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RHYMES & DIMES MAGAZINE

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ISSUE 4

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ISSUE 3

12/12/12 10:45 AM


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TABLE OF CONTENTS

003 FEATURES 25 BEST OF 2012 Lyricist of the year, MVP of the Year, Breakout Artist of the Year, Song & Verse of the Year 30 MUSES MC’s favorite women for lyrical inspiration. 32 A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE: HIP-HOP AWARDS SHOWS 35 NICKI MINAJ From her bold & wild fashion statements to her crazy facial expressions...IT’S BARBIE, B*@#H! 38 DJ DRAMA In Control 44 WIZ KHALIFA Hip-Hop’s VooDoo Child

54 Tahiry DEPARTMENTS 05 SMALL TALK President Obama, Joe Budden, Press Play, Rick Ross/Young Jeezy Beef, Hector “Macho” Camacho, Politics, Health 13 MUSIC Chase N. Cashe, Troy Ave, Trinidad James, Legendary: Kangol Kid/UTFO, Throwbackz, Spin City: DJ Suss One 18 NEXT IN LINE Boldy James, Ariez Onasis, Salese, Bodega BAMZ, Wink Loc 60 DIAMOND SUITE Erica Mena, Curvy J, Tiffany, Ava Adore, Kim Killz, Randi, Angel Face, Elite Sweet: Nehel 96 DEFINITION OF SEXY Elle Varner

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ISSUE 4

12/16/12 10:41 PM


A FEW WORDS . FROM THE EDITOR

004

If you’re reading this, we all survived the Mayan Apocalypse. For that, we should all be thankful in 2012. There are plenty of other things to be thankful for in 2012, especially in Hip-Hop. At Rhymes And Dimes, we are thankful to end the year with an issue as strong as how we started. This fourth issue features one of the most beloved artist In Hip-Hop today, Wiz Khalifa. Following the artist around for the better part of a few weeks in Jones Beach, New York City, and his promo run for his latest album O.N.I.F.C., one thing was apparent. No rapper is having more fun being a rapper than Cameron Jibril Thomaz. We attempt to bring you into his rock star lifestyle as the dad-to-be (Hi Amber) shows us how he rolls. On the flip side is the beautiful and voluptuous Tahiry Jose is back. After intentionally taking herself out of the spotlight, VH1 is set to put her smack dab back into it as a new cast member on Love & Hip-Hop. The no nonsense New Yorker holds nothing back in our sit down with R&D. Also, we take a look at the history of award show scraps, hip-hop muses, and the rise of artists like Trinidad James and Troy Ave. The consigner to the streets, DJ Drama sets us straight and we look back on the best of 2012. All that content and beautiful women to boot. What more would you want in a magazine. Enjoy! P.S.: How about those Knicks?

Sincerely Yours,

Kazeem Famuyide Kazeem Famuyide, Executive Editor

PHOTO: ERNEST ESTIME

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MEDIA SPLASH . SMALL TALK

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We all turned out in droves to put President Barack Obama back in the White House for four more years. However, the work isn’t done. A good portion of America counted on you to not vote. Projections from every major press outlet predicted a close fight to the finish on election day because of you. The youth. They counted on you being satisfied with four years of President Barack Obama. However, on November 6, 2012, Obama won 332 electoral votes, exceeding the 270 required for him to be re-elected as president of the United States of America. There wasn’t a sexy catchphrase in this campaign. A lot of your favorite rappers and entertainers were decidedly less enthusiastic as they were last election, but it wasn’t needed this time around. While it is amazing to note that Jay-Z performed alongside Bruce Springsteen on the last day of campaigning, it wasn’t needed.

The 18-year-olds that came out in droves for the first election were older and wiser 22-year-olds that knew what they wanted. Although it didn’t hurt that his Republican counterpart was a complete and utter imbecile, Obama pulled it out. The work isn’t done. Like the President said, and we’ve sadly seen, change starts with us. The way to get on the road to economic recovery and job reform starts with us. “Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual,” The President said at Chicago’s McCormick Place after re-election. “You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties.” Good luck, Mr. President. We’ve got your back. – Kazeem Famuyide RHYMES & DIMES MAGAZINE

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ISSUE 4

12/8/12 9:46 PM


SMALL TALK . MEDIA SPLASH

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PRESS PLAY Hot new music from some of your favorite artists. “MY LIFE” 50 CENT FT. EMINEM

“SORRY” T.I. FT. ANDRÉ 3000

“LOVEEEEE SONG” RIHANNA FT. FUTURE

“HOW IT FEEL” YOUNG JEEZY FT. LIL’ LODY “ALL THAT (LADY)” GAME FT. LIL WAYNE, BIG SEAN, FABOLOUS AND JEREMIH “SIX DIRECTIONS OF BOXING” WU-TANG CLAN

After years of having public train wreck relationships, Joe Budden is finally getting a check for his womanly troubles. The Slaughterhouse rapper has signed on as a cast member for the next season of Love and Hip Hop on VH1. Apparently, Joey, Tahiry and Kailyn will all appear on the new season of the hit VH1 show. Nothing with Joe and the women goes off without a hitch, and as they are taping Tahiry is already peeved with Joe over being a subject matter on his new mix-tape “A Loose Quarter.” If all pans out, we can expect to be well entertained by the emotionally messy Joey and company. Thank you Mona Scott Young for reminding us all that even if our own relationship is trifling, it could always be worse and aired on national television. – Nina Leigh

“IN THE A” BIG BOI FT. T.I. AND LUDACRIS

“ZERO” KEYSHIA FT. MEEK MILL

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MEDIA SPLASH . SMALL TALK

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“We hate Jeezy” a new track by Gucci Mane ft. Alley By, Bleu Divinci, Rick Ross, Big Meech hit the streets fourth quarter of 2012. Ok, maybe this song doesn’t really exist, but it should because it pretty much summarizes the shots being fired at the Snowman. For a rapper that claims he doesn’t beef, he has managed to anger quite a few of his peers. Since almost the start of his career, Jeezy has been at odds with Gucci Mane. However, in 2010 at the urging of mutual friends, Gucci and Jeezy seemingly agreed to bury the hatchet. Although they remained at a distance from one another, it seemed as if at least their open aggression for each other was resolved. Unfortunately, a good thing didn’t last and by fourth quarter of 2012, Gucci Mane was doing interviews that resurrected the bad blood between him and Jeezy. Jeezy responded by calling Gucci retarded and dismissing the idea of beefing with anyone at this time. With the violent history Gucci and Jeezy have had, it stands to reason why the rekindling of this beef makes everyone watching nervous. 2010 also saw the beginning of a feud between Rick

Ross and the Snowman. Jeezy didn’t take kindly to Ross making reference to BMF in one of his hit records. (At the time several members of the organization, with whom Jeezy was associated, were facing Federal indictments for a number of crimes.) While both sides claimed not to have a problem with the other, the tension continued to rise culminating two years later in a physical altercation at the BET Hip Hop Awards between the parties and their entourages. An equal opportunist to attract peer hostility, Jeezy was fired at by new Atlanta rapper Alley Boy on his club track “I Want In.” Rather than feed into the arguments of a new artist, Jeezy chose to completely ignore the shots fired. Meanwhile, another little known rapper, Bleu Divinci, decided to become very vocal on expressing his hostility for Jeezy. Releasing a diss track “I Got Right”, former BMF member Bleu effectively accused Jeezy of snitching and of being a fraud. In an effort to cosign these statements, Bleu featured on the track a recording of BMF leader Big Meech seemingly sharing his frustrations with Jeezy. – Nina Leigh

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ISSUE 4

12/8/12 1:58 PM


SPORTS . HECTOR “MACHO” CAMACHO

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May 24, 1962 – November 24, 2012

Puerto Rican boxing legend, Hector “Macho” Camacho was murdered in a drive-by shooting outside of his hometown of Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Camacho was a passenger in a car, when another car pulled up beside him and fired into the car. The driver was declared dead at the scene, and Camacho was rushed to the hospital with head and neck wounds. At the hospital, Camacho was placed on life support and eventually declared brain dead by doctors. After being declared brain dead, the Camacho family struggled with making the painful decision to have him removed from life support. Unfortunately, he went into cardiac arrest and the decision was made then to take him off of life support. He died shortly thereafter. Authorities in Puerto Rico report that 10 baggies of cocaine were found in Camacho’s car, 9 of which were on the body of the driver. The 50 year- old legend will be remembered as a Lightweight and Welterweight champion from the mid-eighties through the mid-nineties. Rest in Peace. – Nina Leigh RHYMESNDIMESMAG.COM

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12/8/12 1:53 PM


POLITICS . NEWSREAL

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ROOTS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY The Republican Party we see today is not the same party that was developed in 1854.During this time, there were two major parties: the Democratic-Republican party and the Whig Party. The Democratic-Republican Party later dropped part of their name and became the Democratic Party. The Whig Party began to have internal problems. There were disagreements within the party concerning slavery and western expansion. Many disgruntled people left the Whig Party to form the Republican Party. Their slogan was: Free labor, free land and free men. Their major goal was to stop the expansion of slavery into the western territory. Although their popularity was spreading, they were not able to win the 1856 election with their candidate, John C. Fremont. 1860 proved to be a major turning point for the country and the Republican Party. The first Republican candidate was elected as president. His name was Abraham Lincoln. The Civil War began in 1861 and Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in the midst of the war. The Republicans were active in passing the Thirteenth Amendment (outlawing slavery), the Fourteenth Amendment (equal protection under laws) and the Fifteenth Amendment (voting rights for AfricanAmericans). Later, the Republican Party would be integral in securing the right to vote for women. Again, this Republican Party seems to be a far cry from what is presented today. Although the Republican Party was able to unite for the common goal, other issues arose that divided the party. Within the party, there were members who were laser focused on supporting higher tariffs on imported goods and laissez-faire capitalism. Many members of the party, who had supported the anti-slavery position, did not agree with these agendas. It was about this time that the Republican Party was labeled the Gallant Old Party, which later became the Grand Old Party. Their platform that supported high tariffs and businesses stuck and caused many people to oppose them. It seems as if both major parties developed and adjusted their platforms to reflect the issues of the day. When there were differences in agreement concerning issues within a party, it was not uncommon for members to join another party. The Republican Party enjoyed major success with their business policies and platforms. When the great Wall Street Crash of 1929 instigated the Great Depression, many people swiftly left the Republican Party. When Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in 1933 and introduced his New Deal policy to deal with the remnants of the Great Depression, many African Americans began to vote Democratic. The New Deal and the Roosevelts, for African-Americans, represented job opportunities and a little more detail about what Civil Rights truly looked like on a daily basis for them. FDR’s policy passed really quickly in a majority Democratic government. Many people saw his policy as similar to socialism (communistic elements). His popularity and the dominance of the Democratic Party caused many conservative Democrats to join the Republican Party. There has since been a stronghold of Republicans to their values of social conservatism, adjusting the income tax system that they feel unjustly targets those who create the jobs and wealth and the promotion of personal responsibility over government programs. It is the hold of the Republican Party to those values that may have made them unpopular amongst the majority. Times have changed socially and economically. Republicans tend to be pro-life with very few exceptions in a world where

