U PL NE ST LK SON O A A R OZ CO F T CA ST TUR DE WE-40,LL, CLY E A CM MA
FIGHT THE POWER: THE FEDS vs. DJ DRAMA
THE SECOND ANNUAL
DJ ISSUE CAN’T EXPLAIN JUST WHAT ATTRACTS ME TO THIS DIRTY GAME
MIMS PIMP C BIG BOI LIL FLIP THREE 6 MAFIA RICK ROSS & CAROL CITY CARTEL SLIM THUG’s BOSS HOGG OUTLAWZ B.G.’s CHOPPER CITY BOYZ & MORE
LA L U P K C I L S ZY E E J G N U YO AW: R D O O L B &
A D US
UIDE G P I R T D ROA K HACKING P A R E T A IM US SIDEKIC SHLIST T L U E H T : LO WI ST * SCANDGAANGSTA GRILLZ & MORE * RAPQUE *
U PL NE ST LK SON O A A R OZ T COURF TDE CA S T WE 40, , CLY E- ALL CM MA
REAL, RAW, & UNCENSORED SOUTHERN RAP
FIGHT THE POWER:
THE FEDS vs. DJ DRAMA THE SECOND ANNUAL
DJ ISSUE HE T & S S O R K C I R
Y T I C L O R CA
MIMS PIMP C LIL FLIP THREE 6 MAFIA
SLIM THUG’s BOSS HOGG OUTLAWZ BIG BOI & PURPLE RIBBON B.G.’s CHOPPER CITY BOYZ YOUNG JEEZY’s USDA
L E T R CA
UIDE G P I R T D ROA K HACKING P A R E T A IM US SIDEKIC ISHLIST T L U E H T ST: * SCANDALO TA GRILLZ W ORE * RAPQUE &M * GANGS
OZONE MAG // 11
PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF // Julia Beverly CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER // N. Ali Early MUSIC EDITOR // Randy Roper FEATURES EDITOR // Eric Perrin ART DIRECTOR // Tene Gooden ADVERTISING SALES // Che’ Johnson PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR // Malik Abdul MARKETING DIRECTOR // David Muhammad LEGAL CONSULTANT // Kyle P. King, P.A. SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER // Destine Cajuste ADMINISTRATIVE // Cordice Gardner, Kisha Smith CONTRIBUTORS // Alexander Cannon, Bogan, Carlton Wade, Charlamagne the God, Chuck T, E-Feezy, Edward Hall, Felita Knight, Iisha Hillmon, Jacinta Howard, Jaro Vacek, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Jason Cordes, Jo Jo, Joey Columbo, Johnny Louis, Kamikaze, Keadron Smith, Keith Kennedy, Kenneth Brewer, K.G. Mosley, King Yella, Luis Santana, Marcus DeWayne, Matt Sonzala, Maurice G. Garland, Mercedes (Strictly Streets), Mike Sims, Ms. Rivercity, Natalia Gomez, Ray Tamarra, Rico Da Crook, Robert Gabriel, Rohit Loomba, Shannon McCollum, Spiff, Swift, Wally Sparks, Wendy Day STREET REPS // Al-My-T, B-Lord, Big Teach (Big Mouth), Bigg C, Bigg V, Black, Brian Franklin, Buggah D. Govanah (On Point), Bull, C Rola, Cedric Walker, Chill, Chilly C, Chuck T, Controller, DJ Dap, David Muhammad, Delight, Derrick the Franchise, Destine Cajuste, Dolla Bill, Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom, Ed the World Famous, Episode, General, Haziq Ali, H-Vidal, Hollywood, J Fresh, Jammin’ Jay, Janky, Joe Anthony, Judah, Kamikaze, KC, Kenneth Clark, Klarc Shepard, Kuzzo, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lil D, Lump, Marco Mall, Miguel, Mr. Lee, Music & More, Nick@Nite, Nikki Kancey, Pat Pat, PhattLipp, Pimp G, Quest, Rippy, Rob-Lo, Stax, TJ’s DJ’s, TJ Bless, Tim Brown, Trina Edwards, Vicious, Victor Walker, Voodoo, Wild Billo, Young Harlem DISTRIBUTION // Curtis Circulation, LLC SUBSCRIPTIONS // To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 to: Ozone Magazine, Inc. Attn: Subscriptions Dept 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318 Phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-350-2497 Website: www.ozonemag.com COVER CREDITS // USDA photo by Eric Johnson; Carol City Cartel photo by Julia Beverly; E-40 photo by Eric Johnson. DISCLAIMER // OZONE Magazine is published 11 times per year by OZONE Magazine, Inc. 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 2007 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.
12 // OZONE MAG
INTERVIEWS Boss Hogg Outlawz Chopper City Boyz Big Boi & C-Bone Desmond Clark Three 6 Mafia TJ Chapman Lil Flip
pg 102 pg 104 pg 98-99 pg 100 pg 66-67 pg 96 pg 56-58
FEATURES Sidekick Hackin’
Old School DJ Tribute 2nd Annual DJ Survey Release Therapy: Pimp C Entrepreneur: Miami Kaos 10 Gangsta Grillz We Want To See 10 Gangsta Grillz We Don’t Want To See Fight the Power: The RIAA vs. Mixtape DJs
pg 30 pg 80 pg 82-95 pg 64-65 pg 97 pg 26 pg 28 pg 76-79
70-73 pg A D S U pg 60-63 L E T R A C CAROL CITY
MONTHLY SECTIONSpg 38 Hustlin’ Feedback Rapquest End Zone Chin Check CD Reviews JB’s 2 Cents Industry 101 Mathematics The Elements Photo Galleries Patiently Waiting 10 Things I’m Hatin’ On
pg 14-16 pg 18-19 pg 112 pg 24 pg 108-109 pg 17 pg 32 pg 22 pg 110 pg 23-49 pg 42-52 pg 17
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org constantly containing articles with knowledge on how to stay on top of your shit. Also, since I’m originally from Baton Rouge, it’s a true pleasure checking out your extensive coverage on that region and surrounding areas. I don’t think any other major mag has covered Lil Boosie as often as OZONE has. Just wanted to show our appreciation for all your efforts. Don’t change shit about your mag, cause it ain’t broke. No need to fix that muthafucker! – E&J, email@example.com (Tallahassee, FL) You only concentrate on Jackson when you cover Mississippi, but there’s more artists in The Sipp making moves than Jackson. Hattiesburg is one of the hottest spots in The Sipp. Artists like GMB, Mizz Smurff, U2Dak and of course me, Huggie B, are making moves. I feel you need to give us just a small portion of the light and time that you give Jackson and you will see who runs The Sipp. – Huggie B, firstname.lastname@example.org (Hattiesburg, MS) Out of all the so-called Hip Hop mags out there, OZONE is one of the few mags that I still read from front to back because of the broad amount of info it provides – not only about artists, but about life and how it affects us as a whole. Continue to hustle hard and keep it true. We see your hard work and we appreciate that and support that. – Future Profit, email@example.com (Tuscaloosa, AL) Hey JB, I read your February issue’s 2 Cents. Although I do agree with your feelings and understand your article, I have to say that as a New Yorker not everyone feels that way. There is something you have to hear. I respect you and what you’re doing, and know you will understand where I’m coming from once you listen to my record “We All In The Same Game.” – Donny Goines, firstname.lastname@example.org (NYC) Regarding your March issue’s Rapquest segment on Nashville, TN: Thanks for the coverage on PacMan and the Tennessee Titans, however, the information was not correct. Adam “PacMan” Jones and Vince Young are the only Titans that have a vested interest in the music and entertainment business. PacMan’s label is called National Street League and his group is called The NSL Click, of which he is a member. Vince Young’s Next Level Entertainment has an artist named AP. – Cheryl Moss (Atlanta, GA) I subscribe to OZONE Magazine and I look forward to reading each issue for Wendy Day’s words of wisdom and advice. I agree with most of her thoughts and finally decided to voice my feelings after I read the February 2007 issue, where she wrote about structure and organization. As the sole owner of my company, structure and organization are a necessity on my plate. It seems, however, that many of the people I encounter in the music industry don’t feel the same way. Day after day, I encounter people who send “business” emails and don’t even bother to give a name or contact information. I get emails like, “Yo, what’s up ma, u need beats?” Of course it should be about their music, but presentation is a key to success as well. It’s the happy medium that most people don’t even bother to achieve. Most of the artists I encounter tell me they’re businessmen, but they don’t even take the proper steps to ensure their own future – like hiring a lawyer to review the contract for them. I’m a paralegal by trade and I tell my artists, “No one sits down and writes 20-page contracts because they have nothing else to do. Every word means something!” Real business people recognize that it takes talent, structure, and organization. – Robin Hardrick, email@example.com (Chicago, IL) JB, the writing in OZONE is sharp and I love to glance through the pictures to see who’s new in the game. You have exceptional information for up and coming artists like myself. I had to give you props after reading it. You must have a demanding career, but that’s cool because it keeps your work tight. – Ronald Pickard, firstname.lastname@example.org (West Palm Beach, FL) My business partner and I consistently read OZONE. We love how you really big up the South but still show genuine love to all other regions. With so much fucked-up shit going on in the world, it’s nice to see others who attempt a different but positive approach. Your mag is extremely informative, 14 // OZONE MAG
I love your new Rapquest section. People are starting to realize that the South has talent. That’s why the East coast is hating the South, but you’ve got some that show love to the South. And the West coast is really loving us. The way I look at it, it was the South that first put out music. – James Dillard, email@example.com OZONE’s first annual drug issue is the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard of. This is the best stuff you could come up with for Black History Month? How to cook crack? Who needs to know that shit? – Cho Boogie Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor Responds: You didn’t read it yet, huh? I’m not really the type of nigga to be writing to a magazine, but I can’t even front – that Crackhead Confessions article kinda fucked me up. My mom died on Christmas in 1989 when I was just 5 years old. She was an addict and she died from AIDS. I don’t know if it was from needles, sex, whatever. I don’t wanna know. I just know one thing: I’m a rapper and I’m ‘bout to blow and she’s not even around to see it. I just had a daughter and she’s not around to see her either. My brother has been in and out of jail his whole life. He’s 26, and her doing drugs mentally fucked him up. It fucked me up too cause I’m real slim and have constant asthma attacks and a weak immune system. I was mad when I found out the real way she died. For years I was being lied to; they told me she died of cancer. When I was 19 my sister told me the truth. I used to cry all the time but since I found out the truth – that she caused her own death – I never shed another tear. If I had money like JB, Jeezy, Luda, and the rest I would go back and help those crackheads, but why help them if they’re just gonna do what they want. Once I get my deal, I’m gonna help at least one of them change their life. If I could stop someone else from losing their mother like I did, that would be great. Please print this. – Dye-Ris, email@example.com (Miami, FL) I get so many magazines in the mail that I rarely take the time to actually read them. I got this month’s issue in the mail today, The Drug Issue, and decided to actually take the time to sit down and read it. I must admit that it’s really good. Keep up the good work. One thing I will say, though, is that the mag is getting too crowded. You have a lot going on and that’s cool, but don’t overdo it. It seems like you’re trying to pack too much info into one issue. You know the average person in Hip Hop doesn’t read THAT much. Your writers are definitely on point, though. It’s definitely one of the best issues of any magazine I’ve read in a long time. - DJ Chuck T, firstname.lastname@example.org (Charleston, SC) As a journalism major, much respect for making such a real, hood, but also good magazine. - Shamrock from the White Rapper Show, email@example.com (Atlanta, GA) JB, I don’t care what no one says about you! I got your back. I was excited to read OZONE’s December Sex Issue. You made my day. You don’t drink, smoke, do drugs, or gamble? An all natural woman – I rarely see you in
makeup either. Love it! That’s a rare jewel in this crazy entertainment industry. Continued success! - Dee Dee Cocheta-Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org (Atlanta, GA) The February issue with the UGK cover was a great issue! That Killer Mike interview, the one with Freekey Zekey, and the joint with Nas were easily some of the best interviews I’ve read in a long, long time. - Haziq Ali, email@example.com (Atlanta, GA) Killer Mike’s Throwback Review of Eazy Duz It was the most thorough shit ever. If real “record reviewers” would be this thorough in listening to every detail of an album, the music world would be soooooo much better and then artists would be more inclined to make respectable albums that have more than 2 weeks of listenability. I know that if I submitted an album to a magazine that was gonna completely strip it down to every last detail before giving it a review, it would make me be on my “A game” all day. Then again, I don’t rap, so at the end of the day what do I know? The record review section is what used to make The Source one of the most respected mags in Hip Hop history because they had people on their staff that knew what the fuck they were listening for. Knowledge of dope rhymes and dope ass music down to knowing what samples were used or replayed over with live instrumentation, to the type of skillful scratches done, etc. Once “that rapper dude” took over you could immediately tell that the new staff didn’t really care as much about the attention to detail and in turn, it seemed like that’s when certain artists started not to care about quality control as well. Please continue on the path that you’re headed in. I’ve loved your mag for years, from back when it was just an Orlando thang. – DJ Jaycee, firstname.lastname@example.org (Atlanta, GA) I just got the March issue and you killed it on this one. You finally put a realass artist on your cover. Young Buck is the muthafuckin’ truth, period. I’ve been feelin’ him since Buck and Tay. A girl I know went to school in Nashville and got me into it like five or six years ago. All the other articles, like robbin’ the stash house, brings back memories of high school! - Adam Murphy, email@example.com (St. Louis, MO) I can’t believe you haven’t had an article about X-Mob yet. I’m very disappointed. Your magazine is quite impressive when it comes to the South but y’all are slippin’ right now. They make a great story. They’ve worked with all the majors in the South. They’re really Louisiana’s underground kings and they just inked a deal with Pimp C’s UGK Records. - Oteder Foster, firstname.lastname@example.org (Louisiana) I was reading the new OZONE Magazine while I was at the radio station last night and I noticed Judy Jones had a Cincinnati section in the RapQuest article. I see she mentioned Hi-Tek and Tocka which is cool, but the talent in Cincinnati doesn’t stop there. I’m out here in the streets with these artists every day so I just want to set the record straight and represent the city to the fullest. I don’t understand how she could mention Tocka without mentioning his Garnett Entertainment labelmates Showtime and Cross. OZONE has also done articles on LocDown Records’ Big Neil and Aristakrat Records’ K-Riley, who currently has a remix of his first single “Dat Boi Cold.” It originally featured Gucci Mane and now features Jim Jones and is currently being played in 33 radio markets and on BET. If you wanna talk about mixtapes, yes, Tocka had a hot-ass mixtape, but so did K-Riley. As far as up and comers, we’ve got Beat Gang, Bad Newz Barnes, Kidd Corleone, Evil Eye, the twins Split Image, and a young artist named Means. We got a movement here and I need everybody to know that. It’s been hard and we’re just now beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. – The Mighty Joe Young, email@example.com (Cincinnati, OH) Kentucky was overlooked again in your RapQuest article. Even though we’re the most slept-on state in the music industry, we’ve still found our way into the music scene with heavyweights like Static, the Nappy roots, G-Mack, and Native. Many other rappers are stepping into the ring too, like Hurricane, Kommittee, B Simm, KD, and many others. It took a little instigating and B96.5 FM’s DJ E-Feezy and DJ Q to get some local talent exposed. Louisville has been patiently waiting for our turn to shine, but somehow everyone’s radar is off. We have had pioneers in then game like Underground Mafia, Kool Daddy Fresh by way of Cashville, Hugg Bizza and Father Jah holding us down for years, but just like our native son Muhammad Ali, we will make you respect us. – Divine Da Instagata, firstname.lastname@example.org (Louisville, KY) 16 // OZONE MAG
The March issue is crazy! As soon as I saw the cover I had to read the whole magazine from front to back. Crackhead Confessions was definitely eyecatching. I can’t believe you went “crackhead hunting” either. I knew from jump that this issue was going to be a classic. I notice you’ve changed the layout a little and added a few new sections. I love RapQuest; that’s genius. Wendy Day’s article was informative, and the 20 Reasons Why Weed Should Be Legal section was entertaining. I have to disagree, though. You can’t pass an Accounting test high off some Kush. It’s a drug – get over it. Killer Mike’s “How to Rob a Stash House” was dope and the principles can be applied to many different ventures. Big shout out to Kevin Black in your Industry 101 section! I don’t have anything to say about Carlos Cartel, who has real pictures of dudes in caskets on his ad. That’s a real headbussa. That was a good move for Jeezy, motivating the thugs with his essay contest. I read the Under The Influence section, and I’m glad you put the DOWNside last. A lot of these young dudes might have tried some of those drugs out of stupidity if you hadn’t. As far as Ricky Ross the dealer vs. Rick Ross the rapper, I’m with the rapper. He taught us to be successful with our grind. The other dude taught us to slang to agents and go to jail. Reppin’ The Bay was a good look too. - Derrick Francis, email@example.com (Virginia Beach, VA)
Corrections: The photo of Dwayne Wade and Jacki-O that appeared in our Super Bowl special edition was not taken at Coco’s in Ft. Lauderdale. Also, we neglected to credit Ralph Rivera for his photo of Pitbull that appeared on the cover of our Super Bowl special edition.
jb’s 2cents A
dmittedly, OZONE has engaged in its share of controversy during our five years of existence. Hey, we did what we had to do to get noticed. But you can’t deny that we also backed it up with consistently good material. Good interviews, good pics, good concepts. We’ve got flavor; attitude. It’s what sets us apart from the million other publications out there.
10 Things I’m Hatin’ On By Roland “Lil Duval” Powell
Yeah, we’ve highlighted some of the more interesting beefs over the last few years. I went through a number of obstacles – sneaking into big shows with a camera, my specialty – to bring you the nowclassic shot of TI holding up the picture of Flip in the leprechaun suit when he dissed Flip at the Birthday Bash in ATL. I filmed that clip of the Orlando police officer throwing Lil Scrappy off the stage in his early days that you’ve probably seen on the Beef DVD (that officer, who happens to be Smilez of Smilez & Southstar’s brother, hates me to this day, by the way). And those infamous voicemails I got – well, never mind. And yeah, I’ve put people on blast myself. I’ve ended a few careers – but every one of them deserved it. And I’ll continue to do it, because my bluntness is the reason you read this column.
Disclaimer: This is really what everybody else is sayin’. I know I’m dead wrong, but I’m hating anyway.
01 // PEOPLE BITING MY NIGGA JIM JONES Is it just me, or does everyone you see in the club now try to look like Jim Jones? Gotdamn, black people are followers. 02 // MOHAWKS This shit makes some of you niggas look like dykes. 03 // VH1’s I Love New York Speaking of gay, I’m convinced that everyone on that show is gay except the cracker, and he’ll probably let someone stick their finger up his ass if New York tells him to. 04 // UGLY BITCHES Have you ever fucked a bitch so ugly that when you nut you feel the same way you feel after you jack off? 05 // REAL ESTATE AGENTS If one more person comes up to me telling me they sell houses, I’m gonna snap. Stop believing what a nigga tells you. You ain’t gonna get rich just cause you got your real estate license. Getting a real estate license is as easy as getting a Kroger Plus card now. 06 // NIGGAS LIVING FOR EVENTS Stop revolving your life around events. People were planning six months in advance for Super Bowl and All Star weekends, which is the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard. Think about it: does it really make sense? Save up damn near a whole year for three days, then come back home and start over. Boy, these crackers got us right where they want us. 07 // MYSPACE Please change your password at least once a month, cause I’m tired of y’all letting these people get in your account and putting these bullshit-ass comments on my page about tracking everyone or the iPhone.
Ballin’ with Jim Jones in MIA...
With Rich Boy, Spider Loc, & Young Buck in ATL...
JB, DB, & our Blackberries
Pimp C, me, & Big Gipp
08 // ANNA NICOLE SMITH This bitch thought if she killed herself she would get more attention. Hey, it worked! 09 // THE MOVIE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS This was one of the longest, most depressing movies I’ve ever seen, and what pissed me off is how they ended it. They didn’t show the man balling or nothing after he got the job. 10 // COMEDIANS A lot of comedians have been hating on ya boy, and I have one thing to say to all of them: It’s too late! You should’ve hated four years ago. LOL @ you broke ass niggas. www.myspace.com/rolandpowell
So call me an instigator if you will, but lately it’s come to my attention that I also have a skill for getting stubborn alpha males to deal with their problems in more productive ways, like actually speaking to one another. Most rap beefs are either publicity stunts or the results of Ego + Entourage. Take Rick Ross and Trick Daddy, for example, the biggest beef bubbling under the surface that neither has publicly admitted yet. What is it ultimately based on? Nothing, as far as I can tell. Some ego bullshit. DJ Khaled’s “Born & Raised” is a classic Miami anthem and one of my personal favorite songs that dropped last year. Rick, Trick, and Pit each killed their verse, and because of some silly shit, we as music lovers might never have one of those moments again. In Vegas I witnessed another classic moment as Young Buck and The Game stared each other down across a crowded club. Although the incident ended without violence thanks to a few dozen police and security guards, it could’ve easily gone the other way. If it was just the two of them – minus the entourages – the situation could probably be defused. Without the pressure to make a public statement and “keep it real,” two reasonable adult males could probably come to the conclusion that at the end of the day it’s really not that serious. Biggie and ‘Pac, anyone? Remember the little diss records Chingy and Nelly had thrown at each other? No? Me neither, but anyway, they’re friends again and performed together in Vegas during All Star weekend. We’re still not sure what Mike Jones and Chamillionaire were “beefing” about, but they took a picture together (check the photo galleries) so apparently things are squashed. Baby and B.G. settled their differences after the untimely death of Baby’s sister. The CORE DJs boycott of Young Buck only lasted a week. See? We can all just get along. I try not to brag on myself, but based on what other people tell me, I’m one of the few respected females in this testosterone-fueled industry. So, I feel it’s my duty to offer my mediation services to these silly boys. Occasionally, there’s legit beef. But most of it is based on nothing, and if the two of you will just fucking talk to each other and express your feelings (it’s not masculine, I know) maybe you can make some money together. And that’s really what it’s about, right? So, Rick & Trick, whenever you’re ready to share a blunt, I’ll be more than willing to set it up. I don’t know Game personally but hey, holla at me if you wanna make nice with Young Buck. Is this naïve? Maybe, but at least it sounds good. As for the females, well, yeah, we’re even worse. We hate each other more than men do. Jacki-O vs. Foxy Brown? Khia vs. Every Other Female Rapper? I will take all of your pictures and put them in the photo gallery so you can get some pub, but that’s where it ends. Y’all are on your own, sorry.
making Kenny famous
- Julia Beverly, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diddy f/ Keyshia Cole “Last Night” DJ Khaled, Akon, TI, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Baby, Lil Wayne “We Takin’ Over” David Banner f/ Akon, Lil Wayne, & Snoop Dogg “9 MM” Lil Scrappy f/ E-40 & Sean Paul “Oh Yeah” Baby Boy f/ P Town & Lil Boosie “The Way I Live” Diddy f/ Timbaland, Twista & Shawnna “Diddy Rock” Chamillionaire f/ Kelis “Not A Criminal” Blast f/ Akon “Look Me In My Eyes”
jb’splaylist Young Buck “Get Buck” B.O.B. “Daddy” Trick Daddy “Born A Thug” Young Dro “We Lied” Trick Daddy “Lights Off” OZONE MAG // 17
T S E U Q RAP
NEMA ’ t JB@OZO N a I P P U P S U O E WHANOTT’SREPPRESENTED AT ALL, HIT E S O T S T E R E INDIANAPOLIS, IN: S THECSITTYRIS MISREPRESENTED, O T I H E N It’s been another cold month in the Nappy City, but the Colts winning the Super Bowl brought O Z R O U O Y T A H LT E IF YOU FE
some heat. We also had two blazing shows back to back: 8Ball & MJG and Rick Ross. The city jumped behind DJ B-Nasty and DJ Black as they headed to Tunica for the SEAs, where they both were nominated for awards. Female artist Cold Hearted’s new single “On Point” is catching on heavy in the streets. - Lucky The Promo King (email@example.com)
Nashville is the place where DJs are scared to break records and are too cheap to pay $40/mo for one of the states largest record pools! Clubs can’t last longer than six months and lazy police despise urban nightlife, while local promoters pimp the clubs because they value a fast buck over someone’s life. Local artists are putting out more mixtapes than DJs and Playboy finally dropped his CD. But the streets are really talking about Jellyroll’s $1k freestyle challenge to anyone in the South who wants some at the annual Southern Entertainment Awards. - Janiro (Janiro@southernentawards.com)
Memphis made its mark at the Southern Entertainment Awards, with winners such as E-Feezy for Radio DJ, Nakia Shine for Independent Rap Artist, and www.memphisrap.com for Website of the Year. The Memphis-Nashville connect seems to be building even stronger this year; it’s been growing ever since Young Buck got with Three 6 Mafia for “Stay Fly.” Yo Gotti signed All Star and DJ Whitey (winner of Best Intro on a Mixtape) teamed up with J. Sin of Memphis to bring some definite Tennessee heat.
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX:
The streets tune in every Saturday night for the Dirty South Block Party show with BoBo Luciano & ‘Em on KNON 89.3 FM. Cowboy’s In My City DVD causes a lot of controversy! Metro Muzik, the A-Teem and Victory Entertainment provides Dallas artists really the only chance to perform and be seen while DJ Wildhairr & JT do the same for Arlington and Forth Worth. This hoe ass bouncer jacked me for my good at the door of club Unknown. Money Waters is set to conquer SXSW. Why do artists in DFW have no idea who DJ Snake is? Stay strong Bo-Leg and Twisted Black! - Edward “Pookie” Hall (www.urbansouth.us@ gmail.com)
First off, congratulations to DJ Dutty Laundry for winning the award for Best Exclusives on a Mixtape at the 2007 - Deanna Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) Southern Entertainment Awards. First Fridays have been going strong with recent performances by Gucci Mane and Project Pat. Jim Jones, The Alliance, and Fabo are scheduled to perform in the Scenic City in the upcoming weeks. On the upscale front, Harlem Entertainment’s Cosmopolitan Satudaze continues to be the go-to event each month. WJTT has some big events scheduled, including their Black History Month Step Show with Lil Scrappy. Wally Sparks (yours truly) linked up with Knoxville’s Mr. Mack for his street album 865: Welcome to Bloxville, which features Chattanooga native D. Cooley, Yo Gotti, All Star, and the best talent from the Knoxville area. – DJ Wally Sparks (DJWallySparks05@aol.com)
Boo shot the video for his single “Make It Rain” with Jazze Pha, and despite the rumors, he is still signed to J Records. They’re really sleeping on him. BlockWear is still king of the streets in 2007. Young Tut is the new teenage heartthrob with his hit single “Sidewalk.” David Banner hit the big screen beside Samuel L. Jackson in Black Snake Moan for his acting debut. Mississippi native Deuce McAllister helped the New Orleans Saints make history. Hoopz will be bringing her Flavor of Love to Jackson when she kicks off Freelon’s 2007 Spring Break weekend in March, and OZONE will be there to make it official! - Tambra Cherie (email@example.com) & Stax (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Preparations for this year’s Hip Hop portion of South By South West are being finalized, while the 10th year anniversary of TheScrewShop.com will be celebrated at SXSW on Saturday, March 17 with its own Hip Hop showcase. Salih and Tomar Williams of Carnival Beats are putting the finishing touches on their production for upcoming albums from Mike Jones and Chingo Bling. DJ Rapid Ric just launched his new MixtapeMechanic.com website. Nina Ross Records dropped 02 Block Edition, featuring Austin’s own Gerald G, Pimpin’ Pen, K-Paul, Ryno, Black Meezy and more. DJ Bounz is holding it down every Wednesday and Thursday night downtown at Canvas.
BAY ST. LOUIS, MS:
Deliyteful & CrossRoads Entertainment linked up G’NO with Select-O-Hits. DJ Deliyte is hosting the DJ Summit for Mississippi street, club and radio jocks. Nels Sports Bar & Lounge kicked off Season Two of the Thursday Night Comedy in BSL. The Boiler Room in Gulfport hosts Mr. Wipe Me Down himself, Foxx of Trill Entertainment. Mardi Gras in the ‘Sipp is hot! On Fat Tuesday, the Krewe Of Real People hits the streets. - DJ Deliyte (email@example.com)
- O.G. of Luxury Mindz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Young Dro and a few others put on a bustin’ show, but the crowd was empty because we get burned so often by artists and promoters! Miz Smurff returned from the SEAs with a trophy for Female Mixtape Artist of the Year. The Movement Tour is about to kick off, featuring U2DK, GBC Camp, GMB, Underground Society, Miz Smurff, and more. DJ Sweat has given the Pinebelt a new place to boogie: Tha Park! Preparations for the annual USM Que/Delta week have begun. If you don’t know, Google it! - DJ Big Brd (email@example.com)
18 // OZONE MAG
Aristakrat Records’ K-Riley dropped a track so hot that WIZF 100.9 couldn’t deny it: “That Boi Cold,” featuring Jim Jones and Gucci Mane. The new smoking ban in Cincinnati means no smoking in public places: no tweed, no trees, and no Marlboros. It’s so serious they’re even going after the restaurants with wood-burning stoves. I bet Cracker Barrel won’t get a citation. Cincinnati police and the Crime Stoppers have teamed up to start playing their own game of Wheel of Fortune. They got the most wanted faces on the wheel – they spin it and that’s who they’ll go after this month. Damn it man, them boys cold. - Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com)
D.C.’s rap fate is starting to emulate Chicago’s. Both cities are deep in the streets but it’s the nerd rappers that generate enough noise to break their city out of the rap depression. Twista aside, Chicago broke off of the not-so-gangsta offerings of Common, Kanye and Lupe. The District seems to be following a similar trend behind industry favorites Tabi Bonney and Wale. That’s cool, but the streets are salivating for niggas like One Way, rumored to be in talks with Warmer Bros., Kingpin Slim, a former Source Unsigned Hype held up by a recent weapons charge, and Black Flag, anchored by Chink Santana, to get on. – Pharoh Talib (Ptalib@gmail.com)
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA:
Scandalez hit 106th & Park and repped for VA in a major way! O.V.A. is prepping the streets for his new single “Arm & Hammer.” Fam-Lay is still on the grind and waiting for Interscope Records to start pushing his project. Club Miami, which was closed after a Jim Jones concert ended with SWAT teams being called in and several people shot, reopened as the Aqua Lounge. – Derrick Tha Franchise (Trax4Profit@hotmail.com)
RALEIGH, NC: MONTGOMERY, AL:
While I was getting a pedicure, I hustled somebody’s baby mama into telling me that the Small Tyme Ballaz aren’t together anymore. Small Tyme denied it, but look at the Dirty Boyz – they’re still “together” too, but it’s funny how Big Pimp just dropped a solo album. It’s fire, but what’s really going on? Somebody tell Jim Jones that up North ain’t the only place “BALLLLLLLIN’,” but we do like to get our money’s worth. He should’ve kept the fucked-up attitude and given a better show!
Twin cannons Ike & Shyst, otherwise known as “The Country City Boyz,” have started the year with a bang. Their joint “Supa Star” featuring Freekey Zekey of the DipSet is bangin’ in the 919 and the surrounding areas. Other hot joints in the streets come from Fayetteville’s J-Khrist, Raleigh’s Cab Life, and Durham’s The Presidents. - Big K (firstname.lastname@example.org)
South Carolina’ s DJ Chuck T and DJ B-Lord each took home a couple awards at the SEAs, and Hot 103.9 WHXT won radio station of the year. Columbia’s nightlife has seen a couple changes, with Club 3000 opening on Two Notch Road and Club Elements lowering their age requirements to 23 for women and 25 for men. Of course, Club Evolutions is still packed on Fridays and Saturdays. You can find local artists like Collard Greens and Lil Ru at any of these spots on any given weekend, but you’re most likely to find them at Liquids making it rain.
- Hot Girl Maximum (email@example.com)
Palm Beach’s Pupp graced our city with his birthday bash, with the first live performance from Plies since FAMU homecoming. Diddy Bo from nearby Quincy made the final cut for Diddy’s newest “Making the Band.” Speaking of making the band, FAMU’s World Famous Marching 100 performed with Prince at the Super Bowl in Miami during halftime. TJ’s DJ’s Quarterly Tastemakers Pool Meeting was off the chain as usual – the highlight of the night was a live performance by hometown representative T-Pain and his brand new single “Buy You A Drink,” featuring Yung Joc, who was also in the house with Boyz N Da Hood. - DJ Dap (DJDapOnline@gmail.com)
DME front man Wes Fif dropped one of the most anticipated mixtapes of 2007 with Real Nigga Radio’s slick talker Bigga Rankin called Direct Connect. After gaining a buzz in the Tampa Bay area, “The Smoothest Mouth of the South” Sean Simp joined the battle to be on top of Orlando. Orlando native Grandaddy Souf, who has now relocated to Atlanta, released his new single “Keep ‘Em Comin’ Back.” Since Orlando is considered the mecca of boy bands, Vh1 chose Orlando to be the location for their new show where “Surreal Life” meets “Making the Band,” led by super-producer Bryan-Michael Cox. DJ Nasty, who’s been moonlighting as a producer along with his brother LVM, landed the first single on Lil Wayne’s new album.
- Rob Lo (RobLoPromo@aol.com)
DJ Chuck-T repped Chucktown properly by winning the prestigious Impact DJ of The Year and Best Rap Mixtape at the 2007 Southern Entertainment Awards. Chuck T also prepares to continue the Down South Slangin Carolina Kings Edition Series with a new installment on Chucktown’s favorite rapper, Marley Marl. Local police continue to show prejudice and racist behavior by putting pressure on popular strip club Badabing to close down, after a fatal shooting occurred in the parking lot this past January. Needless to say, McDonald’s and the Northwoods Mall weren’t shut down after similar incidents. The Weekend Pub in Goose Creek continues to build a buzz as the new hot spot in the Chuck with the help of promotions company Lavish Entertainment. - DJ B-Lord (BLordDJ@aol.com)
Believe it! It was a sad day for local Hip Hop when Hot 105.7 changed to a Latino format. Derrick Washington changed the Quarterly Upstart Record Pool Meeting format to an Industry Mixer & Showcase. Bigga Rankin’s annual Ghetto Grammys was more exciting than the real Grammys. Charm is holding down Duval in New York; she’s doing big things along with Dot 1 who released a new EP this month. The Duval Boyz’ “Stay Fresh” and Dirt Digg’s “Block Bleeders,” featuring Paul Wall, are bangin’ in the streets, along with Shot Out’s new album Nice Guys Finish Last. - Ms. Rivercity (www.myspace.com/msrivercity)
- Destine Cajuste (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wild 98.7’s freak, Orlando, is officially off the market and is now a married freak! Blazin’ Entertainment and All Or Nothing Inc are taking over the upscale party scene by making sure they bring hot artists to their spots. A $263,574 necklace was stolen from Sam’s Club, so be on the lookout for a bangin’ chain at a club near you! Black Reign is a crowd favorite, but R&B singer D.Wyte was victorious at the Bay Area Haps Artist Showdown! - Mz T-Rock (email@example.com)
Comedian Mike Epps busted his ass on a scooter in front of a crowd on South Beach. Dwayne Wade celebrated his 25th birthday by throwing a private party on the 55th floor downtown where his “invite only” guests had to buy their own drinks! DJ Irie got his own limited edition Adidas sneaker! Trick Daddy caught some bootleggers in front of a Walgreens selling his CD, so he called the cops. When the dispatcher asked for his first and last name, his answer was, “Trick – Daddy!” There is a newsletter circulating in the streets called “The Truth About Diamonds [Strip Club]” naming the strippers who allegedly have the funk, the owner who has a “sickly dickly,” and everything else! Yuck! - Supa Cindy (Supaisaqueen@gmail.com)
OZONE MAG // 19
ifteen years ago, I was making a shitload of money in corporate America. But I wasn’t happy. In fact, I was miserable. I only had people around me whose only goal was to get something from me. Getting up in the morning and going to work was a daily fight with myself. Everyday I showed up a little bit later and left the office a little bit earlier. Sunday nights were the worst! I’d stay up as late as I possibly could because I dreaded the start of a new work week. I was miserable. I was spending my money faster than it was coming in, trying to placate myself into being happy. Some of you are probably reading this thinking about how familiar it sounds to your current situation. I was reminded of this as I sat in an office last month with one of my favorite people in the world. He was venting, and was a bit frustrated because he makes decent money, but wanted a less stressful life and to be happy. When pressed to make a list of the things that make him happy, just like me those many years ago, he couldn’t find one thing to mention that really made him happy. This made me sad because I love him so much as a person and I want him to be happy. Fifteen years ago this month, I started Rap Coalition. It was a tremendous risk and I had to put up half a million dollars of my own money to get started, knowing that I could very easily lose it all. I didn’t care and went for it! I have been happy almost every day since, regardless of the kind of day I’m having, regardless of whether I get paid or not, and regardless of how many hours I work each day (and I work mostly 16 hour days, 7 days a week). But I love what I do, so it doesn’t matter. I remember those unhappier days in corporate America, and I am thankful I am doing something that makes me happy. I was riding through Montgomery, AL in September with T Long, a New York Yankee who just started a rap record label. He looked over at me and smiled the biggest grin I’ve ever seen. He said he was very happy. I smiled back and replied that I was happy too. I pointed out how lucky we both were to be doing what we loved, what we were passionate about. Most people work their entire lives in a bad 9 to 5 job that they hate, and never get to experience their passion in life. Here’s a guy who works about 4 hours a day, for about half of the year, and makes millions of dollars. But, as he pointed out, those hours that belong to the Yankees, REALLY belong to the Yankees. Nothing creeps into his mind when he’s on their time - no fights with his wife, no issues with his kids, no record label challenges, nothing. Is there anyone who wouldn’t envy his life? What got T Long where he is, is passion. What has gotten me to where I am today is passion. Passion is the undeniable love for someone or something that keeps you getting back up every time you get knocked down. Passion is the driving force that keeps you focused and on track when the odds seem insurmountable. Passion is what keeps you going day after day even though it’s hard, and regardless of whether the money comes or not. And if you don’t have passion for what you are doing, it’s hard to compete for any duration, because those who do have passion will be able to work longer, harder, and smarter than you. You can’t force passion. Either you have it for something or you don’t. It’s better to find something that makes you passionate and to pursue it, because it’s impossible to pick something randomly and then find the passion for it. Last Fall, Nas put out an album called Hip Hop Is Dead. I think what he was trying to say was that Hip Hop lacks passion. So many folks jumped into the music business because they saw it as the new drug game: a legal hustle that brought a high rate of return for a relatively small investment. The risk 22 // OZONE MAG
byWendyDayof the RapCoalition
of failure was kind of high, but if and when you hit big, you hit REALLY big. The urban music industry used to be run by people who were passionate about the music, cared about the sound of their records, and felt that if the artist wasn’t saying something important that it had no value. Then the industry changed in the mid-90s, and the drug trade encroached into the business bringing deep pockets and lyrics that they wanted to hear: more superficial, entertaining lines (about partying, sex, spending loot, etc). The problem with the industry becoming fueled by money is that the passion began to wane. Why is passion so important? Money is a good thing. The love of money is even okay. But being a slave to money is never good. If you can be controlled by money, you are a whore in the rawest sense. People who are controlled by money will do ridiculous things just to get some - things they may even swear that they’d never, ever do, until confronted with the opportunity. Would YOU sell your soul for money? Since time began, there has been a conflict of art versus commerce. Do we make music that we believe in and are proud of, or do we make music that will sell to the masses? Is music an art form or a business? Very few people have succeeded at both. The Fugees did it in the late 90s. They made music that was classic, artistic, and that sold millions and millions of CDs. Is “Laffy Taffy” art? I have a close friend in Detroit who owns a record label. He makes music that he feels good about. When his artists make a song, he’s trying to create a classic. He’s not just trying to make a hit record that will be hot in the club for the next 6 months, or that will get into regular rotation at radio. I know another rapper who is specifically trying to make a song that will blow up at radio the way Biggie’s “Hypnotize” did. He wants fame and money. His hope is to have a huge song and then capitalize on it by doing endorsement deals for products and commercials. He’s thinking that maybe he can even get into TV and film through the fame his song creates. To him, Hip Hop is a business, not an art form. He’s not trying to positively impact the culture, he’s trying to feed his kids. Neither of my friends are wrong, they just have different visions. In the 1980s, when rap first became commercial, no one was thinking about the money. It was exciting because it was a new art form and there were very few rules. The main rule was “don’t sell out.” Others, who were willing to “sell out,” stepped in and made all of the money. Today, the main rule seem to be capitalize and maximize all opportunities while retaining as much control and ownership as possible. Is that so wrong? The flip side to that is to allow someone else to pimp the culture and get rich off of something they don’t give a fuck about (hence the 1980s and 90s in rap music). And where does passion figure into all of this? Can someone truly be happy making music that is disposable, just so they can earn enough money to buy a summer home in the Hamptons? Can they hold their heads high when their little children are singing along with some mindless dribble that won’t matter to anyone a year from now? Or is the goal to put those kids through private school, by any means necessary, and selling music is really just a job after all? I don’t have the answer to this one. But I do know one thing: without being happy, there is no point. Money buys a lot of shit, but it can’t buy happiness. But for many it sure does buy a lot of distractions to keep you from realizing that. Without passion, we can’t go as hard as we need to in order to succeed. Passion is the driving force that leads to happiness. Without it, I may as well just be selling shoes or Carpet Fresh. I, for one, am thankful to have found my passion. It makes getting up in the morning very easy. And I remember vividly those days when it was not. (PS- Thank you, Michael, for reminding me, again, what real passion is).
// x (Miami, FL) 03 ake It Rain” remi Young Buck’s ‘Get “M e’s Jo t Fa of of t t C-Rod on the se Zak, & Willie the Kid on the se i, DJ Mixer (Miam e i, FL) 02 // TI & y XL, C-Dog, Big E’s Super Bowl wl party (Miam Th ne Bo ON r Mo OZ pe a @ Su Sh N , y’s bon dd Ro nn les Wakeley @ Di Ca DJ ar r n & fo Ch e Do & GQ ac a, aw DJ Sp am // dR @ Dr l 06 o, FL) 09 // Bloo z @ OZONE’s rdson, & DJ Idea ’s Ball (Memphis, TN) 04 // DJ e It Rain’ remix (Miami, FL) nt nd ha Fe rla & Ric (O y, s ey Bo nd nc ge un Ya Le er ” Bosse, Suth Chopper” 01 // Hen-Roc, of Fat Joe’s ‘Mak rner, J-Dawg, & G-Money @ Plush for Trapp Teach, Carl “Che the set of “My und on the set Ron Stewart @ wgman, Chris Tu Chopper” (Miami, FL) 11 // Big ) 13 // Joe Hound & C-Ride on in” remix (Miami, FL) 16 unner & Joe Ho DJ Infamous & Da tR // ee 08 Str ) // LA , 05 Ra y FL ns “M GA) ee, e It Orlea Buck’ (Atlanta, t of Joe Hound’s on for Demp Week (Tallahass e on the set of Fat Joe’s “Mak afterparty (Miami, FL) 18 // a @ Q93 (New Hussle & Monic Mo Mecca on the se Trina, & Fat Jo nta, GA) E’s Super Bowl e, ON FL) 07 // Grand (Tallahassee, FL) 10 // Cool & y, Young Cash, & guest @ The Ac OZ // r fo 15 e ) Liv FL day party (Atla iami, ke ’s Da Hood @ Sobe Compound for R Kelly’s birth YC) - Rico N (N yz Moon for TJ’s DJ r (Miami, FL) 12 // Freekey Ze ONE’s Super Bowl DJ Mixer (M n’ Bo nn // lli lll 17 aa @ Mixe s (Atlanta, GA) nes literally ba & Young Jeezy Jonsin @ OZ dio Jo ck Jim Stu Bu & Jim ia g l Super Bowl DJ // on un rte 22 nk Yo Ca ) y // // Carol Cit rk Gable @ Sta nta, GA) 19 arty (Miami, FL (Miami, FL) 14 z, P Stonez, & Da Young Buck’s “Get Buck” (Atla r OZONE’s Super Bowl afterp park, Los Vega Live fo e set of be th So on t @ // Rich, Mr Colli ee is ok (22); Spiff sh Str Zak, & Greg ng Joc & Deeli 8,12); Rico da Cro Don Cannon, Big ted R @ Sirius (NYC) 21 // Yu ; Malik Abdul (0 7) (0 e yn Wa Ra De & s 20 // DJ Nasty 8,19,21); Marcu 6,11,14,15,17,1 (01,02,03,04,05,0 da Crook rly ve Be lia Ju (10,13); ; Johnny Louis Eric Perrin (16) son (09,21) Photo Credits: (20); Terrence Ty
OZONE MAG // 23
hank God for white people! Seriously, if it wasn’t for white people, we wouldn’t be here in Amerikkka: the “Land of the Free” although 12.6% of black men in their late 20s are behind bars (compare that to 3.6% of Hispanic men and 1.6% of white men).
