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LUDACRIS MovIeS, MUSIC AnD hIS “SpLIT peRSonALITy”

SoULJA Boy oUTkAST B.o.B goRILLA Zoe

SpoRTS: eDwIn JACkSon DwIghT howARD eDwIn De LA RoSA DoMInIQUe wILkInS

DECEMBER 2008 WWW.GOATMAG.COM

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geoRgIA eDITIon FLoRIDA MUSIC ConFeRenCe CALLe oRAnge • open MIC • g.o.A.T. gIRLS LIMeLIghT • yoU’ve Seen ‘eM FIRST SPORTS & HIP-HOP DEC 2008

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FeATUReS

36.

LUDACRIS 32. DESHAWN STEVENSON

The award-winning artist discusses his current projects.

From business ventures to video games, DeShawn Stevenson talks about it all.

12. whAT’S Up wITh B.o.B? A peek into what’s new with the artist.

16. SpoTLIghT UgA 34.on MICHAEL

BEASLEY

The Bulldogs’ legacy and current standing is something canpick be at proud Being the No. 2Georgia NBA draft age of. 19 can be a lot to handle…unless you’re Michael Beasley.

4 1 . ATHLETES AND VOTING 26. UnLeAShIng The BeAST 38. KARDINAL OFFISHALL

Miami Heat players weigh on the issue voting.moves and Georgia’s culture. Gorilla Zoeintalks about hisofcareer Kardinal discusses his “Dangerous” new relationship with Akon and the creative concept for his new album.

40. DwIghT howARD

Back from the Olympic Games, Dwight talks about the experience.

44. RYAN LOCHTE

54. no BRAkeS, no pADS, no BoUnDARIeS

Lochte takes us through his Olympic journey and gives us a glimpse into his future. Pro BMXer Edwin de la Rosa has taken the extreme sports world by storm.

64. 8732

A look at Young Jeezy’s economy-inspired clothing line.

46. THE RUNNERS

66.

This musical tag team has worked with everyone from DJ Khaled to Danity Kane, and they’re just getting started.

we DID IT! 50. NASTY BEATMAKERS

The hip-hop community sounds off on the election results.

Orlando’s hottest producers have big names under their belt, and even bigger ideas for their upcoming ventures.

58. UNCLE LUKE 70. ToUChIng BASe wITh eDwIn JACkSon Hip-hop pioneer Luke reflects on his longevity in the industry. After a wild season, the Tampa Bay Rays pitcher is satisfied and looking ahead.

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SPORTS & HIP-HOP DEC 2008

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

ISSUE #2 GEORGIA EDITION

H

ere we are, back for round two. Though the staff at G.O.A.T. Magazine is proud of what we’ve accomplished thus far, we definitely plan to keep grinding for our readers – bringing you more content, bigger names and better coverage of the issues that are important to you.

Surreal is the only word that comes to mind when I recalculate the importance of the events that have taken place in the past 30 days: the first issue of G.O.A.T. Magazine launching, Rap City and TRL coming to an end, Albert Pujols winning his second National League MVP award, the tragic death of Def Jam Executive Vice President Shakir Stewart and, of course, Barack Obama becoming the first black president. Building off of the momentum of our first issue, we decided to tackle Georgia because it continues to give rise to quality talent. Cultural hub Atlanta is home to producers such as Polow Da Don, Jermaine Dupri and Bryan Michael-Cox who have created countless hits. It also has spawned some of the biggest names in music and sports like OutKast, Ciara, T.I., Usher, Herschel Walker, Jackie Robinson and Sugar Ray Robinson. So it only made sense to dedicate an issue to a state with such an important role in the entertainment industry. We urge you to continue to provide us with your feedback because we do take everything into account and apply it as we move forward. So keep reading and stay tuned because this is only the beginning.

Chianna Ray Editor-In-Chief

Publishing CEO Publishing Jamar ChristianCEO Jamar Christian

editor-In-chief Finance Manager Chianna Ray Maurice Wilson, Jr.

CREATIVE DIRECTOR editor-In-chief Rocky Segarra Chianna Ray

MANAGING EDITOr CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tiffany Branch Rocky Segarra

CONTENT ADVISOR Associate editor NicolePerez Vickers René Music Editor Editor Music Jessie Maguire Writers STAFF Writers Jonnine Yarbrough Mallory Jr. Alvin Mallory, René Perez Contributing Writers Contributing Writers Ciana Liu Annaliese Lena G. Hightower Chris Perkins Janielle Whitehead John Sankitts, Jr. ContributORS Jennifer Cortez Contributors Terrence DJ DramaTyson Elizabeth Dowell Giselle Morales Mercedes Streets Designers DJ D Strong Norilí Maldonado Lena G. Roman V. Rusinov - Cover Designers Angel Rivera Norilí Maldonado Rajah Cooper Roman V. Rusinov Angel Rivera Images Rajah Cooper Wesley Armstrong Corday Cardwell Justin Murray Executive ASSISTANT Maria Aguilar Executive Assistant Maria Aguilar Advertising / Marketing Director Eddie Forbes Advertising / Marketing Director Eddie Forbes Ad Sales Dana Marie Licata Bryce Fremont Ad Sales Dana Marie Licata Bryce Fremont Finance Manager Harold MauriceLett Wilson, Jr. Arcadio Cruz ADVERTISING: ADVERTISING: Editorial: Editorial: SUBSCRIBE: SUBSCRIBE:

advertise@goatmag.com advertise@goatmag.com editorial@goatmag.com editorial@goatmag.com subscribe@goatmag.com subscribe@goatmag.com

G.O.A.T. Magazine LLC G.O.A.T. Magazine LLC 1277 N. Semoran Blvd., Suite 102, 1277 N. SemoranOrlando, Blvd., Suite 102, FL 32807 Orlando, T: FL(407) 32807608-5570, F: (321) 445-5393 T: (407) 608-5570 -goatmag.com F: (321) 445-5393 goatmag.com G.O.A.T. MAGAZINE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those the responsibility publisher or its Ads appearing G.O.A.T. MAGAZINE does notoftake foradvertisers. unsolicited materials, misin this magazine are not anerrors, endorsement or validation bycontained G.O.A.T. Magazine information, typographical or misprints. The views herein do for products or services offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing their content is or copyrighted in thisrespective magazineartists. are notAllanother endorsement validation by by G.O.A.T. G.O.A.T. Magazine, Magazine all reserved. No portion of All thisphotos magazine be reproduced in any way for rights products or services offered. and may illustrations are copyrighted by without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA. their respective artists. All other content is copyrighted by G.O.A.T. Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA.