unplanned pregnancies are common. Republicans tend to oppose same-sex marriage in a world where the LGBT community is gaining widespread support and acceptance. The Republican Party is still very much pro-business in a world where recessions have been caused by terrible, illegal and unfair business policies. The Republican Party is seeing the effects of their stances in their supporters. The typical Republican voter tends to usually fall in one or more of the following categories: self-employed, Caucasian couples with children, high-income earners, armed services, heterosexuals, those without a college degree, religious (Protestant/Mormon/some sects of Catholicism), men and southerners. Many of the people from these categories have also run to the Democratic Party. This election saw very seemingly bizarre, atypical candidates and supporters. Herman Cain, a very successful businessman, became a candidate for the Republican Party presidential nomination. He, on paper, looked like an excellent candidate until there were several allegations of sexual misconduct. Prior to suspending his campaign, he led Obama in the polls. Stacey Dash, an African-American actress, became labeled a villain when she announced her support for Mitt Romney. After tweeting her support and pictures, she came under attack and decided to write an open letter. Although her letter was a little scattered, she emphasized that her vote for Romney was not a vote against Obama. It was also made clear that she felt that the two parties needed to come together instead of working against each other. Alan Keyes, a Republican, has been quite a colorful character. He once made a statement saying, “Jesus Christ would not vote for Obama”. After President Obama won his first term, Keyes publically refused to congratulate him. In 2008, Keyes went so far as to file a lawsuit challenging Obama’s eligibility for the U.S. Presidency. Keyes is definitely not a stranger to making enemies. He has made enemies within and outside of the Republican Party. Currently, Keyes is considering changing to and endorsing a new third party. The Republicans mentioned do not represent all Republicans of color. These were mentioned as headliners of 2012. – Brandy Cooks

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ISSUE 4

12/8/12 2:06 PM


LIFESTYLE. HEALTH

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PRO DAY Prostate Cancer has been one of the deadliest diseases killing black men. R&D takes a look at what you can do to prevent it from affecting your family. Lately, there has been much conversation about prostate cancer and the importance of having one’s prostate checked. Many men are reluctant because of the lack of knowledge about the prostate and the embarrassment associated with the process of being tested. The truth of the matter is that prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men. Furthermore, testing does not necessarily have to be a physical rectal exam, it could be a blood and/or urine sample. The prostate is very critical in the sexual reproductive equipment of men. The prostate gland is a walnut-sized structure that wraps around the tube that carries urine out of the body (urethra). Its primary function is to secrete an acidic milky substance that makes up most of semen to accompany sperm on its journey through the vaginal tract. The prostate gland must make this substance to help sperm to survive the environment of the vaginal tract. Typically, a rectal exam is done to feel for the size and hardness of the prostate. A doctor may suggest that a blood test be done to test your levels of PSA (prostate specific antigen). The presence of protein in the urine, specifically protein Engrailed-2, can also help to diagnose it. There is now research on coming up with a home test for men that works similarly to a home pregnancy test. Large scaled studies are happening now to see the effectiveness of this test for prostate cancer. TREATMENT Treatment of prostate cancer depends on whether or not the cancer has spread. The treatment can involve surgery, hormone therapy and/or chemotherapy. The most important treatment is to get regular physicals. If you have a history of prostate cancer in your family, make sure that the doctor knows this and can conduct the appropriate tests. If you are still squeamish about the rectal exam and you have a strong family history of prostate cancer, you may advocate for a PSA blood test. Do keep in mind, that the more information that your doctor has, the more accurate your diagnosis and treatment will be. – Brandy Cooks

Men that tend to have a higher risk of getting prostate cancer are: • • • •

African-American men at any age Men that are older than 60 Men who have had a father or brother with prostate cancer Men who have been exposed to cancer-causing agents through their occupations (tire factory, agent orange, farmers, painters, cadmium)

SYMPTOMS Because of the placement of the prostrate gland being wrapped around the urethra, most symptoms of prostate cancer will revolve around urination. Symptoms of prostate cancer include: • • • • • •

Delayed urination Leakage of urine Slow urinary stream Straining when urinating and not being able to empty out all of the urine Blood in the urine Bone pain or tenderness in the lower back and pelvis

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CHASE N. CASHE . MUSIC

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You went on the road this year for Drake’s Club Paradise tour with people like 2 Chainz and A$AP Rocky. How’d it feel being an independent artist touring with such a high-profile line-up? I feel like that’s just something to be said for the work I put in and the choices I make for me to be in the presence of all those people and not be a peasant [Laughs]. It’s a good thing to see in my perspective that I could be independent and do all these shows in front of thousands of people and get the respect and have people check for me even if they don’t know who I am. At the end of the day, music speaks for itself and I feel like that’s the one thing I’ve always had on my side. You started 2012 with The Heir Up There LP and now you dropped C.H.A.R.M. to close it out. The new album sounds more polished than your past works. What steps did you take to make C.H.A.R.M. better? My first two projects, I did them at a time where I was contractually fucked up. I couldn’t make too much money in the music business. [With C.H.A.R.M.] I just had songs I was sitting on and niggas was just like “Man, you ready for this shit.” My album sounds better cause after going on tour you realize what works with the crowd and you figure out your personality and how to put it in your music. And I worked with the producers I wanted to work with. It was me, The Bizness, AraabMuzik, and Marc Christian. So, I feel like I found the people who I work best with. I think me and Kendrick dropped the hardest albums this year. I don’t feel like nobody gon’ give me that right now but in my heart I don’t feel like nobody put together a better project as far as sonically, content wise, and just song-for-song; 1-15 can be played on radio. It’s completely original in a time where everybody’s sharing a sound. I’m anxious to see in time what people gon’ say about it.

HEIR TIME Chase N. Cashe has scored some major placements cooking up beats for hip-hop all-stars like Lil Wayne, Flo Rida and Drake. Having already proven himself behind the boards, the New Orleans producer/MC has been charming the masses with his other set of skills lately.

What do you want the audience to take away from C.H.A.R.M.? I listen to so much good music and it’s like, why we got to be redundant? You can’t listen to nothing on me and Hit-Boy’s discographies and pick a similarity out of it. I’m bringing soul back, man. That’s what I want people to know. It’s cool to be witty and all that but at the same time I just want people to say how they feel and be sincere about it. And that’s what C.H.A.R.M. is. Whether it’s aggressive, disrespectful, courageous, [or] polite, it’s all sincere.

PHOTO: LOREN WOHL

You and Hit-Boy have co-produced a number of standout records together. You’re both building your solo careers right now, but will you reunite for some new material anytime soon? Just to keep it 100, nah. Unless it’s on some shit where we’re able to be together time-wise. We’re (Surf Club) always sending each other music and giving each other opinions. [But] It’s just at the point where niggas is choosing to go with their creative expression. With Hit-Boy making the decision he made with G.O.O.D. Music, it was inevitable. It wasn’t anything personal to where there were disagreements. If Jay-Z wanted some beats from you, you would go. That’s just really what it is, being opportunistic. Niggas don’t understand we’re still 25-years-old. We did [Lil Wayne’s] “Drop The World”, we had to figure out a way to come back from that cause that was some shit that looked like it was bigger than it was. We’re both on this fast pace so maybe next year we can sit down together and do some shit but right now it’s just looking crazy. – Midtown Nate RHYMES & DIMES MAGAZINE

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ISSUE 4

12/9/12 3:35 PM


MUSIC . TROY AVE

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TROY AVE The name Troy Ave is one that’s been simmering in the ears of New York rap fans since 2004. Born and bred in the streets of Brooklyn (one of which he adopted as his rap alias), Troy Ave was a full-time street pharmacist until he was compelled to split his time between the block and the booth after hearing 50 Cent’s debut album, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. “It’s like you always wanted to rob a bank and then niggas from your hood actually rob a bank and get away with it. You’re like ‘Oh, shit. Niggas can do this shit’,” exclaims Troy of the career-spawning epiphany. Cooking-up hustler flows reinforced by true-life tales, the rapper garnered local buzz and by 2006 had moved over 50,000 mixtapes out of the trunk of his car. Hoping to heighten his profile to the big leagues, an ambitious Ave swung for the fences with a big budget video (approx. $40,000) for his single, “Rep It With My Heart”. But while the video landed on BET, Troy’s investment failed to produce lucrative results. “That’s when I fell back from the music and was like ‘let me get this shit right cause it’s costing me way more than it’s making me.’” After a long hiatus, the MC also known as Harry Powder got back in the game and scored with a caliber of seasoned corner boy savvy and thug melodies that couldn’t be ignored on his 2010 mixtape, Bricks In My Backpack. When he re-upped with a

sequel in August 2011, features from Brooklyn rap vet Fabolous and Prodigy of Mobb Deep aided Troy’s campaign. Acknowledging that a fresh playing field behooved him, he notes “I think a lot of it had to do with the Internet cause I was able to reach a lot of people.” Factoring in the superiority of his product, Ave adds, “A lot of people create awareness but it’ll be an awareness to some bullshit. It’ll be like a fat nasty bitch with pink high heels on. [But] We drew attention to some fly shit.” As the old adage goes, death comes in threes and Bricks In My Backpack 3: The Harry Powder Trilogy proved to be the killer blow this past summer with a tracklist full of charismatic cuts including highlights “Shame” and “COKeAMANiA”. BIMB3’s critical acclaim, along with a gang of music videos and Troy’s popular KeyMix series now have Harry Powder sitting across the table from major labels looking to sign the bubbling Brooklyn native whose bars were recently adorned by Funkmaster Flex bombs on New York radio. For now however, “waiting for the right numbers and driving up the stock” remains Troy’s modus operandi. His joint EP with Chase N. Cashe plus Adidas and Beats By Dre ad campaigns lined up for the New Year, expect Troy Ave to prove why The Harry Powder Show belongs in primetime. – Midtown Nate

