EDITOR –IN-CHIEF– KANEKIA SIMPKINS
PUBLISHER– MAGCLOUD PUBLISHING
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS- KENNON MARTIN KANEKIA SIMPKINS CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS-LARRY MOSLEY LASTING LOOK PHOTOGRAPHY KANEKIA SIMPKINS CIRCULATION-TREMAYNE HORTON SENIOR LAYOUT AND DESIGN-KANEKIA SIMPKINS ASSOCIATE LAYOUT AND DESIGN-ALPHONSO SMITH
The Magic City of Birmingham, Alabama has engaged in many historical events that helped to shape and mold history all over the world. With the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s the city of Birmingham was engulfed in the most vehement hate ever seen anywhere across the South. Today, with the recent success of our very own former American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard, Taylor Hicks, and Bo Brice, it is now time for the city to take on its epoch or new era. The entertainment industry is the most lucrative endorsement in the world. Through the many palettes of talent offered here in Birmingham, Al the city could procure a monopoly of businesses. The city of Birmingham should be a growing city similar to that of Atlanta, GA. We need more talented singers and dancers to come to the forefront exposing their talents. Look at all the pride demonstrated by the city for our star Ruben Studdard. Big prospering cities like California and New York finally started to pay close attention to the city of Birmingham, Al. The more exposure and publicity the city receives will bring more money for business expenditures. Just visualize the endless capabilities for the city. I can see it clearly. As an aspiring artist myself, I know how laborious the effort can be making it into the entertainment industry. As a young teenager, I would go around the city entering myself into the local talent shows at YMCA’s and the very popular nightclub. I was looking for any information I could find on dance, vocal, and instrumental auditions. Had I been exposed to some type of literature to use as guidance with specific auditions, and tips on performing, this would have helped me tremendously. Epok (pronounced as E-Pac) is an urban entertainment magazine fabricated to expand culture awareness in the areas of the arts. This magazine will be much like Source, Rolling Stone, and Ebony magazines. Epok magazine is designed to advertise the local artistry in the inner city in the fields of vocal and instrumental, rap, lyricists, dance, poetry, and more. Epok will cover a plethora of topics from the latest music, fashion, food, festive events in and around the city of Birmingham, and the technology of video shouting. The magazine will act as an avenue for young, black, adolescents and give adults in the locale an opportunity to display their businesses and philanthropists skills. E-pok will also focus on the outstanding black collegiate students of the city to display their academic and athletic achievements. The entertainment magazine will help the city of Birmingham gradually economize through the 23rd Century.
For the year 2012 and beyond the city of Birmingham will attract many amenities like new restaurants, banks, amusement parks, and shopping centers. As for myself, I am emphatic in writing each article in Birmingham’s first authentic urban entertainment magazine. This is not only a challenge for me to write this magazine in its entirety but it is also a chance for me to give positive feedback to my community. I will provide the city of Birmingham’s youth and adults with infinite knowledge about the entertainment industry. In return, I hope that the magazine will allow the city of Birmingham to recognize its full potential as being the largest city in all of Alabama. Love Always Founder of Epok Kenakia L. Simpkins
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Music. Everybody loves it. It is the most highly funded endorsement in the United States. More than any sports today. Therefore everybody wants to get into it. A lot people think it is easy to have a career in the music industry. Some artist believe all they need is just mere luck or better yet just to be in the right place at the right time. This maybe a true statement but many artists are unaware of one factor. They have not devised a planned strategy to follow in becoming artist in the music industry. In this article we will discuss successful antics utilized in the music industry. Many are tactics used by recording artist of the past and the newfound tactics used by artist today. This article will serve as a guide of integral traits needed to procure longevity in the music industry and through every facet of life. Let us first define what an aspiring artist is. An artist is defined as an individual practicing the fine arts of painting, sculpture, architecture, literature, music, instrument, song, dance, or theater. Most aspiring artists crafts began as a mere hobby or recreational activity enjoyed in pastime. The title of an aspiring artist is not given to individuals by agents such as talent scouting agency, modeling agency, or by signing a contract with a record label. Any individual that is studying or practicing the arts of vocal, dance, instrumental, rap, or poetry on a continuous basis can consider his/herself an aspiring artist. Once aspiring artist have distinguished what an aspiring artist is there are several common personality traits deemed necessary to the success of any aspiring artist. The core personality traits that all aspiring artist need and eventually will possess are confidence, diversity, knowledge and assertiveness. All of the personality traits are interchangeable but neither claims dominance over the other. Confidence is the most important quality that artist will need. An aspiring must always exude an aura of confidence. Confidence informs other people, potential talent agencies and A/R’s that you as the aspiring artist are secure of the talent you possess. True confidence shows that the artist is focused, not being deterred from their belief in pursuing their dreams. Artist that have confidence have the determination of never giving up on accomplishing their goals. Diverstiy is another trait that all new artists should learn to acquire. Normally new artist are not successful in becoming major artist because he/she does not have an image of his or her own. New aspiring artist need an image that stands out among the millions of other aspiring artist. Aspiring artist make the mistake of devoting all their time and energy into mimicking their favorite artist lyrics, every hand gestures, facial expressions, stances, and body movements. If that same time and energy is used to mold yourself as an artist, you will not go wrong. There’s nothing wrong with aspiring artist emulating the styles of other famous entertainers but you lose your creative power to establish your own identity when copying others styles. In turn, you are giving yourself a mental block by trying to be someone you’re not. Artist should ask his or herself, “What can I contribute to the music world?” Your talent should be something unique that cannot be easily duplicated. Artist need to adopt a style that is different but simultaneously accepted that people can relate to. Michael Jackson is famous because of his eccentric style. He possesses a style of dance that was and still is difficult to master. In lament terms artist have to be different. Once new artist have selected a diverse image, 8. EPOK MAG BHAMS FIRST URBAN MAGAZINE
should procure as much knowledge as possible about their craft. It is important to know the topic of subject of study well. The problem with most artist is they have very basic knowledge, history, or no history at all about their craft. We’ve seen this demonstrated time after time again. One example of this would be the 2005 Reality Show “Making The Band” with P Diddy. Diddy took the band through a rigorous and somewhat humiliating boot camp while the members awaited in anticipation to sign a recording contract. The six members, female rapper Baps, Dylan, and Chopper, were made to learn, read, and quote the autobiography of Diddy’s mentor and idol, Russell Simmons. However, the band ran into a hurdle with one of their band members. Not only did the band learn quotes by Hip Hop Mogul Russell Simmons, the band also had to rap and memorize Diddy’s beloved, long lost friend and artist Notorius B.I.G. One of the members of the band knew hardly any words to Diddy’s biggest artist and friend who was signed to Bad Boy, during the early 90’s. It doesn't matter what type of artist you aspire to become. If you do not know anything about your past and the people who have paved the way for you, how will you know as an artist the right steps to take next. It is good to try to gain as much knowledge about what you as the artist want to do. Trust me. Its going to be a long road to the top. In pursuing a career in the music industry, aspiring artist should know their field of interest thoroughly. Constructing a To Do List will help aspiring artist with their pursuits into the music industry. Artist should know what their strengths are as well as their weaknesses. Artist should join a PRO (Publishers Rights Organization) in their state. For example, BMI, ASCAP in the USA, PRS in the UK, SACEM in France etc. They collect performance and broadcast/media royalties, and some collect mechanical royalties from songs you've written and have been released. Mechanical royalties are from the sales of the physical medium (CD, records, download, transmission) from which the writer and publisher is owed a percentage. Register as a writer and publisher. Learn all you can and you'll have a source of income even after you've stop selling music or performing. To work with a major label you need to be in a union. It cost money that a struggling artist sometimes just does not have. So join .When you are lucky enough to get work with a major label or if you get signed by a major then at that point the record label will be taken care of for you. My point is to get a large force behind you from the start that aids with keeping income coming in, educates you about the industry and is a back-up team for the first team of lawyer, manager, PR which comes and goes in an artist career. This back up team is there for life; it's like your pension plan when you get older. You may not want to think about that time now but you need to if you believe in longevity. 9. EPOK MAG BHAMS FIRST URBAN MAGAZINE
As one of multi-platimum producer Timbaland’s protégés since 2005, Attitude has crafted lyrics and melodies for artists including Keri Hilson, Nelly Furtado, Rich Boy, The Dey and Timbaland himself. Beyond the accolades of his peers, Attitude’s songwriting has earned him a few professional nods as well. As the pen behind Nelly Furtado’s number one hit “Promiscuous” featuring Timbaland, Attitude became a Grammy nominee and ASCAP Award winner in 2007. Repeating his success with Furtado and Timbaland the following year with “Give It To Me,” also featuring Justin Timberlake, Attitude landed his second number one hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. He is also responsible for two Top 40 singles from Timbaland’s latest offering, Shock Value 2: the Justin Timberlake assisted “Carryout,” and the hit single “Say Something,” featuring Drake.
