In this episode of People’s Party, Talib Kweli and co-host Jasmin Leigh sit down with comedian, DJ, radio & tv personality, as well as close friend of Kweli — Cipha Sounds. The interview spans Cipha making a name for himself DJing for some of the biggest names in hip-hop to later finding a new calling and success in the world of comedy.
Topics include Cipha cutting his teeth in broadcasting as a mix show DJ on Funkmaster Flex’s evening show with Hot 97 in New York. He talks about how he found his love of Reggae music, where his surname originated from, Funkmaster Flex’s under-appreciated role in underground hip-hop, and why Cipha wanted to become a DJ in the first place. He goes on to speak about his time as an A&R for Rawkus and Tommy Boy and outlines why he feels he wasn’t a success in that role. He then reflects on what it was like being on tour with Lil’ Kim and tells the story about one of the several times he was shot at while being her road with her. Cipha also shares his perspective of the N-word, speaks on his friendship with Peter Rosenberg with whom he hosted the ‘Juan Epstein Podcast,’ and he’s also asked if he felt like he was done dirty at the time he departed from Hot 97.
Later Cipha speaks on what it means to be signed to Roc Nation, and what his relationship with Jay Z has been like over the years of them working together. Cipha tells about the two of them never missing the chance to take sarcasm shots at each other and goes on to tell how he met HOV when he was just getting his career off the ground with two singles under his belt at the time. He notes how much working with Jay and Roc Nation really helped him understand the music business. Cipha also touches on his taking a hiatus from radio and tv to pursue a career as a comedian. He talks about the hard road he faced like many others in that industry. He tells how he met Dave Chappelle, and how that friendship inspired him, his love for improv, and his contributions to TruTV’s ‘Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks’ comedy show. Finally Cipha goes into his outspokenness on the dangers of food addiction, which he’s struggled with over recent years.