A Waste Of Time with ItsTheReal

By ItsTheReal

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The most fun interviews in hip-hop: comedian brothers Eric and Jeff Rosenthal, better known as ItsTheReal, engage in authentic and hilarious conversation with rappers, tastemakers, and industry veterans, all from their Upper West Side apartment.

Episode Date
#303: Jessie Reyez
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Toronto's own singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging, thoughtful and personal conversation. We discussed everything from meeting Rihanna and Beyonce and Frank Ocean, to being mentored by King Louie, to driving through the Bath Salt District every day, to what The Weeknd and strippers have to do with her career, to her asshole years as a teenager, to when she recognized the goodness of her parents, to what she's done to make up for past ways, and so much more!
Feb 10, 2020
#302: Russ
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Russ to the Upper West Side for the wide-ranging, thoughtful and personal conversation you've been waiting for!
Feb 04, 2020
#301: Jonathan Mannion

This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome legendary photographer Jonathan Mannion to the Upper West Side for a deep, hilarious and very meaningful conversation!

(3:45) AKAs

(4:48) What photographs/artwork he has on his walls at home.

(5:28) Meeting and working with Richard Avedon

(11:20) His introduction to Hip Hop and what other genres/artists he enjoys

(22:37) “Who you shoot vs. How you shoot”

(32:30) The first time he sold a print/photograph.

(35:08) Dealing with online criticism

(40:07) What sessions he felt that he rose to the occasion

(45:22) Shooting for DJ Khaled and the differences between photographing humans and animals

(56:57) The creative process behind his album cover shoots

(59:03) Shooting at live events as opposed to magazines or album covers

(1:05:21) Advice to upcoming photographers

(1:12:32) Other art forms he uses to express himself and discusses all the private flights he has taken

Speed Round:

(1:22:53) Busta Rhymes

(1:24:36) Puff Daddy

(1:26:21) Outkast

(1:27:35) June Ambrose

(1:28:35) Nelly

(1:31:04) Dreamville

(1:32:34) Who he wants to work with

Jan 27, 2020
#300: The Return of Joe Budden

Now we're podding! This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our friend and co-host of the Joe Budden Podcast, Joe Budden, back to the Upper West Side for a deep and dope conversation about patience, determination, vision and happiness.


8:25 Podcast starts

11:19 Joe Budden TV

14:44 Betting on yourself and being patient when dealing with big companies/corporations

29:09 Veering off from a traditional rap career into radio and podcasting

43:31 Time at Complex and Partnering with Spotify

59:11 The Joe Budden Podcast/The Pull Up/ State of the Culture

Jan 20, 2020
#299: Riggs Morales

This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Atlantic Records VP of A&R and Artist Development Riggs Morales to the Upper West Side! Riggs discusses growing up in Washington Heights, a kid in love with comic books, riding the subways to avoid school, a terrible hustler with a great work ethic, who had an interest in the music business, but no way in, and the break he caught when he met the legendary hip-hop writer Bonz Malone. We talk about how he got on at The Source, writing Ma$e's first cover story, buying photos from a young Lenny S and young Johnny Nunez, where he was when Suge Knight took the stage at the 1995 Source Awards, and choosing David Banner, Juelz Santana and most famously, Eminem, for the Unsigned Hype column. Riggs reminisces on his time as an A&R for Shady Records during their dominant years, putting together the 8 Mile soundtrack with Em and seeing what a genius mind 50 Cent is from the moment he signed. Riggs gets into how he decided to move on from Shady, how he hoped to grow as an executive, who he could rely on for advice in that time, why he chose to work at Atlantic, his contributions to projects with Wiz Khalifa, Travie McCoy and O.T. Genesis, and his dream of one day working with Phil Collins. We also break down how he closed the Hamilton Mixtape deal with Lin-Manuel Miranda, bringing Busta Rhymes to a preview of the play, how the experience has changed his life, the most important promise he made and kept with Lin, and what the upcoming feature film In The Heights means to a Washington Heights native like Riggs. All that, plus the lessons he learned from his parents, the heartfelt words HeadQCourterz left him with as they grew up, being early on Razor scooters, meeting George Lucas, the crazy list of artists he worked toward signing as an exec, and so much more! 

14:41 AKAs

Eric aka Cancel PETA aka Dragging My Mink

Jeff aka Drop a Dime on You aka The Empire State Building

Riggs aka Rigg Flair aka Riggy Smallz aka Rigg Ross

Riggs Morales speaks about:

15:22 His time at Shady Records during 50 Cent’s debut

21:19 Growing up in NYC

28:42 Finding himself and getting into journalism

1:02:16 Leaving The Source Magazine and becoming an A&R

1:23:44 Leaving Shady Records and heading to Atlantic Records

1:37:00 Working on Hamilton the Hip Hop Musical

1:50:53 Mac Miller, Alchemist, The Beatnuts/Big Pun video shoot, DJ Green Lantern, Johnny Nuñez

Jan 13, 2020
#298: Ryan Leslie

Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome producer/singer/rapper/tech CEO Ryan Leslie to the Upper West Side for a thoughtful, hilarious and meaningful conversation about music, operating direct-to-consumer, dignity, artistry, hard work and vision, plus stories about Fabolous, Cassie, Jagged Edge, Tommy Motolla, Miley Cyrus and much more!

6:59 AKAs Eric aka Ain’t Nothing to Cut My Bitch Off aka ASPCA

Jeff aka Melt the Block aka Fondue

Ryan Leslie aka The Slasher

Ryan Leslie speaks about:

7:37 Being first through the “door”/ His family and upbringing

19:26 Never dumbing down/His early production/songwriting

32:59 His love for Stevie Wonder/ Being a musician while being a student at Harvard

40:30 His toughest time as a musician/ Having co-signs,mentors, friendships

52:30 Artists he has helped using direct audience ownership/ Being passionate about whatever he is working on

1:01:15 His beat building videos on YouTube/ The ability to search and find what you’re looking for

1:08:48 Meetings with tech companies vs. Meetings in the music industry

1:21:45 Relationship with Fabolous/ Creative process when working in different studios

Jan 06, 2020
#297: Hovain Hylton

This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome manager, dot-connector, and Cinematic Music Group partner Hovain Hylton to the Upper West Side! Hovain discuses the dark realities in growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn, exploring all other parts of the borough as a young man, gaining musical inspiration from seeing Puff Daddy and the Family at Madison Square Garden, and life inspiration from seeing his own cousin's music video on television. Hov talks putting off real jobs and industry internships in favor of running around with Sickamore, road managing Rich Hil, and building a truly independent operation with Troy Ave. We get into the excitement of inspiring the streets, putting on for New York City, and selling themselves as an authentic movement, as well as the validation that comes from playing Hot 97 Summer Jam's main stage, taking and walking away from major label meetings and starting over after one business ends. His talks about the perfect situation he has these days at Cinematic alongside Jonny Shipes, managing OGs like Styles P, Sheek Louch and Smoke DZA and young stars like Luh Kel, and what it means to still be a fan and have the ear of luminaries like Fat Joe and N.O.R.E. All that, plus how he pulled up to the Summer Jam parking lot, what his mom thinks he does for a living, why he can no longer be a Knicks fan, the one and only pair of shoes he's missing in his extensive collection, and much more!

4:26 AKAs

Eric aka The One-Ders aka Cinematic Music Group 

Jeff aka Thinking Outside the Box aka Sitting in the Friend Zone 

Hovain speaks about:

7:35 Growing up in Brownsville, Brooklyn

18:16 His relationship with Sickamore/Beginning his management career 

29:23 Staying independent/ What he brings to the table as a manager 

39:44 His fallout with Troy Ave/ Interviewing for Fancy and starting to manage other artists 

50:01 His relationship with Jonny Shipes/Striving to be great

1:02:24 His sneaker collection/ Working with people he grew up admiring 

1:11:12 Sean Price/ Still being ambitious/ Having a Brooklyn bias 

1:16:31 Outro

Dec 30, 2019
#296: Our Brother Dan

Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 12 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome our brother Dan back to the Upper West Side for the conversation the streets have been asking for! This episode also features guest appearances from our friends Greg Mayo and David Cho.

3:02 AKAs

Eric aka Brooks Brothers aka Family Ties 

Jeff aka The Fly God aka Jeff Goldblum

Dan aka Eric and Jeff’s Brother aka Your Third Favorite Brother on Your Third Favorite Podcast.

Dan speaks about:

5:29 Attending Indiana University/Beginnings in the sports industry 

16:17 Meeting Kanye West/Growing Up with Eric and Jeff

24:30 Working in Cleveland 

32:47 Leaving Cleveland to work with the New York Yankees 

58:08 Living together while doing the podcast/Leaving the Yankees and working at Madison Square Garden 

1:04:56 Consulting for the Tokyo Giants/Traveling 

1:16:29 Outro

Dec 24, 2019
#295: The Return of Brandon Jinx Jenkins

Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 11 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome Jersey's own Brandon Jinx Jenkins back to the Upper West Side for a conversation that creatives need to hear!

1:30 AKAs

Eric aka Running with the Pump aka New Jersey Gas Attendant 

Jeff aka Chop Up the Block aka Jenga 

Jinx aka Brandon aka The #1 Guest aka I’m Coming Back 3 or 4 More Times 

Jinx speaks about:

4:00 What aspect he feels most overlooked in/ Trying to do everything by

himself vs. working with others

15:20 Being successfully independently/Importance of taking the time to relax before getting burnt out 

