MINI FLORIDA CLASSIC SPECIAL EDITION 2005
ORLANDO MAPS EVENT GUIDE CLUB LISTINGS & MUCH MORE!
FLORIDA’S A&R BIGGA RANKIN INTRODUCES PAPA DUCK, SWORDZ & TRIPLE J
WELCOME TO ORLANDO
PUBLISHER/EDITOR: Julia Beverly OPERATIONS MANAGER: Gary LaRochelle MARKETING & PROMOTIONS: Malik “Highway” Abdul CONTRIBUTORS: Luis Santana, Mercedes (Strictly Streets), Noel Malcolm To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 to: 1516 E. Colonial Dr. Suite 205 Orlando, FL 32803 Phone: 407-447-6063 Fax: 407-447-6064 Web: www.ozonemag.com Cover credits: Bigga Rankin, Papa Duck, Swordz, Triple J, Big Neil, and DJ Walgee photos by Julia Beverly; Plies photo by J Lash. OZONE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement or validation by OZONE Magazine for products or services offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their respective artists. All other content is copyright 2005 OZONE Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA.
floridaclassic2005 COVER STORIES Triple J pg B20-21 Big Neil pg B14-B15 Bigga Rankin pg A26-A27 Papa Duck & Swordz pg A27 DJ PROFILES DJ Nasty pg A10 DJ Walgee pg A14 DJ Prostyle pg A12 FEATURES Orlando Maps pg B8-B11 Event Listings pg B12-B13 Photo Galleries pg A11-A17 INTERVIEWS KC pg A16 Treal pg A22 Plies pg B16-B17 Adept pg B22-B23 Gutta Boyz pg A24 SkyyHigh pg B18-B19 Young Jeezy pg A18-A19 Underdawgs pg B26-B27 Front-Line Promotions pg A30-A31
DJ NASTY W
hat have you been working on lately? I’ve been producing very heavily. Me and LVM are the Nasty Beatmakers, and we’ve been collaborating on some production with The Runners, Mayne and Drew. We’ve been doing a lot of production together. We’ve got a track coming out on Juelz Santana’s new album, “Murder Murder.” We did a track for Lil Wayne’s new album too, and we’re working with Ludacris now. How did you link up with The Runners? Through D-Strong. They’re based here in Orlando also. They’re some fresh new talent with the same hunger that I have. You recently won an award, right? I won Dirty South Mixshow DJ of the Year at the Power Summit in the Bahamas. This is the second time I’ve been nominated. Who did you have to suck off at RPM to get the award? (laughing) Nobody. They just noticed my talent and my foundation. I’m not your average DJ. I’m somebody with talent. Everybody else that was nominated for that category with me are big dawgs in the game. Mr. Mauricio, he’s a big dawg in Miami. Steve Nice, he’s a big dawg in Dallas. A lot of the DJs that attend the Power Summit are brand new dudes trying to get in the game, but there’s also a lot of veterans. You’ve gotta respect the mixshow DJs. They put it down for their markets. And you’re still on the radio in Orlando. Yeah, 102 Jamz. I’m on the radio damn near every day of the week. Having been in the game for so long, how do you keep it exciting? I feel like I’m just getting into the game. I keep that hunger. I never feel like it’s just another day at work. Every time I go to work, I’m excited to play for my listeners. Every time I’m on a show I get mad love. People know that I just go up there and play records, I go up there and show my skills. I break music. I play music I produce for major artists. It’s a real show when I’m on the radio.
How do you balance DJing and producing? It’s hard to balance between production and DJing, but you’ve just gotta make a schedule and stick to it. When I get up in the morning, I go to the studio and leave my phone and 2way outside. I lock the doors and focus for about five hours in the studio. After that, you talk to the labels and get ready for the radio. After radio, it’s the club. This game is crazy. You gotta stay hungry or you’re gonna get left behind. I surround myself with good people. In your partnership with DJ Prostyle, does it ever become competitive, trying to out-do each other? Me and Prostyle are like family. We’ve known each other from back in the day. I wouldn’t really call it competitive, because he’s doing him. Prostyle is a great talent. He’s doing what he does, and he’s a great DJ. He has character. He’s bound to blow up. I could see him doing it real big. With me, production is where my heart is at. Prostyle’s got the label, too, so he wants to discover new talent. I’m gonna do that eventually, as soon as I find an artist I really believe in. O-Town, holla at me if you think you’re that next nigga, that next Ludacris. That’s what I’m looking for. I’m not looking for somebody who’s doing the same thing as everybody else. I’m looking for somebody that’s different and versatile, like Ludacris or Pitbull. I’m very picky. - Words & photo by Julia Beverly
01: Lil Jon reppin’ OZONE (Los Angeles, CA) 02: Trillville reppin’ OZONE @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 03: Greg G, Cuban Link, and Big Earl @ Tabu (Orlando, FL) 04: White Dawg, Wes Fif, and Mighty Mike @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 05: OG Ron C and Aztek (Houston, TX) 06: Coach and Grill @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 07: Pupp and Triple J reppin’ OZONE @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 08: P$C @ FAMU’s homecoming concert (Tallahassee, FL) 09: Jill Strada and Obie @ Calle Orange (Orlando, FL) 10: T.I. and Clay @ FAMU’s homecoming concert (Tallahassee, FL) 11: Luis Santana and Sean Paul (Tampa, FL) 12: WC reppin’ OZONE (Houston, TX) 13: Babalu Boys’ Ray and Rich @ Calle Orange (Orlando, FL) 14: TJ Chapman and Shot Out @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 15: Chino and Gary @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 16: Plies and his brother @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 17: Juelz Santana and DJ Drama @ Vibe Yardfest (Tuskegee, AL) 18: Stax, BG, and Kiotti (Birmingham, AL) 19: Boy Wonder, Acafool, and Justin @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 20: Plies and crew (Orlando, FL) 21: TOK @ Calle Orange (Orlando, FL) Photos: Julia Beverly (01,04,05,06,07,08, 09,10,12,13,14,15, 16,17,18,19,20); Luis Santana (11); Malik Abdul (02,03,21)
DJ PROSTYLE Aside from DJing, what’s happening with you right now? My label All Pro Records is doing real good. I have three offers on the table right now, so me and my lawyer are basically deciding which is the best route to go. We’ve got Bedo, Jonny Bravo, Traffic, and Nicotene. Obviously Bedo’s the most ready to go right now. We’re working on his next single, clearing some shit right now. We haven’t finalized his release date yet, but we’re pushing for the first quarter of 2006. As far as who’s up next, it’s whoever puts out that record that takes off to where the people demand their album. Do you think it’s a conflict of interest that you’re able to plug your own artists through your radio show? It’s not how people may perceive it to be. Obviously, with me being lucky enough to be on the radio and being able to play a record, that helps, but the radio station also came down on me. I can’t just play Bedo all day or Bedo and Traffic and Bravo all on the same time. If I feel a record of one of my artists, the same way I feel with anybody else’s record, I’ll test it. With Bedo’s “Go Head,” when we started playing it on the radio it got a lot of phone calls and requests. Right now we don’t have a Bedo song on the radio. I played a few different songs, but we haven’t found one that takes off with the audience. A lot of people get it confused and feel like Bedo’s getting a lot of play because of me. If that was the case, I’d have a Bravo song, Traffic, Nicotene, and whoever else I wanted on the radio in rotation. Radio’s not that simple. Right now Treal’s record is in rotation, and that has nothing to do with me knowing Treal or anything like that. We played the record a couple times and they put in their work. A lot of artists out here in Orlando who want to be on the radio need to do the same thing. It’s not as simple as just recording a song and expecting it to get played. With Bedo, I did 10,000 street samplers alone, and 500 of the “Go Head and Do It” shirts. We did a lot of things to make it a movement so people will back it up. The radio station looks at things like that. Same with Treal; they shot a video, and the song was getting played in the clubs. It has to build up before it can get on the radio. Not too many artists can make a song that automatically gets put in rota12
