I recently joined Coast 2 Coast as the executive editor of Coast 2 Coast Magazine. As a writer and editor, I jumped at the chance to work with such an innovative and successful company. I’ve met very few people that grind as hard as the Coast 2 Coast team. As the executive editor, it’s my job to bring consistency and cohesiveness to the magazine, and we’ve decided on some exciting new changes to go along with the big moves Coast 2 Coast is making as a company. Our first change has been to transition the magazine from a quarterly to a monthly publication. As we all know, new music and new artists are constantly coming out, especially in the mixtape game. We didn’t feel that releasing the magazine every three months could possibly do justice to the amount of new material that we see on a daily basis. We’ve also decided on a few new features, including our fashion page, which you’ll get a taste of in this issue. You can look forward to more interviews with established, up-and-coming, and independent artists, and we’ve also got some brand new ideas in the works for the issues to come. This issue, I had the opportunity to interview international singer/rapper Lumidee. The Queen of Spanish Harlem recently released a mixtape with Coast 2 Coast, and is in New York working on her upcoming album. For an artist who’s enjoyed so much success, Lumidee is totally down-to-earth, and was a lot of fun to talk to. She let me know that she’ll keep us posted on the release of Street Pop, so definitely be on the lookout for that. As far as other artists, we got some great interviews—Portland’s own Cool Nutz, West Coast rapper Roccett, and DJ Ykcor—not to mention all the independent artists that are in this issue. So make sure you check out music from all the artists featured this month, and of course www.coast2coastmixtapes.com for the latest in music and mixtapes! Katie Kervin email@example.com www.facebook.com/katiekervin
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WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED OR BASED OUT OF? Reading, PA, Philly area. WHAT IS YOUR DAILY ROUTINE AS A DJ? Social networking is a big part of my life now. Doing lots of promotion though that, going though lots of music, and just constantly networking to get more sites, blogs, and just people in general to support the cause. HOW OFTEN DO YOU DO MIXTAPES? WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST OR BEST SERIES CALLED? Every week. My biggest series is “I Run This.” “Twitter Me” and all the features I do with artists are always a big success. DO YOU DO ANY RADIO OR CLUB APPEARANCES? IF SO WHEN AND WHERE? Took a lil’ break from the clubs to do this mixtape thing. I did clubs for awhile. I do a bunch of online radio. I have shows on unheardradio.com, truefireradio.net, swurvradio.com, erbinubsessionsradio.com, and my main concentration is Revolt Radio, going live 24/7 in February. WHAT DJS WERE YOU INFLUENCED BY? DJ Ran, Jay-Ski, DJ Revolution, Sat-One, DJ Break, all “real” DJs. I could be here forever naming names… HOW IMPORTANT IS THE DJ’S ROLE IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY? They are the industry. Without them there wouldn’t be one. HOW DO YOU THINK THE ROLE OF THE DJ IS CHANGING WITH THE NEW MUSIC INDUSTRY MOVING IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS? A lot of “fake” DJs are getting shine, or I should say “iPod DJs.” They killin’ the meaning and respect of what a real DJ is. I think part of the mentality of today’s music lovers has been tarnished by the fake shit in the industry nowadays… no one takes anyone seriously anymore and this whole game is fake. So I don’t know where it’s going from here, but I’m definitely here to bring it back! WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO INDEPENDENT ARTISTS LOOKING TO BREAK INTO THE GAME? Grind it out, go the hardest you possibly can! Yourself as an artist is a business, so treat it like one and get your revenue up. Take it seriously and take the time to learn and listen. Nothing just comes to you, you gotta go get it. Get with the DJs, respect them, and come at them professional, don’t think they owe you just ‘cause you a rapper like everyone else these days. Don’t be afraid to be different and unique, and most of all, stop following these other rappers already in the game! There’s no room for two Jay-Zs or two 50s, etcetera. Do you, and if it’s hot and unique then you will be on top, with hard work. WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE ON HOW ARTISTS SHOULD APPROACH A DJ TO PLAY THEIR MUSIC? DOS AND DON’TS? Be professional, look professional. 90% of this game is visual, so make sure your promo for your record comes correct. Label it properly, tag it properly. We as DJs get tons of music every day, and we just download it into a folder and come back to it later, and if it ain’t labeled properly then it just gets deleted, bottom line. And just remember, if you on your job as an artist, the DJ will come to you! DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIFIC ARTISTS THAT YOU WORK WITH? Whitefolkz, Wordsmith, Philly Swain, and Tone Trump. I work with all them on more of a personal level. I support their music and grind in this game. They all are the hardest working people in this industry I know. You will see a lot from them in 2010, I guarantee it. WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON? Just concentrating on my main series and special feature tapes, which I won’t give any details on right now…just follow me, a real DJ, and watch what I do and bring to the game in 2010! ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD? Yes, I wanna thank Coast 2 Coast for being a big part of my success in ’09. I fuck with y’all real heavy, know that! Also wanna shout out the fleet DJs and the mixtape syndicate for being a big part as well. Most of all I thank the people reading this, my supporters. Without y’all, there would be no DJ Ykcor and I know that. I appreciate every single one of y’all! www.twitter.com/DJYkcor, www.facebook.com/DJYkcor, www.myspace.com/DJYkcor, www.DJYkcor.com
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Cool Nutz has been a longtime staple in the Northwest hip hop scene since he co-founded Jus Family Records in 1992. With a slew of albums under his belt—not to mention countless tracks and performances with both industry heavyweights and local talent—he’s proven he has what it takes to survive in an industry that leaves little room for error or weakness. We caught up with Cool Nutz to talk with him about the mixtape game and Northwest/Portland hip hop. YOU’VE BEEN A CONSISTENT FORCE IN THE PORTLAND HIP HOP SCENE FOR SOME TIME NOW. HOW HAVE YOU SEEN IT CHANGE? The biggest change is the number of artists that are on the scene now. There has been a huge explosion in rappers in the city and a bigger number of young aspiring artists that are trying to make their mark. Another change would have to be the increase in the number of mixtapes versus albums from artists in the city as well. I think you also have to work harder to get the support of the fans now days as well. There’s so much music and so many artists that you have to put forth a bigger effort to get the fans’ attention. CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR NEW OR INDEPENDENT ARTISTS AS FAR AS ESTABLISHING THEMSELVES AND THEIR MUSIC? Work harder than everyone else. There is no magic formula and a lot of artists look for the easy way to the top. Now days the industry has changed, and it’s much more of a struggle. You have to be prepared for the long haul, as it’s way more challenging than years past. YOU HOST A RADIO PROGRAM, THE NW BREAKOUT RADIO SHOW ON JAMMIN’ 107.5 FM. WHAT WAS YOUR MOTIVATION FOR STARTING THE SHOW, AND WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE? The radio show is a blessing, and when I came up with the idea, I was really concerned with opening some doors for local artists in the region. I think that we are at times ignored, and we needed a platform to expose the masses to the music. So