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,” Jim Jones and Alex Todd make their return to give the people an update on what they’ve been up to. As partners in the up-and-coming cannabis brand Saucey Farms and Extracts, Jones and Todd are both looking to expand their respective resumes, with Jones coming from the hip hop world and Todd’s experience as a celebrity jeweler setting them apart from the pack. With strongholds in California and Oregon, and plans to spread their reach even further in the near future, Saucey Farms and Extracts are in position to become a major player in the market. In addition to giving N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN the scoop on all of this, Jones shared unheard gems from the prime years of his career, while Todd gave insight to the ins and outs of the jewelry world, and which pitfalls to avoid.
To help give fans a recap of the conversation, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the Saucey episode of “Drink Champs.” Take a look at them below.
1. On Making The Foray Into The Cannabis Industry
Todd’s reputation in the jewelry world is iron-clad. However, he’s hoping to service athletes and entertainers in a new way with Saucey. During his visit to the “Drink Champs,” he gives the backstory behind his decision to switch lanes from bling to herb. “...we’re about to hopefully put our foot on their necks in. We can try to make a couple billion dollars,” Todd said. “And jewelry, I think the runway wasn’t that big for me. Everybody that plays basketball wants to rap, and everyone in rap wants to play basketball, right? It’s always the grass is always greener...”
2. How Jim Jones Became Involved With The Saucey Brand
Jim Jones’ entrepreneurial spirit has been evident since first stepping on the rap. Now, he’s entered the cannabis industry as an investor in Saucey. The Harlem rep spoke on how his partnership with the brand came to be. “That was three years ago,” Jones’ shares of the genesis of his relationship with the brand. “They’ve been prepping and doing the business, and the back-office work to get all of the licenses, and things that you need to actually be able to have a legal marijuana company in the state of California. So, in this past year is when they actually got it in stores. I would say we’re like eight to nine months in stores right now. We’re roughly over a hundred stores that got their product in.”
3. On His Return To “Love & Hip-Hop: New York”
Jones’ recent return to reality television has made a few waves, which he speaks on in the midst of his banter with N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN. “I got it before, but it was a lot of things [that] had to do with who I was when I was filming it,” he says of his initial stint on the VH1 reality franchise. “I had a lot of different things going on in my life and at that point, it didn’t match what we was doing and shit like that, it kind of went to the left... So, I had to just fall back. But now, I’m in a different position in life. I’m doing some shit that I don’t really have to do if I don’t want to do it.”
4. On Working On Music With Juelz Santana
Diplomats member Juelz Santana’s incarceration has stalled his career. However, according to Jones, we could be expecting some new tunes from him and the rap vet sooner rather later. “I haven’t gotten to speak to Juelz yet,” he admits while giving an update on his embattled comrade. “Nothing like that, but I just haven’t gotten a chance to speak to him. I can’t go see him because I’m still on paper right now. But, Zeek went to see him. Zeek speaks to him all the time and he’s in good health, and Zeek always checks with him. They’re trying to do some music right now. His brother actually sent me a couple of records, so I’ma jump on a couple of those for him. They wanna put a project out, so I try to go get with them to see exactly what they’re trying to do, see if I can help them in any way with the many avenues we have in this industry... I would love to put some music out for Juelz. But, he’s good. He’s in school right now. He’s getting his complexion together. He’s getting his weight together. He’s in the gym, he working out. He gonna come out from school, graduate and come back to the streets, and do what we like to do.”
5. On The Struggle Of Becoming A Platinum Artist
The New York City rap scene was littered with an abundance of rising stars who made their presence known during the late ‘90s. However, only a handful were able to achieve platinum status, which Jones touches on when reminiscing about that particular era. “It was at a different time when certain artists wasn’t going platinum,” he explains. “Some of the biggest artists that people look up to now in that moment, in the ’90s, in that Tunnel era wasn’t going platinum. You might’ve been hot, you might’ve been fly, but you wasn’t going platinum. Mase was going platinum, N.O.R.E. was going platinum, Cam was going platinum, DMX was going platinum. That’s about it from New York.”
6 On The Misconception OF JAY-Z’s Career Trajectory
JAY-Z may be a renowned multi-platinum rap artist and billionaire today. But, during the ‘90s, he was considered by many as just another talented lyricist attempting to make the leap to the mainstream. During his sit-down with the “Drink Champs,” Jones recalls a period in time when Hov was looking to make it over the hump himself. “[Jay-Z], it took him a while to go platinum,” Jones explains. “Like, he didn’t start off going platinum. And that’s no shots at Hov, he’s a fucking billionaire. But, his main battle was making it to be platinum. He had the platinum Rollie, they had everything, but it was hard for him to make platinum. And then, when he finally made platinum, he stayed there, he only got better and iller, and way triller, you dig?”
7. On Being A Fixture At Legendary NYC Club ‘The Tunnel’
For any rap artist repping the streets in New York during the ‘90s and early aughts, The Tunnel was the ultimate proving ground to test if your persona on wax matched up with your disposition in real life. As a regular patron himself, Jones touched on following in the footsteps of The Notorious B.I.G., JAY-Z and other legends who frequented The Tunnel before him. “There was a group of them, but Hov was a little bit older,” Jones remembers. “He already had put his game down...we came in, in ‘97 and ‘98. Hov and ‘em was already there from ‘94-’95, when Big and all of them niggas [were] shaking...we came in at the tail-end of the ‘90s and burnt that shit down. There was only a few people that could’ve went to The Tunnel and shut it down: Roc-A-Fella, N.O.R.E., Cam, DMX, Murder Inc. Ja Rule was getting stupid busy. Ja Rule was going platinum, too. He was going extra platinum, though.”
8. On His Stint As A Record Executive
After helping turn the Dipset brand into one of the most powerful movements in rap and steering himself toward stardom, Jones earned an executive position at Warner Music Group. However, when asked about that experience, he admits that the opportunity may have come prematurely, though he’s better equipped to take on the task at this time in his life. “At that time, let’s be clear, when I got that position, I wasn’t exactly ready for that position,” he says. “I was smart enough for it. But, what I was doing, I had nobody that was over me telling me, ‘All right, you got to [chill]. I went wild with the fucking [corporate] card. It was a black card at that, but it worked for me for that era. It was just was so many things that was moving against me at that time. But, if I had the opportunity that I had back then now, I’d smoke that shit ‘cause I know where I’m at now. I’m comfortable, I know certain things that I won’t do, I know the opportunity I have. But yeah, I had a great time. Shout out to Kevin Liles. He gave me the opportunity.”
9. On Purchasing Jewelry As An Investment
Todd’s stock as a jeweler reached a new high in 2019, when he facilitated JAY-Z’s purchase of a $2.5 million Blue Sapphire watch, which reportedly took over 3,000 hours to manufacture. Todd spoke on the significance of the watch and how it could actually be seen as a sound investment rather than a case of excessive splurging. “The watch that JAY has, it’s a one of one,” he revealed. “There’ll never be another produced of its kind. If JAY wanted to and he put that into auction, he could put that into auction and probably get close to $8-9 million for that watch today. Again, it’s investment pieces, just like even Fab said on his last album, “I’m investing, kid/ When I buy the Richard Mille/ Plain Jane.” I don’t know exactly how he put it, but it’s an investment.”