On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN welcomed Consequence to chop it up about his upcoming album, working with Kanye West, JAY-Z almost signing him, and more.
Born in Queens, New York, the musician laid the groundwork for his career by rapping alongside the likes of Q-Tip and A Tribe Called Quest, appearing on 1996 cult classics “Stressed Out,” “Phony Rappers,” and more. Afterward, Consequence established himself through a series of independent releases before collaborating with Kanye West, who later signed him to his G.O.O.D. Music imprint in 2005. The two musicians worked extensively with each other during the early years of West’s career, with Consequence featuring on “Spaceships” from The College Dropout and Late Registration standout cut “Gone.”
It wasn’t until 2007 that the rapper released his debut album Don’t Quit Your Day Job, which featured John Legend, GLC, DJ Khaled, and West. It marked his first and final full-length project under G.O.O.D. Music, as he left the label in 2011. That same year, the musician also appeared as a co-writer for Beyoncé’s smash hit “Party.”
In the meantime, Consequence released a slew of installments to his Movies On Demand mixtape series. Much of the success achieved in the latter part of his career came from songwriting, producing, and features. Notably, he appeared on a whopping five tracks from A Tribe Called Quest’s 2016 album, We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service.
In addition to that, Consequence worked on Kanye West’s ye, Kids See Ghosts’ self-titled project, and “Selah” from JESUS IS KING. Last year, the musician also contributed to much of Donda, including songs like “Hurricane,” “Jonah,” and “Junya.” Consequence’s latest single, “Blood Stain,” was released earlier this year and sees the rapper reuniting with Ye once more in preparation for his upcoming album, Nice Doing Business With You.
Below are nine interesting facts we learned from Consequence’s “Drink Champs” interview. Check them out and be sure to tune into the full episode here.
1. On Q-Tip’s mom being the reason he was featured on “The Chase, Part II”
Consequence’s introduction to the rap game came by way of Queens-based hip hop collective A Tribe Called Quest. Though the rapper has collaborated with the group as recently as 2016, their history goes all the way back to the early 90s when he appeared on a remix of “The Chase, Part II.” The record was exclusively released on the B-side of Tribe’s “Award Tour” single in 1993.
“Q-Tip’s mom actually saw what I was doing and she was like a cheerleader to Tip as far as me eventually [being given] the opportunity in ‘93 to do ‘The Chase, Part II.’ Shout out to Mama Davis,” he shares.
2. On his frustration with not getting paid to appear in Netflix’s Jeen-Yuhs
Released in January, Netflix’s three-part Kanye West documentary Jeen-Yuhs chronicles the icon’s rise from local producer to one of this generation’s most influential musicians and creatives. The Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah-directed film was nominated for Best Music Documentary at the 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards subsequent to its release. While fans and peers of the musician shared their praise for the documentary online, Consequence is among the few to voice his concerns, stating it leaves out pivotal parts of West’s career and pointing out that he didn’t get paid despite appearing in the film.
“I’m not going to be on Netflix and I don’t get no check. That’s against my principles. It’s not Ye, let’s be clear. Ye actually does great business. I tip my hat to him, even from the outside looking in. If anybody knows the extent of our relationship, we’ve done great business over the years,” Consequence says. “For me, it wasn’t fully explained how me and Ye met, the deal we arranged, and it’s Kanye’s documentary so it’s fine.”
Speaking on film documentary directors Coodie & Chike, Consequence explains, “They didn’t bill it like that. The issue then becomes that this Ye documentary … once someone takes it on a platform like Netflix, they’re going to take on the assumption that this is the truth, this is the occurrence of events and how it went.” He later delves into confronting the directors about appearing in all three episodes of the series but not receiving any payment.
3. On almost signing to Roc-A-Fella
Midway through the interview, Consequence reveals that JAY-Z was looking to sign him at one point. However, he turned him down due to not being in the right space with Q-Tip, whom he was signed to at the time. Despite this, the Queens rapper previously admitted to ghostwriting Hov’s 2003 song “Encore” in an interview with Power 106 Los Angeles.
“I was still signed to Q-Tip through The Ummah. I was supposed to sign to Roc-A-Fella, that’s why it was so ironic. Well, not supposed to, but JAY was very interested in picking me up,” he shares. “He spoke to Q-Tip about me and at the time, me and Q-Tip was going through a lot of personal things so I didn’t go that route, but I ended up kind of going that direction anyway.”
