Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks Discuss Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna Drama on ‘Everyday Struggle’

On today's Everyday Struggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska go through all of the Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna drama, including T.I. getting involved and Snoop Dogg sharing his thoughts. Later, the crew talk Jay Z's new album going platinum in under a week and 50 Cent's hilarious review of the project. To wrap, Budden and Akademiks discuss Lil Wayne's new EP, French Montana's album tracklist, and whether or not Joe is bitter. 

More from Complex

Prodigy Beefed With All Your Favorite Rappers, and Always Held His Own

Albert “Prodigy” Johnson, whose death from complications from sickle cell anemia was confirmed Tuesday afternoon, was a true rap legend. As a part of the duo Mobb Deep with Kejuan “Havoc” Muchita, and on his own (especially when partnering with producer Daniel “The Alchemist” Maman), P made classic music that will stand the test of time.

But almost as much as writing great rhymes, Prodigy loved a good rap beef. His career was filled with battles against many of the greatest rappers of all time, and he usually gave as good as he got.

Here is a by-no-means-definitive list of some of P's greatest rap beefs.

Tha Dogg Pound and 2Pac

In his 2011 memoir My Infamous Life, Prodigy traces his beef with nearly the entire West Coast to one video. He says that the clip for Tha Dogg Pound's collaboration with Snoop Dogg, “New York, New York,” which featured the rappers blown up to Godzilla size, walking through NYC wreaking havoc, was something he took personally.

So Mobb Deep teamed up with Capone-N-Noreaga and made “L.A., L.A.” in retaliation. As the East-West rivalry began to heat up, 2Pac, newly signed to Death Row, decided to get involved. 'Pac went at nearly everybody—Big, Nas, Jay Z, and Mobb Deep, plus a few more people for good measure—on “Hit 'Em Up.”

“Don't one of you niggas got sickle cell or something?” Pac teased on the track. “You fuck around with me, you about to have a seizure or a heart attack.”

P struck back immediately. In his book, he says that the very same day he first heard “Hit 'Em Up,” he went to the studio and recorded the vicious “Drop a Gem on 'Em.”

Sadly, just a few weeks later, 'Pac was killed.

Keith Murray and Def Squad

On the now-famous (and oft-parodied) monologue “The Infamous Prelude,” Prodigy took shots at (nameless) rappers who talk about “how much weed you smoke” and “space shit.”

One rapper who did just that, Keith Murray of Def Squad, felt some type of way. Eventually, they squashed the beef at a video shoot. That is, until Prodigy ignited it again by rhyming about “def kids feeling guilty 'bout the space shit” on LL Cool J's “I Shot Ya”—a record on which Murray appeared as well. 

At that point, Murray got into a fight with P outside NYC nightclub the Tunnel (“Keith Murray and his whole clique/Yeah, you snuffed me in front of the cops, that's bullshit,” Prodigy recalled on “In the Long Run”). The two would continue trading disses back and forth for years.

Jay Z

The “New York, New York” video actually started a second major beef in Prodigy's career. Jay made a passing reference to the clip on his 1998 song “Money, Cash, Hoes”: “It's like New York's been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed the building.”

It was a line Prodigy took public exception to. “Jay was nowhere to be found when that drama popped off between Mobb Deep, Dogg Pound, Pac, and Biggie,” P told The Source. “That was our little personal beef, not a coastal war… so Jay Z is a bitch-ass nigga for making that quote in his lyrics.”

Tensions that had been stewing for years (there were, P claimed, subliminals thrown back and forth on “Trife Life” and “Where I'm From”) exploded in 2001 when Hov debuted his Mobb Deep diss “Takeover” live at Summer Jam, and included the now-infamous picture of a young Prodigy at his grandmother's dance school. 

“I did like the tactic that Jay used,” Prodigy said years later, about the photo displayed on the Summer Jam screen. “That was pretty slick.” He fired back with “Crawlin'”—and, at least according to his memoir, by nearly beating Jay up at Diddy's restaurant, Justin's

Nas

On “Destroy and Rebuild,” released in 2001, Nas took some shots at P, but in a very Nas-like way: “Prodigy, I got love for you,” he says on the song's outro. “Just get them unloyal niggas from out your circle.” Prodigy claimed in his book that Nas rapped this because “he was mad at me for doing a song with Cormega on which Mega took shots at Nas in his verse.”

