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.
On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN connect with rapper Mic Geronimo, who shook up the game during the mid ‘90s as one of the most highly touted prospects coming out of New York City. A native of Flushing Queens, Geronimo’s entry into the rap world began after he was discovered by Irv Gotti at a local high school talent show. The label CEO initially prompted him to create “Shit’s Real,” his first song ever. The buzz surrounding the record earned the MC a deal with Blunt/TVT Records, where he released his debut album, The Natural, in 1995. After releasing his sophomore effort, Vendetta in 1997, Geronimo and Gotti would split, and the artist would go on to release two additional solo albums, 2003’s Long Road Back and Alive 9/14/73 in 2007.
While Geronimo never reached the same heights as many of his peers, he is remembered as one of the illest lyricists of that era. “Drink Champs” favorite Royal Flush also pops up on the show for an appearance.
To help give fans a recap of the episode, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the Mic Geronimo “Drink Champs” episode. Take a look at them below.
1. On His Reserved Personality
During the height of his fame in the rap world, Geronimo was known for his calm and reserved temperament, a trait the rapper says came partly as a byproduct of the teachings of his father. “I think some it, bro, is just my nature, he explains. “I’ve never been a boisterous personality, I was never that... And I think a lot of that played a big part as to why I guess I was, for lack of better words, reserved and quiet, and I can see how it could kind of look timid. And then the other side of it, maybe it was my dad. From an early age, my dad was always like, ‘Listen, boy, you can show people way better than you can tell them.’ So, even when things would arise that I felt maybe I should say something, I just wouldn’t.”
2. On Being Signed To Blunt Records
In recent episodes of “Drink Champs,” Steve Gottlieb’s TVT Records has been a constant topic of discussion and Geronimo has now given a brief history of how Blunt Records, a subsidiary of TVT, came to be. “Blunt was actually supposed to be a division of [TVT],” Geronimo recalls. “And it was what they were trying to make the urban [sivision]. Shout out Trent Reznor and Bounty Killer, he was signed to TVT, too. And they had such a smorgasbord in a sense of artists, but they were mainly known for TV tunes... Gottlieb had purchased everything from The Jetsons to The Jeffersons. It was amazing... TVT decided they were going to get into hip hop and Blunt was supposed to be the flagship division of overall [hip hop] at TVT.”
3. On “Shit’s Real” Being The First Song He Ever Recorded
Earning a record deal off the strength of a demo tape is one thing. However, having your first recording ever build up a big enough buzz to turn into a hit single is another. Geronimo experienced this anomaly firsthand after laying down his debut single, “Shit’s Real.” “That was the first time,” he says of putting a song on wax. “I had never in my life recorded a record before ‘Shit’s Real.’ Matter of fact, when I was recording ‘Shit’s Real,’ the nigga Gotti stopped the shit halfway and he was like, ‘Yo, you ain’t never did this shit before?’ and I was like, ‘Nah.’ And he was like, ‘You sure?’ And I was like, ‘Nah.’ And he was like, ’You comfortable,’ and he just did the ill maniacal..I know you’ve heard that laugh, that Irv laugh. And then he was like, ‘Keep going, nigga.’”
4. On Getting Advice From Nas
During his appearance on the “Drink Champs,” Geronimo touches on his relationship with Nas while sharing a bit of advice the rap legend gave to him way back when. “So, Large and Nas was the only ones in the crib,” he says of the interaction in question. “And first, Nas was like, ‘Yo, that first shit you played where you, like, sampled my shit? Nah, I’ma be honest, I don’t really like that one, but yo, that ‘Shit’s Real’ shit? Yo, you should be on the radio tomorrow.’”
5. On Giving His Demo To 2Pac
On this episode, Geronimo looks back at the time Gotti pressured him into giving 2Pac his demo. “I remember, we were at Freaknik,” he begins. “And we were in the van and Irv was like, ‘Yo, there’s Pac right there in front of the hotel.’ And the nigga Pac was smoking a blunt, chilling and I’m like, ‘Nah, I’m not going over there... and he’s like, ‘Nigga, go give him your CD.’ So now, once I see the tone kinda [shift], it was kind of a more [challenging] ‘Nigga, go.’ I was like, ‘Wait, hold on, don’t pull the Marty McFly shit with me.’ So I was like, ‘Al right, fuck it.’ So, I jump out of the van and I take the sticker ‘cause at the time, we had these little red stickers with Mic Geronimo [on them]. I walk right up on the nigga Pac and he was all into his blunt and I was like, ‘Yo, bro, I don’t wanna bother you, but my name is Mic Geronimo, I spit,’ whatever I said. And I was like, ‘Here’s my CD, if you like it, rep it. If you don’t like it, break it over your knee,’ but he didn’t trip. And it was crazy ‘cause he looked at the CD and then he took the blunt, [puffed it] and he looked at me and he said, ‘What you said, Mic Geronimo?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah,’ and he was like, ‘Alright,’ and he walked away. And I didn’t know whether he was gonna play that shit or not, bro.”
