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contents 08 12 20

The TUC Unites Greenhouse and DJ El Aaron go for 2 years.


Herm sets the records strait and any which way he wants.

Pima County Coolin’

The Big 3 invade the Pima County Fairgrounds.


Black One


Artist Spotlight


2013: A trip back in time w/ pics.

The Chronicles founder talks to us. E - Fresh tells us why he’s So Arizona.

The city finally gets to see what I was doing at all those shows.



02 06 07 18 19 34

Ohfishl Clothing Co.

35 89 92

Ezra Letra / The Nobody EP HiEndTight Barbershop & Supply Royal Catering Empire Customs

Pureline Ink


2nd Annual Hip Hop BBQ


The Power of Words


Charismatic Cool w/ KLEPTOO

Will return next issue.

The Tonight Show JAYBEE / MURS3:16

Will return next issue.


4 The5Twenty Magazine 4 The5Twenty Magazine


Chopping it UP w/ Chef Mando Will return next issue.


Big Boy Tech Toys

Stay up on the latest, coolest gear

intro/welcome Y

es my friends we are back! Back to continue what we started. And that’s giving you the best coverage of the Hip Hop scene here in our beautiful city of Tucson. Home of the Wildcats and Murs. The Underestimated City as my good friend Izzy calls it. You know we had to bring it back. But where did we go. We had a good thing going there for a minute. 2 issues, a fully functional website and on the scene coverage, what the hell happened?


ife, that’s what happened. Those that know me know that I’m a perfectionist and a entrepreneur by nature so I always have multiple projects going at once. I don’t know any other way. But what I did realize is that no man can run a business by himself. And that’s what I was doing wrong. But at that exact point in time last year when things were starting to pick up for the mag, things started to get a lil behind at school. I was basically in my final semester at Pima where I was going to school full time, working in the mag, and releasing my clothing line called “Ohfishl Clothing” (shameless plug), when things started to get hectic. Above all of that I’m a happily married man and any happily married man will tell you he’s happy because he puts in work to make his wife happy, and if she’s happy then he’s happy. It’s a fulltime job people.


ut school wasn’t the only thing that caught up with me. My health also gave me quite a scare and to this day continues to be a issue I’m fighting everyday. I’m not gonna go too deep into depth about it but those that know me know I had a few scary hospital visits that by the grace of god have been eye openers and my health has become my number one concern. Cuz

Chief Editor Fernando Aguila Jr Assistant Editor Christina Aguila Assistant Editor Shana Gegantoca Assistant Editor Darius J Lovehall

Photographers Fernando Aguila Jr Shana Gegantoca Aperture Shutter Art Director Fernando Aguila Jr Advertising Director Fernando Aguila Jr Marketing Manager Fernando Aguila Jr

what good is it to put in all this work and not be around to enjoy it. Life’s short folks. Do what you love. Which is why I’m back to doing what I love and that’s sharing my city and it’s life to the entire world.


his time around tho I’m not alone. I have a couple writers helping me out with articles, a few photographers helping me cover events and features. This time I actually have a 5Twenty team to help share some of the load which allows me to focus more on the creative look and feel that The5twenty Magazine has become loved for. Yes we only had 2 issues but the feedback on those issues was amazing and we are here to finish what we started.


e hope our fans can forgive us for our absence and continue to support us as we continue to support the Hip Hop movement and culture that fuels Tucson. If it’s Hip Hop related we wanna be there. If you’re a artist wanting to advertise your new releases and upcoming shows, get in touch with us. Wanna advertise your clothing brand, this is the spot. Our goal is to take this magazine from online only to print but we need your help. We need the support of local businesses and companies to make this magazine the movement I’m confident it can be. Thank you for downloading or reading our 1st issue of 2014. Please stay posted as we show the world what that 5Twenty all about!

Fernando”kAZual”Aguila Jr.

