Men’s Health is celebrating hip-hop’s 50th anniversary with a special cover featuring some of your faves.
Who knew that after 50 years rap would be looking so healthy and happy? Men’s Health assembled six very different emcees for their September “Hip-Hop is Life” issue. Busta Rhymes, Method Man, 50 Cent, Ludacris, Common and Wiz Khalifa are all featured on the issue’s cover and individually profiled inside the magazine.
We really loved the articles from this issue and have to thank our friends at Men’s Health for providing some dope excerpts to share with you. The stories these emcees are telling range from funny to dead serious and really do an amazing job of representing hip-hop culture and it’s evolution.
Check out some excerpts below:
Busta told the story of how an intimate moment gone wrong helped inspire him to get back in shape:
“I was having a really difficult time breathing, so I got up and I walked out of the bedroom so she wouldn’t panic seeing me trying to keep myself calm. I was trying to inhale, and it felt like it wasn’t working. I felt like I was having like an asthma attack—but I don’t have asthma. So I walked out of the bedroom and went into the living room, and I was forcing myself to inhale, to relax. That was scaring me so much that it was a mindf*ck, because I had to stay calm and make sure she didn’t hear me panic or hear me struggle to breathe. I’m butt-ass naked in the living room, trying to calm myself down. When I came back in the room once I got right, I laid back down next to her and she said something to me that really f*cked me up. She was like, ‘Yo, this is not who I fell in love with.’ She didn’t know what had happened outside, but she was looking at my body and the weight. She was like, ‘You gotta lose this weight. This breathing is scaring me. When I met you, you wasn’t like a musclehead, but you, you was slim, you was cut, you had your sh*t right. I need you to get back to who I fell in love with.’”
He also spoke about training for his upcoming tour:
“I’m gonna be on stage with 50 [Cent] and don’t want to be weak link. I’m doing two-a-day workouts, everything: weights, circuits, sauna, cryotherapy. Also, it’s gonna inspire people when they see you in shape when you walking around here moving and shaking. Me, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, a lot of artists now, understand the seriousness and significance of self-preservation: a healthy diet regimen, significant water intake, getting your sleep so your body can repair itself when you beat it up and you tear that muscle from the workouts. The most important thing in life is self preservation.”
Read more from his Men’s Health profile HERE.
Method Man opened up about battling anxiety and depression around the height of his career:
“It went from this childhood joy to this euphoric feeling of celebrity to feeling inadequate and not good enough. That’s where the depression and stuff came in. I didn’t even know I had been depressed since I was a youngster before I started doing music and moved to Staten Island. A lot of PTSD I had never dealt with before started resurfacing, but I didn’t know what it was then.”
Meth also revealed how his battle with insomnia led him to fitness:
“My insomnia was pretty bad. I’m talking a year and a half, maybe, not having great sleeping habits. Trying to find stuff to do in the middle of the night is crazy, especially when you have all this stuff within your reach. PlayStations, books, and all that stuff, and none of that is satisfying anymore. You just find yourself up with all this energy. I didn’t know what to do with myself. So after the eighth game of Call of Duty, I said, ‘Let me see if the gym is open. I need to find something. I need to break this cycle, break this pattern.’”
We got a good chuckle out of Method Man talking about his morning routine:
“Some people like coffee when they take a sh*t. I smoke a blunt when I take a s*it; I don’t like coffee. After you take a sh*t, what do you do? You turn on the radio, and crank that shower up. This is every day for me. Same sh*t, too. Depending on what the song is, I may do a few dance moves, but I’m about my business in that shower, wash my sh*t up. When I come out, my blunt is usually waiting for me. I light that mother*cker back up while I brush my teeth. And you have to brush each side. There are eight different spots, 30 seconds each. Once I come out of there and finish my blunt, I make my little protein shake, and then I get ready for the gym. That’s what the morning is for me.”
Read Method Man’s full Men’s Health interview HERE
50 Cent’s interview actually really helped us understand him, for example we learned why he fell into boxing at age 12:
“[As a kid] I didn’t do well in team sports. I would always identify with why we lost. So it was perfect to get into boxing, because there was no one to blame anything on. Boxing gave me a discipline that gives you an advantage… I learned from people who didn’t have excuses. They looked at it like, ‘Curtis, if you would’ve [trained] like you was supposed to, you wouldn’t have gotten tired in that last round.’ So you can figure it out or go home punch-drunk. I’d rather do the work.”
