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Hip-Hop Made


We’re celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop with a journey through the years, the artists, the cities, the events, the stories, and the music that "made" us. Check out audacy.com/hiphopmade all through 2023 for more.


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We’re celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop with a journey through the years, the artists, the cities, the events, the stories, and the music that "made" us. Check out audacy.com/hiphopmade all through 2023 for more.




Hip-Hop Made: Busta Rhymes is ready to 'shift the culture' again

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, Busta Rhymes says he is bringing "feel good energy" back to Hip-Hop as he is gearing up to release his new album. Teaming up with some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop, Busta's new album, Block Busta, is not only executive produced by himself but also Swizz Beatz, Pharrell, and Timbaland. "I'm super grateful to each and every one of those gentlemen. My brothers," he said "they been a part of my legacy and my career growth... I'm super grateful, super thankful that my brothers decided to make some time and just really be a part of this body of work." Busta declared that this project is going to "shift the culture." As it should, "that's what it's about, especially during Hip-Hop 50. I mean in general we supposed to do that just continue to add in a significant way to the culture and a productive way." The 51-year-old rapper reflected on being one along with many OGs in the game of Hip-Hop, "as incredible as a run that we've all had learning as we were going along, we the senseis of this s***," he said before asking "you think stopping anytime soon makes sense?" The lead single from his new project, "Beach Ball" featuring BIA is out now. Words by Yasmeen Akbar


Hip-Hop Made: Big Boi on Atlanta's contribution to Hip Hop

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, Audacy's V-103 Atlanta caught up with Big Boi, 1/2 of the legendary rap duo, Outkast, to talk about how he believes Atlanta influenced the genre. As an Atlanta rapper himself, he believes that "Atlanta influenced Hip-Hop by the diversity of the artists here," he said, citing a range of different artists from Atlanta like Killer Mike and T.I. and it's those artists like so many others helps Atlanta "[keep] it fresh and new and it's just always been evolving."


Hip-Hop Made: Big Boi discusses the first song he fell in love with

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, Audacy's V-103 Atlanta caught up with Big Boi, 1/2 of the legendary rap duo, Outkast, to talk about the song that made him fall in love with Hip-Hop. It was Run-D.M.C's 1984 "Rock Box," that initially made Big Boi fall in love with Hip-Hop. He recalls riding around with his father in a Camaro, "blasting Run-D.M.C.," he said he'd "never forget it."


Hip-Hop Made: Fatman Scoop

Back with another installment of Audacy’s Hip-Hop Made, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, Fatman Scoop zoomed in to chat with Mike Street all about his Hip-Hop beginnings in Harlem, opting not to work with Diddy, having no plan B if the music biz didn’t work out, and more. Scoop started the conversation off with some back story about being one of the well known rappers in Harlem, his connections to Teddy Riley, Rob Base, and Markell Riley, and how he was supposed to release a project under Teddy but it got dropped when Teddy and Gene Griffin broke up. After that all went down he “went to Puff,” as in Puff Daddy, now known as Diddy. “Puff wanted me to be the first Notorious B.I.G.,” Scoop shared. “He was like keep rapping hard, we gonna put you in a suit and tie and make raps for women — that’s Biggie," he added. “Something in my heart and soul made me understand even though I was rapping hard, I was dancing and performing like Doug E. Fresh. I wasn’t that guy. And something at the last minute told me not to do it. And I went into the music business and now here I am. I become who I was really supposed to be at the end of the day.” After working with Teddy Riley, Scoop got “a regular job” at Mount Sinai Hospital. However after continuously getting written up, he ended up going to intern for Diamond D. After putting in the work and “being such a great intern” for a year and a half, Tommy Boy Records found me and that’s when they gave me a job. Scoop also shared that when it came to his plans, not making it, was simply not an option. “If you’re gonna do something, do it all the way,” he said, of having no plan B. “You’ve got to do this like nothing else is gonna work. There’s no way that you can become successful at anything unless you put your heart, your soul, your time, and your dedication in…. I didn’t even get into women until I was 19, 20 years old, because my whole focus was Hip-Hop.” As for people on the internet telling him he’s a one-hit wonder, Scoop has a message. “Well, I’m a one-hit wonder that wakes up in Osaka, Japan, and go to sleep in Montana. I’m a one-hit wonder that wakes up in New York and goes to sleep in the South of France… I’ve been blessed to do this, and Hip-Hop has brought me there.” Also up for discussion was the current state of the genre. “The fact that we have not had a #1 song this year is indicative of how the marketplace feels about the quality of the music,” Scoop said, simply and plainly. “You can call it hate, you can call it whatever, but the numbers and the facts are never gonna tell a lie.” For all that and more listen to the entire conversation above. Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Mike Street