Editor & Creative Director


Sales Manager Fernando Aguila Jr Ian Noriega

Graphic Designer Fernando Aguila Jr Web Designer Fernando Aguila Jr Writers Fernando Aguila Jr Shana Gegontoca

Questions and feedback: Please feel free To contact us THE5TWENTY MAGAZINE Tucson Arizona Phone: (520)235-8201 Email:

55 6 The5Twenty Magazine







ith the Hip Hop scene growing at its current rate, it’s important that we as a movement stay unified. Throughout the years Rap and Hip Hop have had some pretty jacked up reputations and getting the city’s artists together would usually end with violence. DJ El Aaron of 91.3FM KXCI and Eclipzo of Greenhouse Ent. came up with the idea for a photoshoot and BBQ and they held their first Hip Hop Unity BBQ on August 11, 2012. This last years event went down on April 6th of 2013 and this time around, The5Twenty was in attendance.


he event was hosted by Fingers de Freedom Clothing Owner and 5Twenty Hip Hop Legend Swindoe. While F de F provided shirts for the event, Aperture Shutter was snapping pics of the event

all day long. Hip Hop music was bumping, the carne asada was on the grill, and a lot of the city’s up and coming artists were in attendance. Just off the top I ran into E- Fresh, Venezi, Booda, Certified Hustlin’, Yung Mac, Young Frank, Celena Santa Cruz (and yes I got my pic taken with her, lol), Lil Felon and so many more.


here was live performances by Concrete Faction, SICCMOB, Certified Hustlin and others to keep the audience entertained and overall I’d have to say it was a great event. I didn’t see one bit a drama. Just a bunch of artists networking, and thats what events like this are all about.


his year, the 3rd Annual Cookout will be even bigger and better and is set to take place on March 29, 2014 at Reid Park. Once

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WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPED BY FERNANDO “KAZUAL” AGUILA JR again hosted by Swindoe and F de F with coverage by KOLD, Tucson Weekly and of course The5Twenty. This years line up is power packed with local talent such as Booda, Prejon, Eclipzo, Celena Santa Cruz, Ezra Letra and more. Photography will be provided once again by The5Twenty’s own Aperture Shutter and newbie Shana Rose Gegantoca.


e hope to see even more local artists attend this year so we can show the city we are more than just artists, WE ARE A MOVEMENT! See you out there ∞



A 5Twenty


Photo provided by Alicia Barron

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HERM o by

F ernando “ kA Zu a l ” A g u i l a Jr .



“A goo


- H wa er nte m

ho od y w go gs gu s, a son o” nt the ance t to to d

plays w d DJ i h sn a t DJ m t he ot a k c e you d idn’ s yo row the t kn u ow da d w nc a yo u e


veryone knows the DJ can make or break a party, event or club scene. I recently went to a wedding where in order to shave a couple dollars the groom hired an old friend (who was a teacher, not a DJ) to DJ their magical day. Well, needless to say it was a decision I’m sure they’ll regret for the rest of their days. Yeah he played a few old school classics here and there but he had no idea how to keep the party going. He would clear the dance floor to death (I don’t know why that just sounds funny). The point is, not everybody can be a DJ. Not only do you need to have vast knowledge of music but also the ability to know just by looking at the crowd and feeling the crowd’s vibe what to play and what not to play. Now being a fan of DJ’s I knew this but not to the extent that Herm lives up to.


n my quest for more DJ interviews, my good friend Kleptooo pointed in the direction of Hermilo Guzman III or Herm, as he prefers. But why just Herm, why not DJ Herm I asked him? He tells me that his take on this is similar to the

His Pl 14 The5Twenty Magazine

Herm rocking the crowd at the Hot 98.3 Mix Madness competition.

