Photo: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic/Getty Images
  /  09.08.2022

On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN connected with Turk to discuss his Cash Money days, addiction to drugs, incarceration, and much more.

Born Tab Virgil Jr. in New Orleans, Lousiana, Turk rose to prominence as a member of the iconic Cash Money Records group Hot Boys alongside Lil Wayne, Juvenile, and B.G. In addition to releasing three albums — beginning with 1997’s Get It How U Live! — and a soundtrack as part of that four-man collective, Turk also liberated his debut solo effort Young & Thuggin’ before parting ways with Cash Money. Since then, he’s released a slew of independent projects and mixtapes throughout his career, including Penitentiary Chances and subsequent volumes of his Young & Thuggin’ series.

In 2004, Turk would find himself in the midst of a legal battle following a shootout with police. A slew of charges would then land the “It’s In Me” rapper in prison for almost a decade. Following his release in late 2012, Turk would reunite with Lil Wayne, Juvenile, and B.G. on a remix of Blame It On The System cut “Zip It.” He also released his book “The AutoThugOgraphy of Turk” in 2018.

Below are nine things we learned from Turk’s “Drink Champs” interview. You can also enjoy a full stream of the episode here.

1. On the popularity of cocaine and heroin in New Orleans

As he’s revealed in past interviews, Turk was no stranger to hard drugs during his stint as a member of Hot Boys. Following a story from N.O.R.E. about their first time meeting each other, Turk further opened up about the popularity of heroin and cocaine in The Big Easy:

“Man, you know, it was like a fashion statement. You know, they drank syrup, they pop pills, they rap about it and it’s cool. In New Orleans, Magnolia Slim — God bless his soul, [others] know him as Soulja Slim — he had a song where he was like, ‘Snort a powder bag.’ At first we was snortin’ powder, everybody tootin’ up … [then] he graduated.”

He continued: “He went from snortin’ coke to heroin. And then on top of that, you had the females, right, who ain’t make it no better. Talkin’ ’bout they want the dope d**k. Dope d**k make a n**ga go all night. So, you know, if you a one-minute man, you turn into a 30-minute man.”

2. On Birdman and Slim hating Turk and the Hot Boys’ drug use

Turk continued to speak on how great the highs felt on heroin while explaining how equally bad the lows were, especially in regards to the drug’s withdrawal period. He also confirmed that despite past rumors, Cash Money founders Bryan “Birdman” Williams (also known as Baby) and Ronald “Slim” Williams were far from fans of their artists indulging in those types of drugs:

“They wasn’t wit’ it. They used to hate that s**t. Like, bruh, let me tell you something. A lot of people — and I done heard people say this, this the craziest s**t in the world — why would a person condone their money getting high when it’s f**kin’ their money up? [Birdman] was the investor. They was investin’. They used to get mad.”

3. On Turk being left out of Lil Wayne’s “Tha Block Is Hot” video

To make a point about the effects of heroin and cocaine on his career, Turk opened up about the time he missed out on an appearance in Lil Wayne‘s breakout music video:

“It’s so many situations that I could talk about. Wayne was shootin’ ‘Tha Block Is Hot.’ I know y’all remember that video. I’m not in that video for the simple fact, Universal, everybody came down. I had took Valiums, that’s a downer. Muscle relaxers, that’s a downer. Heroin and cocaine, so I’m on all this s**t and I’m f**kin’ with a female, so I’m feelin’ good. But, you know, when you’re first doing it, you don’t feel it. So it’s kind of like creeping in.”

Unfortunately, things took a turn at the most inopportune time as a result of what he put in his body:

“It crept in on me when I had to go shoot my part in the video. I had just bought a Cadillac Catera, brand-new off the showroom floor. Man, it was embarrassing on Baby and them part ’cause it’s like, ‘Man look, we got business to take care of and you coming on the set, you high, you loaded.’ Bruh, I was just talkin’ crazy to ’em, just all out my mind, you feel me? S**t I wouldn’t normally do. He took my keys from me, got one of my homeboys to bring me home, and I missed the opportunity to be in that video.”

4. On how he and Lil Wayne were thinking about signing with Master P and No Limit

At some point, jealousy seemed to hit the Cash Money camp, as Turk and Wayne found themselves having issues with finances — all while Juvenile appeared to be receiving special attention from the bosses:

“At the time, Juvenile was the n**ga. Juvenile used to be s**tin’ on us. We’ll be goin’ to the mall and s**t, and all the girls basically like, ‘Juvenile! Juvenile!’ But he was the star. And then Baby and Slim showin’ this n**ga favoritism in our eyes, but we not understanding the business. They gotta make sure the star straight. Juvenile getting Beamers, he gettin’ f**kin’ Hummers. We don’t got no car.”

Meanwhile, an outside view of the growing No Limit Records empire made things look as if the grass was greener on the other side:

“At the time, Master P had a starter pack. He was givin’ [his artists] … a house, Rolex, and a car. So we holdin’ it down for the fam but all the while, me and Wayne like, ‘Let’s go f**k wit’ P.’ We plottin’ like a motherf**ka, ‘Let’s go fuck wit P. Ain’t none of them n**gas harder than us, that n**ga gonna break us off.’ … It never manifested, but [me and Wayne] did have those talks … [but] we never spoke wit’ P.”