tion. Everybody’s not that lucky. The only advantage I have is being able to test a record on the radio. I can play it and see how it goes, but I can’t get a record in rotation. Who are some other local artists that you think might pop off? Of course Treal, and Grandaddy Souf, his album should be out already because he’s had heat for a long time. I think Hankadon and his people are hot. I heard that you were considered as a host for Rap City. I don’t think I’ll end up on Rap City, but BET has other ideas for me. I’m on 106th & Park every other Friday, rotating with DJ Enuff. I’m playing my position and getting more comfortable being on TV. They’ve got me DJing, cohosting, and reading off teleprompters, which shows me they have faith in what I’m doing. I have my own radio show every Thursday in New York on LaCalle 105.9, a reggaetone hip-hop station. I’ve been lucky to get down with them and they’re growing so fast that it’s blowing me up in New York. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I’m DJing clubs in New York. I fly back Sunday nights to do radio here in Orlando and stay to do the clubs on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. After the radio on Wednesday, I fly back to New York. That’s my schedule every week. I’ve got a calendar of events up on my website, www.djprostyle.com. 102 Jamz and 106th & Park keep my name really big with the urban side of things, and La Calle is the biggest reggaetone station in the country, so that keeps me in tune with the Latin market. I got the best of both worlds right now. I can’t complain. - Words and photo by Julia Beverly
01: Big Mook, Tampa Tony, and Graph @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 02: Roland Powell, TI, P$C, and Trillville @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 03: Grandaddy Souf, Chamillionaire, and Zay @ The Box’s car show (Houston, TX) 04: Clientell Cartel @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 05: Papa Duck, J-Baby, and Bigga Rankin @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 06: DJ Nasty, Bianca, friend, and Felli Fel @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 07: Short Dawg and friends @ Vibe’s Yardfest (Tuskegee, AL) 08: J-Shin @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 09: Magic Mike reppin’ OZONE (Orlando, FL) 10: Ghostface and Steph Lova (Tuskegee, AL) 11: Paul Wall (Houston, TX) 12: Chill and Tom G reppin’ OZONE @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 13: 3rd Leg Greg and DJ Noodles @ Calle Orange (Orlando, FL) 14: Maximum Security @ Calle Orange (Orlando, FL) 15: Webbie and Plies @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 16: Juvenile and BG reppin’ OZONE (Birmingham, AL) 17: Wrekonize, J-Shin, Jim Jonsin, and White Dawg @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 18: Dem Franchize Boyz @ Cleo’s (Orlando, FL) 19: Chino, DJ Prostyle, and DJ Reymo @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 20: DJ Demp and TPain (Tallahassee, FL) 21: Ladies @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) Photos by Julia Beverly except #9,12,&14 by Malik Abdul
here are you from originally? Originally I’m from the West coast of Africa, Angola. I lived in Europe for a few years before I came to the States in 1987. I lived in Massachusetts, and ended up here in Orlando, FL, two years ago. I was already connected with a Florida promoter so it was easy for me to make that move. How do the States differ from overseas? The States are definitely the land of opportunity. When I got here, I went right into the school system, where there was a lot of differences. I didn’t speak the language as a kid, so the English language barrier was the hardest part. Now, everything’s straight. How did you start DJing? When I came to the States I was exposed to hip-hop right away. Around 1994, I got my first pair of turntables. I was inspired by watching Rap City. I was working as a dishwasher, and I saved up enough money to buy my first pair of turntables at age 15. I liked what they did with the records, bringing it back and forth, the whole science behind it. My father was a DJ back in Africa, too, so that was kinda in my blood already. What is your focus as a DJ? Clubs and mixtapes. I travel internationally a lot. I go to Europe and Africa to DJ. Europe is one of my biggest focal points right now. There’s a great demand for DJs that have the United States style. Are you into East coast music or dirty South music? My favorite type of music is definitely East coast, but I’m learning the dirty South culture. It’s definitely a different culture. When I moved here, I didn’t know anything about it. Now that two years has passed, I’m still learning. A lot of DJs from up North
come down here and can’t really rock a dirty South crowd like it’s supposed to be rocked, how DJs like Disco and Greg G can do it. You have to be from out here to really understand it. My style is pretty much everything. East coast for sure, but I love old school. That’s number one to me. But I pretty much play everything, especially when I go to Europe. You have to adapt to different cultures. Like Shakira, she’s big out in Europe but we don’t hear too much of her here. You have to switch up your style when you travel and be open to any kind of music. I play disco, funk, all of that. Where will you be DJing during the Florida classic? I’ll be at Roxy on both nights, Friday and Saturday. I’m DJing Friday night with Kid Capri, so he’s definitely gonna be that New York audience. Saturday night I’m gonna stick with the dirty South set. Do you want to give out any contact info? 508-400-1965 or www.streetgossipentertainment.com. - Words and photo by Julia Beverly
01: Aztek and David Banner (Houston, TX) 02: Greg G and DJ Rob-Lo (Orlando, FL) 03: Trick Daddy, Young Jeezy, Slick Pulla, and BloodRaw @ FAMU homecoming (Tallahassee, FL) 04: Mike Jones (Houston, TX) 05: P$C and Short Dawg @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 06: Disco and Jailbird @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 07: Hoe Tester and Webbie reppin’ OZONE @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 08: Russell Simmons reppin’ OZONE (Tampa, FL) 09: Amanda Diva, Garnett Reid, and Askia Fountain (Tuskegee, AL) 10: OG Ron C & Slim Thug (Houston, TX) 11: Wendy Day reppin’ OZONE @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 12: Tony C @ Calle Orange (Orlando, FL) 13: T-Pain and his father @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 14: Tim Brown and C. Wakeley @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 15: Ying Yang Twins (Los Angeles, CA) 16: Trife, Bubba Sparxxx, and Ghostface (Tuskegee, AL) 17: Kaine reppin’ OZONE @ Visions (Atlanta, GA) 18: Fidel Cashflow and ladies @ Screamers (Orlando, FL) 19: Black Mike and Chubby Relle @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 20: Chamillionaire and Rasaq (Houston, TX) 21: Lou Pearlman and C-Note @ Calle Orange (Orlando, FL) Photos: Julia Beverly (01,03,04,05,06,07, 09,10,12,13,14,15, 16,17,19,20,21); Luis Santana (08); Malik Abdul (02,11,18)
ow’s your album coming along? It’s going good, man. We’ve got over fifty songs recorded right now, and we’re trying to put it all together. Everything is real good right now. I’m just glad I’ve had the opportunity to record over fifty songs. Any major features so far? As of right now, no major features. We’ve got a few ideas of who we’d want to feature on the album, but nothing final right now. My deal is with Roundtable/Cash Money, so we were looking at maybe having Lil Wayne on the album. We’re not gonna have too many features, though; we don’t wanna fill it up and make it a compilation album. What about producers? When we got the deal originally, it was an all-in deal, which meant that our team got to take care of the whole album ourselves. Writing, production, and everything. But we recently went outside and did some production with cats from Souldiggas – they did some stuff for Missy Elliott and Brooke Valentine. We also worked with 9th Wonder from Little Brother, he produced a few joints on the album. So you’re signed to Cash Money? My deal is with Roundtable/Cash Money, which is distributed by Universal. I heard that you were supposed to sign with G-Unit. We were always in talks with them, and I did the song [“Karma”] and everything with Lloyd Banks, but I was always in talks with other labels and we were weighing our options. We decided to go over with Roundtable instead. It was nothing personal. It had nothing to do with anybody beefing or anything like that. How did you get on Lloyd Banks’ song “Karma”? My manager Rashad Tyler had a few meetings with Sha Money, who manages G-Unit and 50 Cent. During their first meeting they asked me to jump on the hook, and that’s what came out. Why didn’t they put you in the video
