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April 16, 2024 38 mins

In this episode, I sit down with the legendary Noreaga, a.k.a. N.O.R.E., the host of the world-famous Drink Champs podcast. Nore takes us on a wild journey through his early days in the rap game, from his humble beginnings in Queens to his rise to stardom with the classic album "The War Report."

Nore shares incredible stories about the moments that shaped his career, the hard lessons he learned, and the hustle that kept him going. He keeps it real, raw, and unfiltered as he reflects on his path from the streets to the top of the charts.

Throughout our conversation, Nore drops some serious knowledge about the music industry, staying true to yourself, and what it really takes to make it in the game. We dive deep into his experiences and the wisdom he's gained along the way.

This is part one of our two-part conversation, and trust me, you're going to want to hear every minute of it. Nore's story is one of perseverance, dedication, and the unrelenting pursuit of his dreams. So sit back, relax, and get ready for an unforgettable episode with one of hip-hop's true icons.


Host: Daymond John


Producers: Beau Dozier & Shanelle Collins; Ted Kingsbery, Chauncey Bell, & Taryn Loftus


For more info on how to transform your life and business to the next level, check out and @thesharkdaymond on all platforms!

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
So that's when I knew.

Speaker 2 (00:01):
I was like, Yo, this is some worldwide This is
a worldwide thing.

Speaker 1 (00:05):
This is not just for left right.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
Remember I made The War Report, which is the first
album in Comona Norriega made.

Speaker 1 (00:10):
We made it for Jamaica queens.

Speaker 2 (00:12):
We didn't make it for Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica, Ja. What
if I told you there was more to the story
behind game changing events?

Speaker 1 (00:23):
Get ready for my new podcast. That Moment with Damon John.

Speaker 2 (00:27):
Will jump into the personal stories of some of the
most influential people on the planet, from business mobiles and
celebrities to athletes and artists.

Speaker 1 (00:37):
Now we are.

Speaker 3 (00:38):
Here with that Moment with Damian John. Now I gotta
tell you something. It's gonna be hard for me too.
And I know for my next guest to think that
we are not on his podcast, which is like one
of the top podcasts in the world. My podcast is
one of the top podcasts in.

Speaker 1 (00:57):
Poughkeepsie, New York.

Speaker 3 (01:01):
And if my Donkey's Polician Deebo stopped listening, then we're
in a bigger We got a bigger problem.

Speaker 1 (01:08):
But what I love.

Speaker 3 (01:08):
About mine and we are doing that moment, I use
the power up broke because you know, I go to
other people's amazing studios and I basically you know how
people car hop, I podcast hop.

Speaker 1 (01:20):
And use this studio. I love that, all right.

Speaker 3 (01:22):
So first of all, you know, and I love doing
this because I get to talk to some of the
most interesting people in the world, and I get to
ask questions about you know, as we talk about that moment.
You know, when you're a public person or anybody, when
you meet somebody to bay, you know, tell me a story,
you tell them the same story, but then you never
go deep down the rabbit hole or what exactly happened.
And hopefully I'm going to get some questions or some

answers out of this young man that has never been answered.
So the young man right now that I have, I'm
gonna call him a young man because the energy is
always young, he's always smiling. He actually is probably one
of the nicest guys you've ever met in the game.
It doesn't mean, you know, the most pleasant, It doesn't
mean he's nice.

Speaker 2 (01:58):
Right right, because he grew up in popp No way
in the world you can keep that smile if you
grew up in hip hop.

Speaker 3 (02:03):
The man's name is more commonly, I didn't. I didn't
even think I knew your name before Victor h Vis Santiago.

Speaker 1 (02:09):
Do your mom pull your Victor in or or or
the world mother calls me poppy.

Speaker 3 (02:13):
Yeah, there you go, all right, deal Dundale, Uh, Panamanian,
Puerto Rican, Puerto Rican and black though Puerto Rican and
black more commonly known as Noriega O n o r
E a tighten in the industry from Cuboro. Of course,
we're all from queens, from queens. Absolutely shout out the queens,

shot out the queens. Uh you know, but you know
me know him from Copona Noriega and uh, he's taking it.
He took his talent solo after a while, going platinum
and uh you know he's still he didn't broke records
in various other things. I'm not going to get into
all that because if you don't know, you could just
research it exactly right, cultural lot con you went platinum

or you weren't platinum, you went solo.

Speaker 2 (03:05):
Solo and I have a no no me copon have
gold records together, right and it's super dug yes, oh no,
oh yeah, those are singles that singles also, all right,
all right, so I'm gonna put these pieces of paper away.

Speaker 3 (03:19):
But by the way, he has drink Champs is. We're
going to get into what drink Champs is. Because why
I want to get into what drink Champs is because
not only did you do it before people were really
doing it, but you had went out there and you
sort of saying, this is exactly what I did. You
would tell you have still told people what to do,

but they don't listen.