26:50 The Thrasher Story/Imposter Syndrome

39:17 Nipsey Hussle Memorial/ Different definitions of success 

1:00:50 Living in the moment and not sharing everything on social media 

1:13:34 DJing/Being in a zone

1:32:42 Outro

Dec 22, 2019
#294: The Return of Jim Jones
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 10 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome Harlem's own Jim Jones back to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging, hilarious and personal conversation!
Dec 21, 2019
#293: The Return of !llmind
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 9 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome producer !llmind back to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 20, 2019
#292: Yung Baby Tate
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 8 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we went to Atlanta to sit down with Decatur's own singer/rapper/singer-and-rapper Yung Baby Tate for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 19, 2019
#291: Jorge Peniche
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 7 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we went to the Los Angeles Athletic Club's Trophy Room to sit down with Jorge Peniche - Nipsey Hussle's photographer, tour manager, creative partner and friend - for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 18, 2019
#290: Gia Peppers
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 6 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome entertainment personality, interviewer and podcaster Gia Peppers to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 17, 2019
#289: James Rico of Reel Goats
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 5 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome DaBaby's music video director and creative partner in Reel Goats, James Rico, to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 16, 2019
#288: The Return of Bun B
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 4 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome The Trill OG Bun B back to the Upper West Side for a long-awaited, wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 15, 2019
#287: Tinashe
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 3 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we went to Los Angeles to sit down with singer/songwriter/dancer/actor/chef/baker/Tae Kwon Do blackbelt/Taco Tuesday hostess Tinashe for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 14, 2019
#286: Watchman Writer Cord Jefferson
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 2 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we went to Los Angeles to sit down with two-time 2019 WGA Award nominee, writer for Succession, The Good Place and of course Watchmen, where he co-wrote Episode 6, This Extraordinary Being, Cord Jefferson for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 13, 2019
#285: Cam'ron
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 1 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome Harlem legend Cam'Ron to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging, dynamic, hilarious and personal conversation!
Dec 12, 2019
#284: Dermot Kennedy
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome singer/songwriter Dermot Kennedy to the Upper West Side! Dermot, who hails from a small town outside a small town outside Dublin, Ireland, talks growing up with intermittent internet, an acoustic guitar, no pop culture references, and the most successful musicians he was aware of being his cousin's cover band. We get into his undisciplined busking career in the streets of Dublin, making just enough money to work for a week in a proper studio, his parents being super supportive of his dreams at 18 years old, the realities of producers taking ideas and credit, how he never wanted to be a local celebrity, and how an Ed Sheeran cover gave him viral success. Dermot recalls his first big break thanks to a video app that brought him down to a Florida convention center, how he didn't want to blow up off of other peoples' music, doubling down on his own compositions, putting everything he had into EPs that didn't go anywhere, how a change of mind led him to release his songs as singles, and walking into a venue in London to a large crowd that found him organically through Spotify. We discuss independent success, how labels and publishers came knocking on his door, feeling like he'd already been through the ringer and what ultimately sold him on Island in the UK and Interscope in the US, and how he's taken the States by storm with clever live rearrangements of his own songs as well as Joey Bada$$ and Kanye covers. All that, plus playing Tiny Desk, recording in Brooklyn and LA, the keys to performing the streets of Dublin, teaching himself piano, the status of his Spotify account these days, some major live gigs he hints at playing in 2020, and so much more!
Dec 09, 2019
#283: Cousin Stizz
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome Boston's own Cousin Stizz to the Upper West Side! Stizz discusses the realities of growing up in Dorchester, the oldest of three children and the son of working class parents who wanted more for him then what they had, how he excelled in certain classes but didn't care for school, the pull of the darker corners outside, and the effect his best friend's death had on him before even reaching high school. Stizz talks his mother's line in the sand, what it was like to bus to the suburbs to a brand new school experience, listening to but not obsessing over music as a teen, and casually finding his way into rap cyphers, where more than anything he got a chance to show off his sense of humor. We break down his mom's driving him to an Army recruiter, his last-minute scheme to stay at home by becoming a producer, how that evolved into composing lyrics, recording his own songs, and keeping them all to himself, and the serendipitous moment where he left a dice game after a last minute invite to crash an open mic where he met up with a number of his contemporaries who'd go on to become his creative partners. Stizz talks about speaking on his circumstances where others hadn't before, the care he puts into perfecting his art, the thought that goes into his process, and what it's like to find out that Drake played your music at a party and broadcast it to the world on Instagram. We get into his meeting at Lyor Cohen's house, how labels came calling, why he ultimately chose to sign with RCA, what he discussed with Donald Glover while they got high, how both loss and success led to scrapping two full albums, what it's like to have Shea Serrano in your corner, why he still loves his city, that infamous Cuba Gooding, Jr. picture, whether a true Bostonian can ever wear a Yankees hat, the reality of Tom Brady getting older, and so much more!
Dec 02, 2019
#282: DJ Toomp
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we went to Means Street Studio in Atlanta to sit down with the legendary producer DJ Toomp about his hall of fame career! Toomp discusses growing up in a musical household in Atlanta, the son of a soul singer, seeing a 60 Minutes segment on DJing in the early 80's, catching Fresh Fest when they stopped through the A, and how he made a name for himself through turntable routines and rocking parties. We get into his time in Miami working and touring with 2 Live Crew, what he took in in terms of production and how to run an independent label via Uncle Luke, his contributions to the New Jack City soundtrack, and the hardest lesson to learn as a young kid in the music business. Toomp talks about returning to Atlanta, then a R&B-heavy city, developing his own sound, trying to fit in with The Organized Noize crew, trying to win over executives at LaFace, and collaborating with local artists like Lil Jon, with whom he worked for free. Toomp recalls the full confidence, the unique flow and the vivid wordplay that a young Clifford Harris brought to the table when they first met, how the whole package reminded him of Jay-Z, the work they put in on songs like 24s, the long drives he made with Jason Geter and T.I. to NYC to try and sell LA Reid on a bigger vision, and after they parted ways with the label, how they proved their legitimacy by taking over not only Atlanta, but the South, resulting in a bigger and better deal with Atlantic Records. And of course, Toomp shares incredible recollections about his collaborations with Tip, Jay-Z, Kanye, Jeezy, Rick Ross and Pitbull, the crazy circumstances behind a doomed sampling of Prince, what record he considers to be way ahead of its time, who he offered What You Know to first, and so much more!
Nov 25, 2019
#281: The Return of Ari Lennox
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we went down to Atlanta for the Red Bull Music Festival and sat down with our friend Ari Lennox to dive into her stellar debut project Shea Butter Baby, dive into The Dreamville Sessions, discuss where she's looking to settle down, remember the best performances on the internet, break down the genesis of her "woo ha" lyric, hear how she puts together her dynamic live shows, see who's been asking for a new album, talk about her amazing IG live appearances, get into her relationship with her dog, her relationship with her ex, her relationship with herself, and so much more in this side-splitting episode!
Nov 18, 2019
#280: Dreka Gates
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Dreka Gates - Kevin Gates' partner in life and business - back to the Upper West Side for her own episode! Dreka discusses her upbringing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, meeting Kevin as a high school senior outside her brother's football game, the phone calls, conversations and intellect they traded as friends before they started dating, the way she responded to his power with words, the heartbreak of her family not wanted the relationship to continue, and the resolve it took to block that out and keep pushing forward with Kevin. We talk about how her selflessness and dedication in helping others led her from pre-med dreams to supporting Kevin's music, how quickly she took to music management, how she saw the road ahead as them against the world, how for a time she dove into the streets to make ends meet, and how together she and Kevin built something lasting and meaningful. Dreka details the independent grind around Louisiana, from the radio stations to the clubs to the local record labels, and how through hard work, putting touring money back into the business, plus a ton of powerful records, they established themselves around the South, attracting attention from major labels, including their future home, Atlantic Records. We get into why they moved their family from Louisiana to Texas to Georgia to Miami and now to Calabasas, whether they're looking to head someplace once again, how they changed their diets, how they raised their children, how they found a balance between work and home life, how it feels to win in the music business on their terms, how Kevin proposed marriage, what it was like to stand before their families and take their wedding vows, and so very much more!!
Nov 11, 2019
#279: Westside Gunn
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, it's the conversation you've been waiting for: we welcome Buffalo's own, Roc Nation and Shady's own, Griselda's own Westside Gunn to the Upper West Side for a fascinating deep dive into the life and times of The New King of New York.
Nov 04, 2019
#278: The Return of Smoke DZA
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome one of the most prolific rappers of our generation and our friend, Smoke DZA, back to the Upper West Side! DZA talks his new collaboration with Benny the Butcher, Statue of Limitations, meeting Rihanna at Rolling Loud, getting on a song with Fat Joe and Bun B and Statik Selektah, growing up battle rapping, standing outside Hot 97 waiting to give DJ Kay Slay a CD, asking Bodega Bamz's mom to call his job and tell them he was quitting, spending time in the Hamptons with Jonny Shipes, Ev Boogie and Scott Disick, where he ranks amongst basketball-playing rappers, cooking up at Dame Dash's TriBeCa dojo alongside Curren$y, Ski Beatz, Jay Electronica, when he wears Uptowns, when he wears all white outfits, how easy it is to give up and what's kept his creating through the years, getting to a place where his business is all the way good, what he's got in the stash and when we'll hear it, hinting at diving into the podcast game, and much, much more!
Oct 28, 2019
#277: Juan Ep (Peter Rosenberg + Cipha Sounds)
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome our friends Peter Rosenberg and Cipha Sounds of the Juan Ep Podcast back to the Upper West Side! It's the complaining you've been waiting for!
Oct 21, 2019
#276: Kevin Gates
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Baton Rouge's own Kevin Gates to the Upper West Side for a deep, hilarious, revealing, extremely meaningful and one-of-a-kind conversation. Kevin does a deep dive into great energy, the influence he's had on the game, recording songs at his grandmother's house, how his music career almost never happened, where his confidence came from, what he learned from Cash Money and what they learned from him, what Atlantic Records offered him during their first conversation, what his wife Dreka has meant to his life and career, real ones he can relate to like Jim Jones, Maino and Fred the Godson, how much fun he's having these days, what it's like when he hears that his music has saved lives, how he learned to forgive his mother, how he saw past the hurt in DJ Akademiks, what yoga has meant to his every day, the street mission that led to his brother's death and could have also led to his own, and so, so, so much more!
Oct 14, 2019
#275: Trinidad Jame$ Part 1
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome musician, cultural trendsetter, fashion boundary-pusher, sneaker commentator and connoisseur, and basketball lifer Trinidad Jame$ to the Upper West Side for Part 1 of this multi-episode podcast! Trinidad, with great humor and much perspective looks back at the viral monster that was All Gold Everything, from its conception to seeing it rocket out of Atlanta to taking over New York City's Santos Party Haus for the most celebrated performance in years, as well as the severe downturn that came after parting ways with Def Jam and New York City souring on Trinidad after his words were taken the wrong way, and the amazing way he bounced back to begin his latest and most exciting chapter. We dive into his humble beginnings in Atlanta by-way-of Trinidad & Tobago, the quiet high schooler he was, what gambling meant to him, how working at Waffle House changed his perspective, how losing his job and his green card left him broke but also creatively driven and how it ultimately gave him the confidence to shine as Trinidad Jame$. We talk how ahead of the curve he was on Drake's music, camo shorts, and snapback hats, the presence he had throughout the Atlanta streetwear scene, why he ultimately had to leave the boutique he made poppin', and the excitement that came from putting his all into making S.A.F.E. All that, plus his stint in jail, the insane number of features he put together in 2013, what Two9 meant to his path, how he became cool with A$AP Mob, how he turned the internet off and Netflix on, finding out about Bruno Mars' 24k Magic, who exactly looked out when he was down on his luck, and so much more!!
Oct 07, 2019
#274: Columbia Records SVP of Content Development Shahendra Ohneswere
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Columbia Records' SVP of Content Development Shahendra Ohneswere to the Upper West Side! Born in Suriname, Shahendra discusses his family's big move to The Bronx, learning United States culture from Transformers and Peter Jennings, moving around the country before settling down in Minneapolis, home to a big backpack rap scene, a big punk scene and a big shopping scene, The Mall of America. We talk about his attachment to Rhymesayers, Atmosphere, Eyedea and independent music in the Twin Cities, his move to New York City for college, showing up in a suit for his first internship at Rawkus, attending Lyricist Lounge shows, working at a record store in Brooklyn when RZA, Prodigy and Alicia Keys would stop by for in-stores, and grabbing a hold of the underground scene in the big city. Shahendra details his internship at MCA, the satisfaction that came from bringing Atmosphere in for a meeting, the recognition of his smarts by the president of Ecko, his work for an early iteration of Complex Magazine, his time spent at Dr. Jay's, a brief spell as an editor for Giant Magazine, some of the incredible people he collaborated with at Roc Nation, and the philosophies he carries as an executive for a resurgent Columbia Records. All that, plus his love for Rage Against the Machine, being around one-of-one Basquiats, orchids, Husker Du, working alongside three-time NYT Best-Selling author Mary H.K. Choi, what it's like to meet other Brown creatives in this industry and much, much more!
Sep 30, 2019
#273: Sophia Chang
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome music executive, marketing maven, artist manager, full-time mother and game-changer in the flesh, Sophia Chang to the Upper West Side! Sophia, whose audio memoir The Baddest Bitch in the Room will be available exclusively on audible.com starting September 26th, discusses being raised in Vancouver, BC, the daughter of a North Korean mother and a South Korean father, the realities of not finding representation in mass media, growing up popular and outgoing and brilliant, yet still being an outsider, the beauty and the quiet of the Pacific Northwest, as well as the energy and vibrations and pull of New York City. Sophia gets into her early days as an assistant for Paul Simon, meeting Joey Ramone, expecting to run into Woody Allen walking the streets, experiencing Manhattan in its dirty era, her love for lyricism as well as baselines, her time at Jive Records, crossing paths with UGK, and befriending fellow industry titan Chris Lighty. We talk about her time with Wu-Tang, taking RZA to China to study with and perform for kung-fu masters, her thoughts on the Of Mics and Men documentary, leaving the music business for a dozen years, later working with artists like Joey Badass and G Herbo, living in and loving the hip-hop culture, and calling out and cutting out those who didn't. All that, plus how motherhood changed everything, how it felt to uplift artists in every aspect of their lives, as well as them uplifting hers, making peace with relationships coming to an end, the bigger mission of raising her children in New York City, whether or not Paul Simon cheats in Scrabble, and much, much more!
Sep 23, 2019
#272: Tiffany Calver
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome BBC 1Xtra personality and Drake's tour DJ Tiffany Carver to the Upper West Side! Tiffany breaks down how a young hip-hop blogging fanatic from the English countryside found herself in on a buffet line in Los Angeles rubbing elbows with Dr. Dre, how Miss Info's work inspired her to try her hand at music journalism, how her parents encouraged her to follow her passion, how a viral Soundcloud mix of hers moved her to get serious about Serato, how every London venue turning her down convinced her to start her own (ultimately very successful) club night, how she found out that she'd be touring Europe with the most famous rapper on Earth, how she thought she tanked her audition but in fact nailed it and got the job of her dreams, and how she did all of this by the age of 25. All that, plus her first experience at Olive Garden, the interview that brought her to tears, her father's best advice, her very-short-lived rap name, the most insane gig she's performed at, her experiences at pirate radio stations, how her shyness presents itself in giant arenas, her huge goals for the upcoming year, Dr. Dre's biggest weakness and much, much more!
Sep 16, 2019
#271: Jeezy
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome hip-hop's thug motivator, the mixtape champion, Atlanta's own Snowman himself, Jeezy to the Upper West Side for a deep, hilarious, revealing, and extremely meaningful conversation.
Sep 09, 2019
#270: Little Brother
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh, collectively known as the celebrated North Carolina duo Little Brother, to the Upper West Side to commemorate their reunion and new album May the Lord Watch, dive into their shine and their flaws during LB's first iteration, get into the dynamics of the break-up, discuss how death melted the ice, break down legacy and influence, and give full context to the power behind the music they're making today. This is the conversation you've been waiting for.
Sep 02, 2019
#269: We Answer Listener Questions!
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we answer listener-submitted questions about everything from how to succeed in podcasting, which rapper we'd like to see as a college professor, what projects we have in the works, the absolute worst interview we ever had, our favorite memories of Combat Jack, what Chinese food we order on Christmas Day, who would win in a fight between us, and much, much, much more!
Aug 27, 2019
#268: Director Ian "Rex Arrow" Wolfson
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome music video director, filmmaker, storyteller and Mac Miller's long-time creative partner, Ian "Rex Arrow" Wolfson to the Upper West Side! Ian, our great friend and collaborator, discusses growing up in Pittsburgh, its specific dialect, geography, famous residents, and tiny world for a big city, his devotion to cross-country running, his introduction to documentary filmmaking, and his goal to move to New York City to make movies. We get into his years as a student at Columbia University, his experience working at the famous movie rental store, Kim's Video and Music, the story that only he could tell back in Pittsburgh, how that film blew up in a million pieces, but how it introduced him to a teenage artist named Easy Mac. Ian talks about how his and Mac's relationship as friends and collaborators grew and evolved over the course of a decade, shooting 34 music videos together, touring the world with the tight circle of friends, living out of Mac's recording den in his Los Angeles home, reacting to fan love, reacting to Donald Trump's threats, evolving into freer artists and fully-formed adults, the absolute heartbreak of Malcolm McCormick's passing away, and opening your soul to beauty in the world once more. Ian reflects with great humor and great heart on a number of projects with Mac, a number with us, on meeting Mister Rogers, on losing actors due to dogs, on wearing a dress on stage, on stealing pants, and much, much more!
Aug 19, 2019
#267: Dreamville Senior Creative Felton Brown
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Dreamville's Senior Creative Felton Brown (@feltonamus) to the Upper West Side! Felton talks his seminal hip-hop blog Pardon Me Duke, his work in advertising, and how his friendship with J. Cole, Ib Hamad and the entire Dreamville roster developed over the last decade. We get into his roots in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, going to the School of Art and Design, interning at Def Jam as a 16-year-old, and his dual loves of NYC rap and Southern hip-hop. There are stories about meeting Foxy Brown, Method Man walking up on him with a bag of chips, DMX barking at him from a limo rooftop, Cey Adams inspiring him to get into professional graphic design, moving on to building D4L's website, developing a video game for Pimp C, playing Halo with Director X and sharing a cubicle/office with three of his best friends while posting their way through the blog era. We discuss everything Dreamville - Dreamville Fest, the Dreamville golden tickets, the recording sessions and cover design for Revenge of the Dreamers 3, future plans for the label - plus a lot but also not enough Ja Rule talk, Ludacris' video for "Pimpin All Over the World," how to leak a Swizz Beatz video without even trying, and so much more!
Aug 13, 2019
#266: Big K.R.I.T.
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Meridian, Mississippi's own Big K.R.I.T. to the Upper West Side for a deep, hilarious, revealing, and very meaningful conversation!
Aug 05, 2019
#265: Rick Ross
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Miyayo's own, CEO of Maybach Music, the biggest boss, Rick Ross to the Upper West Side for a deep, hilarious, revealing, and very meaningful conversation! 
Jul 29, 2019
#264: DJ EFN
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome one half of the Drink Champs Podcast DJ EFN (along with a dozen of his closest friends) to the Upper West Side to MAKE SOME NOISE!!! EFN discusses his long-time friendship with N.O.R.E., his initial response to N.O.R.E.'s career shift to reggaeton, how they got into podcasting, Drink Champs' success in giving artists their flowers, the potential reason behind DJ Khaled having not been a guest to this point, and episodes with Fat Joe, Diddy and DMX. EFN talks moving to Miami as a middle-schooler after growing up in Los Angeles, how hip-hop helped him find a place in his new town, seeing Biggie and Wu-Tang perform mixtape tracks in Miami clubs, how he got into DJing parties, establishing Crazy Hood as his own brand and crew, promoting events around town and the shootouts that brought that to an end, attending all of the mid-90's hip-hop conferences on a mission to get drops and freestyles for his mixtape series, opening his own brick and mortar store, the difference between hip-hop and bass, why Rick Ross and Pitbull were became super-successful, which Miami artists should have popped off, what it was like when artist after artist began to move into town, whether Soundcloud rappers could guest on Drink Champs, the multiple podcast Halls of Fame, the idea of Miami as a transplant city, what he thinks of South Florida in 2019, and much more! 
Jul 22, 2019
#263: Maxo Kream
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Houston, Texas' own, Maxo Kream to the Upper West Side for his most revealing interview yet! We talk to the newest Roc Nation signee about how Jay-Z reached out through Mike Dean, the literal fights that allowed him to make a name for himself around Texas, getting co-signs from newer stars like Travis Scott as well as legends like Bun B, where his head was at as an up and coming artist, trying to get on by any means necessary, whether taking another rapper's chain or spamming artists and executives and publications just to get his music heard, how much he looked up to the Cool Kids for their style and their smooth ways and told producers that he worked with that he was on the search for Chuck Inglish type beats, the differences between the Nigerian side of his family vs. the African American side of his family, what it's like to have multiple members of his family behind bars, how hustling wasn't a sport but a means to an end, how he's mellowed out a little bit - his last fight wasn't too long ago, so don't get the wrong idea - but realizing how much is on the line and how many people are relying on him to do right, his new album Brandon Banks, which goes super in depth into the rollercoaster that is his relationship with his dad, Brandon Banks, Sr, and so much more! 
Jul 15, 2019
#262: Pink Sweat$
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Philadelphia's own R&B sensation, Pink Sweat$ to the Upper West Side! We talk growing up "mad Christian," his family's dueling churches, learning to play drums on Sundays, his days as the worst kind of student, living a life with no internet or television or radio, how moving to the suburbs brought Maroon 5 and Avril Lavigne and affection for dogs into his life, trying to get fired from his job at Chik-Fil-A, his life-altering health issues and how he kept it from family and friends, what ultimately sent him to the doctor, and what a second lease on life meant, how he got into songwriting, finding his way to Los Angeles, working with Wiz Khalifa, Tierra Whack, Justin Bieber and more, what his family thinks of his live performances, where the name Pink Sweat$ came from and whether he'd ever give up the bit, his thoughts on lettuce, and much more!
Jul 08, 2019
#261: Shenseea
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Kingston, Jamaica's own dancehall artist, Shenseea to the Upper West Side! We talk growing up in the church, how her ever-present shyness mixed with performing in singing groups, popular music being kept from her, working in tourism on the island, not meeting her older brother until they were both grown-ups, how mature she believed she was and how much being a mother made her mature, covering songs and posting them to Facebook, keeping her singing dreams from her family, how they reacted to her explicit lyrics, taking on managers and producers and labels, moving into popular territory while maintaining a street edge, meeting Jay-Z, singing with Vybz Kartel, how she gained confidence on stage, her new single Blessed, why her Genius Verified episode might come across like she was on edibles, a potential collaboration with a neighbor up north, and much more!
Jul 01, 2019
#260: The Return of A$AP Ferg
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome back Harlem's own A$AP Ferg to the Upper West Side! We talk the Met Gala, his friendship with Dapper Dan, his rules for working with producers, getting bad haircuts, his true friendship with Rocky, the importance of Damon Dash's TriBeCa dojo, why he doesn't put celebrities on a pedestal, everything behind Plain Jane, what his family means to Harlem, what it meant to get an original Bad Boy chain from Puff, his gym music playlist, dressing up as Mike Tyson and then meeting the champ, the mission of A$AP Mob in 2019, his bike line, his rug line, his deals with Hennessy and Revlon, his highly anticipated forthcoming album Floor Seats, and much, much more!
Jun 24, 2019
#259: Dennis Graham
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we travelled to Hidden Hills in Calabasas, sat down with Dennis Graham for our Father's Day episode, and had a deep, hilarious and very meaningful conversation. We talk Memphis, Houston, Toronto and Los Angeles, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Joe Cocker, Larry Graham, Stax, Sun, Motown, Sandy, Degrassi, tour life, club life, real life, TMZ, and of course, his mustache, his music, his son, Drake, and much more!
Jun 17, 2019
#258: Common
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we travelled to Los Angeles and sat down with Common for a deep, hilarious and very meaningful conversation. We talk the Obamas, Jay-Z, Beyonce, his daughter, Stacey Abrams, Be, American Gangster, the Wu-Tang documentary, Dilla, Questlove, going bald, visiting prisons, who he's confused for, what puts the A&M in FAMU, and much more!
Jun 10, 2019
#257: Trevor Noah
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the host of The Daily Show, host of On Second Thought: The Trevor Noah Podcast, available on Luminary, as well as the author of Born A Crime, now available in paperback, Trevor Noah, to the Upper West Side! Trevor talks growing up in Johannesburg, South Africa, getting his mouth washed out with soap by nuns at his Catholic school, his mother's conversion to Judaism and his subsequent Bar Mitzvah, his waning interest in playing sports due to competition, DJing twelve hour street parties and the insane way that cops put an end to his business. We discuss his job as a taxi driver on the Johannesburg streets, when he first touched a comedy stage, how his material would shine a light on the shifting culture dynamics in newly democratic South Africa, the scene of his most ridiculous comedy set, how he went where the work was, whether in Australia, Germany, England or the United States, and how his point of view was or was not accepted. Trevor talks about the feeling he got wearing a pair of Timbs on the Brooklyn streets when he first moved to New York, how he'd hustle from gig to gig around the city, which comedians looked out for him, his fan bases in Boston, Chicago and throughout Texas, and how he performs in a theater vs. a stadium vs. to a television camera. We get into his thoughts on blood relatives, providing extra content beyond his TV show, how strange it can be at celebrity galas, the most memorable pair of shoes he received from his mother as a kid, his problem with the industrial revolution's effect on human schedules, and much, much more!
Jun 03, 2019
#256: Moneybagg Yo
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome South Memphis' own Moneybagg Yo, whose new album 43va Heartless hit the top of the iTunes Charts and is available everywhere now, to the Upper West Side! Bagg breaks down the different sections of his hometown, discusses growing up a creative child, drawn to drawing, dropping out of high school before his senior year, recording mixtapes around Memphis with one foot still in the streets, his first performance on a heavily stacked lineup at Yo Gotti's birthday party, catching the attention of all the major figures in town, but also getting a call on his trap phone from Akon in an effort to sign him, how his major J. Cole feature came to be, his heavily female fan base, why he feels like this new project speaks more to the streets than Reset, how he first met Meg Thee Stallion, he breaks news about his new management situation, and much more!
May 27, 2019
#255: Jordan Klepper
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome the star and creator of the new Comedy Central documentary series Klepper, former Daily Show correspondent Jordan Klepper, to the Upper West Side! Jordan talks growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, forever being in the shadow of high school legend Derek Jeter, his contributions to his high school's national champion mock trial team, going to college on a math scholarship while double majoring in theater, and moving to Chicago to immerse himself in the best of improv acting. Jordan discusses his time as a substitute teacher (and his second day on the job, September 11th, 2001), his experiences on both the ImprovOlympic and Second City stages, performing as part of the Second City touring company at sea, surrounded by magicians and contortionists and dancers, and why he ultimately made his way to New York City. Jordan breaks down his time as a reality TV writer for the doomed follow-up to Duck Dynasty, Indiana Joes, working on ridiculous MTV game-show/sketch show pilots, and the video that got both Jordan and his wife on the radar of Jon Stewart and The Daily Show, and the phone call informing them that there was only one job being offered. We talk through The Daily Show legacy, the audition process, the culture that Jon Stewart created, performing on stage with the entire Wu-Tang Clan, what it was like when Jon announced he was leaving, the big shoes that Trevor Noah has stepped into and made his own, and what Jordan is building in his own voice with Klepper. All that, plus his recent video collaboration with Bill and Hillary Clinton, the best and worst sketch group names he was involved in, getting arrested on the job, how he feels about dog-friendly offices, and so much more in this incredible funny episode!
May 20, 2019
#254: Ciesay from Places + Faces
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome photographer/clothing designer/DJ/party promoter Ciesay from Places + Faces to the Upper West Side! Fresh off the stage from Places + Faces' first Boiler Room concert in NYC, where Cam'Ron, Jim Jones, Amine, Valee, Sahbabii and many more performed, Ciesay discusses growing up between South London, England and Gambia, the son of an importer/exporter father and a mother who worked for the United Nations, what popular culture he picked up vs. missed out on, the bootleg merch he wore as a child, how stamped-up his passport became at an early age, and the racism he encountered both abroad and at home. Ciesay dives into his first trip alone, to New York City, after an invite from a distant relative came through Facebook, how he used his time in New York to immerse himself in the burgeoning hip-hop scene of the 2010s alongside A$AP Mob, Travis Scott, Big Sean and Drake, the methods he'd use to sneak into concerts, how he made his name as a photographer, and all the terrible filters he used on early Instagram. We get into singular moments in his photography with DMX, Kanye, Tyler the Creator and Bryson Tiller, how he made sweatshirts with his last 300 British Pounds, his friends moshed in them, and he had to take it as a loss, borrowed money from friends, and built a brand that was so dope soon enough Wiz Khalifa was rocking it on his birthday. We talk about how Places + Faces developed their business, their ethos, and how they chose what lanes to occupy, what brands they collaborate with, learning how to be patient with how partnerships and products develop, and how they're organically creating tangible moments for a new generation across lots of mediums. All that, plus where Ciesay has gotten the most lost in the world, why P+F still feels like a London brand while selling all over the world, whether we will all in fact #ComeToBrazil, what the real national anthem of Gambia is, and so much more!
May 13, 2019
BitsTheReal: Celebrity Run-Ins
With over 250 episodes featuring guests from the most diverse backgrounds, most different journeys, and most hilarious stories, it's super dope to find commonalities, so we're continuing this new segment that taps into just that. It takes from our amazing catalog of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal and fits it into a new form, perfect for your commute: BitsTheReal. Today's theme: celebrity run-ins, from Big Wos & BosNaud, The Kid Mero, Dreamville President Ib Hamad, DJ Jubilee, Vibe Editor-in-Chief Datwon Thomas, Tierra Whack and Mouse Jones.
May 08, 2019
#253: Dr. Jessica Clemons
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Dr. Jessica Clemons AKA Dr. Jess AKA The People's Psychiatrist to the Upper West Side! Many people know her for making the conversation around self-care not so hard to understand, whether on Beyonce's website, The Breakfast Club or her own Instagram. We kick off Mental Health Awareness Month talking about what makes for a good therapist, how people can tackle their own anxiety, what expectations someone should have going into a first session, and how even therapists could use someone to speak with. We dive into growing up on an Army base in Huntsville, Alabama, her million high school activities, the car culture around town, walking the local mall in prom outfits like a parade, and how a TV commercial led her heart to New York City. We discuss her lifelong dreams of becoming a doctor, how she approached her studies as an undergrad at Tuskegee, and what happened when her one career goal was deferred. Jess get into her bounce-back, all about her move to New York, how she found love at a Nipsey Hussle concert, how her wedding plans were changed for three reasons (Beyonce, Jay-Z and a hurricane-level storm), where she heads for alone-time, her true thoughts about her husband's Blackberry, who took the best pictures at her wedding, how she never got lifelong sisters in a sorority but found lifelong brothers with ItsTheReal, and much, much more!
May 06, 2019
BitsTheReal: High School Stories
With over 250 episodes featuring guests from the most diverse backgrounds, most different journeys, and most hilarious stories, it's super dope to find commonalities, so we're introducing a new segment that taps into just that. It takes from our amazing catalog of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal and fits it into a new form, perfect for your commute, your lunch break, or while you're waiting for a new episode of 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies: BitsTheReal. Today's theme: high school stories, from Cardi B, Desus Nice, Jadakiss, Ella Mai, Lizzo, Scottie Beam, Kenny Beats and Shea Serrano.
