6-8 .............................. Pistol 10 ............................ Cowboy 12 ..................................Rio 14 ........................Whip Game 18 ................... Music Reviews 20 ..................... DVD Reviews 22 .................. Music City Stars 24 .............DJ Proﬁle: DJ Aaries 26 ........ Producer Proﬁle: DJ Dev 28 ......Barber Proﬁle: Charles Chambers 30 ................. The Nashville 10 The Holiday Season is here and we created a couple of great gifts for you. Our ﬁrst mixtape since 2006 is out, and it’s 100% FREE. Also, we’ve put out our ﬁrst calendar. We got with some of Nashville’s sexiest women, got some extra fresh whips and captured the beauty in photographs! Both of these are top notch productions. You know how we do. Now go get ‘em! Published by: CONCRETE Marketing Ad Executives: Bryan Deese, Capo Art Director: Audie Adams Nash10 Photography: Tavell Brown Cover Photo: Dylan Mire
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In 1994, Nashville rap music stopped being looked at as a small town curiosity by amatuers, and got co-signed by Eazy-E and Ruthless Records. Pistol’s Hittin’ Like a Bullet went global in a time before the internet. His success was the city’s success. CONCRETE: So what part of town are you from? Pistol: West Nashville, Preston Taylor Projects, born and raised, straight after the hospital I was right there. I went straight from the hospital to the projects. CONCRETE: You said you started taking rap serious in the early 90s. What changed around that time that made you take it serious? Pistol: What really made me want to take it serious was when I got a deal. CONCRETE: So how did it get from hustling and rapping on the side to the point were you actually had a deal? Pistol: Basically what had happened was I had a CD down here called Young Gangstas. It caught a little buzz in the hood. It wasn’t a CD, it was a casette tape. It was like ‘89. It was me, and Kool Daddy Fresh was on it, and J-Roc, TK, a couple of dudes I knew from the city that had a rap name. I took my little proﬁts from my hustling money and put together a little cassette tape basically for the hood. I wasn’t looking for it to go nowhere or blow-up or nothing. So it just started spreading. New Life Record Shop, Lee at New Life he was calling me saying people were calling him for the tape and I needed to bring it down there. So I took a couple of boxes and it started really taking off. But, I still didn’t have no hope, because no labels were coming here. It was like a hobby. So I’d still be doing my thing, and a guy by the name of K-Rob he had heard me. He was like, “Man, you need to do something with that.” So we sat down and talked about it. I think he had met Kevin Grisham during an 8-Ball concert. He was like, “These dudes down here have a record label. Come and talk to them and try and do something with it.” So my cousin at the time joined me, we all got together, me and Lil Pete, my homeboy Lil Pete. We got together and decided here’s what were going to do, we got to get together and promote this Pistol CD, let’s focus on Pistol. So Kevin and Street Flavor, they already had their name, but they didn’t have no artists. They might had some people like Boogie hanging around, but nobody that they were working on. So they was like continued on pg 8
we going to see what Pistol is going to do. So they got together with Street Flavor, Pete was like the CEO, my homeboy R.I.P., he passed away. From there things blew up. They pressed up like 10,000 copies. I was like, ‘What the fuck are y’all going to do with them?’ like, ‘Who sells that many CDs?’ I looked at them like, ‘Nah. Hell nah.’ Then before I knew it, it just popped off. They was moving like hot cakes. The UPS man was coming and dropping them off, there was CDs stacked from the ﬂoor to the top of the wall. I came back one day and they were almost touching the ﬂoor. I was just like, ‘Damn!’ I’m mostly a hustler at the time. I’m in the hood, living at the crack house. Everybody knew I grind, cause that’s how I was making my money. I was hot. I felt like, I’m getting a buzz and recognition, but I wasn’t seeing no money from the CDs. I was like, ‘I’m hot. Fuck that, y’all need to pay me.’ With that street attitude. (Lil) Pete stopped me in the parking lot like, “Hold on P, you can’t do that. Don’t do that.” I was like, ‘Nah, fuck that, I could use the money.’ I kind of like walked on, but he was like, ‘P don’t fuck it up. It’s big shit going on.’ I was like, ‘What you mean nigga?’ He was like, ‘Pete, there’s like 5 labels want you.’ It was RCA, Epic and some more people. I was like, ‘Who me? What they want with me?’ He was like, ‘Man Eazy-E is on the phone right now. So who you wan to go with?’ I was like, ‘Man you don’t even have to ask me. I’m going with Eazy.’ I felt like Eazy could relate to the stuff I relate to. We was more like rapping about the same stuff. People used to tell me all the time, “That gangsta shit, it ain’t going to sell. People don’t want to hear that man, labels don’t want that.” So I was told that I would never make it, cause my stuff was too street. That’s when everyone was rapping about the black power. I couldn’t feel that, cause I didn’t know nothing about that.My uncle was one of the biggest niggas in the dope game, so I looked up to him from like the ‘70s on up. I don’t know nothing else. I just put my life on the music, the story of my life. So it’s not nothing I made up. It wasn’t nothing I was doing to be cool. Back then it wasn’t cool. So I was doing shit that people tell you don’t do.
