What would you do if your request to interview Ice-T was rejected, but you knew his trailer was right around the corner? Would you give up and go home? Or head over, knock and see what happens?
At the time, Luke Fox was a 19-year-old budding writer, and he decided to knock and see what would happen. The result was his first major interview, and the starting point for a career in music journalism that would see him go on to cover one of the most transformative decades in hip hop (1999-2009) and speak to more than 150 hip hop artists, including Jay-Z, Kanye West, Ludacris, Nas and Common.
Luke brings together a selection of these in-depth interviews and profiles in his book Ice-T Shot Me in the Face. Whether he's discussing politics with the members of Dead Prez or musing on the existence of God with Ghostface Killah, Luke's regard for hip hop and its artists shines through.
"It is an enormous part of me, and always has been," he told the CBC Book Club in a recent interview (which you can listen to above). "It's provided me with the best moments of my life."
One of the collection's highlights is a Q&A with Kanye West, when he was just on the verge of creative greatness and pop culture notoriety. Making grandiose comparisons and bold predictions about his coming success, West lives up to his reputation as an artist with a larger-than-life personality.
"I was asking questions while he was posing for photos," Luke explained. "We caught him in a good mood. It was almost as if his answers were a performance. But you could definitely feel the passion he has."
When you read Ice-T Shot Me in the Face, you can also feel the passion that Luke Fox has for hip hop and the artists who live and work in the genre.