concrete615.com 6-8 ....................... ST 2 Lettaz 10 ........................... DJ Dirrty 12 ....................... Tray Chaney 14 ................... Music Reviews 18 .........Nashville 10: Tokyo Barbie 20 ............... Producer: Wee Wee 22 ........... Style Proﬁle: Jennie Eng 22 ....................... Don Cannon 26 ...............................$onny 28 ............. Promoter Proﬁle: LG Publisher: Capo Publishing Consultant: Bryan Deese Ad Executives: Bryan Deese, Capo Art Director: Rex2-tm Nash 10 Photography: Tavell Brown Photography: Tavell Brown
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CONCRETE: What does ST 2 Lettaz mean? ST 2 Lettaz: ST came from my real name Stephen. One of the big homies said, “I’m calling you ST.” I was like ‘cool.’ Everybody asked what it meant. I was like, ‘the initials of my name.’ I think people have to give you your rap name. You cant really just go think of it by your self. CONCRETE: You were half of the group G-Side, Break down why the group is no more? ST 2 Lettaz: More or less it’s like any other relationship, we just kind of grew up and a part. We had been doing that shit since middle school days. I moved to Texas and graduated high school there and when I came back I was already talking to Slow Motion Sounds and they asked me if I was ready. I said no I got a partner, so I brought him along with me. But rap wasn’t his main focus. He was more into fashion and that other world. So when it got really rough and times were tough, he had a little girl to look after, so his job had to come before our career. But to me it was just time. It was time for me to get out and spread my wings and do what I was going to do. Cause at times it felt more as if I was pulling him along with me. Like ‘come on, come on, come on’ and doing stuff that was more of my passion and not so much his.
CONCRETE: Stalley’s new single “Swangin” feating Scarface is actually a old G-Side record with new lyrics. How do you feel about that? ST 2 Lettaz: Starships and Rockets was the record that got us on, that made people pay attention. It was a HipHop DX write up way back when, and people started to pay close attention. But “Swangin” was actually the ﬁrst single we released off of that album, and for it to resurface ﬁve years later is cool as shit to me. It showed you how far ahead G-side was. How far ahead of its time it was and how people weren’t ready for that. If you listen to the sound that’s out right now, like if you listen to ASAP Rocky they got that whole sound from Starship and Rockets era. Everything that’s cool now and over the past couple of years that plays in the club now, you couldn’t play that shit in the club back then cause we was coming off of the crunk era. So now that everything has calmed down we weren’t really able to reap the beneﬁts. I always say being ahead of your time isn’t always an advantage, it just is. But to (Stalley’s) credit, he didnt know it was a G-Side record at ﬁrst. CT (Block Beattaz) was playing it one day in the studio and (Stalley) was like, “oh I love that shit,” and he picked up on it. He didn’t mind and we didn’t mind so lets run with it. I mean if we can make money off of songs that we made it 2008 by all means take it. continued on pg 8
CONCRETE: On your EP the Prelude to a G you have that track “S.H.E.” which ft Jackie Chan and Mic Strange which are both Huntsville artist. How did that song come about and what does the acronym for “S.H.E.” stand for? ST 2 Lettaz: “She’s High Everyday.” It’s got that old school sample. They were actually in the studio playing with the sample and I was thinking to myself there is no way you can make this dope, but he did. And me and Jackie Chan was already in the studio. We were working on the Doobie Brothers album, so I couldn’t just let it go. As far as Mic Strange, that’s an artist that I’m trying to push. I’m getting into management and production myslef, but he is Huntsville vet and he deserves some shine. I’m probably his biggest fan, so I want to make sure he gets some shine. So from now on there will be a Mic Strange feature on whatever I do. When we go back on tour he will be with me. CONCRETE: You’re working on a project with Jackie Chan called Doobie Brothers. Can you break it down for us? ST 2 Lettaz: We started on it, then we stopped, and then we started again. But me and Jackie just click, so we are going to do a free album and set up a Doobie Brothers tour and hopefully get a summer release on that. CONCRETE: Your album G is out now. Talk about that album how it came about and how its doing now. ST 2 Lettaz: G is the Growth and Development. It has a double meaning. I grew up in the gang culture so it kind of came from GD. I wanted to bring that aspect of it to the public eye and also with me going from GSide it was my growth and my development as a solo artist. This is my ﬁrst solo album I did since high school. I knocked it out in 2 months. We had some sample clearance problems, so we had to go back in and re-record about four of the songs to get rid of those samples. To me it’s a great piece of work, but I don’t think people were ready for it. I tried to make that my Illmatic and Reasonable Doubt Doubt. By doing so I pulled a lot of East Coast inﬂuence, and me being from Alabama a lot of people don’t get that or understand that or even like that sound. Especially since ATL is so heavy here. It didn’t translate very well to the masses here, but the fans from overseas and East Coast understood it, and they knew what I was doing. I don’t think it will be fully understood ‘til later on. But I had to have that album where I just go in and showcase who I am as a MC and get all my frustrations out. CONCRETE: What are your other favorite tracks on the project? ST 2 Lettaz: I would say Trillmatic cause it was my chance to get really East Coast. Greenlight District cause it was a real fun song and Flash Light cause the message. Nobody makes rap records like that.
