Snoop Dogg sat down with SOHH.com for a CRWN interview where he discusses how Suge Knight and Death Row Records turned his back on him when he tried to make peace with Puff Daddy and The Notorious B.I.G.
Snoop’s attempt to make amends was during a time when the Coolaid rapper just had his son and was on his way to being the father of a second child. It was also a time when the East Coast versus West Coast rivalry was heating up, resulting in the deaths of Biggie and Tupac Shakur. “I’m trying to live, y’all niggas trying to die,” the 44-year-old Long Beach rapper says of Death Row‘s scandalous activities that landed Suge Knight behind bars.
“Just to share this with you and y’all, when he was locked up, it was a pivotal moment where I wanted to go see him and I couldn’t see him because they shut the visiting down,” Snoopsays. “But I was able to get on the phone with him and I was like, ‘Cuz, why don’t you let me shake Biggie and Puffy’s hand on TV and end this so we can figure out a way to move forward?’”
According to Snoop, his want to extend an olive branch to Puff and Big was met with a stern “Fuck them bitch ass niggas” from one of Knight’s cohorts.
“Then slowly but surely, they turned on me because they seen I wasn’t with the business, I wasn’t with the bullshit,” he recalls.
Snoop also calls out Suge Knight for being a hypocrite when he got on The Source Awards stage in 1995 and made his infamous speech aimed at Puffy: “To all you artists out there, who don’t wanna be on a record label where the executive producer is all up in the videos, all on the records, dancing, then come to Death Row.”
“I don’t mean to talk about him because I love Suge Knight to death to this day for what he did for me and the opportunity that he gave me,” the Doggfather says. “But there is such a thing as hypocritical. You can’t talk about and then become…The same way he talked about all of them people being in videos and all of that, six months later he was in videos doing the same exact thing. He was on the front of magazines. On the front would be me and Tupac. ‘What are you doing? Why are you up here? It’s not enough room for all three of us.’”
The feud between rappers Drake and Puff Daddy appears to have reached its end, thanks to an appearance from an unexpected guest at Drizzy’s “Summer Sixteen” tour stop in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Puff Daddy was front and center at the concert, which took place on Tuesday (August 23).
The Bad Boy Records founder, who will soon hit the road for his own tour, merely observed Drake’s show from the front row.
The feud between Drake and Puff Daddy began where most feuds with Drake begin, with a ghostwritten track. Puff reportedly sent the Toronto rapper a track to ghostwrite for him, and Drake instead used the record to create “0-100/The Catch Up.”
The fallout between the two reached its peak when an alleged club brawl in Miami in 2014 left Drake with a dislocated shoulder.
Drake and Puff’s beef appeared to have fizzled out up until the release of “4 PM In Calabasas.”With lyrics like “Take that, take that no love in they heart so they fake that,” the record is littered with subliminals from Drake, which appear to be aimed at Puff.
So apparently, there wasn’t a decade-long beef between 50 Cent and The Game — at least that’s the impression the G-Unit boss gave in an interview with Big Boy on Real 92.3 today (August 25).
50 is asked about hanging out with his rival at Los Angeles’ Ace of Diamonds earlier this month where The Game presented a peace offering.
Now we have 50’s side of what went on that night.
“He came, he kicked it,” he says casually. “I always said I didn’t understand where it came from. He explained it to me.”
Despite past incidents where 50 refused the possibility of befriending The Game again (see his reaction to The Game posing with fellow G-Unit soldier Lloyd Banks), the rap mogul says the beef was never that serious.
We’ve collectively experienced some pretty audacious social media moments as a Hip Hop community this year and it hasn’t gotten any better, in the wake of Chicago rapper King Yella getting caught up in an onslaught of bullets as he shot what he called “a Black Lives Matter” music video.
King Yella, 26, whose real name is Cemone Lewis, was said to be filming on the 6500 block of Chicago’s South Wentworth Avenue when the incident happened. His unfortunate circumstance comes after a bloody weekend in the Windy City where seven people were killed and 47 — including an 8-year-old girl — were treated for gunshot injuries.
“They tried to take me out this shit, God got me, though,” a recovering King Yella told his social media followers in between swigs of Rémy Martin as he brandished his war wounds on his arm and upper torso.
“I’m shooting a mu’fuckin’ Black Lives Matter video and muthafuckas come and shoot me. It’s cool, you know. I wish you niggas the best of luck you know, whoever you was. But guess what man, the devil be working but he can’t overcome God, you feel me? You bitch ass niggas can’t stop me, you dumb ass niggas. Right out the hospital, this shit just happened, c’mon man. It’s all good man. I ain’t gonna brag or nothing but y’all niggas…hoes! Y’all had me. You could’ve shot me right in my face, you weak ass nigga. Y’all niggas didn’t even hit my bitch, y’all hoe ass, bitch ass niggas.”