Hip-Hop Made: Flo Rida

Back with another installment of Audacy’s Hip-Hop Made, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, Flo Rida sat down Power96’s DJ Zog to talk Miami Bass & Booty music. As Zog pointed out, “in New York they had Biggie and the East Coast stuff, on the West Coast they had Tupac… but down in Miami…we had our own version of Hip-Hop… Miami Bass & Booty music.” “I actually was the hype man for 2 Live Crew,” Flo Rida said of his relation to one of the greats and Miami native rap group, sharing a bit about their influence on him as an artist. “Just growing up… with what the Dade County Youth Fair used to be, I just remember going out there and watching all the groups perform. And one in particular was 2 Live Crew, that stood out. So for me to be able to go out on the road and perform with Fresh Kid Ice as the hype man, y’know, definitely helped me with where I’m at today.” "One of the videos in particular that was my favorite was ‘Move Somethin.’ Watching that video man, it definitely… just inspired me and make me wanna, y’know, just as we bringing the energy today, that was the energy back then. That definitely made me wanna invest all my time and my passion into Hop-Hop.” Words by Maia Kedem Interview by DJ Zog


Hip-Hop Made: Kid Capri

Switching it on 'em last minute with a brand new list of questions he doesn’t usually get asked instead of the ones he had planned, Mike Street caught up with DJ Kid Capri to talk about everything from the struggle of carrying crates of vinyl back in the day to events and places he wants to perform at in the future, and more. After expressing how the new era of entertainers would never know the struggles of the old school way of doing things, Kid Capri recalled, “I carried 15 crates around the world man. I was the first dude to own two tour buses… in Hip-Hop. Because of traveling with 15 crates of albums on airplanes, paying for all the weight, paying for all the extra baggage, I just said you know what I’m gonna buy me a bus.” "When I went to go buy me a bus, they laughed at me, like ‘people don’t buy buses, the album come out they go on tour for three or four months, they send the bus back,’” Not concerned, Kid bought his first bus and eventually another even bigger one. Learning to embrace the new wave of using Serato instead of vinyl on turntables after a push from DJ Jazzy Jeff, these days Kid Capri is back to traveling on planes for gigs. But, as he explained, the conversion wasn’t easy. “As many things as I innovated, I like to keep things lookin’ a certain way. And when I had all the records behind me, it just made it look like a big production. Running to get the record, catching it at the last minute, dropping it, you know, it amazes the crowds. So I thought that once we get on the Serato it was gonna take that feeling away from it, but it just got even more crazier… my shows they be nuts.” While Serato has made its way into Capri’s scope of skills, he has no plans of making the switch to controllers any time in the future. Speaking of future, when asked if there are any events or places he has yet to but wants to DJ at, Capri didn’t really have anything in mind, and focused his answer more on appreciating the amazing places he’s already been and the incredible crowds he’s been blessed to perform for. “I’m sure there’s lots of places I haven’t been, plenty events I haven’t done. But I’ve done so many it’s kind of hard to like think of it,” Capri expressed. “Because everything that comes out they either call me first to do, or do the last of it, or do the main event of it, and it be in every city, every state.” He continued, “I’ve been to every state, every island, all through Europe, and to get that kind of love for as long as I have, it’s truly a blessing. Because they got people in they own city that can entertain them, and for them to call me… they don’t have to do that… but that’s what we work for. As long as you work and you really work hard and you really care about your fans, it’s gonna resonate with them and they always gonna wanna feel that energy… so I’m grateful in that way.” Listen to it all plus more, including questioning the common list of Top 5 GOATs, wondering why Twista is never brought up, and wanting to be viewed in Hip-Hop history for doing it “the right way.” Press play on the interview above for all of it. Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Mike Street


