Interview: Yung Joc Talks Joining 'Love & Hip-Hop' And New Music

Former Bad Boy recording artist Yung Joc is the latest rapper to join the Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta cast. This past Monday (May.5), Joc made his debut on the new season of the drama-filled reality show, and VIBE caught up with the rapper in New York City to get the 411.

VIBE: What was it like to be going through all these different situations in front of the camera?
Yung Joc:
What is it like because we’re definitely still filming. To be honest, I have mixed vibes on it because it’s kind of hard to say you can forget that the cameras are there but whenever you’re dealing with something and someone and you’re engaged in whatever it is that you guys are discussing or going through you can forget because you’re trying to get your point across to the other person you’re dealing with. I mean, its cool. Its always weird. It’s really weird though because you never know what you are walking into, let’s just say that.

Right, and sometimes emotions can take over.
Yeah! Not even just that, misunderstandings. You gotta understand that camera, the idea of what you are doing on a reality show. So you may be grounded and you may have a positive vibe or you just may be neutral and that other person is looking to gain whatever they may gain from anything they do that’s kind of just outrageous, outlandish, unorthodox. It’s kind of like you don’t know what they’re up to. When you’re watching reality TV and someone is having a conversation and that person throws a plate full of food like, what? Like, was this your plan to do this?

So, do you think cameras influence the way people act or what they are doing?
Yeah. Its a natural --its human nature. When there’s attention focused on what you’re doing or what you’re involved in you may react differently. Everything you do may be a little different. Think about it. Right now you and I are having a convo. If either one of us realized that someone is watching what we’re doing it could make you not wanna talk about it anymore. It can make you walk away or it could make you turn up because it's like I gotta audience, let me give them a show. It’s weird at times but you know, it is what it is.

Will you be in a lot of episodes?
You gotta watch. The way that goes its kind of like--the show hasn’t even started yet so I can’t say too much about whatever is or what’s not.

Did you get to interact with a lot of the cast?
I can’t say that either.(laughs). You never know because you don’t know how it’s going to unfold so...

Who did you know before the show?
I knew a lot of those cats. You talkin’ ‘bout Scrappy, Rasheeda, Kirk, Stevie J, even from K. Michelle to Rich Dollaz. A lot of them I’ve already know before.

Were they acquaintances or friends?
Stevie J, he and I we’ve done some functions together. Matter fact we hosted a function together. He was on stage with his band and I actually grabbed the mic and was singing. I wasn’t rapping I was singing. It was very entertaining (laughs). Of course I been knowing Scrappy forever he’s always been cool with me. Rasheeda and Kirk always been cool with me. K. Michelle we were label mates. Rich Dollaz worked at Bad Boy so he was one of my reps over there and me and him have a very, very good relationship.

So you didn't feel too crazy about it once you came on to the cast since you knew some people already?
Right but to be honest with you that don’t mean nothing. That don’t mean nothing ‘cause --let’s just say this. Put in the right or wrong situation either way there is always gonna be an outcome and human error is very very very very prevalent in any situation. Every moment you’re living human error is there, you know what I’m saying? You don’t know how someone is feeling today or what they are going through . You don’t know what the last five text messages that came through their phone. So they may already have that chip on their shoulder. They may already have that edge. You just don’t know, man. I think that’s what makes this fun because you don’t know what’s gonna happen.

Makes it interesting.
Yeah it keeps you on your toes.

Did you know Mona Scott before the show?
Well I had met Mona before I joined the show.

What was your perception of her before you joined the show?
She was cool. I could tell she was about her business. It wasn’t no games for her. She comes from this world of music itself and managing artists and things of that nature. So her aggression is definitely there. She didn’t over do it. She was always cool when I seen her. Always has a pleasant smile but you can tell she is about her business.

What’s she like on the set?
I’ve never seen her set. She’s hasn’t been around me during filming. I’ve never seen her on set.

