John Forte Recounts Freestyling At DMX’s Birthday With Big Pun, Canibus, And Mos Def

John Forte, the latest guest on People’s Party With Talib Kweli goes way, way back with the host. The pair shared an apartment when Forte attended NYU in the mid-’90s, then Forte helped Kweli get a record deal when he became the A&R of then-emerging independent rap label Rawkus Records. Forte also co-wrote and produced on the Fugees‘ seminal album, The Score.

Unfortunately for Forte, his own musical career was derailed by a stint in prison for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine after he was arrested with a briefcase containing $1.4 million worth of liquid cocaine at Newark International Airport. He spent seven years in prison and released four albums overall from 1998 to 2011.

However, during the early course of that career, Forte had some pretty incredible experiences. On People’s Party, he tells Kweli the story of how he got involved in a freestyle cypher session at DMX’s birthday party with top-tier rappers like Big Punisher, Canibus, and Mos Def. Forte and Kweli compare that era of having verses ready to go at any given moment and the modern one of recording new material right away because of the rise of home studios. Check out the full story at 1:15:48 above.

People’s Party is a weekly interview show hosted by Talib Kweli with big-name guests exploring hip-hop, culture, and politics. Subscribe via Apple, Spotify, or YouTube.