Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV’s “Drink Champs,” which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly “Drink Champs” episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
In the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” DJ Envy slides through to chop it up with N.O.R.E. Bred in Queens, Envy began his grind as a DJ during the ‘90s by building his name during a stint at Hampton University, as well as in his home borough. Being taken under the wing of neighbor and the pioneer of the exclusive DJ Clue, he would learn the ropes before breaking out of his mentor’s shadow during the early aughts as one of the hottest mixtape DJs in hip hop.
Inking a deal with Clue’s Desert Storm imprint, Envy released his debut album, The Desert Storm Mixtape: Blok Party, Vol. 1., in 2003 before breaking into radio via appearances on Hot 97’s “Takin’ it to the Streets” radio show. After hosting multiple shows on that station, the talent made the jump to Power 105.1, where partnered up with Angela Yee and Charlamagne tha God to form “The Breakfast Club,” which has become the seminal morning radio show in hip hop over the past decade. In addition to his work in hip hop, Envy has also found success outside of the culture as a businessman with a real estate portfolio worth millions. Working with fellow realtor/investor Flipping NJ, who joins Envy during his appearance, “The People’s Choice” has helped introduce a number of artists and other members of the hip hop community to the real estate game and looks to pass on his expertise to the next generation of entrepreneurs.
To help give fans a recap of the conversation, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the DJ Envy and Flipping NJ episode of “Drink Champs.” Take a look at them below.
1. DJ Envy On Building His Friendship With 50 Cent
“I didn’t really like Fif at first. And the reason I didn’t like him is because he would give Mr. Cee and Flex the records before me, and I used to be mad...” Envy said. “Then, we just got to chopping it up and we kinda had the same goals. And he’s one of those people you can call for whatever and he’s there, not financially, but for advice... When I was going through any hardship that I was going through, beef or problems, he would always call and just be there to just talk to me. And we just had a conversation and his whole goal, which is crazy, is family. Like, he loves my family, so he wants to put that on a higher scale. He looks at the industry and was like, ‘We don’t see that enough,’ so he always pushes my family first. Even if I’m out of town and my daughter has a prom to go to, he’s gonna pop up at the house and make sure he sends her off... I don’t have too many friends in the industry, but he’s one of those friends. That’s my brother.”
2. DJ Envy On Falling Out With Nicki Minaj
”Well this is the thing. I always say this, I really don’t have too many friends in the industry like that. People throw that friend word around loosely. I didn’t know me and Nicki [Minaj] were friends, I honestly didn’t know that. We’re associates, [but] I’m associates with everybody. But, when I talk to friends in this industry, I talk about three people all the time, I would even say four and that’s 50, Clue, Fabolous and Joe Budden. Those are my friends that call me on my birthday, call me on my kids’ birthdays, call me to check up on me, those are people I consider friends... So with Nicki, I think we started going left when Remy Ma had did ‘Shether’ and when ‘Shether’ came out at the time, I was talking to her and I said, ‘Yeah, you were taking shots. You’re a rapper, so let’s rap.’ Like, I’m excited and then she told me to suck her dick, but that’s Nicki, so I didn’t take it personal. I was like ‘Alright, whatever.’”
3. DJ Envy On Being Chased By The Notorious B.I.G.
”It was two things that I did. One, I played ‘My Downfall’ on my mixtape before anyone else. It was the unfinished version. And two, I played Tupac ‘That’s why I fucked your bitch,’ I played that shit. ‘Hit Em Up,’ I played those two things. So, when Big and Cease had a show on Hampton University’s campus, they was running around looking for me and I got low. I’m no fool, I got low. It was what it was, but I was in the wrong. I disrespected them, I played stuff I wasn’t’ supposed to. So, if they would’ve got me, I would’ve had to take that...”
4. DJ Envy On Having His Home Burglarized
”My house was burglarized one time. That’s why I have three or four dogs at the house now, so hop over the gate if you want now. But, it was burglarized and they stole probably about $700,000, $800,000 worth of my wife’s jewelry. Now when we try to insure, insurance companies give us a hard time because they’re like, ‘How do we know you didn’t do it before? How we know you wasn’t involved?’ A lot of times you have to get around that and have an umbrella policy... And my house was secure, so I really think it was one of the alarm security people that knew how to get down. There was only one door in my house that didn’t have an alarm system. He knew where that door was, he hopped on the second floor, climbed and then he crawled under the cameras. So, he crawled under where the fucking heat thing wouldn’t pick him up, he had to know that. And I got it all on my film, I could see him, I wasn’t home and he crawled through that, mask on and everything. And when he hopped out, he ran through the forest. I have a huge lot and the cops were scared to go in the woods. They was like, ‘Nah, we’re waiting for the dogs.’ By that time, dude is gone. But, like I said, now I got three or four dogs roaming the property. So, if you hopping that gate, they’re not playing.”