Hip-Hop Made: Janelle Monáe

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop. Janelle Monáe talked with Audacy and ATL’s Big Tigger on V-103, sharing a her short list of artists that lead her to fall in love with Hip-Hop, her favorite moment in Hip-Hop history, plus what Hip-Hop means to her. When asked which one song made her fall in love with Hip-Hop, Janelle found it difficult to pinpoint just one. Revealing,“I have so many artists,” in mind, adding, “I mean we’re in Atlanta too, so OutKast c’mon, 'Elevators' I think, made me be like ‘oooh they’re different’… ATLiens… and it was the video too that also help, and that chorus,” she added, before going on to sing a little bit of it. “I was a big Lauryn Hill fan too, so I always listened to her whole Miseducation, even The Fugees, the way she was singing and then rap, when she did the Roberta Flack cover ‘Killing Me Softly.’” "It’s like Hip-Hop is such a spectrum… there’s so many different levels of it. Love Lil Kim… I can rap a lot of Lil Kim stuff,” Janelle admitted, noting she’d have done it if she wasn’t so tired. “Her features are crazy,” she went on to add, “I feel like she changed so much, like she was so free, she’s a free a** motherf***er, like she been on it, and I started to appreciate her even more as I went through my own journey of evolution.” Janelle continued, “Lil Kim was challenging everybody's thoughts about what it was to be a Black woman, what you could say, what you couldn’t say. She was like — you not gonna put me in a box — categorize me, I defy every label — and that’s what I live by too, so I love her.” Revealing her favorite moment in Hip-Hop history, Janelle shared that she “loved Ladies Night, I love seeing like all those women together. That was a moment for me… when I was with my friends, with my girlfriends, we would always pick who we were, or we would have it on as we were getting dressed and ready to go hang out and it just solidified a sisterhood in Hip-Hop." Beyond the music, for Janelle, Hip-Hop “represents freedom, it represents story telling, it represents Blackness… the spectrum of Blackness. We’re not monolithic, we don’t all think the same, eat the same, dress the same. So it just represents an opportunity for us to like continue to teach people about us as a people, our experiences.” Listen to the entire conversation above. Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Big Tigger


Hip-Hop Made: Chance The Rapper

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, Chance The Rapper tapped in with us to reveal who he believes the greatest rapper alive is and why. It was Lil Wayne's "Hustler Musik" that initially made Chance fall in love with Hip-Hop, "I just remember that music video being one of the first music videos I saw on TV," he said, remembering being captivated by the video, he admitted "'Hustler Musik' when it came out changed my life." "Wayne to me is still the best rapper alive and he's just like so cold and he has just such a crazy catalog, like an extensive but also extremely eclectic catalog of songs and songwriting." Words by Yasmeen Akbar