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SECTIONS 10. TRENDSETTER Soulja Boy

34 . BEST OF BOTH WORLDS

14. limelight

42 . HIGHLIGHTS

18. evenTs Florida Music Conference

46 . WOO-SAH

22 . open mic

48 . G.O.A.T. Girls

24 . heavy hitter Dominique Wilkins

52 . 5 greatest athletes of all time

28 . 5 Greatest songs of all time

58 . HEAVY HITTER OutKast

30 . FAST FACTS Frank Shamrock

60 . Events Calle Orange

32 . You’ve seen ‘em first

74 . MUSIC REVIEWS

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Words René Perez

TRENDSETTER

SOULJA BOY

“I’m always on MySpace hitting up my fans, uploading new videos, uploading new pictures, putting up new music for them to listen to.” Young businessman hopes to establish his staying power

T 10

hough most new artists trying to make a name for themselves increasingly turn to the Internet for help, no one has harnessed its power as cleverly as Atlanta-based Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em. Born DeAndre Cortez Way, the 18-year-old hip-hop phenomenon exploded onto the scene in the summer of 2007 with his smash single, “Crank That (Soulja Boy).” The song spent a remarkable seven weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, set a record for digital downloads (with more than 5,000,000 copies sold) and was nominated for a Grammy. His first album, souljaboytellem.com, was a huge success. It debuted at No. 4 on the charts, went platinum and included the popular singles “Soulja Girl” and “Yahhh!” – all proving that he was more than just a one-hit wonder. Though he has his fair share of haters, there is no denying the success he’s achieved through his innovative use of the Internet. He recently found some time to talk with G.O.A.T. Magazine about how he has exploited this powerful tool.

Soulja Boy’s online popularity is staggering to say the least. Currently, his MySpace page boasts nearly 94 million plays, 55 million views, and 855,000 friends. By comparison, established hip-hop heavyweight Jay-Z has about 36 million plays, 22 million views, and 646,000 friends. Moreover, Soulja Boy’s YouTube channel currently ranks at No. 8 for the most viewed of all time, with nearly 254 million video views – more than most major music labels on the site. Not bad for an 18-year-old who just entered the mainstream last summer. Maintaining all of his various Web sites, which include his MySpace page, YouTube channel, Facebook profile and souljaboytellem.com Web site, is clearly not a problem for the up-and-coming star.

“[My Internet presence] has contributed a lot to my success. It’s really what made my whole career, from MySpace to YouTube – both of them put together … that’s how everybody found out about Soulja Boy. That’s how all the kids knew about me, that’s how all my fans got to know who I was before I actually got signed,” he said.

Fan involvement is also very important for Soulja Boy, as can be seen on his Web site, souljaboytellem.com. One glance at the site reveals it to be a hub of activity, brimming with chat boxes, forums, groups, user pages, videos, pictures, useful links and an event calendar – altogether forming a thriving, fan-generated online community.

DEC 2008 GOATMAG.COM

“MySpace is a part of me, period … I got MySpace on my phone, my Sidekick, I got my laptop on me at all times so if I’m at the radio station or in my hotel room I’m always on MySpace hitting up my fans, uploading new videos, uploading new pictures, putting up new music for them to listen to. I don’t look at it as no job or nothing like that, I just look at it as something I like to do,” he continued.


“… I think you gotta have the fans [BE] a part of your career, period. That’s who buys your records and that’s who makes your career.” “I think it’s very, very important to have the fans able to speak what they feel … That’s what you gotta do, you gotta get your fans interacting with everything you do. They can tell you whether they liked the songs or not, whether they liked the video or not. You can reach more people at a time, and you can do different things as far as different content, getting them involved with uploading their own videos … I think you gotta have the fans [be] a part of your career, period. That’s who buys your records and that’s who makes your career,” he explained. Soulja Boy is also not shy when it comes to revealing more of himself on the Web. His site includes a section called Soulja Boy T.V., in which he regularly posts live feeds of what he is doing. Furthermore, his large YouTube video collection includes regular content updates. These range from music video clips, behindthe-scenes insight and instructional dance videos, to more personal topics such as his platinum certification, feud with Ice-T, first time voting, and quest to be crowned King of the Net in the Online Hip-Hop Awards. Another connection with his fans came when he revealed his Xbox Live gamertag (“souljaboytellem”) and challenged his fans to face him in Halo 3, among other titles. His relationship with the Internet and technology is further evident in his album titles souljaboytellem. com and the upcoming iSouljaBoyTellEm.

“I just think, man, technology plays a big role in my career, period. [With] my first album, souljaboytellem.com, all I wanted to do was go platinum … before I recorded that album, I had my Web site souljaboytellem.com … and it had over a million hits. I was thinking if more than 1 million people could go to my Web site before I got signed, [that] if I put out an album I think I could go platinum. So I named the album ‘souljaboytellem.com’ … I just made it like my whole album was a Web site … and going into the second album, I’m naming it ‘iSouljaBoyTellem’ – basically still keeping it technology-involved, but then I’m making it like the future,” he said. Love him or hate him, one thing is clear – Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em is not going anywhere anytime soon. The distinct, steel drum intro from “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” is instantly recognizable to most people and highlights how the song has managed to seep its way into our pop culture. It has been performed by stars such as Beyoncé, T-Pain, Lil Wayne and Lil Mama, and has spawned numerous YouTube parodies, such as “Crank That SpongeBob” which has over 52 million views (more than the original). With his new album, iSouljaBoyTellEm, dropping December 16 and side ventures – including a recent partnership with Yums Shoes and an upcoming Web-based cartoon – the teenage businessman is determined to keep up his momentum. His ground-breaking use of the Internet has set the bar high for his fellow hip-hop artists, who now have little choice but to invest more in their online presence. His rise to fame, fueled largely by his Web expertise, makes him this month’s G.O.A.T. Trendsetter.