CONCRETE: So do you have any shout outs? Pistol: I got to shout out to my people East Side Outlaws, say what’s up to them, those are my boys. Got to say what’s up to Tre, J Rock, D-Mo, Paul Woods, Lil Charlie, Bruce. To all my homies locked down, keep your head up.
CONCRETE: Can you tell us about your independent movie? Cowboy: Money Makers is going to be dropping spring, April 2010. It’s my ﬁst ﬁlm project. I’ve actually had a few scripts wrote for 5 or 6 years. I just wanted to be able to do it, but when I did it, do it right. So I took my time and wrote a script that we could ﬁlm ourselves. So we started here in Nashville and used a lot of local talent. We had people come in like Free Way and make appearances, Pimpin’ Ken, a few of the Titans guys. It’s about these four young guys in the hood. They’re just coming up, graduated school and basically are just looking for ways to get money, trying to achieve. They don’t want to just sit around and wash cars the rest of their lives which is what they’re doing in the mean time. So they try to start their own business. And in the process of things, a couple of them get caught up in the drug trade. And a couple of the others are trying to do right. One is a basketball player. He has a scholarship. And basically, they get to living their lives and going through the struggles of everyday life. With the power, money and respect everybody is trying to get in life, their trying to get it too. And they get caught up. Eventually the envy, the money and greed, it leads to betrayal and it breaks up the crew. It’s a real touching story. It can motivate you, and entertain and put you in another mind frame of real life situations. CONCRETE: What were in control of on the ﬁlm? Cowboy: I wrote it, directed it, produced it. We had my man Charlie Brown, Northern Lights came out and did the cinematography, shot it. We did the editing together. It came out real good. I had some other cats come in from Atlanta and Washington DC and other places to help out with the ﬁlming and editing process. It was a real professional environment. It came out better than I thought it would.
CONCRETE: Are you from Nashville? Rio: Born and raised. For a brief stint of time I was in a place called Franklin County Tennessee which is kind of a country area. My mom is from that area. I stayed with her a little bit, but pother than that I’m a Nashville resident. I learned a lot of good stuff from both places. I got a church family here that does a lot of quartet singing, and I learned a lot of my musical ability from them as far as singing. My pop is a Jazz musician who also notates and plays the trumpet. So I got the production side from him. And I got the singing from my mom’s side of the family. It’s inside me. The music has been around me my whole life. CONCRETE: Can you tell us about your new mixtape? Rio: With the mix tape I was looking to put something out before you guys get the album, so everyone can know what I’ve been doing. I’ve been doing a lot of things locally, and I’ve really been trying to push the production and writing. So I’ve really been behind the scenes, but I’ve been an artist for a while too. So the whole thing with the mixtape is to give you an introduction just more of a raw, edgier introduction to what I do musically as an artist. And I want to actually put product in people’s hands. For a while it’s been myspace, facebook and all those sites. Now I’m really trying to get out and give the listeners something they can take home. CONCRETE: The mixtape is a prelude to the album. What’s up with the album? Rio: I’m pretty sure you’re going to see the album just after the new year or even sooner. The album is done. People have been calling me asking me about it like, “Dude you got to grt some of the stuff out.” One of the cuts off the album is called “Wristband” and it’s something they were banging at Bar Flys and some of the local clubs., because it was more urban. But, the other side is I’ve got a song called “Video Girl” which is more disco and pop oriented. So, when you listen to the album, which is still being titled, the original title was Girl Next Door, but I don’t know if it’s going to be that anymore, we’re still workoing on that. The original music is you’re going to see more heart, you’re going to see more singing as opposed to the grit you’re going to get out of the mixtape. The mixtape is really, I’m in the studio doing three songs in one session just trying to get it in eight hours, just knowcking out whatever I can get done. The other songs are more inspired. When you check the album it’s going to be more inspired. It’s more R&B but it’s more experimental than the mix tape.
