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Redman on MC Hammer Stepping to Him Over Diss: He Doesn't Mess Around
Social media has undeniably changed music in general, including how rappers send out disses, which Redman shared his thoughts on during a recent interview with VladTV. The veteran rapper explained that back in the day there were many steps involved in dropping a diss track, whereas today, rappers can upload their disses immediately. He also added that he likes that rappers don't have to meet in person to squash beef, possibly diminishing violent acts from happening. Speaking more about rap beef, Redman shared a story about the time MC Hammer confronted him at the taping of the last Yo! MTV Raps episode over his diss on his debut album. Redman pointed out that MC Hammer is very serious about beef, adding that he knew the "2 Legit 2 Quit" rapper wasn't messing around when he stepped to him at the show. Check out more of what he had to say about the situation in the above clip.
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Rico Recklezz on Baby Mother's Brother Attack, "He's Lucky He Wasn't Killed"
Rico Recklezz on Baby Mother's Brother Attack, "He's Lucky He Wasn't Killed"
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Eddie Griffin Details Coining the Term "Thirsty" on Dr. Dre's Chronic 2001
Eddie Griffin spoke at length with DJ Vlad about working with Dr. Dre on Chronic 2001, which Eddie told us came together the night after he celebrated the producer's birthday. He explained that Dre got him drunk in the studio in attempt to recreate Eddie's mood from the previous night, which the comedian said was a success. The Undercover Brother actor told us that he was riled up and ready to go once Dre sent him in the booth, where he churned out the skit "Bar One," which first coined the popular term, "thirsty." Eddie also spoke about his relationship with 2Pac during the conversation, and he agreed with DJ Vlad saying that none of the rappers today are as politically outspoken as the late "Dear Mama" rapper. The comedian then clarified his statement by adding that "nobody is daring [to speak out], it's not that they can't."
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Boosie Explains Why Birdman, Lil Wayne, & Master P Left Louisiana
There are times where rappers make it big and still return to their starting ground, and on the other hand, there are some rappers who decide to leave their hood to protect themselves from lingering problems. In this case, Bossie Badazz decided to leave Baton Rouge due to his legal issues with public officials, fear of getting set up by the police, and former friends who became envious of his success and—which he claims—are "hypnotized with hatred." In this interview, Boosie explains how Louisiana pushed out some of their biggest stars like, Lil Wayne, Birdman, and Master P and explains his final decision to relocate in Atlanta. Check out the full interview above.
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Russell Simmons: I Stopped Getting High at 30 (Except During Holidays)
As Russell Simmons continues to promote a healthy, vegan lifestyle, many are shocked to find out about his many years of drug abuse before choosing a new kind of high through meditation. "I got high from 15 to 30 and I just stopped on 30." He said, "I'm like a monk, I don't smoke, drink-- I don't eat animals." Check out the interview above, and see the mogul explain how he ultimately refrain from using drugs.
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D.O.C. on Child w/ Erykah Badu, Friends w/ Andre 3000 & Jay Electronica
The D.O.C. has an eleven-year-old daughter with Erykah Badu, and despite them no longer being in a romantic relationship, the Texas-born rapper revealed that Badu is one of the closest people in his life. The D.O.C. told DJ Vlad, "As a human being, she's probably, outside of my children, my closest friend." Speaking more about their relationship, The D.O.C. revealed that he's also on great terms with Andre 3000 and Jay Electronica, who also have children with Erykah. When asked about the possibility of their children ever forming a super group, The D.O.C. said he's certain that the "talented kids" could put something special together. To hear more from The D.O.C., including how important his family is to him, hit the above clip.
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Judge Joe: James Earl Ray Didn't Assassinate Martin Luther King Jr.
This year will mark the 48th-year anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, and as the last judge presiding over alleged shooter, James Earl Ray's case, Judge Joe Brown still believes "he didn't kill him." In an interview with DJ Vlad, the honorable judge says he didn't believe Ray was the gunman despite pleading guilty. Brown said, Ray denied the murder but plead guilty because he felt it was in his best interest under the circumstances given. "He said, 'I never said I killed King, I didn't kill him. I'm pleading because of Alford.'" Watch the full interview above
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DMX Speaks About Diddy Offering Him a Deal After Initially Turning Him Down
In the latest Drink Champs podcast, DMX shared a story with hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN about the time Diddy offered him a record deal after initially turning him down. The "Party Up" rapper recalled auditioning for Diddy before getting signed to Def Jam, and while the audition didn't lead to a deal, DMX said that he respects Diddy for telling him to his face what he didn't like about his rap skills. Just three weeks later, DMX says Diddy offered him a deal with Bad Boy after finding out he was signing to Def Jam, but the New York rapper didn't accept. He explained that if Diddy couldn't see his talent from the beginning, he couldn't sign with him. Check out more of the sit-down in the above video, including DMX speaking about battling Jay Z.