way MC’s stopped putting the letters MC before their names. “DJs have been doing this just as long so why cant the same rules apply”, says Herm. I loved that! This interview was barely on its second question and already I was thinking to myself this is an outside the box style of DJ. ut who is Herm? What makes him different than the rest of the DJ’s in Tucson? Who is this guy that won Hot 98.3’s first ever DJ competition? For starters he’s a Tucson native, born and raised. He’s been involved in DJing for well over 19 years and been doing it professionally for over 16 years. If you’ve ever been to La Cocina in the past 3 years on a Saturday night, chances are you were


dancing while he was spinning. You also might have seen him in Hip Hop legend Murs’ video “67 Cutlass”. But I’m sure those who know Herm best would have to agree with me when I say he’s a guy doing what he loves on his terms. erm explained to me that his journey to becoming a DJ didn’t start with the intent of being a DJ. You see Herm even as a young boy had a passion for Hip Hop. Growing up on the Southside of town there was no shortage of youngsters up to no good, but Hip Hop is was kept Herm out of


lays His way



Its not a hip hop night, its not a latin night or a edm night, its a good music night - Herm

trouble. Instead of hangin’ out afterschool, he would rush home to record Rap City on BET or Yo MTV Raps, back when MTV actually played videos. It was back then when one day Herm was reading an article about Organized Konfusion’s Prince Po and the person writing the article noticed that in Prince Po’s room there was a Technics 1200. The writer asked Prince Po if he was also a DJ and Prince Po said “no, any self respecting Hip Hop fan should own one”. This stuck out in Herms mind to the point he too went out

and got himself a Technics 1200. Then eventually he got another and the rest is history. erms influences as a DJ are vast and range from DJ Jazzy Jeff and Cut Chemist to DJ Day and DJ Four Color Zack and many more. But it was his mother’s love for music and the stuff she listened to that really stuck with Herm throughout the years. He would love it when he’d hear a rap song and right away be able to tell you the sample that was used. DJing just came natural to him. But its Herms beliefs and philosophies on DJing that separate him from the rest. “As a DJ sometimes you can get pinned into a corner very easily if you let the crowd dictate what they want you to play” says Herm. That’s why


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he truly loves what he’s able to do at La Cocina and his other weekly gigs is the fact that they give him total creative control to play what he wants. Ask Herm what kind of music he plays on Saturdays and he’ll say, “it’s not a Hip hop night, it’s not a Latin music night or a EDM night, it’s a good music night”. o now we can get into the story behind the Hot 98.3 Mix Madness DJ competition. But what’s funny about that was Herm explained to me that he really wasn’t planning on joining the event. He said a lot of his DJ friends were trying to talk him into at least trying out. Well right around the time the deadline was nearing, Herm finally just decided to enter, but he didn’t have a 10-minute video showing his DJ skills, which was required to enter the contest. “Luckily and lazily”, as Herm puts it, he had a shorter video that he had filmed a few months before so he just sent that in. Well wouldn’t you know it, he was chosen to compete. Herm said he was pretty nervous the day of because he hadn’t really practiced his sets for


the competition but he looked at the situation like this, “at least I’m around good friends and we are all doing what we love’. The competition started with 8 DJ’s then was chopped down to 4 then the final 2. Competing against Herm was not only his fellow Tortilla Factory partner DJ Bonus, but also other well known Tucson DJ’s such as DJ Grapla, Sid the Kid, DJ Alias and more. With Herm’s mother cheering him on from the front row, it came down to Herm vs. DJ Bonus in the final competition in which Herm came out victorious. Herm says that night was a great night for local DJ’s and a tribute to DJ. Hurricane, who’s passing was a huge loss for the DJ community but has also brought them together as good friends, all chasing the same dream. ven when Herm is not on the ones and twos, he’s still living life around music. Always searching for new sounds, songs and shopping for vinyl in thrift stores. Herm


Come se

e me at

La Co


- Herm

continues to hold down Saturday nights at La Cocina and DJing multiple nights a week at venues such as Skate Country, The Surly Wench and more. If your fortunate enough to be friends with the man on Facebook then you know he’s all about sharing what’s going on in Pop Culture everyday. On a personal note I am extremely happy to have had this opportunity to meet and speak with Herm. He’s a honest guy who loves what he does. He has methods that he lives by that not only show in his ability to keep the dance floor packed, but to also let

you down gradually at the end of the night when tensions are a little bit higher and people are a bit buzzed. Yet Herm can control the mood and have you leaving the club with sweat on your head and a smile on your face. Now that to me is the epitome of a GREAT DJ. e sure to stop by and visit Herm at La Cocina, 201 N. Court Ave in Downtown Tucson on Saturday nights.