As one of the hottest music producers coming up out of Atlanta’s music scene, Khao brought you “Why You Wanna” and “Stand Up Guy” from T.I., he contributed to Lil Kim’s come back album Naked Truth with “I Know You See Me” and “Get Yours.” The Deep South has a rich legacy of producing some of history’s greatest leaders and trailblazers. So too is the story of producer, writer and artist Kevin “Khao” Cates. A Montgomery, Alabama native, Khao has taken the hip hop industry by storm and has led an innovation in lyrical content and creative expressions that transcends musical genres and styles. While making moves into mainstream, Khao has garnered recognition and acclaim from today’s leading artists and industry insiders. His credits include production work with Lil Kim’s Naked Truth album, Paul Walls The Peoples Champ album, P$C’s (Pimp Squad Click) 25 to Life album, and T.I.’s Urban Legend.
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For those that don't know Ben Frank is the producer of the Atlanta based rapper Yung LA’s 2008 Summer Smash hit “Aint I” featuring Grand Hustle artist Yung Dro and The King himself T.I. Originally from Chicago, Illinois by way of Huntsville, Alabama, Ben Frank went on to land other hits such as La Rue “Put It On Me.” This rapper/producer even has his own share of great music called The Scrap Book. Currently Ben Frank continues to land radio friendly hits for Alabama artist Dynomite Kid “Haters” and Cant Stop Muzik “Fall. Back.” Keep an eye out for Ben Frank. If not you’re bound to hear him on the airwaves.
M16 came to DP and def-i-nitely made a splash. At the time, we had an opportunity to cast him in Scion’s King Of The Beats where he made it out of Atlanta to the New York finals. He didn’t win, but when you have talent like he has, one man’s loss is another man’s gain. M16 went on to produce the monster smash “Duffle Bag Boy.” In late 2010, the big names continued to draw to the Tuscaloosa , Alabamahit maker but when one of the most anticipated hip hop artists (Young Jeezy) and one of the most selective artists (Andre 3000) come together with the biggest name in the music business period (Jay-Z) on one of your beats you know you’ve got something distinctive on your hands. The something distinctive is the record “I Do,” released on the new Young Jeezy album “TM 103.”
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Ken P. formed his niche as an allaround producer by working with local artists and groups from Athens, Alabama who were looking to score big in the Rap/R&B/Gospel/ Pop genres. At a young age, Ken P. developed a prominent name along with an authentic sound by playing live instruments such as the piano, guitar, and drums that producing ear-catching tracks that performing artists eagerly wanted to be heard on. He has worked with various Hip-Hop/Rap artists such as 6TreG (Jive Records), Mook (Artillery South Ent.), Tam Tam (Big Cat Records), XO (Slow Motion Sounds), Project Pat (Hypnotize Minds) along with many more.
Mali Boi is head of the production team holding it down for the whole city of Huntsville, Alabama. Jackie Chain, G-Side, Mata The Dread man, Jhi Ali, Gunt, Betta Half, Kristams and pretty much all rappers in Huntsvegas call on him for beats on the regular. Responsible for the heavily blogged tracks “Rollin,” “Wood Grain”, and “Speed of Sound” among many others, the Block Beattaz are bound to leave a mark for the last quarter of 2012.
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When Brooklyn meets Birmingham you get a rapper named JF Kennedy who truly embodies Alabama’s Hip Hop. Even with the origins of Hip Hop beginning in New York somehow Kennedy has managed to capture real Hip Hop to tell Alabama's story. Which is very hard to do in the mundane, rural life of Alabama. However, Kennedy brings all the elements of Hip Hop to Alabama from his slow rhyming rap, our graffiti walls, and smoke oozing potholed downtown streets, to the abrasive everyday life in Alabama. From a city haunted by a history of segregation and violent racist behavior, it’s coincidental that he choose such a controversial, and high profile name as JFK. John Kennedy was one of the most loved presidents of the past decade. He did a lot to help change the world views about segregation. So its ironic that an Alabama rapper would name himself after the late John F. Kennedy. Even going so far as to entitle his first single from his mixtape “JFrankKennedy TV,” “Blow Your Mind.” Not even slightly moved and somewhat oblivious by his direct play on words, it’s amazing he never received hardly any backlash from listeners. Kennedy continues to tackle subject matter that rang true to the ever growing oppressed state of Alabama.
Maybe it’s the calmness of the 25 year old rapper that enables him with the hindsight to and make himself fully aware of the things going on in his hometown state of Birmingha bama. The painstaking truths this once born preemie brings full circle to the forefront on entitled “Birmingham Jungle.” When it was merely a cool pastime to rhyme off chopped screwed tracks with his boys, JFK’s associate could hear something more in his slow rele rhymes. Maybe they heard Camron from his Purple Haze days or a Juelz Santa of Dipset politically correct, what his friends heard was Kennedy’s uncannily flow and play upon w flow that JFK friends would quickly coin as a “Presidential Flow.” A rap style that Kenn rally adapted to and would come to be known for delivering. But through the smoke in m and purple clouds of marijuana that surround him wherever he goes Kennedy has got to first. 18. EPOK MAG BHAM’S FIRST URBAN MAGAZINE
take in am, Alan his single d and eased t. To be words. A nedy natumirrors get paid
EPOK MAGAZINE: Why call yourself or name yourself after the late John F. Kennedy? JFK: The name J.F.K. comes from when I first started rapping. My homies and I just use to flow over the top of DJ Screw songs and when it was my turn, I had a slow but smooth flow. They said I used to flow “presidential.” I wanted a last name that showed prestige also. So in my freestyles and when I recorded my first song it was JFK. It just stuck with me over the years and the “Frank” just comes from Franco Harris another alias just to make it more personal. J Frank Kennedy. EPOK MAGAZINE: Your originally from Birmingham, Alabama. But when I listen to your rhymes, you remind me of a young Juelz Santana, Mobb Deep, Freeway, or some hungry rapper from the Bronx, New York. Do you pattern yourself after East Coast rappers? If so name me some of the rappers that you stylize yourself after? JFK: Yes. I am originally from Birmingham, Alabama. Westside born. My folks lived in Ensley and Grandma stayed in Pratt City. I don’t think I pattern myself after anyone in particular because I listen to music from all regions. I could take my chopped and screwed more out to listen to Beanie Sigel. I just like to use wordplay when I write and storytelling. And I think all the music was like that growing up. If I had to just mention other rappers I would say I’m like a Big Gipp mixed with Killa Cam. EPOK MAGAZINE: I think you embody the true meaning of what real Hip Hop is in Alabama. Especially on "Birmingham Jungle." Talk about "Birmingham Jungle?" What is this "Birmingham Jungle" all about? JFK: Well first thank u for the compliment. To say I embody real Hip Hop in Alabama is a strong opinion. “Birmingham Jungle” in a nutshell is just a jacked beat with a flow where I wanted to just basically tell the story of different hustles in this jungle that is my hometown. The line I started the flow with just set the tone and describes my hustle “ Call me Mc Claine… die hard with a vengeance b4 these motherfuckers hit me with a prison sentence. I spit crack, they high off every sentence… a Birmingham nigga, from where these goons is living.” EPOK MAGAZINE: Even though you rhyme slow it doesn’t matter because you have some of the illest metaphors for someone from Alabama. Do you read many books? Or do you chief a lot? JFK: I mean outside of EPOK, I don’t really read a lot of books or magazines. I may grab a XXL every so often. I would definitely say I chief a lot. You would think its legal wherever I am because its always purple clouds there. EPOK MAGAZINE: Explain what "JFKennedyTv" is all about? What does that mean?" What's on "JFKennedyTv” preview channels? JFK: “JFrank KennedyTv” is a double edged sword. It is both the name of my mixtape series and Youtube channel. My tv show is real life and its only shown in high definition on my channel. Look out for “JFrankKennedy Tv” season 2 which is the follow up to my debut mixtape. Tune in. EPOK MAGAZINE: I know you just recently returned from Florida. Did you do any recording or network with any other artist in Florida? Did you do any shows? Or did you just get away? JFK: The Florida trip was a much needed vacation. My lady rewarded me with a trip to Miami, which turned out to be heaven on earth. Didn’t do much work there. Just some small promotion of www.jfrankkennedy.com blog and “JFrankKennedyTv” the mixtape.
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“Birmingham shell is just a j flow where I w sically tell the hustles in this hometown. Th the flow with j and describes me McClaine… vengeance b4 t ers hit me wit tence. I spit cr every sentence nigga, from wh goons is living
EPOK MAGAZINE: Which song off your mixtape "JFKennedyTv” best describes who you are? Why?
JFK:I would say “Presidential Flow.” Its just real life bars about life and my goals. And I had to rip that “Playa Circle” beat bec artist I really look up to Dolla and Tity boi for their grind.