“The Land of Justice” even though the cops that beat the shit out of Rodney King and were caught on tape were found not guilty. Not to mention that the cops who fired 50 shots into a car and killed Sean Bell have yet to be charged like the murderous pigs they are. Finally, Amerikkka, the “Land of Equality,” even though we have never had a minority or female president. Hopefully Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton can change that. I’m so glad to be here in Amerikkka. Don’t hand me that hypothetical negro daydream about what-if-the-white-man-had-never-brought-us-hereblah-blah-blah. I don’t want to talk about “what if?” Let’s talk about what it is: Today, the white man is giving me another reason to love him. Yes, it’s because of the white man that I sit down in front of that idiot box – you know, the flat screened one that lies to you. Well, at least it’s a flat screen in my crib. It’s because of the Caucasian man that I watch something other than Girlfriends, Boondocks, and reruns of the Wendy Williams Experience on Vh1. In fact, if it wasn’t for white people, my new favorite TV show wouldn’t exist. I’m talking about Ego Trip’s The White Rapper Show! My, how have I waited for the day something like this would grace TV screens all across Amerikkka! You know, I was so ready to denounce this show before I even laid eyes on it. My mindset was, “Here we go again. Another show making a mockery of this culture that I love called Hip Hop!” I already had my gun cocked and loaded to shoot this shit down! Then I watched it, and ladies and gentlemen, I realized that I had been waiting for a show like this all my life. In my 26 years of existence, I have never seen white people on the other end of this coon spectrum! For once they are the Sambos, the bojangles, the shuckers and the jivers all for the love of their master, Hip Hop. I let a tear drop after watching this show. It wouldn’t even be funny if these white people didn’t take themselves so seriously! They really think they’re nice. It’s like when that coon Flava Flav was tap-dancing for the white man on Flavor of Love. He thought they were laughing with him, but they were actually laughing at him. It’s the same thing, only the shoe is on the other foot. We’re laughing at the white people for making a mockery of themselves. This is a historic moment in black history! I have witnessed two black coaches in the same Super Bowl and white people on TV looking like complete and total jackasses! This is reparations! Armageddon must be upon us! Sure, they set us back 60 years with the Flavor of Love seasons 1 and 2, but they’re setting themselves back 60 years by airing the White Rapper Show. Every white person who loves Hip Hop had to feel ashamed when these white kids in the South Bronx met Grandmaster Flash (a pioneer who made it possible for Hip Hop to become the billion dollar business that it is today) and hardly mentioned Flash or the South Bronx when they had to rhyme about it. One kid couldn’t even come up with a verse. 24 // OZONE MAG
byCharlamagne Tha God
Did you see the episode where the white rappers were so amped after they met Everlast? You met Brand Nubian, Grandmaster Flash, Just Blaze, and Juelz Santana, and you’re happy to meet Everlast? House of Pain? “Jump Around”? What about the dirty Punky Brewster-looking white chick whose idol is Vanilla Ice? She needs to be punished, stripped of that privilege called white skin, painted Arab brown and given a license that has the last name Bin Laden on it. Let her try to get through airport security with that! Or, how about the crazy cross-eyed kid who calls himself the “King of the Burbs,” yet he’s trying to revive the ghetto? If I was the king of the suburbs – a place where there’s no gunshots, stabbings, or home invasions – tell me, why would I want to revive the piss-poor ghetto? He’s like Dr. Frankenstein, trying to awaken a monster that he can’t control. What does he say? “Hallelujah, holla back!”? Every time I hear him say that, I feel the same joy the white man felt when Sambo ate his watermelon and danced across the stage. The same joy the white man feels when he sees us sliding credit cards through our women’s asses in music video. Then there’s the fat chick Persia who looks like she smells like the dumpster in the back of a Taco Bell. All I can think of when I see this chick is stale nachos and 30-day-old cheese sauce. She was calling another white man “nigga”! Do you know how that must make an old Dixie flag-waving racist white person feel, to see a white person call another white person “nigga” as a term of empowerment? You white people haven’t taught your kids their white supremacist history. They’re confused! This is great, people, it really is! One thing though: when the fuck did MC Serch become a Hip Hop icon? Did that happen between now and “Gas Face”? You youngsters don’t know what I’m talking about. He’s the cornball white host, trying to sound hip by telling people to “step off” and “fall back.” He used to be a rapper, a white guy with a high-top fade. I thought he was corny back then, and still do. I thought his high-top fade had starch in it. That’s why it stood straight up like that and never moved. He was in a group called 3rd Base and they had a song called “Gas Face.” Nobody really cared though. I didn’t like “Pop Goes The Weasel Cause The Weasel Goes Pop.” That was another one of their songs; youngsters, pay attention. I’m teaching. If people cared, then tell me why I type “3rd Base” into Google’s image search and see pictures of a baseball diamond. I type “MC Serch” into Google and it showed me pictures of actual MC searches. When I type in the names of real icons like Run-DMC, Rakim, Outkast, Melle Mel, or Ice-T, their pictures pop up. If MC Serch was a real Hip Hop icon, I think it would do the same for him. But alas, it doesn’t. I laugh at the White Rapper Show as if I was watching a rerun of Dave Chappelle’s Rick James skit. Eminem goes multi, multi-platinum and gets white rappers the respect that they all thought Vanilla Ice had lost forever. Now, here come these guys to set you back another twenty years! Now you know how we felt after Soul Plane! God bless the White Rapper Show. Thank you for not showing us another white president, another white doctor, another white lawyer, another white billionaire, another white owner of a Major League Baseball team franchise. Thank you for showing us that white people, too, can be losers. White skin can, and will, be wasted! God bless Amerikkka!
Joc @ Tarvoria & Yung iami, FL) 03 // ider (M Sp & r” d, tte Ro Ma t ’t Ho n, “Don y, Polow da Do & Darryl Phillips on e set of Akon’s Bo th h on Ric ro // To 05 & Zo (Miami, FL) // Joe Hound @ iami, FL) 02 // Super Bowl party x (Miami, FL) 07 ee, FL) 09 // Mecca & Wyclef thday party (M ss Space for Diddy’s Fat Joe’s “Make It Rain” remi r Rick Ross’ bir ha @ fo lla am o’s (Ta te ng t ek Bo ee We ck Pulla, Young @ Str t of Sli mp // , t or De ck se 04 $h r e Bu o ) fo th g To FL on i, & un on y a Yo Mo iam // 01 // Young Jeez E’s Super Bowl afterparty (M Khaled & Noreag ung Cash, & Southstar @ The & Durte Red (Miami, FL) 12 a, GA) 06 // DJ Yo ON MS) 14 // BANG Shine, DJ e @ The Forge et Buck” (Atlant esh, Supastar J-Kwik, DJ Q45, Sobe Live for OZ DJ Ideal & C-Sid Awards (Tunica, “G t kia // ’s en Na 11 ck lk ) inm Bu fo MS g rta Kin a, un te of Yo rn En (Tunic an Fr ) 16 // ne @ Plush Loc on the set i, FL) 08 // Haiti uthern Entertainment Awards y Day & Gangsta Boo @ Southe ake It Rain” remix (Miami, FL la & Young Capo Chopper” (Miam Fat Joe’s “M ) 13 // Wend MS) 18 // DG Yo mys (Jacksonville, FL) Records @ So of GA a, t the set of “My ply a, se nic no nt e (Tu th tla Mo (A ds // on ” ar & Trina ent Aw et Buck i, FL) 10 e Ghetto Gram Mansion (Miam Young Buck’s “G // Fonsworth Bentley, TI, Tiny, P Mob @ Southern Entertainm h @ Plush for th a on the set of 15 J, & Haitian Fres listening party (Atlanta, GA) gwood & FU ple Da Tri DJ , Jeezy, & DJ Dram ’s “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) // aw 17 dR ) Bloo on emphis, TN ia Studios for his ssee, FL) 20 // on the set of Ak @ Plush for Trapper’s Ball (M 7); Ms Rivercity ’s DJ’s (Tallaha Kane @ Stankon mp rcus DeWayne (0 The Moon for TJ a, MS) 22 // P Stonez & Erica @ mp De Drama, & DJ De DJ dul (08,20); Ma & Ab ol nic Co lik (Tu // Ma ds ; 19 ar 3) ) (1 Aw FL t id (Jacksonville, rn Entertainmen uis (07); Kool La Black @ Southe 7,19); Johnny Lo 21 // DSR & DJ 1,12,14,15,16,1 6,1 5,0 4,0 3,0 (01,02,0 ; Julia Beverly Eric Perrin (22) n (18,19) so Photo Credits: Ty e nc rre Te ; (09) (10,21); On Point
OZONE MAG // 25
ver the last few years, DJ Drama and his Gangsta Grillz series have transcended Southern mixtapes and in the process broke numerous artists. O From T.I.’s Down With the King to Young Jeezy’s Trap or Die, Gangsta Grillz without question has been the greatest mixtape series to come out below the Mason Dixon Line (and arguably the country). Shit, some of the mixtapes are better than artists’ albums. Given Drama, Cannon and the
Aphilliates’ current legal troubles, the fate of Gangsta Grillz and the mixtape circuit as we know it hangs in the balance. Since we maybe never hear another DJ Drama mixtape, we thought of some Gangsta Grillz that we hope one day will hit the streets... and some that we’re glad never materialized. Nick Cannon Respect Me As a Rapper We respect Nick Cannon as an actor, comedian and television producer (also, the fact that he blew Christina Milian’s back out gives him added points in our book). But Nick Cannon the rapper can’t rap his way out of a wet paper bag. By now, Nick has probably tried to bribe Drama by offering him DJ DWreck’s position on Wild’n Out. As much as we’d love to hear a Nick Cannon diss towards Christina and her new boyfriend Dre (of Cool & Dre) on wax, we’re glad Drama never agreed to do this tape. Master P & Romeo Like Percy, Like Romeo Give Master P credit for making Southern rap music relevant and making multimillions as an entrepreneur. But we all know Master P is, was and never will be much of a rapper. Romeo is slightly better than his father, but the rapper doesn’t fall far from the whack rapper family tree. No Limit has struggled over the last few years and we’re happy Drama has never extended a hand to bring the Millers back. Pretty Ricky Not Tonight There’s nothing gangsta about horny teenagers dry humping. Mr. Thanksgiving and the new millennium New Edition? No thanks. If Dram’ works with these guys, DJ “The Fuck” Drama may be inclined to pull a Kells with those underage Scream Tour groupies, and Dram already has enough problems in his life. 26 // OZONE MAG
DMX All Dogs Go To Heaven DMX’s rap career is dead and gone, and not even the iPod King could resurrect this decreased dog. X had a good run but he’s better off as an actor or even a preacher. Hey, there’s money to be made in the church, X. Just ask Mase. Cadillac Don & J Money Our Album Already Dropped The “Peanut Butter & Jelly” boys released their album in November, but I don’t think anyone knows. Drama is notorious for helping artists build buzzes after their albums drop. But in this case, he’s better off making these dudes a couple of sandwiches and let them ride off into obscurity in their different color Chevys. Uncle Luke Gangstas Are Freaks Too Let’s be honest, Miami bass and Gangsta Grillz don’t mix, like two dicks and no chicks. Sure, Drama’s pussy rate would go up working with Luke Campbell, but this mixtape would be better off thrown from the port of Miami than on the streets. Ying Yang Twins Me, My Brother & DJ Drama The Twins learned a valuable lesson last year. No one will buy your album if you don’t have a hit single (unless you’re Nas). Look for the Twins to run to Drama for help. But booty shaking, whispering
and saying “I-yi-yi” isn’t what Drama’s brand is made of. DJ Webstar & Young B Truancy Officers The only time Drama should make it rain is in Magic City. And the only time he should chicken noodle soup is never. Let’s save the party dances for Fat Man Scoop’s mixtapes and make sure Young B is going to class. Ray J Brandy’s Brother Gone Wild Wait a minute, what’s gotten into Ray J lately? He’s been hanging out with Whitney Houston, smoking weed with Snoop and making pornos with his ex-girlfriend, Kim Kardashian. Next thing you know, his “One Wish” will be a DJ Drama exclusive. Hell no! Brandy, we thought y’all were good kids. Mistah F.A.B. The Bus Stops Here With all due respect to The Bay, we don’t ghostride our whips in the South. Do you know how much money we put into our cars to risk foolishly wrecking them? The iPod King won’t be ghostriding yellow buses or dropping a hyphy Gangsta Grillz anytime soon. If he does, we might revoke his Southern card (we haven’t forgotten that Drama’s really from Philly). // - Randy Roper
03 //Tori Robxer (Miami, FL) per Bowl DJ Mi ssee, FL) 05 // Su ha E’s lla ON (Ta OZ ’s @ DJ in ’s BOB, & Jim Jons Dollar Man @ The Moon for TJ Young Jeezy e, & Jo ck e Bu lli g Wi un // Yo 02 Chill da Million iami, FL) 07 // ’ (Atlanta, GA) & (M on the set of ck x e ly, Bu mi Jo t Kie t re ‘Ge D, Fa in” ’s & ga , ck Ra Su tti Bu iami, FL) 04 // t Joe’s “Make It // DJ Khaled, Go e set of Young (M Fa th r 10 g Buck’s “Get of ) xe on t un FL Mi k se Yo e Za e, DJ of ill th t wl Big nv se on so y& r Bo g Jeezy on the aled & Noreaga & Bigga Rankin @ Rain (Jack un Kh 01 // Young Jeez & Mike Rojas @ OZONE’s Supe “Make It Yo DJ & his y // of Bo t 06 h ) se e // Ric n, nta, GA Jones fe Lorena on th wi (Miami, FL) 12 rton, & Big r” inson, TJ Chapma omp @ Doppler Studios (Atla y & Kay Slay (NYC) 09 // Jim his Tu tte & a e ss Ma Jo ’t ne t Va on To Bo on’s “D ) 14 // Fa l, Bryan Leach, ea Id longs to Be DJ Small World & DJ Buck” (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Rich h & Durty Red on the set of Ak Belongs to Me” (Houston, TX e // am 16 “G , IL) es et the set of UGK’s Trick Daddy’s K’s “Game party (Chicago on UG my ug of t am Th on the set of “G remix (Miami, FL) 11 // Nay Fr se Gr m e eSli th Pr & in” & Brandon on ) 18 //Bun B r DJ Miltickit’s NG on the set of set of Young his “Make It Ra ince, Dr. Teeth, ck” (Atlanta, GA use of Blues fo Supa Cindy, & BA the l Conflict @ Ho e set of Young Buck’s “Get Bu GA) 13 // Jas Pr 20 // Big Teach, 22 // Goldie Mack & friend on ) MS a, nic Buck” (Atlanta, i, FL) 15 // DJ D-Rocc & Crucia th (Tu ds on ) h ar MS es , Aw Fr t uis y en Lo Sta St inm & iam y ay Rain” remix (M 17 // Lil Scrapp & Dolla Bill @ Southern Enterta Nels Sports Bar & Lounge (B @ rge (Miami, FL) 7, Wayne Teach @ The Fo Chapman, DJ 00 te, G-’No, Miz Smurff, & Big G TJ B, BO // 19 l (20); Marcus De TX) ) 21 // DJ Deliy (08); Malik Abdu FL Me” (Houston, id i, La iam ol (M Ko t ; oo 8) eo sh ron Smith (13,1 “Tuck Ya Ice” vid ,17,19,22); Kead ” (Atlanta, GA) 0,11,12.,14,15,16 7,1 5,0 Buck’s “Get Buck 3,0 2,0 1,0 lia Beverly (0 Deliyte (21); Ju Bogan (20); DJ son (04,09) Photo Credits: (07); Terrence Ty
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We wish Drama, Cannon & co. had been able to drop these mixtapes before the Feds kicked in their door: Outkast Gangstonia The Outkast Gangsta Grillz was rumored to already be in the making but Dram was having trouble getting Andre 3000 to record. Now he probably knows how Big Boi feels. This would make up for that lackluster Idlewild album. But that Idlewild movie is a different story. Clipse We Got It For Cheap Vol. III A Gangsta Grillz Special Edition Vols. I and II are both mixtape classics, so we have no reason to believe the brothers from VA wouldn’t drop another masterpiece with DJ Drama at the helm. Since Jive probably won’t drop another Clipse album for at least seven or eight years, they might as well drop this mixtape. Talib Kweli & Mos Def Blackstar Reunited Little Brother proved that the Drama’s formula is potent even with backpack emcees that are far from gangsta. Dram’s roots are with the underground, so Mos & Kweli together again on a DJ Drama set sounds like a certified classic. UGK Legends In The Game Bun B & Pimp C are Southern Hip Hop legends who deserve to be crowned kings in every Hip Hop fashion imaginable, Gangsta Grillz not withstanding. Drama should waive the $20,000 hosting fee or whatever absurd amount of money he was getting for a Gangsta Grillz and just do UGK’s tape off GP. R. Kelly Innocent Until Proven Guilty Kells is an emcee at heart. How else can you explain the way he killed the “Make It Rain” remix? An R Kelly mixtape would fly off shelves faster than the R Kelly sex tape. In exchange, Kells can teach Drama how to get his court case pushed back until everyone forgets about it.
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Trick Daddy I Run Miami With Miami rappers like Rick Ross and Pitbull emerging on the rap scene, Trick Daddy Dollars has had to share the Miami Hip Hop spotlight. But one hot mixtape with Mr. Thanksgiving would remind everyone who the mayor is. Jay-Z From Brooklyn to the A When was the last time Jigga dropped a mixtape of relevance? Yeah, I’m stumped too. Since Kingdom Dumb received lukewarm reviews, Jay-Z’s best bet would be to hit the streets hard with a Gangsta Grillz special editon. But Drama has to negotiate this one carefully: Bleek only gets 16 bars, period. Scarface True King of the South Scarface falls into the same category as UGK. Drama should pay homage to ‘Face for holding the South down since the Geto Boys. He hasn’t dropped a notable album since The Fix, back in 2002. The game needs Mr. Scarface back. Hot Boys The Reunion Drama may be the only one that can coerce the Hot Boys into a comeback, or at least get the four members to submit enough material to put together a mixtape. There is speculation that Mannie, Juve, Turk and B.G. will come together for a Hot Boys album without Lil Wayne, but it won’t be the same without Weezy F. Baby. Where’s Drama when you need him? 50 Cent & G-Unit We Started This Shit Fuck what ya heard, 50 and his Guerilla Unit started this current mixtape trend. In 2002, 50 Cent Is The Future featured 50 and his crew remaking hit singles instead of mere freestyles over instrumentals. Today, this trend continues. 50’s in-house mixtape DJ Whoo Kid could sit this one out while Drama and the G-Unit remind everyone who started this shit. // - Randy Roper
Stay iami, FL) 03 // thday party (M bir of ’ ss ies Ro lad k e Ric th r fo a& nes @ Bongo’s FL) 05 // Monic i @ Bongo’s for g Jeezy & Jim Jo Ross’ birthday party (Miami, od of Eye Kand Pacman Jones FL) 02 // Youn k wo i, Ric lly r iam fo Ho (M Ms o’s ty & ar ng t & per Bowl afterp // Shakir Stewart & C.O. @ Bo // Young Buck ) 07 // Too $hor e for OZONE’s Su 04 t on the set tta” (Atlanta, GA x (Miami, FL) 09 vier @ Sobe Liv ck’s “Get Buck” (Atlanta, GA) e set of “Go Ge Fat Joe’s “Make It Rain” remi Kid, & Greg Stree dead their Xa e th & th c on e Jo y lli ez Wi ng Je a, Yu g e am Bu un of g Dr air 01 // t Yo un & se DJ ion y e Yo // ill th nk of 11 am t Ja on ) Ch se // b & on the (Miami, FL) 06 Buck’s DJ Chubby Chub tertainment Awards (Tunica, MS ston, TX) 13 // Mike Jones Fresh & Polow @ Nikki Beach ou Micha Porat, & e set of Young En l, (H nt th du rs rn me on Ab he Wa ge ds ut le lik na en So Sty Ma Ma fri @ & // y B’s & Jim y 08 ck n ez er ) De Bu Je nn r FL & Gemstone // Ba i, fo o, 15 ts Bo vid iam ) Ar (M Da FL e i, // o, Gangsta um of Fin day party DJ Mixer (Miam rlando, FL) 18 Ball (O ’s wl er Bo ne r pp to Rick Ross’ birth Buck” (Atlanta, GA) 10 // DJ Wh & Kay Slay @ Houston’s Muse pe es Tra r Su Fir fo ush e & his son @ y @ OZONE’s et Don Juan @ Pl DJ ) & FL , i, ck on the set of “G et Buck” (Atlanta, GA) 12 // Tra ston, TX) 14 // Kaspa & Smitt ards (Tunica, MS) 17 // Disco Bu iam g (M “G (Hou ent Aw 20 // C-Bo, Youn ONE’s Super Bowl afterparty of Young Buck’s UGK’s “Game Belongs to Me” ” (Atlanta, GA) hern Entertainm r OZ of Tum Tum @ Sout set of Young Buck’s “Get Buck & Malik Abdul @ Sobe Live fo & d oo gw Da y (16,21) beef on the set DJ 7,22); Ms Rivercit 22 // Deelishis nt Beats on the nta, GA) 16 // t (Tunica, MS) ; Malik Abdul (1 ) 19 // Baseme “Get Buck” (Atla 3) en GA Ev 2,1 a, A (1 nt SE tla ith ’s (A se Sm n ou ah Studio 8,19,20); Keadro Jones @ Zak’s & Stacks @ Swish 8,09,11,14,15,1 21 // Billy Cook (01,02,03,04,07,0 rly (Memphis, TN) ve Be lia Ju ; rrin (06) Who (10); Eric Pe Bogan (05); DJ Photo Credits:
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Textin’ is no longer safe now that OZONE’s dangerous minds have hacked the system.
baby JD: Hey, what up (Seven minutes
pass with no re
rried are you. I’m wo JD: Baby, where e. fin I’m maine, Janet: Hello jer
ly love that song u doing? ke a bath. I real . JD: What are yo ning to my album, bout to ta on so te duet with him Janet: I’m jus lis I should probably do another k in th I . lly Ne with w. y Nelly right no llo. JD: I’m wit da bo t with him? Tell him I said he no u r Janet: When something. xtin Ashanti or JD: I think he te town is she? t in s some Janet: She’s no Big Maine’ need t you. et about them, ge rg fo me t co bu d , at an t th know about is Jeezy concer JD: Shit, I don’t bout to leave th I’m ’. vin lu n so big maine’ of that Ms. Jack handle any of think that I can n’t You ready? do I . ile wh wait a Janet: No, let’s e. I’m sleepy. c City tonight, jermain let’s go to Magi akes u like and sh gy er en in e of those vitam my belJD: Well drink on lebath and wax g. in th me nna take a bubb wa t or so jus I . by ba tonight Janet: No, not lybutton. l. your fuzzy nave sexy shit. I like at th e av sh n’t JD: Damn girl, do be alone tonight, jermaine. nna ly might Janet: I just wa then. We probab lly bout to do, Ne a gg ni is th t see what JD: Fine. I’ll jus or sumthin’ together. b go hit up the clu … ay Ok : to the Janet w Wow and head t go pick up Bo jus to ut bo I’m tired. JD: Nelly said he at you. movies. I’ll holla jermaine. ght, Janet: Good ni JD: I love you
Janet: Hey sexy , I heard you we re Nelly: Ms. Jack son? How you fin in ATL. d out? Janet: Lil’ guy told me you we re here. Nelly: Who? Janet: jermaine, silly Nelly: Oh shit, I’m wi
t that nigga rig ht now. Janet: That’s th e problem, lol. Nelly: What you mean that’s th e problem? Janet: You’re su pposed to be ov er new toy and ev erything, you go here with me. I got a tta come see me Nelly: Oh, shit… . well what abou t my derrty JD? Janet: Oh well, poor him. That ’s just the way Nelly: Damn, no love w this is a real dilemma lil’ ma goes ma. Janet: I just wa nna hold you, kiss you, suck yo ride you, feel yo u, taste you, u, make you co me Nelly: Damn Ms . Jackson you na too. sty. when can we ma ke this shit happ If you serious then en? Janet: Anytime. Anyplace, I don’t don’t tell jerma care who’s arou ine, my next al bum’s not done nd. But Nelly: Okay, I’m yet. fin and then be on na drop this nigga JD off at th my way. We on ly got a few ho e movies nasty cuz I gotta urs to pick JD back up after Dreamgirl get s is over. Janet: Hurry!
* This is just a joke. No, we did not really hack into anybody’s sidekick.
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ogie @ // Yoko & DJ Fr tlanta, GA) 03 nta, (A ” tla (A ck s Bu dio et “G Stu ’s h p @ Dirty Sout t of Young Buck a Money XL & nner rep The Sip g Dro on the se Sh Ba un // Yo vid // 08 Da ) 02 & GA ) ar a, FL rparty (Miami, ille, FL) 05 // Sc et Buck” (Atlant a, & Tony Neal @ House of Super Bowl afte Plush (Jacksonv on the set of Young Buck’s “G D-Rocc, Shawnn @ Bongo’s for Super Bowl ung Capone @ y Live for OZONE’s Yo DJ ez & be // Je So g 10 ino @ un ) Ch Yo FL ak pa & i, Bl iam on, won // Su & DJ 01 // Yung Joc l @ Sobe Live (M y party (Miami, FL) 12 // Raek o @ Southern Entertain(Tunica, MS) 04 FL) 07 // Slick Pulla, Don Cann inment Awards da o, d calendar mode Super // Khao & DJ Wh 15 Southern Enterta Dawgman @ Legends (Orland ” (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Micha an @ Bongo’s for Rick Ross’ birth ) FL i, iam Space for Diddy’s Tum (M G& & Timbuktu @ ’s “Get Buck DJ Prostyle a & Trey Songz & & rs ck Te ok vo Bu sty Co Ice g Fa GA) 06 // Greg Na ly zo un am Bil DJ en Yo Ad // // or of // //L 20 the set go, IL) 11 hassee, FL) 14 xer (Miami, FL) x (Miami, FL) 17 Polow da Don on it’s pre-Grammy party (Chica & her brother @ mp Week (Talla per Bowl DJ Mi e It Rain” remi ltick 22 // Gloria Velez The Moon for De Khaled on the set of the “Mak Brisco & Smitty @ OZONE’s Su ) @ TX all n, 8B Blues for DJ Mi sto & G ou (H MJ // s DJ // 19 & dio 13 ) e, ) Stu FL Jo FL D t e, i, BC Fa ill weekend (Miam Cafe (Jacksonv Chubby Chubb, video games @ nica, MS) 16 // @ Da Real Ting wind with some ment Awards (Tu FL) 18 // Ivory Orr & his wife ) 21 // J Prince & Scarface un i, n (04) MS ; Terrence Tyso Bowl party (Miam tertainment Awards (Tunica, i, FL) Rivercity (03,20) En Ms iam ; rn 8) (M he ut ty 3,1 ar So 6,1 rp @ (0 te l du Tum wl af 9,22); Malik Ab ONE’s Super Bo 0,11,12,16,17,1 Sobe Live for OZ rly (01,02,05,07,1 ve Be lia Ju ; 5) DJ Who (1 Bogan (09,14); Photo Credits:
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HUNGER FOR MORE
nly a year and a half in, he’s already claimed a spot that most engineers would give up their apartment for, just to sleep in the studio. And imagine he started out as an intern at Atlanta’s famed Patchwerk Studios. But Tony Rey wasn’t your ordinary intern. He was as qualified or more than the people that he was suppose to be learning from. So he taught his peers. Since moving on to work with the likes Mase, UGK and Yung Joc, Rey has found himself at home as the resident engineer for CTE and one Young Jeezy. What were you doing before you moved to Atlanta? I was a teacher at Full Sail Recording Art School. I taught there for about four years then I taught local engineering within Orlando. Most of my influence comes from teaching. Actually I taught a lot of cats out here in Atlanta. Who all did you teach? Jamie Newman, Cory Andrews… I had a lot of students so it’s hard to remember all the names, but most of the cats you talk to out here came from Full Sail. It’s a pretty big school. So you basically taught them how to be producers through the various programs that were available there at Full Sail. Nah, it was more of the technical side, how to use Pro Tools, how to record and things like that. It’s really more of a technical school. Creativity is something you come into on your own. Where did you learn? I learned on my own pretty much. I bought a system and I just kept going at it, trial by error and after I was doing it for a couple of years I decided to go to school. There I learned a little bit more, but most of my learning I would say was from teaching really. When you teach you kinda have to look at it from another angle. It’s trying to explain to somebody who’s never seen something. People have different learning abilities, learning curves, so you have to put yourself in a whole different mindstate. So at what point did you decide to stop teaching and pursue this route professionally? It got to a point where I was seeing a lot of students that I was teaching, I was seeing their credits on albums. I mean, I had a couple of credits, but it wasn’t nuthin’ real official, real major. So really, the school that I was working at, I really wasn’t happy the way things were going. So I started opening my eyes up to different things and started realizing that if I stayed there I’d be teaching for the rest of my life. I felt like I was too good to just sit there and teach other people. But I love teaching. I still teach now. People call me all the time. I give all my students my number to hit me up and I go to studios. But I really just decided that I wanted to be a full time engineer and a part time teacher. Orlando was kinda limited, mostly local artists, penny pinchin’. I can’t tell you how many people owe me money in Orlando. I figured it had to 32 // OZONE MAG
be better than that in the big leagues, so I made the move. What’s the difference between what you do and what a producer does? Well, really, what I do is play the producer role. I’ve been doing it for awhile so I can tell when an artist can have a better take. An engineer, if you look at it, is only supposed to be recording and making you sound right. It has nothing to do with your delivery. It has nothing to do with charisma, your swag, this or that. But I’m a producer first before I’m an engineer, so I work with my artists. I don’t come into a session and tell someone how to do something, but you know, you feel it out. What was the first project you landed once you got to Atlanta? I interned at Patchwerk first, but I taught all the other interns there. One day I was there making beats and this guy named Shawn Erics opened the door and asked me whose beats they were. I was like, “Those are my beats.” He thought Jazze Pha or somebody was in there. So he had a group at the time and he put me on. He hired me as an engineer. After that, my first real project was Mase. Somehow, somebody got my number and he got it and called me. Shortly after that the whole Jeezy thing came up. One of my boys was recording with him, but he didn’t have time to do him cause Jeezy was starting the new album. He was also working with Jazze, so he asked me to come with him to see what we could do. It took a little bit, but after a couple of weeks I started doing some stuff with Jeezy. It’s been downhill from then. So are you exclusive with Jeezy and CTE? Not exclusive. I’m doing more mixing now. More mixing than producing. I’ll make an exception for Jeezy with tracks because I know he’s particular. I know his sound and he knows what he wants to do. He has a great ear. So pretty much I do a lot of stuff. CTE is my family. They made me a lot of money. That’s definitely it, but I wouldn’t say exclusively. I just mixed a couple of records for UGK, mixed some stuff for Joc, so it’s not really exclusive, but that’s where most of my time is consumed. So what types of projects lure you outside of CTE? I presume it would have to be a pretty eye-popping venture for you to stray. Really man, I love this. I love music. Even when I was in Orlando and I was gettin’ frustrated with the local cats, I just took it for what it was, because I love it and I don’t wanna get burned out. In this industry you can really get burned out from being selective. “I don’t wanna work with this dude cause he really can’t rap,” “I don’t like this beat,” or whatever. I respect everything that comes my way. I look at it with a fresh mind. I look at it as if I just started. I really like projects that people put their heart into. You may not be the best artist or the greatest lyricist, but if you’re putting your heart into it, I’m cool with that. That makes me put my heart into it and I’m still hungry. I can’t stop. My mind is open and I’m still learning. // - N. Ali Early (Photo: Julia Beverly)
inment uthern Enterta i, wg & crew @ So Da iam k (M ar r Sp xe // Mi 03 DJ cksonville, FL) E’s Super Bowl ends @ Plush (Ja 05 // DJ Ideal & Smitty @ OZON in” remix (Miami, FL) 08 // fri & ia As Ms // my party e’s “Make It Ra . Louis, MO) 02 oot (Miami, FL) the set of Fat Jo ues for DJ Miltickit’s Pre-Gram & Rich Boy remix video sh P Showcase (St rth Bentley on bs “Make It Rain” b Society for DT of Bl wo Jib his e Clu ns // us of @ Fo t 12 d Ho & se ) da TI @ e FL // th er i, his & on ) 07 fa & Mary Datch e set of “Don’t Matter” (Miam uis Oliver @ 01 // Yung Holla ) 04 // Scott Storch & Fat Joe r Trapper’s Ball (Memphis, TN // Michael Musta Fentz, Che, & Lo on th MS iami, FL) 14 // man @ Plush fo Grammy party (Chicago, IL) 09 // Akon and his leading lady ts (Dallas, (M Awards (Tunica, ap r Ca Ch xe m Mi TJ To & DJ @ h, h wl Bo Pre, B-Ric ) 11 stalong & Sel Fis iami, FL) 19 // Freddy OZONE’s Super Mi , @ FL) 06 // D Shep Neal @ House of Blues for his rtainment Awards (Tunica, MS ier x ld Le So & y, all itt (M ny Cool, Sm // Dro, Sm Ente afterparty 22 // DJ Miltickit & To BOB & Kim Ellis @ Southern Rankin, Stacks, t (Miami, FL) 16 E’s Super Bowl rge (Miami, FL) // Big Teach, Bigga ake It Rain” remix video shoo Ashlee @ Sobe Live for OZON & Terry @ The Fo Bu // 21 (Chicago, IL) 10 se party (St. Louis, MO) 13 // ) & “M l MS his du a, the set of // Malik Ab lea Event (Tunic @ his album re FL) 15 // Fat Joe & Noreaga on Bowl weekend (Miami, FL) 18 batch @ Swishahouse’s SEA i, per Smacka & ne po Ca ; Terrence The Forge (Miam friends @ Bongo’s during Su Al // ercity (10,19,20) n, TX) xx & (Tunica, MS) 20 Laid (12); Ms Riv TX) 17 // K-Fo s to Me” (Housto se’s SEA Event ol ng ou Ko lo ; ah 2) Be ish (2 e Sw am ith @ “G t n Sm Hydro & Shot Ou ncy Byron on the set of UGK’s 5,18,21); Keadro 8,09,11,13,14,1 & Na 3,04,05,06,07,0 Chamillionaire 1,0 (0 rly ve Be 7); Julia 6); Eric Perrin (1 Edward Hall (1 Photo Credits: Tyson (02)
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@ // Philly Station a, hassee, FL) 03 nic lla (Tu (Ta ds ’s ar DJ ’s Aw t TJ for rn Entertainmen // Mike Jones y @ The Moon Black @ Southe 08 & Keith Kenned DJ B Nasty & DJ (St. Louis, MO) DJ Slim, Storm, // se // ca 05 02 ) ow ) FL Sh , FL P i, ee DT n, TX) 10 // ss r ha sto fo (Miam lla r ou ty xe (H (Ta cie Mi rs So ek DJ b Wa We le wl Clu ONE’s Super Bo e Moon for Demp MS) 07 // TC & Court Digga @ ts for Bun B’s Sty York, Bibi Guns, & Rich Boy OZ Th Ar @ @ e e Fin mp nil De of ve DJ Ju um ,& B, & nica, Houston’s Muse GA) 12 // Jacob ia Velez, & 01 // Smitty, BO , Southstar, 8Ball rn Entertainment Awards (Tu Buck” (Atlanta, Brandi Garcia @ G Womack, Glor , TX) 04 // Fabo he ung Buck’s “Get 09 // Kay Slay & ssee, FL) 14 // rcia, DJ PrinYo ) ha Tom Cats (Dallas Jurand & Cheryl Moss @ Sout Ga of TX lla t di n, se (Ta an e sto Br ek th ou // We Me” (H Dog on Demp rek GA) 16 , DJ Drama, ck MS) 06 // DJ De set of UGK’s “Game Belongs to (Tunica, MS) 11 // Big Zak & C- ik, & B-Rich @ The Moon for g Buck’s “Get Buck” (Atlanta, Bu g un Yo // e ds (Miami, FL) 18 pastar J-Kw e set of Youn Su r” Capone @ th h, g tte es & Dr. Teeth on th Southern Entertainment Awar un on Ma Fr Yo ’t er & an th on 5 iti fa “D @ i, FL) 13 // Ha DJ Drama & his e set of Akon’s i, FL) 20 // DJ Q4 iam // th iam (M 15 on (M ) d rty x FL Caper & G Mack pa kin mi i, re wl Rif iam Class, & Steve “Make It Rain” ddy’s Super Bo afterparty (M @ Space for Di E’s Super Bowl ) 17 // Akon, E- ntley on the set of Fat Joe’s ards (Tunica, MS be Live for OZON n rth Be wo ns Fo ) & TX Tony Neal @ So @ Southern Entertainment Aw na , ; Terrence Tyso Tri Club M5 (Dallas 7 phis, TN) 19 // Rivercity (05,10) & Jonny Kash @ cess Cut, & DJ 00 Plush for Trapper’s Ball (Mem dul (04,13); Ms op Ab Dr lik DJ Ma // ; 1) 22 (2 ie @ Laid h Boy & Lil Boos & Willie the Kid ith (08,09); Kool ille, FL) 21 // Ric 9); Keadron Sm 4,15,16,17,18,1 Plush (Jacksonv 2,1 1,1 7,1 6,0 rly (01,0 3,22); Julia Beve Edward Hall (0 Photo Credits: (02,20)
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elz as, TX) 03 // Ju dia Studios (Dall aga, & DJ EFN @ Me us xx Ne @ re h l City Cartel, No from Urban Sout Kash & Pookie GunPlay of Caro Boy @ Jibbs’ album release h y Waters, Jonny Rain” remix (Miami, FL) 05 // Ric ne & Mo na // ga 02 Ma ) 10 // Cubo & TJ ia GA It ric ds (Tunica, MS) t Buck’ (Atlanta, on the set of Fat Joe’s “Make Awards (Tunica, MS) 07 // Ma ar ‘Ge Aw t of t en se e inm Don, Spider th rta d t te da on un en En w zy Po lo rn ee inm e Po Br he Zo rta // c ut & te Ma So 12 d En e ck & ) 04 // DJ Khale ys & Pretty Todd @ Southern MS) 14 // ll & 4-Ize @ th ake It Rain” remix (Miami, FL) YC a, Ro 01 // Young Bu (N lly nic n Je (Tu alo // ds Av 09 ar @ ) Aw Bo GA Jones // Sut of Fat Joe’s “M Entertainment i, FL) 06 // GRiT Buck” (Atlanta, se 16 rn e ) Santana & Jim et he iam th “G MS ut (M on r a, of So t xe nic @ rch se Mi e (Tu Sto th Bowl DJ & Janiro Hawkins hern Entertainment Awards Bentley & Scott Mac & DJ us ck & Hot Rod on an rth mo Bu OZONE’s Super Se g fa wo In DJ ns un // Fo Yo DJ s // ut // 18 i, FL) 11 , MO) 08 Cook @ So A organizer (Memphis, TN) iano & party (St. Louis wl DJ Mixer (Miam et Buck” (Atlanta, GA) 13 // SE 15 // DJ King Ron, Kiotti, Billy 20 // BoBo Luch r Trapper’s Ball ONE’s Super Bo per dels @ Plush fo ck’s “Get Buck” (Atlanta, GA) a, GA) ck’s “G Su nt mo Bu E’s tla ’s g (A ON un rry Chapman @ OZ Yo OZ La dio r of Lil fo Stu t e Bu 17 // ck on the se ONE @ Zak’s Q45 @ Sobe Liv e set of Young th llahassee, FL) DJ & (Ta on e ek ne me We Loc, & Young Bu Banner, & Get Cool reppin’ OZ Re Ga e ha mp siv vid i, FL) 22 // Ales The Moon for De Boy & T of Exclu Gravedigga, Da TJ Chapman @ , IL) 19 // Rich Metropolis (Miam B-Rich, BOB, & party (Chicago a & Rich Boy @ sp my Ka am // Gr e21 Pr ) Da Crook (03); pastar J-Kwik, TX ercity (15); Rico e of Blues for his m Cats (Dallas, dul (16); Ms Riv Miltickit @ Hous South Block Party show @ To Ab lik Ma ; 9) 7,0 rty id (0 n (17); Kool La DJ Fish of the Di iami, FL) 2,20); Eric Perri (M Edward Hall (0 ; 2) Bowl afterparty 9,2 8,1 4,1 0,11,12,13,1 1,04,05,06,08,1 Julia Beverly (0 nce Tyson (22) Photo Credits: Terre
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Super Sims @ OZONE’s ic Perrin, & Mike Moon for TJ’s DJ’s Er l, du Ab lik Ma e Terrence Tyson, TX) 04 // T-Pain & crew @ Th r” (Miami, FL) w Randy Roper, d’s “My Choppe Wars (Houston, un 02 // OZONE cre le ) Ho Sty e FL r i, Jo fo of ts iam t Ar (M se 09 // Young e e ) rty Fin th pa MO of , y on r uis da um pe th Lo se . op bir Mu ’ (St ch & DJ Q45 @ r DTP Showcase o’s for Rick Ross Kay Slay, & Bun B @ Houston’s ova, MS) 06 // Mecca with his fo ng wg ty Bo Da cie J@ t So // or b 11 $h Clu o en n, rty (Miami, FL) Roland Page @ e for Diddy’s pa & 01 // Lil Jon & To FL) 03 // Bun B’s son Brando La Chat & Teddy @ Fugee’s (R ac y rs Sp da ge th @ c Ro bir ’ Ro eg ss n// Gr i, rey, ngo’s for Rick Ro y, Diddy, Busta Rhymes, & He ngo’s (Miami, FL) 16 // (Miami, FL) 08 Bo r Bowl party (Miam hassee, FL) 05 // Mr. Fugi, Co @ xe s Mi rd DJ co Re wl s sines per Bo lla ss @ Bo ris Light (Miami, Tastemakers (Ta out of the trunk @ OZONE’s Su ) 10 // Jim Jones & Strictly Bu in” remix (Miami, FL) 13 // Ch a, GA) 15 // E-Class & Rick Ro Bowl DJ Mixer in’ e, FL OZONE’s Super Laun“Make It Ra dios (Atlant @ tty Stu e’s ve Du h Jo Lo 07 // Cubo hustl & Lil Hen @ Rain (Jacksonvill t ut DJ b , Fa So Ro am & of rty t , Ro on the se Pulla @ Di c, // DJ Demp ) 21 // Roscoe MS a, nic Cash, Midget Ma FL) 12 // Tiny, Lorena, & Trina g Jeezy, David Banner, & Slick “Don’t Matter” (Miami, FL) 18 (Tu ds ar o, un Akon’s tertainment Aw // BloodRaw, Yo Legends (Orland @ Southern En s on the set of ) (Miami, FL) 14 Rifkind & his kid nta, GA) 20 // Bigg C & 4-Ize ane @ Plush (Jacksonville, FL ve Ste // 17 Super Bowl party ) Rico da Crook YC Abdul (02,11); “Get Buck” (Atla // Barnard, Supa Chino, & Sh & Jim Jones (N of t se e th on Freekey Zekey 22 ck Smith (03); Malik ) n Bu ro g MS ad un a, Ke Yo nic ; & 1) (Tu y 0,2 rapp ards 3,14,15,17,18,2 FL) 19 // Lil Sc tertainment Aw 4,07,08,10,12,1 @ Southern En lia Beverly (01,0 Ju ; dry, & DJ B-Lord 6) (0 uis Lo 9); Johnny 5); Eric Perrin (1 Edward Hall (0 Photo Credits: 2) son (09,2 (16); Terrence Ty
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Club s & Young Dip @ FL) 03 // Ooop 06 // e, ) ill FL nv e, so ill ck nv so (Ja ck h y TV @ Plush (Ja W8 Crew @ Plus e lad ac ad & df De HK & Ma n // // do 08 05 ) Bran oot (Miami, FL) party (Miami, FL Out, King Ron, Ya Ice” video sh cksonville, FL) y’s Super Bowl , FL) 02 // Shot ck dd (Ja ee Di h “Tu ss r us fo ha y’s Pl e lla dd @ ac k (Ta Da Sp ’s Ric ck @ Young Buck’s anning & Slick Moon for TJ’s DJ cca & Buggah on the set of Tri mes Cruz & Coach Reggie PR ck on the set of , LA) 10 // DJ Ch oodRaw @ The Ja , MO) 04 // Me Zoe & Young Bu n models @ Oxygen (Miami, 3 (New Orleans nica, MS) 07 // 01 // Storm & Bl uis la Q9 Lo (Tu ril . @ ds a Go (St ar // nic se Aw 13 ca Mo t ) Show Roe & inmen nds (Orlando, FL Mixer (Miami, FL) 15 // Miskee nta, GA) 18 // Erica & Society for DTP uthern Enterta go, IL) 09 // DJ Webbie @ Lege & Tum Tum @ So my party (Chica Super Bowl DJ “Get Buck” (Atla dillac 12 // Jacki-O & E’s ) ON FL Lil Ronnie, Trae Blues for Miltickit’s Pre-Gram i, OZ @ iam (M die r of Young Buck’s estone (Orlando, FL) 21 // Ca DJ Mixe y T, & Ed of Hi-C on the set , TX) Fir & as @ a, all CC rd (D friend @ House DJ EFN @ OZONE’s Super Bowl ce, guest, Antman, Rollo, Tedd Mu Mr M5 & Lil @ h , l an & i, FL) 20 // Coac Chief & Dolla Bil 17 // DJ Don Ju iam ) spa, DJ J-Ni Big (M Ka MS // r t, a, xe 23 es 11 // Jim Jonsin nic Mi ) Gu LA (Tu DJ // , nta, GA) 14 (Lake Charles inment Awards E’s Super Bowl “Get Buck” (Atla uthern Enterta Sims (18); Ms e & Cool @ OZON , Decky, & Erik Tee @ 107 Jamz & Serious @ So ill Wayne (09); Mike i, FL) 19 // C-Rid Ch y iam Bo (M r Big xe Mi DJ FL) 16 // LaRay ll, DJ 2,20); Marcus De (1 Re wl l // Bo du r 22 Ab pe ) lik Su TN Ma is, E’s 8,11,13,19,21); Kenny @ OZON @ Plush (Memph Beverly (03,07,0 with DJ Drama ik Tee (22); Julia Don & J-Money Er ; 7) (1 n rri Pe 3); Eric Edward Hall (2 Bogan (04,15); Tyson (01,05) e Photo Credits: nc rre Te ; 6) 0,14,1 Rivercity (02,06,1
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phenomenon isn’t official until it has a theme song. Myspace.com is no different. “Myspace Freak” by C-Side (an acronym standing for Creative Superb Individuals Doing Entertainm ent) is one of the first songs about the addictive social internet comm unity to garner mainstream attention. C-Side, a rap trio consisting of Gator, 21, from Chicago and cousins Kenny Kold, 21, of Atlanta GA, and Bo-Q, 23, from Aiken, SC, saw the growth of the Mysp ace network and realized the opportunity to make a hit song of Tom’s brainchild . “I had been noticing the whole Mysp ace thing going on,” Gator says. “I didn’ t even have a page at the time. But I was just noticing everybody talking about. So I was like let’s make a song about it.” As Myspace grew, so did the song’s popularity. Since leaking the single to their Myspace page the grou p has received over a million hits from visitors looking to hear C-Side lines like “Shorty be up on it like everyday of the week / Myspace.com the reason she can’t sleep / Heard a lot about her so you know I had to see / Then I found out Bobby Brown and Whitney daughter was a freak.” And since adding Jazze Pha to the single, C-Side has seen the popu larity of the song growth exceptiona lly as spins have picked up across the coun try. But don’t take the Myspace theme as just a ploy to lure women at the click of a mouse. Myspace freaks come in all shap es and sizes. “It’s all kinds of Myspace freaks,” Kold explains. “It ain’t just prom iscuous