Hip-Hop Made: LL Cool J

Trailblazing rapper and entrepreneur LL Cool J joined host Shelley Wade at NYC's 94.7 The Block this week to talk about this year's continuing celebration of the birth of Hip-Hop and his own tireless efforts in elevating the culture at large. LL Cool J gave his stamp of approval -- as well as a few of his Rock The Bells radio mixers -- when New York City's 94.7 The Block first hit the airwaves last year, a blessing he was happy to share because, as he says, "it's all about timeless Hip-Hop culture and lifting it up... and that's what I'm about. The fact that these artists don't have an expiration date and that Hip-Hop culture isn't disposable -- and I love that. I think the goal now has to be to execute at a higher level and have fun doing it." LL has been putting that gospel into practice for years, his latest endeavor being on hand as fellow rapper and friend Ludacris received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame just weeks ago. "You know, Luda is an extremely talented artist, great songwriter, great performer, and just a good dude," says LL. "I've been following him since he started, and I just wanted to be there for him... I was honored that he asked. To just see a younger brother go to that level and reach those heights. We gotta be there for each other, we gotta support one another." Looking back to 2016 when he received his own star on the world-famous sidewalk, LL remembers it being "the best feeling in the world, and [it] definitely felt like I was doing something right." Adding how he and a group of friends had posed on a blank Hollywood star when they were just teenagers, "to see that come to fruition was an amazing feeling. The accolades are always wonderful --- creating the art is the real high though," he admits. "The real high is performing, doing the festival, doing the tour, putting out the book, doing the new album... those are the things that really move your spirit. And then to be rewarded with those accolades is a good feeling." Signing off on The Block's wish to feature Rock The Bells radio mixers Mister Cee and DJ Scratch on the station also came with good feelings all around. "I look at it like this, those guys are hometown New York dudes. I would never want to stand in the way of somebody being able to represent for their hometown and being able to represent for a station in our hometown," says LL. "At the end of the day... I still want to be supportive of hometown stations and what you guys are trying to do because it's dope, and it's Hip-Hop." "It was a no-brainer for me," he adds. "Everybody might not feel that way, other people may have done it differently, but I think, you know, I play the infinite game, not the finite game. For me, long term, I think hundreds of years from now it's better that they were here than me not letting them be here." LL's Rock The Bells festival and cruise both return this year, the former heading to Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY, featuring scheduled performances from Queen Latifah, Ludacris, De La Soul, Method Man & Redman, Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Salt-n-Pepa, Slick Rick, and tons more on August 5th. "The list goes on and on," says LL. "We're gonna do it real, real big. It's gonna be a lot of fun." Of course, he's not stopping there. LL Cool J will be hitting the road on his first headlining tour in 30 years featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff, The Roots, and DJ Z-Trip accompanying him at each tour stop with a variety of other artists set to join on select dates including Big Boi, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Common, Doug E. Fresh, Goodie Mob, Ice-T, Jadakiss, Juvenile, MC Lyte, Rick Ross, and many others from the Rock The Bells fest line up as well. Offering up a preview of what's to come, "The one thing I can say for sure is that all of the things I'm doing now are not about LL Cool J," he says. "It's about the fans and it's about me giving you the best experience you could possibly have; a multigenerational experience." Wrapping up, LL laid it out plain as day: "I just...


