The legendary MC Shan recently made a long-awaited appearance on Revolt TV’s DRINK CHAMPS with N.O.R.E. and D.J. EFN.
The episode, which aired on April 9th (and took six years to bring to fruition according to N.O.R.E.), did not disappoint. Those that know Shan, especially from his Instagram live posts, won’t be surprised that he showed up with his own choice of drink. His “wizzles”, as he calls them, are Sutter Homes Moscato 4 pack mini bottles. When I sent Shan a text to confirm that he brought his own alcohol, he called me directly to confirm and give some hilarious behind-the-scenes stories.
“Yeah Jay, that’s where I fucked up. I should have left those wizzles at home. Mixin’ up drinks fucked me up” Shan said between laughs. “I drink Moscato because it’s 6% (alcohol). You give me cognac it’s a wrap. I can’t handle that brown shit. And I drank Ace of Spade on top of all that other shit. Then the first thing N.O.R.E. asked me was about Masta Ace saying that I have a problem with the Juice Crew. I was already nice, and I had to give it to him.”
After reluctantly accepting N.O.R.E.’s freshly poured cup of Ace of Spade (“N.O.R.E. tried to set me up with the big boy drinks.”), Shan explained that he has no problem with his legendary brothers and sisters in the world renowned supergroup The Juice Crew, of which Shan is a foundational member.
“The only way that you could be a member of the Juice Crew was if Mr. Magic (Juice Crew founder) said you were in. It’s not my business to tell the way he got down, but the way he was able to do that, was we were at the airport doing the photo shoot for [Marley Marl's 1988 compilation] In Control” Shan recalls.
N.O.R.E. told me that I broke every Drink Champs rule there ever was..."
- M.C. Shan
“I’ve done this. We did 'Marley Scratch' and I didn’t get paid,” Shan says, referring to Marley Marls suggestion that Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap and Shan go record a song together after the photo shoot for Marley’s legendary In Control compilation. The song that Shan turned down became “The Symphony”; now widely regarded as the greatest posse cut in Hip-Hop’s history. Shan has long maintained that Marley intended to record everyone under the guise of having fun, but he would release it as a song later and not pay the participants.
"All those writers on there, how much you really gettin'?"
"You’re just able to say that you were on 'The Symphony,'" he says. "I get asked more why I wasn’t on 'The Symphony' as if I was on it. That’s what gave Ace his spot, ‘cus I didn’t go.”
Rock The Bells reported earlier this year that Shan called out his former rival KRS-ONE for ignoring his request to challenge him in Verzuz in the early days of the pandemic. As N.O.R.E. was about to mention Verzuz, Shan pulled out two pictures of Cyrano De Bergerac, and went into a rhyme about his long time nemesis:
You the Hip-Hop Cyrano de Bergerac/not only your flows/but your words are wack..."
N.O.R.E. had to interrupt, as he had planned to discuss KRS later in the episode.
One of the episode's earliest funny moments occurs when N.O.R.E. plays various prerecorded video dedications from artists who were influenced by Shan. When Queensbridge resident and Nas affiliate Nature begins his dedication, Shan says “I love Nature. I fuck with him – cut that shit off. I’ll tell you why, back in the day you may remember Antonio Asaldi. It was a clothing line. Antonio wanted me to get in a picture with Nature and he said 'Yo Shan, I don’t wanna be in a picture with you, I need this right now’”
“I couldn’t understand what he was sayin,’” Shan continued. “The fuck you mean you need this right now? You get in a picture with me, and Im gonna bring you to bum status?” Shan then tells N.O.R.E. that legendary Queensbridge D.J. Hot Day later gave him a Nature shirt, that Shan gave to his daughter. “I gave that shit to my daughter. Ain’t nobody gonna ever see that shit who fuckin’ matters,” says Shan, to laughter from the hosts and others.
Nature I love you, but ain't nobody gonna ever see that fuckin' shirt..."
- MC Shan
Large Professor, LL COOL J, Cormega, Tragedy and Havoc from Mobb Deep all gave Shan heartfelt props and shout outs as well. Tragedy actually showed up and sat in, sharing Juice Crew history along with Shan. “Trag is original original Juice Crew, but his life was going through so much that he had to do college time (prison) at 14,” Shan told N.O.R.E. As N.O.R.E. continued to pour drinks for Shan, the legend yelled: “You tryin’ to get me drunk, but I’m gonna talk my shit anyway, I don’t need to be drunk.”
When Havoc pops up, Shan shares the story of going to Havoc's house at 8 AM because he needed Hav to record a hook for Shan’s upcoming song. “8 in the morning he did it with no questions asked. It was a song for my Bars Over Bullshit album from 2017. People talk about how they support Hip-Hop—I put a free album out in 2017 that still doesn’t have 27 hits, fuck y'all ni**as!”
While speaking on Bars Over Bullshit, Shan took the opportunity to get at KRS again. “Speaking of Bars Over Bullshit, I told Kris we could do Verzuz – my digital album versus yours. You got 24 albums, it’s quality over quantity,” Shan said. “I was calling Kris out for six months during the pandemic. He hid from me.”
When asked about the desecration of Prodigy’s of Mobb Deeps mural after he died, Shan is raw and honest. “Sometimes you talk about motherfuckers when you need to keep your mouth shut. I give him props and all that, but sometimes you can’t be talkin’ about motherfuckers. They put your mural up in the hood where you did dirt. You ain’t even really from here (Queensbridge).” Shan said further, “I always told ni**as, Prodigy hung out in Queensbridge, but he’s not from Queensbridge. I love him for representing, but the only reason that he was able to come to Queensbridge is because he was Havoc’s man.
When Tragedy asked Shan to share the story of engineering Rakim’s first single “Eric B is President/My Melody”, Shan says that Rakim’s laid back style was so misunderstood at the time, that every time that Ra recorded a verse, he and Marley would laugh behind the speakers.
“I didn’t understand Rakim and how advanced he was at the time. I actually started that laid back style that opened the door for Rakim, Kane and all those smooth dudes. Before me everyone was yellin,’” Shan claims. That claim led to Funkmaster Flex tagging Marley Marl and Shan on Instagram with a message: “Marley tell ya’ man to stop lyin.’” After that post, Shan sent a scathing message back to Flex that caused words between them, with N.O.R.E. inviting them both to come to Drink Champs and debate.
About one hour into the three-hour episode, Snow - the reggae artist who Shan produced and collaborated with on the smash hit “Informer” joined the conversation in person. Shan receives a call on his cell phone (his ringtone is “The Bridge”) and yells “Leave me alone!!!.”As Snow tells the story of getting locked up for a stabbing, Shan took over and starts to interview Snow. Shan said to me later: “N.O.R.E. said that I broke every Drink Champs rule. I got up 4 times, and I took the N.O.R.E. show over and made it the Shan show” he remembers. “I invited cats out to the parking lot to fight. That’s why I drink alone. Not many people know, but I fell too! I passed out! I couldn’t move. I got up to take a piss and I fell. I wondered if that’s what it felt like when you die. One of the staff had to pick me up. I even cried on the episode. It was a wild show.”
Shan’s appearance was definitely one for the books. Check out a snippet below.