9 Questions You Should Never Ask a Rapper

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9 Questions You Should Never Ask a Rapper

Nicki Minaj
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The hip-hop interview: a delicate dance that sometimes yields moments of unintentional comedy. Some are highlighted here, alongside comedic anecdotes from other rap interviews gone awry. Whether it's an interview or a concert, here are nine sacred questions you should never ask a rapper.

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Don't ask Lil Wayne what's in his cup

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Things took a strange turn when Tim Westwood inquired about the contents of Lil Wayne's famous styrofoam cup. "It ain't nobody's business what's in my cup. It's your cup, drink it," Wayne retorted. Wayne goes on to say that it's the "year of the cup" and that whatever is in the cup is ultimately responsible for his success.

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Don't ask Redman how he truly feels about Def Jam

Budlight Event - 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals
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In the buildup to "Red Gone Wild," Redman was growing impatient with Def Jam's sluggish response to his demands. I was curious about why he aired out the label on "Saga Continues."

Q: Ever since you said, "Def Jam lost their soul. They forgot how to build an artist, so I'll remind them," have you noticed any major improvement over there?

Redman: [Hesitates...] You know what, I'm not even gonna lie. I can't say. Ask anyone at Def Jam, I only show my face three times a year. I'll be a fool to tell you, "Well, it don't look like they're treating me right." Only thing I know is, I'm coming into this game...not as an artist. I'm coming as an asset. That's why I show my face three times a year. To let them know, I'm self-generated. I don't need to come up here (Def Jam offices) to look for a check, when I come up here it's like a breath of fresh air. "Oh, Redman's in the building? Sh*t, we better get around him, we might not see him again." What I see going on is another issue with Def Jam and the artists that don't even have to be, because you know everybody's a grown man here. Jay Z is a grownass man and he was an artist, and I'm sure he understands what an artist needs. Now, if that artist wasn't getting what they're supposed to, then of course something needs to be done. But I don't think that's the kind of thing you bring out to the public. I don't give a f**k what Def Jam do, I'll let them know that when I'm out on these damn roads I'm shaking these motherf***n hands on my own. I don't need no third party.

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Don't ask Canibus to kick a freestyle

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In November 2009, Canibus and Keith Murray stopped by DJ Green Lantern's Invasion Radio show to plug their collaborative album. Canibus was asked to freestyle on-air, but he straight up declined. Murray tried to save face by spitting a few bars of his own and saying things like, "This man's gon' do his thang. That's my man, ya heard." No dice. Instead, 'Bis broke into patois and went on a rant about respect: "Ya fi' just chill. I spit thousands of bars but you don't play that/ But den you want me to come gi' you 16 or 32 bars like I have some type of cord in my back."

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Don't ask Rhymefest about "Jesus Walks"

Kanye West

Amidst rumors that Kanye West's "Jesus Walks" was originally conceived and written by Rhymefest, I tried to get the Chicago rapper to spill the beans on one of hip-hop's worst kept secrets.

Q: How much did you contribute to “Jesus Walks”?

Rhymefest: Jesus Walks” is a song that is neither my creation nor Kanye West ’s creation. It was given to us by the Creator and we were used as a vehicle. So, for me to say “I did this much, he did that much” would be kind of selfish. That’s a song that I’m just glad that I was allowed to be a part of.

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Don't ask Vanilla Ice about "Ice Ice Baby"

I Love The 90s At SSE Arena
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Tired of fielding questions about his mammoth single, "Ice Ice Baby," Vanilla Ice went bat dung crazy on MTV. Ice grabbed a baseball bat and proceeded to completely terrorize a DVD of his famous video, as a young Jon Stewart, Denis Leary and Janeane Garofalo looked on in terror.

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Don't ask Danny Brown to taste scotch egg

Lost Lake Festival
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This one reads like an Onion story, but it turns out to be true. According to The Guardian, Danny Brown walked out of an interview after a disagreement over Scottish egg. While visiting the Guardian office for an interview, Brown was inexplicably asked to partake in a taste test of the esteemed Scotch egg. The Detroit rapper wasn't having it—he later explained that the egg was cold and he wasn't in a playful mood. He, understandably, walked out of the interview.

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Don't ask Nicki Minaj if she goes for walks

Nicki Minaj BET awards
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When I interviewed Nicki Minaj, I was curious about her creative process while juggling songwriting responsibilities for multiple projects.

Q: You ever get a song idea in your head while taking a casual stroll down the street?

Nicki Minaj: I don't be walking down no street.

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Don't ask DMX for a towel

Rapper DMX has bipolar disorder
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During a Houston show, DMX gave fans enough highlights to fill a YouTube blooper reel. X passed around a bottle of Hennessy and urged everyone in attendance to sip from it. He randomly stepped back and forth to the DJ booth to request upcoming songs but would occasionally forget which songs came next. And, most hilarious of all, he tossed several towels into the crowd. Some poor soul in the front row made the mistake of asking Dark Man X for a towel.

Fan: Where's my towel?

DMX: "You want a towel, yo?" *Grabs towel, wipes his groin, throws towel at fan.*

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Don't ask Kanye West for answers

Kanye West
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If Kanye West made an album of just interviews I'd buy two copies. In a famous interview with Sway, Kanye West went bananas on the veteran hip-hop host after Sway challenged his assertions that it's difficult for black creatives to break into the fashion industry.

Sway: Why don’t you empower yourself and do it yourself?

Kanye West: You ain’t got the answers, man! You ain’t got the answers! I’ve been doing this more than you! You ain’t got the answers! You ain't got the answers!