Hip-Hop Made: Swizz Beatz

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, Swizz Beatz sat down with Audacy Hot 93.7’s DJ Buck and Big Regg for an in-depth conversation about all things Hip-Hop, his career, and more. Swizz touched on finding his calling as a Producer through his time as a DJ and discovering his sound, to working with the likes of DMX in the past and now working with up and comers like Scar Lip, plus a whole lot more. There’s no denying everybody know a Swizzy beat when it comes on, so what is it exactly that led Swizz to find his distinct sound? “I think that came from, that came from just wanting to be different,” Swizz expressed. “You know, like back then, at that time, you had to have a distinct sound to make it, you know. If you had the same sound as somebody else that was kind of a violation.” Calling out how different it is from “today where everybody can pull from the same sound and add a name tag.” Swizz asserted, “back then that wouldn't have worked, back then you had to be your own movement, you understand?” He continued, “like Timbaland, you know what a Timbaland beat — he got the babies crying and all of this or that. Oh, that's a Timbaland beat right there. You know a Pharrell beat, you know, Just Blaze, you know, Kanye, like Dre, like everybody just had their own sound. And so it was important for me to stop sampling and create my own sound. Because when I was sampling, it wasn't giving me my own sound. And then a lot of people was just using the same thing. So when I stopped sampling, that's how you got ‘Ruff Ryder’s Anthem’ and all those songs from that point on, just because it was distinct, it was new, and I was able to just do what I wanted to do, you know? And the drums made the sound even more distinct.” Not to mention “the horns too,” as Regg added. In keeping with the traditional Audacy Hip-Hop Made questions, Swizz was asked what was the first Hip-Hop song he heard that made him say — "oh, this is different… this is it." Giving us a list of three for good measure, Swizz noted, “my first Hip-Hop cassette that I purchased when I got my box radio, Ultramagnetic MC’s “Ego Trippin’.” “That's in my DNA,” Swizz expressed, “those drums, like, that energy. Like I couldn't believe that somebody did something like that. Right? I played that song, I repaired that tape at least 150 times.” "Number two, and this is in no particular order, I'm just giving you the order that I heard em in, was ‘Eric B. Is President,’” by Eric B. & Rakim. “I remember… it just made you feel fresh," Swizz recalled. “Like, you know… you wanted to make sure you had the right outfit on… like you couldn't be whack and play 'Eric B. Is President' — at all.” Claiming spot number three on his list is “South Bronx” by KRS-ONE. After hearing that Swizz said, “I knew I had a last name. It let me know that I was from a tribe of serious, serious, serious Hip-Hop, serious music. And you couldn't tell me I wasn't down with BDP — still to this day.” After discussing the origination of Ruff Ryders, which he credits his grandmother for naming, Swizz went on to discuss one of the crew's most notable artists — the late DMX. “It's crazy cuz it don't feel like he's gone, you know. Like I still feel his presence so much… I still have my moments where I'm just lost for words. Like, I'm just like, man, we had so much more to do, we had so much more things that we was planning. You know, right before he passed we was getting ready to get into this workout phase, you know, so that's why, you know, people seen me post some videos of him. Like, we had a professional trainer like we was really, he was ready to go crazy, you know what I'm saying? And, you know Allah just said it was his time. You know, like that man been through a lot since I've known him. And I know he in a better place now.” Discussing how he sees so much of DMX’s energy in Scar Lip, one of the new artist he’s working with, Swizz...


Hip-Hop Made: Armani White

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, rapper Armani White shared some of his Hip-Hop firsts, each of which includes one of the GOATS. “The first song that made me fall in love with Hip-Hop was ‘Kill You’ by Eminem,” the “Billie Eilish” rapper shared. As for “the first artist that comes to mind when I hear the word Hip-Hop” — for Armani that would definitely have to be, JAY-Z. Also sharing about the “first album I bought with my own money,” Armani revealed that was Kanye West’s Late Registration. "But it was a bootleg so I kinda don’t count,” however quickly noting that actually, “buying bootleg is really Hip-Hop so….” While Late Registration was the first Hip-Hop album Armani bought himself, it wasn’t the first. “My mom used to always get me my Eminem CDs,” White shared, “but she used to get me the clean version so it don’t necessarily count as Eminem CDs cause like half of it is instrumental.” Words by Maia Kedem Interview by Mike Adam


Hip-Hop Made: Ciara

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, Ciara dropped by Audacy's V-103 in Atlanta to reveal her favorite rap artists of all time and songs that transcend time for her. Sporting a Tupac t-shirt, the "Goodies" singer said "he's clearly my favorite rap artist of all time," after mentioning one of her favorite rap songs is "So Many Tears," reminiscing on how her and her dad used to ride and sing along to the 1998 record. "I think Tupac, his music marks a lot special memories for me, you know they say music marks time, so I would definitely say Tupac in one of those guys," she added. Aside from Tupac, she revealed that she is also a huge Busta Rhymes fan, "I think there's no one like Busta, there hasn't been anyone like him" she shared before busting out the lyrics to "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check." Check out so much more from Ciara above.