May 02, 2019
#252: TOBi
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Toronto singer TOBi, whose debut album Still drops this week, to the Upper West Side! TOBi talks growing up in Nigeria, who amongst his siblings makes the best jollof, his family's big move across the world to Canada, how he adapted to the cold, to the school system, to both Canadian culture and other immigrants' cultures, and even getting used to the Americanized use of the word "cool." We get into his love for sports and music and his city, growing up listening to The LOX and Outkast, how he was battle-rapping in high school, how he would integrate it into his school assignments, recording songs into a Sony Erickson phone, how he tried to keep it a secret from his parents, and how they ultimately found out. We talk about Drake's influence on Toronto, how his music spoke to TOBi throughout the years, the tenth anniversary of So Far Gone, and the time he snuck into OVOFest while working at an amusement park next door. TOBi shares who he makes his music for, whether you can ever feel like the person who wrote songs from long ago and a career away, before co-signs from Jaime Foxx, Tiffany Haddish, The Game, what's poppin' about Brampton, his time as a pre-med student, the role D-Pryde played in helping TOBi's career move in the right direction and much more!
Apr 29, 2019
#251: Marketing Executive Dela Yador
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome marketing executive, party promoter and cultural connector Dela Yador to the Upper West Side! Bronx born and raised, Dela discusses meeting hip-hop heroes like Big Pun and DMX, moving from Catholic classes to a public high school and literally fighting for respect, gaining leadership from coaching youth basketball, taking a chance by joining school chorus, and what his Ghanan parents expected from his higher education. Dela talks about heading to Buffalo, New York for college, immediately finding himself on academic probation, returning to school with a more serious outlook, joining student government, finding a passion for promoting parties, linking up with DJ Enuff's Heavy Hitters crew, and fast becoming the big man on campus by bringing Snoop Dogg, Colin Powell, Kanye West, DJ Kast One and others to Buffalo. We get into Dela's return to New York City, his day jobs with VH1, BET, Pernod Ricard, his evenings out at clubs with the Heavy Hitters, and bringing the right mix of people, music and energy together for Opal Fridays. We also dive into the early days of HennyPalooza, his forever bond with Kam McCullough, the infamous iPhone note Dela wrote as an invite, the belief that this was bigger than just a basement game night, the work that each and every player put in, what the 5-year anniversary meant, why certain partnerships didn't work out, and why Dela appreciates the D'usse move. All that, plus Beyonce and Jay-Z as superheroes, why Dela has a reputation for being impossibly late, visiting Ghana in 2017, friends giving haircuts in college, doing good work in Nipsey's image, Dela's exciting new endeavors, which will bring together corporations, culture and youth empowerment, and much more!
Apr 22, 2019
#250: Our Mom
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we celebrate episode 250 with our mom, who through resolve, strength, commitment, curiosity, love and generosity, has made her way through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We're thrilled to share her incredible journey, and know you'll enjoy this milestone episode. 
Apr 15, 2019
#249: Parks from The Joe Budden Podcast
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we finally welcome Parks from The Joe Budden Podcast to the Upper West Side! We discuss growing up in Elmira, New York, his timing writing bars, one time outside a bar, and his time behind bars, interning in Chicago, moving to NYC, barely making ends meet on $200 a week as an audio equipment salesman, talking himself into a gig at DJ Premier's studio, meeting Joe Budden and becoming not just his engineer but also his therapist, watching Slaughterhouse form, working together and independently with Joe, Joell, Royce and Crooked I, meeting Eminem, his thoughts on all the Slaughterhouse projects, including the unheard album, touring as Joe's DJ, how he got a rep as a bad driver, why his crazy high school girlfriend was a worse driver than him, how he came to be a part of the podcast, what he thinks of being off-camera, what his girlfriend thinks of the podcast recording in their home, 6am sessions with Azealia Banks, how he's getting recognized these days, how the podcast tour handled the Nipsey Hussle tragedy, and so much more! #ParksHive activate!
Apr 08, 2019
#248: Birdman and Juvenile
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we are welcomed into Cash Money's NYC vault - really - to sit down with Birdman and Juvenile! We discuss a million things including Birdman's interest in Jeff's Bar Mitzvah, who can call him Birdman Baby or Bryan, Juve's work with A-Trak, recording in the same Houston studios as Destiny's Child, Anthony Davis wanting to leave New Orleans, appearing (or not) on MTV Cribs, how the Cash Money distribution negotiations went down with all the labels, Juve taking a leave of absence from his Shell Gasoline job to sign to Cash Money, how close Kanye West came to signing with them, where they were for the Saints Super Bowl run, the weirdest sound Mannie Fresh suggested to them in the studio, when the last time they went somewhere they weren't recognized, their thoughts on Brad Pitt's work post-Katrina, how the Ha Remix with Jay-Z came about, when they first met Bun B, what Juve thought when Swizz Beatz sent Down Bottom, which New York artists were their biggest supporters, and so much more! 
Apr 01, 2019
#247: Manager Ramya Velury
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome manager Ramya Velury to the Upper West Side! Known for her work with Ravie B, Goldlink, Tommy Genesis, Amrit and EQT, Ramya discusses growing up an only child in an Indian family in tiny Ashland, Kentucky, with big dreams, destined for the big city. Ramya talks about making the move and leaving her Kentucky roots and accent behind, her early days at New York University, designing her own major, studying in a class based around Diddy, customizing her own wardrobe, getting to know up-and-coming artists, befriending A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg and Action Bronson, and finding her place in the scene. We get into why she may have been a bad intern for Karlie Hustle, introducing herself to Funk Flex, working at Hot 97's Summer Jam, the importance of knowing what you don't want to do, working the door at Up & Down, the myths of club life, promoting shows, meeting Harry Bernstein of Agency88 and starting work in the agency world, and easing up on her studies so she could focus on having real New York City experiences. Ramya remembers her post-graduate life, moving to a fifth-floor walk-up at St. Mark's, how she and Goldlink connected and built trust, how she dove in the deep end on their first European tour, what value she brings to each of her clients, flying to Paris to pitch Tommy Genesis on building a business together, the subsequent album and tour rollout, the importance of building relationships horizontally, and the exciting future at EQT. All that, plus competitive tap dancing, #FutureHive, her friendship with David Amaya, Nur Ozdamar's skin care, the difference between a Southern accent and a country accent, hanging out at Walmart, the wrong way to dye your hair, putting your phone down and much, much more!
Mar 25, 2019
#246: DJ Megan Ryte
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Hot 97 personality, Interscope recording artist and official member of the Heavy Hitters, DJ Megan Ryte to the Upper West Side! Megan, who escaped an abusive household as an early teen, went to college at age 16, and followed her passion for music and performance from Virginia to Florida to Texas and California before landing her dream job in New York, discusses for the first time in detail her significant health scares from last year. Megan talks about growing up in a household with no popular music, what led her to study pre-med, what it was like to discover hip-hop in college and how she dove head first into DJing. We get into her love of Eminem's music, going on the road with Amerie and K. Michelle, her big move down south, the creative ways she got on radio programmers' radars, living paycheck to paycheck, almost being cast on Love & Hip-Hop Miami, and what it felt like to have a radio vet tell her she wasn't cut out to be an on-air talent. Megan gets into her time as a jack-of-all-trades at a station in West Palm Beach, the opportunity that took her to Houston, how she fell in love with chopped and screwed music, finally finding acceptance and comfort in Texas, and when that same radio vet came back calling to have her audition for a spot at NYC's Hot97, the amazing words that Bun B spoke to send her on her way. We discuss Megan's transition to NYC life, how long it took to get used to being in that famed booth, building relationships with artists both young and established around the country, what she's aiming to bring to the clubs with her new music and everything that her Brooklyn brother DJ Enuff brings into her life. All that, plus meeting a new blood brother as adults, how she kept in shape in Miami, being around shootouts in the club, the quickest way to clear the dance floor (besides shootouts), learning to rely on others after a lifetime of handling everything on her own, and much, much more in this epic episode!
Mar 18, 2019
#245: Roc Nation Manager Nelly Ortiz
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Roc Nation manager and marketing executive, Nelly Ortiz! Nelly, who is best known for her work alongside DJ Khaled, J. Cole and Big Sean, talks about growing up the daughter of two active members of the Army, what it was like to move cities a dozen times, how it became easier to leave as she got older, where she really considers home, the work she put into making new friends at each stop, and her role in the formative girl group, The Flower Girls. Nelly discusses her college dreams, her thoughts of following in the footsteps of her parents and joining the Armed Services, her passion for marketing, her love of learning and the heartbreak of being turned down for a Fulbright scholarship. We dive into her journey through the music industry, from securing an internship at Sony Music Latin in Miami to buying a one-way ticket to New York in the hopes of taking any position in the label system, why she showed up to work an hour early each day, how she kept relationships alive, and how Roc Nation came to bring her abroad to handle marketing and partnerships. We talk about her going to business school online while working on the rollout of Cole's 2014 Forest Hills Drive, working with DJ Khaled in Miami, being awarded a slot in Billboard Magazine's 40 Under 40 and - after all of these major moves - how it felt to move to Los Angeles to start this new chapter. All that plus: Shark Tank, Lenny S' gold couch, the perfect radio voice, what it means to be a coquito executive, what it was like to be in high school when Nelly Furtado and Nelly were popping when your name is Nelly and much, much more!
Mar 12, 2019
#244: Ravie B
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our great friend, the photographer Raven Varona, better known as Ravie B, to the Upper West Side! Known best for her images of Jay-Z and Beyonce, Cardi B, Future, LeBron James, Big Sean, D'ussePalooza and more, Raven discusses how she's leveled up in the last two years and explains her artistic ambitions for the year ahead. In this inspirational and dynamic episode, Raven talks about the logistics of the On The Run II tour, the type of organization it takes to keep track of 4000 new photos a night, the lens and shoes she packed and used while on the road for five months, the pros and cons of international Benihanas, how crew members spent their off-hours, and the picture from South Africa that most significantly matches her vision. We get into how she ended up flying a plane, why she doesn't have her driver's license, watching Game of Thrones with her boyfriend Mike, her rules for game night, teaching Low Key the right way to play Uno, and the biggest news concerning her love of seafood. We break down the values of social media validation, the theoretical perks of being an influencer, her relationships with Yvette Noel-Schure, David Amaya, Renell Medrano, Aleali May, her mother Leigh, what it felt like to see her photographs on a Times Square billboard and on official OTR II merch, and much, much more! 
Mar 05, 2019
#243: Photographer Clay Patrick McBride
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome acclaimed photographer, visionary and professor Clay Patrick McBride to the Upper West Side! Clay breaks down the stories behind his brilliant images of Jay-Z, Kanye West, Allen Iverson, LeBron James, The LOX, Lil Kim, Fat Joe, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day, Metallica, Nas, Juelz Santana, Indian Larry, Norah Jones, among others. Clay discusses growing up two hours north of New York City in Sullivan County a metalhead prone to vices, living in the shadow of his brother, long in search of himself, getting clean, the support of his father, and the fateful day he picked up a camera and looked through its lens. We talk about his time in France studying impressionist painting, his return to New York City, where he spent a year taking self-portraits and ultimately saw into his subjects' eyes, and how he proved to Vibe Magazine, The Source and XXL that his work could live in their pages. Clay shares incredible tales about his legendary SLAM cover with AI, building the Oval Office for XXL's President Carter cover, putting the Red Hot Chili Peppers into the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band uniforms, and a light almost electrocuting Lil Kim while she bathed in a hot tub. We get into his philosophy behind the lens, on set, in the classroom, regarding legacy, editing, being present, digital vs. film, picture takers vs. picture makers, the imagery he has on his walls at home, and much, much more! 
Feb 26, 2019
#242: John Legend
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we travelled to Los Angeles and finally sat down with John Legend for a deep, hilarious and very meaningful conversation! Thanks to Angelo, Richard and Todd at NightBird Recording Studio for the hospitality!
Feb 19, 2019
#241: Jeff Weiss
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we hit the West Coast to speak with one of Los Angeles' greatest cheerleaders, the founder of the popular music website Passion of the Weiss and the heartbeat of TheLAnd Magazine, writer and editor Jeff Weiss! Jeff details what sparked the boycott of LA Weekly, the history of alt newspapers in the United States, what local journalism means in 2019, and why he and so many others have chosen to put their entireties into launching a new publication that speaks the language of his city. We get into his family's long roots in California, his affinity for the Beat Generation, growing up on West Coast rap, writing about Kendrick Lamar and 03 Greedo at the beginnings of their careers, as well as Snoop Dogg on the eve of getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We discuss Jeff's work in documenting Lil Boosie's trial and the greater goings on in Baton Rouge, his history playing baseball and how a .360 batting average got him a writing job, how he ended up in feuds of different degrees with Magic Johnson, Post Malone and Deer Hunter, and the project closest to his heart that currently sits in his desk drawer. All that, plus stories about Eric Davis, Cobra Snake, Rick Ross, Alex Blagg, Mark Lisanti, blogroll placement, the resources necessary to keep music blogs alive, and much, much more! If you'd like to help support, or request a copy of TheLAnd, head to theLAnd.com
Feb 12, 2019
#240: John Monopoly
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we went out to LA to sit down with the legend himself, John Monopoly, to talk about being the at the epicenter of the Chicago music scene for almost thirty years! Known most notably for his work as Kanye West's manager, we talk about his upbringing in Chicago's Johnson family, his early Soul Train memories, going to grade school with Common and No I.D., promoting shows and making beats and getting money in high school, meeting Kanye back in 1990, why he decamped for Atlanta and why he returned home and what Jay Boogie means to the city. We discuss Mnop meeting his cousin Don C and how they took over the night life scene in the Windy City, how they got The Beatnuts to town, the story behind bringing Jay-Z and Foxy Brown to the Chi, and of course, the city's most notorious party celebrating the hottest rapper on the scene, Da Brat. John goes into detail about trying to break the Go Getters and Kanye West records, attending the Mixshow Power Summit, making and maintaining relationships, how Chris Lighty recruited Mnop to work at Violator Management, and what it felt like to leave Chicago for New York. We reminisce on Kanye's chaining day, how he got the news of Kanye's car crash, the initial struggles of Through the Wire on the radio, how Syleena Johnson ended up on All Falls Down, the highs of The College Dropout and The Grammys and ultimately what led to his parting ways with Ye in 2008. We discuss John's work with Valee, Z Money, Virgil Abloh, Hitmaka FKA Young Berg, Dreezy, King Louie, his nephew London on Da Track, Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Dirtbag, Cool & Dre, G.O.O.D. Music, Mona Scott, Todd Moscowitz, Puffy, Cam'ron and Jim Jones, his being diagnosed as bipolar, the value in discussing mental health, and much, much more!
Feb 05, 2019
#239: Harrison Remler
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome COO of Visionary Music Group, Harrison Remler to sit down with us at our new apartment on the Upper West Side! Part of Logic's management team for the past seven years and a 2018 recipient of the Forbes 30 Under 30 honor, Harrison discusses his upbringing on the north shore of Long Island, his dedication to high school baseball, his father's dreams of him becoming a big league relief pitcher, meeting Mariano Rivera at a restaurant in Panama, and why the flame of top-tier athletics burned out at his Division III school, Vassar College. Harry, well-aware of the power of social media and the music blogs, used both to start a college career as a concert promoter, getting his artists respectable pay days whether for high school proms or selling out NYC's Canal Room. At the time, he looked up to independent managers like Benji Grinberg and Will Dzombak, and when he garnered the interest of Logic's manager, Chris Zarou, he immediately offered to intern in exchange for the chance to learn the ins and outs of the music business. Harry details moving around the United States at age 19 as Logic's tour manager, the big responsibilities, the ridiculous quandaries and the large amounts of money that fell on his shoulders - none of it going into his own pockets - but knowing that he was an early part of something significant, putting together Logic's first appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and the life-changing moment where he had to decide between traveling to a Spring Break tourney with his baseball team, or joining Logic on his first European tour. We get into Logic's signing to Def Jam, working on Jon Bellion's career, learning how to push and poke and encourage a major music label while operating out of a basement in Long Island, and the most gratifying moment of his career, Logic's VMA performance which brought together suicide survivors and spread awareness. All that, plus news about Visionary's new situation with Sony Music, stories about Method Man and Redman, Tayyib Ali, AER, DJ Vinny Bags, the Panama Canal, hunting Nazis and much more! 
Jan 29, 2019
#238: Hitmaka
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome super-producer Hitmaka to the Upper West Side to detail the ups and downs of his one-of-one journey as a chart-topping rapper, a hustler, an aimless creative, a ghostwriter and ultimately the most surprising bounce back story and rebrand to become the most in-demand producer in the business. Hitmaka discusses his Chicago upbringing to well-off parents, dropping out of school as a young teen to chase down his hip-hop dreams, linking up with street management which led to opportunities to spit over Kanye West production, rap for Jay-Z, meet Aaliyah, and end up signing to DMX. Hitmaka describes his fallout with his family, his exile to a Montana boot camp which led to his fallout with DMX, reconnecting with childhood friend Shawnna as her career began to take off, getting into Chicago street life to get by, moving to Los Angeles to write for an artist signed to Eve, running around with young Hollywood types, taking a flyer on some young producers and convincing them to join him in LA, and writing the music that would get him - Yung Berg - signed as an artist to Epic Records. We talk about linking up with Ray J, getting bailed out of jail by Shaq, what it was like touring the country as his record Sexy Can I shot to the top of charts, the difference of opinion he and his label head had over follow up record, how his time at Epic came to an end, and how NFL offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie gave him a lifeline. Hitmaka talks about how important his friendship to Jeremih has been, how he began to use his talents for building a hit song to help other artists like Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Ty Dolla $ign, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, King Louie and any artist you can think of, and how he holds no grudges at anyone in business. All that, plus stories about Joe Budden, Mike Caren, LEP Bogus Boys, Troy Carter, Bri Steves, his Transformer chain, his hugely anticipated upcoming album and much, much, much more! Listen now wherever podcasts are playing!
Jan 21, 2019
#237: Hasan Minhaj
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome host of the Netflix series Patriot Act, Hasan Minhaj, to the Upper West Side! Hasan discusses growing up in Davis, California, a kid into basketball and rap, how he flourished on his high school debate team and found performative similarities to stand-up comedy, his decision to not attend his dream college, the nights he snuck out of his parents' house to do open mic nights, and how his dad ultimately found out. We discuss winning stand-up competitions in the Bay, moving to Los Angeles and experiencing the dark years of fighting to find his voice and his place, living off of small acting parts and TV commercials, and starting a video series that caught the eyes of producers from The Daily Show. Hasan details his Daily Show audition, his field pieces across the United States, what it was like having Jon Stewart as a boss, and what it was like when Jon broke the news to the correspondents that he was leaving the program. We talk about the extremely well-received special he did in his hometown, the best phone call he received after hosting the White House Correspondents Dinner, making a home in New York City, his admiration of Trevor Noah, the emotion surrounding his own departure from The Daily Show, and his experiences in hosting his own program on Netflix. All that, plus Jerry Seinfeld, Benjamin Kickz, Samantha Bee, Saudi Arabia, Sneaker Shopping, Michael Jordan, Steve Kerr and much more!
Jan 15, 2019
#236: Celebrity Stylist Jason Rembert
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome celebrity stylist for Odell Beckham Jr., Rita Ora, Russell Westbrook, Issa Rae, Erykah Badu, Gucci Mane and more, Jason Rembert to the Upper West Side! We discuss growing up the son of a single mother with four siblings in Far Rockaway, Queens, taking the bus two hours to attend school, his favorite subjects being math and dressing the best and how he graduated a year early and headed off to college. We talk about the jobs he held down selling kids' suits at Nordstrom and then preparing meals in a hospital kitchen, his failed application to intern at Vibe Magazine, before throwing a late-night, Hail Mary attempt for an spot at ELLE, knowing nothing at all about the publication. Jason gets into his time fetching coffee, rearranging closets and learning at the elbow of some of the great editors in fashion, moving over to W Magazine where the tone and energy were way different, what his family thought of his new workplace, and how one day he found himself assisting the stylist for Alicia Keys, and saw the potential in pairing high end brand names with staples from the projects he grew up in. We discuss the early work he got through Carline Balan, the missed opportunity he had with Lady Gaga, how he bounced back from personal and professional losses, and the stellar 2018 he had in which he was recognized for his ground breaking achievements by the CFDA, by artists and athletes alike, by the industry at large, as well as the greater Instagram audience. All that, plus how Jason balances his family life, what separates him in a very competitive business, what he thinks of the fanny pack trend, how he keeps his kids grounded, what his freshman year roommate wore day in and day out to Jason's dismay, and so much more!
Jan 08, 2019
#235: Variety's 2018 Manager of the Year Dre London
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome Variety's 2018 Manager of the Year Dre London to the Upper West Side! In this wide-ranging and personal conversation, we discuss everything from becoming a trusted member of French Montana and Max B's inner circle a decade ago to helping guide Post Malone into uncharted streaming territory throughout 2018, the aftermath of being kicked out of high school in South London at age 15, hustling to get by, moving to the United States with no connections and no green card, leading with his gut instincts, studying the game, moving to Los Angeles, meeting a young, video-gaming, super-talented genreless musician and joining him on a ride that has them currently selling out arenas, and for the first time, talking about what it was like in the troubled private plane with Post on their way to England, when they had to prepare for the worst. All that and so much more in this very inspirational and very funny episode!
Dec 31, 2018
#234: Brother Nature
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 12 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome viral sensation, deer whisperer and friend to all animals, Brother Nature to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 24, 2018
#233: Donwill
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 11 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome rapper/DJ/comedian from Brooklyn by way of Cinncinati Donwill to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 23, 2018
#232: Emmanuelle Cuny-Panicker
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 10 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome new SVP of Video at Capitol Records Emmanuelle Cuny-Panicker to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 22, 2018
#231: 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review Home Alone
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 9 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, it's another episode of 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies! Eric, Jeff, Styles, Sheek and Jadakiss watched the 1990 American Christmas comedy Home Alone! There's never been a movie review show as fun as this - listen and let us know what you think!
Dec 21, 2018
#230: Music Manager Josh Dick
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 8 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome manager for Flatbush Zombies, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, A$AP Twelvyy and Hector Delgado, Josh Dick to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 20, 2018
#229: The-Dream
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 7 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome the legendary singer/songwriter/producer The-Dream to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 19, 2018
#228: Kaz Famuyide
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 6 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome podcaster/WWE writer/D'ussePalooza founding member Kaz Famuyide to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 17, 2018
#227: Aminatou Sow
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 5 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome podcaster/author/digital strategist/interviewer/awesome person Aminatou Sow to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging and personal conversation!
Dec 17, 2018
#226: 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review Airplane!
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 4 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, it's another episode of 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies! Eric, Jeff, Styles and Sheek watched the 1980 American satirical disaster film Airplane! There's never been a movie review show as fun as this - listen and let us know what you think!
Dec 16, 2018
#225: Denzel Curry
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 3 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we went down to Miami to visit with Denzel Curry for a wide-ranging and personal conversation. Listen now wherever podcasts are playing.
Dec 15, 2018
#224: Kodak Black
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 2 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome Kodak Black to the Upper West Side for a wide-ranging and personal conversation.
Dec 14, 2018
#223: GuapDad4000 Gives Advice
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 1 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome GuapDad4000 back to the Upper West Side to help answer the internet's most pressing questions!
Dec 13, 2018
#222: Megan Thee Stallion
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Houston, Texas rapper, newest signee to 300, Instagram legend and current student at Texas Southern University, Megan Thee Stallion to the Upper West Side! Megan discusses growing up loving school, getting trouble for cursing at a young age, making best friends during a food fight, always being the tallest in her grade, trying every sport and giving up, why she'd be a Plastic in her version of Mean Girls, and how she didn't win Prom Queen but still ended up bodying the night. We talk about secretly writing rhymes during high school, how shy she was as a teen, going to college with plans to be a nurse, putting stress aside and forming a new persona, finding beats on YouTube and starting a rap career on campus, when she found out her mother was a rapper, and the skepticism when her mom found out she rapped. We get into her debut show at SXSW, why she won't perform in a skirt anymore, her viral freestyle over Tay K's The Race, Missy Elliott shouting her out on Twitter, Q-Tip reaching out to offer advice and support and encouraging her ratchetness, Drake and The Migos throwing money to her song in a Houston strip club, what it was like when Kevin Liles walked in the room to sign her to 300, how much her mother likes her raunchy lyrics, and the surprising song that her mom feels she should emulate. All that, plus how her grandmother lurks on IG, practicing what it will be like when she finally meets Beyonce, how she's waiting for a dude to approach her in real life instead of DMing emojis, her southern accent, the dumbest way she's broken a nail, her upcoming project Fever and much more!
Dec 10, 2018
#221: Meek Mill's Engineer Anthony Cruz
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Meek Mill's engineer Anthony Cruz to the Upper West Side to talk how Championships was put together, when he first heard the Jay-Z vocals, how the Drake collaboration came together, how he felt when Meek shouted him out, and how he felt when The Joe Budden Podcast shouted him out. With Meek's videographer Will joining in, we discuss Meek's shining disposition, how grounded he is, how diligent he is in the studio, recording sessions in Los Angeles and New York City, their best Rick Ross stories, and how they spent their time while Meek was away. Cruz gets into his upbringing as an Army brat, moving from Oklahoma to Colorado to Georgia, graduating from Georgia State with an English degree, leaving his job in sales and putting all of his savings into learning to engineer at Full Sail University, making his way to New York where he worked two jobs to maintain while being shut down by studio after studio, and the miraculous circumstance that led to an internship at Roc the Mic. Cruz talks about studying at the arm of Young Guru, how he learned by playing his part and not overstepping his bounds, covering a Jay Electronica session, how OG Juan and Desiree were instrumental in his career, how he and Meek found a one-of-a-kind working relationship, his partnership with A&R Dallas Martin, plus stories about J. Cole, Teyana Taylor, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, Ed Sheeran, Robinson Cano, Why Don't We and so much more!
Dec 04, 2018
#220: Russ Bengtson
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome NBA/sneaker/hip-hop writer, editor, commentator and confidant Russ Bengtson to the Upper West Side! Russ talks growing up in Long Island, his early interest in journalism, being a Chicago Bulls fan in New York, attending the University of Delaware, his classmate and fellow journalist Jeff Pearlman, and his first job out of college working for a tiny newspaper in rural Pennsylvania where he was hands-on in every aspect of the publication. We discuss how SLAM Magazine reached out to him, what exactly "Senior Editor" meant, his early dealings with Clyde Drexler, Scottie Pippin and Charles Barkley, JR Rider being cut from the Hawks before an interview, Kobe Bryant's respecting SLAM over other publications, Allen Iverson's magnetism, Stephon Marbury's unbelievable heart and talent, connecting Kevin Garnett and Jonathan Mannion for a legendary photo shoot, and the good and bad realities of choosing a magazine cover months ahead of time. Russ gets into his time as Editor in Chief of SLAM, his great partner in crime Lang Whitaker, in what ways Shaq and Nigel Sylvester are similar, Patrick Ewing not acknowledging him for two years, SLAM's reputation according to beat writers as opposed to enthusiasts, and why his time at the publication came to an end. We cover his freelance days, his introduction to Complex, the early days of Twitter, how page views and traffic changed the way writing worked, where Quickstrike - his sneaker show with Clark Kent - succeeded and where it missed opportunities, and his new documentary with Complex, Sole Origins. All that, plus stories about Pig Miller, Rasheed Wallace, Mobb Deep, Gregg Popovich, getting robbed on his apartment's front steps, University of Delaware's short time in the NCAA tourney, his Twitter block list, his love of heavy metal and much more!
Nov 27, 2018
#219: Kenny Beats
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome arguably the producer of the year Kenny Beats to the Upper West Side! Kenny talks growing up in Connecticut always the tallest kid in his class, taking breakdancing classes, noodling on the guitar, the moment his mind awakened to music production, and the days he'd spend in a beat-making program recreating Timbaland beats he'd heard in the Jay-Z documentary Fade to Black. Kenny talks about his high school internship at RCA, his off-the-books internship for Jonny Shipes, going off to Berklee College of Music, getting ahead of his peers, becoming a staple of the hip-hop scene in Boston, trading his own supply of weed for the opportunity to hang with Ab-Soul, how that friendship got his first beats placed with ScHoolboy Q and Smoke DZA. We discuss transitioning into the EDM scene, touring the world as the DJ LOUDPVCK, putting on elaborately produced shows, how his beats weren't a huge departure from his hip-hop catalog, how ultimately his heart wasn't in the EDM world and the dark results it had on him physically, mentally and emotionally. Kenny talks giving up the DJ life, his reset, being down to his last $1k, locking himself in his room and composing records he truly cared about, and how he reintroduced himself into hip-hop through his work with HoodRich Pablo Juan, Key!, Rico Nasty, Lil Wop and more. All that, plus how he separates himself from other producers, why he prefers being in studio with an artist, how he stepped up his vocal production, what working on full projects with Vince Staples and 03 Greedo mean to him, his special collaborative album with ALLBLACK, how he knew his beats were winning, and so much more!
Nov 20, 2018
#218: Tru Life
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Tru Life to the Upper West Side for one of the realest, most harrowing, most compelling and inspiring conversations we've ever had. Tru details his tough early years in New York City's Lower East Side, how he decided school wasn't for him, how music led to recording sessions at Mark and Donnie Wahlberg's studio, connecting with Snoop Dogg, and how Ving Rhames looked out strictly because he believed in Tru Life's talents. We discuss the DVD era and how the drama undermined an artist's talents, how Sickamore brought out the best in Tru's abilities, how Green Lantern called up Jay-Z and convinced him to not fly out of town and instead take a meeting with Tru Life, how Jay refused to let Tru leave the office until he signed a deal with Roc La Familia, and how Cipha Sounds started off as Tru's A&R, but became as close as blood brothers. Tru gets into his time away, the weight of facing a life sentence, figuring out whether loyalty and codes really meant anything, the tears he shed over not seeing his kids grow up, why he dedicated himself to his studies, and what ultimately got him through his eight years behind bars. We get into the realities of going from the system to freedom, how he wasn't ready for the trappings of the music industry upon his release, how he's grown over the past two years, moving to the suburbs, and what he's bringing to the table with his new music. All that, plus stories about Jay, Beyonce, TI, Future, Bobby Shmurda, Tory Lanez, Jim Jones, the inmates who broke out of Clinton Correctional Facility while he was there, and so much more!
Nov 12, 2018
#217: Super Publicist Yvette Noel-Schure
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome super publicist (Beyonce, Destiny's Child, John Legend, Mariah Carey, Prince) and favorite daughter of Grenada, Yvette Noel-Schure, to the Upper West Side! Yvette discusses growing up in Birch Grove, Grenada, living with her grandparents when her mother was sent to the United States for medical treatment, doing the extensive shopping her for grandfather's supermarket as a child, and knowing early how special her homeland was. We talk about her move to New York City as a teenager, how hard a transition it was socially and environmentally, working hard in school in the hopes of one day becoming a writer, riding the subway for the first time, and taking a job at Burger King where the love of her life would be standing on line. Yvette gets into her college years studying journalism at City College of New York with her first son by her side, living next door to the Hells Angels, getting her drivers license in order to commute to her first gig at a newspaper, eventually finding a position at Black Beat Magazine, scoring a coveted interview with Tupac on the set of Poetic Justice, and why Sony Music approached her to become a publicist. We discuss landing Mariah's Ebony Magazine cover, getting trampled by teenagers looking to get a piece of Bow Wow in Times Square, Prince's incredible memory of the first time he was in a room with Yvette, and what how Yvette worked to set Destiny's Child apart in an overly-crowded girl-group space. We talk about John Legend's classic debut album, the stellar team who worked at Columbia/Sony Urban in those days, giving journalists a midnight phone call to announce Beyonce's surprise album release, the wonderful humans that Tina Knowles-Lawson and Matthew Knowles are, and how Yvette's role as publicist has evolved as Beyonce's one-of-a-kind stature and talent has grown through the years. All that, plus why she'll never write a book about the music industry, how she sees every person that enters her life, why she left Sony Music, the house fire that changed her life, and so much more!
