My MTVNews producer Steven and I arrived early to grab the only interview with the two young MCs side-by-side an hour before they performed in front of a sold-out crowd at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square. As we walked backstage, it was a lot more mellow that what you might expect from a tour with the title the Great Hangover — a name conjured up by one Mr. Kanye West.
As I walked into his dressing room, Cudi was holding court surrounded by a crew of people. I didn't hear what he was saying but he had everyone's attention. Then mid-sentence he saw us and immediately came over to make us feel welcome. I think his opening words were actually "Yo Tim, you want a shot?" I politely declined, because as Cudi and I can attest to, we both know that only leads to trouble. The last time I saw Cudi, we were at one of New York's hottest spots 1OAK and John Legend had just sang "Happy Birthday" for a good friend of ours. It doesn't take much to convince Cudi to get up and entertain the crowd — after all, that’s what he likes to do. Just show him where the mic is and he'll handle the rest. I remember we knocked back a birthday shot and then out of nowhere he climbed on top of the giant speakers in the middle of the club, took the mic and tore the house down with an impromptu performance of "Day N' Night." While Cudi and I caught up, his managers were simultaneously dealing with last minute ticket requests and a stream of people who had gathered outside his dressing room all wanting to come and say hi to the New York native — with some getting approval and others having to make-do with an invite to his after-party.
Next door, Asher Roth’s dressing room was a world apart from the buzz of activity surrounding Cudi’s. He had just finished an interview with Billboard and was sitting quietly reading a paper sipping on tea-and-honey — a far cry from the "I Love College" video. But then, that’s just Asher: The quiet guy from Westchester who just happens to be one of the best young MCs in the game. It’s always good to see Asher and the Roth boys who I met when we all took a trip out to see him perform in front of his hometown, visit his old stomping grounds and see if he really can "get pizza a dollar a slice."
88-Keys was already on stage performing, so time was ticking before it was Asher’s turn to face the crowd so we grabbed Cudi and filmed a unique interview with the two headliners side-by-side. From talking on the origins of the tour and life on the road to what each of them bring to the show, it was a great opportunity to talk to two young talents on their first headlining tour. We spoke on their careers so far, the phemomenon that is Drake and of course about their own individual projects from Cudi’s just-shot video for "Make Her Say," his now-complete debut album (finally Cudi!) and Asher Roth’s next video for "She Don’t Want a Man" and his personal request for Ms. Keri Hilson to appear in the video — you got to do it, Keri! Check out the whole interview at MTVNews.com.