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women or anything like that. You got stalkers. You got guys that don’t take no for an answer on their beats. They stay on Myspace all day. All they do is spam on everybody’s page and get you to check out their beats. And if I do check them out, they’re horrible.” But C-Side’s buzz isn’t just limited to a single track. Kenny Kold, the group’s primary producer and their productio n team, P.O.W.E.R. Entertainment, have worked with the likes of Dem Franchise Boyz, UGK, and P$C, and has landed tracks on upcoming projects for T-Pa in, Keyshia Cole and Fabo. “Most peop le know us from ‘Myspace Freak,’ but a lot of the records that they’ve been feeling or riding to, we had parts in a lot of those too. But now people are start ing to come to us [for production],” says Kenny. The group loves Myspace as much as the average listener. “I be on Myspace a good bit,” Bo-Q admits, laughing. “But I be promoting.” They’ve got their next single “Fresh Like Nu Drawls” on deck, along with a mixtape and album coming soon through their 17.20 Reco rds/Peachtree Music Group/Universal Records deal. Don’t look for C-Side to base their careers solely on the Mysp ace buzz. Their beginning can be linked to Tom and their Myspace anthem but the group’s success is the product of their own grind. // - Randy Roper
take no is spam heck
up’s ave ded eople n feelstarting
ace eir bum al space t the
TX) 03 Me” (Houston, ame Belongs to e of Blues for his “G K’s UG of t se ltickit @ Hous s & crew on the Doe, GLC, & DJ Mi OZONE’s Super Bowl DJ Mixer zeleo, E-Viciou ys 05 // Really r a, MS) 02 // He @ Bo nic ler an (Tu we ism Je ds e He ar e th Aw th @ The Moon fo Entertainment Prince, & Johnny ams, DJ Who, & , Plies, & Sticks ’s “Get Buck” Cam @ Southern p City (NYC) 04 // Rovella Willi ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // Jas sonville, FL) 10 // Byron Trice ck & Bu o, g Bo un Yo sta ng of t ck Ra , Ga Don on the se Moon for TJ’s DJ nes @ Rain (Ja e Trapper’s 01 // Nick Scarfo r from The Wire, & DJ Nasty @ Gee & Polow da & Brisco @ The @ Plush for th b Boss & Jim Jo acto // Torch, Gunplay h (Jacksonville, FL) 09 // Mo t Awards (Tunica, MS) 12 // Big ele, guest, Lil Larry, & Big Ed e for OZONE’s 06 // DJ Prostyle, Liv IL) be , So go @ ica ea Plus rty (Ch rn Entertainmen Drama, Devin Ste Brandy, Dior, Ashley, & Alish & Slick Rick @ he , DJ (Jacksonut h // Pre-Grammy pa om So us 14 Do Pl @ ) Dr @ ck FL e DJ i, Ma t, on // Guest, GA) 16 // Gues the Stars (Miam Sweetback the Ashley, & Corle & a, of // Storm, P la, nt e g Yo 21 ttl tla (Miami, FL) 08 ) // Kin (A Ba ” FL // al 18 i, ck nu 11 Bu , IL) (Miam FL 2nd An ssee, FL) ck’s “Get party (Chicago Bowl DJ Mixer r my i, FL) pe am iam Su Gr TJ’s DJ’s (Tallaha Trick Daddy @ Uncle Luke’s NY & C-Bo on the set of Young Bu (M eE’s ty Pr ON ar OZ // per Bowl afterp e of Blues for his g Buck, ep, & B Rich @ (Atlanta, GA) 13 e for OZONE’s Su e Outlawz, Youn Cap One, & DJ Miltickit @ Hous FL) 20 // Tori Robinson, D Sh Liv Th // be So 15 ) @ e TN Ge , 9); Spiff (03); Ball (Memphis, ’s (Tallahassee FL) 17 // Gotti, Deelishis & Big Rivercity (06,08,1 rparty (Miami, Moon for TJ’s DJ Rain (Jacksonville, FL) 23 // Ms e ; 3) Th (2 @ s i Bo Sim e ke Super Bowl afte Mi & De t & Mob Boss @ Campbell (13); Terrence Tyson i, FL) 22 // Gues ville, FL) 19 // Smith (02); Luke @ Space (Miam 0,21); Keadron PR 7,2 ie 5,1 gg Re 4,1 h 2,1 ac & Co rly (01,05,07,11,1 (16); Julia Beve (04); Eric Perrin o Wh DJ s: dit Photo Cre (09,10,18,22) Terrence Tyson
OZONE MAG // 43
G B RHOO USTON, TX “I
eets. I the voice of the str of the people and ish and want to be the voice s real. I can rap in English or Span to what’ ice t vo en res the ve rep ha to t nt no wa people that might b the Ro r for pe k rap ea sp on to ust I want bio of young Ho ring up the ding quote from the tea en tly the s ren at’ cur Th is o k.” spea ino wh to introduce the Lat ck.” G. Powerful words er “Reppin’ My Blo ng ba the th wi ts Houston stree d ay, where he staye grants from Urugu mi im o er tw aft to ht go rig r ica Ch caree Rob G was born in on. He started his e moving to Houst on national for three years befor king a name for himself. He landed ma ly ick qu high school, later. television two years to this one and eventually I go all over [Houston] es ttl ba ing nn wi “I kept the local . It was put on by called Roc The Mic d had about an on ust Ho in re radio station he nner got ng. Basically, the wi hosted 300 people competi V MT on e ttl ba a as in for to go represent Tex d fie ali qu dis ords. I got by Roc-A-Fella rec s. gh lau b Ro cussing though,” in the a is losing its place d as a Although Roc-A-Fell un gro ng ini steadily ga rap world Rob G is . representative formidable H-Town s a name focused. That wa out four “That’s what’s got ab for ed air ent that tionally televised ev me I really started working t ho months. When I go bers. em rem he ,” rap at positive. ’t always been so But Rob’s life hasn l and having a oo sch h hig g vin cer. Three Shortly after lea s diagnosed with can drug deal child Rob’s wife wa a in led kil t os alm was days after that he gone bad. admits. “My wrong things,” he “I was out doing the e. I was just doing a little d on son had just turne wasn’t a big side with drugs. I something on the ays had a job. alw I ing because time dealer or anyth hind that stuff and it just be I almost lost my life nately I always dealt with rtu Fo es. ey my ed open ays telling streets who were alw r myself a real people in the ide ns co n’t for me. I do of drugs; I me this life wasn’t not out selling a lot thug or nothing. I’m
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was just trying to
get some money to
ily.” take care of my fam
has a family. He currently to get money for his uston with his Rob Camsic mu his ng usi w Ho eets of Rob is no his Myspace and the str ble as he prepares strong following on the best music possi ke ma to ing try t paign, and is jus but. Latium/Universal de t to look end of the day I go music cause at the od go // ke es. ma to lud nc ing “I’m just try ct myself,” he co ll be able to respe in the mirror an sti Douglas Words by DeVaughn dz Min ry xu Photo by Lu
? e n o z o g in d a e r s ’ o h w
“Game the set of UGK’s 01 // Bun B on ONE cover OZ eir th th wi Belongs to Me” ze & Yung Joc 02 // Jody Bree (Houston, TX) t cover @ The en nm tai ter En with their Block Tastemakers (Tallahas’s Moon for TJ’s DJ g Buck with his OZONE un see, FL) 03 // Yo his video for “Get Buck” t of cover on the se $ (Miami, // Guest & Stack (Atlanta, GA) 04 e set of Joe th on in az Am FL) 05 // Adlai ) 06 // opper’ (Doral, FL Hound’s ‘My Ch t of Fat Joe’s ‘Make it se e Boy @ Angelica on th i, FL) 07 // Baby Rain’ remix (Miam et & greet (Atlanta, me his Houlihan’s for allas, TX) ief @ Club M5 (D GA) 08 // Big Ch The Moon for Demp @ illion09 // BloodRaw e, FL) 10 // Cham gs Week (Tallahasse ame Belon “G K’s UG of t aire on the se . & C-Side n, TX) 11 // C.O to Me” (Housto (Tallahasek We mp De r @ The Moon fo ishahouse otabang @ Sw see, FL) 12 // Co g the Southern Enterrin du a, MS) Meet & Greet s weekend (Tunic ’s tainment Award t of Akon se e th on D y 13 // DJ Benn // DJ En(Miami, FL) 14 “Don’t Matter” during Super o’s ng Bo @ tice & DJ Greo // DJ (Miami, FL) 15 Bowl weekend wl DJ Mixer Bo r pe Su E’s J-Nice @ OZON Club Envy // DJ Snake @ (Miami, FL) 16 Kim Ellis’ @ bo Fa // 17 (Dallas, TX) ) 18 // rty (Atlanta, GA Anniversary Pa Rhythm City @ no ze Ka & t Frayto, gues set of // Gotti on the (Dallas, TX) 19 remix (Miami, in” Ra it e ak Fat Joe’s “M ach Pitbull, & Big Te FL) 20 // Guest, mp Week (TallaDe r fo @ The Moon gends // Jacki-O @ Le hassee, FL) 21 und & Dre Ho e Jo // 22 ) (Orlando, FL Chope Hound’s “My on the set of Jo Foxx on the K // 23 ) FL per” (Doral, remix “Make it Rain” set of Fat Joe’s Cole @ the hia ys Ke // 24 (Miami, FL) // e (Miami, FL) 25 r Alize Experienc dy’s Supe Did r fo e ac Sp a Lisa Lisa @ i, FL) 26 // Mich Bowl party (Miam Super Bowl E’s ON OZ & ladies @ Misty iami, FL) 27 // house party (M ny Louis hn Jo ) FL i, Jean (Miam cky, & Jimi Jump & 28 // Mouse, De ) 29 // Noreaga LA e, ug (Baton Ro e’s “Make Jo t Fa of t se e EFN on th On iami, FL) 30 // it Rain” remix (M Step” (Atlanta, “2 k’s Un the set of g da Don & Youn GA) 31 // Polow “Get Buck” of t se e Buck on th & // Shoeb Malik (Atlanta, GA) 32 r Demp Week fo on Mo e MJG @ Th of ) 33 // Smoke (Tallahassee, FL (Orlando, ne to es Fir @ Field Mob t Fresh on the se FL) 34 // Stay GA) 35 a, nt tla (A ” ck of “Get Bu e out out Lil Wayn // Toro & Zo sh on’t “D ’s on Ak of t on the se FL) 36 // Vato Matter” (Miami, reenville, (G s en Ow and Rico tti (Greenville, MS) 37 // Yo Go Joc @ The MS) 38 // Yung Tastemakers ’s DJ ’s TJ r Moon fo ) (Tallahassee, FL Bogan (24); Photo Credits: ); DJ Who (28); (04 od Crazy Ho ,16,18,36,37); (08 ll Ha Edward ,15,30,34); ,14 (07 n rri Eric Pe ); Julia Bev(27 uis Lo Johnny ,35,38); ,31 ,26 ,25 ,03 erly (02 ); Malik ,10 (01 ith Sm n Keadro ,19, ,13 ,11 ,09 ,06 (05 Abdul ); Ms ,33 ,32 ,29 ,23 20,21,22 ) Rivercity (12,17
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FMIALMOI, -FL RIDA O
ver the past few ye ars, Miami has deve lop Dre, Smitty and sev eral others have ha ed a trend of putting out flourishing new artists. Rick Ro d a successful run hold names such as in South Florida’s Trick Daddy and Un booming Hip Hop ma ss, Pitbull, DJ Khaled, Cool & cle Luke. Opalocka rket. It has also yie res ident Flo-Rida hope As Poe Boy Entertai lded houses to be next on Mia nment’s newest ed mi’s roster of hitma ition, Flo-Rida is cur raw talent into sea kers. rently undergoing soned musicians. It the boot-camp-lik is the same groom and Brisco find his e grooming that tra ing that helped Ric place with Ca$h Mo nsforms k Ross seal a deal ney Records. The ch was an easy one. Flo with Def Jam oice to join Poe Bo -Rida explains, “I y’s tight knit family grew up with E-Cla together in the stu ss’ brother. We did dio. E-Class heard songs me and said I shou artist. I was with a ld be a solo group called the Gro undHoggz at the time.” After leavin g the group, Flo-R ida temporarily moved to California for a change of atmosphere, but it wasn’t long before his hometown was be ckoning him to return. “Poe Boy was calling me when the Rick Ross thing was taking off. I came back, cut a couple of rec ords and there it was.” One of the records he cut was the single “Birthda y,” produced by The Runn ers. On the surface, the record is intended to be a club song. However, there is a significan t me behind the lyrics. “Yo ssage u’re not promised tomorrow . You could be looking forward to your birthday but you don’t know if you’re going to have a birthday , so to enjoy life. I mean it’s best , do overboard, but enjoy n’t take it it like there’s no tomorrow. That’ s where the concept comes fro m. We’re getting a great response fro m The concept is obvio it,” says Flo. usly well received by its listeners. “Bi rthday” is gaining heavy play in Miami nightclubs and still has mainstream ap proval, despite its current undergrou nd status. In addition The Ru nners, Flo-Rida ha s als collaborated with Cool & Dre, DJ Khale o d the Beat Novocaine, Tra e Pierce and Nitti. His work with Devante of Jodeci, Rich Harri so Flava Flav, Rick Ro ss and Brisco has giv n, en him a higher level of expertise and a nod of approval from indust ry other Poe Boy affilia executives. Like his tes, Flo-Rida recen tly inked a deal with a major label – Atlan tic Records. His album is scheduled to hit stores during the first qu arter of 2007. Until then, FloRida is polishing up his mixtape game and living every day like it’s his birthday. // -Ms Rivercity
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? e n o z o g in d a e r s ’ o h w
Bowl house OZONE’s Super 01 // D Shep @ Cool with their & e Dr // 02 ) party (Miami, FL cover on the set of Joe wl OZONE Super Bo ) 03 // TI opper’ (Doral, FL in’ remix Hound’s ‘My Ch It Ra e ak “M e’s Jo t on the set of Fa est on the // Brandon & gu ” (Hous(Miami, FL) 04 Me to gs lon Be e am Crockett set of UGK’s “G ld’N Out’s Affion ton, TX) 05 // Wi e’s “Make it Rain” remix Jo t on the set of Fa Eastwood // Allstar & Fate (Miami, FL) 06 t during the ee Gr & et Me @ Swishahouse s weekend tainment Award DJ Southern Enter ubb, Ch by ub Ch // (Tunica, MS) 07 t of Fat uricio on the se Khaled, & Mr Ma iami, FL) 08 (M ix rem in’ Ra Joe’s ‘Make it DJ Mixer E’s Super Bowl // Ladies @ OZON i Gunz @ Studio Bib // (Miami, FL) 09 V and TX) 10 // Bigg 7303 (Houston, ille, MS) 11 nv ree (G ke Mi promoter Killer of Young Buck’s ‘Get set // C-Bo on the on the set GA) 12 // Cool Buck’ (Atlanta, r” (Doral, FL) pe op Ch y “M of Joe Hound’s me Mob & Princess of Cri has13 // Diamond ek (Talla We mp De r fo City @ The Moon Drop @ Rhythm see, FL) 14 // DJ on the set lly Je DJ // 15 (Dallas, TX) ) 16 // DJ p” (Atlanta, GA of Unk’s “2 Ste (Jacksonville, fe Ca g Tin al Q45 @ Da Re t Joe’s on the set of Fa FL) 17 // Drop i, FL) 18 // iam (M ix rem ‘Make it Rain’ Fat ley on the set of FL) Fonsworth Bent (Miami, ix rem in” Ra it Joe’s “Make Greet ahouse Meet & 19 // GB @ Swish tainment ter En ern uth during the So 20 d (Tunica, MS) Awards weeken dio 7303 Stu @ y Bo h // Guest & Ric Web21 // Jacki-O & (Houston, TX) FL) 22 // o, nd rla (O s nd bie @ Lege Fat ol on the set of Joe Hound & Co (Miami, ix rem in” Ra it Joe’s “Make for e @ The Moon FL) 23 // Juvenil ssee, FL) 24 // ha lla (Ta it Demp Week Fat Joe’s “Make KD on the set of 25 // Lil ) FL i, iam (M Rain” remix p’ t of Unk’s ‘2 Ste Corey on the se City (Mijic Ma // 26 ) (Atlanta, GA IL) Mims (Chicago, ami, FL) 27 // e @ Q93 yn Wa ld Wi & a 28 // Monic uriLA) 29 // Mr Ma (New Orleans, Omar of The // 30 ) FL i, cio (Miam of Trick Daddy’s Wire on the set i, eo shoot (Miam vid ” “Tuck Ya Ice Mane cci Gu & es Pli FL) 31 // ndo, FL) 32 // @ Legends (Orla by Boy’s Ba @ r ice Ricardo Sp // tlanta, GA) 33 meet & greet (A the set on ls de mo o tw Slim and “Tuck Ya Ice” of Trick Daddy’s i, FL) 34 // iam (M t oo video sh , & Juvenile @ Southstar, 8Ball mp Week (TalDe r fo The Moon // SupaCracka 35 ) FL lahassee, 8 West 23 @ y ez Je & Young // Tum 36 ) FL le, (Gainesvil ouston, (H 03 73 dio Tum @ Stu rdson & ha Ric ey nc Ya TX) 37 // r Diddy’s fo e ac Sp @ c Hen-Ro (Miami, FL) Super Bowl party @ Club ed Ble g un 38 // Yo TX) d, an idl (M Remedy Bogan (30,33); Photo Credits: ,28); Edward (26 od Crazy Ho c Perrin Eri ); ,14 Hall (10 ); Julia Bev(08,15,25,32,38 ); Keadron erly (01,03,11,37 ); Malik ,36 ,20 ,09 (04 Smith ,13,17,1 ,12 ,07 ,05 (02 Abdul Marcus 1); 4,3 3,2 2,2 8,21,2 Rivercity Ms ); (28 e DeWayn ba(27); om Lo hit Ro ); (06,19 ) (16 r lea ck Ron Lo
OZONE MAG // 47
E C N A I L L A E TATHLANTA, GA T
attoos are as popu lar in Hip Hop cultur e as Philly blunts an Nowadays it seems d strip clubs. everyone has at lea st one tattoo beari name, a fallen soldi ng their mom’s er or tho se not-quite-sureletterings. But the what-this-says Ch tattoo that influenc inese ed The Alliance, a group, into making five member Atlan their hit song “Tatto ta rap o” wasn’t an R.I.P. different variety. It tat but a tattoo of was a female with a a tattoo on - you back. guessed it, her low er “I was at the club [and] I just saw a shorty,” says Q, Th and creative mind e Alliance’s manage behind the song. r “She looked good you seen her ass. Bu from the front and t the tattoo was sit then ting right. That wa wanna smash that.” s sexy. Made a nig Score another one ga for lady lumps ins minds of rap artist piring the creative s. The Alliance, which includes rappers Bla ckout, 22, P.O.P., 21 rapper Bliss, 19 an d in-house producer , Skinny, 20, female , Tyindie label, Nothin Comz Eazy. Q’s vision Cutta, 22, were formed by Q under his present them as on was to unite a gro up of solo artists an e mega-group. Aft er three years of pla d chairs in search of yin the right pieces, Th e Alliance was forme g member musical unity, oneness,” Q d. “Alliance to me says. “It’s all abou is t being together. We one shine all at on wanted to make ev ce and then we sta eryrt slipping off into solo projects.”
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“We’re family,” TyCutta adds. “It’s all one but everyone do their own thing is go .” Branching off ma y be in the plans, bu nna branch off and the Alliance is riding t for the time being high off the succes , s of “Tattoo” featur ubiquitous Fabo (“F ing abo came in and he was like, ‘This [song the surprisingly Super Bowl’,” Q lau ghs). ] is bigger than the Newly signed to As ylum, The Alliance (who all have tattoo wondering) are in s, the studio preparin g their debut album in case you’re feel-good concept which focuses on songs ranging from wannabe models to in the clubs. “We’re approaching wome not a certain types n of music, we’re jus Ty-Cutta says. “Ride t making good mu to, party to, laugh sic,” to, varying sounds an cry to, it’s a va rie d styles, The Allian ty.” With so many ce can’t be classifie “snap.” “It’s really d as jus versa from different places tile over here,” Skinny adds. “You go t “crunk” or t [members] coming , coming out of the different sound.” ghetto, so you know it’s going to be a And while many art ists are known to dro heard from Bonecru p a hit and gracefull sher?), The Alliance y bow out (anyone has other ideas. “W in the business,” Q e says. “We’re not he re to be one-hit wo wanna be icons stay.” // nders, we’re here to - Randy Roper
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me Mob on Diamond of Cri 01 // Princess & (Atlanta, GA) p” Ste o “Tw the set of Unk’s set of Fat & Trina on the 02 // Scott Storch remix (Miami, FL) 03 in” Ra Joe’s “Make it , TX) 04 // Club M5 (Dallas // Young Dro @ r” (Miami, tte Ma ’t on “D of t Akon on the se Unk’s “2 of t se e th on s FL) 05 // Ladie D on the set GA) 06 // Baby Step” (Atlanta, ) 07 // Big GA a, nt tla (A p” of Unk’s “2 Ste t of Young Polow on the se // BOB Zak, Rich Boy, & ) 08 GA a, nt tla (A ” Buck’s “Get Buck mp Week (Tallahassee, r De @ The Moon fo odRaw @ es Wakeley & Blo h @ FL) 09 // Charl // Coac 10 ) FL o, nd Firestone (Orla C-Ride @ ndo, FL) 11 // Firestone (Orla rty (Miami, pa e us ho wl Bo OZONE’s Super Zekey @ ey ek Fre & mp FL) 12 // DJ De hassee, mp Week (Talla The Moon for De @ Club M5 (Dallas, e On FL) 13 // DJ Eduring aled @ Bongo’s TX) 14 // DJ Kh i, FL) 15 iam (M d en ek Super Bowl we ersary Kim Ellis’ Anniv // DJ Teknikz @ t Joe on the Fa // 16 ) GA Party (Atlanta, remix “Make it Rain” set of Fat Joe’s Legends @ eld rfi Ga // (Miami, FL) 17 s. // GritsAndEgg (Orlando, FL) 18 d’s “My un Ho e Jo of t com on the se zzle FL) 19 // Ice Mi Chopper” (Doral, e party us ho wl Bo r pe @ OZONE’s Su set of // Janky on the (Miami, FL) 20 tlanta, (A ” tta Ge o “G Young Jeezy’s Nice Beverly & DJ JGA) 21 // Julia e party us ho wl Bo r pe @ OZONE’s Su nB // Kay Slay & Bu (Miami, FL) 22 Houston @ rs Wa le Sty introducing TX) e Arts (Houston, Museum of Fin rlando, (O s nd ge Le @ 23 // Ladies on eezy @ The Mo FL) 24 // Mac Br e, FL) 25 sse ha lla (Ta ek for Demp We the set of UGK’s // Mike Jones on Me” (Houston, to gs “Game Belon a & her brother TX) 26 // Monic ) ew Orleans, LA (N 3 Q9 Montez @ (Orlando, ne to es Fir @ 27 // Mr CC for n C @ The Moon FL) 28 // OG Ro FL) 29 // e, sse ha lla (Ta Demp Week ung on the set of Yo Pacman Jones a, GA) 30 nt tla (A ” ck Bu Buck’s “Get m ts inspiration fro // P-Stonez ge Stankonia @ h ot bo e th OZONE in ck a, GA) 31 // Sli Studios (Atlant esville, ain (G st We 8 Pulla @ 23 star @ The Moon FL) 32 // South ) (Tallahassee, FL ek We for Demp e set of th on d kin Rif 33 // Steve tter” (Miami, Akon’s “Don’t Ma del on the mo eo Vid FL) 34 // r’ d’s ‘My Choppe set of Joe Houn Abdul 35 lik Ma ) (Doral, FL s on the set // Zo & Ted Luca “Tuck Ya Ice” y’s dd of Trick Da i, FL) 36 // iam (M t oo video sh @ Firesja Ra & e, Yola, Ashle // Bun 37 ) FL o, nd tone (Orla uston’s Ho @ n ee Qu B’s wife e Arts for his Museum of Fin ston, TX) 38 // ou (H rs Style Wa during Super o’s ng Bo Trina @ iami, FL) (M d en ek Bowl we Bogan (35); Photo Credits: ,13); Eric (03 ll Ha Edward ,14,20,30,38); ,06 ,05 Perrin (01 ,11,19,21, (07 rly ve Julia Be Smith n ro ad Ke 29,33); Abdul (22,25,37); Malik ,12,16,17, (02,04,08,09,10 ,32,34,36); 18,23,24,27,28,31 ); (26 e yn Wa De Marcus ) Ms Rivercity (15
OZONE MAG // 49
S M I M NEW YORK, NY D
ue to the South’s reign atop radio and Billboard charts, New York rappers seem to be intensely preoccupi ed with bringing New York back to the forefronts of Hip Hop. But for New York newcomer Shawn Mims, the fight isn’t about returning NYC to its glory days, it’s about innov ation and showing Hip Hop fans that NY music isn’t just mixtapes and emce e battles. And the way Mims feels, his timing is impeccable. “I think it’s a great time for me to come in the game,” Mims says confidently. “I’m going to provide a different side of New York for people to see that New York is not just what they think it is. It’s not just the rap battles. It ain’t just the mixtape mayhem, [ther e are artists] like myself that can come across and give you good radio recor ds, an album and a good project as a whole.” Mims, who claims a JamaicanAmerican ancestry, lost both of his parents at a young ag. His father died when Mims was 11 and his mother passed two years later. Before his mother passed away, she had bought him DJ equipment for his 13th birthday, which sparked his love for Hip Hop culture. Over the years, Mims developed a knacks for DJing, engineering, and producing before honing his MC skills. After graduatin g high school, Mims enrolled at Nassau Community College but later dropped out to pursue his passion for music fulltime. Kanye isn’t the only college dropout to make it rapping, and Mims’ break through single, “This Is Why I’m Hot,” has spread through the country like a wildfi re. Miami-based producers Blackout Move ment creatively blended instruments from different regions over a snap-influenced beat as Mims effortlessly references each area with swagger. Some have criticized the New Yorker for his Southern-sounding lead single, but Mims sees things differently. “I started [pushing ‘This Is Why I’m Hot’] in Florida,” Mims says. “It wasn’t necessarily me jumping on the South ’s tip. I wanted to get the respect from the South . So it definitely ain’t me emulating anything. I respect the South. I respect what the Hyphy movement is doing in The Bay. I respect what New York’s got going on and the whole Midwest move ment with Kanye and Lupe. I got respect for the game; for Hip Hop in general.”
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Mims’ EMI/Capitol debut album Music Is My Savior is tentatively scheduled for release this spring. And while Mims carries the torch for NY, he also plans to continue introducing a new sound and give people from all areas what they want to hear. “Don’t categorize me as just a New York dude,” Mims says. “I’m just really bringing a new side of Hip Hop. So if you’re looking for something new, East Coast, West Coas t, Midwest, Dirty Dirty, international; pick up this album cause you’re going to hear everything you wanna hear. Trust me.” // - Words and photo by Randy Roper
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L L A H E H T N Z KCHICID AGO, IL
at have clientele th anted ing with a w al st de ju I e . ’r ht ey saw. r get caug ter and th ey’re smar come, but they neve to the lifestyle that I n th e us ca be in in he le w ep s ab st ug os d y dr M ul sp di co selling hool was a lot more there so that people Those the streets] ge t album Sc lers [are in that are doing it too. it in t it out e Hall debu rically talented Naled r st pu th hu in to al dz re Ki at e g ly fo ds th th in t ki he y do to un ng (t t rt st n ki o y in te no pa du e class We’re th ies . They’re ust one lis t a publicit scribe ll that the lot of middl having part get caught de one can te e-O) are no there are a because they never daddy’s crib. They’re ld that I grew Hustle and oducer and DJ, Doubl kus. One could easily chilst r or ny pr are the wor ey’re doing it in thei And that’s just the w and gifted independent label Raw ates as typical brai e than of mor ia gradu streets, th vacation. efunct e an up -d on lv th e ce e sy ad ar on m nn s e th t is of Pe parent up’s conten homework. University while their these two uxtables, but the gro and problems with the Hall, .” ts H in ir e sh ful half Kidz in th up dren of ore to ymes. Soul on Gartrail , the other m rh rd ey d s rs Go e’ ha t g Je s, ou ed ew en al N N Ev in ri ul to r ba so la ck t e ui Ja ra just talk ab es id el Ag undt ge, born of Midw nt Souths Born Micha ovides the perfect so er, it le the vibe cocky Naled in the afflue to co-ming g Hip Hopper. Howev Blaze e-O, pr e seemingly s and hanging out ang banging and sellle bl th ab r ou D is fo O y in lit est , de ck g bl Ju ra h ng Rea pa g ou it by so D ck d w , ” e ba oo al ca th an t g ing rk, th ce. In st coas ft in Afri yet origin do with mak ighborhood, Hyde Pa part of his experien rous ds of an Ea e song “Sha ough many thought ne from prospe ill a th ith the soun neous sample of th e w st Al . m as up co w ro it ho g of Chicago , first single w e ta the simul ntion to th that became Jay-Z’s oducers Nonetheless raps about children as te s. w at ug ht dr g g in MC o pr song at brou ay. Tales,” the and him th O had duplicated the Kingdom Come, the tw drugs anyw “Dumbass m, blebu cide to sell e are kids ou al er D de t t th at en bu at th em th es famili t there s. post-retir cord. to put it ou college selling drug erfor his first king on the same ac t we “I wanted in th st who are in But they’re on a diff ju me time, bu e wer ng at the sa y before we were so e ent level m sa e th the da song to “We sampled didn’t find out until submit the supposed to was also the day the label. It supposed to was before Jay ng. We were thinkso record the to be some was going decided ing that it e w t bu , ith it backlash w h it. In the end it it w n to just ru ay because in a good w these us ed ct fe af are e like, ‘Who people wer arted checking us st guys?’ They on a different radar,” us out. It put ble-O. explains Dou t finding wha decade of After a half o are providing a sepa p ra tw th cocaine works, the view for bo st taking of t in po rate e’re ju ous rap. “W en to us and and consci giv e er w to at th We’re going the things n destiny. el ow fe r I ou t. g ou in mak nate ab e kids e’re passio do what w entative of a lot of th ludes nc es pr like I’m re ing up these days,” co w that are gro Naledge. //
- Autumn W
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OZONE MAG // 53
lin ’ hu st
lue Williams looks more like an NBA basketball player than Nas’ and Nick Cannon’s manager. He’s tall, dark, and handsome and incredibly good at what he does. Nicknamed “the check finder” by Lyor Cohen many years ago (Lyor is nicknamed “the check writer”), Blue has proven his ability over the years to find many a check for the artists he represents. He is a force to be reckoned with and walks with the swagger of a man who has created success repeatedly. Blue Williams got his start as a roadie for Jodeci in 1991. Although his entrée into the music business was carrying bags through hotel lobbies for the R&B group, he moved up pretty quickly to the position of body guard after a fight broke out and he proved his worth. After that, he caught the eye of Mary J Blige, SWV, and Shai - where he was both body guard and road manager for all of them. His popularity grew and he caught the attention of a young executive named Shakim Compere, who was both manager and partner to Queen Latifah. In his travels, Blue kept bumping into Shakim, both on the road and playing recreational basketball in LA. Blue eventually introduced Shai to Shakim, who brought Blue onboard at Flavor Unit to be a manager. The Fu Shnickens (in 1994) was Blue’s entrée into management. He also learned by listening to anyone and everyone who had any success in the music business. Blue studied under Lyor, was mentored by Shakim (whom he worked with everyday), listened to everyone who’d take the time to talk to him (from product managers to marketing folks at labels to other managers who came before him), and learned as he went. Everywhere Shakim went, Blue went, so he listened and watched. He got to meet and be mentored by hugely successful people like Ernie Singleton and Clarence Avant, following up with phone calls and offering to buy them lunch so he could pick their brains. “Real mentors groom people to grow on their own,” Blue reminisces as he thinks back over the many people who played a part in his growth as he came up in this industry. At the height of Flavor Unit’s success, Blue managed Outkast, Monica, SWV, Total, Faith, Naughty By Nature, Queen Latifah, Donnell Jones, and LL Cool J. Flavor Unit had twelve artists signed to their management company, and Blue managed eight of them while Shakim handled the four biggest artists. Managers handle and build the careers of artists while interacting with the record labels on the artists’ behalf. Managers also find opportunities for the artists to make money. “If I don’t hunt, I don’t eat. If I don’t find opportunities for my artists, I’m not eating. I get paid a percentage of everything I find for them, so I have to be out there finding checks for them,” Blue states emphatically. “A manager’s job is getting artists out of bed, to get them to where they need to be. Managers find events, find tours, fight the label, and handle personal business for the artists. We get up every day and do what we gotta do.” Although Blue started managing smaller acts, those smaller acts became international superstars. Blue recalls, “I grew as they grew - like Outkast, for example. I then began finding my own acts to manage, such as the YoungBloodz when [Kawan “KP” Prather signed them at Arista.” Blue now manages Nas, Nick Cannon, and Case. In 1997, Blue decided to spread his wings and start his own company: Family Tree. He knew that when he had
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By Wendy Day from Rap Coalition
started at Flavor Unit, he’d never get rich working for someone else, but knew he had to learn the business and develop the right connections to benefit the artists. When he left Flavor Unit, he took Outkast and Donnell with him. Although it was difficult to leave, the time was right. The trust level was there with the artists he was managing at the time, and Shakim gave his blessing. Blue knew not to burn bridges but also knew the artists were planning to leave regardless, so there was no animosity with his former boss. Blue hadn’t jumped at the first opportunity to leave, and had proven his loyalty to the company repeatedly. Blue left when the time was right and sat Shakim down first and explained what he wanted to do because he respected Sha too much to just jump ship. Blue explains, “Bridges are critical. Connections and relationships are key in this industry. You have to always be respectful and know how you leave someplace. You will always need that person in the future. All artists leave eventually, it’s just a matter of time. But you have to be careful what you wish for, and not let people gas you up. It’s never what it seems to be from the outside looking in.” So as a manager, what does Blue look for? “I pick and choose artists selectively. I look for the complete package, meaning far more than just a good lyricist or someone who makes good music. Integrity is important. Management means going into the trenches, so if I am going to work hard, I have to manage artists I like, not to just make money.” He goes on to explain that he was a big Outkast fan. “I manage artists that I really like. I look for charisma as well as talent, meaning that I look for stars.” LA Reid taught him that. Blue looks for artists that stand out from other artists. He wants to work with someone who lights up a room. Managers make money from the whole package. Blue shares his secret for making money as a manager: “Hot records come and go, but an artist who can tour is where the money is. Can they sing that song four days in a row? I hope so, because touring is the key. Look at Cher as a touring example. Her manager, Roger Davies, arranged like 4 or 5 retirement tours (1999-2004) and Cher made $60 million per year touring. Look at the Eagles - every time they tour they make between $15 million and $25 million. A regular artist touring for 150 nights [a year] can make a couple million dollars. On Lyfe Jennings’ first album, touring is how he got people to notice him. The label’s focus was on John Legend at the time, so it was up to Lyfe to build his career by building a base of people. He listened and because of that he could build a career and feed his family. These days, he’s pulling at least $25,000 to $30,000 a night.” Now that’s a nice career! Another place to make money for artists is with endorsement deals. Blue both farms them out to others, as well as negotiating them himself. He feels there are so many opportunities today. “If you don’t farm them out, you’ll miss some. There are people out there who do this all day everyday. Learn how to outsource. I am better for my client if I can make a decision that makes a bigger pie for the artist to chop up. Insecurity and fear of losing clients keeps others from doing this. If an artist makes $4 million a year on the outside deals brought in by others, you’ve made more money than if you made him $1 million in deals on your own. Secure your relationship with the artist and let the outside professionals do what they do best, for your artist,” says Blue.
In terms of finding clients, most artists come referred through others due to Blue’s reputation. He might hear something inside a label about a new artist just getting signed, for example, LA Reid just signed his new ‘Usher’ and Blue wanted to meet the artist because he knows the value of what LA will bring to the table for the next big R&B act that he puts on the level of an ‘Usher.’ People bring him work. Blue says, “Reputation is key. Integrity can’t be replaced. “So-and-so is shady,” or “so-and-so stole money” - you can’t fix that. You have to keep your business clean. You always want the industry saying your name positively and impeccably. Word has to be your bond. It has to mean something. Don’t put it out there if you can’t deliver. If you can’t meet a deadline, make a call and let them know.” Sometimes it seems as if Blue’s success came quickly, but he assures me that’s not the case. “Realize that people are putting in days and years before anyone even knows who they are. Folks on the outside looking in say that his story seems easy, so I can do it too. Don’t just read his story and say, ‘I can do that’ and think you understand their journey. Chris Lighty, Shakim, and Blue built this shit. We were doing it, when others were just thinking about it. We put time in and put the grind in. We deserve more respect than thinking this shit was easy. I’ve been shot at; I’ve been paid $50,000 in $10s and $20s; I’ve had experiences!” How does Blue stay so humble? He remembers all of the other managers who’ve come and gone. Things happen to keep him humble. He still rides his motorcycle, still plays ball at Ruckers, and he’s still reminded that he’s a black man every time he steps on a plane. He’s not so far gone with the hype. His mother was a principle for 23 yrs in the South Bronx. “She had a real job and career. What she did has impact. What I do is fun. I’m lucky. I may be cocky in a room with my peers like Puff, or Lighty, or Steve Stout, etc. But I don’t believe the hype. And I’m proud that I don’t need security,” Blue tells me as he laughs. “I admit mistakes. I don’t need to add arrogance to it. I always remain humble and focused, and I just do my job. I keep it moving.” In asking Blue to tell me about any difficult experiences he’s overcome, he easily tells me about parting ways with Outkast last August. “I was blessed for ten years to manage Outkast. We never had a contract, everything was done by handshake. We were brothers. And after ten years of arguing around the world, it was time to take a break from each other. Outkast didn’t build their brand on their own. Just as they are dope artists, I am a dope manager. There are no hard feelings on either side, mine or theirs. What we accomplished together was enough. Someone called me recently about an idea for Dre, and I called Dre and forwarded the idea along because it was so perfect for him. There’s no animosity. Tension is high from everything going on, but we made a lot of money together. Of course, nowhere near what they should have made. They had a career of horrible managers, and then they had me. They’ve got nothing to compare me to. I think they know that this is harder than they ever thought. We still talk and we are still family. But this shit ain’t ever easy.” No, it’s never easy. Blue stares off into space as he reminds me, “Fortunately, every day I get the opportunity to get up and try again. I have a cousin in jail doing double life [sentences]. He has no opportunities.” So Blue is taking the opportunities that his cousin will never get. //
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words // DeVaughn Douglas
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PHOTOS // MIKE FROST
hree years ago Lil Flip was the poster boy for the Houston rap scene. He had a new deal with Sony Music and was moving up the pop and Hip Hop charts with his singles “Sunshine” and “Game Over.” “Game Over,” which used the beat from the Namco Pac Man video game, quickly became the subject of conversation as Flip’s album climbed the charts. The owners of the music sued Lil’ Flip along with Sony, which eventually brought about the demise of their relationship.
For the next few years it seemed as though Flip disappeared from rap altogether. During his hiatus Swishahouse, led by Mike Jones and Paul Wall, branded their Houston sound throughout the country. Now with Houston superstars like Chamillionaire winning every award available to rap and Port Arthur natives UGK rising back to notoriety, Flip’s place in Hip Hop seems rather shaky. Now a few months from releasing his Asylum/Warner Bros. debut, Lil’ Flip tells OZONE why he was gone for so long and where he belongs in the rap world today.
Why did you decide to leave Sony and go to Asylum/Warner Brothers? It’s difficult when you’re a hard working artist and you get treated like you don’t want to work. This is the same label that had 50; he got shot and they let him go. Basically, a lot of people there have egos that are bigger then the work that they’ve put in. With Asylum I got the street muthafuckas that know rap but I also got Warner, which is a big record producer. I got the underground and the major pushing my album.
blackball be after they found out I was making beats. He would bob his head in my face but then he would run back to Sony talking ‘bout, “He’s making beats now!” So if Flip is making beats that means that A&R doesn’t have a job. I ain’t trying to produce my whole album just cause I make a few beats. I’ve never had anyone over my back telling me what I need to do. I always constructed my own music. I never had anyone saying, “Flip, you need to do a girl record.” I just always did what I felt.
You mentioned earlier that you had trouble keeping up with the staff. Look, I’ve got a million reasons I can be mad at Sony but that was definitely one of the major ones. I originally signed with Steve Rifkind’s Loud Records. After Loud folded Columbia had the option of deciding which artists they wanted to keep or get rid of. They ended up keeping me and I was introduced to a brand new staff. By the time I started getting cool with this new staff I got up a few months later looking for people. I’m like, “Where’s such-andsuch” and they’d say, “Oh, he ain’t over here anymore. He’s with Universal.” That shit just started getting annoying. They ended up placing me around new people who were responsible for getting my project done and some of those new people placed me in fucked up situations.
On that note, do you feel like Sony tried to keep you in the same lane? In other words, when you have a hit like “Sunshine” or “Game Over” they are only looking for that kind of record? Yeah. With Sony, first off, their track record when it comes to [rappers] ain’t even all that. They give up on an artist when you get close to three hundred [thousand records sold]. If you ain’t doing shows, and out in these streets, and spending your own money on yourself you’ll fucking drown with them. I mean, no disrespect, but look at an artist like Amerie. She only goes gold every time. She gets her one video, maybe two, and [Sony] is cool with that. I know she wants to sell more records, and she should. Sony isn’t helping her, or their other artists, do what they should be doing. The only artist that’s doing phenomenal on the label is Beyonce. Now that Three 6 Mafia won an Oscar I’m sure Sony will start paying attention to them. Now Sony will spend money on them and be like, “Oh, we love you.” But them niggas have been putting it down for so long and only now is Sony looking. Sony should have been looking at them a long time ago. [Sony] don’t respect nobody unless you’re Beyonce or maybe Nas.