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Bomb It is a look at the global grafﬁti phenomenon. It gets inside the artists’ mind to see how they are shaped by hip-hop culture and the cultures of their different countries. The other major theme examined is the concept of public space and who owns it, advertisers or citizens. The ﬁlm starts from the beginning of the modern grafﬁti movement, which they put on Philadelphia in the late 1960s and with CornBread. From ther it jumps to New York city in the 70s and the birth of hiphop culture. Then it goes from country to country including France, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Holland, South Africa and back to America in Los Angeles. Some of the people interviewed include KRS One, Revok (a former Nashville resident), T-Kid, Os Gemeos, Lady Pink, Lady Claw, Chaz Bojorquez, Shepard Fairey (Obama: Hope icon) and many others. It has an incredible amount of art from so many places (over 400 hours). The movie is shot and edited very well. It’s not quite up there with Style Wars (1984 documentary), but should be seen by anyone who considers themselves a grafﬁti writer or fan.
Married to the Game
This is the fascinating story of Lydia Harris, wife of Michael Harris one of the founders of Death Row Records. Lydia was born in Houston, Texas and met her husband Michael Harris through Choice, a female rapper signed to Rap-a-Lot. Michael Harris was a Hollywood producer/ manager who helped launch the careers of and ﬁrst made his own name with Denzel Washington and Vanesa Williams. But he was also known as Harry-O, a major drug trafﬁcker from South Central Los Angeles. That lifestyle caught up to him and he was sentenced to life in prison. But Lydia stuck with him eventually marrying him and having his child. While in prison Michael met Suge Knight via telephone and linked Suge with his attorney David Kenner. In 1992 Michael Harris gave 1.5 million in seed money and entered into apartnership with ‘Suge’ Knight and attorney David Kenner. That partnership was the base for Death Row Records. But with Michael Harris behind bars, Suge and Kenner took control of the company and pushed Harris out. It uses old photos, news footage, their own old footage and current interviews with artists including Snoop Dogg to back up everything that is claimed. It is the story of record label, but also also a truely American love story of a woman who has stayed down with her man even through years of his incarceration.
C Good - Watch Me Get It
Straight from the real talking “Intro” C-Good rips this one apart. This son of a preacher man is a true hustler and there’s plenty of songs about the ups and downs of that profession like “Money,” “Trap Star” and “Fuck What U Talking Bout.” The rest of the record are tales of real life struggles like “Drug Free” and “Will It Ever Change.” “Shawty What It Is” featuring Cruna is one for the ladies. Most of the tracks are laid down Broadway and they are all big productions. There’s something for everyone one this joint, but it ﬂows well together. It is a well rounded album from C-Good, and well worth the money.
Young Chris - U Already Know What It Is
Young Chris steps into the octagon know as the rap game with his ﬁrst mixtape. The East Tennessee native is hustling and studying on the MTSU campus these days. You know college campuses are full of hustlers. He’s got a Southern ﬂow with good lyrics. His single “Swag Dance” puts his life in perspective – the kid is always swagged out and about getting to his paper. “Trunked Out” shows his goon side with lyrics about taking a whip from a phony and putting a Ruger 9 in someone’s mouth. There’s also a lot of good freestyles on here. Watch the school boy do his thing on this one!