But there was actually another, deeper level. P said in an interview on Vlad TV that some of Nas' Queensbridge friends were upset that Prodigy was repping their hood even though he wasn't originally from there. 

“I can't even really be mad at Nas, because these is the people he grew up with,” P said. “I had to distance myself from them, because [Nas is] standing next to someone who's threatening my life… that's how it got kind of crazy.” Nas and P reconciled when Prodigy returned home from prison in 2011.

Saigon and Tru Life

To hear Saigon tell it, the origin of this beef comes from Prodigy double-dipping. 

“Prodigy stole $15,000 from Tru Life. Not stole it, but he did a verse for him, and went and did the same verse and took the money, and then went and did the same verse on some other shit,” Sai told This Is 50. “Tru was like, 'Aight, give me another verse.' Son kept ducking.”

Tru Life and Mobb had serious issues from then on, which were documented in the film Beef. Tru claims he and his crew ran into a Mobb studio session with guns and beat some people up.

Because Tru Life and Saigon were close, Sai got dragged in as things escalated. Not helping matters was an interview where P said he didn't like Saigon—something Saigon saw and promised retaliation. It all culminated in a fight between Mobb Deep and Sai at SOBs in the fall of 2007. The two would continue to snipe at each other well into 2011.

As for Tru, he and Prodigy would finally reconcile in 2016.

Crooked I

While incarcerated, P was still keeping up to date on what was going on in hip-hop. Vibe conducted a poll about the best rapper alive in 2008, and Prodigy was not happy with the results. “Vibe says 920,000 people voted for it,” he wrote in a letter. “I would personally bitch slap all 920,000 of these voters if given the opportunity. Who in the fuck picked Crooked I, Flo Rida, and Rich Boy? How did Vibe approve this?”

Crooked responded by challenging Prodigy to a fight.

Havoc

P's propensity for feuds even extended to his own Mobb Deep collaborator, Havoc. In the spring of 2012, Havoc sent out a bunch of strange tweets attacking his partner in rhyme. He went as far as accusing P of having a homosexual relationship while locked up. “”I got n***as in the jail system to back up that prodigy was fucking homes in jail,” he wrote. 

Havoc then released a statement saying his phone was stolen. But that was proven to be a lie when audio of Havoc going at P was leaked to the Breakfast Club. The group went on temporary hiatus, but reunited the following year.

But today, to mark his passing, it's been all love from the rap world. Prodigy is a legend and he will be missed. 

More from Complex

‘All Eyez On Me’ Costume Designer Reveals What It Was Like To Style Tupac In The ’90s

Capturing the look and essence of ‘90s hip-hop style can be challenging—especially when it’s for a movie like All Eyez on Me, the film about Tupac Shakur. But Kenya Ware, the costume designer for All Eyez on Me (out in theatres on June 16), was there and lived through it. She even styled Tupac himself before he was killed in 1996.

Ware, an L.A. native, married and started a family with Tha Dogg Pound member and Snoop Dogg’s cousin, Daz Dillinger, in 1991. Helping in any way that she knew how, she began to shop for Death Row Records’ artists, including Snoop, Tha Dogg Pound, The Lady of Rage, Nate Dogg, often hand-delivering wardrobe to the set of music video shoots and TV appearances. From there, she became Death Row’s West Coast marketing representative. 

All Eyez on Me
Image via Lionsgate

She credits Suge Knight for supporting her passion for styling. “Suge always told me that beauty was only temporary, but your intelligence is forever,” she says. “He inspired me to get my own. He wanted me to succeed and that’s stayed with me to this day.” 

In her 20-year career, Ware has worked as a costume designer for films and TV shows like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1, Ride Along 2, Entourage (film), and Straight Outta Compton.

In this exclusive interview, Ware talks about what it was like working with Tupac, what she wanted to accomplish with the wardrobe for All Eyez on Me, and why Tupac’s style will always be imitated.