What kind of situations? Take the “Game Over” situation. That whole lawsuit could have been avoided. I didn’t even want to do that song for a number of reasons. One, Beanie Sigel had already done a song with the beat called “Mac Man.” Two, there was a dude [in Houston] doing that exact same song. Three, I had been sitting on that beat for about six months. I’m not going to say the A&R’s name, but he kept calling me saying, “I know you don’t wanna rap on it, but I’ll pay you thirty grand. Don’t worry, we’re not gonna use it on anything important.” Shit, I’m a nigga from the hood and you talking ‘bout thirty grand. I jumped my ass on the plane and went on ahead and got [the thirty grand]. So yeah, I did the song, but I never really expected them to release it, or for it to get so big. Plus, peep what I did just in case they pulled some foul shit. I cuss so much on the beginning of the song that I never thought they would use it as a single. In the beginning of the song I start it off sayin’, “Aww shit, y’all done fucked up and let me in this bitch.” I was trying to say so many cuss words - I didn’t overdo it because it could have been worse. I did that shit so that it would not be my radio hit. But I’ll put this on everything - I did the song on a Monday and then I stayed in New York for four days. When I flew home on Friday that [song] was on the countdown. So you didn’t even expect “Game Over” to be on the album? I was just doing it because they begged me so much. They would not take no for a fucking answer so I finally agreed to do it. Plus, the agreement was that they wouldn’t use the song for nothing that I didn’t approve of. That was a lie. Then the lawsuit came behind that shit. The media hyped that shit up like I took the beat and then at the end of it all I didn’t have to pay. From every article that was out it seemed like you took the beat. Nah, Sony had to pay for all that shit. An A&R that worked for Sony is the one that brought me that beat. He didn’t clear that shit. He acted like he was on top of his business and he just wasn’t. That’s the first time I let an A&R pick some shit and look what happen, so now I don’t fool with that A&R shit anymore. A lot of them have ulterior motives. What do you mean by ulterior motives? I feel like Sony blackballed me. I’ve got songs with Destiny’s Child and Beyonce that we were supposed to shoot a video for but they won’t release it. You won’t let me shoot a video for that but you’ll allow someone I’m beefing with to shoot a video and do a song with them? Man, I’ve had A&Rs try to
Nas has criticized Sony in the past. Right. He got problems with them but he gets more respect off of seniority. I mean it probably ain’t all peaches and cream for him like he wants it to be but for the most part him and Beyonce are cool. So now you don’t have to deal with A&Rs at Sony picking your music. How did the new single with Lyfe come about? We shot the video for “What it Do” and did an uncut video. Then we were getting ready to shoot the video for “I’m a Baller” and halfway through is when I was starting to leave Sony. There were only about three or four people who knew I was leaving Sony so everyone was pushing “I’m a Baller.” When I got over to Asylum they tried to get “I’m a Baller” and send it to DJs but everyone was like, “I got this from Sony three months ago.” That was a big record. My first performance of the song scared me because when I went out there everyone in the audience already knew the words to the song. Warner decided they wanted to go with “Ghetto Mindstate” and I was kind of shocked. I was a little skeptical because it wasn’t a club record but it was testing well with programmers. So I just said, “Fuck it, let’s go with it.” I’ve always wanted to do music with Lyfe. I had heard about him before he had even got out of jail. I don’t put an artist on [a record] because they’re hot. I put people on my songs that I can feel. Did your album get leaked when you switched labels? I had to pay [Sony] two million dollars to leave, to take my album with me and buy myself out of contract. Right after I left somebody leaked the album. Usually your label sends out two or three singles but I was starting to notice that when I visited radio stations the DJs had the whole CD. This was three or four months before the album was supposed to come out. It was frustrating dealing with that and the beef I was going through, and that shit just pissed me off. I just said fuck rap for a minute. I’m not gonna put out an album that everyone has. I don’t even know how many people got the album. But when I’m out in the streets people were still telling me to put out the album and they were going to buy it anyway. So I went back in the studio and did 18 OZONE MAG // 57
more songs to put on the album. The first single, “Ghetto Mindstate,” appears to be a break away from the type of music you usually do. No, on The Leprechaun I had a song called “Gotta be Me.” I had a song called “The Biz” about the rap business. On Underground Legend I had “What I Been Through,” “I Should Have Listened,” and “It’s A Fact.” I’ve had a lot of songs that ain’t got shit to do with the club because everyone don’t wanna hear about that and jewelry. That’s the fucked up thing about the rap game, man. Your first look is what you are. That’s all people see you as. What separates this album from your last albums? It’s more mature. Most of the time my albums are done one right after the other. This one has a more mature sound because there is a three year break in between recording. I take more risks on this album by trying different tracks and different rhyme schemes. What’s your response to the critics that don’t think you’re lyrically up to par or that you’re too commercial? There’s two types of rappers: rappers that sit around and see how many big words they can rhyme, and those that have more of a conversational flow. My type of style is the conversational flow because when I rap it feels like I’m telling you a story. Before my albums, when I was underground, I was known for straight freestyling. I was spitting off the top of my dome what I was living and how I was feeling, but when you get into making records, it’s different. There’s a difference between making a battle record and a hit song. My whole thing is, everybody’s got their own way of telling a story and this is mine. I’m more of a storyteller. Critics are funny. I’ve bought at least six trash albums in the last year because some magazine said it was a classic. So the critics will praise the garbage and trash good shit. Take Ice Cube’s last album. I read some bad reviews on it but when I listened to that shit that bitch was jamming. He was rapping about what’s going on in the world right now and that shit was hard. These magazines and critics just show too much favoritism. It’s not even about the music anymore. What’s it like stepping back into the Houston rap scene? You came out on your own and then kind of fell back. Swishahouse was pretty much on top of Houston after that. What is your place now in the Houston rap scene? Yeah. What people don’t realize is I didn’t take a break by choice. Plus, even though I didn’t have an album out I was on a lot of independent shit. I stayed on the road touring and doing mixtapes and DVDs. Everywhere I went the fans keep telling me they were waiting on an album. I feel like my place is still there, but I just had to go through a lot of bullshit. Now I just gotta come back harder then ever before. If I knew what I know now with Sony, it would have been a totally different situation. The fans know when I come back I;m coming hard. You’ve moved from being an independent artist to a major label artist. What are some of the things you learned during your career? With independent labels you spend your own money and take all the risk. You’ll be real pissed if you get screwed or fucked over on a show or some shit. But with a major, if they fuck up - that’s their money. I can still get money on shows if the major fucks up. So independent you can make more money, but if you take a loss you can take it pretty hard. Anything else? Keep your contacts. I use to book my own shows before I signed with a major so I would be on the phone with the DJs and program directors. When I got with the majors I would always have someone in between me and the program director or DJ. Keep in contact and speak with your people directly. I had someone say he tried to get me on one of his mixtapes but my people kept telling him, “No” or, “He’s too busy.” I ran into him and had to personally send him some freestyles that I had saved on my computer. This guy is the DJ for the [Miami] Heat so this ain’t small time. Now I’m thinking, damn, if they passed up on this opportunity what else are the passing up on without me knowing? I was doing everything before on my own; picking the beats, promotions, marketing, doing it all. That’s why I feel I’m a star. I’m probably one of the only people out of Houston that has all the elements that it takes to be a star. So let’s set the record straight. In terms of Houston artists, there are rumors that you don’t get along with a lot of them. Names like Slim Thug, Paul Wall, and Swishahouse always seem to come up. I was one of the first Screwed Up Click members to do songs with Swishhouse. Didn’t no S.U.C. artists do songs with them before me. I was the first cat to do that. I don’t have a problem with anybody from Swishahouse. They never did shit to me. I love the North side [of Houston]. I got family that stay on the North side. I don’t have a problem with nobody unless they disrespect me. All these people who they say I have problems with or 58 // OZONE MAG
supposedly have problems with me appeared on my first album. I’m 95% of these Houston rappers’ idol. They was calling me every day to fuck with me. They used to call my phone every day. All that grills shining and the big jewelry? All that shit came from me. You know how it is when you’re a baby and you want to be like your daddy? Then when you turn 18 you feel like you can buck him? So a lot of people feel like now that they’re getting a little notoriety, they’re bigger and better than me. Me, I’m not focusing on the bullshit. All the people who offended me know what they did. I’m loyal and other people just aren’t. If I fuck with you, I fuck with you whether you have a hit or not. There’s no more loyalty in the game. People got this idea that when they come out they got to save the hood or all their homeboys. How many rappers put the homeboy on when they blow and nobody really feels their homeboy? How many rappers got all their friends on stage with expensive jewelry? That shit is draining financially and emotionally. They don’t realize that at the end of the day when it’s time to pay the bills, your homeboys don’t want none of that shit. With the state of the music industry nowadays it seems like it’s getting harder and harder to pay bills. Hell yeah. You’ll have an artist come out with a hot single and only sell a hundred thousand records. You got to look into other avenues. I’ve wrote a couple of books. I’ve got an autobiography coming out. I got a few movies coming out. One is called “Crown Me,” a horror movie, and a movie called What They Don’t Want You To Know About The Rap Game. I’ve got a cookbook coming out called “My Grandparents Cookbook.” I got a clothing and tennis shoe line coming out along with my line of watches. Plus my alcohol Lucky Nights is selling and I’m adding a couple of sodas to that. You can’t just put all your eggs in one basket. Ain’t nothing wrong with having multiple jobs. //
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L E T R A C
WORDS & PHOTOS // JULIA BEVERLY
The Big Boss Ricky Ross is so confident in his two up and coming lyricists, (l to r) Gun Play and TORCH, that he’ll put a million on either of their success. When you hear Carol City Cartel’s music you’ll understand why it’s
irst off, every artist that blows up seems to come out with their own group, and not all of them are necessarily good enough to have their own album. So what makes Carol City Cartel different? Torch: Cause we’re the best. Rick Ross: Listen, we’re the best, first and foremost. It’s the big boss Ricky Ross. It took me a long time to get here, but the first thing I always said was, “When I get on, I’m going to return that favor and put the next man on.” And at the same time, it’s one of the best moves you can make as an entrepreneur. I got the realest, wildest young niggas out of the hood and gave them an opportunity to see this thing come to life. That’s what Torch and Gun Play are all about. There’s a lot more dudes that ride with us, but this is who we’re focusing on. We’re coming with the debut album Black Flag. It’s going to be legendary. We got everybody on there. Cool & Dre, Jazze Pha, Young Jeezy, DJ Toomp, a lot of people. You used to be driving the white-on-white; now you’ve got the black-onblack and got an album coming out called Black Flag. Why the switch? Rick Ross: Yeah, the white-on-white, that represented the birth of my career. Now, the black-on-black represents the death of the enemy. And your enemy is who? Rick Ross: Man, a lot of bustas. Triple C, y’all better go get that album and you’ll learn.
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Gun Play, a lot of people have seen you performing with Rick at his shows, and you’re kind of hard to miss. You’ve got a real unique look. Rick Ross: You know, that’s cause he’s on five drugs right now. That’s why he looks like that. [laughs] What drugs are you on right now? Gun Play: I’m on some yellow. That’s that syrup, that real good ‘Tuss, ya feel me? We just flew in from Minneapolis last night, so we ‘Tussed out. I got some clean coming but I’m not gonna fuck with that til tonight cause I ain’t really trying to overdose right now. That’s a whole ‘nother issue. ODTV. Rick Ross: Overdose TV coming soon. Happy endings! Gun Play: Nah, I ain’t got Overdose TV coming, just a DVD. Happy endings? Gun Play: That’s another interview. That’s another movie. Rick Ross: Gun Play is the black Tommy Lee. So you’re self-destructive? Gun Play: Very. [laughs] But we ain’t going to get into all that. I’m going to be your psychologist right now. Gun Play: Nah, listen, I’m the underboss. Don’t worry about the drugs, that’s a whole ‘nother segment.
But you only named two. He said you’re on five drugs. What’s the other three? Gun Play: You know, somebody got some fire skittles, and I’m with that too. These niggas blow them fat dirtys too. But that’s another segment. Black Flag coming soon. I’m the underboss, man. Ross took me, by the back of my neck like a little puppy, when I was a kid, and just basically showed me how to get money and how to interact with real niggas, real playas, across the map. He molded my career and I followed him cause I knew he was a boss early. So he was kind of a father figure to you? Gun Play: Yeah, you know, it’s deeper than that. I got these C’s on my eyes, these black flags on the other side. I’m a fucking billboard. It’s [Carol City Cartel] all over, you know? So for the people who aren’t from Miami, let ‘em know what Carol City Cartel is all about. Rick Ross: Carol City is all about money, man. That’s where the biggest players come from. The biggest hustlers, the most gettin’-money niggas in the world. Gun Play: It’s all about the MIA. We rep the whole city of Miami. We most definitely rep Carol City, but the whole 305, we ridin’ with them. This is the city of dope. That’s where we come from.
I’ma just keep it real and do my best to be a good leader and a good motivator. I tell them to stay off the drugs, save their money, and invest in things. Saving your money is the best investment ever, feel me?
I heard Rick had to bail you out a couple days ago. What was that about? Gun Play: [laughs] Ooh, shit. Who told you about that? Yeah, I was fucking around on some shit and almost missed my flight to Chicago the next day for a New Years’ Eve party. You know, when I get the girl at the end of the night, that’s a happy ending. But why are you talking about my problems again? That’s a whole different issue. That’s what makes an artist great, right? Gun Play: My issues? Yeah. So what are your issues? Gun Play: Man, my issues are cocaine, man. Goddamn promethazine, man. Goddamn pills, goddamn weed, goddamn alcohol. All that there, man. I gets fucked up, cause I work hard, ya dig? That’s what I do, playa, so it’s all good. Okay, we’ll leave you alone for now. Torch, you’re the quiet one in the group? Torch: Yeah, I lay low. What do you bring to the table as an artist? Torch: I bring the hustler’s angle from up top. I’m the Cartel’s headbussa from up North, you know? I bring the transporters. My hands are dirty. I’m from the streets. I’m from the Castle Hill Projects in the BX. How did you end up down here in Miami? Torch: I came down here around the end of ’98, ’99. That’s probably one of the biggest misconceptions about me; a lot of niggas probably think this is some new shit because they just met me. But a nigga been down here putting in groundwork. What are the similarities and differences you’ve seen between your time in the Bronx and Miami? Torch: Shit, same work, different hustle everywhere. You just gotta go get it. If you a go-getter, you’ll know what I’m talking about. You gonna get it. How do you feel about the “North vs. South” mentality in the rap game? Torch: Shit, I don’t even know about all that. Niggas just need to make music and get money, straight up. If niggas are making good music, they’re gonna get money no matter where you’re from. North, South, East, West, if the shit is hot, they’re gonna get money. Should we expect the same type of music from a Carol City Cartel album that we heard on Rick’s album, or are y’all bringing a different flavor musically? Rick Ross: It’s a different flavor. Triple C sticks to more like the “White House” records, you know? It’s that vibe. We keep it all the way gutter, all the way street. On the Triple C album you’re going to get a lot more different flows, coming with Gun Play and Torch. They’re both lyricists. I’ll put a million on both of them. They’re both playing their position right now, but the time is going to come when they stand up on their own. The world is going to see what I’ve been seeing for the last decade. Both of them boys are ready. Do you think you have to work harder for the world to respect you as artists and not just Rick Ross’s homeboy? Torch: Nah, they’re going to hear the music and understand. The music speaks for itself. OZONE MAG // 61
My career started from mixtapes, so me, I’m pro-mixtape. I believe in mixtapes. They help you get to a certain point, [but] once you get to a Jay-Z status you can’t do thirty records and just leak them on a mixtape when there’s a $20 million dollar advance [on the table]. - Rick Ross Is there a lead single from the album? Rick Ross: Yeah, we just dropped “Where You From,” and we’re getting a crazy response on that record. It’s Triple C featuring Brisco. It’s a real hard underground street record. It’s a represent-type song? Rick Ross: Yeah, represent where you from. That’s what it is. We’re still grinding it out, making big moves. Look out for Flo-Rida, Brisco, E-Class, Triple C, M-I-Yayo the movie. We finna kick the doors in with our label deal. We’re gonna wrap that up real soon. My next solo album Trilla is coming soon too. When y’all get that big advance for the Triple C project what are you going to do with it? [Everyone starts talking at the same time about houses, and someone states that someone blew $100,000 in three months and called him on the phone asking for $5,000] Rick Ross: It’s a new life right now. I got to stunt, feel me? On a 25/8 basis. Fuck 24/7. I gota stunt always, so I need seven [figures], eight [figures]. But we’re gonna always get more money, so that shit won’t be nothing. We’re going to get millions and more millions, and that’s what I like, ya dig? So what about you? What are you doing with your advance? Torch: Shit, man. Go harder. Can’t settle, man. Invest. That’s not a real answer. What are you going to invest in? Torch: Shit, everything. Heroin. Um, okay. How about real estate? Torch: Real estate ain’t better than heroin. If you say so. Well, going back to the album - tell me a little more about it. Rick Ross: It’s a real fire album. The beats are legendary, the production is legendary, and you know I got the biggest features that I could possibly get. If you’ve never heard of Gun Play, look out for him. Listen to him. Put your ear to the streets and you’re going to understand where he’s coming from. He’s one of the best in the game and I’m happy to be a part of this. With Torch, you know, New York is suffering right now but I’d put down a million that he’ll be the one to bring it back with his solo project. I’ma just keep it real and do my best to be a good leader and a good motivator. I tell them to stay off the drugs, save their money, and invest in things. Saving your money is the best investment ever, feel me? So y’all niggas stay gangsta. Who all did you work with as far as features and production? Rick Ross: We got the best of the best: Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Brisco, Flo-Rida, 8Ball, Boyz N Da Hood, Yung Joc, and Smitty. On the production, we
(right) The Carol City Cartel, a.k.a. Triple C’s, is more than just a rap group.
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got Cool & Dre and Don Cannon and a few others. We just mixed it up with a lot of different elements and flavors. It’s going to be the biggest street album of the year. You know, I grew up listening to that West Coast rap – this is the down South version of N.W.A. Just let the people know we coming. Lyrics, it’s nothing. Beats, it’s nothing. We’re getting the most money because we outwork niggas, man. So speaking of Don Cannon, what’s your opinion on the RIAA’s raid of the Aphilliates studio? Do you think it’s going to fuck up the mixtape game or the rap game in general? Rick Ross: No, it’s like busting a dope boy in Liberty City. That shit will still be up and running. But to keep it all the way real, I don’t even know exactly what happened. Until I talk to somebody direct, there’s a lot of room for speculation. Do you think mixtapes like the Gangsta Grillz series help or hurt an artists’ record sales? Rick Ross: Your real fans are gonna buy your album anyway. My career started from mixtapes, so me, I’m pro-mixtape. I believe in mixtapes. They help you get to a certain point, and then you control the amount of music that’s in the market through your albums. But isn’t that hypocritical if you turn your back on the mixtape game after it helps you get to the top? Rick Ross: Nah, how is that hypocritical? Once you get to a certain point, it becomes more business. Once you get to a Jay-Z status you can’t do thirty records and just leak them on a mixtape when there’s a $20 million dollar advance [on the table]. If you’re an up-and-coming artist and you need to establish yourself, like I was – and still am – I’m going to do a release with DJ Drama, DJ Khaled, and Bigga Rankin’s Real Nigga Radio. You know, I wish [mixtape DJs] the best. DJ Drama is a great businessman and he’s got a lot of great dudes around him, so I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to handle whatever the situation may be. They ain’t get caught with no heroin, and as long as you don’t get caught with heroin, you’re alright. [laughs] Hmm. Sounds like you’re speaking from personal experience. Have you ever been caught with heroin? Rick Ross: Nah. [Someone in the background says, “Don’t answer that.”] Gun Play: Man, listen. Black Flag is coming soon. Torch is one of the nicest in the muthafuckin’ world, and I’m one of the nicest in the muthafuckin’ world. I work for the big boss, Ricky Ross, Rick Rizzle, Rich Nizzle, Ricky Clause. //
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not saying that [mixtape DJs] are getting rich off artists and the artist ain’t getting no benefits from it, but yeah, they’re getting paid. To me, doing a mixtape is like putting out an album. I might as well take those same rhymes and put it on some of my own beats and put a record out instead of paying for some street credibility that a nigga’s trying to sell me, telling me that this [mixtape] is what I need to make my album sell. If someone’s getting paid [off my mixtape], I want to get money too. If everybody can get paid, it’s a beautiful thing. But as soon as you put your rhymes over beats, it’s no longer a mixtape. It’s an independent album. What I propose is that mixtape DJs start hosting independent record releases. Instead of the rappers taking the small end of the money or no money at all and wait for the mixtape DJ to blow them up, why don’t the DJs take $5,000 or $10,000 and jump on these independent mixtapes and host them muthafuckers. They need to say “hosted by DJ so-and-so” now, because with the copyright game and the way the powers that be are playing dirty now, they can come get their houses and cars. Even with “for promo only” on it, it’s still copywritten music and they’re still going to get sued. So we’ve gotta come up with new, creative ways to put this stuff out and still keep the same street flavor that we get out of mixtapes. DJs are gonna have to start doing mixtapes of their own music. That’s just the bottom line. If you’ve got a reputable artist that’s hot, it’s going to sell whether you use existing beats that’s already on the radio or brand new beats. People just want to hear these hot dudes rhyme and want to hear some new material cause everything is so watered down right now. In my case, I don’t have a publishing deal right now, so Jive doesn’t have jurisdiction on my income. But in most cases, the artists do have some type of deal with their label. At the end of the day it’s easier to give up [a freestyle] and still run with your business than it is when you’re dealing with total copyright infringement. 64 // OZONE MAG
I don’t buy mixtapes or listen to them. I like [artists like] Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne, but I ain’t never heard none of their mixtapes. I don’t participate in that shit. Do I think Jeezy would be where he’s at without his mixtapes? Hell yeah. The nigga is cold. Wayne is on top of his game right now. That nigga ain’t gotta rap on other niggas’ beats just to get people to know that he can rap. He could take those same rhymes and put them on some indie shit on the site and get paid. Most of those independent [labels] are getting $7 or $8 per record, and a nigga like Jeezy right now can sell 50,000 independent records. Even if he just gets on a record and farts, we’re going to buy it. I think [the idea that artists need mixtapes to sell albums] is the attitude that these [DJs] want us to have. But I do think it’s dirty that record labels pay mixtape DJs to do a mixtape on an artist and then turn around and send the Feds to niggas’ studios to arrest them and fuck over ‘em like that. I think that’s some fucked up shit. I think it is very unfair that record labels are paying niggas like Drama to do mixtapes and then they turn around and sell a nigga out and throw him under the bus. That’s fucked up. If they’re going to turn their heads on [mixtape DJs] then they need to go ahead and turn their heads on the whole thing. I think it’s easier for them to condone the shit. [The record labels] are going to have to adjust their approach a little bit. The first time we talked [about doing a UGK Gangsta Grillz mixtape] me and Drama had figured out a way for both of us to get paid. We ain’t gonna expose all the details of what we were talking about, but we came up with a way that both of us could get paid. We were going to do a Gangsta Grillz, mixtape style, but using beats that I produced. [Our record label] Jive was going to give Drama $10,000 to do our mixtape, and he was going to give us the $10,000 back. I said, “Nah, you keep the $10,000 and let’s do the mixtape over our beats, you host the muthafucker, we’ll walk in Jive and let them press up 100,000 or 150,000 copies and put it in the stores as a limited edition.” In a case like that, I can make Jive give me $100,000 [advance] and
give Bun a $100,000 [advance].
make a record about it. Fuck ‘em in the ass, man.
If you want to settle for $10,000, that’s you. But me, I like advances. I like money. I don’t give a fuck about getting niggas on the street to like it. But even though I feel a certain way about the mixtape game, when it comes down to the RIAA vs. mixtape DJs, I’m riding with [DJs like] Drama. I’m never going to ride with the establishment. I support Drama because they threw him under the bus, and a whole bunch of these record labels were paying him to do their mixtapes. You and I both know we had the conversation because Jive was trying to pay him [to do a UGK Gangsta Grillz].
They’re making $8 a record, and some of them are selling 150,000 mixtapes every time they drop, so somebody is getting some money. Even if the production cost is just a dollar, they’re still making money. Even after their promotion if they’re only making $5 a record, $5 times 100,000 is $500,000 and if Pimp C’s name is on that muthafucker, you’re gonna break me off. And if the DJs don’t want to support UGK, fuck them anyways because my fans are drug dealers, strippers, hot boys, and hot girls, and I don’t give a damn about selling no records to no other muthafuckers. I don’t give a fuck if they don’t like me on the East coast. I don’t give a damn if the record company don’t like it. I don’t give a fuck and that’s my attitude toward the game. If I don’t eat, you ain’t gonna eat off me.
And Jive ain’t on an island of their own. These muthafuckers [at all the record labels] were up there paying this dude [Drama] to do mixtapes on their artist. For a brand new artist that needs a street buzz and has never sold no records, that’s a great thing to do. Get them a DJ with a name, put a mixtape out, get people hyped on you, and then you’re able to get a deal. But for a nigga like me that likes money, and niggas buy my records anyway, I can’t fuck with it. I gotta get me some bread. But at the end of the day, the same people that was paying Drama to do mixtapes send the Feds at him, and I think that’s real fucked up. I’m riding with Drama because they fucked over him. He ain’t doing nothing worse than what the record companies are doing; putting out records and trying not to pay the artist. If you see a nigga in the street who has sold 100,000 records and he looks broke, something is wrong. Even if he only sold 50,000 records, somebody got paid somewhere. So even though I don’t do mixtapes and all that, I still gotta ride with Drama because he’s a product of the streets. At the end of the day, fans don’t give a fuck about [the politics]. They just want to hear their favorite rapper. He was supplying the streets with the dope that they needed to keep going in between these weak-ass watered-down albums where they won’t let a nigga sample no muthafuckin’ records no more. And Drama is just the first example of what the Feds are going to do to a bunch of muthafuckers if they don’t get their game together.
“I’VE NEVER TOLD A DJ, ‘NO, I WON’T GET ON YOUR MIXTAPE.’ I JUST ASK THEM HOW MUCH MONEY WE’RE GOING TO MAKE. BUT WHEN I TALK ABOUT MONEY, NIGGAS DON’T WANT TO TALK TO ME NO MORE. WELL, YOU CAN’T GO TO THE DOPE MAN AND BUY NO COCAINE IF YOU AIN’T GOT NO MONEY.”
But you know what [the raid] did? It made Drama the most famous mixtape DJ in the world, and I’m sure he knows what to do with that [reputation] because that muthafucker is smart. Shit, you’ve gotta be smart to fool everybody into thinking that you ain’t making no money off these mixtapes.
I know a whole bunch of hoes that fuck for free and will get their pussy wet for some dinner at night. I also know a bunch of prostitutes that make $3,000 - $4,000 a night out on these streets. So you’ve got different types of bitches and hoes out there. If [other artists] want to do mixtapes for free, why would [DJs] be mad at me? Miss me with that bullshit. I’m all about money. Straight business. And I might have only sold a quarter or half of the amount of records that these niggas done sold, so something’s wrong here. If I’m in the club with a nigga that I know has sold a bunch of records and his jewelry looks funny, somewhere along the line the money is not going back to his pocket. If I see a nigga who’s blowed up in the media and I know that he’s living bad and his shit is fucked up, something is really wrong here. If you’re a broke rapper with a record deal in the United States right now, something’s wrong because there is too much money to go around for that. If you’re a rapper and you’ve got a record deal but you’re broke and the CEO is riding around with more diamonds on his neck than your house cost, you better get your shit in line and figure out where the money is going. The whole record industry is acting like they’re broke right now, because as long as they keep crying and acting like they ain’t got no money, they ain’t gotta give nobody none. I don’t see Interscope hurting for money right now, do you? All of them muthafuckers [in the record industry] are rich. The music business ain’t that bad. Sure, some people ain’t selling as many records as they were selling before, and it’s probably because two weeks before everybody’s album comes out, the bootleg is out. If I got the bootleg for $5 the week before and it wasn’t good, what’s gonna make me go to the store and spend all my hard earned money on that album? I’m not gonna do it and you’re not gonna do it either. Do you know what I’m riding around listening to right now? Eazy Duz It. That’s some shit from a whole ‘nother era. I called Scarface and told him, “Look here, man. Whatever you got going on with the record label, please settle that shit and put an album out because we really need a good record right now, bro. Niggas’ shit is all watered down, no samples.” Niggas are sex symbols now. They got lip gloss all over they lips in the videos, looking extra shiny, and they want us to go to the store and spend our hard-earned money on that shit. Nah, man, we are going to spend $5 on the bootleg and check your shit out to see if it is jammin’. That’s why niggas’ record sales are going down, cause they’re putting out that bullshit. And the radio doesn’t help us, either. Shit, the radio is all being programmed by one or two companies that own the radio stations. Back in the day, everywhere I went they were playing a different record that was hot in that city and you wouldn’t hear it nowhere else. Now, everywhere I go, I hear the same damn Beyonce song playing all muthafuckin’ day long. It makes me sick to my stomach. So we’re turning on XM and Sirius and we’re buying mixtapes because niggas are starving for music. So yeah, I support the mixtape game, as long as I can get some money too. Let’s all get some money together.
Fuck the gotdamn publishing companies. Fuck the gotdamn record labels. Fuck all them. I’m riding with Drama. And all the hoe-ass niggas that were trying to talk down on him, shit, you better get real, cause those muthafuckers don’t give a damn about you. If they figure out a way, they’ll send the muthafuckin’ RIAA at us too.
But I never want [my opinions] to be misconstrued that the DJ is not important to this rap shit. There couldn’t be no rappers or Hip Hop music or gangsta music if it wasn’t for the DJs. We need DJs to serve it and spin it in the right fashion. Without them, there wouldn’t be no us. The shit don’t work without the DJs. DJs are very important. They’re just as important as the rappers, the producers, and the record companies.
I’ve never told a DJ, “No, I won’t get on your mixtape.” I just ask them how much money we’re going to make. But when I talk about money, niggas don’t want to talk to me no more. Well, you can’t go to the dope man and buy no cocaine if you ain’t got no money. Even if you’re getting it off consignment, at the end you’ve gotta come back with some muthafuckin’ money. So I always say, “Nigga, how much money are you making off this mixtape, and how much are you going to give me?” They never call back. So if a nigga don’t like my attitude towards this game and the way I do things, fuck ‘em in they pussies. Tell all these bitch ass niggas to get in line and go on and
So, I’m not angry at mixtape DJs. I just like money. I actually like greedy muthafuckin’ DJs more; I want to work with them because that means we’re going to get the most money together. Most [mixtape DJs] just aren’t greedy enough. They’re used to the way it’s being done. When a muthafucker wants to come in and try to challenge the structure of the game, people don’t like that. Who wants to give up $250,000 out of their $500,000? They don’t want to do that. // - as told to Julia Beverly OZONE MAG // 65
J Paul and Juicy J aren’t typical Hollywood residents. The Memphis natives who recently relocated to the supple surroundings of Southern Cali would rather drink red Kool-Aid than red wine. They prefer fried bologna sandwiches to fried calamari or caviar, and though they enjoy champagne and cigars, most of Paul and J’s neighbors are wealthy Anglo-Saxons who had probably never heard of them until last Spring when they brought home a gold statue of a bald headed white man better known as Oscar. To say the least, the Three 6 duo is not the average Hollywood tandem, but then again, this isn’t Hollywood, this is the HollyHood, a city nestled in the state of mind somewhere between Southern California and North Memphis. It’s a place where the fabulous lifestyle of the once Most Known Unknowns is not only accepted, it’s celebrated. I hear you guys bought a house out in California? DJ Paul: Yeah, yeah, yeah, we got a little spot out there, man. You know it’s for when we be out there doing movies, shows and stuff, so we could keep it rolling. How is the West Coast treating you? DJ Paul: Ah, man, love, its love out there. We get love everywhere we go. What’s the biggest difference from living out in Southern California compared to living in North Memphis? Juicy J: Sunshine. DJ Paul: I mean, we still live in Memphis, we just be out there from time to time working on movie stuff and the TV show and all that. But yeah, like Juicy said, it’s more sunshine and it’s expensive as hell out there. Tell me about the new reality show you guys are working on. How did that project come about? Juicy J: Yeah, basically, it’s called HollyHood, and they follow Three 6 Mafia around as we adventure through Hollywood. You see us chase women, chase money, all that, man. It’s just us kickin’ it.
So is it more like Flavor of Love or The Real World? DJ Paul: Aw, neither one. It’s something totally different, man. You ain’t seen nothing like our show. So how will the music be different now that you guys are on TV living the Hollywood life? DJ Paul: It ain’t different at all. Like I said, it’s still the same. We still record our music in Memphis, we do a few out here, we do a few there. We record wherever we be at. Right now, we in New York, when we get outta here we can go to the studio. Plus, we keep a studio on the road with us in our bus and all that, so we record everywhere. I’ve recorded songs at the rest stop in Arizona. What new doors have opened up for you guys since winning an Oscar? DJ Paul: Aw man, all kinda doors, man. You know when you watch cartoons and you see that big ol’ silver door at the bank, the big ol’ vault door? That door opened up for us. Damn, that must be nice. So aside from winning an Oscar and making history in the process, what accomplishment gave you the most satisfaction last year that may have been overshadowed by that Academy Award? DJ Paul: People didn’t realize that “Stay Fly” was our biggest single ever, and “Poppin’ My Collar” was our second biggest single ever, then, “Side 2 Side” was our third biggest single ever. So, before the Oscar we had made a little history ourselves with those records. “Stay Fly” was your biggest hit, but there were some rumors going around that the girl singing the hook in the background was delivering some subliminal messages or something, can you clear that up? DJ Paul: Nah, that was an old R&B soul sample. That was a love song sampled in the back, man. That wasn’t no devil worshipping or nothing going on in the back of that song. Well obviously the rumors didn’t hurt the success of the record, or the subsequent singles, but why do you think people have so many misconceptions about you guys? DJ Paul: I don’t know, we really don’t pay no attention to all that. I mainly focus on all the positive stuff. If it’s negative, my ears automatically close. I went and got this operation so if I hear anything negative, my ears close on they own. I spent 20 G’s on that operation, man. 20 G’s! 66 // OZONE MAG
When is it going to air? Juicy J: It premieres on April 5th. It’s gonna be on the 10 Spot on MTV, on Thursday nights.
rm of promoti.on Mixtapes are a fo love mixtapes g for artists, so I ar ted off makin Me and Juicy st ixtape DJs m e er w e W . es p ta mix s, early 90s. back in the late 80
We played around, did some tricks, but for the most part its still gangsta, gutter music, Three 6 Mafia style music. We just got an extra trick or two to pull out the sleeves.
You guys are becoming major Hollywood, or HollyHood stars. You were in Jackass 2, you had Choices 1 and 2, and now you got your own show. What other big screen productions are you guys working on? DJ Paul: The new Rocky movie, we did the theme song for the fighter who Rocky was going up against. The character was played by Antonio Tarver; his name was Mason Dixon in the movie. We did the theme song for Mason Dixon. Juicy J: We did a few joints that ain’t came out yet and we really can’t talk on it till the checks clear. I hear you on that, man. So I know the last album was called the Most Known Unknown, but a lot has changed since then. Do you still feel like that is an accurate title? Juicy J: No. DJ Paul: Once you win an Oscar in front of 56 million folks you ain’t unknown no more. Do you consider yourselves to be Hollywood now? How has your mentality changed? DJ Paul: We’re still the same. We still eat fried bologna sandwiches and we still travel all the way back to Memphis to get a good deal on Kool-Aid packages. My favorite flavor is the cherry, I ain’t really into Blue Raspberries and all that. So you guys have the same ways and habits as you did when you were the most known unknowns, but what’s the biggest difference now that you’re one of the most known knowns? Juicy J: We can’t really just go out like we used to could because everybody knows our faces and stuff, but it feels good, though. DJ Paul: Yeah, it be cool, it’s just sometime like, I had this dude walk up on me and ask me for an autograph while I was standing at the urinal. That kinda freaked me out. So tell me a little bit about the new album? Juicy J: Oh, we’re through with it. We got like 50 songs recorded. The hard part is figuring out what songs to use, that’s the hard part.
What direction are you guys going with this project? DJ Paul: Aw, it’s the same as all the other albums. If it ain’t broke, we don’t try to fix it. The lead single is “Doe Boy Fresh,” correct? DJ Paul: Yeah, it’s “Doe Boy Fresh,” we gon’ premiere it tomorrow as the Spankin’ New Video on TRL. It’s featuring Chamillionaire.
a i f a m e e r th 6 IN words // ERIC PERR
Who else do you guys have featured on the new CD? Juicy J: Paul Wall, Lil Keke, 8Ball & MJG, Project Pat, Lyfe Jennings, Lil Wyte, and some hometown legends like Al Kapone, Spanish Fly. How has the group dynamic changed now that Crunchy Black is no longer a member? DJ Paul: It’s still the same. Me and Juicy always wrote most of the songs. We always wrote all the music and produced all the records so everything is all the same. You ain’t gonna hear no difference. I heard that Project Pat is now an official member of Three 6 Mafia. Is that true? DJ Paul: That’s just a rumor. He stands in on a lot of tracks, like if we need a third verse or if we feel another voice needs to be on the hook or something, but he’s stayin’ solo. Do you have any new artists coming out that you’re working with? Juicy J: Right now we ain’t got no new artists coming out. We still trying to get the artists we already got signed to our label at the position where we feel they need to be. We wanna make sure everybody is straight before we try to bring any new people into the family right now. What are your thoughts on the whole mixtape mayhem going on right now? DJ Paul: It’s crazy. I didn’t even believe when it happened. Mixtapes are a form of promotion for artists, so I love mixtapes. Me and Juicy started off making mixtapes. We were mixtape DJs back in the late 80s, early 90s. We started off as DJs. Do you have any ending messages? Juicy J: Man, just get the album. The album gon’ be dope. It’s crazy, there’s all kinda business on there. We played around, did some tricks, but for the most part its still gangsta, gutter music, Three 6 Mafia style music. We just got an extra trick or two to pull out the sleeves. // OZONE MAG // 67
68 // OZONE MAG
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words // Eric N. PerrinN HNSO PHOTOS // ERIC JO
d, USDA’s dy a e d t o n re a s p u ro at Hip Hop g k Pulla and BloodRaw are rea th e v ro p to d re a p Pre ng Jeezy, Slic u o Y z g u h T te ra o Corp helluva trip. e n o n o u o y e k ta to
he calendar posted on the back wall of the lofty Corporate Thugz Entertainment office on Atlanta’s Northwest side is a virtual treasure map. It leads to riches. There is a color coordinated marking for almost every day of the month, directing the corporate thugs to different cities, different events, different places to collect money. There are three 70 // OZONE MAG
colors that appear on the calendar; green, yellow and blue. Green indicates a Young Jeezy bounty, blue represents BloodRaw, and yellow means Slick Pulla. It is a simple yet effective system that helps organize and arrange the hectic schedules of three rappers who consider themselves brothers. But there’s a twist. This Spring, when USDA releases its first group
(l to r) Slick Pulla, Young Jeezy, & BloodRaw
a life sentence. It was either life or he was going home,” explains a nowexhaled Jeezy. “During the same time, Slick [Pulla] got shot and a lot of shit like that was going on.” Then, in April, 2006, the USDA story got a lot better, “On April 6, 2006, I was acquitted, and by the blessing of God I’m here,” proudly proclaims BloodRaw. “There was a lot of niggas who held they nuts and counted me out, they say niggas was giving each other high-fives at the club, but this is destiny, homie. Can’t nobody stop this.” It certainly appears destiny is on their side. Even with all odds stacked against them, the Corporate Thugz are in harmony. Jeezy, Slick, and Raw are now more focused than ever and all the tribulations have left the music unchanged. “It’s real street music, we been sticking to the same formula. It was the same thing coming in and it’s gonna be the same formula coming out,” affirms Slick. “It’s three great minds thinking alike for one common cause, and that’s to put the real back into this street movement, man. We gon’ give the people what they want.” Jeezy has been giving the people what they want for a while now, but even he seems youthfully excited about the USDA project. “It’s just time for USDA. Niggas been hearing me scream that shit every since I been doing my thing, so now its time to hear ‘em,” says Jeezy. “I’m just excited to see the project come together and the album is hard is fuck. This shit is hard; it’s what the streets need.”
Young Jeezy So the new project is called Corporate Thuggin’. Tell me a little about it? Young Jeezy: Ah, man, I’m excited about it. I finally get a chance to show the hood my niggas and these niggas really deserve it. [Blood]Raw; he had a lot going on, man. He was facing a life sentence, and this is like the second or third time this done happened since we’ve been trying to work on the project and complete it. Also, during the same time, Slick got shot and a lot of shit like that was going on, but those are my niggas. A lot of niggas get on and forget about their homies, but them my niggas and they really can rap, so I’m just excited to see the project come together and the album is hard is fuck. This shit is hard; it’s what the streets need. This gon’ be the record of the summer, period, hands down. Over here at CTE, we make records. We don’t make just singles, we make albums, shit you can ride to and live to.
young jeezy slick Pulla Bloodraw project, Corporate Thuggin’, the colors on the calendar will collide, blending together to form a new hue: Gold. They wouldn’t mind platinum, either, but in the fairy tales, the chase is always for the gold. In USDA’s fable, however, the journey has been anything but a fairy tale ride. The road to completing the Corporate Thuggin’ album was once more like a nightmarish expedition, spiraling out of control. In January 2006, BloodRaw had been picked up by US Marshals and put on trial in his hometown of Panama City, Florida, where he faced a possible life sentence for Federal drug conspiracy charges. “The whole family prayed because this nigga was facing
Your Inspiration album just reached platinum status, so congratulations on that. I know you had high expectations. Are you satisfied thus far with your albums sales? Young Jeezy: Yeah, definitely, when you say a sophomore album, niggas normally fumble on that shit, and I really done me on that CD. I wanted to change it up a little bit, but at the same time I don’t wanna stay where I’m at. The shit is called progress. If you gon’ build a foundation you have to make progress. You’re not gonna stay on the first level of your house, you gotta step it up. A lot of niggas ain’t got the street credibility that I got or been through what I’ve been through, or can talk about the things I talk about. So I’m gonna be the best at it, let that be known, but at the end of the day, people grow with you. You get better and if you talk about real shit, they grow with you. But you still the same nigga. Ain’t nothing change but my boxers, homie, for real. Since you’ve achieved crossover success, do you feel you’ve crossed over? Young Jeezy: Nah, I just feel like they’ve accepted me. But it was just a matter of time. I make good music, I make records. A lot of niggas just be talking, homie. Like I could talk this shit all day to you homie, like I got years of this shit in me, but at the end of the day I could still make good music when I do that. Jeezy was never no tunnel-vision ass one-way nigga. You could listen to the Trap or Die mixtapes all the way to “Soul Survivor,” and it’s the same nigga. I’m just giving the story to you on a bigger plate. It’s for us, but it’s for the world too, because I want them to understand why we do certain things and why we act certain ways. It’s because we all trying to survive out here. We live to die and we die to live, homie. A lot of people don’t understand that because they really think that it’s music and entertainment and they don’t understand that what we’re saying on these records is really real, we really mean this shit, this shit is real. This is what we do, and it’s not no flamboyant shit. This is what we go through and this is the outcome - now you tell me what you think about us. It’s that type of shit, but never cross over, baby. I ain’t got my A.I. on, naw. I’m gon’ be Jeezy. Especially with this USDA shit, I’m bout to fuck niggas up, man. I’m gonna be the young, wild ass rich nigga that I am. I don’t give a fuck. I’m gon’ say what I wanna say, I do what I wanna do, anybody that got a problem with it, fuck it! Let’s get it. We are the streets, I ain’t gotta keep explaining this shit to nobody.
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You had a little problem with that on the radio with Monie Love in Philly. Young Jeezy: It really wasn’t no problem, man. She was just disrespectful, and I’m a man first. I don’t give a fuck about all that rap shit. A lot of people don’t know that it was a lot said off-air that really sparked that. She kept saying things like, “The South killed Hip Hop and it is dead.” And I just didn’t agree with that. I ain’t no fucking punk, man. Nobody finna fucking talk to me that way, on or off radio. I said what I felt. I ain’t have no personal problems with Nas. I said I fuckin’ disagree, shit. I’m a grown ass man, how the fuck I can’t tell you I disagree with something? I ain’t gotta see nothing nobody’s way. That’s why I’m standing right here right now, cause I did what I had to do. Hip Hop, to me, is Big and Tupac, UGK, 8Ball, MJG, niggas like that. That’s Hip Hop to me. It might not be Hip Hop to the next man, but that’s Hip Hop to me. You’ve said in the past that you’re not a rapper. Do you still feel that way? Young Jeezy: I’m gonna be real, man, it’s like any hustle. If you stay on a hustle long enough, and you focus hard enough on that shit and really try to do the best you can, then you gon’ get a lot of money. It’s the same thing with music. I love the studio. I really be in there, and a lot of niggas don’t know what type of work I put in, but I love what the fuck I do. And I’m always in that muthafucka, so eventually I’m gotta get better. It’s called progress. And if the people accept it, then I’m doing it right.
a lot of pressure off my shoulder, because it’s always been on me. Now with this Corporate Thuggin’ project I get to introduce the world to my niggas, Slick Pulla and BloodRaw. With so much solo success, what made you decide to work with the group on the Corporate Thuggin’ project? Young Jeezy: This is real family shit over here. This USDA shit is real. CTE is us, we all we got and it’s just time for USDA. Niggas been hearing me scream that shit every since I been doing my thing, so now its time to hear ‘em. Corporate Thuggin’ baby. The object of the game is to get paper and that’s what the fuck we gon’ do, and keep it street. And we gon’ win, we gon’ be the only niggas that keep it street and don’t crossover or do no silly shit. We just gon’ be the niggas that stay solid and do what we do. We work together as a group because those are my niggas. They been on the road with me, they been through gangsta shit with me; shootouts or whatever, and I vouch for them niggas. They really do what they say they’ve done. We all really are street niggas, and they hungry just as I am; they hustle. That nigga [Blood]Raw stays on the road, doing shows constantly. Slick [Pulla] is on the road, too and niggas constantly doing mixtapes, so when we get together it’s like a family reunion because niggas be so happy to see each other.
What do Slick Pulla and BloodRaw bring to the table that Young Jeezy doesn’t? Young Jeezy: I think ‘Raw appeals to every nigga in the penitentiary, every nigga in the Fed, State, whatever. And he’s not from Georgia, he’s from Florida, but we accept him like one of our own. When gangsta shit went down, we stood up for the nigga like family does. This ain’t no bullshit, and a lot of niggas don’t know that Slick got locked up twice, for months at a time between this, and both those niggas were in and out of jail. It was hard to get the project done, and I was out on the road without my niggas, so it was different. We all sat around and prayed when ‘Raw I know a lot of your album success was in Florida for his court date. The has resulted from your mixtape whole family prayed because this success. What are your thoughts on nigga was facing a life sentence, the current mixtape mayhem and my nigga. It was either life or he DJ Drama? was going home. And when his Young Jeezy: The streets are riding manager, Wakeley called me and with Drama. I don’t give a fuck, said this nigga is fuckin’ free, my nigga. Tell Drama we got loyal niggas damn near was crying in money; we good. We ain’t about to that muthafucka, dawg. Niggas let that nigga go nowhere. I actually lost they mind. It was the biggest think it’s kind of a good thing, beshit ever. And that nigga Slick, he’s y ez - YOUNG je cause he’s gonna come out of it cool, a livewire. That nigga is fucking and it shows how big this shit really crazy. Slick is hotheaded like a muthafucka, he is off is. We live it, so we don’t really know. I didn’t unthe chain and he be in the streets wildin’. I be trying to calm this nigga down derstand how big my Trap or Die mixtape was until I was in Toronto, Canada, and show him another side of life. He be out shootin’ at niggas, getting shot and a nigga was rapping this shit to me and everybody was playing it. I didn’t and all types of shit. It’s a lot of shit that we go through that people don’t understand how big this shit was until I was doing album release parties for know about, but God is good. my mixtapes and 5,000 or 6,000 people showed up. Mixtapes are the streets, so we need this shit. It can’t be the streets without mixtapes. And if they try All three of you are very different. How would you describe each style? to stop it, it’s only gonna make it bigger. It’s like weed, homie. You can’t slow Young Jeezy: The biggest thing that I think ‘Raw brings is pain. You can hear that down. Shouts out to any real DJ out there that plays real street music, his pain in his words. And the biggest thing about Slick is that he’s that because it takes a real nigga to break a real nigga. Niggas like Drama are the young, fly muthafucka who don’t give a fuck about nothing. The ladies love niggas who make niggas like me. I toured for two years off [my mixtapes] that muthafucka. I call him the wavy haired Cuban. And then Jeezy definitely Streets Is Watching and Trap or Die. Two years! I did a show every night, some brings that hustle to the group, you know? I’m gonna talk that money shit till nights two or three shows, hustlin’ off a mixtape. I can look you in your eyes you tired of hearing it, nigga. I’m gon’ talk that money shit and if you gotta and tell you that if I wouldn’t have done those mixtapes, I wouldn’t be where problem with it, don’t fuck with us. I am right now. And that’s why I’m able to do the type of records I do can do. Go back and check my catalogue, if you wanna know if a nigga is real or not, How do you think Slick and Blood will be able to come out of your shadow? go check his first couple of mixtapes. If he wasn’t talking how he’s talking Young Jeezy: I just hope that the streets embrace them, just as they’ve now, then that ain’t that nigga. You can go back and check any mixtapes I done me. It feels good to be able to do something you love to do and help did: Streets Is Watching, Trap or Die, Can’t Ban the Snowman, all the way to some real niggas out in the process. It ain’t gon’ stop with Blood and Slick. I Am The Street Dream. Those shits are like albums. It’s niggas’ albums that I’m gonna help some other niggas and we gon’ make this shit big. This is a don’t sound as good as those, so I could never cross over, baby. movement. It ain’t nothing like taking a nigga you fuck with, who you been in the streets with and in the trenches with, to sit on the 106th & Park sofa when You seem to have crafted an image that’s beyond just rap at this point. you know that this is this nigga’s dream. This is all he ever wanted to do, Young Jeezy: Robin Hood, baby, that’s me. You see it on the jacket. I’m Robin and you made that happen for him. To me, that shit is priceless. That’s being Hood. I’m just one of those types of niggas, man. I’ve been there, I’ve done it gangsta. That’s gangsta right there. Just watch our moves, you’ll see. all and I seen it all. Just cause my life is moving at a fast pace doesn’t mean that I’m not aware that other people need help sometimes to get to where Slick Pulla and BloodRaw they’re trying to go. Anything that I can do, I’m gonna try to do to help. I got a good heart, so anything that I can do for the kids or the community, I’m If you had to define Corporate Thuggin’, what would the definition be? the first to bat. I’m so happy to be here, and I’m at that point where I know Slick Pulla: Corporate Thuggin’, it’s like a way of life. That’s what you do when I’ve done my job. So I can do me now, relax and have fun and do the things you hit the streets and you handle yo’ business, that’s corporate thuggin’. a nigga of my status is supposed to do. That’s why I feel so good about this No matter what you’re doing, but its not just being in the streets, you can be shit. I feel good, baby! But I ain’t gon’ lie, on my next album, I’m going back corporate thuggin’ behind a desk. to the club. I’m partying, because I gotta enjoy life, man. I’ve been so hard on BloodRaw: It’s just us. We came from the streets and we’ve just been intromyself since the beginning and now, I feel like I can step back a little. There’s duced to a corporate world, but we still being us, we ain’t gon’ change. We
The Inspiration had less promotion from Def Jam than Thug Motivation, but it still sold more units. Why’s that? Young Jeezy: It’s different because when you become profitable, things change. It’s politics involved. When you just a street nigga doing this shit and you come straight out the hood like, “Fuck it, here I am,” that’s how it is. But when you start making money, it’s different. It ain’t a lot that people can do for you no more, because we really went in the streets and put that shit out there and promoted and really was doing the legwork. You can’t sit back and depend on nobody but yourself.
any real Shouts out to hat plays DJ out thereutsic, because real street meal nigga to it takes a r igga. Niggas n break a real re the niggaes. like Drama aig gas like m who make n
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thugs, if that’s what you wanna call us, in a corporate world. We’re adapting and getting money.
