FLORIDA CLASSIC 2009
BIG GATES // BONES // DAT DUDE DAWGMAN // DJ NASTY // DROP LIL BOOSIE // MIGHTY MIKE // PI BANG PLIES // POETIC // SHO BOY // WES FIF & more
PUBLISHER: Julia Beverly SPECIAL EDITIONS EDITOR: Jen McKinnon a.k.a. Ms. Rivercity CONTRIBUTORS & CREW: Eric Perrin Jeeâ€™Van Brown Maurice G. Garland Mercedes Randy Roper Terrence Tyson Torrey Holmes PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR: Malik Abdul STREET TEAMS: Big Mouth Marketing DJ Slym Lex Promotions On Point Entertainment Poe Boy Strictly Streets SUBSCRIPTIONS: To subscribe, send check or money order for $20 to: OZONE Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318 Phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-601-9523 Web: www.ozonemag.com COVER CREDITS: Kevin Cossom photo by Terrence Tyson; Bones, Dawgman, & Mighty Mike photo by Terrence Tyson.
SIDE A A20 A22 A10 A16-17 A8 A23 A9 A7 A18-19 A12-13
BIG GATES DAT DUDE DJ Rell Drop EVENT LISTING LOOCHIE NIGHTCLUB LISTING ORLANDO MAP PLIES Poetic
A14-15 KEVIN COSSOM
SIDE b B18-19 B6 B22 B4 B8-9 B10-11 B20-21 B12-13
CASH CHRIS DJ D STRONG DJ NASTY DJ SLYM LIL BOOSIE PI BANG SHO BOY WES FIF
B14-17 BONES, DAWGMAN, & MIGHTY MIKE
DISCLAIMER: 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 2009 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.
OZONE | 5
OZONE | 7
09 ASSIC 20 L C FLORIDA
Friday, November 20th Frontline & 4 Life Promotions Present 12th Annual Classic Greek Ste Show @ West Orange High School // 1625 South Beulah Rd, Winter Garden FL // 863-838-5678 Hosted by BETs Terrance J, Music by Doc D Battle of the Bands @ Amway Arena // 600 W. Amelia St. // Doors open at 7pm Frontline Presents VIP Happy Hour @ Rain Hosted by Jay Deezy, Music by DJ Live Wyre 5pm – 9:30pm // 2 for 1 Cocktailes, Free Soul Food Buffet Florida Classic Kick Off Party @ 11/12 Hosted by BET’s DJ Q45 & DJ Herm T // RoyalPairEnt.com Slip-N-Slide Celeb Bash hosted by Trina @ Destiny // 407-290-1481 Presented by DME, Cool Runnings, & The Sigmas // Featuring Disco JR, Disco & The City Boys, Clientell Party Starter DJs, & More Frontline Promotions Presents: Paparazzi @ Roxy // Hosted by BETs Terrance J & Rocsi, & Kevin Cossom Music by DJs Nasty, Demp, Ratt, City, Shizm 9:30pm – 3am // 18 and Up for Women, 21 and up for Men DME, Morris Mngt, CMG Present Classic Wknd Party @ KOHA Music by Disco & The City Boyz, Disco JR, Supastar J Kwik, Clientell Party Starters Doors open 2am to 6am // 18 & Up to Enter, 21 to Drink // 407-290-1481 Frontline Promotions & Kheep Ent Present Alpha, Kappa, Iota Frat Boy Classic @ Cheyenne Salon // 120 W. Church St // Hosted by AJ The Klassic, Super Man & Mr. BKS // Music by DJs 108, Dev, Ego, Jay-R, Blaze Frontline Promotions Alumni Jam @ Rain Hosted by Almighty Joe Bullard & Next Level’s Jay Deezy // Music by DJs Saxwell & Live Wyre // 1opm to 3am // 25 and up preferred, 21 & Up // Dress Code Enforced Saturday, November 21st Florida Classic @ Florida Citrus Bowl // Game starts at 2pm OJ da Juiceman, Dorrough, Black Dada @ Club 11/12 // Hosted by DJ Demp Tickets Available at Mens Closet or WantTix. com or RoyalPairEnt.com Dawgman & Nasty Beatmakers Present 5th
8 | OZONE
Annual Classic Fest @ Club Firestone Starring We the Best Family: Khaled, Ace Hood, & More Music by Supastar J Kwik, Clientell Party Starters, Disco & The City Boyz, Whilin Ent, Cool Runnings & More // 407-290-1481 // ClassicFest.com Frontline Promotions Presents the Cash Money Classic Luau @ Roxy Hosted by Birdman & The Cash Money Family // Music by Skool Boys, CT & PLO, Ratt, City, Doc D // 9:30pm to 3am Gator Team Ent presents Twista, Yo Gotti, Webbie, Mullage, & Frank Lini @ Destiny Hosted by Prostyle & Music by Bigga Rankin 407-968-4886 DME, Morris Mngt, CMG Present Classic Wknd Party @ KOHA Music by Disco & The City Boyz, Disco JR, Supastar J Kwik, Clientell Party Starters Doors open 2am to 6am 18 & Up to Enter, 21 to Drink 407-290-1481 Bell Biv Devo Live @ House of Blues Presented by Frontline Promotions Music by BET’s Q45 & FAMU’s Saxwell Tickets 407-934-BLUE & All Ticket Master Locations Launch Party for Hennessy Black @ Rain Music by DJ Kid Capri & Resident DJ M Squared // 21 & Up, Dress Code: Classic Clean Sunday, November 22nd DME & 102 Jamz Present: 11th Annual Riding Big Car Show/Concert @ Central FL Fairgrounds Hosted by Lil Duval Music by Clientell Party Starters Gates Open 2pm – 10pm DME Car Show After Party @ Antigua Hosted by Dorrough Music by Disco JR & DJ Slym All Pro Parties Presents Sunday Nights @ Roxy Music by DJs Prostyle, Quez & Nice Everyone free until midnight Frontline Promotions Presents: Soul Session @ Rain Featuring Grammy Nominated Saxophonist Eric Darius, along with Rohan Reid Band & Sisaundra Lewis Music by DJ Live Wyre Drink Specials 6pm to 10pm 321-276-9466
g Mall Listin all Florida M Blossom Trail ge an Or S 8001 00 77 6407-85 Magic Mall . Dr 2155 W. Colonial 407-648-0779 all Millenia M . Rd oy nr Co 00 42 407-363-3555 Mall West Oaks ive Dr al ni lo Co W. 01 94 401-294-2775 rk Mall Winter Pa Ave. ks an irb Fa W. 1 64 789 32 FL , rk Pa Winter 32 32 407-671-
club Listing 11/12 Nightclub 843 Lee Road 407-539-3410 AKA Lounge 68 East Pine Street 407-839-3707 Antigua 41 W. Church St. 407-649-4270 B.B. Kings 9100 International Drive Bliss Ultra Lounge 123 W. Church St Cleo’s Gentlemen’s Club 1310 S. Orange Blossom Trail 407-839-8559 Club Status 912 W. Colonial Drive 407-841-1462 Destiny 7430 Universal Blvd. 407-351-9800
Dragon Room 25 W. Church St. 407-843-8600
House of Blues HOB.com 1490 E. Buena Vista Dr. Lake Buena Vista, FL 407-934-BLUE Icon Nightclub 20 E. Central Blvd. 407-649-6496 KOHA Nightclub 426 E. Kennedy Eatonville, FL 407-740-0556 Motown Cafe Universal CityWalk 407-363-8000
Element 39 W. Pine Street 407-841-1566
Rain ClubWhispers.net 4732 S. Kirkman Road 407-290-9896
Envy 7552 Universal Blvd. (International Drive)
The Roxy 740 Bennett Rd. 407-898-4004
Ember 42 W. Central Blvd
The Social OrlandoSocial.com 54 N. Orange Ave 407-246-1599
Firestone ClubatFirestone.com 578 N. Orange Avenue 407-872-0066 Fusion 1 S. Orange Avenue 407-650-0556 The Groove CityWalk at Universal Orlando 6000 Universal Blvd. 407-363-8000 Hard Rock HardRock.com Universal CityWalk 407-351-5483
Sky60 64 N. Orange Avenue 407-246-1599
Tessa 2425 A South Hiawassee Road Orlando, FL 32835 407-373-0005 Voyage Nightclub 17 W. Pine Street 321-277-0412
OTHER VENUES Central Florida Fairgrounds 4903 W. Colonial Drive Orlando, FL Eastmonte Civic Center 830 Magnolia Drive Altamonte Springs, FL Expo Center 500 W. Livingston (across from TD Waterhouse) Orlando, FL TD Waterhouse 600 W. Amelia St. Orlando, FL 407-849-2020
Tabu Nightclub TabuNightclub.com 46 N. Orange Avenue 407-648-8363 Tavern on the Lake 6996 Piazza Grande Ave. Orlando, FL 32835 407-293-6233 OZONE|| 9 OZONE
If you’re looking for the local street mixtape guy in Orlando, DJ Rell is it. But don’t get it confused, as DJ Rell is quick to tell people he’s far from just a local DJ. With his new mixtape, Kiss My Local Ass, Rell is making a statement about his status in the game. How did you get into DJing? My dad had a record label and I fell in love with music. I had a passion for it. I started playing around with records and putting together different compilations that people liked to hear. From there it went into doing mix CDs. Are mixtapes your main focus as a DJ? I’m a mixtape DJ, to be honest with you. I do clubs if I’m booked. Lately I’ve been gettin’ booked out of state as a headline DJ, but I that’s off the mixtapes. I just got added to 88.5 in Tampa. I do a mixshow the first Saturday of every month. What’s the name of your mixtape series? I don’t really have a set series. My biggest series, that really got me known to the public, woulda been the Wilt Chamberlain series I did on Gucci Mane last year. Do you have any DJ affiliations? I’m affiliated with myself. I’m not part of anybody’s crew. I bust my ass, and my whole marketing campaign and everything is really paying off now. I’d say I’ve got the same connections as a DJ crew. I was affiliated with a couple of them but I withdrew ‘cause I felt like it there weren’t benefits. I do everything on my own. I got records before they get ‘em. What crews did you belong to? I was a Slip-N-Slide DJ, I was a Future Star DJ, I was a Lord Gang DJ, I was a Street Connect DJ. I done been through a couple of crews, but like I said, if I’m bringing more to the table than the DJ crew, then I can do it on my own, right? Do you put together tapes for local artists? Yeah, of course. I work with a lot of locals. Anybody on their grind I’m pushing for. My biggest break out was when I worked with Armstrong. I was very hands-on with him. I’m the go-to guy for independents in the city. You have a heavy street presence. How important is it for an artist to connect with that market in addition to radio and club promotions? If you’ve got a big enough street buzz the labels are gon’ come to you. If you got a street buzz, it’s gonna generate paid shows and revenue. But 10 | OZONE
Words by Ms Rivercity
at the end of the day, labels look at numbers, regardless if you’re making show money or promoting real hard and the whole city knows you. They look at numbers. I’m a fan of radio. If you’re able to get a radio promoter and you got a hot enough song, get in the streets and get on radio. They look at that Mediabase. What are you promoting for the Classic weekend? I’m droppin’ a project called Kiss My Local Ass. It’s pretty much telling a lot of people who thought I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doin’ now, or get as far as I am, I just tell ‘em to Kiss My Local Ass. I’m far from local, but I still keep it grounded to the local scene. What else do you want to say? Shout out to my website MixRUs.com, my brother Big Will, Darren. Shout out to my cousin HQ. I appreciate OZONE for giving me this opportunity. If you’re down with me you know who you are, if not, kiss my local ass. Free Nate, free Armstrong, free Hot Mike. If you tryin’ to get at me, you can reach me at 407-770-8168, Twitter.com/DJRell, or Myspace.com/WhoDJRell.