Then things started to really bubble. Next he was the headliner at our 9 Year Anniversary Party for Baller’s Eve, and every A&R and industry person was there. That was pretty much it. Plus I put a ton of physical CDs in the right hands. So ever since then, I’ve been a part of the management team. CONCRETE: So who are some of the next wave we need to be looking for? Dirrty: Scotty ATL is an artist people really need to be looking out for. He has a true Atlanta vibe and sound. Also Viola Smith is blowing my mind with the singing and rapping. She is really dope. Other than that Grip Plies who will be the ﬁrst ofﬁcial Baller’s Eve label release.
photo by: Matt “Ginch” McGinley
CONCRETE: You’re based out of the Lower East Side of Manhattan but your from the South? Dirrty: Yeah ATL. I went to Pope in Marietta. CONCRETE: Your brand Baller’s Eve, can you break down what it is and how it came about? Dirrty: Ballers Eve is really just a representation of the downtown culture whatever that may be whether it’s down town ATL or Manhattan or whatever the case is. It’s that thing where people drive from the suburbs to the city and absorb the culture. The crew is made up of a lot of different guys, but I have always been very deep into the skateboarding community. So a lot of the people that follow are like skateboarder kids who are trying to ﬁnd their way. It’s like the Supreme of hip-hop. But as far as the radio goes it started out a couple of kids who had the opportunity to do a radio program here in New York at a pirate radio station. But my boy was like, “Why don’t we just do an all Southern radio show.” Cause at that time the South was getting no love. So we felt like it was the right thing to do. A short time later we met Kat Daddy Slim who just moved up to NY from Decatur, and he ﬁt the bill to be a part of the crew. So that’s the core members Minsky Water, Kat Daddy Slim and DJ Dirrty but I have to shout out J. Scott from I’m Not a Toy. Sergio Vega and Jon Newport from Def Tones, those are two dudes who are part of the crew. CONCRETE: You have helped a lot of artists break their music including Trinidad James. Can you break down how you helped break Trinidad James? Dirrty: I found Trinidad James, he was tweeting an artist I had been working with for a while, but Trinidad was tweeting him like, “Check out my song All Gold Everything” and this was back last June. I was like ‘this can’t be good, this is gonna be horrible’, so I had to click play. I was like, ‘Man this the next voice of Atlanta.’ I really heard something. So I took it straight to Baller’s Eve that night. I talked to the whole crew, and spoke about it on air like, “I got something special.” So two days later I start getting calls like, “Who is Trinidad James? There is really not to much info on him out there.” I asked them, “Do you want to hear more music?” And they were like, “Yeah.” “Maybe we can set up something for next week,” I said. So I tracked him down and we spoke about what’s going on. I told him let me jump on as an A&R kind of guy and let me play some records for some people. He was like WTF, but next thing you know Im sitting in Universal and playing records for an A&R. Then going to the A&R’s boss cause they heard something as well. But they kind of just wanted to see where it went. From there we connected with Motion Family. I have a good relationship with them, and they worked with us right out the bat. Then I just made sure that all the media knew who Trinidad James was from Spin to Fader Fader, and we really pushed it. We premiered the mixtape at Fader and next I brought him up here cause I was DJing a Supreme party for Three-6Maﬁa and brought him out and 10 he performed.
