My hair is a mess, man. I’m aware, but I love it. And people tell me a lot like: ‘Yo, your shit looking rough, what you doing with that?’ And I get it, but I’m also at that point in my life where I wasn’t at 4 years ago, 3 years ago, where it’s like… I don’t give a FUCK! Like, I’m very confident walking out the crib with my shit looking CRAZY.
—  J. Cole (The Combat Jack Show)

J. Cole details the inspiration behind ’2014 Forest Hills Drive’, his battle with expectations, wanting to sign Kendrick Lamar and more.

The Combat Jack Show: The Spike Lee Episode
Spike Lee talks about the controversy behind his Kickstarter campaign, the ills of gentrification in his beloved Brooklyn, his relationship with Mike Tyson, why Halle Berry is the actor he’s most proud of putting on, why he still hasn’t seen ‘Django Unchained’, his instrumental role in making Jordans the hottest sneaker ever made, what ever happened to Matty Rich, why Michael Jordan now wears mom jeans, how his movies (like his upcoming ‘Old Boy’) is getting bloodier, and a whole lot of other ish. It’s easy to take this man for granted, but looking at the impact he’s had on our culture, we gotta do the right thing and give Mars Blackmon his props.

The Preservation of Hip-Hop History Matters. This Podcast Gets It.

**Author’s Note: This article of mine was published by on July 10, 2015. It can be viewed in its original form here.

Many podcasts have come to be and gained popularity as of late. Yet, one that stands out from the rest is the Combat Jack Show. The podcast is hosted by Reggie Osse – a Brooklyn native and former lawyer within the Hip-Hop business whose moniker as a personality is Combat Jack. Combat’s show has featured many co-hosts including super producer Just Blaze. However, the co-host that remains to this day is Premium Pete – an enthusiast of sneakers, food, and culture who leads various projects of his own. Together, Pete and Combat deliver the best interviews in Hip-Hop today. Combat’s experience working with artists and executives like Jay-Z and Diddy helps him give fans keen insight into the music business. His personality and engagement with Hip-Hop since its infancy also help him draw much energy from every guest of the show. The Combat Jack Show is usually an entertaining listen, but its value is much more than good stories and laughs.

Combat’s podcast is centered upon Hip-Hop. In some opening segments and episodes with guests like Marc Lamont Hill and Jamilah Lemieux, he addresses issues of race in America, but Hip-Hop history remains the focus of the show. Several artists that are favorites of today’s generation, such as J. Cole and Rick Ross, have appeared on the show. Yet, Combat often uses his show as a platform for MCs, DJs, producers, and executives with long-standing legacies or overlooked impact in Hip-Hop. From Chuck D to Kool Herc, Pete Rock to Red Alert, many episodes turn into the history lessons you actually want to sit through. Their stories explain how Hip-Hop has become the cultural force it is in America and the world at large. Furthermore, the guests, Pete, and Combat document the relationship between Hip-Hop and the African-American experience in a way from which other Black music genres could have benefited.

In many of his interviews, Combat mentions how American media tends to treat Black art and culture as if they are disposable. He fears that Hip-Hop will soon suffer from such treatment, having the racial significance of the music and culture forgotten due to corporate control. His concern is very reasonable given the history of Black genres like Jazz and Rock & Roll. Through Rock & Roll, many Black artists earned local hits and potential for great careers. However, their songs would often be covered by White singers, marketed to the predominantly White American audience, and celebrated without credit being given to the originators. This process caused the rise of Elvis Presley, one of the nation’s most revered stars ever, and the relative neglect of artists like Chuck Barry and Muddy Waters. As pointed out by J. Cole recently, Jazz’s suffering is summed up by the lack of Black representation on the homepage for Jazz on iTunes. The sight is hard to believe given the history of musicians like John Coltrane and Miles Davis. One has to wonder if Hip-Hop will undergo the same shift in its racial representation.  

One of Combat’s latest interviews drives home the message of preservation being needed. He spoke with Lloyd Price – a true pioneer in Black music. In the episode, Price states that 1952 song “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” made him the first Black artist to sell 1 million copies of a single. This achievement of his and many others strengthened the link between music and racial advancement in America. Price was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame years ago, but I and many other listeners of the episode were unaware of his work before the interview.

Such enlightenment has to be sought out and created within the Black community. Award shows and other mainstream platforms will simply continue the narrative of American culture that benefits from Black innovation, but often doesn’t acknowledge Black innovators. It’s difficult to prevent the imbalance of which racial identities reach the level of fame and success seen by artists like Iggy Azalea and Miley Cyrus. However, people like Combat Jack help to bridge the gap between truth and public knowledge of Hip-Hop culture. Hopefully fans continue to learn from and support his work. 

