party lines

Harlem’s Juelz at Hot 97 Party: Obama ‘08!


Juelz at MTV in December.Photo: Getty Images

Last night was Hot 97’s fourth annual Full Frontal Fashion show at the Hammerstein Ballroom. Hip-hop stars including Omarion and Lloyd performed, and Kimora Lee Simmons and P. Diddy showed their latest Baby Phat and Sean John collections. Hometown hero Juelz Santana, crown prince of Harlem’s beloved Dipset crew, gave us his take on the radio station, and his style. After the jump, find out why black people should “root for Obama.”

Something is always going down at the Hot 97 offices; do rappers even feel safe going there anymore?
This stuff is just entertainment, purely entertainment. These dudes be just talking. I mean, if a person does something like that at the radio station, they don’t really want beef; they just want to get caught by the cops. It’s too obvious, it’s like shooting me in front of a news crew … you wanna get caught.

Tomorrow marks the tenth anniversary of Biggie Smalls’s assassination. It’s still unsolved, just like Tupac’s. Do you think hip-hop’s no-snitching rule is keeping the cases from being solved?
I don’t have a theory behind it. Just wrong place, wrong time, ya dig? I do think there are people that really know what happened.

Are black people into Obama just because he’s black?
It’s obvious that I’m going to say, “Root for Obama.” I mean, the white people stick together, they always root for who they want, people like George Bush. It’s obvious I’m going to tell black people to do the same. I follow Obama. I agree with a lot of things he’s with. But I like Hillary too, though; this should be a good race.

What clothing item is the definition of hip-hop style?
Ask anybody about Dipset, Harlem. We rock the white tees, the jewels, the jeans. And now you see those people trying to do our thing; we aren’t trying to be like them. We are being fresh in our own way. We’re Harlem, trendsetters. I do the bandanna thing. Harlem, baby. — Ericka Goodman

CORRECTION, March 9: The item was initially accompanied by a photo of the rapper Fabolous, who also on MTV with Juelz in December. We regret the error.

Harlem’s Juelz at Hot 97 Party: Obama ‘08!