EPOK MAGAZINE: Where did you record your mixtape "JFKenndeyTv?" What producers and engineers did you work with f
JFK:I recorded “JFrankKennedyTv” with Jonny Fleetwood Cox aka Fleetwood Trax Productions at his studio. He also did maj the project. Production included, of course Fleetwood Trax, Hoodzone, DJ Slimm, and Shakabeat. I want to s/o all of them dude
EPOK MAGAZINE: Lets talk about your song "Blow Your Mind," which is probably one of my favorites off the mixtape "JFK our Civil Rights background Alabama can be somewhat cynical about certain topics here in the South. Now your name is J.F. Ke song entitled "Blow Your Mind" Get it?…….. Did you get any backlash from having such a direct play on words for your song " you even care or pay attention to the play on words? 20. EPOK MAG BHAM’S FIRST URBAN MAGAZINE
Jungle” in a nutjacked beat with a wanted to just bastory of different jungle that is my he line I started just set the tone my hustle “ Call … die hard with a these motherfuckth a prison senrack, they high off e… a Birmingham here these g.”
cause as an independent
JFK: That track is one of my favorites too. Honestly, I didn’t even notice the connection until the video shoot. Lil’ Mase who directed the video, s/o to Villains and Newbies, he asked me that exact same question. It really was just a coincidence. I don’t really worry about backlash from anything I write. Either you fuck with it or you don’t.. EPOK MAGAZINE: Who is J.F. Kennedy? What do you want people to know about you? JFK: I am just Frank or Jevonte. An official ‘Bama boy. I love Alabama football, Alabama food, and Alabama women. I just want the people to know that I take a certain level of pride in where I’m from. I only want to represent them in the best way possible. EPOK MAGAZINE: Since your such a lyrical rapper what do think about BET's Freestyle Friday? Who is your favorite? Bones Buggatti? Blind Fury, Syahboy, Relly? Can they compare to you? Have you ever considered doing BET's Freestyle Friday for more exposure? JFK:I liked Freestyle Friday back when AJ and Free was still on there. Shyhiem The Paperboy and Jin were my favorites. I can battle rap but I really rather just make songs about things I enjoy doing. I wouldn’t be against doing Freestyle Friday but I might get disqualified for profanity. EPOK MAGAZINE: On this mixtape, I noticed you didn’t have a lot, if any features. Do you normally do your entire mixtapes yourself? Or do you like collaborating with other artist? If so, what artist in Alabama would you like to work with? R/B or Rap? Griz, Mz. Joi, Kanekia, Kodiene, or MP? JFK: Well on this mixtape the goal was to give the people Frank. I didn’t want to depend on any features. I do have my homie Graystone featured on “Money 1st.” I respect any artist from this state that take they craft seriously and would be open to working with any such artist. I do look forward to collaborating with Mobile, Alabama artist Spank Lee. Outside of that you can catch my team the #Astroknotgang all over any and every project I do going forward. S/o to Trigg and Paper, Mia Bella, NIKE, Lil’ Mase, and Crook C. EPOK MAGAZINE: Are you currently working on your next mixtape? If so give me an exclusive. What's the title of your next mixtape going to be called?
JFK: Yes. I’m always working on new material. Right now I’m about 90 percent done with the follow up to my first mixtape. Its called “JFrankKennedyTV” Season 2. I’m just about for this one? halfway through my original track (street album) “Cash Theories” Vol. 1. Last but not least. jority of the engineering on I am also working on our group project which is yet to be title #Astroknotgang debut which es. features the single “Blunt after Blunt” coming soon.
KennedyTv." Because of ennedy and you have a "Blow Your Mind? Or did
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â€œI think the state of music in Alabama is on the right path. I do think that as artist in Alabama, we do lack a level of unity displayed when compared to other markets like Houston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. The level of talent in this state is unmatched. I think that once the rest of the country sees what we have brewing down here they will take notice. S/o to all my â€˜Bama artist. Our time is now.â€?
EPOK MAGAZINE: What is J.F. Kennedy's next move? Are you shooting anymore videos soon? Possible a video for "Birmingham Jungle" or another single? JFK: My next move is gonna be pushing this Season 2 mixtape and working on new visuals for that project. I want to continue to build a loyal fan base and build anticipation for the street album. You can expect at least one more visual off of “JFrankKennedyTV” coming soon. EPOK MAGAZINE: Are you going to the 2012 Epok Award Show later this summer at The Alabama Carver Theater? Are you nominated for any category? Best Hip Hop Artist? Best New Artist? You probably are. JFK:I look forward to the 2012 EPOK Awards show. Hopefully the powers that be will nominate me for one of those categories. Best new artist sounds good to me. How about u? EPOK MAGAZINE: Do you have any shows coming up? Where can the readers, fans, and listeners catch J.F. Kennedy live performances? JFK: For all show info u can check my blog www.jfrankkennedy.com for latest info. You can even book me at firstname.lastname@example.org. EPOK MAGAZINE: What do you think about the state of music in Alabama? What do you think about Alabama artist as far as the music scene in Alabama? Good or Bad? What needs to improve about the music scene and artist in Alabama? JFK:I think the state of music in Alabama is on the right path. I do think that as artist in Alabama, we do lack a level of unity displayed when compared to other markets like Houston, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. The level of talent in this state is unmatched. I think that once the rest of the country sees what we have brewing down here they will take notice. S/o to all my ‘Bama artist. Our time is now.
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You work at Slow Motions Sounds. What type of work exactly do you do at Slow Motion Sounds? How long have you with Slow Motion Sounds? PT: I’ve been working at Slow Motion Soundz for eight years now. I started off as a artist, Now I work in sound engineering, production, artist, and promotions. Do you consider yourself a rapper, writer, producer and singer? Tell us what artist have you wrote material for here in Alabama. Have you sung any hooks or produced any tracks for other Alabama artist? PT: Yes, I’m a rap artist, Singer, sound engineer, producer, and currently acting in films and modeling. I’ve did some ghost writing for Young Jarvez. I’ve sang and rapped hooks for D County, JB Tha Boogy Man, and a couple more I really cant remember. So far as Alabama artist I’ve produced for would be Jackie Chain, Mr. Marcellus, Chico 2 Triple, Jhi Ali & Mata of PRGZ, Slugga Mane of Cant Stop Muzik Group, T Da Man, G-Side, Short Change, and Rap Tite. I really cant go through everybody. Lets put it like this. At some point of time everybody has got production from me. I’ve done a whole lot. If I haven’t produced for them I’ve been behind the boards recording and mixing the rest. Talk about "THOUGHT OF A LEADER" your new album. How did you come up with the title? What does it mean to you? PT: “THOUGHTS OF A LEADER,” that’s my baby. I nursed this album from ground up. If you think about it in every click or circle there has to be a person that goes out to get it to bring back to the table for others to be able to eat. I came a long way from shoot outs in the streets, selling dope, fighting, smoking weed heavily, getting money in all types of illegal ways. So my past music that’s all you hear is just that. Because I don’t talk about shit I don’t do or aint done. Fuck that! I’d rather die than to live a lie. I chose the name of the album “THOUGHTS OF A LEADER” because it symbolizes where I came from, where I’m going, and how I’m leading by example. But not only that. It was a lot for a person like myself that I needed to get off my shoulders. Sometimes its hard to do that in a group because the subjects of the tracks have to be in agreement with your group. Its a great project I think. It will be releasing April 30th at www.untamed256.bandcamp.com How many mixtapes have you done thus far? PT:Woooooo……. Me and AC Burna was working our asses off since 2003. Then we brought JB Tha Boogy Man along in 2010. Lets see 1,2,3,4. and two albums. “Street Solid,” “Still Solid,” “The 6 Day Equation,” “The Best of PT Prime Time.” Albums are “Lets Make A Move” and “From Thugs To Bosses." From "Untamed' to now which mixtape do you like the most? Which is your favorite? PT: When it comes to my favorite it would have to be ah…...Lol….. I’m going to say ah…... lol Na “Street Solid” because that was our first project we had to compose by ourselves. It was more of “WE CAN DO THIS SHIT” type of thing. “STILL SOLID” was personal because I felt 27. EPOK MAG BHAMS FIRST URBAN MAGAZINE
like we was being over looked and I couldn’t settle for that. It also gave our new artist, JB a chance to sharpen his craft. “The 6 Day Equation” was for the fans. We spazzed out on that one. We needed shows and more attention. When it comes to UNTAMED ENT I’m the Driver; AC Burner he is the Gas; JB would be the Rims and Tires, and we all build up the engine running off BLUE GAS. UNSTOPABLE!!!" You’re like a chameleon. You have the ability to change your style up with whomever you work with. Do you think that's good for the image of a rapper today? Are you worried about how other rappers may see you as not street, hood, or gangster enough?
The best was of course my team UNTAMED ENT. Then my nigga Jai Love. We created the radio single “I GOT YOU.” Last but never without my Big Bro Mali Boi. Of course I’m the Prote'ge.