I came up with an idea and pitched it to the station. They really liked it and gave me the green light to move forward. I hope to syndicate the show and get it placed on some stations nationally and let the people across the nation get familiar with what is going on out here in the Great Northwest. TELL US ABOUT YOUR RECENT COLLABORATION WITH COAST 2 COAST MIXTAPES ON THE RELEASE OF “THE BREAKOUT MIXTAPE VOL. 1.” HOW HAS THE RESPONSE BEEN SO FAR? “The Breakout Mixtape” goes along with the radio show, and we release it featuring ALL clean music from the radio show. We are looking for ways to creatively network with companies like Coast 2 Coast. We are looking to connect the entire Northwest and get the support of the fans and other artists. The response has been great, and there is still more work to be done. It’s all about the people. YOU CURRENTLY HAVE A SINGLE OUT WITH BOSKO, “LOVE IZ.” IT’S A LITTLE DIFFERENT SOUND THAN WE’RE USED TO HEARING FROM YOU, WHAT INSPIRED THE SONG? It’s just time elevate the music and push a more grown up envelope. You have to evolve with music and make needed changes. I am very confident about “Love Iz,” and I think that it has a lot of potential. It’s really just about relationships and love, and what people go through when they love each other. It won’t always be pretty. ARE THERE ANY OTHER ARTISTS OR DJS YOU ARE WORKING WITH CURRENTLY? DJ Fatboy, DJ O.G. One, Dubble 00, Potluck, T&E, Mr. D.O.G, Lil Fats, Todd G, Spark Diggler, HI-Q, and a few others. ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD? Just to support your fellow man and come together with a bigger picture. www.JusFamilyRecords.com, www.myspace.com/coolnutz, www.twitter.com/coolnutz
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California rapper Roccett is no stranger to the ups-and-downs of the music industry. Recently released from his contract with Young Jeezy’s label to pursue his own ventures, Roccett is grinding harder than ever to make a name for himself in the hip hop game. FOR THOSE WHO MAY NOT KNOW, TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR MOVEMENT, GET YOUR GREEN UP. I’m Roccett, reppin the West Coast, state to state, hood to hood, city to city. I keep it one hundred in my music, I do music ‘cause that’s what I love to do, but I’m not one of these made up rappers. Get Your Green Up is my label with my manager, Rick Edwards. That’s us reppin us and us getting our business right. That’s the blueprint, the beginning, we buildin’ it from scratch. But we got the homies and some artists we will put out or develop once we get me all the way right. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED RAPPING? I been doing music it seem like forever, but really got in the studio and started making songs about five years ago. But we was banging on tables, freestylin’ all through school. YOU RECENTLY PARTED WAYS WITH YOUNG JEEZY AND CTE. HOW HAS THIS AFFECTED YOUR CAREER PLANS AND MUSIC? It hasn’t, I been grindin’. If I was in a situation in which the label or Jeezy was pushing the buttons, making things happen, then I may have been affected. On the real, if that was the case I wouldn’t of had to leave. If someone isn’t helping you in this game, they probably hurting you. WOULD YOU CONSIDER SIGNING WITH ANOTHER LABEL? Yeah I am already talkin’ to other labels, artists, and situations. It’s a business, and if good business come to the table I will definitely take advantage. I mess with a lot of people, a lot of major artists. But until that, we on this indie grind and won’t stop. YOU RECENTLY DROPPED “THE FREE AGENT” WITH DJ DRAMA. TELL US ABOUT THE PROJECT. It’s all original music, definitely has an album feel. I approach all my projects with concepts and thoughts of being street albums. Drama and I been cool, and with my new situation and being a free agent, I felt it was time to put something out. The selection was just me putting together songs that fit together, so my fans can ride through the whole thing. ARE THERE ANY ARTISTS OR DJS YOU’VE BEEN WORKING WITH, OR PLAN TO IN THE NEAR FUTURE? I done worked with everyone. I got a project coming with DJ Scream, Whoo Kid, and Skee. Got an international project coming with DJ Maleek, and some other international DJs. WHAT ROLE HAS THE MIXTAPE GAME PLAYED IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR? WILL YOU CONTINUE TO PUT THEM OUT? Mixtapes are the reason why you interviewing me. It’s been the way I have spread my music across the country, into Europe, etcetera. Mixtapes is practice, development, growth of the music. It’s that simple. With these record sales declining and a lack of good music, mixtapes really keeping the core interested in hip hop. Yeah I’ll definitely keep feeding the streets new music, that’s how my fan base will continue to grow. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON IN 2010? I’m always recording for my album. Got another project with Drama coming. Just really working, and gonna keep working. ANYTHING ELSE? Thanks for having me, and the support. Shout to all my peoples, Team Roccett, and the fans, I do this for the fans. I mess with Coast 2 Coast. www.twitter.com/iamroccett www.myspace.com/roccett www.iamroccett.com www.youtube.com/roccetttv www.roccett.com/blog
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The current trend in marketing and promoting your single to industry contacts is a strong e-mail campaign. E-blasts give record labels, music artists, and marketing departments the opportunity to use today’s web technology to their full advantage. An e-blast will digitally distribute music to an extensive list of DJs, radio stations’ PDs/MDs, label A&Rs, record breakers, record pools, bloggers, magazines, TV stations, publicists, websites, major labels, indie labels, and more. An e-blast can be the key to saving your company thousands of dollars in pressing and distributing vinyl and CDs to DJs who might not play your music. The following is a list of companies with e-blast packages that I would recommend and have used personally for my clients: DIGITAL WAXX SERVICE (WWW.DIGIWAXXMEDIA.COM) Feedback is sent directly to clients from registered DJs and programming contacts. These reports include statistical breakdowns of DJs’ and tastemakers’ impressions of music, segmented nationally, regionally, or per respondent. Rates start at $1,500. RAPSTARZ PROMOTIONS (WWW.RAPSTARPROMO.COM) Rapstarz Promotions has the largest verified list, and it continues to grow internationally. It is also expanding its larger packages to include the option to take part in the Million DJ Conference Call that hosts over 1,000 DJs per call. E-blast rates start at $250. MP3WAXX (WWW.MP3WAXX.COM) MP3Waxx allows clients to network with its contacts directly after their music is serviced by the company. MP3Waxx takes pride in working directly with all of the national and international DJ coalitions. Rates start at $300. BOTTOM FEEDER (WWW.BOTTOMFEEDERMUSIC.NET) Bottom Feeder has a great work ethic, is very focused on clients needs, and targets e-mails directly to the major DJs and industry clients that have the power to break records. Rates start at $150. COAST 2 COAST MIXTAPES SERVICES (WWW.COAST2COASTMIXTAPES.COM/SERVICES) Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes offers numerous services from e-mail blasts to mixtape and promotion packages. It has partnerships with every e-blast company listed above, and has the ability to send out discounted blasts to all e-blast services with larger promotion and mixtape packages. Rates start at $500 for mixtape promotion packages and $1,000 for DJ Coalition packages.
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Singer/rapper Lumidee may be known as the Queen of Spanish Harlem, but she could well be called Superwoman. With hit singles in the states and mad international success, two albums, several mixtapes, a radio show, and an entertainment company, it seems there’s nothing she can’t do. Coast 2 Coast caught up with her recently to discuss her current mixtape, the upcoming album, and more.
