N.O.R.E. started Drink Champs to combat the ‘foul’ media

"It's great to live in the past, the past is what makes us, but if you ignore the present you ignore what's going on right now. That is the definition of what makes you old you gotta learn how to adapt and be. And I'm not tryna say fit in with these dudes but don't fit out you understand?" - N.O.R.E.

N.O.R.E. can claim a lot of distinctions within the hip-hop world. OG MC. Successful podcast host. Comedian. He was even at the heart of the legendary East Coast/West Coast beef. He can now add hip-hop hero to that list.

While chopping it up with Montreality, the NY legend revealed the reason he started the Drink Champs podcast was because he was tired of how evil the media had become – especially when covering hip-hop.

He found the media coverage of hip-hop lacked realness and feels his podcast has been able to fill that void. Being able to pull out the human side of his guests is something he believes is the root cause for his podcast’s success.

“The media is fucking foul,” said N.O.R.E. “That’s the reason why I choose to do the Drink Champs because I wanna show [the] fun side about media. You know, showing these people lives that people don’t know much about. That’s why the Drink Champs is winning because I’m getting into my friends’ soul and I’m digging into they soul and some of them are letting me dig into them and some of them are not, some of them are fighting me.”

The setting for the Drink Champs podcast is essentially one giant sesh. It makes for not only great entertainment, but also great conversation between N.O.R.E., co-host DJ EFN and their guest(s). The ingestion of weed and/or alcohol allows the guests to loosen up a bit and speak freely – more so than they would during any other interview. That comfort translates into a rawness that is unique to the Drink Champs and allows the audience to see their favourite artists in a different light.

“It’s not always gon’ be excellent interviews, they not always gon’ be impeccable and perfect and all that, some of ‘em gon’ be flawed in fact all of them are flawed – that’s what makes it hard to beat,” he said.

“It’s ‘cause what you gonna do, point out my flaws? We already know my flaws! What you gon’ do, call me fat? I already know that! What you gonna do? And I’m here to be a part of the media and tell them ‘you’re a scumbag’ because I don’t need you to interview me, I interview myself.”

The other half of C-N-N has some hard evidence with regards to his perception of the media in the form of how it covered DMX’s appearance on Drink Champs.

“Me knowing both sides to the media now, I know how they trick you,” said the artist formerly known as Noreaga.

“You see the Drink Champs interview [with DMX] you know, some people saying ‘yo X look bad, X look bad’ but what nobody [says] is we were ALL drunk. How I look drunk, how he look drunk might be fucked up to [other people]…but X is under a microscope right?…The very next day, on the same Instagram [account] that I posted [DMX’s Drink Champs clip] on, DMX is in my house cooking crab legs sober as rover and nobody said nothin about that because you know why? DMX lookin’ sober ain’t interesting.”

Positive energy in hip-hop might not get coverage as much as it should, and with the influx of drug-user rap, that may not change anytime soon. However, if veterans like N.O.R.E. continue standing up for hip-hop by giving back to the culture through taking control of it, hip-hop will be alright.

The full interview can be viewed below and throughout the ~14 minute interview the Queens, NY native talks about never getting dissed by Tupac, the importance of new artists educating themselves about hip-hop, respecting Drake, hip-hop history lessons being fun and more.