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?

WHAT’S UP WITH Words John Sankitts, Jr. Photo Wuz Good

B.O.B

“Really and truly, I can’t stress this enough: be sure to be yourself, don’t portray yourself to be someone you’re not.”

W

e finally caught up with the elusive B.o.B to get an update on his relationship with Grand Hustle, his album release date, and the benefits of having the Internet as a tool for gaining widespread exposure. As for him signing with Grand Hustle and working with T.I., he said, “It’s like a relationship, like family, when I’m in the studio with T.I., it’s very competitive.” We asked the eccentric rap artist how having a MySpace page, songs on iTunes and a Web site help play a role in his popularity. He candidly expressed that performing songs like “Haters” is more appropriate in the hoods across the Southeast, but the digital aspect definitely helped him reach out nationally and internationally with songs like “Cloud Nine,” Mellow Fellow,” and “Grip Ur Body.” There’s much expectation on the release of B.o.B’s new album, especially now that he’s coming out of the Grand Hustle camp. He said that right now, what’s more important to him is to focus on getting the music right before dropping his album (set to drop sometime in 2009). When asked for what advice he can give to up-and-coming artists, his response was, “Really and truly, I can’t stress this enough: be sure to be yourself, don’t portray yourself to be someone you’re not. Be real and don’t let the industry pull you into that realm unless you’re just trying to make money and not doing it because you have the passion for the music.” Though his album is highly anticipated, I’m sure his wellproduced, soulful, melodic sounds and quirky metaphors will live up to the hype.

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EVENTS

Words Jonh Sankitts, Jr. Photos Roman Rusinov

FLORIDA MUSIC CONFERENCE

hosted by 102 JAMZ, Nasty Beatmakers and G.O.A.T. Magazine

T

he 2008 Florida Music Conference, hosted by 102 JAMZ, Nasty Beatmakers and G.O.A.T. Magazine, was indeed a great success. If you had attended, you would have been blown away by a wealth of information and by the A-list music producers that attended, like Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins, The Runners, Polow Da Don and Nasty Beatmakers. They were able to sit down and give their in-depth advice on how to produce, mix and master a professional record and also give some of the dos and don’ts of the industry. This was the place to be – the mood was energetic, and it was great to see some of the major players in the music industry. Advice from three different panels of producers, artists and record label exec’s was tangible and accessible to anyone with a passion for making it in the industry. It was nice to hear from Brandy, Mike Jones, DJ Khaled and Rick Ross, who were

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all extremely giving of themselves in aiding artists and producers trying to obtain insider knowledge. G.O.A.T. Magazine held it down and was especially visible with their new, cutting-edge magazine that lends a platform to new artists. This was a mecca for aspiring artists, producers and record label owners, who definitely left with some concrete advice and even the opportunity to give a demo to one of the elites. Thanks to Michael Saunders, program director of 102 JAMZ, Jamar Christian, Publishing CEO of G.O.A.T. Magazine, and Nasty Beatmakers for bringing such a gem of an event to Orlando in order to help support our local artists. So look forward to the 2009 Florida Music Conference – this is one event you can’t afford to miss.


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Open mic

Words John Sankitts, Jr.

Open MIC is a deciphering of some of the top lyricists’ lyrics and interpretations from their biggest fans.

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SONGS

BARS

MEANING

Ludacris Stand Up

Y’all use mouth to mouth to bring the party to life…

A group of people passing a blunt around.

Shawty Lo Dey Know

Bankhead been pullin capers, the way you drop

Young Jeezy The Recession

Glacier on my wrist same thing that sank the

Stat Quo Ooh Drama

G’nac to sip and wigs to split, nuff grip wont slip,

Drinking Cognac and he’s ready to fight, got his pistol grip

be easy…

tight, so relax.

T.I. Wish You Would

You ain’t living what you kicking and you’re worth-

Dem Franchise Boyz Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It

Before I leave da house I’m slizzard on the

Big Boi Something’s Gotta Give

So it’s back to doing hand to hand on his own

André 3000 So Fresh, So Clean

They say you’re malnutrition in need of vitamin D

A female facial expression depicts she’s horny and in need of

and inviting me to that tingle in yo spine...

a sexual encounter.

DEC 2008 GOATMAG.COM

woulda thought I had a Taser…

Titanic, don’t get frantic…

less…

goose…

plight…

Doing crime in Bankhead, and victims drop as they get shot.

He’s got huge diamonds on his watch, don’t be alarmed.

Your lyrics don’t reflect your real life, and you’re broke.

Before leaving the house, he’s drunk off Grey Goose.

A felon gone back to dealing drugs.


Participants

Interpretations

Stephanie Moises—Orlando, FL

Kissing girls to hype the party up.

Jacu Nior—Panama City, FL

His lyrics will keep the party alive.

Rome Sparks—Los Angeles, CA

Earning more money than you can spend.

Abraham Jennin—Queens, NY

He got a nice haircut and he won’t slip in his sneakers.

Jennifer Helm—Chicago, IL

He got a very big diamond on his wristwatch, and it could sink a ship.

Jerome Pionte—Brunswick, NJ

He’s got a real icy watch.

Dana Dewitt—Miami, FL

Someone getting their head busted open.

Mike Johnson—Boston, MA

Drinking on the yak and peeling and your cap back.

Jada Yinasta—Brooklyn, NY

Basically you’re a fraud and a broke ass.

Gino Gonzalez—St. Croix, VI

Basically he’s saying that you’re not about what you rap about.

Leon Jenkins—Bronx, NY

Before getting his swerve on, he’s already drunk off Grey Goose.

Yachira Melendez—Phoenix, AZ

Before he leaves the house he puts on some comfortable slippers.

Jamar Lenox—Chicago, IL

He got to go back to working a regular job.