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Greg Nice Says 2Pac Missed NYC, Wanted to End West/East Coast Feud
As fans await Tupac's biopic for some distinct details of the era's most infamous moments, rapper Greg Nice recalls hanging out with young Pac before his rise to fame, and ultimately up to his last 30 days of his life. As tension between the West Coast and East Coast continued to brew, Greg Nice says the legendary rap star only wanted to settle the feud and "fix" it. As a native New Yorker faced issues do to the rivalry, Greg says the rapper yearned to be back in the Big Apple for culture and just because he missed his former home telling him, "I miss New York, I [want to] go back." Watch the full interview above.
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Cardi B: I Became a Stripper to Escape Domestic Violence
Cardi B spoke exclusively to VladTV about what made her become a stripper, revealing that she turned to dancing in order to make her own money and escape an abusive boyfriend. The Love & Hip Hop star explained that while she wouldn't advise other young women to follow her path, she did tell us that stripping saved her life. During the conversation Cardi also spoke about the dangers of getting illegal butt shots, as she doesn't know what she had injected into her butt during her early 20s. You can check out more of what Cardi had to say about butt shots, stripping, and more in the above clip.
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Charlamagne: Gucci Mane Still Boogeyman of Rap, TI Gucci Level Crazy
After Gucci Mane's release from prison, the rapper has surprised fans with his new and improved physique with his raps sounding clearer and ready for an official mixtape or album release. While rappers like Young Thug and Drake make their way to Gucci's home—to presumably work on a top secret collaboration—now would be the time where Gucci could finally be a contender as a lyricist and not just the "boogeyman" of Hip-Hop. In this interview with Charlamagne, he discusses how people often look past Gucci's pen skills saying, "Gucci [is] dope, and Gucci don't get enough credit for being a lyricist." In addition to his lyrical content, the radio personality explains how he has had a great streak for acknowledging new talent such as, Nicki Minaj, Young Thug, Migos, and Waka Flocka. Aside from pointing out the pros of Gucci, Charlamagne also points out the rapper's "level of crazy" and other artists who also hold the same title. Watch the full interview above.
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Biggs on Jay Z & BIG Making "Brooklyn's Finest," Neither Rapper Writing Lyrics
Biggs on Jay Z & BIG Making "Brooklyn's Finest," Neither Rapper Writing Lyrics
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Royce Da 5'9" on Eminem Putting Him in Facility & Helping Him Get Sober
Vocal about his alcoholism, Royce Da 5'9" opens up to DJ Vlad about how he struggled with alcohol and how it affected his marriage and other relationships before kicking the habit indefinitely. Now four years sober, the rapper revealed that it took him a while to get back in the stride of recording and to cope with looking at the people around him with a different lens. Watch the full interview above.