Young Dolla - Dolla-Menu
From the East Side/Inglewood comes Young Dolla representing AON. He comes with a laid back, smooth delivery. Most of the beats are from Dunlap, but many other producers have credits making for diverse sounds. This is dirty music for the trap. “Get Rich” produced by Broadway is a motivational speech for hustlers and haters. “Get Away” is Dolla’s dream to take off with his girl, but he explains he can’t go far because he’s married to the block. The story of dirty Dickies “Same Clothes” celebrates the multi-day grind. There’s a lot of home town hereos featured including Paper, Kool Daddy fresh, B-Hoody, CP, Fluid Outrage and others. This shit is serious.
DJ Chief Rocka - Trunk of Funk
Leave to Chief Rocka to put some nice shit down! He’s dropped mostly Southern acapella versus on top of old funk and soul beats. Some people call them blends, the new school calls them mash-ups. Whatever you call you them Chief does it right. He reworked joints from Gucci Mane, T.I., Soulja Boy, OJ da Juiceman, Drake, Beyonce and a grip of others. The stand out is the opening track which puts Dorrough’s “Ice Cream Paint Job” on top of James Brown’s “Big Payback.” The Nashville vet gets it in once again!
USDA - CTE For Life
Slowly but surely Jeezy is getting back out there along with the latest line-up of his group USDA. Along with Jeezy, the current roster consists of 2 Eleven from Inglewood, California, JW from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and Boo (a.k.a. the #1 d-boy) from Mississippi. They all go hard. Each style compliments the next man’s style. Some of the stand out tracks are “Checking Bank,” “So Sad,” “Rep My City” and “Bag Music.” It’s mixed down by DJ Bigga Rankin. Also making appearances on this mix are CTE label mates Blood Raw, Slick Pulla and Boo Rossini. The new line-up is tight and so is the mixtape.
Nashville is full of stars, including a group of shooting stars. The Music City Stars is the city’s new semi-professional basketball team, which is a part of the American Basketball Association league. The ABA is the league that launched the careers of Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving, George ‘Ice Man’ Gervin and Moses Malone. Some of the ABA’s original franchises were absorbed by the NBA including the New Jersey Nets, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs. The league is also famous for its signature red, white and blue ball. If it still doesn’t sound familiar, no worries because the Music City Stars consists of names you’ve heard, faces you seen, and skills only dreamed of. Players Mario Moore, Josh Cooperwood, and Brian “Penny” Collins, are among the tremendous talent of the sixteen player team. Many of their basketball careers started as early as their middle school days, with most of the players going on to accomplishments in AAU, high school, college and even international play. Individually known for their show stopping performances they ﬁt perfectly with the ABA trend of high energy games, 100-150 point game averages, slam dunk contests, speedy cross court maneuvers and impressive three-point shots. The rest of the 2009-2010 Music City Stars are Josh Cooperwood, Jaraun Burrows, Boomer Herndon, Adam Sonn, Ronnie McMahan, Odell Bradley, Marcus Kinzer, Marquis Patton, Fernandez Lockett, Desmond Cambridge, Curtis Allen, Patrick Chambers and Rollie Smith. The team is coached by Jan Van Breda Kolff.
CONCRETE: What crews are you with and what city are you out of? DJ Aaries: I’m the founder of Hood Hard Hit Makers. That’s a crew that I started about 2-3 years ago. We’re now up to about two hundred DJs in the South East, but we’re based out of Atlanta. CONCRETE: What facet of DJ culture do you specialize in? DJ Aaries: Of course I do the mixtapes, and of course I do the clubs, and I do concerts. But, I like the record breaking process. Cause it takes more than playing a song in the club twenty times in one night to break a record. I like that whole process. The whole marketing plan, and everything that it takes to break a record. A lot of artists don’t know it. They want what they want, but they don’t know what they need. So they’ll say, “Yeah I want to go on 106 and Park.” But they don’t know that they need to do something else ﬁrst. They try to get everything except get fans. That’s what I like to do, is help people get fans. Cause if you don’t got no fans it don’t matter how many TV shows you get on, you ain’t never gone get no money. CONCRETE: So what’s good with the new Concrete Magazine mixtape? DJ Aaries: Since I’m the DJ, a lot of DJs are known for certain things. I’m known for breaking new music. Literally artists you may have never heard of. I don’t necessarily just take a song that’s out and then get behind it. I’ll take the artist’s song from ground zero. And this CD got a lot of songs like that. Songs that you’ve never heard, but you’ll never get tired of listening to. I’m really like a trend setter, and that’s what I looked for with the songs for this mixtape. It’s real hot music, real hot songs. It’s Recession Proof. Of course there’s a recession going on, but it’s saying that even during a recession you can still have good music. A lot of people want to hear it and hear what’s next. So there a lot of what’s next on this mixtape.