Rick Ronopolous—Dallas, TX

Well, I think he means going back to dealing.

Mike “Money” Rivera—Orlando, FL

The bitch is skinny and needs to get her back broken.

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UNLEASHING THE BEAST Gorilla Zoe Is Ready To Show The World His Wild Side With Sophomore Album

T

hough Atlanta native Gorilla Zoe is no stranger to the

While many may know him as Bad Boy’s raspy-voiced “replacement” for Young

world until October 2007 when he released his debut album,

style of his own. Zoe is giving fans a second dose of what he’s all about in his

Georgia music scene, he wasn’t introduced to the rest of the Welcome to the Zoo, featuring the hit single “Hood Figga.”

With an album debut in the Billboard Top 20 and appearances on two of Yung Joc’s biggest singles, “Coffee Shop” and “Bottle Poppin,” Gorilla Zoe has already begun to make a

name for himself in a game that, he feels, has been revolutionized by his hometown. “As far as the business of hip-hop is concerned, the amount of money we’ve gener-

ated towards hip-hop is crazy. Everything from the crunk era to now ... it’s different. It’s not the conventional, old school hip-hop. A lot of people don’t understand it,

because it’s young people doing it. The people that founded hip-hop don’t understand because a lot of older people don’t understand kids. But as far as hip-hop,

we helped sculpt the new ways. You go overseas and people have on Atlanta hats.

They’re dressing like us, they’re dancing like us. They’re trying to see what the new thing is and Atlanta is basically the core of it. From gangster music to R&B, there’s a lot of stuff [that we do],” Zoe said.

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Words Jonnine Yarbrough

DEC 2008 GOATMAG.COM

Jeezy, lucid lyrics laid over gritty beats show that Gorilla Zoe definitely has a

sophomore album, Don’t Feed the Animals, set to drop in early 2009. As fast

as Gorilla Zoe is coming up, he plans to remain focused on his music instead of following the paths of other Atlanta artists like Ludacris and OutKast.

“When my time comes [to do movies], I’ll be ready. Even though I’ve been out for a minute, a lot of people think of it like I only put one album out. I came in

the game [officially] last year, so I’m not trying to rush. I’m not a microwave art-

ist,” he explained. For now, you can catch Gorilla Zoe at places he says are the hottest spots in Atlanta.

“Magic City on a Monday … you must come and see that. You gotta eat at the different food spots, like having breakfast in the morning at Thumbs Up, and

Leopard Lounge for dinner. Aww, man … there’s so much culture in Atlanta; so much to do. Go shopping at the Underground [Atlanta], just to pick up on the real hood culture,” he recommended.


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5

GEORGIA’s GREATEST SONGS OF ALL TIME of

Picked by DJ Drama

OUTKAST

Words Jonnine Yarbrough

“PLAYER’s BALL”

Album: Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik Original Release Date: November 22, 1993 Label: LaFace Records Written By: OutKast Produced By: Organized Noize Productions

P

layer’s Ball was originally released in 1993 as OutKast’s first single, and was released again in 1994 as the seventh track on OutKast’s debut album, Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. The album is often credited with laying the groundwork for Southern hip-hop and is an undisputed classic in the hip-hop world.

The song, which references Chicago’s Player’s Ball (an annual gathering of pimps), described the duo’s view of their lifestyle at the time. “Player’s Ball” captures OutKast’s “Alternative South” style of touching on lesser-discussed topics and incorporating messages. The 1970s-reminiscent music coupled with a classic beat is the true definition of “Cadillac Music.” The video for the song was produced by Sean “Diddy” Combs, and is one of OutKast’s most-viewed videos. The song was actually recorded in what was known as “The Dungeon” – producer Rico Wade’s basement studio. The remix to “Player’s Ball” was the final track on the Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik album.

Lil Jon “Get Low”

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T.I. “What You Know”

YoungBloodz

Young Jeezy

“Damn!”

“Trap Or Die”


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LUDACRIS

Grammy-winning artist talks movies, music and his “split personality” Words René Perez Photo Roman Rusinov

T

hree-time Grammy winner Ludacris has sold over 11.5 million albums, appeared in several movies and has helped elevate Southern hip-hop to a new level. Born Christopher Bridges, the 31-year-old Dirty South rapper has worked with such artists as Ciara, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Trina, Jermaine Dupri and Fergie. He has delivered countless smash hits including “What’s Your Fantasy,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Get Back” and “Money Maker.” Though he has six platinum albums under his belt, Ludacris has not stopped there. He is involved with his Disturbing tha Peace record label, the Ludacris Foundation (which helps underprivileged children), the Straits Restaurant in Atlanta, and a social music-networking site called WeMix.com. Luda has also appeared in multiple films, including the Oscarwinning Crash, Hustle & Flow and the recently released Max Payne and RocknRolla. Luda found some time to speak with G.O.A.T. Magazine about his recent films and his new album, Theater of the Mind. What was the inspiration behind the album and how was it teaming up with T.I.? The inspiration behind the album was to do something totally different that no one in the industry was doing right now. Every song is kinda themed after movies, television and film. So, basically every song is a movie … it’s like a presentation. Instead of just listening to something, you have to experience it. Working with T.I. was cool; he did a song on my album, I did a song on his. So, [we’re] just coming together, letting everyone know how powerful Atlanta and the South is as a whole. You are making a major impact in the fourth quarter with the dropping of your latest album and two movies; do you have plans for a tour? If so, how do you plan to fit it into your busy schedule? [As far as] working on a tour right now – it is hard because of my schedule, but hopefully we can put something together and confirm it. Nothing is confirmed as of now, but just know that I do want to get out on the road and I definitely will be coming to a hood near you soon.

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Where did you come up with the idea to do the Ludacris/Chris Bridges interview for Max Payne? Me and my business partners from my [WeMix.com] Web site, which is a social music-networking site, we came up with the idea together and I definitely like doing the whole split personality thing. What is the benefit of having two identities to display to the world? It’s just about balance. Everybody has more than one side to themselves, so I just thought about balance – everybody is multifaceted so I think it’s important to show these different sides of ourselves. If you could pick one movie to best describe your life, what would it be and why? Hustle & Flow, without him going to jail at the end. And maybe [instead of] him pimping women, I was more pimping the system … Why? Because it just goes to show my man’s rise from the bottom … well, he didn’t really make it to the top but … a man’s rise from hard work and dedication to finishing projects and … doing it on your own without much help from too many people.