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Akon: Got $1 Billion Chinese Credit Line & Gave Electricity to 80 Million Africans
Akon stopped by to talk with VladTV about his light up Africa Project, how he used to live without electricity, and how the politics of starting his project were extremely tricky. Akon let us know that he grew up in Senegal a small country on the West coast of Africa. Akon grew up without electricity and running water, and when it came time to eat, cook, or wash he had to use the same water from a running water well for everything. "When I came to the United States, and [saw] the projects or what they claimed to be projects, Vlad I thought they was living in luxury, compared to what poverty is back home..." Akon explained that the US citizens have it a lot better than others around the world. So what led to Akon lighting up Africa? His grandmother was the main inspiration. He explained she never moved from her hometown and still lived without electricity. "Every time I would come, I would try to upgrade her, but she would never take it... one day I said ma I'm not coming to visit you anymore... you have to at least let me put electricity in the house. Come to find out the grid was so far out; I don't care how much money I had there was no way I could bring electricity to her." That's when he said something had to be done, not just for his grandmother but for everyone in the rural area living without power. "Without electricity, you can't even begin to develop a country, let alone your own home." Akon got started by partnering with a some of his Billionaire friends he made along his career, and he wanted to build power plants in the five major areas of Africa so the countries could share the plants, but as he got his investors together, he began running into the politics. "I started to realize how deep it was cause this is the type of business that starts real wars, the politics was little heavier than I expected..."Akon explained it was too complicated for him to be dealing with, so while searching for another solution, he came across Solar Energy. "So I went to China, met up with some friends out there, some manufacturers, and aligned myself with one of the biggest companies in China, that's own by the Chinese Government, that manufactures Solar..." Akon learned a lot while doing this project, like how there was a significant tax on solar products due to George. W Bush. "He did it because his main agenda was in oil, he needed the oil to keep burning right, so anything renewable he wanted to keep away because if effected the money." Akon took advantage of all of the unused solar products, and the Chinese manufacturers gave him a Billion dollar credit line to start his project. Akon's project is now in 15 countries, and he's provided almost 16 million people in Africa with power, and energy. Check out the clip above.
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Boosie on Paying $350K in Taxes for Every Million, Government is the Mob
As the Presidential elections approach us, people are getting ready to pick between the presumptive candidates: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While talking to rapper Boosie BadAzz, he tells DJ Vlad that he'll vote for the candidate that promises to decrease taxes because he's tired of giving 35% of every million he makes. The rapper then goes on to talk about the government carrying on a mob-like system and being designed to keep people in debt and continuously throw "our children in prison." Watch the interview above.
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Rico Recklezz on Mom's House Getting Shot Up, Men Who Did It are Dead
Rico Recklezz on Mom's House Getting Shot Up, Men Who Did It are Dead
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Lud Foe on Beef Rumors, Chief Keef Comparisons, Rumors He'd Been Shot
Lud Foe on Beef Rumors, Chief Keef Comparisons, Rumors He'd Been Shot
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Flashback: Yo Gotti Says Real Street S**t is to Get You & Family Out the Hood
Back in 2013, Yo Gotti sat down with DJ to speak about how doing music gave him the opportunity to leave the hood and his criminal past. "I know what comes with that. That's why I trip off of n***as that always want to specify how much they in the streets and how much they want to be street, and they hood. Where I come from you trying to get out the hood," the Memphis rapper stated. "
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MC Shan: Nas Didn't Listen, He'd Be Riffin While I'm Tellin Him Stuff
MC Shan: Nas Didn't Listen, He'd Be Riffin While I'm Tellin Him Stuff
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Royce da 5'9" on Meeting Eminem, Eminem's Temper, Em Attacking People
Royce Da 5'9" says his stage name was based off of his height and the R emblem he wore on his chain resembled the Rolls Royce signature emblem, however, prior to being dubbed the infamous name in high school, he says he went by the name R Dog, which didn't even last a year. During the conversation Royce also spoke about meeting Eminem in 1997 at a Usher concert, where the rapper was selling his Slim Shady EP. He also spoke about Em's "short fuse" and his temper flaring at times during the beginning of his career. Royce also spoke about seeing him squaring up with people at shows, which you can hear more about in the above clip.
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Freeway Ricky on His Role in the Reagan Iran-Contra Drugs & Weapons Scandal
Former drug kingpin Freeway "Ricky" served nearly 15 years of what was originally a life sentence for his involvement in the Iran-Contra during the Reagan administration. After he was released from jail for a separate case, fellow drug lord Oscar Danilo Blandón reached out to him for one last job. At this point Ricky had stopped selling cocaine, but was asked to introduce Blandon to a deal, which ultimately turned out to be faulty. "People's head are popping up at out cars and it was a set up," Freeway Ricky says of the day he was arrested for his ties to the Contras. "I wanted a 20-year deal, and they offered me a plea where I plead guilty, and if the judge wanted to give me 20 she could. If she wanted to give me life, she could. I said 'Nah, I'll take my chance on appeal.'" It was this case that made Freeway Ricky teach himself to read and write. "I just started practicing reading everyday," he remembers. "Started reading law books and then one day I'm sitting there reading and the words that I needed - continuous criminal spree - popped out and I was like 'Oh wow, that's what I been needing [sic]." Watch above for more.