4. On watching the evolution of Yeezys since Kanye West’s early sketches
Pivoting on the conversation of Ye, Consequence briefly discusses his circle of influence growing and being with West prior to his debut as a designer. In regard to their relationship and shoes, he shares, “Here’s the thing. It wasn’t no Yeezys for me, it was the sketch pad of him drawing sneakers. Before it was something to be on the friends and family list for, it was just an idea, a dream. Before it was getting out our dreams, it was dreams I want to get out.”
“Kanye has never been a person that was struggling for money. His moms was well-to-do as far as having influence and having a great career in Chicago. I never seen Kanye struggle,” Consequence later admits. “He had dreams that he wanted to see come to fruition and it was more about having the tools. So, when I said earlier about me being the one he would rap with, take rap from, etcetera, it’s real.”
5. On saving Big Sean from getting dropped from G.O.O.D. Music
Last year, “Drink Champs” alumni and frequent collaborators Kanye West and Big Sean sat down with DJ EFN and N.O.R.E. to air out their problems with each other (separately). During Ye’s interview, he said that signing the Detroit rapper was the “worst thing I’ve ever done.” Luckily, the pair reconciled earlier this year. However, Consequence seemingly chimes in on their situation, saying that he saved Big Sean from getting dropped from G.O.O.D. Music earlier on in his career.
“I saved Big Sean’s dignity. I ain’t never tell no story of Big Sean that I know personally. Him and Ye, they did their one, two thing up here. I ain’t do that with Sean, but Sean was my little man when he got signed,” the rapper explains. “If you go to YouTube, you’ll see Sean get introduced as a member of G.O.O.D. Music at my show at the Knitting Factory. Kanye came out as a surprise guest, Q-Tip came out as a surprise guest. I had Sean and Kid Cudi, and that’s what they wanted.”
6. On working with Beyoncé on “Party” and Faith Evans on “Stressed Out”
Among the long list of musicians he’s collaborated with, Consequence claims that he is one of the only rappers to create music with both Faith Evans and Beyoncé. In 1996, he and Evans were featured on A Tribe Called Quest’s “Stressed Out” from Beats, Rhymes, and Life. He also got to lay down background vocals and co-write Queen Bey’s hit record “Party,” which subsequently peaked at No. 2 on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and earned a nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 54th Grammy Awards.
He shares, “I worked with Beyoncé and worked with Faith so I’m probably one of the only emcees to ever work with Biggie and JAY-Z’s wives. Holla at me. They both was singles, they wasn’t album cuts. ‘Stressed Out,’ hit single. ‘Party,’ number one at Urban [Radio]. I’m the one, nigga,” he emphasizes.
7. On falling out with Q-Tip and later burying the hatchet
During the early 2010s, Q-Tip and Consequence squashed their beef after Consequence stated that Q and Kanye West failed to support his career. Towards the tail-end of 2011, he posted a picture with Q and his son to confirm that they were on good terms. When asked why the two musicians were feuding, Cons shares they’ve had falling outs multiple times in the past. “There’s a thin line. I think the number one emotion for an artist that makes him go [crazy] is disappointment. There’s been times where I’ve been disappointed, but there’s times that Q-Tip has brought the kind of opportunities to my life that I can’t measure — even with joy. At one point in my life, my name was Ray Tip. That’s how close me and Q-Tip are.”
8. On being diagnosed with lupus and diabetes
In 2020, Consequence revealed that he was diagnosed with lupus, initially fearing it was COVID-19. He shares that the doctors, unfortunately, misdiagnosed him due to information about the virus not being as prevalent at the time. Thus, the medicine he was prescribed increased his hepatic glucose production, resulting in the rapper getting diabetes as well.
“During the pandemic, I got diagnosed with SLE lupus and type 1 diabetes and it kind of rocked me, just to be honest. I dropped down to 107 pounds and doctors basically told me if I didn’t take certain medicines, it was going to be Royal Gilmore. They call me ‘Gilmore Funeral Homes.’ In the video, it was a record, I used to start walking myself back to life, honestly. That part of the roller coaster wasn’t fun.”
9. On working with DJ Kay Slay before his passing
New York veteran DJ Kay Slay cemented his legacy throughout the 2000s through a number of mixtapes and collaborative efforts before he passed away earlier this year. Before passing on, he collaborated with Consequence on “Rolling 110 Deep,” a record featuring 110 artists, including Dave East, Styles P, Raekwon and Jim Jones. Reflecting on his passing, the rapper says, “Kay Slay is definitely going to be missed.”
“It’s so crazy he died from COVID. The thing about the pandemic that I don’t think people will ever fully understand is the amount of deaths we had to deal with in real-time because of social media,” he adds.
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