50 also opened up about how D’Angelo’s “How Does It Feel (Untitled)” video helped inspire his initial fitness journey:
“They were talking about a Brad Pitt line! I’m like, ‘Wait, what’s that?! Oh, nah, that’s important!’”
Yes 50 – it is important!
50 also spoke about his relationship to the late Pop Smoke:
“I saw so much of myself in him. I was like, ‘What’s your mother’s name again?’”
And of course we got a good laugh out of 50 Cent talking about out-of-shape performers:
“When I’m in top shape, I’m not sweating until song four. They sweatin’ on the second verse. Like, ‘You just got out there and you soaking wet!’”
You can read 50 Cent’s full profile HERE
Ludacris spoke a lot about aging and how his relationship with it has changed.
Ludacris on why the thought of rapping to crowds 25 years later never crossed his mind:
“Someone would get in their 40s or 50s and that was a stigma—like, ‘Okay, you’re too old to be doing music now,’” he says. “But nobody’s taking into account that hip-hop is only 50 years old. We’re still in the midst of seeing how [hip-hop] is growing to a degree, and so there’s no more ‘You’re too old.’ Listen, I love to age, because I feel like aging is a privilege. The reason I’m so happy where I’m at is because I don’t have any resentments or any regrets. I have lived my life to the fullest. So when anyone remotely calls me OG, or anyone wants to throw around the word ‘old’ in the future, I’m not going to get upset—every human being has to go through these stages.”
Ludacris on the new generation of hip-hop:
“There is a point in which you kind of want to let the new generation take control. It’s called hip-hop for a reason. I remember Andre 3000 saying, ‘You have to be in the know, you have to be hip.’ If you don’t change with the times, you will become your own worst enemy. I’m a person who embraces everything new because I love the newness and the evolution of hip-hop. Yeah, but I can’t say that for everybody in hip-hop. Then sometimes they become the older grumpy person.”
Ludacris on seeing himself onstage for as long as possible, like a hip-hop version of legendary rocker and septuagenarian Bruce Springsteen:
“I think people are going to be able to do it well into their 60s and 70s; if their content is speaking towards what’s going on in their life and the music is good, there will always be an audience for it.”
Check out Luda’s profile HERE
Common’s interview was very serious and revealing, he spoke about struggling with alcoholism:
“Hip-hop is reflective of our communities, and one of the things that we have been dealing with in our communities—and I dealt with it, too—is alcoholism.”
Common also opened up about being molested and whether he would’ve been able to have that conversation in hip-hop in the ’90s:
“I don’t think I had the courage to. I could have had that conversation, but I don’t know how well it would’ve been accepted. For somebody to talk about being molested would be a record-scratch moment where everything’s stopping. People would say, “Why are you saying that? Why are you even talking about that?” But now I’ve had wives tell me their husbands have become better and more open because of that.”
You can read Common’s full interview HERE
Last but not least, Wiz Khalifa spoke about his fitness and how marijuana plays a part in his health.
Wiz Khalifa on a typical day at the gym:
“Normal day I wake up at 6 A.M., eat breakfast take my son to school then hit the gym. We do different muscle groups everyday so I do weight training for an hour then mixed martial arts for another hour. Afterwards I stretch and I like to have a protein shake and smoke a fat ass joint.”
Wiz Khalifa on how working out and eating impacted his shows:
“I look buff as hell on stage. I always had good energy —now my body looks amazing.”
Wiz Khalifa on the importance of health and fitness:
“Exercise definitely helps me focus and slow things down and work on the smaller things and be more patient. And when I have injuries smoking puts my mind in a good place to heal the right spots and get better.”
Wiz Khalifa on whether using marijuana is part of his wellness/mental-health practice:
“For sure. It’s more acceptable and not seen as something that will slow you down or make you lazy. You still have people who believe that but you also have people like me to end that stereo type so it’s more balanced.”
Definitely looks like a great issue and a must read! Visit Men’s Health for more!
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