OZONE | 11
Poetic Words by Ms. Rivercity Photo by Blenus Martin
12 | OZONE
As A MEMBER of the group TREAL, Poetic has had a successful run as an artist/producer – the group even locked down a single deal after breaking through on radio. With that experience behind them, TREAL has branched into new realms, allowing Poetic to explore his individual talent. So you’ve been working on some of your own music lately. Tell us about the solo projects you’re promoting. I just dropped a new mixtape called Twist the Industry hosted by DJ Jay Rock and mixed by my homeboy Cheeze of TREAL. I just dropped a video for “Impatient.” It’s about – with me right now, I’m kinda impatient. I send beats to people and sometimes they take too long to drop verses on ‘em, or people take too long with business. I just wanted to drop a song pertaining to my life and about trying to get money. Time is money right now. To get my mixtape you can google it; It’s getting a whole lot of downloads. People have been hittin’ me up for beats, hooks, a whole lot of stuff. What do you mean by “twist the industry?” I’m just as good as the industry. My songs, my beats, my hooks – I’m just as good as the industry. Put my song up against an industry song and let the people judge how good I am. I’m a producer, a writer, an artist, all that at the same time. I want people to look at my creativity. I call it Twist the Industry ‘cause I’m mixing my songs with the industry songs. Is that your family in the “Impatient” video? It’s my son, my daughter, my little brother, my grandmamma, my dad, everybody in that video. My whole family is in it pretty much. My mom, of course she couldn’t make it, and my wife couldn’t be there. But I put everything into that video. It was over there off of Parramore ‘cause that’s where I pretty much grew up at in Parramore Village. How do you think the song pertains to other people’s situations and what’s going on with the world right now? Especially the economy. You’ve got a whole bunch of rappers coming out actin’ like they got a whole bunch of money. I’m being real with the people. A lot of these artists ain’t got it. They sign with a record label just to get a chain from ‘em. I ain’t about that. I’m speakin’ for the people that ain’t got nothin’, people that are hustlin’ everyday tryin’ to feed their family and make ends meet.
That’s the people I’m targeting. Even the President says we’re broke, so how does everybody have money? A lot of artists are scared to touch on that [topic] ‘cause they don’t want to mess up their appearance to the people. You touched on some pretty personal things in that song, like living in a foster home. I was living in a foster home at one point in my life. My mother went to jail. I saw my mama on the news and everything when I was a kid. I had to stay strong for my little brother and sister. I’m the oldest on my mama’s side. As time went on, she got out of jail and got us back. But I went through all that, and I wanted to talk about it ‘cause a lot of people don’t know that about me. It’s my time to show people who I am. What’s going on with the group TREAL? We’re restructuring everything business-wise. We wanna be able to sign other artists and expand. We got flown back and forth trying to work out [record] deals, but the deals they were offering wasn’t what we were lookin’ for. We ain’t have enough pull to say what we wanted. We had a little single deal with Universal, but they never helped us push the record. “I’m Not Lock Down” was a hit record and they didn’t push it. Every radio station it got played on was because of us and our personal grind. Big ups to Clay D, he helped us out on traveling and everything. But you guys didn’t break up? For everybody that’s saying TREAL broke up, I got another thing comin’ for you haters. We got a new mixtape that’s finna be droppin’ real soon. We’ve proven to the game that we’re talented, we just gotta make good business moves right now for us as a group. Before we go, is there anything else you want to say? I just want to give a shout out to everyone that looked out for TREAL and me personally, and the whole Orlando movement period, all the DJs and promoters. I also got a new project where I’m just doing beats and hooks, which is pretty much what The Runners did. It’s gonna be a Florida type thing and I’m gonna let these local rappers rip it. I’m just gonna keep dropping these hits. I’m trying to build a strong base for myself as an artist and producer at the same time. //
OZONE | 13
Words by Eric Perrin Photo by Terrence Tyson
Kevin Cossom 14 | OZONE
Chances are you’ve been singing along to Kevin Cossom songs for years, you just never knew it until now. Meet KC, a Philly-born, Orlando product who until recently has been the man behind the melody. He has penned a plethora of songs for artists ranging FROM R. Kelly to Ace Hood, and scored his first Billboard number 1 single last summer with Keri Hilson’s “Knock You Down” featuring Kanye West and Ne-yo. Regardless of his undeniable success as a songwriter, KC’s first love is his own music, something he feels he was born to create. Now with the backing of a major label, his VOICE may soon become as familiar as his pen. You’re an established songwriter, but when did you decide to become an artist yourself? Being an artist was always the priority for me. In my quest for the artist endeavor to pop off, the writing thing came a little faster for me. You’ve written some very big hits throughout your brief career. Can you talk about some of your biggest records? I got my first placement with The Runners for a song called “Go Getter” by Young Jeezy and R. Kelly. I wrote the hook for that song, and that’s when I got my publishing deal. After that I wrote [Rick Ross’s] “Speeding,” [Ace Hood’s] “Cash Flow,” and“Won’t Let You Down” for Chamillionaire. And recently I just got my first number one [single]. I wrote “Knock You Down” with Keri Hilson and Ne-Yo. So, everything is going good. When you first found out that “Knock You Down” was the number one song in the country, how do you react? First of all, when I heard that it was gonna be a single that was crazy. When I heard that Kanye and Ne-Yo were gonna be on it that was crazy as well, especially because of how it all happened. I got a few emails saying that it had gone number 1 in the UK before it became number 1 here, but when it reached number [in the U.S], I had to actually see it as the number 1 song in the Billboard Magazine before I could believe it, and when I saw it, and saw my name [in the credits], it was amazing! I can’t lie though, one of the most amazing feelings is to go to a club and they play
the song you and everybody’s singing all the lyrics. Just thinking about how they’re all singing a song I wrote is a trip. How important do you think it is for singers to write their own material? I feel like it’s important to know how to put a record together. I feel like the people who are most relevant in the game are people who write their own stuff or are at least part of the creative process. If you’re not part of your creative process, you’re probably gonna find yourself a little lost. Everyone that’s winning is writing their own shit, and I feel like [writing your own material] lets you create your own lane. In your own music, what kind of themes do you cover? I talk about a lot of things that people can relate to, especially in terms of relationships and the boy-meets-girl concept. If you’ve ever been in a relationship before, or if you’ve ever liked someone, I got something for you. It’s definitely relatable concepts and not just random music. In your opinion, why haven’t there been more artists from Orlando making it on a national level? This is kind of a touchy subject for a lot of people who are trying to do music in Orlando, but I feel like a lot of people think you need to stay in Orlando to make it, and people get offended when you step out and go other places. We do have a lot of talent in Orlando, but it’s underdeveloped. There are no record labels in Orlando so it’s hard for us to get people to pay attention to us. But I love Orlando and I feel like we have a lot of talent and I definitely want to do things to help bring that talent out. Do you feel discouraged at all by the fact that there are so many artists trying to get on the music industry? Naw, it’s not discouraging; I just do me. I feel like I’m blessed to be where I’m at right now, and hopefully the success continues. I feel like if you work hard and commit to what you’re supposed to be doing and stay focused, you’re gonna eat either way. What you put in is what you get out. You can’t worry about what the next man’s doing. I’m just trying to create my own situation, my own story, my own lane, and for people to see me for who I am. //
OZONE | 15
Drop Words by Ms. Rivercity Photo by NVD Photography
16 | OZONE