CONCRETE: Is it true you won the Apollo ﬁve times at the age of 8? Tray Chaney: Yea a lot of people don’t know that I started off in the business at 8. From 8 to 16 years old I had a R&B/HipHop dancing career so all the old footage of me performing at the Apollo or being covered by the news online is all real. I’ve been in the entertainment aspect of the game for a minute. CONCRETE: How did the passion for dance turn into acting? Tray Chaney: Once I started getting in my teenage years I started taking advantage of talent shows. I performed at the historical Lincoln Theater in my home town D.C., and there was a talent agent there by the name of Linda Townsend. I was discovered as a dancer. She approached me and said I don’t specialize in dancers I specialize in actors. Well I thought we have to expand that, so me and my parents sat down with her had a meeting. But for the next two years I didn’t go on any auditions. I was taking those years to ﬁnish high school, getting my resume and pictures together, but I took my time to grow up. It’s funny cause we had been working together for a number of years before she submitted me for my ﬁrst television roll which was The Wire. That was one of the best experiences in my life. The show was huge. We depicted what happened in Baltimore, but it’s really what was going on around the world and people embraced it.
The Wire hands down was one of the best shows that’s ever been created for American television. CONCRETE: So your newest roll is in Master Minds by award winning director David “Cowboy” Curry. What can we expect from you character and the movie? Tray Chaney: Well it’s one of the best characters that I can say I ever played. David Curry gave me an opportunity to do something I have never done. This is one of my ﬁrst lead roles. I play a crime boss that runs a club and the negativity thats going on in the club with other drug dealers and people coming to participate in illegal activity at the club. It’s like Im taking everything they have and there’s nothing they can say or do about it. It’s like what are they going to do, tell the cops I stole their drugs? So my character Rocki is like this smooth, evil type character. He is always thinking what he can get out of a deal. He is like in my own rite and in my own way another version of Nino Brown. Another thing Tila Tequila and Nick Hogen my costars in this movie did their thing man. They really shined on this movie they did a great job. I really enjoyed working with them. We ﬁlmed the majority of the movie in Nashville. It was my ﬁrst time ever being there and David Curry and the whole crew really took care of me and the city showed me so much love.
Moss Da Beast - Marley Son 2
Moss dropped this project on 4/20 for the smokers but this is far from a cd ﬁlled with just weed songs. In the intro Moss calls his self a conscious rapper and spits some facts like a news reporter. Being born the day after Bob Marley died he says he was born just to keep the legends legacy living on by uniting people through music and thats what he does with the song “Jammin” a sample of the well known Bob Marley song. As soon as it plays you can’t help but vibe out. Blok Beattaz, Band Play and SykSense all provide their fair share of sample based, trunk rattling bangers for this project. This mixtape has a smooth vibe all the way through and is something you let play from 1-13 with out skipping. Salute.
FISH - Animal
Animal is the newest project from the artist Fish aka oFISHal. He seems to be at a point in his career where he has a lot to get off his chest. With songs like “Pray for the Prey” the intro, Fish vents over a deep piano loop giving us a inside look at the personal diary of an alcoholic. “Almost Kings” explains how close he is to making it and asks God to spare him. He says he is tired of the club and getting fucked up. But for the Alcoholic Maﬁa fans there are plenty of songs to pour up to. “Coolin Coolin” with Bily Blast is an up-beat song where both artist have fun with their delivery Fish talks about drunken nights while Bily goes in on a lyrical attack ﬂipping his words and delivering strong punch lines. “Dapper Daniels” is like Dean Martin and James Dean learning how to rap and giving us their in side tips on Swag. Fish and Kaby both go off on this song giving us another one of those Nashville classics.
