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 link up with the cast members of “Hip Hop Uncovered,” a new series on FX documenting the history of hip hop through the eyes and words of five notorious figures in the industry who are also stamped by the streets. Conceptualized by L.A. legend and manager Eugene “Big U” Henley, the show includes appearances from Detroit native Christian “Trick Trick” Mathis, Queens rep “Bimmy” James Antney, Queens native and Atlanta transplant Debra Antney, and Brooklyn rep Jacques “Haitian Jack” Agnant.
Representing multiple corners of the country, the cast members are emblematic of the tie that links hip hop culture with the streets, and share stories of overcoming their turbulent roots and etching their names in the annals of history. During their conversation with the “Drink Champs,” the stars of “Hip Hop Uncovered” look back on some of the most controversial moments that shook the landscape of rap and the backstories behind them.
To help give fans a recap of the episode, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the “Hip Hop Uncovered” “Drink Champs” episode. Take a look at them below.
1. Big U’s Thoughts On Nipsey Hussle’s Death
An early champion of Nipsey Hussle’s music, Big U played a pivotal role in jumpstarting the late rapper’s career from funding video shoots to booking studio time for him. When asked by N.O.R.E. if Nipsey’s questioning of his alleged murderer’s street credibility was in accordance with street politics, given his position as an inactive gang member, Big U said: “People wanna separate Nip from the streets, [but] you don’t never really leave the streets. This where he grew up at, this is where he lives, this where his business was. So really, dude was in violation. Rat or not, if you know y’all not rocking, why you pull up in my space, you know what I’m saying? And Nip like, ‘Nigga, free my space. I ain’t trying to go there with you, but free my space.’ And Nip is supposed to go there ‘cause that’s where he meets the kids, that’s where he greets the people, that’s where he still stays grounded.”
2. Trick Trick On Detroit’s ‘No Fly Zone’
Prior to “checking in” becoming a hot debate in hip hop and street circles, the “No Fly Zone” enacted by Trick Trick for rap artists, producers, executives, and other industry figures visiting Detroit was a large topic of conversation during the aughts. The rapper and Motor City legend gives context behind the history of it. “It was for record labels,” Trick says of its origin. “When record labels used to have street teams, that was back in the A&R days. They would have a promo team, the A&R would take the artist to different locations and they were just coming to Detroit and wasn’t picking up nothing. And they would charge the local artists to perform and the local artist would bring 20, 40, 50, 60 people sometimes to this event that would pay to get in [and] it’s like, ‘How are you charging them and they’re bringing you revenue?’ And when it kept happening with the little homies and they was just doing it cause they got money, I was like, ‘Fuck that’ ...stop everything and the only entertainment around this bitch is gonna be what’s here. So we’re gonna get acquainted with what we got around these corners and then we’ll start letting a few trinklets in one at a time. And if anybody violate it, we’ll deal with that, accordingly.’”
3. Haitian Jack On His Involvement In “Hip Hop Uncovered”
One of the more intriguing figures in rap lore, Haitian Jack has managed to remain a mystery despite his role in numerous high-profile moments throughout hip hop history. However, he explains his decision to get on camera and tell his side of the story for “Hip Hop Uncovered.” “Well, Big U called me a couple times on it and he told me it was gonna be something different and special,” he says. “But at the time, I had something else I was gonna do, but Big U convinced me. He said, ‘Listen man, this is only gonna help what you’re gonna down the line.’ And I’m glad I listened to him and took his advice and did this first ‘cause it’s propelled me to other things.”