So what really made you do the show?
Dealing with Karlie and the idea kept coming up and I was like I don’t know, man. I was just like I don’t know how I feel about reality shows. I was just like I don’t know if I really wanna do that. After awhile just talking to my dad and my friends and other peers it was kind of like pray about it, if it’s meant, then do it.

What was that piece of advice that made you want to do the show?
My dad was like look at it like this: they can only edit what you give ‘em. I was like you know that makes sense and then he was like you know that you wanna be in that world, you know that you want to be on TV because you know,I do want to act. This is something that I am going to take more seriously. He said it could be an eye opener for you in regards to what you want to do in your future. So I talked to pops about it, my moms about, my siblings, prayed on it and now I’m on the phone with you talking about it.

How did it affect you and Karlie’s relationship?
You know what, if people watch the show they are gonna find out.

I saw in the trailer she was mad about something. I forget what. Will we see a lot of that.
Yea.Uhhh I don’t know. I’m gonna be seeing it when ya’ll see it.

Right and then you guys are still filming so--
(laughs) Unlike if it was a show, unlike if it was a regular sitcom or show you're an actor and you kind of know what the outcome is gon be. Because you don’t know the outcome I think its smart to not to try to do people wrong because nobody’s gonna be your friend. The producers are not gonna be your friend so if you do something to somebody and they look crazy just know that there’s always the anticipation of that person always seeking revenge. So its like eye for an eye because at the end of the day the producers want what’s gonna be good for TV. I can’t really say how it affected our relationship just know that when the show starts you will know exactly what’s been going on.

Ok so I’m gonna jump right into the music. I heard the single today. Who produced it?

Who were the other two artists on the song, D-Dro and AE200?
AE200 is a young guy I know out in Atlanta and D-Dro is my Haitian partner. We came together and did this record just on a fly one night. I was like I kind of like it and everybody that heard it was like ‘I like it.’ But I was getting more women to say they like it. That was weird. Not weird, but you know what the real title of the record is.

You didn’t expect them to like it?
I’m not saying I didn’t expect them to like it because you definitely want females to be fans but I didn’t think that would be a first choice, you know what I’m saying?

What’s the name of the album going to be?
I’m trying to narrow that down now to be honest with you. I been tossing up a few ideas in the back of my head. I’m possibly thinking about calling it New Joc City 2.

Is there a release date?
I’m actually in New York at the label right now. We got meetings all kinds of stuff going on so I’ll be finding out that type of information out shortly.

Any collaborations?
Well because I don’t have a completed product I can’t say the album is done.I can't say who is on it. I can tell you the people I’ve worked with but I can’t tell you who is on the album because when it comes down to the finalized project that song with that artist may not make it on the record.

What producers have you worked with?
I got to work with a lot of producers. I got to go in with my guy Cheese Beats. He did one for me Wale and Jadakiss and Meek Mill. He just did “Back to Ballin” for Wale and French Montana and he just did the Migos new single. That’s one of my close friends. I went in with Dun Deals. He did the Stoners and Hannah Montana record and I got back in the studio with Nitty too. B.O.B just produced a record for me. B.O.B produced a record for me that I really like.

Is it going to make it onto the album?
I think it may make it actually because it feels good. It’s a good record. He produced a record for me called “Loaded”.

I wanted to talk to you about your hiatus because the people haven’t seen you in a while. What have you been doing?
I’m gonna tell you what’s crazy. I may not have been mainstream but I ain’t been gone and I haven’t been very viral in my approach. But I’ve been working for quite some time and been working on things that have been quite successful. They just may not have been directly on the forefront of music. Its like you’re actually interviewing me but you're not the face of the magazine you see what I’m saying? You still have a job. I’ve done publishing deals. At one point I was filming videos with my production company where we were doing music videos too.

Which music videos?
I’ve done all types of music videos from Waka to Gucci. A lot of different artists in Atlanta. The weird thing about me is that because I’m so laid back and humble there’s times where those moments where I’m supposed to turn my star on I’ll be more chill and don’t wanna be doing too much but sometimes that what people like to see when it comes to rappers.