Slick Pulla: Pretty much my vocabulary, and a lot of times I like to say something that make you think a little bit too.
BloodRaw, even though you beat the Federal case, I heard that you recently got arrested for a similar situation. BloodRaw: I mean we ain’t gon’ get into the new case, but we gon’ get on the old case because that was big. The new shit is real petty, but the old case went down like this. On January 6th, 2006, we were about to leave the country to go to Europe on a 17 city tour and the U.S. Marshall picked me up. They expedited me to Panama City to face federal conspiracy charges. Then, on April 6th, 2006, I was acquitted, and by the blessing of God I’m here. There was a lot of niggas who held they nuts and counted me out. They say niggas was giving each other high-fives at the club, but this is destiny, homie. Can’t nobody stop this. We’re gonna be successful no matter what. When you put God first, everything is possible.
BloodRaw, how is the music scene in your hometown of Panama City, Florida? BloodRaw: The music scene is not real big. Panama City is drug-infested. We don’t have nobody to look up to. The kids don’t have no recreational centers, no idols or nothing. Kids in Panama City grow up and at 11 or 12 years old they’re trying to get a sack. I’m real influential to the younger generation that’s coming up now in Panama City, so I do everything I can to support the hood. Everybody knows I’m the Bang ‘Em Bay representer, but at the end of the day, I’m trying to bring Florida together. Florida as a whole has been divided for so long. But we’re coming together and I’m in a position to help out and bring us together as a state. I look forward to putting Florida on my back. I feel like Shaquille O’Neal and Dwayne Wade. I am Mr. Gunshine State.
Slick you recently got shot; why didn’t we hear more about that situation? Slick Pulla: Getting shot is not my claim to fame. If you in the hood and a certain situation goes down, that’s something that can happen at any given time to anybody. In that situation, I felt the cat was trying to make a move on me and I’m hotheaded so I went and slapped him and his homeboy, and it resulted in the shooting, but I’m blessed. How has the group dynamic changed as a result of the some of the situations you’ve been involved in? Slick: The group has pretty much stayed the same, man. It’s real street music, we been sticking to the same formula. It was the same thing coming in and it’s gonna be the same formula coming out. BloodRaw: The difference between us and a lot of other groups is that we don’t really look at it as a group. We came into this as family and with a lot of niggas. We’re all solo artists also, but we wanted to come out as a group first to show people that we could get down this way, and we can get down on the solo tip. Right now we’re just representing CTE. We gon’ be around for a long time, so if anybody else think this a game, they just finna’ see. Slick: Be prepared. Tell me about the new album, Corporate Thuggin’. Slick: It’s three great minds thinking alike for one common cause, and that’s to put the “real” back into this street movement, man. We gon’ give the people what they want and let ‘em know the Corporate Thuggin’ mindframe. BloodRaw: The whole CTE, Corporate Thuggin’, is just really showing the whole world what we stand for, what we live by. It’s blood, sweat, and tears: Corporate Thugz. Entertainment. USDA is the clique; we’re Slick Pulla and BloodRaw. Corporate Thugz Entertainment is the umbrella and USDA is the forefront. Really, this is just three young cats from different places, different states, who came together from the streets and got something to say.
I heard Jeezy heard you performing at a concert and signed you almost immediately afterwards. Is that true? BloodRaw: Yeah, in Dothan, Alabama. I’ll never forget that night. I love Dothan, man; it’s like a home to me also. Yeah, one night in Dothan, me and Jeezy was both on the ticket. Dothan is right next to Florida, so that’s like my market, too. Jeezy seen me perform the street song I had called “Represent,” and him and Kinky B lost their minds. So I came to the A and in less than a week we made it happen. Here I am now. Slick, you’ve been with CTE since 2000. Have you gotten restless within those seven years? Slick Pulla: It’s about playing your role. Restless for what? We’re family. Whatever accomplishment my big homie made is an accomplishment for me, too. It’s a team thing for me, and everybody is gonna get they chance to do what they need to do. We’ve been down since before it was even on and cracking like this. It’s all about playing your position in life. Whenever my homie shines, I shine. Whatever he does, that’s a reflection of me also. And whatever I do is a reflection of him, so we all shining together. I have no reason to be restless because everything has been right on stride. What are you most looking forward to from this project? BloodRaw: Really, I’m looking forward to us being together again because we’ve all been pretty successful from our mixtapes. We’re all been out doing our own shows and we were on road all the time. [points at Slick] I love being with my brother and I think this USDA project is gonna bring us back together. We’re gonna be on road, having fun like old times, and we gon’ still make money. Do you know what the first single is going to be? BloodRaw: I’m 90 percent sure it’s gonna be a song called “Check.” It’s by one of our in-house producers named TA, he gave us a banger. The song is about getting money and bringing all the tools it takes to get money.
Corporate Thuggin’ is gonna be released under Def Jam, right? BloodRaw: Yeah, Def Jam. Everything we do is Def Jam. We got a label deal. Our solo projects are Def Jam, we got R&B artists, we got other rap artists and everything is through Def Jam. Do you guys have different positions or ranks in the group? BloodRaw: We all working on positions, me personally, I got my own label. Slick got his thing, we either gon’ run some type of department, or we gon’ be A&Rs or something. But like I say, we all learning as we’re being artists. We’re learning the business. It just doesn’t stop with being an artist. We’re all gonna have positions in this company. Slick: We’re a young label, but with all of big homie’s success, we’re in a good position. We’re learning things right up close and personal.
Speaking of Jeezy, how do you plan on emerging from behind his shadow? BloodRaw: We all had a following before this. We all brought something to the table, and Jeezy just made our situation better. Slick has a style that you can distinguish from anybody. He got his own flow and his own voice. When you hear me on a track, you know it’s me. It ain’t like we’re following in the footsteps of Jeezy. When we came in we had a following, and we’re doing our own thang. The people are gonna wanna hear more of us individually, but they gon’ love to hear us as a group.
What mindset do you guys have when you’re going into the booth? BloodRaw: We just really bring us. We just put that together and its like Peruvian Flake, you can’t get no better. It’s like a thousand grams on the scale, it just adds up. Slick is the fly, flashy, young nigga. I’m gonna bring the soul to the table, the gospel, and Jeezy gon’ do his thing. He gon’ talk them yams, he gon’ talk about being a boss and it’s just gonna be three different minds all with something to say. Slick, what defines your style and separates you from other rappers?
if that’s l We thugs, a nna cal what youcw porate us, in a or ng e’re adapti world. Wtti y e on . and ge ng m - bloodraw
What other producers do you have on the CD? BloodRaw: We really did the in-house thing. We probably got four outside producers on the whole album: Shawty Redd, Midnight Black, Toomp, and Mannie Fresh. It’s a tight lil’ lineup, but the in-house producers really showed they ass. We got Nasty, the nasty one. We got TA, we got Speedy, and Tony Rey. They all really showed their ass on this project. Why separates Corporate Thuggin’ from other group albums? Slick Pulla: This album is gonna take you back to the 8Ball & MJG days. The UGK days, the Geto Boys and Goodie Mob days. There hasn’t been an album from a group in a long time where several people collectively got together and gave you a solid, straight drop album. It ain’t really went down like that in a minute. It seems like a lot of cats just get in where they fit in and throw a verse here or there. But we did this here from the beginning to the end. We finna take you on one helluva trip. //
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The true story of how a culture born in the streets was taken over by corporate America and sold down the river to die. Words // Matt Sonzala
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1989. A Number. Another Summer.
Just like in 1989, if you really want to keep current with Hip Hop, you’ve got to get the mixtapes.
Hip Hop was a lot different in the late 80s than it is today. Rap videos came on TV for 30 minutes a day on MTV’s Yo! Mtv Raps and 30 minutes a day on BET’s Rap City, and that was it. This was assuming you had cable, and unless you had some revolutionary local access programming like Soul Beat in the Bay or Video Mix in Florida, you didn’t have too many options to see many rap videos. Urban radio wasn’t quite ready for Hip Hop. There were stations here and there, and of course songs breaking through now and again, but Middle American commercial radio wasn’t really in tune to the burgeoning revolution.
Our Freedom of Speech is Freedom or Death, We Gotta Fight the Powers That Be
This was before The Box – a Pay-Per-View channel where viewers could pay a nominal fee to order videos by phone - and before iControl’s Video on Demand Service. This was before any common person in the United States had access to the internet. This was pre-MP3’s, pre-YouTube, pre-just about any current format or place where the average young consumer acquires music today.
Also like in 1989, while Hip Hop is currently enjoying its reign at the top of the pop heap, it’s being vilified as if it’s no better than drugs, guns or well, bootlegging. On January 17th, 2007, the Aphilliate Music Group studios of Atlanta’s DJ Drama and Don Cannon were raided by police, a SWAT team and agents from the RIAA. Guns were drawn, musicians were thrown to the ground, cars, computers and CDs were confiscated. The operation was pulled off much in the same way that a major drug bust would go down. But these cops didn’t find guns or drugs; they found CDs. More specifically they found mix CDs, many of which had been commissioned by the labels that the RIAA claims to serve.
You couldn’t hear Hip Hop on the radio 24/7, anywhere. There certainly was no satellite radio. There were no Hip Hop magazines. The only outlets available to the young Hip Hop consumer were mixtapes and college radio. I’m talking about mixtapes that actually came on cassettes, two separate 45-minute programs featuring a DJ mixing, blending, scratching and manipulating the hottest tracks on the street, direct from vinyl. In those days you also couldn’t just walk into any retail store and buy these mixtapes. If you lived in New York or Los Angeles you could sometimes find them in Hip Hop friendly record shops, but for the most part Middle America (and Canada, Europe, Japan, etc.) relied on getting dubs from their friends and relatives in these cities, by mail or in person. Folks in the big cities could sometimes get them directly from their local DJs or from street vendors. Hip Hop, as they say, was truly underground.
Get Down. Sound of the Funky Drummer At the time, mixtapes weren’t exactly supported by the record industry. While forward thinking industry insiders recognized them as an important promotional tool, the majority of the record industry saw them as a hazard to sales. In fact, as early as the 1970s when portable cassette players first started being purchased by consumers, cassettes and “home taping” of albums was frowned upon much in the same way the trading and downloading of MP3’s is today. In fact, an entire crusade was waged against the format and it was said that “Home Taping is Killing Music.”
Music Hittin’ Ya Hard, CAUSE I Know You Got Soul, Brothers and Sisters But that didn’t stop the mixtape DJs, and the format began to spread. DJ Crews like Jam Pony Express in Florida had been doing underground mixes for some time. DJ Screw in Houston started a revolution in his city that continues to this day, over 5 years after his death. Every market had a DJ who basically put Hip Hop on his or her shoulders and brought it to the people. Soon after magazines like the Source and Rap Pages began popping up, momand-pop stores in the hood and even mall stores in the suburbs began bringing the hot Hip Hop product to the front of the store, rather than keeping it in a bin in the back. Hip Hop was growing and could not be held back.
Knowin’ What I’m Knowin’, While the Black Band’s Sweatin’, And the Rhythm Rhymes Rollin’ Fast forward to 2007. Hip Hop is everywhere. Every city has a Hip Hop radio station, MTV and BET devote a lot of their airtime to it, there’s at least 20 Hip Hop magazines in the U.S. alone, Satellite radio has multiple channels dedicated to it, and the internet provides a wealth of options to hear, see and own it. Hip Hop is everywhere. Strangely though, while the amount of options to be seen and heard have increased, the doors to many of those outlets remain closed to fledgling and independent artists. Sure, there’s multiple “Hip Hop” radio stations in each city now. Sure, MTV and BET devote a lot of their programming to Hip Hop. Sure, your local newsstand is overrun with Hip Hop periodicals. But most of those outlets are chasing the same ten artists, the hot names of the moment - leaving many other worthy artists in the dust.
Gotta Give Us What We Want, Gotta Give Us What We Need
t’s crazy to think that over 30 years since its meager beginnings, Hip Hop, a culture born in the Bronx ghetto and developed in every hood in every state in the union, still faces the same scrutiny it did in its infancy. Back when Hip Hop was new, it was hard for common folks to get a good understanding of the music, let alone the culture. Nowadays with Hip Hop being everywhere, you would think people could get it right.
No one from the Aphilliates camp who was in the studio at that time was willing to talk about the raid. But OZONE caught up with Willie the Kid, the Aphilliates’ flagship artist from Grand Rapids, MI, whose album The Crown Prince is due out this summer. Willie had been recording in the studio that day but left to get a bite to eat. The raid happened during the fifteen minutes he was gone. “When I was coming back down Walker Street,” Willie recounts what he saw that fateful day that may have changed the Hip Hop mixtape game forever, “I saw all the police cars, a couple vans, a couple trucks and they had a U-Haul out there. I saw the SWAT Team, Fulton County Sheriffs Department, and a couple of agents from the RIAA. It was crazy.” Kind of a strange thing to see outside of a recording studio, especially one that is run by people with no history of drug or gun convictions. “I kept going, circled the block, and came back around to make sure everyone was okay.” He continues, “Everybody was inside the building and they wouldn’t let me go in. Outside there were police and a SWAT team with guns. It was like they were doing a drug bust or something. You would think it was something more major than it was. I wasn’t sure what was going on at that point, but I knew there were no drugs in there. I thought it was a false alarm. I just got in my car and left.” This was no false alarm, it was a faulty alarm. From the looks of a FOX News Report, when the agents swooped down on the studio they stormed in with guns drawn, put the 15 or so people inside on the ground and proceeded to confiscate computers, cars and reportedly 81,000 pieces of product – DJ Drama and Don Cannon’s mix CDs. Both DJs have been charged with Racketeering. Anyone who has ever listened to a DJ Drama CD can see that DJ Drama works closely with the labels and artists he is presenting. The artists give him shout outs, they say the name of the disc, they let it be known that this CD is sanctioned by them and that it will be used to promote their upcoming CDs. For this, Drama and his partner Don Cannon had to spend a night in jail and are now facing criminal charges. According to Willie the Kid, the camp doesn’t seem too worried about it. “We’re getting a lot of good publicity, man, a lot of free promotion.” He explains, “These cats threw a new spotlight on us. I don’t see any consequences coming. All I see is a lot of publicity and a lot of opportunity and exposure for us and who we are. We couldn’t ask for a better time to get this kind of publicity. We gonna turn everything that seems negative into a positive, cause there’s OZONE MAG // 77
(above left) The Aphilliates’ Music Group includes DJ Drama, DJ Jamad, Willie the Kid, & Don Cannon, among others; (above right) The day after they were released on bond, DJ Drama and Don Cannon were welcomed home as royalty at R Kelly’s birthday party at Compound in Atlanta, shown here in VIP with Young Jeezy and Young Buck (Photos by Julia Beverly)
so much room for the positive right now.” While this case currently has the entire music industry in a bit of a state of shock, there’s a few people speaking out on the subject who think that Drama and the rest of the DJ’s really haven’t got much to worry about. According to off-the-record statements from representatives of the RIAA, they don’t really target mixtape DJs, but when a law enforcement official presents them with a CD that isn’t properly packaged and has the look of what some would consider a bootleg, they have to consider it as such. That statement sounds fine, but according to an internal document that was written by the RIAA and distributed to higher ups at the major labels that OZONE acquired from a confidential source entitled simply “Mixtapes,” that’s not totally the truth. The document starts off with this sentence: “Urban genre mixtapes have become an enormous piracy problem.” It goes on to say that “Depending on what definition is used, mixtapes accounted for between 50% -75% of all seizures of Urban pirate music (in 2005).” In the section headed “What is a mixtape,” the RIAA states that “the first Urban mixtapes were basically where Hip Hop began in the 1980s (sic). They were often live recordings of DJ sets, and raps were intended as samples of a DJ or an artist’s skills… By the late 80’s mixtapes gained in popularity as they also became a vehicle, much like radio airtime, where new artists and new material could be introduced. Well know (sic) DJ’s and their mixtapes introduced the world to unsigned artists like Jay-Z, Camron, Eminem, 50 Cent and others who built hype on mixtapes before major label success. While many of these early forms of mixtapes involved reproducing copyrighted recordings, the volume was insignificant and some viewed them as having an overall positive impact on the popularity of Hip Hop music and in promoting new artists… Demand for these Hip Hop mixes early on (particularly when they were actually tapes) would exceed the supply and this helped create an advance buzz that left many people waiting for a commercial release.” The paper goes on to say that mixtapes are a “Way labels test market new material and showcase up-and-coming artists. This undercurrent of label complicity serves to supply a cloak of quasi-legitimacy to everything that someone chooses to call a ‘mixtape.’ In some record stores recently raided by the police, the ‘mixtapes’ being sold spanned the range from the classic DJ mix of mash ups and new material, to out and out pirate compilations, including the best tracks of a single artist lifted from multiple albums with little if any DJ talent on display. Some retailers have joined in the charade, suggesting that as long as it is called a ‘mixtape’ they should be able to sell it despite its dubious origin.” Could DJs who don’t mix REALLY be what’s killing the mixtape game? For Hip Hop heads yes, for the authorities, no. On page three of the document the RIAA states that “Over 95% of our piracy cases are investigated and charged under State True Name and Address Laws. These laws require every sound recording being sold in the State to have on the packaging the true name and address of the manufacturer. The use of State law to fight piracy has dramatically simplified enforcement because we need not go through the cumbersome process of proving ownership, and 78 // OZONE MAG
lack of license… Since the State laws do not require extensive knowledge of the music industry and no expertise in copyright law, we have been able to effectively train police officers on the applicable law, how to examine recordings to look for the name and address, and how to make a judgment as to the legality of the product if the name or address appears to be fictitious.” This is where Drama found his trouble. In a statement given to OZONE Magazine by a representative of the RIAA, the organization compares the arrest of DJ Drama and Don Cannon to when a police officer pulls over a car and realizes he just pulled over someone famous. Local law enforcement had been finding his CDs in their routine checks of stores and street vendors, when they noticed that many of the discs did not provide the name and address of a manufacturer they decided to swoop in. Alan Berry of Naptown Music in Indianapolis knows this law all too well. “I don’t know all of the charges DJ Drama is facing,” Berry, whose two retail outlets in Naptown were raided in 2002 explains, “but we pretty much went through the same thing. I had the racketeering charges against me too. After you get like five or six felonies placed against you, they tack racketeering on top. I had thirteen felonies placed against me. I pleaded down to one misdemeanor. That’s because the majority of the charges they couldn’t prosecute me on, nor will they be able to with Drama either. A state can’t prosecute a copyright infringement case because that’s a federal issue, not a state issue.” He continues, “I think the case with Drama comes from having a cop in a town that doesn’t know anything about Hip Hop but he does see some people driving around in nice rides. There may be some race issues there, but no matter what, he saw money there. He saw the guy’s product on a burned CD and to his knowledge, it was a bootleg CD. So they go in and they get to confiscating. Well, guess what? If they win that case a portion of those proceeds will go to the local police department. If the local law enforcement doesn’t win, they don’t lose anything. The only thing lost is the taxpayers money.” So what’s a young DJ to do? Is it possible to produce a legitimate mixtape without facing scrutiny? Shila Mitra of BCD Distribution in Houston says yes. On a recent visit to the BCD offices, OZONE Magazine was given a tour of the facilities and a lesson in how BCD keeps their product legit. They run each CD through a computer program called Replicheck which automatically checks for copyrighted material. The CD is then sent through the office to be listened to by certain employees in search of beats or rhymes that may not have been properly licensed. If the CD contains illegitimate tracks, said songs are taken off or the CD is denied distribution all together. Before taking your disc to a retailer or a distributor like BCD, it’s a good idea to do some homework yourself first. The website www.harryfox.com can help you learn about everything you need to know to license a song. Some licensing in fact can be done online for a nominal fee. From their website: “Mechanical licenses are required under U.S. Copyright Law if you want to record or distribute a song that you do not own. By properly licensing your recordings, you ensure that the publisher that represents the songwriter who wrote the composition gets paid. Reputable replicators and online music sites will require you to have these licenses before they duplicate your recording or offer it online. HFA’s Songfile makes this easy. Songfile licensing is a tool to obtain mechani-
RIAA are their employees. Don’t get on a record and say what a bad ass you are in the street, but then you can’t stand up to your employees and tell them not to arrest people that are working with you to take Hip Hop to a different level. That, to me, is wrong. Back when I was going through this shit, I thought, ‘There’s no way this will stick.’ I tried to plead for help cause I was getting screwed over for doing what I believe in. I was doing their soldier work and none of them stood up; none of them said one thing. I know they knew about it. I smell pussy on that.” In the end, everyone who dedicates their life to this music still has to somehow make a living. The DJ is no exception. A rapper or a record label cannot negate the fact that when their songs hit the hottest mixtapes their overall value increases and awareness is created in markets long before they ever set foot outside their region. When a mixtape DJ truly exerts his or her craft, they’re creating something special that in many ways they have the right to call their own simply for the fact that by creating this masterwork, they’re really only helping to propel a culture that at times gets oversaturated with the prepackaged bullshit that generally, only the majors can pump out. Radio is almost impossible to infiltrate, at least on a national level, for the average independent. Squawk all you want about who’s making hits, the mixtapes help to bring each region to the forefront, or at least to the reach of the average consumer who has an interest in rap music beyond the commercial backed major shit. Every region these days seems to have its own breakout mixtape DJ. He’s the dude who helped Young Jeezy get heard before radio picked up on him. He’s the dude who made the otherwise regional rapper hot in HIS streets, and he’s done it time and time again for countless artists. He’ll do it again. In the end you have to look at the kid. The music loving kid who wants to contribute to an art form that seems open to all, but in reality is a good ol’ boy network, a network of insiders who make it harder to join at times than the most barbaric fraternities, a network of people who don’t want to hear your voice until you’ve made your mark and proven your value. So the kid invests in a set of turntables, or even a computer and begins spreading the music he loves through his streets and makes his name ring alongside the stars of his favorite music. Eventually he, like the rappers he idolizes, becomes a hot commodity and everybody wants a piece of him, and there’s another young kid, from the streets of America, who somehow made his way to the top. And from what I’ve been told, this is what our country was supposedly built upon. Free DJ Drama and Don Cannon and keep your hands off our mixtapes. //
[THE MUSIC BUSINESS] IN REALITY IS A GOOD ‘OL BOY NETWORK, A NETWORK OF OF INSIDERS WHO DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOUR VOICE UNTIL YOU’VE MADE YOUR MARK AND PROVEN YOUR VALUE.
OZONE MAG // 79
Old School DJs are musical rights leaders who refused to let the music they love sit on the back of the bus.
Words // Eric N. Perrin
’m probably not the person you would expect to be writing an Old School DJ tribute. I grew up in the Kris-Kross era; a period of time when the music was first transitioni ng from Hip Hop to rap. rap was when my overall My first memories of -wearing, backpack-bea ring friends and I would obnoxiously chant, “You Down wit’ O-P-P / Yeah you know me,” while wai for the school bus to tak ting e us to kindergarten eve ry morning. Being from the Chicago, I idolized Da Bra t and her first single “Fu nkd afied” because in the early 90s that was the onl y mainstream Hip Hop to come from the CHI since the ’85 Bears “Super Bow l Shuffle.” Back then, rap was just beginning its constant reign over the billboard charts and rap pers were becoming the “rock stars.” new Soon after rap’s commercia l conquest, every person in America thought they could rap. But nobody I knew wanted to be a DJ. Most of us felt the DJ was just the dude who assiste d the emcee; the ever-prese nt sidekicks who accompanied all rappers bef ore T-Mobile. It used to be much differe nt. Back when Hip Hop was still in the high school— long before it died accord ing to certain a New Yor k rapper — the DJ was rap perennial prom king. Dur ’s ing the days of DJ domina nce, the emcee was the along; he was just the ma tag n who introduced for the DJ; it was the man who mixed the music who was always the most popular person in the club. The DJ was (and still is) the guy who got the asses sha king and walls dripping; but back then, a good DJ was a headlining act. Not only were DJs Hip Hop’s biggest stars, but the DJ was also the respected cre ator of the actual music. Hip Hop derived from disc o songs which were manip ulated in crowded clubs until Hip Hop was born. Guys like Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grand Master Flash were all ido ls. There were DJ battles held in parks that were fueled by entire crews of fan s loyal to their leader, the DJ. But eventually, these
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combatant DJs were betray ed by the ones closest to them, their loyal hype men who were once hap py to just be a part of the entourage. These hype me went on to become rapper n s, and we all know that rappers have transcende Hip Hop to the global spo d tlight. But why have we forgotten the DJs? I’ve met a million old sch ool rappers, but with the exception of Biz Markie (who is better known as a rapper), I’ve never me t a single old school DJ. not that they’re all extinct It’s ; moreso insignificant in the eyes of many curren rappers and rap fans. Hip t Hop doesn’t respect its fou nders and that’s a damn shame. Too many fake ass emcees are just involved in rap because the drug game got too crowed and they figure they can make loaves of bread from a culture they don’t care mu ch about; a culture that was originally constructed by DJs most people under 30 don’t know shit about. Equally destructive, most rap fans have no knowle dge or concern for the pio neers who have allowed them to enjoy the phenom enon that rap has becom e. I can’t criticize. I was the same way until recently. I cou an old-school, coffin dod ging DJ who I thought was ldn’t care less about irrelevant to my life. In fact, I hate to admit it, but it wasn’t until I became features editor of OZONE and was constantly surrou nded by people who rea lly the love the music tha began to care about its orig tI ins. No, I’ve never met an old school DJ, but I know how much their turntables and vinyl has changed the world. Cats like Jam Mas ter Jay, Magic Mike, Jazzy Jeff, DJ Screw, Terminator X, Kid Capri, DJ Yella, Unc le Al, Red Alert, Marley Marl and endless others have sic we live our lives to. Old altered the way we hear the world and the muschool DJs are musical righ to let the music they lov e sit on the back of the bus ts leaders who refused , and it’s a travesty that we don’t appreciate their efforts to the extent we should. //
OZONE MAG // 81
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Close your eyes and imagine life without the DJ. It’s a scary thought, isn’t it? Our entire world literally revolves around their spins. Still, do we appreciate them? No, not nearly as much as we should. They are the often inaudible artists who have augmented our existence in more ways than we can imagine. But when is the last time you gave thanks for all they’ve done? Chances are it’s been while. Well, here is your opportunity. Open your eyes and pay tribute to the DJ. On the following pages our elite DJ panel describes in detail the art form they know and love. // Compiled by Ms. Rivercity, N. Ali Early, Eric Perrin, Julia Beverly, Maurice G. Garland, & Randy Roper
DJ 007 (Memphis, TN) Born and raised in Houston, TX, Kevin “007” Dogan now calls Memphis home. He has been involved in radio since 1992 and is currently employed at K-97.1 FM. Cut The Check, DJ 007’s latest mixtape, was hosted by Yo Gotti and Lil Scrappy. His future plans include artist management, A&Ring and producing. Hotdj901@gmail.com Mailing Address (CDs Only, No Vinyl): 2650 Thousand Oaks Blvd., #4100, Memphis, TN 38118
C-Wiz (Nashville, TN) Representing Nashville, TN, C-Wiz is a tour DJ for Three 6 Mafia and Pimp C. His current club resume includes Lizzie’s Grill, 615 and Club Sallees. Some of his most recent projects including Actin’ Bad Lookin Hard Vol. 1 & 2 and The Streets Need Me Vol. 1. He also does artist consultation. 281-330-0682 (Mike Clarke, Manager) www.myspace.com/djcwiz Mailing Address: Attention C-Wiz, 5343 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209
DJ 3 (Wichita, KS) Derrick “DJ 3” Crosby is 32 years old. In the past, DJ 3 served as a tour DJ for Juvenile and several other artists. He currently DJs many of the major concerts and venues in Wichita, KS and can be heard on www.okrp.com – an internet based radio network. He recently released a mixtape called The Houston, Texas to Wichita, Kansas Connection. Dj3spins@yahoo.com www.myspace.com/dj3316
DJ D Lowe (Jackson, MS and Flint, MI) Deric Lowe, better known as D Lowe, has the best of both worlds. He represents both the South and the Midwest. Other than his mission to become a household name as a DJ, D Lowe also produces for several artists in Jackson, MS. He can also be found spinning at the Upper Level Bar and Grill. firstname.lastname@example.org
DJ Blak (Atlanta, GA) Phillip Green is a man of many aliases, including DJ Blak and The Politician. He is a DJ at the internationally known Magic City in Atlanta. Blak also tours with Yung Joc and releases his Blak Out mixtape series regularly. He is 22 years old. 678-446-8504 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.myspace.com/djblakfae Boolumaster (Chicago, IL) A vet in the game, E. “Boolumaster” Wills has been DJing for over 20 years. He represents Chi-Town to the fullest when he’s mixing on WPWX Power 92. His latest mixtapes – Hip Hop Shit, Steppin Volume 2 and House & Disco – keep any party jumping. email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
DJ Dady Phatts (West Palm Beach, FL) Known as an advocate for the independent artist, Reginald “Dady Phatts” Benoit currently spins on WMBX X102.3 in South Florida. He has most recently worked with Killa Kim and Dirte Red and is always on the lookout for hot new talent. 561-541-6694 email@example.com DJ Deliyte (Bay St. Louis, MS) Jared A. Jackson, better known as DJ Deliyte, can be heard on WBSL AM 1190 in Mississippi. He is a resident DJ at Nels Sports Bar in BSL, MS and tours with several artists including G’No, Pimp G and Smokealota. firstname.lastname@example.org www.myspace.com/djdeliyte Mailing address: CrossRoads Entertainment, LLC c/o DJ DELIYTE P.O. Box 2602 Bay St. Louis, MS 39521-2602
DJ Bounz (Austin, TX) Quickly making his way into the mixtape game, Matthew “DJ Bounz” Naderi has dropped several tapes including More Money No Problems, Diggin’ Da Souf with TheScrewShop.com, and Mindset Vol. 2 Hosted by Rasaq and Tum-Tum. DJ Bounz (pronounced Bounce) is 23 years old and currently tours with J-Kapone. email@example.com www.myspace.com/bounz07 www.djbounz.com
DJ Don Juan (Nashville, TN and Petersburg, VA) As a tour DJ for Young Buck, Paul “Don Juan” Strickland has become a staple in the Nashville club scene. He is currently 26 years old and has DJed at virtually every club in the city. His Phat Kaps Radio & United Streets mixtapes are currently circulating in the streets. 615-977-4103 firstname.lastname@example.org Mailing Address: 2940 Baby Ruth Lane #24, Antioch, TN 37013
DJ Boz (Virginia Beach, VA) A DJ for Energy 106.1, 30-year-old DJ Boz, a.k.a. Big Lettrz, resides in Virginia Beach, VA. He spins at numerous venues including Guadalajara, MP Island and D’Fraisers. Boz produces music and mentors up and coming DJs as well. Djboz3000@aol.com Mailing Address: 1912 Lantana Ct., Virginia Beach, VA 23456
DJ EMURDA (Houston, Texas and Florida) EMURDA has lived in many places including Jamaica, New York, New Jersey, Houston and is now a resident of Florida. It’s evident by his latest mixtapes that he strongly represents Texas and its artists. His last three Chopped & Screwed volumes were hosted by Tum Tum, OG Ron C and Chamillionaire. EMURDA also does web design and bookings. 713-820-3459 email@example.com www.djemurda.com www. myspace.com/djemurda
DJ Burn One (Atlanta, GA) David “Burn One” Sweeten currently resides in Atlanta, GA. He can be heard on the airwaves in Huntsville, AL on WEUP. Aside from putting together some of the South’s hottest mixtapes, Burn One is also the tour DJ for Bubba Sparxxx. firstname.lastname@example.org DJ Camilo (New York, NY) DJ Camilo is part of the WQHT Hot 97 team in New York. Aside from club gigs six nights a week, Camilo also DJs in Europe every other month. The “International Club King” has blessed over 95% of the clubs in the NYC area. He latest mixtape is entitled Heatrockas Part 1. He will be opening a Latin restaurant in the spring of ’07. Djcamilo@aol.com Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1414, Jackson Heights, NY 11372
DJ Epps (Miami, FL) DJ Epps is a member of the Shadyville DJs. He’s also an on-air personality and Assistant Music Director for 103.5 The Beat. Epps works with several artists in Miami including North & Agony. When he’s not spinning in South Florida, Epps takes his skills abroad to Europe and Asia. Djeppsmp3@gmail.com www.myspace.com/djepps Freddy Hydro (Memphis, TN) Fredrick Turner, a.k.a. Freddy Hydro, is a 30-year-old DJ from Memphis. You can find him at Club Unity and other major events in the South. Freddy does mixtapes and is Playa Fly’s tour DJ. 901-503-6006 email@example.com OZONE MAG // 83
dj issue DJ Freeze (Jackson, MS) David “DJ Freeze” Robinson occasionally spins on Hot 97.7 FM in Jackson, MS. He is 27 years old and most recently released two mixtapes: Just Musik Volume 1 and The White Party 2 Soundtrack. He’s a regular club DJ at Da Spot. firstname.lastname@example.org www.myspace.com/djfreeze601 Mailing Address: 1412 Hair Street, Jackson, MS 39204
KD a.k.a. Han D Man (Atlanta, GA) Otherwise known as the Han D Man, KD spins for AOL Radio, Sirius, Dish Network and freelances for Hot 107.9 in Atlanta. He’s toured with UGK, Ghetto Boys, Heather Hunter and many others but he’s probably most known for his Worldwide mixtape series. KD is also part owner of the Musgrow Lounge in Winston-Salem, NC. www.kd-handyman.com
DJ Fresh (Kansas City, MO) Representing the Midwest, Gary “DJ Fresh” Edwin is a member of the Derrty DJs, MDC DJs and the CORE DJs. The 40 year old radio DJ can be heard on Hot 103 Jamz and at several clubs including Philling Station, Uptown Theatre, Union Hill and Jamaican G’s. He’s also a tour DJ for The Gift. email@example.com
King JB (Tampa, FL) At 30 years old, King JB has landed some of the most coveted disc jockey positions. One of central Florida’s top record breakers, Johnathan “King JB” Brett DJs for WLLD Wild 98.7. Bahasa Lounge, 13 Lounge and Café and Code Nightclub are also spots where you can catch JB doing his thing. 813-810-9921 firstname.lastname@example.org
DJ Grip (Austin, TX) 22-year-old David “DJ Grip” Elliott is best known for his mixtape work with Texas artists like Tum Tum, Spark Dawg, Kiotti, Kyle Lee and others. He DJs at various venues and is a disc jockey for KXXS 104.9 The Beat. email@example.com
DJ KD (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) Formerly a DJ at 99 Jamz in Miami and X102.3 in West Palm Beach, DJ KD currently spins at various nightclubs including Chyna White, Ninety 9 and Perri House. It’s Crack featuring Jobs and Hall of Fame Taking Ova are two of his most recent mixtapes. KD will be going on tour with Jase in the near future. 954-940-8145 Djkdsalute@tmail.com firstname.lastname@example.org (for MP3s)
DJ Headbussa (Tampa, FL) Formerly a resident of Orlando, FL, Nedroy Bent a.k.a. DJ Headbussa currently spins at several venues in Tampa. The 25-year-old DJ is part of the Wild 98.7 street team and is Co-CEO of M.O.B. DJs. He’s already put out several volumes of his Krank Up mixtapes and plans to release more soon. 305-766-4686 email@example.com www.myspace.com/krankmusik DJ Hella Yella (Austin, TX) Leon “Hella Yella” O’Neal is a 22-year-old DJ/college student. His mixtapes I’m Stylin On You and Lavish R&B Vol. 2 have received favorable reviews. In addition to rocking college parties, he currently DJs at club Spiros and often tours with Spark Dawg. Dj_hella_yella@yahoo.com www.myspace.com/djhellayella Mailing Address: Leon “DJ Hella Yella” O’Neal, 2208 Mission Hill #103, Austin, TX 78741
Mac Payne (Wichita, KS) Music Director for KDGS Power 93.9, Mac Payne (short for McKinley Paynes) is a highly influential record breaker in the Midwest. He represents the CORE DJs and his own company The Lavish Life. 316-685-2121 ext. 236 firstname.lastname@example.org www.mylavishlife.com
DJ J Hustle (Dallas, TX) Jaroi “DJ J Hustle” Womack is a tour DJ for Money Waters, Silk and Young Bleed. He can be found spinning at Club Blue, Club One and M5. The 23-year-old DJ has also released three volumes of his J-Hustle mixtape series. email@example.com
DJ Magic Mike (Orlando, FL) “DJ Magic Mike” Hampton is a man that needs no introduction. With decades of experience and platinum-selling records, the 40-yearold vet continues to be blessed with success. Magic Mike mixes on WPYO 95.3 FM, and at Antigua and the House of Blues in Orlando. www.myspace.com/djmagicmike
DJ J-Nice (Atlanta, GA) A member of the Hittmenn DJs, J-Nice has worked with some of the industry’s top names including Ludacris, Shaq, Shareefa, the Notorious B.I.G., Black Rob, Gucci Mane and tons of others. The 30-something-year-old currently mixes at V-103 and spins at the world famous Club 112 and Club Esso. Djjnice000@aol.com www.djjnice.com www.myspace.com/djjnice
Mick Boogie (Cleveland, OH) Mickey Batyske, otherwise known as Mick Boogie, mixes for WENZ in Cleveland and Sirius Satellite Radio. The 28-year-old also DJs at Spy, Cloud 9, Cleveland Cavalier games and many out of town venues. www.myspace.com/mickboogie www.mickboogie.com
Jane Dupree (Nashville, TN) Bridgett Hardville, a.k.a. Jane Dupree, is a house, techno and Hip Hop DJ representing Cashville. She is 27 years old and spins at the Velvet Ultralounge and Blue Bar. Aside from DJing, JD also produces beats and recently dropped two tapes - Best of Both Worlds and Disko Ballin’. 404-784-7254 firstname.lastname@example.org Jeff Da Illest (Chicago, IL) Tour DJ for Fantasia and the Illisoul Movement Family, Jeff “Da Illest” Jackson is a specialist a rocking a show. Whether he’s on the road or spinning at one of his resident clubs like Cactus, Inclusive or the B Lounge, Jeff puts integrity before the dollar. 312-285-6009 email@example.com Mailing address: 11331 S. Langley Chicago, IL 60628
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DJ L-Gee (Queens, NY) Representing Queens, New York, Lenair “DJ L-Gee” Gardner belongs to the Bum Squad DJz, Hood DJs and Hustle Squad DJs. He is 25 years old and is involved in several mixtape projects including The West Coast Saviour hosted By The Game, Sexual Tendencies Part 2 hosted By Luscious Liz, and DJ L-Gee & Ali Vegas Presents Black Card Council. 347-495-8750 firstname.lastname@example.org www.myspace.com/djlgee
DJ M.O.E. (Houston, TX) At 17 years old, Maurice “DJ M.O.E.” Jacobs is already setting his sights on the Texas DJ crown. He recently released three mixtapes entitled Set The City on Fire, I-10 Hustlin and I Do It 4 Da City. The initials M.O.E. of course stand for Money Ova Everything. 832-541-6315 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org www.myspace.com/djmoe713 Mailing Address: 7616 Darien St., Houston, TX 77028 DJ Nabs (Atlanta, GA) As a DJ for Hot 107.9 and XM 67, Nabs is well known in the Atlanta area and the South in general. He has been a tour DJ for So So Def since 1992 and is involved with many side ventures like music production, video production and music publishing. email@example.com www.djnabs.com
dj issue Princess Cut (Dallas, TX) Juri Koshikawa, better known as DJ Princess Cut, represents The Lone-Star state to the fullest. She is a specialist in Screw Music, having gained an impressive reputation for her UGQ and Bout to Blow mixtape series. Princess Cut is on a mission to bring United States Hip Hop back to her roots in Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org www.myspace.com/djprincesscut DJ Rob Storm (Memphis, TN) Rob “Storm” Sandridge currently spins on KXHT Hot 107.1 in Memphis, TN. Besides DJing, Rob is also active in the promotions, graphics and production sides of the music business. 901-643-5379 email@example.com www.myspace.com/djrobstorm1200 Mailing Address: 1722 Childers, Memphis, TN 38127 Sam Sneak (Miami, FL) If a record is to be broken in South Florida, you’d better believe Sam is the man to do it. There isn’t an underground radio station in Miami that Sam Sneak doesn’t mix at. In addition to radio, the 22-year-old Sneak also DJs at Coco’s and Take One Lounge. Djsamsneak@gmail.com www.myspace.com/djsamsneak www.myspace.com/jamsquaddjs DJ Shakim (Atlanta, GA, Queens, NY, and Orangeburg, SC) Shakim Hicks DJs all over the world and can be heard in Macon, GA on WXFM. He is a tour DJ for Bow Wow and a member of the Superfriends. His most recently put together a mixtape for Fundisha entitled The Struggle: New Era Mixtape. Shakimdj@aol.com DJ Sir Swift (Nashville, TN) Mystic Nightclub and WTST TSU Radio are two places you can hear the 28-year-old Jamal “Sir Swift” White spin the crunk Southern classics. He’s also a vet in the mixtape game. His most recent releases include Supply & Demand Vol. 6, Got What U Want Vol. 5 and U Gotta Grind Vol. 1. 615-513-5850 firstname.lastname@example.org Mailing Address: DJ SIR SWIFT/So So Def DJs 5341 Mt. View Rd. # 108, Nashville, TN 37013 DJ Slym (Orlando, FL) As part of the Clientell Party Starters, the Hittmenn DJs, Wilin DJs, Supreme Team DJs, Dawgman Ent., ZoePoppie Ent, 93.5 Clientell Radio, and a long list of other affiliations, Alex “DJ Slym” Ducenord is one of Orlando’s busiest DJs. At 22-years-old, he already has a full club agenda at Tropical Magic, Roxy, Element and Legends. email@example.com, Mailing Address: 1085 Miami Blvd. Delray Beach, FL 33483 DJ Smallz (Tampa, FL) DJ Smallz, a.k.a. Mr. Southern Smoke, represents Tampa, FL. He can be heard on 95.7 The Beat and Sirius Satellite Radio. Besides his household Southern Smoke mixtape series, Smallz recently released a few volumes of his Fear Factor collection which highlights up and coming artists. www.myspace.com/southernsmoke DJ Snake (Dallas, TX) Formerly a DJ for KNON 90.9/89.3 and a tour DJ for Too $hort, Don “DJ Snake” Brown currently spins at club ECCO in Dallas. The 42year-old DJ does not make mixtapes but he does produce and mix music at Nexxus Media Group. firstname.lastname@example.org or myspace/djsnakepit DJ Spinz (Augusta, GA) At 17 years old, Rafael “DJ Spinz” Hill has already made quite a name for himself. His Southern Swagger mixtape series is a big hit in the streets, especially the edition hosted by Nitti. He also has gigs at Mr. J’s, The Palace and Foxie 103.1FM. email@example.com www.myspace.com/dj_spinz Statik Selektah (Boston, MA) Patrick Baril, better known as Statik Selektah, is a 25 year old DJ for KMJJ, WBLX and Shade 45 on Sirius Satellite Radio. Running his company Showoff Marketing and producing tracks are two of his
side ventures. The titles of his last three mixtapes are Nas – The Prophecy Vol. 2, The Look of Love and The Bar Exam. firstname.lastname@example.org DJ Stilo (Ocala, FL) Formerly from New York, Edwin “DJ Stilo” Mancia currently resides in Ocala, FL. He spins at club Lil New York and Club Blue. Two of his most recent mixtapes releases are I-95 North 2 South and Choppaz n Stacks. The All-Mighty Stilo also founded Phatsounds DJs. 352-547-6925 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Mailing Address: 3018 NE 25th Ct., Ocala, FL 34479 DJ Suss One (New York, NY) DJ Suss One is a tour DJ for Mariah Carey and a disc jockey at WWPR Power 105.1 in New York. When he’s not traveling the world, the 25-year-old musical connoisseur is putting together mixtapes like A Tribute to Big Pun, Back to the Eighties, The Reggae Party, The Reggaeton Party and the Suss One Mixtape series. email@example.com DJ Teknikz (Atlanta, GA) DJ Teknikz has been perfecting his craft since 1997. His If U Buyin’, We Sellin’ mixtape series is one of the fastest growing brands in ATL. His Georgia Power volumes are quickly following suit. He received 13 Southern Entertainment nominations this year and took home Mixtape Rookie of the Year. 678-698-3188 www.myspace.com/djteknikz DJ Trauma (Atlanta, GA) 33-year-old Tayari “DJ Trauma” McIntosh is a disc jockey for Atlanta’s Hot 107.9 and a member of the World Famous Superfriends. In addition to touring with Ciara and Cha Cha, DJ 404-664-8786 firstname.lastname@example.org www.myspace.com/djtraumaatlanta DJ Unity (Oklahoma City, OK) Kevin “DJ Unity” Oguinn is a mixshow DJ at KKWD Wild 104.9 and a member of the Bum Squad DJz. He spins at several clubs in the area including Club Spyce. DJ Unity prefers using vinyl as his weapon of choice. 405-361-4859 Djunity1@sbcglobal.net www.myspace.com/djunity Mailing Address: 6205 Wildewood Dr. Oklahoma City, Ok 73105 DJ V-Dub (Chicago, IL) A mixshow DJ for WGCI 107.5, Vaughn “V-Dub” Woods, won the Mixshow Power Summit Midwest DJ of the Year award in 2004. He currently spins at the Shadow Bar, Boutique, Sangria and Buzz. V-Dub is a tour DJ for Do or Die, Bump J and Static. 773-842-9477 email@example.com www.myspace.com/djvdub DJ Who (Baton Rouge, LA) Chad “DJ Who” Joseph is originally from New Orleans, LA. He currently lives in Baton Rouge where he drops mixtapes on a regular basis. Some of his recent projects have been hosted by Chyna Whyte, Ms. Toi, Khao and Pimpin Ken. He is 33 years old. firstname.lastname@example.org Mailing Address: DJ Who C/O Gothic Ent, Box 74843 Baton Rouge, LA 70874 DJ Wildhairr (Fort Worth, TX) Alfred R. McGowan Jr., otherwise known as DJ Wildhairr, represents Fort Worth, TX when he’s on tour with Michael “5000” Watts. He also DJs for Club Crystals, Club Axis, Club MP3, and Club AfterLife. Wildhairr does promotions and bookings as well. 817-797-6360 DjWildhairr@yahoo.com www.myspace.com/DjWildhairr Wiz Hoffa (Albany, NY) Wiz Hoffa is CEO and Founder of the Noize Mob DJs – 2006 Justo Mixtape winners for Best Mixtape Team and SEA winners for Best Street Team. He is also VP of a graphic design company and Chairman of Hollywood Hustle – a film company. To top off the resume, Wiz also produces. email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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dj issue What’s the worst DJ job you’ve ever had? “I was doing a wedding reception and they started fighting. I didn’t get paid.” – DJ 3 “Club 112 on one of their off nights. It never caught a crowd and I was only getting like $100 to DJ for 5 hours.” – DJ Blak “I did a house party that got shot up.” – DJ Boz “I DJed a funeral for my cousin.” – C-Wiz “I was playing somewhere in upstate New York after a snowstorm. There was 10 people in the club and 6 of them were the club’s staff.” – DJ Camilo “Carrying crates for Mike Swiff. Dude would have over 15 crates of Hip Hop, old school street music, but I had to carry ‘em.” – DJ D Lowe “Kentucky 2005. It was different ‘cause I was in the country with the horse ranches. I take this money any way I can get it. If the money’s right, I’m there.” - EMURDA “DJing at the cafeteria at CAU when I was in college. I had to walk up two flights of stair with all my equipment. It was brutal and it was for pennies. But you got to get your start somewhere.” – DJ Trauma “Anytime I was doing a wedding reception. No disrespect to mobile DJs, but that’s just not my thing. While playing the ‘Cha Cha Slide,’ I decided to focus on spinning in the clubs.” – DJ Unity “I was DJing at a club and the pipes burst overhead.” – DJ V-Dub “I was spinning for an 8th grade graduation party and the mother was very religious. Words like ‘hell,’ ‘damn’ and ‘ass’ seem to come in every line and those were the clean versions.” – Boolumaster “A private party on a boat. It was called the Booze Cruise but it was more of a boo-boo cruise. The idea was hot, but a lack of promotion didn’t have enough folks out there.” – DJ Bounz “It was at some type of multicultural festival when I was in high school. I played ‘Yeah’ when it first came out and everyone went crazy. A crowd gathered in front of where I was at; guys were shoving each other and jumping around and girls were dancing on the guys. The teachers got scared and pulled the plug on the music.” – DJ Burn One “I did a party that was supposed to be for the grown and sexy. It turned out only 5 people showed up and the promoter didn’t pay anyone the full fee that was agreed upon. Naturally I was upset.” – DJ Freeze “I’ve had plenty. Anytime you get paid to play music you don’t like - weddings, birthdays, kinsientas – but I turn down all of those jobs now.” – DJ Grip “I DJed in a big barn-like building and every 20 to 30 minutes the power would go out and somebody would have to go flip the breaker switch.” – DJ Hella Yella “I did music for a ghetto drag show as a favor.” – Jane Dupree “I was doing a wedding about two years ago and 86 // OZONE MAG
everything just fell apart, but I made it through. I forgot a lot of the music that the couple wanted but it was a learning experience.” – Jeff Da Illest “In the mid 90s I signed a three month deal with a club called The Yum Yum Tree in Plum, TX. It was the smallest club I have ever seen but they would crowd 100 to 150 people inside on the weekend. They had wooden floors with loose boards everywhere, no AC and one window.” – KD aka Han D Man “I did a wedding for my boy. It was wack!” – King JB “I was hired to spin at a high school graduation party in a cabin in the woods in upstate New York. The only bad thing is my setup was on the second floor balcony outside and I was swatting bugs all night, even off of the records. The pay was good so I didn’t complain too much.” – DJ L-Gee “There is nothing worse than DJing for elementary and middle school kids. I’m glad I don’t have to do shit like that anymore. These kids were leaning and rocking and popping and locking and snapping and walking it out all at the same time.” – Mick Boogie “I chopped and screwed this one cat’s song off of Myspace who was pretty weak. I think it was a Still Tippin’ beat. He sounded better after I got through but I can only do so much.” - DJ Princess Cut “I was DJing at this club and no one showed up. The promoter refused to shut it down so I was stuck DJing for the floor and walls for like two and a half hours.” – Sam Sneak “I did this college party at this old warehouse. The room I was DJing in was on the fourth floor. The elevator didn’t work so I had to carry 5 crates of records and my equipment up four flights of stairs. To top it all off, the floor wasn’t that sturdy so every time someone stepped too hard my needle would skip. That was one long night.” – DJ Sir Swift
and scratching. The Midwest is known for the party mix with the Techno & House genre. The West just be straight up clowning on the set and in the Deep South we rock the Chopped and Screwed, the heavy bass kick with that signature tick that keeps yo’ ass on the dance floor.” – DJ Deliyte “DJs from the South seem more laid back in most cases, not a lot of screaming on their tapes or mixshows. In Texas, we like a little more laid back, slowed up, style of songs as well. Best believe we know how to get crunk at the right times.” – DJ Grip “They really don’t differ. There are just different styles of DJs – show DJs, entertainer DJs, mixshow DJs, house DJs, drum and base DJs, the list goes on. And then there’s your press the button DJs.” – DJ J-Nice “For the Midwest especially, Chi-Town plays a wide spectrum of music. In the south some DJs play more regional music. In the last two years we have seen a change in music where radio mixshows have been the determining factor of how music should be played in the clubs. I think the DJ is the trendsetter of what’s hot or not and most people have lost sight of that factor.” – Jeff Da Illest “I think the only difference is the music that’s played. I play music from all areas. If it’s hot then I’m playing it. A lot of DJs only play music from artists that rep their area. I’m an equal opportunity DJ.” – DJ L-Gee “There’s not really a big difference in styles. Good DJs play to the crowd wherever they are.” – Mac Payne “On the East I know the DJs play songs by the boroughs, which is pretty hot. They do a lot of scratching; they also play records according to BPM. Down in the South it’s different styles all over. Miami DJs play records pitched up 3.0 and up and we ride over the music.” – Sam Sneak
How do DJ’s from the South, East Coast, Midwest and West differ in styles?
