REAL, RAW, & UNCENSORED WEST COAST RAP SHIT
TURF TALK BEEDA WEEDA CLYDE CARSON MAC MALL DAMANI & MORE
ADOR S S A B M A BAY AREA
0 4 E
O B A ’ N AMA R D LIVI E P A T ON MIX E100
ND OFF OTHER BIG FAS INCE U O S s J D PR AST ’S BR * WEST CO * THE GAMBEUMSQUAD’S LATIN & MORE *
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Publisher Julia Beverly Editor-In-Chief N. Ali Early Music Editor Randy Roper Art Director Tene Gooden Contributors D-Ray DJ BackSide Joey Colombo Toby Francis Wendy Day Street Reps Anthony Deavers Bigg P-Wee Dee1 Demolition Men DJ E-Z Cutt DJ Jam-X DJ K-Tone DJ Quote DJ Strong & DJ Warrior John Costen Kewan Lewis Lisa Coleman Maroy Rob J Official Rob Reyes Sherita Saulsberry William Major
MUST BE DREAMIN’
been living in Atlanta a good decade and I still haven’t gotten completely accustomed to it, nor have I embraced it all the way. What can I say? I’m a Bayboy to the heart. Anyone who knows me, knows that I rep the Bay – all day, every day. I went home for Xmas and all I could think about was what kind of Bay Tees I was gonna snatch so I could have the option of reppin’ my soil every day for two weeks straight (that’s 14, but who’s counting?). Took Moms in there and scooped about eight of ‘em REAL QUICK (already had 6). Alas, I didn’t leave my heart in San Francisco ala Tony Bennett. It’s somewhere in Tha Rich! But I gotta love the A and I gotta give JB props for bringing me on board, ‘cause without the move from Orlando this opportunity may have never cracked off. I’d prolly still be SLIPPIN’ at some dead end publication that can’t afford to pay its employees or contractors… and I’da stayed, tryna make ends meet, ignoring the truth ‘cause I love what I do. But I’m not. I’M HERE.
ozone west 4 5-11 6 8 10 12-14 16-20 20 21 22-23 24 25 26
the west is backside PHOTO GALLERIES hustlin’: latin prince patiently waiting: clyde carson patiently waiting: beeda weeda e-40 west coast dj section MIXTAPE DRAMA turf talk big fase mac mall cd reviews end zone: the pack
Funny how the world works. The day I walked in JB told me about OZONE West and I damn near lost my top. When I told our cover subject, E-40 (BOSS HOGG, pg. 12), he simply responded, “I know you be representin’.” Upon unwinding over a couple glasses of Merlot, his attention turned to his cousin – BARS Awards Rookie of the Year Turf Talk (FROM THE SOUL, pg. 21) – and the hyphy movement of course. But don’t be misled. This issue ain’t all Bay. Big Fase 100 (STEADY MOBBIN’, pg. 22) holds it down for the streets of Compton and the hottest DJs on the Coast express their feelings for Drama and Cannon’s (MIXTAPE DRAMA, pg. 20) recent brush with the law. GET READY. This is just the beginning.
N. Ali Early OZONE WEST Editor
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THE WEST IS BACK... SIDE!!! The Bay Area’s DJ BackSide links up with the Best of the West to see what’s really goin’ on in their heads!
his month, I traveled down the coast of California to Los Angeles to speak with the Mayor of Inglewood himself, Damani. With a song on Snoop’s Blue Carpet Treatment and more projects in the kitchen to be released on Snoop’s label, Damani is servin’ up the real. Here, he reveals that he does in fact have love for New York and he also believes Michael Jackson can come back despite his daycare dilemma. He keeps us up on the new West Coast slang, unleashing the new word for “groupie” in the 2007. Get ready, a player is in the building. BS: So I first heard you on the Keak Da Sneak record, “Gotta Stay Paid.” What’s your connect to the Bay Area? Damani: Well yeah, I first heard of the “Super Hyphy” record by Keak and I just wanted to get down wit’ dude. I like who I like, and he GO.