Kenya Ware with Tupac
Kenya Ware (left) with Tupac. (Image via Kenya Ware)

How did you meet the guys from Death Row?
The first person I met was N.W.A. member MC Ren backstage at a 1989 New Edition concert. N.W.A.’s bodyguard approached me and said one of the members wanted to talk to me. I was frightened because I had heard they were gangbangers. Ren asked me for my number and on the first date I almost got kicked out of my house because he walked into my Baldwin Hills estate with a black trench coat, khakis, and Crip slippers. My mother went ballistic!

From there, I was invited to several N.W.A. concerts where I met Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and the rest of the gang. Years later, when Death Row was forming, I met Suge Knight and Snoop Dogg.

How did you meet Tupac?
[My ex-husband] Daz [Dillinger] would always write letters to the Clinton Correctional Facility to try to keep Tupac's spirit up while he was in jail on the rape case. Once he got out and signed with Death Row, I threw him a party at our place. We invited Method Man, Redman, Rage, Snoop, Kurupt, and a few other people to celebrate Tupac being released from jail and also signing with Death Row Records. 

Kenya Ware with Dr. Dre
Kenya Ware (center) with Dr. Dre and Sam Sneed at Suge Knight's 662 Club in Las Vegas in 1995. (Image via Kenya Ware)

What was it like shopping for Tha Dogg Pound?
Shopping for Tha Dogg Pound and Snoop was always fun because I got to create something different than gangster wear. They were in love with Guess shirts but still wanted the baggy Karl Kani jeans. It was a slow process to get them away from the Dickies uniform. I had to make sure that whatever I bought for them was oversized and was in either blue or grey, which were Tha Dogg Pounds’ and the Crips’ colors.

Did you shop for Tupac?
‘Pac had his own style. He wasn't interested in clothing right away. He said the only thing he wanted to do was stay at the studio and make as much music as possible. I often pulled boxes of Karl Kani clothing for the boys and let them pick out what they wanted to wear for events.

All Eyez on Me
Image via Lionsgate

What did you buy for Tupac? What was he into at the time?
I tagged along with Suge Knight and ‘Pac during the [boxing] fights in Las Vegas. Shopping at Caesar's Palace during the fights was the best. It was kind of like a status quo. That's where you got to showcase how much money you really had because all the ballers were watching. Tupac wasn't that into fashion but at that point, in the ‘90s, you had to dress to impress. He slowly transitioned away from the gangster clothes to Versace. Suge was about to hire me as ‘Pac’s personal stylist, but then ‘Pac got killed.

Speaking of Versace, Tupac walked in a runway show with Kidada Jones for the Italian fashion house in 1996. How did that happen? Whose decision was it to have a bodyguard walk with them?
During those days, if you were an artist on Death Row Records the rule was you had to always wear your bulletproof vest and keep a bodyguard at all times. The bodyguard was definitely Suge Knight’s call.

All Eyez on Me
Image via Lionsgate

What did you want to accomplish with the wardrobe for All Eyez on Me?
This film needed to have Karl Kani and Walker Wear to be authentic because those were two designers that Tupac wore religiously. I wanted to make sure that all of the replicas were right. Sometimes getting information from third parties or Google aren’t that accurate, so[All Eyez on Me producer] L.T. Hutton figured it would be better to hire a person who actually knew Tupac and was around him a lot.

How would you describe Tupac's style?
A revolutionary gangster. He set the tone for the durag on your head, the body tattoos, and the oversized baggy jeans.

Are there any specific Tupac looks you tried to copy for the movie?
Yes. Tupac did an advertisement for Karl Kani and we remade that look. The actor who plays Tupac, Demetrius Shipp, went to Karl Kani's studio and we made sure that he looked and wore the clothes just like Tupac. We also copied the Black Panther Party look because his mom was a Black Panther.

All Eyez on Me
Image via Lionsgate

What do you think of Demetrius Shipp Jr.?
Ironically, Demetrius' father used to work with Death Row back in the days, so it was like working with family. It's just amazing that his son looks just like Tupac. Demetrius Shipp was the best choice [for the role]. It’s funny because before he started acting he worked at Walmart.

Did he stay in character on set?
He had Tupac's demeanor down to a T.

