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 sat down with No Limit Records veteran emcee Silkk the Shocker to discuss his career, signature flow, and his latest endeavors. Later during the interview, comedian Jack Thriller sat down with the crew to join in the conversation, too.
Born Vyshonn King Miller in New Orleans, Silkk started rapping in his hometown in the ‘90s alongside his brothers C-Murder and Master P. Thus, the latter transformed No Limit Records from a small record label into a multimedia powerhouse.
Though Silkk’s debut, The Shocker, performed modestly on the charts, his next two follow up efforts were commercial smashes. Charge it 2 da Game, released in 1998 debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard charts, while 1999’s Made Man debuted at No. 1. Both projects were later certified platinum and featured a star-studded list of guest appearances. During No Limit’s rein, he additionally was a member of the label’s collectives TRU and the 504 Boyz with his brothers and many of their projects were also commercially successful.
By the mid-2000s, No Limit experienced a decline and officially filed for bankruptcy in 2003. Nearly a decade later, Silkk partnered with his nephew Romeo to revive the label and No Limit Forever was born. These days, the vet is still rapping and has his hands in other ventures in tech, fashion, and film.
To help give fans a recap, REVOLT compiled a list of nine facts we learned from the Silkk the Shocker interview. Take a look at them below.
1. On Being Influenced by West Coast Music
During the time of No Limit’s rise, many other artists in New Orleans gravitated to the area’s signature Bounce music style. But Silkk explained that he and his cohorts didn’t hop on the trends in his native city and decided to adopt a sound akin to artists on the West Coast. “We were in New Orleans, but we weren’t’ making New Orleans music,” he said. “We were in the streets and in the trenches with it, so we wanted to make the 2Pac music. But [people in our city] weren’t really hearing it and we had to broaden our thing. We took a trip to the West Coast and it had a little bit more of an influence of us.”
2. On JAY-Z Recording a Verse for Him While on the “Hard Knock Life Tour”
When it came time to record his third album, Made Man in 1999, Silkk called on JAY-Z to add a verse to the song “You Know What We Bout.” At that time, Hov was wrapping up the “Hard Knock Life Tour” and Silkk wasn’t sure if he would be able to complete his verse in time. But ultimately, he said the Brooklyn emcee came through. “What happened was my album was supposed to be turned in on Thursday at 11 a.m.,” the No Limit MC said. “The tour was over Wednesday night. He left the show immediately and sent it. JAY is always solid.”
3. On No Limit’s Impact
During No Limit’s height in the late ‘90s, the label sold nearly 15 million albums in one year and many artists on their roster were ushered into the spotlight. Their achievements opened the doors for other southern artists and the region later became a dominating force in hip hop years later. N.O.R.E. asked Silkk if he and his team were aware of their impact at the time of their incredible run, and the artist said they were just too focused on their hustle to realize what was happening. “At the time, we didn’t really know, we were just hungry and had a plan and executed,” he said. “We would outwork everybody. In that moment, we didn’t really know [our impact], we were just doing.”
4. On his Influence and Signature Style
Though Silkk had a successful run as one of the highest selling artists of the late ‘90s, many hip hop fans in recent years have criticized his lyrical ability due to his signature off-beat flow. Meanwhile, newer artists like Blueface and Tee Grizzley have achieved success despite having similar cadences. N.O.R.E. asked Silkk about his influence in the game and the rapper said although he normally takes a humble approach when discussing his career, he’s aware of the personal impact he’s made. “[Though] I am humble and I am quiet, I really do know now what I did,” he said. “I never was rapping off beat. People was just listening wrong. I did it that way on purpose.”
5. On C-Murder Still Living in the Hood After Achieving Fame
Despite No Limit’s massive success, N.O.R.E. revealed on “Drink Champs” that C-Murder still resided in the hood years after their ascent. When questioned why his brother still wanted to live in the trenches despite being wealthy, Silkk explained that the hood is where C-Murder felt the most comfortable. “The whole hood loved him,” he said. “He felt the love. That’s where he felt the most comfortable. The only problem with the hood is that it turns on you.”
6. On C-Murder’s Imprisonment
In August 2009, C-Murder was sentenced to life in prison in connection with the shooting death and beating of a 16-year-old fan named Steve Thomas. Since his conviction, the rapper has maintained his innocence, and many other artists including his former girlfriend Monica and Kim Kardashian have advocated for his freedom. Silkk reflected on his brother’s imprisonment and explained that it’s hard to see him in that situation. “I just talked to him about four of five days ago,” he said. “The problem is that he’s innocent, though. As a brother, it’s one of the worst things. I just want to see him out of it.”
7. On Master P’s Criticism
Shortly after Kardashian pledged to help C-Murder obtain freedom, the rapper shared a post on Instagram that insinuated that he hadn’t been receiving financial support from his family over the years. This led many fans to criticize Master P, and the No Limit head honcho later put up a post to clear his name. On “Drink Champs,” Silkk talked about the criticism that Master P has endured and explained that the whole process to obtaining C-Murder’s freedom is challenging because of the flawed criminal justice system. “I wouldn’t be hard on P in that situation,” he said. “I just think we’re trying to find a happy medium. We can’t break the system because it’s been this way. It’s a system that doesn’t want to be broken right now.”
8. On His Favorite Era of No Limit
After Snoop Dogg left Death Row Records, he linked up with Master P and joined No Limit in the ‘90s. Snoop told Power 105.1’s “The Breakfast Club” last year that the deal saved his life as Master P helped coordinate his transition to the new label. Silkk explained that Snoop’s arrival was his favorite time period during No Limit’s reign. “We did a lot of music together,” he said. “He never changed up and he was a superstar, too. When he came to us, he was still Snoop, but he was questioning [himself]. So, he got it back.”
9. On Writing Movie Scripts
No Limit’s offerings didn’t stop at platinum-selling albums. The label also delved into other ventures like clothing and film. The label released movies I’m Bout It, Hot Boyz, and I Got the Hook Up in the late ‘90s, and the latter became its first theatrical release. Silkk starred in all three films and the experience awarded him the opportunity to flex his acting chops. However, these days, he’s focused on putting his time in behind the scenes. “I’m super good at writing the scripts,” he said. “I am so good at the actual screenplay. Even with the music stuff, I never wrote but I always had everything in my head.”