Marley B puttin on for the people at the fair.


Pima County Coolin


by: Fernando “kAZual” Aguila Jr. PHOTOS by: Aperture Shutter

HIP HOP TAKES OVER THE FAIRGROUNDS he “Big 3” put on quite a show for this nights fairground fanatics.


known as Aperture Shutter. rmed with her Canon ast May our good in hand, Aperture friends and local hit was able to take makers Marley B, Cash these great shots you’ll Lansky & Honor Roll Gang see here on these next few were given an opportunity pages. I really admire her to display their skills in front street photography style and of a crowd of fairground attention to detail. If you’ve goers. I personally wasn’t never heard of Aperture able to attend due to a poorly Shutter, read the story I did planned vacation on the on her last year in issue #2. same weekend but thankfully s far as our I had a backup plan and her hometown heros go, name is Mary Macphee, but though I wasnt there around the town she’s better


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I was posted on my iPhone reading updates and liking pics and from what I read they killed it, obviously. Shoutout to the Big 3 and Aperture for making this article happen. ∞

The homies from the HRG: Johnny Reddd, 8ohEight and Jaca Zulu


Marley B rockin til the sun goes down. Photo by: Aperture Shutter

24 The5Twenty Magazine

This Page: Awesome shots of the homie Marley B. performing for the people. Opposite: Cash Lansky doin his set along with Ripdee and Steven Escalante, also known as GLDN Ghost.


26 The5Twenty Magazine


Interview & Photographed by:Fernando “kAZUAL” Aguila Jr.

The5Twenty presents

1 2 1 16

811 2

3714 5

4 19 5TWENTY Questions




black people in our school (all 12 of them, black power!) we used to have freestyle sessions at lunchtime. I wouldn’t participate at first, but then they would start trying to battle me. Not one to be a punk, I started writing bars. That then turned into writing songs, which then, over time parlayed into everything else I do now.

6 T

. What do you love the most about Hip Hop in Tucson?

1 I

. Where are you from? Born and raised?

was born in Colorado Springs. My father was in a military so we moved around the country several times. He died when I was 8, my mom decided to settle down in Tucson and we have been here ever since.

2 T

. Where did the name Black One come from?

he name was “bestowed” upon me by my friends when I was living at the apartment complex then known as the Block House in central Tucson. I was fresh out of High School. It was honestly a big inside joke, but as I thought about it and time went on, the name just kind of stuck. I was raised in the suburbs of Northwest Tucson and I was the only “Black One” in my neighborhood. I got into LOTS of trouble. I was exposed to a lot more than one would think from a stereotypical suburban life: Drugs, Crime, Sex, etc. I didn’t make the best decisions but often times that would stem

from the peer pressure of being that “token black guy”. I consider myself a black sheep in a lot of ways, including my family and how I believe other perceive me. The name “Black One” represents all of that…plus I’m like a black Neo. Ha-ha


. Married, kids?

have been with my wonderful, beautiful, life partner Camille, for almost 8 years now. We have a awesome child named Josiah, who is now 2.