Nov 05, 2018
#216: 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review Mid90s
For Episode 8 of 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies, Eric, Jeff, Styles and Sheek went to an NYC preview screening of Jonah Hill's directorial debut mid90s, sat down afterwards and broke down the film. There's never been a movie review show as fun as this - listen and let us know what you think!
Oct 31, 2018
#215: The Return of A-Trak
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome DJ, producer, Fool's Gold co-founder, travel professional, and our friend A-Trak back to the Upper West Side! We talk the 2nd Annual Goldie Awards (A-Trak's DJ & beat battle, happening Nov. 8th in Brooklyn - get your tickets at goldieawards.com), working with his brother Dave-1 from Chromeo, playing on the same Maxim bill as the Jackass guys (minus Johnny Knoxville), the hidden treasures in SkyMall, the infamous producer group chat that Just Blaze started, the long-rumored Cam'Ron project, Fool's Gold Day Off, what to do when a DJ has to use the bathroom, airlines losing his vinyl, fonts, design, perfectionism, his travel tips website Infinite Legroom, stories about Ice-T, Young Thug, Common, Nick Catchdubs, Lil Jon, Timbaland, Non Phixion, The-Dream, and much, much more!
Oct 29, 2018
#214: 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review Jurassic Park
For Episode 7 of 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies, Eric, Jeff, Styles, Sheek and Jadakiss were joined by a raucous audience at Highline Ballroom in NYC to watch and break down the 1993 blockbuster film Jurassic Park. There's never been a movie review show as fun as this - listen and let us know what you think!
Oct 24, 2018
#213: ESPN's David Jacoby
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the cohost of ESPN's Jalen & Jacoby, David Jacoby to the Upper West Side! Jacoby discusses how he went from cutting pizza slices in Amherst, Massachusetts to cutting lines at the Empire State Building to cutting corners at MTV's Spring Break. Jacoby talks about what he learned in business school, how he got more from selling soaps in Soho than making calls for brokerage firms, how he ended up moving cigarettes through Europe, and ultimately found himself on the shores of Amsterdam. We get into his time at the ESPYs, producing a TV show based around rappers and athletes' shoe collections, shaping Sports Nation during its early years, how he helped Bill Simmons in creating the Grantland Network of podcasts, and the dynamic on-air pairing of Jalen Rose and David Jacoby. All that, plus stories about Don King, Jadakiss’ #T5DOA statue, Trick Daddy, Biz Markie, Jason and Jeremy Giambi, Sugar Ray, Nick Catchdubs, Teck from The Real World, Bobbito Garcia, what ESPN gifts employees after 20 years, and much, much more!
Oct 22, 2018
#212: Jay Park
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Roc Nation singer/songwriter/rapper and son of Seattle, Washington, Jay Park to the Upper West Side! Jay speaks on growing up the son of travel agents in the Emerald City, running around town with his crew on a mission to make a career out of breakdancing, doing poorly in school and hiding his report cards from his parents, and with his back against the wall, auditioned for a Korean talent competition, which ended up getting him cast in a boy band. With his folks going through a tough time, Jay took the gig to support his family and flew to South Korea knowing nothing of the language or culture, not to mention the shock of K-Pop artist development. We discuss his time in 2PM, what differentiated them from 2AM, their supergroup 1 Day, his attempts to work the system and take care of his body and soul without losing who he was over three and a half years before they ever dropped a project, and why he left the group. Jay gets into the reality of coming back to Seattle, his job working at a used tire shop, how his love for music came back, how starting to sing YouTube covers in the bathroom gained him a fanbase, why he felt weird about it, and how it ultimately make him an international draw once again. All that, plus the levels of Korean tattoos, friends by convenience, holding onto creative control, getting a 2 Chainz verse, living in Korea as former member of a boy band, becoming a businessman, his latest project Ask Bout Me, and much more!
Oct 16, 2018
#211: Freshalina
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we traveled to Atlanta to sit down with the blogger's blogger, the influencer's influencer, the internet's favorite voice, and the first website owner to get kicked out of VIP by the celebrity of the hour, the founder of Crunk & Disorderly, Freshalina! Fresh discusses growing up in a small town outside Jacksonville, listening to "Up North" rap via her brother's friends, creating websites and jumping into chat rooms in middle school, working high school jobs at Arby's and Subway, getting into pre-fights with kids around town, and almost joining the Air Force, before going into Jobs Corps instead. Fresh talks about how she started Crunk & Disorderly as a side hustle to express her voice while working at a bank during the day, how people - and bigger companies - started to pay attention thanks to her singular style and unfiltered humor, what it felt like to receive a fan email from Pharrell, how traffic jumped after she posted the picture of Birdman and Wayne kissing, her time working for SOHH and XXL, and why she ultimately decided to focus her time and energy on her own blog. We get into her TV writing experience, her shift into marketing and consulting, what she thinks about influence vs checks, why she didn't sell out to a big network, how social media brought about a huge change in speed and tone while also spelling out the death of blogs, and how she learned early to have a bunch of different projects, so as not to just go down with the ship. All that plus her foray into podcasting, the most notable characters from her blogging days, why it's currently Nivea SZN, the blank CD hustle, being on Kanye's blogroll, the Def Jam conference calls, Brendan Frederick's influence on rap internet, and so much more!
Oct 08, 2018
#210: Jack Harlow
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Louisville, Kentucky native, Atlanta, Georgia resident, Mean Streets fixture and future of Generation Now, Jack Harlow to the Upper West Side! In addition to discussing his uncanny resemblance to ItsTheReal, we talk about committing to music in middle school, knowing that he wasn't college material in high school, bodying his Sway freestyle, his aversion to being challenged by producers, the difference between before and after his Dark Knight project, meeting with Quality Control, signing with DJ Drama and Don Cannon, why his crew is called Private Garden, why he's taking hair medicine at his age, his parents' sign business, Cardinals vs. Wildcats, how he performs in new cities, how he doesn't write rhymes down any more and if he ever gets writer's block, glasses vs. contacts, his new project Loose, plus stories about Natasha Bedingfield, Lil B, Lil Uzi Vert, Fetty Wap, a man named Randy from Atlanta, and so much more!
Oct 01, 2018
#209: Photographer Cam Kirk
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Atlanta-based photographer/director/marketer/visionary Cam Kirk to the Upper West Side! Cam talks growing up in Maryland, how his divorced parents parented differently, how seriously he took religion in eighth grade, his love for R&B, how quiet he was in high school, how he expected to attend a PWI but ultimately found himself at Morehouse, his beginnings in pre-med, why he switched to marketing, how he booked Wiz Khalifa to perform in Atlanta, why that - and not his father's photography business - led him to buy a camera and start taking pictures, what it was like to work with Young Scooter, the details behind the infamous Gucci Mane boxing photograph, meeting Metro Boomin, learning how to be a fly on the wall in the recording studio, thinking of images with a marketing mind rather than s strictly artistic one, pitching Lil Yachty for a billboard, the reasons behind opening up his own photography studio in Atlanta, why he won't photograph his own parents, his appreciation for Ravie B, Gunner Stahl, Renell Medrano, and much, much more!
Sep 24, 2018
#208: 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review The Last Dragon (feat. Styles P, Sheek Louch and Jadakiss)
For Episode 6 of 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies, Eric, Jeff, Styles, Sheek and Jadakiss watched a very bootlegged version of the 1985 martial arts film The Last Dragon. There's never been a movie review show as fun as this - listen and let us know what you think! And don't forget to go to ItsTheReal.com and get your tickets to see 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies LIVE Oct. 3rd at Highline Ballroom in NYC!!
Sep 19, 2018
#207: Ari Lennox
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Dreamville's own, Chevy Chase native, the talented, the funny, the soulful singer Ari Lennox to the Upper West Side! Ari talks growing up in the DMV area, skipping class to visit museums, how she worked on her vocal training, attending five high schools in four years, working at Old Navy, Pizza Hut and movie theaters, why she chose not to go to college, what led her to get on a Greyhound bus heading West, the fears of a bus ride like that, getting kicked out of her first LA apartment within a week, working as an extra in films, simplifying her sound, singing for the likes of Eric Benet, hoping that Beyonce would find her YouTube covers, working with Omen, the reaction to her song "Backseat," ending up in a relationship in Charlotte and working at a Public Storage when she got the call from Dreamville president Ib Hamad to fly back out to LA to work in the studio, meeting and writing with J.Cole, not getting signed as soon as she had hoped, going home, waiting, and months later making it formal with Dreamville. All that plus retirement talk, where the name "Ari Lennox" comes from, her friendships with the other Dreamville artists, Aries vs. Leos, her vocal coach Teapot, what in the world Commander Salamander is, and much, much more!
Sep 17, 2018
#206: Jay Worthy
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome one-half of LNDN DRGZ, one-third of G-Worthy and one of one, the West Coast's own Jay Worthy to the Upper West Side! As certified as they come, we talk with Jay about LNDN DRGZ's super-dope album Active, why he hated the idea of being a rapper, his days of selling hair out of his trunk with Freeway Ricky Ross, how he became the guy that Vice had to check in with when they wanted to film their series Bompton, recording music at Sarah McLachlan's house, A$AP Yams' attempts to sign him, his friendship with Taxstone, running into Drake at a Canadian club, hanging out with Curren$y in New Orleans, collaborating with Sean House, Left Brain, Alchemist, Cardo Got Wings, and his long-time friend DJ Mustard, the influence of his brother and sister, his young manager Ezra, how he feels with Blood talk having gone mainstream, all the record labels who've been reaching out, and much more!
Sep 13, 2018
#205: Remembering Mac Miller
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we pay tribute to our friend Malcolm McCormick AKA Mac Miller, who tragically passed away last week at the far-far-far too young age of 26. Mac was a beautiful human being whose art, whose kindness and whose fine nature brought light and love to this world. We were lucky enough to be friends with Mac for most of our career and each of our collaborations were filled with joy and humor and smarts and something special to the three of us. Outside of the business, we had true love for one another, and like so many people this week, we're heartbroken. Please enjoy the words and wisdom and wonder of the legend Mac Miller from our 2015 episode, recorded in Brooklyn. Long live Malcolm McCormick.
Sep 10, 2018
#204: Co-Founder of The FADER Rob Stone
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Founder and Co-CEO of Cornerstone and Co-Founder of The FADER Rob Stone to the Upper West Side! Rob talks growing up on Long Island, spending his summers loading and unloading trucks with his father in East New York, attending University of Albany, throwing parties, getting diagnosed with cancer at 19, leaving school, getting into fighting mode, and how hip-hop got him through his radiation treatments. We discuss graduating college only to sell bracelets and run from cops at Jones Beach, becoming an assistant at SBK Records, learning record promotion, taking a job at Clive Davis' Arista Records, overseeing the marketing and promotion for Bad Boy Entertainment and LaFace Records, and the one reason he refused to take a huge job at Motown Records. Rob dives into what it took to co-found music and marketing agency Cornerstone with lifelong friend Jon Cohen, the most important relationships he made along the way, and how they made DJs the centerpiece to both their marketing strategy and the creation of The FADER. We get into what it meant to build his own brand, what it meant for his father to see it happen before he passed, and what it means to show his twin sons. All that, plus great stories about Biggie, Puffy, Kanye, Pharrell, Jonathan Mannion, Drake, Lyor Cohen, Andre Harrell, Mariah Carey, Steve Rifkind, Hot 97's Steve Smith, Dave Mays of The Source, Sprite, Converse, FADER Fort and so much more!
Sep 04, 2018
#203: Lil Duval
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome comedian, rapper, singer, actor, internet expert and all-around amazing personality Lil Duval to the Upper West Side! Duval talks growing up in hardscrabble Jacksonville, Florida, driving at age 13, selling crack around town, dancing in high school talent shows, and knowing that he'd be an entertainer outside the city lines. We discuss his move to Atlanta where at 20 years old, he pretended to be a high school student, how he started doing standup around town, began his own comedy night on Tuesdays, could pick off hecklers in an audience, gained a loyal audience right away, especially with celebrities, made cameos in music videos, and took claim to the city. We get into his brief move to Los Angeles, how he didn't capitalize on catchphrases he had, what co-signs meant the most, meeting Charlamagne Tha God via MySpace, the benefits of taking your time, the best colleges he would play around the country, where his song ideas come from, how everyone tried to box him into a certain career, why he signed a record deal with EMPIRE, and how many people come up to him now with the success of his single, Smile (Living My Best Life), thinking he's finally made it. All that, plus what the Jaguars meant when they moved to Jacksonville, how wrong CelebrityNetWorth.com is, what time of the day he'll get phone calls from Snoop Dogg, what he turned his backyard into, what T.I.'s wedding was like, why he hates the Dallas Cowboys and so much more!
Aug 27, 2018
#202: Def Jam A&R AE
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Def Jam A&R, Tyga's consigliere and the Bay Area's native son AE to the Upper West Side! One of the best personalities and most genuine young souls in the music business, AE discusses growing up fast in North Oakland and going to school in East Oakland, sharing a room with his sister, playing basketball with bigger aspirations, skating through high school, doing Costco runs with the principal, his group The A'z, winning Battle of the Bay on KMEL, meeting B2K and joining them on tour. We talk about how B2K put the group to work, and how AE set himself apart, the deals that record companies and TV channels offered, how executives were afraid of face tattoos, their popularity all over the world, tensions between group members and management, and why they ultimately broke up. AE gets into meeting Tyga before he was rapping, how Tyga's good energy and his BBC collection made him stand out, how they reconnected after eight or so years when AE was walking in Hollywood and looked above for a sign. We go in depth about rehabilitating Tyga's career, how trusting their friendship is, how Taste - arguably the song of Summer 2018 - came about, and how that led to Def Jam hiring him as A&R. All that, plus his experiences with Young Thug, YK Osirus, Bria Myles, Kanye West, Wyoming, Ryan Coogler, Steven Victor, Valee, Smash Mouth, where he was when the Pusha-Drake beef went off, how he operates as a new music executive, what he's looking for in artists and producers, how he uses emojis in 2018, and much, much more! Yadadameeaan!
Aug 20, 2018
#201: 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review You've Got Mail (feat. Styles P and Sheek Louch of The LOX)
For Episode 5 of 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies, Eric, Jeff, Styles and Sheek hit HBO to check out the 1998 romantic comedy You've Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and co-starring Dave Chappelle and Steve Zahn. There's never been a movie review show as fun as this - listen and let us know what you think! And don't forget to go to ItsTheReal.com and get your tickets to see 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies LIVE Oct. 3rd at Highline Ballroom in NYC!!
Aug 15, 2018
#200: ItsTheReal
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we mark the 200th episode of our podcast by telling our story. Each week for over three years, we've conversed with artists, producers, writers, executives, comedians, actors, on-air personalities and dope humans, diving into their ups, their downs, their successes and their vulnerable moments, ultimately celebrating each guest's incredible journey. On Episode 200, we asked the great writer and editor Naomi Zeichner (formerly the EIC of The Fader; currently at YouTube) to stop by the Upper West Side to interview us. We discussed how our family, creativity, day camp, earnestness, the internet, G-Funk, The Office, Kanye West, Consequence, Lyor Cohen, Bun B, DJ Green Lantern, Miss Info, HBO, MTV, NahRight, love and loss shaped our lives and our decade-long-plus career.
Aug 13, 2018
#199: Joe Freshgoods
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Chicago's own clothing designer and entreprenuer Joe Freshgoods to the Upper West Side! Joe discusses his start on Chicago's West Side, ironing images onto t-shirts and selling them in high school, getting fired from Niketown, dropping out of college, working at Leaders 1354 while selling his own t-shirts in the style of a drug dealer, receiving a cease and desist for using the word "dope," reimagining his brand, experiencing SXSW with the Illroots crew, getting high and creating his infamous Rihanna hat, getting checks from Karmaloop, opening a store up out of his apartment, teaming up with Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa, printing Kanye-related material, developing Obama-related material, and ultimately partnering up with brands like McDonald's, Nike, Adidas, and always maintaining credibility and cool. All that, plus why he hates the term "fast fashion," what Don C means, how hard it is to run a clothing store, why narratives matter, who wore his legendary tye-dye sweatshirts, working at Subway, seeing his face on giant photos at Nike, and much more!
Aug 06, 2018
#198: Jemele Hill
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome ESPN personality, writer for The Undefeated, proud Michigander and UNO champion Jemele Hill to the Upper West Side! Jemele discusses her upbringing in Detroit, falling in love with baseball and sports writing at a young age, the perks of interning at the Detroit Free Press as a high schooler, the pull of both Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, her experiences as a college intern at landmark papers in Philadelphia, Cleveland and Detroit, and ultimately driving with her mom down to her first staff job, down in Raleigh, North Carolina. We talk about returning to the Detroit Free Press as a columnist, what brought her down to Orlando, her infamous story with Willis McGahee , how that simultaneously almost got her suspended and got her the attention of ESPN, how even though ESPN wasn't her dream job, she saw and took opportunities, and changed her own trajectory. We dive into podcasting vs. TV production, working with an earpiece live on air, how ESPN approached her and Michael Smith to host SportsCenter, and how she considers her time behind that infamous desk. All that plus interviewing Aaliyah, covering the 1995 Cleveland Indians, Boyz II Men, ride-alongs, 2 Live Crew, what Stuart Scott meant to her, her thoughts on The New York Daily News' recent staff firings, how her feelings on Lil Jon's music have changed through the years, the biggest misconceptions of her online and so much more!! Also, please make sure to pre-order our new lined notebook with original ItsTheReal material - RHYME BOOK - on Amazon.com!
Jul 30, 2018
#197: Action Bronson
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we traveled down to Brooklyn for a visit with the one and only Action Bronson! In this sidesplittingly funny episode, we sat down with Bam Bam Baklava over bagels to talk Flushing, Queens, why he's a fan of the New York Yankees, how he thinks his infamous Funk Flex freestyle went, how he injured his knee running from Germans, making plans for chicken parm with Lenny Dykstra, why Alchemist dresses the way he does, the calendar Jeff made where he photoshopped Action into Renaissance paintings, peeing in between subway cars, what Bobby Brown's like in the kitchen, why exactly he got fired from Citi Field, what Tommy Mas meant to his career, what he learned from Paul Rosenberg, what he feels he could have done different while at Atlantic Records, his longtime relationship with Vice, where the name Fuck That's Delicious comes from, what he thinks about White Rappers, what it's really like to cook on Late Night with Seth Meyers, what rap camp at Alchemist's house is like, why he shaved his face, what it says on the Post-It that Robert DeNiro gave him, AND SO MUCH MORE! Also, please make sure to pre-order our new lined notebook with original ItsTheReal material - RHYME BOOK - on Amazon.com!
Jul 23, 2018
#196: Mouse Jones (Part 2)
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, the second of our two-part episode with BET host, digital media personality, and all-around defender of the culture Mouse Jones! Mouse, a high school dropout from Long Island with dashed dreams and a history in the streets, who found discipline and teamwork in the Navy, stayed down in Virginia after an honorable discharge, cutting hair, but also selling guns. Mouse discusses why people around town felt a certain way about him, talks us through the attempt on his life that shook him into reality, the phone call with his step father that brought him back to his family in New York, a second near-death experience, and exactly how fast he ran to church to be saved. Mouse gets into what the church meant to him, what comedy meant to him, how he made the two work together, how he reunited with his biological father and why it fell apart once more. We discuss chance encounters with Jimmy Fallon and Royce da 5'9, how much work it took to launch his podcast, his own beliefs on how to approach people, how he leaned on Cory Townes for guidance, how generous Lowkey was with advice on how to host parties, what it meant to work on the TRL reboot on MTV, how he took a small opportunity with BET and hit it out of the ballpark, how in the world he went from moving guns in Virginia to moving a sold-out crowd at Staples Center in LA, and much more! Listen now to Parts 1 and 2 on iTunes and soundcloud and everywhere else!
Jul 18, 2018
#196: Mouse Jones (Part 1)
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome BET host, digital media personality, and all-around defender of the culture Mouse Jones to the Upper West Side! In Part 1 of this 2-episode podcast, Mouse discusses his upbringing on Long Island, how his step father became more indispensable than his own blood relatives, his work and opinions as a sweeper boy at the local barber shop, how he got involved with the streets as a lone wolf, his early dreams of journalism and a college career at Howard University, why he gave up on high school, how he found out he was a teenage father, how his cousin duped him into joining the Navy, how he almost bombed out of boot camp, how he shaped up and shipped out, bought into watching the backs of his peers and the wishes of his commanders, was honorably discharged, found himself living in Virginia, cutting hair and cutting up, and why exactly he thought he'd never make it out of there alive... Tune in on Thursday for the amazing second part of Mouse's journey!
Jul 16, 2018
#195: 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review Trading Places (feat. Styles, Sheek and Jadakiss of The LOX)
For Episode 4 of 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies, Eric, Jeff, Styles, Sheek and special guest Jadakiss hit Netflix to check out the 1983 comedy Trading Places, starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Akroyd. There's never been a movie review show as fun as this. Listen and let us know what you think!
Jul 09, 2018
#194: Capitol Music Group SVP of Brand Partnerships Brian Nolan
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome Capitol Music Group's SVP of Brand Partnerships, Brian Nolan, to the Upper West Side to discuss his time and work with J. Cole, Migos, Three6Mafia, ESPN and his own division at Capitol, seventeenfifty! A Silver Spring, MD native, Brian talks growing up a hip-hop fan in the melting pot of Washington, DC suburbs, the lessons he learned caddying for the likes of Alan Greenspan and Mike Wilbon, taking cues from his older brother, chasing baseball-playing dreams to James Madison University where he majored in marketing, finding his way to NYC for an internship at Rawkus Records, and how he focused his sights on the music industry. After a promised-job never materialized, Brian returned to Washington and to the golf course, and ultimately found his way into a mailroom, where he worked his way up from sending records to working them as a field marketing rep in Philadelphia. After earning his stripes putting up posters, Brian graduated to Sony Urban where he rode the tour bus with Juicy J, DJ Paul and Crunchy Black, helped their record Stay Fly go from 15 spins to fully taking over the airwaves, and saw them win Oscars and go Hollyhood. Brian remembers Jay-Z and Jay Brown bringing J. Cole to the label as one of three priorities from Roc Nation, and reminisces on the work Cole and Ib Hamad and their team put in to go from performing for tiny crowds and in conference rooms for small-city radio programmers to putting huge numbers on the boards, selling out arenas, and becoming a voice of a generation. Brian discusses how he took advantage of a ceiling at his radio job, combined his interests in music and sports, and fostered relationships with athletes and executives alike, using his skillset to make his mark in brand partnerships, and how he leveled up in his new role at Capitol, especially in working with Coach K and Pee at Quality Control. All that, plus stories about Ruben Studdard, Rembert Browne, Jemele Hill, David Cho, Naima Cochrane, Destiny's Child, John Legend, Ray Cash, go-go music, Freeky Zekey, Tiger Woods, and much more!
Jul 02, 2018
#193: King Combs
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Bad Boy recording artist King Combs, to the Upper West Side! The son of Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs and Kim Porter, Christian AKA King Combs, discusses growing up the son of hip-hop royalty, moving from the East Coast to the West Coast, with a couple stops in Columbus, Georgia, his memories of hanging out in Central Park and getting McDonald's in Times Square, his mother's excellent cooking, getting to know his neighbors in Calabasas, CA, how he celebrated his 16th birthday, why it took so long to get his drivers license, and how he attended five proms in high school. We talk about watching 106 & Park growing up, dance battling Rihanna, who the best dancer in the Combs family is, meeting and collaborating with Smooky Margielaa, the importance of writing his own rhymes, when he started taking rap seriously as a career, and how exactly he approached his label-owner father with his own art. We get into hanging out in Remy Ma's kitchen, what it was like to be around the Bad Boy Reunion Tour, almost signing to G.O.O.D. Music, taking the SATs with the dream of going to USC, walking in fashion shows, his CYN crew, how he never trips, his new project 90's Baby, and much more!
Jun 25, 2018
#192: 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review Coco (feat. Styles and Sheek of The LOX)
For Episode 3 of 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies, Eric, Jeff, Styles and Sheek hit Netflix to check out the celebrated Disney/Pixar computer animated film Coco. There's never been a movie review show as fun as this. Listen and let us know what you think! AND JUST KNOW: SPOILERS ARE UNAVOIDABLE IF YOU PRESS PLAY.
Jun 20, 2018
#191: Tierra Whack
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the amazingly talented, super-funny, and brilliant rapper/singer/filmmaker/storyteller Tierra Whack to the Upper West Side! Tierra, in her first extended interview, goes into depth on growing up in Philadelphia with her mother and two younger siblings, auditioning to get into an arts high school an hour away, her profecientcy for singing and visual arts, how much her principal hated hip-hop, the genesis of Dizzle Dizz, meeting Meek Mill, and how she ended up on Cosmic Kev's radio show, freestyling for fourteen minutes. We discuss her family's big move to Atlanta in the middle of high school, working at a car wash alongside a team of former convicts, making crazy amounts of cash by cleaning cars for 2 Chainz, Rocko, Future and barely missing Andre 3000, attending a high school that was "ratchet as fuck," slowly finding her real rap persona via ciphers, and honing in on her sound by herself on her laptop. We get into her return to Philly, now using her given name, not caring what any critics had to say, washing dishes at a restaurant to get by, doing intimate shows at tiny venues, scouring Vimeo to find the perfect cinematographer to compliment her music, putting out dynamic music videos, and the reaction to her 15-minute opus, Whack World. Tierra talks surprises, Human Centipede 2, Flying Lotus, Melanie Martinez, not putting stickers on laptops, seeing herself on billboards, when she figured out she was creative, her rules on social media promotion, taking in all the success, going right on to the next project, and so much more!
Jun 18, 2018
#190: Director Justin Fleischer
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome back to the East Coast, director, creative director and muffin god Justin Fleischer to the Upper West Side! Justin, who over the past few years has worked alongside Logic as a documentary filmmaker and music video director has recently stepped up to oversee the development of Logic's artists under his Elysium imprint. We discuss Justin's upbringing in Keene, New Hampshire, the amazing time he spent living in the Dominican Republic as a high school and the positive effect it had on his development, graduating Georgetown University and going into teaching in New York City. We talk about the ups and downs of the public school system, the night he decided to leave education, and how he hustled and freelanced and took manual labor jobs to make it in the City and ultimately work his way into the music and video business. We get into his work with battle MC Iron Solomon, videoing Statik Selektah and Tony Touch's guests' freestyles, studying filmmaking under the tutelage of Coodie & Chike, what Alex Ciccimarro meant to his career and life, shooting original content for HotNewHipHop, and eventually traveling around the world with Logic. All that, plus pumpkins, the boundaries to documentary filmmaking, New York City stories, Japanese owl cafes, Brooklyn's hate for ISIS, how we feel about Vermont, French Montana's monkey Julius Caesar, and so much more!
Jun 12, 2018
#189: Taylor Rooks
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome sports anchor and reporter and host of the 'TimeOut with Taylor Rooks' podcast, Gwinnett County's own, Taylor Rooks! Taylor discusses growing up in Georgia a driven student, a caring sister, and a poor parallel parker, why she chose to attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, her aspirations to be Barbara Walters meets Oprah, what she learned in class vs. the work she put in on her first blog, and how she hustled to get one-on-one interviews with LeBron James and Kevin Durant. We talk about how she wanted to circumvent the traditional job application formula and career ladder climb, how close she was to returning home after college without a job, what the Big Ten Network meant to her, what living in Chicago was like for a 21-year old, and the thinking behind making her way to NYC. Taylor recounts her time at SNY, why she started her podcast, how she booked Meek Mill for one of his first interviews after being released from prison, and how meaningful it is to speak directly with her audience, rather than at them. All that, plus family reunions, karaoke favorites, her sneaker collection, why she hasn't yet attended D'ussePalooza, what her grandmother thinks of her broadcasts, the effect Taylor Swift has on her name, and so much more!
Jun 04, 2018
#188: Santan Dave
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome British rapper Dave to the Upper West Side! Dave, AKA Santan Dave, talks about his breakout hit Wanna Know, how Drake reached out to appear on the remix, how OVO did right by him, and what that one song meant in terms of radio, festivals and recognition. We discuss Dave's youth in South London, not having much of a relationship with his two older brothers when they were growing up, and what it was like to visit his siblings throughout their stops in the prison system. We dive into Dave's proficiancy at piano, his early attempts at rapping, how movie soundtracks opened his ears in a new way, the inspiration in Meek Mill's music, and how his own freestyles on Blackbox and Fire in the Booth launched him into a legitimate career while trying to balance his studies at university. We talk about his collaborations with J Hus, AJ Tracey, Fraser T. Smith, how he started doing his own production, what spurred him into getting political in his own rhymes, and how his powerful song Hangman came about. All that, plus traveling with his new puppy, shooting music videos in Europe, football referees, dreaming of Aston Martins, touring around the world, and the confusion that comes with being a rapper named just Dave.
May 28, 2018
#187: Swizz Beatz
Today on a special bonus episode celebrating the 3-Year Anniversary of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome super-producer, rapper, professor, art collector and party starter Swizz Beatz to the Upper West Side! We talk Ruff Ryders, DMX, The Lox, Jay-Z, Roc-A-Fella, Michael Jackson, Eve, T.I., his epic battle with Just Blaze, Cassidy vs. Freeway, Yung Wun, Metallica, Atlanta, the South Bronx, Funk Flex, Alicia Keys, Summer Jam, D'ussePalooza, Woodstock '99, studio sessions, plaques, rollerskating, teaching at NYU, why he initially got into collecting art, artists to look out for, his fire truck, and so much more!
May 23, 2018
#186: Ella Mai
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome singer Ella Mai, whose song Boo'd Up has been called the song of the summer, to the Upper West Side! Ella talks growing up in South London, moving across the pond to New York City in eighth grade, going to high school in Queens, and because she got unwanted attention from her English accent, she focused on playing soccer and shied away from her natural singing ability. We discuss Ella's return to London after senior year theater internship, getting a job in the back rooms of Top Shop, and while at college joining a girl group called Arize, their short run on the TV show X Factor followed by their split, and how Ella rebounded by doing 15-second song covers solo on Instagram. We talk about how the videos went viral, DJ Mustard reached out, Ella's return trip to NYC on her own dime, the prolific work she and Mustard created over the course of one evening and how it led to more work in Los Angeles, recording with Ty Dolla $ign, ultimately signing to DJ Mustard's imprint at Interscope Records, 10 Summers. And most amazing of all, how Bay Area DJ Big Von took a chance on one of Ella's EP cuts from 2017, watched the club go up in front of his eyes, and launched the unlikely rise of the hit song of Summer 2018, Boo'd Up. All that, plus much more!
May 21, 2018
#185: Chromeo
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Montreal, Canada's own, Chromeo back to the Upper West Side! Dave-1 and P-Thugg stop by to discuss their fifth studio album, Head Over Heels, which is executive produced by A-Trak and drops June 15th, their collaborations with DRAM, The-Dream, French Montana and Stefflon Don and more, why they chose to record this project in Burbank, California, how they challenged themselves in the studio, and what it means to follow up a radio-friendly song like Jealous. Chromeo talks growing up in Montreal as crate diggers, discovering funk through DJ Quik, maintaining mundane jobs while recording music was a hobby, the humor and sincerity of their music, how they nailed their first big show for Vice in New York City and subsequently failed in front of tiny audiences, how they landed a record deal on an obscure Canadian techno label, why Myspace and dance music helped turn their careers around, what a pop record feels like, what Atlantic Records expects of them, the criticisms they read and save, and how their big goal is to improve. All that plus the Michael Bolton-like songs that got cut, an EP with The-Dream, thoughts on the Yodeling Kid, Tekashi69, recording in France, the sophistication of The Simpsons, Phil Collins vs. Peter Gabriel, Awesome 80's compilations, their amazing new stage and much more!
May 14, 2018
#184: DJ Whoo Kid
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Queens Village's own DJ Whoo Kid to the Upper West Side! Most known for his work as 50 Cent's touring DJ, we discuss seeing Tupac walk by his house during the Digital Underground days, taking a summer school course with DJ Clue, how exactly he got leaked songs from record labels, Puff's reaction after Whoo Kid used a previously unreleased Biggie verse for his song with 50, Eminem's look-alike from the Anger Management tour, who they called Partial Mathers, the number one thing you don't want to do at 50's Connecticut mansion, having a gun pulled on him by Big Pun, having a gun pulled on him by T.I., dubbing mixtapes while working as a security guard at the airport, Suge Knight looking for him after he leaked an unreleased Tupac verse, kicking Kanye out of the studio the night Ye got into his car accident, how Howard Stern ruined Whoo Kid's life, finding his way out of a fist fight with DJ Kay Slay in the streets, fronting like he was the official DJ for Bad Boy Records, connecting a teenage Big Sean with Kanye in Detroit, how he evolved his interviews at SiriusXM into the wild conversations he's famous for today, whatever happened to the album he owed to Capitol, and so much more!!