CONCRETE: How did you get into production and get on Pistol’s Hittin Like A Bullet Bullet? DJ Dev: I’m originally from Madison, Tennessee born and raised in Madison. As a kid, my father was in the music business. He was Jimmy Buffets band leader. He was a producer for Randy Travis. He’s been in that scene for a long, long time. So I grew up in studios but I was never allowed to go into the studio. So I had that ﬁre in me to do it. My parents divorced and in the midst of that transition, and during my teenage years, what was relevant at the time was hip-hop. That’s what I felt like I was the best at. So I started in my bedroom. I met Boogie down at Settle Court with Papa J. I had a group called Society Threat, and from that we became friends. They took me around to all the clicks. I met Kool Daddy Fresh, and I met King P from Preston Taylor, who I would later run into through Street Flavor. This is when I was 12 or 13 years old. So coming up I started doing parties at school and all the pep rallies. I did Whites Creek, Stratford, Maple Wood, Hunters Lane. I went to Hunters Lane. I was also learning how to program a drum machine. And it just transformed into this DJ/producer/engineer, DJ Devastator which then became DJ Dev. That’s how I cam into the game. Then I was doing tracks with Boogie and Kris Kang and a group (D.A.T.A. Devastator And The Alliance) . We were getting looked at by Def Jam at the time. In the midst of doing that, I met a few guys. So me, Boogie and Kris Kang went to a studio and the studio ended up being Street Flavor Records. It was a country recording studio. We do a demo. So one of the owners told them to go outside and kept me in. He said, “I like your style. I want you to come work for me, but you need to loose them.” This was before Street Flavor became Street Flavor. So I told the guys ‘I’ve got to me, but I’ll get you back in.’ In the midst of me working at the studio I ended up meeting K-Rob and Jesse Belser and stuff, and Jesse cam over to the studio with Lil Pete, RIP Pete. He put money into Pistol’s project, and that was the ﬁrst release on Street Flavor Records the rap label. And for me working in that studio I started as a janitor and had to work my way up the totem pole. And I ended being one of the producers on the ﬁrst Pistol project. It was me KNS and Sonny Paradise.
CONCRETE: When did you ﬁrst become a barber? Charles: I’ve been a barber for the past sixteen years. I got into from my family. They’re all barbers. Growing up I’d just go to my uncle’s barber shop, and I liked the atmosphere, the community and people talking. So that’s what got me into the business. CONCRETE: What is it about the profession that has kept you in it so long? Charles: Just meeting different people. By just being in the community people respect you, and you respect them. Just connecting with people. CONCRETE: So you just opened a new barber shop. What can you tell us about it? Charles: 5 Star Cuts was originally Styles Barber Shop. I changed the name because I wanted to take it to another level. What I mean by that is it was booth rental, but now we’re commission, that’s one thing. Second is we’re trying to have a different environment, a real people friendly atmosphere. CONCRETE: How did you come up with the name 5 Star Cuts? Charles: To be honest, my wife and I were sitting around brainstorming, and really it was her idea. CONCRETE: What’s happening for 2010? Charles: We’re in the process of opening another location in Hendersonville. So right now we’re just trying to ﬁnd a spot, trying to ﬁnd an area that we like. So in 2010 we will have a second maybe even a third location. CONCRETE: What should people know about 5 Star Cuts? Charles: At 5 Star Cuts we everything in men’s grooming. One is we do the Beijing, the Steve Harvey hairline. We do designs. We’re great with designs. And most of our barbers have more than ten years experience. And we’re looking to add a nail tech as one of our services. CONCRETE: Do you have any shout outs? Charles: My wife and daughter. I’ll say hi to Vic from Vic’s Barber Shop, Milestone Barbershop, Miles Barber Shop on Jefferson, Styles Barber Shop on Wedgewood and all the other barber shops in the Hickory Hollow area.
Photo by Tavell Brown; Make-Up by Sherry Waller