You know, Marlo Stansfield on these hoes.
BS: And this groupie song you got with E-40? Damani: Yeah, you see we lettin’ the word groupie go for the 2007. They are now called “Degos” (pronounced Day-go).
BS: I’m ashamed to say I’ve never watched it. Damani: Well you’re missin’ a big part of the culture right now. That shit is real. The actors – them muthafuckas be playin’ they parts to the T. Period.
BS: Degos? Damani: Yeah, them girls who see all the stars in the club and be pointin’ when they see someone famous. You know, “[Day-go] Snoop, ay [Day-go] Damani, ay [Day-go] Kobe.” Feel me? ‘‘Degos.” They them girls that be pointin’ everyone out in the clubs and shit.
BS: And what about the Mixtape Game? The DJ Drama DRAMA? Damani: I mean, it was only a matter of time, especially when niggas get on the record talkin’ bout makin’ $100,000 off mixtapes. Not sayin’ they they were, but these dudes [the Feds] are listenin’ to all of that shit. It’s like the Nas video “Hip Hop Is Dead”, when they get raided. The game’s changing. It’s like the DJ is their own separate record label now. You gotta pay the DJ and shit.
BS: Everyone talks about L.A. first and foremost when it comes to the west. So Mr. Inglewood, is the West back? Damani: Yeah, definitely. We are rebuilding right now. Beef is bein’ worked out, we are startin’ to move as a whole unit now. Groups like the Warzone and the Western Union are with Snoop’s label now and we are uniting as one. It’s just some hustlin’ we doin’. I signed with Columbia first and I’m keepin’ it goin’ with some more situations. Snoop’s helpin’ out with my album called Congratulations Player. You like that?
BS: I hear you, if you look at it like that. Everything is changing anyways. I mean, look at you. While we are doing this interview you’re on Myspace. Damani: Yup, this shit is all in your own hands now. [Leans over to look closely at his computer screen] Damn, she is thick. Jesus….!!!!! Yeah, anyways. Music? Online? It’s gonna be go online for everything. EVERYTHING.
BS: The title? Damani: Yeah, [suavely and slowly] Congratulations Player.
BS: Yup, even for Michael Jackson’s music. Damani: What?
BS: Um, I don’t know you like that to be making such affirmations. Damani: Mmmhmmmm… I love when people doubt me.
BS: Yeah, Michael is back from exile and he’s gonna leak his singles on myspace first. You didn’t hear? Okay, just kidding. But he did go into exile. Damani: I mean, who even knew he left? I never even seen the nigga in my life. So, who knows?
BS: American Idol is a huge show these days. You like it? Damani: I don’t watch it, not really, unless it happens to be on. BS: Not even for mean-ass Simon or drunk-ass Paula? Damani: Being an African-American Idol, I already feel like I’m being watched. BS: Riiiiiiiiight. So do you think a Rap American Idol would work? Damani: Yeah, I think so, cause all these little shows they doin’ now like “The White Rapper Show” are such a mockery and so fuckin’ stupid. It’s really like they are givin’ the fans a chance. It’s just entertainment and comedy. It’s comedy. That’s exactly what it is. BS: Speaking of comedy, do you got love for New York? Damani: I think I can make some money with her. She’s got a professionalism about herself. That could turn into a very lucrative business in the streets. I feel like she has those type of qualities. I mean, I have love for what she could be under my tutelage. You get me? BS: [laughing] Yeah, I got that. I’m sure everyone else will too. So what would Damani’s reality show be called? “The Player’s Life” or something? Damani: I like how you said that with so much conviction. Say it again. Either that or “The Hustler’s Life.” I mean, the player aspect of it is just a way to maneuver your way through the game. But man, I watch “The Wire” for reals.