What was the vibe like on set? Did any celebrities stop by?
I did most of the shopping in Los Angeles but the few times I did visit the set in Atlanta and saw Demetrius it was like seeing Tupac reincarnated. I think every celebrity in Atlanta stopped by the set in hopes of getting a cameo. Snoop’s dad, Vernell [Varnado], and Daz were on set during the entire time.

tupac
Image via Getty/Ron Galella

Where did you source the wardrobe from?
Since I grew up in L.A. in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the shopping came naturally. One of the stores I went to is called Greenspan in South Gate. If you really need gangster clothes, this is the one-stop shop for your ‘80s and ‘90s looks.

Why did All Eyez on Me take so long?
It was a couple things. Tupac's estate and a lot of the people they wanted to do the movie held it up. There were also issues with clearing the music since Death Row’s catalog was sold.

What's your favorite Tupac look?
I love the Versace blue and gold shirt he wore. I actually have a picture of me and him in that shirt at Suge Knight’s daughter's third birthday party. 

tupac
Image via Getty/Steve Eichner

Do you remember where you were when you heard Tupac was killed? Walk us through that moment.
I was actually in Vegas with Tupac and Suge when he was killed. I was with Tupac downstairs at the Luxor Hotel after they got into a big fight at MGM Grand. I spoke to him right before he took that car ride to Club 662. I made the first call to [Suge’s ex-wife] Sharitha Knight and Daz and let them know what had just happened. One minute I was walking into Club 662 wondering why it was taking Tupac so long to get there and next thing you know we were told that something had happened to him. I drove like 100 miles an hour trying to get to the crime scene. It was the craziest night of my life.

Why do you think Tupac's style was copied so much in the years after his death? What do you think he would've thought of that?
Tupac was a pioneer of rap, period. This man created history and set a tone in just 24 years of life. He will forever be copied because his style was genuine. If he were alive today, at age 45, he'd probably teach the youth to be original and create their own style.

More from Complex

Jay Z’s Nephew, Nahziah Carter, Commits to Play Basketball for University of Washington

The relationship between hip-hop and basketball goes back decades, and Jay Z has never shied away from tying hoop analogies into his music—he's the question and The Answer like Iverson, after all. It looks like he'll have another team to follow next season, and perhaps a primary team to root for, since his Brooklyn Nets are riding the struggle bus hard these days.

Nahziah Carter, the teenaged nephew of Hov, officially committed to play for the University of Washington on Saturday morning. The young prospect announced his decision on his Twitter page, sharing a series of pictures of him decked out in Washington's purple-and-gold gear.

Carter previously committed to play at Dayton under head coach Archie Miller, but Miller left his post at the Ohio school to take a gig at Indiana University, which prompted Carter to reopen his recruitment process. He was heavily sought after during the process, generating looks from schools like Georgetown and Indiana in addition to UW.

Though he's currently better known as the nephew of one of the most prolific hip-hop artists ever, Carter is making his own name with his antics on the court. During a game at the end of May, he threw down a hellacious dunk over the No. 1 recruit in the high school class of 2018, Marvin Bagley III:

Though most people are primarily concerned with Jay's musical output, the rapper has always held family close to his heart. He immortalized his fallen nephew, Colleek Luckie, in the song “Lost Ones,” though he otherwise keeps a lot of his interactions with loved ones close to the vest.

The man who Nahziah affectionately calls “Uncle J” could end up courtside for a few Pac-12 games next season, but even if you don't see him rocking UW gear, you can bet Jay Z will still be pulling hard for the younger Carter to succeed. 

More from Complex

Snoop Dogg Thought Dr. Dre Was a Prank Caller When He First Called to Work With Him

One of the many ways the world has changed over the last few decades was with the dawn of caller ID. Once you could see in advance who was calling you on the other end, it made it a whole lot easier to ignore unknown numbers and screen calls through your voicemail.

But things were simpler when Snoop Dogg was on the come-up, and his first interaction with Dr. Dre contained a little more mystery, if you believe the stories they both told as part of their appearance in the upcoming HBO documentaryThe Defiant Ones.

Dre, who claims to have heard an old Snoop mixtape at a bachelor party, was blown away when he first heard Snoop's music, and he told his cousin Warren G they needed to bring him into the fold. “This is a fucking diamond in the rough,” said Dre, “and we need to polish it up!”