4 W

. How long have you personally been doin hip hop?

ell, I have been making music since I was 10 years old. Mostly, it was R&B and random dumb shit. I was raised on Motown, Jazz, Classic R&B and Soul and while I did listen to the occasional hip hop (Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul) I was mostly rooted in those genres until High School

5 I

. What made you want to get into hip hop?

n High School, I used to run with this crew called P$ 193, which pretty much consisted of all the

28 The5Twenty Magazine

he talent. There is so much talent in this town, not just in hip hop but in all forms of music. We also have some of the best painters and graff artists out there. Tucson has been overlooked for years but I feel like over the next decade, this town will turn into the new Austin. We are one of the biggest music hubs in the west coast as it stands now. Many national and international artists make stops in Tucson because of the audience down here.

7 U

. What do you hate about it?

nity and entitlement issues. I have been working in this scene for 8 years now and I have seen some amazing artist come and go, either because they felt that they were too good to work with anyone or because they felt they were so good that they didn’t want to pay any dues and put it in work. If you are serious about this music shit, then treat it like you would any other career. Show up on time, be prepared to work and get your hands dirty and don’t step on the toes of others who are trying to do the same.


. Who is currently your favorite artist in Tucson to watch performing and listen to?


veryone who is “Starstruck” I consider some of my favorite artists. I Believe that Jaca Zulu is probably the most potent emcee in the city, while cats like Marley B and Cash Lansky have create such an image and presence for themselves it’s beautiful. It’s also always a pleasure to check out legends like Jivin Scientists or Big Meridox. There are so many dope acts out there. We started Chronicles as an outlet for local artists to have a place to play, simple as that. Although, it has grown over the last 7 years, it has pretty much always maintain that philosophy. Shout out to everyone that has kept it going over the years including Aureo Calles, Donnie Jordan, Kevin Meehan (R.I.P.) Anthony Farieo, Tyler Disney, Saer Uno, Universatile Music, and all of the acts that have blessed the stage over the last 7.

1 R

1. What do you currently do for work?

ight now, I’m a full time musician, as well as a freelance writer for the Phoenix New Times. Not the best source of income, so I will probably wind up getting a 9-5 for extra income until I can officially start my own business.

1 M

y Son, My Mother, My girl, My Peers, My City.

want to do bigger and better shows. I also want to give more chances to the hip hop community to participate and really have an effect on shows. I’m thinking about trying to achieve this through a contest concert series this summer.

1 A

a l i y a h , probably. I would write some pretty incredible songs for her and she is normally the voice in my head when I go to write R&B song lyrics.

9 E

0. What are your main influences in life?

1 I

3. What more do you hope to accomplish for the Chronicle shows?

4. If you could Collab with one person dead or alive who would it be?

1 E 1 I

. Who are your main influences in music?

VERYTHING. I literally listen to everything for inspiration. I used to emcee over Drum and Bass and Dubstep for a couple of years, so I always have an ear to what’s poppin’ in that scene. I also use to DJ for events and shows, which forced me to keep an open mind towards all music. I’m all about good music, period. No matter the genre.

all that, then probably running a DJ company, living the nuclear life with my girl, but honestly who knows.


5. Use one or two words to describe what hip-hop is to xpression and Revolutionary

6. If the world ended tomorrow would you be happy with all that you accomplished?

1 H

2. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

opefully, being a very successful musician. Maybe by then I will have done a couple of international tours. Starstruck will be a nationwide name. If not


am never satisfied, so it’s hard to say that I would be “happy” but the fact that I have created music that provides inspiration and motivation for others is pretty empowering.

1 I

7. What do you think about the current state of hip-hop worldwide?

feel that Hip Hop might be the most influential form of music in America right 29

Black One spittin’ to the crowd at Congress. Photo by: Fernando”kAZual”Aguila Jr.

