THE BEST OF THE DVD ERA: VOLUME ONE

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Before Rappers had Instagram to push their agenda they had DVD’s as their outlet. DVD series such as SMACK, Hood Affairs and the Come-Up have provided some of the most iconic Hip-Hop moments of the mid-late 2000’s. Whether it’s Max B talking greasy about Jim Jones or Gucci Mane spitting the legendary ‘Hood Affairs’ freestyle, these DVD’s emanate the spirit of the mid 2000’s. From the East Coast to Down South, the DVD era helped artists promote their work and it helped them stunt on their opps. DVDs were Instagram before Instagram. A placement on a SMACK DVD could swing the streets in, or against your favour. For those looking to delve into or revisit the 2000’s era of Rap, DVD’s are your ultimate source for the rarest of sauce. Luckily, LO-FI The Magazine has collected the best from this bygone era. Need to revisit the Byrdgang era? Or do you need to witness State Property in full effect? Look no further because this article will send you on a trip down memory lane. It will have your smack-talking game reaching new heights. Sit back, grab a 40 and scroll through the best of the DVD era.

MAX B: THE COME UP DVD

Arguably the most iconic DVD interview out there, this interview changed everything. It was during this interview that Max embodied the one-of-a-kind swag we all celebrate today. Throughout this 20 minute piece Max B utters so many quotables and exudes iconic mannerisms. A whole essay could be written about this interview. This feature on Doggie Diamonds ‘Come Up’ series certified Max B as the waviest of ‘em all. During this interview Max runs through the rapper checklist with ease. He plugs his super-producer Dame Grease, talks about upcoming projects and shit-talks whoever wants static with him. He addresses his issues with Prodigy (RIP), Jim Jones and the rest of Dipset (Juelz, Sen City and Freeky Zeekey) in a way which only Max B could. Draped out with crazy jewelry, designer shades, a BB Simon belt and stacks of cash, this DVD embodies the spirit of the mid-late 2000’s.

SMACK Factor: 10/10. The perfect place to start and get your DVD era swag right.

ESSENTIAL MAX B DVD’s: 

JIM JONES: A DAY IN THE FAST LIFE (2006)

A must watch for fans of the Byrdgang era. This full length DVD gives us a glimpse into the life of Jim Jones in his prime. Follow Jim Jones as he goes on several escapades throughout New York and Miami with his Byrdgang cohorts. Iconic moments in this DVD include: Max B and Stack Bundles wylin’ in Miami, Jim Jones actin’ a fool after getting denied from the club and Jim Jones haggling a store for some extra Pelle Pelle jackets. A true forefather of the swag, Jim ushered in the rockstar wave during the Byrdgang era. It’s in full effect during this legendary DVD. ‘A Day in the Fast Life’ is a reminder that the Byrdgang was a true wave. This DVD shows us the days when Jim, Stack and Max B were the three-headed monster of the rap game. Another undisputed gem, A Day in the Fast Life serves as a reminder that the legendary Byrdgang era played a vital role in birthing the swag of future generations.

SMACK Factor: 8/10, Jim and Max B playing NBA Live 06 on the tour bus is the true hidden gem.

ESSENTIAL JIM JONES DVD’s:

STATE PROPERTY SMACK DVD

NBA Throwbacks, Headbands, Fitted Caps and raw freestyles. All characteristics of the State Property’s feature on SMACK DVD. Oschino, Omilio Sparks, Peddi Crakk, Freeway and the Young Gunz spit that Philly crack throughout the DVD. The grimiest out of Philadelphia, we witness the State Property movement at its apex in this DVD. Beanie Sigel’s cameo during Peddi Crakk’s freestyle is easily the most iconic and infamous moment from this DVD. Whilst Peddi Crakk is freestyling, Beans emerges from the cut and starts staring at him incessantly. Looking like he’s high of eight different drugs, Beanie stalks Peddi Crakk with a look and embrace that is the opposite of his fearsome reputation. Beans was looking at Peddi Crakk like he was a freshly made Philly Cheesesteak throughout his whole freestyle. Arguably one of the funniest moments of the SMACK era, Beanie’s loving look for his State Prop comrade lives in infamy ‘til this very day. The grimy State Property was on full display throughout this SMACK DVD. Also arguably one of the funniest moments is present on this DVD. This edition will forever live in infamy due to Beanie Sigel’s antics. 

