We got Kareem “Biggs” Burke and Ben Baller together last week to talk about the earliest days of Roc-A-Fella Records. This conversation happened the day of 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 Reasonable Doubt, 20 years ago. When Reasonable Doubt was released, 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.
Watch part one of our video series “The Hustle: Remembering the Reasonable Doubt Era,” where the pair discuss Roc-A-Fella’s party promoting roots, Jay Z’s battles with Big L and DMX that got him Harlem’s respect, and staying at two-star hotels in Jacksonville.