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Tito Jackson: Hearing Michael Jackson Sing 1st Time, Forming Jackson 5
Tito Jackson spoke about the beginnings of the Jackson 5 during an exclusive interview with VladTV, as he explained the original group consisted of himself, Jackie, and Jermaine. It wasn't until he heard Michael's unknown talent during an elementary school program as he sang "Climb Every Mountain," which Tito said blew him away. It was then that Tito invited his younger brother to join the group, along with Marlon. During the conversation, Tito also addressed his father's portrayal in "The Jacksons: An American Dream" movie, which he said was dramatized. Tito explained that his father was a disciplinarian because he didn't want his sons to end up going down the wrong path. Tito added that a lot of kids today could use more discipline, as he believes it would diminish the amount of violence in the world. He added that violence wasn't as prevalent back in the day, because kids were more disciplined in and out of the household, including from teachers and neighbors. Check out more of what Tito had to say above.
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Layzie Bone: Suge Knew What Was Up with "Injected Eazy with AIDS" Comment
Layzie Bone believes Eazy E's death was a conspiracy after dying just months within testing positive for HIV. The Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper recalled being in New York when Eazy caught a cold and said his illness became worse within a 4-month timespan. "That was December, January [he was in the] hospital, February [he had] full blown [AIDS], March he was gone." He said, "It never did add up to me." Further into the interview, Layzie says he saw Suge Knight's 2003 Jimmy Kimmel interview where he made jokes about Eazy being poked by an infected needle. "I'm like 'ooh that n**** knew what was up.'"
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Marcellus Wiley on a Scary Encounter With Suge Knight at a Club
Marcellus Wiley sat down and did an exclusive interview with Vladtv. Wiley spoke with us about what is was like to grow up in Compton, his craziest experience while growing up, and how much he appreciates rap music for getting him through his childhood. Wiley was born and raised in Compton, in the 1980's, and saw much of the drug and crime era. "You just learned some survival instincts, how to get through it, you learn what to wear, what not to wear, where to go, where not to go.." Wiley let us know her grew up right by Compton High School in a crip gang area. It was intense for him, but growing up by himself without brothers is something he is thankful for because he believes growing with brothers would have brought him closer to the streets. "A lot of the codes got watered down, it got desensitized to a degree, but when I was growing up i knew what to do, but what not to do.." We asked Wiley what one of the craziest things that had ever happened to him was, and he told us one day before warming up for a game the football team was shot at. "We look around, and you start to see dust, they were shooting at the team, they were shooting at us.. supposedly somebody from the apartment building had a problem with someone on the team.. and that's just how they settled the score." Marcellus had seen two of his uncles killed while in Compton which made him stay away from the streets. Listening to music helped him live "vicariously" through the streets, but he never truly wanted to be involved in the gang life. Marcellus Wiley also talked about a previous encounter with the infamous Suge Knight. He was at a club when he was younger and had purchased a couple of tables. The waitress said one of the tables was for Suge, but Wiley had already purchased it and shrugged it off. , Knight's entourage greeted Wiley letting him know to leave the club because Suge was looking for him, but Wiley said he saw Suge a few weeks later and they laughed the encounter off. Check out the full interview a month.
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Blac Youngsta on Being Shot 3 Times, Younger Brother Getting Murdered
Blac Youngsta stopped by VladTV to talk about his first time being shot at, growing up in an environment where he was constantly getting shot at and his brother getting killed. Youngsta told Vlad his first time being shot at was when he was 8 or 9 years old after he and his friends jumped an older man. "All my life I've been shot at I just never took it too serious..." Youngsta told Vlad he was shot three times 3 or 4 years ago and that's when he started taking being shot at serious. "Wrong place wrong time...I ain't have my gun on me, where I come from I was gonna ride through and hit anyway...I got shot off some sh*t I don't even know about to this day." Youngsta got hit in his leg and his arm when he was the target of gun violence. Youngsta also explained to Vlad he didn't call an ambulance when he got shot but called his friend to bring him a "choppa" because he was ready to fire back. Blac Youngsta talked with Vlad about his little brother being killed. He expressed how it changed him, and also said, "I got three little brothers and he was the only one that didn't wanna be apart of the streets, I kept him in school, bought him cars...I kept him out the way you know someone ended up killing him." Youngsta said it saddened him and when his little brother died it got him out of the streets. He has yet to visit his younger brother's gravesite because he still can't understand why he lost him. Youngsta also expressed he was almost done rapping after his brother passed but he got through it and released his song "Heavy." Youngsta said he was out of the streets now and focused on his rap career.