“I believe that DJs in the South enjoy playing strictly Southern music – which is not a bad thing. The Southern DJ is known for breaking artists more than any other market. The East coast DJ puts a little more time and effort into their mixing abilities and enjoys playing music from all regions of the country. The Midwest DJ is a different breed musically. They are very fortunate to fall right in the middle of the country so their music scope is a lot broader than any other region. The West coast DJ is very skilled at the art form of DJing. Many of the great turntablists like Q Bert, MixMaster Mike, Babu come from the West coast.” – DJ Shakim
“I can’t really categorize all DJs from a certain part of the map. All cats have their own unique swagger. One DJ might do a lot of tricks, where another DJ is all about his mixing and transitions.” – DJ Bounz
“DJs in the South are crowd controllers. We like to talk and interact with the crowd. East coast DJs don’t really talk; they’re more about scratching and battling. Southern DJs can get down in the scratching and battling too though.” – DJ Slym
“I really don’t see that big of a difference other than DJs playing records from their own region more often.” – DJ Burn One
“Me being originally from New York and now being based in Ocala, FL, there is a definite difference. Southern DJs are more vocal, more crunk, and interact more with the crowd. Up North they interact with the crowd but they are more laid back and of course the music selection is different.” – DJ Stilo
“I had to do a holiday party for a corporate bank and they made me play 50s disco music. I’m me so I rocked it anyways.” – DJ Slym “Doin weddings and crap like that. I hate those type of gigs ‘cause everyone at the party thinks you’re a human jukebox.” – DJ Teknikz
“As a DJ, you gotta cater to your crowd so you gotta play what’s hot in your market. Like in West Palm, if you’re DJing in the clubs, you gotta play Suave Smooth’s ‘What They Do’.” – DJ Dady Phatts “The only major difference is the musical composition for that area. The East Coast has the cutting
“I’ve been all over. There’s always different kinds of DJs. Some scratch more than others or blend more. Some people just play the hits. Some crowds love mash-ups. For the most part, I think that
dj issue different areas just have some different hits that work in their area and not others. One of the keys to being a great DJ is knowing what’s poppin’ everywhere.” – DJ Suss One “I don’t think regions really define a DJs style but I have noticed that West coast DJs are more preservative of the art form. In the South, we support our own. The East jumps on whatever’s hot and they wonder why they are still bringing New York back.” – DJ Teknikz “I think Southern DJs are more versatile because we have so many different types of music to pick from and we never have to leave the South.” – DJ 007 “I’m from the South so our style is unique. We take chances, not saying that DJs everywhere else don’t, but we are not afraid to step outside the box. We will throw that new record in our set in a packed club. I haven’t seen that many DJs from other places do that until they hear one of us do it.” – DJ Blak “Hip Hop has become real regional. We all play music that pops in our immediate area. Also, East Coast DJs tend to move crowds with mic control; West Coast DJs tend to be real technical with their scratching and cutting.” – DJ Camilo “Down South has hype DJs that play the music fast, as well as DJs that rock playing up tempo, but not speeding through every record. Only thing I could say is, for the most part, skills in the clubs don’t matter anymore. With the exception of a few DJs, skills are not a factor.” – DJ KD “For me the difference is the Midwest DJ always DJs for the women and we blend all our records 95% of the time in the club and radio.” – DJ V-Dub “East Coast DJs typically mix faster and run through records quickly. Somebody like a Biz Mark or Kid Capri can play 8-16 bars of a record and still keep the party hot. I love that style, but down South you might have to let the record run a little longer and do some talking. We have so much appreciation for the music down here, you gotta let it breathe. The West Coast is very similar; they have a great appreciation for the classics so you can’t play with people’s emotions. The Midwest has the best of both worlds.” – DJ Who
Have you ever considered quitting the DJ game? Why did you decide to stay? “Nah, I’ve never even thought about quitting. Whether I’m spinnin’ at the crib or at a venue with lots of folks I still get that rush. It’s just that good feeling.” – DJ Bounz “I have considered leaving the DJ game because it was getting tough on me financially. Also, there are just so many shady muthafuckers you have to deal with in this business and it can wear you down sometimes.” – DJ 007 “I wanted to quit when my grandmother died. She was the only person at the time who supported my musical endeavors. So after she left, I wasn’t very motivated any more. I had a dream where she came to me and said, ‘You’ve come too far to quit, so keep going and it will pay off.’ I kept pushing.” – DJ Blak “Yes, because music was becoming whack and
people were not respecting real Hip Hop. I stayed because of Serato. No more lugging crates.” – DJ Boz “Never. I stay because this is what I live for, love and want. Yes, it’s a tough and competitive game but it’s in my blood. I wouldn’t want to be a doctor, lawyer or accountant.” - DJ Camilo “Yes. It became stressful, then the money wasn’t always right. I’m not a quitter and plus I got that raise I wanted.” – DJ D Lowe “Yes, because DJs underbid each other. I stayed because the city needs me.” – Freddy Hydro “I did because of politics. Sometimes you’re wrapped up in it without realizing it. Plus, club promoters are trying to rob you. For any DJ it gets frustrating, but it’s a learning process.” – DJ KD “I can’t quit the game because I love it too much. I have been spinning for almost 30 years. It’s my life and it’s what I get paid to do.” – DJ Magic Mike “I thought about quitting during college to focus on my books but I love what I do. I could not stay away.” – DJ Trauma “Of course. Working with bullshit promoters, radio politics and young DJs fucking up the game made me wanna say peace out, but I’ll let the Lord tell me when to stop.” – DJ V-Dub “Absolutely. The music has changed drastically. I decided to stay because there are still mature listeners that are open to classics and underground joints.” – Boolumaster “Yes. Hurricane Katrina devastated my area along with my 4 Technics 1200 MK2 turntables, recording studio and most importantly my 10,000 plus album collection. I decided to stay ‘cause I got Mississippi on my back.” – DJ Deliyte “Quitting, no. Evolving and moving on, yes. I’m currently building my artist management and marketing firm. I didn’t go to college to just be a DJ. But I will never quit. It is a part of me.” – DJ Don Juan “Yes, at times, but it’s hard to quit something you’re good at and are successful at. The only reason I’ve ever really considered quitting the DJ game is to do original productions, but I decided making beats can wait.” – DJ Grip “Yeah, because the money wasn’t coming in as frequent. Then I got a job DJing and doing Notorious B.I.G. parties back in the days.” – DJ J-Nice “Yep, once. I had a major motorcycle accident back in April 2001. I was under hospital care for ten months. I had to learn how to walk, talk and function all over. After my accident, I adjusted and found a way to still DJ.” – KD aka Han D Man “Yes, I finished grad school a few years ago and felt that it was time to move on and enter corporate America. Then I had realized I can take that education and knowledge and apply to my DJ career, which I have.” – Mick Boogie “I semi-retired for a while, but the idea of having access to thousands of songs at my fingertips reignited my interest in DJing again.” – DJ Nabs “Yes, because I was spinning at clubs for a bunch
of drunk people who just wanna shake their ass. I decided to stay because I’m trying to make the South an international commodity.” – DJ Princess Cut “At one time the RIAA sent letters out to a lot of stores I had CDs in, stating that if they carried mixtapes they will be fined $250,000. They stopped carrying the mixtapes. Since I was heavy in the mixtape game, it set me back a little. But my drive and love for DJing kept me moving. That’s when I got into the club scene. I still get down with mixtapes; don’t get it twisted.” – DJ Sir Swift “Yeah, because it seemed like all the hard work I was putting in, I felt that I wasn’t progressing with it. I later realized that I had my own following which were my Haitians and that I could become the key DJ for my Zoes and take it to the next level.” – DJ Slym “Yeah, because it’s hard to be a family man and live the life of a DJ. I pretty much decided to stay because I don’t feel whole without DJing, and my team always inspires me to keep going.” – DJ Stilo “Yeah, I did quit for a while but like Pookie in New Jack City, it just kept calling me.” – DJ Teknikz
What has been the defining moment in your career? “Having DJ Toomp tell me he liked and respected what I’m doing.” – DJ Burn One “Becoming the official And 1 Mixtape DJ – DJing in 33 cities from the time doors open until the show’s over.” – DJ Fresh “When I got the opportunity to leave Baltimore radio and go on tour with Notorious B.I.G.” – DJ J-Nice “I was booked to spin a house set on New Year’s Eve. I meet this guy that hated house music and trashed every DJ that played it. So I made a bet with him that he would respect, appreciate, and dance for the majority of my set. If he didn’t I would give him $100. After I was finished with my one hour set, he came to the DJ booth, apologized, shook my hand, and asked for my autograph.” – Jane Dupree “DJing in front of over 20,000 people in Tampa at the Last Damn Show. It was the best high you could ever imagine!” – King JB “When I was first featured on MTV’s Mixtape Monday. And also being recruited to DJ squads such as Bum Squad DJz, Hood DJs and Hustle Squad DJs.” – DJ L-Gee “Traveling and spinning overseas was dope. Doing the Jay-Z/Lebron party at All-Star was nice too.” – Mick Boogie “My defining moment was DJing in front of 10,000 people.” – DJ 3 “When Pimp C said I was the #1 DJ in the nation.” – C-Wiz “Being a part of the biggest Hip Hop station in the world, Hot 97 in New York. I got 3 shows and that’s a dream come true.” – DJ Camilo “When 50 gave me a call and asked me to work with him. This nigga cuts me checks on time and OZONE MAG // 87
dj issue still got me on the team. Thanks, boss.” – DJ Epps “Getting a slot on 99 Jamz. Radio was always a dream of mine, so that was big for me.” – DJ KD “When my first 12” was released and it was successful and also when my first LP went gold and then platinum. That’s what let me know that my name was out there and people knew who I was.” – DJ Magic Mike “Either touring with Tribe, or doing Nas’s official mix CDs.” – Statik Selektah “I think my birthday party this year was it. Big Daddy Kane and Busta performed.” - DJ Trauma “A defining moment for me was working on some projects with Tha Dogg Pound during the Ice Cube tour.” – DJ Who “Being on the road traveling city to city, getting the same response from everyone getting crunk. Opening up for Murphy Lee in 2002, in Little Rock, AR with Twisted Black.” – DJ Wildhairr “Probably my DJ family winning a Justo Award for Best Mixtape Team.” – Wiz Hoffa “Earning a Platinum plaque from Chamillionaire for his debut album.” – DJ Smallz “Getting my first radio gig on KNON 90.9FM/89.3FM in Dallas with Big Al and Cassanova Roc – The All Hearty Def Party Show. R.I.P. Big Al.” – DJ Snake “I was at a red light and a car next to me was playing one of my mixtapes.” – DJ Stilo “Being on a world tour with Mariah Carey – The Adventures of Mimi Tour.” – DJ Suss One “My win at the SEAs as the Rookie of the Year.” – DJ Teknikz
Are there any artists whose music you won’t play? Why? “Busta Rhymes, because he’s an asshole.” – Boolumaster “No, because everyone deserves an opportunity. I am a working component of what the people want to hear. I play the music and let the people decide if it gets more play on the radio or in the clubs.” – DJ Deliyte “No, but I will put a rapper on probation.” – DJ Fresh “I don’t have problems with any artists like that but if you suck, I won’t play your music period.” – DJ Grip “Of course, when their music isn’t hot from an audience standpoint. Sometimes I actually play their music just to show them the crowd’s reaction.” – DJ Headbussa “Any artists that attack or threaten any DJ for not playing their records or playing a record that they don’t like. That shit is not cool.” – DJ Hella Yella “Not really, but if your shit is garbage I will not play it period, no matter how much money you offer me.” – DJ J-Nice “I won’t play that Ms. Peachez ‘Fried Chicken’ 88 // OZONE MAG
song. I would never play that in my life. I think it’s degrading.” – DJ 3 “I’ll play anybody who makes good music. Fuck the political shit.” – DJ 007 “Yes, if you disrespect me you’re dropped from the Eppsclusive play list.” – DJ Epps
played. They are more willing to host mixtapes and do drops. On the other hand, these big headed type artists hardly show DJs love unless you’re one of the top name DJs. And to the artists who wanna charge DJs for drops and hostings – fuck y’all greedy bastards. That’s from the heart.” – DJ L-Gee
“I will play anything thats hot, unless Milli Vanilli comes back on a Scott Storch beat. Then I won’t play that.” – DJ Who
“Talib Kweli, Young Buck, Little Brother, and Ray Cash show love. I’ve never really met a rapper who was intentionally not showing love to someone to supports their career.” – Mick Boogie
“Nah, but Weezy lost points after that comment about DJ Drama.” – Wiz Hoffa
“Chamillionare seems to be a really humble dude and always acknowledges the DJs.” – DJ Nabs
“I will play anything if it is hot. At one point I wouldn’t play a Young Buck record due to the incident with DJ Will but that has blown over.” – DJ Shakim
“My boys Tumzilla, ESG, Kyle Lee, and Kottonmouth always hold me down. There are always some people who think they are too nice, but I don’t need them. I focus on cats out there grinding.” – DJ Princess Cut
“No, not really. If it’s jamming then as a DJ, I have to play it, especially if it’s a club banger. I have to give my audience what they want. I can’t and won’t get personal unless that particular artist does or says something about me or something that I represent. Then it’s fuck ‘em.” – DJ Slym
Who shows the most love to DJs, and who shows the least love to DJs? “Ludacris shows the most love to DJs and he deserves everything that is happening in his career. Busta shows the least love and he also deserves everything that’s happening in his career.” – Boolumaster “Right now Mims show DJs a lot of love and Foxy Brown is an artist that shows no love.” – DJ Dady Phatts “KRS-1 shows the most love. A large majority of the new generation of artists have disregarded the need of the DJ. If the DJ is not rocking your music in the club and you have no radio play, who’s going to hear your music? Hot DJs break hot shit.” DJ Deliyte “Buck, Nakia Shine and Grandaddy Souf have shown the most love. There hasn’t been a least to me. Everyone else acts about the same.” – DJ Don Juan “Paul Wall, Chamillionare, Lil Webbie and Don P show the most love. Mike Jones and Ludacris show the least love.” – DJ Fresh
“Young Buck and Nakia Shine show love.” – DJ Rob Storm “There are several artists who show a lot of love to the DJs like Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, David Banner, Lil Jon and Nas, just to name a few. Most artists realize that DJs are the backbone of the music industry and if one DJ puts the word out that an artist acts crazy to a DJ, it’s over.” – DJ Shakim “David Banner shows the most love. I haven’t really ran into any artist that doesn’t show DJs love.” – DJ Sir Swift “A lot of artists front like they love DJs so much so we can play their records. I’m pretty sure there’s some genuine artists out there who do show a lot of love to DJs, but until I meet ‘em and feel that vibe, I cant answer that question.” – DJ Slym “The artist that shows the most love to DJs has got to be David Banner. He never forgets the DJs that helped and continue to help his career. He used to pick up my calls when I was just getting into the game. I’ll never forget that about him.” – DJ Smallz “Southern artists show a lot of love. Northern artists tend to be more arrogant.” – DJ Stilo “A lot of ‘em show love; I just can’t name one. I don’t think it’s really the artists that don’t show love; it’s normally the people on their team – homo managers and shit.” – DJ Teknikz
“A lot of major artists show more love to the DJs than locals. Some local artists I’ve come in contact with pretty much use the DJ to get on the radio or get some local fame. Once that happens, they drop ya like a hot potato.” – DJ Headbussa
“I think Chamillionaire shows the most love to DJs. He fucks with everybody.” – DJ 007
“Kiotti, Spark Dawg, and Paul Wall show love. It’s a few artists that are assholes but I’m not gonna call any names.” – DJ Hella Yella
“T.I. shows the most love. I don’t know who shows the least. Whoever they are, they need to understand that the DJ is the cornerstone of Hip Hop.” – DJ Boz
“Paul Wall to me shows DJs a lot of love and Marques Houston doesn’t show a lot of love to DJs.” – DJ J Hustle “Artists show love to DJs when they are trying to get on but when they get on they change, until they have another album coming out.” – DJ J-Nice “I won’t say any names but I’ll put it like this: up and coming artists tend to show the most love to DJs because they need us and they need their shit
“Lil Scrappy, Yung Joc and DJ Quik show the most love. Ciara shows the least love.” – DJ Blak
“Three 6 Mafia, Project Pat, all the Hypnotize Mindz family, Pimp C, Bun B, Boosie, Webbie, Lil Jon, T.I., Dro, Big Kuntry, and 8Ball & MJG all show love. I don’t know any that don’t show love.” – C-Wiz “All artists show love before they get a deal.” – Freddy Hydro “Pitbull, Lil Jon, David Banner, Swizz Beatz, and Wyclef, just to name a few.” – DJ KD
dj issue “Mobb Deep always showed a lot of love. I can’t name all the ones that don’t.” Statik Selektah “I think Ludacris shows mad love to DJs, probably because he was a radio personality. He knows our struggle.” – DJ Trauma “So far, Young Jeezy has shown the most love. Busta Rhymes has been the worst.” – DJ V-Dub
“MP3 it to me or give me a CD to listen to. If it’s decent I will probably drop it. The worst thing to do is harass me while I’m DJing.” – King JB “The best way is to approach me or contact me in a fashionable manner. I hate getting messages on Myspace from artists claiming to be the hottest rapper from such and such.” – DJ L-Gee
“Yung Joc, and the least goes to Lil Wayne for dissing DJ Drama and not having the man’s back while he is in need for supporters.” – DJ Wildhairr
“Come correct. Some cats watch too much TV and they forget that this is a business. I hate when cats are uneducated about their craft.” – Mac Payne
“Paul Wall has a reputation for showing mad love and hosting mixtapes for DJs who are not particularly huge. On the other hand, I’ve never heard a mixtape hosted by Jay-Z. Even Diddy has hosted his share of mixtapes.” – Wiz Hoffa
“Do not Myspace me. I get like hundreds of emails a day saying, ‘CHECK OUT MY PAGE,’ and then it’s a picture of some dude with his shirt off and some low-res music file and a whole bunch of words spelled wrong.” – Mick Boogie
What’s the best way for an aspiring artist to get you to play their music? And what’s the worst way?
“Develop a relationship with me by supporting my events and quietly dropping your music in my hand. If it’s good then I will remember you. The worst way is trying to have a discussion with me in the middle of my set. That’s an absolute nono.” – DJ Nabs
“First, the shit has to be hot! You can see an aspiring artist’s grind; if the joint’s hot, I’ll bless ‘em. Bugging me is the worst way; your shit will never get played. This includes record reps.” – Boolumaster “The best way is by introducing themselves. Next they can either hand or email me their music.” – DJ Bounz “The best way is email it to me at burnonemp3@ gmail.com or give me a CD when I’m out. The worst way is calling me.” – DJ Burn One “The best way is to try to build a relationship with me. The worst way is to offer me money like I’m some prostitute.” – DJ Dady Phatts “The best way is to already have it buzzing in the streets. There should be at least 5 or 6 people asking for your song that night. The worst is to try to talk my head off at the party or get mad.” – DJ Don Juan “If I think it’s hot, I will play it early in the night of the club. The worst thing that an artist can do is beg me to play their song consistently and bring a CD that is not professionally made.” – DJ Freeze “Get it to me in time for me to listen to it outside of the club scene. The worst way is give it to me at the heat of the party and be like, ‘Play my hit, play my hit, now, now, now!’” – DJ Fresh
“Present themselves right, press a single that really embodies your style so I can follow without having to search through a whole album or mixtape, and no matter the situation you gotta keep it trill.” – DJ Princess Cut “The best way is to have your music mixed properly and know it’s bumping. The worst way is to come at me with disrespect and not be willing to be criticized.” – Sam Sneak “The best way to get new music played is not to pressure the DJ into playing your song. If he comes across as a straight up dude, most DJs will give his music a listen. The worst way to approach a DJ is trying to talk a DJ into playing a song when the DJ has never heard the record.” – DJ Shakim “Cash is always good. I think artists should build better relationships with the DJ and also grind hard to make the DJ take notice of you. The worst way is coming to the club waiting until I’m in the middle of my crunk set and demand that I play your record.” – DJ Sir Swift “Email it to me at email@example.com. Build a relationship with me to where I know you by face and name. The worst way is threatening me at the club. I haven’t had a threat personally, but I have heard about artists doing that.” – DJ Slym
“Be as professional as possible. Don’t hand me a CD with no label or contact info. Don’t hand me unmastered material that was recorded in your bathroom. Don’t hand me bullshit. Take pride in what you do.” – DJ Grip
“Hit me on www.myspace.com/southernsmoke. I read and answer all my emails.” – DJ Smallz
“Be persistent, but not annoying. Build one-onone relationships with DJs. We are all normal people.” – DJ Headbussa
“Build relationships; talk to me; don’t tell me you got the hottest stuff in town. Everyone in the city has told me that. The worst way is handing me a CD and telling me to check it out, or sending me one of those generic ass Myspace messages.” – DJ Spinz
“I listen to everything I receive. I give feedback if I think it has potential. The worst way is to send me a Myspace link or ask me in the DJ booth. I will never play your song if you bring to me while I’m spinning.” – Jane Dupree “Submit it by mail or MP3. I hate when artists give me music when I’m DJing at clubs or a function. I always misplace the CD.” – KD aka Han D Man
“Just ask. If I like it, I’ll play it; if I don’t, I won’t – simple as that.” – DJ Snake
“Be humble. If you’re overconfident or arrogant, it makes me not want to deal with you.” – DJ Stilo “Approach me in a humble way and I’ll check out the music. The worst way is to not be humble and continue to stalk me.” – DJ Suss One
“Just have a grind about yourself; be professional and of course have hot music. The worst way is to do what 99% of artists do – hit me on Myspace with bathroom-recorded tracks and expect to pay your way to getting played.” – DJ Teknikz “The best way is to sit down with me and let me hear the music and tell me the direction they’re trying to go with it. The worst way is telling me they’re the hottest shit in the streets when I ain’t never heard of ‘em, and then the song is wack.” – DJ 3 “The best way for an artist to get my attention is to work hard and make good music that’s able to compete on a national level, not just local. The worst way is to approach me while I’m DJing at a club and bombard me with some shit that’s totally unfamiliar to me.” – DJ 007 “The best way is to have dope music. The music has to be worth something. The worst way is to come up to me in the club and ask me to play your shit without money in your hand.” – DJ Boz “Ask me not at the club while I’m spinning but if you see me out at the mall or the gym – holla at me. I’m a person just like you. The worst way is payola.” – DJ D Lowe “The best way is to make an appointment. The worst is standing over me at the club talking in my ear about your shit.” – Freddy Hydro “The best way is to make a phone call and talk about it. I’m easy when it comes to playing music. The worst way is to try to give it to me when I am already spinning and tell me that it’s the shit to get me to play it and then harass me 20 minutes later when I haven’t played it.” – DJ Magic Mike “Just approach me the right way and remember that I get new music 24/7, in every way possible. There’s a big chance I might not get to it, but if you got a buzz or I hear something I like, I’m gonna find out where it came from.” – DJ M.O.E. “Have it put in my hands by a reputable source. Don’t hit me on Myspace!” – Statik Selektah “The best way is to send one song in an email, with a bio and drop to firstname.lastname@example.org. The worst way is to hand me an unmarked Memorex CD from Wal-Mart with no contact info.” – DJ Who “Just send it to me. If I like it, I’ll play it. A lot of DJs complain about spam from unsigned artists, but I’d rather you spam me then run up on me in a restaurant.” – Wiz Hoffa
How has the recent RIAA crackdown on DJ Drama affected the mixtape game? “It slowed it down in a way, but out here in Texas, people have been living off of mixtapes for a long time now. The mom and pop stores, flea markets, and streets are all still alive and well. There will always be a market for mixtapes, so this situation is just a setback. You learn from it, and move on.” – DJ Bounz “Less retailers are selling the CDs. People are still buying them but they are having to look harder than usual to find them.” – DJ Burn One “It may have slowed down some mixtape projects OZONE MAG // 89
dj issue from more well-known DJs like Drama, but on the underground scene with the other thousands of DJs in their respective cities, I don’t think it has hurt them at all.” – DJ Don Juan “It has affected the game on a national level. The streets love mixtapes because of the exclusive music. We as DJs try to get those hot joints to give to the public the best way we can.” – DJ Freeze “It’s definitely made everyone in the industry reevaluate their promotions and making money options. I think it’s for the better in some cases, because there’s a lot of shitty DJs and mixtapes and this will help weed out some of the pretenders.” – DJ Grip “I think it is going to help the mixtape game in the long run because it is going to cause DJs to have to tighten it up and become more legit with their mixtapes.” – DJ Hella Yella “It hurts the game bad. That just wasn’t right. Stop snitching.” – DJ J Hustle “It depends on the final verdict. If they make an example of them dudes, then it’s going to be hard.” – DJ J-Nice “The majority of my mixtapes are so underground the RIAA could care less.” – Jane Dupree “It’s still a number of places that support mixtapes but the major outlets are wearing panties right now. It was really crazy here in the A for a good month but it’s coming back to the norm now. I’m sure Drama will come out of this bigger then ever after it’s all over.” – KD aka Han D Man “People are scared now. I’m not really into the mixtape game, but I think it’s fucked up what they are doing to Drama.” – King JB “The only difference I really see is some mixtape websites either shut down or they stopped selling mixtapes. Hopefully that will change in the near future.” – DJ L-Gee “I think it’s gonna bring some regulation and rules to the game, but hopefully things can result in a positive, mutually beneficial way for everyone involved moving forward.” – Mick Boogie “DJs are now aware that they too can become victims of an industry that will build you up and tear you down. This is a business that thrives on residual income and unless we become more business savvy, we will need to do more than hustle mixtapes to be successful in the long run.” – DJ Nabs “It’s harder to fuck with artists who are signed now. If you don’t own the rights to your music you don’t have the authority to spit something for me unless I pay your label big paper.” – DJ Princess Cut “It’s affected it big time. I know some DJs personally who are big in the mixtape game and are afraid of dropping their next mixtape. Drama, keep your head up pimpin’.” – Sam Sneak “The RIAA needs to understand that DJs are not fucking up the game; technology is. We help Hip Hop by promoting artists and getting shit heard in some markets where radio don’t play a lot of new stuff. The mixtape game will never stop.” – DJ Sir Swift 90 // OZONE MAG
“Not in a damn way. We will still put out mixtapes as long as there is music to listen to. They just pissed us off to the point that now instead of dropping one or two mixtapes a month, we doing five. Do ya thang Drama.” – DJ Slym “It has changed the mixtape industry tremendously. Mixtape production has slowed down. I see a lot of DJs posting free downloads online.” – DJ Spinz “It’s eliminated a lot of overnight DJs but the grind continues. Drama, keep your head up and get back in the game so I can take the crown fair and square.” – DJ Teknikz “A lot of stores out of state are scared to put my CDs in their stores. They think they’re gonna get busted. They’re scared to hold them.” – DJ 3 “It fucked it up because the mixtape is what brought a lot of artists to the mainstream. It kills up and coming artists that use the mixtape circuit to promote.” – DJ Boz “It’s terrible. They put a fear to them mixtape DJs. For years we break these artists for these record companies and now they want to pull some bullshit like this. If it weren’t for mixtapes, artists like 50 Cent would not be who they are now.” – DJ Camilo “I don’t think it affected it too much. I know cats was nervous thugh. It all depends on where you are and what the state law is. You just have to do research. I still think it’s wack overall for tapes to be illegal.” – DJ KD “It didn’t affect me because I haven’t done any mixtapes yet. I just thought about it ‘cause I know DJ Drama and he is a cool mofo and I know he didn’t need that stress.” – DJ Magic Mike “I think it affected Drama but not the game. It’s like the drug game – the demand is too great. There is always going to be someone to slang mixtapes. I think it will be more secretive but it will still go on.” – DJ Trauma “It only sent it back into the shadows. Cats aren’t being as blatant with their promotions. Only the more high profile DJs are changing their promotional tactics because of this incident. The lesser known DJs are continuing business as usual.” – DJ Unity
Are there any circumstances where a DJ should get involved with artists beef? “Hell no! It’s entertainment. Just make sure you play both artist’s responses and stay neutral.” – Boolumaster “Never that. A good DJ plays good music. I’m not going to stop keeping a hot record in rotation over some beef. That’s like me not getting my playa taper fade from my barber because he’s messing around wit my homies’ ex-chick u know? Ain’t my beef.” – DJ Bounz “Only if you’re affiliated with the artist that’s in the beef. Otherwise you’re just looking for attention.” – DJ Burn One “Yes, if you’re running with that artist. Like with me, Buck is my homie. You got beef with him, you got beef with me. He believes in me and is
helping my career so I gotta protect that in all ways because that’s family. I pray for everyone including my enemies but don’t touch my family.” – DJ Don Juan “Yes, to help them resolve the problem.” – DJ Fresh “I think a DJ is allowed to ride with his or her group to the fullest if they choose. Obviously mixtapes are the best way to air your beef with someone and these days you gotta have a DJ to put out a mixtape so it makes sense for a DJ to get involved.” - DJ Grip “Only if you are really close to the artist on a personal level.” – DJ Hella Yella “Yes, on a positive note to end beefs and bring the Hip Hop community together as a whole.” – Jeff Da Illest “No. We don’t need to beef with artists unless they beefing with us. There’s too much politricks in this game. Now if the artist says your name and is disrespecting you, then go for it.” – DJ L-Gee “Maybe, if someone says your name, but for the most part I think DJs should stay behind the tables and not get involved in silly ass beefs.” – Mac Payne “Maybe if you DJ for that artist And you were mentioned in a song. I don’t know. It’s a lot of senseless rap beefs that are made to sell records. I just play records.” – Mick Boogie “Speaking for myself, I think that it boils down to your personal relationship with the artist.” – DJ Nabs “No even if it’s your artist. When you get into the beef that makes you take sides and someone’s always going to lose in that situation.” – DJ Rob Storm “It depends. If you’re the artist’s DJ, then yeah. But if that’s just your favorite artist, then no.” – Sam Sneak “If the artist that’s in the beef and the DJ are that close than yeah, you gotta hold it down for your boy. But we are DJs; we play music and we should just leave it at that.” – DJ Slym “Mind your fuckin’ biz unless you’re trying to make shit better.” – DJ Snake “No, we are DJs; we are the middle man between the artists and the streets. We play it all and let the people decide who got shitted on. Beef is wack anyway so I’d rather not play any of it.” – DJ Teknikz “I never get involved in artists’ beef unless I’m attached to that artist and my name comes up in some bullshit. Then it’s a problem.” – DJ 007 “Nope unless you’ve been provoked like I was. It’s not a DJs battle but a DJ should respect his boss or anybody else don’t play his enemies music in front of them.” – DJ Epps “Only if the artist and DJ are best friends or if the beef is between the group and another group. Most DJs I know, including me, don’t want any beef. They just do what they do and keep it moving.” – DJ Magic Mike
dj issue “If I got a personal relationship with somebody, I’m riding until the wheels fall off.” – DJ M.O.E. “If you and that artist have a real friendship outside of the business then yeah, you have no choice but to be involved. Other than that, if your relationship is strictly business, then I would say no you shouldn’t get involved.” – DJ Unity
Name at least 2 records you’ve broken and explain how you can claim credit for breaking them. “‘Step In the Name Of Love’ by R. Kelly. When the bootleg of Chocolate Factory hit the streets, the original stood out. It was unmixed and unmastered, but I played the shit anyway. After that happened, cease and desist letters came but it was too late. The phone lines blew up at every station in Chicago forcing Jive to move quickly to get Kels’ joint finished. Also, Lupe Fiasco. He had his underground following but I exposed him to my commercial audience. No other radio mixshow cat in Chicago would fuck with him until I started playing his heat.” – Boolumaster “‘Still Tippin’ – I got Paul Wall to host my Gorilla N Da Trunk 4. It was just starting to move out from Texas at the time and he gave out his number on the CD. Young Dro’s ‘Shoulder Lean’ - It was already starting to bubble in Atlanta at the time but when the CD I did with him dropped, his buzz went through the roof.” – DJ Burn One “Mims’ ‘This is Why I’m Hot’ and Rick Ross’ ‘Hustlin’. With Mims, I got the record from DJ Blackout who works with me at the station and he produced the record so I wanted to help him out. With Rick Ross, we were always good people so he came to my local love show and brought ‘Hustlin’. I had to play that record like four times.” – DJ Dady Phatts “I’ve broken plenty of records in my region from outside artists. As far as local artists in Austin, I was mainly responsible for breaking Hood Soul’s record ‘Down In Austin Texas’ and Basswood Lane’s ‘Thug Pimpin’.” – DJ Grip “I was on Crime Mob’s ‘Rock Yo Hips’ early. I forced it on people until they liked it. I also played a big hand in breaking Casino’s ‘Game Time’. I would play it on campus, at all the college parties and at all the basketball games.” – DJ Hella Yella “I know I was the first down this way to rock the Mims joint ‘This Is Why I’m Hot’ back in May 2006. Next thing I know it was all over the place. I was also the first to get behind Crime Mob’s ‘Rock Ya Hips.’” – KD aka Han D Man “Mims’ ‘This is Why I’m Hot’. He brought me the song fresh out of the studio and I was the first to play it on the air on Wild 98.7. I knew it was a hit from the go. I also think I helped break Acafool’s ‘Hatablockas’ record.” – King JB “‘You’ by Lloyd. My partner Stix Malone and I played this record on the air, in the skating rinks and in the clubs for months in Atlanta. Lloyd thanked me personally for being the only one to play this record in the beginning.” – DJ Nabs “Trae’s ‘In Da Hood’ and Tum Tum’s ‘Caprice Music’ are doing good in Japan with the help of Bout to Blow Vol. 2 hosted by Trae and Tum. I want Japan to feel this Texas movement.” – DJ Princess Cut “I played a part in Rick Ross’ “Hustlin”, as well
as Dre’s ‘Chevy Ridin High’. I was the main DJ at Diamonds and I used to abuse those records in there, along with DJ Khaled’s ‘Holla at me’. I’m known for breaking records, that’s what I do.” – Sam Sneak
“Radio is real crooked but there are some good people in good places. The only thing I don’t like is someone telling my PD what to play, in South Florida, when he lives in a different state.” – DJ Dady Phatts
“The two most recent songs I have broken are ‘I Got Money’ by Stix feat. Young Buck and Hi-C and ‘Pop, Lock, & Drop It’ by Huey. I was the first DJ in the city to play these songs at the club and on mixtapes.” – DJ Sir Swift
“I’ve never experienced anything too crooked or corrupt. Artists have to understand the process and politics of getting your music played on the radio and they have to exercise that process to the fullest or else they don’t stand a chance, no matter how good their song is.” – DJ Grip
“Mims’ ‘This Is Why I’m Hot’. This was on my Southern Swagger Vol. 3 tape which was released in early October. At this time no one had placed this song on a mixtape, that I saw, and I played it in every club I DJed in and got a good response. Plies Ft. Akon ‘I Wanna’ was the same thing, except it was on Southern Swagger Vol. 2 which was released in July.” – DJ Spinz “A lot of people don’t know this, but I was the first DJ to break 50 Cent’s ‘How to Rob’ record. I wasn’t supposed to have it, but I did. I also broke Cassidy’s ‘I’m a Hustla’. When I was on radio in Connecticut, I had it first and was killing it.” – DJ Suss One “Joc’s ‘It’s Goin Down’ and Ciara’s ‘Goodies’. I was one of the DJs with these records fresh out of the studio. I had them banging in the club while everybody was asking who they were and how could they get it.” – DJ Blak “I broke ‘Dutty Wind’ in Club Bada Bing. There were two girls called Attitude Girls that knew the dance and they helped the whole club learn it. I played T.I.’s ‘Bring ‘Em Out’ 20 times in one night because it was so dope.” – DJ Boz “‘Rap Will Never Die’ by M.C. Shy D and ‘Ghetto Jump’ by Krush 2. Back when these songs came out, Miami music was not known in Orlando yet nor was Hip Hop big in Orlando at the time. I had the only mixshow on the radio and I played in some of the biggest clubs in Orlando so I could let people know what was going on with music outside of our area.” – DJ Magic Mike “I only claim credit for these records because at the time I was playing them, as far as I know, no one else was playing them. Back in the day it was Luniz ‘I Got Five On It’. This record came straight out the record pool box and onto the turntables, literally. I immediately played it that night and haven’t stopped since. More recently was Ebony Eyez ‘In Ya Face.’ I still get requests for it from time to time from the ladies.” – DJ Unity “Bump J ‘Move Around’ and Nas ‘Oochie Wally’. I took both of these records and played them everywhere I spun. In order to break a record, you have to play it every time you spin. I even played them at a wedding reception. I really believed in the records.” – DJ V-Dub “I don’t personally believe one DJ can break a record. A DJ can introduce a record but it still takes a movement of other DJs to break a record.” – Wiz Hoffa
Is radio as crooked and corrupt as people make it out to be? “I believe so but only to a certain extent. Payola, relationships, barter. That stuff goes on in radio as it does in other industries. I mean, that’s just what it is.” – DJ Bounz
“Nope, radio is all business and supply and demand. Artists need to study their demographic. Just because Tampa is Jook City doesn’t mean you have to have a jook record; you gotta be yourself and create something for the masses to feel.” – DJ Headbussa “Radio is supposed to be a music listener’s best friend, not worst enemy. Unfortunately, radio and music are suffering due to conglomerate ownership. They have homogenized the whole format so we all hear basically the same thing. Where’s the creativity in that? This has become an investand-return operation for people who don’t even listen to our music and could care less about our culture.” – DJ Don Juan “People make it out to be corrupt but it is a system that gets the bills paid.” – DJ Hella Yella “I don’t know. ‘Corrupt and crooked’ is a lil harsh. It’s more or less who you know. That’s in every business.” – DJ J-Nice “Yes, it’s very corrupt. How many DJs do you know that would play the same 20 songs over and over without getting paid? You have to be paid to be tortured like that everyday.” – Jane Dupree “Not at all, at least not the one I work for. People get the wrong impression of radio.” – King JB “I don’t think it’s so bad besides the payola situation. But I do think radio stations need to hire more mixtape DJs. We are the streets. We know what the audience wants to hear.” – DJ L-Gee “Not with the FCC hawking everybody. It’s cleaner than ever.” – Mac Payne “That’s what I hear. I prefer to be able to spin whatever I feel like, cuss words and all, the screwed version at that.” – DJ Princess Cut ”Not really. There are just some PDs who are pricks who weren’t shit in high school but now have power and they abuse it, in my opinion. Other than that, it’s pretty cool to me.” –Sam Sneak “I don’t think radio is crooked; some people in radio are crooked and they give the entire radio community a black eye. The one thing I would change is there should not be a playlist for mixers. Give the DJs a little more freedom to do what they do best.” – DJ Shakim “I’ve been on underground radio since I was 14 years old. I tried working at a corporate radio station and it wasn’t nothing like what I was used to. All I can say is we have fun on our station. We are not controlled by a group of super rich folks that control everything we play.” – DJ Slym “Nah. You just gotta understand the business. Some people in the radio business are crooked OZONE MAG // 91
dj issue and corrupt, but I deal with the radio and I see the business part of it, too.” – DJ 3
“I use Pro-Tools to record all my mixtapes.” – DJ Sir Swift
“Radio is worse than Congress.” – DJ Who
“Serato changed my life. It’s the greatest tool ever for a DJ. Any DJs that aren’t up on Serato, step ya game up.” – DJ Suss One
“It’s just like everything else in corporate America. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.” – Wiz Hoffa “Every business is the same. Politics, relationships, talent and money. Deal with it or be broke.” – DJ Suss One
How do you use technology as a DJ? “Technology is everything. Vinyl used to be a new technology back in the day. Now with Serato and the Internet, artists and DJs are able to exchange project files with ease.” – DJ Bounz “The MP3 game has helped me a lot with keeping my music selection fresh and new. I hit up DigiWaxx and New Music Server all the time to get the new shit.” – DJ Dady Phatts “As a DJ that loves to engineer electrical components that transmit audio and visual, I get down with it. From the 1200’s, to Pioneer CD-J 1000, mixed with CPU processing and anything else in between that will assist me in rocking a set.” – DJ Deliyte “I’m a little old fashioned. I still don’t have the Serato program and I barely use CDs. I still carry my crates. However the Instant Replay machine I use when I’m on the road with Buck is definitely a wonderful piece of technology because it allows me to travel light.” – DJ Don Juan “Emails blasts are big with me. I get daily emails with new music. I also share new music or mixes I’ve created. It’s cost efficient; I can upload a whole mixtape and sell them on the internet. I save money by not paying hundreds of dollars on CD’s, cases, etc.” – DJ Headbussa ”MP3s might be the best thing to happen to the DJ since tempo control. You can have any song emailed or downloaded in a matter of seconds.” – DJ Hella Yella “I use Serato. I’ve been through the hard times of carrying 8 flight cases up spiral staircases. These new DJs didn’t have to go through that; they just hook up to a laptop and that’s it. Being able to benefit from Serato is a blessing. It still doesn’t make you a good DJ though.” – DJ J-Nice “Serato. Need I say more?” – King JB “Serato is a good look and a 360 Shortcut, but don’t go crazy with the effects. I like to let the music play.” – Mac Payne “I use a Mac laptop, Serato. I do mixes on Adobe Audition. I can’t travel anywhere without my USB drive.” – Mick Boogie “I use my laptop from time to time. Mainly I use CDs. I love to interact with the whole moving back and forth from CD players to CD books. It gets me crunk for some odd reason.” – Sam Sneak “I’ve just switched over to Serato and it is a lifesaver. I used to carry six or seven crates of records to the club or to the airport. Now I can bring a backpack and carry as many crates as I want in my back pocket.” – DJ Shakim 92 // OZONE MAG