May 07, 2018
#183: Sylvan LaCue
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome Miami rapper Sylvan LaCue to the Upper West Side! Sylvan discusses his upbringing in a one-bedroom apartment with his mother and brother, growing up playing video games, writing rap fan fiction at school, recording music after school until the equipment was stolen, walking miles to a new recording studio, working at Outback Steakhouse, battle rapping with The Sunshine Boys, falling out with his mom and moving out, and why his barber deserves a ton of credit in his journey. We talk his connection to TAG Records, what NaS, Lil Bow Wow and Lupe Fiasco meant to his career, reconnecting with his hustler father until they got evicted from their apartment, making a name for himself as QuESt, putting a bunch of mixtapes out, falling in love with the blogs at the height of the blogging era, meeting with Atlantic Records, connecting with Ro Ransom, Mickey Factz, PreZZure, XV and ultimately Logic, who took him on tour, let him perform in front of giant crowds, and signed him to Visionary Music Group. Sylvan gets very honest about what he was looking for and why he left Logic's crew and how tough it was to start anew, with a new name, a new sound and a new outlook. We talk falling out of love with music, falling in love with coffee, moving to Oakland, stumbling onto an instrumental that spoke to him in a new way, putting a subsequent song and video out without any expectations, and watching the song catch on through streaming and YouTube plays, launching Sylvan's career in a wholly authentic and inspiring new way. All that plus bath salts, opening for DMX, having a car with no windows, why he's named Sylvan, visiting Harlem and looking for Un Kasa, Kanye announcing his album's name was the same as Sylvan's, why you shouldn't eat the Blooming Onion, and much more!
Apr 30, 2018
#182: SVP of Marketing at Atlantic Records Marsha St. Hubert
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome our amazing friend and SVP of Marketing at Atlantic Records, Marsha St. Hubert, to the Upper West Side! Marsha, whose outstanding work with Cardi B helped her claim a number 1 album on the Billboard charts last week, has a whole lotta wins on the scoreboard thanks to her time with Gucci Mane, Kodak Black, Maino, Lupe Fiasco, TI, Tamar Braxton, DJ Drama and Wiz Khalifa. The daughter of a Haitian immigrant, a latchkey girl living in ungentrified Flatbush, Brooklyn with her tough-love mother who worked two jobs to send her to Catholic school, we talk about spending each summer in Haiti with her father and her mischievous brother, playing high school sports, going to college with the goal to become a lawyer like Claire Huxtable and nixing that plan real quick, landing back home and taking a job with a PR firm, where she didn't last long after moments like asking Dame Dash if she could listen to his iPod. Marsha remembers interning for Lyor Cohen at Def Jam, moving over with him when he took the CEO position at Warner Music Group, establishing herself as a people person and learning the A&R side of the business at Atlantic Records, and moving into marketing for early projects by Maino, DJ Drama and TI's P$C. We discuss how specific Lupe's vision was for Lasers, the hours she spent on the phone with him, how far her relationship with Wiz evolved after he signed to Atlantic and initially ignored everyone in the building, and why she felt it was the right move to leave for a position at Epic Records. Marsha gets into working with Tamar, how hard she and her team worked to get that number one record, having a baby and juggling responsibilities to her family and as a businesswoman. Marsha details her return to Atlantic, the amazing ways they rolled out Gucci's first album while he was on house arrest, working Kodak's first project while he was locked up, the reaction to Cardi's unprecedented run, her feelings on Billboard's recent piece on the dearth of Black executives in music, the different leadership styles of Lyor Cohen, LA Reid and Julie Greenwald, the talented co-workers she's collaborated with through the years, and so very much more in this truly excellent episode!
Apr 23, 2018
#181: Jim Jones
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome East Harlem's own Jim Jones to the Upper West Side to talk Dipset Christmas, why he didn't do a solo deal at Roc-A-Fella, random remixes, sneaker shopping, being in the belt business with A$AP Ferg, Funk Flex's car shows, working with Rsonist of The Heatmakerz, being the fashionable kid in high school, bringing 100 people with him to The Tunnel, the effect he had on the music industry by engineering his own sessions, blowing budgets at the club, his love-hate relationship with his song Ballin', what he thought when 50 Cent called Koch Records a "graveyard," not signing J. Cole, his own Broadway show, how Mona Scott stole his reality TV show, being the NYC tour guides for visiting artists, and much, much more! This episode is presented by Martell, the legendary maker of the world's finest cognacs, including Martell Blue Swift and VS Single Distillery.
Apr 17, 2018
#180: Wale, Smoke DZA and Kaz
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we traveled to New Orleans, home of WrestleMania 34, having never watched wrestling in our lives, to learn from fanatics Wale, Smoke DZA and Kaz what exactly we've been missing this whole time. This hilarious and informative conversation is wide-ranging, from how the guys got into wrestling, to what matters more between storylines and action, the time that Jake the Snake's snake really bit Randy Savage, how the WWE compares to Pixar movies, Ric Flair's Woo, Mr. Socko, betting on matches, veterans changing fights while they're in the ring, who has the best promo game, John 3:16, the McMahon family, meeting Kassius Ohno fka Chris Hero, Mick Foley losing an ear, whether this is the best era of wrestling, how The Miz compares to Cardi B, their predictions for how WrestleMania 34 would go down, and so much more! This episode is presented by Martell, the legendary maker of the world's finest cognacs, including Martell Blue Swift and VS Single Distillery.
Apr 10, 2018
#179: Neef Buck (and Freeway)
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome one half of the Young Gunz and State Property representer Neef Buck to the Upper West Side! And as a bonus for this bonus episode, another member of State Prop, Freeway stops by! Neef discusses the challenges and realities of growing up in West Philly and North Philly, meeting Young Chris, rapping around Philadelphia, getting the attention of Beanie Sigel's manager Stevie G, bringing Chris into the fold and creating Young Gunz, and cutting school to spit for Jay, Dame and Biggs, Puffy, Chris and Dave Lighty and others. Neef talks about not messing with the idea of State Property early on and eventually becoming family, putting in time at Baseline while everyone else would record, looking for every opportunity to jump on tracks, learning from being cut out of deals early and then diving into the business end of things via the Roc-a-Fella staff, and why he couldn't stay away from the streets. We get into stories about Jay, Dame, Biggs, Wayno, Shari Bryant, Emmanuelle, Lenny S, Big Face Gary, Kevin Hart, LeBron James, Ryan Press, Rocawear, studio budgets, Will Smith, Can't Stop, Won't Stop, getting chased by fans, how Philly became a second home to the Roc, his new release Forever Do Me 9, and so much more!
Apr 05, 2018
#178: The Return of Flatbush Zombies
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Flatbush Zombies back to the Upper West Side, on the eve of the release of their new album, Vacation in Hell! In this wide-ranging and hilarious conversation, we dive into the making of the new project, why they put a premium on album packaging, getting features from Jadakiss and Portugal. The Man, who they get mistaken for, appearing on late night shows, performing on festival stages in a Darth Vader costume, resetting the bar on stage diving, confusing group chats, getting interviewed by Nardwuar, hanging out with Snoop Dogg, what Hell is exactly is, being underrated in terms of their voices, their production, and their style, and much, much more!
Apr 02, 2018
#177: NBA Insider CountOnVic
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome NBA insider, digital guru and all-around dope New Yorker CountOnVic! Victoria talks about growing up in Israel, both the loveliness of life by the sea, and the fright of terrorism on a daily basis, speaking four languages and playing tennis and basketball in her youth, moving to New York City at the age of 11 when her mother took a job working to cure cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering, and learning American English as well as the subway system right before attending bar mitzvahs. Vic discusses why she gave up her tennis ambitions, visiting Harvard and MIT knowing she wouldn't attend school there, her dalliance with the fashion world, how she fell in love with basketball, and what appealed to her about Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. We get into how Vic decided with no resume or connections to dive into the sports world, the value of in-real-life connections, her twitter popularity, giving Kobe binge-watching recommendations, her summer of 2017 watching Hoodie Melo-led runs in his private gym, her work with Franchise, the difference between secrets and exclusives, sharing an Uber with Kris Humphries, the people she admires most in NBA media, Kobe's Oscar, taking wine baths a la Amare Stoudemire, who she roots for when the Lakers aren't playing, and much more!
Mar 26, 2018
#176: Phonte
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the amazing rapper, actor, producer, podcaster, and personality Phonte - whose new album No News is Good News is available for streaming everywhere now - to the Upper West Side! We discuss Phonte's youth in Greensboro, North Carolina, his East Coast musical influences, what Biggie's Ready to Die album and Snoop Dogg's Doggystyle album meant, being bused to a mostly white high school, focusing on sports, performing with his first rap group, The Fu-Tang Clan, making beats on a TASCAM four-track recorder in his room, how his creative writing developed significantly in 11th grade, and attending college, where he met Big Pooh and 9th Wonder. Phonte talks about how he and 9th and Pooh were friends way before they were making music, giving up football, joining the school's drama program, starting a college rap group G.I.M.M.E. (God, I Murder Many Emcees), watching in awe as 9th made beats on Cool Edit Pro, and making records on records on records until they felt their song "The Finest" was about to hit. Phonte speaks on having a child right out of college and balancing his 9-5 at Blue Cross, Blue Shield with the freedom that his budding music career brought, moving forward as Little Brother, the power of the internet and specifically Okayplayer, touring California, taking meetings with Jive Records, ultimately signing with Atlantic Records, what it's like to turn in an album like The Minstrel Show, and how quickly their support system at the label fell apart. We get into the expectations, the environment, the fallout, the bounce back, and ultimately the dissolution of Little Brother, and how Phonte found himself in a place in 2011 where he was ready to create and release a solo album. Phonte talks Foreign Exchange, doing 80's covers, losing loved members of his family, getting married, producing music and TV, writing music and TV, and championing others, finally determining that he had a second solo record ready for public consumption in 2018, and the overwhelmingly positive reactions it's garnered. All that, plus stories about Kanye, Drake, Jeezy, Combat Jack, Oprah, Danny Glover, South of the Border, Petey Pablo, The Source, BET, The Breaks, Sesame Street, and so much more!
Mar 20, 2018
#175: Producer Che Pope
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we stopped by to see legendary producer, thinker and collaborator Che Pope! Che spoke with us about growing up in Boston, attending school in Virginia as a finance major, meeting The Neptunes, Jay-Z and Puffy early on, and dropping out with one semester to go when his music caught the attention of Teddy Riley. Che talks about moving to NYC and taking a job at Sam Ash, where he'd link up with Wyclef and go on to help bring The Carnival to life, and how that turned into heavily collaborating with Lauryn Hill and James Poyser on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. We discuss why he took a job at Warner Bros. Records, how he ended up on the doorstep of famed film composer Hans Zimmer, and his experiences working in the studio alongside Dr. Dre for eight years. Oh yeah, and his work around the world with Kanye, joining G.O.O.D. Music to assist Big Sean, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor and Valee, who exactly should get credit for the soul sample sound, stories about Aaron Hall, 50 Cent, The Game, Scott Storch, Rick Rubin, K-Pop and so much more in this amazing episode!
Mar 12, 2018
#174: Director Nabil Elderkin
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we found ourselves back on the West Coast, and welcomed into the house of dynamic photographer, music video visionary and feature film director Nabil Elderkin! Nabil talks about growing up in Port Macquarie, Australia, taking up photography after surfing and lifeguarding didn't prove fruitful, failing high school photography due to his pushing boundaries, and his father sending him to live with his mother in America. We discuss finishing high school in Chicago, photographing the local music scene, and landing on the sounds of an up-and-coming producer/rapper named Kanye West. Nabil speaks on buying KanyeWest.com and trading it to Roc-A-Fella Records for a chance to photograph Kanye, becoming Ye's trusted documentarian, working with Don C, Twista, Consequence, and Coodie & Chike, meeting will.i.am who asked him to direct a music video for the Black Eyed Peas, and transforming that into directing career, shooting Ye's Throw Some D's (Remix), John Legend's All of Me, Kendrick Lamar's DNA, G.O.O.D. Music's Mercy, and many more. And as Nabil finishes preparations for Gully, his first feature film which has been four years in the making, we get into meeting Nelson Mandela, documenting war-torn Rwanda, exhibiting at the UN, running around Kanye's stage shows, the energy of the Watch the Throne tour, attending John Legend and Chrissy Teigen's wedding, how Don Cheadle improvised on set, directing a Super Bowl commercial with Busta Rhymes, Missy Elliott, Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman, and much, much more!
Mar 05, 2018
#173: The Basketball-Playing Rapper Draft with Big Wos and Blk Tray
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we flew back to Los Angeles to recap NBA All-Star Weekend in our own way with our friends Big Wos and Blk Tray: by drafting, analyzing and debating each of our four teams of the best basketball-playing rappers. Tune in and let us know whose squad is the best!
Feb 27, 2018
#172: PRhyme (Royce da 5'9 and DJ Premier)
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome legendary lyricist Royce da 5'9 and legendary producer DJ Premier, together known as PRhyme, to the Upper West Side! We talk with the guys about their new album PRhyme 2, the most meaningful co-signs they've ever received, what Dr. Dre's studio speakers can do to an artist's music and their chest, how to react to internet trolls, all the numbers they have in their cell phones but never text, and their first ever TV appearances. Royce discusses working three jobs a day after graduating high school in addition to starting his rap career, all with the threat of his father sending him to the army hanging over his head. Royce recalls almost rapping for Redman in Detroit, the open mics around town, his one-way plane ticket to NYC, working with Pharrell and Chad and Kelis before The Neptunes blew up, and how he ruined his first record contract with Tommy Boy. Preemo reveals how he and Guru lived out of Branford Marsalis' brownstone in Brooklyn, meeting Dave Chapelle through Talib Kweli and Mos Def, knowing Ol Dirty Bastard when he had a staircase flattop in 1988, programming drums on Gangstarr records together with Guru, each of them punching buttons, and the absurdity of artists being paid to make an appearance in a music video. All that plus stories from the guys about Slaughterhouse, Jay-Z, Eminem, Danny Brown, Onyx, RZA, Killer Mike, and so much more!
Feb 19, 2018
#171: 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review Black Panther (feat. Styles and Sheek of The LOX)
For Episode 2 of 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies, Eric, Jeff, Styles and Sheek hit the theater to check out the highly anticipated Marvel film, Black Panther. There's never been a movie review show as fun as this. Listen and let us know what you think! AND JUST KNOW: SPOILERS ARE UNAVOIDABLE IF YOU PRESS PLAY.
Feb 14, 2018
#170: Digital Music Marketing Executive Jamal Jimoh
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome digital music marketing executive Jamal Jimoh to the Upper West Side! Jamal discusses being raised by a single mother in Rockaway, getting into a gifted and talented program, getting asked to leave the gifted and talented program, playing advanced music at an early age, going to high school with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Immortal Technique, being asked to leave Hunter High School, getting his GED and going to college at 16 years old. Jamal talks about working as a librarian, interning for TheSource.com and Revlon over the same summer, doing facilities work at the Universal Music Group headquarters, roaming the halls of Def Jam, and ultimately being asked to leave for being too social and doing his job too quickly. We talk in detail about the harrowing circumstances that put Jamal under sedation in a hospital bed for a week, waking up with a tube down his throat, how thankful he is for his mother, who saved his life, and how this all changed his perspective on life. Jamal gets into his digital career at Island Def Jam, working with Fall Out Boy, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and The Killers, how he was named to Billboard's esteemed 30 Under 30 list, why he chose to join Nick Cannon's NCredible Entertainment, what being let go from that job after five years meant, and the long, difficult road to bouncing back and figuring out who exactly Jamal Jimoh was outside of a job title. All that, plus his days as a rapper, what his denim collection was like in high school and college, and again, what a great person his mother is!
Feb 13, 2018
#169: J. Cole's Manager and Dreamville President Ib Hamad
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we traveled to Los Angeles for an epic sit down with J. Cole's manager and Dreamville president Ib Hamad! Ib talks about moving to Queens from Paris, the second youngest of five children, with English his third language, finding his voice on the New York City basketball courts. We discuss coaching youth basketball, studying SportsCenter highlights each morning, fleeting thoughts of playing Division 1 college basketball, but ultimately ending up at St. Johns where he'd chase girls and befriend future multi-platinum rapper Jermaine Cole, who at that point barely admitted that he had rhymes. Ib goes through the early days, supporting his friend's musical ambitions at open mics, getting jobs together at call centers, knowing that they had album-ready songs, and eventually capturing the interest of the music industry: meetings with 50 Cent, Shady Records' Paul Rosenberg, and of course, Mark Pitts and Jay-Z. Ib takes us through how the "Dollar and a Dream" campaign started, how Dreamville started, the power of Cole's mixtapes, the many starts and stops Cole's early major label career went through, acting as a push-button DJ for Cole, the differences between the first and second albums, what the HBO series meant, and how exactly 2014 Forest Hills Drive came to be. All that plus stories about JID and Earth Gang, Bas and Cozz, why Interscope was the perfect label partner, who's nicer on the court between Cole and Ib, and much, much more!
Feb 06, 2018
#168: GuapDad4000
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the Ferragamo Falcon, West Oakland’s own rap phenomenon, Scam Boy himself, the one and only GuapDad4000. We discuss growing up quickly as a child of two scammer parents, taking care of his younger siblings while his mom and dad were locked up, moving a half-dozen of his friends into his house so they could all pay off the mortgage, and eventually finding his way into his own scamming business. We talk about his personal style that got him notoriety, his early presence on Tumblr, throwing the wildest parties in California, based off the movie Project X, wrap-up videos going viral on Worldstar, getting calls from BET’s CEO Debra Lee looking to get her son onto the list, and eventually falling into a depression when the party business died off and he had no identity. GuapDad goes in depth on why he found his way back to scamming, what his goals were with music, and what happened when he crossed a border into Arizona with stolen merchandise in his trunk. GuapDad speaks on moving to LA, sleeping at the studio, immersing himself in the recording process next to Young Pinch and Cee-Lo, finding himself via Instagram on his birthday, and taking the internet by storm with his honest, authentic, dynamic, and hilarious hurricane force personality. Now in the midst of a major label bidding war, we talk about all that plus riding horses, hosting parties, the fine arts, his toxic relationships, and we have one of the most amazing endings to our podcast ever.
Jan 29, 2018
#167: Wiz Khalifa
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we traveled out to Los Angeles to sit down with Pittsburgh's own Wiz Khalifa in the studio as he records his next album! We discussed the infamous Chief Keef video shoot in the desert with 50 Cent, hitting Curren$y on MySpace and moving to New Orleans to live on Spitta's couch for a month, how Snoop talked Wiz into acting, what it was like to perform for three audience members at a CMJ performance in NYC, his inspiration for the O.N.I.F.C. artwork and the internet's initial reaction, and what he thinks of all the artists who have taken inspiration over the years. We talk growing up in the Steel City, being comfortable wearing Chucks when everyone else was rocking Jordans, spending much of his high school years focusing on recording music and performing at local colleges, and the best thing he got from signing to Warner Bros. Records. All that, plus why he's gotten heavily into kickboxing, his favorite remixes, his most hilarious dated lyric, how fatherhood changed his perspective on life, what happened when Berner asked to borrow Wiz's car, which major records he's broken as a Vegas DJ, his honest reaction to the news that there's a SuperFly remake, and much, much more!
Jan 22, 2018
#166: Durant Company Partner Rich Kleiman
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Kevin Durant's business partner and former VP of Roc Nation Sports Rich Kleiman up a few blocks on his native Upper West Side! We discuss playing high school basketball around New York City, getting a scholarship to Boston University and immediately finding a different kind of “sports interest” (?) which took him away from his studies, unceremoniously dropping out of school, moving back to NYC, briefly considering getting into the restaurant business, becoming COO of a dot-com bubble website, music supervising the ESPN docuseries The Life, producing the Jay-Z documentary Fade to Black, and ultimately being recruited to work for Jay at the inception of Roc Nation. Rich's story is one of overcoming long odds, believing in himself, outworking everyone else, finding his lane and dominating it, taking chances, getting co-signs from Heavy D, Puff Daddy, Jay-Z, and John Meneilly, working with Mark Ronson, Q-Tip, J. Cole, Solange, Wale, Victor Cruz, Kevin Durant and on and on. All that plus asking Jay-Z for a raise, getting fired by Mark Ronson, walking around Soho with Amy Winehouse, explaining what he saw in Meek Mill and his team, what Kevin Durant's free agency was really like, and so much more. This episode is an amazing listen, full of inspiration; take heed of how Rich, a man with no undergraduate degree, turned his unbelievable experiences around music and TV production and entrepreneurship into a master's degree in real life. Listen now on iTunes and SoundCloud and Stitcher and everywhere else!
Jan 15, 2018
Want ItsTheReal To Come To Your Town?
We spoke with people who've been to our shows in New York, London and Los Angeles, to get their honest opinions on what an ItsTheReal show is like. Want us to come to your town to perform? Let us know!
Jan 10, 2018
#165: Digital Marketing Executive Alex Ciccimarro
This Week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our great friend and digital marketing guru, Alex Ciccimarro AKA The Bald God, to the Upper West Side! Alex discusses growing up in Brooklyn, his parents' van being stolen on a weekly basis, calling Bad Boy Records as a 10 year old, getting into music management as a teenager, dedicating himself to the idea of working in the record business and simultaneously giving up on high school, going to Full Sail University, passing out fliers at 3am outside clubs in Orlando, Florida, working at a store in Walt Disney World called Once Upon a Toy, and eventually building up a resume through digital marketing relationships with the hip-hop blogging universe. Alex talks about linking up with Al Lindstrom, working his way into Sirius Satellite Radio with Tony Touch and Statik Selektah, hanging out in the studio with Just Blaze, road managing Two-9 around the South, going to Fadia Kader's Broke and Boujee parties in Atlanta, mastering online monetization, and spending his last money to catch a flight back to Brooklyn to do digital marketing for Rich Homie Quan. Alex gets into independence, mentors, working for HotNewHipHop, and his big break with Atlantic Records, where he worked with Gucci, Cardi, Kodak Black, PNB Rock, Meek Mill, Jill Scott and many more before moving to Universal Republic. All that, plus the funniest stories about Ron Browz, Jack's 99 Cent Store, shooting a video with the Dolla Boyz in Philly, and much, much more, including news about his brand new work opportunity, which was announced today! AND TO ALL OF OUR NEW YORKERS, DON'T FORGET: WE'RE PEFORMING LIVE ON WEDNESDAY AT SOB'S, SO GRAB YOUR TICKETS NOW AT ITSTHEREAL.COM
Jan 08, 2018
#164: True Hollywood Stories
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, in advance of Eric and Jeff's upcoming headlining show at NYC's legendary venue SOB's on Wednesday, January 10th, the guys share some of their true, ridiculous stories from their decade-long career in and around the music business. Get your tickets now for next week's show at ItsTheReal.com!
Jan 05, 2018
#163: Remembering Combat Jack
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we pay tribute to our friend and podcast kingpin Reggie Osse AKA Combat Jack, who passed away two weeks ago from cancer at the far-too-young age of 53. Reggie, father of four, friend to many, and inspiration to millions more, holds a special place in hip-hop history thanks to his dual careers in law and journalism. We're proud to present a replay of our amazing 2015 interview with Reggie, where he went into great detail on themes that would come up years later, at last week's memorial service: his appreciation for Buddhism, his love for education and the arts, his devotion to his family, his bravery in switching careers when monetary success wasn't enough, his roots in Brooklyn, riding on the outside of trains up to The Bronx, tracking down Puff Daddy in a sauna to secure clientele, being in the studio with Biggie as he recorded Hypnotize, creating his own broadcasting empire, speaking at college graduations, and much more. Please enjoy the words and journey of a great man, Reggie Osse. Long live Combat Jack.
Jan 01, 2018
#162: Mayor
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome one of the most notable and influential sneaker collectors today and over the last thirty years, Mayor, to the Upper West Side! Mayor discusses growing up in The Bronx under the no-nonsense wing of his bingo-playing, knife-weilding mother, watching big rappers roll into his childhood neighborhood to bag all the best girls, and how local kids fronting on his elementary school sneakers provided the battery in his back that led him to grow one of the most legendary shoe collections in the world. We talk early jobs at Blimpie, at a shoe store uptown, and in shaving crack down to make a profit behind the big dealers' backs. Mayor details going to high school with Fat Joe, investing in the seminal nightclub Esso, visits from Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Foxy Brown and Lil Kim and Puffy bringing in the highest bar night ever to that point, meeting DJ Clark Kent and wanting a stereo system just like Clark's, as well as the incredible circumstances that led the nightclub to ultimately shut down. Mayor gets into the reasons why he went to jail at 30 years old, what happened mere hours after he got released, how he moved past the street life into private business, and how publications, influencers and tastemakers made Mayor, as he claims, "fake famous." All that plus fatherhood, getting his driver's license at 23 years old, being overly honest with Mary J. Blige, his thoughts on the sneaker resale game, how exactly he got the new KAWS Jordan 4s, what animal Pusha T is deathly afraid of, and much, much more!
Dec 25, 2017
#161: Shy Glizzy
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 12 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome Washington, DC's own, and 2018 Grammy-nominated, Shy Glizzy to the Upper West Side! Young Jefe discusses his distinctive voice, his amazing ear, how long it took him to figure out his sound, losing his father to violence at a super-early age, growing up on Go-Go music and Eazy-E, following in his rapper uncle's footsteps, he effect meeting Birdman had on him, why the DMV doesn't always support their own, his refusal to sign to any label at all, and what Kevin Liles and Lyor Cohen visiting personally meant in changing his mind about the signing process. We get into the making of the Grammy-nominated Crew, working with Young Thug and Peewee Longway, Young Money Yawn, GS9, Fabolous and Trey Songz, and wanting to work with Future. All that, plus raising his three-year old son in his own image, buying suburban houses yet staying in the streets, what he'll be wearing to the Grammy Awards, rebuilding his hometown and much more! PS: Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available now!
Dec 23, 2017
#160: Peter Rosenberg
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, for Day 11 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome Hot 97/ESPN/WWE's own Peter Rosenberg back to our section of the Upper West Side! In our annual wide-ranging, hilarious and heartfelt year-end conversation, we discuss the tragic passing and ultimate legacy of Reggie Osse bka Combat Jack, Joe Budden leaving Everyday Struggle, Peter's current attitude toward radio competitors Mike Francesa, Charlamagne Tha God, Craig Carton and Chris Carlin, the wild insult of someone claiming Peter has "Trump hands," Black Thought's epic freestyle on Funkmaster Flex's show, meeting his hero Bobby "The Brain" Heenan at last year's WrestleMania, the live Juan Epstein reunion, and much, much more! PS: Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available now!
Dec 22, 2017
#159: I Luv Lola
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Day 10 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome music industry veteran I Luv Lola to the Upper West Side! Lola shares her journey from a tiny village in Albania to coming to North America and settling in a suburb outside Toronto, where she took to high school in goth clothing, went to Blink-182 and Papa Roach concerts, and made her way through University as a sociology major by working five jobs at once. Lola talks about getting inspiration from a XXL Magazine piece on The Game, diving into hip-hop journalism, interviewing Tony Yayo and T.I., throwing parties in Canada, catching a Greyhound bus to network in New York City, seeing Big Sean's first show at SOB's, jumping on planes to Atlanta to be at every event, riding around in a car with 8Ball, and making sure that everyone knew the name Lola. We discuss working with French Montana, Belly, Rick Ross and Lemon, meeting Julius Caesar, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, starting your own brand and creating equally beneficial partnerships. All that, plus 4-wheeling in Dubai, English being Lola's third language, why exactly it's ILuvLola.net, and much more! PS: Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available now!
Dec 21, 2017
#158: HQ Trivia's Scott Rogowsky
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Day 9 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome the host of the user-successful and addicting smartphone quiz game HQ Trivia, Scott Rogowsky to the Upper West Side! Scott shares stories growing up in Eric and Jeff's hometown of Harrison, NY, collecting baseball cards, playing Little League, finding suburban mischief, getting by in private school in NYC, and eventually winning the student body presidency. Scott talks about approaching stand-up comedy at straight-laced Johns Hopkins University, bodying his first set in front of students, tanking his follow-up at a coffee bar in town, and his mindset in rebounding. We discuss moving to Brooklyn, meeting his comedic heroes Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Joe Mande, Noah Garfinkel and more, performing around NYC, and figuring out that while being in front of audiences was what he wanted, standing up wasn't the move. Scott gets into his live talk shows ("12 Angry Mascots" and "Running Late with Scott Rogowsky"), his time on network television, his viral videos and pictures ("Fake Book Covers on the Subway"), and when he was feeling he was done with NYC and ready to move to Los Angeles, how HQ Trivia came into his life and became an absolute whirlwind. PS: Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available now!
Dec 21, 2017
#157: Tee Grizzley
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Day 8 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome Detroit's own Tee Grizzley to the Upper West Side! We discuss Tee's grandparents raising him since his mother was (and remains) in federal lockup, becoming an excellent student, never smoking or drinking in the face of peer pressure, rapping during his high school years with a collective called the All-Stars, starting college at Michigan State University, getting an internship offer from a major financial institution in Chicago, and ultimately falling in with the wrong crowd and getting involved with robberies. Tee details getting kicked out of school, heading to Kentucky for a smash and grab, walking into the jewelry store and knowing there was no good ending, and seconds later staring down the barrel of a cop's gun. How Tee broke the news to his grandparents, how he passed the time in jail, who believed in him, how he turned his focus to music, what it was like in the studio when he recorded First Day Out, and who exactly showed him that this would be a huge song. All that, plus stories about Chris Brown and Trey Songz, Facetiming with Lyor Cohen, getting shouted out by Jay-Z on Twitter, new collaborations with Jeezy, Takeoff and Lil Dark, who would win in animal fights and why, and much, much more! PS: Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available now!
Dec 20, 2017
#156: 2 Jews And 2 Black Dudes Review The Movies (feat. Styles & Sheek of The LOX)
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Day 7 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we follow up on the amazing idea hatched in the middle of our epic and wide-ranging conversation with The LOX a few weeks back... we headed up to D-Block Studios on Yonkers, linked up with Styles P and Sheek Louch, and recorded the first episode of 2 Jews and 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies! On future shows, the four of us will be attending the movies together and will review one movie per episode, but on today's absolutely hilarious recording, we each go through our top 10 must-see programs currently found on Netflix. PS: Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available now!
Dec 19, 2017
#155: O.T. Genasis
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Day 6 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome Long Beach, California's own, O.T. Genasis to the Upper West Side! O.T. discusses his come up, failing the written portion of his driver's test, yet stealing cars, attending more than a handful of high schools, listening to Cam'Ron, T.I., G-Unit, Snoop and more growing up, devoting himself to music and mastering his live performances around the Los Angeles area. We talk about signing a single deal with 50 Cent, leaving 50's camp and dedicating himself to selling his own music, never using his Long Beach connections to even let Snoop know that he was rapping, and finally getting the attention of Busta Rhymes, who brought him to Atlantic Records and gave him a bigger platform. All that, plus the difference between his live performances and others, touring with Chris Brown, Crip walking in front of the White House, why editors are the key to music videos, stories behind his songs "Coco," "Cut It," "Everybody Mad," "Thick," "Push It," "Touchdown," and much more! PS: Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available now!
Dec 17, 2017
#154: Fafu
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Day 5 of the #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome music producer, video director, DJ, drum programmer and all around content creator Fafu to the Upper West Side! Fafu discusses growing up in York, Pennsylvania, moving to Minnesota with dreams of finding his place in the live music scene, working odd jobs and taking recording classes, and hanging out at a biker bar on the outskirts of town where the best musicians in the world would congregate. We talk about working as a drum programmer and guitar tech for Prince at Paisley Park, moving to NYC to work with the Blue Man Group, moving to Los Angeles with Randy Jackson offered to create a label, band and production partnership with Fafu, heading to Albany, NY to join Puff Daddy and the Family on the No Way Out Tour, going to the Bahamas to work alongside The Hitmen on various Bad Boy projects, going to Atlanta to finish Puff's Forever album and assist with Mase's Double Up, and going to court to support Puff during the Club New York trial. Fafu shares stories about joining the group Blestenation, shopping a deal around, getting placement in a major motion picture, and what role Paul Rosenberg, Noah Callahan-Bever, Steven Victor and Mr. Morgan played in their career. All that plus working with Harry Fraud, shooting viral videos for Akon and French Montana, helping launch Made in America, how exactly Puff's people got weed into the Bahamas and much, much more! PS: Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available now!
Dec 16, 2017
#153: Karlie Hustle