D.O.U.G.H - D.O.U.G.H or Die
DOUGH has been making a strong name for his self on the underground scene and has ﬁnally started getting well deserved recognition. This seven song EP is ﬁlled with DOUGH’s in-thepocket type of ﬂow. He rides the beat smooth while painting vivid pictures and delivering clever word play. These 7 songs are ﬁlled with well though out content over production from some heavy hitters like Ducko McFli and Bandplay. “The Revolution will not be televised as long as the television keep telling lies”. D.O.U.G.H. Or Die is a must have.
Mello Rello & L$ - 4EYE Bandit$
Mello Rello and L$ team up with DJ Ben Frank to bring us 4 Eye Bandits. This mixtape is ﬁlled with swag talk, (money, hoes, clothes), and we can’t forget the loud packs and purple sprites. Both artist have their fair share of clever lines but the majority of this project is two guys giving us an inside look at them living life Turnt Up. With production from Zaytoven, Mike See, Mann Wells and Burn One’s Ashtray, this is a dope project ﬁlled with songs to ride out to. They gonna have trunks banging all summer long with this one. Long Live the FLY.
photo: Tavell Brown, brown-photography.net Name: Joy Belle Waller aka Tokyo Barbie Hometown: Tokyo, Japan. I currently live in Clarksville, TN. I’m part Chinese, French, Portugese and Bristish! Favorite Designer: It would have to be J Valentine. I love the sexy costumes! 3 artists on your iPod: The Lonely Island, Theory of a Deadman and Jason Derulo. Biggest Turn On/Turn Off: My Biggest turn on is driving in a new Bugatti! Turn offs are funky toes, sombreros, and broccoli! Measurements: 36D, 24”, 36”
CONCRETE: How Long have you been a nail artist? Jennie Eng: I’ve been doing nails and nail art for almost 8 years now. I attended a beauty academy in Philadelphia at the end of my sophomore year in high school and have been doing nails ever since. CONCRETE: How did you get your start? Jennie Eng: I ﬁnd this question pretty funny because people always ask me, “does your family own nail shops?” which is so stereotypical. I actually don’t even remember why I wanted to start doing nails. It’s been almost a decade ago. I just remember wanting to get started because it was an easy way of getting fast money and at the age of 16, having money meant going shopping! I had no idea I would still be doing nails and coming this far into the nail industry. CONCRETE: What is your specialty? Jennie Eng: There are so many things involved with doing nails and so many things you can do as a nail artist. Just laying the acrylic powder onto the nail tip is a form of art. If I had to choose, I guess I would say my specialty is designs. All types of designs. Anything from a simple ﬂower to a portrait of someone. CONCRETE: What design is most popular at the moment? Jennie Eng: Well a lot of my clients are getting tribal designs and junk nails. Junk nails are just a bunch of gems, pearls, chains, rhinestones junked on the nails and the ﬁnish product looks glamorous! Bright colors are really in right now and everyone loves glitter. CONCRETE: Any special tips you may have for our readers? Jennie Eng: Don’t bite your nails or pick at your cuticles!
Two examples of the popular “Junk Nails” style by Jennie Eng. See more examples on her instagram.