If you’ve followed Drop’s rap career these last couple years, you know he’s in all the right places with all the right people. Working with All Pro Records until recently and doing several major artist features, Drop created many SITUATIONS for himself. Here he talks about the things he did to create a buzz, his time with All Pro Records, and his plans now that he’s a free agent again. How did you come up in the rap game? Give us your history. First I started off in a group called Gutta Boyz. We did a tour of Florida and started getting calls outside of Florida. The situation didn’t work out. My pa’tna had a baby and he backed off. He felt like the music thang wasn’t going fast enough for him. I started doin’ my own thang and dropped a mixtape. It caught fire a lil bit. I kinda fell back off the rap thang for about a year, and when I came back I did a CD called Free Agent. Everybody was lovin’ it and DJ Prostyle approached me. He wanted to work with me so I started fuckin’ wit’ him. That was at the end of ’07. What happened after that? I got my credit off of the grind, hustlin’, being where I needed to be. I was at all the DJ retreats, conferences like TJ’s DJ’s, all that good stuff. I stayed in contact with everybody and kept my relationships good. Everybody in the industry, like Wendy Day and Tony Neal, still fucked with me when I came back out. What have you been working on lately? I just dropped a mixtape called No Rookie hosted by DJ Prostyle and DJ Drama. I got Boosie, Gorilla Zoe, Papa Duck, and Traffik on there – he’s part of All Pro Records. After that mixtape, the situation with [leaving] All Pro, it was a good look, but as far as what I represent and the business part wasn’t right for me. I just had to make the best decision for me as an artist. We cool, I still fuck with All Pro, but we don’t do business together. What’s the plan now moving forward? My mom is still my management. We’re always willing to work with everybody. As of right now, I just dropped another mixtape with Marquis Daniels – he plays for the Boston Celtics. We’re discussing doing a couple things together with his backing. I’m doing my thing and everybody fucks with me, if everything
works out, me and bruh gon’ make somethin’ happen. What’s up with that mixtape? How’s the response been? DJ Scream from Atlanta hosted it. We got Trina, Boosie and a couple other people on there. We did a record on that CD called “Swag for Sale” and the song got kinda hot. A few weeks ago I started getting a lot of calls saying 2 Pistols had done the record. I checked into it, but it ain’t really got nothin’ to do with 2 Pistols. We were posed to do somethin’ with the producer but it didn’t go down. [2 Pistols] has a song with the same beat and the same hook, so I was gettin’ confrontational calls like, “This nigga done stole your song and he put your name in it.” I listened to the track. I’m the type of nigga that my mind is open, so when I listened to the record, I don’t really look at it like a diss. He said my name but I didn’t look at it like a diss. I know how the streets can be, but I don’t get into all that. I didn’t really get into it with him like that. We were already supposed to do a record together anyway. You’ve done a lot of a collaborations. Would you say that’s helped you a lot? Yeah, I would agree with that. The one record I did with Wayne got over a million downloads on the internet. That helped me out a lot with exposure. I ran across a lot of mixtapes that had the record on there. The record with me and Boosie, he got that on two of his mixtapes. The one with me and Zoe, he pushed that record. I do good music. I only do music I feel is good enough to be put out. Which single are you promoting right now? The main single I’m pushing right now is off the mixtape with Marquis Daniels. It’s a song with me, him, and Trina called “She Don’t Like Me.” We’re goin’ in hard on that record. We’re just tryin’ to make shit happen. Is there anything else you wanna let the people know? Let everybody know I’m puttin’ on for Florida. Everybody will hear from me eventually. I ain’t goin’ nowhere. I’m gonna keep goin’ hard for the city and for the whole state. I’m the new face of Florida. //
OZONE | 17
Plies & Big Gates Words by Eric Perrin Photo by Hannibal Matthews
Words by Julia Beverly
18 | OZONE
no longer claims to be real. by now, we all know. From his 2007 debut The Real Testament to his follow-up The Definition of Real all the way to his third outing The RealIst, Fort Myers’ Plies has constantly re-iterated his realness. Now, with his brother Big Gates home from prison, Plies feels it’s about time to pivot from his once ubiquitous “real” philosophy and bring the world Goon Affiliated. On his fourth album in 2 years, Plies is promising to do it bigger than he’s ever done it. He guarantees a classic or your money back, and is confident that his latest effort will be far better than any of its predecessors. You’ve always had a great balance between street and commercial music. How are you able to go the commercial route but maintain love from the streets at the same time? I actually give my following all that credit, the people who gravitate towards my situation. I just always make music that’s true to me. I never one time went in the studio and said, “Let me make a record for radio.” I never did. Before my career really blossomed, I was on a national level with certain records like “Get You Wet,” or “Ms. Pretty Pussy.” There were a lot of records that were working for me without the national exposure. I was working on a national level before I ever got signed to a major, and those situations were what I like to consider a testament to the people that really fuck with me. A lot of those records from “Shawty,” to “Bust It Baby,” to “Hypnotize,” to “Becky,” and “I Got Plenty Money,” I just personally feel like I make diverse music. I ain’t mad every day, so I don’t make just mad music. I think I’m probably one of a few artists that this industry really accepts in terms of being able to make diverse music. I’ve learned that there’s a lot of different types of music fans in the world— there’s people who only listen to radio, there are people that just watch the outlets on cable TV that play videos, there’s certain people that just listen to shit that’s only in the streets. I realize that a lot of people just know Plies based on what’s playing on the radio as opposed to what’s actually been on three of my albums as well as my mixtapes, so for me to find that balance, I credit the people that fuck with me and support me. Even when you hear records on the radio, people gotta request those records for them to keep playing ‘em.
What made you decide to release “Becky” as a single? That’s a pretty unlikely radio record. I actually cut that record about three weeks before we had the Super Bowl down here in Tampa. I remember having a couple of my homeboys listen to it, and I love [creating] a record that [brings] everybody to a unanimous consensus. When everybody heard that record they felt like it was a major record. When my brother Big Gates came home [from prison] I played my album for him and “Becky” was the third song on the album, as soon as he heard that song he told me that he didn’t need to hear no more records, because he wanted that to be the first single for my new project. I would’ve never tried that shit at radio. I thought it was a “helluva” record, but at the same time I definitely gotta give him all the credit, because he picked it to be the single. After 3 albums, what keeps you motivated? I feel like the company. I’m honored to be a part of a system that’s ran like a mini-major in terms of the whole Big Gates Records brand. Even with this “Becky” situation, this is all our vision. It ain’t a label or a business partner that put a dime into this situation besides Big Gates Records, and we’ve got a record that’s crazy in the streets and crazy on radio. I think that mindframe allows us to be who we are as a company. The rest of this interview is featured in the current issue of OZONE.
OZONE | 19
PLIES’ brother Big Gates, who played a significant role in his plies’ decision to rap and EVENTUAL ascenSion to stardom, recently returned home from a threeyear hiatus. Here, he tells ozone the TRUE story of his incarceration and his future plans FOR BIG GATES RECORDS AND MORE. This past weekend you hit the streets again. What was your mindset at the time you found out that you were gonna actually be released? It felt like a dream, with me being in them conditions for so long, and the amount of pressure and problems that’s going on inside those places. I think everybody out there knows that [prison] isn’t the best conditions to be living in. So it’s just me coming out and seeing my brother, seeing the rest of my family and being able to be free. I can’t really describe the feeling – overwhelming joy is the best way to put it. It’s like winning the lottery for $500 million. How would you feel, you know what I mean? I really don’t think you could tell me. You were in for three years, right? Yeah, three long, rough, hard years. Second time, three years. It was actually two sentences. It was a three year sentence and a twenty-seven month sentence combined with state and federal charges. Did you get out early for good behavior? I was basically allowed to get out when the time was up. (laughs) The Feds don’t really give you any favors unless you’re snitching. Sometimes they don’t give you favors then [either]. It was [just] me doing my time and my time being up. I think some people were under the impression that you were away for a lot longer than that. Yeah, ‘cause most people want bad for you anyways, especially when you ain’t got anything going for you. JB, when you were first trying to come up with a magazine years ago, you weren’t on anybody’s radar so they really didn’t care about what you were doing. You weren’t a factor. But once you are successful, people have knowledge of your success. That comes with the fame as well. That’s when all the hatred comes. People wish bad for you at that point. Some [people] wanted me to be gone forever, you know? It was a serious case, six attempted murders, first degree, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, federal violation and shooting into a building.
