FL: Call them songs? When I came along, we had singing. They might make up songs about me, but I don’t have to like them.
MJ: What about you, Nick? You’re like a hip-hop folk hero.
NB: I never thought anything like this would happen. When hip-hop first started, everybody—I mean the music entrepreneurs—predicted that hip-hop would be dead in five years. They said, “Those motherfuckers ain’t gonna make no money.” But hip-hop rolled along, and look what they’re doing now. They got Jay-Z, Damon Dash, Kanye West, 50 Cent. These guys are doing something legitimate.
FL: At least Nick knows the names. I don’t know none of them. I know Puffy Combs, because of his father.
NB: Oh, Melvin! Melvin Combs.
FL: Melvin used to be at my house a couple of times a week. I’m proud to see Melvin’s son like that.
MJ: Nick, are you curious about how you’re portrayed in American Gangster?
NB: Yeah. But when I heard that Cuba Gooding was doing it, I thought it’ll probably be decent. He’s an Academy Award winner.
MJ: What about Denzel as Frank?
NB: I knew if Denzel played the lead, then it wouldn’t be a bullshit part or a fucked-up script.
FL: Denzel Washington did more than a good job, he did a hell of a job. Nobody in the world’s as good as Denzel.
MJ: Man, I thought you guys might be more at odds. This is a love-in.
FL: We are friends, so you’re missing the whole point.
NB: There were a lot of the people who we were both hooked up with who we both like. Jimmy Terrell, for example, and Turtle and Claude, Peter MacDougal, Frank Moten.
NB: What about the guy who died in the mob riot?
FL: Aww, what was his name? Got killed on the George Washington Bridge. What was his fuckin’ name?
NB: I forgot his name, too, but we knew all of these guys. I guess there’s some nostalgia in it.
FL: It was the good old boys back then, that’s what it was.
NB: Frank, are you taking anything for your broken leg?
FL: They gave me a whole bunch of shit.
NB: There’s a Website out there of a guy named Gary Null. He’s an alternative practitioner, and he offers all kinds of vitamin supplements to cure bone injuries. You really ought to go check him out.
FL: Yeah? I’m going to take this down, man.
MJ: The vitamin connect. Hey, what do you want to have on your epitaph? What do you want your legacy to be?
NB: I’ll tell you what I want them to say on mine. I want them to say, “Boy oh boy, he was old. God damn, he was old.”
FL: Fuckin’ old.