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Hopsin: Crooked I Threatened to Come to My Show Over Horseshoe Gang Post
Last year, Horseshoe Gang accepted Hopsin's $500,000 battle challenge, which led to a healthy back and forth between the two rap collectives. VladTV recently sat down with former Funk Volume rapper Hopsin to get his take on the situation, including Horseshoe gang telling us that they killed Funk Volume. Hopsin reacted to their claims by saying that the back and forth was "fun," but he denies that Crooked I's brothers killed his crew in the battle. Speaking more about the situation, Hopsin shared how he might have taken things a little too far after posting a photo of a fan's shirt that read, "F*** Horseshoe Gang." The California rapper revealed that Crooked I actually got in contact with him over the post, making it clear that he wasn't happy about the situation. He added that the Slaughterhouse rapper threatened to come to his show over the incident, but Hopsin said he's not about the gangster or street life, so he apologized. Check out more of what Hopsin had to say about the situation in the above clip.
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Biggs on Forming Label w/ Jay & Dame, Made Them Offer They Couldn't Refuse
Biggs on Forming Label w/ Jay & Dame, Made Them Offer They Couldn't Refuse
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Remy Ma on How She Got Her Face Cut, Fat Joe on Getting Shot & Stabbed
Rapper Fat Joe has turned a new leaf and is more focused on positivity than stirring up war as he was so quick to do in the past. After years of going back and forth with 50 Cent, the two men have settled their differences and even performed with each other in recent times. In this interview Remy Ma and Fat Joe talk about creating peace and not war and recall instances where they were both stabbed and even shot. "I got shot by the pu**iest n**** on earth," he said of the incident that took place when he was 18. "If that same reenactment happened now, I would have never been shot. I forced him to shoot me." Check out the interview above.
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Dr. Umar Johnson on Prince, Michael Jackson & 2Pac's Deaths Being Set Up
Dr. Umar Johnson stopped by VladTV to talk about his thoughts regarding the murders of Prince, Michael Jackson and Tupac. Dr. Umar began by providing background on the deaths of the late celebrities. "Michael Jackson owned the rights to the Beetles; he owned a significant portion of Elvis's catalog, who's more popular than them, two guys? In the world of white music, and a black man owns the rights, Sony Records deliberately sabotaged Michael Jacksons last album..." Umar explained that if Michael had gone on tour, he would have had the liquid cash to pay off a debt he owed to Sony Records and he would have been able to keep his catalog. Umar went on to go into depth about how he feels the music industry works. "You know the music industry functions like any other white racist society; it gets down to lay down, so Michael was murdered." Dr. Umar also went in about his thoughts on Prince being killed. "He was sick with the flu, but he was riding his bike in the park a day or two before he [died]. Who do you know with the flu takes a ride in cold Minnesota, okay, with the flu. Nonsense Prince was murdered..." Umar explained he believed the mistake Prince made was negotiating with record label Warner Bros. He believes Prince was murdered for his unpublished material because it is worth billions of dollars. "You gotta understand Prince's fans are unlike no other fans...so you get your hands a dead artist's unpublished material? It's jackpot." Dr. Umar Johnson also explained his thoughts on Tupac's murder. "Tupac was murdered without question. The FBI had Tupac and BIG for that matter under surveillance for at least a week prior to the murder. . . Mind you Pac was a serious threat, his mother was Afeni Shakur former leader of the New York City Panthers, this is the same black woman who into a New York City Federal Courthouse, pregnant with Tupac, and defended herself and 20 other Panthers..." Umar explained that Tupac at the time of his death was working to politicize the crips and the bloods in LA, and after he had left Death Row he was on his way to do Revolutionary things. Dr. Umar explained that he believed it was no coincidence that Notorious B.I.G, Tupac, and Eazy-E all passed away within a year of each other. "We all know about the hip-hop police... the music industry is a secret society and the music industries job is to do what promote and propagate the images that are most advantageous for the power structure to use in order to facilitate its agenda..." Check out the clip above.
