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,” one of rap’s most infamous figures and a world-renowned comedian both make their respective debuts. With more than three decades in hip hop on his resume, Freddie Foxx is as recognized as one of the most respected lyricists of his time. Also known as Bumpy Knuckles, the rhyme pugilist out of Long Island built a name for himself inside and outside of the booth, and wields a reputation for brutalizing rivals. As one of the most accomplished stand-up comedians, Russell Peters has become a household name by tearing down stages across the globe. The first comedian to ever secure a Netflix stand-up special, Peters continues to break down barriers while waving the flag for hip hop culture, which he champions at every opportunity by paying homage to the game’s best talent — past and present.
To help give fans a recap of the conversation, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from Freddie Foxx and Russel Peters’ episode of “Drink Champs.” Take a look at them below.
1. How Freddie Foxx Mastered His Craft
During his time on “Drink Champs,” Foxx explained the reason he decided to teach himself recording and production. “I think it happened because I started to notice that...people do things that’s just not consistent with how you move,” he says. “I started trying to teach myself twenty years before I needed to know it how to do it. So, in twenty years when I still wanna be making music, I didn’t have to depend on someone to book studio time for me. People got other projects, I didn’t wanna wait on beats. I figured if I start teaching myself how to be self contained, then I would not have to wait around for people. So, I started investing in myself.”
2. Freddie Foxx’s Connection With Flavor Unit
One of the more legendary crews in rap history was Flavor Unit, which was helmed by Queen Latifah and rap exec Shakim Compere. Foxx details his history with the group and how he was able to become a member. “In the beginning, I was really comfortable there,” he says. “And then business happens, things happen, and then it just got crazy because I think they got overwhelmed with all of these artists. In ‘93, when I did 19 Naughty III, I did ‘Hot Potato’ with Naughty By Nature. I recorded it actually in 1992, but it was 19 Naughty III album and when they put it out, that’s what gave me the look. Shakim wanted to sign because they asked me to come to a show. I performed, it was a very commanding performance. I don’t think they were really used to emcees just step[ping] to a spot on the stage and [giving] it to the audience.”
3. Russell Peters’ Experience With Race Relations
A native of Canada, Peters touches on his experience with race relations from his childhood and why he naturally gravitates to black people. “See, the white kids were real bully-ish when I was growing up, especially in the ‘70s,” he explains. “In Canada, being Indian was the lowest form of human you could be. We were treated like shit. I was built like a fucking third-world kid. I was skinny, my knees looked like I was smuggling walnuts into the country and I didn’t know how to fight. I would just get spit on and kicked and called names, and then the only time it never happened is when I hung around the black kids. So, I was like, ‘I see where the safe zone is and I’ma be there.’”
4. How Freddie Foxx Altered Hip Hop History
With multiple classic albums and records under their belt, Eric B. & Rakim are undoubtedly one of the best rap duos of all time. However, if it wasn’t for Foxx passing up on an opportunity to work with Eric B., the course of hip hop history would’ve been altered. “Alvin Toney, who was cool with Eric,” Freddie says in reference to who introduced them to each other. “Eric knew him and he stopped me, waved me down in the street and he said, ‘Yo, there’s a cat I wanna introduce you to that’s looking to do a project.’ Eric was working at BLS. He was a mobile disc jockey and he was going around doing a lot these different projects. He wanted to put together a rap project and he had people he knew out in Long Island. So, he came out and he was like, ‘Who’s the nicest rappers out here?’ So, the kid was like, ‘Yeah, it’s two guys that you should really talk to.’ I just happened to be driving by at the time and they flagged me down, and he asked me, he said, ‘Yo, man, I got this project that I wanna know if you can get down on. I heard that you can rhyme,’ and I said, ‘Yeah.’ And he was like, ‘When can we meet up and I was actually on my way to a rehearsal, actually, with my crew. So, I was like, ‘We’ll be there,’ and he said, ‘Nah, I just need one person.’ So, I kind of felt fucked up. I can’t leave my boys fucked up. So, I just decided, after thinking about it, not to show up.”