20 | OZONE
Each charge is enough to put you away forever. So people just prejudge situations. Were you able to take a plea bargain on those charges, or what actually developed when it came to your sentencing? It took about a year. The prosecutors didn’t want to talk to me, you know? They believed that it was an open and shut case. They felt like I was done; the state had ninety witnesses against me. They found six guns in the car, the car [was] in my name, I [was] driving, and they’ve got all of the victims who were shot. Not only [were there] ninety witnesses who didn’t get shot [testifying against me], but the other five victims who actually got shot, the majority of them were sayin’ I did it. That’s how I got the six attempted murder charges in the first degree. So with those type of charges people rightfully assume for the worst instead of the best. Obviously, your brother has become a lot more successful on a national level since you went away, so is there a sense of you coming back to join the party? Or just resuming what you were doing in the early stages? I don’t wanna say too much and give away too much. While I was away, I was able to do a lot of things and make a lot of things happen to keep his career going upward. I can’t get into the details, ‘cause you know Feds read magazines too... The rest of this interview is featured in the current issue of OZONE.
Dat Dude Words by Ms Rivercity
Dat Dude started rapping 2 years ago and gained local support QUICKLY. His first song, “Claim Your City,” received radio play on 102 Jamz via DJ Chino and launched Dat Dude’s music VENTURES. Since beginning his rap career, Dat Dude has opened for artists like Three 6 Mafia, Yung Joc, AND Lil Wayne. He’s now campaigning for his new single and preparing for his upcoming college tour with DJ Smallz. What songs are you pushing right now? The single I have right now is “AO” with Poetic from TREAL. The reason I came up with that song is because everybody be sayin’ “aye” in the club and here they say “ohh” being in Orlando. I feel like we’re talented and have our own movement just like them cats in the A. So it’s kinda like a reverse psychology thing. I also got a strip club anthem called “Camel Toe.” Of course that’s self-explanatory. Me and DJ Baby Lac came up with that. What are you known for mostly in Orlando? To be honest with ya, I’ve been in the streets pretty heavy doin’ my thang. I’m in a new era though. I went to school for Criminal Law. That’s how pretty much everybody knows me. They know me from sports too. I played high school and college ball. My cousin and the streets started callin’ me Dat Dude. I just kept the name. At what point did you become interested in rapping? I started throwing my own shows. I had my own artist and it didn’t work out with him. I had all these beats and stuff that I had bought so I just said, “Let me start rappin’.” I wrote my first song called “Claim Your City” and it hit 102 Jamz in like three months. DJ Chino used to always play it when he was on air. He broke it on the radio here, and that really motivated me. It was my first time writing a song and it really wasn’t too hard for me. So far, is the rap game what you expected? What I learned about the music is you got
22 | OZONE
deal with these cats tryin’ to run all over ya, ‘cause it’s all about money at the end of the day. Everybody tryin’ to make a dollar off ya and givin’ you broken promises. I learned the business of it first before I jumped in the game. I was on the road with Skull Duggery in seven different states back in ‘05. My homeboy was his main promoter so I saw it firsthand. No grind no shine. Have you put out any mixtapes yet? Yeah, I’m the first artist to do this – I got four DJs on one mixtape. I broke it down into four quarters like a football game. I got DJ Rell, DJ Headbussa, DJ Baby Lac, and Disco Jr. all on the same mixtape. I put that out a year ago. Where will you be during Florida Classic? I’ll be at Dawgman’s Ridin Big Car Show on Sunday, and at The Classic Fest at Firestone on Saturday night. Friday I’m doing the Teen Jam at Club 360. What do you want people to know about you and your music? My concepts are totally different. I have a different sound. Our problem in Orlando is we don’t have a definition of a sound. Miami and all these other areas have their own sound. So when they listen to my music they will hear a real Orange County representa. And everythang in my music is facts. It’s not made up, talkin’ ‘bout ridin’ on 30s, I got all these bricks, and all that. It’s all reality. If you ask anybody about me, they gon’ vouch for me. When it comes to keepin’ it real, that’s what I do. Everybody has respect for me.
Loochie Words by Ms Rivercity
Ft. Lauderdale rapper Loochie is making his DEBUT in the Florida rap scene. As a Self-described “feel-good rapper,” HE keeps THE state dancing with songs like his new single “She’s Perfect.” How did you get into rapping? I always loved music. I ‘ve always been a music dude. I’m an old school music lover, I like R&B and rap, so music has always been a part of my life. I’ve always been able to put rhymes together. I played around with rappin’ and I started taking it seriously when I was in high school. I started writing when I was goin’ through thangs, and I got used to writing. I started my own label called Lu-lew Entertainment about five years ago. In my spare time, I started letting people hear my music and I got a good reaction out of that, so I decided to pursue it. When you started letting people hear the music, were there any songs that they liked the most? Or did they just like the music in general? I just got good responses all together. I already knew I was good at making songs by that point, so once I heard from other people that I was pretty good, I decided to take it serious. What are some topics you cover in your music? I’m a feel-good rapper. I write about things I’ve experienced. I never talk about things I don’t have a clue about because I’m not trying to sound ignorant. My music is explaining things
I’ve done. I’ve done probably everything there is to do, so I’ve got a lot to talk about. Basically my music is just a feel-good vibe, dancing music. That’s pretty much it. Being from Ft. Lauderdale, and in the South, we like to party. We’ll spend our rent money to party. We’re very fast-paced and like to have fun so that’s the kind of music you’re gonna get outta Florida, music that makes you move. What are you promoting right now? I’m promoting my single “She’s Perfect” featuring Young Cash. It’s doing real good. And I’ve got the 4th Quarter mixtape coming soon with Bigga Rankin and DJ Bigg V. So you linked up with Young Cash for the single and Bigga Rankin for the mixtape. You seem pretty big on supporting the Florida movement and working with artists from your home state. That’s very important – if you can’t make it where you’re from, if you have to go somewhere else to make it, I don’t think you’re career is gonna last as long because you’ve always gotta come back home. You gotta have that home team and fan base behind you at home, so if nowhere else loves you, you still have home. Have you been working with anyone else? I did a song with Ace Hood called “In My Donk.” I wanna connect with a lot of these artists that have been in the game from Florida like Trick Daddy, Plies, Rick Ross. I just wanna show my respect. Once I make it I don’t want nobody to say I didn’t keep it G with my hood. Where can people check out your music? Myspace.com/Loochie75 and Twitter.com/ Loochie75.
OZONE | 23
24 | OZONE
FLORIDA CLASSIC 2009
BIG GATES // DAT DUDE dj d strong // dj nasty // dj rell drop // kevin cossom // lil boosie MIGHTY MIKE // PI BANG // PLIES POETIC // SHO BOY // WES FIF & more
DJ Slym understands that a big element of DJing is also promotions. Through his company Street Buzz Ent., DJ Slym is strengthening his impact in the Orlando market through mixtapes, club DJing, and party promo. During this year’s Florida Classic weekend you can catch him at several big events, including Dawgman’s 11th Annual Car Show. What’s new? Where have you been DJing? I DJ at Rain on Thursdays with Q45. I’m booked a few nights for the Classic weekend. I’m at a fashion show at Firestone that Thursday during the day. Friday and Saturday I’m at the after party at KOHA’s with Dawgman. Saturday I’m also at Firestone and Roxy. Sunday I’m at the car show and Sunday night I’m DJing at Antigua. When did you move back to Orlando from Palm Beach? I moved back about 4 months ago. Palm Beach is home, but for what I’m trying to do, I’m trying to do things on a bigger scale. What I’m doing would make a bigger impact in Orlando. Are you working with any artists in Orlando? I’m putting together something called The Pipeline to promote different artists to different regions. We’re gonna release a south Florida Pipeline for artists in Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade. We’re gonna be cross-promoting those artists in Orlando, helping them get a buzz up here. I’m gonna take that nationally. I have DJs placed in Mississippi, Dallas, Atlanta. We’re gonna do a Florida/Atlanta Pipeline, a Florida/Dallas Pipeline.
4 | OZONE
Words by Ms Rivercity Photo by Thomas & Adams Photography Have you put out any mixtapes recently? I’m putting out the Classic Weekend mixtape. We’re putting out 20,000 copies. We’re doing that with Frontline Promotions and Flyer Promo. Who are some of your favorite artists in Orlando? PI Bang is doing his thing. He’s really making a lot of noise. Drop is really increasing what he’s doing. Wes Fif is making noise with his single “Goin In.” He’s from Orlando but he has the song buzzing in Atlanta. KC is doing his thing with the R&B side. Armstrong had a strong movement before everybody went to jail. If we take it back to Palm Beach, G Boy is doin’ his thing. There’s a new producer out of Palm Beach named Schife. He’s working with Triple Cs. Another person to lookout for is Tay Dizm. He’s got a real good single called “Point Em Out” on the Classic mixtape. It’s a banger. How do people get in touch with you? They can contact me at Twitter.com/DJSlym or call me 561-542-8444.