Hip-Hop Made: EPMD

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, we tapped in with PMD, one-half of the legendary rap duo EPMD. Erick Sermon, also known as "E" or "Double E" and Parrish Smith, also known as PMD, made up the group EPMD in 1987 and became a major force in the game of Hip-Hop as they popularized funk and rock samples in their breaks whereas many others lifted their samples from disco records. When PMD reflected on the songs that made him want to get into rapping, there were a lot of songs that made him fall in love with Hip-Hop, like "King Tim III," "Rapper's Delight," and "Loddy Doddy" but it was Rakim and Eric B.'s "Make Em' Clap To This" that had him sold, "I was like yo to the batmobile." At the time he was a DJ but it was this song that pushed him to step out from behind the scenes. And fun fact about PMD is that while in college at the Southern Connecticut State University he traveled back and forth between school for football practice and New York to get in the studio and even talked about sometimes bringing E along with him. Words by Yasmeen Akbar Interview by DJ Buck


Rakim on Hip-Hop's impact: 'It's taking the world by storm'

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, we linked up with one of the most influential and legendary rappers to touch a mic – Rakim. Sitting down with Hartford's number one for Hip-Hop and R&B, Hot 93.7, he shared that when he was first getting into Hip-Hop, he initially questioned how long the genre would be around. "When I was first getting involved making a conscious, serious decision to make it my livelihood, it was a question you know, like is it going to last? is it a fad?" he admitted, but "to see it come this far... and the way it impact the world, Hip-Hop is not only taking the world by storm, it's the number one genre," he said. Noting that Hip-Hop is practically ingrained in everything, he added "every other genre is influenced by Hip-Hop... even Country music, they're saying slang." When he thinks about his first introductions to Hip-Hop, he explained that he could take it all the way back to nursery rhymes and he was essentially "involved with Hip-Hop before the first rap record came out." For more from the legendary Rakim, listen to the full interview above. Words by Yasmeen Akbar Interview by DJ Buck


Charlie Puth's first Hip-Hop album

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, we linked up with Charlie Puth where he shared the first Hip-Hop albums he ever purchased. The New Jersey raised pop-R&B artist revealed that Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP was one of the first Hip-Hop albums he purchased. "The first Hip-Hop album I bought was 'The Marshall Mathers LP' by Eminem out of Detroit at Jack's Music Store in Redbank, New Jersey," he continued that the second album he bought was the 2000 album, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water, which all though it's not necessarily a Hip-Hop album, it reminded him of the essence of the genre which would then lead him to purchasing Dr. Dre's The Chronic. Words by Yasmeen Akbar Interview by Mike Adam


Nelly on being a part of the culture and crossover

Continuing our celebration of Hip-Hop's 50th anniversary on Audacy's Hip-Hop Made, Nelly reflects on who he thinks are some of the top names in the genre. Since coming on the scene with his debut album, Country Grammar, in June 2000, Nelly has seen it all. Being in the spotlight for more than one-third of the genre’s 50 year existence, the Hip-Hop favorite has some favorites of his own. “We’re talking about celebrating 50 years of Hip-Hop —we just did that at the GRAMMYs — so you’re talking about 50 years [worth of artists],” he told Audacy’s David & Kelli of The Wake Up Call on KFRG. “You have so many people that could be in that list and I’m just honored to be a part of the culture.” He continued, “You’re talking about great artists like Busta [Rhymes], LL [Cool J], Tupac [Shakur], Biggie [The Notorious B.I.G.]… Lil Wayne. I’m pretty sure if you ask anybody in Canada, Toronto, they’re gonna say Drake — they have a great reason to say Drake,” he said. Not only has Nelly been around to see Hip-Hop reach new heights as a genre of it’s own, but he’s also been a large part of bringing Hip-Hop to other genres with one-of-a-kind collaborations. One of the genres to welcome him most has been Country. “I’ve been getting so much love from Country music since the beginning, since Country Grammar, and I didn’t understand what was happening,” he shared. “When we first did Country Grammar — I tell this story all the time — we were doing shows where Big & Rich would be headlining, but DMX would be headlining the next night and we thought that was happening for everybody, but it wasn’t happening for everybody.” He continued, “As we grew and we understood what was happening, I brought on ‘Over and Over Again,’ I was able to do that with Tim McGraw to kind of test the waters to say ‘Yo I appreciate you guys’ music.’ And then we moved on to Florida Georgia Line ['Cruise'] and things like that and here we are the last person to go on at Stagecoach. It’s been a beautiful ride and I’m very thankful.” Hear Nelly reflect more on his 23 year career, plus talk about his new Moonshine brand and what it’s like to play a Country Music Festival as a Hip-Hop artist by checking out his full conversation with with David and Kelli above. Words by Monica Rivera Interview by David and Kelli