The transition from music to the big screen has come very naturally to you. when did you decide to take the plunge into the film industry? After John Singleton asked me to audition for 2 Fast 2 Furious and I got the part, it was pretty much history from there because after that came Crash and then Hustle & Flow, and I’ve just been riding the wave ever since.

Out of the three movies, RocknRolla, Max Payne and Game, which character did you enjoy portraying the most? Probably Max Payne cuz I got to point a gun at Mark Wahlberg and get away with it.

Since they both come so naturally to you, which one requires more work, acting in a movie or piecing together an album? It depends on the movie role, but the main difference is that I’m on my own time when I do my music; you’re on somebody else’s time when you’re doing movies.

Name the [four] greatest songs of all time (based out of Georgia): OutKast — “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik”, Goodie Mob — “Soul Food”, Ludacris — “Southern Hospitality”, Young Jeezy — “Go Crazy”

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Photo Arcadio Cruz

DwightHoward Post-Olympic Q&A

A

s a first-round draft pick straight from high school, an NBA leading franchise player for the Orlando Magic and a two-time NBA All-Star, Dwight Howard has definitely represented for his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. A graduate of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, Howard’s résumé is reputable, especially since he has accomplished all this by the age of 22. Howard is the youngest player to lead the league in rebounds and is the youngest player to reach 4,000 rebounds. He is also the youngest player to average a doubledouble and score 20 rebounds in a single game. As if these accomplishments weren’t impressive enough, Howard gave Atlanta another reason to be proud this summer when he won Olympic Gold. What was your favorite part of the Olympics? “I would say the opening ceremony. It was ridiculous; it was crazy. We had a lot of fun just being around the other countries and just walking in as the United States of America.”

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Do you think that your Olympic experience made you a better player? “For me, the ability to adapt to any situation made me a better player. I had a simple role: to play defense for the minutes I was on the court and try to do a good job.” What did you take away from the experience? “I think a lot of my teammates; we got a chance to know each other. We also developed relationships that we’ll have for the rest of our lives. It’s a great experience.” Has your body recovered from the trip yet? “Yeah, actually my body feels great. I tried to do the best I could while I was over there.” What did you feel when you put the gold medal around your neck? “When I got to the locker room, that was very emotional for me because I was like ‘wow, this is a gold medal.’ And then coming back to the States, seeing all


“My goal is going to be the same each year: win a championship. That’s always my goal so it’s not going to stop until we get it. That’s our plan. If we’re not trying to win a championship, then why play?”

the people who just wanted to touch the gold medal, I’m like wow, I accomplished something that not a lot of people get a chance to accomplish and I was a part of a great basketball team.” What adjustments did you have to make for the FIBA rules? “I think the biggest thing was adjusting to how the refs called the game.” What souvenirs did you bring back from the Olympics? “Some African tribal things. I also got some kind of headpiece. My house is filled with USA, Africa, everything, it was crazy.” How did it feel to be a leader on both the USA team and the Orlando Magic? “The sign of a good leader is his ability to serve and I think I did a good job of taking in my role for the USA Team and knowing when I get back to my team I’ll have a bigger role. I learned a lot as far as being a servant. I’m looking forward to coming back to the Magic.”

What teammate did you learn the most from? “Probably Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer. We talked everyday off the court. We were always together, learning from each other. Basketball, personal, just being around those guys we developed a relationship that is going to last a lifetime.” What are your goals this year for the Magic? “My goal is going to be the same each year: win a championship. That’s always my goal so it’s not going to stop until we get it. That’s our plan. If we’re not trying to win a championship, then why play?” What do you think the team needs to improve on? “I think maturity. We matured a lot last season, so this year hopefully everybody comes back with the same mentality that we had last year, to win a championship.”

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No Brakes, No Pads, No Boundaries

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Street BMXer Edwin de la Rosa

Is At The Top Of His Game And On His Grind

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Words Jonnine Yarbrough hat do you do when you’ve conquered the premiere locations on the BMX scene and travelled all over the world? Join the BMX Pro Circuit? Not if you’re Edwin de la Rosa.

think with all his newfound fame, Edwin would take the next step and join the professional circuit, but Edwin said that’s not in the cards for him.

At the age of 24, Edwin de la Rosa has become one of street BMX’s top names, not only in his hometown of Flatbush, Brooklyn, but across the country and abroad.

“Not unless they make a real cool contest,” he said with a laugh. “I just came from [a contest] last weekend. I could’ve ridden in it, but it wasn’t my style, you know? I just do street competitions, instead of ramps. I don’t really like ramps that much.”

“It feels weird [to have become a celebrity], because I’m not really doing anything, just riding, you know?” Edwin said of his recently acquired fame.

The fact that de la Rosa and the pro circuit don’t mesh too well might also have something to do with the fact that his riding methods are a bit unconventional.

At the age of 13, de la Rosa received a GT Dyno, his first BMX bike, and set out with some friends to emulate what he’d seen on television. De la Rosa and his friends took to the streets of New York, finding new and unusual places to ride. News of the Brooklyn phenom spread around the Tri-State area, and soon reached a friend of de la Rosa’s in New Jersey who published pictures of de la Rosa in a magazine.

“I don’t like pads. I feel like I can’t go to competitions because you gotta wear pads, and what my friends and I do is way more dangerous. I feel like it takes the fun out of it. There’s more of a risk if you don’t wear pads … I mean, I’m not saying I’m trying to get hurt [laughs] but I mean, it’s more of a risk if you don’t wear pads. Because, like, if you do something real crazy with a helmet [on], you get points taken off just for having a helmet on! I know there’s some people that fall hard enough to need to wear a helmet, but if I was like that, I just wouldn’t ride anymore, you know? I wouldn’t wanna ride that bad. I don’t know, it just looks funny. I’m not trying to hate on anybody that wears their protection, but … I wouldn’t wear it during freeriding,” he explained.

