KiD CuDi Covers Complex (October/November)

Monday, September 19th, 2011

A sober and clear-minded KiD CuDi speaks to Complex Editor In Chief Noah Callahan-Bever for their October/November issue. In the magazine’s third cover story with the rapper/actor in three years, he speaks about cleaning up his act, recent career moves such as his highly publicized separation from managers Pat & Emile, his relationship with women, fucking with other people musically (he still doesn’t, btw), making up with Wale, working on a rock album, being sober and the TV show.

So not a lot of features in your future?
I’m not interested in being someone’s look. And that’s what it is nowadays—a look. It’s hard for me to charge people, because I do my stuff for free. I do all my stuff with Jay and Kanye on the house, because it’s a brotherhood. Besides them, I can’t really hit nobody with a fee, because then that’s a dispute. What I want to charge, motherfuckers might not have a budget for!

On top of that, it’s a commitment when you do a song with somebody. Like, “We need a single, we need the video.” And then—like I said in the last interview, being that I don’t fuck with most people musically—it’s tough for me to want to bend and be a part of people’s projects.

Full story: Complex.

Behind the scenes from the cover shoot after the jump.

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Video: Swizz Beatz x Reebok x Complex in Vegas

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Reebok Classics and Complex threw a party in Las Vegas last week for the Magic Trade Show and Swizz Beatz was there to perform.

On August 22nd, Reebok partnered with Complex to host one of the hottest parties during the Magic trade show in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay’s Moorea Beach Club. The event featured an electric live performance by Grammy award winning artist Swizz Beatz, as well as a set by legendary DJ Funkmaster Flex.

Previously: Estelle ft. Swizz Beatz, Jadakiss & Busta Rhymes – Break My Heart (Remix)

Video: Wiz Khalifa on MTV’s “When I Was 17”

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Previously: Wiz Khalifa & Danny McBride Cover Complex’s 9th Anniversary Issue

Kanye West Covers Complex (December/January)

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Donda’s Baby Boy graces the cover of the December/January issue of Complex magazine. For the cover story, Editor-in-Chief Noah Callahan-Bever provides a rare look inside Kanye’s “Fantasy Rap Camp” in Hawaii and the making of My Dark Twisted Fantasy.

The sun sets, and Q-Tip and Consequence arrive, straight from the plane. Kanye asks RZA if he’d voice the hook—”Champagne wishes and 30 white bitches/You know the shit is, fuckin’ ridic’lous”—and the Abbott steps into the booth and obliges, immediately transforming from sedate and stoned to amped and aggressive. It’s enough to make us all chuckle on his first take; wrapped around those words, his thick and bizarre drawl just sounds so perfectly…RZA. But Kanye notices something off in the delivery, and he presses the intercom button to talk to RZA: “Um, fam, it’s actually ‘thirty white bitches,’ not ‘dirty white bitches.'” RZA laughs. “I’ll do it again,” he says, “but to be real, the way I be saying words, you ain’t gon’ be able to tell the difference.” Ha! At Rap Camp, the shit is fuckin’ ridiculous.

The rest of the trip settles into a fairly routine pattern, if by “fairly routine” you mean “a succession of both magical and mundane moments starring the musicians who defined your adolescence alongside the most exciting artists of today.” Each morning begins with a 10 a.m. breakfast at Kanye’s Diamondhead residence. Pusha, Tip, RZA, Cudi, Cons, and Kanye’s crew slowly assemble to enjoy the absurdly tasty cooking of Kanye’s in-house chefs. If you’re smart, you order the French toast with the flambéed banana. An hour later, Kanye pulls up in his Porsche Panamera, fresh from the studio. That’s right, from the studio. During my five days in Hawaii, Kanye never slept at his house, or even in a bed. He would, er, power-nap in a studio chair or couch here and there in 90-minute intervals, working through the night. Engineers remained behind the boards 24 hours a day.

You can read Noah’s full story, as well as some testimonials from some of the album’s stars (Pusha, Pete Rock, Nicki, Bon Iver) here. There are also a good 40 or so never before seen candid photos from the studio sessions that you can peruse here. A couple samples:

Read Noah’s 2004 piece on Kanye (post-College Dropout) that inspired the line “it takes more than a magazine to kill my Vibe”.

Video: The Choice Is Yours (Behind The Scenes)

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Jadakiss, Uncle Murda, Brisco, Chip Tha Ripper, Mikey Rocks and Nipsey Hussle lay down their verses representing their respective cities (New York, Brooklyn, Miami, Cleveland, Chicago and Nip holding down the West Coast) that Lebron might go to for “I Am The Man” off The Choice Is Yours mini-mixtape hosted by Don Cannon and presented by Vitamin Water.

Shouts to Jameel from Eighty81 for the footage.

Previously: Jadakiss, Nipsey Hussle, Uncle Murda, Chip Tha Ripper, Brisco & Mikey Rocks – I Am The Man

The Gorillaz Complex Cover (April/May)

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

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Complex got The Gorillaz for their 8th anniversary issue.

Link: Gorillaz Feature; including Murdoc’s Interview w/ Complex

Shouts to Noah, Joe, Bfred, Ernest, Toshi, everyone over at Complex.

After the jump, the alternate cover with Olivia Munn.