Hip-Hop Made: Wiz Khalifa

Back with another installment of Hip-Hop Made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the birth of Hip-Hop, we linked up with Wiz Khalifa and DJ Bonics to talk about why they believe it is important to celebrate Hip-Hop and the community that has made the genre what it is today. Cameron Jibril Thomaz, known to the world as Wiz Khalifa was born in Minot, North Dakota. Show and Prove, his debut album, was released in 2006 and his "Say Yeah" single dropped in 2008 and became his first minor hit. It garnered attention on stations across the country and charted on the Rhythmic Top 40 and Hot Rap Tracks. When he thinks about why it's so important to celebrate this milestone in the history of Hip-Hop, he reflected on how the music and culture impacted his life. "How much I was influenced and still am influenced by Hip-Hop, and to be able to grow up and learn it as a language and share it with so many other people," he continued "that's what it should be celebrated for, how good it is and how it makes people feel." DJ Bonics, Khalifa's official DJ and radio personality, reminisced on how Hip-Hop not only gave him the opportunity to help support his family but he recognizes the genre as the cultural movement that it is. "Culture is so important because if its treated like that I think you have something to look at, and to look back on, and here we are at a Country festival about to do a Hip-Hop show," he said. The Hip-Hop community has played an integral role in the world today, it's undeniable. To Khalifa, it is "everything" he shared. "We learn everything from Hip-Hop. We learned how to dress, learn how to talk, learn how to walk and that s*** sticks with you throughout your whole life. You might get a job or something like that but you still gone have that Wu-Tang tat." To Bonics, he believes it's so important to maintain positive role models within the Hip-Hop community. "I think master of ceremonies should also be master of communities, I think its important for us to be leaders," Bonics added. Words by Yasmeen Akbar Interview by Mijo


Hip-Hop Made: Maseo of De La Soul on earliest influences and untold Hip-Hop history

