Top 14 Hip Hop Interviews of 2014

I’ve been seeing alot of year-end list. So I thought to myself I should create one. Initially I was going to do a best hip hop production list but a seen a few of those. So I sat and thought about it…and it was right under my nose, literally, on my laptop. While thinking about what list to compose I was watching interviews from The PinkPrint  press run than it hit me (insert lightbulb).

Every week I watch at least five interviews. Of course, everyone loves the finish product but the nerdy side of me loves the behind the scenes information. The inspiration, the turmoil, and the creative process that makes the finish product. Therefore, if you are a fan of hip hop or journalism or anything for that matter because these interviews cover every hot topic of 2014 you are going to love this list. Enjoy!

14. (Tie)The Clipse/ Killer Mike – CNN 

Yes we start off the list with a tie. Both were a bit of an unexpected partnering. There was a certain level of honesty in The Clipse interview that made me include it on this list. For that honesty, look no further than No Malice blatant discomfort with speaking about his drug past on camera…which is a rare but refreshing in a era where most rappers glorify such acts.

The hottest topic of the year has to be the incidents that took place in Ferguson, Mo. Rapper/Activist Killer Mike was on top of this issue and has been on top of social issue his entire career. It’s makes me so proud to see the culture represented properly on a national scale. Watch as Killer Mike gives a balanced, education, and well thought opinion on Ferguson and what may be the future for all of America.

13. Rick Ross – Tim Westwood 

One word…Pears.

12. Onyx – The Breakfast Club

This interview wasn’t really that good (mainly because it was the Onyx interview taking place in 2014) but the simple fact that Fredro Starr was about to put paws on Charlamagne made this great! There has been several interviews in which I thought Charlamagne might’ve crossed the line and deserved to get hands laid on him however this wasn’t one of them times. The irony. Peep the interview to see how it went 0 to 100 real quick lol.

11. Childish Gambino – The Breakfast Club

This interview was both eye opening and odd. From Childish Gambino wearing his friends dead dad sweater. Gambino also gives his opinions on race and business, being a “new black”, white privilege, and his relationship with Chance The Rapper.

10. J.Cole – Angie Martinez

This conversation took many turn but none of them dull. From Cole stating that he traded in his Range Rover for a bike (not a motorcycle…a bike), his thoughts on capitalism and racism, and the difficulties he encountered performing “Be Free” the night before on Letterman.

9. Pharrell Williams – Howard Stern

Pharrell has done a lot with his time in the music and Howard Stern does a great job of capturing it all. From Williams interactions with Michael Jackson at The NeverLand Ranch to his in-studio squabbles with Madonna. Williams and Stern have a great connection.

8. Azealia Banks – Hot97 (Ebro In The Morning)

A million youtube views in 2 days. Has to be some kind of interview, right? Azealia Banks finally gets the main stage and geez does she take advantage of it. This is the most polarizing interview of the year!

7. Lloyd Banks &Yayo – DJ Envy (SiriusXM)

Essentially this interview was a broadcasting of a conversation between a few Queens natives…or at least it appeared so. The best moment was Banks and Yayo making fun of 50 Cent’s cheap and unforgiven ways. We also find out about the origin of the G-Unit tank top. Priceless.

6. No I.D. – Hot97 (Juan Epstein/Rosenberg Radio) 

It’s always great to hear from someone who has accomplished so much but speaks so little. Usually if you hear a No I.D. story it’s from everyone except No I.D himself. Dion talks the origins of his name, relationship with Kanye West, the beginnings of Chicago hip-hop, and his chartered relationship with Common. This may be my personal favorite…but than again I am a kid from the Southside of Chicago so I may be a little bit bias.

5. Timbaland – The Breakfast Club

This interview made the list because of its timing and events that took place during the interview that was so hip-hop. Firstly, this interview took place after the poorly received Lifetime, Aaliyah biopic. So we were able to get accurate background information (some of which we never heard) on the Timbaland/Aaliyah relationship. The so hip-hop portion came from Timbaland playing unreleased Ross tracks (which got him in hot water with Rick Ross) live from his iPod. Haven’t seen anything like that since the 90s era! The energy and excitement that permeated this interview is simply infectious!

Sidenote: The Tink, Ross, Jay-Z “Moving Bass” is so much better than the album version. Two thumbs down to Ross for not recognizing greatness. Fail Rozay.

4. Nicki Minaj – CRWN (Elliot Wilson)

This was a great interview and easily the livest CRWN in the history of the series! This interview was a borderline concert than you add on Nicki’s rare candidness easily pushed this interview into the top five. Nicki opens up about her relationship with Lil’ Wayne, moving to Atlanta, and getting dropped from Young Money. The best moment of the interview occurred in the second video when Nicki challenged Elliot Wilson on the nut-hugging epidemic that is going on in the industry and the role Wilson plays in it. Nick you were dead on.

3. Dame Dash – Combat Jack Show 

Overall, Dame Dash has been quiet since the Roc-A-Fella era. In 2014, Dash showed us that he was silent by choice and when he wants to stir the hornets nest….he can and he will. An Instagram post calling music executive Joie Manda a “culture vulture” turned into a war of words between him and DJ Funkmaster Flex. Dash met with Combat Jack to expand and explain who he considered to be a “culture vulture” and why. Bravest interview of the year.

Sidenote: Two thumbs down to Combat Jack for the Joie Manda “rebuttal” interview. Combat Jack failed to address anything Dame accused Manda of. Fail. 

2. Kevin Gates – All Interviews of 2014

Throw out all expectations with an Kevin Gates interview. Gates exemplifies the saying “never judge a book by its cover.” A convicted felon with a Master Degree in Psychology (which he received while in prison). 2014 has been a big year for Gates making the XXL freshman list earlier this year. Yet, oddly enough it was his interviews that fascinated fans and press alike. You may get humor, you may learn lessons from the street, or Gates may give you his thoughts on “intimacy” but you always get his truth.

1. Chris Rock – “Top Five” Press Run

Finally…coming in at number 1 is Chris Rock. His entire press run for “Top Five” was phenomenal! Only press run that I could compare it with was Kanye’s “Yeezus” press run. It was so good I couldn’t pick one interview because they all had their moment. Rock’s honesty with race, hip hop knowledge, and introspective honesty was refreshing to the least.  Rock’s interview on Sway In The Morning and his interview alongside Questlove on Rosenberg’s Juan Epstein are two stand outs.

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