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12/8/12 2:23 PM


TRINIDAD JAMES . MUSIC

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There’s no magic formula to success in the rap game. Some artists can work for a decade before they get their 15 minutes (see 2 Chainz). Others can become the talk of the Twitterverse in a matter of weeks. Flashy Atlanta-bred rapper Trinidad Jame$ may well be the epitome of the latter. Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, Jame$ took some time to get acclimated with the American way upon moving to the “A” in the 2nd grade. Ever the music enthusiast, the Caribbean native would mess around with rap in his younger years. Nonetheless, he saw it as an afterthought and opted to hustle and work various retail gigs to keep the lights on. In early 2012, however, the fashion savvy Trinidad decided to take up the MC craft for real and began recording a collection of tracks that would end up being his debut project, Don’t Be S.A.F.E. (Sensitive As Fuck Everyday). The summertime release generated

buzz in Atlanta and online hype, but few were quick to christen him the face of the “New Atlanta”. That was until his catchy single “All Gold Everything” took off with a video in which the hood, yet chic, rapper introduced viewers to a world compiled of puppies, semi-automatic weapons, and gold bicycles. Since his viral takeoff, fans and record labels were equally seduced by the midas touch of Jame$’ slurry rhymes about loose women, lavish accouterments and habitual drug use. The novice MC, who flows from behind a golden grill, has recently been seen with the likes of Diddy, Rick Ross, T.I., and Interscope head honcho Jimmy Lovine, further fueling the rumors that a major label deal is inevitable. But, while his first act has proven to be hella’ entertaining, some may still be awaiting proof that Atlanta’s overnight sensation is worth his weight in gold. Don’t believe him? Just watch. – Midtown Nate RHYMES & DIMES MAGAZINE

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ISSUE 4

12/9/12 3:41 PM


LEGENDARY

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When we spoke with Kangol Kid of UTFO, we found ourselves capturing whats’s destined to be one of the most proud events in hip-hop culture. While we were eager to reminisce on 1984 smash hits like“Roxanne” and “Leader of The Pack”, as well as member relationships, Kangol came from door number 2 and presented himself as an ever growing and ever renewing icon when he shared his present venture called “Mama Luke”, a foundation which advocates for all things healing in the fight against breast cancer. Now that’s as real of a step up to a challenge as any beef the streets could offer. As legends go, Kangol has echoed a voice for this culture as clear as the voices heard through over 3 decades of hip-hop to those curious ears who’ve wonder what makes us tick, and this sound proves that our passion is far deeper than music. You see, Rhymes and Dimes’ Legends section informs beyond hit classics which speak for themselves, we introduce those readers who may not know, to critical hip-hop facts regarding legendary artists/ groups. Consider these facts about UTFO, for example: First rap group to perform at the Apollo, first group to perform AND break-dance in show, first to do an R&B Ballad (“Fairytale Lover”), first to incorporate Reggae & Hip-Hop (“Crush Groove”), Kangol was the first product endorsed MC (Kangol), the first Hatian American in HipHop featured for the foundation’s success on PIX 11 News with Linda Church, and now the first Hip-Hop artist honored by the American Cancer Society. His Mama Luke movement garners overwhelming support from old school as well as todays artists, potentially shifting the paradigm of relations between eras. Thank you for a redeeming venture, Hats off, Kangols on! Check out www.facebook.com/mamalukegfl. – AlTarik “Pilgrim” Johnson

Rediscovering Hip-Hop, R&B and Reggae/Dancehall Classics “THE BRIDGE” MC SHAN DOWN BY LAW COLD CHILLIN’ RECORDS 1987

“FREAK LIKE ME” ADINA HOWARD DO YOU WANNA RIDE EASTWEST RECORDS 1995

“TELEPHONE LOVE” J.C. LODGE SELFISH LOVER VP RECORDS 1990

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12/9/12 1:19 AM


DJ SUSS ONE . SPIN CITY

017 DJ Suss One was first bitten by the DJ bug when he heard a Ron G mixtape hosted by Miss Jones. Learning his craft he was influenced by legendary DJs like Red Alert and Clue. As a kid with his first set of turn tables, the first vinyl records he bought to practice his craft were Jade “Don’t walk away”, Naughty by Nature “Hip Hop Horray” and Apache “Gangsta Bitch”. Practicing his mixes he would give out cassettes of his work at his school. Following his passion for music Suss One interned at major record labels and a magazine. Through his internships he built relationships that would eventually lead to him starting to DJ in New York City clubs. When another DJ told Suss One that a radio station in Connecticut was looking for talent he made the two hour drive and began building a name for himself in that state as well. The program director caught his sets and gave Suss One his first radio opportunity at Power 104.1 in Connecticut. Grinding out driving two hours each way in a hooptie to do his show, hard work paid off as more opportunities and success came his way. The game changing moment came when through DJ Clue, Suss One landed the job of being tour DJ for Mariah Carey during her Emancipation of Mimi tour. Now a well known NYC radio DJ, Suss One is also highly booked to rock trendy and exclusive hip hop venues in New York City. Even as his star shines in his hometown and he books gigs around the world he remains humble and focused on the next step. Not wanting to be the guy who only plays the hot records, Suss One is working on becoming one of the people responsible for making those records. With his dedication and determination it is just a matter of time before he reaches his pinnacle. Where are you from? I was born in Brooklyn and lived there till I was like 10 and then I moved up by White Plains (New York). How would you describe the venues you DJ at? Would you say you’re an “industry DJ”? I wouldn’t say that, I do hood clubs but the majority of what I do are exclusive events. I mean regular people can get it but they aren’t just going to let anybody in. I basically do the hip hop parties that celebrities party at, and I also do the crossover clubs where I can play open format. I get to play hip hop and electro, 80s music, pop. Do you think it makes it harder being a standalone DJ in New York which has a lot of DJ cliques? It’s good to have a team it’s just easier to move as unit than it is to move by yourself. I’m friends with everyone. I get along with everyone. I’ve always just moved on my own as far as DJ goes. I’ve never felt the need to be part of a clique. I’m not saying it wouldn’t be beneficial, I’m sure it would be in some ways. Maybe one day it will happen but me, I just move solo with a lot of things. I get along with everyone I don’t get caught up in that ‘I rep this side’ lifestyle. I don’t like that, this is hip hop. I don’t like when people try to treat it like gang life. I just respect everyone. I don’t try to beef with anyone. What was the dopest place you’ve DJ’d at? I’d say Japan. They like vinyl and scratching and they actually watch you while you rock out. They are really interested in the culture and some of the more old school aspects. Other than that I’d say being on tour with Mariah. It’s nothing like DJing in front of 30 thousand people every other night and watching them rock out with you. What should we be watching out for from you? I have a Flo Rida record dropping in 2013. – Nina Leigh RHYMES & DIMES MAGAZINE

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ISSUE 4

12/8/12 8:45 PM


NEXT IN LINE . BOLDY JAMES

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Boldy James Detroit, MI

In a genre where the value of an MC’s authenticity continues to dwindle, the success of Detroit native Boldy James is a sign that some hip-hop fans still value credibility on the mic. A dopeboy in the gritty back alleys of The Motor City, the rapper born James Jones III, was linked to the world of music even before he began to push his own raps. His younger cousin Chuck Inglish, one-half of the popular rap tandem The Cool Kids, encouraged Boldy to pursue rap as an alternative to selling drugs in an environment where the majority of his peers ended up either six feet under or behind bars. Equipped with a first person account of the drug trade in one of America’s bleakest environments and beats from his cuzzo Chuck among others, Boldy’s gifts as a wordsmith blossomed in the form of lackadaisically-delivered narratives on his introductory mixtape, Trapper’s Alley: Pros & Cons. The project offered some of the most picturesque and inglorious verses among the sea of rhyme

technicians who only paint a vague portrait of criminal grandeur. The trapper-turned-rapper sparked additional buzz online via visuals for singles “JIMBO” and “I Sold Dope All My Life”. Only a few months later the Midwest rhyme-slinger performed on multiple SXSW stages and followed up TAPC with another solid effort entitled Consignment: Favor For A Favor redi-rock mixtape. Among those impressed with Boldy’s work was The Alchemist who signed the D-Town rapper to Decon Records for a one album deal which the legendary producer is set to produce in its entirety; a fitting pair in the lab considering that Boldy’s cadence as an MC has been compared to that of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy. With a 5-track EP titled Grand Quarters already setting the stage in November and his Alchemistproduced debut LP shipping out 1st quarter 2013, it’s a safe bet that Boldy won’t have to sell dope ‘til he’s in the back of a hearse after all. – Midtown Nate

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12/10/12 9:00 PM


ARIEZ ONASIS . NEXT IN LINE

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Ariez Onasis Worcester, MA

Hailing from a population of less than 200,000, Worcester, MA native, Ariez Onasis, wields an original sound with the potential for worldwide appeal. Over the last two years, the 25-year-old with Greek and Palestinian roots has gone from a virtual unknown to establishing himself as a blog regular and one of the most progressive music acts New England has produced in recent memory. Ariez began attracting attention beyond state lines in 2010 when he released a freestyle over a Just Blaze-produced beat from a Street Fighter commercial. The super-producer cosigned AO’s skills via Twitter, and the Massachusetts upstart went to work over a number of industry and club instrumentals which he compiled on his summer 2011 offering, JACKMOVE, hosted by Clinton Sparks. The tape also included a few original tracks like the regional smash “Go Crazy” which featured Clinton, Fatman Scoop and Art Beatz. With a taste of success in the club scene, Ariez turnt up

this past year by delivering his long-awaited debut LP, The Heartbreak Kid, entirely produced by J. Cardim. The project spotlighted the full range of Onasis’ smash-and-dash slick talk (“Lay It Down”) and introduced an introspective side of the playeristic MC (“Seek You Out”) over a spaced-out J. Cardim score. Keeping the guest list short with just Wiz Khalifa, Verse Simmonds, Kevin Cossom, and Planet VI, AO stunted by delivering unapologetic douche-bag swag in raw form. Blending dubstup, electro and hip-hop, HBK captured listeners from a diverse gene pool. The cinematic video for viral hit “Victim” and the standout LP proclaimed the arrival of an addictive new product. Re-upping with a collaborative project alongside aforementioned Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Kevin Cossom and a concept mixtape titled Argentina in early 2013, if Ariez keeps running game like he’s supposed to, expect the billboard charts to be just another victim of The Heartbreak Kid. – Midtown Nate RHYMES & DIMES MAGAZINE