When Dre reached out to Snoop, however, the Long Beach native was skeptical that the call was authentic. “This ain't no motherfuckin' Dr. Dre,” he said, hanging up the phone on his eventual partner. It allegedly took a follow-up voicemail from Dre to convince Snoop it was really him, and it was a wrap from there.

Can you imagine if that first phone call had actually been the end of it? Snoop was a known drug dealer at the time, and if he never linked up with Dre in the studio, there's no telling where his life could have headed. Instead, Snoop and Dre formed one of the most successful and iconic partnerships in the history of rap, with his laid-back flow fitting perfectly over Dre's G-funk sound.

You can watch the full clip above, and remember kids—always remember to check your voicemail. There could be a life-changing opportunity waiting on the other end.

More from Complex

Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks Put Together Their Own Rapper Fantasy League Draft

On today's episode of Everyday Struggle, Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Nadeska run through the latest hip-hop news, which includes a Lil Uzi Vert fan threatening to shoot up a school, Desiigner fighting for radio play, Snoop Dogg's new album, and Blac Youngsta getting arrested. In addition to the day's news, the crew share their own take on the new male romper trend and also do their own rapper draft where they each build squads of today's best rappers.

More from Complex

A History of Bow Wow Taking L’s

Ah, Bow Wow. Remember the world's first glimpse of him—being discovered by Snoop Dogg in 1993 at age six, and rapping his little heart out The Arsenio Hall Show?

Unfortunately, since Lil Bow Wow dropped the “Lil” and stopped covering Kurtis Blow tunes and hanging around with Michael Jordan, the former child star has had some serious fails, many of them in full view of an often-vicious public. Just this week, he was caught pretending to be traveling by private jet, when he was actually riding commercial like the rest of us.

But that was only the latest of Bow Wow's losses. Below, a curated list of some of the biggest ones. We couldn't include them all, because who's got that kind of time?

July 2009: Whose Hands Are Those?

In an attempt to prove… something (that he has a girlfriend? that he's sexy? that he wears Polo drawers?), Bow Wow posted a photo to Twitter of someone (possibly model Rosa Acosta, who he was dating at the time) sticking their hand down his pants.

bow wow 1
Image via Twitter

But the photo was roundly mocked for the size of the woman's hands, leading to headlines like “Bow Wow Those Look Like Man Hands Down Your Draws.”

January 2010: Cut It Out, Mom!

Early in 2010, Bow Wow's mom joined Twitter. She then proceeded to do what moms have done throughout time—say stuff that embarrasses their kids.

Mom twitter 1
Image via Twitter
Mom Twitter 2
Image via Twitter

Bow Wow said he was going to make his mom delete her account. And then it all went wrong. Fans were clearly on her side, rather than his. Finally, desperate, he said he would delete his own account unless his mom got rid of hers. And she responded in a thread-killing, quietly vicious, perfectly mom-like way.

mom twitter 3
Image via Twitter

June 2013: The Vine 

Bow Wow published a quick Vine of him walking in front of a bunch of children. “They don't know it's me. Oh shit,” he exclaimed. He then laughed as if he was getting away with something. A bemused internet quickly responded, saying that the kids don't know who he is because, well, they don't know who he is.

 

January 2014: Rent-A-Stunter

In early 2014, Bow Wow was in Los Angeles for Grammy weekend. He drove around in a Ferrari, and made sure to post plenty of pictures to social media of himself in the driver's seat. The captions implied that the car was his.

Bow Wow car 1
Image via Instagram

Well, the rental car company didn't exactly appreciate that. They decided to claim some credit, and give Bow Wow another round of bad press in the process.

bow wow car 2
Image via Instagram

December 2015: The (Mistaken) Origins of the Dab

By late 2015, Bow Wow had just about enough of dabbing. Everyone—football players, teenagers, politicians—were doing it, and they didn't know where it came from. 

As it turned out, neither did Bow Wow. He recorded a long, confusing message attempting to tie dabbing to smoking weed. 

And he was immediately and roundly mocked, including by the dance's true originators.

February 2016: The Dangers of Live TV

Live television can be dangerous for even the most experienced performers. And Bow Wow met his match during the 2016 Grammys, when he messed up the end of the pre-show not once, but twice.