Speaker 2 (03:42):
Yeah, a lot of people when we started the podcast,
people really what a podcast is. It's the audio platform, right,
So people were given their YouTube away, right. I got
jerked in the hip hop not to get jerked in
another field. So I knew that that was a mistake

from the beginning. Like I was seeing, like you know,
certain shows and they wouldn't monetize the YouTube. They would
they would get paid or for the audio, and they
were satisfied with that.

Speaker 1 (04:17):

Speaker 2 (04:18):
I said this the other day, I had to out
hustle people, right, I knew this.

Speaker 1 (04:23):
I knew like people wouldn't put me in that top tier.

Speaker 2 (04:26):
So what I wanted to do what I did in
hip hop was Okay, maybe I didn't make the millions
upfront with the deal. But what I would do is
every time I did a deal, I made it a
three part deal, meaning I signed a record label, but
then I would make a publishing deal, and then I

would make a touring deal. If I didn't get all three,
I wouldn't do it. I had to learn that with podcasting.
With podcasting, what I learned was, I said, I'm going
to sell the same show three different ways, the same
way I did and hip hop.

Speaker 1 (05:08):
So we have audio, then we have YouTube, and we.

Speaker 2 (05:13):
Also have television, and then within those, we monetize those,
and we have you know, uh, sponsorships, and we have
all of this. So I didn't wanted to make it
a one thing. So I wanted to tell people straight up.
I said, Yo, stop giving away your fucking.

Speaker 1 (05:29):
YouTube for freaking you sweating the sun.

Speaker 3 (05:31):
You want cocon and I know you give me yours.

Speaker 2 (05:35):
That happens to be Okay, it's gonna be called drink
cham chocolate.

Speaker 1 (05:39):
But let's get let's get let's get to.

Speaker 2 (05:41):
That later as hot as motherfucking here.

Speaker 3 (05:45):
And I think that you know a couple of things
we want to say, so you know how to read
the room, and we'll go.

Speaker 1 (05:49):
Into that for a second.

Speaker 2 (05:50):
Because right now, normally when I come and hang out
with you, I'm high, right.

Speaker 1 (05:54):
Because what's smoking here? So I'm not sure if you're
trying to be a second No, he's rolling up right now?

Speaker 2 (05:58):
Okay, could do you?

Speaker 1 (06:01):
No, you're sweating. You need to get to it.

Speaker 2 (06:07):
Somebody give me adapt all right?

Speaker 3 (06:10):
So well, let's not breeze over that because where did
that come from? Because you didn't mention something you said.
Because this is when I'm on short, I'm listening to
all the things that are not saying. You said you
learned to do this, this and that, but you also
said simultaneously you got jerked in hip hop? When did you?
When was your first what were you? Who were you
signed to first? Your first deal in hip hop that
we all know you from, or maybe we don't know

you from. Where do you get jerked? Well? My first
deal that I had. And by the way, I don't
want to ever say anything offensive to Traggedy because if
I had a chance to do it all over, I'll
do it again, right, Okay, I'll do it again because
had I won when I came out? I know it's
going to answer the question had I won when I

first came out?

Speaker 1 (06:55):
My hustle would not exist, right.

Speaker 2 (06:58):
So what happened was I got sired to tragedy, big
up to tragedy. Tragedy didn't in return, signed the Penalty Records.
Records was signed to Timmy Boy. Tymy Boy was signed
to Warner Brothers.

Speaker 1 (07:10):
This was a.

Speaker 2 (07:11):
Mess, right right, right right, But I figured, let me
get in the game. If I get in the game,
I'm ana fuck this game up, right? And what year
was this? This was nineteen ninety six, ninety seven, Okay,
So I said, if I get in the game, I'm.

Speaker 1 (07:26):
Going, I'm going. I'm going, I'm going. No one's gonna
hold me back.

Speaker 2 (07:29):
The problem was I had to buy myself out of
my old contract I couldn't like. So once I got in,
this was this is this is a great story. By
the way, I couldn't get no shows. Capone got locked up.
I got no shows, right, I got nothing. I got
nothing to get. All I had is throughout this album

that everyone called the classic album, right, but I didn't.
I didn't see no benefits of the classic album. I
didn't make no money, so I was lost. So what
I wanted to do in return was hire a lawyer
and find out my contract.

Speaker 1 (08:11):
I hired a.

Speaker 2 (08:12):
Lawyer, and my lawyer was like, this is basically one
of the worst contracts in the world, and I get
you out of live it like this because it was
that bad.

Speaker 1 (08:19):
It was so bad. It was so bad egregious.