6. On His Relationship With JAY-Z
It may be a hard fact to understand today, but at one point, Geronimo had a higher Q-Rating in the rap world than JAY-Z, whom he came of age with during their respective rises to fame during the mid aughts. While conversing with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN, he speaks highly of Hov and reveals the nature of their friendship.
“When you get older, you digest shit a lot,” he says. “And JAY-Z is one of the people in my life that now when I’m older — and I thank you for this format cause I know it will get to him — it’s so many things that he did not have to tell me, you feel me? When a nigga cares about you, a nigga’s gonna tell you what you wanna hear even when you don’t. He was concerned about me as a person. It was after and it was during [my misunderstanding with Irv] and I don’t know if Irv had a talk with him to tell him to talk [to me]. I remember I did ‘Nothing Move but The Money.’ I did the song with Puff and I remember Hov came to Bad Boy one day and we played it back and he was like, ‘You know you got something, right?’ And I was just like, ‘I don’t know, I just know I feel good about the song,’ and he was like, ‘No, you know you have something.’ What I’ma say, when it came to that [is] Hov was really trying to get me to see beyond where I was.”
7. Royal Flush On Winning $180,000 In A Dice Game
Having previously appeared as a guest on the show, rapper Royal Flush makes his return to the “Drink Champs” to talk the time he won hundreds of thousands in a dice game in between performing a show on the road. “We’re in North Carolina,” he recalls. “We got this song, ‘I’m So High,’ so we’re kicking it. So now, I’m out there, it’s like, AZ, a couple of niggas, they back there playing dice with a bunch of niggas from North Carolina. So, they all losing, everybody losing. So, I come. So before we do the show, I gamble... AZ lost his money, so now I’m up maybe like $5,000, but I gotta perform... I’m giving JAY-Z a pound as he’s walking out to perform. So JAY-Z performed, he did his joints, and while he’s doing his joints, I’m gambling... I’m winning, I’m up. So now, I’m at maybe like $10,000, but I gotta go out and perform. So, I got out...I perform and knock it out, we come back out, so the kid’s still there. So, I say, ‘Fuck it, man, I gotta go somewhere else. Here go $10,000. He said, ‘Bet $10[,000].’ ...Now I’m like 10 in a row, so maybe I’m up 100,000 at this point. So I’m at $100,000, so I’m going with him...So maybe I’m at $180[,000] now, I got him... So now I go, ‘You know what? I gotta go upstairs and use the bathroom.’ I said, ‘Mic, call the airport, we the fuck outta here. I’m gone...I’m leaving.”
8. On His Fallout With Irv Gotti
Initially managed by Gotti, he and Geronimo ultimately cut ties with the former going on to launch Murder Inc. Records, one of the most successful rap imprints of its time. When asked of the details surrounding their fallout, the MC attributes it to a lack of a connection. “It was a couple of things, bro,” the “Time to Build” rapper offers. “I think the first thing... like, when I met Irv, I’ll be honest, some connections in your life, they’re organic off rip. Like, the minute me and him (Royal Flush) met, it was just add water, you feel me? The minute me and Nat, just add water. The minute me and ‘Pone met, the minute me and Eric met... All that shit was just add water. You genuine, organic. It wasn’t like that with Irv.”
9. On His Loyalty
Upon further explanation of his differences with Gotti and others, Geronimo pinpoints his undying loyalty being taken advantage. “For me, as a person, it takes a lot for me to find reasons not to deal with someone,” Mic says. “I might be in my own shell, but I’ll give anybody the world that is just genuine and I think a lot of people take advantage of that. And I remember not too long ago, I went online and it’s funny when you read what people say about you. And like I said, just by nature, I’m not into me as a person, but every now and again, I peep just to see. And I don’t know who this person was, but I think they summed it up in the best way possible. This person, who I don’t know, said, their personalities clashed, meaning everything ain’t for everybody, everybody ain’t for everything.’ And it kind of threw me aback in the sense that somebody who doesn’t know us knew the exact reason as to what it was.”