NORE Wonders Why Hip-Hop Artists Would Rather Appear On ‘David Letterman’ Than ‘Drink Champs’

NORE has a bone to pick with artists who choose to grant interviews to more mainstream outlets. The rapper turned podcaster’s show Drink Champs has become a well of viral moments in hip-hop over the past few years. However, there remains a certain class of artists who offer first looks to shows such as David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Zane Lowe’s Apple Music show, or CBS Mornings with Gayle King. This has apparently stuck in NORE’s craw, and he made his feelings known on Twitter last night.

“I have been the best to this culture,” he began. “I have always put hiphop first and I see u guys go to Ellen and David letterman’s and Zane lows and treat them wit more respect then the culture but u say u want black excellence.” He continued, name-checking another few well-known hosts. “Imma be honest even going to Oprah or gal is trash at this point !!! We control our in culture why go outside of it!!! David letterman is my favorite but man why go there or Ellen before million dollars worth of game or joe or the champs or even twitter sh*t!!!”

Aside from the obvious answer, which is that all of those shows have way bigger audiences and reach than the handful of hip-hop-focused podcasts NORE mentioned, it’s worth noting some recent history in searching for an explanation. In recent months, artists like Ari Lennox and Kehlani have both spoken out about feeling disrespected in interviews.

Contrast that with Letterman’s laid-back softball style in his recent interview with Cardi B or King’s empathetic treatment of Megan Thee Stallion‘s shooting injury. Could it be that these women looked at how their peers were treated over such sensitive topics as gender identity and sexual activity and decided to forego the possibility of being publicly embarrassed?

How vulnerable could they be with the rowdy hosts of these podcasts talking over them, gaslighting them, and trying to be “funny” about being shot or dealing with criticism as a woman in hip-hop? Even Nicki Minaj has spoken out before about feeling disrespected by “for the culture” outlets and preferring the professional tone of “white outlets.”

It’s easy to understand where NORE is coming from. Why don’t hip-hop artists do hip-hop media? After all, who helped them get to the upper echelons of pop culture? It can feel like artists are avoiding the scrutiny from the audiences who know them best, only seeking out positive coverage from mainstream media. And that’s valid.

But when the hip-hop-centric media are only interested in goading their subjects, looking for viral moments or juicy gossip, we can’t be surprised when it turns out that professional artists don’t enjoy the less-than-professional atmosphere these shows create. There’s probably a middle ground, but with trust eroded on both sides, it’ll probably take a while for artists to feel like “the culture” gives as much as it takes.