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ISSUE 4

12/9/12 7:10 PM


NEXT IN LINE . SALESE

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Salese Bronx, NY

Over the last ten years, the Bronx born rapper Salese (pronounced sah-lease) has been building his movement in hip hop. After failed ventures with major labels, Salese made the decision to distribute his music independently. He began to release his mixtape series with his debut project “Family Dinner”. Releasing his videos online to sites like WorldStarHipHop.com, he continued to garner support for his music with thousands of views on the site. His second mixtape, “Still Hungry”, was released online and with good old fashioned hand to hand street promotion. On his third and current independent release “The Main

Course”, Salese collaborated with other new artists such as Torch of MMG, Fred the Godson and A-Mafia. Embracing his Italian heritage, Salese is making traction with his Italians in Hip Hop Movement. Staying focused on his goals and gaining attention, Salese has appeared on Shade 45 and has had his music posted on sites such as VladTV, ThisIs50 and worldstarhiphop.com. After hundreds of thousands of views of his music online, Salese has been performing throughout the Tri-state area. Taking no days off, Salese continues to work towards his goal of becoming a household name in the near future. – Nina Leigh

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12/9/12 7:26 PM


BODEGA BAMZ . NEXT IN LINE

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Bodega BAMZ Spanish Harlem, NY

Home to the most revered Latin rapper to ever grip the mic, New York City has experienced an unfortunate drought of Hispanic MC’s since the passing of Big Pun in 2000. Thankfully, 2012’s flourishing class of NYC rap newcomers included one act with the potential to put on for those of Latino descent. Armed with Rotten Apple bravado and impassioned with the rich culture of his Spanish Harlem stomping grounds, Bodega BAMZ is reppin’ for a demographic that hasn’t had a promising new voice in the genre for years. Trading in bricks for bars, BAMZ (an acronym for “By Any Meanz”) struggled with his transition when he couldn’t get his records properly mixed down or secure ample studio time. When his recording woes continued to go unresolved, the half-Dominican, half-Puerto Rican MC’s blood brother OhLa stepped up and became his engineer, thus propelling BAMZ’ productivity and sound quality. The NY spitta’ then branded his bandana-rocking clique the

“Tanboys” (which Bodega coined as “another word for them Spanish n**gas”), making them contenders in the current “crew hip-hop” resurgence. This past summer saw the Tanboys’ macho-rhyming frontman make major strides with a verse on A$AP Mob’s Lords Never Worry mixtape and the videos for his singles, “P.A.P.I.” and “My Name Is”; the latter of which captured the vibrant essence of his neighborhood. Last October, that same Latin fusion approach carried over into BAMZ’s debut mixtape, Strictly 4 My P.A.P.I.Z., with appearances from Joell Ortiz, the Flatbush Zombies, A$AP Ferg, Tego Calderon and top bill producers: The Alchemist, Emile and DJ Carnage. S4MP’s Spanglish aesthetic translated favorably across hood and hipster audiences, even resonating with the most melanindeficient of rap fans. And if that reception is any indication of what’s to come, BAMZ may have a tanning effect on many more listeners in the near future. – Midtown Nate

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ISSUE 4

12/9/12 7:13 PM


NEXT IN LINE . WINK LOC

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Wink Loc Brooklyn, NY

Walking up to the Brooklyn Museum I met up with Wink Loc and his manager to sit down and talk about music, life and how this Brooklyn native teamed up with the trap king of the south, Young Jeezy. Decked out in blue cargo shorts, blue Jordans, t-shirt, snap back and black rosary beads with a understated diamond cross, Wink smiles as he greets me and asks if I am okay. It’s hard to believe the friendly 20 something year old man I’m meeting is the same person who has been shot in the head and spent 10 years in prison. I joke about it whether or not it is safe for me out here and Wink casually and in all seriousness lets me know that as long as I’m with him, especially in Brooklyn, I am safe. (Perhaps he is that same guy after all). Wink Loc has come a long way from where he started in East Flatbush Brooklyn, NY. His story doesn’t start with the usual tragic single parent, poverty stricken story. Wink’s life started in a two parent household with a mother who worked

to provide all of his needs and wants. However, Wink was drawn to the streets and as he says “once I’m infatuated by something and it gets a hold of me I give it my all” and thus Wink Loc was born. After being shot at point blank range in the head with a .25, surviving and going to prison for 10 years Wink came home in 2007 ready to do something different. He made a clear decision that he was not going back to jail, so he enrolled in college and obtained a degree in Computer Science while continuing to pursue his rap career. All of his hard work paid off when he met one of Young Jeezy’s managers via twitter which ultimately led to him being signed to CTE World. In a camp known for its trap music, Wink brings something different to the table by focusing his music on the more emotional side of the streets. Drawing from his experiences in Brooklyn and prison, his music covers everything from unfaithful girlfriends during a bid, to death threats and snitching. – Nina Leigh

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12/10/12 9:05 PM


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12/10/12 8:49 PM


KENDRICK LAMAR . LYRICIST OF THE YEAR

025

n 2006, Nas made the bold proclamation that Hip-Hop no longer had a pulse. Fast forward to 2012, and hip-hop is indeed still alive. Its wellness, however, is the subject of much scrutiny thanks to the current stronghold of strip club anthems like French Montana’s “Pop That” and dumbout jams like Chief Keef’s breakout hit, “I Don’t Like”. In fact, the genre has become so engorged in making catchy tunes over slappin’ snares that even veteran MC’s have left the confines of their respected catalog to try to blend into the ratchet party (see Fat Joe’s “Instagram That Hoe”). But amidst the bottles, bands and booty popping, there’s still a demand for true artistry on the mic. While the challenge of being embraced by the masses when choosing substance over swag has become an increasingly insurmountable feat in today’s climate, Compton’s own Kendrick Lamar may in fact be rap music’s new weatherman. The charismatic young rhyme technician sent a message heard throughout the music industry with the success of his debut album Good, Kid, M.A.A.D City this fall, real people want real music. Selling 242,000 copies in its first week, the sonically and conceptually cohesive LP centered around the rapper’s morally turbulent upbringing in the streets of Compton and outperformed projects from radio dominant artists such 2 Chainz and Rick Ross. Kendrick’s triumph served as a stark reminder to culture that a new artist can still do numbers without making a slew of club bangers or songs about ignorant levels of drug use. Now heralded as this era’s champion of storytelling and lyricism, King Kendrick is being labeled a future great thanks to authoring a debut that’s already been called a classic in many circles. While any predictions about what accolades lay ahead for Kendrick Lamar seem preemptive, one thing is certain; rap’s ratchet vibe has been disrupted, ya bish. – Nina Leigh RHYMES & DIMES MAGAZINE

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12/11/12 2:12 AM


MVP OF THE YEAR . 2 CHAINZ

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t is inarguable that 2012 is the year of 2 Chainz. More than his first solo album reaching number one on the charts, there is no such thing as a countdown or party being started without at least one appearance from the one and only 2 Chainz. Not a member of any clique 2 Chainz moves effortlessly through the industry doing features sometimes so great they out shine the artist who the song belongs to. Unafraid to dance his 6 foot 5 frame across any stage, he has one of the most energetic stage shows out. Not to mention he is one of the most quotable artists in the game right now, making him this year’s MVP. Let’s take a moment and thank 2 Chainz for all the quotables he has dropped on us this year: “I’m different yea I’m different. Pull up to the scene with my ceiling missing middle” – I’m Different “Let’s play big bank take lil bank you are looking at a shark in a fish tank” – I love Dem Strippers “I am smoking on that gas life should be on Cinemax, movie. Bought my bitch bigger tits and a bigger ass” – No Lie ft. Drake “Got your car note in my car and in your rent in my swisha.” – No Lie ft. Drake “All I get is cheese like I’m taking pictures” – No Lie ft. Drake “Call your baby daddy and tell him that he super weak. Fucked your girl last night, it only took a week” – Supafreak (Young Jeezy ft. 2 Chainz) “And if you fuck with us we gon start a riot. I’ma start a riot” – Riot “Rain pouring, all my cars are foreign, all my broads are foreign money tall like Jordan” – Mercy (G.O.O.D Music ft. 2 Chainz) “2 chains 4 bracelets make that ass clap, standing ovation” – Bands A Make Her Dance Remix (Juicy J ft. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz) “Let me see you wiggle do it for a real nigga, I be laughing to the bank all you do is giggle” – Bands A Make Her Dance Remix (Juicy J ft. Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz) RHYMESNDIMESMAG.COM

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12/11/12 2:12 AM


FUTURE . BREAKOUT ARTIST OF THE YEAR

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FUTURE tlanta has done it again by handing 2012 its breakout artist in rapper/auto-tune aficionado Future. 2012 welcomed the dirty Sprite drinking, bad bitch connoisseur, strip club loving, dope boy music creator with open arms. Unlike a lot of artists who take several years to become a household name, Future has done it in two. Future released his first mix-tape ever in 2010 and worked in overdrive to earn a deal by the end of 2011. Signed to Epic Records, enter 2012 and the Future is here and now. Gaining commercial success with records like “Turn on the Lights” which reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip Hop Chart and “Magic” featuring T.I. which certified Gold and peaked at number 10 on the same chart, Future spent 2012 on fire. A certified household name, Future was on your radio, television and in the club with you. The Atlanta native has an uncanny knack for creating dope boy sing along club songs. In high demand, Future has collaborated across the industry working with artists like Rihanna, Kelly Rowland, Young Jeezy and French Montana. Probably one of the most repeated artists of the year, it seems like we just can’t get enough of Future. Although an unapologetic auto-tune abuser, Future is equally entertaining and talented when you strip away the voice affects. “Same Damn Time” features mostly pure high energy Future delivery without auto-tune. An instant club hit sensation “Same Damn Time” inspired a lot of couch standing , strip pole sliding and threesomes in 2012. Future’s music is the perfect soundtrack for Chevy riding through the trap with a pretty passenger in a Camaro or an old school. With a career breakout like this, you can’t help but to wonder what the Future holds. – Nina Leigh