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Blac Youngsta on Pulling Up to Young Dolph's Hood During Beef, Ending Beef
Blac Youngsta on Pulling Up to Young Dolph's Hood During Beef, Ending Beef
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Krayzie Bone Recalls Receiving First Royalty Checks Before Eazy's Death
The months before Eazy-E's untimely passing were some of the more memorable times in Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's career. During our talk with Krayzie Bone he revealed it was at then they first received any royalty checks and were notified by Eazy about "major moves" being made in the company. At one point he left the group in a Cali hotel room and hadn't returned for weeks. "We like 'Yo dude, what the hell is going on? At least call us back or send us back to Cleveland - at least we an hustle there," remembers Bone. "We don't know nothing about these California streets. Send us home so we can hustle and make some money." They later learned from Eazy himself he'd fired Jerry and turned the company over to his wife, Tomica Wright. "Next thing we know they got us in the office talking about they're about to give us our first royalty checks - which was for like 100-something thousand - and we were just like, 'Where's Eazy at?'," Krayzie Bone and the rest of the team wondered. Watch and listen as Krayzie Bone talks finding out about Eazy's illness on television, inaccuracies in "Straight Outta Compton," and Ice Cube's last time talking to Eazy-E at the legendary Tunnel nightclub in NYC in our latest exclusive clip.
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Dizzee  Rascal: I Didn't Have Sex with Khloe, But Kim Kardashian Curved Me
In this interview with DJ Vlad, Dizzee Rascal addresses rumors about being the man who had a one night stand with Khloe Kardashian. Although, Dizzee denied the gossip, he shared a story on being pumped up to pursue Kim Kardashian, and embarrassingly getting turned down in front of G-Unit and his friends.
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Chris Gotti on How They Built Ashanti Up to Become a Superstar
As Ashanti made her mark in the early 2000's as first lady of Murder Inc., the label's co-founder, Chris Gotti, tells us that Irv Gotti didn't want to work with her since his focus was around Ja Rule. Initially, Ashanti was working with producers who only gave her Whitney Houston-inspired tracks, which Chris admits wasn't the suitable sound for her, and once Irv was asked for the right music "at the time, Irv didn't want to do it." With tunnel vision, Irv focused on the launch of Ja Rule's rap career, and it wasn't until Irv realized Ashanti was a talented writer who would complement his production thanks to Chris' pitch. "I said, 'I know with your talents, you put a writer with the production that you do, the sky's the limit,'" he remembered, "That was my pitch to him." Check out Chris Gotti and DJ Vlad's interview above.
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Flashback: Killer Mike: You Can Transition Out of the Streets for $5,000
Earlier this year, Killer Mike sat down with VladTV, and he shared his personal experience of transitioning out of the "bulls***" street life by investing in legit businesses. Instead of stopping with his story, Killer Mike gave listeners a bit of real world advice on how they could invest their money into businesses instead of "cloudy jewelry" or bottle service at the club. He explained that for as little as $5,000 you can invest into a snow cone business and build your wealth from there, as he made it clear that the street life sounds cool in songs, but it's not great in real life. Jump to the 7:35 mark to hear Killer Mike's advice on investing your money wisely.
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Anderson .Paak on Being Homeless, Working as Weed Trimmer Before Dre
Before his fame, Anderson .Paak was getting money working on a legal marijuana farm trimming freshly grown herbs. As the seasons changed and his job decided to downsize, all the extra cash had gone out the window and at 24, with his pregnant wife, he found himself homeless. "I lost the job as a trimmer, and so I had nowhere to go. Now, I had a family to support, but I didn't have shelter." He told DJ Vlad, "I was homeless, yea, I was staying from couch to couch." Fortunately for the musician, he got gigs in between, but he admits that his wife did ride him about getting the necessities, like a car since they were living in L.A. Once his life stabilized, and he found himself back on his feet, he says he readjusted his lifestyle and changed his name in the process. "Once I got on my feet, I started simplifying my life and developed a routine, and that was a time I changed my name from Breezy Lovejoy to Anderson .Paak." He said. "I went into this whole process where I was going to simplify my life and build a routine and develop a healthy work ethic."
