The advent of the internet has completely changed the rap game, for better or for worse. One of the pioneers of the mixtape scene before Twitter or Reddit or anywhere else on the World Wide Web is DJ Whoo Kid.
In a recent interview for the 15th anniversary of 50 Cent’s 50 Cent is the Future, DJ Whoo Kid spoke with Mass Appeal about the storied mixtape. But readers got way more than the story of the precursor to Get Rich or Die Tryin. From detailing how he leaked verses from The Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac to explaining how he brought The Game alongside G-Unit, DJ Whoo Kid is a vault of Hip Hop history.
Check out three of the gems from the interview below.
Leaking A Biggie Verse Puff Daddy Hadn’t Even Heard
While he was working as a DJ at New York’s Hot 97, DJ Whoo Kid would strategize how to leak tracks. Most of his material came from DATs (Digital Audio Tapes) and that’s where Biggie’s verse for 50 Cent’s “Realest Niggas” came from. He found the bars after randomly skipping to the end of one of the tapes and was shocked to find the unreleased material. He called around to make sure nobody else had heard it and it turned out nobody had. Not even Puff Daddy.
Whoo Kid then strategically played the track at the end of his show where he could dip before Puffy went on a rampage to find out who leaked the verse.
“Yo, can you imagine Puff Daddy who was like—he is B.I.G.—and he never heard that Biggie verse? But I have it and I’m putting it out, and it’s everywhere,” he shared.
It eventually caught up with him after playing the song worldwide, even during a party in South Africa with Nelson Mandela. Puffy caught Whoo Kid while 50 Cent was doing rehearsal for Saturday Night Live.
“Puff just had me like ‘I want you to tell me right now, cause’ I never heard this Biggie verse, I’m going crazy right now,'” Whoo Kid said. “So 50’s like ‘Come on man, just tell him where you got it from’ and I’m like ‘I can’t do that man.’ Puff’s like ‘Yo! Tell me right now!’ So finally I was like, ‘Trackmasters!’ He’s like ‘What! Trackmasters?! I’m gonna kill those guys!'”
Fearing Jimmy Iovine Over Eminem Track That Didn’t Even Leak
After being the target of Puff Daddy and Suge Knight, it would seem there wouldn’t be an enemy on planet earth to compete for Whoo Kid’s fear. But there was one: Jimmy Iovine.
Whoo Kid cut an Eminem verse from a D-12 song and did something he rarely did, released the tracklist for his upcoming mixtape. He was trying to strategize about releasing the song a week before Em’s album came out, so “by the time the label figures it out, it’s out.”
But it wasn’t that simple, as Em’s manager Paul Rosenberg found out about Whoo Kid’s schemes, which alerted the Interscope exec of the breach.
In the hunt to punish Whoo Kid, the DJ was banned from Detroit and couldn’t do shows with 50 Cent where Eminem was involved.
But once again, the mixtape master wasn’t free forever. After arriving too early for a Playboy party, 50 Cent took Whoo Kid across the street to a friend’s house. The friend was Iovine.
“’You’re the Whoo Kid fella, we’ve been tryna find you.’ And I was like ‘What are you talking about?'” Whoo Kid remembered, “and Jimmy Iovine is like ‘Go get my son right now.’ So Jimmy Iovine’s son comes down and films me from top to bottom. ‘Yo, when I die I want you to keep watching this guy. I want full…take it ID, his information’ he said the only reason they calmed down is because I got The Game signed. He said I still owe him another artist or whatever, but The Game kind of like…The Game went platinum, I think like 2-3 times platinum? So me finding The Game and them signing him kind of like calmed down that one barely leaked Eminem…I didn’t even leak it! It was just on the list.”
Dusting The Game Off Dr. Dre’s Shelf To Join G-Unit
So how did Whoo Kid bring The Game to Interscope? Well, it was after Dr. Dre had him listen to three artists the Aftermath boss was considering working with and Whoo Kid wasn’t impressed with any of them.
But he heard another guy rapping in the room next door and he went to check it out.
“He’s been rapping for an hour,” Whoo Kid recalled. “I go in there and I’m like, ‘Who are you man? What’s going on here? You sound kinda like you from the east coast of something.’ And he said ‘Yeah, I’m The Game.’ I was like, ‘You don’t sound like west coast’ you know west coast is more like classic gang-bang lyrics and you know, we never connected with that. We just liked the lifestyle of the movies, killing each other. But you know, a lot of songs didn’t crossover into the east coast.”
He explained that 50 Cent rocked with The Game because he told 50 that Dr. Dre asked for a favor (which he didn’t). Meanwhile, Whoo Kid was just trying to sell mixtapes on the West Coast, so he put the Compton MC on the end of a project as a “secret bonus record.”
“When I met The Game he was like ‘Yeah I’m Dre’s artist too but I’m on the wall, I’m just collecting dust,'” Whoo Kid said. “‘So you know, they don’t know what to do with me.’ I’m like ‘Damn, you sound fucking like you just killed somebody.’”
There is so much more in the 12,000-word interview that rap fans can glean from DJ Whoo kid. From being kidnapped by Big Pun to filming a video for The LOX to distract Sheek Louch from a leak. Not to mention running away from Suge Knight because of a 2Pac verse and having the police investigate someone’s death while a G-Unit concert was going on (the scene in Get Rich or Die Tryin’ really did kinda sorta happen). Read the entire story at Mass Appeal.