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ISSUE 4

12/11/12 2:13 AM


SONG & VERSE OF THE YEAR

028 ouncing over a Hit-Boy beat, Kendrick Lamar flexed his lyrical muscles on “Backseat Freestyle.” Using his voice as an ultimate instrument, Kendrick switches up his delivery and tone in different parts of the track. He flawlessly looped in references to dominating ideals, tones, and references in hip hop culture. First there was Martin, as in Martin Luther King, and his Dream and now there is Kendrick and his dream as the intro. The hook kicks off with a reference to the 1998 highly recognizable hip hop anthem “Money, Power, Respect” by The Lox ft. Lil Kim. Kendrick uses the things you know to take you where he wants you to go. The first stop is Paris, where the Eiffel Tower is located. The same Paris, referenced in the 2011 hit single also produced by Hit-Boy by Jay Z and Kanye West’s “Niggas in Paris.” The song reached incredible commercial success and also earned the duo critical acclaim. Kendrick has us arrive in Paris with his prayer that his lower body gets as big as the Eiffel Tower so he can f*** the world for 72 hours. 72 hours equates to one hour for each of the engineers, scientists and other notable people engraved on the Eiffel Tower. These types of play on words, loaded themes and ideas are prevalent throughout the track. At first look the track can be written off as overly simple to the naked eye. It may even seem like a bunch of things you have somewhat heard somewhere before. Yet, if you take the invitation to travel through Kendrick’s dream and really listen, you will see that not one bar is just as it seems. Syllable after syllable will take you through a journey of the familiar unfamiliar into the clever workings of the mind of Kendrick Lamar. Appealing to fans who just like their lyrics tightly rhymed together, as well as those who want metaphors and concepts, “Backseat Freestyle” is a full body lyrical hip hop work out. – Nina Leigh

f you are out in the streets, car, club or anywhere really and you hear: “Okay! Lamborghini Mercy, yo chick she’s so thirsty. I’m in that 2 seat Lambo with your girl she trying to jerk me” a different energy takes over you and all those in your immediate vicinity. The G.O.O.D Music crew kicked off spring 2012 with an anthem that people young and old found themselves avidly singling along to. No matter what you value in hip hop or music in general there is an artist on this epic collaboration that appeals to you. Flawlessly blending lyricism and ratchet rap over a driving baseline that demands you to nod your head, it isn’t hard to see why “Mercy” was chosen as the lead single for “Cruel Summer” from G.O.O.D Music. Reaching a high of 13 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, number one on three other U.S. Billboard lists and managing to certify platinum within 3 months of its release, Ye and crew proved that the highly anticipated group effort would deliver greatness. Big Sean, Pusha T and Mr. Kanye West of G.O.O.D Music with a guest appearance from 2 Chainz not only delivered a song for the summer they created the song of the year. Most times when there is a song with this many artists there is at

least one verse that is forgettable or pales in comparison to the rest but not here. Each artist steps up to the mic with quotable one-liners, punch lines and lyrics that dig their way into your bones as you repeat each bar. 2 Chainz captured the essence of the work every one simply putting it, “Spit rounds like a gun range.” Bar after bar Big Sean, Pusha T, Kanye West and 2 Chaniz stayed in their own elements making the song a collage of dopeness as opposed to an overly forced concept. Even the overall production of the song did its own thing by taking the risk of including a bridge on this all rap collaboration. Yet where others would have failed, Mr. West kills the bridge with a verse of abundant energy and awesomeness. Yet again Ye teaches us that when you’re talented following the recipe for a hit rap song or doesn’t apply to you. “Most rappers taste level ain’t at my waist level, turn up the bass till it’s up in your face level”–Kanye West. When you set the standard, you don’t live by it. The reward for moving in your own direction is creating and releasing the song of the year for 2012. Congratulations to G.O.O.D Music and 2 Chainz for a job well done. – Nina Leigh

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12/11/12 2:13 AM


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12/8/12 2:25 PM


The 7 that stays on MC’s minds Words Jessica “Compton” Bennett RHYMESNDIMESMAG.COM

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12/9/12 2:21 PM


MUSES

031

nspiration comes in all walks of life in art. In Hip-Hop, a Muse can cometimes supersede it’s artist. R&D examines. Erykah Badu

We all know she has a thing for MCs, but it’s whatever she does to them that leads to her being the topic of many an ode. Whether Andre 3K is discussing an awkward relationship with her mother on “Ms. Jackson” or Common expressing his love on the J Dilla produced classic, “The Light”, Ms. Badu’s beauty, charisma and individuality has clearly inspired some of the games most talented wordsmiths.

Kim Kardashian

While not officially together that long, the epicness of Kimye has taken pop culture fans by storm. Yeezy’s current boo is without a doubt considered absolutely stunning by men & women, young & old, rich & broke. While several rappers have made mention of her beauty, Kanye’s own personal dedications, “Perfect Bitch” and “White Dress” take the cake as the ultimate odes to the reality TV queen.

Amber Rose

Before being cuffed by the Wiz, anyone paying attention knows that the Philly native’s relationship with Kanye West was more than just boy meets girl. It inspired what many consider West’s magnum opus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Whether expressing joy or pain, she is thought to be the main catalyst behind that album, as well as Yeezy’s verse on Watch the Throne’s, “That’s My Bitch.”

Beyoncé

The other dime with an obvious reference from her hubby on “That’s My Bitch” is Queen B. While that may be the latest track Hov has dedicated to his better half, no doubt tracks including “Me & My Girlfriend” and verses from songs like “Off That” and Timbaland’s “Rumors” (“Girl, you’re so deadly, murder in them clothes / It’s blood on the dance floor you murdering these hoes”) show that she’s inspired Brooklyn’s finest in and outside the booth. Not to mention, she’s shouted out by everyone from The Dream to Big Sean as still being one of the baddest chicks in the game.

Nicki Minaj

It’s damn near impossible to name an MC who hasn’t had Nicki on their mind in some way, and most of her male counterparts aren’t ashamed to shout her out not only for being nice with a mic but for that body that stops traffic. Meek Mill, Ludacris, Wale, Maino and countless others have made mention of her dimensions being sickening. That doesn’t even include her YMCMB fam, namely Drake who once insisted on marrying the girl.

Serena Williams

There are women with curves, and then there is Serena. The tennis champion’s body is the stuff of legend, and we all know what part is getting most of the attention. She’s so bad that rumors began to swirl that she was at the center of the Common vs Drake “beef.” Whether that was actually the case or not, Drizzy was inspired by Williams’s twerkin’ home movie (allegedly shot in his condo) for his own official video for the single, “Practice.”

Rihanna

Bad girl Ri-Ri has been breaking hearts for years, but it seems as of late, the boys want even more of her. Always on the tip of a rappers tongue, Rihanna has become one of, if not the most name- dropped muse as of late. From Drake (again?) calling her “one of his baddest women ever” to J.Cole declaring her a “10” on his single “Nobody’s Perfect,” and even Royce Da 5’9’s “Hi Rihanna” bars, she’s become the ideal. RHYMES & DIMES MAGAZINE

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ISSUE 4

12/9/12 2:24 PM


VIOLENCE AND HIP-HOP AWARD SHOWS

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A History of Violence:

is supposed to be about the recognition of artists that have put in an exceptional amount of work over the previous year. Many awards shows regularly go off without a hitch, namely the big four: The Grammys, Tonys, Emmys and Oscars. No doubt there has been onstage awkwardness and backstage breakdowns, but no reason to think attending one would create a liability issue. Then we have the more “urban” shows that have been stigmatized since Onyx decided to bust off live ammunition during their performance of “Throw Ya Gunz” at the 1994 Source HipHop Music Awards. Unfortunately, 6 years later, The Source Awards found themselves in an even worse situation when a brawl broke out in the audience, shutting down the ceremony and leaving producer/ rapper DJ Quik with serious injuries. Next we had the incident at the 2004 Vibe Music Awards, where a 26 year-old LA native sucker punched Dr. Dre before he was to receive an award. Then G-Unit member Young Buck came to the Doc’s defense and stabbed the false fan, leading to the Tennessee MC pleading guilty to “assault likely to produce great bodily harm,” and was sentenced to 3 years probation and community service. And while the murder of The Notorious B.I.G did not take place at an actual awards show, it followed the 1997 Soul Train Music Awards after departing a Vibe hosted after party. We are now hearing that initial reports of altercations at the 2012 BET Hip-Hop Awards involving Gunplay, G-Unit affiliates, Young Jeezy and Rick Ross have all been over exaggerated. Thanks to the magic of smart phones however, footage of all parties throwing hands has been released. There are several videos of MMG member Gunplay getting jumped by G-Unit security, resulting in 50 Cent mockingly rocking his MMG chain at a Washington D.C. bowling alley. Footage of MMG boss Rick Ross and CTE World head Jeezy finally squaring up backstage after a three year long beef has also been released. While neither of these incidents was serious enough to stop the show, the mere fact that they continue to happen at what are intended to be a professional functions begs the question “Why Hip-Hop?” Yeah, the culture is aggressive by nature, but as adults there is a time and place for everything. Time will tell if this continues or if we take another approach that doesn’t involve 5-0 every year.

Words Jessica “Compton” Bennett

Hip Hop Award Shows

The BET Hip-Hop Awards weren’t the first time some violence popped off and sadly it probably won’t be the last? But why?

Attending an awards show

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12/4/12 10:52 AM


VIOLENCE AND HIP-HOP AWARD SHOWS

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“The Fight” at the 2000 Source Hip-Hop Music Awards

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12/4/12 10:24 AM


Who would have thought? Garrett Morgan did in 1923. The Traffic Signal, developed by Garrett Morgan,

is just one of the many life-changing innovations that came from the mind of an African American. We must do all we can to support minority education today, so we don’t miss out on the next big idea tomorrow. To find out more about African American innovators and to support the United Negro College Fund, visit us at uncf.org or call 1-800-332-UNCF. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Š2008 UNCF

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12/12/12 1:43 AM


NICKI MINAJ

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our nly! Y For s O Eye

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12/12/12 1:34 AM


NICKI MINAJ

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NICKI MINAJ

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12/12/12 1:35 AM


DJ DRAMA

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DJ DRAMA

Words Midtown Nate Images Zach Wolfe

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ISSUE 4

12/18/12 10:29 PM


DJ DRAMA

ip-Hop is a 365 day-a-year sport. There may be breaks on a record, but there’s no off-season and no days off. After being in the game for the better part of a decade and dishing us some of the best mixtape series’ of all-time, DJ Drama is in a league of his own. In-between hosting a handful mixtapes including Lil Wayne’s Dedication 4 and DJ’ing for Meek Mill on the MMG rapper’s Dreams & Nightmarestour, Drama found time to cook up his fourth official studio LP released this October, Quality Street Music. The album includes the urban radio hit “My Moment” featuring none other than Meek Mill along with 2 Chainz and Jeremih. QSM casts an all-star line-up that also encompasses everyone from Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa and Waka Flocka to new faces such as Kendrick Lamar, ScHoolboy Q and Future. There’s even a freestyle from funnyman Kevin Hart aka Chocolate Droppa for some added entertainment. Ever-conscious of the culture’s current climate, the latest effort from the DJ born Tyree Simmons proves to be his most diverse to date. As is dictated by the sport he’s in, the Southern mixtape guru who created a platform that boosted the careers of