for “Karma” even though you sang the hook? There’s two versions of the song. There’s one that’s on the album, which is my vocals. They took my vocals off the song and called it a remix and put Avant in the video. But you can catch me on the album. Where can we catch you performing? As of right now, I’m not even sure. I’ve been so caught up in the studio tryin’ to finish up this album and get everything right. We haven’t even been focusing on shows, but we should be doing something soon. A lot of people have said that you could be the “next Usher.” What do you think of that comparison? That’s a complement, just because of the success that Usher has had. He’s definitely an icon, and as a kid, I looked up to him and a lot of other artists. Hopefully one day I’ll have my own name. I don’t wanna be Usher, but I’ll take it as a complement. I’m still gonna go out and do my own thing. If you could do a duet with any artist, who would it be and why? Aw, man, I’d have to say Jigga. Just like any other artist, it’d be a dream for me to do something with Jigga. Of course I’m a big fan of hip-hop and a big fan of Jay-Z. - Malik Abdul (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01: Big Kuntry and Xtaci @ FAMU homecoming (Tallahassee, FL) 02: Malik Abdul and Slim Goodye @ Calle Orange (Orlando, FL) 03: Roland Powell, Tampa Tony, and Ed the World Famous (Tallahassee, FL) 04: Bubba Sparxxx and Juelz Santana @ Vibe’s Yardfest (Tuskegee, AL) 05: Paul Wall reppin’ OZONE (Houston, TX) 06: Bubba Sparxxx, Attitude, and Dutty Red @ Vibe’s Yardfest (Tuskegee, AL) 07: Spiff TV @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 08: DJ Drama reppin’ OZONE @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL) 09: Bun B @ The Box car show (Houston, TX) 10: Adept and Bliz (Orlando, FL) 11: Lotto, Coach, and Tony @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 12: YoungBloodz (Tampa, FL) 13: Plies and Julia Beverly @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 14: Hustle Man @ Firestone (Orlando, FL) 15: Dawgman and Tampa Tony @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 16: Webbie and Grill (Orlando, FL) 17: C Hampton, Rollo, and Tom G @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 18: Grenade Records reppin’ OZONE @ TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 19: Amanda Diva, DJ Sense, and Don Cannon (Tuskegee, AL) 20: Southstar, KC, T-Pain, Greg G, Slim Goodye, and Smilez (Orlando, FL) 21: Stone and BG (Birmingham, AL) Photos: Julia Beverly (01,02,03,04,05,06,07, 08,09,10,11,13,14,15, 16,17,19,21); Luis Santana (12); Malik Abdul (18,20)
ow did you find out Boyz N Da Hood were replacing you with Lil Wayne? Did they tell you ahead of time? Niggas ain’t tell me, but I don’t care, cause I’m good. They probably couldn’t reach me. I was probably on the road, doing too many shows. I don’t give a fuck about that. It was a one album deal. What, I’m supposed to be mad? I’m good. I wish niggas the best of luck, especially Duke and Gee cause those are my niggas. I fucks with them. But, at the time, you gotta understand that niggas are gonna feel the way they wanna feel. Niggas talking that shit about “Jeezy wanna be a star,” and “Jeezy wanna be in the limelight and be seen,” but it is what it is. From the outside looking in, it seemed like you and Jody kinda came up together, cause you both hooked up with Jazze Pha around the same time. I’m sayin’, I’m cool. I feel like dude is a little brother to me. He still cool, cause he don’t want this. This ain’t me getting mad or nothing, I’m just speaking my piece. Life is too good for me right now. I ain’t mad about nothing. I’m good on that, I just wanted everybody know that it wasn’t me leaving the group mad, like, fuck niggas or whatever. It was a business deal, one album. We understood. Everybody knew, and everybody was cool with that. As long as the two bosses understand, I don’t need to talk to no artist. The Boyz N Da Hood situation wasn’t beneficial enough for you financially to do a second album? I got my group USDA. I always had USDA. I been doing my own shows and shit before the Boyz N Da Hood shit jumped off. It was a business venture. They’re talking about, I wasn’t with them on the road. But I knew what it was. Nigga, I been doing shows. Nigga, you supposed to be with me. Like I said, it is what it is. Fuck it. I ain’t mad, just keep my name out your mouth. I’m a grown ass man. I ain’t finna do no rappin’ or none of that beef shit. I don’t do all that shit. If you gonna envy a nigga, envy from across the street.
you to court, saying that you’re only paying $178/month in child support. I really don’t wanna talk about that. All I’m gonna say is that I love my son very much, and my son is very well taken care of. I’m a hood nigga, so I got hood issues. My baby mama wants more money, so I’m gonna give it to her. But I want my visitation rights. That’s it, in a nutshell. The press takes it and makes it into a big thing, but it’s nothing. We doing what normal people do. She wants more money and I want visitation rights, so that’s why we’re going to court, like normal people. That’s what you have to do. I’m making more money than I used to make when I got assigned that $178/month, because back then I didn’t have a job. But I don’t want no muthafucker to misunderstand: my son is extra spoiled. So muthafuckers shouldn’t be talking about what I ain’t doing. My child is straight. His mother is straight, and she’s gonna be straighter. I can’t knock her for that. That’s what women do. I love my son very much, so he gets whatever he needs. All I want is my visitation rights and we’re straight. I’m in a bigger tax bracket now, so I gotta make sure the number is right. But if she throws out some astronomical number, that’s something you gotta go to court about... - Photo and words by Julia Beverly The rest of this interview is featured in the December issue of OZONE Magazine. Visit www.ozonemag.com for subscription information.
Have you and Jody actually had a conversation recently? Conversation? The nigga is in a magazine talkin’ about me. What am I supposed to do? I’m good. He said what he said, I said what I said. I heard that your baby’s mother is taking OZONE
ho are the members of Treal? Elisio: Me, Cheeze, T-Sick, and Poetic.
How did the four of you link up? Elisio: Me and Cheese met at Jones High School, in our senior year. We were trombone players in the band. I knew T-Sick from Spanish class and we started rapping with him. His uncle is our manager now. A couple years later we met Poetic. You had a popular local song a few years ago called “Where’s Orange County.” Elisio: Yeah, that got some radio play. It did good at that time. It was just a hobby, we didn’t really know how to push it. It just blew up off the strength of the song. What role does everyone play in the group? Elisio: Everybody produces, and everybody writes. I guess I could be categorized as the main producer. We’ve done production for other local artists too, like Bedo and Wes Fif. Why did you decide to name yourselves Treal? Elisio: We actually called ourselves the 917 DJs at first. We were DJing in local clubs. Treal was the name the streets gave us. Baby Lac used to be on the radio on 91.7 calling us Treal.
Do you think you’ll ever have to change your name to avoid being confused with Trillville? Elisio: No, and honestly, a lot of people feel that our music is better than theirs musically and lyrically. We have a loyal fanbase, so we have no plans to change our name at all. It’s spelled different and everything. How would you describe your style? Elisio: Crunk with a little more meaning, a little more melody. Lots of people compare us to Lil Jon mixed with Bone Thugs N Harmony. Every one of our songs has a melody to it. Most of our hooks are selfexplanatory. We’re talking about stuff. We sit down and conceptualize our songs. We talk about stuff people wanna hear. Tell me about your new album. Elisio: This is our first official album. It’s called Crunk Tested and Approved. We’ve been working on this album for four years. Whenever we made a song, we’d test it in the clubs before we put it on the album. Every song on the album has been played at the clubs and on 102 Jamz. Our first single was “Swang On Everybody,” and our new single, “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Mine,” has been getting a lot of radio play. It’s in regular rotation on 102 Jamz, WJHM. It’s kinda got a “Knuck If You Buck” feel to it. It’s like, stay out of my business. - Julia Beverly
here are y’all from? Orange County, 700 block. Representing Pine Hills.