WHAT’S UP LUMIDEE, WELCOME TO COAST 2 COAST MAGAZINE. YOU RELEASED YOUR NEW MIXTAPE “LUMINADEE” WITH COAST 2 COAST, AND IT’S GENERATING A LOT OF BUZZ AND GETTING DOWNLOADS. TELL US ABOUT THE PROJECT. Thanks for having me. That’s great man, I mean I’m glad. It’s pretty different, so I don’t really know how certain people react to it. Every track is like different from the next, so there’s certain things that people might not like on it, and things that they probably do like on it. It’s pretty much a mixture of all the different styles of music I do. YOUR UPCOMING ALBUM IS STREET POP. YOU’RE WORKING ON THAT IN NEW YORK NOW? I’m working on the album, yeah. We just dropped the mixtape, and this past weekend I was just recording the video for “The End of Time.” That’s the joint that’s on the mixtape that’s like a real song, you know? That could be like a potential single for the album, so that’s a joint that I’m really feeling. We just shot the video for that. I’m excited about it, I think it’s gonna be really hot. “LUMINADEE” REALLY SHOWS HOW VERSATILE YOUR STYLE IS. DOES THE MIXTAPE GIVE US AN IDEA OF WHAT WE’RE GOING TO HEAR ON THE ALBUM? Yeah, kind of, but I think on the album it will definitely tell more of a story, you know. Not that the mixtape is random, but it is kind of, because there’s songs we put on there because they were features that I did in different places that were released, but people didn’t know how to get them, you know. So the mixtape is pretty random in that way, where the album will be meshed together. It will make a lot of sense, and it’s gonna tell more of a story. And I think it’s going to be more like the definition of my style, that’s why I’m calling it Street Pop. I feel that people consider me a pop artist, but then they consider me a street artist, too. YOU’VE COLLABORATED WITH A LOT OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE. IT’S DEFINITELY NOT ALL HIP HOP. Yeah, I mean that’s why I say I pretty much don’t wanna be in a box, you know. Being that I travel so much and everything, it’s opened my mind to doing different things. I’ve expanded more. It just takes you further as an artist, I think, and as a person. There’s just so many people out there. Not that I’m trying to please everybody, but if you can do all different types of music, and like to do it, why not?
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YOU’VE ENJOYED A LOT OF SUCCESS INTERNATIONALLY. ARE YOU STILL DOING A LOT OVERSEAS? I’ve had a lot more singles and videos released overseas, and they have been successful. They show me a lot of love out there, and I never thought chasing my dreams would take me that far. Pretty much like every other weekend I go overseas, you know, we book shows. So I’ll be gone for the weekend, do a show Friday, Saturday, and I’ll be back Sunday, so it’s cool. SO THEN DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU CAN KIND OF RELAX WHEN YOU’RE AT HOME? I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY YOU’RE STILL WORKING AND DOING YOUR THING, BUT… Exactly. I can do shows here, but going overseas is just such a bigger market…that’s the moneymaker for me right there. I can do shows over here, and I’ll make money and everything, but overseas is like triple. Out there it’s like, if they wanna see you, they really paying. It’s not like over here where they try to lowball you all the time. And don’t get me wrong, I’ll do the shows here, just to keep yourself out there, you know. I have fans out here, so I gotta do shows for them. ‘Cause it’s not always about the money. It’s just that certain people ask, and it’s like, don’t come at me like that! [laughs] You just feel like, really? Then there’s things that I just wanna do, and I probably don’t even have to be paid. Especially, certain DJs that supported my music for years. I’ll do a show for them in a second because I don’t ever forget what people do for me. CLUB NEW YORK IS YOUR RADIO SHOW. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT THAT? I have my DJ, DJ Suave, he’s the DJ on the show. Then I have my artist, Chase Manhattan, and my co-host Shante. It’s called Club New York, so we do like a drink of the week, and whoever comes on as the guest, they name the drink, they help us make it. Then we’re pretty much talking about things that are going on, news, gossip, things that are buzz-worthy [laughs]. And we interview upcoming artists, and even people who are on right now. But I like to do the upcoming artist thing, it’s a shot to get them more comfortable with interviews and things like that, and you know, give them a little bit of exposure. You can watch it online, people all over can see it. It’s www.DTFradio. com. You can see all of the previous shows there. In order to watch it live, you go to www.DTFradioplaypen.com. It’s on from nine to eleven every Tuesday. TELL US ABOUT LOGY MUSIC ENT. WHAT SHOULD WE BE LOOKING OUT FOR IN THE NEAR FUTURE? Logy Music is my company. I’m working with my artist, Chase Manhattan, and we in the works of shooting a video that’s coming up, and shopping a deal for him. And DJ Suave, we’re trying to kinda break him into doing some Fat Man Scoop stuff [laughing]. Not exactly Fat Man Scoop, but we like, “you got the voice, you should jump on tracks, try to hype ‘em up.” He’s breaking into that, so we’re getting him in the studio now and stuff. ANYTHING ELSE? Of course, shout out to Coast 2 Coast, thank you so much for all the love. I definitely appreciate Coast 2 Coast. It’s not like y’all have to deal with me! www.myspace.com/lumidee, www.twitter.com/thereallumidee
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BEDO TURKOGLU - AWAKE OF DA SLEEPIN’ GIANT DJ Drama is widely known as the biggest mixtape DJ ever, using the streets and the mixtape circuit to break Southern artists such as Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, and many more. Although most listeners have never heard of New Dirty Ent. recording artist Bedo Turkoglu, it’s the DJ Drama Gangsta Grillz co-sign which draws listeners in to giving “Awake of Da Sleepin’ Giant” a chance. Once they give it a chance, they are sure to be pleased by Bedo Turkoglu’s new and refreshing sound. Bedo mixes a Southern slang and rap style with universal content that switches between braggadocios swag lyrics and heartfelt topics. For the most part, it’s nothing we haven’t heard before, but it definitely gets the job done when riding in the whip or just bumpin’ some bass-heavy beats at the crib. Production on the mixtape seems to be mostly all original beats, and independent guest appearances are sprinkled throughout, including Danga Montana, J-Terra, Terrance Nobles, Rude Boi, Soundman, and more. Although it’s a solid project that you can listen to all the way through, “Life Of A Real Nigga,” “Workin,” and “Chasin Dollaz” are the highlights of the mixtape. Using DJ Drama and the Gangsta Grillz brand has allowed Bedo to begin sweeping the streets and Internet as a hot new artist, while his flow and delivery leave room for a possible bright future in the mainstream industry. Reminiscent of Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy, history has shown that there’s room for artists like Bedo in the industry, especially with DJ Drama opening the door up for them. LUMIDEE - LUMINADEE BY S.C. SANBORN The Queen of Spanish Harlem is back with another set of smooth vocals splayed over club beats and drawn out synth lines. In Lumidee’s new mixtape, “Lumiadee,” we hear a solid set of potent club and dance cuts interspersed with some harder tracks that show a rawer side to the singer/rapper. Her versatile style and delivery coalesce the mix into a solid spectrum of unexpected and satisfying tracks. The mixtape is hosted by her own DJ Suave, and features a heavy lineup, including Piff Unit, DJ Webstar, N.O.R.E., and more. Tracks like “God is a DJ” and “Work” remind you of a packed dance floor littered with gyrating bodies. “Ride Dat Wave” is an infectious, bass-heavy rap/ dance track that features DJ Frosty. These quickly give way to a harder side however, as tracks like “Don’t Stop” and “So Fly” reveal a heavier block influence, and remind you that Lumidee was a rapper before we ever heard her reggaetoninfused love songs. Lumidee’s lyrics put in your mind that she was “born to shine,” and that her international game has been on point for years: “Gettin’ money / dinero / pounds / pesos / Euros / francs / c’mon baby I break banks.” The mixtape also features Lumidee’s appearance on the track “Bonfire,” by the Danish dance group Enur, among the many collaborations here. “Luminadee” definitely gets the buzz going for Lumidee’s upcoming album. As a whole, this mixtape bangs all the way through, and is definitely worth the download for those of you who appreciate a mix of styles and love to get down. THE NORTHWEST BREAKOUT SHOW MIXTAPE VOL. 1 The Northwest is a region that has always been overlooked by the rest of the country when it comes to hip hop. With hardly any support from local radio or DJs, the industry and major labels have not yet caught wind of the pocket of talented artists in the Northwest. Recently, Portland radio station Jammin’ 107.5 FM opened up a two-hour primetime broadcast dedicated to playing local and independent artists from the Northwest. The Northwest Breakout Show airs Saturdays from 6–8 p.m. The host is Cool Nutz, a hip hop artist and business mogul that reigns as the king of Portland and the greater Northwest’s hip hop scene. Cool Nutz uses this outlet to shine a light on all artists who submit music from Oregon, Washington, and beyond. Since Coast 2 Coast is based in the Northwest, we linked up with Cool Nutz and the Northwest Breakout Show to release a mixtape in the series every few months featuring the music that is playing on the show. The first installment of was mixed by DJ Fatboy, and features tracks from Cool Nutz, Bosko, Illaj, Lil Fats, T. Soprano, Mikey Vegaz, Illmaculate, Ray Ray (G-ism), Maniac Lok, Meezalini, Grynch, Todd G, Graymaker, T&E, Soul P, 6ix, D.Black, Gray Matters, Joker Da Bailbondsman, Ya Boy, Ambedext, and more. The mixtape is a great example of some of the talent coming out of the Northwest region that is being overlooked. Thanks to Cool Nutz, Jammin 107.5’s Northwest Breakout Show and Coast 2 Coast, Northwest hip hop artists are beginning to get the recognition they deserve.