DJ D-Strong has been with 102 Jamz for about 5 years. Along with his full club schedule, which includes nights at Club Firestone and Icon, among other venues, Strong also plays new music on his mixtape series Strong Radio. Where can people catch you spinning? Sunday nights I do Club Firestone. Tuesdays I’m at Cleo’s. Wednesday I do an all new night in Daytona that’s crazy at The Coliseum. Friday I do Icon. I like to keep Saturday open so I can bounce around. I’m on radio Monday through Thursday for the 8 O’clock bomb. That’s from 8pm – 9pm, and then I have my own radio show on Sunday from 3pm to 7pm on 102 Jamz. If someone comes to one of your parties what can they expect from you as a DJ? You’re gon’ have a great time. They hands are gonna be in the air, they gon’ start dancin’ and not stop all night. If they partyin’ with DJ DStrong they gonna wanna come back. There’s a big difference in DJing for radio and DJing for the club. Radio is a little more conservative. When you DJ in the club you’re able to open it up more, whether it’s a street-based club where you’ll get to hear a lot of songs you may not hear on the radio. You’ve got a lot more freedom in the club. What are the hottest new club records? For me, the biggest club record, whether it’s new or not, is Gucci Mane “Wasted” with Plies, and the remix with OJ and Wayne. Plies’“Becky” is crazy. Gucci Mane’s “I’ma Dog.” Lil Wayne’s “Steady Mobbin.” For the ladies, a crazy song right now is Beyonce’s “Sweet Dreams.” Are there any highly requested songs from local artists right now? Right now I wouldn’t say there’s a particular local song that’s highly in demand. There’s a couple local artists out there that’s on the grind and doin’ their thing, but I don’t think they’re really penetrating the market to where people are coming to the DJ booth requesting their song. You’ve been doing your DJ thing for a while. What are some things you’re most proud of in your career so far? Honestly, I’m just proud to still be here at this point. The way the music game is going, 6 | OZONE
Words by Ms Rivercity Photo by Corday Cardwell of Lution Media it’s just becoming so small. People are fallin’ off, people are disappearing – from the DJs, to the rappers, to the promoters. I’m blessed to know that I’m still relevant. I’m still here and I ain’t goin’ nowhere for now. I got a lot of things goin’ down. I’m blessed and thank God that I’m still doin’ my thang to this day and I ain’t fall off. What are your plans for the Florida Classic? My normal parties are goin’ down as usual. On the business tip, I got a couple websites I’m setting the launch date for during that weekend. I got a social networking website and my own personal website 247Strong.com. I got a couple mixtapes I’m gonna drop that weekend. I’m gonna do a big mixtape release party that Friday and Icon. And I’m doing a part 2 continuation party that Sunday at Club Firestone. Tell us about the mixtapes. I’m gonna do another D-Strong Radio Edition. I’m also thinking about dropping another mixtape catering to everybody in central Florida. I’ll probably do a joint venture with Disco J.R. It’ll have artists like TREAL, Drop, Popov, Papa Duck, and more. Other than that, I’m working on this album I’m dropping independently with distribution through Universal Records. It’s going to be under my company, S.M.G. – Strong Music Group. I’m focused on leaking the single for 1st quarter.
Words by Maurice G. Garland Photo by Diwang Valdez
8 | OZONE
To LIL Boosie right now, Trill Ent. is in his pas.t and even though Superbad just came out, it’s already ancient history. Boosie’s first step towards independence is starting his own company, Bad Azz Entertainment and from this day forth, that’s all he’s focusing on. Superbad just hit the streets and people are saying good things about it. The album did have a lot of features on it, which was odd considering we never saw that from you in the past. Really, I didn’t have a lot of features. I brought ten songs to the album with just me on there. My CEO was trying to blow his son [Lil Phat] up, and put him on my CD. [The only features] I thought were on my album was Webbie, [Young] Jeezy, Trina, and Bobby Valentino. I didn’t tell [Turk] to put [Lil Phat] on there. When I saw Phat on a quarter of my album, that was the CEO trying to blow him up. That’s what made the album look like it had more features. He’s on five songs, and I ain’t like that shit at all. I wasn’t going for a lot of features, I was going for a classic. They weakened it. Have you spoken with your CEO since this happened? We’re not talking right now. I will express it in songs they’ll hear later. I am going to express it though. Every nigga in every city is calling me asking, “Why is [Lil Phat] on so many songs?” No, I turned the album in and the CEO put that nigga on the rest of the songs.
put my son on there and get him famous. I was disappointed by that. They’re not letting me have say-so on what’s on my album. I wanted a double disc and couldn’t get that. There’s all kinds of fucked-up shit going on with me. I feel like if there was more of me on [Superbad], it would’ve been a classic. Most people fast-forward his shit and rewind my shit; it makes people have to keep fucking with the song. I like for people to let my songs ride. So that was a big-ass mistake, trying to blow your son up on my album. Some people sons have it and others don’t, like his son. [Turk’s response: Our normal practice of doing records is similar to most labels. We have tracks and artist hop on them. The artist with the hottest verse stays on the track. Three of the songs that Phat is featured on, Boosie delivered to us with his verse already on there.] But you don’t have a problem with Lil Phat himself though, right? I ain’t got no problem with lil’ buddy, they ain’t gangsta no way. My thing is, I turn an album in and you put him on all those songs like that. This is my album. They know if they called and asked me [if they could add him], I’ma say, “Shit no!” So don’t do no shit like put him on five songs. You don’t do that to me like that. You got me having listening sessions for people and I’m having to explain my CD? The rest of this interview is featured in the current issue of OZONE.
[Turk’s response: We don’t talk as often as we used to because we both have legal issues that we are working through, but [we speak] at least once a week. My business manager talks to him four or five times a day, so we are communicating. You see the album out and him working. That’s us getting it done.] If that’s true, we can see why you’re eager to start your own company. That’s why I’m focused on getting my own shit. They’re trying to blow their son up off me. I’m trying to do my thing, so this new album I’m doing, I’m turning it in straight to the people in New York so it ain’t gonna have nobody from Trill on the album but Webbie. Why would they do that to you? They might’ve thought I was doing my thing too much and figured since I got one of the biggest albums of the year coming out, let me OZONE | 9
PI Bang Words by Ms. Rivercity Photos by Colourful Money
10 | OZONE
ORLANDO-BASED RAPPER PI BANG GOT THE STREETS (AND TRAPS) OF CENTRAL FLORIDA JUMPIN’ WITH HIS NEW ZAYTOVEN-PRODUCED SINGLE, “TRAP KEEP JUMPIN’.” What’s your story? How did you end up becoming a rapper? I’ve been rappin’ since like ‘01. I first started by calling the radio station with a dude Copafeel, y’all probably know him as Malik. He was on an underground station and I used to call in and freestyle. He ended up giving me my own show and everybody liked what I was talkin’ about. I came out dissin’ everbody and shit. I’d be like, “Fuck so-and-so, fuck Smilez and Southstar.” I got my name buzzin’ in the city. I got good at [rappin’] but I just didn’t have the right record. Now I got a hit record. Why were you dissing everybody? Did you really feel that way or was it just a way to get on? I half felt that way, and I wanted to make a name for the O ‘cause wasn’t nobody doing it. I wanted to be the first person to do it. I was like, fuck everybody else. If I gotta push everyone else down to do it, then that’s what I’ma do. You said you have a hit record now. Let’s talk about the “Trap Keep Jumpin” song that Zaytoven produced. How did you link up with him? I hit him on Myspace. I had just got out of jail a few months before that, last October, and when I got out the first thing on my mind was coming up with a record and getting on the radio. I hit Zay and his people hit me back and sent me some records. The night I recorded it I went to do a show with Dawgman at Destiny. I performed that song and when Disco J.R. heard it,he was like, that’s it. I started pushin’ it, it got hot, and I did the video. You mentioned Disco J.R. and Dawgman. Who are some other people in Orlando that support you and your music? Greg G and DJ Prostyle, definitely. He’s spinnin’ the record on his mixshow on 95.3. D-Strong messes with me a little bit. The whole Disco and the City Boyz. Everybody messes with me except a few DJs. My song is getting played in almost every club every night. So you’ve been rapping for about 8 years now. Is it what you expected it would be in the beginning when you first started? Hell naw. When I first started, I thought if you was hot you would just get on, like if somebody sees you hot then they sign yo ass. But the game done changed so bad, you gotta invest a certain amount of money to even have your name