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BS: Well, he’s back in the studio with Will.I.Am. Do you think he can come back? Damani: Yeah, if R Kelly can, of course Michael Jackson can. If Michael does play with kids, at least it ain’t on tape. R. Kelly pissed on girls and ON TAPE and we saw him! Like, the piss was runnin’ down on the girl’s titties! If R. Kelly can make a record after that and everyone from age 3 to 93 is twosteppin’ in the club right after that – miracles can happen. Anybody can do anything. BS: Boxers or Briefs? Damani: Boxers, briefs. Hell, it’s all comin’ off anyways. The Big Squeeze compilation drops in March 2007 and features Damani and his group Western Union (Superfly and Badluck), The Warzone, Snoop, Badazz, Kurupt JT The Bigga Figga and more. Cop that! The West is Back Bitches. Also check out: www.myspace.com/damanila See you all every month here in the West Coast section of Ozone Magazine hounding the best West Coast DJs, producers, and more! Holla at your girl: www.djbackside.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
girls & the Up All Nite 03 // Too $hort phens ) NV Ste s, ne ga vy Ve De s & on n (La Magic Conventio ekend (Las Vegas, NV) 05 // Ak @ Silence the gg Outlawz @ B of The Pack for All Star we // Thug & Boss Ho din m 07 ad ) Sli Al // NV e s, 02 th 10 // R&B Twins ga ) @ (Los Angeles, CA // Chingy, Bow Wow, & Lloyd weekend (Las Ve er Bros party (Los Angeles, CA // Daron of din for All Star rner Bros party 04 rn 12 ad ) Wa Wa ) Al NV @ CA e @ s, e th d, 40 ga Le @ Elan k Ve & w ak s Ric (O Polo 01 // DJ D-Wrek te All Star weekend party (La 14 // Bun 09 // Ya Boy & listening party ard Hopkins & (Berkeley, CA) nes for Guce’s (Las Vegas, NV) l Ni NV) 06 // Bern l Star weekend & Messy Marv @ Everette & Jo yellow bus fans @ a frat party starz @ MGM for the Up @ for the Up Al All Star weekend (Las Vegas, Al r fo din ad Al se the for Hood FAB & ) 11 // Killa Kie @ the Aladdin y Boy & Baby @ million, & Dem ) 13 // Mistah Lil Scrappy d, CA) 08 // Tit (Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles, CA akland, CA) 16 // Guest, Traxa cisco, CA) 18 // DJ K-Tone & Violence (Oaklan e set of Chamillionaire’s video e Dupri’s Pre-Grammy party an (O cisco, CA) 21 // Fr ce n an len Fr (Sa n e Vio e (Sa th ce the ain Years Ev r New Years Ev fo s with DJ Paul on pri @ Pacific Theater for Jerm NV) 15 // Fly & B-Luv @ Silen t 2 @ Club Fanatics for New & his publicist tic d na lan Fa ba b s, Du h & Devo @ Clu les, CA) 23 // Tim Ric h FAB, & Scoo ge sta Big An Mi 112 & Jermaine @ Magic Convention (Las Vega s // er, (Lo 20 ch ) rty Ar pa , CA 17 // Gary key rty (Los Angeles Jermaine Dupri’s Pre-Grammy B & Freekey Ze (Las Vegas, NV) Warner Bros pa r weekend party Kevin Black @ cific Theater fo & Pa x tti @ r Ha All Nite All Star zie ho Co Ec elle & Jimmy gs, CO) 19 // cords (10) (Colorado Sprin s Vegas, NV) 22 // Gary LaRoch New Money Re (La 8,12,14,16,22); 6,0 5,0 4,0 Spice 1 & Beno 3,0 (02,0 Jose, CA) ; Julia Beverly @ Angel’s (San DJ K-Tone (18) 5,17,19,20,23); 3,1 1,1 9,1 7,0 y (01,0 Beno (21); D-Ra Photo Credits:
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lin ’ hu st
A Prince Among DJs By Wendy Day from Rap Coalition