What’s the name of your production company?
Hustlenomics. Hustlenomics is one of the labels that I started and I had a discrepancy with a guy who after I named my album Hustlenomics he went back and created a magazine called Hustlenomics. So we had to go back and forth to court about that and I had so much stuff established under that name and I don’t know how, considering I had it longer than him but some type of way it was a crazy kind conflict and they ended up telling me I couldn’t use that. But everntually he went out of business so I was able to use the name again. Its over so I had named the film company Hustlenomics.

So what are some of the music videos that your company produced?
We did one for Gucci I think it was called “Fast Lane”. I did one for Waka and this artist out of San Francisco or San Diego, I just know he is from the West Coast. I can’t remember his name. I don’t remember the title of the song.

When did you start the company?
Like 2009. I also had someone under me in the production company and we filmed a fitness kid DVD for the little kid CJ the workout kid. He was like nine at the time and he had a six pack and he was all cut up. I bought a guy and on and we did the gig through my company but he didn't do a great job to me and I didn't love it so I refused to put name behind it and I backed away from it. They didn’t like it either so they went to another company.

Did you any other business endeavors or other ventures while you were away from music?
Yea but nothing really notable or worth talking about. Just some little side things but nothing I wanna discuss.

Did you pick up any new hobbies?
Well, you know one of my aliases is flatman because I was one of the first cats in Atlanta that had a lot of my cars flat colored, you know the flat colored paint. I was one of the first people in the city to have that color. So I had a flat white and blue camaro and I had a flat red corvette and once I got one of my partners, Big Cory, we started painting cars. That was the one I really didn't want to talk about but you got it out of me anyway. Haha you’re good. It was just a hobby. It actually turned into a decent little profit once I started learning how everything was going. It was fun.

I remember you said you wanted to act. Are you making any steps towards an acting career?
Its kind of crazy because music has always been my first passion but secondly it's always been drama because in the school I went to I was always trying to be in drama. I did that and also after high school and even while in high school I hooked up with this playwright by the name of (??) in Atlanta and he put on a lot of plays. I think I may have done ten plays with him. So that’s always been a passion of mine. So I think at this point I’m really ready to pursue it.

Any particular kind of movies you would want to do?
I can do any kind of movies. I can do a drama, I can do a comedy. I can do an action flick. I believe I can do it. I feel that good about it. Honestly its one of those things where people meet me and they're around me and they are like man you missed your calling and that shit always make me feel some kind of way because you met me when I was professionally being a rapper so don't say that that wasn’t my calling. Don’t say I missed my calling just say man this is your calling. Just say that.

You’re from Atlanta so Tyler Perry is out there so maybe you could hop on something with him.
Yea and I actually been talking to a few different agents so I’m definitely going to holla at the homie. He at the crib. I’ve been shooting a lot of different skits and stuff with STFU Shut the Funny Up in Atlanta. So we’ve been doing a lot of little skits where they bring in comedians or other actors, actresses or other entertainers, athletes or whatever and we just been shooting a lot of different comedy skits and what not. I’ve been working. Everything isn’t a sealed deal so I kind of didn’t want to talk about them but its other things on my plate. I don’t mind speaking things into existence but the way they are set up its kind of my best interest not to speak on it

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Beyoncé performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California.
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Homecoming: The 5 Best Moments Of Beyoncé’s Documentary

Once Beyoncé became the first African-American woman to headline in its nearly 20-year history, we knew Coachella would never the same. To mark the superstar’s historic moment, the 2018 music and arts festival was appropriately dubbed #Beychella and fans went into a frenzy on social media as her illustrious performance was live-streamed by thousands. (Remember when fans recreated her choreographed number to O.T. Genasis’ “Everybody Mad”?)

