Check out the second part of “The Hustle: Remembering the Reasonable Doubt Era,” our conversation with Kareem “Biggs” Burke and Ben Baller. We brought the two together to discuss the early days of Roc-A-Fella Records before the opening for APT. 4B, a special pop-up sponsored by Frank151, SWAP Management, Fourth of November, and D’usse Cognac that recreates Jay Z’s apartment around the time he released his debut album 20 years ago. At the time, Burke was one of the founders of Roc-A-Fella, while Baller (now one of hip-hop’s most famous jewelers) was an executive at Priority Records, the label that distributed the album.
In this segment, the pair talk about how Burke’s lifestyle found its way into Jay’s rhymes before the rapper was actually living it himself, why the celebrating was fundamental to their music, and the grimy conditions that Reasonable Doubt was actually recorded in. And if you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out part one of the series.