In this episode of People’s Party, Talib Kweli and Jasmin Leigh sit down with rapper, writer, and true curator of the culture — Jadakiss. This comprehensive discussion kicks off with talk of Jada and Talib’s shared birth year of ’75, and their witnessing of hop-hop’s biggest points of evolution at the perfect age, both having grown up in its epicenter of New York City. They also discuss Talib’s appreciation of The Lox for showing him love at the beginning of his career, while he struggled for mainstream success. They reflect on Jada’s growing up in Yonkers, and the emcees that inspired him most during those early years. The trio also explores what went into the makings of some of the classic recordings Jadakiss was involved with like “All About The Benjamins”, “24 Hours To Live”, “We’ll Always Love Big Poppa”, as well as albums such as “The Last Kiss”, “Kiss Tha Game Goodbye”, “Top 5 Dead or Alive”, “Freddy vs. Jason“, and his latest project “Ignatius” — dedicated to his close friend and business partner Ice Pick Jay, who recently passed. Jada describes the challenges he had while recording that album, at times fighting back tears.
As the convo continues, the trio discusses the infamous Ruff Ryders studio sessions and the high level of competitive energy that kept everyone at the top of their respective games. They also touch on The Lox’s strong family-like foundation that kept them close throughout the years, and Jada is asked about his short-lived beefs with 50 Cent and Beanie Sigel, as well as how they got squashed.
Deep into the episode, Jadakiss, Kweli, and Jasmin discuss Jada’s close friendship with Notorious B.I.G. and his role as one of the few, true custodians of Biggie’s legacy. Jada also gives insight into the “Free The Lox Campaign”, the creation of D-Block Records, linking up with Gang Starr on “Rite Where You Stand”, and his Grammy-nominated record “Why”. Talib goes on to name his top 5 Jadakiss verses — while urging the People’s Party audience to do the same — and Jada gives the whole truth on the story circulating about Mike Tyson supposedly stealing his seat at the recent Biggie tribute in Atlantic City.