PT: With each track and each subject comes a different sound. Being a producer and Sound engineer on top of a artist helps. I pay attention to what my fans like about me. Energy, Truth, and Deliverance. I have influences that are sometimes with me when I’m writing and in the booth such as (Eminem, 8 Ball & MJG, Mali Boi, Pimp C, Tupac, DMX, BIGGIE, Beanie Segal, Scarface, Devin The Dude, Too Short, and Mr. Marcellus.) Those are the greatest artist to me period. I think its very great for a artist to have his own style but also have great influences. I really don’t care what other artist think about how gangsta’ or street I am. I’m me and that’s what keeps me standing out. I do me. I’m cut from a different cloth. Some of these rappers that you think gangsta’ really not. Check they history it just might shock ya.’ Me I been there and I’m a grown ass man that makes sure my son is taken care of at the end of the day. I been in the streets. Yes, but that shit aint nothing to brag on to me. Because I did some shit I don’t and refuse to talk about. I just pray that the old me can stay asleep and I don’ have to go back there. People gone talk yes, but I don’t fall into it. I really I’m too busy plotting on my next move. I don’t do dis tracks or never had one. I wouldn’t even respond. I like walk ups that say addresses and shit. That mic is in a room by itself and it don’t hit your ass in your mouth. Who did the vocals on the track “Tonight?” Do you write most of your material? PT: The song entitled, "TONIGHT " that’s me singing on the hook. I usually like to do all my own work. Shout to my big bro Mr. Marcellus for jumping on that track with me. I’m working on his project at this time too. Dude snaps. I made that beat "TONIGHT " in ten minutes and when he walked in he was like, “What’s that?” I said, “Let’s do it.” In three hours it was done. That’s what we do. We don’t have time for playing. When we get in the lab shit or get off the pot, your heard me? Yes. Everything you hear from PT Prime Time I write myself except if its 28. EPOK MAG BHAMS FIRST URBAN MAGAZINE
a vocalist usually we will collaborate. I just tell them the subject. What other projects are you working on? What are you working on next? PT: Currently I’m finishing up my debut solo album “THOUGHTS OF A LEDER.” I’m also working on JB Tha Boogy Man project no yet titled. At the same time, working on Mr. Marcellus project too. I will be starting on AC Burna's project mid summer. I will be releasing another UNTAMED project soon that was unreleased called “FROM THUGS TO BOSSES.” In the mist of it all I will be here and there because I’m also working with film directors at this time. I also model and act. You had many features on your album "THOUGHTS OF A LEADER." From Jackie Chain, to Mata of XO, and Mali Boi. Who was your favorite to work with? Did you working with all? PT: Lol…….. All those gentlemen are stand up guys. Mali is the most laid back person you will ever meet. Jackie Chain will have you waking up with a hangover because we drink a lot of Coors Light and kick the shit. Mata brings that energy but he is on his shit and feels where I’m coming from. Big Shift is also a cool cat when he works. I liked working with my hommie GHad of the Play Cousins too. Its never a dull moment in the studio with him. Lol…. I’m laughing now. I couldn’t put everybody on the project I wish I could of but then it wouldn’t be of much of a solo album now “I’m a rap artist, singer, sound engineer, producer, and currently would it.
acting in films and modeling. I’ve did some ghost writing for Young Jarvez. I’ve sang and rapped hooks for D County, JB Tha Who did you have the best Boogy Man, and a couple more I really cant remember.. Lets put chemistry with it like this. At some point of time everybody has got production while you were from me.” recording in the studio?
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PT: The best was of course my team UNTAMED ENT. Then my nigga Jai Love we created the radio single “I GOT YOU.” Last but never without my Big Bro Mali Boi. Of course I’m the Prote'ge. What would you like to see change about Alabama artist and the music scene in Alabama? PT: I would like to see this competition shit stop. Everybody got a story and THE ONLY thing that can be competition is who got the best mix and mastering because at the end of the day that shit don’t need to leave the work station unless its right. That’s a platinum rule. I really don’t care who you are. I done recorded or produced everybody in North Alabama. If not, I was apart of mixing them behind the scenes. I say if you not good at rap, try singing. You cant sing, try producing. You cant produce then try sound engineering. Cant do that manage, or pro..” mote. But out of any of them you got to learn the business first. This industry is dirty and 95% is business and 5% is music. Dig DAT. You cant do either, go work a day job. Aint nothing wrong with being a W-2 boy. I know plenty as well as Trill gangstaz. All my partners aint rappers.
“I think its very great for a artist to have his own style but also have great influences. I really don’t care what other artist think about how gangsta’ or street I am. I’m me and that’s what keeps me standing out. I do me
Who is your favorite Alabama R/B female artist or songwriter? Or do you have a female vocalist you like to work with? PT: My favorite Female artist would be Nicky 2 States and my little cuzzin Lady G. So far as female R&B, I have no favorite. We have three that I know of that go very hard and that’s Jai Love, Lady Lace, and Ms. CEE CEE. We definitely have female talent in Alabama. 30. EPOK MAG BHAMS FIRST URBAN MAGAZINE
What do you believe would make Alabama's music scene better for Alabama artist? PT: If we show more UNITY we cant be stopped. I think its starting to happen a little more now. Our producers and deejays are whooping ass and taking names. From Block Beataz to Ben Frank and others. I cant mention everybody but they know who they are. Camera men are going hard. My brother Deno TerrorTeno. This been his trap for years! I got to say Jurian Isabelle and Issac Ward are doing great. Relly Rale films is perfecting his craft. Have you already started working on your next album or mixtape? If you so, give me an exclusive. What's the title of your next album? What ideas have you come up with for your next album or project? Have you setup to work with other artist for your next album? PT: I will have so many tracks left over from “THOUGHTS OF A LEADER” that I can put out another project but I’m going to drop again in a couple of months. If I wanted to, I can drop every month being that I’m a 1 man band, but I care about helping others. So all my focus is not on just me. I have no title to the next project just yet but it will be exclusive. Yelawolf wasn’t able to make this one but we are still working on the collaboration. Also 6 Tre G, Project Pat, Short Change, Gunt of PRGZ, Jhi Ali of PRGZ, Dynomite Kid, and many more. As a rapper, is Alabama rap being heard or exposed enough? Does Alabama rap matter? Do you think the industry overlooks Alabama artist? R/B or Rap? PT: Alabama rap is being exposed now but still not enough for me. We got so much that they aint seeing because they say we country and slow. Shit I love being country! I’m in New York every other month and I get home sick quick! I got to give shots out to the people that put light on the South that I deal with heavy. Ballers Eve NYC, Southern Hospitality overseas in the U.K., Dirty Glove Bastard, Traps N Trunks, Dat Piff, Metal Lungies, Concrete Magazine, Epok Magazine, and a whole lot more. We about there. Just want my money. YEAHHHHHHHHHHH ITS YA BOI ( PT PRIME TIME ) aka Tha 1 man Band 1-3 of UNTAMED ENT, BLOCK BEATTZ, SMS, TEK SUPPORT
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“Rappers have made being able to rap so easy and user friendly that anybody can put elementary metaphors together and you would think they have cured AIDS by the way people buy into it. I don’t think Alabama has a certain sound or distinct sound. I don’t know why. We just don’t.”
Birmingham, Alabama's own Jabo was born on October 1,1986 on the Westside of Birmingham, Alabama in the small community of Riley. He came of age early excelling in the classroom as well as athletics. On February 13, 2000 at the tender age of 13 he lost his mother in her battle with Lupus. After the devastation of his mothers death, to honor his mother, Jabo set out to be the best at whatever he did. The son of a gospel musician, Jabo grew up around music, studio equipment and countless instruments. As a kid, he even played the drums for his local church. You cant argue that music is just in this guys DNA. After his freshman year at Alabama State University, on May 23,2006, Jabo was shot twice during an attempted robbery in Birmingham, Alabama. For Jabo surviving the odds and beating them is the name of the game. Like a true champ, Jabo bounced back. After a brief recovery he began to get really serious about his life, his love and his music. 2007 would be the year of new beginnings for Jabo. Now Jabo was more focused than ever in becoming the most respected rapper in the South. To date he has seven mixtapes on the street; “Anatomy of A Street Genius” (2009); “The Renaissance Era” (2009); “Kush Muzik”(2010); “Best Kept Secret” Vol1.(2010); “BKS” Vol2.(2011); “The Hottest Summer Eva” (2011); and “The Coldest Winter Eva” (2011). The highly anticipated "Alabama TalKING" hosted by DJ Green Lantern released on May 1st 2012. Throughout his career Jabo has seen many ups and downs. And he couldn’t be happier with his life today, as he sets out to be the most respected rapper in the South.
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EPOK MAGAZINE: How did you meet and catch up with DJ Green Lantern for this mixtape “Alabama Talking?” Were you introduced to DJ Green Lantern? JABO:I have been a fan of Green Lantern's for years dating back to like 2002. So when it was time to do the mixtape I was searching around for the right deejay to fit my style of music. I tossed around a couple of options such as DJ Drama, DJ Scream, Holiday and a couple others but my Team EJack Promotions and my mentor Floyd knew Green from awhile back. Plus, Green does Invasion Radio on V103 in Atlanta now. So when the opportunity presented itself for me to work with Green, I locked him in immediately. He heard the tracks, liked what he heard and the rest is history. EPOK MAGAZINE: I love the title of the mixtape “Alabama TalKING.” How did you come up with the title? What are you trying to say with this mixtape “Alabama TalKING?” JABO: The title was originally supposed to be "No Surrender No Retreat.” Remember the ALaBO? You know I was playing off the Alamo in Texas back in the day. But as I was adding tracks I did a track called Alabama Talking produced by Kuntry Money Jay. And when I did that track I was like, “Man this track says it all.” I took the track home to my fiance' and she said, "Bay…. maybe you should name the mixtape “Alabama Talking." I thought it was dope so I did it! And it worked out perfectly. EPOK MAGAZINE: The production on the mixtape is crazy. Who did you work with as far as production on this mixtape “Alabama TalKING?” JABO: Production wise on this mixtape I worked with Kuntry Money Jay, Black Metaphor, GT Muzik, Excel Beatz, Da Moon, BeatChamp, Track Slammerz, and DJ Green Lantern. EPOK MAGAZINE: On “I’m Gone,” who is the female singing on the hook? Is she an up -and-coming R/B artist? JABO: Yea her name is INK she is a very, very talented Singer/Songwriter from Columbus, Ga. She went to school with my girl back in the day. She also works with YMCMB up and coming star Torion Sellers. She can also play the guitar and rap. It was a great experience working with her 4sho. She gets in the lab and go crazy! EPOK MAGAZINE: You just shot a video at Mike’s Cross Roads in Birmingham, Alabama. What’s the name of the single for the video? What was the energy like? JABO: Actually we moved the video shoot to the Foxx Trapp due to reasons beyond my control. The single is called "100 At the Doe" featuring YP. The energy for the track is crazy. Its a true strip club anthem. It just symbolizes having a good time and enjoying a night at the gentlemen's club.