photo by: H. Matthews
CONCRETE: You’re a man of many hats including DJ or producer. What did you start doing ﬁrst and how did you get started? Don Cannon: Well I started DJing When I was 5 and then I moved on to production as I got older. I ﬁgured out how most things work in the industry and got to know what I could offer to the game. So I started as a DJ ﬁrst and ended up in the production ﬁeld later on. I made beats when I was young but didnt get serious till I was about 21. CONCRETE: What was your ﬁrst big break, the moment you knew you could do this for a living? Don Cannon: When I started DJing in college, Atlanta started to boom a lot of people started to move down and do big parties like P Diddy, Shaq to the Jay-z parties. I started getting hot as a DJ in the world and then moved on to production and in 2005 landed my ﬁrst record with Young Jeezy and Jay-Z “All Dope Boys Go Crazy” and it took off from there. CONCRETE: You produced Pusha T’s song “Numbers on the Board”. How did that come about? Don Cannon: Me and Pusha T where suppose to link up but it was mainly Pharell was doing all the production. But this time around I came up with a few ideas and gave him a few records and we ended up bumping into each other at All Star and he was like yo I already raps to this record and a few months later it come out thats soliteﬁed our relationship with music and all that. CONCRETE: Is there a artist out now that you haven’t got to work with but really want to? Don Cannon: At this point I’ve worked with all my favorite artists, but I would love to work with anybody that is willing to work with me and we see eye to eye. I’m with that. Anything from now on is a plus cause I’ve worked with pretty much everybody. Kanye to Jay-Z, to people I grew up listening to like Ghostface to Raekwon. Anyone that helps strengthen the brand from here, I’m with it. CONCRETE: What would be some good advice that you would offer that you wish someone would of told you? Don Cannon: Always keep your word in this business cause if you don’t you’ll fall by the way side. Keep God ﬁrst. Keep praying and put your all in it. Actually put it in the atmosphere that you’re going to do this and it’s going to come. Every time I’ve put something in the atmosphere it most likely comes. CONCRETE: How did the new mixtape with Rocko come about? Don Cannon: We had a mutual friend that was a engineer for Rocko at the time and he was looking at doing something a little different. Everytime around Rocko comes with a new concept of how he wants to run his new campaign. He wants to have commercial presence but still wants to speak to the hip-hop community, cause he is a actual fan of music. He wanted to make sure we had a balance of commercial format. There’s some DJs who do more Hip Hop and he reached out to me cause of my success in both worlds. We made it happen and it cam out real good.
CONCRETE: How Long have you been doing graphics profesionally? Toni: Professionally since ‘99 but got real serious around 2001. CONCRETE: You designed the Bone Thugs & Harmony Strength and Loyalty cover. How did that come about? Toni: That was a interesting journey. They came to Nashville in 2002 on a Grey Goose tour with 8 Ball & MJG and LIl John. I basically pretended to be part of a magazine to do an interview with these artists, and I went up there and tried to show them my portfolio. I showed 8 Ball and MJG, and they didn’t give a shit. Lil John was so fucked up they didn’t give a shit. But Bone was cool as shit. They had me on they tour bus, and I showed them my work. Lazy gave me his number ,and I ended up going out to Atlanta a few times to fuck with him. We kind of lost touch for a few years, then they came back to Nashville and I kicked it with Lazy, and he said, “we’re going to make sure you get the Interscope job.” So next I get a call from Interscope saying Bone wants you to be their art director for this project. They sent over the contracts. Next thing you know I’m in Cleveland working with Bone. That’s how I got in that circle. But before that I did the BG covers and that was through Lady Dolla. She used to live across from me in the projects, and she was working with Chopper City. She said we need an art director for BG, so that’s how I established a relationship with KOCH. CONCRETE: How did you get the gig to do Dr. Dre’s Detox logo? Toni: My manager Josh Fisher who I actually met on the Bone project. He did the marketing on the Bone project. He worked at Interscope then went independent and started managing me and getting a bunch of work. So that came through him and his Intersope connects. CONCRETE: You did Dr. Dre’s Detox logo. That’s a huge accomplishment. How did you feel when you got that call? Toni: I didn’t really know how to feel. I had been living in Atlanta for 2 years and already been through the industry ropes. But when I left ATL it was so much nonsense and wasn’t real. I ended up going to Oklahoma and unplugged and just played with my kids everyday. So by the time the Detox thing came around I was excited but didn’t know what would come from it or if they would even use it. But they took it, payed me for it and then it sat there for a year ‘til they used it for the headphones and the Chrysler 300 thing. So it was cool.