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Day 4 of #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome radio veteran and host of the Brutally Honest podcast, Karlie Hustle to the Upper West Side! We talk about Karlie's youth in Eugene, Oregon, her early jobs at Kinko's and Applebee's, escaping to Portland after a short stint in college, and how finding her way into the hip-hop scene caught Ebro Darden's attention. Karlie discusses her climb up the radio ladder, starting with moving from a top-25 market to the 75th biggest market, and continuing moving down the West Coast, from Salinas to San Diego to Phoenix, what she learned from each stop about herself and the business, and what led her to into work with foster children and the homeless population. Karlie gets into the call from Ebro asking her to make the move to NYC's Hot 97, programming Hot 97's Who's Next series and Summer Jam Festival Stage, radio wars with Power 105, working with Funkmaster Flex and Angie Martinez, and why she ultimately left. All that, plus bigging up local acts, working with Rapsody and 9th Wonder, working for Beats 1 Radio, how motherhood has changed her perspective, why Kendrick Lamar should still do a Who's Next show at SOB's, and much more! PS: Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available now!
Dec 16, 2017
#152: Upscale Vandal
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Day 3 of #12DaysOfPodcasts, we welcome Upscale Vandal to the Upper West Side! For all the people who've been dying to know what exactly it is that he does for a living, we finally, finally find out! We talk about growing up in Brooklyn and Queens, to hustling in the streets, to rocking the dopest gear, lacing his car, and brandishing weapons, to getting locked up, to getting advice from the legendary DJ Clark Kent, who set him on the path he continues on to this day. We talk about his work with Pharrell and BBC, his work with Emory Jones and Jay Z and Roc Nation, his hands-on work with brands and style and fashion, and French Montana, Pusha T, J. Balvin and more, all while never selling out, and always maintaining the same cool he had as a kid. PS: Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available on 12.15.07!
Dec 14, 2017
#151: The 2017 Year in Music Episode
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we invited our friends Naomi Zeichner (Fader, YouTube), Rembert Browne (Grantland, NYMag), Scottie Beam (Hot 97, Revolt, Scottie Feedback, Satori Radio), Phil Chang (the Calvin Klein campaign with Solange, Dev Hynes, A$AP Mob, etc), and Brandon "Jinx" Jenkins (Complex, Pigeons & Planes) to the Upper West Side to discuss the year in music! From artist of the year, ad-lib of the year, best interview of the year, rap album, R&B album, worst hook, best social media account (artist or otherwise), dream collaboration for 2018 and so much more, we cover everything... except music that dropped after December 1st, SO CHILL.Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available on 12.15.07!
Dec 13, 2017
#150: Q&A
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we celebrate 150 episodes of the podcast (and the beginning of our second annual #12DaysOfPodcasts) by answering all listener-submitted questions, ranging from comments about our work with Max B, to a mention of OG Chase B, to a question from Bun B. Make sure to tune in tomorrow and the following ten days for all new episodes of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal!Be sure to check out JeezyShop.com for all things Jeezy: his tour, his merch and his new album, Pressure, available on 12.15.07!
Dec 13, 2017
#149: Lizzo
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome singer, rapper, actress Lizzo to the Upper West Side! Known for her songs Phone and Good as Hell, her EP Coconut Oil, and great performances on MTV, Desus & Mero and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, we discuss how she grew up in Detroit, moved down to the SWAT section of Houston because "the mortgage business" was popping, dropped out of the University of Houston where she had a flute scholarship, moved to Denver where she photographed Cirque du Soleil and refused to speak, tried out for American Idol in Dallas, performing for zero audience as part of an indie progressive band in Houston, moving to Minneapolis and becoming one of Prince's favorite artists, taking a chance and collaborating with Ricky Reed in Los Angeles, and ultimately signing to Atlantic Records. All that, plus Slim Thug, Mike Jones, TV Johnny, John Mayer, Mark Ronson, Owen Wilson, Sanjaya, Puffy, Raising Canes, McCormick and Schmick's, and living her absolute best life.
Dec 04, 2017
#148: Ron Funches
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome comedian/writer/actor Ron Funches, to the Upper West Side! Ron discusses his upbringing in Chicago, moving to Oregon and starting anew, getting fired from Chuck E. Cheese, performing backyard wrestling, starting a family in his early 20's and raising an autistic son, doing open mics and learning to trust his own voice, all while dreaming of a life in entertainment outside of the Northwest. We talk about the comedy scene in Oregon, what he learned as a supporting act, finding management, working with like-minded, good people in comedy, getting hired to write sketches on Kroll Show, and what the festival circuit has to offer. Ron speaks on what Hollywood attitudes are really like, how splits his time between acting and stand-up, working with Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Conan O'Brien, and Larry David, as well as musicians like Bun B, Justin Timberlake, Michael Christmas, getting confused for The Weeknd or Big K.R.I.T. and much, much more!
Nov 27, 2017
#147: Ted Smooth
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome The Remix King himself, East Harlem's own DJ Ted Smooth, to the Upper West Side! Ted talks earning his stripes playing whiffleball and basketball on the streets, playing his way into the Little League World Series, growing up in a single mother home, and learning to spin records at an early age thanks to his older brother being the legendary mixtape DJ Rei Double R. Ted discusses coming up in NYC as a performative DJ, learning reggae records early, building up an audience that would follow him from club to club, battling Kool DJ Red Alert, fronting on Kid Capri when he was trying to enter the DJ booth, and how he amazingly beat out Funkmaster Flex for the most desired piece of vinyl in Manhattan. We get into Lumidee's certified banger Uh Oh, how Ted forced Columbia Records' hand when he remixed Beyonce's Love on Top, knowing Jay-Z and Damon Dash and Big Pun and Fat Joe from the club days, working with Fabulous and Jadakiss for the Freddy vs. Jason project, and so much more, and for the first time ever, Ted tells the story behind the infamous One Blood loop!
Nov 21, 2017
#146: The LOX
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Yonkers natives Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Louch, together known as The LOX, to the Upper West Side! In this rollicking, blissed-out, and wide-ranging episode, Jada, Styles and Sheek discuss robbing convenience stores on the early Puff Daddy & The Family tours, DMX urinating in front of tourists in Miami, meeting 50 Cent when he was opening on the Ruff Ryders/Cash Money tour, the work that Swizz Beatz put in to become worldwide, how much Biggie appreciated The Lox's lyricism, the work Eve put in in the studio early, the craziness that went down in Las Vegas for Ma$e's video shoot, how Yonkers has changed over the past twenty years, White Party stories, why they signed to Roc Nation, the people who stop through their studio, the movies The LOX love (and the ones they disagree on), how KRS-1 wanted to sign them, all the new music that's on the way, their new EP that's out now #4NoReason, and much, much more!
Nov 14, 2017
#145: Scottie Beam
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our friend Scottie Beam back to the Upper West Side! Scottie talks hanging out at Hot 97 as an elementary school student, being bullied growing up in the Bronx, how her mother taught her to fight back, being scared of moving to New Jersey and starting over. Scottie discusses her theater dreams, quitting her grocery store cashier job in a blaze of glory, cycling through roommates at college, and how Kanye West's music saved her life. Scottie details dropping out of college, joining the Hot 97 street team, getting a job working for Angie Martinez, and becoming a digital personality thanks to Ebro. All that plus stories about Summer Jam, Who's Next, Revolt, Scottie Feedback, tattoos, her sister being left on the side of the road, what she thinks of thirsty IG comments, the US version of The Office, and so much more in this very hilarious and very honest episode!
Nov 07, 2017
#144: Cardo Got Wings
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Grammy nominated producer and hilarious personality Cardo Got Wings to the Upper West Side! Cardo talks growing up in St. Paul, Minnesota, loving Prince, finding trouble in the streets, being shipped out to Denver and Dallas and finding his passion for music in regular hours-long visits to play with an MPC at Guitar Center. Cardo discusses how he built beats on Playstation, evolved his sound with a cracked version of Fruity Loops, he and his brother's brief foray into rapping, and getting a day job in housing loans. How he first linked with Wiz, how Mezmorized changed his life, leaving Taylor Gang, immediately being counted out, bouncing back and hearing Jeezy and Jay-Z rapping their life stories over his production. All that, plus we dive into all the amazing work he's done with Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolBoy Q and Travis Scott and Mac Miller and Snoop Dogg and Yung LA and G-Worthy. With a million impressions and a million stories, this episode is one for the ages.
Oct 31, 2017
#143: MANS NOT HOT AKA Big Shaq AKA Michael Dapaah
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome British comedian Michael Dapaah AKA the worldwide sensation Big Shaq AKA Mans Not Hot to the Upper West Side! In his first American interview, Michael talks about the genesis of Big Shaq, how the Fire in the Booth segment took shape, how Michael wasn't completely happy after the performance, how it took the internet by storm, and whether man actually did get hot in the booth. We also dive into Michael's full history, from growing up in South London with dreams of being a football star, to his hilarious quest to get into University and follow his father's footsteps, to finding his passion in performing live on stage and in Instagram videos. We discuss how the loss of a lifelong friend changed his outlook on life, how he quit his desk job to focus on creative videos, and how he held himself to goals he kept posted on his bedroom wall. All that, plus stories about Drake, Shaquille O'Neal, Charlie Sloth, dealing with the ups and downs of producing internet content, and much more!
Oct 23, 2017
#142: Rsonist of The Heatmakerz
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome producer Rsonist of The Heatmakerz to the Upper West Side! R talks about growing up in the Bronx, heading to Howard University where he would study architecture, crossing paths with a ton of musical talent, including Young Guru, and becoming one of the most in-demand DJs on campus, to the point where he was asked to spin at Grandmaster Flash's birthday party... which went totally left. We discuss his leaving Howard before graduation, moving back to his parents' place with no degree, no future plans, and a baby on the way, how he fell into music production, how he sold his early beats, and how nearly every beat he had on his beat tape made it onto Diplomatic Immunity. We discuss his work with Cam, Jimmy and Juelz, playing beats at Baseline for Jay Z, running around with Kanye, meeting Nicki Minaj when she was still in high school, working with Gucci Mane before his first major deal, recording with Stevie Van Zandt for a song that ended up in Beyonce and Solange's hands, moving to Las Vegas and back to NYC, running a studio where everyone in NYC goes to record, his recent work with reggae artists, the best DJ Khaled impression, and much more!
Oct 19, 2017
#141: Big Face Gary
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome fellow Upper West Sider and former A&R for Roc-A-Fella Records and State Property, Big Face Gary to the podcast! Gary talks about growing up on the Upper West Side when drugs, prostitutes and crime ruled the streets, hanging out on the block with Biggs and Dame and the Best Out crew, and meeting a skinny kid from Brooklyn who rolled up in a white Lexus and Dame swore was the next up: Jay-Z. Gary reminisces on partying uptown, The Tunnel, Latin Quarter, traveling to Jack the Rapper in Atlanta, and truly buying into Jay, Dame, Biggs and the entire Roc-A-Fella movement because they all lived what Jay rhymed. Gary speaks on working with Hip-Hop, Wayno Clark, Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Young Gunz, and all of State Property, being in the studio for the Jay and Cam'ron recording sessions, Jay's competition with Nas, and why Dame would call meetings at 2am. Gary describes what he put on the line for Roc-A-Fella, how much he cared for everyone in Roc-A-Fella, why he took the break-up so hard, what he's been up to for the past dozen years, and what he's got in store for 2018!
Oct 17, 2017
#140: Coodie And Chike
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the acclaimed filmmakers Coodie and Chike to the Upper West Side! We talk with the duo about their upbringings in Chicago and New Orleans respectively, how their jobs as a touring comic and graphics editor led them to meet in NYC, and the process behind the scenes of their groundbreaking music video for Kanye West, Through the Wire. We discuss expectations vs. reality in Hollywood and New York, executives feeding them less-than-stellar feature scripts, and how they finally got a documentary that was close to their heart, Benji, greenlit for ESPN's 30 for 30 series. Starting Creative Control out of Dame Dash's apartment, Erykah Badu accusing them of bootlegging her album, Jay Electronica suggesting they shoot Erykah's video for Window Seat, collaborating with Dave Chappelle, new work on Muhammad Ali and Ernie Barnes, and the joy the internet showed when Coodie reconnected with Kanye during BET Awards weekend, and much, much more!
Oct 10, 2017
#139: Rapsody
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Jamla/Roc Nation recording artist and North Carolina's own, Rapsody to the Upper West Side! Rapsody discusses growing up in a town of only 1600 people, being class president her senior year of high school, driving around back roads with a heavy foot, working as a cashier at a country grocery store, going to college for accounting, and the hope of walking onto the women's basketball team. We talk about her dreams of being a rapper, her collective Kooley High, meeting 9th Wonder and him telling her she was a star. Rap recalls her years as a studio rat, listening to classic albums as homework, recording hundreds of songs, improving her craft, being patient, exhibiting diligence and humility, and working alongside the perfect partner in 9th Wonder. We get into her first show at SOB's in NYC, how she progressed with each project, her appreciation of J. Cole's journey, what it meant to be on Kendrick's second album, the first email she received from Roc Nation, and how she feels with the release of her new album Laila's Wisdom. All that, plus stories about Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, Young Guru, the hilarious circumstances of how her parents found out she was a rapper, and much more!
Oct 02, 2017
#138: DJ Set Free
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the man behind the AND1 Mixtape, DJ Set Free, to the Upper West Side! Set Free discusses how he turned a couple of derailed record deals into a big time marketing position and a legendary advertising campaign by trusting his gut, recognizing talent, and being true to the culture. We talk about working with Rafer "Skip 2 My Lou" Alston, Mos Def, Questlove, Latrell Sprewell, Fat Joe, Akon, Lebron James, Nike, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, scoring movies, traveling around the world, bringing his work back home and building The Compound in The Bronx, and much more!
Sep 26, 2017
#137: DJ Semtex LIVE in London
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we join the legendary DJ Semtex LIVE in London, England in front of a sold-out crowd at the Hoxton Sq. Bar & Kitchen. For the first time, Semtex - world-renowned DJ, radio personality, and author - speaks in depth on his self-made journey from working-class Manchester to mastering his craft in London and traveling the globe. Semtex discusses how he got into hip-hop, how he became the most in-demand DJ in London, and the doors that his obsession with vinyl records opened up around the world. We talked about how he went from running street teams for Sony Music to establishing Def Jam UK to championing artists like Kanye, Lauryn Hill, DJ Khaled and Dizzee Rascal early, and what that meant to both his career and theirs. All that, plus meeting Jay-Z and Dame Dash at Roc-A-Fella's first office, the backstory to his huge Drake interviews, working with Destiny's Child, attending and videotaping a tiny Kanye after-party/cipher, becoming a trusted interviewer, his thoughts on radio, DJs, and downloading sites, the super-real reason he got rid of his entire vinyl collection, and much, much, much more!
Sep 18, 2017
#136: Chuck Inglish
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome one half of The Cool Kids, the influential producer and rapper, Chuck Inglish to the Upper West Side! Chuck discusses growing up in Detroit the son of an auto worker and a nurse, hearing dice games outside his house that reminded him of rap album skits, seeing Cecil Fielder pull up in a car straight out of a Dr. Dre video, and playing drums in his friends' Sublime-like band. Chuck talks about how a skateboard accident got him into making beats, what he would have done if music wasn't his career, what the city of Chicago means to him, and the fear that existed when label heads started to inquire about The Cool Kids. We get into the sound Chuck defined, the influence it's had across music, and in his most revealing statements yet, why exactly Chuck and Mikey took their hiatus and why right now was the right time to link back up. All that, plus working with Bun B, Asher Roth, and Kid Cudi, hanging out at Alchemist's home studio and Mac Miller's home studio, predicting success for Fetty Wap, what he saw early in Drake, and so much more!
Sep 12, 2017
#135: Lecrae
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Lecrae to the Upper West Side! Known for his independent grind, his infamous BET cypher, and of course his faith-based rhymes, we get into his entire, fascinating and relatable journey. Lecrae talks growing up with a mom in the Army, moving around from school to school and reestablishing himself at every stop, lunchroom rap being a common denominator, finding his way into trouble via robberies, and finding his way back to a better way before it was too late. We discuss why he thought Middle Tennessee State was where he'd find success as an artist, how he sold CDs on an independent level, and how making one fan at a time and taking advantage of opportunities brought him to new cities, new countries, and onto TV. All that, plus stories about Lauryn Hill, Killer Mike, Royce da 5'9, French Montana, his new deal with Columbia Records and much, much more!
Sep 05, 2017
#134: J.I.D.
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Dreamville rapper and Atlanta native J.I.D. to the Upper West Side! Fresh off supporting J. Cole on his 4 Your Eyez Only Tour, J.I.D. discusses his All-American high school football career, following in the footsteps of his brother, and the injury that sent his dreams into tumult. J.I.D. talks leaving the comforts of Atlanta for college in Virginia, the circumstances that sent him back down I-95, and the realities of being a nascent rapper in Atlanta: sleeping on couches, questionable performance spaces, and delivering pizzas. All that, plus living with Earthgang, hanging with 6lack, racing Bas, meeting J.Cole, finding his own sound, signing to Interscope, reconnecting with his parents, and much more!
Aug 29, 2017
#133: Mal of The Joe Budden Podcast
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Mal from The Joe Budden Podcast to the Upper West Side! The gregarious Mal, who's put his opinions front and center, has always kept his personal history extremely close to the vest... until today. We talk about his upbringing in the Bronx, what his older brothers have done in the music business, how he got to travel the world as a high schooler, and the circumstances behind popping his first bottle of champagne. We discuss meeting Kanye West, hanging out with Khloe Kardashian, watching Joe Budden's proposal to Tahiry, the live podcast at Highline Ballroom, the LeBron situation, the Carmelo situation, what the best song to listen to at 40k feet in the air is, and so much more. And yes, Internet, we definitely asked what Mal does for a living today... press play and enjoy!
Aug 22, 2017
#132: DJ Green Lantern
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the legendary mixtape DJ, producer, father, and former paperboy, DJ Green Lantern to the Upper West Side, where he tells two hours of the most amazing stories! Green discusses growing up in Rochester, New York, how listening to Led Zeppelin, Public Enemy and Jazz shaped his ears, how producing led him into DJing, rather than the other way around, and the big break that made him The Man along Interstate 90. Green recalled witnessing DJ Clark Kent forcing an aspiring MC to battle a young Jay-Z on 7th Avenue in New York City, driving to Toronto to get white label exclusives, and putting the most creativity into his mixtapes, earning him the recognition of his peers at the Justo Awards. We talk Hot 97, meeting Eminem, working on the Beanie Sigel and Jadakiss mixtapes, the stories behind Jadakiss' song "The Champ is Here," D-Block's "2 Gunz Up," Eminem's "Hail Mary," working with Jay-Z on his never-released mixtape, why he made the move to Atlanta, working with Rocko, Future, Killer Mike and 2 Chainz and so much more. All that, plus patching things up with Jadakiss, why he had to leave rap to come back to hip-hop, and a conversation with Green's son Najee AKA DJ Tangotwelv!
Aug 15, 2017
#131: Brocky Marciano
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Interscope A&R Brocky Marciano to the Upper West Side! Brocky talks growing up in Santa Barbara, California with little money but lots of musical influences in his life, cruising through high school with dreams of playing college baseball, and seeing those plans dashed when weed, women and boredom came into the picture. Brocky discusses creating fake report cards and getting kicked out of school, working on record company street teams and film sets, trying to maintain in his early 20s, and ultimately taking a buttoned-up gig at an agency. After quitting that job and living out of his Chevy Impala, Brocky teamed up with Diamond Clothing, found his way next to rappers and producers and became a very important link in the streetwear-music timeline. Brocky talks wanting to bring more to the table, branching into management and A&R consulting, working on music with Kendrick Lamar, Wale, ScHoolboy Q, Curren$y, Xzibit, Cardo Got Wings, and labels like Columbia, Atlantic, Def Jam and Interscope. All that, plus Jerry Seinfeld, Hip-Hop, Travis Scott, SXSW, batting cages, Foot Locker, The Big Lebowski, and more!
Aug 08, 2017
#130: Roc-A-Fella LIVE (Biggs/Hip-Hop/Lenny S/Just Blaze/Guru/Freeway/Jim Jones/Young Gunz/Chaka)
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we celebrated the legendary record label Roc-A-Fella Records - home to Jay-Z, Kanye West, Memphis Bleek, Cam'Ron, Beanie Sigel and more - with a dozen of the Roc's pillars: founder and partner Kareem "Biggs" Burke, president Chaka Pilgrim, A&Rs Kyambo "Hip-Hop" Joshua and Lenny S, engineer Young Guru, producer Just Blaze, and artists Freeway, Young Chris, Neef Buck and Jim Jones. Recorded live at Highline Ballroom in NYC, this spirited, hilarious, nostalgic, gem-filled conversation was one for the ages.
Aug 02, 2017
#129: An Actual Waste Of Time
From the podcast that's brought you the most in-depth, funniest, and inspirational interviews in hip-hop... join us this Wednesday, July 26th, as we celebrate the legacy of Roc-a-Fella Records with Kareem "Biggs" Burke, Chaka Pilgrim, Emory "Vegas" Jones, Jim Jones, Freeway, Young Gunz, Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua, Just Blaze, Lenny S and Young Guru. It's a once-in-a-lifetime event, and you should be there! Get your tickets at ItsTheReal.com right now!
Jul 25, 2017
#128: Nadeska Alexis
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Nadeska Alexis, co-host of Complex News' runaway hit show Everyday Struggle, to the Upper West Side! Nadeska discusses her childhood move from Grenada to Brooklyn, her mother's strict rules, being shy and reserved through high school, and begging her way out of town and to the snowy confines of Binghamton University. Nadeska talks early interviews with Wale, J. Cole, and Kid Cudi for Blackbook Magazine, putting together MTV's Hottest MCs list which got Kanye so heated he screamed on Sway, and making her big move to join Complex. Oh, and yes, you loser commenters, Nadeska talks Ak, Joe, Migos, Vic Mensa, Yachty and more.
Jul 18, 2017
#127: Datwon Thomas
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the Editor in Chief of Vibe, and Brooklyn's own Datwon Thomas to the Upper West Side! Day discusses growing up on Air Force bases in Japan and New Mexico before finishing high school back in Brooklyn alongside Junior M.A.F.I.A., trying to pass off instrumentals to Puff Daddy in the club, and interning at Vibe Magazine during their first website's infancy. Day shares stories about how XXL announced their launch to their competition, getting thrown in the deep end at XXL when most of the staff left to go to over to Vibe, the legendary photo shoot for the Great Day in Harlem cover, finally working for Puff, returning to Harris Publications to start KING Magazine, being tapped to replace Elliott Wilson after he left XXL, taking a gig working with Russell Simmons, and all these years later, returning to an internet-focused Vibe. All that, plus the most amazing stories including bringing Kanye West to meet Elliott Wilson, meeting Miss Info, reactions to the infamous KING cover with Brandy, where he was when Big L passed away, writing the XXL cover story on Jay-Z, Ja Rule and DMX, going to the club with Barack Obama and Chris Tucker, and much more!
Jul 11, 2017
#126: Styles P
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the Ghost himself, one third of the LOX, and fellow Westchester native, Styles P to the Upper West Side! Styles talks growing up in Yonkers with a chip on his shoulder, meeting Jadakiss and Sheek Louch, spending his high school years as a gentleman and a gangster, giving college a try for one semester, putting in work on the block, in retail, and at Ruff Ryders Studios, doing a seven month stretch in jail and signing to Bad Boy upon his release, and how any rapper could get it when the Ruff Ryders met up on 127th Street and 7th Avenue. We discussed Biggie's effect on the Lox, why things didn't work out with Puff, signing to Ruff Ryders/Interscope, selling 16x the amount of records the label expected, plotting his second album singles, and threatening the executives when his plans were dashed. All that, plus DMX, Swizz, Eve, the entire Bad Boy roster, Alchemist, Mary J. Blige, Curren$y, Berner, Icepic Jay Jackson, and much more!
Jul 03, 2017
#125: Hip Hop Mike
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Hot 97 and Dash Radio personality Hip Hop Mike to the Upper West Side! In this hilarious and crazy episode, Mike details his parents leaving him to be raised with his grandmother in Queens, his father going to jail, becoming a stick-up kid, being sent to Florida to live with his well-to-do cousins and learning to sell weed, coming back to NYC only to get into more trouble and ending up in a group home, staying there so long he aged out of the group home, becoming a standout amateur tennis player, crashing a car on prom night, holding down several jobs, fighting with his mother and her boyfriend/Mike's tennis coach, all before he graduated high school. Mike talks about reaching out to Peter Rosenberg via MySpace, winning tickets three times from Hot 97 to see Rock the Bells, starting college for pre-med and dropping out, and linking up with Rosenberg again to offer his assistance. Mike discusses how much music changed his life, how showing up and listening changed the course of his career, and who exactly he considers family these days. All that, plus stories about Nas, Nardwuar, Lil Fame, and much more!
Jun 27, 2017
#124: Vado
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Harlem native Vado to the Upper West Side! Vado talks growing up on 142nd and Lenox Avenue, going to school with Juelz Santana, seeing Mase, Jay Z, Fat Joe, the Ruff Ryders, Aaliyah, and more come through the block, battle rapping all around Harlem, going on a ski trips with Teyana Taylor, dropping out of school, forming the UN with Cam'Ron and hitting the Summer Jam main stage. We discussed the appeal of major record labels, his meetings with Atlantic, Universal, and eOne, wearing sunglasses in clubs, what's necessary for a walk-through, and why he signed with DJ Khaled, and what they have in store together. All that, plus Angela Yee, Harlem World, Dipskate, Mavado, Jae Millz, Busta Rhymes, TI, Young Dro, and of course, his new project Sinatra 2!
Jun 20, 2017
#123: Irv Benitez
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome Queens native and founder of the Brunch Bounce party series / The Greatest Day Ever, Irv Benitez! Irv details his early days wanting to be a part of the music industry, meeting Just Blaze while working at Foot Locker, interning at Roc-a-fella Records twice, and just-about giving up on college when his father unexpectedly passed away. Irv discusses diving into a career in corporate communications, riding Segways and interviewing girls for Victoria's Secret on college campuses across the country, and eventually finding his way back to New York City to work in marketing. We talk about the genesis of Brunch Bounce and how it went from a Uptown birthday party to thousands of ticket-buyers and a crowd-surfing Joe Budden to considering the USS Intrepid and Yankee Stadium as spaces for their parties to being five years in and throwing events around the world, including the biggest Greatest Day Ever yet, July 15 + 16 in The Bronx!
Jun 13, 2017
#122: Statik Selektah
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome celebrated producer, satellite radio mainstay, and all-around dope DJ Statik Selektah to the Upper West Side! Statik discusses his upbringing in the Northeast, falling in love with hip-hop at a family Thanksgiving, doing Emerson radio even though he wasn't a student there, taking the Fung Wah bus down to NYC to sell mixtapes on Canal Street, and knowing when to uproot and move out of Boston. We talk Statik's work with Joey Badass, 2 Chainz, Action Bronson, Kanye West, Nas, Mac Miller, Bun B, Talib Kweli, Eminem, Sean Price and more. Statik breaks news on Joey Badass, shares the name of the 2 Chainz single off Statik's upcoming album, discusses hanging out with Puffy, Mariah, Nicole Kidman, Derek Jeter and so much more!
Jun 06, 2017
#121: Rory of The Joe Budden Podcast
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Rory Farrell (co-host of The Joe Budden Podcast and General Manager of HennyPalooza) back to the Upper West Side for his own episode! Rory discusses growing up a problem child, taking the Peter Pan bus by himself up and down the East Coast, drinking heavily in high school, miraculously receiving a college scholarship for running track, being an Irish kid in a traditionally African-American fraternity, getting kicked out of school twice, and finding himself through an internship at Def Jam. Rory shares an amazing stories about Kanye playing Def Jam My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy for the first time, the original name of the album, the original vision for the album, and his over-the-top presentation. We discuss Joe Budden's game nights, booking Drake for a college performance, sitting in an office cubicle across from Lyor Cohen, producing a game show for MTV, shooting music videos for The-Dream, Fabolous, Ludacris, and so much more!
May 30, 2017
#120: Killer Mike
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, one half of Run the Jewels, Killer Mike, welcomes Eric and Jeff into his Atlanta, Georgia home! In a conversation surrounding ItsTheReal's new album, Teddy Bear Fresh, which drops on May 26th, Mike talks with the brothers Rosenthal about their family, growing up on Jay Z and Biggie, diving into a career of hip-hop sketch comedy, and the persistence, focus, authenticity and sacrifices that earned them ten years in the game. Mike and ItsTheReal trade stories about entourages, co-signs, comedy, haters, drugs, label independence, Kanye West and much more! Teddy Bear Fresh, featuring appearances by Curren$y, Smoke DZA, Bun B, Michael Christmas, Tunji Ige, Jazz Cartier, Angie Martinez, Just Blaze, Combat Jack, Sway Calloway, and Scott Rogowsky will be available on all streaming services starting May 26th, and is up for iTunes pre-sale right now!
May 23, 2017
#119: Dallas Martin
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we stop by Atlantic Records to sit down with their SVP of A&R Dallas Martin! We discussed growing up humble in Flint, Michigan, turning down the safe in-state option and going to Clark Atlanta University, promoting parties around the city and meeting Don Cannon, DJ Drama, and DJ Sense, getting an internship with the man who signed Jeezy and Rick Ross to Def Jam, Shakir Stewart, and Shakir's shocking death. Dallas talks about his recovery, his fresh start with Juelz Santana, delivering records like "Back to the Crib," getting fired from Def Jam, losing out on jobs, sinking into depression, and getting saved when an opportunity to help rebuild Warner Bros. Records came his way. We dive deep into the recording processes of Wale, Meek Mill, Omarion, and Rick Ross, which artist passed on the Mike Will instrumental that went on to become "No Lie," why Lotus Flower Bomb almost didn't make radio, how Meek's Dreams & Nightmares intro came together, where he was when he got wind of Meek's Drake texts, the major artists he almost signed, what the Atlantic Records merger meant, what Khaled is like in meetings, Ross' Atlanta mansion, and much, much, much more!
May 16, 2017
#118: Jena Luckman
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our hilarious friend online and IRL, Jena Luckman, to the Upper West Side! Jena talks about online dating, growing up as a competitive dancer, dumping a future poker champion, and why Flo Rida doesn't find her particularly funny. We discussed her surviving cancer, surviving getting mugged in New York City, and surviving getting catfished over and over and over again. All that, plus growing up in Boca Raton, staying with the Kardashians at Coachella, giving strippers pizza, why the police pulled her out of high school, her reality TV future with her mom, and much more!
May 08, 2017
#117: Johnny Nunez
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome longtime music scene photographer Johnny Nunez! Johnny talks getting Warren Buffett to throw up the Roc, traveling the world with Dame Dash, getting chased (at different times) by Ol Dirty Bastard and Colin Powell, and sneaking into Nelson Mandella's house. We discussed the racism Johnny experienced as a child in Brooklyn, his family's escape to Long Island, getting kicked out of medical school just short of his graduation, living out of his car and on the verge of selling drugs for an old high school classmate, until he saw a vision that led him into a career in photography. All that, plus witnessing Suge Knight and Jimmy Henchman's beef, shooting Sting, Mick Jagger and Harvey Weinstein in Cannes, watching Kid Rock throw someone off a yacht, and much more!
May 02, 2017
#116: Mack Wilds
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome singer/actor Mack Wilds to the Upper West Side! Mack talks growing up on Staten Island, meeting future co-star of The Breaks, Method Man, at his father's barber shop, commuting to Manhattan for casting calls, landing a Spike Lee TV series as a freshman in high school, and promptly leaving high school to work on The Wire. We discussed Mack's trip to Skywalker Ranch to meet with George Lucas, moving to Los Angeles to star in the CW remake of 90210, writing and recording and crate-digging with legendary producer Salaam Remi, and what it was like for Mack to receive the phone call informing him he was nominated for a Grammy. All that, plus working with Will Smith and Queen Latifah, studying turntablism with DJ Babu, starring in Adele's music video for Hello, Mack's new album After Hours, and much more!
Apr 25, 2017
#115: David Cho
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we finally welcome former publisher of Grantland and The Awl, as well as our great friend, David Cho to the podcast! David talks being in the studio with Justin Timberlake, Pharrell and Timbaland, listening to Kanye complain about his dentist, playing Jenga with Jay Z, and going to dinner at Tyrese's personal backyard Benihana. David discusses growing up as a Korean child in Tennessee, meeting CollegeHumor founder Ricky Van Veen in college and moving to NYC, starting Gawker competitor The Awl with no financial backing, building the network, and right when it started to turn a profit, leaving for a dream job: building Bill Simmons' sports and pop culture site with ESPN, Grantland. All that plus getting confused with the artist David Choe, awkward handshakes, Pepsi's Kendall Jenner commercial, throwing yourself a birthday party, and much more!
Apr 18, 2017
#114: DJ Kay Slay
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we are honored to welcome the legend himself, DJ Kay Slay, to the Upper West Side for an amazing conversation! We talk with the Hot 97 and Shade 45 DJ about how he found graffiti in the early 1980's and became "King of the 1 and 3 Trains" by age 16, how he was break dancing and DJing parties at age 11, and navigating the streets of Spanish Harlem through his middle school and high school years. We discuss how he went from teenage star of the seminal documentary Style Wars to dealing drugs and doing a stint in jail, how his mother stuck by his side, and how he made it back out sober and with a mission to be the best DJ there was. We spoke about helping Kanye pick out singles for his first album, getting yelled at by Jay Z on New Year's Eve, what it felt like to finalize Papoose's $1.5M deal at Jive, how he sonned the radio guys at Bad Boy, and later sonned ItsTheReal. All that, plus stories about Cam'ron, Ma$e, 50 Cent, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Justo Mixtape Awards, DJ Clue, Keith Haring, avoiding trains in the subway, getting mobbed by aspiring rappers outside Hot 97, his leather collection, and so much more!
Apr 11, 2017
#113: Tuxedo (Jake One + Mayer Hawthorne)
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome singer Mayer Hawthorne and producer Jake One collectively known as the funk outfit Tuxedo, to the Upper West Side! We talk Jake's roots in Seattle, his work with G-Unit and Rick Ross and Future, beat tapes being jacked, the importance of the late J. Moore, growing up playing basketball with Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament, bandwagon Seahawks fans, refusing to acknowledge Oklahoma City's existence, recording and touring with Freeway, and so much more. We also talk Mayer's growing up in Ann Arbor, going to the University of Michigan, moving to NYC after high school, the unique stage name given to him in an early rap group, getting to be real-life friends with Snoop Dogg, being invited to play at Live at Daryl's House and choosing what Hall & Oates songs to play, how John Mayer and Kanye reached out via Twitter's early days, being huge in Japan, and of course, how Tuxedo came to be. Oh, and most importantly, HOW IN THE WORLD PITBULL CAME INTO THEIR LIVES!!!