“I use Rane and Serato. Those are the dopest inventions since pussy. Word up.” – DJ Boz “Technology has taken over the DJ game by storm. I fuck with Serato now. I still use two pieces of vinyl, but we play off the laptop.” – DJ Camilo “Serato and other software programs have made it a lot easier, but I like keeping it real with two turntables and a mic.” – DJ D Lowe “I use MP3s and CDX CD turntables mostly. I’m not quite sold on Serato. Using high bitrate MP3s allows me to carry a much smaller crate and play new music much faster. I also recently started using automated software to calculate and tag my song BPMs. I still beat match by ear but the BPM tags keep my music more organized. I email new MP3s, too.” – DJ Who “Technology never ceases to amaze me. I just roll with the punches. Coming from the days of 4 tracks and 8 second samplers, this new generation has it a lot easier than we did. Over the years I have just adapted. As long as I still have my creativity, I’m good.” – Wiz Hoffa
Do you drink while you spin and if so, what’s your drink of choice? Do you mix better drunk or sober? “I drink Grey Goose & Cranberry. I don’t like to be stone drunk but the Goose allows me to do shit that I wouldn’t do sober. Kids, say no!” – Boolumaster “I might have a sip or two while I spin. When I hit the spot kinda tired, I’m on that Red Bull and Vodka but when I’m thirsty it’s about those Long Islands. I wouldn’t say I spin better while drinking but I may get in my zone a bit faster.” – DJ Bounz
“I like Cranberry & Vodka but I don’t drink anymore. I got so drunk that I couldn’t DJ the rest of the night. It almost caused me to lose my job.” – DJ Headbussa “I drink when I spin sometimes, but mostly it’s just Cranberry and Red Bull. When I get on the Red Bull it hypes me up. I think I still mix the same but I have more fun and get more interactive with the crowd.” – DJ Hella Yella “Yes. I drink Grey Goose. Either or drunk or sober it doesn’t matter.” – DJ J Hustle “I drink Grey Goose and cranberry and Corona. I DJ better when I’m drunk.” – DJ J-Nice “I spin better with a lil extra juice but I try to keep it professional. I’m sure you wouldn’t want to do business with somebody drunk.” – Jane Dupree “I’m not a drinker. Water is my drink of choice.” – Jeff Da Illest “When I’m doing a gig I prefer Crown and Coke or straight Hennessy. I do not get drunk but I believe I attempt more things when I have a little alcohol in my system.” KD aka Han D Man “Vanilla Vodka and Coke. I’m pretty dope either way.” – King JB “Hell yea I drink when I spin. My drink of choice is Henny and Coke. I tend to mix better live when I’m drunk. It takes a lot of the pressure off.” – DJ L-Gee “I ain’t turning down nothing but my collar, but I will take a vodka and cranberry please.” – Mac Payne “I barely drink at all. Mix me some Redbull and orange juice though, and I’m good all night.” – Mick Boogie
“Yes. 211. Either way I’m good.” – DJ Burn One
“Yeah, I drink and it has to be some Henn and Coke or Crown and Coke. I do mix better when I’m buzzing. That’s how I got my first radio gig. I was drinking at the club in Nashville and the PD of a radio station was digging my style so he hired me for his station.” – DJ Rob Storm
“I do drink but I don’t get drunk. I like to get a nice buzz. My choice of drink is Grand Marnier and Coke. I mix the same drunk or sober.” – DJ Dady Phatts
“Yes, I drink Patron, Bacardi 151 or Hypnotic with Malibu and pineapple mixed together. It doesn’t enhance my performance much, other than me talking a lot more shit.” – Sam Sneak
“Yes, I drink Swamp Juice. The only place to find it is in Bay St. Louis, MS. I come ready to rock the party whether I’m drunk or sober.” – DJ Deliyte
“I do not drink, nor do I smoke. Strictly water.” – DJ Shakim
“I just recently quit doing everything. I never was a big drinker but I was never sober at parties and I’ll leave it at that. The thing that we all need to recognize is we have one body and we need to take care of it as well as we can. I honestly feel I mix better sober.” – DJ Don Juan “Yes, I always drink Jack Daniels. I mix better drunk.” – DJ Freeze “Yes. I mix better sober but my overall show is better if I’m sauced.” – DJ Fresh “I love drinking while spinning at the club. If I can’t sneak my own white cup with something muddy in it, then I’ll take a Corona with a shot of Patron.” – DJ Grip
“I be on that Hen dog when I’m DJing. I think I DJ about the same drunk and sober. I used to think I DJed better a lil tipsy but I was probably feeling it more cause I had been drinking.” – DJ Sir Swift “No, I don’t drink when I’m jamming. I’m not the best at my craft when I’m drunk so I keep drinks far away when I’m in the booth.” – DJ Slym “I gotta drink to get crunk. Crown and Coke or a couple shots of Patron do it for me.” – DJ Smallz “I drink Grey Goose and soda, maybe a couple of shots. From the response of the crowd, I think they like me a little tipsy. I tend to play old school a lil bit more.” – DJ Snake “I can’t tell you because I’m underage.” – DJ Spinz
dj issue “Not all the time but when I do, I drink Hen and Coke; it hits the spot. I guess I’m better when I drink. It makes me more confident.” – DJ Stilo “I don’t drink.” – DJ Suss One “I drink Corona mixed with grenadine syrup. That’s my crunk juice. Lil Jon owes me for that plug.” – DJ Teknikz “Yes, I drink Tanqueray when I spin.” – DJ 3 “Yes, I drink when I spin at the clubs. It relaxes me and takes away any inhibitions I might have.” – DJ 007 “No, I don’t drink at all.” – DJ Blak “I mix better drunk. I’m a drunk master. I drink Long Islands.” – DJ Boz “Yes, I drink Grey Goose. It doesn’t matter if I’m drunk or sober.” – C-Wiz “I never drink to get drunk but I always have a drink. I always hit that Grey Goose. I mix better sober. I always like to be in control.” – DJ Camilo “Sometimes I drink Grey Goose. I can’t really tell the difference if I spin better drunk or sober.” – DJ D Lowe “Yes, I drink Hennessy. I mix when I’m nice, not drunk.” – DJ Epps “Black Label, Moet and buds. I’m a master of my craft either way.” – Freddy Hydro “Since I’m only 17, I’ll keep it clean and say I don’t even drink.” – DJ M.O.E. “I like to be buzzed but it don’t matter. I drink Henny and Coke.” – Statik Selektah “I drink a shot of patron and a Grey Goose and cranberry. I spin better tipsy, not drunk or sober – right in middle.” – DJ Trauma “I used to but not too much anymore. I spin better sober.” – DJ V-Dub “Yeah I do, a couple of Long Islands and it’s a wrap. I wouldn’t say it makes me better, but it does loosen me up and brings out the vulgarity.” – Wiz Hoffa
Is Hip Hop dead? Why or why not? “Hip Hop isn’t dead. I think it was just in a loop for a bit. The same beat here, same rap there. It just sounded recycled.” – DJ Bounz “Yes. Lyrics really don’t matter anymore. If the essence of Hip Hop is based on freestyling and lyrical content then it has long passed. It’s evolved into something else now.” – DJ Burn One “Hell no, it’s not dead. It has changed and now it is for everybody. There are so many different forms of Hip Hop. People from all over the world can tell you what’s going on in a city, which I think is great.” – DJ Dady Phatts “No because DJs are still spinning & mixing; lyricists are still spitting; club hoppers are still hopping; independent and major artists are still moving units. During our era we will and have influenced the evolution of Hip Hop. Hip Hop is a
way of life; I am Hip Hop.” – DJ Deliyte “No. We need to stop saying that. Music is life and it evolves based on what you feed it and do to it. What we are seeing is a by-product of what we have done to the game. The real problem lies in providing a balanced platform for all artists’ opinions to be voiced. Hip Hop is more alive now then ever but it’s about to bite your head off.” – DJ Don Juan “Hip Hop is dead to the masses. Amusing beats and catchy hooks are the latest craze now.” – DJ Freeze “Real Hip Hop is in the dark. Music is too trendy, watered down, too much bling and there’s not enough content in the lyrics.” – DJ Fresh “Hip Hop may be dead but rap music, screw music, crunk music, hyphy music and others are very alive if you ask me.” – DJ Grip “No, Hip Hop isn’t dead. How can a culture be dead? Hip Hop is a business now. If a label invests millions into an artist, it’s looking to see how fast it will get its money back with interest. Unfortunately, it doesn’t care what type of music the artist puts out as longs as it sells.” – DJ Headbussa “No, it’s just a new generation of music. I feel you have to give the people what they like to hear. It’s a different type of hip hop.” – DJ J Hustle “No, it’s just taking some time off to make things better than it’s ever been – like fine wine. Jay Z, Nas, Jadakiss, Common, Kanye West are just keeping the plates warm.” – DJ J-Nice “I think Hip Hop is going through a rebirth. In the 80’s, Hip Hop and house music were getting their start around the same time. Both focused on the DJ, dancing, and vocalists/MCs. For a while both were making the same progress towards commercialism but around 1990 they split and went their separate ways. The Hip Hop community seemed to be afraid to dance and to me Hip Hop was meant to move your soul. During the 90s Hip Hop took on a darker edge. There were beefs, etc. But recently, since the southern explosion, Hip Hop seems to have life again.” – Jane Dupree “Yes indeed because the culture has lost its way, especially musically.” – Jeff Da Illest “I remember when Hip Hop first came out and my dad said it would not be around in five years. Last year I reminded him about what he said in 1979 and he said Hip Hop just lasted a little longer then expected. When Nas came out with ‘Hip Hop Is Dead’, I called my father and he said I told you so. But Hip Hop is not dead; it’s just relocated to the South. A lot of people are angry about that.” – KD aka Han D Man
here we hustle different, speak different and bang different. Just like the West coast bangs different. All I’m saying is, if you don’t understand it don’t knock it. We the Best.” – Sam Sneak “I don’t think hip hop is completely dead yet. We have to go back to originality and broaden our horizons as it pertains to writing songs. There is no balance in Hip Hop. For every gangsta song there should be an uplifting song or a cautionary tale about the dangers of the streets. Hip Hop gave us a voice to speak out on certain issues that normally would get passed over by media. Hip Hop is not dead yet, but it is on life support.” – DJ Shakim “It might be dead in some regions but come down South and you will see that Hip Hop is alive and breathing. Finally it’s our time to shine so Stop Hating.” – DJ Sir Swift “No, Hip Hop isn’t dead. It’s just evolving. There are hundreds of thousands of hungry cats like me who aren’t going to let it die before we can get a chance to make a lasting mark in it.” – DJ Slym “Hip Hop is here to stay. Nothing stays the same; the music will change again. It’s just haters out there that can’t stand to see the South blow the fuck up. Get ya game up and stop hatin’ on us. Better yet, keep hatin’ – we cool with that too.” – DJ Snake “I don’t feel like it’s dead but it’s definitely not the same. It’s always changing. Back in the day, Hip Hop was more a state of mind, a feeling, a lifestyle; now it’s more business.” – DJ Stilo “I agree with Bun B – Hip Hop might be dead, but rap music is alive and well down here in the South.” – DJ 007 “No, it’s in the South. Hip Hop is not just music. It’s clothes, shoes, the way we talk, what we drink. It’s a lifestyle.” – DJ Blak “No, because Hip Hop is about being young so if you feel Hip Hop is dead, you need to get out of it because you’re too old for it. You weren’t saying that when the Beastie Boys were out.” – DJ Boz “Never that. Hip Hop is just going through a phase. It’s come to a point that it’s stagnant and redundant, but we’re at a point where Hip Hop is checking itself and saying we got to step it up.” – DJ Camilo “The era of the lyrical MC is dead but Hip Hop as a whole is not. The culture is stronger today than ever before. You got kids in Asia listening to Lil Jon so you tell me if Hip Hop is dead.” – DJ D Lowe
“Hip Hop ain’t dead. It’s just going through a transformation. Hip Hop will never die. It will just endure changes as the time passes. That could be good and bad.” – DJ L-Gee
“Nope, not at all. I agree with Luda when he says it lives in the South. I’m from Harlem, NY and it’s just the sound that’s different. Jay-Z, LL, Nore, Snoop, Jim Jones are still Hip Hop, still making noise. Just understand that as long as NY held on to the crown, the South may hold it for just as long.” – DJ Epps
“Naw, I believe it’s still here; it’s just that a different coast has it on lock. Most rappers in New York want to bring it back to life supposedly. I mean, when niggas was rapping about Timbo’s and different ways of wearing their fitted caps, niggas in the South was feeling it, ya dig? But as soon as we get some shine and we speak with a country accent and real grimy, it becomes dead. Down
“Hip Hop in the state we grew up with is dead and it’s sad. Nothing is being said anymore, whether positive or negative. Back in the day if we wanted to say something positive then we would throw on some KRS-One or Public Enemy. If we wanted the other end of the spectrum, we could listen to N.W.A. Now most of the choices are limited when it comes to personal listening. There will be a OZONE MAG // 93
dj issue change soon though, mark my words.” – DJ Magic Mike “Hip Hop isn’t dead until all the elements of Hip Hop are dead. We’re not at that point yet. Hip Hop is dying but not dead. I figure after 25-30 years of being the same, something’s got to change.” – DJ Who “Hell no. Every time the East Coast is not number one on the Billboard, they start claiming that bullshit about ‘Hip Hop is dead.’ Hip Hop is a way of living. It’s not really a black thing. It’s the way of the streets. The East Coast did that shit 10 years ago with the West Coast.” – DJ Wildhairr
What is the most money someone offered you to play their song at a club? Did you take it? “$2,500, and it was an okay joint.” – DJ J-Nice “People have offered thousands of dollars for me to play their records. I don’t feed into that. If I like a record and think it will work for the crowd, then I’ll play it. If not, then it won’t get played.” – DJ Suss One
“Someone from a professional boxers’ camp recently offered me a measly hundred dollars to play a song in the middle of my heat set. Of course I didn’t take it.” DJ Nabs “$100 and yes I took it.” – DJ J Hustle “$100. No, I’m not for sale!” – DJ Don Juan “$100. Yes I took it.” – DJ Freeze “I usually don’t take requests and I’m known for that. But if someone really wanted me to play their track, I would consider it for $100.” – Jane Dupree “$100. I didn’t take it.” – DJ Princess Cut “$100. Yeah, I took it. The record was straight but I would like to let artists know something: If you have a shitty record, don’t think money is going to get it played all the time, especially by me. It has to be bumpin’ for real.” – Sam Sneak “$100. Hell yeah, that’s a phone bill.” – DJ Slym
“A couple of stacks. Hell no, I didn’t take it. It wasn’t hot enough.” – DJ Smallz
“The most I have ever been offered is $50. I didn’t accept it, but I did listen to it and would have played it if it was a good record.” – DJ Bounz
“$2,000. Hell yeah I took it! I was a starving college student.” – DJ Blak
“$50, I didn’t take it.” – DJ Hella Yella
“I’m pretty non-flexible about just dropping in random stuff I’ve never heard. My reputation is worth more than that $1,000.” – Mick Boogie
“$50. Of course I took it.” – DJ Spinz
“$1,000. No, I didn’t take it because I never play anything I never heard. That is a rule I live by.” – DJ Camilo
“$50.00. I took it and played it on my headphones. It was horrible so I played it at the end of the night. Needless to say, it cleared the dance floor.” – DJ Stilo
“Back when Jeezy blew up in the A, some dude offered me $100 for every Jeezy song I played. I played 10 Jeezy songs back to back and had the dope boys going crazy.” – DJ Teknikz
“Probably about $50. I don’t take money to play songs because I usually don’t take requests. If it’s a good song, it will get played anyway.” – DJ Magic Mike
“$500 and I didn’t play it ‘cause the song was whack as fuck.” – DJ Dady Phatts
“$20. I don’t ask for it, but if someone wants to give, I’m not gonna say no.” – DJ Headbussa
“$500. I didn’t take it because I feel that if I like the song I’m going to play it anyway. I feel as a DJ, your job should be to find that next record that’s gonna blow and give it that push. Too many whack records have made it big through the payola route, not the talent route.” – DJ Shakim
“Probably no more than $20. If the club was packed best believe that price goes up. No, I didn’t take it. I’d hate for someone to waste their money thinking one spin in the club will break there song or career.” – DJ Grip
“$500 and yes, I played the record.” – DJ 007
“Cats in my area would never offer you money to play a song. They hit you with the, ‘Show some love’ line.” – Wiz Hoffa //
“$500. Hell yes.” – C-Wiz “Some cats tried to slip me $400 to play a song in the middle of a large event. I don’t play records on the fly like that, so you can pretty much keep your money while I’m spinning.” – DJ Who “$300.00. Hell yeah, I took it. The song was pretty good, to my surprise.” – DJ Snake “$200.00. I didn’t take it. I don’t have time to get caught up with snitches and tax evasion.” – DJ Deliyte “$200. No, I did not take it. The song was terrible.” – DJ Fresh “$200. I didn’t take it.” – King JB
Do you prefer to receive music on CD, vinyl, or MP3?
“$200, and yes, I did take it. At that time that was more than the club was paying me.” – DJ Rob Storm “$200 and nah, I didn’t take it.” – DJ 3 “$200. Hell yeah, I took it.” – DJ Boz “$200. No, I didn’t. I don’t like to take money from artists.” – DJ D Lowe “$200. Hell yes.” – Freddy Hydro “$150. I have had artists offer to buy me drinks, give me weed and even offer female companionship for the night. I have never accepted any of the female companionship; my wife is a bangin’ Georgia peach.” – KD aka Han D Man “I have been offered $150 and yes sir, I took it.” – DJ Sir Swift 94 // OZONE MAG
MP3s or CDs only
All of the Above
Most Influential DJs:
ff 1. DJ Jazzy Je 2. Kid Capri r Jay 3. Jam Maste rt 4. DJ Red Ale 5. DJ Screw er Flex 6. Funkmast 7. DJ Clue Ice 8. Mixmaster 9. OG Ron C 10. DJ Jelly atts 11. Michael W r 12. DJ Premie 13. Uncle Al ey 14. Cash Mon er Flash st a 15. Grandm Express 16. Jam Pony e 17. Magic Mik ch u 18. Tony To et 19. Greg Stre 20. DJ Pharris
We quizzed this year’s DJ panel to come up with these telling statistics:
Next Artist to Blow up in 2007: 1. Mims (NYC) 2. Rich Boy (Mobile, AL) 3. Plies (Ft. Myers, FL) 4. Lil Boosie (Baton Rouge, LA) 5. Gorilla Zoe (Atlanta, GA) 6. Foxx (Baton Rouge, LA) 7. Tum Tum (Dallas, TX) 8. Huey (St. Louis, MO) 9. Vawn (Atlanta, GA) 10. Papoose (NYC) Honorable Mentions: Amanda Diva (NYC) | Attitude (Birmingham, AL) | Baby Boy (New Orleans, LA) | Basswood Lane (Austin, TX) | Big Kuntry (Atlanta, GA) | BloodRaw (Panama City, FL) | BOB (Atlanta, GA) | Bohagon (Talbutton, GA) | Boo Da Boss Playa (Canton, MS) | Brisco (Miami, FL) | Carol City Cartel (Miami, FL) | Da Great Yola (Atlanta, GA) | Flo Rida (Miami, FL) | Jewman (Jackson, MS) | Jody Breeze (Atlanta, GA) | Joell Ortiz (NYC) | Kinfolk Nakia Shine (Memphis, TN) | Kyle Lee (San Antonio, TX) | Money Waters (Dallas, TX) | Pimpzilla (Augusta, GA) | Rasheeda (Atlanta, GA) | Remo Da Rapstar (NYC) | Saigon (NYC) | Smitty (Miami, FL) | Spark Dawg (Killeen, TX) | Supa Chino (Jacksonville, FL) | Wes Fif (Orlando, FL) | Yo Gotti (Memphis, TN) | Young Sean (Atlanta, GA) | Young Twinn (Houston, TX)
Party Records of All Time:
1. C Murder f/ Snoop Dogg & Mr. Magic “Down 4 My Niggaz” 2. Notorious B.I.G. “One More Chance” 3. Luniz “I Got Five On It” 4. Slick Rick “Children’s Story” 5. Jay-Z “Public Service Announcement” 6. Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz “Who U Wit” 7. Lil Keke “South Side” 8. Crime Mob “Knuck If U Buck” 9. Lil Boosie & Lil Webbie “Bad Bitch” 10. Bell Biv DeVoe “Poison”
Honorable Mentions: 8Ball & MJG “Lay It Down” | 8Ball & MJG “Mr. Big” | Afrika Bambaattaa “Planet Rock” | Akinyele “Put It In Your Mouth” | Crooklin Clan “Be Faithful” | Eric B & Rakim “Eric B Is President” | Fat Pat “Tops Drop” | Jay-Z “I Just Wanna Love You” | Junior Mafia “Get Money” | Juvenile “Back That Azz Up” | Juvenile “400 Degreez” | Khia “My Neck, My Back” | Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz “Bia’ Bia’” | Mystikal “Here I Go” | Michael Jackson “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” | Notorious B.I.G. “Hypnotize” | Notorious B.I.G. “Juicy” | Pastor Troy “No Mo Play in GA” | Slick Rick “Mona Lisa” | Snoop Dogg “Gin & Juice” | Strafe “Set It Off” | Trick Daddy “Can’t Fuck With the South” | Tupac “Ambition Az A Ridah” | Webbie “Gimme That” | Young Buck “Shorty Wanna Ride”
Worst Song Requests at the Height of a Crunk Party: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.
“Bunny Hop” “Cha Cha Slide” “Chicken Noodle Soup” “I Wanna Sex You Up” “Step In The Name of Love” “The Electric Slide” “The Macarena” Britney Spears “Toxic” D4L “Laffy Taffy” MC Hammer “Pumps and a Bump” Prince “Do Me Baby” Sir Mix A Lot “Baby Got Back” Vanilla Ice “Ice Ice Baby” Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” Young MC “Bust a Move”
OZONE MAG // 95
TJ Chapman Florida Force
Words // Eric Perrin
nce upon a time, TJ Chapman lived in Detroit. Hard to believe, huh? Maybe that’s because through years of concentrated hustle, the founder of TJ’s DJs — known for its quarterly Tastemaker’s Only Conference — has turned the FLA into more than just a summer home for Hip Hop. Rap is now a full time Florida resident and trusty taxpayer. And Chapman is a dominant force behind both rap’s relocation and the resounding heat that has radiated from the Sunshine State’s musical scene. As an advocate for all DJs nationwide, TJ is helping to change the way the world views turntable technicians. It seems like more people are starting to realize how important DJs are to the culture. They have no choice. It’s advanced to point now where they can’t get [on the] radio, since it’s so corporate, and without being able to depend on radio, you have to depend on the DJs. If you don’t acknowledge DJs, you’re not gonna get any damn spins. Even people that aren’t involved in the music industry seemed to have acquired a greater respect for DJs recently. Why do you think that is? DJs are now coming together. It started through things like the Mixshow Power Summit and some of these other conferences. Now you’ve got the CORE DJs retreat and the Hittmen do their own thing. The Bumsquad DJz have a retreat, and even on my end, you have the Tastemakers Conference for the DJs which allows DJs to get together and network and understand the power we have in numbers. Record pools and music conferences in the South seem to be much more successful than in other parts of the country. Why is that? There are a lot of pools out there that don’t handle their business, but there are a lot of pools that do. The reason the South may be ahead of other regions is that, first off, we can come together without being ignorant. And that’s a testament to the Southern rap game that I don’t see happening on the West coast or the East coast. Also, the labels have traditionally been in the East coast and on the West coast, so as artists, the labels were always right in front of you. You could always walk your music right in and hand it to whoever you needed to get it to. But in the South, we never had that; so it was about us coming together and creating this on our own. It’s about us supporting each other. It’s about us having to grind our music out because we didn’t have the machine in our backyards to grind it out for us. DJs are starting to emerge in the spotlight more often nationwide. For a long, long time, a lot of DJs just didn’t think that they could do more than spin records. Now, say, with the CORE DJs, we have weekly conference calls, and we talk about all this stuff. Tony Neal will stress to folks that you can’t DJ in the club for your whole life. You gotta use this as a stepping stone to open more doors while people are checking for you. With somebody constantly in your ear telling you that, and you see your comrades doing the same thing, it kind of inspires you to get off your ass and do it yourself. These DJs understand the power they have with this family thing we got, so now DJs are branching out and taking more control of the game, and they’re not limiting themselves to just spinning records. They’re starting labels, doing production, TV shows, movies, major marketing, and all kinds of other things. Do you still think that DJs are somewhat underappreciated? We are still underappreciated, definitely. Even though now we’re starting to get recognition, DJs still don’t get what we deserve. Club owners are the biggest pimps in the world. It’s the DJ that brings in the crowd, it’s the DJ that entertains the crowd, and it’s the DJ that fuels that bar money that they make every night, but they wanna give the DJ $200 and treat him like shit. Is there any solution to that problem? I don’t know if I ever see the club issue coming to an end because even though these DJs are coming together, we’re not coming together enough. No matter what, even if we go to the club owners and say, “I’m going on strike. 96 // OZONE MAG
I’m not gon’ spin unless you pay me properly and give me a raise,” there’s still gonna be another crab-ass DJ that comes in and does that same club for no money. And he doesn’t understand that he’s fuckin’ up the game. You’re known as one of top record-breakers in the industry. How do you choose the songs you support? I support when it’s about the music. The music has to be there; the artist has to have some kind of sound, some kind of style that separates them from everybody else. But even more important than that is a relationship. It’s up to these artists and these record labels to build relationships with us as DJs. These folks forget that we’re people, too. Don’t call me or step to me because you want me to play your fuckin’ record; step to me cause you fuck with me. If you fuck with me and I fuck with you then it makes me wanna support you. It makes me wanna go ahead and slip you in and give you a spin even if your record may not be that hot. So, how would an artist go about building a relationship with you or any other DJ for that matter? I don’t do nothing for nobody I don’t like, and that’s real. As an artist or as a label, you should work first on getting the DJ to like you as a person, and then come give me your record. I know what you’re shooting for to begin with, but appease me; you know what I’m saying? Humor me or something. Give me something. You ain’t gotta pay me to play a record. I ain’t on no shit like that, but damn, buy a nigga a drink. Take me to lunch, I love to eat. Shit, I’m smoker; slip me something in my back pocket. I ain’t tripping, but do something to show the love because at the end of the day, it ain’t about take, take, take; you gotta learn that you can be able to extend yourself, so a mu’fucka will reciprocate and give you something back in return. A lot of DJs do accept and even expect payment to play records. I don’t believe in that. I don’t mind supporting somebody that supports me, but I don’t ever think you should pay a DJ to play a record, because if he don’t support the record and feel the record in the first place then it ain’t real. So, I hate all the pay for play DJs. If that’s how you get your hustle on, then do you, but I feel like that wrecks the game and its so many other ways you can get your money then charging somebody just to play a song. What’s the best way to break a record? For me, it’s about building a foundation for a record. Say you have a house and you go ahead and start with the roof; the roof can’t do nothing but fall because there’s no foundation to build it up, and it’s the same with these records. If you try to go straight to radio, you’ll have a real short lifespan. If you look at the records that get broke from the street level – from the clubs, strip clubs, mixshows and mixtape DJs — these records can have a lifespan of a year or two years or even become classic songs. It’s all about how you break the record. What are your plans for the rest of 2007? My future plans are B.O.B., that’s what it’s about. He’s an artist that I’m managing with my boy B Rich. I think this kid is the future and I’m putting everything on him. He’s only a senior in high school, but if I didn’t tell you that, you’d never know from hearing his music. What other CDs are you looking forward to this year? I’m looking forward to the new Outkast CD. They need to come out and redeem themselves. That’s my favorite group of all time and I was disappointed with that last album. Another album I’m looking forward to is USDA: Jeezy, BloodRaw, and Slick Pulla. I’m a big fan of Blood’s and I’m ready for him to finally break out and blow up. Another album I’m waiting on is T-Pain. Everybody thought he was gonna be a one-hit wonder. I can’t wait for his new album, cause all these people are gonna have to pull their big ass feet out of their mouths. T-Pain is the truth. //
Miami KAOS :H 2006 SEA A ardcore Design CEO // ward Winne 2 r “Best Mixta 005 Justo Award Win ner pe Graphic s”
he artist and mastermind behind some of your favorite mixtape covers, Miami KAOS has taken Hip Hop art to new extremes. He was worked with virtually the entire industry. If you don’t know who Miami KAOS is, you know his work. As the CEO of Hardcore Design, KAOS is drawing the portrait of success everyday. How did you get started with Hardcore Design? At first I was just trying to get on, like most people. I worked at The Source before, and I tried to reach out to the record labels. It was almost like the whole Jay-Z-Roc-A-Fella thing; no company would hire me, so I said, “I’ll do it myself.” Then I had Tigger, who luckily was in my corner. How did you first meet Big Tigger? Before they moved [the show] downtown, 106th & Park was really 106th & Park - the Graffiti Hall of Fame, and my niece went to school there. She liked Tigger and I was airbrushing a drawing of Tigger and she got it. He saw it and was like, “Yo, who did this?” and she was like, “My uncle,” and he asked her for my number. One day I was at the crib and dude actually called me while I was watching Rap City. I didn’t believe it was him. I was like, “C’mon, you’re on TV right now. How can you calling me?” He was like, “Yeah, this is me. I’m gonna put you on. I’m gonna make you famous.’ What has been the single biggest moment in your career? I met Aaliyah once. I had done a picture of her and when she saw it, she said it was breathtaking. She called my work “breathtaking.” For that quick minute or two that I spoke with her, I was literally like one of those cartoon characters that start stumbling on their words and can’t speak. A few minutes later, I was walking away like, “Thanks, I like your music, too.” Literally, I couldn’t say anything in her presence. She was so humble and everything, she never gave off that “I’m famous” type-vibe. She had an amazing spirit. How long have you been doing art? I’m 32 years old, and as far back as I can remember I’ve been drawing. I’ve been drawing at least 27 years, every day. Why do you think your company has been so successful? Well, first, it’s the cats that I got on my team; my man Kurt McGurt, Ali, Ben Jacobs, all my dudes got original styles. We don’t look at other mixtape designs, because if you look at something else, you’re gonna be influenced by it. Our goal is never to let our stuff look like anybody else’s. I don’t care what it is, if you put of our work next to anybody else’s, our work always stands out. If you just need a picture of Young Jeezy standing in front of a car, then you don’t need us; but when you need a picture of Young Buck smacking somebody in the face with AK in his other hand, that’s something we’ll draw. How long does it take you to design one of your cartoon covers? It depends on the concept. If it’s just one character on the cover, it would take me about eight or nine hours. But when it’s like two or three people on the cover and each of them is doing something, then it takes a lot longer. It could be about two or three days. How many projects do you work on in a month? Flyers, logos, DVD and Mixtape covers combined, I do about 40 to 50 projects
a month. We do everything; we’ve done designs for clothing lines, furniture, jewelry, tattoos, pretty much anything you need custom designed. Who are some of your biggest clients? Where I’m at right now, honestly, at some point every cat in the industry has reached out to me. But I turn down a lot of work, too. If you come at me the wrong way, or if I don’t like the idea, I’ll turn down the job. By me being a Christian, I don’t do things that portray people like Christ. People ask me to put them on a cross and all that, and I’m like “No.” I’m not doing that. Just cause some cat is hating on you, that’s not equal to being crucified. So what is the hardest thing for you to draw? Hands, and a woman’s hair. The hair is very detailed, and you’ve got to make all the strands look real. Sometimes I’ll spend hours just working on the hair. The hands are the same way. What’s your favorite thing that you’ve ever drawn? I haven’t done my favorite yet. Honestly, it used to be more fun when I got to freestyle a lot, but now it’s gotten so precise that people tell me exactly what they want. In the old days it was more fun, but back then I didn’t really charge the way I do now. What is the average price of the mixtape covers you design? The average price starts off around $250, but that’s just with one person on the cover. That is still pretty affordable for the quality of work you do. It’s affordable for the South. That’s why I really embrace the South so much. The average DJ in New York can’t afford that price, because the market is so oversaturated that it doesn’t make sense for them to pay $200 just for a cover. You’re originally from New York. How did you get the name Miami KAOS? Like most cats, I used to be out in the streets and I used to make runs to Miami all the time. I made a little money back then, and I always dressed fly. One day one of my boys said I looked like Miami Vice and it just stuck, people just started calling me Miami. My crew was called KAOS, which was an acronym for Kick Ass On Site, so I would write Miami and then KAOS to big up my crew. People started calling me Miami KAOS. I would always correct them, but my manager Isis was like, “Miami KAOS sounds kinda fly.” Now that you own your business, what is the best part and worst part about being an entrepreneur? Well the best part is that I get to make my own hours; I get to come and go as I please. Being the boss, I could go on the beach and work with my laptop if I want to. The worst part is that I have to set an example. I can’t blow stuff off or be irresponsible because I expect a high level of professionalism from everybody I work with. Another problem is some of the clientele. How can people get in touch with you? They can reach us at (917) 806-5079 or at email@example.com. // - Eric Perrin
OZONE MAG // 97
Purple Ribbon is Still On It
wo years ago the city of Atlanta was giving birth to yet another record label But, this one was different. It had a balance of new talent and industry veterans. It wasn’t run by a successful artist simply trying to create jobs for his homeboys. This one had a team of people with proven track records, good reputations, years of experience and platinum plaques already hanging on the wall. No, this was not going to be another run-of-the-mill independent record label. It was already major.
bring that shit up then. We hungry around here, we trying to eat. We ain’t gonna go through this like some New York shit, this ain’t no beef. Why you gonna talk shit to a magazine? Just call me like you used to.
The name of the powerhouse in the making is Purple Ribbon. The owner, Big Boi, is half of the most recognized rap duo outside of Run-DMC: Outkast. The flagship artists Bubba Sparxxx, Killer Mike, and Sleepy Brown had critical acclaim, while new acts Janelle Monae, Scar and Konkrete had personality and potential.
Big Boi: [Killer Mike] never says anything out of the way in person. It’s all good whenever he is around. He’s the nicest guy in the world, always smiling. He called me on Christmas to wish me Merry Christmas. But for the record, it ain’t no beef. If it was, we would handle it. At first I wasn’t gonna talk about nothing but since I know you, and you know me to be a stand-up guy, I’ll let you know what’s going on. It’s nothing. If Mike has a problem, it’s with Bone, but Mike won’t step to Bone. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I’ve diffused the situation many times. Tell the people about the night at 1150 when I had to keep [C-Bone] from getting on [Mike’s] ass. But if there is a problem, come talk to me. Don’t get in a magazine and pop off.
“I’m building a new LaFace,” boasted Big at a Purple Ribbon launch party in November 2005.
It seems like everything started last year at Birthday Bash with the “one monkey don’t stop no show” quip. Why did you make that statement?
Months after teasing the streets with the Got That Purp mixtape the label had the world shouting “Ay! Ay! Ay!” with the infectious single “Krpytonite (I Be On It).” However, the label’s first official release, Got Purp? Vol. 2, was met with mixed reviews. The same story for albums from Sparxxx and Brown. Add that to in-house conflict among artists and personnel changes, and the Ribbon looked to be withering away.
C-Bone: Yeah, I said the shit out of anger. When you go to play as a team, and you don’t have your starting guard, you’re like, damn. If you going into battle you gotta go as a team. So I guess when [Killer Mike] ain’t show up, I was kinda frustrated. It was silly; maybe I should not have said it. But it really ain’t worth all this attention. We ain’t in New York, we ain’t beefing. That shit is lame, to me at least. I’m just getting used to this because I wasn’t no rapper. If it weren’t for Big Boi, Mr. DJ and Carl Mo I wouldn’t be rapping, so I developed myself into a rapper. It’s funny. I woke up one day, like, damn, I’m battling, I got me a diss song, hell naw! I’m really in this rap shit now, it’s for real. This is what they be talking about. Niggas in the street took to it though. Controversy sells, but I’m not gonna get into doing that.
But in 2007, they’re coming with a new sac of that Purp and plenty of fire to keep it burning. Big Boi will be releasing his solo album, Lucious Leftfoot, through the label and trio Konkrete will be coming with their long-awaited debut. Superstar in the making Janelle Monae plans to release the first piece of her four-part opus Metropolis this year and newly signed rapper Savvy is recording as well. With a lot going on, and even more being said, about Purple Ribbon, Big Boi and Blackowned C-Bone, Lil’ Brotha and Supa Nate of Konkrete want to set the record straight and let the world know they still got more Kryptonite to package up and ship out. Well, let’s start with the obvious. In the February issue of OZONE former Purple Ribbon artist Killer Mike spoke candidly about his experiences at the label and his quarrels with C-Bone. C-Bone: When I first read that shit, I laughed. First of all, me hating on him? How silly do that sound? Second of all, he talking about something that happened eight years ago. You got something on your chest from eight years ago? That’s lame to me. I read that shit and laughed. I’m still trying to figure out why people keep bringing my name up in his articles. Just keep my name out of your mouth. I’m not a part of your career, I’m not in your gang. That “Snappin’ and Trappin’,” I co-wrote that shit. I got a percentage of that song. I don’t even remember what he’s talking about. That shit was eight years ago. I don’t even know why I would be mentioned in his interview. You saying you trying to get on your feet, talking about me ain’t handling business, that’s just envy. We done been on seven tours together since then, and you ain’t 98 // OZONE MAG
Big Boi: All this Killer Mike shit ain’t about nothing, it’s no beef. If there is, he need to lay it down. He’s all smiles when I see him. I still don’t know why he’s talking like that, knowing that I’m going to see it. We get [OZONE] magazines by the box at Stankonia. If you got something to say, come tell me. With Killer Mike and other artists leaving the label, people have questions as to what’s been going on at Purple Ribbon. Big Boi: Let me clear something up. Artists aren’t leaving. A couple of them got dropped. I’ve introduced my artists to as many situations as possible in the industry. If none of the labels want to pick it up, I’m not gonna keep pumping my money into it. I’ve learned from people like L.A. Reid and Clive Davis that it all boils down to having hit records. You can’t say shit if you ain’t got hit records. I’m not one of these niggas that’s making songs just to make them. I’m into making bonafide shit.
n the eyes of Konkrete, they’ve been making ‘bonafide shit’ for years. It’s been a struggle for the street-skewered group to get recognized, coming from a family typically known for eclectic music and personalities. But after years of cameo appearances and putting out music below the radar Konkrete seems to finally be on the verge of national recognition. Their Beat Bullies-produced “What’s That Smell” has become a favorite of high profile
radio DJs Greg Street and Felli Fel. With Big Boi hopping on the remix, the trio hopes the song’s growing popularity can give them momentum going into the release of their untitled mixtape and debut album. What is the latest with Konkrete? You guys are the only original rap act left over from the original Purple Ribbon roster. Lil’ Brotha: We patiently waiting like y’all say. Everybody else done had their shot, so we in the lab banging them out right now. Being down since the Aquemini days, has it been more frustrating or motivating having to wait so long to be put out? Lil Brotha: It’s been both because you know what you got and you have to sit on your songs. It gets kinda frustrating because people ain’t getting to hear them. C-Bone: People try to make it look like when you ain’t drop, that you mad at another nigga. I ain’t mad, I just want my chance too. Niggas running around saying, you can’t do this or do that. We thebackbone of Purple Ribbon, people know us because we put our own shit out in the streets. United Streets of America and Cut The Check, we put those out. I’m a real nigga, I’m not gonna just say “blah blah blah” because I ain’t out yet. I just appreciate a nigga knowing who I am anyway. People wouldn’t know me if it wasn’t for Purple Ribbon. So you gotta take the good with the bad and realize some people can’t do certain things. Plus, I know we gonna shine because the music that’s out right now, we been making that shit. With so many people rapping about the Atlanta underworld now, how do you plan to stand out? Lil Brotha: When we was talking all of that trap shit years ago, people wasn’t on our level, and they still aren’t. Real niggas always knew what we was talking about, now these new cats are doing it and getting the credit for it.
missing the championship every time, you gotta check the roster and make changes, so that’s what I did. It was time for me to make changes and it had to start with the music first. If you’re not bringing me nothing I’m going crazy over, things need to change. You kept Sleepy Brown, Janelle Monae and Konkrete. What stood out about them? Big Boi: It’s about the music, they really been putting out jams. With Konkrete, all that “they his homeboys” shit needs to stop. That means nothing because Killer Mike was my homeboy too. You know how I am, I’m a loyal nigga. If I mess with you, I bring you in as family. This is the first time you’ve spoken on the questions surrounding Purple Ribbon; disgruntled artists and Killer Mike’s disenchantment with the label. At the same time, we never heard you complain about anything artist-wise as a member of Outkast. Why? Big Boi: I learned that it all starts with the music. If your records are jammin’, you’re gonna win, period. If you’re making hits, you’ll have nothing to complain about. As far as disgruntled artists, me and Dre took [Killer Mike] around the world. We put him in front of people. We’re taking this man on Jay Leno and got him a Grammy. When you start so high on another nigga’s coattail, it’s gravy. But when you gotta do it yourself, it’s not as easy. You gotta have the heart to do it. He got his Grind Time thing now, so we’re gonna really see how you grind. I don’t run a daycare, I run a label. I’m not holding your hand. If it’s not working out, it’s not working out. If niggas got any problems with me, holla. We can handle it any kind of way. That going-to-the-press shit is nonsense. I don’t even get down like that. Right now how is your relationship with him? Big Boi: Right now there is no relationship. He’s doing his thing, and we’re doing ours. As far as Dre goes, he don’t fuck with him neither.