Speaker 2 (08:21):
Yeah, and and what's the crazy shit was? I believe
I was seventeen, so it wasn't even legal. It wasn't
it wasn't even legal. So it was kind of mess
with the minus. So that seems that seems to be
the theme later you don't do that. Yeah, So they

let me out of the contract, and but you brought
yourself out, well they yeah, but at first they allowed
you to buy yourself out, which is very rare because
we see it even with it like they said that
the Lord and Hills of the world and a lot
of people in these tilS was.

Speaker 3 (09:00):
Left eye and all. They're in him so long. New addition,
they're in him so long that there is no way
to buy him out. And that's because they're not that bad.
They're just bad enough, you know what I mean. So
you got out of it, and you decided to get
out of it. What are you gonna do now? Capone
is locked up?

Speaker 1 (09:16):
All right?

Speaker 3 (09:17):
You got, you got a supposed classic, but now you
can't even perform necessarily, you know, doing two parts of it.
And now you're out of a contract.

Speaker 1 (09:24):
What do you do.

Speaker 2 (09:26):
There's this guy from Queen's name Nah Sah Jones, now
Sarah Jones was on the whole Report album and didn't
clear it. He did, he didn't clear I can't say if.

Speaker 1 (09:39):
It was him. Was the record label right? He didn't
clear it.

Speaker 2 (09:43):
Nas wanted to pay me back, like he wanted to
make it.

Speaker 1 (09:46):
Right, so he those those who don't know.

Speaker 3 (09:49):
Not clearing it means that he had went done the vocal,
the vocals, everything was set to go, but then they
didn't have basically the publishing rights and the ability to
put it out.

Speaker 1 (09:58):
Somebody stopped it. No, and you know what, let me,
let me just be honest with you. I don't think
we had the money to pay him.

Speaker 2 (10:06):
Honest, maybe that was it, but he I'm being honest,
so uh and I think he was charging even back then,
one hundred grand, like yeah, like even then. He's been
rich for a long time. So he calls jungle, calls
me becomes a jungle to. He doesn't get enough prot
Jungle calls me and they're like, Yo, we're gonna fly

you out to l A and we're gonna make you
a part of this album called The Firm. I'm like, what,
I'm waiting for this phone call? It never comes to
I'm acting like dre right yeah, but but but and.

Speaker 1 (10:47):
It was just them four.

Speaker 2 (10:48):
It was just Foxy Asy, Callbacka and nots. So the
fact that they asked me, I'm like, yes, yes man,
and the call never came.

Speaker 1 (11:02):
So so so I see them in La right, skim
kick me.

Speaker 2 (11:07):
Ironically, the first phone call was We're gonna fly you
to Miami, right, And I'm like, yeah, you can't like
to go down. You're gonna pay me to go to Miami.
I'm like yeah, that phone call never come to. Right,
and whatever Instagram was back.

Speaker 1 (11:23):
Then, I was seeing them in Miami and I was like.

Speaker 2 (11:28):
I forgot me right, So I'm like I'm like okay,
and then they don't call me. They didn't call me
at all with out the blue, They're like, Yo, Norri,
what you're doing tomorrow? Can you get to La? I
know I can't get to La. I don't got the money.
I know it for a fact.

Speaker 3 (11:48):
You have a classic album out you don't have the money.
I had no money because back then there was no
way to stream online. There was no way to get
any other revenue, right, there.

Speaker 2 (11:59):
Was no way me to know that I had a
classic out and I didn't feel it. So they didn't
even you didn't even report.

Speaker 1 (12:06):
There was no There was no emails at that time.
Was there?

Speaker 2 (12:09):
Maybe there was email on an R E album? I say,
w W dot Norri. So so it had to be there.

Speaker 3 (12:17):
So you had to go to that big as big
as computer at home, right, And it took about a
half an hour of warm month.

Speaker 1 (12:22):

Speaker 2 (12:22):
So so they say come to La tomorrow. I don't
know Dre is involved. I don't know none of this ship.
I was supposed to be called in l A on
that Wednesday. I came the day before because the flights
are cheaper, so I came the day before, but I
lost because my dumb ass had.

Speaker 1 (12:40):
Hotel, so I didn't say all right. I actually got
in the whole.

Speaker 2 (12:47):
So they're like, you know, Nori, it's Nature session tomorrow.
I mean today. So they're like it's Nature session. So
like that's cool, I come hang out with Nature. I
walk into the studio. It's wucking doctor Dre.

Speaker 1 (12:59):
Doctor h.

Speaker 2 (13:22):
So, yeah, I should be sweating now. You don't figure
I sweating back then, I'm like, what the fuck? I'm like, Yo,
nobody you couldn't.

Speaker 1 (13:30):
No one could warn me that it is fucking doctor Dre.
So Nature, this is Nature's session. This is nature session.