known. Otherwise you gon’ waste your time. You gotta put some money in. You gotta have a serious marketing game, you gotta have mixtapes, you gotta buy beats from producers. It’s nothin’ like I thought it was gonna be. It’s more of a challenge. Are you with an indie label? What kind of team do you have behind you? My team consists of me, really. I got my own label. I played around with a couple artist over the years, but ain’t nobody stickin’ out. They ain’t tryin’ to do what I’m tryin’ to do. They ain’t tryin’ to grind and pass they own CDs out, holla at the DJs, get on the internet. I just try to stick to myself and do my own thing. Within those 8 years of you rapping, what projects or other songs had you put out? I did a lot of big shows. I opened for a lot of artists – Boosie, Plies, Juvenile, Gucci Mane, OJ da Juiceman. I was actually throwing my own concerts and doing teen nights. That’s how I really stayed relevant. The last mixtape I put out was in late 2006 with White Boi Pizal. That did real good and that’s when my name really startin’ ringin’. I had good records, but never really had a hit song, so what kept my name relevant was shows and mixtapes. I got a mixtape coming out this month. It’s really more like an album ‘cause it’s all original beats, but it’s gonna be put together like a mixtape. Me and Sho Boy got a record coming out too called Paper Chase. We tryin’ to show each other love. We both kinda got a name in the O and got people behind us, so we’re trying to put a movement together. Are you performing during Florida Classic? I’ma be at Dawgman’s Car Show. What keeps you motivated to make music? I’m trying to turn a negative into a positive. I come from the street and ain’t nothin’ good out there. The money is good, but it ends up negative. If you put work into your music, shit will start lookin’ good. Right now I’m getting paid to do a couple shows and features. I’m just tryin’ to get out the street. I’m tryin’ to speak for the city of Orlando. We gotta support each other. I ain’t tryin’ to toot my own horn, but I’ve got the hottest record outta Orlando in a long time. If everybody supports that, then we can move a little faster. If somebody else had a hit record, I would do the same thing. If it woulda been Drop, Sho Boy, Wes Fif, any of these dudes, I would support. If somebody asks who’s the hottest in Orlando, I’m not gonna say myself, but I have a hot record. That’s the problem with Orlando, everybody wanna be a rapper, even the DJs wanna be a rapper. We need to show support for each other. OZONE | 11
Words by Ms. Rivercity Photo by Sertified Photography
12 | OZONE
Wes Fif has been BUSY since the last time he spoke with OZONE. He’s been all over the blogs with new videos, controversy with the City of Orlando, and a questionable photo with KEYSHIA COLE’S MOM Frankie. They say timing is everything, and in this case, it was the perfect opportunity for Fif to drop his new single “Goin In.” How’s life with no hair treating you since you cut off the braids? Life with no hair is good. I don’t get too many of them funny looks like I used to get. I guess I used to look like a hoodlum or somethin’. Now I look handsome and shit. I see the new song “Goin In” is doing well. Is that your official single? Yeah, despite all the other singles I’ve put out, that’s probably my first official single that we’re pulling out all the stops on. I look at all the other singles as buzz singles. This is the first one we’re putting everything behind. I’m about to go up to Power 95.3 with DJ Prostyle on his mixshow for the world premiere. He holds down everything I do, as far as Orlando radio goes. What’s your label situation looking like? Tell me about the team that holds you down. I started my label Street Smart Music earlier this year. I’ve got my management team – Nick Love and Dinero Jones – out of Atlanta, and my partna Leon Bailey in Orlando, who also runs WordOfSouth.com. I got a publicist out of Houston named Sharelle Renee. That’s my core team. I’m pretty much hands-on with everything. Between us five, we get everything done like email blasts and viral promotions. What happened with Clientell Music? Are you still working with them? That’s family right there. Dawgman is always gonna be a mentor to me. We still break bread together, but as far as the paperwork situation, as far as me being an artist with Clientell, my time with that ended last November. They still doing their thing. They got a few artists and Dawgman still got the party shit on lock. You travel back and forth between Orlando and Atlanta. How does that influence your sound or affect your business moves? In Atlanta, they’ve been on top for so long they’ve got it figured out. It enables me to move more professionally when I’m in Orlando. A lot of people in Orlando haven’t
got the opportunity to go outside of the city and see how shit operates elsewhere. As far as the music, it’s different, but it ain’t too much different. Going to Atlanta enables me to get in touch with [producers like] CNote and JUSTICE League and all that. The level of production in Atlanta is top notch. That allows me to sound different and makes my quality better. It’s more crisp and it hits harder. We haven’t had a chance to talk to you about what happened with the “Get It In Orlando” video. The media came down on you pretty hard. That was really just the media being media. I think they were bored as fuck that day. The whole purpose of the song was saying that Orlando is basically like anywhere else. Shit goes on here just like anywhere else. At one point in the song I said, “You better watch the news before you leave your hotel room.” Somehow they got the idea that I was threatening terrorism and put shit on the news like five days in a row. The FDLE had opened up a case on me. At the end of the day it was a misunderstanding on their part. We actually reached out to them to come kick it with us, ride through the hood or whatever and do an interview, of course they declined. I see you on a Twitter a lot and you’ve always had a pretty heavy internet presence. How important is that, in addition to being out in the streets? People don’t really understand, but the internet for me is like a shortcut. It doesn’t cost you as much. My last mixtape got 6,000 downloads and it didn’t cost me shit to upload it and throw the link out, versus pressing up 6,000 CDs. I tell niggas all the time, you need to find somebody who’s good with that shit, or take the time to learn about it. It’s cost effective. Nowadays you either have to have spins or have the internet on smash. You can spend 30 or 40 stacks for spins, or you can spend $1,000 for a laptop and get the internet. What else do you have going on that the people should know about? I got two mixtapes in the streets – Just Watch Me with DJ Spinatik, and I got my group mixtape called Public Enemies with my partnas Hoodlum and Ill Essence. “Goin In” is the official single. I got the “I’m Tellin Ya” video comin’. We ain’t lettin’ up. If you see me in Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, wherever, when you see me fuck wit’ me. I’m a good nigga most the time, as long as you don’t catch me in a bad mood. (laughs) Follow me on Twitter.com/WesFif. OZONE | 13
Mighty Dawgman Mike Words by Eric Perrin Photo by Terrence Tyson
FLORIDA MUSCLE 14 | OZONE
Whether he and his Clientell Family are donating 1,000 turkeys for Thanksgiving or orchestrating the some of the hottest events in Central Florida, Dawgman is the embodiment of the Florida Muscle Movement. This multi-faceted Orlando icon declares the Florida Classic as his domain, and he dares anyone who denies this claim to come forward. What is Florida Muscle in your definition? To be honest, Florida Muscle is us just doing some shit from the heart and basically givin’ it 100 and putting the game in a chokehold. Florida Muscle is a spinoff of Florida Power— OZONE did a Florida Power issue a while ago, and I was on that [cover] with DJ Khaled, but a lotta mu’fuckas ain’t authorized right now, so we changed it to Florida Muscle. It’s basically the same thing with how a lotta little bullshit ass magazines tryin’ y’all—but they ain’t got that Florida Muscle, so they can’t fuck wit’ y’all. So basically, we’re just re-defining Florida Power, because we are the creators. Print this: Dawgman Entertainment is the new Orlando. I got 90.9 backing me a hundred percent, I got some Taliban niggas that’s backing me up a hundred percent, I gotta couple of banks that’s backing me up a hundred percent, and I got OZONE backing me up a hundred percent. I’m straight. With Florida Muscle we went and got the niggas that were making the most buzz which was Mighty Mike, Bone, and Dirty G. Dirty G missed his plane so he couldn’t be here at the photo shoot, but we’re just gon’ rep for him in ink. What does the Florida Classic mean to you? The Florida Classic? We are the Florida Classic. Next question. (laughs) Okay, can you elaborate a little so people from out of town can get a better understanding? We is the Florida Classic, we do this. But shouts out to Frontline, them the only niggas that I feel put in work for the Florida Classic. The rest of these niggas, I’ll give ‘em an A for trying, but that’s about it. I’ll share the Florida Classic with Frontline, because they showed me a lotta little shit and I showed them a lotta little shit. We do the teen parties at 360. We got Club Destiny for the grown and sexy, we got DJ Nasty on Saturday, he’s bringing the whole Live from the 305 and I got all my niggas coming from the A, then on Sunday we got over 10,000 people at the riding big car show—it’s just too many
names on that roster to list. But they’ll see the ads. We’ve got the official afterparty that we’re doing with OZONE for everything that’s going down on Friday and Saturday at Club Koha, and the official after party for the Riding Big Car Show at Icons. We’re just trying to be blessed, man, and we gon’ bless the hood by doing a turkey drive for Thanksgiving. We’re giving away 1,000 turkeys! You have a good reputation around Orlando and do a lot for the city, but why is that traditionally, most promoters are looked as shady individuals? Because promoters are putting their money and their reputation on the line by bringing artists and events to the city and if one small thing goes wrong the people hold you to it, and think you’re trying to be shady. And it happens to best of us [promoters], like when Shawty Lo got sick and ain’t show up to our shit, it looked bad on us. It’s the promoters that hold on to that type of shit. But I don’t think promoters try to do it on purpose. To make a long story short, we were the first to do this type of big shit for the Classic, and we even got a movie coming out called “Ridin’ Big: The Movie.” I know you always have a lot going on, so aside from the Florida Classic events, what are you working on? Right now at DME we’re looking for talent. We looking for producers, we got the studio, we do CD and DVD duplication, we got a promotional company, and we’re doing a big dance competition called “Who’s Got It,” and that’s going to be on January 16th at the arena, it’s gon’ be big. Look out for the SEMA (Southeast Music Awards) Show, that’s coming up. And we got our own fleet of DJ’s called Clientell Party Starters Reloaded. Damn, so you’ve been pretty busy. We’re just trying to get money. Wachovia, Suntrust, and Bank of America; those are my sponsors. But I just want people to know that I’m a sincere cat that loves to give back to the community. We know we can’t save the world, but we do give back.