At 16, de la Rosa had the opportunity to live out his dream of riding alongside some of the icons he’d watched in his youth when he was asked to participate in the Sombra Tour. “[It was] a dream come true ‘cuz those are the guys I grew up looking up to. And just to be able to go on a trip with them and be a part of the whole thing was such a dream come true. I thought I was dreaming the whole time. The guys were real cool, and it was a really cool trip.” After participating in the Sombra Tour, de la Rosa became an even bigger name in the BMX circuit. In just a short time de la Rosa began touring abroad, leaving his mark in countries such as Japan, Puerto Rico, Canada, Costa Rica, England and Spain. “My favorite [place] is Barcelona, because the weather’s real nice and there’s a lot of spots to go to. When people talk about crazy places, Barcelona lives up to that title. On the way to a spot, you see like three spots. It’s crazy.” While this surely could have been more than Edwin would’ve expected to gain from riding, it didn’t stop there. You would

As if riding without pads isn’t adventurous enough, de la Rosa also opts to ride without brakes, which he claims isn’t difficult to do. “The only thing you really need brakes for is to stop pretty much,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve been riding without brakes from the beginning, so I don’t know how to ride any other way. I mean, not trick-wise, but in the streets, just looking out for traffic can get a little difficult if you don’t know how to move through the streets.” Even with such an unorthodox way of riding, de la Rosa managed to grab the attention of Red Bull Energy Drink – a major sponsor for any extreme athlete. “I thought they were joking, I swear to God,” de la Rosa recollected about receiving the phone call from Red Bull. “I was in England at a contest. I saw some guys riding there that rode for Red Bull and I was like, ‘Man, I would love to ride for Red Bull.’ And

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“It feels weird [to have become a celebrity], because I’m not really doing anything, just riding…” When I got home, I got a call saying it was Red Bull. I thought it was a fuckin’ joke ‘cuz I was just talking about it. They do a lot, you know? They really hook me up, and they’ve taken care of me for the past five years.” The perks, de la Rosa explained, are a cool bonus as well. “They send me all over the place; I get to do a lot of travelling. They really take care of their riders. It’s also cool that I drink Red Bull and that they send me like, cases of it, too [laughs]. I mean, I don’t drink that much, but I drink enough of it, so I appreciate the cases.” Although the sky seems to be the limit for Edwin de la Rosa, he has modest plans, doing what he’s always done. “[I’ll be doing] pretty much the same thing I’ve been doing; just filming video parts and pictures in magazines,” he said. Though he has traveled around the world, he recently decided to take it back to where it all began with Post, his new bike shop in Brooklyn. “Me and two of my friends got together and decided to put a shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There are bike shops there, but not many catering to BMX. We found a big enough space to put a bike ramp in the back, so people can come in and ride from time to time if they want, you know? Something to do in the wintertime. I’m trying to give back to the BMX community.” When he’s not in the shop, or biking abroad, you can probably find de la Rosa in some of his favorite biking spots in NYC. “Probably the Brooklyn Banks or… its hard ‘cuz I’m not at one spot all the time. The skate park under the Manhattan Bridge

in the morning for like, an hour with my friend Tyrone before he goes to work,” de la Rosa said. One thing definitely holds true for Edwin de la Rosa – he is not the stereotypical BMXer. Clearly as a minority, the fact that he is dominating his sport is already an admirable achievement. But to be a minority BMXer in Brooklyn is rare, especially when you’re as versatile as de la Rosa. Being a Brooklynite, his musical selection includes the obvious. “I like this one song by Papoose. The remix to ‘You Made Your Choice.’ And I like Jay-Z’s ‘Lyrical Exercise,’ Eric B. and Rakim’s ‘Paid In Full,’ Nas’ ‘New York State Of Mind’ and the third track off of Ready To Die … the one about robbing people … ‘Gimme The Loot.’ It’s like two different people, but the same person, you know?” The classics seem to be what makes Edwin move, as opposed to the new style of hip-hop that is dominating the airwaves. “I like hip-hop, because I listen to the same people. But I think hip-hop is getting real stupid. Like the stuff they play on the radio; they play the same old bullshit. But I don’t really listen to the radio. I listen to a few [songs] and that’s it. But, I mean, I wish I could change [current hip-hop] a little bit, but it’s like, if you don’t like it, then don’t listen to it, you know? So I don’t listen.” So if you ever happen to see Edwin de la Rosa doing bar spins or a bunny hop 360, stop and enjoy the magic in the craft that he’s perfected. Look for him in the streets, because there isn’t a competition in the world that can hold him.

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8732

Words Lena G.

ECONOMIC CHALLENGES SERVE AS INSPIRATION FOR JEEZY’S CLOTHING LINE

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ver the past 20 years, hip-hop has saturated the airwaves, stores, Internet and our closets. Artists from across the country have influenced our everyday lives. It feels good that recently we have a trailblazer breaking down barriers and setting up shop in the Dirty South. Innovator Young Jeezy has done it again with the launch of his 8732 clothing line.

Young Jeezy is not new to the scene at all; he released his first independent album at the start of this decade in 2001 as the CEO of Corporate Thugz Entertainment. Now in 2008 he is the face of a clothing line that did $10 million in sales last year. Recently, Jeezy has partnered with business mogul Jonathon Koon. Koon’s background includes making his first million at age 16 along with graduating from Georgetown University with a degree in international business and management (and a minor in art). Koon purchased the line from Jay-Z, who had already established the brand. The plan is to continue international growth while still servicing loyal patrons. One of the highlights of this clothing line is that they start from scratch, not imitating what’s already on the market. While the line is heavily inspired by Southern culture, pieces

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are also drawn from cutting-edge trends in Europe, Hong Kong, Japan and other fashion meccas. In addition to Jeezy and his camp showcasing the line, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne – to name a few – have also endorsed the much sought-after attire. As far as the quality of the clothes, this line is definitely going to give current urban clothing lines some much-needed competition. The clothing is well made and sturdy enough to fit the needs of an urban jet setter. I give the masterminds behind the designs many props; 8732 is not your typical urban apparel. They have managed to incorporate high fashion undertones into something we wear every day. For example, some of the inspiration for this season comes from concerns about our economy and the struggle between the U.S. dollar and the British pound. This collection will also bring a marketing campaign of over 150 billboards throughout the Atlanta and Southern region, featuring Jeezy and four different looks. We owe Jeezy a thumbs up as he brings cutting-edge apparel to our back yards. His innovative patterns are destined to frame the bodies of many eager fans this season. We anticipate the spring collection and eagerly await the launch of any other inventive possibilities up his sleeve.