And now you’re on your fourth studio album which has a title that could be subjective to a lot of people. What’s your personal definition of “Quality Street Music”? Trap or Die, God Forgives, I Don’t, Dreamchasers, Illmatic, The Infamous, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. And Quality Street Music (the album). It represents a certain consistency and sound of hip-hop at it’s finest. You admitted to rushing the release of your last album, Third Power, to capitalize on the momentum of the lead single. Did the success of the QSM single “My Moment” prevent you from ensuring that this new album wasn’t rushed in the same way? Well, [this time] I was more prepared, truthfully. I actually did “We In This B*tch” for the last album. When it didn’t make it, it just gave me motivation to go right back in on this project. So I spent a lot of the winter in the studio getting to work and having a game plan. You know, working all winter, shining all summer. Shout to my man DJ Khaled. [WithThird Power] “Oh My” took off and it was a great success. I had just left Atlantic [Records] and went to eOne. The record really popped off and I had to put a project together. I had some bangers on there but

“I’ve had a lot of moments and I’ve enjoyed them all. Getting my name on a flier, that was what I was trying to get accomplished. Everything else is extra.” – DJ Drama with Quality Street Music I was able to paint a broader picture of what I want to accomplish.

artists such as Young Jeezy and T.I., and allowed them to switch gears from the concrete to the red carpet, has evolved into a jack of all trades. Drama’s hustle is relentless not only when it comes to releasing mixtapes and playing tour DJ, but also via hosting his own Aphilliates Radio program and overseeing his blog, DramaLikeTheDj.Com. The turntabilist who goes by several aliases including “Barack O’Drama” in his boastful and sometimes [in their own way] motivational mixtape rants sat down with Rhymes and Dimes at NYC nightlife spot HK Lounge hours before manning the 1’s and 2’s for Meek Mill’s Big Apple tour stop to explain his approach to Quality Street Music, collaborating with Meek, being a pioneer in the mixtape culture, and staying competitive on multiple platforms. There’s no doubt “Mr. Thanksgiving” has a lot on his plate, but he stays hungry. In the words of Sean “Diddy” Combs, “Ya’ll n**gas can’t multitask!!”

How did you approach the collaborations differently on Quality Street Music compared to your previous albums? Just really trying to think outside of the box and not trying to make it too complicated. Quality Street Music is a brand that I developed around the time of [Young Jeezy’s] Trap or Die. It’s something that I feel represents part of the culture and a lot of the artists that I’ve put in the streets or put out to the world. This album is an ode to quality street music. It has a lot of artists that I feel represent that to the fullest as well as some that are just genuinely great artists aside from that; at a lot of levels. Greats [like] Cee-Lo, Jeezy and Ross and newcomers such as ScHoolboy Q. I got a record with Miguel, [Rick] Ross, Pusha-T and Curren$y. Then I’ve got a record with Waka [Flocka] and Tyler [,The Creator] that’s crazy.

What inspired you to pursue a DJ career? I went to go see the movie Juice and it got me hyped and I wanted to take on Deejaying as a hobby. I convinced my mom to buy me a turntable and a mixer.

How has your ear for music, specifically curating anthems, changed from your first official single “Takin’ Pictures” to your latest, “My Moment”? Just experience and learning as I go and trying to make good records for the people.

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DJ DRAMA

I’ve definitely had some records in my career, from “Feds Takin’ Pics” to “Art of Storytellin’ Pt. 4” to “Cannon” to “My Moment” that have been good representations of what the brand stands for. A major part of you building that brand was you’re ability to cultivate the mixtape culture in the South. What do you think allowed you, a DJ from Philly, to be at the forefront of that movement? My motivations and my mentality of what the game was were based more upon what was going on up north than in the South at the time. I took a formula that I saw made sense in New York and Philly and applied it to Southern music. N**gas wasn’t talking on they tapes, [or] treating South tapes with exclusives and freestyles like that. They weren’t doing that when I started Gangsta Grillz. So that really transformed the culture of mixtapes in Atlanta and the South. I remember a time when I was calling across the board like “My name is Drama, I got this South mixtape” and nobody was really checkin’ for that. And here we are 8, 9 years later. Now you can’t even think of when a Southern mixtape wasn’t hot. Today Gangsta Grillz is synonymous with not only Southern mixtapes but hip-hop from across the country. What were some of the things you did early on to make Gangsta Grillz a force in the mixtape game? I did everything. I was on the phone, I was putting them (mixtapes) together. By any means necessary, truth be told. I always wanted my product to look good. I gave a lot of free CDs out. T.I. and Grand Hustle gave me the opportunity to make the first special edition Gangsta Grillz that started the wheel turning to where we are today. The Gangsta Grillz Dedication series with Lil Wayne is always met with high expectations from the fans; many of whom hold that series in higher regard than even some of Wayne’s studio albums. Now that Dedication 4 is out, what are your thoughts on how people have taken to the series? It means a lot to people. It means a lot to me. I think he (Wayne) understands that. It’s like getting back on the [basketball] court in a sense with a series like that ‘cause it’s got a lot to live up to. We’re on the fourth one so there’s a legacy now. How involved are you in choosing the beats, features and artwork for the mixtapes you host? I try to get involved. Some people have their vision and their vision is excellent and I can come in and just do my one-two thing. And some people look to me more for than that. But I always like to be involved in naming it, the concept and so forth. I treat every tape different. So, I go into it with that notion in mind but it all varies depending on the artist. One project that you recently helped conceptualize was Meek Mill’s Dreamchasers 2. How do you approach a mixtape likeDreamchasers 2 where you are given the freedom to do more than just talk your sh*t? [With Dreamchasers 2] It’s a concept that really gave me a lot of creativity. I’ve been here a long time with mixtapes and I’ve gotten known for talking sh*t. So, when something like that is given to me it’s my chance to show and prove. Love it or hate it, with Dram on a mixtape nobody’s going to sit here and tell me that, that sh*t I be saying is not the sh*t. You know, I realRHYMES & DIMES MAGAZINE

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DJ DRAMA

“I was watching him [Meek Mill] do his mixtape thing and it all comes full circle. But the Dreamchasers sh*t is special. There’ll be a 3 down the road.” – DJ Drama ized at a certain point a couple of years ago, they know me. They know me! I’m in a space where I don’t have to scream my name on every song. I just have to make my presence understood in the space that it’s in. And that’s where I’m at now and I feel like only the people that look at it from an outside perspective saying, “I can’t stand when Drama talks on the tape,” they’re the ones that don’t really listen. My objective is to always add to where the artist wants to go, not just to brag and boast about who the f*ck I am. If and when the Dreamchasers series goes on to a part 3 and 4, do you see it being considered the next elite series in the same vein as the Dedication tapes? It could be. The way it’s been going, Dreamchasers is becoming a classic series. I would say that Dreamchasers and There Is No Competition [Fabolous] have been my most successful series’ in the post ‘05-’06 era. I was watching him [Meek Mill] do his mixtape thing and it all comes full circle. But the Dreamchasers sh*t is special. There’ll be a 3 down the road. Between the mixtapes, touring, your radio show and now being in the digital space with DramaLikeTheDJ.com, it seems like you’re involved in a dozen things all at once. How do you stay motivated and keep up the balancing act? I love it and I’m very blessed. I’m in a great space right now as a DJ in hip-hop for what I’ve accomplished as well as what I continuously have my hands involved in. It comes from just the love of it and going hard, [plus] staying consistent and staying on the pulse of the culture. I’m addicted to new sh*t. It’s just that type of mentality in hip-hop. I come from a mixtape game type of culture which is always very competitive in a sense. So I guess that’s just my nature and how I like to get things accomplished. We move in a very fast-paced era but you got to keep up. In retrospect, you’ve seen the mixtape game go from selling tapes out of the trunk of a car to the all digi-

tal platform of today powered by sites like DatPiff. But there were a few bumps in the road, including feds seizing entire stockpiles of mixtapes from DJ’s such as yourself. Are you surprised that the mixtape game has come as far as it has? [At first] I didn’t f*ck with DatPiff. I thought they were the enemy because they were basically making mixtapes free downloads and that concept was foreign. I came from the Mixunit.com, the wholesale [era] and things of that nature. We had to get adjusted but I think that the mixtape game is in a great space. [Now] I love the culture of free downloads and putting your tape on Twitter and DatPiff. The blogs became a new space for new music and the mixtape culture just grew and grew and grew. It’s truthfully bigger than ever. A lot of people from the old school might argue that this era is far out of a golden era of mixtapes. But just as far as what it means in hip-hop and in the world, you never know who’s going to have a mixtape. And think of the reach now as compared to 10-15 years ago. It’s a whole new genre. The kids that are downloading them now aren’t the same ones that were going to the store and buying the DJ Clue tape. It’s really going to be a wrap when Justin Bieber does a tape. At this point in your career, what would you label as your crowning achievement? I’ve had a lot of moments and I’ve enjoyed them all. Getting my name on a flier, that was what I was trying to get accomplished. Everything else is extra. Staying competitive for so long and building multiple brands simultaneously make a pretty good case for you to be named the hardest working DJ in the game. Should you be considered one of the most influential people hip-hop? Absolutely. I think there’s a bunch of us but I’m definitely in there. I stay hungry. But I rather let my work speak for itself. I mean, I said it on the Slaughterhouse tape. Since the beginning, it’s been about whose house it is. Clearly, in my profession, it’s Drama’s house.