Latin Prince just might be the hardest working man in show business. He does so many different things. But he’s a DJ first! He is the guy behind the scenes moving in silence giving back to Hip Hop because the music has blessed him so. Prince started the Bum Squad DJz because DJs are the backbone of the music industry and he wanted to set up an organization for the DJs that would serve as a music mentorship program or school, as opposed to just a DJ crew. “It’s not about the bling. There has to be more substance!” says Latin Prince, who is called LP by his close friends. Bum Squad, established in 2004, now boasts a membership of around 120 official members and hosts a hot website – www.Bumsquaddjz.com - that gets over 20 million hits a year. “We were the first to launch a sound bank online at bumsquadddjz.com,” he informs. “It’s the first spot on the Internet for DJs to download songs from a digital record pool. Now we have over 10,000 registered users at New Music Studio Reloaded (the sound bank).” The message board is also an outstanding resource and “a world of its own. It’s a great way to see what DJs are thinking and how they feel.” New Music Studio Reloaded is a very popular extension through the Bum Squad DJz’ site. Reggaeton is so big it required a separate Reggaeton All Stars sound bank. They’re about to launch one for the mash up DJs as well. LP loves mash ups and offers a bi-weekly radio show featuring the top Bums DJs who subscribe to that genre, on Sirius’ channel 50 (Hot Jamz; Ch 50). “Mash Ups are growing in popularity and Reggaeton is holding steady,” LP reveals. “In New York, Miami and L.A., reggaeton is still huge. Women love reggaeton, especially in L.A. So it’s still heavy in the clubs. Mash Ups are starting to get heavy in the clubs especially in Las Vegas. It’s a mash up of people, so why wouldn’t it be a mash up of music? A hot Hip Hop vocal over an AC/DC track, for example. It’s getting very interesting.” So what makes Latin Prince want to devote so much time to setting up the Bum Squad DJz? “I want to show the DJs more,” he persists. “I’m busting my balls to be different. I’m unique and showing that through our annual convention, which is more of a family reunion with a teaching component.” So successful in his grind, for so long, this 38 year-old Latino is eager to share his secrets of success with others. “Never be afraid to ask for help,” he insists. “Utilize your relationships, because the industry is based on that. Give to people and ask for help when you need it. Help each other. People want to help. They just need to know what you need. Spread knowledge and let people know what you are doing.” Latin Prince’s industry beginnings unfolded in the Bay Area at only fifteen years old. As a kid he pretended to be a radio DJ with his mom’s old beat up turntable, broadcasting to his living room that he would one day take part in the coveted art form. He grew up in Nicaragua (just hearing him say the word is poetry) and then moved with his Mother to San Francisco. DJing kept him away from street drama and out of trouble during his teen years, while his mother motivated him to do well in school by taking away his turntables if his grades slipped. Needless to say, it was a great motivation tool. Like many DJs, Prince started out holding down house parties and eventually blossomed into one of the more recognizable club DJs in the Bay, spinning for crowds of 2,000 to 4,000 people. He was discovered by Alex Mejia, the Music Director and a radio DJ at KMEL in the early 90s. The grind of balancing club DJing and radio DJing wore on him, but he persevered and learned by doing. He often took a ribbing from other radio DJs, but he adjusted and grew quickly, staying at radio for over 7 years. He had a hugely popular mix show at KMEL, which is the third or fourth largest (listeners wise) in the country.