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“we DID IT!”

Top hIp-hop AnD AThLeTe ReACTIonS To BARACk oBAMA’S wIn Words John sankitts, Jr. Illustrations drl toons

“I’M So pRoUD To Be An AMeRICAn now MoRe ThAn eveR … LAST nIghT wAS TRUe ChAnge … we weRe ALL eQUAL.” - Roy JoneS, JR.

I

’m standing in line to vote with a big bottle of water, a G.O.A.T. magazine and some beat-up sneaks just in case I have to throw a K.O. on some irate voter, mad because I wouldn’t say “McCain for President.” With my stomach twisting like a Rubik’s Cube and tired of standing in line for three hours, I started to look around more in-depth and realized that there were whites, blacks, Asians, and even homeless people trying to cast votes. I mean, he didn’t even have a pair of shoes on but he was like, “Don’t need shoes for change!” It was surreal to me; I was carving an atomic size of history with my vote. My reaction later to Obama winning was very humble: I hugged my kids and kissed my fiancée as we watched it unfold on the tube. My kids were happy because we were happy, not knowing that this president will carve the way to a brighter future for them. I threw on some clothes, grabbed my camera and headed downtown to take some pictures of the multitude of crowds gathering to celebrate. When I got downtown, I saw a lot of people jumping, honking their horns and shaking hands with each other. They seemed so ecstatic, as if we won the Super Bowl. I took a long walk around Lake Eola and just said, “Thank you God for change, thank you for allowing this to happen.” History was made, featuring many hip-hop artists along with some elite athletes getting more involved and vocal with this election than ever before. What a perfect title to a new Jay-Z record, called “History,” which depicts his emotions on the importance of this big political win. It’s a sure “Lighters Up” moment. Talk about riding the wave to victory: first-time voter and rap superstar Nas was inspired by President-elect Obama to make a mini song on Election Day called “Election Night.” Fellow producer Will.I.Am, also inspired and emotionally connected

to this president elect, dropped a new tune and video on November 5 called “It’s a New Day.” Let’s not exclude Young Jeezy’s hot recording called “Mr. President.” I think we’ll be hearing a lot more records with a Barack Obama undertone before his inauguration in January. The day after the election, Diddy was asked on MTV’s TRL for his reaction to Barack Obama winning the election. He just started screaming like a female at a male review, “We did it! Best birthday present ever … I was at Felipe Chows jumping, hugging and kissing my family and friends.” He continued to thank campaigns like Rock The Vote, Choose Or Lose, and Vote or Die, for encouraging people to get out and vote (hell it got me out and I hate standing in lines even for free gas). On MTV News, Fat Joe reacted like a child receiving a big bag of tootsie rolls, screaming, “The Latin Vote” along with Usher who told MTV News “It was the coolest shit ever.” My FBM (future baby mama) Alicia Keys said via the telly, “It was like wow ... I was screaming … I was so amazed.” It’s so amazing to me the amount of hip-hop stars that were really putting a genuine effort in supporting and campaigning in this election. It makes me enlightened to see how these artists came out of their world and into the world of politics to participate in this iconic and historic election. Even Kanye West expressed to Sway from MTV News that he was so seriously happy saying, “We went from slavery to presidency.” Finally! Kanye, your mouth and arrogance has fused into a great quote. Jay-Z, one of Obama’s favorite hip-hop artists, campaigned for Obama by throwing a benefit concert hosted by Cavaliers Forward LeBron James. LeBron was impressed that Obama played hoops right before being elected. He told WTVH Sports, “If basketball helps him say things like that [acceptance speech], then let him do it.” I was very impressed by how many athletes supported this new president-to-be, like Roy Jones, Jr., one of my favorite boxers, who also said to WTVH, “I’m so proud to be an American now more than ever … last night was true change … we were all equal.” Superstar tennis player Serena Williams, who I’m sure connects with Obama in more ways than one, was just picture perfect with her words to WTVH, saying, “I was just thinking about Martin L. King, Malcolm X, Arthur Ashe and all the pioneers … all of whom led the way for us … It’s just amazing to me.” Now Craig Robinson, coach of the Oregon State Men’s Basketball Team and brother of Michelle Obama, couldn’t have a better brother-in-law than the future President of the United States – he must be a proud and exuberant. Let’s not talk about amazing, what’s amazing to me is that we have, and let’s be fair, a multiracial president whose appeal will cross over to every race – creating a situation in which we can all more equally expect change and a better future. The hip-hop community, along with many elite athletes (and even the homeless) saw this election as a turning point in history in which history answered back with a reinventing, revitalizing of America. The reactions reflect the wishes of a united America. I’m proud of the efforts of our hip-hop stars and athletes in giving us more than hot music, hip designer gear, fitted hats, reality TV shows, illegal dog fighting, steroid abuse in sports, gun charges, platinum chains and new Nikes. Instead, they have given us a little humane interest in the world that the rest of us have to deal with. Guys, gals, twisted sisters, don’t go out and catch a case and expect to walk just because Obama plays ball. Make him proud of us all, and may we all say, “We did it!”

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TouchinG BASE with EDwin JACKSON Words Jonnine Yarbrough

For Jackson and the Tampa Bay Rays, the World Series was More than a Hit or Miss

T

his season brought big changes for the Tampa Bay Rays, including a new name and new uniforms. But for players and fans alike, the biggest surprise of all was the underdog team’s stellar season, which earned them the chance to face off against the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2008 World Series. While the Rays’ loss was disheartening to a lot of fans, starting pitcher Edwin Jackson says the Rays view their experience as an accomplishment, rather than a failure.