How long have you been rapping? We’ve been rapping since we were 13 years old, just doing shows and going to the studio. At first it was just play-play, but we’ve been serious about it for about three years. Me and my niggas been doing this since we was little, now we trying to do big things. We’ve been a group for about three years. When we were young we were just doing shows back and forth, putting together little solo albums. But we stayed in the studio and stayed focused, stayed grinding, doing whatever it takes to get that love. We’re just trying to put the whole city on the map and represent. How did you two meet? Well, we’ve been together since we were in middle school, doing our lil’ thing. Out of the whole camp, there used to be about ten of us working together but it was only me and him that was real serious about it. We had a track together called “Handle That” that everybody was going crazy for. We stuck with it and decided to grow with it. Why did you decide to call yourselves the Gutta Boyz? We the Gutta Boyz cause that’s gutta, gutta. We representing that struggle. We ain’t
no niggas that’s gonna brag about all the shit we got, cause we’re still in the struggle. We’re still here. We still gotta get to where we gotta go. Everybody reppin’ that gutta. You gotta be a gutta muthafucker to represent for the gutta. What sets you apart from the rest of the rappers trying to get on? We bring versatility to the industry, man. We some cold muthafuckers. Lyrically, I feel like we the shit. Ain’t nobody in Orange County fuckin’ with us. Shout out to Treal, though, they’re my dawgs. I feel like everybody’s doing their thing, but we all gonna stick together at the same time. We bring that versatility. We’re young, raw, talented-ass niggas. Everybody should look out for us because we here, and we ain’t going nowhere. If we gotta carry this whole city and this whole state, we gonna do that. Everybody get their grind and shine on, but who’s gonna get their grind and shine on like the gutta gutta? What’s the single you’re pushing now? Right now we workin’ on this single called “Go Live.” That’s for everybody around Orange County. People say we get buck and go live down here. That’s the hot new single we’re pushing. We also got “Ridin’ and Swervin’” with Pastor Troy. That’s that hit single. Right now we’re still grinding in the streets. That’s where it’s at right now. We’re getting different calls, but we’re trying to target the streets because that’s where we came up. - Malik Abdul
• BloodRaw, CTE (Panama City, FL) • Mighty Mike, DME (Panama City, FL)
BIGGA RANKIN: FLORIDA’S A&R Why do you call yourself Florida’s A&R? Because everybody comes to me to do their mixtapes. I’m basically the only person that sends out their music to everybody else. I do email blasts to all the DJs. I think it’s our turn, because Florida’s got so much talent. Even though you’re well known in Florida for breaking music, you’re not really recognized on a national scale yet. Are you trying to keep it underground? I think I’m less underground than I used to be. Being with the Hittmenn DJs and playing everywhere else I’ve gotten a little further, but I think I could be more national just by doing more promotions. Doing this Real Nigga Radio mixtape series took me a long way. Now we get calls from all over the country about it, and since so many people that don’t live in Florida are inquiring about it, I would like to have all my Florida artists on Real Nigga Radio so they can see what we got down here. I call myself the Florida A&R because I push Florida people. My mixtapes are the hottest thing in Florida right now. Everybody wants that Real Nigga Radio shit, and I’m jumping on all the artists that’s hot. Do you consider yourself a mixer, a host, a comedian, an entertainer, or what? I’m everything. I’m a DJ, a promoter, a record breaker, basically everything. I don’t know what to call myself. I do know that we have all this talent here and I don’t see a whole lot of other people trying to help them get out there. Most of these DJs don’t really play good music, they just play what’s on the radio or what’s on 106th & Park. They don’t know how to take a good record and make it hot. Let’s talk about these three hot unsigned Florida artists that appear on the cover with you. Tell me about Papa Duck. He’s a producer, first and foremost, and he’s a rapper too, which gives him a bonus. He produces real good and he raps real good. Papa Duck got a real down South style, that Florida style. I honestly think he can make it to the top if he just stays consistent with what he’s doing. These guys are hungry, they’re out there every day pressing up CDs and trying to do whatever to get out there. What about Swordz? He’s from Duval, Jacksonville. Throughout the years he’s gotten better and better and better. He’s very versatile and he’s got a hellafied performance. His show is very hype. He takes it to another level when he does his shows. Okay, what about Triple J? Triple J is one of the rappers in Florida right now that’s making a lot of noise. He’s another rapper that’s very versatile. He’s got good lyrics. It’s a good thing when you can listen to a rapper and understand every single word they say. Some rappers, you can’t understand them. Now that Young Cash has got signed, I think most of these underground artists feel like they’ve got hope now. A lot of them felt like everybody forgot about Florida. When was the last time you heard about somebody getting signed from Florida? Do you want to give out any contact info? You can call me at 904-591-9362 or email me at BiggaRankin00@aol.com. Any last words? We need all indie artists to go out every Tuesday and buy each other’s stuff. We need to show each other love. That’s really the movement for Florida, all the indie artists throughout Florida. Whenever somebody drops something, go out and pick it up. Show love. We’re not buying each other’s stuff, that’s for sure. We keep complaining that we’re not getting nowhere, but we ain’t buying each other’s stuff. - Words & photo by Julia Beverly 26
FLORIDA NAMES TO WATCH • Billy Kane (Orlando, FL) • Chubby Relle, DME (Orlando, FL) • Clientell Cartel, DME (Orlando, FL) • Grandaddy Souf, SRC/Universal (Orlando, FL) • SkyyHigh, R&R Records (Orlando, FL) • Wes Fif (Orlando, FL)
• 904 Click, MOE (Jacksonville, FL) • Da Few (Jacksonville, FL) • Ful of Drama (Jacksonville, FL) • Lefty Gunz (Jacksonville, FL) • Red Rock (Jacksonville, FL) • The Shoe (Jacksonville, FL) • The Village (Jacksonville, FL) • Young Cash, SRC/Universal (Jacksonville, FL)
• All In Records (Daytona Beach, FL)
• 21 Reese (West Palm Beach, FL) • Big Bud (Gainesville, FL)
• OHB (Haines City, FL)
• Dirty Red (Tampa, FL) • DSD, Dirty Down Records (Tampa, FL) • Riskay (Tampa, FL) • The Underdawgs (Tampa, FL) • Tom G, Gigantic Records (Tampa, FL) • Plies, Slip-N-Slide (Ft. Myers, FL) • Boss Lady (Miami, FL) • Jody Mo, Florida Boy Intertainment (Miami, FL) • Luc-Duc, Hard White Entertainment (Miami, FL) • Mr. Zion, L.E.D. Reggae (Miami, FL) • Piccalo, Trunk Funk Records (Miami, FL)
t would be impossible to discuss the Florida Classic without mentioning Front-Line Promotions, the company which has organized most of the weekend’s major events for years. After a rough hurricane season last year, Front-Line is back in full effect. OZONE checked in with owners Pat Nix and Willie Fisher. How long has Front-Line Promotions been around? Pat Nix: Front-Line has been in existence for about ten years now. The Florida Classic was one of our first major contracts for marketing and promotions. How were you able to get the contract? Pat Nix: I am a FAMU alumni, so I guess that helped out a little bit because a few of the people knew me and knew who I was. My reputation helped. I heard you got hit pretty hard by the hurricane season last year. Pat Nix: Yeah, last year our company went through a lot. We had about five different events planned during Labor Day weekend which included several concerts and special events. The Labor Day classic was coming to town, and we had the contract as far as entertainment. Which hurricane hit you the hardest? Pat Nix: I think it was Charley, but there was so many last year I can’t even remember. Our company lost six figures during Labor Day weekend. How did you lose that much money? Pat Nix: Advertising, artist deposits, and potential earnings. It was rough, you know? We make good money as a company, but we’re not at the point where we can stand losing that kind of money. How did you regroup after that? Pat Nix: I went out and got into the hurricane relief program. You kinda have to use whatever you have when you’re in a time of need. I got several crews together that went out and did the hurricane relief; debris pick up and things of that nature. It kinda got me back on my feet. At the same time, we
were still doing parties and Front-Line was still alive. Willie Fisher: I really don’t know how we made it through. I think it was just prayer. Pat and I talked briefly on the cell phone during the hurricane which came Labor Day weekend, and he asked me, “What are we gonna do?” I didn’t have an answer for him at the time. We lost a lot of money. We actually almost lost everything. But we endured, we had perseverance, we kept at it and wouldn’t let that stop us. We had to almost start from scratch, and that’s what we did. The next week, we were back at it promoting First Fridays. We just kept going and kept praying and here we are. So are you looking at this year as sort of a comeback year? Pat Nix: Well, we did parties during the Super Bowl in Jacksonville and took control of a great situation. We kinda turned a museum into a nightclub for three nights. Friday night we had our famous First Fridays hosted by Cedric the Entertainer. Saturday night we had R Kelly’s party, and Sunday we hosted a party with P Diddy and Magic Johnson. I heard you had an altercation with Fat Joe during one of those parties. Pat Nix: It was a big misunderstanding. At the time of the hurricanes, Fat Joe was one of the artists we had booked that never returned our deposit. At the time, I was thinking about all the stuff I went through because of people doing bad business like that. I knew one day I’d run into Fat Joe again, with all the events we do across the country, and I knew I’d have to say something to him. What greater opportunity than at my own event? When I saw Fat Joe inside my party during the Super Bowl my heart started racing. I went up to the DJ booth and had the DJ put on “Lean Back.” I grabbed the mic from the DJ and started saying “What’s up” to Fat Joe and the Terror Squad. Then I stopped the music and said, “Yeah, we the same cats that y’all took that money from during the hurricanes that hurt our families.” Fat Joe looked down at me from VIP and made a gesture, like, “suck my dick.” So I got even more upset and I told him to suck my dick. I told the crowd, “Put your muthafuckin’ hands in the air if anybody ever owed you money.” Of course, the whole crowd put their hands up. It was sort of a diss to Fat Joe. I put my hands up in the middle of the stage like, “Yeah, people owe me money too,” and
that’s when his crew rushed me. By the time he got downstairs from the VIP room, I had my crew with me. We kinda squared off downstairs. In Fat Joe’s defense, I came to find out that he never even knew that the money wasn’t sent back to us. He had no recollection of the situation at all. So in his defense, I think it was his people that kept our money during those hard times. He was real cool and said, “Let’s step to the side and settle this. What’s going on?” We stepped to the side, and his people and my people started a little scuffle. The whole thing was over after that. I never did get my money back, but again, I don’t think Fat Joe knew anything about the dates. Didn’t you have a contract that would prevent you from losing the deposit in a hurricane situation? Pat Nix: Sometimes a contract is just a piece of paper. The time and effort and money it would take me to go to court to get that money back would be senseless. Do you think promoting parties is a game of skill, or a gamble? Pat Nix: In the beginning it was a lot of big gambles, and there still are some gambles. But when you find a niche, people start to trust you to bring quality entertainment and your risk goes down about 80%. Willie Fisher: You have to have skill. Anyone can be a promoter if you’ve got some
money to put an ad on the radio, but it’s all about being a successful promoter. You’ve got to have an eye for marketing. I think we have that eye. Sometimes it doesn’t work out our way, but we learned the hard way. What is your ultimate goal in the entertainment business? Pat Nix: We recently became principle partners in Club Whispers. That’s something we never really thought we’d want to take on as far as liabilities and responsibilities, but the opportunity was too good to pass up. My ultimate goal, of course, is to make money, but at the same time I feel that it’s our responsibility to bring culture into this market. That’s something that’s lacking here in Orlando. A lot of people don’t know about certain artists unless they’re being played on the radio. There’s a lot of good cultural music and good vibes that the radio stations down here just don’t touch, and I think that hurts the market. How can people find out about your events? Pat Nix: People who wanna have a damn good time can log on to FLevents.net. Any last words? Pat Nix: Every man has the right to go out and do business, but it’s up to you to go out and get what’s yours. - Julia Beverly Front-Line’s Pat Nix (right) with Eddie Murphy at Club Whispers
MINI FLORIDA CLASSIC SPECIAL EDITION 2005
ORLANDO MAPS EVENT GUIDE CLUB LISTINGS & MUCH MORE!