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Epok Magazine: Did you have any other cameo appearances by any other Birmingham artist? 6 Tre G, Skoolie, Birmingham J, Mz. Joi, Griz? JABO: Nah no cameos from them shout out to their movement tho! Epok Magazine: Who directed the video? Tig Knight? Kenny Luke? JABO: Jurian Isabelle directed the "100 At the Doe" video. I know Jurian from back at ASU. His work is dope! Epok Magazine: How would you describe your style? Your rap? Are you commercial? Street? G? Lyricist. Explain. JABO:I mean I have a pretty versatile style. I can go deep lyrically. I can make trap music. Sad music. Commercial style music. Whatever. It really depends on how I’m feeling at the moment I record or write. I would mostly say my style is unique in rap cadence, wordplay and concept. I just don’t sound like anybody else. Epok Magazine: Which Alabama artist do you think are representing Alabama well or to the fullest right now? R/B or Rap? Is it Yelawolf, 6 Tre G, Jackie Chain, Ruben Studdard, Hosea Chanchez. Or do you feel you’re a good representation for Alabama? 36. EPOK MAG BHAMS FIRST URBAN MAGAZINE
JABO: Of course I feel that I am an excellent representative for Alabama. But all those people you just named represent the state well. Like Rueben Studdard and Rickey Smiley are legends in my eyes, as far as Birmingham, Al goes. I mean anybody doing anything positive in the state on behalf of the state of Alabama is reppin’ in my eyes. I salute everybody on the grind. Epok Magazine: How would you describe an Alabama rapper? Do you think its easy to distinguish an Alabama artist when you see or hear one? JABO: Man the way rap is these days, anybody can sound like they are from anywhere. People…. excuse me, rappers have made being able to rap so easy and user friendly that anybody can put elementary metaphors together and you would think they have cured AIDS by the way people buy into it. I call it B.S. rap. But as far as sounding like your from Alabama nah…..I don’t think Alabama has a certain sound or distinct sound. I don’t know why. We just don’t.
Epok Magazine: Where can readers download and pickup your mixtape “Alabama TalKING?” JABO: “Alabama TalKING” is available now as of May 1st on Livemixtapes DatPiff. And a couple of other music sites. I will have them at a few mom and pop stores as well. And of course you can always contact me for one email@example.com. EPOK MAGAZINE: What shows and performances do you have coming up in the future? JABO: I have the "Family Day at the Park" concert in Columbus Ga coming up in June. I was there last year and had a good time. I may have a couple dates in Auburn coming up soon too. But follow me on Twitter @jaboent to stay up with the latest. EPOK MAGAZINE: Where would you like to be a year from now with this rap thing? JABO: A year from now I would like to be well respected in the game and having a consistent flow of finances from my craft. In other words reaping the benefits of my hard work! If a deal comes...it comes. That’s up to GOD. I just walk by faith. EPOK MAGAZINE: How do you think your music and rap skills will be five years from today? JABO: In five years from today if I’m still talking about the same things in my raps, then I need to quit it. Lol... I’m sure I will experience a lot between now and five years from now. So whatever happens that’s what I’ll rap about. See I spit the real most deejays wont play; the shit people might think. But a nigga wont say. EPOK MAGAZINE: Anything else you want to add? Maybe a shout to Epok Magazine? JABO: Most Definitely wanna send a huge Shout out to Epok Magazine. The hottest Magazine coming out of Alabama ya’ dig. I cosigned it. So you know its official! CHUUCH! 37. EPOK MAG BHAMS FIRST URBAN MAGAZINE
I'm Bossy is a Modeling and Development Company that gives aspiring models the tools needed for the modeling industry. Twice a month we hold the developmental classes for two hours. Classes are very affordable only $30 a session and each model will have their very own personal model manager. Your model manager will be your point of contact for photo shoots, gigs, fashions shows etc. During classes you will learn how to become a model, from the walk, to poses. Our goal is get you exposure outside of Alabama and booked for modeling jobs national and international. Classes are fun but serious. We welcome everyone to be apart of the I'm Bossy Movement. So Say hello to I'm Bossy Productions- Professional Fashion, Print Runway, Commercial & Urban Models for hosting or booking rates Contact firstname.lastname@example.org 256-542-1189 ALABAMASTANDUP
So, you want to know who Skoolie Escobar is huh? He's many things to say the least. But to sum it all up he's this exceedingly confident, ultra intelligent, charismatic, cartoon watching, skateboarding, devilishly handsome, Street Fighter playing, nerdy, super talented, well read, backpack rapper from Bessemer, Alabama. Its simple as that. The name….. Well actually he used to go by "Skool Boy" but after being confused with all the other "Skool Boys" out there in the world, he figured it was time for a change. The Skoolie name was actually a nickname given to him by a female friend. “She NEVER called me Skool Boy. Always “Skoolie, Skoolie, Skoolie and I liked it.” The Escobar part, that was Skoolie just joking around with another friend of his. After watching an episode of "The Boondocks" the night before, Skoolie and friend Riley was like, “Yo they gone start calling me Riley Escobar Nah um sayin? Yeah I'm just gonna call myself Skoolie Escobar.” Jokingly, Skoolie liked the sound of it so he just ran with it. A lot of people want to know does it all mean. And everything Skoolie does has meaning. Skoolie bases his name around the Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar. Just as he thought people would start to ask, "But you don’t even rap about drugs?" Skoolie would simply reply, “True. But I am dope. And that’s all the explanation I need.” Pablo Escobar sold dope, but Skoolie Escobar IS dope as his proves for the second time around with his new mixtape “Pardon My Manners Vol. 2.,”scheduled to release on May 18th 2012. Ironically, Skoolie’s D.O.P.E. or drug of choice is an acronym which means Driven On Pure Excellence. See. Everything has meaning.
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EPOK MAGAZINE: You call yourself the Coolest Nerd Never. Who is Skoolie Escobar? How did you come up with it? What does it mean? SKOOLIE: The Coolest Neva that is I, I actually don't even know how I came up with it, It just dawned on me ya know? Just some random genius I guess, but there is a meaning. It used to be Coolest Nerd Neva Seen and that's pretty much self explanatory. I use it as a reminder that nobody can see me with anything I do. I feel like I'm the best and I'm my own biggest fan. It just keeps me motivated to always out do my best. EPOK MAGAZINE: Tell us how did you get signed to Ruben Studdard’s Record Label Yellow Hammer? How long have you been signed? How did you meet Ruben Studdard? How did you feel when you got signed? Were you nervous? SKOOLIE: Ruben actually came out to one of my shows in Birmingham at the Carver Theater. I didn’t know he was going to be there. I just got on the stage and did the only thing I know and that's give one hell of a show. That night after the show he came up to me and said "You gone make it." He just kept talking about me to everybody. Before I dipped out I gave him a copy of my mixtape "I'll Explain Later." Go download that! Lol….. About a week later, (I remember it like it was yesterday) I was about to give my son a bath and my phone rang with was a 404 area code. So I picked it up, and sure enough it was him. (Ruben Studdard). Its funny because I was like "Who is This?," and he was like "Ruben." I said "Ruben who nigga!" (Like I didn’t know). He told me that he was a fan and how dope he thought I was. Then he asked was I signed, I said, “Nope.” He was like, “No management deal or nothing?” “Nope.” Then he said, "We need to talk my brotha". He invited me out to the studio to meet Michael Warren, (Rueben’s business partner) and I rapped some stuff for them. He was so amazed he threw a ketchup package at me and said "Ok we need an engineer up here." The rest is history. I'm not gone front, I wasn't star-struck at all, but I was happy as hell. I just knew had took a step to better my son's tomorrow. My team was hella excited about it too.
