In an extremely candid new interview with Mass Appeal, veteran DJ Whoo Kid shared a treasure trove of war stories from his early days as a mixtape DJ and his experiences working with 50 Cent and G-Unit. While the entire feature is wildly entertaining and I highly recommend giving the full text your time and attention, the best story arrives during Whoo Kid's opening exchange with writer Rob Kenner.
Kenner begins the interview by asking Whoo Kid to paint a picture of how 50 Cent's 50 Cent is The Future mixtape came together, which was released 15 years to the day (June 1, 2002) the interview was published.
"That tape was me actually getting hired as the DJ," he replied. "Sha Money XL was his manager at that time. I was already putting mixtapes out, hiding from artists, leaking songs with Envy and DJ Clue so…"
After reading that line, my initial thought was: Hold up—by leaking records on his mixtapes, Whoo Kid was forced to literally hide from artists?
Naturally, Kenner was also caught off guard by the comment and asked Whoo Kid to clarify.
"Because me, Clue, and Envy, we were leaking like unfinished songs from Jay Z, Nas, B.I.G.—who was alive at the time, whoever else that we ransacked from studios and magazine companies," he replied.
Whoo Kid went on to explain that most of the records that found their way onto his more high profile tapes were delivered by interns working at print magazines—like XXL, The Source and VIBE—who were sent advance copies of albums and singles. He would pay interns $500 a pop for a CD with at least one verse and a hook. OutKast, 2Pac, Hov—you name the artist, Whoo Kid shelled out good money to acquire the material and leak the records on his tapes.
Hilariously, Whoo Kid later admits to Kenner that not only did he know his actions would have consequences, but he expected there to be serious blowback.
"There’s a secret elevator in Hot 97 where all the pussy DJs go down, so they don’t get beat up for leaking shit. I was always on that elevator," he explained.