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Combat Jack

The Kevin Liles Episode

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Photo by Bryon Summers

You want to hear a great story, or stories? You want to be inspired? You want to learn what it takes to be a success? Kevin Liles blessed us with so much, behind the scenes of Def Jam, working with Russell Simmons and Lyor Cohen, the deaths of Biggie, Tupac, Jam Master Jay and Chris Lighty, stories of DMX, Jay Z, Red and Meth and so much more. If you’re not ready to conquer the world after listening to this episode, you gotta check your pulse.

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The Jermaine Dupri Episode (Live From Tree Sound Studios)

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Showbill by Theotis Jones

JD’s Hip Hop pedigree is so official. 30 plus years of history here. Who else can wax so poetically about the 1980’s Fresh Fest, Kriss Kross, Jay Z and the acension of the South musically? This live episode recorded at Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta, Georgia was so official. Plus, Mr. Dupri opens up about his relationship with Janet Jackson. This is a guaranteed So So Def episode. #Salutes to Groove Chambers and Mali Hunter for making this happen.

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The Ryan Leslie Episode

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Ryan Leslie wants you to respect him as a rapper, on top of his talents as a singer/songwriter and producer. And he doesn’t care if you think he fell off. Listen to how he makes way more money than you. How he’s heavy in the tech world, and how he does concerts in castles and such. Also, hear the most in-depth walk through of the Diddy Cassie situation.

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The Big K.R.I.T. Episode

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King Remembered In Time makes his second Combat Jack Show appearance. On the eve of his 2nd Def Jam album ‘Cadillactica’, which drops November 11, 2014, K.R.I.T. talks about his growth as an artist, surviving his debut album “tanking”, touring with Macklemore, separating his professional and private life, being called out on Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” and why he’s about to shake up the game as he claims the south as his kingdom. This time around, I’m doubling down on this Mississippi native.

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The April Walker and Carl Banks Episode

 

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Here’s a special episode from the Combat Jack vault featuring April Walker, pioneer urban/street wear designer of iconic Walker Wear label and two time Super Bowl champion Carl Banks. Beyond football and being a sports analyst, Carl Banks is heavily involved in attire owning the Starter brand. We talk a bit about Ray Rice, coming up in the fashion game, their relationship and more.

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The John Forte Episode

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How does one go from Brownsville, Phillips Exeter Academy, NYU, Lauryn, Wyclef, ‘The Score’, ‘The Carnival’ to prison? How does one get pardoned by George Bush? And how does one find redemption and true freedom afterwards? John Forte tells us his entire journey and where he is now.

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The Ice T Episode

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Showbill by Theotis Jones

Ice T’s been around for a while and came through the show to share his journey from the death of his parents in New Jersey to encountering gang culture in Los Angeles. From drugs to robberies to rapping to a record deal. A step by step of how the Body Count song “Cop Killer” changed his whole life, and how he and Coco (she’s here too) managed to keep their marriage alive. There’s a whole lot here. Ice T, uncensored.

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The Stalley Episode

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Ohio’s first son (other than Lebron) talks Rick Ross, MMG and the role he plays. His come up days with Dame Dash, Curren$y and Wiz Khalifa, the day Mos Def “discovered” him, how he might could be more Brooklyn than you and more. What is one of today’s most slept on rappers plan on making an impact with his debut album ‘Ohio’ dropping on October 28th? Go ahead and press play.

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The Corey “Life” Pegues ‘From The Streets To The Beat” Episode

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Retired NYPD Deputy Inspector Corey “Life” Pegues’ life is a movie. No cliche. Growing up as a young gun in the crack riddled NYC borough of Queens, Life was one of the best soldiers of the legendary and most notorious Supreme Team street gang. Life talks his introduction to crack, the gun fights and the murders, and the moment he decided it was time to join the biggest gang in NYC, the NYPD. Listen as he takes us through the Dinkens to Giuliani to Bloomberg regimes, what Stop and Frisk really is, and what the fvck is really going on with the war that the police across the nation has seemingly declared against the nation’s people of color. We also get some expert analysis on The Abner Louima, Sean Bell, Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo and Michael Brown cases.

Bonus: Dallas Penn, fresh off his honeymoon, stops by like if he never left.