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EPOK MAGAZINE: What is it like working with and having a boss like Ruben Studdard? What is the chemistry like working with Ruben Studdard? SKOOLIE: Ruben is a perfectionist. Which is a good thing because I am too. And he knows that I never half-ass on anything I do. The chemistry is pretty dope though. We've really gotten closer you know? Its a real big bro, lil' bro relationship. And with that said, you know we bump heads quite often. Lol……. But all in all, its pretty dope. EPOK MAGAZINE: Do you have any projects you’re currently working on with Ruben Studdard? SKOOLIE: Right now, he's only done some backup vocals on a couple of my records. But he's busy promoting his album. And I'm pretty busy with shows and working on my own project to just sit around and wait for the call. But its something you can expect in the near future though. EPOK MAGAZINE: Has anyone ever told you that you sound like Young Money Cash Money’s Drake? How do you feel when people tell you that you sound like Drake. If your not jacking Drake’s style then how is Skoolie different from Drake? SKOOLIE: Oh My GOD the Drake comparison. Yes. I've heard it a million times, but honestly I don’t think I sound like him. Maybe my voice does, but lyric-wise, I don’t hear it. I honestly take it as a compliment though because Drake is killing the game right now. So if I sound like Drake, I sound like success. So what's wrong with that? The ways I differ from Drake…...One is, I keep it clever that's my niche. I can be all thought provoking and emo too don't get me wrong . We have two different lives with similar situations. He tells it from his point of view and so do I. And just to clear it up; No I don’t think I'm "jacking his style." When he first came out a few years back, somebody called me and said "Yo its a dude on the radio who sounds just like you." And it was Drake. He just got discovered before I did. But its all goodie though my time is coming. Soon. EPOK MAGAZINE: I saw a lot of your Youtube videos and you rhyme right on the spot for your fans and passer bys. Would you say you’re a freestyle rapper, lyricist, comical, or conscious rapper? What’s your style of rap? SKOOLIE: My style is Skoolie and that's just being me and staying true to myself. I can be as versatile as I need to be to fit on any song. I just add all of that together to create but I make sure I stand out and command the track. EPOK MAGAZINE: You’re a very charismatic rapper. Very animated. Is that apart of your live shows or do you incorporate that into your music only. SKOOLIE:. Oh yeah! This is all Skoolie. All day actually. I incorporate my real personality into the music, the shows, just everything that is Skoolie. Its all real. I can't be all hyper in the songs and videos and be like EEore on stage that would really suck Lol…. EPOK MAGAZINE: When Skoolie Escobar is not performing or in the booth, what do you like to do for fun? Where do you like to hangout? SKOOLIE: I really don't do anything else but work. If I have the time I skate, play basketball or just cool it out to watch movies or cartoons or something. Nothing too interesting. EPOK MAGAZINE: What is your new new mixtape “Pardon My Manners Pt.2 about? What’s the concept of “Pardon My Manners Pt 2?” SKOOLIE: The newest project is called "Pardon My Manners Pt. 2." The concept behind it is just me getting on other people's beats and just going all the way in on them. The title came from somebody telling me that I was outspoken, which is true. So I just remained the old, outspoken me and did my does. I just ask that you pardon me. 43. EPOK MAG BHAMS FIRST URBAN MAGAZINE
EPOK MAGAZINE: Are you single or dating? SKOOLIE:As of right now, I am single indeed. I am, but I am looking for Cinderella though. I know she's out there somewhere. Actually on PMM2 I talk a lot about my failed attempts at love. Its quite interesting. Music is my main girl right now but I think we need a little break Lolâ€Ś.. EPOK MAGAZINE: What other artist in Alabama would you like to collaborate with? R/B or Hip Hop Artist? Yelawolf? Jackie Chain? Modesty XO, Griz, Mz. Joi, or Jafaar? SKOOLIE: Hands down Yelawolf. We actually did a show together back in February. It was an incredible feeling. I have the record ready and everything. Already ready to go. I'm just waiting for the time to present itself. EPOK MAGAZINE: What shows do you have coming up in Birmingham and other cities? SKOOLIE: Right now I have no shows coming up. I've been in the studio every night working on PMM2 and my project for November. But I think I'll have something here really soon. EPOK MAGAZINE: What do you think about the rap and the R/B music scene in Alabama? Good or Bad? Flourishing? Needs work? Explain.
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SKOOLIE: Man the rap scene in AL is actually horrible. I don't mean any disrespect by that. I'm just saying we don't have a scene. The artists here are too cliqued up ya know? And everybody is all doing the same thing. Its like being different is an ailment. With that there will never really be a scene unless someone dares to be different. I'm trying to be that trendsetter and set that example to show everybody that different works. Find your niche and make it work for you. Create a lane. Make the scene if you will. EPOK MAGAZINE: What direction and improvements would you like to see for artist and music in Alabama? SKOOLIE: Like I said before, I just want to see the artists here step out of their comfort zones and dare to be different. It sucks when you pop in somebody's cd and its the same song as the last groups. Just on a different beat. Stand Out! EPOK MAGAZINE: Do you pay attention to the competition? SKOOLIE: Competition doesn't exist to me. As long as I know that I'm out doing my best, I could actually care less what anybody else is doing. If you're really putting in work, I'll here about you and visa versa. If its like that then it'll be only right to become comrades and continue to move up. Just don't take any shots because I'm too cool for all the "beef." I just let the music speak for itself. EPOK MAGAZINE: Whatâ€™s your favorite spot to perform at in Birmingham? Atl?
SKOOLIE: Honestly my favorite venue is anywhere the crowd is giving me the same amount of energy I'm giving them. I couldn’t ask for more. EPOK MAGAZINE: What’s your favorite song to perform that your fans request to hear? SKOOLIE: Favorite song? Well I don’t have one, but I get a lot of requests for my song "Skool House Rock" from "Pardon My Manners Pt.1." The way the crowd just goes in when it comes on is simply amazing. I have to run it back like two or three times. EPOK MAGAZINE: Where do you see the future of music in Alabama going? SKOOLIE: Hopefully soon the industry will realize that Alabama has a lot of talent to offer. Whether its either that, or somebody is going to break out from here and make it known that we have a lot to offer. Just drive all the attention here. I plan on being that caped crusader. EPOK MAGAZINE: Where do you see Skoolie Escobar in five years in the music industry? SKOOLIE: On top. Killing the charts. Just in high demand. A hot commodity. I'm not going to stop until that dream is a reality. I'm sick of dreaming. Its time to real life it. I just have to work harder than harder, stay prayed up and keep my team strong. And I know I'll have this and more in five years. If not before....
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Rumors have been circulating stating that Whitney Houston daughter Bobby Kristina Brown was gearing up to do her own reality show. It was said that she signed a huge deal to star in a show that would showcase her life after her mother’s death. Reportedly, she tweeted about the news that she was in negotiations for a contract that would focus on her career and her private life. Now, a rep for the family has shot down the rumors of a reality show. The family’s spokesperson said, “There’s no truth at all — completely false.”
Usher has signed on to play boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in a forthcoming movie, the BBC reports There were also rumors suggesting that Bobbi Kristina wanted to star in The singer confirmed the casting in an interview, a biopic of her mother’s life — as her mother. Reportedly, Bobbi has explaining that if people see him running around signed up for a role in Tyler Perry’s show For Better Or Worse. London, it's part of his training for the role. "I'm in preparation for a very incredible role," Usher Did you want to see a reality show featuring Bobbi Kristina? Or do you told the BBC. "If you see me in the corners boxthink she would be trying to capitalize off of her mother’s death by do- ing, I'm doing that while working on this album." ing a show? Hit the comments and let us know what you think! The film, called Hands of Stone, will begin filming later this year. Usher will star opposite Robert De Niro and Gael García Bernal in the picture, which tells the story of Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán. Nicki Minaj has departed the Twitterverse. The 29-year-old Pink Friday rapper-singer deleted her Twitter account Sunday. Her final tweet: "Like seriously, its but so much a person can take. Good f--king bye." So what triggered Minaj to call it quits? Earlier on Sunday, the "Starships" rapper-singer got into a heated Twitter war with some of her followers regarding a disagreement with her fan site NickiDaily.com, which had been leaking music from her new album, Pink Friday. Like Minaj's Twitter, that fan site is now "closed." There's also another potential reason behind the star's online exit: The backlash she's received regarding comments she recently made about her father, Omar Maraj. During an interview with ABC's Nightline last week, Minaj said, "My father was abusive. We were afraid for [my mother's] life because whenever he would have a real bad outburst, he would threaten to kill her." “I wanted to kill him," admitted the star (real name: Onika Tanya Maraj). "I wished he was dead.” According to the Daily Mail, Minaj's father is "devastated" over his daughter's comments and some of her followers were unhappy by them as well. If Minaj doesn't want to lose her Twitter account for good, she has 30 days to reactive her account, which has 11 million followers.
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After last week's premiere of the track rapper Kanye West has announced that Khaled to "Way Too Cold."
"Theraflu" on New York radio station Hot 97, he's changing the title of the song featuring DJ
West's label, Island Def Jam, issued a press change, calling it a "creative decision." The cold and flu remedy of the same name reporttelling TMZ, "We in no way endorse or and likeness of Theraflu in this manner."
release on Saturday (April 14) to notify of the company which produces the over-the-counter edly took issue with West's use of their brand, approve of the references or use of the image
The single's new artwork -- drawn by George "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" -- is version.
Condo, who also created the cover to West's altered slightly from the original "Theraflu"
The lyrics, meanwhile, which include the line raised the ire of the animal rights organizareputation as a man with no empathy for an April 5 statement. "He's a great musician design anything more than caveman coshis heart and join evolved style icons-- inPortman -- who have dropped animal skins."