OZONE | 15
Dade County born Bone has been asking the world to listen to him for years, AND NOW he’s done asking. It’s time to kick down the door and take what’S HIS. Why is the Florida Classic important to your music? The Florida Classic represents a very big market and it only happens once a year. I think every artist that’s trying to get their music out needs to attend that and do a lot of promo. People are coming from all over just to attend the FAMU-Bethune Cookman classic and being that it’s in the middle of Florida, it’s easier for people from all parts of the state to attend. Do think Florida artists are finally getting the national recognition they deserve? Florida has been slept on for a long time. It’s not like we just started it, we were just slept on for a long time. Now, we ‘refinally getting recognized, but what we just gotta do is use what we got to actually get further, because really, we still ain’t getting the respect the state deserves. We just gotta really get our respect off the muscle; that’s why we named the mixtape Florida Muscle. Talk about the bats and the all-black you guys are wearing. You don’t think that’s a little intimidating for the Florida Classic? Well, black has always been perceived as a negative color, unfortunately. But that’s not always the case. Everybody wearing black could also signify unity. We could’ve all worn something different on the cover, but that wouldn’t catch your eye. If a bunch of people walk in with all black on, it’s like, “Damn.” It makes you wanna know what’s going on. It’s a statement that we’re trying to make, a strong statement—we’re here, it’s Florida Muscle. Okay, so when people see the black and wonder what’s going on with you specifically, what do you want them to know? I just want everybody to know that everything I say is real. I’m not just all about being in the club, or all about being the block, but I done been on the block, and I done been in the club, so you gon’ hear some of those songs. I also had a lot of pain. I had a lot of joy and a lot of happiness, so you gon’ hear all that in my music. I don’t want people to just assume that I’m this or that, because really you gotta listen
16 | OZONE
to it for what it is. I don’t want people to automatically label me negative, because I’m not negative like that. I done did a lot of negative things, but who didn’t? I want people to look at me for what I’m doing now, and how far I done came from that. How’d you get involved in the Florida Muscle movement? I’m from Dade County and all of us are from different places and we’re doing our own individual thing, cause we’re all bosses. We were all making noise individually, and we all knew of each other and had respect for each other. It ended up that we would always be in the same place together doing shows, so eventually we started talking about forming a powerhouse group, and that’s what we’re doing right now. Believe me, if you ain’t got the mix CD Streets Most Wanted, make sure you get that because it’s serious. It’s killin’ ‘em. How has Dade County sculpted your music? That’s where I’m from and I love it. It’s rough, but it’s also fun. A lot of people think you can’t go down there because it’s so bad, because they see The First 48, and whatnot, but if you go down there to party and have fun, you’re gonna have fun. If you go down there to be in a different realm though, yeah, you gon’ get caught up. As far as Miami relating to my aura in terms of the music, I don’t want to be too tied in to nothing. I’m not trying to be labeled as somebody who tries to follow the trend. I don’t want to do the same music as everybody else. I’m not trying to get caught in a box, I believe it’s all about being yourself, and that’s what I’m doing. Finally, tell us in your words exactly what Florida Muscle is. Florida Muscle is this: When you get tired of asking for so long, and not being answered, then you get to the point where you just gotta go ahead and get it yourself. It ain’t no asking. We done been asking, we done been trying, now we kicking the door in. We was trying to tell y’all we was hear, and y’all wasn’t listening, so now we ain’t asking for it no more. We taking it.
Sometimes looks can be deceiving; most of the time they aren’t. In Mighty Mike’s caSe, his appearance is right on. His image portrays the exact sketch of what he wants his life and music to contain: Muscle. More specifically, Florida Muscle. What does the Florida Classic mean to you and how does it pertain to your movement? First of all, Orlando is like my second home. My family’s down there and Clientell. I’ve been fuckin’ wit’ Dawgman forever; and the Classic is like one of our pressure points when you’re trying to takeover Florida. You’ve got Orlando, you got Tampa, you got Miami, Jacksonville, Tallahassee—basically any city that has a big event, and the Florida Classic is huge. We’ve been grinding, putting up posters and move CD’s in Orlando forever. During the Classic there’s gonna be like 2 million people down there so we really gotta step it up. What do you want people who are coming to visit Orlando just for the Classic to know about Mighty Mike? I just want them to know strictly that I grind. If they don’t know nothing else, know that I grind and respect the grind if you don’t respect nothing else. I got flyers everywhere, street team everywhere, and when they see that they gon’ know that Mighty Mike is in the streets. Mighty Mike is everywhere. How have you been able to build your buzz? Recently it seems you’ve been building a lot of momentum. It ain’t no play-play about my music. I hooked up with my cousin BloodRaw, BRE Entertainment, and I represent that shit, I represent the CTE shit—I’m well connected. Everybody who knows my grind knows that I’m a real cat, and that’s made people start talkin’ about my music. Right now we really buzzing in the streets and if you ain’t got that Streets Most Wanted mixtape with me and my cousin Bloodraw you’re missin’ out on a raw ass CD. Aside from the mixtape, what other projects have you been working on? I’ve been doing a lot of tracks with a lot of major artists; I did a track with Pastor Troy called “Kill ‘Em Dead,” talking about snitches and stuff. I done did a song with Lil’ Boosie talkin’ about that fire-fire. I did a song with Brisco,
and some of everybody, so basically I’m out here. Niggas know me from the streets, niggas know me from the industry, niggas know me from everywhere. I know you’ve been doing music for a minute, but how exactly did you get started in rap? I really don’t rap, I just tell you what I did in life. But basically, me and my cousin Bloodraw started this shit when we got outta prison. I gotta outta prison before him so I started the NFL Riders. Then he got outa prison after me and our dream was always to do something to get up out the hood and do better for ourselves and our family. We had a song together with Lil’ Jon, but then [Bloodraw] caught on and I started helping him out, and then Jeezy and Kinky B came and sat down with us one day at the Superbowl in Jacksonville and it just kept going from there. This shit just don’t happen overnight, you gotta be persistent. If you ain’t persistent you ain’t finna get it—and I’m a persistent cat. If you go to the library my music would be over there with the real shit, like the Malcolm X type shit. I ain’t over there wit’ Snow White and all that shit. My music is gon’ touch people. How did going to prison at the age of 15 affect your outlook on life, and how is that expressed in your music? When I went to prison at 15 it was a crazy experience, but I never let shit like that bring me down. I took it and made the best out of it. I caught 15 years and prison made me read, play a little chess, and taught me how to go in the law library and represent myself. I had to go learn the law myself to bring that shit back to they ass and get back out, because if I didn’t, I would still be trapped up in that bitch. I ended up only doing 3 and a half years and then they found out that they over-sentenced me, but that’s what they were doing to youngblack males. Clarence Foster was the Judge that was sending niggas over the guidelines. He was fuckin’ us and if you didn’t know nothing about the law you woulda been stuck up in there.
OZONE | 17
Cash Chris Words by Ms Rivercity
18 | OZONE
Cash Chris is a new name with Maybach Music. Now residing in Orlando, Chris IS originally from South Florida BUT relocated to central Florida to work on his craft. Being in a centralized location, in a city that brings out the major figures, Chris’ music eventually found its way into the hands of the right cosigners. Through DJ Nasty, Chris was given the opportunity to showcase his talents on-air and at various nightclubs, building a name worthy of the Maybach Music stamp of approval. How did you build a name for yourself in Orlando? I’m originally from Palm Beach, and I moved to Orlando in 2000. My homeboy had moved up here and he had met this producer from Miami named Da Deacon. Me and him started making music. We had a group for a couple years, then I wanted to move on to my solo project. In 2007, I met Spiff TV. At the time he was an A&R for DJ Nasty and the Nasty Beatmakers and he eventually introduced me [to them]. DJ Nasty started putting me on the 5 O’clock Traffic Jam and I would perform at his parties. I started getting a lot of attention from that. When did the situation with Maybach Music come about? Rick Ross came down for one of DJ Nasty’s parties, and Spiff TV was working closely with Rick Ross. He had me come to the radio station and I met Ross; then I saw him at the studio with Khaled, Fat Joe, and The Inkredibles. We talked after that and Ross did a feature for my song that was produced by OZ n Da Deacon. After that, he was hearing more and more of my music, and on March 15th, they aired a video on WorldHipHop saying I was signed. I didn’t even know. A month later they put down the contract and the rest is history. You have the “Duffle Bag” video out with Rick Ross. What are some other songs you’re known for? If you listen to “Duffle Bag,” you’ll hear a lot of shout outs. It’s kinda like my welcome to Maybach Music song. Prior to that, Rick Ross was featured on two of my other songs: “I Like Dat” was the first one, and “Put Em On Me” has Rick Ross doing the hook. It was produced by Natural Disaster.