What was the experience like of not only winning the Conference, but making it to the World Series? It’s an unexplainable feeling, especially for a team that’s always been at the bottom of the totem pole, to be able to climb their way up and even have a chance to battle for the top step of the ladder. That was definitely an accomplishment for everybody. There’s no one that can walk away from this season with their head down. How has your outlook on the game or the way you play been affected since going to the Series? It’s just one of those things that you have to take advantage of the opportunities while you have them, you know? Opportunities like that don’t come by all the time. There’s some people who’ve been playing way longer than I have that haven’t had the opportunity to get to the World Series, and I’m just happy to have been lucky enough to have had that opportunity – that experience – but now I have that outlook that you can’t take anything for granted, you feel me? The fact that you might not ever make it there again – you have to enjoy it while you can at that moment. What was your reaction when you realized you were going to the Series? Definitely a lot of excitement. There was a lot of hard work throughout the season that paid off for us to be able to go to the World Series. I mean, the last two teams out of the 30 teams that are playing, and the whole world is watching. So that’s why I say, definitely, to be able to put yourself on that center stage took a lot of hard work and dedication that paid off. Especially with us being the underdogs, we weren’t even supposed to be in the Playoffs, period. Having five years of experience, you’re obviously not a rookie, but you haven’t quite reached veteran status yet. How does that affect your relationships in the League? [Being in the middle], you definitely play both roles, because you definitely go to people for advice, and you also have people that are gonna come to you for advice. But, you can ask anybody, from the veterans to the rookies, every day, everyone is learning something different. I mean, you go to an older person for advice when there’s something you don’t know, and there might even be an older person that comes to you for advice, you know? Sometimes it takes a younger person to re-teach an older person who might’ve forgotten something just because they haven’t used it in a while or hasn’t had someone teach them something in a while. Sometimes when you teach someone something, you’re also re-teaching it to yourself, like if there ‘s something you might’ve forgotten until you have to teach it to someone else, and it might help you to remember what you’re doing. I mean, there’s definitely some veterans, but without the rookies, there’s some stuff that the veterans would miss out on, because the vets wouldn’t have to go over it and repeat it as much, so it may slip their mind. What do you think separates you from other players? [Laughs] What separates me from a lot of baseball players? I mean, I don’t know that anyone would be able to play the same [way] as me. Everyone is different. Everybody’s personality is different. There’s a lot of people in baseball; it’s like one big family, but at the same time, it’s like, a whole bunch of different personalities getting drawn together on different teams. I don’t know. I don’t know how much different I am from other people, I just take what I’ve been blessed with and go work with that. I’m sure there’s people similar to me. It’s hard from one person to be so different from someone else. I’m just chill, laid back, humble and definitely never forget where I came from. How long do you plan on playing? [Laughs] I plan on playing ‘til I can’t play anymore! I plan on playing until my body can’t take anymore. What are your picks for the Top 5 athletes of all time? Hmmm … I’ll go Bo Jackson, he was a two-way player … I’ll go Michael Jordan … hmm … It’s a long list! There’s so many you can pick! I’m trying to take someone from each sport. When you go Top 5, you gotta go old school on ‘em! That one caught me off guard! I thought that would be the easy question! Jackie Robinson … Walter Payton … and one more … I would say Babe Ruth.

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“Just to even have a chance to get there – all those people who were laughing in our face – their teams were sitting at home watching us.” What is something you want readers to know about you? That I’m able to separate what I do as a job from what I do off the field. Being stereotyped is the worst thing ever, you know? When people don’t really know how you are, there’s a bunch of “he said, she said.” If people walked past me, they’d never know what I did, you know? On the field, I’m a professional, and away from the field, I’m the same as I’ve always been. The same me, the same person. There’s no cockiness, none of that, you know? I stay real, I keep it real. I know where I came from. I stay grounded. Definitely, definitely stay grounded. And that’s how I’m able to separate what I do from real life. What advice do you have for young players? I’d have to say just stay within yourself, your capabilities. You see some people fall short trying to do too much, but you just have to trust in what you have, trust in your capabilities, and never give up. Don’t let anyone dictate your future. Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do because they’re not you. No one should be able to dictate your future but you. Work hard at your dreams, whatever goals you have, and don’t get held back by anybody while you’re trying to accomplish your goals. Whatever direction you chose, stay on a straight path. Keep your head on straight. What types of music do you listen to? I listen to hip-hop, I listen to R&B and sometimes I go back old school. I pretty much listen to everything. It depends on what mode I’m in, but definitely gotta have the hip-hop in there. What do you think about the current state of hip-hop? I don’t really have an opinion. I say do what you do, you know? Everybody has their own way of making a living, and if that’s how you do it, then that’s how you do it. I mean, I’m not really into who’s commercial and who’s not, you know? If I hear something I like, I listen to it, regardless of whether it’s commercial or not. But I say to each his own. I’m not one to rag on anybody about what they do. All I know is, if it’s good and I like it, then I’ll listen to it. If I don’t, then I won’t. Who are you listening to right now? You know, being from the South, I listen to … Ludacris, T.I., Lil Wayne … all the people in the South. [You] gotta have the Southern music, because that’s what we came up on. But I listen to other music, too. I try to diversify myself, but if there’s anything new coming out of the South, then I’m on it! Anything else you’d like the readers to know? Just that we’re really happy about the way this season went down. I mean, if you had told anybody that we were gonna go to the Series, they’d probably laugh in your face. We’re not mad at all about the way things went. We overcame a lot of hate just to get where we are. A lot of people were saying, “Oh, no, they’re not gonna do anything.” There were probably a lot of people that were happy we lost, but just to even have a chance to get there – all those people were laughing in our face were – their teams were sitting at home watching us. It’s hard to be mad.

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Issue # 2, Dec 2008  

Highlights of the second (December) issuue G.O.A.T. Magazine. In the three decades that Hip Hop has established itself as a genre of music,...

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