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12/11/12 2:23 PM


WIZ KHALIFA

044

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11/27/12 10:08 PM


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WIZ KHALIFA

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WIZ KHALIFA

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t’s a breezy night, and a great night for live music. Artists are largely judged by the way the carry themselves in all aspects of their life and a live performance is one of the top criterion. As the breeze kicks up and the scarf draped microphone begins to sway, Cameron Jibirl Thomaz has his presence felt even before he hits the stage. His trademark laugh is one of the most recognizable sounds in Hip-Hop, and the capacity crowd at the Nikon now knows he’s arrived. Very few artists carry a rock star presence like Wiz Khalifa. A lot of people rap about it, talk about it, and lie about it but Khalifa is it. From fulfilling his prophecy to “ink his whole body, he don’t give a motherfuck,” to channelling the lifestyle of Jimi Hendrix and more of the hippie-era, Wiz is a star in every sense of the word. Like most rock stars, he’s not alone. The same familiar faces you’ve seen around Wiz while making modest music videos with him and his homes are the same faces you see cutting million dollar deals with him. Like another famous Cam’Ron once stated, everybody eats. The family atmosphere backstage at the shows are something to be admired. Resembling something more of a family barbecue than business as usual, everyone seems to genuinely like each other and it is all from the magnetic persona of the Voo Doo Child. Chevy Woods hasn’t left Wiz’s side since they picked up microphones. Will D. holds everything together as a best friend/tour manager. The beautiful Lola Monroe hangs back as stoic as possible as Tuki Carter, Berner, and the entire gang is all happy as clams after another successful show. Even fellow superstar, J. Cole, is hanging out backstage as the two share stories about their come-up and just how far they come as they toss shots of Bombay back with each other. Life is good for a Taylor. He’s one of the most commercially successful acts in music and has done it mostly in-house. He’s weeks away from marrying the beautiful Amber Rose and is ready to be a father for the first time. Even where he believes he’s stumbled in his critique of his debut album, he restored faith in his fans by dropping the near-flawless Taylor Allderdice mix tape. All he’s got to do now is do it again with O.N.I.F.C. in the allimportant fourth quarter of the year. It's no secret that Rolling Papers wasn't your best foot forward, why do you think O.N.I.F.C. will be different? With Rolling Papers, I had a whole audience before me who knew me for other things, but by the time it came to

make that happen I felt like a lot of people didn’t know me for those same things, they might have just had me in a bracket. I made that album to catch people up to speed with everything. I feel like O.N.I.F.C. is the first opportunity to get people to know what the future is going to be from us. You took a lot of your inspiration from Jimi Hendrix and the 70s era, What was the thing that triggered the inspiration when you went to re-invent yourself? I was always into that whole culture and just learning about it knowing about what was going on before I even existed. I was always into it but it got to a point that I saw so many similarities by watching these documentaries and the way that we all feel now. It was just a universal experience that we all felt. So I felt that it was my responsibility to never let that spirit die. Not the exact same thing but that same sense of freedom and love and respect for one another, you know what I mean? You can’t never really lose that, and I’m just trying to bring that to the forefront. You keep a real positive vibe around you whether it is in your music, or the people around you. You seem to have the most fun being a star and life in general. What keeps you like that? I just see the good side of everything, bro. Even when something fucked up is happening I just ry to put that out instead of the bad part out. As far as the younger artists to come in the game, you have been embraced by most of the OG’s like not many before you. They really gravitate towards you. I just think it comes from me being a huge fan of theirs. I really respect these guys. I don’t just see them as celebrities, I think they have an impact that they all had and I respect. IThe respect that they have for me genuinely comes from knowing that when they see me I’m not just an artist that got a bunch of shit going on around me that i’m very aware of. When they see me they see Wiz the artist, but they also see the business around me as well. They see the branding, the see my papers, the clothes, my fanbase and see how hard we go for ourselves. So the records that I put together, it was me talking to those artists it wasn’t even the label. It was me, Will and other people just being cool with people and making things happen. So when they see the business side of it, and they see that I do the right thing and that it took them a lot of years to learn some of the things that they learned, It was things I grasped right away. They see I’m doing the right thing. They are kind of proud of me and want me to do well. Do you think it has to do with the fact that you kind of made your own blueprint for success? In an industry where people aren’t selling as many records as they

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used to, you made 11 million with no endorsements. You’ve been on the Forbes list two years in a row. You know what, when you say it like that, that makes me think that it could possibly be it. But I don’t even think about it like that. The money and all of that stuff is cool. And I think that’s for other people to look at and people say “yo, that nigga is paid.” But whatever, that’s always been a good thing and something we worked hard to achieve and with that comes a lot of respect. As far as O.N.I.F.C. is concerned, it had a few push backs. Was there a difference in between the original version you handed in as opposed to the one that is done now? Not really. The main objective of the project was pretty much figuring out a way to put it out since there wasn’t so many obvious radio singles. I mean, there are still singles and things that people are going to love, it’s just not typical. We had to figure out a way to make it happen. The music was just specific and having it 100% done. I think with the pushback we just needed that time to make it real, and not just a couple of letter and a couple of songs. The initials for the album stands for Only Nigga In First Class, and you saying that there aren’t any obvious singles, it seems like the album will be more co-

hesive as one project instead of a collection of songs. Is that a safe assumption? Yeah, it’s all about self-love and freedom. Freedom for yourself and people all around you. That’s what the cover represents. You can’t be scared to do what you believe in and just put it out there to the world. All the songs tell you a story on how to start of regular and become something successful. That’s pretty much the theme on the album. The Gang is really starting to take off now with Juicy J, Chevy, Berner, Lola and everyone. As you embark on this 2050 Tour, what is the perfect rollout plan for the Taylor Gang? Man, I just plan on hitting people back to back. One after another. Once we go out on tour everybody in the gang is dropping tapes. I don’t think everybody even knows how many people are dropping tapes in the next couple of months. But everybody in the Taylor Gang is about to release something. After that, we are dropping the O.N.I.F.C. album. As far as the Taylor Gang group album, We are going to drop that at the top of the year. As soon as possible, and just have that floating around.. I feel like the more stuff out simultaneously, the better. Instead of just waiting around and trying to lock six months for one person, I feel like we can all do it at the same times and it’ll be nonstop all year. It’s all about establishing the Taylor Gang sound.

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What can you tell us about the Live In Concert mix tape with Curren$y that has suffered so many pushbacks? We are still getting everything cleared on there because there is a lot a lot of samples on there. We did something totally different and something new. So when it comes out, it’s not like we are ever going to run out of time to drop that. We have to get it all the way right, so we don’t have a solid date on when we need to put it out. Hopefully before the end of this month, but well just take it month by month and week by week, and we’ll figure it out. You’re about to be a dad and a husband and it is a very high-profile relationship you have with Amber Rose. How is being a dad changed your approach to your music and lifestyle? It’s changed my lifestyle because I have to consider the fact that i’m not doing things for myself anymore. When I do get spare time I got to chose to kick it at home with the family and really tone it down a little bit. I also got to continute to be fun and innovative and creative and continue to be the guy that everybody fell in love. I’ve always been myself as a person but I can’t become a dad and then all of a sudden become super serious right away, then my kids will grow up and say “wow, you’re a lame now. You used to be way more cool back then,” you know? I got to keep it consistent,

but keep it responsible. I feel like i’m doing a great job. Are you going to tattoo your child on you? That’s a good question, man I don’t know! When you tattoo a baby portrait, it kind of starts to look fucked up. But that’s something you’ll have forever, so when the kid is grown i’ll be able to show them that I still had their little punk ass tatted on me, you know? [laughs]. How’s Amber holding up in the pregnancy? I know she’s kind of peeled back on the visibility since announcing the pregnancy, but how is she? She’s been real good man. She just had super bad morning sickness for the first trimester, but now she’’s able to walk around and do things for herself. She loves it and as far as cutting back on stuff, it was really natural for her. It wasn’t anything she had to force herself to do because she’s all about the baby and the family. Other stuff doesn’t even effect her anymore. She just stays home and cleans when she can and making sure I eat and taking care of the baby and making sure that she eats. She’s just being a good wife and more. She talked about thugging out a water birth to prove something to you. I read that she said she’s going to

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050 do an all-natural water birth so she can prove that she’s tougher than you? Man, she deserves all of that. It’s her body and it’s just awesome. So she wants to go through everything the first time. What is the marriage plans for you guys? Did you secretly get married already? Are you planning a big ceremony or anything? Well, we are going to get married before the baby comes. After the baby we’ll have a big ceremony and really show out. What are the plans for the next couple of O.N.I.F.C. records? Yeah, we are doing something with The Weeknd record, “Remember Me,” and we are working with a brand new director that I looked up and was very interested in. On this album, I always want to try things that are different and somethings that people haven’t seen from me before. So the video for that is put together now, we got four videos for the album already done that people haven’t seen. We are just go-

ing to keep rolling them out and we know how important the visuals are for our music. We know that is an experience that without it you’ll be missing everything. I think that’s what kind of missing from Rolling Papers. We just kind of put videos out and just said “here, have it.” but this time we are really taking our time with it and making it what it really is. Do you feel like you rushed the first album and that’s why it came out the way it did? I don’t feel like I rushed, I feel like I got rushed. I was being told that decisions had to be made and instead of taking my time and exploring the situation, I kind of was just like “okay, cool” to everybody. Now it’s not “okay, cool” anymore. Now I want to try it my way and do it different ways. It’s a lot smaller details being worked on now. At the end of the day, I love Atlantic Records. They are the only label that could’ve let me put out the music I wanted to put it out. Now your album artwork was very divisive. A lot of people loved it, and a lot of people joked on you for

it. How did you react to all of the criticism for it? It was crazy because I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. I fucked with it so much and I loved it so much that when I found out that there were people who felt the complete opposite, who hated it as much as I loved it, I knew it made perfect sense. It was so extreme. You either love it and know what it means, or you look at it and it is just crazy. With one of those things and being pulled by opposites is always a good thing, because the good outweighs the bad. We are just going to keep moving forward and doing what we want because we love the shit. When we did the photoshoot, it was exactly how I wanted it to come out. It was exactly how I wanted it to be. You’ve worked with a ton of people, but the chemistry that you have with Juicy J. is extremely apparent. As a guy that you looked up to, would you two ever consider a joint project? Um , anything can happen. We don’t have a project set aside but we have a ton of music that we put together. Just based on the ideas and the freedom that we

have in the studio we are both really free in the studio. He’s not afraid to tell me to do something over again. And vice versa. We just give each other ideas and feed off of each other and that is the best part of a a working relationship. It’s not one person that holds it all. You seem to be real concentrated on your legacy now. You’ve went out of your way to prove you are not a fluke. In a perfect world for you, what do you want your legacy to be? I just went everyone to know how much happiness I brought. I sort of like freeing people up. Freeing their minds and letting them be themselves. I’m never going to stop making music, or doing things to make people happy. I really enjoy my job. I never want to get to a point where i can fall back and do nothing. I always want to be doing something and having my hand in something. Russell Simmons still wakes up everyday and goes to work. He started rap. So shit, if he hasn’t stopped yet that gives me about 40-50 years to figure out what I want to do.