Speaker 2 (13:40):
Nature sitting there, Nature's writing. And I had been had
these rhymes. I was not gonna write rhymes in the studio.

Speaker 1 (13:48):
I was. I was so prepared. I was thirsty.

Speaker 2 (13:50):
This is real. Yeah, I was knocking. That's what I'm saying.
You walk in and you see drain, You're like, how
do I switch you up? Do I give him a pound?
Do I like I'm too cold? Do I say, yo,
your honor? What do you say when you see Dre
when you're the greatest producer in hip hop history?

Speaker 1 (14:08):
You know what I thought? I said nothing. I'm just
like And so Nature was taking his time. Nature.

Speaker 2 (14:16):
If anybody worked with nature, all you've ever worked with nas,
these are perfectionists. They sit around and they want every
single bar to be whatever whatever, So it takes them
a little bit of time. The Nature was taking a
little bit more time than they're necessary. So as doctor
Dre was playing beats. He plays this beat what came

with now is known as I'm leaving. Right as soon
as he played it, I heard I just I just
immediately start singing the hook.

Speaker 1 (14:45):
I was like, I'm leaving on the next thing. I
don't know when I'll be back again. And he looked
at me like lay that ship, and.

Speaker 2 (14:55):
I'm looking at Nature because this is like kind of
like this, this is rap.

Speaker 1 (14:58):
This is a rap. No, no, yeah it is. I
don't know any better. Oh I knew better. Yeah, So
it's his session. That could be his beat, his joint.

Speaker 3 (15:10):
And but you got the head guy like yo laya,
And then he looked at you like basically you get
the thanksgiving tad before everybody say grace.

Speaker 1 (15:17):
You guess you start taking the big leg right off
the off the turkey.

Speaker 2 (15:21):
Well, no, he asked me to give you grace, So
I said, I looked at Nature, and he looked at
me like you know you finally, but go ahead. And
by the way, this is probably as my engineer over there,
he knows, he knows I don't play when it comes
to this ship. It's probably my best recording session I've

ever had because I was so nervous that I wasn't nervous,
just you're just You're just black. He blacked out. I said,
is it is it? It's gonna change my life and
I know it.

Speaker 1 (15:53):
So I went in. I laid that whole ship. One
take the chorus the rob No we know this, Joe,
No re know that.

Speaker 2 (16:03):
No, no God minds you mind you just how much
I'm violating.

Speaker 1 (16:08):
They just told me the later chorus. I laid the
whole song.

Speaker 2 (16:12):
I was that diirsty, but I was also that confident
that they ain't gonna stop me, like you gonna stop me, Drake,
And they did not stop me. And I went through
the whole ship. And that's the reason why Nature is
actually on the record. I laid the record by myself.
She was like, maybe I got to put him on it.
So I put Nature on it, and that record single

handedly changed my life. It was that record, and it
was a record I did with Big pun called You
Came Up, and that They also they also only wanted
me on the hook like I was. I was a
Joe hook at the time, you know what I mean.
But those two records made me go from a five
thousand dollars deal my first deal, to an eight hundred

and fifty thousand dollars one the next deal I think
we should make annoyed fact, I'm sorry. And and not
only that. My only agreement was to the record because
I stayed with the record label that supposedly jerked me.

Speaker 1 (17:12):
My only thing was I was.

Speaker 2 (17:13):
Like, yo, I want to see my old contract. I
wanted to know where I went wrong at so I
wouldn't make it again.

Speaker 1 (17:19):
And it forced me to learn the business.

Speaker 2 (17:21):
And I never made that mistake again, all right, So listen,
I killed that man, I put that together. Go ahead
for that, Go ahead, two very powerful things there, right,
Because you know my partner, I actually is Carl's in
the room, one of my part all my partners in
the room. And I always kind of tell the story

of the day I stood outside nineteen eighty nine, good Friday,
and I kind of just rolled through it right that
I sold a couple of halts. And I always forget
because I'm running through it to say that my partner,
Call was with me right that day, and I want
to make sure that everybody knows it. But I got to
tell you some Call and I we grew up two
houses away from each other. We knew each other's. We
four or five years old when we heard that song.

Larry put me inside the cat Tillac.

Speaker 3 (18:07):
The chauffeur drove off, I mean never drove back from
HONEYMC so where we lived in Queens. The boulevard split
it went when you go through the trust, It went
to Hollis and to farmers.

Speaker 1 (18:17):
Now Ll lived on.

Speaker 3 (18:18):
Farms run DMC Salt and Pepper and all of them
lived on in Hollis. On Hollis and the guy Larry
put me inside the Cadillac lived right. So Carl and
I would stand outside of my house and every single
time I think we were about eleven, every single time
the light would change, we just breakdancing.

Speaker 1 (18:36):
We just up breaking.