The unnamed girlfriend of King Yella also posed for the Snapchat press conference, revealing the bruises on her leg caused from being grazed by the bullets.
Chicago police told DNAinfo that shooting occurred at 6:55 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23, and appeared to be gang-related.
On cue, the Black Disciple-affiliate Twitter account Wavy_Crockett79 reposted Yella’s footage of his video being disrupting and seemingly took credit for the shooting or, at the very least, gloated at his misery.
“LMAOOOO! WHAT HAPPENED @kingyella73?! NIGGAZ SHOT UP YA BITCH ASS MUSIC VIDEO? GDK! HOW DAT HOT SHIT FEEL! 4 NEM!!” the handler jeered.
LMAOOOO! WHAT HAPPENED @kingyella73?! NIGGAZ SHOT UP YA BITCH ASS MUSIC VIDEO? GDK! HOW DAT HOT SHIT FEEL! 4 NEM!!pic.twitter.com/6Z5c36NwH8
— O Block 🎯 NO BLOCK (@Wavy_Crockett79) August 24, 2016
A pair of King Yella’s more recent mixtapes, 2014’s Yella Corleone and 2013’s Yella Corleno, both feature the Chicago rapper brandishing semi-automatic firearms so his initial attempt to turn over a new leaf obviously came with resistance.
When Target mistakenly stocked the shelves with French Montana’s MC4 nearly two months ahead of its October 14, 2016 release date, the fourth installment of the Mac & Cheese series leaked faster than a 5-year-old at a haunted house, squashing any possibility of keeping it tightly under wraps. Unfortunately for Montana and camp, that’s often the nature of the beast.
As rumors swirl around the recent dispute between Joe Budden and Drake, MC4 couldn’t have surfaced at a better time. People naturally assumed the Drake-assisted “No Shopping,” was taking a stab at Budden, threatening to further widen the gap between the two rappers. “Pump pump pump it up/She got a good head on her/but I pump it up/I’m not a one-hit wonder/they know all my stuff,” Drake spits, which people thought alluded to Budden’s 2003 singular hit, “Pump It Up.” Apparently, that wasn’t the case. It was either a coincidence or aimed at someone else. Although it’s one of the strongest tracks on the album, overall, MC4stands as a decent follow-up to 2013’s Excuse My French, and just slightly better than his latest mixtape, Wave Gods.
The fact French Montana can rap “if the pussy good, hit it two times” over and over again in the most serious manner possible is a testament to his skills, or lack thereof, as a lyricist. In most modern day rap, lyrics often take a backseat while production rides shotgun. From “Everytime” featuring Jeezy and “Said N Done” featuring A$AP Rocky to “Lockjaw” featuring Kodak Black and “Two Times,” a general theme of hoes, pussy and money repeats itself to the point where it’s almost tough to stomach. After all, Hip Hop was never meant to be put on auto-pilot. Each element should be carefully crafted and given proper respect, including the art of rap, which often seems to elude Montana. It’s only when he has the help of other artists and producers does the song structuring appear at its strongest.
The album takes a somber turn with “Xplicit” featuring Miguel and only goes further into a dark abyss for the remaining three tracks. On the piano-heavy and introspective “Figure It Out,” featuring West and Nas, the trifecta inches closer to tackling some serious topics, with Montana reminiscing about what it was like growing up on welfare in the South Bronx. “Coming from the back block/posted like the backdrop/rags to the riches/got rich bought the ragtop,” he says, a line that sums up his path from a Moroccan immigrant to prominent rapper. The DJ Khaled-produced “Have Mercy” featuring Beanie Sigel, Jadakiss and Styles P, and the nearly 10-minute double track, “Max & Chinx/Paid For” bring the album down to a soft whisper with more predictable musings about sex, violence and money.
Beat-wise, “I’m Heated” and “Figure it Out” stand out as some of the best. Producer Earl & E borrows from A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario,” Biggie’s “Gimme the Loot” and Mary Rene’s “After Laughter (Comes Tears),” popularized by the Wu-Tang Clan, for “Said N Done,” hinting at the Golden Era’s influence and proving Montana might not be as clueless as initially thought when it comes to his predecessors.
