Questions & Answers


Q: HW,
In recent Complex interview, Swizz said his popularity affected the Ruff Ryders, and probably contributed to their demise.
SWIZZ BEATS relationship with JAY-Z was affected because DMX and LOX (Jadakiss) felt like Rocafella (Jay-Z) was trying to jock their style and play Ruff Ryders shady on the corporate level (Def Jam)?

Everytime I heard those LOX D-Block freestyles I knew they were going at Rocafella for riding their coattails:

Jadakiss = Jay-Z (“after the original its probably this” and “Heart of the City” from Blueprint)
Styles P (originally called himself “The Truth” first) = Beanie Sigel
Sheek = Memphis Bleek (potential similarities in wordplay)
EVE = AMIL (a lame version of EVE, but she had a dope little album for a female MC; she came from MAJOR COINS, which was a bite of MAJOR FIGGAS name from Philly. Coincidence?)

On Backstage (DJ Clue’s forgotten soundtrack to the Ruff Ryders/Rocafella tour), AMIL and EVE had a song together where I could have sworn EVE was busting shots at AMIL for being a copy cat of her newfound glory. (EVE was the hottest chick out at that 2000 time period).

Jigga My Nigga = Back then, a female intern told me that beat was originally meant for Jadakiss first album (KISS The Game Goodbye) as a victory lap declaration of no longer being on Bad Boy.
“whats my mfin name? JADA! Who I’m rolling with huh? RUFF RYDERS!
(L-O-X, 9ers better keep it right, 9ers better get it right!).
Swizz confirmed that EVE was the one singing the hook, and that most of his beats wound up recorded by artist he didn’t intend to give them to. Coincidence?

[Swizz on “Blackout”, (which IMO could have easily left JAY-Z legendary verse off that track and still been hot)]
“They all came in and JADAKISS was like, ‘Oh man, that is crazy.’ Once ONE PERSON co-signs it and they start writing to it, you’re locked in. Jada started writing to it and EVERYBODY ELSE followed him. That’s how it stuck. I be forgetting I did that record. Even right now I’m like, ‘Oh shoot, Blackout!’ [Chants Jay-Z’s lyrics] ‘I’m a monster! I sleep whole winters, wake up and spit summers.’ We should have shot a video for that too. That would have been crazy. I wish we had video of it.” (Kanye did a video for “Monster” featuring the same type of cadence or concept as “Blackout” could have been).  KISS started that Blackout off by saying “Jay, this the one right here! FUCK THAT 9ers KNOW WHAT IT IS”.

Jadakiss “I used to have bad luck/
now you might see me in a JAGUAR truck/
masked up/
either with a dime, or a bad duck”
(Jaguar Truck was non-existent at that time, but anticipated as a SUV concept)
vs.
Jay-Z “surrounded by 600 (BENZ) & HUMMERS/
bitches amongst us/
trying NOT to let this bullshit become us./
Jay flows for pesos, chase hoes?/
NOT!/
I just circle around the block in a drop”
(a direct shot back to let LOX know that he was a solo “monster” on his own and he did his “numbers” by himself, which they didn’t do on Bad Boy or Ruff Ryders, 4th quarter or summer release.)
vs.
Styles P “ordered to go always got a box of L’s/
in a 98 LINCOLN eating taco shells/
I pop shit cause I AM the 2nd best — the first was BIG”
(letting Jay-Z know that he was the type to do real things in the streets, and that he wasn’t buying his King of NY hype)

vs.
DMX “we could take it there, but to make it fair/
BRING SOME MORE 9ers/
Styles, Sheek, Jada — WE COMING WITH LIKE FOUR 9ers!”
(DMX capped off the fact that Ruff Ryders wasn’t gonna jump JAY-Z on the track, but let him come back with his “weak ass crew”)

on other freestyle or cipher type songs, LOX or DMX never dropped hard subliminals at Big Pun, NORE, Camron, etc ON THE SAME TRACK.

[Swizz’ take on the rivalry]
“There was DEFINITELY COMPETITION between THE ROC and RUFF RYDERS back then. It was a hard place for me because I would play the beats for everybody and  PEOPLE WOULD ACT LIKE THEY DIDN’T HEAR EVERYTHING AND THE GET UPSET WHEN I WOULD GIVE IT TO SOMEONE ELSE AND IT TURNED INTO A BIG HIT. “It was never said or brought up but you could feel it. It was like, ‘You know we’re beefing. Why would you give them that track like that? There was all this, ‘I know they beefing’ feeling. I would hit Jay and Jay would not hit me back. But I didn’t have anything to do with the beef.”

A: Thanks for your question, it was very intriguing , you clearly studied the situation and know the history.

RocaWear was A TOTAL MIMIC of Ruff Ryders wear. Be clear…a TOTAL MIMIC. The bandanas, the denim jackets. So blatant!

It’s no secret that both labels were highly competitive, and it’s also no secret that their was animosity between DMX and Jay-Z.

We need to look no further than In My Lifetime Vol 1, to see how Jay-Z and Rocafella were desperate for commercial success, as Reasonable Doubt was met with warm praise, but to little sales . In My Lifetime jumped on the “Jiggy Era” sound that Bad Boy had pioneered – hence there being Bad Boy Hitmen all over the album. The album however still failed to catapult Jay-Z to super stardom, as it was just a cheap version of Mase: Harlem World.