BRINGS IT DOWN SOUTH
WELCOME TO ORLANDO
Purchase a Florida Classic t-shirt from any of these Champs Sports locations for $14.99 and get free entry into the Florida Classic Jam! (Altamonte Springs): Altamonte Mall 407-896-4644 (Daytona Beach): Volusia Mall 386-255-6002 (Orlando): Fashion Square 407-240-3715 (Orlando): Florida Mall 407-977-2422 (Orlando): Seminole Town Center: 407-323-8130 (Orlando): West Oaks Mall: 407-291-8993
(Oviedo): Oviedo Marketplace: 407-977-2422 (Tallahassee): Tallahassee Mall 850-385-0557 (Tallahassee): Governors Mall 850-878-2727 (Tampa): International Mall 813-353-1703 (Tampa: University Square Mall 813-979-9771 (Tampa): Brandon 813-685-8514
FLORIDA CLASSIC WEEK EVENT LISTINGS
For more info email StreetSmasher@tmail.com
WEDNESDAY (11/16/05): Tabu Nightclub Raw Flava Wednesdays with DJ Nasty, DJ Prostyle, DJ Chino, and Murder One Sound. Ladies no cover before 12. Ladies 18+ / Men 21+ / $10 cover. Zinc Bar The Candy Shop with DJ Greg G, hosted by Tony C. Ladies 18+ / Men 21+. Ladies get in free and drink free all night. SKY60 Lavish with DJ Remington Steele, DJ Flip Rock, Phantom, J Leon and Rockstar Entertainment. BET Soundstage Music by DJ Jimmy Jamz. 21+ / 7 PM - 2 AM. Club Paris Rumba 100.3 broadcast live with DJ K-OZZ. 7 PM - 3 AM.
THURSDAY (11/17/05): Icon Nightclub Music by DJ Greg G and Secret Service. Everyone 18+ to get in, everyone 21+ free and drink free til midnight. Cleo’s Gentlemen’s Club The Red Light District Jump Off with Disco & the City Boyz, Baby Lac, DJ Saxwell, & DJ Caesar. Doors open at 7 PM Element Nightclub Confessions Model Search and college night hosted by Southstar. Music by DJ Chino and DJ D-Strong. Club Whispers Up North Thursdays with Da Soul Rocka Walgee. Doors open 9 PM. Ladies no cover all night, drink free til midnight. Dress code: crispy, no white tees and no do-rags. Ladies 18+ / Men 21+.
FRIDAY (11/18/05): Tinker Field Champ’s Sports Hip-Hop Jam: performances by Chingy, T-Pain, Chris Brown, Dem Franchize Boyz, Boyz N Da Hood, and Teairra Mari. Gates open 7 PM / show starts 7:30 PM. Tickets at area Champ’s Sports or through FLPromotions.com Club Whispers Classic Happy Hour hosted by Star 94.5. 5 - 9:30 PM. 21+. Complimentary buffet, jazz, soul. The Expo Center The Official Classic Jam Afterparty with Teairra Mari, T-Pain, Chingy, Chris Brown, Big Tigger, Free, and Melyssa Ford. Music by DJ Shizm, DJ Frank Luv, DJ 151, and DJ Double A. Ladies 18+. 10 PM - 3 AM.
The Roxy Classic Edition of Phat Fridays. Ladies 18+ / Men 21+. Dress code: Crispy. Hosted by Thrill da Playa, J-Blaze, and J-Deezy. Music by DJ Kid Capri, Da Soul Rocka Walgee, and more. FLPromotions.com or TicketAnnex.com Icon Nightclub Hosted by Southstar with DJ Greg G, D-Srong, Murder One Sound. Tropical Magic Nightclub Jamaican Me Crazy with Mr. CC & the Reggae Ambassadors and DJ Jimmy Jamz. Women 18+ / Men 21+. 10 PM - 4 AM. Heroes Nightclub DME & Hittmenn DJs Gone Wild Afterparty. 10 PM - 4 AM. 18+ HittmenDJs.com. The Church Street Ballroom Florida Classic Old School Jam: DJ Jesse Jazz Club Whispers Classic Soul Jam hosted by Joe Bullard, music by DJ Saxwell. 10 PM - 3 AM, 25+. Matrix Music by DJ Nasty, DJ Caesar, DJ Kid Vicious, and DJ K-OZZ Element Night Club Hip-Hop Happy Hour with DJ Havoc, 5 - 10 PM. Cleo’s Gentlemen’s Club Hosted by Baby Lac
SATURDAY (11/19/05): Citrus Bowl Front-Line Tailgate Party @ Gate D, 1 PM - 3:30 PM. Free food & drinks. FLPromotions.com or FLEvents.net. Solo Gas Station across from the Citrus Bowl Tailgate party with DME, Front-Line, White Boi Pizal, and DJ Slym House of Blues The Official Florida Classic Afterparty / The 9th Annual Grown Folks Night. Music by DJ Bizmarkie and DJ Saxwell, special performance by Big Daddy Kane. 21+. Tinker Field New Edition and Keith Sweat, 8 PM. Tickets available at FAMU, BCC, and Ticketmaster. Firestone Trick Daddy Block Party with DJ Nasty, DJ DStrong, Sir Knight Train. No dress code, 18+. Expo Center Taste of Florida, #1 Adult Afterparty for the Grown & Sexy: DJ Shizm, DJ Frank Luv, and DJ Dr. Doom. 21+, 10 PM - 3 AM. TheWoodEnt. com. Roxy Nightclub The Return of Freaknik hosted by Jermaine
Dupri, Juvenile, Khia, Big Tigger, Thrill Da Playa and J-Blaze. Music by Clientell Party Starters, Hittmenn DJs, Cool Running DJs, and Da Soul Rocka Walgee. www.FLEvents.com, TicketAnnex.com, or 407-898-4004. Icon Nightclub Saturday Night Envy with DJ Greg G and Secret Service. Ladies 18+, Men 21+. Ladies 21+ get in free all night. 10 PM - 3 AM. www.DJGregG.com. Upper Level Front-Line & DME’s Classic Joint Chiefs Jam with performances by Dem Franchize Boyz, Crime Mob, and Treal. Tropical Magic Voice of Da Streets hosted by Smilez & Southstar. 21+, 10 PM - 4 AM. Club Whispers Classic Edition of the Velvet Rope, music by DJ Kid Capri. Dress to impress. Metropolis Natural Mystic, Black Culture, and DJ Caesar The Blue Room Music by DJ K-OZZ. 21+. BET Soundstage Music by DJ Jimmy Jamz, 21+. 7 PM - 2 AM. Elements Nightclub Part 2 Edition of Sigmas Grown & Sexy Party with music by DJ Slym and DJ Hankadon. Cleo’s Gentlemen’s Club Music by Baby Lac, doors open 7 PM.