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Since growing out of his position in radio, Latin Prince tried his luck with HITS. Latin Prince boasts following a five year plan that he follows strictly. Over the years in the industry he flew himself to every convention to meet other DJs and industry folks. The grind proved heavy but successful as he built powerful relationships in the process. In accepting the position as Associate Mix Show Editor at HITS, Prince acknowledges knowing nothing about magazines or writing. English wasn’t even his first language. Even still, he moved to L.A. in May of 1997 under the tutelage of Ricky Leigh. After adjusting to the written word LP and Leigh moved to promote records. The transition proved a good one as Prince, after five years at HITS, was recruited by Troy Marshall from MCA to promote their records exclusively. After MCA folded, LP opened his own marketing and promo company – Urban Jungle Music. He worked as a consultant for TVT and was eventually earned a staff position, where he ultimately broke artists such as Lil Jon, Pitbull and Ying Yang Twins. Years later, Marshall moved to reassemble the team at Universal Records, where LP went on to become National Director of Mix Show Promotions for the West Coast, a position he maintains to the day. “TVT taught me how to break new records and MCA taught me how to work a handful of records at one time. Now I’m applying everything I learned to my job at Universal,” Prince reflects. “Our conversations are more than just, ‘Hey, can you put this record in the mix?’ I talk with my DJs about life and real issues.” With a full time job at Universal and running one of the biggest DJ organizations in the country, one has to wonder how Latin Prince finds balance. “The business strains loving relationships,” he offers, revealing a crumbled marriage. “Time and traveling takes a toll on relationships. Achieving balance is tough. You gotta work at it. It’s a full time job. You already have a full time job and then making a relationship work is also hard work. Although my marriage didn’t last, I do know people in the industry who’ve made relationships work. But it’s hard. “Late nights at the office and a rigorous work travel schedule. You give up some things in return for others. It’s so hard. How much time and energy you put into your relationship is how it’ll succeed. But it takes two people to make it work. Some partners think, ‘I don’t want to have this kind of lifestyle,’ but some can ride it out. The key is to choose a partner who can ride it out.” To escape the pressures of work LP rides his Harley with industry guys on Sundays whenever he can find the time. “Personal time is key,” he says. “You have to make the time. My life is very structured. It’s scheduled tightly and mapped out so I can accomplish everything.” He sticks to his schedule like most workaholics do. We laugh over the fact that he enjoys looking back at the end of the week and saying, “What a crazy week!! But it feels goooooood.” LP spends a lot of time DJing in Europe, Croatia in particular, where there is a huge Hip Hop scene. And Bum Squad now has its own a magazine in the US and recently launched a Hip Hop magazine in Croatia (Bums Magazine). Latin Prince loves to DJ overseas because “the way they take care of the DJ overseas is how they should do it here. The respect and love is incredible. DJs are out here in the US struggling. They are always one step away from being on the street. We are bums—that’s where the name Bum Squad DJz comes from. “The Bums office is opening in the UK this year. We focus on worldwide as opposed to just local US DJs. There’s also an Asia tour coming this year. We have a huge worldwide vision. I want my DJs to see what I’ve seen. DJs are stars around the world, so we’re building internationally. I’m working steadily and quietly. I’m on some next shit.” And after all, isn’t that what it’s all about? //