Speaker 2 (18:37):
We just we knew that sooner or later Larry was
gonna put us in the Cadillac and drive off.

Speaker 1 (18:44):
We kept practicing, We just kept practicing.

Speaker 2 (18:46):
We would do that every I mean I called we
about four or five hours a day, sweating, sweating right
every day eleven as soon as we got home from
school weekends, I don't care if it was.

Speaker 4 (18:57):
Snow, shovel snow, and its pop And as soon as
as soon as as soon as the changes right, we
started practicing the same type of way the night before
or the or the week before, selling hats on the corner.

Speaker 1 (19:09):
We were just in the mirrors, selling to ourselves.

Speaker 2 (19:12):
A lot of people think when that moment comes, because
you said you were you had those rhymes ready, Yeah,
you going in the studio, and I would think of
the nationally you know, let me right right there to
the beat, you know what I mean, I gotta get
in between nos.

Speaker 1 (19:24):
And this guy? How How did what would you say?

Speaker 2 (19:28):
That always been your life of saying I'm going to
practice way before that moment comes in every single thing?
Or was just that your wrap or your excuse me,
your musical you know, discipline?

Speaker 1 (19:39):
What was you know?

Speaker 2 (19:42):
I have no music background, like, I never went to
school for that, and I didn't feel as smart as
everyone else, so I knew it had to outwork everyone else.

Speaker 1 (19:56):
Damn. So like me too. So I used to say, you.

Speaker 2 (20:01):
Got a better product than me. Yeah, you got a
better client tell than me. But you ain't gonna stay
outside as long as me. I'm gonna put it in
that work. You're gonna seem like if you just said
the other day, you see me in a carbone and I'm
still there because I'm gonna put it in that work.
Whatever I do, I want to do it to the fullest.
So what I would want to do it I used

to notice was one of the things in my contract,
my first contract was we had like hundreds of thousands
in studio expenses, and I would be like, how the
hell is that the case if we're only there in
a couple of hours. But what I didn't though, was
componing trash wouldn't do what I was doing at this time.

I was going write in recording.

Speaker 1 (20:45):
They would hold it the whole day and come in.
I didn't want girls in the studio. I didn't want
alcohol in the studio.

Speaker 2 (20:52):
I didn't want anything to defer me. So one of
the things that I learned from that contract was I
was in the whole of course, the studio, So basically
I was messing up money.

Speaker 1 (21:05):
That was my first rule. You ain't writing rhymes in
the studio no more. You're gonna have You're gonna have
to ship all in your head.

Speaker 2 (21:12):
And I was five percent of the time, so me rememorizing,
my memory was sharp as half right, right, And that's
how I went about life.

Speaker 3 (21:20):
And so to those who understand understand what five percent
is out there? Is that when you know people would
ask you what today's man or what is today? You know,
what is the scripture, the or the knowledge of today?
The guys would walk up to you and say, what
is the you know, recite what is today?

Speaker 1 (21:38):
Five percent? Save me? I had? I had.

Speaker 2 (21:41):
I went from a third grade education to uh to
a twelve grade education in the year because of me
being five percent. I was reading books, I did, I
did everything to get there. And then what I started
to notice is my memory got shot. But I started
using my memory for rhymes instead of lessons, right and
so so so for for people listening, like my wife

who's extremely white, will say what is she doesn't.

Speaker 3 (22:08):
Try to be anything else, Honey, what is a five percent?
And so honey, that is when Nod says he's God,
the god? Uh you know, So just so you know,
I'm to tell the truth. At that time for young
black men, yeah, that was.

Speaker 1 (22:25):
The route to go.

Speaker 2 (22:26):
Like right now, I see gangs in New York City
and I wish the gods existed. I wish they came
in because the guards were about education and still and
still are.

Speaker 1 (22:37):
That's will beat you up though they getting you up
in a way.

Speaker 2 (22:41):
Listen, you're doing wrong for the community is what you
need to do, all right and absolutely so. So all right,
so now we're going into you learning these things. But
what I want to understand is that you can't necessarily
have that passion because whether call and I will break dancing.
And by the way, you know that it helped us
a lot because Larry introduced us to certain people, and
later on it would help us down the road we
didn't know to beget as the breakdonswer it would work

for us later on. But what about somebody who's not
who is practicing in that mirror, whether it's pitching to
be able to find a day, pitching to a professor
and or somebody, what if they don't have that?

Speaker 1 (23:16):
Did it?

Speaker 3 (23:16):
Anytime you you were doing something that you were like,
I'm not feeling it, you know, the wrap the wrap
thing I'm feeling but you know what I was pitching
trying to I don't know, be part of the chess club.

Speaker 1 (23:28):
I don't give a shit what it is. I'm not
feeling it. I'm not I'm not wanting to put the
work in.