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Karl Kani: There's No Loyalty in Fashion, Bootleggers, Brand Decline in 2000's
Designer Karl Kani has made a name for himself when he started his clothing line which was a cross between Hip-Hop and modern day fashion. Once he was on top, the designer says he had major bootlegging issues which caused him to alter his logo and forcing him to find people making knockoffs. He tells DJ Vlad, that he and a close friend, who was able to confiscate the products and make arrests, agreed to find Asian distributors selling his brand. "We had a mission to search all theses Asian factories that were doing it and figure out what they were doing." He explained, "They were bringing the clothing from China with no label on it, attaching the metal plate and the labels here in the US so the clothing could pass customs...that's why we couldn't catch them." Once Kani figured out how his clothing brand was being smuggled in the US, he says the damage had already been done and other clothing lines such as Roc-A-Fella, Enyce, Phat Farm, etc, were on the rise and even seeking out some of his employees. "We had a lot of employees defect from the company and going to these peoples' companies. One in particular went to my competitors and took all my sales people with them and I ended up with no sales people and having to hire my security to be sales reps." Watch the full interview above.
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Dizzee Rascal on Growing up in the Projects & Raw Gun Culture in the U.K.
Growing up in East London, Dizzee Rascal, recollects his nomad-like upbringing in government housing before settling down in the Bow district. Similar to some Americans raised in section 8 housing, drugs and violence were a common occurrence. He tells DJ Vlad, "There's a real gun culture in the U.K., just for those who don't know." He explained, "It's very raw." Although not all U.K. police carry firearms compared to the United States police force, the 31-year-old rapper clarified that there's also a limited amount of guns obtained by English citizens because the right to bear arms is not a staple in their culture due to some unfortunate incidents. He said, "They're not as gun crazy there in general because it's not apart of that—you guys have it apart of the Amendment, so it's looked down upon." Watch the full interview above.
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Layzie Bone Recalls 2Pac Defusing Verbal Fight with Suge Knight in Cleveland
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper, Layzie Bone recalls having a brotherly and/or fatherly relationship with Eazy-E, who had him at loss for words when the two met. Even when the late rapper's schedule was hectic, he still managed to make time to meet with Layzie. "It was like really, really close." He said, "He had to spread his time out a lot, but for him to personally come get me and share different things... he was mentoring me." Further into the interview, Layzie details having a run-in with Suge Knight while in his hometown. Fortunately, Layzie says 2Pac defused the matter before it turned ugly. "Suge tried to punk me out. I said 'look here n****, you in Cleveland, you won't get out this mother*****.'" He told DJ Vlad, "But luckily, Pac was still living. So when Pac came in, he's like 'Oh, these my n*****, these my Thugz.'"
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Gary Owen on Going to the Hood to Do Comedy for Black People
Growing up in a trailer park in Cincinnati, Ohio, Gary Owen said that his earliest childhood interaction with an African American adult was with a man named Sonny, who drove the local Ice cream truck. Almost excluded from diversity with only a handful of Black friends growing up, he says his African American friends stationed with him in San Diego advised him to go to Black comedy clubs where he started doing "comedy for black people." Surprisingly, when hearing most celebrity success stories, it usually entails a long process of trials and tribulations, however, Owen said it only took him 6-months to "get on" after a two year hiatus. Not long after appearing—and a successful winning streak—on Comic View, he got a 1-hour comedy special, and was later asked to host the show, in which he received major backlash for. Watch the full interview above.
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Cuban Link on Being on Fidel Castro's Mariel Boatlift Shown in Scarface Movie
Cuban Link on Being on Fidel Castro's Mariel Boatlift Shown in Scarface Movie
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Lud Foe: Everyday I Leave the House I'm Strapped, My Mama Don't Have to Worry
Lud Foe: Everyday I Leave the House I'm Strapped, My Mama Don't Have to Worry
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Pee Wee Kirkland: Passed on Chicago Bulls Contract, Drugs Made More Money
Pee Wee Kirkland is legendary for his skills on the basketball court, and at one point he was offered a spot on the Chicago Bulls, which he later turned down. When asked about the decision, Pee Wee explained that he never really was committed to playing for the Bulls, and he backed out completely when the coach told him they had another guard they had already committed to. He then explained that he never felt that there was anything he had to prove by being in the NBA, because he had already proved himself against the best players in the game. During the conversation Pee Wee also shared his thoughts on current players in the game, including Steph Curry, whom Pee Wee says is the greatest player out right now. He then added that while LeBron is a great all-around player, Pee Wee said that the Cleveland superstar is the most charitable and best human beings in basketball today. To hear more of what Pee Wee had to say, including how he thinks the game has changed, hit the above clip.