5. On Lil Wayne addressing him and the rest of the Hot Boys on “I Miss My Dawgs”

Back in 2004, Lil Wayne kickstarted what’s become an iconic album series with Tha Carter, which is considered to be one of the best in his discography. On that album was a track titled “I Miss My Dawgs,” which was dedicated to the other members of the now-defunct Hot Boys. During his “Drink Champs” sit-down, Turk shared his thoughts on the song and how it was misclassified by many as a diss track:

“Naw, he wasn’t goin’ at me. ‘Man, I miss my dawgs.’ Me and Wayne were homeboys, like, bro. We [done] f**ked plenty b**ches, right. So, it’s like we used to have this s**t where, ‘You ain’t goin’ to f**k more than me.’ Me and him just got close, dawg … I think when he did that song, it was like, ‘N**ga you left and I stayed. You left me.’ And then, later on, he wound up doin’ the same thing! ‘I did what you did.’ … It’s like a lot of them n**gas got mad at me for doing the same thing that everybody did.”

6. On catching an STD with Lil Wayne

In the midst of speaking on the breakup of the Hot Boys, Turk decided to prove just how close he and Lil Wayne were at that time:

“Now, they gon’ get mad, but I say this all to say don’t do what we did. Me and Wayne caught crabs together. Listen, hear me out. See a lot of people try to turn a n**ga testimony to a mess-timony, right? That’s what they try to do. They be like, ‘Bro, why you bringing that s**t up?’ Because, bro, there’s a lot of youth out there doing the s**t that we was doing. So I got to tell them, ‘Bro, I understand what y’all going through.'”

After a humorous response from the hosts, Turk went into detail about how he and his longtime peer contracted the STD:

“We was f**kin’ these two sisters out in Houston, I don’t even know they names. We both had baby mamas and s**t at the time … We f**ked around and gave these crabs to our baby mamas,” Turk revealed. “So we caught that s**t, bruh. Baby and them were like, ‘Y’all n**gas need to go and get some lice [shampoo].’ ‘Cause we was on the bus, we itchin’ and scratchin’ and s**t. They gave out that s**t, I ain’t know what the f**k. We were young.”

7. On Hot Boys’ “I Need A Hot Girl” originally being his song

In addition to Hot Boys, Birdman and Mannie Fresh saw considerable success as the Big Tymers. Together, the two groups created a mega-hit with “I Need A Hot Girl,” a track that ended up on Hot Boys’ sophomore LP Guerrilla Warfare. As Turk revealed, “I Need A Hot Girl” was supposed to be his record:

“Juvenile, now you know that’s my song. That’s my song. We was on the bus, them n**gas was like, ‘We gotta do a girl song.’ I’m not thinkin’ that this’ ’bout to be no classic, no hit, I’m just on my s**t ’cause this what I like in real life, you feel me? Me and Wayne, we always used to write songs together … We goin’ back and forth, bam, bam, bam, and it just took off. To be honest, I feel like my verse made that album go platinum … So, if I was the one that made that up, I wrote that, give me my flowers, dawg.”

8. On reaching out to “Celebrity Boxing” to jump in the ring with his former group members

As the interview continued, it became apparent that Turk still feels a way about Cash Money and his former bandmates. In fact, he’d heard enough criticism from certain individuals that he was ready to jump past the idea of a Verzuz matchup and put on some boxing gloves:

“I ain’t never violated none of these dudes, bro. I always kept it political, dawg. And I still keep it political when I could really be like, ‘Bam, bam’ … I’ma keep it G, I reached out to ‘Celebrity Boxing.’ I wanted to box y’all n**gas, man, you know what I’m sayin’? Keep it real. I want to box a few n**gas. I got a lot of pressure. ‘Cause I feel like … I love Verzuz ’cause a lot of these dudes be talkin’ a lot of s**t … I don’t feel like they give me my flowers, dawg. Bro, I was a part of this s**t. And then when I speak out and say s**t, ‘Aw, he hatin’…'”

9. On his support for B.G. during his incarceration

Months prior to Turk’s release from prison after a nine-year stint, fellow Hot Boys member B.G. received a 14-year sentence for gun possession and witness tampering. During “Drink Champs,” Turk spoke on his unwavering support for his former labelmate — despite outside forces trying to drive a wedge between the two:

I made a statement. I believe in the law of attraction, right. You gotta watch the things you speak because the law of attraction is obedient — the good, the bad. So I’m like, you know what? We’re not ’bout to say ‘Free B.G.’ anymore … ‘B.G. free’! Motherf**kers started sayin’, ‘Turk tryna use him to promote something.’ I’m like, ‘What?’ All the while, I’m speaking it into existence.”

He continued: “I’m the n**ga that made sure Boosie [Badazz] get in touch wit’ B.G. I’m the n**ga that made sure T.I. get in touch wit’ B.G. I’m the n**ga that make sure Birdman get in touch wit’ B.G. B.G. wasn’t able to get in touch wit’ none of these n**gas. But when I came home, I didn’t have the money to fund no lawyers, to do all this. But n**ga I’m Turk, I’ma apply pressure some kind of way.”

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