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WIZ KHALIFA

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TAHIRY

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There has been much said and assumed about the newest star of Vh1’s Love & Hip-Hop, but Tahiry lets her side of the story out for the first time with Rhymes & Dimes. Words Kazeem Famuyide Images Felixnataljr.com

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TAHIRY

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY FELIXNATALJR.COM ASSISTED BY SHOBIZ THE PHOTOGRAPHER DRESSES: FABRIC TWINZ / WWW.THEFABRICTWINZ.COM HAIR: HAIRBYKIRA / THE TEKNIQUE AGENCY MAKEUP: WHITNEY COSS

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TAHIRY

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et’s all admit it, Tahiry was all our pretend girlfriend at one point and time. We were introduced to her by way of Joe Budden’s webisodes over three years ago when the ample bottomed woman with the New York attitude slid into our hearts out of nowhere. Joey and Tahiry’s romance was one of those things that made us all jealous of one quarter of the Slaughterhouse collective. Their breakup, however, left nothing to be jealous about. As public and as ugly as a break-up as there has ever been in Hip-Hop, it seemed like everyone had an opinion on Joe and Tahiry’s split. It looks like the peanut gallery is going to swell up a few million. Tahiry, along with Joe, have signed on to be a part of the new season of Love & Hip-Hop: New York on VH1. Moreover, the Domincan beauty with the 44-inch waist has stayed in the public eye despite her very public split. In this sit-down with R&D, the newest star of VH1’s biggest show lets it all hang out for the first time. The world first discovered you guys on the internet reality. What is the difference between the Internet show and giving your lives over to VH1? It’s different now because I’m not in control. That’s the only thing that’s a little scary. Although Joey and I didn’t really know how to edit the clips, and a lot of the stuff we shot were just uncut, we pretty much did it for fun and it was in our home. It was in our comfort zone and we were in control of whatever we post. Now it’s on the contrary. We have no control over what they air. Not being in control can freak somebody out. We don’t know where the storylines go, and having VH1 control it is really crazy. Also back then, me and Joe were an item whereas now you get to see Joey and I be exes on the show. You already know you got to strap up your seatbelt and put on your gloves when you go to bat with this dude. On the outside looking in it looked like you and Joe were on good terms at one point and then you weren’t. Depending on the month, is what I always say. In January we might talk and in February we might not, you know? That’s because Joe’s definition of a friendship is completely twisted. For many years I tried to mend a friendship. He raps about me on one of songs, I don’t know what

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TAHIRY

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TAHIRY

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TAHIRY

059 fucking tape it is, but he says he’s exhausted every means of a friendship and he kind of makes it seem like it’s my fault. In actuality, it’s vice versa. Because I try, and try some more and I think at this point I’m done trying. It seemed like back then you never really wanted to talk about how you and Joe ended. It seemed like a touchy subject. What’s changed since then? Tahiry: Enough is enough. You can only take so much. Although we decided to out our relationship and let people into our life, however it’s not easy being in a public relationship and a public breakup. It’s pretty hard. I also respected our five years, and I also cared about Joey. So airing him out never was something I wanted to do. That’s not the person I am, and besides, that’s personal. You know? I’m human and we go through situations and there are some things you’d rather keep to yourself. Today, though, there are only so many things you can do to me and expect me not to push right the fuck back. Enough is enough, you know? I was surprised when he does what he does to me as far as the songs he writes and the interviews and it hurts my feelings. But now I can give a fuck. You want to talk? We can both talk because there are three sides to a story. So when he writes about you, you never see it coming? I don’t! It’s crazy because the least he can do is send me a text or check in with me. I’d rather speak to him about any situation instead of just air me out. It’s not fair. It’s not fair who wants to go to sleep thinking you have a friendship with somebody and wake up hearing a track about you or a interview. There is a respect factor in a friendship that he is fucking missing. I’ve had to wake up at six in the morning and look on Twitter and hear about some shit you wrote about me, yet you are on my couch moping about your ex-girlfriend. You know what I mean? Why can’t you just tell me “dog, I’m putting this record, out.” Why do I have to find out with the rest of the world? I used to get angry about it, but now I’m just flattered. All these years later I still make him hit that pen and pad. So whether you needed hits online or you are not over it, it’s still about me. Why can’t you rap about the bitch you got, and if not maybe you need to upgrade her. So how did the whole situation with you and J.R. Smith end up? It was short-lived but it was awesome. After Joe I dated a couple of people, but J.R. was one of the first people I stepped out in public with. It was pretty dope, I had a good time. I took him pretty seriously and then he tweeted my… Yeah, the most expensive twitpic in NBA history if I’m not mistaken. laughs] Yeah, I know. After that though, everything started to fade and we didn’t speak for a couple of months. Recently we started to talk and there’s no bad blood. We all make mistakes, so we are on good terms. But now he tweets back and forth with Joe, which I think is pretty disrespectful. Cause it is like, you are tweeting back and forth with someone who threatened to kill you and me. You know? You are allowing someone to toy around with us. It’s like you were dating Tahiry and I didn’t like you, and now you aren’t dating and now we are buddies. It kind of makes [J.R.] look like an idiot and he’s falling right for it. It’s just too messy. J.R. is doing J.R., Joey is doing Joey and rapping about Tahiry and Tahiry is paying attention to none of them [laughs]. But I have no issues with J.R., if we see each other we are cool, it’s all love, we see each other and we say what’s up. Switching back to Love & Hip-Hop, you seemed to be a bit turned off from reality television back in the day. What made you change your tune? I was contacted by a few different shows, but I wasn’t ready then. Now that I look at how various situation evolved and seeing how people fell in love with me and Joey on the net, I figured why not finish it. We started this online. Why not take it there? I woke up in January and just said fuck it, let’s go for it. Why not take it to that next step? So what kind of guys do you date? Can you see yourself with a regular guy? Yeah I date regular guys. The last guy I was with was regular. Even when I met Joe he was regular, that’s what people don’t know about me. They think I only date high profile people but I don’t. I date regular guys it’s just about chemistry for me. If I date an A-list guy it isn’t going to be because he is A-list, it is going to be because we click. It’s all about chemistry for me. If he comes with money I mean that’s a bonus, but not even really because that money doesn’t say Tahiry on it. Everybody has an agenda once they get that big VH1 look, so what is yours? What are you trying to do now once the show ends? Well even before the VH1 taping, I was taking a lot of acting classes. I’ve also been in the studio and been enjoying music. I got up one morning , and the thing is with acting is that my coach always tells me I have to let go. I’m too cool, I have to let go. So hearing that so much, I saw my ex expressing himself via pen pad, I figured that I should see if this works. I wanted to see where it goes and just have fun with it, you know? That was quite an experience. Falling asleep in the couch in the studio and waking up and trying it again, it just leaves you wanting more. So I’m just learning, I’m enjoying it, and it’s a lot of hard work. I see the people who pulled it off and I get it now. It’s a lot of hard work. It’s a baby right now, so we will see what happens. You’ll see. Tune in to the show, and you’ll all see. RHYMES & DIMES MAGAZINE

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ERICA MENA . DIAMOND SUITE

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Erica Mena MEASUREMENTS 34-22-32 HEIGHT 5’ 7” ETHNICITY PUERTO RICAN / DOMINICAN HOMETOWN BRONX, NY TWITTER @ERICA_MENA INSTAGRAM @IAMERICA_MENA PHOTOGRAPHY BIG JOE / JDS PHOTOGRAPHY

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DIAMOND SUITE . ERICA MENA

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ERICA MENA . DIAMOND SUITE

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DIAMOND SUITE . ERICA MENA

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DIAMOND SUITE . TIFFANY

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Tiffany

MEASUREMENTS 32-28-38 HEIGHT 5’ 9” ETHNICITY BLACK / PUERTO RICAN HOMETOWN QUEENS, NY TWITTER @TIFFANYJEFF INSTAGRAM @MORENITA_PR PHOTOGRAPHY ADERON MOTHERSILL

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TIFFANY . DIAMOND SUITE

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DIAMOND SUITE . TIFFANY

072

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AVA ADORE . DIAMOND SUITE

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AVA ADORE . DIAMOND SUITE

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Ava Adore MEASUREMENTS 34DD-27-43 HEIGHT 5’ 2” ETHNICITY PUERTO RICAN HOMETOWN CHICAGO, IL TWITTER/INSTAGRAM @AVA_ADORE83 PHOTOGRAPHY ADERON MOTHERSILL

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DIAMOND SUITE . AVA ADORE

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AVA ADORE . DIAMOND SUITE

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DIAMOND SUITE . AVA ADORE

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AVA ADORE . DIAMOND SUITE

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DIAMOND SUITE . KIM KILLZ

080

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KIM KILLZ . DIAMOND SUITE

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Kim Killz MEASUREMENTS 32-26-46 HEIGHT 5’ 3” ETHNICITY IRISH / POLISH / PUERTO RICAN HOMETOWN BROOKLYN, NY INSTAGRAM @THEREALKIMKILLZ PHOTOGRAPHY WILL

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DIAMOND SUITE . KIM KILLZ

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KIM KILLZ . DIAMOND SUITE

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DIAMOND SUITE . RANDI

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Randi

MEASUREMENTS 34C-24-39 HEIGHT 5’4” ETHNICITY MIXED HOMETOWN PORTLAND, OR INSTAGRAM @RTHEDIVA723 PHOTOGRAPHY ADERON MOTHERSILL

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RANDI . DIAMOND SUITE

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A K A

T H E

B E A S T

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T H E

E A S T

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DIAMOND SUITE . ANGEL FACE

092

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ANGEL FACE . DIAMOND SUITE

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DIAMOND SUITE . ANGEL FACE

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ELITE SWEET

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R&D WEB GIRL

Nehel MEASUREMENTS 34D-24-30 HEIGHT 5’ 8” ETHNICITY GUYANESE HOMETOWN GUYANA INSTAGRAM @NENE_AVACHANEL PHOTOGRAPHY BIG JOE / JDS PHOTOGRAPHY

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DEFINITION OF SEXY . ELLE VARNER

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ELLE VARNER

PHOTO: AFSP

Have you ever had that one girl who was so pretty, but approachable? The non-intimidating type of sexy? The quirky but cute and talented type of woman that seems like she could’ve been your next door neighbor? For us, that’s Elle Varner. This Cape Verdean/African American woman has had a standout 2012. Debuting her first full length album, Perfectly Imperfect, she’s had hit singles including “Only Wanna Give It To You” featuring J. Cole and “Refill.” Her curly hair and full lips give her face a unconventional beauty in today’s R&B world wear most beauties step out in bone straight hair. Varner’s sexiness comes from her ability to make her personality beam off of a

television screen. There are certain people that you usually believe that are putting on a front for the cameras. You don’t get that vibe from her. Not to mention, she’s low key working with a monster back there. It was one of the biggest “a-ha” moments on Twitter this year when during the BET Awards, the RCA Records star showed up on the red carpet in a skin hugging dress that accentuated every single one of her dizzying curves. It was like America all at once figured out that Elle wasn’t just a cutie with a voice, she had some sex appeal as well. We always noticed though. Perfectly Imperfect? Just the way we like it. – Kazeem Famuyide

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ISSUE #004


Rhymes N Dimes Issue #4