Being an intern isn’t all coffee-fetching and errand-running. It’s an opportunity to check your ego, get your foot in the door, and push yourself to levels you never knew existed. I’m gassing? Just look at some of the biggest names in hip-hop as proof of what can be accomplished by ambitious apprentices. Whether they were actual interns, like Puffy at Uptown, or unofficial understudies, like former Digital Underground backup dancer Tupac Shakur, those that have completed the beautiful struggle from the bottom to the top know that paying dues is what hip-hop, nay, America, is all about. Here’s a look back at five of the illest interns in hip-hop history to set off XXLMag.com’s first ever Intern-Net Takeover Week.

SEAN “DIDDY” COMBS
While a student at Howard University in Washington D.C., Puffy used to commute from the nation’s capital to his Uptown Records internship in NYC each morning by hiding in the bathroom of commuter trains because he couldn’t afford a ticket. Now, the same kid who didn’t have enough money to ride the Amtrak can charter a private jet if he wanted. How’d he do it? Ask Andre Harrell, the then President of Uptown, who hired Puff only to find himself in competition with the ambitious go-getter for the top spot at the company a few years later. Take that.

Classic Early ’90s Interview with Diddy & Andre Harell