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The night of April 21, 2017 is going to be one to remember for the hip hop community. Tonight’s the much-anticipated 20th anniversary Ruff Ryders reunion concert.
The world first realized how much of a force Ruff Ryders was back in 1998. This was the year DMX dropped his first album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, which peaked at the number one spot on the Billboard 200 charts. Later that year, X dropped his sophomore project; Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood; and that became a number one record, too!
Soon after, successful works came back to back from the likes of Eve, The LOX and more. Ruff Ryders was taking over the charts! Fast forward some years later and before you knew it, the label suddenly went quiet. Artists who were on the roster began doing their own things and Ruff Ryders stopped but the mega-force it once was in the late 1990s – early 2000s.
But, that’s all about to change very soon. Starting today, it’s going to feel like that classic era all over again. All of our favorite Ruff Ryders artists – as well as a few surprise guests – will be taking the Barclays Center stage for the 20th anniversary show. Get ready to have all the nostalgic feels!
iHeartRadio got the chance to speak to a few of Ruff Ryders’ new signees about the concert. These new artists are Drew James, Quadir Lateeef and Lil Waah.
Check out the interview with the new Ruff Ryders artists below.
Lil Waah’s, who’s the Ruff Ryders CEO’s son, spoke about being a new recording artist on the label. “I saw myself as a Ruff Ryder because I'm the CEO's son. I was always. But, I never thought to be in this position with my music,” he said.
“I had a contest at four years old and I won the contest, as a rapper. If that didn't happen, I would have never been a rapper, and I would have never did none of this. So I'm glad that the contest made me leap to this.”
When asked what type of artist he wants fans to know him as, Lil Waah said: “I want them to understand that I really love this. I put my heart and soul [into] this. I want them to understand that I'm gonna keep putting my full effort into this, no matter if the money comes, or the fame comes, I don't care about that. I just love music in general.”
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Drew spoke about the reunion tour and compilation project, as well. “I'm able to be a part of something so historic and monumental. I think of Ruff Ryders as a school, a university. And if you look at the success rate after graduation, it's pretty high,” he told iHeartRadio.
“Everybody that pretty much went through those doors was able to further their career in some way shape or form. It's solidified their place in hip hop history, in music history, period. So for me, to be around such elite and legendary talent, it's encouraging [and] makes me feel like I'm on the right path.”
Then, the Toronto rapper was asked if he felt nervous to be a Ruff Ryder because of the label’s big shoes to fill. “No because I don't feel like I have shoes to fill. I'm not trying to be the next X or the next Swiss or the next this person, Kiss or whatever the case may be. I'm trying to be me. I have my own shoes on already and they're already filled. Now, it's about making sure that I make the right moves, musically and business-wise, to achieve, the highest level of success possible.”
He added: “Hip hop doesn't NEED anything from anybody. Except for good music, and a demographic to support that music. [That's] pretty much it. This tour is gonna be very dope for hip hop because there [are] generational gaps between the styles of hip hop.”
**WARNING: Explicit language**
Quadir opened up about Ruff Ryders’ new ventures, as well. “The compilation [album] is going to be super dope because it's a chance to really bridge a gap with the new generation; the past, present, future and older generations,” he said.
Quadir strongly believes that hip hop needs the Ruff Ryders tour and music, at this time. "When you say hip hop, you've got different people who agree or disagree [with] what hip hop is. Would they say that Lil Yachty is hip hop? Or J. Cole and Kendrick? So, when we talking about hip hop, lyrics, music, bars; I think it's definitely needed. I think it's a blessing, man. People will be able to get a chance to hear Ruff Ryders, the older ones with newer music and the new generation.”
He definitely couldn’t wait for the reunion show going down tonight. “You work so hard as an artist, and sacrifice so much, and you give everything just to get to these plateaus, to these moments. And I'm just gonna be eager to take full advantage, and do the best that I can do [to] represent Ruff Ryders and Quadir Latif.”
**WARNING: Explicit language**
The 20th anniversary Ruff Ryders reunion tour kicks off tonight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The new compilation album that features all Ruff Ryders, past and present, is dropping at midnight tonight after the show.