Music

Freestyle Rap Icon Supernatural Explains How Diddy Affected His Famous Battle With Craig G

Back in the ’90s, Indiana battle rapper Supernatural was one of the most exciting up-and-coming practitioners of freestyle rap, culminating in a much touted battle between himself and Juice Crew member Craig G. Unfortunately for Super Nat — who was not only the first rapper with a radio show, but also had high-profile co-signs from likes of Source magazine and KRS-One — the tide of the battle turned after Craig clowned his Midwestern roots — which happened at a time when New York was no longer rap’s epicenter, but New Yorkers were still highly territorial and frowned on rappers from outside the Tri-State area.

In the above clip from next week’s episode of People’s Party With Talib Kweli, Super Nat addresses the fallout from the battle with the host, who also happens to be one of his longtime friends. During his recollection, he notes how the outcome was also swayed by an unexpected participant: Sean “Diddy” Combs, who at the time was still going by Puff Daddy and had yet to become a worldwide icon. Super Nat explains how, once the crowd turned against him, chanting for New York local Craig G, Puff joined in the chant, making it nearly impossible for him to stage a comeback.

The story — and the history between Supernatural and Kweli — makes for a fascinating tale. Check out the clip above and stay tuned for the full episode.

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.

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