Music artists you’ve collaborated with? I’ve done a song with Magazeen, he’s a reggae artist on Maybach Music. It was produced by The Inkredibles. I’m currently working on a song with Masspike Miles, an R&B singer on Maybach Music. And I did the song with Triple C’s. Are you putting out any mixtape projects? I’m working on a mixtape right now called Everybody Hates Chris. I got one out right now on DatPiff called Dirty Sexy Money hosted by DJ Slique of Block Movaz. Why are you calling your new tape Everybody Hates Chris? I’m not from Orlando, and I felt like in a lot of situations I wasn’t shown love because I’m not from a certain area. But you gotta keep going on anyway and not let that be a problem. And I call it Everybody Hates Chris because it’s catchy. Everybody’s gonna pay more attention to it. All I have to do is deliver the music. It’s interesting that you’re from South Florida, and after you moved to Central Florida, that led to you signing to a label based in South Florida. Yeah, that’s crazy. That’s the thing about Orlando, being a tourist spot and a central part of Florida, I felt that if I could started gettin’ heard here, because there’s so many tourists, my music could be taken so many other places. A lot of people from Jacksonville, Miami, Tallahassee come in and out of the city. And we’ve got a lot of schools and universities here. What else should people know about you and your story? I’ve been doin’ this for a while. This is authentic music, this isn’t a guy livin’ somebody else’s dream. I did this. When you hear the raps, this is actually my life. I done did those crimes, anything I did you can look up in public records. I’m not rappin’ things I don’t really know about. This is authentic street music. It’s not coming from a guy that was from the suburbs, I’m from a hood. I have a mother addicted to drugs and I’ve never seen my father, so my music comes from a whole different place.
Besides Ross, who are some other Maybach OZONE | 19
Sho Boy Words by Ms. Rivercity Photo by Wrap Giants
20 | OZONE
An Orange County native, Sho Boy takes pride in representing for his city. He gained local support through DJ Nasty for his song “Sip Slow” which went on to collect over 100 radio spins. Since then he and his independent label have continued putting up numbers and are now focused on producing a movie and book for the upcoming year. Tell us about your background and how you came up in your rap career. I’m still coming up and catching a buzz right now. I started writing in 2007, but you’re not a rapper until you get the deal. My grind has been impeccable, doing hand-to-hand sales. I met DJ Nasty and was able to establish a good cosign. I got over 100 spins on Clear Channel 102 Jamz. With my Haitian decent, I was already doing shows in Haiti. That was all within 12 months. What was the song that got you all those spins? It was a song called “Sip Slow” produced by David Breed. He went on to do production for Lil Boosie, Anthony Hamilton, and Young Jeezy. We’re all on the come up and it’s a blessing he did the track. It also got me on the corner store and street mixtapes that DJ Khaled does. It was a good look for me. What did you move on to after that? What came next for you? I did records, like DJ drops, for DJ D-Strong, Chino, and other guys that were coming up at the time. It kept me on the radio and kept me poppin’ on air. Soon after I caught a buzz, getting on every central Florida rapper’s features and whatnot. What made you want to start doing music in the first place? I think money is the biggest motivation on the face of this earth. Everyone moves for money, and nobody moves without money. But back in high school, I started off with my homie Big Rob making beats first. We had our own little studio and it was kinda cool. Then I started getting in the freestyle ciphers and freestyling over beats and started getting recognition. When I heard girls reciting the words, that’s when I kinda knew what was good. What really got me into it, was when I was in the cafeteria and I got $5 for one of my tapes. I went home, dubbed two more, came back, and made $10 more. It was on and poppin’ ever since.
Being from Orlando, who would you say are the pioneers in your city’s music scene? I got to give my #1 shout out to Preacher. Other than that, I’d like to say that I’m the future and I will be a forefather of Orlando rap. A lot of people migrate to the city, so most of the rappers that have made it out of Orlando aren’t really from here. I feel like I’m one of the representatives of Orlando as a forefather. What’s the significance behind your rap name? Where did it come from? Being Haitian, “sho” in Creole means “hot.” When I was younger, and still to this day, I’m a hot boy so that’s why people called me Sho Boy. Some people think it has to do with me performing, so I guess that could be the meaning too. Are you with a label? My independent label is called Swamp House. I’m backed up by big homie Kizzo. We’re doing pretty good numbers. We do move more indie sales than any other artist, period, in central Florida. What are some things you guys are working towards in the near future? Well, right now, I’ve been talking to David Geffen, he’s interested, and Warner Brothers is interested in me. There’s a movie situation we’re working on. I’m also finishing writing a book with my publishing company Norfolk. We’re on set and have the screen play of the movie finished already. My goal is to release that during the 1st or 2nd quarter. We haven’t picked the official title yet. I want to call it 100, but of course they want to go with something more commercial. What do you have going on for the Florida Classic? On Friday I’m booked at Club 57 West downtown. I’m also booked at Dawgman’s Car Show. Is there anything else you want to say? People can always check me out at Myspace. com/TheRealShoBoy. I’d also like to say this, $10k to anybody who can say who’s hotter than Sho Boy at the top of 2010. I’ll put up $10k to anybody who does it harder. I got 10 mixtapes, 6 videos, the movie, and the book. I ain’t braggin’, I’m just swaggin’.
OZONE | 21
THe grind is never ending for DJ Nasty. In addition to him and his brother LVM making up the producer group Nasty Beatmakers, DJ Nasty is also a prominent figure on 102 Jamz, at Club Roxy, Firestone, and several other venues. Alongside Khaled, Nasty manages The Runners and works with new production duo The Inkredibles. What have you been up to lately? I don’t even know where to start. As I get deeper into this music business, I’m not just DJing anymore. I’m a producer, a manager, and I got my own company. I manage producers and artists now. We been working on Khaled’s album. Me and my brother from Nasty Beatmakers did some work on Ace Hood’s album. We did a beat with Ace featuring Ludacris that we shot a video for a couple months ago. We’ve been working with Weezy for his Rebirth album. Me and Khaled manage The Runners so we’ve been working with Usher, Mario, Jeezy, Lloyd, Wayne, you name it. I’ve also got my producers in VA, The Inkredibles. Me and Khaled got ‘em on the Jay-Z album featuring Young Jeezy. What’s your radio schedule look like? You can catch me on 102 Jamz at 5 O’clock. Also catch me on Saturday night from 10 to 12 during the Classic. DJ Nasty and DJ Khaled are taking over the radio heavy. You can also catch me in the clubs. I just got back from Europe with Rick Ross. We did 5 shows in Germany and we also hit London. It’s non-stop. They don’t call us We The Best for nothin’. Who discovered The Inkredibles? My partner in crime, Spiff TV. He discovered them on Myspace. He would play me their beats all the time, and I would be busy with all types of other stuff. I’d hear it and be like, “Oh, that’s alright, it needs a little work.” He would keep playing me stuff as they were advancing. One day it caught my attention. I was like, “Damn, who is that you playing?” They sounded dope. We set up a meeting and brought them down. Then it was on. Being a producer yourself and being hands-on with music, how does that help you with the management and business side of things? When it comes to music, there’s unlimited resources out there when it comes to putting these albums together. There’s a million producers, but only the cream of the crop is getting on these projects nowadays. With me being hands on, I like to get on the project as much as I can.
22 ||OZONE A-22 //OZONE OZONE MAG
Words by Ms Rivercity
When it comes to producers I looked up to, like Timbaland, Neptunes, The Runners, and now The Inkredibles, those dudes are on another level. They do pop, R&B, rock, you name it. I take my hats off to them. They drop bangers left and right; I get in where I fit in. What are your plans for Classic weekend? It’s goin’ down in a major way. On Friday we’re doin’ Phat Friday at Roxy with Frontline Promotions. Saturday night we got The Classic Fest at Firestone – We The Best and Friends with DJ Khaled, Ace Hood, Red Rum, The Runners, The Inkredibles. It’s the family. Sunday I’ma be at the Sunday Night Shut Down at Firestone Live. I got the home team there – Disco and The City Boyz, DJ D-Strong, DJ Chino, Young City. Is there anything else you want to tell the people? Stay tuned for the new Rick Ross album – Teflon Don. We’re gonna be on there heavy. Stay tuned for the Lil Wayne album. Hopefully it’s dropping this year. I’m hearing a December date. We got a lot of greats on that album. Ludacris is droppin’ real soon – Battle of Both Sexes. Check me out in the streets heavy. If I’m not in Orlando, I might be in a country near you. Follow me on Twitter. com/DJNasty102 and Myspace.com/DJNasty.
OZONE | 23