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DJ WHIPLASH AND BIGGMAN - PURE TITANIUM BY S.C. SANBORN Coast 2 Coast DJ Coalition member DJ Whiplash is back at it with another mixtape, “Pure Titanium,” this time partnering with Bay Area rapper Biggmann. The first track of this mixtape says it all: “Dis is da mixtape.” With a blatant style that blasts his flow into your ears like an M16 with the trigger taped down, Biggmann lays down blistering lyrics over trance inducing beats in a massacre of seconds and syllables. Shamelessly promoting his Twitter and Myspace pages doesn’t cause even a moment’s pause. A claim on Biggmann’s said page states that “No matter what happens, if [he] didn’t have a way to make music, he would find a way and would still get his work done.” At first glance, this might seem slightly ridiculous, but with my ears still ringing from the first listen to “Pure Titatium,” it sounds more than plausible. While the style and technique shows no traces of anything exceptionally original and fresh, the product is nonetheless irresistible. Within the complacency of staying in the bounds of routine, the tracks of “Pure Titanium” nonetheless represent a solid and exceptional blend of clever vocals and well-produced beats, not to mention that they feature Whiplash’s considerable skills on the turntables. Tracks like “Routine Thang,” “Thugged Out,” and “You Gotta Give It To Me” invoke a street roots message and represent a lineup of bangers that can’t be ignored. The duo has undeniably produced, for lack of a better phrase, solid titanium.
COAST 2 COAST GERMANY VOL. 1 BY S.C. SANBORN As a kickoff to the November 2009 expansion into the German market, DJ Khaled hosts “Coast 2 Coast Germany Vol. 1.” With a star-studded lineup far too long to list, and a major US DJ to host, this mixtape definitely couldn’t miss. Featuring an end-to-end lineup of potential and realized hits, including everything from the New Boyz’ “Tie Me Down” to Snoop and The Dream’s “Gangsta Luv,” along with a German influence that adds an indelible touch of Coast 2 Coast Deutschland to each track, the mix is a solid opener to this new series. After an infectious C2C Germany intro by Peakant featuring Voiz, the mix starts off heavy with Nelly and Diddy covering B.I.G.’s “100 Stacks” and doesn’t ever let off the gas pedal. Snoop comes on next with his syrupy vocals that give contact highs to everyone within earshot, and suddenly you realize that you can’t tell where one track ends and another begins. The production is smooth and seamless, methodically blending the gathering of stars together like an all-star montage, interspersed with contributions from German hip hop artists. Even the lyrics spoken in German elicit a blatant charm evocative of a night at the club with the crew. While the mix represents a good showing of the Top 40 in the US, it still stays fresh and clean, even if you’re not usually a huge fan of radio. Listen to this one with caution, it might never leave your playlist.
MIZZ-SOMETHIN’ TO PROVE VOL. 1 BY S.C. SANBORN Formerly of Locosa Nostra, Mizz has pushed his solo career with a nonchalance that borders on negligence. The Dallas rapper, despite being busy setting up his own label and publishing company, has found the time to put together a solid mixtape in “Somethin’ To Prove Vol. 1.” While some of his lyrics and vocals leave something to be desired, his composed demeanor and slow flow (almost reminiscent of Devin the Dude at times) over a variety of industry beats blend together to make a thoroughly entertaining and accessible mix. The track “Out of My Mind” is arguably the most telling on the mix of the general motif and message that Mizz brings to the table. With a distorted piano riff and a generic drum kit, Mizz makes a hit out of mediocrity, a trait that permeates his style. Perpetuating this theme, the tracks “Right From Wrong,” “Daily Routine,” and “Make A Change” demonstrate a placid, easy going, and often humorous persona that is true to the essence of the music for music’s sake. “Make A Change” invokes an R&B feel, which Mizz uses to stylistically mold his flow into a positive message of progression and change. “Music is my baby” he claims, “[and] it really has changed me.” This is highly evident here, especially when you realize that not all music is about pushing records, changing your mind, or arguing an agenda. Some music is made just to be made, and some musicians are made to make it that way. Mizz takes this concept and, without blinking an eye, proves it to you.
