Swizz Beatz and Timbaland on VERZUZ, DMX on wanting to battle JAY-Z, and more on “Drink Champs”
N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN check in with stars from their remote locations for their first-ever “Quarantine Champs” episode of “Drink Champs.”
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,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN check in with the people from their remote locations, as the dynamic duo continue to shelter-in-place in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the scenery may be a bit different from what longtime “Drink Champs” viewers have come to expect, the synergy between the two hosts remain the same, as they round up a few friends of the show to give their takes on all that’s happening in the hip hop world and beyond.
“The Breakfast Club” co-hosts Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy are the first two guests to hop on the stream, sharing their thoughts on the recent string of Verzuz battles on Instagram Live and who they’d like to see match up next. From there, Mobb Deep member Havoc takes a break from celebrating the 25th anniversary of The Infamous to explain why the Verzuz battle between him and Alchemist never went down, and how it feels to receive the resounding amount of acclaim he’s been showered with as of late.
DMX also joins the fold to challenge none other than JAY-Z to a Verzuz battle before Timbaland and Swizz Beatz crash the party, and give their own public service announcement about their plans for the Verzuz brand moving forward.
To help give fans a recap of the conversation, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the Quarantine Champs episode of “Drink Champs.” Take a look at them below.
1. DJ Envy Recently Purchased A House
In addition to being one of the hottest DJs in the game, DJ Envy has also built an empire in real estate. However, instead of flipping his latest purchase, he’s decided to renovate it for his own family to live in. “This is a house I actually purchased right before the quarantine, before the pandemic,” Envy reveals. “So, the family really didn’t get a chance to move in yet. So, what we’re doing is, we’re actually rushing. We’re painting, we’re laying down the flooring, making sure the crib is good. So we’re trying to get the crib good enough so I can get everybody in here.”
2. Charlamagne Tha God’s Thoughts On Diddy and Dr. Dre Facing Off For Verzuz
Plenty of artist’s names have been mentioned as possible Verzuz match-ups including Diddy and Dr. Dre. According to Charlamagne Tha God, the two rap titans clashing is complicated by the sheer breadth of each other’s catalogs. “That’s such a tough battle only because it’s not really a good match-up,” Charlemagne explains. “Like, I know that both of them are icons and both of them are titans. And I think it’s a good match-up as far as them both being producers because they’ve always both kinda produced as committee, so to speak. Like, Diddy got The Hitmen, and Dre got Mel-Man, Scott Storch and whoever else. I just think it’s such a contrast in styles because what happens when Diddy plays Total’s “Can’t You See”? What if Dre plays Snoop Dogg’s “Gin & Juice”? What happens if Diddy plays a Faith Evans record, then Dre plays N.W.A.’s “Straight Outta Compton’?”
3. Charlamagne Tha God On Who Would Be A Good Match-Up For DMX
AS DMX continues to gear up for his highly anticipated comeback album, he’s made it known that he’s up to the challenge of taking on JAY-Z in a Verzuz battle. Charlemagne feels another New York rap legend would be the more appropriate opponent for the dog to take on, though. “You know who would be a good one,” he asks? “DMX versus 50 Cent, and I’ma tell you why. If you look at what DMX did in ‘98, DMX brought the streets back because Diddy had everyone shiny suited out and hip hop was going in a certain direction. DMX kinda brought that street essence back. I feel like 50 did that, too, when he came out in 2002 and they both kinda had the same type of energy coming through New York. I think DMX versus 50 Cent would be a hellafied battle, and they both got them street records that people love.”
4. N.O.R.E.’s Reaction To Nelly Taking Credit For Popularizing Nike’s The Air Force 1 Sneaker
One topic that caught the culture’s attention was the debate surrounding who is most responsible for helping make the Air Force 1 sneaker popular. N.O.R.E., a native New Yorker himself, gives Nelly his just due, but credits New York City as a whole for making the Air Force 1 become a cultural staple. “I heard the interview,” N.O.R.E. says when asked for his opinion. “I was jogging, [listening] to the interview about the Air Force 1’s. And I respect Nelly, I respect where he came from, but because you made something famous doesn’t mean you own it, meaning that Air Force 1 is a New York staple. That is something that, you brush your teeth as a New Yorker, you get a pair of Timbs and you get a pair of Air Force 1’s. That is it.”
5. DMX’s Thoughts On Verzuz
During DMX’s brief appearance on “Drink Champs,” the rap legend share his perspective on what the Verzuz battles could possibly evolve into moving forward. “The Verzuz thing is official and all that is good,” he begins. “But, how much better would it be if the rappers got together and did something that wasn’t simply Verzuz? That was just like, ‘Yo, let’s rock together, you know what I’m saying? It would be a much bigger platform. Instead of trying to pit one against the other, you put ‘em all together and you can have, like, mini-concerts. But, that’s just where we’re at with it.”
6. Hot 97’s #ShookOnesChallenge Celebrating The 25th Anniversary Of The Infamous
Mobb Deep’s sophomore album, The Infamous, is one of the most acclaimed rap albums in the genre’s history. Havoc, who hops on the “Drink Champs” stream to chop it up with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN, gives the scoop behind his new challenge with Hot 97 involving one of the album’s classic records. “The thing that we did with Hot 97 was a 25th anniversary #ShookOnesChallenge, where we had mad people submitting freestyles over the ‘Shook Ones’ beat,” the QB veteran reveals. “And then, we picked the best four and then, we narrow it down to one…”
7. Havoc On Prodigy’s Daughter Pursuing A Rap Career
The death of Mobb Deep member Prodigy in 2017 was a big loss for the hip hop community, which makes the celebration of the 25th anniversary of The Infamous bittersweet. However, Havoc’s revelation that Prodigy’s daughter is carrying on his legacy through her own rhymes is one of the more interesting tidbits from his conversation with “Drink Champs.” “Yes, man, Santana Fox,” Havoc says in reference to her rap moniker. “Her skills is crazy because I didn’t know she rhymed for a minute until she put it on Instagram. I was like, ‘Oh shit!’ And after that, I wasn’t surprised because of who her Pops is, so it made sense. But, I’m proud of her and she’s definitely carrying on the torch for P and she definitely got my full support.”
8. On Havoc’s Respect For Griselda Records
One of the hottest crews to emerge out of New York is Griselda, which is comprised of rappers Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine, and Benny The Butcher. With their profile at its peak, the trio have made a big impression on a number of their contemporaries including Havoc. “Hell yeah,” Havoc says of Griselda having his full support. “Like all day long. Just to see that kinda shit, it just… like you said, even if I was never cool with them n**gas, they would’ve got my support. One thousand percent, all day… It’s good to see because in an era where everybody sound the same, it’s good to see there’s somebody sticking to their guns when it come to that because they could’ve easily did something else.”
9. How Contestants Are Selected For Verzuz
As Verzuz continues to capture the culture’s attention, fans have been throwing out their fantasy match-ups of artists they’d like to see compete against one another. However, according to Swizz Beatz, putting together these battles and dealing with the artists involved entails a tenuous process that doesn’t always turn out for the best. “Well, first of all, we have a list of who actually want to do Verzuz,” he explains. “‘Cause sometimes people’s energy is not right, sometimes people’s confidence is not right, even though they got the biggest songs. So, I know people got their imaginary, fantasy lists of what they wanna see happen. But, what they don’t understand is the real work to get those people to actually do it. It don’t got nothing to do with music, it got to do with personality, character.”
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