Imaginary Player is a Mase diss, especially the 2nd verse. Mase just defended himself on a couple tracks because Jay was clearly trying to mimic his style, even when taking shots at him!

This is classic Jay-Z. This is a rapper who doesn’t mix his words up, very intelligent man, very strategic and cunning.

We must also bare in mind that surprisingly Ruff Ryders and Bad Boy got on very well. Mase was originally in Ruff Ryders and Dee & Waah were good friends with Puff, which is why he would only let The LOX sign to Ruff Ryders (whilst still owning their publishing). You could say that Rocafella was on the outside, until Lyor Cohen landed with his divide and conquer tactics.

Image wise, Jay completley changed after Reasonable Doubt and In My Lifetime. No longer the suited up Bentley pushing flossy rapper, he was rhyming about TRUCKS and suddenly coming through PHILLY all the time (a known Ruff Ryders “territory”).

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About Harlem World

the BAWSE *ross grunt*

Posted on August 26, 2011, in Questions & Answers and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. What’s your point? These dudes have no business sense. Didn’t they start their own label on koch. I remember jada talking bout we bosses now. Jada is the most overrated artist in hiphop history. As a matter of fact, I don’t think he overrated calling himself “top 5 dead or alive.” sigel has had a better career than jada and hes probably the bigger loser/underachiever in hiphop history.

  2. @realkiss removed himself from any involvement in this new battle, and @tunachi even stated “there will be no repercussions” I personally dont think @s_c can win any leg of this POPULARITY contest, because for the first time in his story HIS CREW IS NON EXISTENT.

    KILLRYU

  3. What can jay benefit from getting at Wayne. He’s in a different lane, nigga should never get in another battle. Baby sent the first shot at Wayne saying Wayne has more money than hov and he replied on ham. Wayne is taking bout shit that’s not fact. Do u think he would kidnap beyonce if he had the chance. The whole ygbkm shit is a fraud and bunch of lies. What happen to birdman oil company. Oh, I know, bloomberg investigated and said it’s non existent. Baby is rich but he’s act like he’s wealthy. Be happy being rich nigga cause most of ur aren’t. Yes their selling alot of records but don’t be blinded. They won drake in a bidding war, so obviously other labels didn’t find it worth it to sign drake cause the # was too high. Think about it like the Yankees, they have arod but they paid too much.

  4. Boogaloo oka Yama

    HW I respect that you have worked in the music industry. HOWEVER, aside from a few quotes from the horses’ mouths, this post has way too many reaches to be respectable. If you really want to build a readership that respects your work, and keeps coming back for more; you’re going to have do to do a whole lot better than this, homey.

  5. I only tune in for the lyrical combat, all the money power and influence talk is irrelevant to a lot of fans anyway. We know who really got the REAL MONEY. None of these cats are going to be homeless so why worry about who got better CREDIT SCORES? US dollar is useless; and in order to get international money the overseas fans have to believe in you really handle biz lyrically.

    Kids are overseas rioting for respect, @thethrone is IRRELEVANT to the STRUGGLE and they know it. I just want to hear some REAL RAP LYRICS RIGHT NOW.

    What can @jz benefit from getting at @tunachi.
    @jz and @kwest consider themselves A-list stars, yt media considers them B+ list.
    @kimk just got married, @amber @nbahoes etc are turning into reality stars (short media attention). Throne already tried to #doa the ymlmfao autotune wave already, so now the stronger crews HAVE to do lyrical battle.

    He’s in a different lane
    There is a sports lockout and depressed economy (less endorsements).
    @gaga @bieber @pitbull @bepeas @lmfao are worth more in the yt music biz.

    Baby sent the first shot at Wayne saying Wayne has more money than hov and he replied on ham.
    ymgtfo is a stable of cheap, popular talent right now.
    They SEEM to break more bread with more channels (strip clubs, blogs, hood concerts, sports, homothugs) in the industry, why jockride somebody who wont/cant hustle with the ppl who really need it?

    What happen to birdman oil company.
    Dont really care BUT they never said if they own oil well drilling or refineries,
    AND home heating oil distribution is STILL a VERY lucrative business.

    Baby is rich but he’s act like he’s wealthy.
    Wealth is generational, cant really tell who rich or not
    because some ppl dont have any visible kids to leave money to anyway. (||) nohoom

    They won drake in a bidding war.
    IMO no bidding wars ever occurred.
    Dude was going to be affiliated with that team anyway, they all have the same agents.
    @minaj was on different labels and she had even more hype than he did.

    P.S. I dont watch TV, or radio, or xbox — just work and women — so i talk rap online when i get bored.

    KILLRYU

  6. thehoustongirl

    Awww shit you can TELL some of these niggas is from NAH RIGHT lol

    Good post tho HW!! man fuck a jayz AND Lil Wayne! Can’t you niggas tell that this shit is a publicity stunt?! Don’t feed too much off into it…. wack ass, bitch made, weak ass “disses”. Come on man all that shit gay man! I’m glad u speaking on it HW but man this bullshit ain’t gone ‘save rap’ or whatever the fuck fantasy niggas got in their minds….

    All on the East Coast I hope yall make it safe during Hurricane Irene.

    -thehoustongirl

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