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JOELL ORTIZ - ROAD KILL Joell Ortiz is widely known as the underground artist who signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Records in 2008; however, recently he has been better recognized as onequarter of the hip hop supergroup Slaughterhouse. Standing beside three other worldrenowned lyricists, Joell Ortiz holds down the Brooklyn sector of Slaughterhouse, while Joe Budden reps Jersey, Royce Da 5’9” claims Detroit, and Crooked I gives it up for Long Beach, CA. Together the four elite hip hop artists have been able to bring lyrics and talent back to the forefront of the hip hop scene, using the Internet and blogs to their advantage more than any other artist or group in history. Before Slaughterhouse, Joell Ortiz was no stranger to the mixtape circuit, so even after the group started to prosper, he continued to kill the Internet and mixtape scene on a solo tip. His latest solo mixtape, “Road Kill,” was recorded and put together while he was touring around the country with Slaughterhouse producer, engineer, and DJ, Frequency a.k.a Freq. “Road Kill” brings back the original hip hop mixtape essence, while Joell Ortiz kills beat after beat with constant lyrics and punchlines, leaving hardly any room for hooks or bridges. Underground hip hop fans will have no shortage of verses to admire on the project, while others may be more receptive to deep and introspective tracks such as “Make It Without You,” where Joell delves into his emotions, discussing the recent passing of his grandmother. “Soldier” offers a refreshing new approach to making a song, as Ortiz puts on a playful British accent throughout the whole track. Overall, the project is another underground classic mixtape from Joell Ortiz, and should hold fans over until his album Free Agent drops later this year. RHANE P - THE ELEMENT BY S.C. SANBORN RhaNe P is trying to change the hip hop game as we know it. The 27-year-old Virginia Beach artist, known for rhythmic lyrics and an eclectic blend of beats, wants to adapt hip hop into the modern day, making it less about “ice, guns and chicks in thongs,” and more about the meaning behind the music. “There’s a lot of personality in the music,” he says “And people can definitely understand what I’m talking about.” His new mixtape “The Element,” hits this open-minded agenda in spades. Listening through the mix, it’s easy to see why RhaNe P is proud to be leading the movement against hip hop’s predictable message. His message is never more clear than on “Don’t Compare Me,” where he raps “The fact is RahNe’s a backpack rapper / I travel and write ‘bout real life bastards / I got my moments where I talk about I’ll hurt you / but never kill, that’s why I’m borderline commercial.” From gut-check bangers to chilled out kick-backs, RhaNe P will surprise you with his mellow versatility. Tracks like “The Great 3” infuse laid-back lyrics and old school lo-fi beats with a modern mentality that bridges the gap between the good ol’ days and the Top 40 banger hits that rock clubs to the foundations. On the other hand, remix tracks like “Harder” and “Say Ahh” lay drop-beat vocals over the chopped up synth lines that show his more commercial side. TRUTH SPEAKS - THE HUMAN CONDITION BY S.C. SANBORN Highlighted on Truth Speaks’ Myspace page is the message “Success requires no apologies, Failure permits no alibis.” His new mixtape, “The Human Condition,” is a clear example of this mentality. With a biting honesty and down-to-earth style, Truth Speaks lays melodic lyrics over bouncy beats and smooth synth lines, ultimately creating a laid-back flow that establishes a link between the golden era of hip hop and the new wave of hip hop artists. His combination of a soulful message of perseverance and being true to one’s self is refreshing in that it offers a positive, yet gritty, viewpoint that is applicable to daily life. You can tell that Truth Speaks has not only lived the life of the average man, but that he has lived the failures and set-backs as well, and has strived to triumph above them. Tracks like “Grown Man” and “Fork In The Road” draw a vivid picture of building a future from the ground up, using only the skin of one’s knuckles and raw ambition. At one point on the track “One of These Days” he calls out: “Just believe in me man, please.” This appeal for support is evidence of his status as a regular guy, rather than the artists that try to make themselves better than you, and makes the words he says that much more meaningful. Through all of his honesty and self-reflection however, is an interlaced and ever-present note of optimism. This is especially evident in the upbeat track “Finally,” where he raps about his successes in a relieved tone that reminds you of your own struggle.
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SNOOP DOGG - MALICE N WONDERLAND After so many years in the game, it’s amazing that Snoop Dogg stays current in a changing hip hop market that caters to kids more than anyone. Snoop is one of the only artists who has remained so relevant throughout the years and has managed to be profitable through the downturn in the music market and economy. Malice N Wonderland is a balancing act between a new-and-improved Snoop that the kids can relate to, and the original gangsta that the hip hop audience fell in love with in the ’90s. Tracks like “1800” cater to the new audience, with Bay Area influenced bounce and references to dances that kids are doing nowadays such as “Jerkin’.” The Dream-assisted single “Gangsta Luv” appeals to the mainstream and has been a very successful commercial release. The song “2 Minute Warning” is proof that Snoop can still spit with the best of them, as he goes in over a hard beat with the slick and witty lyrics that we remember from early in his career. Although the album has not done what it was intended to sales-wise, the Internet and streets have been loyal to the record, and Snoop of course has no shortage of primetime radio and television exposure. Taking advantage of the new fast-paced music industry, Snoop is prepared to re-release the album with bonus tracks and a mini movie entitled More Malice, which is slated for release March 9, 2010.
CLIPSE - TIL THE CASKET DROPS After releasing two previous albums that many hip hop critics consider classics, Clipse is back with another home run, titled Til the Casket Drops. The album is a testament to the pair’s growth as artists as they transitioned from the streets, to the studio, and finally to the business and fashion world. Often referred to as one of the best rap duos ever, Malice and Pusha T are no strangers to the limelight of the hip hop industry; however, the recent success of their clothing line, Play Cloths, has catapulted them to the top of a quickly expanding fashion and music empire. Commercially successful singles from the album such as “Popular Demand,” “Kinda Like a Big Deal,” and “I’m Good” have kept Clipse busy on radio and TV, while more underground bangers such as “Door Man,” “Showing Out,” and “Freedom” have kept the Internet and blogs in a frenzy. The two have managed to create a record with a consistent vibe throughout, while still having songs to fit everyone and every different mood. With Pharrell and The Neptunes in its corner, the production on the album is phenomenal all the way through. Guest appearances on the project are diverse, and range from pop icons like Kanye West, Pharrell, and Keri Hilson, to hip hop stars like Cam’ron and Yo Gotti. “Freedom” is the highlight of the album, serving as a powerful intro to a project that focuses on the growth of the pair as artists, entrepreneurs, and people. The outro, “Life Change” draws a perfect conclusion and leaves listeners with a sense of coming full circle. Til the Casket Drops is definitely another classic hip hop album under Clipse’s belt. KENDRICK LAMAR – KENDRICK LAMAR EP Kendrick Lamar was more commonly known as the artist K. Dot, running with Warner Bros./Top Dawg Ent. recording artist Jay Rock. While label-mate Jay Rock has been waiting on a date for his debut album to drop, both he and Lamar have taken to the blog and mixtape scenes to continue their buzz and keep putting out their music to the fans. Recently, K. Dot reverted to his birth name, Kendrick Lamar, and has taken a whole new approach to his music, as he geared up for the release of his first solo project, Kendrick Lamar EP on Top Dawg Ent. The project is an alloriginal album, but was released as a free EP or “FreEp” on the Internet for fans to download. Kendrick Lamar takes fans on a journey through his life as a self-proclaimed “good kid from Compton that just wants to rap...” With almost too-honest content and a crazy original flow, Lamar chops each track with intelligent lyrics and concepts woven into complex rhyme schemes. He provides the listener with a refreshing stance on the life of a West Coast artist, keeping it as real as it gets, and offering an all but comical perspective on the way TV and mainstream artists portray life. Label-mates Jay Rock and Ab-Soul make guest appearances, along with Big Pooh from Little Brother, and more. Blogs and websites have been showing Lamar love on a consistent basis, and have definitely served as a great platform to get this free EP to the masses. It is a truly amazing piece of work for an artist just coming out of the gate, leaving us wondering what’s to come in the future of Kendrick Lamar.