Speaker 2 (23:33):
When you don't feel it, do you go, I'm not
right And I should do it because this is what
I'm supposed to do, or should you trust your gut
and say I got to put that energy somewhere else.
When do you get deterred of doing that? Overdoing? Was
I wanted to be? I wanted to be. I wanted
to be one of the best. But what about anything

else did you try?

Speaker 1 (23:54):
Is that? Was that it?

Speaker 2 (23:55):
And you just you just because maybe you hit that
vein of goal. I found.

Speaker 3 (23:59):
I found that I always was excited about pitching any
form of selling, whether it was selling a shovel, your snow,
selling those hats, selling to get car parts, uh for
you know, an auction car that I bought they were
broken up that I tried to sell, selling to get
you on my dollar, Van. I was always excited about
telling you something that I'm selling. Was that just what

it was?

Speaker 1 (24:20):
Well me, I started to understand.

Speaker 2 (24:23):
I started to understand failure, and I understand I understand
failure as an experience and not as a loss.

Speaker 1 (24:31):

Speaker 2 (24:33):
The War Report album was critically acclaim for MIC's and
a source, and I'm still selling crack.

Speaker 1 (25:01):
I remember Acnelly. I can see him make a sound
the crab I will I didn't see you know what
I didn't see. I didn't see anything about cocaine, and yeah,
I don't think it's in my Google and we're not
going to cut that.

Speaker 2 (25:21):
I remember, I remember me not knowing what I what
I'm into. And Ocnelly, who's another famous rapper from from
Left Rock City, Coconnelly sees me make make a cell
and he's so offended he dropped.

Speaker 1 (25:38):
He pulled over and he's like, what the fuck are
you doing? And I'm like what I did before? Like
what what?

Speaker 2 (25:47):
What is so like he's like he's he's he's like, yo,
can you pay attention to your environment? And I'm like
I am, that's why I'm here. And he's like no,
he's like I think he's called you an idiot.

Speaker 1 (25:59):
I'm not sure.

Speaker 2 (26:00):
He's like no, look at every single car, and every
single car was playing the War Report, but I'm thinking these.

Speaker 1 (26:08):
Guys were just driving through to impress me.

Speaker 2 (26:10):
And it like he's really out here, like you know
what I mean, Like I'm not thinking it's the critical.

Speaker 5 (26:15):
Playing like like oh, he's really here, like he's about
that life. And I'm like, word, whatever that was back then,
I'm like, word that could have been every every close
and detective playing it could have been buying it from
because it is right here right now.

Speaker 1 (26:28):
It could have been that too.

Speaker 2 (26:30):
And then and then at the time Ocdelli taught me
something that was very very very very powerful. Ocnelly had
one second one record. Yeah, I believe it's put it
in your mouth, Put it in your mouth. Yeah.

Speaker 3 (26:44):
He's known for the nightclub gentleman club type of joint, right,
you know before te Payne was talking about it, right,
so I think he owns a lot of gentlemen's clubs.

Speaker 1 (26:54):
Yes, yes, yes, y, yeah he still does. So he
he did, he did something that was crazy.

Speaker 2 (26:59):
He knew that he had one record at the time,
one record that was very very popular. Others that other records,
but it wasn't as popular as as everyone else. So
what I can lily did was like, yo, you out
here hustling, how much you had on I think I
had five hundred dollars pack? Was a five hundred dollars pack.
I was risking my life for five hundred dollars, right,
and back then they were give away football on the list,

like said, he said, how.

Speaker 1 (27:22):
Much you have on you? I said, I got five
hundred dollars worth. He gave me five.

Speaker 2 (27:26):
Hundred dollars and said, you're gonna come on tour with me. Said,
if you're gonna be out here fucking your life up
and you don't know who the hell you are, I'm
gonna bring you on toll So I think he paid
me like five hundred dollars to the rest of the
like nigga, you use out for five hundred, so you
got to then sell crack on tour, no idea. I
stopped immediately once once I was told how dumb I was,

I actually realized it.

Speaker 1 (27:51):
So I went on.

Speaker 2 (27:51):
I went on tour, and what I didn't noticed, like
I said, we didn't have algorithms, we didn't have Twitter,
we didn't have Instagram. And when I went on to
them and I started performing records, I said, these people
know my ship, and I realized they know my records,
but they didn't know who the fuck I was. So
anybody could have been nor Ye at this time. Because
if you ain't have video music box, if you might

have Ralph McDaniel.

Speaker 3 (28:14):
Ralph that man, you won't have everybody old Ralph huge
won't have the box, or you know, if you if
you were on what was the dude, name a lot
of queens where doctor d now I was doing at
nighttime mister Magic okay, okay, okay, you know who is yea,
And people didn't know how mister Magic looked how it was.