5. Why Flipping NJ Remains Humble
”It’s just my parents, the way that I was raised. And I think once we make it or you have success, I think you should try to help as many people as possible to be successful just like you are. Everybody around me, from family to friends, they have all invested in real estate ‘cause they see what I’m doing. So, if I’m walking down the street and somebody has a question for me about real estate, I’ll answer it. I’ll talk to anybody and I think that’s one of the most important things. I know a lot of guys that are worth a couple of hundred million dollars, guys that I look up to and they’re just like me. But then, I know a guy that only makes fifty grand a year and he thinks he’s better than everybody. In my experience, people that have real money, they’re humble. They don’t think they’re better than anybody.”
6. DJ Envy On Why He Decided To Partner With Dominican Rap Artist Shelow Shaq
”He’s a street nigga that niggas respect in his hood... I had to do a show out in DR, and then I went to a couple of shows he was doing, and I saw the crowds... He reminded of me when Meek Mill first came out in Philly. How Philly just loved him, that’s how he is in the DR. So, I was like, ‘Is he signed?’ And I told myself I ain’t ever fucking with another artist again, artists are crazy. They said he wasn’t signed, so I said, ‘Let’s do a deal where I don’t own his publishing. I’m not trying to get somebody, I just wanna sign ‘em. We don’t have the type of deal, it was more of a handshake and I’m trying to do it the right way where we all eat. And I brought in my partners here, so we all made it a collective.”
7. DJ Envy On The Evolution of The Breakfast Club
”The Breakfast Club, I did change. I absolutely did change. When I started The Breakfast Club, I used to drink and get high everyday, party and do a lot of shit. But now, when you get a little older, you realize it’s a bigger purpose. That’s why instead of having some of the buffoonery that we have on there, we try to do different things. Whether it’s bringing up people there that talk about real estate...or we bring the political candidates up there and have real conversations... Or it’s talking about entrepreneurship with me and Yee owning businesses or Charlamagne talking about mental health, it’s a bigger cause. It’s no more of the days where we’re just gonna have fun in the morning and rap in the morning, and keep it moving. That’s not what our communities [are] about. Nah, I wanna inspire somebody to buy property, to be an entrepreneur, to go to school, to do something outside of what they’re so comfortable [in] in their environment.”
8. DJ Envy On The Time Nas Pulled Out A Gun Out On Him
”I was on Jamaica Avenue. This was the backside of The Coliseum block...a big place in Queens where everybody used to go shopping. And I was selling mixtapes and at the time, nobody fucked with my mixtapes because I was a quote-unquote fake [DJ] Clue. So, nobody really wanted my mixtapes. So, I would have to hustle the Africans [like], ‘C’mon, just take this.’ I see Nas and Nas had a chick with him, a little light skin or Spanish chick with him. And you’re excited to see Nas, it’s Nas and he’s by himself. There’s no security. This would have to be ‘94-’95. He had a GS300, I think it was the gold one. So, I see Nas, and I’m like, ‘Oh shit.’ I start running up the block, it was me and my DJ friend at the time Boogie Black. And we’re running up, ‘Nas, Nas, I got something for you, I got something for you!’ I’m reaching in the bag to pull out the mixtape, Nas pulls out his gun. ‘What you got for me, nigga??? What the fuck you got for me?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh shit... it’s a mixtape!’ So, he takes my tape and says ‘Yo, don’t be coming up to niggas, you know niggas get shot like that,’ hopped in his car and took off. And I’m like, ‘Wow, Nas just pulled out a gun on me.’”
9. DJ Envy On N.O.R.E. Charging For A Feature
“If you don’t know the story, when N.O.R.E. first started, I used to pick N.O.R.E. up in my caravan. N.O.R.E used to jump in the back of the caravan and we’d ride to the city... and I just believed in him. And when he popped, I was happy ‘cause I felt like a part of me popped. So, when I finally got on to do my album, I’m calling my friends. ‘Yo, JAY, can I get a song for your mixtape on my album?’ ‘Sure,’ JAY does it. ‘DMX, I need a record.’ ‘Sure,’ you know? All these people. ‘Fif, I need a record.’ ‘Sure.’ And when I come to my guy N.O.R.E., he like, ‘Yeah, I got you. [But] I need thirty. I’m like, ‘Thirty what, what you need?’ ‘Thirty stacks,’ I was like, ‘Oh shit.’”