Apr 04, 2017
#112: DJ Kast One
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome The Bronx's own DJ Kast One to the Upper West Side! A Hot 97 staple for the last decade, Kast talks about fighting his way through the Bronx, doing graffiti in subways and on rooftops, joyriding cars at a boarding school in Pennsylvania, cleaning airplanes at LaGuardia Airport, and his mother signing him up for college without his knowledge. We discussed how DJing went from a high school hobby to a career thanks to his college roommate L Boogs, what circumstances led to Kast becoming DJ Enuff's opener, getting kicked out of college, getting kicked out of a recording session by Kanye West, and getting kicked out the booth by famed Hot 97 Program Director Tracy Cloherty. All that, plus Japan, Nardwuar, asking Ebro for vacation, being a Heavy Hitter, and much more!
Mar 28, 2017
#111: Danny Brown & 24Hrs (Live at SXSW)
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we took the show down to Austin, Texas for a wide-ranging talk with rapper/singer/DJ/producer 24hrs and rapper/comedian Danny Brown in front of a live audience from the official SXSW podcast stage! We discussed cats, pedicabs, FaceTime, Jermaine Dupri, AirBNB, living with Tony Yayo, random run-ins from years ago & so much more!
Mar 21, 2017
#110: Casanova
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Flatbush, Brooklyn's own Casanova to the Upper West Side! We talk growing up in a pre-Barclays Center Brooklyn, robbing people for their Air Jordans, giving up on school football when no one from Casanova's family would attend his games, and going in and out of jail as early as 14. We discuss what a judge said and what his mother did to make Casanova finally reconsider his ways, what music got him through a seven year bid, and how all these years later, he came to find out that his friend from inside jail went on to become A$AP Rocky. We talk gambling, investing, joining the construction union, raising his son and daughter, and the circumstances that led him to make his smash song Don't Run, which caught the attention of Taxstone, Chris Brown, Memphis Bleek, Meek Mill, Fabolous, Kevin Hart and more!
Mar 14, 2017
#109: KYLE
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Ventura, California's own, Kyle, to the Upper West Side! In this hilarious conversation, we talk about reinventing yourself after switching to a new high school, putting sports to the side for drama club and improv classes, recording at run-down studios after school in Los Angeles, paying to perform at a shoe store during regular business hours, changing his rap name, coming up with the best senior yearbook quote, working as a meter reader, living on Skid Row, moving in and working with DJ Carnage, meeting Kehlani, getting horrible haircuts, his brother's unique name, and so much more!
Mar 07, 2017
#108: Charlie Wilson
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, it's our honor and pleasure to welcome the legendary singer Charlie Wilson to the Upper West Side! Uncle Charlie took time from his nationwide tour to sit down with us and talk about Kanye (who exactly suggested Rihanna be on All of the Lights, knowing Ye's Tulsa family growing up, where his version of Flashing Lights is, Rosewood), Snoop Dogg (how Snoop found him homeless at a gas station, Tupac knocking down his door to work together), Pharrell (how Charlie built up his confidence, how shy he was at the beginning, singing reference tracks), and R. Kelly (his writing process for Charlie, Last Name Wilson, playing basketball). Plus living in Los Angeles in the era of sex, drugs and rock & roll, paying tribute to the Rolling Stones in front of them and 30k people, co-writing Computer Love with Zapp, throwing TVs out of windows, being cheated out of music money, being homeless and on drugs, and bouncing back with the help of his wife to create a second half like none other!
Feb 28, 2017
#107: Alex Tumay
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the popular music engineer Alex Tumay, who's worked with Young Thug, Travis Scott, Kanye West, Metro Boomin, Southside, TM88 and many more, to the Upper West Side! We talked how his parents disguised a cross-country relocation from him, playing in garage bands and surfing as a teen in Florida, going to college with the intention of designing videogame soundscapes, moving to Atlanta and ending up as a studio intern with a side hustle in poker. We discussed how he put himself on through hard work and filling a studio room full of the hottest producers in the business, how he became the preferred engineer of Young Thug, what Birdman is like on a personal level, his experiences on the road with Travis Scott, which producer Facetimes him the most, who had the best mansion to visit, and so much more!
Feb 21, 2017
#106: Jazz Cartier
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Toronto's own young gun Jazz Cartier to the Upper West Side! We talk growing up in a military family, moving from Canada to Idaho to Georgia to Kuwait to Connecticut, always on the move. We discuss his mom putting him onto classic records but not letting him wear bandanas like Juelz, getting kicked out of boarding school, playing high school tennis, and the best story we've ever heard about a first-time freestyle! Jazz talks about how Toronto's downtown evolved from the OVO era through the XO era and into the years where Jazz and his roommates ran the craziest party in town. All that, plus making a fan out of Lil Wayne, getting his records played on Drake's radio show, working on meeting Rick Ross, hoping to collaborate with E-40 and Gunplay through his new show with Vice, and so much more!
Feb 14, 2017
#105: Mike Carson
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Big Sean's creative director, Mike Carson to the Upper West Side for his first real interview! We talk with Mike about his upbringing in Chicago, his early start with shooting and editing videos, doing lighting direction for high school plays, linking up with Mike Waxx at Columbia College to bring video content to illroots.com, dropping out of school after one year to document the Watch the Throne recording process in Australia, and then moving to NYC and living with Virgil Abloh and Ibn Jasper. We discussed shooting the Ass music video for Big Sean and Nicki Minaj, re-purposing videos for Big Sean's tour, getting over New York City and moving to LA and sleeping on Travis Scott's couch, launching the infamous Illmore house parties at SXSW, joining Sean's team full time, working with Drake, working with Bryson Tiller, why he believes in merch pop-ups, his lighting philosophies, why he hates flying, the one superstar left on his checklist to work with, and so much more!
Feb 10, 2017
#104: Nigel Talley
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome acclaimed A&R Nigel Talley to the Upper West Side! We talk about Nigel's roots in the Bronx, going to a high school straight outta "Lean on Me," finding a purpose in life after meeting Rosie Perez, finding his way into the music industry, and dropping out of college at the request of Puff Daddy, so that he could join the No Way Out tour. We discuss working with Ma$e, Shyne, Cassie, Da Band, Waka Flocka Flame, Jill Scott, Curren$y, Justine Skye and more, as well as influencing Puff's White Parties, infamous rap battles on 125th Street, Q-Tip stopping by the crib, how he earned 50 Cent's respect, what DJ Khaled's like on the phone, and much, much more!
Feb 09, 2017
#103: Kam McCullough of D'ussePalooza
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome D'ussePalooza (formerly HennyPalooza) founder Kameron McCullough to the Upper West Side! We talk growing up in Buffalo, NY, getting kicked out of elementary school, his time in Catholic school, high school football getting his D-1 scholarship offers, and seeing those pro football dreams evaporate in a split second. We discuss rebranding himself as a party promoter in college thanks to a friendship with Dela Yador, booking DJs like Mister Cee and Envy for college parties, relocating to New York City to work as a suit in finance, meeting music industry tastemakers and integrating himself into those circles, and taking a friends-only game night and turning it into a rollicking 20-city touring party. All that, plus breaking down Hennessy's non-involvement, competing events, the damage his friends have done to venues, jokes about all your favorite HP members, and much more!
Feb 08, 2017
#102: DJ Jubilee
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome South Florida's own, DJ Jubilee, to the Upper West Side! We talk about growing up in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, nd Orlando, and how the Florida heat, beats and streets helped shape her as a person and as a musician. We discuss going on Disney World rides under the influence, doing grunt work for radio stations, waitressing at Bennigan's, moving to NYC without knowing anyone, befriending Nick Catchdubs, meeting Rick Ross and Trina, accidentally insulting Cher, purposely insulting Wiz Khalifa and so much more!
Feb 07, 2017
#101: Wyclef Jean
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the legend Wyclef Jean to the Upper West Side. In a wide-ranging conversation, we talk about his collaborations with The Rock, Kenny Rogers, Destiny's Child, Jin tha MC, Mary J Blige, Canibus, Daryl Hall and more. We discussed stealing cars outside his father's church, playing upright bass in his high school jazz band, performing at Carnegie Hall, flying on The Concorde, when The Fugees really found success, the thinking behind The Carnival, why he's not thought of as one of the top New Jersey rappers, Trump's immigration policy, and much more!
Feb 06, 2017
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we celebrate our 100th episode by answering listener-submitted questions about our history, profession, taste in music, guests, process, AKAs, trash vs, gawbage, whether cereal is a soup, and much more. All that, plus we dig up a fascinating clip from a never-aired episode with Young Dro!
Jan 31, 2017
#99: Cardi B
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome The Bronx's own Cardi B to the Upper West Side! We talked her super-impressive new mixtape Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 2, growing up in the Highbridge section of the The Bronx, her high school reputation, sneaking out to go to parties, how she hated math yet worked as a cashier, her brief time in college, how her boss at an Amish market in NYC told her she had a future in stripping and walked her across the street to New York Dolls to get her started, her mother's reaction when she found out how she was earning a living, learning Russian songs from other strippers, being honest on social media, getting recognized everywhere and being sincere with fans, how she feels she's been portrayed on Love and Hip-Hop, how seriously she takes her music, her thoughts on Trump's involvement with Putin, and much more!
Jan 24, 2017
#98: DJ Envy
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome The Breakfast Club's own DJ Envy to the Upper West Side! We talk with Envy about growing up in Queens, riding bicycles with DJ Clue, sharing one turntable with another DJ, spinning at school dances, being the first person in his family to go to college, graduating with a marketing/management degree, the motorcycle accident that changed his life, stealing records for his mixtapes, getting calls from record executives who were not happy, getting calls from Rick Ross who didn't mind Envy hacking his email, how he invented the double and triple-booking, filling in for a pregnant Angie Martinez at Hot 97, doing mornings at Hot with Miss Jones, why he never joined a DJ crew, how he came to the decision to leave for Power 105, what really went down with Birdman, why Cam'ron wanted to fight, his choice for best mixtape of all time, how he feels driving down Canal Street in 2017, and so much more!
Jan 17, 2017
#97: DJ Bobby Trends
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, it's only right that for our 97th episode, we welcome Hot 97's own DJ Bobby Trends to the Upper West Side! Trends has one of the best stories we've heard in all our time podcasting: we talked about growing up in the streets of Newark, NJ, fighting off home invaders, tagging rooftops with KAWS, trading a switchblade for his first turntable, getting recruited by Menudo, going to NYC clubs at 15 years old with his best friend AJ Calloway, passing out fliers in Washington Square Park, joining Funkmaster Flex's street team, getting fired from Flex's street team, Cipha Sounds re-introducing him to Flex, helping Jay Z and DMX and Jim Jones get into The Tunnel, attempting to DJ on the air at Hot 97 and getting shut down by Ebro, helping A&R French Montana and Dipset records, joining DJ Khaled's We the Best crew, fronting on Chamillionaire when he tried to hand him a mixtape, going back to Newark to teach at his old high school, and so much more!
Jan 10, 2017
#96: Ev Boogie
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we welcome UpNorthTrips founder and hip-hop curator Ev Boogie to the Upper West Side! Ev discusses growing up the son of a small town mayor, his mother tearing the tape out of his rap cassette, meeting Jonny Shipes in college, working the cash register at the famed Hamptons' hot spot The Star Room, an infamous run-in with Dame Dash, what really went down at Puff's White Party, how he secured a job with Sting's money manager, changing the mixtape game as one half of the Evil Empire, creating a digital presence for artists like Sean Kingston, fighting his personal demons, leaving New York City and reinventing himself as hip-hop's premier historian, working with Stretch Armstrong to put together their new book No Sleep, an amazing collection of NYC nightlife flyers from 1988-1999, and much, much more!
Jan 03, 2017
#95: Jersey Jinx
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the Garden State's own, Jersey Jinx, to the Upper West Side! We talk with the Complex News host about growing up listening to Blink 182, Joe Budden and anything that was on TRL, selling 50 Cent and Fabolous mixtapes in school, heading to Morehouse to study marketing and advertising, leaving a voicemail for music and advertising kingpin Steve Stoute to speak at a college seminar, and then having Stoute offer up a summer internship in New York City. We discussed how Jinx's parents convinced him to leave the internship and work for Nestle as a midwest sales rep, driving alone through Pennsylvania and Ohio selling chocolate chips, Hot Pockets and dog food, quitting that job and starting over at Decon Records and Mass Appeal magazine, getting courted by Complex, and establishing himself as one of the most trusted young voices in online news thanks to coverage like his 11 days in Ferguson, Missouri. All that, plus Birdman falling asleep in an interview, ridiculous barber stories, the greatest metaphor for Jinx's internships, and much more!
Dec 27, 2016
#94: Peter Rosenberg
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our old neighbor, friend and Hot97/ESPN radio personality Peter Rosenberg back to our part of the Upper West Side! We discuss Trump in great detail, how Peter celebrated Obama's first Inauguration, Washington's professional football team, buying a Christmas tree, the wrestler Goldberg and how in the world Peter missed out on the golden era of WWE, Kanye going to Trump Tower, Kanye's comments about Peter at Phife Dawg's memorial service, Trevor Noah's Tomi Lahren situation, forgetting his Secret Santa at work, family gossip, finally upgrading the Ho97 facilities, a very detailed discussion about hair, and so much more!
Dec 24, 2016
#93: Jonny Shipes
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the man behind Cinematic Music Group, co-founder of The Smoker's Club Tour, and manager to Joey Bada$$, Jonny Shipes to the Upper West Side! We discuss his wild youth, getting kicked out of military school, finding himself living out on Eastern Long Island, going from throwing a party that led to an actual riot to promoting the hottest clubs in the Hamptons, introducing Scott Disick to Jonathan Chebon, playing basketball with Puffy, managing Sean Kingston, Foxy Brown, and Nipsey Hu$$le, his relationship with Smoke DZA and Cam'Ron, one of the funniest eviction stories you'll ever hear, and so much more!
Dec 23, 2016
#92: Post Malone
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Dallas, Texas' own, Post Malone, to the Upper West Side! We discussed learning to play guitar from Guitar Hero, joining garage bands on his street, playing around Dallas, why he could never be fired from Chicken Express, his video game talents, moving to Los Angeles and living like a hermit, meeting FKi 1st and connecting right away in Atlanta, linking with Lil Uzi Vert, Justin Bieber inviting him on tour, seeing David Blaine's magic tricks first hand, getting one thousand Bud Lights delivered to his house, having Kanye introduce himself at Kylie's birthday party, getting a visit from Andy Milonakis in the studio, plotting with Guy Fieri and so much more!
Dec 22, 2016
#91: Chase B
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our former neighbor and one of the best DJs working right now, Chase B, back to the Upper West Side! We discuss his upbringing in Houston, Texas, knowing Travis Scott since they were nine years old, his career in track and field, going to school at Howard University, practicing DJing on one CDJ, bombing in an audition for DJ Clark Kent, establishing himself as the go-to DJ around NYC for upcoming artists, sleeping at Penn Station when he didn't have the train fare to pay for a ride back to New Jersey, recording Days Before Rodeo, working (and talking country memories) with Mike Dean, playing regularly at the hottest clubs in Manhattan, being a part of Travis' live show, starting his own Vegas residency, and so much more!
Dec 21, 2016
#90: YesJulz
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the Director of Vibes herself, YesJulz, to the Upper West Side! We discussed her growing up in Tampa, bouncing around the foster care system with just a garbage bag of her belongings to her name, finding her birth parents and extended family, leaving her job at LIV in Miami to run around Europe in a quest to find herself, coming back to the United States and embracing female empowerment, starting her agency, working with Travis Scott, plotting with Sickamore, wearing her shoes inside Puffy's house, and so much more. We finally get to the bottom of what "vibes" are, we dissect her infamous tweets, talk about why she shaved her head, and for the first time ever, Julz speaks on her new artist 070 Shake and her record deal with G.O.O.D. Music!!
Dec 20, 2016
#89: Flatbush Zombies
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Brooklyn's own Flatbush Zombies to the Upper West Side! We discuss getting fired from Foot Locker and Guitar Center, getting kicked out of high school, suspect teachers and principals, meeting A$AP Yams on internet rap forums, hearing Yams rap, the ridiculous things they heard when they were courted by major rap labels, getting recognized in West Virginia, getting booed at Best Buy Theater, putting on the best live show in music, shunning click bait rap lists, jumping off balconies, Brooklyn vs. Harlem, being seen as "weird" in school, whether their elementary school friend's uncle was really The Rock, and much more!
Dec 19, 2016
#88: Premium Pete
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome shoe aficionado and host of The Premium Pete Show, Premium Pete, to the Upper West Side! On this hilarious and inspiring episode, we discussed his recent re-connection with Combat Jack, podcast beef, growing up on Coney Island, delivering newspapers to John Franco, stealing his mother's car, skipping out on high school classes, getting into finance, going to jail for selling drugs, getting back on his feet, opening a super-popular sneaker store, meeting Drake through Teyana Taylor, shaping his kids' lives, bringing Bun B over to his mother's house for Italian dinner, and so much more! All that, plus a phone call to Scarface live on the podcast!
Dec 18, 2016
#87: Christylezz
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome host of the traveling party Hennypalooza and of his popular podcast Trappin Anonymous, Christylezz, to the Upper West Side! We discuss Chris' upbringing in Brooklyn, each and every job he got fired from, how he turned his life around in community college, and got a job as an assistant teacher for children with special needs... while he lived a double life on nights and weekends, on party stages and in viral videos. We talk about what his parents think, how he puts his active mind at ease, the underworld characters who guest on his podcast, and much more!
Dec 17, 2016
#86: Kim Osorio
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome former Editor in Chief of The Source, Kim Osorio to the Upper West Side! We talk her Bronx roots, how he boosted jackets from Macy's, avoiding the third rail in the subways, how proud Castle Hill was of Jennifer Lopez, her 9-5 typing in album credits, how she transformed into a lifestyle and music editor, turning down Elliott Wilson's employment offer, working with Dame Dash, Irv Gotti and Puffy, shooting Pharrell's Source cover, Trina's Source cover, which album deserved a better rating, Eminem's disses, Love & Hip Hop and so much more!
Dec 16, 2016
#85: Officially Ice
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Twitter's loudest voice, Officially Ice, to the Upper West Side! Aside from his job at Foot Action, we talk all about his duties as President of #JeezyHive, how he got to be real life friends with Joe Budden, his involvement in the success of the McRib, who he's blocked by on Twitter, what J. Cole, Pusha T, and various other rappers have to say about him, how he almost got spotted in a terribly-planned Halloween costume, how Jay Bilas is a fraudulent Jeezy fan, and so much more!
Dec 15, 2016
#84: CJ Fly
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcomed one of the co-founders of Pro Era, CJ Fly, to the Upper West Side! We talked about cutting class to record songs in the school auditorium, forming Pro Era, learning to smoke from Capital Steez, letting Joey Bada$$ lead the way for the crew, linking up with Jonny Shipes and joining the Smoker's Club Tour, sharing a tour bus with Fat Trel, befriending Ab Soul, and much more. We also talk about the devastating loss of Steez, what's going on with his music, and how all of the Pro Era guys have moved forward, while never forgetting their friend's legacy. All that, plus touring around the world, tripping off LSD, and of course, CJ's brand new album Flytrap!
Dec 14, 2016
#83: The 2016 Year in Music Episode
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we invited our friends Naomi Zeichner (EIC of The Fader), Combat Jack (Host of The Combat Jack Show), Scottie Beam (on-air personality at Hot 97, Scottie Feedback), Jeff Sledge (SVP A&R, Atlantic Records), and Jayson Rodriguez (venerable hip-hop writer and TV producer) to the Upper West Side to discuss the year in music! From Rookie of the Year, to Comeback of the Year, to Letdown of the Year, to Best Live Show, to MVP and more, we cover everything... except music that dropped after Thanksgiving, SO CHILL, INTERNETS.
Dec 13, 2016
#82: Theophilus London
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the amazingly unique style icon, musician, producer, and lightening rod Theophilus London to the Upper West Side for what is certainly his longest, most in-depth and honest interview ever. In this winding and fascinating episode, we discuss where he's been musically for the past few years, how he first met Kanye, what their collaborative process is like, his involvement in Ye's "All Day," his run-ins with Ian Connor, how Bobby Valentino almost ended his career, how he got signed to Asylum Records, and much, much more!
Dec 06, 2016
#81: Big Wos & Bos Naud
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our great friends Big Wos and Bos Naud back to the Upper West Side! Two of Twitter's funniest and smartest voices, Wos and Naud talk with us about how welcome Trump is in his hometown of Queens, magic, all the secret Haitians in entertainment, Phil Jackson's comments about LeBron, Smilez and Southstar, how indie Chance the Rapper really is, how easy it is to juice at work, Kendrick Lamar vs. J. Cole and so much more!
Nov 29, 2016
#80: Angela Yee
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome co-host of Power 105's The Breakfast Club, and host of the Lip Service podcast, Angela Yee to the Upper West Side! We talk growing up in Brooklyn, bouncing back and forth between public and private schools, partying in college, meeting Santigold while moving into her freshman dorm room, working in marketing after graduation, being a Wu-Tang employee, getting hired by Paul Rosenberg to be on-air talent for Shade45, leaving for The Breakfast Club, evolving alongside Charlemagne & Envy, investing in juice bars and homes in Detroit, and much more!
Nov 22, 2016
#79: Fan Mail
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we answer all the listener-submitted questions asked of us, about who's better between Phil Collins and Billy Joel, our favorite Cam'ron skit, the most intoxicated guests on the podcast, the best way we've snuck into concerts, our thoughts on Vine, what advice we had for creating content, what hip-hop apparel we wore as kids, and so much more!
Nov 15, 2016
#78: Jeff Sledge
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome famed A&R Jeff Sledge to the Upper West Side to tell his incredible journey in the music business. Jeff shares stories about pushing Gang Starr records, shaping Shaq's first two albums, driving Will Smith up to Pete Rock's mom's house, why Pimp C only gave Jay Z twelve bars on Big Pimpin, Pimp C's reaction to Andre 3000 taking drums off the intro to International Player's Anthem, helping Best of Both Worlds come together, how Jive Records' legacy stands up to Def Jam's, what Missy Elliott has in store for 2017, and SO MUCH MORE.
Nov 08, 2016
#77: Shari Bryant
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Harlem's own, our friend, the wonderful Shari Bryant, to the Upper West Side! Shari started high school at 12 years old, started working at Rocafella Records at 16, and speaks on Jay Z performing at her elementary school talent show, riding to work with Lenny S, ordering private planes for Cam'Ron, calling Kanye after his accident to check in, only for Ye to spit Through the Wire to her over the phone. Plus, she discusses how she helped Jadakiss get to the top of the charts, her time with MMG, working with Chaka Pilgrim, Dame Dash, recent guests of A Waste of Time Young Sav, Steve-O, Wayno Clark and much more!!!
Nov 01, 2016
#76: Young Sav & Steve-O
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our first friends in the music business, who we met a decade ago, Young Sav and Steve-O (Kendall Freeman and Steve Carless), to the Upper West Side! These days, they're making major decisions for Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, Fabolous, Jadakiss, Wale, Dave East and more, but how did they get there? We talk about their incredible careers in music, how they enhanced the Def Jam and Atlantic brands, and how they carved their own lane with Best of Both Offices. Plus stories about Jay Z shouting them out on the radio, trying so hard to get Khaled on the phone, Juelz Santana being the first artist to believe fully in them, Ne-Yo, Cipha Sounds, Pitbull, and so many more!
Oct 25, 2016
#75: Rembert Browne
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome current New York Magazine writer-at-large, and former Grantland writer, Rembert Browne to the Upper West Side! With Rem suffering from a 102 degree fever, and sipping from an energy drink, this instantly became one of our most hilarious and absurd episodes yet! We talked visiting Atlanta, picking Wale up from a New Hampshire airport, having a group hug with Jonah Hill, Dev Hynes and Kanye West, what Bill Simmons was like as a boss, driving all around the country alone for fourteen weeks, and much, much more. And also: REMBERT BROWNE FORMALLY ANNOUNCES WHO HE'LL BE SUPPORTING IN THE 2016 ELECTION!
Oct 18, 2016
#74: Wayno Clark
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome East Harlem's own Wayno Clark, who many people know as Dave East's manager, to South Harlem! Wayno shares his amazing journey from living in the shelter system as a child to avoiding the street life as a high schooler to going to the theater to see the Roc-a-fella Records documentary Backstage, which opened his eyes to the music industry. Wayno details dropping out of high school and finding work in the mail room at 825 Worldwide Plaza, home to the legendary Def Jam Records, working his way into recording sessions at Baseline Studios, watching Beanie Sigel, Kanye West, Just Blaze, Shari Bryant, Hip-Hop, Lenny S, Dame Dash, Jay Z and everyone else at the Roc contribute to the dynasty. We talked his work with the Young Gunz, his hitting rock bottom after Roc-a-fella broke up, meeting, advising, and breaking bread with Dave East, and the new partnership he brokered with Def Jam for his and Dave's label Triangle Offense. From the delivering mail to Def Jam to going into business with Def Jam, this is one amazing story!
Oct 11, 2016
#73: Jerrod Carmichael
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the hilarious Jerrod Carmichael to the Upper West Side! Jerrod (star and creator of NBC's The Carmichael Show, and star of the upcoming Transformers movie) shares his journey from North Carolina shoe salesman to Los Angeles-based major motion picture and television star. He talks buying a one-way ticket to LA, sharing a studio apartment in Hollywood with four other dudes, walking the streets in a car-based city for peace of mind and idea generation, winning over stand-up audiences and his peers, unexpectedly losing his writing partner, selling a TV show to the only place he wanted to end up, meeting Jay Z, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, along the way, and still going back to one Etta James performance video for inspiration. This is a fantastic episode - enjoy!
Oct 04, 2016
#72: Big Baby D.R.A.M.
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the chart-topping Virginia rapper/singer Big Baby D.R.A.M. to the Upper West Side! Super-talented, funny, and with a magnetic personality, D.R.A.M. shares his journey from his birth in Germany to settling in Newport News/Hampton, VA, singing in his high school choir, working for a debt collection agency, moving to Kentucky to chase his rap dreams, to painting ships in Michigan, to finding his musical soulmate back home in Virginia, to catching the attention of the legendary producer Rick Rubin, to hanging out with Neil Young, George Clinton, Kanye West, Beyonce and JR Smith! This episode is sure to fill you with laughter, inspiration, and lots of good vibes.
Sep 27, 2016
#71: Isaiah Rashad
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome TDE's own Isaiah Rashad to the Upper West Side! Isaiah talks about growing up in Chattanooga, giving college a try, returning home and working retail jobs, flying to LA for the first time, signing to Top Dawg Entertainment (home of Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolBoy Q, Sza and more), going creatively bankrupt, and what it took to bounce back. All that, plus Usher, catfishing, whether Isaiah could be a XXL Freshman again, burning his hair, and so much more!
Sep 20, 2016
#70: Young M.A.
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the girl with the hottest record of the summer, Brooklyn's own Young M.A, to the Upper West Side! M.A speaks on her beginnings moving around Brooklyn, playing organized football, working at TJ Maxx, her first rap crew, recording her first song ever in a flea market in Richmond, Virginia, freestyling for Funkmaster Flex, the controversy behind her Chiraq remix, her Instagram fame, and most importantly, why her smash hit record is spelled OOOUUU.
Sep 13, 2016
#69: Naomi Zeichner
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the editor in chief of The Fader, Naomi Zeichner to the Upper West Side! Naomi speaks on growing up in Athens, Georgia, hearing Bubba Sparxxx name check the same gas station she used to sell weed at, attending the 1996 Paralympic Games, finding out Jerry Garcia died while at sleep away camp, going to college in Portland and taking an independent swim course, moving to NYC and working in coffee shops, interning at The Fader, putting lots of work in on her writing, inviting DJ Paul over for a BBQ, getting Rihanna and Drake Fader covers, and so much more!
Sep 06, 2016
#68: Zaytoven
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Grammy Award-winning producer, and Gucci Mane's closest collaborator, Zaytoven to the Upper West Side! Zay talks his journey from Germany to San Diego to Oakland and eventually Atlanta, where he made a name for himself working with everyone from Gucci to Nicki to Usher to Fall Out Boy. We discuss his new project with OJ da Juiceman, his learning curve as a barber, playing in marching band, and going to church (where he still plays the organ every weekend). All that, plus how producers in Atlanta get along, how his parents reacted when recording sessions in their basement would go late into the night, and what it's like to hear your music played in a basketball arena!
Aug 30, 2016
#67: Dave East
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, 2016 XXL Freshman and Nas co-sign Dave East makes his way from the East Side of Harlem all the way to South Harlem! Dave talks playing big-time NYC basketball, being recruited by major college programs, falling out with coaches over style and playing time, falling into street life, finding his way back to New York with no hopes or dreams, downloading instrumentals online and rapping over whatever, creating a buzz, attracting accolades from peers and heroes, touring all over the world, gaining a huge fan-base, becoming one of the most prolific spitters in the game, and assuring a life for his daughter and family he never could have even imagined just a few years ago. What an excellent episode - hope you enjoy!
Aug 23, 2016
#66: Ty Dolla $ign
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Taylor Gang's own Ty Dolla $ign to the Upper West Side! Ty shares his musical journey from meeting Tupac as a child, to performing at a motorcycle club with DJ Mustard and YG, to being courted by major labels, to writing smash hits for other artists, to working together with Wiz, Kanye, Rihanna, 2 Chainz, Future and even Paul McCartney. A musical genius with a funny streak, Ty talks candidly about advice from executives, his recording process, taking a stand politically, and even having to use "the piss cup."
Aug 16, 2016
#65: Dreezy
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Chicago's own, Dreezy to the Upper West Side! After carrying the flag for her city alongside Common, King Louie, Lil Durk, and others, Dreezy has a new project with Interscope Records featuring Gucci Mane, Jeremih, T-Pain and more! We talk Chicago's best food spots, what Fake Shore Drive means to the city, music veterans in the Chi, and her subsequent relocation to Los Angeles. We discuss signing her deal, touring with Tory Lanez and A$AP Ferg, having dinner with Lil Kim, and why exactly it's a bad thing for Dreezy's mother to offer to fold her clothes.
Aug 09, 2016
#64: Moosh & Twist
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Philly's own, Moosh and Twist to the Upper West Side! In support of their new album Growing Pains, the guys stopped by to talk their respective upbringings, fooling their parents into thinking they'd attend college, being mentored by Black Thought of The Roots, going from performing at a high school homecoming to performing across the globe, and literally almost dying doing what they love. All that, plus backstage haters, Kidz Bop, Canadian oil barons, and why Moosh and Twist need a sponsorship from Chipotle.
Aug 02, 2016
#63: Joey Fatts
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, the West Side visits the Upper West Side when Long Beach's own Joey Fatts stops by! We talk growing up a St. Louis Rams fan in Los Angeles, growing up in gang life, losing his football dreams and living out of his car. Joey discusses his A$AP affiliation, working with Waka and Curren$y, and his aspirations to become an architect. All that, plus strange AirBNB experiences, what family really means to Joey, Snoop Dogg's days as a No Limit solider, and more!
Jul 26, 2016
#62: DJ Drama
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the undisputed king of mixtapes, DJ Drama, to the Upper West Side! A longtime friend (as well as previous guest on the Lil Uzi Vert episode), Drama is promoting his new album Quality Street Music 2, available July 22nd! He talks about his journey from Philadelphia backpack rap fan to more-worldly student at Clark Atlanta University to leader in Atlanta's movement to the center of hip-hop in the early 2000's. We discuss working with Jeezy, T.I., Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Pharrell, Little Brother, R. Kelly, and so many others, his early days in Atlanta playing clubs and poolside at Evander Holyfield's mansion, and what it means to team with this generation's own rockstar, Lil Uzi Vert!
Jul 19, 2016
#61: Director X
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the legendary music video director, Director X (formerly known as Little X), to the Upper West Side! X, who helmed masterpieces for Drake, Jay Z, Kanye, Rihanna, Sean Paul, Aaliyah, Nelly, and so many more, talks about his roots in Toronto, growing up on religion and comic books, and the prophesy of Drake Aubrey Graham. X discusses his journey into music video production, how he developed his own style, and the speed at which other directors stole his aesthetic. X also goes into detail on creative collaboration, TV and film production, how he reacts to social media outreach, and how to work with product placement in 2016, in this fascinating episode!
Jul 12, 2016
#60: Lenny S
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome The Bronx's own Lenny S to the Upper West Side! These days he's constantly on the move as manager for DJ Khaled, Fabolous and Justine Skye, but Lenny's always been grinding, starting in the mid-1990's as a street team member for Bad Boy. Lenny shares stories about moving to Rocafella, becoming an A&R alongside Hip-Hop and Gee Roberson, working with Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Kanye West, Just Blaze, and a ton more artists. He gives insight into Jay Z's classic albums The Blueprint and The Black Album, talks about working for Def Jam, Virgin, and finally making the move to Roc Nation, and describes what working with DJ Khaled is really like. Lenny brings provides fascinating recollections, great humor, and of course, major keys on this fantastic episode!
Jul 05, 2016
#59: Charlamagne Tha God
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome Charlamagne Tha God, who co-hosts the syndicated radio morning show The Breakfast Club, hosts Uncommon Sense on MTV2, and has his own very popular podcast Brilliant Idiots! Charlamagne takes us on his incredible journey from digging ditches in a tiny town in South Carolina, to doing street team jobs for local radio stations, to unexpected hirings and firings from various on-air gigs, to working for free for Wendy Williams, to losing his biggest shot in Philadelphia, to Angela Yee predicting that one day they'd be co-hosting a morning show on New York's Power 105.1, to having that dream become a reality, to seeing their faces on a giant billboard in the middle of Manhattan.