ty, Yung // Carlito, Shaw s Vegas, NV) 03 05 // Duquan Brown, (La n tio en nv g ezy @ Magic Co my party (Los Angeles, CA) the Luxor durin Pulla & Young Je Dupri’s Pre-Gram h FAB, guest, & Mitchy Slick @ Reggie PR & CA) 02 // Slick , e nd ain mo rm Je ich r (R fo r h listening party Pacific Theate , CA) 06 // Mista , CA) 09 // Coac Tuff @ Mac ggs @ Mac Mall’s ) 04 // Rihanna & Bow Wow @ rty (Los Angeles o $hort @ Angel’s (San Jose // Messy Marv & Looney @ Rick Lee, & J-Di To Pre-Grammy pa NV 11 & s, i’s ) ve ga pr CA , Ve Du Ste s co e le (La cis ain sty 01 // Mac Mall, rt an & rm ee Fr so Je Fr rv, n r Re // Ma fo (Sa rk y r 08 e Pa ss te ) Ev is ea Me s NV ex Th ar B, s, Al c Ye // Dolla, Booka Joc, & Miss B @ guest, & Kenny Burns @ Pacifi @ Alexis Park Resort (Las Vega ki @ Club Fanatics for New h @ Wildcard 13 iva ) Dr NV a s, Th ga D Ve PS e, ss & Ma r weekend (Las 15 // Bavgate & r All Star (Las Vegas, NV) Sta ) // Traxamillion Tyrese, Debra Le NV) 07 // Yung Joc & Rick Ro l NV 10 Al s, g ) ga NV rin Ve s, du s ga unge d (La s Ve ge fo gas, les, for All Star (La T @ Icehouse Lo e Aladdin for All Star weeken ezy & Trina @ Icehouse Loun All Star (Las Ve party (Los Ange Icehouse Lounge rkie, CoCo, & Ice @ th n @ Warner Bros n (Las Vegas, NV) 17 // Young Je go ) ha CA Sha Money XL @ rty (Richmond, CA) 12 // Bizma d, CA) 14 // The Clipse & Nelly , Bo co & cis n an ste pa lan Eve (San Fr ) 19 // John Co Magic Conventio Mall’s listening ning party (Oak s for New Years (Los Angeles, CA les, CA) 22 // Play & Skillz @ s for Guce’s liste All Nite girls @ Club Fanatic ge e-Grammy party An Pr s i’s (Lo pr Everette & Jone Up rty Du & e pa t Warner Bros r for Jermain 16 // Too $hor @ Pacific Theate 21 // Lil Chris & Lil Scrappy @ (Oakland, CA) 2) es, & DJ Miltikit CO) ); Malik Abdul (1 18 // Busta Rhym & crew @ Blue Ice (Denver, 7,09,14,17,18,22 6,0 5,0 4,0 3,0 ne 2,0 To (0 CA) 20 // DJ K0); Julia Beverly 1); DJ K-Tone (2 1,13,15,16,19,2 0,1 8,1 1,0 (0 y D-Ra Photo Credits:
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k. It’s a challenge.”
BALANCE & OPTIONS
ve a series agined that he’d ha ) and ght have never im 1 ive years ago he mi belt, a solid first album (Turfology 10 ivating his sal r de Rs un A& s pe ast Co xta st of mi -up that has We low t his fol ou ted d ipa rte tic sta an a a heavily artist. Beeda Weed ning him as a rap to hit the streets sig e of tim e ht ug cam tho it en the at lly, wh producer. So logica he made it himself. For his trouble, industry trek as a do without, d the n’t uld co y the le KMEL and KYLD an with a bumb on on stations like ati rot . in ns is ” so Up Beeda’s “Turf’s – for obvious rea ole Bay is behind him remix says the wh actly. “I a says matter-of-f “I just do me,” Beed of Oakland so the whole ts ee str niggas come from the whole hood is the hood got me and the ere I’m at.” t wh that helped me ge cords, hics’ Clear Label Re Signed to Hieroglyp rtunity po op an h suc t not Beeda believes tha ialized had his folks wouldn’t have mater start. As a youth who’s the been with him from s, vernacustry borrow trend seen the music ind grounds, ing mp sto his m ular and the like fro nize his own struggle og Beeda is quick to rec ts within. “How I got en and the key compon niggas it was me and my my name out there, explains. he ” er, eth tog n’ mi from the hood co cin’ ney in, got to boun “Niggas put they mo les, goin’ out of state, hic in these wrapped ve studio. d we got our own givin’ away CDs, an unity of mm co the m fro e So I got a lot of lov uence nd got a lot of infl Oakland and Oakla over the Bay.” old kland, Beeda is an A product of East Oa and confident as they ed 23 years, as compos aforemost notably on the eet come. His content, str the all s ,” portray