Speaker 1 (28:36):
It was radio. So that's when I knew.

Speaker 2 (28:39):
I was like, Yo, this is some worldwide this is
a worldwide thing.

Speaker 1 (28:43):
This is not just for left right.

Speaker 2 (28:44):
Remember I made the War Report, which is the first
album in Comona Noea.

Speaker 1 (28:48):
We made it for Jamaica, queens. We didn't make it
for Jamaica. We made it for it was as big
as your world was.

Speaker 2 (28:57):
And but the world gravity to say the towards it,
and they did that. And then that's when I started
to like, you know what, she is not local no more.
And I was saying all that to say there was
that you said. That attitude is said the attitude that
I developed the mind stake. And that's how I got
it was me knowing that the things that I'm making

for my hood, it is working worldwide.

Speaker 3 (29:25):
So I had to go to I had to go
for my mentality of the block to the world. Can
I ask you something and and please forgive me. I've
just been through so much. Page Why did Nori? Why
did component up? Me and Compone met end up getting locked.
We met in jail and Compone got caught with guns. Yes, yes, yeah, yeah,

it's well know we met in jail. That's you gotta
you got a terrible google. It's well documented.

Speaker 1 (29:59):
Bracket. All right, all right, actually.

Speaker 2 (30:07):
I'm actually like that. But he got caught with guns
and he had to go back up state. And what's
crazy is I I felt so crazy for him because
we met, like I said, in there, and then he
went back. Our album blew up, like as it blew
is blowing up. This guy is in cuffs, and so

I got it, I got one, I got so. I
got a couple of really quick questions, man, because this
is this is the moment, right I I look at
I look at these cats like I saw when those
those young brothers who now they did a lot of stuff,
and forgive me again, these young brothers who just got
caught up, they were on them Jorge, what's that podcast

with our brother out of Philadelphia and wall I was like, yo,
you see all these cats, man, you all all cats.
All these cats are gonna and they all got a
gunner and all these people like a lot of them
got caught up right and young thug and all of them,
and they know how they knew or no, I don't
know the deal how big they were. But at that point,
I gotta tell you man, for you to say that

you don't know how big you were, rap was a
very it was a very young art and for you
to hear it going down and there wasn't there wasn't
a I'm hearing it on the internet and I'm streaming it.
It was out of people's cars. They were probably thirty
recognized rappers in the world at that time. You're still

selling crack now, I understand whatever you would do.

Speaker 1 (31:38):
I wasn't one of the thirty. You got one of those.

Speaker 3 (31:48):
Listen to hear your name, O hear your name? I
mean listen and radio at that time it wasn't just rap.
They were playing the Beg's as well as whatever else
everybody through there. How could you not recognize the power
who you were. Now, when we look at these young
brothers and we say.

Speaker 2 (32:01):
How are they still gang banging at that time, I
assumed that maybe the street had grabbed hold of them
and they was like, listen, I know you're doing this
where you owe us this.

Speaker 1 (32:10):
So I'm gonna.

Speaker 2 (32:12):
Why, really, why didn't you have that common sense to say,
I worked so hard is here? I know I'm hungry,
but I can't do the most the worst thing you
could possibly do.

Speaker 1 (32:25):
You were doing, you know, let me tell you the truth.
We would be totally honest. I didn't know.

Speaker 2 (32:32):
I just didn't know that my album worked. Like I'm
so jealous of this generation.

Speaker 1 (32:37):
They can they can.

Speaker 2 (32:38):
They can post anything right down and they can know
exactly what worked and what didn't work.

Speaker 1 (32:42):
We couldn't we Do you know that when.

Speaker 2 (32:44):
You did a magazine back then, you had to do
it three months in advance.

Speaker 1 (32:49):
I remember, do you remember.

Speaker 3 (32:53):
And what I put in if it was today, if
Colin and Keith and I were or Jay put in
an ad today of an item today.

Speaker 1 (33:00):
There was hot by the time we shot it.

Speaker 3 (33:02):
It took a month to develop the film and everything
all right, how we put it in and they came
out three mothers.

Speaker 1 (33:07):
There would be a whole new style.

Speaker 2 (33:08):
Now yeah, who no, that's my point. It was about
to say, so yeah, back then, it was just crazy,
like I did not I wish I wish.

Speaker 1 (33:17):
We had these.

Speaker 2 (33:18):
I wish we had smartphones even though I don't like
smart phones, but I wish someone could say, Yo, you
know what, you're number one in Philadelphia.

Speaker 1 (33:24):
You know what I mean. I had to find that out.
I had to go to Philadelphia.

Speaker 2 (33:27):
I had to go to Connecticut and realize, Like but
but like right now, like right now, we could throw
out your food blue shirt with that's the I assume
that's black panther.

