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N.O.R.E. on Verzuz, past beef with Nas, being friends with 50 Cent and Ja Rule, and more

In the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN keep things in-house by rounding up many of the core members of their show’s crew to chop it up with.

N.O.R.E. Shahar Azran, Getty Images

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,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN keep things in-house by rounding up many of the core members of their show’s crew to chop it up about all that’s relevant in entertainment, politics, and sports at the moment. With no headlining guest for this week’s episode, the conversation is akin to that of a barbershop with each member chiming in with random outbursts and giving their own individual commentary. Familiar faces like “Drink Champs” mainstay Sunny DBET, Mr. Lee, Hazardis Soundz are featured.

To help give fans a recap of the conversation, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from this new episode of “Drink Champs.” Take a look at them below.

1. Sunny DBET Shares His Thoughts On Jadakiss and Fabolous’ Verzuz Battle

After having witnessed the latest Verzuz battle, which saw Jadakiss and Fabolous facing off, DBET gives his thoughts on who he feels took home the win and why. “It was a great battle...“ Sunny begins. “Me, I’m gonna call it... 51-49. I’ma call it close because they’re both great artists, and the 51, I’ma lean towards Jada cause Jada, to me, had more fun...”

2. N.O.R.E. On Jadakiss Being Drunk During His Verzuz Battle

Jadakiss’ antics during his battle were as entertaining as the records played, as the rap legend held court while under the influence, resulting in various memes and plenty of laughs. N.O.R.E. speaks on communicating with the rapper prior to the IG Live showdown and how the world got to see Kiss’ unbridled side. “I’m listening to Jada, he was lit since 5:30 [p.m.]! I heard it through the phone! You know what’s dope about the battle — about showing Jada drunk — is that I know that about Jada. We know that about [him] and the drunker he got, it was like the more on point. It was like his playlist got tighter. He kept going, ‘You dirty greasy dog!’”

3. N.O.R.E.On Jadakiss’ Strategy During His Verzuz Battle

One talking point that was prevalent during the lead-up to Jadakiss and Fabolous’ Verzuz battle was the disparity between the two, in terms of hit records, with many giving Fab the edge in that category. According to N.O.R.E,. Jadakiss was able to play to his strengths by mixing in classic street anthems with hits, giving his an unforeseen advantage. “I was watching the odds and everyone was like, ‘Fab got more hits, Fab got bigger hits,’” N.O.R.E. recalls. “So, you could understand, the first ten joints were street joints I can tell that was Jada’s idea. I can tell, off top, Jada said, ‘Let’s do the first ten joints [as] street joints, and then the next ten joints, let’s do the commercial hits.’”

4. N.O.R.E. On T.I.’s Exchange With 50 Cent

One potential Verzuz match-up that’s had social media and the rap world going nuts is T.I. facing off against 50 Cent. Yet, T.I.’s approach in issuing his challenge to 50 has resulted in a bit of tension between the two. “I felt like he should’ve kept it music, that’s just my opinion,” N.O.R.E. reasons. “I’m not gonna say anything other than that, but I felt like when you start involving elements of the street, there’s only one way a person can respond to that and it’s negative. Had T.I., in my opinion, just said, ‘My catalog is doper than yours, come outside bully’ and never involved anything street, [it would be cool] ‘cause he was saying things like, ‘I got goons globally.’ That’s not the way to do this, this is a celebration of battle. And right now, when we’re dealing with this Black Lives Matter and we’re dealing with these things. We don’t need a separation.”

5. N.O.R.E. On His Friendly Banter With Lil Duval

When discussing the various ways to be competitive while still maintaining a level of respect for your opponent, N.O.R.E. points to his playful spat with comedian Lil Duval, which has spilled over into social media. “I get it, I get it, he thinks he looks younger than me,” N.O.R.E. says of the comedian. “But, at the end of the day, when that social security AARP card comes, they’re not asking who looks older or younger. I did bids, my dude, I shot niggas and got shot at. I went platinum in the ‘90s bro and I’m still out here living. I might look like it, but in all actuality buddy... you’re my elder!”

6. N.O.R.E. On His First Impressions Of 50 Cent

During his humble beginnings in the rap game, one of 50 Cent’s earliest collaborators was N.O.R.E.. The “Drink Champs” co-host touches on his appreciation for Fif and his first impressions of him from way back when. “At the time, when I made a record with 50, all he really had was he was a dope emcee,” N.O.R.E. says. “I wanna big him up, but I also wanna big myself because it wasn’t that hard to do records with him early on because he was a dope emcee. And when I looked at his eyes, it’s so easy to say this now, but from the moment I met Pharrell, I knew he was a movie star. Like, I knew he was Tom Cruise, I just knew it. Swizz Beatz, the same thing. But, when I met 50, I knew a lot of people didn’t mess with him, I knew that. But, he had this relentless attitude, he had this relentless mind, and he had this relentless look that I knew he was gonna make it.”

7. N.O.R.E. On Evolving From The Streets

With a reputation for being one of the most authentic rap artists to rep for the streets, N.O.R.E.’s continued evolution has saw him shy away from reveling in his street cred, which he touches on during the episode. “As a street n**ga, we’re not supposed to say we’re street n**gas,” he explains. “Like, when I go to Atlanta, I got to Magic City, people be like, ‘Aye, man, ain’t you that rapper?’ I don’t be like, “Uh uh, I’m that ex- street n**ga!’ I don’t do that, so I love that compliment. So for a person to recognize that, I really appreciate that.”

8. N.O.R.E. On Being Friends With 50 Cent And Ja Rule

50 Cent and Ja Rule’s longstanding beef has not only impacted them individually, but close associates and collaborators, as well. Giving his relationships with both artists, N.O.R.E. speaks on being able to stay neutral and avoid any collateral damage. “They are both close friends of mine,” he explains. “And neither one of them kinda ever involved me in their s**t or got mad at me. The thing is, 100%, I knew 50 before Ja, but then I had developed a bit of a relationship with Ja. But, I was upfront with both of them, ‘Ja’s my n**ga,’ ’50’s my n**ga.’ They kinda never really involved me in their shit. But, the greatest s**t in the world is, me, I never tried to squash their s**t. I don’t wanna say I didn’t feel comfortable. I just feel like theirs is personal and really nothing to do with hip hop. It’s deep-rooted...in Queens.”

9. N.O.R.E. On Not Addressing His Beef With Nas

Nas’ appearance on “Drink Champs” was one of the more popular episodes in recent memory, as his history with N.O.R.E. spans upwards of two decades. However, one elephant in the room that was avoided during their conversation was the prior feud the two had with one another during the early aughts, which has since been squashed. N.O.R.E. addresses those questioning his decision to sidestep that particular topic in light of DJ EFN’s decision to bypass delving into his own issues with DJ Khaled during the previous episode. “It’s not like I want to forget our problems, [but] the more the interview kept going with Nas, it was like I didn’t feel like asking that question,” he explains. “I didn’t feel like getting into it ‘cause the mood was so good. So, for those people that critiqued me about the Nas episode, critiqued us about the Nas episode, ‘Why, y’all ain’t talk about y’all beef?’ It’s because sometimes we have notes. Which is rare, but in that light, we don’t really read off the teleprompter, we have it there for guidelines. I just started to go with the flow and be organic. And it was dope.”

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