The other day in one of XXL’s creative meetings, the homie Brian “B. Dot” Miller smh-d in shame when talk of DMX came up in the conference room. No the news of him signing to Booga Records was no cause for celebration. The talk was more about him passing out at studios and more web videos poppin’ up of the Dog looking dazed and confused. Cocaine is a hell of a drug. And maybe Earl Simmons hasn’t defeated it for good. It’s a damn shame when you think of what X meant to hip-hop.
I remember sleeping on Def Jam publicist’s Jana Fleischman’s couch when I got the call from Dave Mays that B.I.G. had been killed the night before. All the big editors had to dead any weekend plans and head to the office on Sunday and begin work on a tribute package. The morale was low at the corral. Big’s death six months after the death of Pac felt like the death of hip-hop back then. We all felt like it was all over.
Still we persevered. Puff took the ball and ran with it and along with Master P made hip-hop business front page news and those cash cows kept the dance floors packed and the Cristal flowing. Still something was missing. Enter Earl Simmons. Simply put, he brought the rough, rugged and raw edge back to hip-hop. He bullied the game on some 50 Cent shit. And we couldn’t get enough of him.
I remember Irv Gotti, to his credit, predicted the whole thing. He saw the future before any of the cats at 215 Park Avenue South did. I was Music Editor back then handing out the coveted mics and I remember Irv kept sending me different versions of It’s Dark and Hell is Hot. It seemed like every time they mixed a new song, someone at the label was sending over a gray cassette labeled with Warren G’s name on it so no one would touch it. (LMAO!)
A typical convo with me and Irv back then would go like this:
YN: “Yeah Irv I like the joint with the two voices. This shit is coming together. Might go gold. Maybe even platinum.
Irv: Platinum?! 5 Million! 5 Million! 5 Million, Elliott, I’m telling ya. He’s 2Pac.
Like Pac, X caught a rape charge. His was right before his album dropped. Not exactly concerned by it or remorseful, Irv remained focused: “Fiiivvee Million! Elliott!”
Sidebar: Another funny Irv story I have was the time he was up at The Source. I was in a DMX meeting with him while simultaneously being in another one in my office with AZ’s peoples whose were threatening to do some bodily harm to Berta’s baby boy. Slightly amused, Irv quipped. “Elliott, you need me to go downstairs and get you a gun.” He was just kidding Federalis. Just kidding.
Anyways, to sum it up, Give a dog an intervention. For Christmas.
Next Blog: I can write about all the times I almost got my ass kicked in the rap game or I can give you my theory on how another rapper’s alleged drug use could change the course of hip-hop history. I’m Rockmaster Scott (not Raymond Scott. The cornrows are gone like Amil-lion!) and the request line is open.