SMACK Factor: 7.5/10. The freestyles is cool but we’re all just here to see Beanie booted up on Mars.

ESSENTIAL BEANIE SIGEL/ STATE PROPERTY DVDs

GUCCI MANE’s HOOD AFFAIRS FREESTYLE

In a cypher with fellow ATL Trap originators: OJ Da Juiceman, DG Yola and Kourtney Money, Gucci Mane completely blacks out. He spazzes over a Mike Will Made It beat with his signature southern flow. One of the best freestyles ever, Gucci cemented himself as a living legend with this freestyle. Shawty Lo and Waka Flocka are also creeping in the cut. This cypher and Gucci’s crazy freestyle should be shown to all current fans of Gucci Mane to show them how the real Gucci spazzed out on those early trap beats. The other rappers that spit hold their own but Gucci proved he was a class above. Hood Affairs plugged us up with a true gem from the infant stages of the Atlanta Trap takeover. Prime Gucci Mane was a whole different type of beast and this cypher proves it. This freestyle was so impactful it inspired the track ‘Reese Mane La Flare’ off of Reese’s tape DSNRTRPN. 

SMACK Factor: 7.5/10. Gucci snapping, Gucci snapping and that signature Juiceman flow. AYE!

ESSENTIAL GUCCI MANE DVDs:

THE BIG PICTURE DVD VOL.3 WITH TRU-LIFE

A member of the Mt.Rushmore of shit-talking and flossing, Tru Life cements himself as one of the greatest from the DVD era with his feature on the Big Picture DVD. The video starts with Tru Life indulging in his “breakfast of champions”. Rosé with Fruity Pebbles. The verbose swagger continues when Tru-Life makes himself a napkin out of 100 dollar bills and declares himself a ‘swagarian’. The flossin’ continues as we head into his Rolls Royce Phantom to finish the shit-talking and breakfast of champions. This is ignorant flossin’ at its finest. If you are ever in need of an injection of swag then look no further than this video. Tru-Life resides in Swagaria, a place we can only dream of. Well known for being Jay-Z’s hired goon during the mid 2000’s, Tru-Life has one of the most stellar DVD resumes ever. Especially his feature in the Beef DVD, which is nothing short of outrageous. The brash swag that personifies the DVD era is on display in this interview with Tru-Life.

SMACK FACTOR: 10/10. A transcendent display of flossing and shit-talking. 

ESSENTIAL TRU-LIFE DVDs

KANYE WEST SMACK DVD

SMACK catches Kanye West during the rollout for his third studio album Graduation. It’s interesting seeing this version of Kanye on the SMACK platform. He was still wylin’ like Kanye usually does but he had become a mainstream force during the Graduation era. Kanye shows he still has love for the streets by appearing on SMACK. Throughout this interview he addresses the forthcoming sales battle with 50 Cent, deflects Beanie Sigel’s accusations of Kanye being gay, talks about the current state of producers and he explains how ‘Can’t Tell Me Nothing’ helped him get back in touch with the streets. Every Kanye interview contains gems and this interview with SMACK is no different. It’s a far cry from the street, braggadocious and flossin nature of most SMACK DVDs. However it’s a rare collision course between Kanye West and the DVD streets. 

SMACK FACTOR: 6/10. Not your usual SMACK. Fans of Kanye will rock with this. Rare Royal Flush shoutout though.

ESSENTIAL KANYE DVDs

CHOKE NO JOKE PRESENTS: LAST DAYS OF THE ROC

Although the full version of this DVD doesn’t exist on the internet currently. This series is the holy grail right here. Delve into the world of Roc-A-Fella records. In its prime the R-O-C was untouchable. Choke No Joke documents the rise of the Roc and the eventual downfall, when Jay-Z ousted Dame Dash. Last Days of the Roc provides a rare insight to video shoots, parties and the iconic moment of Dame Dash wyling out at Def Jam HQ. Nothing captures the greatness of the Roc movement better than this DVD. Hopefully one day the full version is retrieved because the streets are in dire need of some rare footage to consume. Sprawling depictions of State Property, Dipset and Damon Dash in their primes, Last Days of the Roc is essential viewing for any fan of the Roc-A-Fella movement. This DVD remains one of the rarest things in rap lore. There’s too many legendary moments to breakdown. Choke No Joke seems to be releasing further installments in this series so stay tuned to his YouTube channel for further glimpses into the peak of the Roc-A-Fella movement. 