April 2016: Fake Money

Bow Wow posted a shot on Instagram of a bunch of money. Typical rapper stuff, right? Well, not when the photo was actually taken by a stock trader named Timothy Sykes. Sykes called out Bow Wow on IG, and the two had a not-particularly-memorable back-and-forth involving fake watches. But the damage was already done to what was left of Bow Wow's reputation. 

March 2017: Going at the First Couple

In March of this year, because everything is terrible, Snoop Dogg was feuding with the President of the United States. Bow Wow came to the defense of his mentor Snoop in perhaps the most awkward, sexist, terrible way possible. He said, in a thankfully now-deleted Tweet, “Ayo @realDonaldTrump shut your punk ass up talking shit about my uncle @SnoopDogg before we pimp your wife and make her work for us.”

The above events are really only the beginning of Bow Wow's puzzling public L's. There was his beef with, of all people, Funkmaster Flex. There were the incredibly confusing remarks he made about voting and his family history, or something (no, seriously, read this and see if you can figure out what the hell he was talking about). There was time he announced his retirement from rap, only to be met with a hail of “I thought you were retired already!”-type comments. Oh, and that time he dropped the hottest mixtape of 2007…ten years too late.

If this week's tale of the fake private plane is any indication, we're likely to see stories like these for a long time to come.

More from Complex

What’s It Like Being Black in the White-Dominated Weed Industry

Not everyone can be Wiz Khalifa, Snoop Dogg or Freddie Gibbs. We’re not just talking about the money, fame, and musical talent, but the fact that all three are people of color making money in the legal marijuana industry.

With the decriminalization of weed gaining more and more traction—medical marijuana is currently legal in roughly 28 states (and Washington, D.C.), and recreational use is now legal in eight states—there’s been a wave of entrepreneurs sparking up new streams of income in the marijuana business. But it’s mostly whites who are making a profit from this “green rush.” According to an investigative report by Buzzfeed, only 1 percent (fewer than three dozen) of the 3,200 to 3,600 marijuana dispensaries in America are black-owned. Outside of the celebrity-endorsed bud brands, there are just a handful of everyday black folk who have been successful in opening up a cannabis company of their own or attaining leadership positions for existing weed businesses.

Breaking into this emerging market hasn’t proven easy for many black entrepreneurs, who often face financial and racial challenges that their white counterparts don’t. Look at cases like Charlo Greene, the former news anchor whose on-air resignation to focus on her advocacy work with the Alaska Cannabis Club went viral in 2014. Since making the career shift from journalism to izm, Greene reports says she's been unfairly targeted and discriminated against by local law enforcement. Although marijuana use has been approved in Alaska since February 2015, she’s currently facing up to 54 years in prison due to new legislation—often referred to as the Charlo clause—that makes it illegal for anyone who ran a cannabis club prior to Nov. 4, 2015, to participate in the green economy. According to Greene, she’s the only person in the entire state that the law would apply to.   

But despite the roadblocks, black weed entrepreneurs still have a shot in the industry. Programs such as the National Minority Business Council and National Cannabis Industry Association are focused on getting more people of color in on the action. Complex spoke with several African-American entrepreneurs in the cannabis business to get an honest look at what it means to be black in the world of weed.

More from Complex

Snopp Dogg Will Induct Tupac Shakur Into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony is going to be nothing but a gangster party. According to media reports, Snoop Dogg will be the man to induct Tupac Shakur into the music hall during the April ceremony.

TMZ first broke the news of a Tupac-themed performance at the 2017 induction ceremony spearheaded by Snoop, his former Death Row Records labelmate. The performance is expected to feature at least three songs, with collaborations such as “California Love” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” likely to appear on the set list. 

Dr. Dre has reportedly been asked to join the performance, but he's not a definite as of this moment. Come on, Dre!

Tupac's inclusion in this year's festivities will spice the night up a bit and give it a more modern feel. The late rapper is music's only inductee in this year's class, and the other members entering the Hall are decidedly older acts. Acts from the 1970's and 80's like Journey, Electric Light Orchestra, and Joan Baez will be enshrined during the ceremony, with Pearl Jam appearing alongside Tupac as the other more “modern” inductee.

More from Complex