"Tell PETA my mink is dragging on the floor," tion. "What's draggin' on the floor is Kanye's animals or human beings," PETA responded in but doesn't seem to have the fashion sense to tumes. We keep hoping that one day he'll find cluding Russell Simmons, Pink, and Natalie
Sure, Jay-Z brought out Beyonce at Coachella in 2010, and Kanye West gave festival goers his ballerina-assisted best with Bon Iver last year. But how many hip-hop headliners could resurrect Tupac Shakur from the dead? Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, the G-funk maestros who provided Weekend 1 of Coachella with a thrilling outro on Sunday night (Apr. 15), took their joint performance to a new level when they were joined by Tupac -- their fellow West Coast rapper who was killed in 1996 in hologram form, sharing the stage with the digitally recreated rapper and letting his likeness rattle off "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" and ""2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" in the middle of their set. The Tupac reveal was the high-tech, unique, admittedly strange highlight of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg's West Coast homecoming, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of Dre's "The Chronic" album later this year and the umpteenth delay of his enormously anticipated third album, "Detox." While hip-hop fans still await the good Doctor's studio return, Snoop and Dre touched upon their newer material by way of multiple guest stars.shared a giant blunt with Snoop while dropping by to perform their recent Hot 100 hit . Wiz Khalifia "Young, Wild & Free," while Kendrick Lamar returned to the main stage two days after his own Coachella set to cook up "The Recipe," his new single with Dre. 50 Cent and Tony Yayo bounced around the stage with a medley of "What Up Gangsta," "P.I.M.P." with Snoop and his Dre-produced classic "In Da Club," while Eminem Dre's most successful protege, blasted through "I Need a Doctor" before trading stage positions with his mentor on "Forgot About Dre" and "Til I Collapse."Yet the bevy of high-profile guest MCs couldn't detract from the real star of the show: the magnetic chemistry between the stone-faced Dr. Dre and lovably stoned Snoop Dogg. Whether leading the crowd through a cover of House of Pain's "Jump Around" or trading bars on "Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang," the history that Dre and Snoop shared -- and the deep bonds they had with the sunny state of California -- pulsed through every head-knock and tossed-off hook. Snoop Dogg's personal catalogue, including surefire singles "Drop It Like It's Hot," "Gin & Juice" and "Who Am I? (What's My Name?)" was given a little more time in the spotlight, but when the long-reclusive Dre got going -- as on tracks like "California Love" and "The Next Episode" -- it made forgetting about Dre seem impossible. Helping Dre and Snoop enrapture the crowd was a brilliantly designed stage setup, which included an ever-changing video screen in back of the duo's full band and faux power lines turning the stage into its own miniature Compton. For "Still D.R.E.," a percolating car tire and flashing neon lights kept the crowd bouncing; for "Ain't No Fun (If The Homies Can't Have None)," black-and-white images of the recently deceased Nate Dogg actually turned the sex jam into a tender moment. Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg deserved the rock the west side in style, and with an ornately designed backdrop aiding their hit parade, the hip-hop veterans more than did their home state justice.
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“CHAMPION VS. CONTENDER” HOSTED BY TRAP-N-TRUNKS PRODUCERS BEN FRANK STARTING A RIOT
Signed to 100 Percent Entertainment, C.C. Mista FLA “Champion vs. Contenders” hits the mark yet once again. “Champion vs. Contender” takes off very cocky and aggressive just like Mista FLA himself. Packed with adrenaline, “Turn On Turn Off” opens with a slick talking Ben Frank. Like a true baseball athlete, C.C. comes out swinging to back up every word Ben Frank utters. Originally a Triple C boy, mixed with the wildness of country Alabama, makes C.C. a problem to deal with, as he states on “Money On My Mind.” The follow up remix to “Boomerang” is a great combination with some of Alabama’s best artist. Cant Stop Muzik Scoota Boy, T.C. Da Outlaw, Dynomite Kid, and Lady Lace enforce their styles on “Boomerang” remix. Making a product just as better as the first. With all the energy in the beginning of “Champion vs. Contender,” the momentum starts to minimize around track number six “Shooting” featuring Gwapo. C.C. goes back to his Miami roots and even introduces Alabama to new lingo called “Flawed” featuring T.C. Da Outlaw. In Alabama however, lame or weak would be the word equal to Mista FLA’s “Flawed.” On “Feel Me, C.C. practically loses his voice to make sure listeners understand where he stands. There are moments when Mista FLA’s Southern twang emulates that of Miami based rapper Plies while on his track entitled “Super Bad.” “Go Hard” explains what “Champion vs. Contender” is all about. The difference between winning and losing is C.C.’s motto. Mista FLA begins to smooth out his rough demeanor, on “Daddy Loves You,” with an intimate, sentimental, soliloquy to his daughter. C.C. lets down the walls and lets you into his world on this track, as well as on “Yea Yea.” All in all, C.C. Mista FLA hits a homerun to get three and half fitted snapbacks for “Champion vs. Contender.” Based on a scale of 1-5 Alabama Snapbacks NOT EVEN AVERAGE BUNK
ASTOUNDING ALABAMA MOVEMENT
LATE NITE RIDIN MUZIK PRODUCERS DAVE LUXE, AGGY, RICH GREEN KEN P AND DJ BURN ONE
STARTING A RIOT
He puts you in the mind of E-40 and sounds like Bun B. “Late Night Ridin” Muzik starts off with “Hustle Hard 2” produced by Dave Luxe. The deep resonate of G Mane voice is able to sang on his own track which makes the slow cadence very heartfelt. Sincerity rangs through G Mane vocals describing the everyday hustle of Alabamians. The musical of G Mane has definitely been influenced by underground legends UGK. This slow drawl type of rap is a good for all true chief smokers. “On One” featuring Bentley speeds up this track a little with quick, antsy rhymes. However, G Mane brings you back to reality controlling the snail pace tempo. If you like techno sounds while your on the purp, “Lights Off” featuring MATA is sure to keep you in your zone. MATA brings his cockiness and somewhat masochist attitude to the track. G Mane stays true to his predecessors and finds time in his music to sample some of the best classics like “Pull Up” produced by Rich Green. With only six tracks on his latest mixtape, G Mane’s “LOUD” gives you that authentic smokers music that only he can deliver. For the outro “Anutha Run,” G Mane gets his Nate Dogg on and sangs throughout the entire song with one analogy after the other. All you need on this track is some Palm trees and sunflower seeds. G Mane is California district swagged out on the track.
ALABAMA TalKING HOSTED BY DJ GREEN LANTERN. PRODUCERS BLAK METAPHOR, GT MUZIK, KUNTTRY MONEY JAY, EXCEL BEATZ, DA MOON, BEATCHAMP, TRACK SLAMMERZ, DJ GREEN LANTERN
“Alabama TalKing” hosted by DJ Green Lantern is a Alabama Invasion led by Jabo that forces critics to pay attention to the steady growing music scene in Alabama. Jabo has a song to describe every situation and mood that he maybe feeling at any given time. Jabo intrusion begins with “What’s Hanning.” Though Jabo talks about a synonymous lifestyle to every street hustler on “What’s Haning” he still puts his on spin to the trap life. Every song fits his swagged out persona. “All In” produced by Blak Metaphor exludes to a labyrinth haze of drugs and a night of letting it all hang out. Jabo is good at painting a picture as he raps and sings on the hook on “All In.” The high energy “Amped Up” Ft. BeatChamp, Jabo knows all to well that he is paparazzi ready but is not fazed at all by cameras. The futuristic “I’m Gone” Ft. Ink produced by GT has a hook that before you know it INK will have you singing along. The son of a gospel musician, it is clear that Jabo knows good music which can clearly be heard on “Ride With Me.” A borrowed sample of Al Green’s “Love and Happiness,” Jabo lyrically glides from ride to ride. From his old Fifth Avenue, to a Focus, to his Diamante, Jabo takes you on an exhibition through his eyes, in the mean Alabama streets. “Alabama TalKing” has a wicked interlude into anybody who is anybody on the music scene in Alabama. Here Jabo sheds light on Alabama rap pioneers Yelawolf, M16, and Richboy. “100 At Da Do” is a allusive wild night out at the Foxx Trap gentlemen’s club. No one dollar bill tipping here. These high rollers come with twenty dollars or better. Jabo saved all his lyrical content for midways the mixtape. Its contagious the way Jabo swagger rides to the beat on “Gangster With Elegance.” Jabo takes a little lesson from the big homie T.I. on “1 For The Money,” and reminds you of a young T.I. from his “I’m Serious” days. Moments of greatness can be captured all through “Alabama TalKing as noted by the wishful thinker on “Dreamer.” For “Ballroom” Jabo sets up allegoric tales about living a sensationalized life. And on “Forever” it feels like Jabo speaks directly to everyone’s personal truths. “Alabama TalKing sets the parameters very high for other rappers in Alabama. For the summer, “Alabama TalKing” is the best, undisputed mixtape with four snapbacks that cannot be matched.
“JFRANK KENNEDY TV” HOSTED BY DJ NEW ERA. PRODUCERS DJ SLIMM, FLEETWOOD TRAX PRODUCTIONS, HOODZONE PRODUCTIONS AND VIBEZ PRODUCTIONS.