CONCRETE: You’re catching everybody’s attention with your Lifestyle project. Who’s some of the people that you had do production on there? Sonny: Tim Hill, he did the work, he mastered and mixed it. He did like 6 or 7 beats on there. Which, I went and got some soundclick beats and recorded at my house in my studio, and then I went and did that shit over at Tim’s Rhythm Chambers. I told him I needed original beats, “just take my vocals and do your thing behind my songs.” That’s how it came about. I didn’t have to tell him to change nothing. When I went to listen to my project I was like, “Damn Tim!” You know what I’m saying! Tim deﬁnitely did his thing. CONCRETE: Who’s some of the features on the project? Sonny: First it was Michel Veda, she’s on “Rents Due”. Then my group. Jay he’s on #4 with C.O. I kept it not necessarily in-house but with people that I could call and pull up on me without all the jibber jabber or I’m busy. Just people I can call and say let’s record a song and they’re ready to record a song. That’s why putting the show together wasn’t stressful, because I didn’t have to deal with egos or other shit. It was like, “Man I’m doing a show to celebrate the album.” Cause they liked how the album came about, so they was all for it plus they got to perform. CONCRETE: So what’s the MD lifestyle all about? Sonny: Money Dive, it’s a leap bread of hustler’s lifestyle. Nowadays in the economy man you might work 7-3, 8-4, and 9-5. When you get off if you do anything else to make money you money diving. You can be content with what your making at your job and just come home watch reality tv. But if you know you can do hair, and you can do two heads before you lay down to make a extra $50 or $100 dollars, shit, you money diving. And that doesn’t just go with doing hair. It can be anything. It can be cutting grass when you through working your day job, whatever, walking dogs in the neighborhood or cutting hair in the house, it doesn’t matter. Basically it’s nothing illegal when it comes to taking care of your responsibility. You take care of your responsibilities ﬁrst and then all that other shit shall follow. If you don’t have a license to do hair and you doing hair out your house, that’s illegal but you money diving. It don’t matter because you taking care of your responsibilities. CONCRETE: Do you have any last words or shout outs? Sonny: Man just live life. No scripts, no acting, just do you. Feel what I’m saying? That’s what I’m doing. I’m just staying out the way and trying to feed my family. Trying to make more than I did last year and so on and so on, health and wealth.
CONCRETE: How long have you been a promoter/ producer and how did all this come about? LG: I actually was a promoter before i realized I was a promoter. I use to throw parties for my birthday each year and everyone would come out just by word of mouth. I’ve had a fan base since I was younger from basketball, but anyone from Antioch and surrounding sides of town know me as “Leslie” from back in the day, basketball, or just being on the scene, to the person i am today, “LG”. I really took it serious around 2008. I use to trip off how many people would come out just by a ﬂyer I placed in their hand or a post i would make on the net. Being placed around certain people sometimes you get the opportunity to take ﬂight. I started out reaching out to the “alternative crowd” but now the whole city is in attendance. I may not get to tell each individual person “thank you” but i do appreciate them. I was at Cirok before it was Cirok, before it was LAX, I was doing successful Friday nights when it was called “Hurricanes”. As far as the producer label goes, I organize shows at my parties. It’s always live entertainment for the crowd at 1am, but I actually book shows, create a format, put them in numeric order and let them shine at the club. It use to be me reaching out to people to perform, but now it’s gotten so serious, people from everywhere want to perform, for publicity, free promotion or whatever. It’s a very tedious process and the role a producer plays is usually overseeing, managing, recording and marketing tools, so besides my mixtape I will take that label as well. CONCRETE: You produced your own mixtape LG Presents Topshelf, #TopshelfTuesdays in 2012. How did you come up with the title and what was it based on? LG: Well, since I am soley afﬁliated with Tuesday Nights and “Topshelf” was the name before I changed it to #TurntupTuesdays, I wanted to make a sountrack of how it goes down each Tuesday night for the city and customers that attend each week. A lot of the songs are a soundtrack of my life too. It was kind of like an incentive for the club supporters. There were free copies, so it was like a customer appreciation thing. I have the resources so I just got in the studio and became creative with my DJ. DJ Trap, he’s responsible for the mixing, but I placed every song where it is and how it’s heard. I’ve always loved music. I use to sit and make up raps when I was like 12 years old and rapping in middle school for fun. My mind is creative so the rhymes come easy. I’m no rapper, it was just a fun project.