘You wanna be Pac? Here’s 2Pac!’ You know, 50 was comparing how Ja Rule had the bandanas and the tats, and the guns on his chest and all this shit. So it felt so good for him to do that, and it’s a new [2Pac verse]. He annihilated Ja. That was the finisher right there. We were doing those joints in Africa, Russia, Germany. But you don’t know how much shit I went through for that one. Hiding from Suge Knight, I almost got caught by Suge Knight. But it’s over now. That was like ten years ago. Leave a nigga alone.”

Images via Tape DiggersG-Unit Polska, The Coli, House of Nubian, MixtapeTorrent, and Discogs   

Check out Mixtape Memories with DJ Whoo Kid (Part 2) here  

Previously: Mixtape Memories with DJ Drama (Part 1) | Mixtape Memories with DJ Drama (Part 2)Mixtape Memories with DJ Green Lantern (Part 1) | Mixtape Memories with DJ Green Lantern (Part 2) | Mixtape Memories with Tony Touch | Mixtape Memories: 15 Classic Cam’ron Mixtape Cuts | 10 Classic Biggie Smalls Mixtape Cuts | Mixtape Memories: 5 Classic Kanye West Freestyles |Mixtape Memories: 5 Classic Redman Freestyles