After a few months working at Tommy Boy things took a turn towards the ultra busy. I actually got into college for the spring semester still not knowing what I wanted to study, but it was what I was told over and over again was ‘the next step’ so Hunter College it was. That volunteer gig I had turned into a part time job and I had another part time job working the counter at Two Boots in Rockefeller Center. Between it all I had practically no down time, and at that time I kind of preferred it that way. I still felt I could do more so I checked a classified paper for writing gigs. People told me I had a way with words so I thought to check out that avenue.
I found an ad in the now defunct trade paper Loot and it said “looking for writers who were interested in Hip Hop, music and entertainment so I thought… me… me… and me. Lets go! I called… no response. Later on that week… no response. About a month and a half later I got a call from a number I didn’t know, so I pick up and it was someone from the magazine. They asked if I was still interested in writing for them to which I replied yes. They asked for a few writing samples so I sent them some assignments I wrote while in Hunter. I figured working at a record label while working with a mag on the side GOT to be a decent look. I get a call later on that week again from the same person. They ask me if I was familiar with Star and Bucwild.
I said I knew of them only from conversation. Hip Hop shock jocks who came out the gate talkin reckless, self proclaimed haters and such. The person on the phone told me he had a writer for that interview, but they backed out last minute and he was stuck so if I’d be interested in writing the piece. I said sure why not, one persons inability would be my opportunity. He added on that it would be the cover story. That gave me pause for a few reasons. One, were my little college write ups that good that I got the cover story? Two, he must be in a real pinch. Three, Cover story is a lot of pressure. Four, man I’ll knock this interview out the park no question. You see, I feel you need confidence bordering on arrogance to do some of the shit that must be done to chase your dream. I replied, No problem, just tell me when and where. He told me to meet him 3 days later outside of Hot 97.
Those next few days I woke up and listened from 6am to 10am to the Star and Buc show. I did whatever I could to become familiar with their style of radio. Basically my first ‘interview’ was going to be interviewing someone who does just that for a living with a critical and harsh yet intelligent mind state. As I got closer I felt a little more pressure. Finally I roll out to Hot 97 before the interview and meet the magazine owner. Dude was wearin a full suit and trench coat leaning up on a Lexus. I thought, wow there must be some money in publishing. He and I later spoke about that meeting and laughed since what I perceived wasn’t exactly accurate. He was on his way to work and the Lexus wasn’t his. That interaction isn’t different from many I encountered, except in the fact that it was a funny coincidence and not a concerted effort by some record exec or rapper wearing fake jewelry, renting luxury cars and spending money at clubs that they will owe the label later. Perception is EVERYTHING, but more on that later.
After pleasantries Greg, the magazine founder, told me the run down on the Star and Buc piece… I mostly had free reign to ask anything I wanted, but he gave me a rough word count. And with that he was off and I was waiting in the Hot 97 Lobby. So soon enough they wrap up and I’m greeted by a receptionist who leads me to a conference room. Then in walks a much muted Star and Bucwild. Radio is a grind and chances are he was already up for 9 hours when I got to see him shortly after 10.
As I stumbled through the paces of asking questions, trying to get an interesting sound byte (eventually getting some good stuff when the topic of Eminem came up) Star was more shrewd than he even portrayed on air at the time. Bucwild was just there taking up space. I concluded the interview and left for Tommy Boy feeling somewhat accomplished. Though looking back the piece was so amateur I almost cringe when I think of it lol. If I had it backed up I would have posted it… I’ll search it out so I can illustrate the progression of writing.
In conclusion, years later I hit up Star when he had his power 105 slot and he remembered me, but more importantly he remembered the article and ripped me for having an inaccuracy. Good times. Luckily I had a good comeback and eventually got applauded. The Star n Buc experience helped me get started with my magazine writing, Greg gave me a shot and I was there for him in a bind, this was the first of many write ups to come.