SUNDAY (11/20/05): Central Florida Fairgrounds The 8th Annual Classic Luau / Riding Big Car Show with Juvenile, Trina, Jody Breeze, Maceo, Plies, Noah, and more. Music by The Clientell Party Starters, Hittmenn DJs, DJ Secret, City Boyz, Wild’n Ent, and Cool Running DJs. 3 PM - 10 PM. FLEvents.net afterparty at Heroes 10 PM - 4 AM.
CLUB CONTACT INFO: BET Soundstage 407-934-7781 Downtown Disney Pleasure Island Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 The Blue Room 321-277-0412 17 W. Pine St. (downtown Orlando) Central Florida Fairgrounds 4903 W Colonial Dr. Cleo’s Gentlemen’s Club 1310 S. Orange Blossom Trail Club Paris 407-849-0808 122 W. Church St. Club Whispers 407-290-9896 ClubWhispers.net Element Nightclub 407-841-1556 39 W. Pine St. Expo Center 500 W. Livingston (across from TD Waterhouse) Firestone 578 N. Orange Avenue 407-872-0066 Heroes Nighclub 426 E. Kennedy 407-740-0556 House of Blues Downtown Disney 407-934-BLUE Ticketmaster.com Icon Nightclub 407-649-6496 20 E. Central Blvd.
Tinker Field Spiritual Splash Gospel extravaganza 305-300-7827 TicketAnnex.com.
Matrix & Metropolis Pointe Orlando (International Drive)
Firestone Grand Finale with DJ Nasty, DJ Prostyle, Mr. CC & the Reggae Ambassadors, and DJ Chino. 18+, 10 PM - 3 AM.
The Roxy 740 Bennett Rd. 407-898-4004 or 321-663-9106
Cleo’s Gentlemen’s Club Music by DJ Caesar, doors open 7 PM. Element Nightclub Music by Murder One Sound. BET Soundstage Music by DJ Jimmy Jamz, 21+, 7 PM - 2 AM.
MONDAY (11/21/05): The Blue Room Martini Mondays with music by DJ K-OZZ (Full Impact All Starz), hosted by Ricky P of 102 Jamz. Ladies free before 11:30 PM. 21+.
SKY60 64 N. Orange Ave. 407-246-1599 Tabu Nightclub 407-648-8363 TabuNightclub.com 46 N. Orange Avenue Tropical Magic Nightclub 801 N. John Young Parkway Zinc Bar 407-246-1755 TheZincBar.com 13 S. Orange Avenue
here are you from? Born and raised in Cincinatti.
Since you’re reppin’ the Midwest, do you consider Florida a major market? I’m trying to make it a major market for me, cause Florida showed me so much love when I came down there with my CDs to TJ’s DJ’s in Tallahassee. They keepin’ it treal down there in Florida. They doing what I like, riding on 26”s and candy paint. That’s what my city vibes on too, so yeah, I’m hoping to get into Florida. It’s a nice fan base, and I was feeling what they do down South. How did you decide to start rapping? Actually I didn’t want to rap. I was really just in the streets with my buddies. A couple guys used to come holla at me just from being in the game in the streets, Czar Nok. That’s the guys I’ve been rapping with for the longest. They’re the ones that really pushed me to rap. I had a couple people that I grew up with that wanted me to rap, but I didn’t really take a full interest in it. I really slowed down a lil bit in the streets from what I used to do. What made you decide to slow down? I got into some trouble. Police raid, you know, it had to do with drugs. I got locked up for a minute. I had the money to bail out and wiggle a little. Gotta be able to wiggle, you know, or you’ll sit in there for a while. Anyway I got bailed out, spent a lot of money, and ended up rapping with my man from Czar Nok. It was time to get more serious. The streets ain’t never left me, though. You can’t really get out of the streets, to tell you the truth. Is that mostly what you rap about? Yeah, things I really lived or seen. I might rap about what I wanna see. I might rap about cars. I always keep cars fully loaded, but besides that, I might wanna rap about living bigger than most of the rappers out in the streets. I been living a lot of hard times. I make music for the Cincinnati streets. There aren’t many rappers in Cincinnati. It ain’t too many. It’s a lot of local artists, people from the neighborhoods and projects. Czar Nok are the first ones to sign a major deal out of Cincinnati. I’m all over their album. They worked with Hi-Tek too. He’s more like a hip-hop dude, though. I’m not really on the hip-hop tip, I’m more of a street gangster. It’s hard for our city to
come up cause it hasn’t really been too much action out of Cincinatti. We haven’t seen somebody fully blow all the way up. Hi-Tek doesn’t really count because he’s mostly a beatmaker. There’s nobody on the rapper tip – we had OTR making a lot of noise in our city – but nothing worldwide yet. That’s why I’m hoping to make the big noise. There ain’t too many people that can stop me anyway. Is Cincinnati more South or East coast? We’re more South flavored. It’s guys from our city that rap East coast style, but they ain’t even from Cincinnati. We mainly do South and Midwest flavor. That’s all I know. What producers have you worked with? Los Vegas runs the whole production team, strictly Young and Rich. How have you been building a buzz? We been doing mixtapes since 1998, basically underground. We were rapping on other people’s beats, industry beats, and then we started making our own beats with Young and Rich. What’s your single right now? The first single we was tryin’ was “She Gonna Put It On You.” That’s a nice club single for the men and the women. Women love it. But we’ll probably go with “Dope Boy Music” as the first single. That’s more of a street vibe. People are catching onto that already, they loving that. Do you have a complete album ready? I got enough music to put together an album if I wanted to. I’m hard on myself, though. I wanna make better and better stuff. Are you planning to put it out indie, or looking for a distribution deal? Just rolling with Loc Down, whatever my boss Los Vegas wants to do. He got me shopping deals from a lot of different places like Sony and Asylum. Czar Nok is on Capitol Records so they looking at me too. I’m gonna keep it in these streets real hard, rocking these mixtapes. We’ve already handed out a couple hundred thousand. Everything Loc Down has been doing is free. We sponsor clubs and bring other artists to our city. We doing it right. Loc Down is the biggest label in Cincinatti. Ain’t no other label doing it bigger than us. They waiting for us to pioneer the whole thing. - Photo and words by Julia Beverly OZONE
hat’s been going on with you since signing with Slip-N-Slide? Just doing my thing, man. They been having me stretched out on the road. I’ve been booked like Wednesday through Sunday every week for the last couple months. I’m jumping on this tour with Trina and trying to finish up this new mixtape. You got a nice buzz off your last mixtape. Yeah, that 36 Ounces has been killing ‘em. Have you collaborated with other SlipN-Slide artists yet, like Trick Daddy or Trina? Yeah, I’m on Trina’s record “So Fresh.” That’s on her new album. When they started breaking that record in Miami, it was crazy. The DJ ran it back like eight times so that was a good look. Are there any other major artists you’ve collaborated with? Nah, man, I ain’t tryin’ to be fucked up with a lot of these dudes. Me personally, it’s a handful of cats I respect in this music shit, but it’s a lot of fuck niggas too. I don’t really allow myself to get caught up in that whole loop. I’m in a situation where I’m over there with Trick and Trina, but I’m trying to do my own thing with the following I’ve got on my own. The streets are fuckin’ with Plies heavy. I kinda like that look. I ain’t tryin’ to get caught up in having a bunch of features on my album. To me, that means you need help.
cats. If I can weed you out and feel you ain’t ‘bout it, I don’t fuck with you period. What producers are you working with? I got a lot of tracks being sent over from a lot of different dudes. I ain’t tryin’ to go the route that everybody takes of tryin’ to fuck with the big-name producers. It’s a lot of young cats out here making quality tracks, so I’d rather fuck with those types of dudes. I ain’t tryin’ to drop 20 or 30 stacks just for a cosigner. When does your album drop? We’re looking at January right now. We had to reschedule it because Trina’s album got pushed back. We’re gonna shoot the video down here in Ft. Myers, so we’re looking at January for the actual album release date. Anything else you’d like to say? The streets told me I’m the next nigga to blow on the underground level. Ain’t na’an nigga getting’ $5,500 a date from Wednesday til Sunday and he’s booked every day. It’s just a situation with me right now where I’m getting my shit off. I’m grinding, dawg, just like the next nigga. I ain’t got no sad stories about this rap shit. Everything that’s happened to me has been good. - Photo and words by Julia Beverly Part of this interview was also featured in the September issue of OZONE Magazine. Visit www.ozonemag.com for subscription information.