Continuing our celebration of Hip-Hop's 50th anniversary on Audacy's Hip-Hop Made, De La Soul co-founder and turntablist Maseo shares with us his excitement to finally be streaming on music services after quite a long wait, as well as some of the most memorable parts of his storied career. One of the very first DJ/Emcee moments that host Mike Street at Audacy’s 106.5 The Beat in Richmond, VA remembers from back in the day is Maseo’s part in De La Soul’s “Bitties in the BK Lounge” off of 1991's De La Soul Is Dead. Mike admits, “you know, there were others but that was the one that stood out with the beat and everything, and by the way, that's available for streaming right now, in case you didn't realize,” as of March 2023 after quite a long time off of streaming services due to contractual and label shortcomings. “Yes it is, yes it is. Ain’t that crazy,” Maseo says with a smile. As a longtime fan, Mike was actually unaware that De La Soul’s music was unavailable because he actually owns their catalog. “Whether it's on my iPod or just in my crates or on a hard drive with the vinyl," he admits. "I didn't realize until in the mid-2000s that it wasn't streaming. It's well documented that that was due to, I guess you call it contractual conflicts, but people don't realize, they just didn't anticipate back then that the digital age would exist, so they didn't know how to split that bread.” “Well, our situation was a little more unique than everyone else's,” says Maseo. Their record label at the time, Tommy Boy, simply didn't have any language regarding streaming in their contracts, “but moving forward,” he adds, “when we did renegotiate with Tommy Boy, there was some language implemented that would be like that, that most labels started implementing after the late 80s anyway. They started to implement ‘the universe’ instead of 'the world,' you know. So, when they implemented ‘the universe,’ it made it open for mediums such as the Internet or maybe even going out into space.” “To Tommy Boy's demise,” he continues, “they folded. So whatever renegotiation there was with us, it was all in breach. Once they folded -- it wasn’t like we left, they left -- so all the contracts are null and void. It was pretty much like doing a new deal for old music.” Label founder Tom Silverman, he says, “was trying to revert back to a very old contract that wasn't even the contract that we renegotiated on. Him trying to revert back all the way to ‘89 was just asinine for the business that we had continued to do. The value of what we developed to be and what we learned of our own value, that just to signing that Tommy Boy deal would have been something that would have just been done for the sake of putting the music out, and we would have been in the same kind of rut.” “Even in the first time, I can't even say it was a bad deal,” Maseo adds. “It was a great deal based on my situation. It was also a great deal based on the era that we was in, you know, and what was also considered market value at that time because I can't sit here and say Tommy Boy was the only one giving out these contracts. It was the market… and at some point, we superseded the industry standard.” Looking back to before De La Soul's first album, 1989's 3 Feet High and Rising, and the influence Hip-Hop culture had on Maseo growing up, he says at the time, it wasn't about doing music for a living, it was simply doing music for the love of it. “It didn't seem like music really presented any economic opportunity,“ he explains, “but there was this thing happening here… We didn't have a name for it yet. ‘Hip-Hop,’ you know, and it was happening behind DJing, B-boy and break dancing, writing graffiti, lacing up your sneakers a certain way, even down to watching karate flicks. All of that played a big part of this developing culture... All these different factors that played a significant part of the culture that was very exciting, the energy that was brewing, especially for my era in...


Hip-Hop Made: Chloe Bailey on the first Hip-Hop song she fell in love with

Joining our continued celebration of Hip-Hop's 50th anniversary on Audacy's Hip-Hop Made, 24-year-old Atlanta native and superstar singer Chlöe Bailey shared with us one of the very first songs that made her fall for the genre and culture. Looking back at one of the very first songs that made Chlöe fall in love with Hip-Hop, she says, "I think it was the Outkast Idlewild soundtrack when I was a little girl growing up in Atlanta, and I really love the 'Call The Law' song." "I really, really love that, and I kept that movie on loop," Chlöe adds. "Ever since then I've loved Outkast's entire catalog and I did more and more research -- and I'm proud to say I am also from Atlanta like they are. Whenever I get to say, 'I'm a musician from Atlanta,' the first people I think of are them." As far as her first live Hip-Hop experience, Chlöe remembers Missy Elliott being on the road alongside Beyoncé and Alicia Keys (2004's Verizon Ladies First Tour), when she was between four and five years old. As young as she may have been at the time, Chlöe says, "I think that counts" -- and with that incredible lineup, so do we! Follow along with more music and conversations on Audacy's Hip Hop Made. Words by Joe Cingrana


Hip-Hop Made: Pete Wentz on a Fall Out Boy 'Collision Course'

Continuing our celebration of 50 years since the birth of Hip-Hop on Audacy's Hip-Hop Made, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy weighed in on which artist he would consider doing a Linkin Park/Jay-Z Collision Course-style project with if ever given the chance. Chicago rockers Fall Out Boy, with their Alternative flavor and Pop sensibilities always on full display, are no strangers to the Hip-Hop side of things. Aside from counting the genre among their many influences, the band notably offered up in 2015 their American Beauty/American Psycho remix album Make America Psycho Again featuring verses from Migos, Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, Azealia Banks, and more. If given a chance to create a mashup album akin to the incredible Linkin Park and Jay-Z collaboration Collision Course, FOB's Pete Wentz admits, "I think people would say Lil Wayne or something like that, but I truly think what would be the most interesting one, and thinking of [singer] Patrick [Stump], would be Kid Cudi probably... Kid Cudi/Fall Out Boy I think would be interesting." Words by Joe Cingrana Interview by Mike Adam