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Krayzie Says Bone Thugs Would Fight Fans Who Tested Their Street Cred
Despite Ohio rapper, Slim Jesus, admitting that he doesn't portray the lifestyle he raps about, Krayzie Bone tells DJ Vlad that it leaves him open for people to test him. During the interview, Krayzie Bone says Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's street cred was often tested due to the lifestyle they rapped about; however, they were always prepared to fight back. "We had to show them every time." He explained, "People would run up and try to test us." Watch the full interview above.
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Rico Recklezz Says Nobody's Going to Do S*** to Him in Chicago
Rico Recklezz Says Nobody's Going to Do S*** to Him in Chicago
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G Herbo: Withdrawals from Quitting Lean Can Be as Serious as Heroin
G Herbo previously spoke to VladTV about spending over $50,000 on lean, but the Chicago rapper tells us that he's now stepped away from the purple drink. During our recent conversation, G Herbo detailed his experience with the withdrawals that come with quitting lean, including excruciating stomach pains, and he added that the withdrawal symptoms can be as serious as when people quit heroin. While admitting that he spent lots of money on lean, G Herbo also told us that he always felt like he had control of the situation, adding that the drug never took over his life. To hear more about his experience with getting off of lean, hit the above clip.
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Azie Faison on Rich Porter's Brother Kidnapped, Alpo Killing Rich
One of the most notorious murders in Harlem comes after the death of Rich Porter and his youngest brother who was only 13 at the time. Although, Azie Faison says Alpo denies murdering Porter's youngest brother, he recalls the moment when Porter received the call from the kidnappers and the moment when they obtained the teens finger in a coffee can in a McDonald's restroom. Later they found that Porter's uncle was behind the kidnapping to nab $500,000 paycheck. Watch the full interview above.
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Tony Sunshine on Big Pun Dying at 700 lbs, Having Bad People Around Him
Tony Sunshine on Big Pun Dying at 700 lbs, Having Bad People Around Him
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G Herbo: I Was Risking My Life Going to High School in Chicago
In the past G Herbo has spoken to DJ Vlad about growing up "in the jungle" (a.k.a. Chicago, Illinois), but in this exclusive the young artist got a bit more in depth. In the troubled city, many - G Herbo included - have witnessed a gun-related death at a fairly relative age - some even in their own home. The 20-year-old became aware of the violence for the first time outside of his aunt's house at the age of ten. "I don't even know who it was," G Herbo recalled as he told the story. "I was across the street in the car. Of course I was ducking...I wasn't trying to see that s**t." Despite all of the violence, none of G-Herbo's family members have ever moved outside of the city. "My mom, she's not staying in L.A...Maybe when she gets a little older," he said. In this clip G-Herbo also talked about how he dropped out of high school during the first semester of junior year. "She went and got my report card - I was at home sleep, of course - and she just saw all F's in her hand and saw all the days [I was] absent and she told me 'You might as well stop going,'" he remembered. Press play to find out why high school was a dangerous place for the young Chicagoan and more up top.
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Biggie Mentioned Lil Fame on Ready to Die: Yeah My Ni**a Fame Up in Prospect
In our interview with Lil Fame, he discusses his first time meeting Biggie and comparing him to Chubb Rock—who was popular at the time and also a big man in person. While having the hustling life in common, he says they remained tight until his immediate rise to fame and unfortunately only saw him 2 weeks before his death. Although they were distant, Lil Fame says the best memory that will live forever is a shout out Biggie gave him on "Warning." Watch the interview above.
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MC Eiht Says 2Pac Thought 'Menace II Society' Character Wasn't Gangster
In 1993, Tupac Shakur was picked to play Sharif, a college-bound Muslim, in Menace II Society, however, after disputes with the directors about gaining a hardcore role, he decided to ditch the movie. In an interview with MC Eiht, who played A-Wax in the film, he explained to DJ Vlad why Tupac gave up the infamous role. "Pac had a problem with that role because it didn't depict him like the rest of us." He said, "In our circle everybody was gang banging killers, except him." Watch the full interview above.
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