With a legion of dancers, singers and musicians adorned with gorgeous costumes showcasing custom-made crests, the singer’s whirlwind performance honored black Greek letter organizations, Egyptian queen Nefertiti, and paid homage to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Aside from the essence of black musical subgenres like Houston’s chopped and screwed and Washington D.C.’s go-go music, the entertainer performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” also known as “The Black National Anthem,” and implemented a dancehall number, sampling the legendary Jamaican DJ and singer, Sister Nancy, to show off the versatility of black culture.

One year after #Beychella’s historic set, the insightful concert film, Homecoming, began streaming on Netflix and unveiled the rigorous months of planning that went into the iconic event. The 2-hour 17-minute documentary highlights Beyoncé’s enviable work ethic and dedication to her craft, proving why this performance will be cemented in popular culture forever. Here are the best moments from Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary.

The Intentional Blackness

“Instead of me bringing out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.”

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé made it known that everything and everyone included in the creative process leading up to the annual festival was deliberately chosen. “I personally selected each dancer, every light, the material on the steps, the height of the pyramid, the shape of the pyramid,” says Beyoncé. “Every tiny detail had an intention.” When speaking on black people as a collective the entertainer notes, “The swag is limitless.” Perhaps the most beautiful moments in Homecoming are the shots that focus on the uniqueness of black hair and its versatility. What’s appreciated above all is the singer’s commitment to celebrating the various facets of blackness and detailing why black culture needs to be celebrated on a global scale.

Beyoncé’s Love And Respect For HBCUs

#Beychella — which spanned two consecutive weekends of Coachella’s annual festival — was inspired by elements of HBCU homecomings, so it was no surprise when the singer revealed she always wanted to attend one. “I grew up in Houston, Texas visiting Prairie View. We rehearsed at TSU [Texas State University] for many years in Third Ward, and I always dreamed of going to an HBCU. My college was Destiny's Child. My college was traveling around the world and life was my teacher.” Brief vignettes in the film showcased marching bands, drumlines and the majorettes from notable HBCUs that comprise of the black homecoming experience. In the concert flick, one of the dancers affectionately states, “Homecoming for an HBCU is the Super Bowl. It is the Coachella.” However, beyond the outfits that sport a direct resemblance to Greek organizations, Beyoncé communicated an important message that remains a focal point in the film: “There is something incredibly important about the HBCU experience that must be celebrated and protected.”

The Familiar Faces

Despite being joined by hundreds of dancers, musicians and singers on-stage, the entertainer was joined by some familiar faces to share the monumental moment with her. While making a minor appearance in the documentary, her husband and rapper/mogul Jay-Z came out to perform “Deja Vu” with his wife. Next, fans were blessed by the best trio to ever do it as Kelly and Michelle joined the singer with renditions of their hit singles including “Say My Name,” “Soldier,” and more. On top of this star-studded list, Solange Knowles graced the “Beychella” stage and playfully danced with her older sister to the infectious “Get Me Bodied.”

Her Balance Of Being A Mother And A Star

Originally slated to headline the annual festival in 2017, the singer notes that she “got pregnant unexpectedly...and it ended up being twins.” Suffering from preeclampsia, high blood pressure, toxemia and undergoing an emergency C-section, the entertainer candidly details how difficult it was adjusting post-partum and how she had to reconnect with her body after experiencing a traumatizing delivery. “In the beginning, it was so many muscle spasms. Just, internally, my body was not connected. My body was not there.” Rehearsing for a total of 8 months, the singer sacrificed quality time with her children in order to nail the technical elements that came with the preparation for her Coachella set. “I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol … and I’m hungry.” Somehow, throughout all of this, she still had to be a mom. “My mind wanted to be with my children,” she says. Perhaps one of the most admirable moments in the film was witnessing Beyoncé’s dedication to her family but also to her craft.

The Wise Words From Black Visionaries

Homecoming opens with a quote from the late, Maya Angelou stating, “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” The film includes rich and prophetic quotes from the likes of Alice Walker, Nina Simone, Toni Morrison, and notable Black thinkers, reaffirming Beyoncé’s decision to highlight black culture. The quotes speak to her womanhood and the entertainer’s undeniable strength as a black woman.