- Kenneth Hicks

I feel like white supremacy is a tool of greed. When these people came and saw these brown natives their first words wasn’t ‘these fucking brown people disgust me, fuck I hate them’ it was 'where is the gold? Who got gold?’ and that greed of yo I see them with a gold earring. 'You!! Come over here! Where did you get this from?’ Pointing at the earring 'Where is this?’ Snatched a couple of them up, 'take me to this’ Then they take you to the place where they get the gold from, and you say 'oh that’s what’s up, now you dig this up for me’ so this greed turns into slavery, the slavery turns into like hatred and like 'I am over you’ you know what I mean? But it was always greed first. I think! I’m no fucking historian, but this is how it seems to me. That it’s like….because I use to think it was the other way, it’s the hatred first, it’s like the racism first, the white supremacy first, I think it’s the greed first dog. I’m not a fucking expert and historian, but that’s what I’m starting to learn as I get older. Like man, this shit is greed.
—  J. Cole talks white supremacy on The Combat Jack Show
The Combat Jack Show (Just Blaze & DJ Premier) 4-11-12

Tonight. The Combat Jack Show featuring Dallas Penn welcomed its newest member to the team, the Megatron Don, Just Blaze. Also we had special guest on deck, the legendary DJ Premier. Your favorite producer interviewing your favorite producer. Bun B and Freddie Foxx called in to congratulate Just and ask some questions of their own. It don’t ever stop.


The Combat Jack Show - Guest: Bobbito Garcia ft. Jean Grae

When I met Bobbito back in 1989, when we were both interns at Def Jam, I never imagined dude to be facing such an illustrious career. Basketball, official #Shoemanati, a&r, label owner, author, actor, filmmaker… we talk about the origins of MF DOOM, his history with kicks, memories of the legendary Stretch & Bobbito show, his documentary ‘Doin It In The Park’ … man this is too much. PLUS Jean Grae sits in as a guest co-host. Is she gonna be a permanent feature??? Tune in.

J. Cole details the inspiration behind ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’, his battle with expectations, wanting to sign Kendrick Lamar when they first met and his thoughts regarding the shots-ridden “Control” verse. Cole also talks the hip hop culture shift that inspired “Fire Squad”, consciously staying out of Drake’s lane while creating his own, what happened that eventful night with Diddy, visiting Ferguson, his new outlook on life and how he became a voice of his generation.

RAP TREATS. | Daily Links. (6/21)

The 100 Best L.A Rap Songs [Complex]

From Long Beach to Glendale, Venice to Pomona, the L.A. rap landscape is as interconnected as its highway system, as diverse as its scenery, and as reliable as its climate. Herein is a selection from the rap ecosystem’s first 30 years with equal consideration given to the pre- and post-Jheri-curl eras. It’s presented in one place for your convenient perusal, in emulation of the swap meets where Dr. Dre first circulated his cassette mixes. So sit back, relax and strap on your seat belt as we turn to page FREAK, because this is Complex’s 100 Best L.A. Rap Songs.

Large Professor on 90’s Babies [HiphopDX]

Large Professor touches on everything from this era’s digital record diggers to why Rakim didn’t nurture Nas to what Lupe Fiasco should have done to avoid his current controversy.

Del talks Deltron3030 [MTV Hive]

Hive checked in with the rapping half of the Deltron universe, Del, and asked him about the long-awaited second Deltron album and his own personal review of “Positive Contact,” the beer.

10 Things Rappers did while Twitter was down [egotripland]

The unthinkable happened this afternoon. Twitter crashed and the world stopped. With civilization on the brink of total destruction, we suspect this First World problem affected rappers the most. They who rely so heavily on the Me-Me-Me social platform probably did this…

The Combat Jack Show // Guest: Artie Lange [PNC Radio]

We had the legendary Artie Lange on and got him to tell us exactly what happened on the Howard Stern show, his “highs”, his lows, and best of all, his comeback. We also got his famed B.I.G. impression, once we allowed him to use the “N” word.

The Combat Jack Show 3-30-11 (Dan Charnas)

New day, new time slot = NEMANATIIIIIII! Haha. Last night was the debut of CJRS in the new Wednesday 10pm-12am time slot. No more leaving the station at 4am. Primetime! In the building was the usual suspects Combat Jack, Dallas Penn, Premium Pete our newly appointed DJ Ben-Ha-Meen and yours truly of course. Our special guest was none other than the author of “The Big Payback: The History of Business of Hip-Hop”, Dan Charnas. Dan has been in the music business for a while and was in the mix of some of the Hip Hop’s most monumental moments. Do yourself a favor, purchase the book and stream/download the show below…..

*Don’t forget, The Combat Jack Show can be heard live each and every Wednesday nights 10pm-12am on*


Welcome to The Read, featuring Celebrity Analyst/Shade Connoisseur Kid Fury and writer/NYC hater Crissle! Join the fun as they throw deserved shade, break down the latest in pop culture and revel in all things Beyonce.

This week, those getting read include the writers of Law and Order: SVU’s “Rihanna” episode, Keri Hilson and corny people.

Y'all it’s an hour of pure life!!!!