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The Cormega ‘Mega Philosophy’ Episode

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In this age of tweaking, thots, wanton capitalism, violence and outsiders dictating what our culture is, QB veteran Cormega and legend Large Professor drop their brilliant ‘Mega Philosophy’ album. Cormega walks us through this classic, track by track. Go ‘head and press play/ dl.

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The Tariq Nasheed Episode

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Mr. Nasheed is a Jack of all trades, but man has mastered the art of making an impact. We talk about him growing up in the racist south, moving to Los Angeles to learn game, how he became a New York Times bestselling author, then how he switched it up with his hit documentary series ‘Hidden Colors’. Love him, hate him, one thing is guaranteed, you press play on this episode and you will learn game.

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The Ben Baller and Boaz Episode

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Mr. Ben Yang has a lot to say. About a lot of people. And he got it off his chest. Ya’ll been clamoring for a West Coast guest? Here it is. Baller has stories for days. Suge Knight, Dr. Dre., Tupac Shakur, Death Row, Denzel Washington, Aftermath. He’s even got some Dame Dash and Jay Z stories. From record man to jeweler to the stars, dude doesn’t disappoint.

We also had up and coming Pittsburgh rapper Boaz come through and talk about being signed to Rostrum Records, going on tour with Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller and Kendrick Lamar, and how he’ll smoke Mr. Khalifa way tf under the table.

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The Chuck D Episode feat. Keith Shocklee

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Showbill by Theotis Jones

Internets, this is such an honor.

It’s been  few years of me trying to get the legendary Chuck D on The Combat Jack Show. It took current events, plus the Freddie Foxxx episode to make this happen (thank you Bumpy!). How do I even describe this 3 hour long discussion with Chuck D and Keith Shocklee? Def Jam, Hot 97, Dr. Dre, N.W.A., Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, Marley Marl, Flavor Flav, Eric B and Rakim, COINTELPRO, Run-DMC, the Bomb Squad, the dearth of diversity on rap radio… so much knowledge.

What I’m walking away with is how we have the power to control how we’re perceived in this culture. And how we have to stop making excuses. Now. Ladies and gents, we present to you, the Episode Without A Pause.

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The Freddie Foxxx Episode

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Showbill by Theotis Jones

Bumpy Knuckles stopped by to share his storied history with us. The depth of his relationship with Tupac Shakur. How Pete Rock saved his life. His deep relationship with NaS. How Chuck D literally had his life on the line for this culture. Another Steve Stoute story. And why, even though the rumors about him being the toughest guy in Hip Hop is exaggerated, no one should ever step to him in any club, even if they’re holding a sharpened weapon. I love this interview. We’re back to what we do, no hype, no shenanigans, no CEO beef, no industry shakedown, just the greatest rap stories you’ve never heard. Now go press download.

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The Return of Damon Dash Episode

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Showbill by Theotis Jones

Damon Dash is making noise. Noise inspiring to some and uncomfortable to others. No punches pulled, shots most definitely fired. Everybody gets hit. Let’s go.

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The Vashtie Episode

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Showbill by Theotis Jones

Vashtie Kola is perfect. How do you interview someone with no flaws? We were fortunate to squeeze out the not so perfect aspects of her life, where she grew up, the disfunction she experienced in her life, and what drove her to perfection, as well as her quirks and her discomfort about discussing past love Pharrell Williams. In a most intimate interview, we get what makes Vashtie so great.

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The Marley Marl Episode

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Showbill by Theotis Jones

We mention others as being on GOAT super producer status, but I’m not hearing Marley Marl’s name. Which is criminal. Listen to how Marley literally changed the game and pushed the art form. Hear him talk about the discoveries of Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap. Learn about how he inadvertently produced his own dis track “The Bridge Is Over”, what happened to the Juice Crew, and more. After this episode, you’re guaranteed to acknowledge his place amongst the greatest whoever did it.