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Nickelus F Interview w/ Complex

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

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Complex’s newest team member Toshitaka Kondo had the chance to speak to Nickelus F yesterday about his new mixtape Season Premiere, his day job as an exterminator, as well as addressing rumors circulating that he’s written for Drake:

Complex: Drake has said he bounces ideas off of people. He names you as one of the people he used to do that with a lot. How would that whole process work creatively?

Nickelus F: He would send me a record and ask me what I would do on it. If say like, a hook was needed or something, I might throw an idea and he might switch it up a little bit. And go back and forth like that.

Complex: Have you ever helped him with a verse?

Nickelus F: Yeah, I’ve contributed. I’m a team player. I won’t say I wrote a verse that he spit verbatim, but I’ve contributed. I helped out with the hook on “City Is Mine” the hook on “Overdose On Life.” I didn’t do anything on the verse at all.

Complex: Oh, so it’s like sometimes you might help write a hook, or if it’s part of the verse you might help start off a verse, or write some of the verse?

Nickelus F: Yeah, I’ve done that. I know the rumor going around. I don’t want anything I say to be misconstrued. I helped out, you know. [Laughs].

Complex: So anyone who says, “Nickelus F writes for Drake” would be mistaken?

Nickelus F: Yes. Have I done work here and there? Yes I have. Do I write for him on a regular basis? No. Have I written for him on a regular basis? No.

Then he continues on to say what verse in particular he helped write, but it’s not as serious as the post’s title would have you think.

Link: Nickelus F Interview w/ Complex

Drake covers this month’s issue Complex, on newsstands now.

Drake Complex Cover (Feb/March)

Monday, January 25th, 2010

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For their Feb/March issue, Damien Scott sat down with Drake to discuss what has come up since the last time they’ve spoken to each other. Obviously there was the backlash from the Best I Ever Had video and how it slowed down his momentum, his knee injury. addresses how Kid Cudi may have felt slighted because Kanye was directing his video while Cudi was coming out. He also addresses the competition between all the young/new rappers, as well as his old friend Nickelus F.

Around the time that Kanye directed “Best I Ever Had,” it seemed like there was strife between your camp and Cudi’s camp because Kanye was so enamored of you while Cudi’s project was being worked on.

Drake: I wasn’t aware of that. Even so, I could understand. If Wayne were to be enamored—which is a great word—of another young artist, I would be like, “Damn, I’m here too!” But at the same time, it happens in more than one situation. It happens with ‘Ye, and I have a great relationship with Jay, and Jay’s got Wale and J. Cole, who’s one of my favorite dudes rapping right now. I’ve happened to have had more success. I made the most money, I have number-one records, those guys don’t have that shit. And it’s just facts, it’s not even my feelings or that I feel I’m more talented. That’s what the game is about, making great music that earns profit. When it comes to my relationship with the new dudes, I’m just excited for them. I get to sit back in a cool position and be like, “Yo, I’m excited to see you do it now because I know what it’s like, it’s gonna be so much fun for you…”

You feel like you’re at the finish line?

Drake: I’m at the starting line. Those guys are at home, putting on their tracksuits, getting ready to make their attack. When J. Cole gets it super-right, I think he’s gonna have a place as a Nas-type character who really stands for hip-hop, but still makes ill records that everybody fucks with.

If J. Cole is Nas, then who are you?

Drake: [Laughs.] I’m the young big homie!

Link: Drake Interview w/ Complex (#4)

Previously: Tour Diary | Best I Ever Had Interview | First Interview

After the jump, Drake hits the streets of Atlanta with Motion Family as he shoots his February/March Complex cover story.

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Jim Jones Interview w/ Complex

Monday, December 14th, 2009

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Joe La Puma got to speak to one of last year’s cover boys for the second time. Here’s a choice excerpt from their conversation:

Complex: Are you referring to the video that surfaced of you boppin’ in the club to Jay’s verse on “Swagga Like Us?”

Jim Jones: I like “Swagga Like Us.” Shit, what are you going to be in the middle of the club dancing, like you got your lady with you and he come on and you’re supposed to just stop? She’ll look at you like, “You queer-ass nigga!” So shit, what the fuck is wrong with you niggas, I’m boogeying, man. And I might turn that shit up to 40 in the car if I’m moving fast. My personal issues has nothing to do with my artistic likes. If he has a hot record, he has a hot record. That shit with Alicia is dope, dope as hell. I’m not giving him props, I just like the music. I don’t give a fuck about him, fuck that nigga and the camel he rode in on. If he has a dope ass record though, what the fuck you going to do? It’s fucked up though because they don’t play “Ballin’” in the 40/40 club, that’s the hating shit I be talking about. I’ve got confirmation from DJs who have been kicked out for playing that record.

He also goes on to discuss Curtis vs. Jay-Z, Max B’s sentence and early Dipset life. He also takes issue with Complex’s Best Songs of The 2000’s list, and gets in a little argument with Joe. He also mentions Certified Gangstas Pt. 2 with Game.

Link: Interview: Jim Jones Talks Rich Porter, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, & Dipset History

Nicki Minaj Interview w/ Complex

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Complex’s Damien Scott recently spoke to eskay’s wife, read below:

Link: Nicki Minaj Interview w/ COMPLEX

Full picture gallery here.