Drink Champs is still going strong seven years after N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN decided to take the plunge into podcasting. In fact, one could argue it’s bigger than ever. In January 2023, Drink Champs signed an audio exclusive licensing deal with Warner Music Group’s podcast network, Interval Presents. Under the new agreement, Interval Presents gained the exclusive licensing rights to the audio version of the podcast on all major podcast platforms.
Currently inching toward their 370th episode, N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN have fielded several notable guests, including the inimitable Kanye West—not once but twice. West’s most recent appearance was in October 2022 and proved to be the most controversial. During the episode, West suggested George Floyd wasn’t killed by Minneapolis police and instead, died of a fentanyl overdose. West’s comments sparked public outrage while Floyd’s family threatened legal action. Ultimately, Drink Champs made the decision to pull the episode.
N.O.R.E. later addressed the controversy online and expressed regret over how things played out. But months later, there was still a negativity looming in the air. It wasn’t until Wiz Khalifa visited the studio that N.O.R.E. felt a lightness return.
“God bless the brother Kanye,” N.O.R.E. tells AllHipHop. “But Kanye kind of gave us a black cloud. And to be honest with you, we didn’t know what to do. Our heart was in the right place. We’re not about the controversy. That’s not what we’re about. And what we’re also not about is editing. What we should have did was just let it be, but we wanted to take a positive approach.
“We wanted to say, ‘You know what? We don’t want to benefit off of this. If anybody is offended by this, we don’t want to benefit so we took it down. We probably should have thought a little bit more about it. This is me—and I’m being vulnerable right now—but it was like a black cloud almost.”
N.O.R.E. was getting a haircut when Wiz Khalifa arrived to record his episode. N.O.R.E. said hello but didn’t get up to give him a hug because he was in the barber chair.
“Wiz sat down, I finished my hair cut, wiped all the hair off of me and then I gave Wiz a hug,” he recalls. “When Wiz gave me that hug, I felt like the black cloud just got lifted. I feel like Wiz lifted that black cloud because he came with so much positive energy. What I’m trying to say is I know he’s a god. I know he’s the god of positive energy. Because from that day on, I felt like the black cloud was lifted.”
Wiz Khalifa’s episode aired on April 21 in celebration of the annual smoker’s holiday, 420. The wide-ranging conversation includes Khalifa’s thoughts on co-parenting with Amber Rose, his weed habits and much more. Watch the full episode above and check out other Drink Champs interviews here.