October 21, 2014

Harold Stallworth went to see Papi and all he got was this lousy t-shirt.

In the mid-to-late-90s, an elusive figure by the name of Papi played the foil to some of the most talented rappers that New York City had to offer. Papi was a shrewd businessman, sinister in his dealings with hip-hop’s elite—a habitual short-changer. Take, for example, Capone-N-Noreaga and Tragedy Khadafi’s “Stick You,” a thrilling account of their quest for refund and revenge brought about by the trio getting stiffed on a diluted batch of dust. The version packaged with The War Report was apparently abbreviated for retail purposes. An alternate mix—or, perhaps more accurately, the director’s cut—made its rounds on the mixtape circuit more than a year before the album was released. The longplay includes an additional telephone scene, in which Papi rears his head for a brief cameo. This is one of the few recorded testaments to the fabled drug baron’s existence.

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