Also: DJ BenHaMeen’s Marley Marl Music Breaks

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The DJ D-Nice Episode

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Showbill by Theotis Jones

Who is more Renaissance Man than Mr. Derrick Jones? The Human TR-808 gives his most descriptive interview ever. He walks us step by step to the moment of Scott La Rock’s death, and how it affected his relationship with KRS-One. He shares how, after he blew up as a solo artist, everything dried up and he became homeless, broke and depressed. Then rebirth. Web designer, photography, one of the world’s preeminent  DJ’s. From peddling drugs to DJing for the President. We’ve heard many stories about one’s journey from the bottom to the top, but if this one doesn’t inspire you, you’re already dead. I know ya’ll keep telling us weekly how the latest episode be your top 5. You need to readjust that list again.

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The Lord Finesse Episode

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Showbill by Theotis Jones

Diggin’ In The Crates co-founder Lord Finesse gives us a history lesson on his days as the Funky Technician, discovering the late great Big L, being a part to the Notorious B.I.G.’s classic ‘Ready To Die’ album, running with Puff, working closely to this day with Dr. Dre and his legal issues with Mac Miller. Of course there’s more to this, so pull up a chair because rap class is in session. PLUS, a cameo comeback by Dallas Penn. #Str8Flourishments in effect b.

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The Combat Jack Show: The Pharoahe Monch Episode

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Showbill by Theotis Jones

Pharoahe Monch has been a favorite MC of mine for a long time so it only makes sense that we deliver his best interview in existence. In support of his brilliant album ‘P.T.S.D.’ we had an in studio listening session as Monch gave us his most personal interview to date. Who knew he used to carry them blammers? Who knew he was fed a deadly drug cocktail that took him to the edge of insanity? Who knew he was a heavy DipSet fan? Or liked 2 Chainz? What other MC admits getting murked on his own song? I really enjoyed this session. I hope you do too. Stand the fuck up!

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The Combat Jack Show: The Scarface Episode

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Showbill by Theotis Jones

Scarface lost 100 pounds. And we’re all over the place in this interview. He plays guitar, he talks drugs and depression and Pink Floyd, he talks about his time in prison, why his son went missing earlier this year, why Rick Ross is underrated and more. He does his best to avoid making controversial statements, but he just can’t help himself. This is Brad Jordan like you’ve never heard before.

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The “Nigger” Episode feat. Sean C. & L.V. and Hakim Green

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What’s in a word? Obviously a lot as far as “nigger” is concerned. The media and politicians say “ban it” but how impossible is it to make the world’s most dangerous word disappear from existence? And do we really know what it means? Hakim Green of Channel Live fame walks us through this black word’s history, it’s etymology, and explains why this word will never go away, and why we should embrace rather than shun it. Also, Sean C. and L.V. talk their musical history and why we should cop their new album ‘Loud Dreams’ for only $Free Ninety Nine here. My lips is like an oowop as I start to spray it.

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The Combat Jack Show: The Jessica Rosenblum Episode

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You think you know the history of New York Hip Hop? You really don’t know Jack until you talk to Jessica Rosenblum. Hear her talk about her role in opening the downtown NYC nightlife scene to Russell Simmons, Lyor Cohen, the Beastie Boys and LL Cool J. Listen as she shares about her role in making a then unknown Sean “Diddy” Combs into a household name. Learn as she walks us through what really happened that fateful night at the tragic CCNY event and why she wasn’t responsible. Marvel at how she decided to build Funk Master Flex into the brand that he is today. Take in her close and meaningful relationship with the late, great Chris Lighty. We only scratched the surface as to this woman’s integral role in contributing to this culture, but this episode’s lessons is an important and mostly overlooked in this thing we call rap. PLUS: Dallas Penn shares how he single handedly broke the Internets with his ingenious execution of Pologate.

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The Combat Jack Show: The Russell Simmons Episode

russell-simmons-sb-loThe Godfather of this whole damb thing, Rush broke bread reflecting on his time as a gang member, small time drug dealer, how Hip Hop saved his life, why DJ Hollywood should be remembered in the rap history books, why Diddy is the man he his today, Rick Rubin, Lyor Cohen, Dame Dash, how he’s not hung up on the word “nigga”…. so much covered that we had to end it with a lesson in meditation, literally. I’ve seen a lot in my life, but I never thought I’d see the day when a real life rap yogi would be walking us down memory lane. Please run cop Russell’s new book “Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple” co-written by our very own Chris Morrow here.

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