SMACK FACTOR: 10/10. Pure greatness. 

JADAKISS SMACK DVD

Get a first-class ticket to the streets of Yonkers with Jadakiss, AKA The Legend who possesses the greatest laugh known to mankind, as he kicks freestyles and kicks it with real ones who run the streets. One of the wildest moments in SMACK history occurs in the Jadakiss edition.  One of Jadakiss’ goons shoots his pistol in the air multiple times, just to flex on SMACK and show the viewers at home that Yonkers is bout it, bout it. Peep Jadakiss’ rare Puerto Rican flag edition of his WHY? Tee as well. One of those rappers that is known for being in the hood, Jadakiss, the LOX and D-Block were perfect for the DVD era of Rap. Another iconic installment in the SMACK DVD series, Jadakiss reps for the thoroughness of Yonkers in this edition. 

SMACK FACTOR: 9/10. Shootin’ in the air for SMACK. Don’t play with Kiss, The Lox, D-Block or Yonkers. 

ESSENTIAL JADAKISS/ THE LOX DVDs:

CAM’RON SMACK DVD

Follow Killa Cam as he takes Dipset out the hood and brings them to Miami. The peak Dipset swag is in effect. Jim Jones AKA Capo Status and Juelz Santana are in the cut throughout the whole DVD. Cam spits knowledge and reflects how far he has come in the music world. SMACK gets its own version of MTV Cribs as Cam shows us all the Miami vibes. Although there’s better clips of Cam’ron on his true flossin’ and braggadocios tip, This SMACK instalment shows how Cam’Ron damn near brought the whole Harlem to Miami with him. Diplomat Status. Nothing more. Nothing less. 

SMACK FACTOR: 7/10. Cam lets the lifestyle do the talking for itself. The Dips’ was really runnin’ shit. 

ESSENTIAL CAM’RON DVDs

50 CENT SMACK DVD

This interview is peak 50. Fearless shit-talking about whoever. SMACK catches up with 50 before the release of CURTIS and 50 exudes his typical fearless swag. Words can’t encapsulate 50’s brash nature so it’s best you peep the interview yourself.

SMACK FACTOR: 7/10. 50 was built for SMACK DVD. 50 ain’t never changed.

ESSENTIAL 50 CENT DVDs

REDMAN SMACK DVD

The Doc shows us how it goes down in the Brick City. SMACK gets the ‘Hood Pass’ as they swerve through Jersey. SMACK history goes down as Redman takes us into the Brick Mob store. Inside the store all hell breaks loose as we truly see how it goes down in the Brick. Redman’s goons start flashing their Dirty Harry’s and pounds of weed all up in the camera. Nowadays Gun toting is common practice on Instagram and in music videos but this degree of gun toting was unheard of during 2005. Especially in the Tri-State area. This is the biggest display of goonery in SMACK history (arguably). The Brick City plays no fuckin’ games. 

SMACK FACTOR: 10/10. How many guns in one room? BRICK CITY!

BMF (Bleu DaVinci, Big Meech) SMACK DVD

The most infamous movement of the 2000’s, SMACK gets a small insight into the high-flying lifestyle of the BMF crew. Follow Big Meech and his crew as they hit the club, flex their whips and portray the glamorous life of a BMF gangsta. Big Meech also drops knowledge on how the BMF operate. A perfect look into the BMF era, it is videos like these which makes the DVD era such a goldmine of rare content. We get to see how the most fearsome movement of the 2000’s operated. Free Big Meech. Period. 

SMACK FACTOR: 7.5/10: I think I’m Big Meech!

ESSENTIAL BMF DVDs

CURREN$Y SHOWS OFF HIS BAPE COLLECTION

The Hot Spitta, someone who is undoubtedly an underrated rap icon, shows us his swag game on KUSH DVD. He shows off his collection of Nike SB Dunks, Bapestas, Ice Cream Boardflips and other rare kicks. The man who was once a part of No Limit Records and Cash Money illustrates just how ahead of his time his swag was. A pioneer of late 2000’s streetwear, Curren$y has the tape to prove just how much sauce he had during this era. A member of a Flyer Society, for real. 