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WHAT’S UP JOHNNIE FLOSS? TELL THE WORLD ABOUT YOUR MOVEMENT. My movement starts with my production team, Traxx 1st Productions LLC. I’m their first artist. FOR THOSE NEW TO THE NAME, TELL US WHERE IT CAME FROM? It came from one of my producers, J.Dot. First my name was Teflon John, but he felt that didn’t fit me. So he came up with Johnnie Floss because that’s what I represent. Being flashy and flossy. WHEN DID HIP HOP GRAB YOUR ATTENTION AND MAKE YOU DECIDE TO FOLLOW IT AS A CAREER PATH? I had to be 13 or 14. I had to do a poetry assignment, but I turned it into a rhyme. Plus I had a lot of people in my neighborhood saying, “you’re really good at it,” so that gave me the motivation to pursue it full time. WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES? I know these might sound cliché or corny, but definitely Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Nas, Tupac, and a few others. I also get influenced by music other than hip hop, like R&B and jazz, because it’s relaxing and it helps me write. BEING FROM BROOKLYN, NY YOU HAVE SOME BIG SHOES TO FILL—NO PUN INTENDED. HOW DO YOU INTEND TO REP FOR YOUR BOROUGH AND MAKE YOUR PREDECESSORS PROUD? Just by making good music and showing you can relate to me through my bars. A lot of artists have similar stories, but it’s how you bring your story to life that sets you apart from the rest of the pack. LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM ABOUT TO DROP, FLOSSIN 24/7. WHAT CAN NEW FANS EXPECT TO EXPERIENCE? They can experience getting to know me on a personal level because I’m not just attacking one style of music. Yes, I’m a hip hop artist, but there is going to be all types of different genres on this album. WHO ARE SOME OF THE ARTISTS AND PRODUCERS YOU WORKED WITH? As far as producers, of course my team, Traxx 1st Productions, Fantum, Sev da Producer, and a few more in the works. As far as artists, I worked with Lex (from the group Mr. Peterson—UMA winners in ‘08), ChesZarae (female R&B), Fantum (Bang’Em Beats Inc.), and a few others in the works. WHAT WAS YOUR CREATIVE APPROACH TO MAKING THE ALBUM, AND WHAT DO YOU WANT PEOPLE TO SAY ONCE THEY HAVE LISTENED? My approach was to be as versatile as possible. I want my listeners to want to play the album over and over. I want them to feel like they can’t pick a favorite song because they love all of them. WHAT’S NEXT ON THE AGENDA FOR 2010? Definitely bigger and better things. Bigger features, and bigger records. Also to work with the best that’s out there. So get at me if you want to work with me. ANY LAST WORDS? Shout outs to my team, Traxx 1st Productions, J.dot, Ghost, Gameface, The Kid Realist, Blade Brown, and Romel. Flia Ent., Fantum, J. Hatch and everybody at Inasirkl, Coast 2 Coast for the opportunity, the whole borough of Brooklyn, and all my haters. Special shout outs to my cousin Kenny, Traci, and Grammy. R.I.P. This is all dedicated to ya’ll. www.twitter.com/johnniefloss, www.myspace.com/johnniefloss, www.sonicbids.com/johnniefloss, www.youtube.com/johnniefloss247, www.facebook.com/johnnieflocker
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HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME A RECORDING ARTIST? I have been an avid writer my entire life and always had a ton of respect for the written word. It was my third consecutive listen of Wu-Tang’s 36 Chambers that drove me to put my writings over a hip hop backbone. WHERE ARE YOU BASED? Houston, TX. WHAT’S THE CURRENT PROJECT YOU’RE PROMOTING? My first solo mixtape, “Who Do You Believe In?” which is hosted by DJ Vlad and Coast 2 Coast’s own DJ Smoke is dropping January 19, 2010. ARE THERE ANY ARTISTS OR DJS YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITH? As far as DJs, I would have to say DJ Smallz. Being from the South, “Southern Smoke” is almost the Mecca of mixtapes. Having my own tape in the series would be my ultimate “Mama, I made it!” moment. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS CAREER-WISE FOR 2010? Dropping “Who Do You Believe In?” January 19, dropping my first video for my single “Sorority Girl” on February 14, and releasing my next single “But A Dream” to iTunes and all other digital music stores on April 20. The rest I’m going to take as it comes. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE MIXTAPE GAME AND MARKET? Mixtapes are a beautiful thing. For a new artist it’s a place for him to show and prove and get the attention of potential fans or future colleagues, and it provides the chance for more established artists to release something for the love of music and without the constraints of a major label project. WHERE DO YOU THINK THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS HEADED AS A WHOLE? There is no predicting it, but I do feel that a common ground is going to have to be reached where fans can consume the actual product for free but the artist/labels/distributors still get compensated. Don’t look at me for the answer though, all I do is rap. www.kylehubbardhtx.com, www,facebook.com/kylehubbardhtx HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME A RECORDING ARTIST? I used to always be around my peers quoting real witty punch lines—or swag jabs as I call ‘em—with crazy wordplay, and they always asked me who it was, and I used to be like “some new shit I just heard,” just to get a response. I started puttin’ songs together and recording along with my extended fam, Young Harlem and Klock. WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY BASED? Atlanta, GA, by way of Mars. WHAT’S THE CURRENT PROJECT YOU’RE PROMOTING? I’m wrapping up my debut mixtape at the moment, entitled “Swag Of A Astronaut,” hosted by The Empire and DJ Amazin’. ARE THERE ANY ARTISTS OR DJS YOU’VE BEEN WORKING WITH, OR WOULD LIKE TO? I started with the fam, UpSouth, which consists of myself, Young Harlem, and Klock. Bohagon also made an appearance on the mixtape. As far as DJs, I’ve worked with The Empire, Digital Product, P Exclusivez, DJ L-Gee, DJ Ill Will, you know, the quality ones. ARE YOU PLANNING TO DO MIXTAPES IN THE FUTURE? Actually, I’m already workin’ on the second mixtape entitled “Swag Ain’t Dead,” and I’m looking at getting DJ Spinatik to host that one, but we’ll see. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE MIXTAPE GAME AND MARKET? I’m lovin’ it, it ain’t watered down like the industry stuff is. The artist has more control over how they want their career or buzz to turn rather than having somebody mold you, feel me? ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD? Support the movement. Astronaut Gang, we in here. Get the mixtape “Swag Of A Astronaut,” hosted by The Empire and DJ Amazin’, get the “Money Talkz” by Young Harlem, hosted by The Empire and DJ Amazin’, we turned all the way up. I appreciate y’all for the opportunity, fa real. www.twitter.com/SSJETSON, www.myspace.com/swagstarprince, www.youtube.com/swagstarprince5
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HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME A RECORDING ARTIST? I started rapping when I was 11 years old. I would take my radio and put it up to the other radio. Take my instrumentals and record and make my own tapes. I found that writing was a way for me to release the stress and depression I was going through as a teenager. My love for hip hop inspired me to create good music. I knew I could do it like all the rappers I looked up to. ARE YOU CURRENTLY WITH A RECORD LABEL? Right now I have my indie label, Big Biznis Records. We are looking for a distribution deal to get our music out there. WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY BASED? Oklahoma City. The hip hop scene here is lacking. That’s where my label comes in. I’m gonna change that. WHAT’S THE CURRENT PROJECT YOU’RE PROMOTING? I just hosted a mixtape by DJ Gamble out of South Carolina. It’s called “Dirty Homegrown Vol 2.” You can download it for free at mixtapefactory.com. WHAT CAN LISTENERS EXPECT TO HEAR FROM YOUR MUSIC? My music is lyrical, creative, original. I like to have fun with my music, but I also like to have a point in the songs I create. You will always get versatility from me. From my music people can expect truth, no outlandish lies about the lavish life. I touch some issues that some rappers don’t touch, like love and heartbreak—we all go through it. I’m that rapper that has a love side to me also. ARE THERE ANY ARTISTS OR DJS YOU’VE BEEN WORKING WITH, OR WOULD LIKE TO? I just finished a track with my man Poetic the Prophet out of Oklahoma City. My artist Flame Gutta is out in the country right now, so