Speaker 1 (33:37):
Right, yeah, we could throw that.

Speaker 2 (33:40):
Shirt out and you could say immediately, look, this works here,
it works here, and it's not working here, right, so
let's not go there.

Speaker 1 (33:47):
We didn't. We didn't have that luxury.

Speaker 2 (33:49):
Like if we went on tour, we went to states
and cities that hated us, Well, then when was it?

Speaker 1 (33:57):
Did you hear that? Though? Yeah, I remember that New
York they hated. No, you know why, I'm they hate
New York A lot of cocky. Well, yeah, a lot
of people don't know.

Speaker 3 (34:07):
So so a lot of people don't know that we
want some of the first toys that ever hit the
country because we grew up in the Hollis Queens, so
we would be roadies. And so by the way, when
Llo was your yelling out farmers, farmers because he only
knew his world.

Speaker 2 (34:19):
He was on my farmer's boulevard. He wasn't talking about
cats and overall so we were able to go call
what was that tour?

Speaker 1 (34:28):
We want with? It was a run dmc l O,
who J Houdini E P M D the Great? I
know it was a fresh fest.

Speaker 3 (34:37):
I think, right, we want fat boys, big Daddy Kane, Right,
we want these toys.

Speaker 1 (34:42):

Speaker 2 (34:42):
I'm gonna use I'm gonna use profanity here only for the.

Speaker 1 (34:46):
Purpose of what was happening. Okay, go ahead.

Speaker 3 (34:48):
The New York Rappers would go to Virginia something like that,
and they would ramp as a while and they would
say ship.

Speaker 2 (34:53):
Like, oh you Jerry Crow, motherfuckers, put your.

Speaker 3 (35:02):
It got so disrespectful that later on what would happen
I remember is that group called NWA with Jerry Curls.
I remember they met on the tour right in Detroit
and the rappers were saying that New York rap was
saying that, and these cats in mechanic suits were pulling
out I mean some really heavy and they were throwing

the bottles at the police. And I remember the New
York rappers said, whoa, whoa, whoa, this one is going
special with these cats over here, and then I remember
saying I'm never going on that tour again. Then all
of a sudden, the tour started making down to Florida
and we saw Uncle Luke.

Speaker 1 (35:40):
And I was like, I'm going on that way. Yeah, yeah,
I'm sure you. At that time, it was a very
there you go, there you go, there, here you there
you go.

Speaker 2 (35:49):
He's all right, you're gonna stop jittering, right, all right,
all right, all of a sudden.

Speaker 3 (35:55):
So but that's the environment of new That was the
environment of the culture, and that was happening. But I
want to get to a serious point.

Speaker 2 (36:04):
You made what I would think very flawed mistakes by
being a young man that did not have a high
level of education access to information. All of a sudden,
you say I didn't know, I didn't know, I didn't know.

Speaker 1 (36:16):
Boom, all of a sudden, you know what you do.

Speaker 3 (36:19):
Let me look at why I got charged three hundred
thousand for a studio. Let me look at my mistakes
from my last contract. People make financial decisions, relationship decisions,
and various other things. The data and the information there
they never they don't even want to look at their
bank statement because it's like looking at cancer eating your skin?
When did you decide that I need to know and

I will because that's the moment I think, right, that
is the moment we're here talking about it. What has
then pushed your success to where we are today? Of
saying I'm going to stop for a second, I'm going
to analyze the situation going on. I'm going to look
at the data of the information, the people around how
can I I'm going to write rhymes outside the study.

Speaker 1 (36:57):
I see them doing it. Looks cool. They're burning money,
I see them smoking weed.

Speaker 2 (37:03):
When was the moment you decided to really concentrate on
everything around you. It's gonna sound crazy because it's a
little bit of a longer story, but it's my second album,
my first solo album, which is the n R E album,
My pot that's the platinum album. I bumped into a

guy with the tightest shirt on in the world and
a choker, and at the time it was it was
baggy jeans and it was everything.

Speaker 3 (37:41):
It was like one of those kind of like uh uh,
you got the power of those kind of dancing dudes.

Speaker 1 (37:48):
What whatever.

Speaker 2 (37:49):
So this guy comes to the studio, the visual you know, Yeah,
this guy comes to the studio. He looks at me
in my face and he says, if you listen to me,
you're number one. And I said, and he said, if
you listen to me, you'll be number one. This guy
wind up being for Bret Williams. That Moment with Damon

John is a production of the Black Effect Podcast Network.

Speaker 3 (38:22):
For more podcasts from the Black Effect Podcast Network, visit
the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to
your favorite show and don't forget to subscribe to and
rate the show.

Speaker 1 (38:36):
And of course you can all connect with me on
any of my social media platforms. At the Shark, Damon
spelled like Raymond, But what a d
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