C-Bone: Listin to my verse on “Gangsta Shit” from Stankonia. “Rap by day, nigga, trap by night.” All that trap shit, we been that. At the time, niggas was like, What the fuck? But after all these years, the scary thing is that we got a following already. We call our shit “reality rap.” We ain’t bragging or boasting, people fuck with us anyway. The songs we make will appeal to different ages. Everybody we come across be saying, “When they gonna put y’all shit out?” That’s what we gonna name the album [laughs]. That shit be hurting when people ask that some time [motioning a dagger to the heart]. You be glad people care, but you kinda don’t wanna hear people ask that anymore.
What are the immediate plans for you and the label?
Have you been tempted to ride the current wave of music coming out of Atlanta, just to get hot real fast?
You and Dre both have been popping up on a lot of remixes lately, some of them unexpected.
C-Bone: “What’s That Smell” might be the first song that we did like that. But what I try to do is and mention Konkrete on every verse, like how I did on Yung Joc’s “Dope Boy Magic.” But why give up when things ain’t going right? We ain’t at the point where we don’t think it ain’t gonna work, but I’m true to myself. You can’t give up, and you can’t cry neither. It’s my fault if I take what I wanna take. We upset, but we trying to rebuild this muthafucker. I’m a down ass nigga, I’m riding until the wheels fall off. Just because the rent ain’t being paid, I ain’t gonna move out the house. I’ma try and pay the rent.
Big Boi: Yeah, we been hopping on hood classics, but I am a hood classic. I am all of that. Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik is still a hood classic. I stay in the streets, ain’t no if, ands or buts about that. I don’t care what it is, if that shit is banging, I’m with it. I am an emcee first and foremost. With songs like the “Walk It Out” remix, DJ Jelly called me. Plus, Big Oomp is my homeboy. Me and Dre walked it out on 106th & Park. That’s some A-town shit. Everybody is getting their shot. That’s an example of the hood love we got. When niggas say Dre ain’t rapping no more, that kills me. It’s like niggas have forgot. Dre is on the “30 Something” remix with Jay-Z and I’m hopping on the “Hood Nigga” remix with Gorilla Zoe. Man, niggas have forgot. It’s kinda like when your parents used to go out of town and you throw a party at the house, and you forget that they coming back home. We hear what niggas be saying and read what niggas be writing, but ain’t none of that about shit. //
How have you guys dealt with the “oh, they just Big Boi’s homeboys” attitude, especially with Lil’ Brotha being Big’s younger sibling? C-Bone: James is James. He ain’t Big Boi. They act the same, but they different. We catch hell about that shit. When we first started it was another guy in the group, Country CP, he locked up doing Fed time now. So I was by myself, I didn’t think I was ready to go for a solo career. I chose James, and Big chose Supa Nate, so we had a group. But folks was looking at us like, aw man, those just his homeboys fucking around. We can do what we gotta do on our own, though. That nigga don’t give us shit. It may look sweet, but God bless the child that can hold his own. We ain’t never got no advance money, but we still riding, got our own houses.
unning his own real estate business and record label, Big Boi knows what its like to have his own house. He proved it late last year when he cleaned house, completely restructuring Purple Ribbon. With both artists and staff members being dropped and replaced, Big is aiming to take his company to a new level in 2007 and beyond. Now that his movies and outside projects have been handled for the most part, the focus is back on music. You’ve made major changes at Purple Ribbon, personnel-wise. Why? Big Boi: Yeah, I changed my whole staff. If you keep going to the playoffs and
Big Boi: Right now I’m working on my solo album. I’ve been working on it for three or four years; it’s all me. I’m into that funk thang. My thing is putting together a quality album. That’s what I do, produce music. Running a label takes away from my own musical career. Of course we have Konkrete coming out, Janelle Monae, my new artist Savvy and I got two acts that I ain’t even gonna tell y’all about yet. In addition to that me and Dre are doing a new Outkast album.
- Maurice G. Garland
“IT ALL STARTS WITH THE MUSIC. IF YOUR RECORDS ARE JAMMIN’, YOU’RE GONNA WIN, PERIOD. IF YOU’RE MAKING HITS, YOU’LL HAVE NOTHING TO COMPLAIN ABOUT. AS FAR AS DISGRUNTLED ARTISTS, ME AND DRE TOOK [KILLER MIKE] AROUND THE WORLD [AND] GOT HIM A GRAMMY. WHEN YOU START SO HIGH ON ANOTHER NIGGA’S COATTAIL, IT’S GRAVY. BUT WHEN YOU GOTTA DO IT YOURSELF, IT’S NOT AS EASY.” - BIG BOI OZONE MAG // 99
ozonesports desmond CHICAGO BEARS’ TIGHT END
Words // Rohit Loomba & Prateek Sanan
hat about Hip Hop makes you want to get into it now? I’ve been doing it for a while, since 2003. I was just doing the shows and then a couple of guys I met out of Denver thought we should just do the whole thing. I’m not working with them no more but when I signed up here I built a studio in Lakewood, Florida and started developing my artists. I have an artist out of Florida named Fly. I haven’t been in tune with anything that’s going for the last couple of months though. How do you focus on everything that you’re working on while concentrating on the football season? I got good people alongside of me. My brother kind of overlooks everything that I do, he’s the Vice President of my label. I got a guy out in Denver who also works with the label and I do a lot of real estate so my broker helps me with that. I also have property managers who help me with my property. I have my family here too, my wife and kids. I balance it all because I have good help. The mindset is real different down South, it’s more of an independent mindset. How’d that affect your development as an athlete? Once I left the house I left the house. Once I went to college I was on my own, I was a man. I never called back and asked for money. Anytime I could work I was working. I got married when I was 19 so I’ve been on my own since I left the house. Like you said, down South you gotta get it on your own. My parents always told me, “If we’re not here what are you gonna do?” When it comes to the music and the label we’ve tried different approaches and none of them really stuck but this time we’re just going to go out there and get it ourselves. We’re not going to have a lot of companies involved. We’re going to have one other company on our side and try to concentrate on Orlando and Tampa. Fly has a mixtape with DJ Drama which we’re putting the finishing touches on and then we’ll push that. Really everyone is waiting on me. All the promotional materials are ready and sitting in the office right now. I don’t want to do anything until I get there so I know we’re doing everything right this time. Before we were trying to do a little everywhere, and that really didn’t get anything going. You can’t just throw money at it; nothing’s gonna happen like that. I want to make sure we build it up and make people take notice in a smaller area first and then let it spread like that. We kinda taking it back to the basics and we’re gonna start over from the ground up and concentrate on Central Florida. You got a lot of negative press before the NFC game. Yeah, what’s up with that? Almost everyone picked the Saints before the game. That was just an everyday slap in the face. Someone was on there saying the Saints were the best team and that they were gonna win the game. They state this stuff like it’s fact and then when it don’t they flip their stories. Now people be saying the Bears gonna give the Colts a physical game, where was all that before? We’ve been doing that. Even the local media has been giving us some bad press. When we lost a game I remember they had this thing in the newspaper where they had an image of a palm tree leaning away from us trying to say we were getting farther from Miami. They talked about Rex Grossman all year, they dogged him all year. I heard some people say they don’t even want us to go the Super Bowl if Rex is our quarterback. It’s good that we won to see what everybody gotta say now. Lovie talked about that a little but we used the negative press more at the beginning of the year. As we heard it week in and week out it got old. You can only play off that so many times. If you listened to the radio after the victory against Seattle in the first round you would have thought we’d had lost the game. The next game we win and they start saying all different things. It’s crazy but there still are people who have been with us the whole time. Those are the people you don’t really hear from them much. Even if you do, though, you tend to hear the negative stuff more. How did the playoffs from last season and losing last season affect you? When it came to this year and the playoffs, that Carolina game from last season didn’t come up unless the media brought it up. Last year we expected to make the run to the Super Bowl. We were the number 2 seed but it didn’t happen. Carolina came in and smacked us like we smacked them the first time we met them last season. The way that we lost was disappointing, Steve Smith just put a show up against us. It was like a one man wrecking crew. Just to hear all the backlash after that and deal with that for a whole year before we could actually get back was tough. Myself, personally, I had to hear how I suck all off season. All I’m saying the whole time was, “I’m doing what they tell me to do.” It was
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a day after we lost and I hear on TV that the Bears need to get a new tight end and how I dropped a lot of passes and I’m thinking, “I didn’t drop a lot of passes.” If people who didn’t know about the game just listened to the commentators they’ll be really messed up about what’s really going on. You have to watch the game yourself and do the analysis. You’ve been making some key blocks. If you go back to last year we wanted to run the ball so I was the blocker. It’s the same thing this year. People weren’t trying to hear that last year. The team stuck with me even though I was a little upset that no one actually came out and said, “Desmond Clark is our tight end and we’re not going to draft another tight end.” I was a little upset about that but there wasn’t much I could do about it. I was thinking that maybe they were really thinking of getting rid of me because they weren’t saying that they were going to keep me. I didn’t think they was gonna get rid of me but I thought they were going to bring in another Tight End. People have to understand that this is our job. We’re just not on TV playing football, this is what we do to eat. We go to work and put in hours a day. How has the team reacted to Tank Johnson and his situation? Tank’s situation had to be real tough for him. Some of the stuff that was said was warranted but some of it wasn’t. He had unregistered guns. They were registered in his home state but not here. Granted, it’s not safe to have loaded guns where kids at, it may be poor judgment, but a lot of the stuff that was said was out of hand. How can you question his character if you don’t know him? You can’t judge a person just because you know he had unregistered guns that were loaded around his kids. Does that make you a bad person or is that just dumb? A lot of sportscasters were talking stupid stuff. Tank lost his best friend. On the radio they were talking about how Tank was still grieving and they were like “I don’t know why he’s grieving? He’s grieving for a piece of trash.” How can you say that about someone’s best friend, regardless of what you thought about this guy? Sure, he had a criminal record but I don’t know a lot of people who don’t know someone with a criminal record. Does that make them bad people? Naw, that just means they did something bad in their life. They can change. A lot of stuff said about Tank and his friend was out of hand. A lot of it crossed racial lines as well. On the radio I heard one dude who kept saying, “Black athletes and their guns.” How can you paint with such a broad brush? A lady was giving some update on Durant Williams getting shot and he’s in the background saying, “Black athletes and their guns.” If an athlete were to come out and say something like that we’d get killed. But then you got this guy and no one says a word. The toughest thing about that Tank situation was hearing all the fallout. Some of it was deserved but some of it wasn’t. When it comes to Hip Hop what’s the difference between Chicago and Florida? It’s real different. It’s two different styles, two different lingos, two different moods. Up here in Chicago they more into sampling and just into a different type of music. Down South music is more aggressive. In Chicago it’s less aggressive and more lyrical. You have your guys like T.I. and Lil Wayne in the South that are lyrical but I think there’s more of an emphasis here on lyricism. What kind of style would you use for yourself? I’m not going in trying to use no style myself. If my artist go in there, especially if it’s Fly, I like that aggression and that’s what he brings. For me, myself, I only record if somebody asks me to. I’m working with Mark Sparks up here in Chicago and we did some songs together. I don’t know if you know my story, with my father being on drugs and all that, I wanted to tell the story myself after it’s been documented all over the NFL. It’s recorded but I’m not really playing it yet until I get some time. I’m not trying to be a rapper. I like to go in the booth just so I can be relevant to my artists, so they understand I’m just not telling them how to do things without knowing anything. If they call me and tell me how to run routes on Sunday I’m not gonna listen because they don’t do this. So I try to keep the perspective going that I have some sort of knowledge of what they’re doing. I go in [the booth] every now and then. Do you plan on doing a mixtape at all? I thought about it before. I got a couple of songs I’ve written with my man Mark up here but it’ll be a long process. I have too much stuff going on personally to have the time to sit down and write. If I do it I need perfection and that takes time. //
Slim Thug and Boss Hogg Outlawz
ince entering the rap game, Slim Thug has referred to himself as Tha Boss. And in the rap game, a boss is a CEO of his own label. Slim Thug meets this Boss criteria, with his Boss Hogg Outlawz label. With the release of Boss Hogg Outlawz album Serve & Collect, featuring Slim Thug, PJ Tha Rap Hustla, J Dawg, Sir Daily, Chris Ward, Killa Kyleon, Young Black and R&B singer, Rob Smallz, only a few weeks away, Ozone caught up with Tha Boss and his Outlawz to find out what this new Houston record label has in store for 2007. How did the Boss Hogg Outlawz come about? Slim Thug: Me, PJ, J Dawg, we been together since Swishahouse. A lot of these niggas I’ve been knowing for years. Chris Ward, we hooked and we ended up working together, clicking up. And he brought through Killa. And it all came together like that. Everybody else fell in place while we been grindin’. What’s the difference between the Boss Hogg Outlawz and the Boyz N Blue? Slim Thug: Boss Hogg is the whole label, that’s everybody. The Boyz N Blue only consists of like three, four dudes. The Boss Hogg Outlawz is everybody. We got Young Black, he’s a Young Hogg. We got Rob Smallz, he’s a R&B dude, so it’s the whole click. You’ve had a lot of independent success but your album didn’t do as well. Why’d you choose to put out the Boss Hogg album before releasing your next album? Slim Thug: Really the Boss Hogg Outlawz Serve & Collect shit is just some street shit to keep the streets feed. We got my shit coming out April 24th, Boss of All Bosses. Then we gonna drop Boys N Blue. It was like, we didn’t put nothing out, so we had to keep the streets feed. They are a lot of members in the group. Was it to get everyone some shine? PJ Tha Rap Hustla: It was really simple because like in the way we work in the studio people come and go, so it’s like if it’s a hot beat or hot song we’re working on whoever jump on it first, that’s who makes the cut. If you participate that’s what determines whether you get put on the song or not. I was simple for me cause during the making of this album I stayed in the mix. I stayed in the studio. So every song that was jamming I hopped on, you know what I’m sayin’. So it was real cool, the process of making it. Slim Thug: I just let niggas do them. Everybody got solo songs on the motherfucker, know what I’m saying, where they gotta stand on their own two feet. I’m a big part of the record, I did at least 12 records on there. It ain’t just like I’m just putting my name on the shit, trying to sell it to people. I’m really a big part of this project. These niggas have been down with me since day one, they’ve been making a lot of noise out here. So it’s just time for them to get their shine on too. Chris Ward: There are a few [tracks] that I just fall back from. Between me, PJ and Slim, we don’t really tussle over who’s gon’ get on what. We kinda almost know what was for who. And sometimes though, what we did with a lot of them, everybody writes a verse. But we don’t have no problems as far as laying a verse, it’s nothing. If the song is just super, super jamming, everybody lays a verse. And you know how that goes, you go hard or go home. 102 // OZONE MAG
Tell me about the Boyz in Blue. PJ Tha Rap Hustla: A lot of people think we’re Crips but on the Northside of our city we ride blue cars, candy paint, candy blue. That’s where the group Boyz in Blue [got our name]. What are we going to get when the album drops? PJ Tha Rap Hustla: You gonna get the rap hustle, you gonna get PJ The Rap Hustla raw and uncut. I ain’t no lyricist or nothing like that. I just get straight to the point. I’mma groove wit’ the beat and I’mma give you some good game. I might get a little street, a little fly, whatever. You gon’ get PJ to the fullest. I got my own little style, real simple wit’ it. That’s just me, I’m a simple man. So you gon’ get straight PJ Tha Rap Hustla talking about some money or talking about grindin’, talking to some chicks, having some fun, that’s about it. Killa Kyleon: I ain’t gon lie my dude, you gon hear lyrical. I’mma give it to you live and direct. One thing I know, it’s a bunch of real dudes over here. We real stand up guys. We bringing real rap, real music back into the game and we’re bringing a side of Houston that ain’t nobody seen. It ain’t nothing but hard hitters over here. It’s five Barry Bonds, that’s what it is over here. Chris, what do you bring to the Boss Hogg Outlawz? Chris Ward: I bring a whole other swagger to it. Cause we all do our own thing and everybody stands for something different. As a team we kinda like Voltron. We all connect in a different kind of way. I kinda just bring the flyness to the table. They always say I’m fly. I guess I bring some of the flyboy swagger to the table. But at the same time I still give it to them raw and gutter. Tell me about the album. Chris Ward: The game right now is real crazy. I don’t know if a lot of people look at it like that. I know about of people in the industry do…I think we’ll bring a whole nother look to Houston. If we get the right action and the correct timing on this here, we’re going to bring a whole ‘nother look to Houston to where they’re going to be like oh I ain’t know it was like that. They actually been looking over us, but I guess sometimes you save the best for last. It’s not just no one track album. We all have alter egos. You gonna have bout 4 or 5 personalities, that all got a double personality which is gon give you about 10 people, you feel me. Slim gon do his boss thing. PJ gon’ do his rap hustla thing. I’mma do my flyboy thing. Killa gon do his thing. It’s just gonna be a flipside to everybody. Killa, as a solo artist. How hard was it to do the group thing? Killa Kyleon: I always have considered myself a chief. I’m an Indian in the group but a chief by body. I wanna lead cause I always felt like every powerhouse group should have a head. Every big label, they always had the front man and the second in command. When you seen Jay, you seen Beans. When you Jeezy, you see Slick Pulla. When you’d see NWA, you’d see Eazy then you had Cube, you know what I’m sayin’. I always wanted to be the man behind the man but at the same time instead of just making it the regular thing, why can’t it just be two Jay-Zs? Killa, what have you learned from Slim Thug?
Killa Kyleon: I learned that the rap game got its ups and its downs. I know Hip Hop done took a whole toll out on everything. They’re trying to really fuck Hip Hop up. I learned what to do and what not to do from Thugga. I learned how to hustle from Thugga. I learned how to take this game and really get the money out this game. The main thing I can really say I learned from Thugga is the hustle. The dude is a genius with the hustle. Ain’t nobody out here got the hustle like the youngster got the hustle. Dude been a millionaire before he even signed a deal and I know that for a fact. Killa, a lot of artists have already come out of Houston, what are you bring new to the table to represent Houston? Killa Kyleon: I’m going to do for Houston what Jeezy did for Atlanta, that’s what the fuck I’m going to do. I’m going to do for Houston, what Game did for L.A.. I’mma do for Houston, what Jigga done for New York. I know that’s putting myself on a high pedestal but if you don’t think you’re the shit nobody else will. I think everybody think Houston is so onesided. I don’t think they’ve seen the real streets of Houston, the real lyricism of Houston, man. I wanna bring that Face shit back to street. That Geto Boys shit. That hardcore, lyrical, jamming, street music. Cause I ain’t wit’ all that telling a nigga I’m ballin’ every five minutes cause everybody in the streets ain’t on that level. Everybody think a lot of Houston niggas cat and a hat rappers. I’m one of those niggas that’s not a cat and a hat rapper, check my track record. And shit, my resume is impeccable. Young Black, you’re the newest member to the team. What do you think they saw in you that made them want to add you to the team? Young Black: I think they really just like my swagger as far as consistency with the music, man. Actually they put me on some underground shit first to see how I would do. Bottom line, I did it so I’m here. What are people going to say about you? That boy’s cold, man. I’m a force to be reckoned with. If I don’t see nothing on this album, I’mma see my name get bigger. I’mma really try to give the people what they want and try to represent the H. Slim Thug, what do you want the fans to take from this album after they hear it? Slim Thug: I want the fans to know it’s bigger than Slim Thug. It ain’t just me with the talent, everybody on my label got talent. I don’t fuck with no trashy ass niggas. If they don’t got as much talent as me, they probably got more and they’re serious about it. So it really ain’t no shit I’m just putting out there, it’s some real G shit. // - Randy Roper (Photo by Mike Frost)
ack in the day, B.G.’s unhappiness with his label Cash Money Records and the CEO Baby was well-documented. But today, B.G. is the man behind the artists, calling all the shots at Chopper City Records. And the Chopper City Boyz mark B. Gizzle’s first official executive producer credits. The group consists of Sniper, VL Mike, Gar and B.G.’s younger brother, Hakim. The Chopper City Boyz, which inescapably founds itself compared to the Hot Boyz, has appeared on B.G.’s last four albums but the time for the group to stand on their own is upon them. Is the group ready? And is B.G. prepared to handle the position he once criticized Baby for mismanaging? OZONE chopped it up with these N’awlins boys to get these questions answered and many more. How do the Chopper City Boyz compare to the Hot Boys? B.G.: I’d be pretty much out of my character trying to compare them to the Hot Boys. You really can’t compare nobody to the Hot Boys. They got the ability to be as big as the Hot Boys if they just follow their heart and do what it takes to get where they’re trying to get. When motherfuckers be asking me to compare them to the Hot Boys I feel like I’d be disrespecting them and disrespecting the Hot Boys. I’d be putting expectations on them and I ain’t really trying to do that. As a CEO, what are you doing differently with Chopper City then what Baby did at Cash Money? B.G.: I’m letting them all be men. And Baby, he was lying to us. He caught us at a young age. He had four young niggas at a young age that really loved to rap and he capitalized off our love for music. When we came in the game it wasn’t really ‘bout no money. We ain’t really understand none of that but he did. All we wanted to do was rap. So we was blindfolded to the business side of things. I really just keep it real with them. We friends first. I just want them to understand this game: what you put into it, you get out of it. When you go corporate it don’t be real no more, so you gotta balance shit off. Man, it’s a whole bunch of things I do differently than how Baby and Slim did things but to sum it all up, I just keep it real with them. Some groups are not as successful as the artist that brings them out. What are you going to do to help the group reach a higher level of success? B.G.: I can only do so much. Like I said, I already put the stamp of approval on them. They just got to follow up and do what they got to do. I got solid fans that’s going to open their ears to them just cause I say open their ears to them. So once they got their ear, they gotta keep their ear. Their character and their personality are gon’ determine their longevity. I believe in them but they gotta get the people to believe in them. “Make ‘Em Mad” is your single. What are some things that make you all mad? 104 // OZONE MAG
Chopper City Boyz Sniper: These old bitch ass niggas out here bootlegging shit. That’s the main factor that’s making me mad. And you know what else making me mad? Niggas nowadays ain’t talking about shit. They ain’t teaching me nothing, you feel me? It ain’t nothing new that they’re telling me. Everything they’re telling me I already knew or been through. So that kinda shit makes me mad too. Gar: The government, man. How the government just don’t give a fuck about us, ya heard me. And Katrina really exposed they muthafucking ass, you heard me. How are the conditions in New Orleans now? Gar: We shake up, we building up brick by brick. We’ll be back. Everything is everything, ya heard me? People coming back slowly but surely. They can’t take New Orleans out of our heart. Although a lot of people moved, New Orleans ain’t the city, it’s the people. I could be staying in Russia, I don’t care, New Orleans gon’ still be in my heart. Sniper: Everything is still under construction. Everybody is still building. A lot of places, like where I’m from on the east, it’s a disaster right now. A lot of abandoned houses, cars that was left during the storm and they got flooded out. It’s just a lot of debris everywhere. VL Mike: I stayed for Katrina whil the rest of you niggas left. I live in this bitch, so I’ll hold it down by myself. Hakim, can you describe what it was like growing up as B.G.’s brother? Hakim: My experience growing up as BG brother was good. I got to travel a lot with him when he was with Cash Money. And when he opened his own label I was his hypeman. I learned a lot and saw a lot. Being around my brother helped me with my rap and I got better with time. And I learned to rap on all different levels, not just gangsta rap. Does B.G. treat you differently or is he harder on you because he’s your brother? Hakim: No! My brother isn’t that type of man. He treats us all the same. The only difference is that I’m his blood brother. We all love one another as family. Me and Gar grew up together and Snipe came in when the label opened. My brother and I both grew up with VL Mike so we like brothers from other mothers. Sniper: It’s love. It’s four dogs and we all hungry, you feel me. We all come together as one. What have you picked up from B.G. since you’ve been with Chopper City? Gar: He groomed me, dawg. I watched his do’s, I watched his don’ts. I just studied the whole rap game. He personally watched me through this shit for a few years. Sniper: Loyalty and honesty is a must. What’s the best piece of advice he’s given you? Gar: Just keep it real, man. Don’t never fuck over
nobody. Keep it real and you’re going to last long. With all of you being solo artists first, how difficult is it for everyone to shine within the group? Gar: Coming from where we come from, and the upbringing we have, it’s just like that on the block. There’s competition everywhere but it don’t do nothing but make you better. It’s competition when we in the booth but when we out the booth it’s all love. [We] make each other step our game up. Why have you decided to go with Black Wall Street instead of Chopper City on your solo project? VL Mike: It ain’t like I’m putting it out [on Black Wall Street]. [Game] is just helping me on it. He got some input on it and [B.G.] got some input on it. And I’m doing what I do by me being a thorough street nigga. And Game, he ‘bout one of the rawest mutherfuckas in the game doing his thing right now, besides my homie Geezy. A lot of mutherfuckas, they rapping it but they ain’t out there busting niggas in the fuckin’ mouth when it’s necessary. You know, I get off on that type of shit. That’s just me, I’m raw and uncut. That’s why they compare me to Soulja Slim. We lived the same life. That was my homie too. Can you tell me more about your relationship with Soulja Slim? VL Mike: That was my dawg. I knew him before he was Soulja Slim. I know Slim when he wasn’t no Magnolia Slim, wasn’t no Soulja Slim. I knew him when he was cutting it on his mama porch. He tried to get me to fuck with his label a couple of times but I was still living it in the streets so I wasn’t taking that shit serious. When I try to get on the Hip Hop page, they be like, “There ain’t no difference [between being] gangsta and rapping,” But there is, though. Especially when you’re a real person and you really live that. I don’t lie in none of my raps. I’m not living nobody else’s experience. Me and Slim was locked up together a lot of times. I ain’t proud of a lot of the shit me and him done but I’m glad to say we finally made it. A lot of artists left New Orleans because of Katrina. How did that affect the rap scene in the city? Sniper: The affect was major because Cash Money and No Limit, they the founders of this shit. They had it poppin’. They brought light to New Orleans. So they were always two of the hottest labels in New Orleans. Now it’s upcoming artists trying to make it in the game but it’s really no marketing in New Orleans. So it’s kinda hard for everybody to get on. Chopper City and Cash Money are the only two majors down here. Tell me about the Chopper City Boyz album. Sniper: The album is giving you just what you want. It’s a lot of different topics. It’s real life shit, the struggle, what niggas got through. They got shit on there for people to party to. // - Randy Roper (Photos by Earl Randolph)
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Do you wanna introduce yourself and explain where you’re from?
YB: Well, I’m Boss, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It’s about 45 minutes or an hour from Chicago. I’ve been rappin’ for about 3 years now. Came down to Miami, got my mind right and now we ready to do it, take it to the top.
So you came down to Miami to start rappin’ or you happened to end up there?
YB: Yeah we been down here in Miami. It just so happened that Miami is the spot. It’s the spot where we came up at. It was a good lick, and we just did what we did with it and made it happen.
I know Milwaukee is known for pimpin’ and Milwaukee has its own flavor. Is that something that comes out in your music or your flavor?
YB: I mean, I’m comin’ with whatever you wanna hear. I could spit it fast, I could spit it slow, I could chop and screw it. I could spit it East Coast, I mix it all together and that’s the way it came out. So if you like it, you like it. If you don’t then…hell, I ain’t gonna force you or put a gun to your head.
How do you think you’re kind of Miami in your rap sound?
YB: Man, Miami put me on to a whole ‘nother lifestyle. Coming from the Midwest to Miami, Florida is like winning a trip while you in the hood fryin’ chicken and they’re like, “You just won a trip to Cancun, Mexico, free everything.” And it really do happen. RL: We went down to Atlanta first before we came down to Miami though.
What’s your relationship with Reality and the FUP Mob? How did you get hooked up with them?
YB: Well, the godfather of the FUP is my father. So I learned from the best, I learned from the streets and I learned from self experience, but I also have a wise man guiding me everyday and I thank him for that and I thank God for that.
Is that how you started rapping. You just hooked up with them or did they noticed you? YB: I was always in the streets. I was bad, acting up but when I came down here and I was stayin’ with them and was locked down, I was in the studio for ‘bout 2, 3 years, no bed, no nothing. But before the studio there’s an actual studio where there like a bathroom, it’s an office, it’s an actual room with a T.V. and a couch. And the other side of the studio closed off and I stayed in there for two years.
Locked down in the studio, basically.
YB: Not locked down, just focusing on the vision. Everything happens for a reason and it’s been a lot of things that I been through. For me, what’s happening right now is a blessing. People say it takes jail and it takes a lot of stuff. But if you just sit back and look at it and think of right from wrong and how to get money and how to avoid the stupidness, it’s gonna come to you sooner or later. I learned that at a real early age. I was shooting guns since before I could really walk on my feet or ride a bike. Bangin’, ridin’ around with pounds, heroin, all that. I been duck-taped when I was a baby, I almost drowned three times, it was crazy. But I’m still here today and I just gotta take life slow but never take it for granted.
What do you have going on right now musically? Do you have a single out or a mixtape?
YB: Coo Coo Cal and Baby Drew are major to me. It takes someone to get up out of Milwaukee and see different things and then bring it back.
YB: Yeah I got a single out called “Hol’ Up” featuring Dakari Black and “Mo’ Money.” Everybody need mo’ money, ya gotta have mo’ money, “Mo’ Money” is the new hit single.
When ya’ll say FUP MOB, is that a group or is it a label?
YB: Naw, it’s not a group, it’s more than that. It’s family. MOB isn’t Money Over Bitches, it’s family. It’s Money Over Bitches too, you already know it’s Money Over Bitches around here but it’s family.
Do you think it’s time for Milwaukee to be put on the map?
YB: Aw yeah. Milwaukee’s on the map but it’s time for Milwaukee to take over. It’s a lot of promises and a lot of broken hearts that I got to put back together in Milwaukee. It’s a lot of wrong that been done in that place of mind so I gotta do right.
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YB: Like my mama, keepin’ things tight with her. My auntie, she just got started on crack and she’s been on and off. My uncle, he’s doing his thing and it’s a lot of niggas on the block doin’ their thing that I ain’t forgot about.
Why do you think Milwaukee hasn’t had a major rapper yet?
You’ve spent time in Milwaukee, Miami and Atlanta; what’s the biggest difference between those cities?
YB: You see different places everywhere you go, different cities, different climates. I look at gettin’ money and people and family more. In Milwaukee it’s cloudy, always snowing. It ain’t too many bright days. Ain’t too many fine girls. Ain’t too much money being made, but you got niggas killin’ over crumbs and shit and it’s kind of hard. So you go to Atlanta and this is what you hear
on the radio with Ludacris and JD and fine girls and gold teeth. So you come down here and you amazed ‘cause you see girls with phat asses and niggas ridin’ around on 24’s and candy paint and all type of shit I ain’t never seen in my life. Nigga, we stand around on the block pointin’ at cars like that, even you see it all the time and it’ll be 6, 7 niggas in the hood with the same car and every year a nigga get killed for that same car. In Atlanta, everybody like that, everybody gettin’ money, the girls gettin’ who knows how much money. Comin’ from Milwaukee, you know how to work with what you got so when you do get money you know what to do with it.
Is your goal to get a major deal or are you just trying to be independent? What’s your major goal as an artist? YB: The ultimate goal for me as an artist is to get money and build wealth with my family. Anybody in the way is gonna get crushed. That’s the bottom line. If you in the way you gonna get crushed, if you not in the way, you won’t get crushed. You could make it easy or you could make it hard.
Can you explain how you met each other? Do you go way back or how did you form this CORE DJ’s/FUP Mob alliance? RL: Well, me and T. Neal both from Milwaukee. I was fuckin’ with this shit early. I had a record store and anytime rappers would come in town they would come to my record store, Real Deal Records. And after that shit I started my record label, Revolutionary Records in ’91 and T. Neal was my DJ at my first show that I did with Twista. Back then he was Tongue Twista and had a little different image back then and it was MC Breed. So me and T. Neal go back far as a muthafucker. Back when I started he was just starting DJing so we got a real extensive history. I left and went to Atlanta and he stayed down and kept doing his thing. And we ended up bumping into each other again and makin’ history.
When we see the CORE DJs logo with the FUP Mob logo, what’s that mean?
TN: It’s that with his situation he had and the manpower we got, we just get the music together for The CORE DJs album and run it through FUP. We got a couple different situations but with this situation right here, we gonna run The CORE DJs album, and we gonna run Young Bos’ album. So we gonna run The CORE DJs album through that independently and distribute it through Universal.
People know of CORE DJs as a DJ crew, but do you think that people will accept them as an “artist” or how do you plan on presenting that?
TN: Well, once we start the marketing plan of it, it’s a lot of DJ’s saying, “It’s my album.” And once you got that many DJ’s in their markets saying they got an album out - you got a DJ in Virginia and Milwaukee like, “Get my album, get my album,” it’s no reason why it shouldn’t sell.
Is it fair to compare it to Khaled’s
album or the album Drama’s working on? Is it a lot of compilations or does it have a mixtape feel to it?
TN: Yeah, it’s gonna be a compilation, but we want it to be something that people are gonna play. I don’t want it to be like people have to go back and take Khaled’s voice out. We want it to be an album, it’s a CORE DJ/ FUP album. RL; We tryin’ to do the numbers like Clue, you know, platinum. TN: Yeah but with Clue, I don’t want nobody to have to go back and do a no-DJ album. Like we can do the skits in between to let people know. We gonna have the names of the DJs on the side of the album, it’s like one big unit. It’s like one album but it’s 300 DJs. We feel like if you’re a DJ and you sell 1,000 CD’s in each market, that’s 300,000 CD’s right there.
With all the record label contacts that you have, what made you confident to work with FUP Mob?
TN: Cause that’s my family. You work with people you trust. I don’t trust no damn label. I trust the people that work at the label but I don’t trust the label. RL: It’s a lot of muhfuckers in this shit that make a lot of money but don’t get paid cause they get fucked. TN: They do a lot of frontin’, buyin’ this and that on the outside but niggas still broke, live with they mamas, be havin’ like 4 or 5 roommates. It’s some bullshit. RL: This FUP shit is about niggas eating for real. I been in this music industry for a long time. I moved to Atlanta 7 years ago, and I seen everything. Niggas I looked up to and I still look up to, I just realized that this shit is a lot of smoke and mirrors. And a lot of fugazi shit. So at that point I was like, damn, do I really want this shit? I’m sellin’ my soul and I ain’t fuckin’ with my son. Me and my son ain’t spent one summer together cause I’m out here chasin’ this dream and this shit is just some fugazi ass shit. So I said I had to get some real money, get my life together and get my shit together so when I fuck with this shit, I can do it like I want to. TN: Coming from Milwaukee we had to
REALITY & TONY NEAL work twice as hard because it’s a bigsmall city, you understand?
What does FUP Mob stand for?
RL: Fuck you, pay me. FUP is about niggas eating, niggas coming together. TN: Fuck anybody blocking FUP, fuck anybody blocking The CORE. Fuck you, pay me.
What’s The CORE DJs roster look like nowadays?
TN: We cleaned it up. It’s still about 306 niggas in the Core but I did some house cleaning the other day and cats that don’t never get on no conference calls, cats that we don’t hear from until they get fired from they radio stations. We got offices in Miami now. We at a point where we just trying to put it all together, not only for The CORE and not only for FUP but for all of Milwaukee.
Do you have other artists on the label?
RL: Yeah. At the same time we gonna launch this Young Bos campaign and this CORE DJ campaign. The Core DJ’s project is going through a major label. We got Young Bos’ situation. We also got an R&B thing, this nigga Tony just sent me so I guess we bout to be
fuckin’ with him. TN: But The CORE DJs, FUP Mob, we just trying to get Milwaukee some respect, you know? Everybody knows that Reality is the shit in Milwaukee, that he was down, making the city look good. He never tarnished the town, when niggas look in the history books, everybody gonna know that. Just like in ATL, everybody know that the nigga who moved 160,000 out his trunk, and collected a million dollars and was living of a million dollars out selling CD out his trunk. And muthafuckas don’t want to accept the facts but, Milwaukee County. And we got some bitch niggas from the town too. I’ll call a spade a spade and I don’t know anything else about any other city but mine and from the radio station, all these niggas tryin’ to go around it but you ain’t gonna be able to go around me. I ain’t lettin’ niggas that in the industry go around me so why I’mma let some local nigga go around me and throw salt. If you gonna try to go around me do it the right way but if you hate, trust me it’s coming back this way. I’m just waiting.
That’s about all the questions I have for you. Do you have anything else you want to say? RL: Fuck you, pay me.
OZONE MAG // 107
Devin The Dude Waiting To Inhale Rap-A-Lot Devin The Dude’s newest album is filled with comical adventures with members of the opposite sex (“Sell Me Some” and “Sick of This”) with a few pit stops for the sticky green along the way (“Waiting To Inhale” and “Til It’s All Gone”). Devin has a masterful way of making the most serious topics sound soulful and enjoyable. Devin’s been perpetually slept-on throughout his career, but if fans sleep on this one, they’re missing out on one of the best albums of the year. – Randy Roper
Pretty Ricky Late Night Special Atlantic Records No girl in her right mind should fall for an overzealously hyper Baby Blue, an overly smooth Spectacular or an inappropriately crunk Slick ‘Em and their corny pick up rhymes. At least the group’s R&B crooner Pleasure makes Late Night Special worth playing for the ladies after dark. Although Pretty Ricky would like to believe they’re being 21 about things, songs like “Peer Pressure” and “Make It Like It Was” won’t appeal to the grown and sexy or even adolescent girls. – Randy Roper
Slim Thug and Boss Hogg Outlawz Serve & Collect Boss Hogg Outlawz/Koch Records From riding slabs and candy cars to doing it big, Slim Thug and his Boss Hogg Outlawz represent Houston to the fullest on Serve & Collect. When most rappers introduce their artists, the star usually outshines his protégés but the Boss Hoggs surprisingly hold their own. Serve & Collect proves Thugga and Boss the Hogg Outlawz Records have more than enough talent to be the next premiere label coming straight outta Texas. – Randy Roper
DJ Don Cannon & Bobby Creekwater Anthem 2 Da Streetz II The first Anthem 2 Da Streetz was dope, but this one is straight fie. While he did a good job of showing critics that he wasn’t a Andre 3000 clone the first go-round, Creekwater develops his own style on this CD with songs like “I’m On” (which also appears on Eminem’s The Re-Up). Bobby Creek’s laid back confidence on the tracks “O.J. Simpson” and “Acid Rain” are two blaring examples that lyricism is far from dead in Atlanta. While his voice sounds great on every beat, “King Kong” showcases Creek at his creative best. He also gives a clinic on beat jacking when he freestyles over Gnarles Barkley’s “Crazy” and reworks Kanye West’s “Heard ‘Em Say” to make “Ain’t Nobody Bussin’,” where he challenges his Georgia peers to come correct. - Maurice G. Garland
DJ Smallz & B.O.B. Cloud 9 With “Cloud 9” garnering attention with each passing day, B.O.B. uses this mixtape to show that he’s not a one-trick pony. Something like a cross between Shawn Jay and Cee-Lo, this Decatur-bred lyricist comes with it on every song. Don’t let the basic song titles fool you, “Gangsta” is not a bragfest about guns and drugs - instead he calls out the fake ones in the booth and the record label offices. “Haterz” featuring Wes Fif takes a worn-out subject and breaths new life into it. On “My Story” B.O.B. reveals that he wasn’t a straight A student, but his prowess on the mic compensates for that. Even though he commands attention on every track, he does a good job sharing the spotlight on “B.O.B. & J.O.E.” featuring fellow up and comer Willie Joe. While most mixtapes feature an artist practicing before he gets called up to the big leagues, this one lets the world know that B.O.B. is already a star. - Maurice G. Garland
Sean Price Jesus Price Supastar Duck Down Records As a Boot Camp Clik member and one half of the rap duo Heltah Skeltah, Sean Price hasn’t been considered a rap star in years. But Price could out rhyme most of today’s so called rap superstars with the witty punchlines and rhymes skills he possesses on his second album. While at times Price is seemingly babbling about nothing, Jesus Price Supastar is vintage BCC and embodies what the roots of Hip Hop are made of. – Randy Roper
Chopper City Boyz We Got This Chopper City Records/ Koch Records It’s hard living up to expectations, especially when your CEO is a livin’ legend himself. On We Got This, the CC Boyz fail to live up to the Hot Boyz comparisons through 16 tracks of fight music (“Knuckle Up”) and murder themes (“Flatliners”) while proving chick songs aren’t necessary on every rap album (“What I Like About Her”). Through all the chaos in New Orleans over the past year and a half, the Chopper City Boyz could have used their platform to voice of their city’s ills instead of redundant threats to up the city’s murder rate. – Randy Roper 108 // OZONE MAG
JR Get Money & Don Cannon Tha New Breed If A-Town newbie JR Get Money never makes it rapping, at least he’ll go down in history as one of the last artists to have a mixtape hosted by Don Cannon pre-RIAA Raid. But judging from the sound of Tha New Breed, JR shouldn’t have to make that his claim to fame. Songs like “Deep In Da South” and “So Emotional” are evidence that JR shouldn’t be a hit-and-run rapper. – Randy Roper
P Stonez & Dow Jones I’m Da Shit Mr. Collipark’s new artist P. Stonez is only 18 but his skill level is superior to many rap veterans with years of experience. He’s the shit in his own mind but the after listening to this mixtape, the anticipation for his forthcoming album The Takeover went from “who is P. Stonez?” to, worth copping when the album drops. – Randy Roper
Poe Boy Entertainment and DJ Obscene We Run Miami On We Run Miami, Rick Ross sounds like his success in ’06 wasn’t enough as Ross goes harder on “Career Criminal” than most tracks from his solo album. New music from Flo-Rida (“Birthday”), Brisco (“I’m Into Dat”) and the Triple C’s (“Lightning Strikes”) are more reasons Poe Boy has a right to boast about running Miami. – Randy Roper
Block & DJ Smallz Welcome To My Block With the emergence of Yung Joc and Boyz N Da Hood, Block and his Block Entertainment label have become a formable Southern force. Block’s new mixtape hosted by DJ Smallz, Welcome To My Block, is a reminder of what the Eastside Chevy Rider and his label are capable of. While Joc and Boyz N Da Hood make minimal appearances, the primary purpose of this mixtape is to introduce the label’s newest member, Gorilla Zoe. – Randy Roper
Deuce Poppi & DJ Frank Luv Florida’s Most Wanted (2 ½) Having spent his career under the tutelage of Trick Daddy and Trina, you’d expect more from Deuce Poppi. But the few high points on this mixtape are saturated by sloppy freestyles, remakes and pointless commentary. Not even Deuce’s Steve Urkel catchphrase-influenced single “Did I Do That” featuring Trina could convince listeners otherwise. – Randy Roper
Ice Mizzle & DJ Scream Frozen Water You should never judge a book (or an album) by its cover, but you could draw an accurate conclusion that the music might not be up to standards from the obsolete No Limit Records-style artwork for Frozen Water. Although most of Ice Mizzle’s content is money, hoes and clothes, songs like “Don’t Know If You Love Me” and “Don’t Take Your Love” are worth a listen. – Randy Roper
Sy Scott & Don Cannon Sychosis The Street Album Vol. 1 The Aphilliates have an incredible track record for hosting mixtapes for dope artists. Rowdy Records artist Sy Scott does come across as a lyricist but Sy is seemingly rhyming to hear himself rhyme. Sy’s rap style is equivalent to reading an essay full of run-on sentences, thus making it difficult to pay attention. – Randy Roper
Roam Bad Daddy & DJ B-Lord Death Before Dishonor On B-Lord’s new mixtape series Trojan Man the South Cack Kingpin hooks up Roam Bad Daddy to show the streets what Pure Pain is about. On Death Before Dishonor Roam reps his indie Pure Pain label (“Don’t Want It”), poursout his heart (“Kill Me”), and keeps his enemies close and friends even closer (“Fake Niggaz”). Although some of Bad Daddy’s freestyles will have you hitting the skip button, his exclusive music will bang from Savannah to Texas until Roam’s album Say Hello To The Bad Guy drops. – Randy Roper
C Ride & DJ Ideal Get Right or Get Left C Ride is bringing more M-I-Yayo music to the rap game. While many tracks on Get Right or Get Left sound the same, C Ride still manages to put it down for his city on tracks like “Represent” and “Florida Boyz.” And when the music starts to get monotonous C Ride effectively smooths it out on for the ladies on tracks like “Walk Different” and “Strokin’.” But his tale of a NBA player’s sexual perils (“Virgin Part II”) is C Ride at his best.
Pitbull & DJ Ideal Chapter I Pit’s newest mixtape is 24 tracks of the harder side of Mr. 305. No dance club “Bojangles” or “Culo” style tracks on this one. This time Pitbull delivers that pure Miami street music that put him on in the first place. – Randy Roper
Ray Cash & DJ E-V Bitch I’m From Cleveland DJ E-V brings Ray Cash and fellow Cleveland emcees, Chip Tha Ripper and Fat Al, to represent for the streets of Cleveland. The underrated Ray Cash is as impressive as ever but Ripper, Al and the appearances from other rappers (excluding the two random features from Lil Wayne) add little to the Cleveland takeover. – Randy Roper
Tru Life & J-Love Tru York From the cover down to the mixtape’s content, Tru Life is clearly at war with the DipSet as tracks like “The Dips Is Ova” made enough noise to get Cam and Co.’s attention. And when he’s not taking aim at the Diplomats, he’s showing why Jay-Z signed the newcomer to Roc-La-Familia. – Randy Roper
Little Brother & Mick Boogie And Justus For All 9th Wonder threw up the deuces to Phonte and Rapper Big Pooh but the two Justus League emcees still have what it takes to carry on as a duo. Their Mick Boogie mixtape features production from Nottz, Khrysis and a few tracks from 9th, as well as guest appearances from Rhymefest, Ray Cash and Talib Kweli. Although LB flunked in the commercial success department, they’ve never had issues in the critically acclaimed category and this mixtape (even with few contributions from 9th) is grade A work. – Randy Roper OZONE MAG // 109
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Location: Memphis, TN Venue: Plush Event: Trapperâ€™s Ball / SEA Pre-Party Date: January 27th, 2007 Photo: Julia Beverly
112 // OZONE MAG
Ozone Mag #55 - Apr 2007