SMACK FACTOR: 7/10. Just a fly guy showing his shoe collection. Nothing crazy but a rare gem nonetheless. JETS!

ESSENTIAL CURREN$Y DVDs

YOUNG JEEZY SMACK DVD

Young Jeezy shows us just how raw he was in his prime. One of the hottest street rappers during this time, Jeezy blesses SMACK with a classic Music VIdeo and Interview. Jeezy and his goons tote real straps and he spits pure thug motivation. Da Snowman illustrates just why he was one of the rawest of the 2000’s. A true pioneer of Trap music. 

SMACK FACTOR: 7/10. Nothin’ but real. No flossin just raw street shit. Word to da Snowman.

ESSENTIAL YOUNG JEEZY DVDs

THE BEEF DVD SERIES

For any novice of the DVD era the best place to start is with the Beef DVD Trilogy. Easily the most thorough and well produced of any of the DVDs mentioned in this list, the Beef trilogy explores the history and current status of some of Hip-Hop’s most iconic beefs. 50 Cent vs Murder Inc, Mobb Deep vs Tru-Life and Lil Flip vs T.I. are just some of the iconic Beefs that are given an in-depth look in this trilogy. This DVD is the type of content any Hip-Hop listener would love. Peep the swag, history and bad blood of the rap game in this trilogy of DVDs. The Beef Trilogy is the perfect starting point for anyone trying to indulge in the early/mid 2000’s era of Rap DVD’s. 

SMACK FACTOR: 10/10. An essential gem for all fans of Hip-Hop. The Beef trilogy is must-watch material.  

STACK BUNDLES GBM TV

Peep the late, great Stack Bundles during his come up in Far Rockaway, Queens. Freestyling his lethal bars and stuntin’ with his self-proclaimed ‘Gorgeous Gangster’ steez. He popped out the rose cristal on us. Expensive bottles you dig? This video is definitely worth a peep as you witness one of the best rhyme-spitters from any era in his element. A budding star that we lost far too soon, Stacks remains immortalised through his contributions to the DVD era and his contribution to the rap scene during the 2000’s. SQUAD UP!

SMACK FACTOR: 8/10. A look into the life of one of New York’s forgotten stars. Riot in Peace Stack.

ESSENTIAL STACK BUNDLES DVDs:

SHAWTY LO- RAP HUSTLIN’ DVD

Shawty Lo (RIP) delivers a fatal blow to T.I. (or T.I.P.) during their beef. Rap Hustlin’ DVD captures Shawty Lo walking round Bankhead asking people if T.I. was from the hood he has repped throughout his whole career. The response is a resounding ‘NO’. Some little kid even said that T.I. was a lame. Straight dagger material. One of the funniest and more creative moments from the DVD era, Shawty Lo proved that he was the one who was running the streets in Bankhead and not his rival T.I.P. This moment was so iconic it still spawns t-shirts ’til this very day. “We went to your hood and nobody knew you”. RIP Shawty Lo. ‘Dey Know

SMACK Factor: 9/10. The ultimate disrespect. Rest in Peace Shawty Lo

ESSENTIAL SHAWTY LO DVDs:

The DVD era will forever be cherished by fans who champion the brash swag of rappers from this era. Real bars were spit and real knowledge was dropped but the DVD era helped further display the grimy, gritty and at times glitzy lifestyle of a Rap artist during the 2000’s. The DVD era pushed the culture forward. It was Instagram before Instagram. It gave artists a chance to really portray who they were. Whether it was cutting WWE style promos on the opps or just spittin freestyles on the block, the DVD era should be considered a goldmine for authentic Hip-Hop content. Anyone searching for inspiration or looking to discover the true history of 2000’s rap should instantly delve into the plethora of DVDs the 2000’s era spawned. Some gems definitely were not covered in this list so don’t hesitate to share ‘em with us on the ‘gram or on Twitter. SQ..SQ..SQ..SQUAD UP. Riot in Peace Stack Bundles, Rest in Peace Chinx Drugz, Rest in Peace Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Rest in Peace Shawty Lo, Rest in Peace Dre Most of Hood Affairs and Free Max B!

Stay tune for more Culture focused content on LO-FI: The Magazine!

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