I work with him whenever I can. Of course, I would like to work with all the famous people, but most of all I would like to work with every up-and-coming artist. I got enough 16s in me for that! I have worked with DJ Cire, DJ Ames, DJ Gamble, and DJ Mr. Everyday 247 out of my hometown in Michigan. I would like to work with all the top DJs—DJ P-Cutta, DJ Whoo Kid, DJ Drama. I would also like to work with every single up-and-coming DJ, so y’all hit me up for hot tracks and 16s. Also shout Cold Phonic out of Cali. They threw me a beat for my track “The Outer Zone.” WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER PLANS FOR 2010? I plan on doing shows again in the spring. I’m putting together a street team so I can flood the block with my music and hit the four corners of the city. I’m looking for a booking agent that can put together a small-town tour. I will be shopping music this year for the first time in my career. I’m pretty awesome on the mic. Professionally, I plan to have my label at the highest point it has ever been. HAVE YOU DONE OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO DO MIXTAPES IN THE FUTURE? I have hosted a mixtape by DJ Gamble called “Dirty Homegrown Vol 2.” I am on DJ Ames “International Hustle 14.” DJ Cire “The Theory 9,” DJ Mr. Everyday 24/7 “Stop Drop and Roll.” I will be on DJ Cire’s “The Theory 12,” coming out this February, and DJ Mr. Everyday 24/7 “Whaddup Doe Vol. 2” coming soon. You can look out for my mixtapes coming soon. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE MIXTAPE GAME AND MARKET? I think the mixtape game is where it’s at. It gives unsigned artists the chance for exposure. It also gives people a chance to get a taste of the famous artists all the time, even when it’s not a new CD in the store. It helps everybody, I think. Mixtapes are hip hop, the essence of hip hop—the emcee, the DJ. You never know as a hungry artist or DJ who will hear that mixtape. WHERE DO YOU THINK THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS HEADED AS A WHOLE? I think the music industry is suffering from a lack of creativity. Auto-Tune is being overused. Soon you wont be able to have a hit song unless you use it. But I have faith in the true songwriter, that the creativity and being original will come back…we need to work on the integrity of the music game. Different is good. We need different music. www.myspace.com/BigBiznisRecords, www.ourstage.com/profile/charlesjohnsonbigbiznisrecords
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WHEN AND HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME A RECORDING ARTIST? Well I never wanted to be a rapper, I only wanted to produce, so in 2005 after getting with my cousin EL-B-D, I learned how to make beats. I always knew I could rap but I never liked the sound of my voice. So I just would play around in the studio. Later on I did a couple of verses on my cousin’s first album. My lyrics was good but my delivery was garbage, real talk. So I started taking it serious and working on my voice. I think I got that part perfected now. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A RECORDING ARTIST? Like I said I never wanted to be a recording artist, I just wanted to produce. I love music, but when DSF first started I was going to be the producer. The other members rap, but they thought that it would be best if I was a part. So I said, “what the hell, I might as well try it,” and I loved it, so I started working hard at my flow. I think it was a good move for me. WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT RECORD LABEL? Well my label is DSF Ent. a.k.a. Dirty South Folks, but I have a deal with SMG (Sverid Music Group). WHAT CITY ARE YOU CURRENTLY BASED OUT OF? I’m currently in the small town of Bruce, MS, but I’m from the country outside of Bruce. We call it “Da Lake Road.” WHAT’S THE CURRENT PROJECT YOU’RE PROMOTING? My first album, Mississippi State of Mind. WHAT AND WHEN IS YOUR NEXT PROJECT? Well I’ma do a couple of mixtapes, then I’ma start on my group’s DSF album The Recreation coming 2010, plus I’ma drop my second album around November 2010. Keep ya eyes and ears open. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING CAREER WISE FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS? A lot of producing and working on mixtapes, and finishing up my album. Plus I’ve been doin’ a lot of reading on mixing and mastering. I do it all ya dig! WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER PLANS FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS? To do shows all over the world and to work with any- and everybody. HAVE YOU DONE OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO DO MIXTAPES IN THE FUTURE? Yeah I did one, but I do a lot of remixes. I will drop at least three mixtapes this year. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE MIXTAPE GAME AND MARKET? I love it, it’s an easy way to get heard and to keep your fans listening to you, plus getting new fans. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE IMPORTANCE OF DJS AND HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOU AS AN ARTIST? Well we need DJs, they can make your success easy or they can make it hard. The only thing I don’t like is when you workin’ yo ass off and you still can’t get played in the clubs, ‘cause the DJ wanna prove something. That’s bullshit, but they are very important. Where would the music game be without DJs? Who knows, could be better. But I doubt it. WHERE DO YOU THINK THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS HEADED AS A WHOLE? Well I think everybody is getting smarter ‘cause nobody is selling a million records any more, so we have to learn the business side ‘cause a lot of money is not being made. It’s best you do it yourself, so the new major labels will be your own. Independent! ARE THERE ANY OTHER VENTURES YOU WANT TO LET OUR READERS KNOW ABOUT? I plan on getting into movies later on, more on the writing side. Plus I wanna produce or write for every genre of music. ANYTHING ELSE? Go get the album on iTunes, Amazon, etc. Mississippi State of Mind. Da Monsta. www.myspace.com/iamdamonsta, www.twitter.com/iamdamonsta
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HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME RECORDING ARTISTS? Started recording together five years ago, collaborating as well as trading off both in the booth and behind the boards. Being producers and emcees, as well as brothers, working together was only natural. ARE YOU CURRENTLY WITH A RECORD LABEL? We have a one-album distribution deal with Koch Distribution through Affiliated Entertainment Group, based in Philadelphia. WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY BASED? JaKaBowls is based in Los Angeles. WHAT’S THE CURRENT PROJECT YOU’RE PROMOTING? We’re currently prepping the release of our debut album, SuperBowl, due out at the end of February. WHAT CAN LISTENERS EXPECT TO HEAR FROM YOUR MUSIC? Tons of partying with some edge to it. It’s definitely some music you can smoke and drink to. We have features from Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, and Nate Dogg to name a few. We’re all about making quality hip hop music and having a good time. ARE THERE ANY ARTISTS OR DJS YOU’VE BEEN WORKING WITH, OR WOULD LIKE TO? Other than the aforementioned features, we’ve also collaborated with G-Unit’s Tony Yayo and Konvict’s French Montana. As far as DJs, we’ve mainly been working with DJ Whookid’s Shadyville DJs. We’d love to work with Method Man and Redman, Cypress Hill, and Outkast, just to name a few. Hopefully we’ll get Banks on the next one, and continue working with great talent. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING CAREER-WISE FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS? Mainly collaborating with other artists, Young Money, G-Unit, Konvict. We’ve been doing shows all over the Los Angeles area and we’re always putting out new material, whether its tracks or mixtapes, we’re pretty much on the grind 24/7. WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER PLANS FOR 2010? We’re about to put out our debut album, SuperBowl. From there we’ll do shows, hopefully tour, and push the album. HAVE YOU DONE OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO DO MIXTAPES IN THE FUTURE? Loose Leaf’s first mixtape, “Keepin It Reel Vol.1,” was released through Coast 2 Coast with over 45,000 plays/downloads. Since then JaKaBowls has appeared on ten mixtapes in the past year and a half, with three mixtapes of our own as solo artists. We have a couple mixtapes planned with some big name DJs for later this year, but that’s still under wraps. Once the details are ironed out, you know Coast 2 Coast will be the first to know. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE MIXTAPE GAME AND MARKET? Mixtapes are a great promotional tool and sometimes the only place where you can find some of the hottest music. A funny thing you notice from mixtapes is that some artists leave their best material on their mixtapes and neglect their studio album. They may not knowingly or willingly do it, but they do it. So sometimes you might hear an artist and feel their studio album didn’t live up to the hype—go listen to their mixtapes. That’s the reason they have a studio album in the first place. WHERE DO YOU THINK THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS HEADED AS A WHOLE? The industry is flooded with artists, and with the Internet it’s only going to get more so. If you thought everyone and their moms wanted to be rappers before, the Internet has only multiplied that number exponentially. A lot of talent can be found with the Internet, which is great for the music industry, but with so many people going for the same goal it’s a lot harder for artists to get to the top and maintain that position. With album sales declining over the last few years, it’s easy to see why hip hop relies so heavily on mixtapes and will continue to do so. www.JaKaBowls.com, www.twitter.com/JaKaBowls
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WHEN AND HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME A PRODUCER? In 2005, right after I graduated from sound engineering school. WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME A PRODUCER? Every time I heard a song that was so tight—right after you hear it for the first time you can’t get it out of your head. I always wanted to make a song that brought and gave people that feeling. Like, this song is so good it could never die. WHAT’S YOUR CURRENT RECORD LABEL? Mr. Coates Productions WHAT CITY ARE YOU CURRENTLY BASED OUT OF? My studio is in Litchfield, AZ. WHAT’S THE CURRENT PROJECT YOU’RE PROMOTING? I’ve been working on my websites that are going to be put up soon, and I just finished doing background music for a clothing line website named Unbareable Apparel. And I’m getting tracks set up for Universal Records for a production deal. WHAT AND WHEN IS YOUR NEXT PROJECT? Well I think the next project to come out is an artist from Chicago named MILT that I’m working on, and that’s looking like it should be out in May. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING CAREER WISE FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS? Building my studio and my websites, getting the networking taken care of. WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER PLANS FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS? Getting more projects for more music to come out. I want to a bunch of different genres of music, not just hip hop. I want to make something that’s new and fresh, and it’s own style. HAVE YOU DONE OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO DO MIXTAPES IN THE FUTURE? I haven’t, but I think I’m gonna put one of MILT’s tracks on the next Coast 2 Coast mixtape. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE MIXTAPE GAME AND MARKET? I think it’s a great way for underground artists to shine and get looked at. But as for mainstream artists, I think they need to focus on their albums and not worry about outing four or five mixtapes in two months right before their album, because I think from a consumer standpoint, you’re already burnt-out from that artist before he even drops the final product. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THE IMPORTANCE OF DJS AND HOW DOES THAT AFFECT YOU AS AN PRODUCER? All they have do is press play, and hopefully what comes out the speakers is good when the crowd hears it. WHERE DO YOU THINK THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS HEADED AS A WHOLE? Well that’s the billion dollar answer right there. I think because of technology and the Internet that the underground artist can now go toe-to-toe against the mainstream, so competition can only bring out the best of both. Lately mainstream, I think, has been getting lazy with their product, and it shows in sales. ARE THERE ANY OTHER VENTURES YOU WANT TO LET OUR READERS KNOW ABOUT? Just check out my Myspace page and Twitter account, also my website. ANYTHING ELSE? Hit me up if you need beats. www.myspace.com/mrcoatesproductions7, www.twitter.com/mrcoatesproduct, www.mrcoatesproductions.com
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HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME A RECORDING ARTIST? I started playing the piano at age 9. At age 11, I realized that I could write, and started writing songs. At the time, I could not afford a recording session, but a friend hooked me up with a job as a keyboardist at a recording studio, and in about a year I had started producing and recording myself and others. ARE YOU CURRENTLY WITH A RECORD LABEL? I am currently with Dunkishrock, an independent label formed by myself in 2003, with partners who invest in the growth of the label. WHERE ARE YOU CURRENTLY BASED? Boston, MA. WHAT’S THE CURRENT PROJECT YOU’RE PROMOTING? ShoStoppah, my second album, in stores and on iTunes Valentine’s Day 2010. Also shot a music video for “Like This,” one of the hit singles off the album, which was on “Coast 2 Coast Mixtape Vol. 87,” hosted by Nina Sky. ARE THERE ANY ARTISTS OR DJS YOU’VE BEEN WORKING WITH, OR WOULD LIKE TO? I have worked with MTV Africa’s 2009 Best Hip Hop artist M.I. Always wanted to make a song with Akon, and Clinton Sparks or DJ Drama. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING CAREER-WISE FOR THE PAST FEW MONTHS? Performing in shows in Africa, Europe, and North America, promoting the new album. WHAT ARE YOUR CAREER PLANS FOR 2010? More shows. 2009 was my year of investments, so I plan to reap the fruits of my labors this year. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION OF THE MIXTAPE GAME AND MARKET? Personally, I think mixtapes are good for rappers to get exposure and advertise themselves to listeners. ANY OTHER VENTURES YOU WANT TO LET OUR READERS KNOW ABOUT? I am a singer/songwriter and producer. I produced all songs on Shostoppah album, including mix and engineering. ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD? Nineteen tracks on the album are all hot. Grab a copy for Valentine’s Day. www.reverbnation.com/dunkishrock, www. myspace.com/dunkishrock, Also search Duncan Daniels on Facebook
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Coast 2 Coast Magazine is going through a lot of changes with the move to both the physical and digital world, as well as the switch to a monthly publication. In the same respect, Coast 2 Coast as a whole company has been going through similar changes with a recent relocation to Miami, and new ventures on the horizon. Through all these changes, we are looking to improve the music industry and other industries that we are involved in. We appreciate you being a reader of the magazine and taking this journey with us. Since this is the February issue, I felt the need to mention the campaign we have going next month, which is March Mixtape Madness. This is a monthlong campaign that we started last March where we drop a different mixtape every day of the month—thirty-one mixtapes in thirty-one days. This year for our second time around, we have some crazy surprises in the bag, so make sure to check out www.coast2coastmixtapes.com as often as possible during the month of March. This issue is the first time we have started to integrate content from our sister company, NewIndustryTips.com. This site gives artists, DJs, producers, and all other industry personnel tips, knowledge, and information that can help them succeed in the music and entertainment industries. We will continue to incorporate content from the site in future issues, so be on the lookout for that, and check out the full site at www.newindustrytips.com. Lastly, I would like to thank Lumidee, Roccett, Cool Nutz, DJ Ykcor, and all the other artists who appeared in this issue. We hope you’ve enjoyed it, and we look forward to providing you with more news, content, and stories from the mixtape and music industry every month from now on. I’m out.
Kyle Hiersche aka Lil Fats Owner/CEO Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes & Magazine
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Features exclusive interviews with Lumidee, Roccett, DJ Ykcor, Cool Nutz and more! Also mixtape reviews, album reviews, and New Industry Tip...