30 The5Twenty Magazine

An o



r Tu

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r to



ave a sto ry to C L tell” ES i we j n …th ust w 200 at’s 6 a . n was We b ted of us t the eliev o pr won phil o e ’ v d t i mak osop de a that to bi n e hy w gger ever it pa oppo hen y a s r n a t t d br vast rtist unit that we fi i y s g maj poin hter rst s wan for t o t r tart ts to . Wh hem venu ity o fam ed i be h f us to d le a es a ily a o w e n v nd s a e d j i u r l r l rea cont d an st th y sli lives upp ch o inue m fe d at. H orte . Th u w t e r r e o s l y o p w l . , f eaks will Man ards mos tryi us w look ng t t y wi on a ill m a pa o ho l b l th o ove loca ack cher ld on ston f o l a star n stag ish t nd t e to to th dom e in hink hose l o e n , f r t g d that “Oh mom he ont , fru ream I rem of fr CHR itful ents ”. Fo i e O e c for t nds, NIC r oth mbe aree thei he r LES r wh r. I h ers, r ar e was s e t to ave it wo t of nIw thei an a that man the uld as s r fir udie y b insp t e T i l s t u l n h t sh youn cson ired ce o e fir call ow. utsi st st them g arti T that h d s e e of at w ts co ppin to k t h t a e e heir me u g ther s th y sh ep p eir fi circ e to ould p an ursu l o r e d p i st ti pen . To ng t ursu tell a “b me t he d your som me ead edro r r e y e e , iffer am, ing o yes this om r Man e t to ot was appe o wh ut nt r y of hers oute the at it r”. I t c . h t i a trul Eith t wa e gr give taly som y ta eate er w s th st s yo ethi k e st n a u e ng t y w s a , t a C a c o be ke-u HRO han With hat mes com p ce to we s NIC in A our e t L r s r s 8 E i o i h z t v m S ine, h ye ona tale e to e mo is even ar c nt a Hip cont re th omi nd g H i i n op h f it’s an ju ue. ng u mai ivin ave a sm st p, w ntai gap p l a e wi ay C n ou ll on lace l afloa H r fam l e. for v cont RON t for ily e eter inue ICLE s n a o lon to fo viro ns t S, th citie o pr nme cus g. W is s, gi a o e n c v n fin t, so tice will e us it’s a d m a n a ch ing n lso b ew m ethi ll ab ance ng t e ex ew a o t e u h r p t t yo even ial. W o gr at h and u o a i : Th ng o cont w ou s ke e str e Fa ur n pt C inue r fam ive t CHR n H a , me t o on. Y the RON ily e ONI A o ICLE ven ou a CLE rtist o t h r m and e S te S , Th e th r ve ore. am w beyo e DJ e mo nue At t s nd. . You tiva ants h a e en nd tion are to th d of that the ank t he d reas keep you Love ay, on w s th for y e h o y e ur c ngin we Blac onti e mo k On n ued ving e supp . Th e ort i n 20 13 CHR




If you are serious about this music shit, then treat it like you would any other career - Black One

32 The5Twenty Magazine

now. Not just musically, but culturally and socially as well. With that said, there is a lot of responsibility on those involved hip hop to understand just how important that is. This is something that the majority of artists fail to understand or are just now learning.

know what to expect.

2 I

0. What do you have coming up? just recently dropped my new album “Block


8. What’s your favorite element of a hiphop song? Lyrics, the beats, or is it a combination of both?




emotions that the s o n g s evoke. Melody plays a big role in that but also the blend of having the right drums with the right chords and lyrics that makes it beautiful.

1 S

9. Can you explain the idea behind Starstruck?

tarstruck isn’t a label or anything in those regards. It’s a support system, sort of a meeting of the minds. Every artist that is involved has their own thing going on. Starstruck just acts as a hub for those artists to get feedback, support, collabs, beats, shows….anything really. At the end of the day, we realized that we can’t do this on our own. It’s something that Arizona Hip Hop needs. Our goal with Starstruck is to make the name synonymous with success, quality and respect. Think of it as a ranking system: When you hear “Starstruck” Associated with an artist, you

House”, so I’ve been promoting that as well as helping out some of my fellow Starstruck mates with some promo for some their projects. As a solo artist, I can’t give away too much at this point, but I am expecting to give you all a conclusion/summation of the last 8 years as a Hip Hop artists out of Tucson. The Diversity Higher project is on the table to finally be released this year as well as a possible Starstruck compilation project.

