Interviews


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With Victory Lap out now, Nipsey Hussle is busy on the east coast to promote his debut album. Along with appearances on MTV’s TRL and HOT 97, the Crenshaw rapper stopped by Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club for an hour-long interview. In the conversation with the morning show, Nipsey touched on his new album, choosing to return to major label after being independent for many years, JAY-Z being a supporting, West Coast rap and the conception artists had to go through Dr. Dre, gang culture and politics in Los Angeles, Cardi B’s controversial comments about the Bloods, being put onto crypto currency by Marc Ecko in 2013, being Eritrean and more.

Watch the full interview below.

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On this week’s installment of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Eric and Jeff Rosenthal sit down with two hip-hop legends who are still doing it big, Royce Da 5’9″ and DJ Premier. In the almost two-hour interview, Royce and Premo reflect on their respective careers, as well as their history together, while discussing their upcoming album PRhyme 2 (out March 16).

Needless to say, the conversation has a ton of great stories — from Premo meeting Redman and Craig Mack as roadies while on tour with EPMD to Big L taking JAY-Z under his wing to that time Royce, Eminem and Pharrell had a rap battle over the phone.

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Nipsey Hussle’s long-awaited Victory Lap debut album is out everywhere, released last week. The Crewnshaw rapper continues to hit the pavement, continuing his promo run with a visit to New York City this week. Along with visits to The Breakfast Club and Sway in the Morning, Neighborhood Nip appeared on MTV’s TRL where he performed the song “Last Time That I Checc’d.” Nipsey would later sit down with DC Young Fly and guest Ludacris to discuss the album, his favorite song currently being “Blue Laces 2” and more.

Watch Nipsey Hussle on TRL below.

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On the latest episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Eric and Jeff Rosenthal welcome Dreamville President and J. Cole’s manager, Ibrahim “Ib” Hamad. In an incredible two-hour interview, Ib walks us through his journey with Cole — from meeting him at St. John’s to working together at a debt collection agency to selling copies of The Come Up for $1 at North Carolina A&T (which is where “dollar and a dream” started) to signing with JAY-Z and eventually building their own Dreamville empire.

All that plus stories about being invited to 50 Cent’s Connecticut mansion (50 passed on signing J. Cole because “he sound like one of them tight jean-wearing homies”), Cole stepping in dog shit on his way to meet Hov for the first time, and how he and Cole dissuaded Kendrick Lamar from doing a single with Lady Gaga. This is a must-listen for any Dreamville fan.

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Following his entertaining halftime show performance at the 2018 NFL Super Bowl, Justin Timberlake appeared on a special live edition of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Sunday night (Feb. 4). The pop star would perform his Man of the Woods records “Supples” and “Say Something” with guest Chris Stapleton on the show. Timberlake would later sit down with Fallon, opening up about his halftime show medley, that included a tribute to the late Prince.

It’s a moment for me, and if I’m being quite honest, it’s because he’s always been the pinnacle of musicianship,” said Timberlake. “And when we decided that the serendipity and synergy [of being] in Minnesota — he’s such a special thing here aside from what he is all over the world. I just felt like I wanted to do something for this city and something for him that would just be the ultimate homage to what I consider the GOAT [Greatest of All Time] of musicians.” The 37-year-old further explained, “We got the actual vocal stems from ‘I Would Die 4 U’ and the actual recording, and then we got uncut footage from his performance of it in Purple Rain and somehow, someway, by the grace of — probably Prince looking down on us — it synced up and it was this crazy, serendipitous moment … and I just wanted to use that opportunity to do something special for this city but most of all my favorite musician of all time.”

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In the latest installment of Off The Record, Mass Appeal sit down with Large Professor to reflect on the making of Nas’ “It Ain’t Hard to Tell.” Large Pro remembers how the blend culture in Queens sparked the idea, how Nas being on the same label as Michael Jackson (Sony) helped them clear the sample, and his approach to remixing his own beat.

Above all else, Extra P and Nasty Nas were operating with a true N.Y. state of mind. “We were heavy New York, so we weren’t thinking about the globe and, like, ‘Yo, what do they want in Paris?’ We was just like, ‘Yo, we do what we do and we put it down,'” he says. “We’re just thankful that the world received it and loved it.”

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On the latest episode of the Touré Show, a podcast hosted by decorated writer Touré dedicated to picking the brain of some of the most successful people in art and culture, Touré sits down with the greatest rapper alive, Kendrick Lamar. Backstage at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center last fall, Kendrick discusses everything from how Malcolm X inspired his approach to making music and meeting Obama in the Oval Office to the psychological impact of witnessing murder from an early age. “It completely chipped at my confidence,” he admits.

The in-depth interview also finds Kendrick talking about his greatest record (“Alright”) and greatest verse (“FEAR.”), how managing his obsessive passion for music is a bigger challenge for him than resisting the trappings of fame, and why his work carries such powerful and important messages. “My mistakes, the knowledge that I have, the wisdom that I have, it’s not just a job or entertainment for me; this is a lifestyle, this is what I have to offer to the world,” he says. “‘Cause when I’m gone, I can rest peacefully knowing that I contributed to this right here — the mind.”

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Fresh off earning his very first Oscar nomination (Best Original Song for “Stand Up For Something” from the Marshall soundtrack), Common stopped by Late Night with Seth Meyers last night. The Chicago rapper talked about attending last weekend’s GRAMMY Awards, his new supergroup with Robert Glasper and Karriem Riggins, and his relationship with Chance The Rapper, who he left an encouraging voice mail for (at the urging of his grandmother) eight years before meeting him.

On a more political note, Common also discussed his powerful new TV show The Chi, which he stars in and executive produced, and how being involved with the Selma movie inspired him to become more politically active. “It simply boils down to, with all that’s going on in the world, with people feeling so nervous and fearful about things, we gotta empower ourselves to know that we are in control of our destiny as a country as a whole,” he said. “And being active is one of those ways to connect that.”

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Trippie Redd often gets lumped into the “mumble rap” category, but the kid can spit. Taken from his latest album A Love Letter to You 2, “Hellboy” is one of Trippie’s rawest tracks. In fact, he called it the realest shit he ever wrote. Now, with the help of 88rising, the young Ohio rapper gives “Hellboy” a crazy visual makeover that combines his love for comic books, video games and anime.

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For the debut episode of The Van Jones Show, CNN’s Van Jones sat down with JAY-Z for an exclusive interview on Saturday (Jan. 27). Taped at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan, NYC, the pair discussed President Donald Trump and vulgar immigration comments, fatherhood and his newborn twins, activism, Colin Kaepernick, Meek Mill’s legal issues and the broken legal system when it comes to probation and bail reform, and the #MeToo movement.

The two also delved into JAY-Z’s 4:44 album, that’s up for eight GRAMMYs this year. The Brooklyn MC speaks on the project being a “confessional album,” deciding to open up about marital issues with his wife Beyoncé, mending those problems and his mother Gloria Carter coming out. Watch the first episode of The Van Jones Show with guest JAY-Z in full below.

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