While Montana by no means offers up any profound lyrical executions on MC4, he clearly has fun doing what he’s doing and is finally learning to master the role he’s developed for himself. Perhaps he never wanted to be taken seriously to begin with. Maybe fame, money and women is all he needed to feel whole, and he’s achieved that. He’s running in the same circles as some of the biggest rappers on the planet, and for Montana, that is presumably the pinnacle of success. While he will undoubtedly continue to take shots from countless Hip Hop purists for the music he makes and perhaps the Target leak will slightly affect MC4’snumbers, he’ll be too busy buying baby tigers, collecting checks and traveling the world on his private jet to care.
Listen to the original Sremmlife again, it’s better than you think it is: those synths on the intro are crazy; “Up Like Trump?” is intoxicating; even “No Flex Zone” has aged well despite the overexposure. Hailing from Tupelo, Mississippi, the rap duo Rae Sremmurd, brothers Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee (aged 21 and 22, respectively), took the radio by force in 2014 with deafening back to back hits – it was a genuine rags-to-riches tale penned by prolific Atlanta producer, Mike WiLL Made-It. In a year anchored by Kendrick Lamar’s introspective and politically charged turn on To Pimp a Butterfly, the brothers delivered a defiantly celebratory album packed with anthems. It was enough to place them at #3 on Complex’s “Best Albums of 2015” – a decision that sparked Ebro of Hot 97 to basically accuse the men of being frauds and not writing their own hits. A common string in the reception of their sophomore effort, Sremmlife 2, will understandably use this narrative to explain why Swae and Jxmmi have come back so much sharper this time around. But that’s misleading – they’ve always had the foundation for this growth.
Where the debut shouted it’s appeal in your face, the sequel presents a more restrained approach. The intro, “Start a Party,” for example, boasts a backdrop loud and busy enough to be a worthy opener for their forthcoming tour, but the verses are tightly-wound exercises in double time. Their previous futuristic takes on the standard strip club banger, à la “Throw Sum Mo,” have been upgraded to the one-two punch of the dizzying Juicy J-assisted “Shake it Fast” (boasting a verse from the trippy OG that manages to sneak in a line about a black card that would make Nelly proud) and the Lil Jon-featured “Set the Roof” (co-produced by DJ Mustard and Mike Will) — the latter somehow melding multiple regional influences together, playing like it’s the soundtrack to a house party thrown in Brooklyn by a Compton native — who grew up on Atlanta crunk. It’s still bold and hectic at all the right times, but there’s a lot more at play here.
The group’s often frat boy-ish writing is still present to some extent, but it’s been refined. Jxmmi can be argued to be bar-for-bar the better rapper, but Swae is a master at finessing empty platitudes. The older brother is no less crass, but his menace is more upfront and less coying, stealing the show with his bravado on “Real Chill” (featuring the currently incarcerated Kodak Black), and with his insecurity-riddled love letter on “Now That I Know.” Swae has his fair share of standouts as well: he surgically cuts through the frantic intro and equally energetic “Shake it Fast,” plays with the bonus cut “Swang” like it’s puddy in his hands, and even gets introspective on “Came a Long Way” (“what a journey, all that broke shit don’t concern me”).
Swae Lee’s ear for familiar yet slightly exotic melodies is usually what has him in the driver’s seat, despite his sometimes flat singing (“Now That I Know”). He knows when to play with his cadence (“Real Chill,” “Look Alive”) and his tone (“By Chance,” “Do Yoga”), and his approach has become more measured, as heard on the hook of the transcendent dance number “Black Beatles.” Another DJ Mustard and Mike Will collab, this highlight has an ethereal aura that sounds seductively welcoming. Effervescent ad libs chime in as Swae mimes a perfect Gucci flow before diving into a muted falsetto, making way for ATL legend himself to euro steps past a hater like Rondo. Jxmmi rounds off the last verse with an impassioned speech, boasting “15 hundred on my feet, I’m tryna kill these haters.” “Look Alive,” one of the singles, and “Take It or Leave It,” also comfortably fit in this newfound retro-pop atmosphere.
Sremmlife 2 is worthwhile (and much needed) bid for album of the summer. It’s top heavy, “By Chance,” “Look Alive,” and “Black Beatles” feeling a lot like one of the best three song stretches of the year, but Swae brings a promising sense of experimentation to the entire project (rightfully confident after his credits on Beyonce’s “Formation”). Jxmmi brings an air of assertiveness to the affair, usually playing expertly off his brother, occasionally taking the backseat when the younger rockstar decides to do something weird like “Just Like Us” (imagine the already saccharine overtones of “This Could Be Us” pushed to a Lil Yachty level of intolerable). These two, along with Mike WiLL, take a proven formula no one would’ve minded experiencing again and push it into unexplored territory, all on their own accord. And that’s worth celebrating.