Blue Ivy’s Cuteness

Last, but certainly not least, Blue Ivy‘s appearance in the concert film is nothing short of precious. One of the special moments in the documentary zeroes in on the 7-year-old singing to a group of people whilst Beyoncé sweetly feeds the lyrics into her ears. After finishing, Blue says: “I wanna do that again” with Beyoncé replying with “You wanna be like mommy, huh?” Seen throughout Homecoming rehearsing and mirroring Beyoncé’s moves, Blue just might follow in her mother’s footsteps as she gets older.

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Eminem performs on stage during the MTV EMAs 2017 held at The SSE Arena, Wembley on November 12, 2017 in London, England.
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Why Would Sada Baby Not Rank Eminem In His Top Five From Detroit?

Eminem is the most prolific and successful rapper of all time. His stats can’t be faded. When it’s all said and done, we’ll be retiring his number in every stadium he’s ever sold out.

With over 100 million records sold worldwide, an Oscar for Best Original Song, 10 No. 1 albums, more than 1 billion streams on Spotify, two top 100, all-time best selling albums, Marshall Bruce Mathers III is the highest selling rapper of all time. His top five status should be firmly cemented.

The respect for Em also extends to the greatest names in hip-hop. In 2012, VIBE compiled a list of the top 40 compliments Eminem has been given from his peers with names stretching from Scarface to Redman to Jay-Z. In a 2008 interview with BBC, Nas says of Em, “He contributes so much lyrically and musically. He’s amazing.” In a 2010 conversation with Hot 97, Kanye West is on record as saying, “Nobody’s gonna be bigger than Eminem.”

So why does it seem like he isn’t getting the respect he deserves in his own city?

In a recent interview with Say Cheese TV, Detroit rapper Sada Baby – when asked if Eminem was a top five rapper – said, “Out of Detroit? Hell naw. You talking about my Detroit?” While the internet took that quote and decided their varying levels of agreement or anger, there was one thing Sada said that stood out.

“My Detroit.”

While that phrase may not mean anything to outsiders, that distinction means the world to Detroiters.

Detroit is a tale of two cities when it comes to rap. Many know iconic producer J Dilla and wordsmiths like eLZhi and Royce Da 5’9”, but the D has a long, legendary history of street rappers who have helped pave the way. That’s a legacy that younger artists such as Icewear Vezzo, Payroll Giovanni of Doughboyz Cashout, Tee Grizzley, and Sada Baby are pushing forward to this day. As a native Metro Detroiter, artist manager, and digital label manager for Soulspazm Records, Eric “Soko” Reynaert sees both sides as equally important. “The different circles carry a lot of importance in encompassing the variety we have to offer. It's all important equally because it's what makes Detroit hip-hop what it is. Detroit's been running the overseas market touring wise for years, Detroit street rap is making noise in the major label market, Danny Brown's a fucking star: it's all good for Detroit hip-hop as a whole.”

The blunt, straightforward approach of Detroit’s street rappers just doesn’t mesh well with Eminem’s style of storytelling and wordplay. Slim Shady’s knack for entendres, stuffing multisyllabic rhyme schemes inside of each bar and floating between different pockets is a dense, complex style that, in Sada Baby’s own admission, most people just don’t get. “Eminem will get to saying some shit [that’s] going over everybody’s head,” Sada shrugged. “I might be able to decipher some of that shit but that nigga’s shit going over everybody head”.