2 D

1. Who Higher?



iversity Higher consists of Tucson Don, and myself a long time friend of mine whose album “E.P.I.C” I executive produced. Him and I have amazing chemistry and always talked about making an album together. We have about 13 songs locked down and I can say that it is probably the best music I have made in my life. We have b e e n described as a “west c o a s t outkast” by some and we k n o w that there are at a few people e x c i t e d about the project. We dropped the single “Germs” late last year and we plan on making a push to drop the album sometime after the summer.

2 S

2. Do you have any special requests or anything you want me to add, anybody you’d like to dedicate this article to, or anything like that? hout out to anyone who ever gave a f##k.

Check out more on Black One @

s t n e s e r P y t

n e w T THE5

Interviewed, written, and photographed by

Fernando “kAZual” Aguila Jr. 36 The5Twenty Magazine

E-Fresh rocking “Pistols in Paridise” at our photoshoot at Pima College


The5twenty sits down with


Pistols Politics & Paradise



E-Fresh rockin the crowd at Topaz Tundra. Center: E-Fresh at Pima Collage Photoshoot Opposite: Hangin on the steps at Pima.



Fresher than the average.

f you’re i nv o l v e d in the Tucson Hip Hop scene then you’ve definitely heard the name E-Fresh. Mr. I’m So Arizona himself, the dude first to go 520 Gold when Hot 98.3 introduced Feelin’ 520 on the radio. Honestly one of the few artists who really puts his all into every aspect of the career he’s chasing. Check his YouTube channel and you’ll see well over 20 videos he’s financed himself. Check his website and you’ll see 11 mixtapes and albums with more on the way. Not to mention he’s done features with almost all the big names in the city. No manager, no label, just

constant grind, self-promotion and word of mouth have been E-Fresh’s strategy and in my opinion, its been working just fine for him.


first met E-Fresh at Cash Lansky’s “Simplicity” album release party where I purchased a hard copy of his album “Pistols & Politics”. I was beyond impressed by it. The album is a journey into Fresh’s day-to-day struggles and his passion for the game. The tone he sets is that of someone who’s grown up in and around violence but is doing everything in his power to set a better example for not only the urban youth but also his own daughter. At 25 years young, you can tell from his lyrics that he’s experienced a lot of hardships growing up. From being raised by a single mother in a gang neighborhood to losing one of his closest friend “B-Zo” to gang violence, Fresh has sought refuge and peace by being in the studio as much as possible.


urrently working on his newest LP titled “Working on Life”, EFresh continues to grow as an artist and businessman. He recently became a co-owner of Pistols in Paradise, a local clothing line that he’s been a constant supporter of. Always working on his craft, E- Fresh plans on bringing us more good music and reasons to love this great city and state of ours. Though this interview took place last April I’ve kept in constant contact with E-Fresh and these questions I asked still apply to how he would answer today. So without further ado, here’s our 5Twenty “One on One” with this issues featured artist: E- Fresh.

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Up all night hoping that I don’t fall apart.. cause I’m hoping with my songs I can reach your heart E-Fresh


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Q&A T5T – How we doin today my dude? E-Fresh – Already, I’m good. Thanks for havin’ me. T5T – No doubt, so first thing I always ask is are you from Tucson? E-Fresh – Yes sir, born and raised here in Western Hills. Shout out to all my partnaz, you already know what it is. T5T – And how long have you been doing music for? E-Fresh – I started writing’ rhymes back when I was about 13 yrs old so about 12 years now. T5T – Ok, so I gotta ask you, as far as gang bangin’ goes, are you still involved with that or have you moved on from it all. E-Fresh – I guess you could say I’m guilty by association. My era was all about hustling. My brothers era was when bangin was goin on a lot more here in the Tuc. I am who I am because of where I’m from but I’m not out there startin nothin. True I’m a product of my environment but my goal is to show the youth that there’s hope. 42 The5Twenty Magazine


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Representin that Pistols in paradise to the fullest. Photos by Fernando “kAZual” Aguila Jr.