What about when you were coming up? Who did you listen to? One thing about me is that I don’t free promote none of these niggas. Whenever I get a question posed to me in terms of who I listened to or who inspires me, I don’t plug none of these dudes. As far as my style, I feel like I have my own style. I ain’t never heard nobody that sounds like me. I never allow myself to be watered down. I got a street sound. A lot of niggas claim that, but there’s different ways you could come in this shit. The radio could make you or the streets could make you. In my situation, I really feel like I’ve got a street sound. At the end of the day, I don’t think I’m no different than the next nigga down here. I’m just a dude that likes reality music. I listen to dudes whose music caters to my lifestyle. Music on the street level caters to the shit I go through every day as far as hustling and getting money. I listen to them type of OZONE
hat’s the difference between you and other female rappers? I’m just trying to do me. I don’t wanna knock nobody and say I’m better than anybody else, but I don’t rap about what most female rappers rap about. I rap about situations I’ve seen and been through. The things I’ve been through in my life have definitely made me the person that I am today. Where are you from? I’m from Orlando, Florida. Tangelo Park. How would you describe your rap style? I represent the struggle; all the women in the struggle. You have a unique skin tone. What’s your racial background? My father is black and my mom’s white. How did you hook up with R&R Records? My friend’s father brought me over to the studio and I rapped for Clark J. He was feeling me, and I signed a deal a few days later. Clark J is my manager and producer. Are you planning to put out your album independently or looking for a major deal? Well, we’re looking for an investor. I don’t think I’m ready to leave R&R Records. I ain’t going nowhere. What’s your ultimate goal in the industry? I’m the only female rapper that’s not coming from behind a male figure in the industry. What I plan on bringing is a little bit of light, a little bit of truth to what women go through. I’m gonna be real with it, and speak about what women see through our eyes. A lot of female rappers have ghostwriters. Do you? No. I wrote everything on my album, Skyy’s Tha Limit. If you could be anyone else for a day, who would you be and why? I don’t know if I could be anybody but me. That’s my answer. I’d be me. Orlando’s not really a major market for rap. Do you plan to change that? Man, I’ll do whatever’s necessary. If things blow up and I’m the first one to make it out,
I’m coming back to collaborate with a lot of different Orlando artists. I wanna eventually get my own label out here. After you put out this album, what’s your plan? I’m trying to get a tour together right now, opening up for people and trying to get some exposure. It is hard to get out of Orlando, but I’ve been getting a lot of love from different counties and cities. I’m just gonna keep pushing. Wherever the spirit leads me to go, that’s where I’ll go. Anything else you’d like to say? Yeah, there’s a lot of people I’d like to shout out, but I’ve gotta definitely make sure I mention Clark J Productions, Treal, Young Dirty, and Mala T, my ace boom koon. She’s putting her album together right now so look out for that. Check out www.skyyhighmusic.com, you can download and buy my music on the website. What do you want the industry to know about Skyy High? I’m gonna do a lot of things in the future; I have a lot of big plans. I plan to rebuild schools, buy a whole bunch of land and build some houses, do some things for homeless people. I plan on doing a lot of good things for the community. I don’t wanna say too much right now. I’ll show and prove. Your music is pretty thugged out. You rap about hustling and a lot of gangsta stuff. It’s from the heart. I saw it, I’ve done it. Everything that’s on my album is real. Sometimes you go through certain situations and live certain ways, and it’s all a part of growth right now. I’m growing and there’s certain things you have to turn loose. I’m pretty sure that the things I’ve lived and talked about, there’s other women that have been through the same things. If you had to collaborate with either Trina or Jacki-O, which one would you choose? Both of them. I’m trying to collab with everybody. But if I had to choose one, I’d probably say Trina, just because she’s been out there for a longer span of time. I could probably really learn a lot from her experiences. I’d like to rap with her and get to know her a little bit. - Malik Abdul (Photo: Julia Beverly) OZONE
hy do you call yourself Triple J? Those are my initials: Johnathan Jerel Johnson.
Are you originally from Florida? Yeah, I was living in California for about a year, but I’m originally from Riviera Beach, Florida, in Palm Beach County. You were originally signed to Def Jam South, right? How did you hook that up? Yeah, Scarface actually walked me in. I met ‘Face through Tone Capone, in Oakland, CA. He was the producer for the Luniz’ “I Got Five On It” and he did a lot of tracks for Scarface’s album. Me and Tone were working on an album together, so I came across ‘Face. Since we shared producers, he got interested me and we just clicked up. This was back in ’96. So when ‘Face left, you left too? Yeah, when ‘Face left, the deal just fell apart. They didn’t wanna release me though. They were trying to put me on the shelf. I was stuck at Def Jam for two years. I had to fight my way out of it. Are you bitter because of the Def Jam situation? Oh, I’m definitely bitter. My career was at a standstill, and that forced me to get back in the streets. In the process, I almost lost my life. I wouldn’t have been out there doing what I was doing if Def Jam was doing what they were supposed to be doing. I got plenty of animosity. I don’t care who’s running their shit. Fuck ‘em all. How did you almost lose your life? I got shot about a year and a half ago. I got shot in my main artery, the one that goes through your right thigh. I lost 50% of the blood in my body. Was it rap beef or street beef? It was street beef, but that nigga’s dead now. What was going through your mind when you got shot? Shit, man. It was a drive-by. When I first got hit, I didn’t feel the pain. My body was in shock. It was there of us that got hit, me and two of my homeboys. We was checking each other to make sure everybody was okay. It didn’t seem serious at first, just a leg wound. We were actually laughing. Then I started getting weaker. I didn’t know he had hit that artery. I was losing a lot of
blood, and my vision started getting blurry. I couldn’t walk or talk and my voice wouldn’t come out. I was fucked up. I kept blacking out. I told my homeboy, “Damn, I’m ‘bout to die, man.” My homeboy Johnny Dixon saved my life. He kept slapping me and was like, “I ain’t gonna let you go, nigga.” My homeboys got me to the hospital and I was in there for like two months. Was it a wakeup call? Definitely. Things didn’t get easier after that, though. My life was in so much chaos. The deeper you dig yourself a hole, the harder it is to get back out. I’m still trying to get back out of that hole. So you’ve got a new single, “Boy Shorts,” produced by Jim Jonsin? Yeah, that’s what the radio wants to hear. That ain’t my type of shit, but we gonna play ball. I like street shit, reality rap, but this is for the radio. I don’t even go to the strip clubs. That ain’t my cup of tea. I’ve heard people compare you to Eminem. Do you think that’s accurate? I don’t think that’s accurate, but I’ll take that as a compliment. To me, Eminem is a lyrical genius. But I think we’re coming from two different angles. I do like to put humor into my raps, though. No matter how serious something is, you should always be able to find humor in it. Did you find humor in getting shot? Me and my homeboys laugh all the time about who had the most bitch in ‘em. We laugh about who was hollerin’ the loudest. When is your album coming out? My mixtape Street Science is coming soon, and I’ve got Big Scale Entertainment with my homeboys Pupp and Tech. The album, MLK Boulevard, is coming early 2006. Look out for that single “What the Lick Read.” Anything else you’d like to say? Shout out to Bigga Rankin, I love that nigga to death. That’s the realest DJ doing this shit. Shout out to Big Shife and Papa Duck, two of the hottest producers in Florida. Shout out to 21 Reese, Frank Luv, and Dawgman Entertainment. If there’s anybody I forgot to mention, they must not be doing the right thing. Check out my website www. triplejmusic.com. Log on it, doggone it! For booking call Pupp at 561-718-9682. - Photo and words by Julia Beverly OZONE
ou used to be in a group called DOA. What’s been going on with you since DOA? A whole lot of shit. A lot of connects, just tryin’ to come up. I’m finishing up my solo album now; it’s starting to look real good. So with the DOA situation, everybody just went their separate ways? Yeah, that’s what happened. Everybody had to do their own thing, and Chino decided to fuck with me and do it that way. Everybody started doing their own shit. We’re still fam though, we’re still cool. What’s the name of your album? I called it Rock Bottom for many reasons. First of all, it’s like the beginning, my first album. I’m starting at the bottom. Also because it reflects a lot on my lifestyle. I ain’t never had shit. I’ve been homeless, all types of shit. That’s where I’m starting out from, letting everybody know my story. And your single is “Let Them Thangs Go,” with Pitbull, right? Are you going for the Latino crowd? Yeah, definitely. They feeling that Pitbull joint. They love that shit. Do you plan on branching off into reggaetone at all? Yeah, I fuck with it a little, just because I can. But it’s not my main thing, it’s not really what I do. But your style is more hip-hop, right? A lot of people compare you to Big Pun. Yeah, I would say so. I get a lot of comparisons to Pun, because we’re both big dudes, but what we talk about is different. Do you think that Big Pun’s passing was kinda overshadowed by Tupac and Biggie? Yeah, yeah. It kinda faded out because the game has changed so much since when he was doing it. If he was around, he’s still obviously be a key player in the game, but since he’s not, it seems like people forgot. How is your content different than Big Pun’s was? Just what we talk about. My story is totally different. He was killin’ niggas at that time period. Hip-hop was so different then. It was all about lyrical skill. Now it’s all about that real talk and what you’re gonna do. This game is so different now. I guess I’m an upgrade. I speak about life in general.