4. Haitian Jack Denies His Involvement In The 1994 Quad Studio Shooting
One of the most infamous moments in hip hop was the 1994 robbery and shooting of 2Pac, which spurred the tension between the east coast and west coast that altered the course of the culture’s history. Jack, who was accused by 2Pac of being involved in plotting the shooting, vehemently denies those claims, pointing to an admission made from one of the men involved in the ambush who’s currently behind bars. “Listen, I always wanted to tell the story,” he says of the circumstances. “The problem is this, you’ll never be able to change 2Pac fans’ minds on whatever Pac said. It’s almost like the Trump fans that still believe he won the presidential race, you feel me? There’s nothing you can do about it, but the thing about it is this, the nigga that actually robbed and shot Pac is on YouTube telling niggas he did it, you feel me? But, they don’t want that to be the guy, they want me to be the guy. But, when Dexter Issacs told you he did what he did, he did what he did ‘cause I know he did it, not that I sent him, but I know he did it. When you’re in the hood, you know everything that goes down and who did what, right? So, they don’t wanna listen to him because he didn’t say that Jack was involved, you understand? Anybody that know me, like Akon told ‘em the other day, if I did something to you, I’ll tell you I did it because I don’t care about what another nigga wanna do in these streets ‘cause we can go head up, all you gotta do is suit up and I’m with you with anything you do. But, as long as the statute of limitations ran out and I don’t gotta worry about the law, I’ll tell the world I did it. And I’m still telling you I didn’t do it and I had nothing to do with it.”
5. Haitian Jack On Madonna’s Street Cred
Pop icon Madonna’s history with hip hop runs deep, as she’s been associated with rap legends like Big Daddy Kane and 2Pac. Haitian Jack, who also famously dated the “Material Girl” during the mid ‘90s, speaks on hanging with her and eating jerk chicken in Flatbush, Brooklyn at the height of her fame. “Yeah, right next to the comedy club on 217 & Linden,” he says of the local hangout he introduced Madonna to during their fling. “We went all over. Listen, Madonna’s a real chick, dog. She ain’t scared to go in no hood, trust, she’s not ‘cause one of my partners squeezed her ass in Manhattan, she said, ‘Hey! One of your buddies over there squeezed my ass, he’s alive!’ That shit doesn’t faze Madonna, homie. Madonna ain’t scared of nothing.”
6. Big U On Being One of L.A.’s Most Powerful Street Figures
Prior to his incarceration during the early ‘90s, Big U was among the most powerful street figures within L.A. gang culture. ”You gotta remember, when I say that about Suge, Suge and the whole Death Row movement was after the riots,” he says of the label’s rise to power. “After the riots, there was a peace treaty movement that everybody in the city started letting people go in places. Before that, it was my world, I’ma just keep it 100, and I wasn’t on no money shit. Like, other niggas was getting money, I was getting money and I was getting paid by every nigga in the city, damn near...”
7. Big U On 2Pac’s Allegiance To Death Row
When discussing 2Pac’s relationship with the west coast, Big U examines the mind state the fallen MC was in off the heels of his sexual assault conviction and the 1994 Quad Studio shooting that nearly cost him his life. “If something happens to you, I don’t give a fuck who, what, when, where or how, niggas gonna turn you against everything,” the O.G. explains. “And I’m really not even caring if you had something to do with it. Nigga, you ain’t turn a nigga in, [so] as far as I’m concerned, fuck you, too. And now I got some niggas that’s gonna ride with me, you know what I’m saying?”
8. Deb Antney On Thinking Safaree Was Gay When They First Met
Deb Antney’s history with rap star Nicki Minaj dates back prior to her elevation to the mainstream. However, the former manager admits that her perception of Safaree, Minaj’s boyfriend at the time, was off. “I never knew her and Safaree was going together,” she explains. “I thought Safaree was a gay guy that she hung out with and he was her helper, she never showed [affection]. When I was booking her out, she was like, ‘Deb, I need two rooms,’ but the two rooms wasn’t for him because she would get dressed in the other room, but I didn’t know that they went together. I never knew until he took my car from her and she called me to lock him up. And then he called me and that’s when he broke down everything.”
9. Deb Antney On Gucci Mane Robbing French Montana For $5,000
While discussing her dealings with other former managerial clients, Antney also recalled an instance where Gucci Mane robbed French Montana for $5,000. “Gucci didn’t like French,” she revealed. “Because the first time he went in the studio to do a song with him, he paid Gucci $5,000 to get on a feature. And he was just sitting in the studio, but Gucci was gone out the back door. Gucci took the money and left. Then, he called me and French was like, ‘Yo, Gucci left,’ and I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ And I called him and I said, ‘Gucc, where the hell you at? Why you take that boy god damn money?’ And then he was like, ‘Man, fuck that pussy ass nigga, he wasn’t doing nothing,’ and I said, ‘Gucc, you can’t do no shit like that.’ So, then French called me, he was like, “Yo aunty, that’s all the money I had. I didn’t have no more money.’”