T5T – Why? Why Yeezus? E-Fresh – Because he just tells it like it is. He can rap about anything and make it sound ill. He isn’t afraid to take risks with his music. T5T- Ok, I can feel that. How about life in general? Who’s your biggest influence? E-Fresh – I’d have to say my Mom. T5T – Yeah why moms? E-Fresh – Because I got her heart. She raised us all by herself. That’s why I wrote the song “Single Motha”, just to show respect to all the single mothers doing it all by themselves. T5T – So right now what do you love about the Tucson Hip Hop scene?

T5T – I feel that, so what made you want to get into making music? E-Fresh – In my hood there was already some O.G’s doin music. The homie Lil Jinx had dropped “ Tre-Six-T Degrees of Hate” so I was always looking up to them and just started writing my own raps and just kept goin ever since. T5T – Dog, one of my first shows ever was opening up for the Raskal at the Rock back in the day and they were there that night killin it along with the E-Cleptomaniac from Kanta Records and a bunch of others. Small city ha-ha. Anyways back to these questions. Who is the biggest influence on your music today? E-Fresh – Kanye West. 46 The5Twenty Magazine

E-Fresh – I love that it’s not all egos anymore. People are starting to see that we should work together instead of against one another to put Tucson on the map. T5T – What do you hate about it? E-Fresh – That everybody’s trying to do it. Just cuz you got access to a studio and makin videos don’t mean this life is for you.

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creative rituals you use to get in the zone? E-Fresh – I like to just chill out by myself. Maybe sip a lil’

T5T – How has Hip Hop impacted your life? E-Fresh – It’s kept me off the streets. I could be out doin bullshit but I’d rather be in the studio. T5T – So where did the name E-Fresh come from. E-Fresh – Well I love Jordans, dope clothes and looking fresh so I just used the “E” from my first name (Ernie) and just added the fresh to it. T5T – What do you think you’d be doing today if you weren’t trying to pursue this music? E-Fresh – Prolly playing basketball or something like that. Still tryin to keep it positive no matter what. T5T – Do you have any

E-Fresh – Just chill with my daughter. T5T – Where do you see yourself in 5 years? E-Fresh – Just makin money off this music and setting a positive example for the kids man, that’s what I’ll be doin in 5 years. T5T – If you could collab with one person dead or alive who would it be? E-Fresh – J. Cole.

lean, I don’t really smoke too much. Just be by myself and get into my own zone and do work. T5T – Who’s your favorite local artist? E-Fresh – Inf. I dig Inf cuz he raps about how he lives. Real shit! T5T – What do you like to do in your spare time?

T5T – Do you think you’d ever leave Tucson to further your career or are you determined to make it from here? E-Fresh – I think I can make it from here. Obviously I have to go out and show the world who I am but I’m definitely staying here in Tucson. T5T – What’s your favorite song on Pistols & Politics? E-Fresh – Ahh man the anthem “I’m so Arizona”! For more info and to keep up with E-Fresh, visit his website at


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A VIEWTHROUGH MY LENS ALL photographs taken by: Fernando”kAZual”Aguila Jr.




ast Year was a great year for Tucson Hip Hop. I was fortunate enough to make it out to a lot of events and snap some good shots. I apologize to anybody I may have left out, please understand that shooting at night can be tricky at times. If you do see me at your event, stop and say w h a t up and maybe you just might make the next issue. I hope you enjoy these and hope to see everybody at more events in 2014. This s 2013 through my lens - kAZual

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The5Twenty Issue #3 Jan 2014  
The5Twenty Issue #3 Jan 2014  

Featuring E-Fresh, Herm, Black One and the 2nd Annual Hip Hop Unity BBQ.