5. How Freddie Foxx Got His First Feature Verse
During Foxx’s portion of the interview, he reminisces on the time he and a few of rap’s most beloved legends rocked the stage together, which led to the first collaborative record of his career. “It was times I was just jumping onstage — me, [Kool] G Rap, Scarface,” he recalls. “I would just jump onstage... G Rap, he was the first one to put me on. When G Rap put me on ‘Money in the Bank,’ that was my first collaboration.”
6. Opening For Grandmaster Caz
One interesting tidbit about Foxx’s rise up the rap ranks was the time he had the opportunity to open up a show for Grandmaster Caz and the Cold Crush Brothers. “That was in Amityville, at the A Center,” he recalls. “Grandmaster Caz said, ‘Who’s that group right there?’ ‘Oh, they’re supposed to open for you,’ ‘Those motherfuckers can’t stand on my stage, they have to earn that.’ So, we had to stand behind the DJ booth and rock because the way the DJ was set up, we couldn’t stand in front because they had a barricade. So, we had to rock on the floor. So, while everybody else was angry about that shit, I was like, ‘Fuck it.’ That’s where I learned to get my bark because I was like, ‘If they can’t see me, they gonna hear me, motherfucker. So, I got loud on ‘em.”
7. N.O.R.E.’s Special “Drink Champs” Announcement
In the midst of this episode, N.O.R.E. decided to make an impromptu announcement of his plans to record two bi-coastal “Drink Champs” interviews in the same day. “Well, I’ma just start promoting right now, let the people know that September 6, I’m trying to do the quadruple play,” he says. “Which means we’re doing a podcast in New York in the daytime. Then we’re doing a show — maybe Capone & Noreaga, maybe just Noreaga. And then, we’re flying to L.A., we’re doing a show and a podcast there. I wanna be the first Deion Sanders type to do this. So, we’re announcing this right there.”
8. Freddie Foxx and Rakim’s Involvement in JAY-Z and Nas’ Battle
The epic showdown between JAY-Z and Nas is one of the most pivotal exchanges that hip hop has witnessed thus far. However, one unknown fact about the battle is that Nas received input from Rakim about how to approach JAY-Z’s “Takeover” diss track. “He got some perspective from me, he got a little perspective from Rakim,” Foxx reveals. “He spoke to Rakim. I don’t know if it was a meeting, I know it was a conversation and Rakim gave him some advice. But I think Nas, one thing about him, I don’t believe he does what other people tells him. I think he listens to what people say and then he makes his decision based on what people say.”
9. Pulling Out A Gun On Steve Stoute
When speaking of legendary record executives, Steve Stoute — who has brokered deals for everyone from JAY-Z to 50 Cent — is usually at the forefront of the conversation. However, Freddie points to an incident between the two of them as an example of why the industry has allegedly “blackballed” him over the years. “I remember doing a horrible joke on Steve Stoute one time and I think I paid dearly with my career for it,” he admits. “Him and Hurby Luv Bug was in a pizza spot in the hood and I walked up behind him. They was at the counter, so me and one of my guys walked in the back, and I creeped up behind him, and I said, ‘Give me the chain!’ And it was an old bus driver sitting in there, eating pizza. I said, ‘You stay right there, don’t you say nothing.’ I said, ‘Give me your fucking chain.’ He kicked it back like a horse and shit, took his jewelry off, then I said, ‘I’m only kidding,’ and I laughed, gave him his shit and said, ‘I’m only joking, though.’ But to this day, he says, ‘Who does this?! Who plays with guns like this, who does this?’ He was furious with me about that shit and every time I tried to do something in the game, that shit came up. It always came up, like, ‘Yo, this motherfucker’s not...he can rap, but he ain’t the normal dude. He’s a trouble maker, he’s dangerous or he’s a bully or whatever the fuck they wanted to say. That kind of shit, when you’re young, making silly mistakes like that, it is what it is. Like I said, I don’t regret it because I was still able to focus on music. But, I think I hurt myself a lot of times by not being approachable.”