Ed Sheeran covers “Paranoid” (and leaves out the “dark skin” line)




As part of talking to Saul Williams for the Pac on Broadway piece, we ended up on the subject of Rick Rubin, naturally, which led to this tragic-hilarious anecdote about how Rubin tried to get him to work with DJ Screw, to no avail:

“I had a total different relationship to Rick Rubin than I did to Trent. I really felt like Rick Rubin – I mean, he got me enough to get me a great record deal. My first record deal was fucking awesome, and he gave me a lot of freedom. But I also felt like he didn’t understand what I was trying to do. But he still put the album out and put his name on it even though he told me ‘I don’t really understand what you’re trying to do.’ So I have nothing but respect for him. But Trent was a total different thing. So basically what I’m saying is that with Rick, I didn’t fully trust him. He was sending me shit. Actually, on a funny note, in ’98 - you remember Paul Wall and all that shit, that’s what, 2004? So in ’98, Rick Rubin is sending me actual DJ Screw tapes while he’s still alive and saying ‘I want you to work with this dude.’ And me, my dumb ass, is, like, only hearing the lyrics and going ‘What the fuck are you trying to do to me record industry?! These demonic record industry guys, look what they’re trying to do to me!’ And I don’t fucking realize that he’s trying to turn me on to the style. He sent me 40 DJ Screw tapes. He’s like ‘When are you coming to do this?’ And I just hear the lyrics. I say ‘NO.’ Aaaaaarrrggghhhh. It’s the worst. My biggest disappointment. So crazy. In ’98. I’m sorry Rick Rubin. I’m sorry, America! But me, I was busy off in my Tricky, Bjork, Portishead world, like playing that for him like, ‘No, but listen to this!’ I’m there playing him Gang Starr, and he’s like, ‘Why are you rapping with so little energy?’ I’m like, ‘cause I’m trying to do this monotone thing, he’s like ‘Who the fuck does that?’ I was like ‘Haven’t you listened to Gang Starr?’ He’s like ‘No, I’ve never listened to Gang Starr.’ I’m playing Gang Starr and De La albums and I’m just amazed he hasn’t listened to some of this other shit.”

(Also, above, a May 25, 1997 NYT story about “the leagues,” basically a competitive audition process for NYU and Yale acting school grads which Saul compares to an “auction block.”)


RIP JayAre // JayAre of Cali Swag DIstrict, “1, 2, 3” (2010)

Bun B hand-written “Big Pimpin’” lyrics on a Gumball 3000 jacket

Had totally forgotten that 50 wore Evisu at the 2004 Summer Jam