Jun 28, 2016
#58: Angie Martinez and Miss Info
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome New York Times best-selling author/radio royalty/former rapper Angie Martinez and celebrated journalist/internet expert/entrepreneur Miss Info to the Upper West Side to hang out and catch up! Angie and Info talk about Angie's memoir, My Voice, how they each operate as parents, Joe Budden's game nights, hookah nights, and karaoke nights, their friendships with DJ Enuff, their experiences at Summer Jam, when they knew the time was right to leave Hot 97, and so much more, including details on their upcoming podcast!!
Jun 21, 2016
#57: Ebro & Ravie B
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the host of Hot 97's Ebro in the Morning, Ebro Darden! Fresh off organizing his 13th Summer Jam concert, we spoke in great detail about what went into the decision to postpone the start of the show, why certain artists didn't perform, and what this annual event means to New York, to competing festivals, and to the fans. We also spoke about Ebro's journey from Bay Area high school athlete, to his heavy involvement in Northern California hip-hop, to working on the same radio station as Rasheed Wallace, to making the cross-country journey to the most-storied hip-hop station in the world: New York's Hot 97. Plus, his experiences with Kanye West, Janet Jackson, Lyor Cohen, Angie Martinez, Big Boy, and so much more! In addition, we sat down with our friend and photographer Ravie B to talk photoshopping laminates to sneak into Summer Jam, eating at Benihana's, obsessively watching The Office, playing video games about cooking, an lots more!
Jun 14, 2016
#56: Bodega Bamz Returns
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal we bring back our Upper West Side friend, rapper Bodega Bamz, who shares stories about trying to meet DMX, having his tour bus tailed suspiciously in the deserts of the South West, and hanging out as an 18-year old with Scott Disick in the Hamptons. Bamz also discusses getting food poisoning from Chipotle before it was cool to do so, interviewing Maino, Jim Jones and BG years ago for a DVD series, and Mark Ronson inviting him to be on the official remix for Uptown Funk! We also got a visit from Fool's Gold artists Fame School, who detail their history working with Kid Capri, NinjaSonik, LL Cool J, and throw in an insane story at Pauly Shore's house for good measure!
Jun 06, 2016
#55: The One-Year Anniversary Episode
And here's the description: Celebrating 52 weeks of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Eric and Jeff answer listener questions about their best and worst interviews, favorite Cam'Ron songs, haircuts, what happened to the cooking, if Lyor Cohen is their father, when the podcast at Puff Daddy's mansion will happen, the latest on the MTV show, whether the Drake vocals have come in yet, and so much more!
May 31, 2016
#54: Bibi Bourelly and Tate Kobang
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome two young artists who are about to hit it big: Bibi Bourelly (signed to Def Jam via Berlin, Germany) and Tate Kobang (signed to 300 Entertainment via Baltimore, Maryland)! Bibi sat down with us to discuss getting kicked out of high school, buying a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, using Twitter to make friends, selling Bitch Better Have My Money to Rihanna, meeting Kanye West, becoming great buddies with Skrillex, what writer's camps are really like, writing with Usher, her new project Free The Real, and so much more! Tate stopped by to talk about writing rhymes for his uncle who rapped, the dance crew he grew up in, working with Nelly, working with Swizz Beatz, wanting to work with Shania Twain, FaceTiming with Lyor Cohen and DJ Khaled, and much more!
May 24, 2016
#53: Brendan Frederick
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our friend Brendan Frederick, Director of Content at Genius.com to the Upper West Side! Brendan talks about growing up in a tiny town in New Hampshire, going to middle school with Statik Selektah, playing in his high school band called "Arkanoid," and taking creative writing courses at Carnegie Mellon. He discusses how he went from intern to Editor in Chief at Mass Appeal, how he established XXL as a leader in online hip-hop blogging, his experiences as EIC of Scratch Magazine, his role in building Complex.com into a monster website and media network, and how and why he took the job at Genius. All that, plus stories from working with all your favorite hip-hop media personalities!
May 17, 2016
#52: Mike Posner
And here's the description: This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the great singer/songwriter Mike Posner, who speaks on his incredible journey from playing drums in Detroit to making beats in his dorm room at Duke to selling millions of records out the gate to being shelved and losing his way to writing smashes for Bieber and Maroon 5 to finding himself, finding honesty, and finding a brand new sound that has catapulted him back to the top of the charts with his new project At Night, Alone. All that, plus stories on Kanye, Big Sean, Pharrell, and so much more!
May 10, 2016
#51: Mary H.K. Choi
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our friend and brilliant writer Mary H.K. Choi to the Upper West Side! In this hilarious episode, we talk about her experiences with Rihanna, moving from Hong Kong to Texas at age 14, her time at Mass Appeal and XXL and Missbehave and the NYTimes, how emojis deepened her relationship with her parents, interviewing Khloe Kardashian, the time she visited 50 Cent's mansion, her awesome podcast "Hey, Cool Job!" and so much more!
May 03, 2016
#50: Kamaiyah
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our favorite rapper right now, Oakland's own, Kamaiyah! Following the success her amazing mixtape A Good Night in the Ghetto, as well as her tour de force at SXSW, we sit down with Kamiyah to talk a childhood of foster homes and switching schools, her time in dance crews, how she avoided becoming boy-band listening skaters like her brothers, meeting Puffy in the studio and watching his #MakingTheBandFace, co-signs from the Bay, from Los Angeles, and most recently from a certain rapper from Toronto who's running the game! And as a bonus this week, we got our friend Fafu to share some stories from his time working with the late, great Prince. This episode is sponsored by Seeso. Comedy’s experiencing a serious renaissance right now, and Seeso is a comedy streaming service tailor-made for comedy-lovers and nerds, with thousands of hours of the best comedy, 24/7/365. Go to http://Seeso.com and start watching all the comedy you can stream for free.
Apr 26, 2016
#49: Adam22
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our fellow podcaster Adam22 from the Downtown Los Angeles-based No Jumper podcast. We talk how he went from riding BMX bikes and doing graffiti in a tiny New Hampshire town to committing credit card scams and trafficking drugs throughout the Northeast, and how he then transformed himself into a legitimate business-owner with an enormous platform for internet hip-hop. All that, plus discussions about his father's Presidential pardon, Desiigner, online poker, Boston's hardcore scene, living in a commune, and so much more!This episode is sponsored by Seeso. Comedy’s experiencing a serious renaissance right now, and Seeso is a comedy streaming service tailor-made for comedy-lovers and nerds, with thousands of hours of the best comedy, 24/7/365. Go to http://Seeso.com and start watching all the comedy you can stream for free.
Apr 19, 2016
#48: Cipha Sounds
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our friend and the host of Tidal's stand-up comedy series No Small Talk, Cipha Sounds! Ciph talked working with Jay Z, working with Pharrell, working with Funkmaster Flex, and why he never works with Fat Joe. He shared stories about being 19 years old touring the country with Lil Kim, Ma$e, The LOX, Cam'ron and more. We discussed his time at Hot 97, the incredible DJ lineup at his wedding, and what Angie Martinez meant to his career. All that, plus breaking Rihanna's first record, breaking Rick Ross' first record, starting Juan Epstein - the first and longest-running Hip-Hop podcast with Peter Rosenberg - and so much more!
Apr 12, 2016
#47: Rockie Fresh
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome MMG's own Rockie Fresh to the Upper West Side! Rockie discusses working with Rick Ross, how Wale has taken charge of Self Made 4, and breaks news about his own collaboration album with Hit-Boy! A Chicago native, Rockie talks R. Kelly singing at his graduation, what Michael Jordan means to a 24-year old, and how exactly you can root for the White Sox AND the Cubs. All that, plus the recording deal he turned down from Diddy, why he's looking forward to his new music video with Chris Brown, and what's more desirable: coughing or sneezing.This episode is sponsored by Seeso. Comedy’s experiencing a serious renaissance right now, and Seeso is a comedy streaming service tailor-made for comedy-lovers and nerds, with thousands of hours of the best comedy, 24/7/365. Go to http://Seeso.com and start watching all the comedy you can stream for free.
Apr 05, 2016
#46: Bos Naud And Big Wos
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we bring back our friends and must-follow Twitterers @BosNaud and @BigWos, for a laugh-out-loud episode about NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto, the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston, hate on the internet, experience showers, why Derek Fisher can't find a freaky lawyer to date, the ethics of listening to R. Kelly's music, how to ruin Spike Lee's big party, and much, much more! And after you check this episode out, make sure to listen back to Naud and Wos' legendary debut on the the Open Mic Night episode of A Waste of Time!
Mar 29, 2016
#45: Damien Lemon
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcomed stand-up comedian, Guy Code personality, and host of the In The Conversation podcast, Damien Lemon! We talked about living across the hall from DJ Drama in college, watching the Young Buck fight at the Vibe Awards, and doing stand-up gigs with Hannibal Buress. Damien shared stories about growing up in Ossining, NY, going to Freaknik while at Clark Atlanta University, being laid off at Vibe Magazine, and how he built a comedy career in New York City. Enjoy!
Mar 22, 2016
#44: Harry Fraud
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcomed acclaimed producer Harry Fraud to the Upper West Side, and as a bonus, we got a visit from our friend Smoke DZA, who just dropped his new project with Harry Fraud, He Has Risen! Harry discussed his infamous producer tag, his jobs as a teenage stage tech and weed delivery person, and his hilarious first encounter with French Montana. We also discussed SUNY Purchase, The Cool Kids, Santana, Snoop Dogg, G Herbo, Fafu, Alchemist, Timbaland, T.I. and much more! And for the fifth week in a row, we have a first-person story from Puffy's Miami mansion! Boom!
Mar 15, 2016
#43: Bas
Celebrating the release of his new album Too High to Riot, Bas stopped by the Upper West Side to guest on this week's A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal. We discussed getting drunk and speaking French, dropping out of college, and spending two years on the road solely recording out of Bathrobe Studios. Bas talked about his creative collective the Fiends, playing FIFA on tour with Drake, and the many times he waited in line to get Nike SB Dunks. Also joining us this week is Bas' brother and J. Cole's manager, Ib Hamad, who provides great insight into the Dreamville deal with Interscope and for the fourth week in a row, provides us with a story from Puffy's Miami mansion.
Mar 08, 2016
#42: Maino
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we link back up with our friend Maino! The King of Brooklyn himself stopped by the Upper West Side to go through his unfathomable and amazing journey from committing crimes on the streets of Bed Stuy as a middle schooler, to growing up in jail, his years in solitary confinement, committing to rap, working alongside Lil Kim, surviving being dropped from a major record label, recording anthems with Just Blaze and Swizz Beatz, to traveling the world over as a professional artist. All that, plus stories about 50 Cent, Nelly, T.I., and for the first time ever, Maino reveals where the inspiration for Hi Hater came from. This episode is a MUST LISTEN.
Mar 01, 2016
#41: Asher Roth
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we hit the West Coast and caught up with Asher Roth, who took us through an incredible journey of ups and downs as a musician: getting signed by Scooter Braun, hanging out with Justin Bieber, rapping for Jay Z and Q-Tip, releasing a multi-million selling single, the I Love College remix you never heard, the whirlwind of his first album, dealing with label restructuring, tracking down earned money, recording follow-up music with Pharrell, recording more music with Chad Hugo, falling into depression in Los Angeles, and finding his way again thanks to independence and the internet. All that, plus great stories about Puffy, Questlove, Steve Rifkind and more!
Feb 23, 2016
#40: Andrew Barber
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our longtime friend Andrew Barber from Fake Shore Drive to the studio in Los Angeles, while we're all in town for The Grammys. Andrew discusses how he began and grew the most important hip-hop website in the Midwest, how that fared with his bosses at his day job, and how Chicago rappers, from Kanye to Lupe to Chief Keef to Chance the Rapper made the site into their home base. Andrew shared stories about meeting Drake's dad, booking Master P for a SXSW show, stopping by Puffy's Miami mansion with Trinidad Jame$, what The Cool Kids meant to rap on the whole, what he does as a secretary on the Grammy board, and so much more!
Feb 16, 2016
#39: Live from SOB's with DJ Enuff
This week, we hosted a live podcast from NYC's famed concert venue SOB's, where we interviewed our good friend DJ Enuff! We spoke on his time with Biggie, the time he first met DJ Khaled, and how Kanye West became a part of Enuff's Heavy Hitter crew. We discussed what Angie Martinez and Miss Info meant to Hot 97, 50 Cent throwing chairs at Summer Jam, the Puerto Rican Day Parade, and so much more!
Feb 09, 2016
#38: Open Mic Night
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we invited thirteen of our friends to the Upper West Side to share their best stories. Make sure to listen to the entire episode for the funniest, most surprising, and ridiculous tales from those we keep closest to us! Big Wos and Bos Naud // 1:04Dan Rosenthal // 5:21Marisa Mendez // 9:03Mark Ballard // 17:31Judnikki // 30:19Jus Dave // 35:10Deanii (Scottie Beam) // 40:05Shinsuke Ikeda // 46:57Erika Ramirez // 56:30Jamal Jimoh // 59:36Emeka Obi // 1:07:33Lowkey // 1:20:57Greg Mayo // 1:28:49Thanks!
Feb 02, 2016
#37: Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi Vert stopped by the Upper West Side this week, along with his collaborators DJ Drama and Don Cannon! We talked with Uzi about A$AP Yams, Young Thug, Steve Aoki, as well as why he hates Michael B. Jordan. We also discussed touring with Fall Out Boy, being friends with Wiz Khalifa, and why hoverboards are over. And since we had Drama and Cannon were in the building, we had to ask about aux cord DJs, the Xans plug, and Philly vs. Atlanta.
Jan 26, 2016
#36: Torae
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our friend Torae to the Upper West Side to talk Coney Island boardwalk freaks, instant messaging with Sean P, and why working with Jahlil Beats is progressive in the underground rap world. We discuss Torae's many rap names, his DJ Premier co-sign, McDonald's mopping, the Himalaya, the weirdest callers to his SiriusXM show, and much more! Oh, and you're not gonna want to miss some extremely rare OJ da Juiceman drops that we got our hands on!
Jan 19, 2016
#35: A-Trak
This week, our friend A-Trak returned to the Upper West Side, for a hilarious and free-wheeling episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal! We discussed what's A-Trak approved in a Kanye studio session, his much-delayed project with Cam'ron, and the aesthetics of OVO's website. We talked DJing in Vegas, Juicy J, Canadian arts grants, and what perks airline miles really get you. All that, plus lots and lots about DJ Khaled's snapchat!
Jan 12, 2016
#34: Sickamore
We're starting 2016 off perfectly with this tremendous episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, featuring super-A&R Sickamore! We discuss his journey from getting kicked out of his mom's house to becoming an award-winning mixtape DJ to getting deals for Saigon and Tru-Life to shaping YG's My Krazy Life. We talk Jeremih, Travis Scott, Jeezy, Wynter Gordon, DJ Kay Slay, Rihanna, Hip-Hop, Just Blaze, The Weeknd, Ricky Hil, Phil Jackson, LA Reid and so much more!
Jan 05, 2016
#33: Shea Serrano
This week, we welcome former Grantland writer and New York Times best-selling author Shea Serrano to the Upper West Side! We discussed growing up in San Antonio, camping trips, monster truck rallies, and going from forensic scientist classes to working on a coloring book with Bun B. We talked how he made the transition from school teacher to writer, what made Grantland special, and what Bill Simmons meant to him. All that, plus Tim Duncan, The Rap Yearbook, Cool as Ice, the Houston rap scene, his disdain for J.Cole's music, and so much more!
Dec 29, 2015
#32: Kid Mero
As it's the most wonderful time of the year, we figured it was only right to celebrate the birth of Jesus like all Jews do: with Chinese food and a movie. This week, we invited one half of the Bodega Boyz, and a staple on half of MTV2's programs, The Kid Mero to the Upper West Side for a Very Mero Christmas! We talked about the most bizarre circumstances under which he met Slick Rick, how he avoided going to a top-tier private high school, and jumping in a stranger's limo to go see a taping of Sally Jesse Raphael. We discussed Wale inviting him to his first listening party, how he really feels about internet commenters, and J.Lo following him on Instagram. All that, plus J.Cole, playing manhunt in Bloomingdale's, his drunk uncle, the real story behind the White Desus photograph, and much, much more!
Dec 22, 2015
#31: Laura Stylez and Mr. Flawless
This week, we brought Hot 97's own Laura Stylez and the biggest jeweler on the East Coast, Mr. Flawless, to the Upper West Side! We discussed how they got to the top of their respective businesses, why the Heavy Hitters are partly responsible for Future's mainstream success, and what happens if you try to steal a piece from Flawless' store. We talk "This Is Hot 97," Pitbull, 50 Cent, The New York Post setting Laura up on dates, Naturel, Art Basel, and accidentally liking posts deep on someone's Instagram. All that, plus Laura shares the best/worst French Montana story ever, on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal!
Dec 15, 2015
#30: Curren$y
You know that whenever we get together with our friend Curren$y, it's the most hilarious conversation. So when New Orleans' own Spitta stopped by the Upper West Side this week to promote his new album Canal Street Confidential, he burned one down, ate some snacks, and spoke his mind. We discussed the genesis of his friendship with Wiz Khalifa, going to middle school with Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg during the No Limit days, meeting Rick Ross in the Dominican Republic, the Derek Jeter gift package, New Orleans lingo, his early plans to be an elementary school teacher, and so much more!
Dec 08, 2015
#29: Brittany Sky and Ashley Outrageous
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome internet hip-hop notables Brittany Sky and Ashley Outrageous to the Upper West Side! We discuss how Kendrick Lamar and TDE were instrumental in their careers, the legitimacy (?) of palm readers, and their infamous trip to Dubai. We talk DJing, Snapchatting, sand sliding, and hoverboarding, as well as first concerts, Halloween, dictures, and much more!
Dec 01, 2015
#28: Yo Gotti and Matt Fastow
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we were joined by our good friend and Southern Rap aficionado Matt Fastow as well as Memphis' own Yo Gotti! Over a great BBQ spread, Gotti spoke on his relationships with Jeezy, DJ Khaled, and Cash Money, the perks of being neighbors with Penny Hardaway, and why you can't hire family to work at your restaurant. We discussed his record deals with TVT, RCA and Epic, what it was like to meet Jay Z for the first time in Miami, and the best places he hid his hustling money. That, plus 8 Ball & MJG, the ducks in the Peabody Hotel, washing money in his backyard pool, and much, much more!
Nov 24, 2015
#27: Peter Rosenberg
This episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our friend and neighbor Peter Rosenberg over to the apartment to talk getting cut from the freshman basketball team, dealing with a girlfriend's ex showing up to prom, and why people don't respect what he's done for NYC hip-hop. We discuss the one benefit of going through a health scare at our local supermarket, why Noisemakers didn't work out, and what he really thinks of the "podcast wars." Peter gets into wrestling, Nardwuar, Odd Future, Jim Jones, being one of the longest-tenured jocks at Hot 97, and so much more!
Nov 17, 2015
#26: August Alsina
This week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome New Orleans' own R&B superstar August Alsina to the Upper West Side! August talks in great depth about recovering from the recent surgeries that saved his eyesight and his breathing, he discusses his friendships with Curren$y, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown and Kelly Rowland, and how exactly he writes his songs. August also speaks on his own trust issues, being the only singer on the XXL Freshman cover, whether his neighbors know what he does for a living, and what it was like to jet ski with DJ Khaled!
Nov 10, 2015
#25: Jadakiss
Today on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome the legend, and fellow Westchester native, Jadakiss to the Upper West Side! We talk battling Ma$e on 125th Street, battling 50 on wax, watching Black Rob snatch a chain, his cup of coffee on Rocafella Records, breakdancing, hoverboarding, working with Kanye, working with Alchemist, Ruff Ryders, Bad Boy, Interscope, Def Jam, playing high school football against our alma mater, his juice bars, his new twin sons, his new album Top 5 Dead or Alive, and so much more!
Nov 04, 2015
#24: Taxstone
This episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal brings East New York's own Taxstone to the Upper West Side! Known for blunt talk on the wildly popular podcast Tax Season, we talk with Tax about his issues with Joe Budden, his issues with Hot 97, and how he turned brutal honesty into music marketing influence. We discussed the role he played in Chief Keef's career, how he helped Bobby Shmurda get shine, and putting Fetty Wap on. Tax spoke on his jail time, growing up in East New York, his feelings on Donald Trump's presidential candidacy, and much more!
Nov 03, 2015
#23: MC Jin
Get the Ducati engines revving because this week, we have a real Ruff Ryder stopping by A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal: MC Jin! From middle school battles in Miami to peddling mixtapes outside of Fat Beats to becoming the most legendary freestyle champion that BET's 106 & Park had ever seen, we discuss it all. We talk signing with the famed Yonkers label, his role in the Fast and Furious franchise, working with Kanye, Just Blaze, Swizz Beats and Wyclef ALL ON HIS DEBUT ALBUM, and what exactly set his album back. Jin is nothing but extremely candid and honest and funny in this tremendous 90-minute interview
Oct 28, 2015
#22: Combat Jack
This week, we welcome hip-hop podcast kingpin Combat Jack to the Upper West Side, where he gives an interview like you've never heard from him. From his roots in Brooklyn, riding on the outside of trains up to The Bronx, to focusing on pre-law at Cornell. From tracking down Puff Daddy in a sauna to secure clientele, to being in the studio with Biggie as he recorded Hypnotize. From giving up a thriving law practice to interviewing rap heroes alongside Dallas Penn. From creating his own broadcasting empire to speaking at college graduations, there's not many more unique stories than Reggie Osse's. Enjoy!
Oct 21, 2015
#21: Bun B
In this week's episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we welcome our great friend Bun B to the Upper West Side for an hour and a half conversation that ranges from meeting Outkast for the first time to missing out on free Kanye beats to why JJ Watt is a superhero. We discussed Bun being there when Birdman met Mannie Fresh, the greatest thing he ever saw at Freaknik, and the time Sam Cassell almost ran him over in his Range Rover. All that, plus recording at Mike Dean's house during the early UGK days, dancing in the Solange video, the possibility of running for office in Houston, PERFORMING ON STAGE WITH ITSTHEREAL, and much, much more!
Oct 14, 2015
#20: Joe Budden
In celebrating the landmark 20th episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we brought our longtime friend Joe Budden back to the Upper West Side to talk about how close he came to signing with Roc-a-fella Records, what his Monopoly parties are like, and why Sisqo's Thong Song still goes at the club. We discussed how long it takes Lil Wayne to text him back, who had the beat for Focus first, and what he was doing at a Def Jam Christmas Party. That, plus Drake stories, Lyor stories, Busta Rhymes stories, and oh yeah, his new album All Love Lost, available October 16th!
Oct 07, 2015
#19: Nick Catchdubs and Kerin Rose Gold
This week we welcome our great friends Fool's Gold co-founder and co-CEO Nick Catchdubs and sunglass designer/celebrity bedazzler Kerin Rose Gold to the Upper West Side! In this freewheeling episode, we discuss the Pope's visit to NYC, the success of The Muppets' social media team, and what Fabolous thinks of the Netflix series Narcos. We also talk in great detail about our internships, what happens when people recognize our brother Dan in the streets, and using your pull to get into an Adam Ant concert in 2015. All that, plus R. Kelly's album cover, the new generation of Ruff Ryders, Ska-lloween, and much more! Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting http://www.casper.com/waste and using the promo code: WASTE
Sep 30, 2015
#18: Just Blaze and Phil Chang
This week's episode of A Waste of Time centers around Star Wars, a film neither Jeff nor Eric has seen, and to help them understand what they've been missing, they welcome expert guests Just Blaze and Phil Chang. Not only is Star Wars dissected for both the newbies and the veterans, but great nerdy stories involving Jay Z, Eminem and Skrillex are covered! So live long and prosper! Oh wait, wrong franchise. Sorry!Hurry to http://DraftKings.com now and use promo code REAL to play for free for a shot at one million dollars in this week's Millionaire Maker event! Enter REAL for free entry now... only at http://DraftKings.com.
Sep 23, 2015
#17: A$AP Ferg
Harlem's own A$AP Ferg dropped by South Harlem for this week's episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal. We talked about his upcoming album, hanging out with Missy Elliott, Timbaland AND Magoo, and what it's like to have Puff Daddy in your phone. We delved into how A$AP Mob really got together, his experience interning for Jay Z's company, and why exactly Ferg, Jim Jones and Stan Lee were all in the same room. Ferg also discussed working at Ben and Jerry's, how important Drake is to a lot of rappers' success, and what's really good with his Facebook account. And much more!If you've got a car and a license, put 'em both to work for you and start earning serious, life-changing money today. Sign up to drive with Uber. Visit http://www.DriveWithUber.comHurry to http://DraftKings.com now and use promo code REAL to play for free for a shot at one million dollars in this week?s Millionaire Maker event! Enter REAL for free entry now? only at http://DraftKings.com.
Sep 16, 2015
#16: Mac Miller
For Episode 16 of "A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal," we hit the road and headed on down to Brooklyn to visit our good friend Mac Miller at his new apartment. This episode is both hilarious and candid: we talked in great detail about his time detoxing at Rick Rubin's house, why he called Rick from Europe in the first place, and the new path he's taken in his life. Mac shared never-before-heard stories about his unreleased projects with Pharrell, Nas and Cam'ron. We discussed meeting Eminem in Japan, taking the subway around New York City, how Ab-Soul used to stay at Mac's LA house for weeks at a time, how he courted each record label when he was a free agent, that his song ended up on Travis Scott's new album, and so much more!
Sep 08, 2015
#15: Jojo
This week, we're joined by the lovely, talented and very funny singer Jojo, who spoke on her nearly decade-long fight with Blackground Records to get out of an unbelievably prohibitive contract, her new start with Atlantic Records, and what exactly a tringle is. We discussed how Maury Povich was instrumental to her success, how to get backstage at a Britney Spears concert, and what it's like when Drake slides into your DMs. All that, plus working with Kwame, performing with Twista, and whether she's ever spoken to Prince.If you've got a car and a license, put 'em both to work for you and start earning serious, life-changing money today. Sign up to drive with Uber. Visit http://www.DriveWithUber.com
Sep 01, 2015
#14: Dave 1
Our guest this week is no stranger to the Upper West Side: Dave 1, lead singer of Chromeo, joins us to talk about his time at Columbia University, what it meant re-introducing Juicy J to New York City, and why Bryan Adams is Canada's Dr. Dre. We also discussed the time A-Trak stole our Tupperware, Dave's issues with the movie The Wolfpack, and when exactly the last time he wore a hat was. All that, plus Cam'ron, Drake, Solange, and how in the world Jason Derulo ended up on his iPod.If you've got a car and a license, put 'em both to work for you and start earning serious, life-changing money today. Sign up to drive with Uber. Visit http://www.DriveWithUber.com
Aug 26, 2015
#13: Desus Nice
Our guest this week on A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal is The Bronx's own Desus Nice, who after mastering Twitter has become the face of MTV2 via his appearances on Guy Code, Joking Off and Uncommon Sense with his comedic partner The Kid Mero. Desus stopped by the Upper West Side, and we talked his days on the Rocafella street team, his time spent working for porn distributors, and the most White situation he's ever been in. We also discussed why he no longer has Big Pun's autograph, the best excuses to give your landlord when the rent is late, and how he was wrongly arrested and charged with a felony. Enjoy this episode, and join us as we convert to Jews for Desus.If you've got a car and a license, put 'em both to work for you and start earning serious, life-changing money today. Sign up to drive with Uber. Visit http://www.DriveWithUber.comThis episode is also brought to you by Warby Parker eyewear. Get boutique-quality, classically crafted eyewear, including sunglasses at revolutionary prices. For a free Home-Try-On of five stylish frames of your choice plus free three-day shipping, go to http://WarbyParker.com/itsthereal
Aug 19, 2015
#12: DJ Clark Kent
This week we welcomed the legend DJ Clark Kent to our Upper West Side apartment. Known for discovering Biggie and Jay Z and for working with everyone from Michael Jackson to Missy Elliott, he dives deep into stories about Puffy, 50 Cent, Dame Dash, Nas, Mobb Deep, Foxy Brown, Dr. Dre and so many more. As the man who DJed behind Jay Z on the infamous Summer Jam stage, he gives his take on the Drake/Meek Mill battle, discusses every element of ghostwriting, and makes it clear why no one should go at Pusha T. Clark also shares why Pharrell is the greatest producer ever, what happened when he introduced Shyne to Jay Z, and how in the world he signed 98 Degrees to Motown Records! Enjoy this amazing conversation with the amazing DJ Clark Kent.If you've got a car and a license, put 'em both to work for you and start earning serious, life-changing money today. Sign up to drive with Uber. Visit http://www.DriveWithUber.com
Aug 11, 2015
#11: Bridget Kelly and Cory Townes
For this week's episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, we invited two great personalities over to our apartment: first, we had Philadelphia native Cory Townes by to break down the beef between Meek Mill and Drake, following Drizzy's Summer Jam-esque showing at his OVO Fest. Cory talks what Meek means to Philly, what it's like to walk into a club with Drake breaking your heart, and Meek's own big show that no one is thinking of yet. Then we have a full hour with Bridget Kelly, the first ever signee to Jay Z's Roc Nation label. She discusses her start singing on subway platforms, working in studio with Frank Ocean, and why she didn't go to her high school reunion. Bridget also talks about working at American Apparel with Kid CuDi, the idea of ghosting out of a relationship, and what kind of pies she be cooking up in the kitchen. If you've got a car and a license, put 'em both to work for you and start earning serious, life-changing money today. Sign up to drive with Uber. Visit http://www.DriveWithUber.com
Aug 04, 2015
#10: Gunplay and Migos
This week we have a special double episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal! First, MMG's Gunplay came through the apartment for some sea bass and an absolutely insane trip through life in Miami, his friendship with Rick Ross, and how ridiculous his hair has become. He talks about the Meek Mill and Drake situation, his extremely thorough drug use, and most importantly: the fact that he has more teeth than the average human. We also welcomed the Migos to the Upper West Side this week, and spoke with them about how Gucci puts out so much music, traveling through Russia, and of course, Quavo and Takeoff spit their favorite ad-libs. It's not only our most-attended episode, but easily our most fun! If you've got a car and a license, put 'em both to work for you and start earning serious, life-changing money today. Sign up to drive with Uber. Visit http://www.DriveWithUber.com
Jul 29, 2015
#9: Joell Ortiz and !llmind
This week's episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal features masters of their craft, rapper Joell Ortiz and producer !llmind, who've collaborated on a new album, Human, which is available in stores and on iTunes! We talked with the guys about bowling with Joe Budden, meeting G-Unit for the first time, and why Joell has been listening to a lot of Keyshia Cole this summer. We discussed how inaccurate http://CelebrityNetWorth.com is, the time Joell got left behind by the tour bus, and why a dope MC doesn't have to be able to freestyle on command. We also covered gambling, fireworks, Starbucks, and Michael McDonald!This episode is brought to you by Casper Matresses. Go to http://Casper.com/WASTE for 50 dollars towards any mattress
Jul 22, 2015
#8: Justine Skye
R&B starlet Justine Skye literally rolled into our apartment for this week's episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, where we sipped on purple smoothies and talked about Justine's homeschooling, Jaden Smith doing the Nae Nae, and Coachella jail. We discussed who's been looking for DJ Mustard, which Instagram pictures Katy Perry likes, and singing karaoke with Adrienne Bailon. And of course we go into great detail on the hottest accessory of the summer: The SkyeBoard.
Jul 15, 2015
#7: Joe Mande & Aniz Ansari
This week, we linked up with our friends, the brilliant comedians, Joe Mande and Aniz Adam Ansari to talk about what it takes to get Next to play your wedding, why you shouldn't pay money to attend the official Migos Grammy after party, and explore the anomaly that is RiFF RAFF. We break down who's a better Instagram follow, Plies or Kevin Gates, what it's like to attend a Lil B show, and give all praise to Gucci Mane for his skills in naming his mixtape series. We also talk Wing Stop, Cam'Ron, and what songs Amy Poehler and Nick Kroll know all the words to.
Jul 08, 2015
#6: Fat Trel
In this absolutely ridiculous episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Washington, DC's own Fat Trel stops by Eric and Jeff's apartment to talk playing basketball against French Montana, who exactly deserves credit for bringing ass-eating to pop culture, and of course, what life is like with Rick Ross and the untouchable Maybach empire. Trel discusses his two phones (family and bitches), his bizarre time with Master P, and who can do more drugs, him or Gunplay. Also: listen for stories on how Trel broke his leg, what kind of genius Chief Keef is, and the fanciest place he's ever gone shirtless.
Jul 01, 2015
#5: Sinbad
In this week's episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Sinbad joins us in the studio for a wide-ranging interview on how wack Donald Trump and Celebrity Apprentice are, how much Karl Kani and Cross Colours he has in his closet, and how exactly he'd win Survivor. We discussed his Uber experiences, how he successfully blackmailed his employer, a cable company in Wichita, Kansas, and his experiences with hosting SNL, appearing on Letterman, Conan, Arsenio, and the harsh words he had for Johnny Carson's talent booker. Oh! And stories about Eric B and Rakim, Mitch Blood Green, Will Smith, NWA, Public Enemy, DJ Quik, Suge Knight, Tupac, Biggie, Naughty By Nature, Queen Latifah, Martin Lawrence and much more!
Jun 24, 2015
#4: Smoke DZA
Harlem's own Smoke DZA stopped by our South Harlem apartment for a late lunch to talk Ma$e, Cam'Ron, A$AP Rocky, and even MIMS. DZA discusses his ghostwriting days, recalls the time he stood on line to meet Hulk Hogan at Toys R Us, and tells us about the time he was locked up with French Montana, Chinx and Buckshot Shorty. DZA also discusses why he's friends with Wiz (it's not just the weed!), calls out inferior Ralph Lauren collectors, and breaks news about an upcoming collaborative album... This episode is Really F'n Cool.
Jun 17, 2015
#3: Fat Jew
In this insane episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Instagram legend Fat Jew makes his grand return to our apartment after four years. Fat Jew breaks news about his upcoming book, we re-live his West Village run-in with Janeane Garofalo, and bond over our mutual hatred for Jewish spoofs, or Jewfs. We also talk Vinny from Jersey Shore, disgusting texts to Taylor Swift, and find out which monumentally successful TV show Fat Jew will be guesting on next season.
Jun 10, 2015
#2: Bodega Bamz
In this week's episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, Tan Boys and Indoor Boyz unite: Bodega Bamz stops by our apartment for lunch, and we discuss when being an independent artist became cool, why exactly Vice owes him a check, and the legacy of his late, great friend A$AP Yams. We break down his line about Vashtie, trade building superintendent stories, and figure out the worst people on the face of the earth: grown adults who complain when you unfollow them on Twitter.
Jun 03, 2015
#1: (The) Alchemist
In this first released episode of A Waste of Time with ItsTheReal, (The) Alchemist traces the lineage of Jadakiss' "We Gonna Make It" instrumental back to the beginning, breaks news about a rapping reunion with Scott Caan, and figures out the last thing Puffy regrets buying. We also discuss what life is like on the road with Eminem, why Jay-Z hasn't bought a beat from him yet, and how Alchemist will fare against aux cord DJs.
May 27, 2015