I can’t speak about something I haven’t done. I mean, I talk gangsta cause it was a point in my life where I did certain things that got me here. I’m just telling my story, from rock bottom, to the road to riches, to where I’m headed now. It’s time to come up. It’s just so different. I speak about a lot of pain. There’s a larger percentage of people in America that have been at rock bottom than there is people that’s making money and flossing with women and ice. I’d rather talk to the people nobody else is talking to, the everyday people. Who else is featured on the album besides Pitbull? I’ve got Akon on the album. I’m working on a couple other features but I don’t wanna say their names yet cause they not solid yet. I worked with a lot of producers too, like Jim Beans and Scram Jones and Nasty Beatmakers. Nasty’s a big part of the album. It’s still a work in progress but the largest chunk of the album is done. Are you planning on putting out the album indie? We’re in talks with a couple labels, but nothing solid. You always wanna wait for the best offer, but at the same time, we’re not gonna let the music sit. If it comes to a point where we gotta put it out, we’ll do it indie ourselves, OMG. It’s not a problem. But we’re trying to see what our options are. The album should be finished by the end of 2005, and out by summer 2006 if we play it right. Right now we’re just accumulating BDS spins and going everywhere, just bangin’ the record to see what happens. By the time the album’s ready to come out, hopefully they’ll be able to recognize me. “That’s the cat that has the joint with Pitbull.” Why did you call your label OMG – Ozone Music Group? It’s definitely a separate venture [from Ozone Magazine], but we both started here in Orlando – Ozone. We’re letting people know where we’re coming from. I got to rep Orlando. I lived in Kissimmee and Poinciana too, but Orlando is home. Do you have any shout outs? Pee Wee Kirkland, Pitbull, Hittmenn DJs, All Pro, Nasty Beatmakers, everybody in the O. How could someone contact you? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org. - Photo and words by Julia Beverly OZONE
ho are the Underdawgs? Three people. We got Owe Jive, Big Stupid, and Squid Go Yam.
The same Owe Jive who did the original “My Neck, My Back” before Khia? Yeah, the original Owe Jive. How did the three of you meet? Squid: We’re all from Tampa, and we’ve been friends for a while. I used to do promotions when Owe Jive had “My Neck, My Back,” and Big Stupid was one of my promotions people on my team. We made such a good combination that we started doing shows together and put a group together. What do you think about the “Tampa curse” – everybody who blows up out of Tampa becomes a one-hit wonder? They didn’t have the right people to push them on the promotions side. We’re gonna get it right. We won the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup, but we don’t have a big rapper. That’s about to change. We know all about the “curse,” but it’s only for individuals. We want to stay as far away from that as possible, that’s why we put three people together. What kinds of things do you rap about? We talk about having fun. You only live once. We make adrenaline music. May the funk be with you, man! We have to keep the club pumpin’, but we come from different perspectives. All the songs on the album could be played in the club or in the car. And there’s a dance for our single “Run It Back,” too. So you guys are entertainers as well as rappers. Yeah, you know, Owe Jive is a comedian. Most groups that form have a lot in common, but we’re just so different and eclectic. We all have the same goals but we’re different types of artists. I think that’ll add a lot to the music. The problem is that a lot of Tampa artists come with the same type of music. We’re not the guys with pistols or guns, we’re the ones with garbage cans and big speakers. May the funk be with you. We just keep going at it and add some stuff for inspiration. You only live once. We make happy music, and we’re very versatile. We’re not just booty-shaking for the clubs, but we still have that true Tampa sound. We reached a little bit. The whole album isn’t just 136 beats per minutes. We touched on
some real subjects. We ain’t gonna kill nobody on this album. We’re basically just the guys in your neighborhood that everybody can relate to. What’s the name of the album? Ghetto Heroes. “Run It Back” is the lead single, but every song on there could be a single. If we dropped a single every six months, we’ve got seven years worth of material that everybody is gonna love. Are you planning on putting it out yourself, or trying to get distribution through a major? We’ve already obtained distribution. The only thing we’re doing is running the clock down to get us through the fourth quarter. We’re going through Attitude Music Distribution, which is basically a step up from Select-O-Hits. They work with the SelectO-Hits network without being exclusive to Select-O-Hits. What about production? Who did you work with? We used a lot of Tampa producers. We were really trying to capture the sound and make sure that Tampa got its just due this time. We want to make sure we don’t fall into the whole one-hit-wonder thing. A lot of records that blew up in Tampa didn’t get promoted like they should on the business end. Our squad handles business: Amp, C. Wakeley, and Cee Jay. We could do a bigger and better job. Sometimes you don’t need features from a major artist. We used a lot of local artists who never had a chance. Now they’re getting a chance to shine, like bling bling. We worked with a lot of Tampa legends. Your single “Run It Back” is doing well. Yeah, the record is already getting airplay in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia. We’re starting to do shows, and we’ll be shooting a video for the song before the end of the year. We really wanna push the “Run It Back” dance, because it’s on course to do what a lot of other Tampa records did. But we’re gonna have the business behind this record to make sure we get in the red zone. Anything else you’d like to say? Special thanks to C. Wakeley. You can contact us through Big Amp at 813-917-3579 or email@example.com. - Julia Beverly (Photo: Big Cee Jay) OZONE
Where are you from? Bradenton, Florida. I’ve been rapping for six years.
Are you planning to sign with a major? I’m trying to keep it indie for now.
How would you describe your style? What’s your affiliation with C Wakely? Gangsta. Real. Basically I rap about the typical things. C Wakeley is good friends with my manager DonCars, money, women. ald Ted Smith. They were buddies a long time ago, so we hooked up. Wakeley’s a good dude, So what makes you different from other rappers? so y’all indies need to mess with him. My voice. I sound like me, but if I had to compare to another rapper, I’d probably say Trick Daddy. What’s the difference between Tampa music and Bradenton music? How did you start creating a buzz for yourself? No disrespect to Tampa, but Bradenton’s got its I did some mixtapes and I was with a group called IBC own flavor. It’s a little more street than Tampa. back home. We were pretty popular in the neighbor- There ain’t too many people in Bradenton doing hood. We had a hot song called “Oooh, shit!” club songs like they do in Tampa. You could tell Tampa music right away, but you know, the guys Why did you decide to go solo? that’s rapping in Bradenton, you can’t really tell I got in a little trouble and had to do some jail time. where they’re from. They went their way and I went my way. I was in jail for about ten months back in 2002, for simple battery. Will it be hard to be the first to break through? Nah. You gotta know how to hustle, and I know While you were in jail, did you have the chance to how to hustle. That’s what it’s all about. You gotta hone your rap skills? be able to grind and stay motivated. I like to win, Yeah, I wrote about 500 songs while I was in jail, and I don’t like to lose. when I got out we put them in the streets. Do you have any shoutouts? So it inspired you? My manager Donald Ted Smith, C Wakeley, and Yeah. See, I was the money behind the IBC group. We their families. My number one DJ Big Dawg and thinking about doing a group project again but I don’t the Buc City DJs, the whole Florida, Manatee know when. Hopefully in the summer of 2006. County. What’s your current project? How can someone I’m dropping the Million Dollar Man album in January, contact you? putting it out independently in FYE and other stores. Check me out at www. Cartel4Life.com, email Who’s featured on the album? me at Chill2Hot@aol. BloodRaw and Tom G are on the single “Bop Wit It.” com, or for booking call Smoke from Field Mob, Mr. Magic, Gucci Mane, 334 941-773-7878 or 352Mobb and a lot of my local homeboys are on there. 246-4495. Dimensional Sounds out of Tampa produced most of the album.