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 collide with fellow podcast mavens Gillie Da King and Wallo to chop it up about Gillie’s rap career, and Wallo’s ascent as a host and social media personality, and more. Both born and bred in Philadelphia, Gillie and Wallo, who are first cousins, developed a close bond during their youth. But, the latter’s imprisonment on an armed robbery charge kept him from being present during Gillie’s entrance into the music industry. As one of the founding members of the rap crew Major Figgas, Gillie quickly gained a buzz, which led to various stints on a list of labels including Suave House and Cash Money.
Since being released from prison after serving 20 years, Wallo has made it a point to spread positive messages to young Black men caught in the streets, the prison system, or on the verge of partaking in a criminal lifestyle.
To help give fans a recap of the episode, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the Gillie Da King and Wallo “Drink Champs” episode. Take a look at them below.
1. Wallo On Admiring The South’s Spirit of Independence
A self-proclaimed rap historian, Wallo recalls being enamored with the business acumen of southern rap CEOs like J. Prince, Tony Draper, and Master P. “I said, ‘See, fuck being a rapper ‘cause I looked at New York niggas, [and] I love New York, New York the shit. But, I said, ‘New York niggas wanna be rappers, south niggas wanna start labels.’ I said, nobody gives the south niggas their props, but them niggas was on some CEO shit when niggas was trying to be workers up north.”
2. Gillie Da King On The Success Of Major Figgas
In addition to luminaries like The Roots, State Property, Ram Squad, and Philly’s Most Wanted, Major Figgas was one of the hottest crews in the City of Brotherly Love during the late ‘90s and early aughts. Gillie Da King speaks on how the group’s breakout success led to various members earning major label record deals. “I signed a solo deal with Suave House,” he says in reference to his first label home. “Shout out to Tony Draper, the best CEO I ever signed to, the realest CEO I ever signed to in my fucking life. He helped Cash Money get their deal. And then I took the group over to Warner Bros./Ruff Nation, and then Dutch & Spade went over to Interscope/Untertainment, and Liva went with [Dr.] Dre at the time.”
3. Wallo On The Power Of Technology
Wallo touches on how the direct-to-consumer model has disrupted the industry, but empowered himself and others. “It’s two types of relevancy’s out here,” he explains. “It’s relevancy ‘cause you got a deal and you a rapper, and then there’s relevancy by the people. The people is the most powerful jawn, so you don’t need a cosign. We living in the game now where this all you need for a cosign [is] that phone. Fuck, ‘Oh, this big name, such and such.’ You can run your shit through the digital services where you don’t need [that].”
4. Gillie Da King On His Relationship With Birdman
During the mid aughts, Gillie, who had affiliated himself with Cash Money Records, departed from the label unceremoniously, leading to speculation that he was also the victim of financial misappropriation at the hands of Birdman, which he debunks. “Any money he ever owed me, he paid that shit,” Gillie says. “There’s never no discrepancy I had against Stunna, it was just too much dick-eating around that joint, man. We men, bruh, just because you got a hundred million dollars, that don’t mean you better than me, that mean God just blessed you to have a hundred million dollars. You get cancer today or tomorrow, nigga and it’s incurable, you can’t take a hundred million dollars in a U-Haul truck to your motherfucking gravesite behind you.”
5. Gillie Da King On His Beef With Lil Wayne
Gillie’s fallout with Cash Money prompted former label-mate Lil Wayne to diss him on a song, leading Gillie to return fire with allegations that he ghostwrote rhymes for Weezy, a charge he continues to standby. However, he maintains that his back-and-forth with Lil Wayne wasn’t personal. “Me and Lil Wayne caught smoke ‘cause he just dissed me on a song called ‘Problem Solver,’ Gillie explains. “We was cool, I didn’t understand it. I was off Cash Money, this is when I left... So then, I reached out to him. He didn’t reach back and that’s when I put the diss records out... I never had no problem with Lil Wayne. It’s rap, it’s competitive. ‘Oh nigga, you think you better than me on the court? Go get your sneaks, lace up.’”
6. Gillie Da King On Facing Adversity In His Career
Despite not reaching the same levels of commercial success as his contemporaries, Gillie managed to survive the ebbs and flows of fame while still maintaining his relevancy over the course of two decades. The Philly native speaks on how his sheer confidence and belief in self helped stay him balanced during the low-lights of his career. “Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the people that would’ve been in my position would’ve already went and got a job at Septa, man,” Gillie says. “Septa is the bus that ride through Philly, the trains that ride through Philly. Motherfucker would’ve went and got a job doing something else, but one thing about me, I always been in the limelight since I was a kid. I was the best basketball player, I was always the captain of all the teams that I played for... I feel that I know that I’m really that nigga... When you met me, I had that confidence.”
7. Gillie Da King On Battling Mysonne
During a previous appearance on the “Drink Champs,” Gillie Da King recalled an instance when he battled, and allegedly defeated, rapper Mysonne during a visit to Violator’s management offices during the late ‘90s. That claim has caused much debate, particularly after Wallo got Mysonne, who disputes Gillie’s account of the event, on the line to speak his piece. However, when defending his recollection of the initial battle, Gillie reveals that there was actually a second battle between the two that took place at Diddy’s Daddy’s House studio. “‘Cause after that happened, we went over to Daddy’s House,” Gillie says of the period following the first battle. “We walk in, Puff in there, Jennifer Lopez sitting on the couch. They start talking rap shit and Drape said, ‘Man, can’t nobody fuck with my nigga right here,’ and whatchamacallit said, ‘Man, I’ll call Mysonne.’ He (Draper) said, ‘He just killed Mysonne at Def Jam,’ Puff couldn’t believe it, he called Mysonne up right there. Mysonne came over with 52 niggas over to the studio and that’s when it went down, but it never finished. But, one thing about Mysonne, he was a beast.”
8. Wallo On Educating Himself During His Incarceration
Wallo, who caught the public’s attention with his motivational posts on social media over the past few years, is transparent about his past as an inmate. “Everybody that Gil run into, they’d be like, ‘Wallo’s the same nigga in jail,’” he explains. “I was the dude in jail on the tip like this: I gotta do the bid. I knew I was in jail for some shit I done... You got miserable niggas in jail, you got miserable niggas in the street, you got niggas that still got street dreams. What fucked me up is that there’s niggas that I used to hear stories about that was getting money, they [was] in the kitchen, wiping the table, working in the kitchen... But, I said, ‘You know what? I’ma grow from this shit. I’ma read everything I can read, I’ma talk to different motherfuckers.’”
9. Gillie Da King On The Purpose Of “Million Dollaz Worth of Game”
Over the past year, “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” has become one of the go-to podcasts for rap fans. While there’s plenty of entertainment value to spare, Gillie insists that the purpose behind the platform runs deeper than tabloid fodder and giggles. “Wallo will tell you, since he came home, I always told him our focus is on the youth,” Gillie says. “We don’t focus on no old niggas ‘cause they stuck in their ways. And how we look at it is if you’re older and you use it in your everyday life, and it help you in some type of way, then we’re all for that. But, our objective is not to talk to no old niggas that already lived their life, we talking to these young niggas. If we can keep these young niggas out the grave, out that penitentiary, then that’s what we’re gonna do.”