Archive for the 'Interviews' Category

NahRight x UpNorthTrips Present: Memory Lane, a Digital Museum of Mobb Deep’s The Infamous

Friday, April 24th, 2015


Words by Paul Meara (@PaulMeara) with additional reporting from Evan Auerbach (@UpNorthTrips)

Mobb Deep were legends far before anything they created touched wax. The two met each other in high school when a young Prodigy witnessed his eventual rap partner fighting a kid twice his size in the school yard. Outmatched by size and the fact that his nemesis had a knife, Havoc dipped every swing and eventually won the bout. There was no such thing as Mobb Deep back then. Poetical Prophets didn’t even exist. It was just Albert and Kejuan. At the time, P was perusing a solo career but that quickly changed after meeting Hav. All connections he made and access to free studio time disolved once potential labels found out that any ink-to-contract came with also signing a then unknown lyrical accomplice.

The duo would eventually land on 4th & Broadway in 1992 and release their debut Juvenile Hell album a year later. The project was widely regarded as a flop and Mobb Deep was dropped from their first label later that year. Only 17 at the time, each have admitted in retrospect that their immaturity and work ethic weren’t all the way there when recording their first LP. Luckily, they would have a second chance. That re-up would be The Infamous.

The Mobb’s sophomore effort developed in a manner similar to their own childhood. It was cultivated in the cramped confides of Hav’s childhood home in building 41-15 and later brought to the studio for further development. Q-Tip, who originally helped Mobb Deep obtain their first deal with the Def Jam offshoot label, would become one of The Infamous’ masterminds. Every scratchy sample spawned by Havoc’s MPC 16 and every cold-blooded verse from Prodigy’s barbarous delivery was amplified by the A Tribe Called Quest producer. He, along with the Mobb, put together one of the darkest albums the genre has ever seen and arguably the best sonic representation of the place they called home.

The Infamous was released on April 25, 1995 but it was a body of work that represented the short lived triumphs and struggles Mobb Deep had faced since officially joining forces in 1991. It was the cultivation of learned lessons both musically and in life during the four years previous. The album represented the transition from a written off, immature duo to the makings of what would become one of hip-hop music’s preeminent groups. NahRight recently spoke to numerous key players involved in crafting The Infamous, including P and Hav. To best understand the album, where it came from and the people who made it what it was, we also gathered photos and key audio to accompany stories about its formation and lasting impact. Or a trip down “Memory Lane,” as Nas would put it.

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Mobb Deep on the Influence of Q-Tip

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Here’s a clip of Havoc and Prodigy speaking on their experience working with Q-Tip on “Drink Away The Pain” and the ATCQ frontman’s legacy. They describe their reaction to his left-field, fashion themed verse on a song about drinking, their respect for him as a Queens icon and producer and more.

Previously: Mobb Deep – Biology (Prod. by Alchemist)

T.I. & Kap G Talk “La Policia (Remix)” on CNN

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Tip and Kap G recently appeared on CNN to discuss their new “La Policia (Remix)”, which tackles the issue of state sanctioned murder of Black people by law enforcement in an unapolgetically aggressive manner. Unfortunatley, anchor Don Lemon, who is well-documented as a n-bomb and saggy pants shamer, served as the moderator. The conversation starts out relatively well but then it turns into a discussion about what Lemon describes as the song’s “inflammatory” lyrics. In Lemon’s mind, the use of profanity when speaking about law enforcement somehow translates to “go out and shoot cops”.

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Video: Ja Rule on Serving Time with the CEO of Tyco

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

In this teaser clip for CNBC’s upcoming special White Collar Convicts: Life On The Inside, Ja Rule speaks on serving time in Mid-State prison with disgraced former Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski. He talks about being targeted by other inmates because of his notoreity and explains how the former executive would exchange gifts to guards for favorable treatment. Kozlowski, who was convicted in 2005 of securities fraud and other charges, once spent $1 million dollar of his company’s money on party for his wife that featured an ice sculpture of Michaelangelo’s David that pee’d Stoli vodka.

Previously: Ja Rule – Superstar (Video)

Joe Budden – I’ll Name This Podcast Later (Ep. 10)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015


Joe Budden keeps the I’ll Name This Podcast Later series going strong with episode 10.