That’s Sada’s Detroit. Among his musical influences are the late, great Detroit street rappers Blade Icewood and Wipeout - both murdered over the beef between their respective crews, Street Lord'z and the Eastside Chedda Boyz. If you truly want to know what a Detroit native lives by, take a listen to the Eastside Chedda Boyz’s “Oh Boy” and Blade Icewood’s “Boy Would You.” The true anthems of the city, both songs deified by their infectious hooks, blunt and deliberate lyrics, and a simplistic yet highly effective message draped in the energy that Detroiters carry with them. They’re not trying to win you over with metaphors and similes, but rather connect to their audience with honesty and directness in their rhyming. Similar styles can be heard in other 313 legends like Big Herk, K Deezy, and even Trick Trick and his Goon Sqwad click that has been active on the city’s music scene since the mid-‘90s. These are the artists that dominated the streets and Detroit radio. Not J Dilla. Not Slum Village. Not Black Milk. Detroit’s lyrical rappers tout immense worldwide respect but have always been relegated to the background in Detroit’s hierarchy, only sniffing radio play by doing jingles for local disc jockeys.

“There’s a street side and a hip-hop side to the music scene in Detroit,” says battle rap pioneer and Detroit MC Marvwon, while explaining the differences amongst the city’s musical landscape. “The funny thing is [that] there’s no difference in level of talent. The only difference is the backdrops.”

Those backdrops are also socioeconomic in nature as Detroit is a city whose residents have been denied basic human necessities. And for the Motor City? There’s no better representation of the city than the music at the most fundamental, street level. As Marv continued to explain, “The division comes from perception. The street cats believe that there hasn’t been an accurate representation of Detroit in the music world.”

Those feelings are echoed throughout the scene. Detroit MC Seven The General traverses through both worlds in a manner that the city hasn’t seen since the late Big Proof (known as Eminem’s close friend, as a member of his group D12). As Seven explains, “When I was incarcerated, we felt that the street aspect of Detroit wasn’t being heard with Eminem. But when I came home in ‘03 and heard Rock Bottom, I realized it was there but it just wasn’t receiving the same attention nationally. It had been held back and secluded to the streets for so long that people felt Eminem didn’t like it or care. It caused a resentment and caused rappers to feel like he doesn’t listen to us so why should we listen to him. It made us ask, ‘Where on the list of Eminem‘s top five Detroit artists would any of us fit?’”

When taking in these factors, it’s easy to see why Eminem doesn’t translate well for Sada Baby. However, Eminem’s impact has transcended not only Detroit but the world. Artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Hopsin, Tyler The Creator, and Juice WRLD are amongst today’s generation of rappers that all list him as a major influence. For better or worse, Em is also a catalyst for today’s druggie rap scene. Street rappers have gone from rapping about selling drugs to today’s scene glorifying the use of Xanax and Percocet - something that Marshall pioneered on his early albums with songs like “Drug Ballad” and “Purple Pills.” And with the blockbuster film 8 Mile and its hit song “Lose Yourself,” Eminem helped take battle rap culture mainstream to unfamiliar audiences.

Thanks to Eminem, Detroit’s street rap and lyrical scenes have crossed over. Somewhere at the intersection of manager/A&R Hex Murda and Big Sean, the worlds collided. As Marv states, “Big Sean, Danny Brown, and anyone else from the city mostly talk about the same things: money, bitches, and bossing up.” For every J Dilla, we now have a Black Milk who can equally rap and produce between both worlds. Where there’s a Dex Osama, there’s a Guilty Simpson and Seven The General whose blunt and brash flows hit you in the chest as hard as their lyrical ability and wordplay.

And don’t get it twisted; Em definitely sees the work that Detroit’s street rappers are putting in. “I have a personal relationship with all of the rappers around him,” Seven says. “I feel he rocks with me and has love for me. If he could see a way for us to make bread together, I feel like he’d pull me in; but D12 is actively in the streets assisting artists. I’ve personally seen what Em does for Detroit like his partnerships with (Metro Detroit sneaker boutique) Burn Rubber and (locally-founded clothing company) Detroit vs Everybody.”

He may not be your flavor but there’s no denying the skill and impact that Em has had on the city of Detroit and the genre as a whole. If Eminem isn’t top five in Detroit, you’re doing it wrong.

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