No he’s not taking shots at former president John F. Kennedy. And even if he was on “Blow Your Mind,” J Frank Kennedy is just leaving you with lyrical paradoxes. With an unprecedented flow, J. Frank Kennedy puts the entire city of Birmingham, Alabama on his back, rendering one with just a small glimpse into the heartless Alabama Dixie line. Following the handbook of Hip Hop, Kennedy tells his story and the story of Alabama over sampled tracks dated much later before his time. Kennedy with no exceptions has dreams of salaries similar to those of pro athletes and on “Gotta Get Paid,” adds his parody of the ghetto classic film “Paid In Full.” His preference of style is to rhyme slow but JFK quickens the lyrics to take direct shots at all his competition on “Cannon Flow.” Rapping just minutes behind the tempo of the beat on “Evil of The Money,” Kennedy tell tales that match the horrific scenes of Birmingham, Alabama’s First 48. With only eleven tracks on the mixtape, the meat and potatoes of “JFKennedyTV” is “Birmingham Jungle.” Kennedy saves the best for last with a sweet classical ending. With a flow that makes you want to listen again, on the last track Kennedy lets the listeners know just why he has such a “Presidential Flow.”
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Redemption is an oft-repeated phrase, whose value has been rendered incon-sequential. Scholars, religious fanatics, and pundits may use the term, but they’ve probably yet to experience it. For Yung Joey, 21-year old phenom from Northside Jamaica, Queens (by way of Atlanta), redemption is the song of success. Redemption is a second chance – and the beginning of a Rebirth.
Raised during the late 80’s/early 90’s heyday of Southside Jamaica Queens, under the watchful auspice of the infamous Supreme Team, Yung Joey has always been around the music landscape. “My father had a club, so I used to rap there when I was like four, five years old,” he remembers. “And my uncle Bimmy was an A&R at Def Jam, so I’ve always been involved.”
Being around the likes of LL Cool J, Slick Rick, Jay-Z, Irv Gotti and other Def Jam elite gave the youngster a first-hand look at the music business; while being around his father, a well known dopeboy of the era, gave him a bird’s eye view of the streets. It would be after he moved to Atlanta at age fourteen, though, that the two worlds would converge.
Initially attending an elite boarding school with the world’s brightest students, he soon enrolled in college, which lasted a year. “I never was a problem child – that’s not my story. I got good grades, and went to good schools.” At the same time, his aunt Deb Antney had begun managing a local rapper named Gucci Mane, who’s just had his first hit with “So Icey”. Yung Joey served as everything from roadie to Suburban driver to hype man, seeing once again how the music industry operates. Soon enough, the lure of fast cash and street life proved unbearable, and life hit hard. Dropping out of college to sell drugs, Yung Joey was caught up in a homicide investigation – and charged with fourteen counts, including aggravated assault, possession of a firearm, and murder. Police investigations led him from Atlanta back to New York, shuttling under-ground, reevaluating relationships, and predicting his next move (as well as the next move of the FEDS).
“When I found out, I had this gut feeling at the bottom of my stomach – I knew this was gonna be bad,” he recalls. Though his family was initially shocked at his troubles 52. EPOK MAG BHAMS FIRST URBAN MAGAZINE
“My story is so unique I’ve been to prep school with kids from all over the world, and I’ve been at the bottom of the totem pole with lifers & rapists. I’m everything every other rapper is not.”
gonna be bad,” he recalls. Though his family was initially shocked at his troubles, they hired a powerful attorney, and through due diligence and conviction, Yung Joey beat the case. “The odds of beating a case like that are almost impossible; so when I walked out, I knew that this was my second chance – a second chance to breathe.”
As his trial wore on, Joey watched from the sidelines as the careers of his comrades (via blood relation) Wacka Flocka, Frenchie and Wooh Da Kid flourished. His aunt also managed artists Gucci Mane & Nicki Minaj, who became overnight sensations. Once freed, Joey immediately shot his first video, a song entitled “Stripper”, directed by WorldStar powerhouse Blind Folk Vision. He also got his production chops up, quietly producing the majority of his own records, while also working on songs with the likes Nicki Minaj, Bobby Valentino, and Vado.
Citing versatility as his key attribute, Yung Joey now has over half a dozen videos on World-Star, approaching close to four million views. He cites his immediate peers and contemporaries, and his family as the reason for his drive: “My support system provides motivation for me. The fact that I’ve seen so many people do it – Gucci, Wacka. I’ve seen success right in front of me, over and over again.”
Yung Joey is currently working on his first mixtape, The Sixth Man, to be released this fall. With a formula that combines the lyricism of Queens legends to the rhythm of Down South- 808’s, Joey also credits his consequences and surroundings: “My story is so unique – I’ve been to prep school with kids from all over the world, and I’ve been at the bottom of the totem pole with lifers & rapists. I’m everything every other rapper is not.”
Yung Joey’s shot at redemption – his second chance – is one that he doesn’t take lightly, as evidenced by his understanding of what he’s been through, and where he’s headed: “I can only look up; I can’t look down, it’s only a matter of time before it’s my time.”
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Ever heard of Duece Komradez, Dirty Boys or Young Jarvez? Or maybe youâ€™ve heard of M16, Cotton Rowe, Laura Luke, or King South. You sleeping if you haven't heard the hits from these Alabama natives.
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Top 30 Rap Songs In Alabama 1.YelaWolf– “LETS ROLL” 2 Chainz Ft. Lil WayneDUFFLE BAG BOY Boy Produced By M16 2. RICH BOY– THROW SOME D’S 3. BEN FRANK– “NASTY SONG” 4. 6 TRE G “BIRMINGHAM” 5. CANT STOP MUZIK– “FALL BACK” 6. JACKIE CHAIN “PARKED OUTSIDE” 7. DIRTY BOYZ- “HIT THE FLOOR” 8. THE LAST MR. BIG– “LONG HAIR” 9. DUECE KOMRADZ– “DOWN WITH THE SOUTH” 10. CP/LAPONNE– “I DO IT WELL” Ft. Mike Jones 12. MATA/XO- “HELLO” 13. ATTITUDE- “I BE LIKE” 14. KING SOUTH15. BIRMINGHAM J- “ON DAT” 16. M OOK- MONEY HOARDERS 17. REE’AL- “ENCORE” 18 MZ JOI– Lights, Camera, Action 19. SOUTH PAW– Its Going Down Where I’m From 20. MODESTY XO– “KUSH PACK” 21. Hater Proof– BY MYSELF 22. Jhi Ali- MY WAY 23. Mic Strange– “IT AINT HARD TO TELL” 24. Boy Wonda– ROLLERSKATE 25. King David– AKTING 26. G-Side– RABBITS 27. G-Mane- “HUSTLE HARD” 28. LAURA LUKE-”BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE” 29.KANEKIA- “EAT THOSE WORDS”
30. Lady Lace -“WOW”
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may have a couple dates in Au-
40 39 38
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staff sound check before 106 & Park. 2. Former BET 106 & Park host Big Tigger doing sound check. 3.BET’’s Staff getting crowd hyped for 106 & Park. 4. Former BET’s 106 & Park host Big Tigger and Julissa on stage. 5.The Shrine Auditorium in Los Angelos. 6.-8.Big Tigger and Julissa after hosting show. 9-10. One day before the 2006 BET Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angelos, California. 11-14.Def Jam Recording Artist Trey Songs doing a melody of hits at club Cross Roads in Huntsville, Alabama. 15. Crew setup for the 2006 BET Awards Show. 16.Young Bloodz Jabo and Songwriter/Singer Kanekia at concert. 17-19 Trey Songz takes pics with fans. 20. Former Grand Hustle Artist Alpha Omega. 21.Universal Recording Artsit Jackie Chain, Shay Manager of Ateeze Records, and Trae on red carpet of 2008 OZONE Awards. 22. Atlanta Rapper Pastor Troy exit club Tabu in Huntsville, Alabama. 23. Rapper Fox a million poses for camera. 24. Houston rapper Trae, and Big Kuntry King during interview at 2008 OZONE Awards. 25. The late UGK and Legend Pimp C’s Mother poses for Epok cameras. 26. Killa Mike during an interview at OZONE Awards. 27. Former Grand Hustle Artist Alpha Omega. 28. Florida base comedian Duval with the braids. 29. Rapper Fox a million 30.Artillery South Manager Cain and B.G. of the group Hot Boyz. 31.Def Jam Recording Artist Stephon Jones 32.fans and passerbys. 33. King Kong JIBBS. 34. Former “Making The Band” Rapper Chopper 35. Killa Mike during another interview. 36. Former “Making The Band” Rapper Chopper parleying at the OZONE Awards 37.Ghetto Boyz member Bushwick Bill 38.Former “Making The Band” Rapper Chopper on the OZONE red carpet before the OZONE Awards 39.Lousiana’s own Hurricane Chris on the red carpet before OZONE Awards 40. Songwriter/Singer Kanekia poses with Houston base rapper Slim Thugga with the braids. 41.Tori Alamanza; The original “Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me” Songtress 42.Universal Recording artist Jackie Chain, OG Luck and Shay of Ateeze Management. 43. Shay Ateeze Records, Cain’s Artillery South, OG Luck, DJ 7-11 and Kanekia pose for cameras. 44.David Banner Talks to local artist about getting his record deal in Birmingham at Ron White Record Poole 45. Rapper OG Luck at the after party 46. Lil’Boosie at the after party. 47. Houston based rapper Paul Wall poses with fan. 48. Shay/ Ateeze Records, Artillery South Manager Cain and DJ 7-11 holding OZONE issue.
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