Joe, Marisa, and Rory discuss run flat tires, or lack there of, J. Cole’s video choice, the “Pump It Up” treatment, a possible R&B album bracket in the works, and Rory is taken to homie court for his patterns with women.

Previously: Joe Budden – I’ll Name This Podcast Later (Ep. 9)

Black Rob on The Combat Jack Show

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015


The one and only Black Rob joins Jack and Premium Pete on the latest episode of The Combat Jack Show.

We got Rob’s life story. From motherless child to being on the ground floor of the Bad Boy Empire. Then jail. His health. And now his comeback. Realest story you’ll hear today.

Previously: Black Rob – Welcome To My Life

In The Lab with Yelawolf

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015


Words by Eric Diep
Images by Steven Lau

We’re at an undisclosed location in SoHo with Yelawolf, and he really wants chicken wings right now. It’s early in the morning. Not exactly the typical time for people to eat a hot plate of wings and fries from Virgil’s, but you got to satisfy your cravings somehow. The conversation with everyone in the room shifts to all the dope BBQ spots around the city, including one in Brooklyn called Delaney. “Nobody does fried chicken like NYC,” Yela says, describing how the Big Apple has mastered cooking with a black iron skillet. For someone who was born and raised in Gadsden, Alabama, a town deeply rooted in Southern BBQ traditions and soul food, it’s quite the compliment.

Since signing to Shady Records in 2011, Catfish Billy has done little to conform to mainstream’s standards. The heavily tattooed rapper has stuck to his upbringing and influences of rock, hip-hop and country, releasing music that attracts all types of listeners whether you’re a fan of Eminem or Tim McGraw. After his breakout mixtape Trunk Muzik, he released a subpar debut album entitled Radioactive, where he has vocally expressed his frustrations about it, even when the title itself implied his dominance on radio. Never letting missteps bring him down, he put out a steady stream of free music—EPs with Ed Sheeran, Travis Barker and DJ Paul, as well as Trunk Muzik Returns—in hopes of regaining the spotlight. Nearly four years later, Yela focused on delivering music that’s true to his roots with Love Story.

To get a better feel for his second studio album, we caught up with the Shady Records signee just a few days before the release date. We discussed recording in the famed Blackbird Studios in Nashville, his writing process, learning from Eminem and more. We also touch on why he quit skateboarding to pursue a rap career, his plans for producing the entire next album, his love for Johnny Cash, and the upcoming lyric book that’s coming out with Love Story. “The entire album is handwritten in the lyric book we are putting out and Eminem handwrote his verse too for his feature,” Yela revealed. “The lyric book has all the handwritten lyrics to every song and a bunch of the making of photos. It’s pretty cool.”

We can’t wait. But for now, read up on how the Slumerican gets to work in the lab.

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Video: Flatbush Zombies vs. The Underachievers (Back and Forth)

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

In Noisey’s latest episode of their ‘Back and Forth’ interview series, Meechy Darko of the Flatbush Zombies kicks it with Issa Gold of The Underachievers during a recent trip to London. They talk least favorite places they’ve performed, weed, Nando’s, fans and more.

Previously: We’re Gonna Be Lords (Documentary) ft. Action Bronson, Flatbush Zombies

Watch A$AP Rocky’s Red Bull Music Academy Lecture

Monday, April 20th, 2015


Red Bull Music Academy has made the full footage of A$AP Rocky’s recent lecture session at their London studio available for your viewing pleasure. During the 80 minute talk, Rocky speaks extensively about recording his new album ALLA in the UK, reveals that Yasiin Bey will be appearing on the project, introduces us to producer Joe Fox and debuts the song “M’s”.

Watch below.

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Cam’ron Talks Snitching on The Nightly Show

Thursday, April 16th, 2015


Cam’s 2007 appearance on 60 Minutes is legendary among internet pundits for his now infamous assertion that he would not tell the police about a hypothetical serial killer living next door to him. Last night on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, he appeared on a panel with comedian Chris Distefano and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka to revisit the topic of cooperation with law enforcement.

Watch below.

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