mentioned “Turfs Up man he is the him ke ma d lpe elements that he ional ath, he’s earned reg se today. In the afterm ea rel l tia ini its er ars aft radio spins two ye y Area heavy Ba es lud inc t tha and a remix among inn and Too $hort, hitters E-40, San Qu proach has raised ap others. Still, Beeda’s arly temakers, particul eyebrows among tas ’s signed to. he el lab the because of t side, ts a whole differen “[My label] represen er,” oth ch ea th wi k fuc so it’s a trip how we handle they square ey Beeda explains. “Th need to the type of shit we business and that’s But good y. an mp co r ou ild know so we can bu tough . A lot of critics be see music is good music ey Th ro. Hie I’m on on me when they see I’m finna come this nk thi y me there and the shit. So n’ on some street way when I’m comi enough. lex mp co ’t ain lyrics they try to say my
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But it’s a good loo
ow when to accept unded enough to kn ar Label and his gro t bu al, de el lab Cle Worthy of a major g his product with a is content movin the right offer, Beed own PTB Records. it out everyday. says. “I spit this sh ’t nothin’ to me,” he why I feel blessed to come from ain it sh sic mu is “Th at’s now.” // ependent game. Th off no majors right I’m pushin’ this ind it, but I ain’t trippin’ e tak I’ll s me co it the Bay. If Words by N. Ali Early Photo by D-Ray
(Las Vel Star weekend unge during Al @ Alexis Lo e e De us ho Big Ice DJ & & Mitchy Slick @ Angeles, CA) 05 // DJ Black ck Magic Pa @ e e Th Be of Mo o s NV) 02 // Lil Un tion @ Warner Bros party (Lo geles, CA) 07 // Bun B & Eazy s, ekend ga we Ve r s Sta (La l r Al ra Sta An the Aladdin for Lounge for All ) 04 // The Fede pri’s Pre-Grammy party (Los e @ CA e us , geles, ho Sid les An ck Ice s ge Ba @ An (Lo t s DJ rty & Du starz & Too $hor nner @ Warner Bros party (Lo r for Jermaine Pre-Grammy pa ) 14 // 09 // DJ Shakim te ) i’s ea pr NV Th s, Du c e ga cifi Ve ain Pa 01 // Dem Hood s Ba rm CA @ Star weekend (La ltikit @ Pacific Theater for Je @ Youth UpRising (Oakland, Network & David Chris Lighty & Polow da Don Aladdin for All gas, NV) 03 // Bo @ Ivar for // Williams & DJ Mi CA) 13 // Looney & The Jacka & Lloyd @ the Jazze Pha & JVegas, NV) 06 ue s ns // Bl (La mo 16 // rt ) Sim 11 so NV ) la Re s, NV ge , ga s, An les Ve Park unge for All ga // s ge Lo Ve 08 (La An s e s ) d us (La en NV (Lo ho s, ek ble rty Ice No s Vega for All Star we Young Jeezy @ Pre-Grammy pa din Chocolate, & DJ & i’s ad les, CA) 21 Convention (La ck pr Al my ge e Bu Du An Jim th g e , s un @ ain bo (Lo Yo Cu on ty // 10 // for Jerm ammy afterpar // Lil Wayne & Ak rk Resort (Las Vegas, NV) 18 Gr s 15 (Las Vegas, NV) Hill & Ray J @ Pacific Theater DJ ) n NV en s, ga ttm en end (Las Ve @ Alexis Pa lly @ Ivar for Hi CA) 12 // Steph for All Star week ) 17 // Mr Marcus & friends // DJ J-Nice & Ne CA) @ the Aladdin les, CA Vegas, NV) 20 d, s ge lan An (La s ak rt (O (Lo so Chingy & Nelly g ty Re nin ar rk ammy afterp t @ Alexis Pa & Noble book sig Hittmenn DJs Gr ) 19 // Tony Neal & Too $hor Cool J @ Barnes Squirrel (21) LL & y Ra NV Ds, // lik Abdul (02); 22 Star (Las Vega 7,18,19,20); Ma Francisco, CA) n 6,1 (Sa 5,1 ne 4,1 To 2,1 K1,1 // Balance & DJ 5,06,07,08,09,1 lia Beverly (01,0 (03,04,13,22); Ju y Ra D; 0) (1 Beno Photo Credits:
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y Area foure Team, a suave Ba ject that became Th hant for delivering game pro the in ny iro he penc is d Oakland) with a uthern-type slap, some (Berkeley an o beats coated in So rl mp Ka -te e up org er Ge ov lly ics cia affiliated lyr sketball coach (espe word. While any ba the operative word the essence of the u there is no “I” in yo l tel to ve mo uld rson. wo Ca w) de no Cly t d right abou Mayne an mbers Jungle, Kaz, “team,” don’t tell me n thing,” says eady doin’ they ow disbanded “Everybody was alr the of n ma nt atic fro Carson, the charism a crew. “The whole ide ferent sound for the Bay, a a dif was to come with goal, to do at was always the national sound. Th everyth wi k fuc uld ople co something that pe where.” “Gettin’ d that formula with tial, but The Team discovere ten po at gre d ha that High,” a regional hit national track. Still, they the never quite got on d in the ee exuberance, an persisted with carefr strong following per a a up process drumming ring.” With scribed as “whispe unique delivery de t and up fel ce sen king his pre Keak da Sneak ma ion and Frontrat de Fe e Th s up and coming gro d the perm out, The Team ha line balancing the s yellin’, wa s ka fuc tha n mu fect approach. “Whe o wh , de Cly ,” explains we was whispering Juice Energy y ph Hy of e fac doubles as the ists was s thought other art Drink. “Muthafucka rked wo it So . ng eri whisp had us cause they was we e nc ue infl see the out good. You could you listen to a lot of en wh a on the Bay Are t’s comin’ out.” the young cats tha sepaimately went their When the group ult ependent ind his ed um res n rate ways, Carso a out the details for grind. While working st ere int his gn ali would joint venture that with Capitol Reng alo rds co Re e in Moe Do m’s mbled upon the Tea cords, The Game stu atic sm ari ch the ted product and recrui with The Black Wall Carson to join forces comin’ out solo,” he dy ea alr s wa Street. “I way I could get ly on the explains, “but gh somebody. ou thr the deal was to go do it, so why to d nte Game and them wa w with the gro to ing nu nti co wait?He’s hand and his g din len ’s West Coast. He .” makin’ shit happen
10 // OZONE WEST
ers have of what Team follow solo debut, is some d “Hip Hop un n’s so rso Ca red , ctu sic tru Mu res Theater calls his at to e confident rapper first indication of wh gotten used to. Th he o Step” may be the it,” “Tw er gle ov sin me d ga lea e nd Soul Music.” Th l with some Oakla fee ta lot ast a Co a st Are We y l Ba rea The Team. In the expect. “It’s got a e thing I did with a culture. It’s is sam y the ph hy ing t do Bu m d. “I’ un says. phy so mpo and a real hy the shit is real up-te // .” me not a sound to Words by N. Ali Early Photo by D-Ray
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OZONE WEST // 11
To every one hater, it’s a hundred that love me. When they stop talkin’ about me that’s when WORDS // N. ALI EARLY PHOTOS // ERIC JOHNSON I need to be worried about it.
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With his Fatburger chain intact, which he shares with former Oakland Raider standout Chester McGlockten, 40’s currently pushing a cognac by Landy and is also rounding out the details for a children’s cartoon. With the dictionary of slang now on the shelf indefinitely, perhaps the most overdue of all his business ventures is 40 Water – a vitamin water that’s been in the works for a few promotional runs. If all goes as planned, 40 Water should be plentiful by the summer in tangerine, fruit punch, lemon-lime and watermelon flavors. For the moment, there’s plenty game to chop, including 40’s views on the hyphy movement and his role in it.
blossoming. I’m on everything but the cereal box, and that’s where the hate comes. It comes with the package, basically. As far as the hyphy movement, I ain’t hidin’ behind no rock. I stay in the Bay in the thick of it. I’m right there. I rest my head in a comfortable environment, but I know what‘s around me. I ain’t never left the Bay. So what I’m supposed to do, just ignore the shit that we doin’, the shit that my lil cousin, nieces and nephews is doin’? That’s the youth. Nah, I don’t ghostride the whip. Me, I’m just a narrator. I’m broadcastin’ live from Magazine Street in Vallejo. I’m lettin’ people outside of the Bay Area know, “Hey, this is what we got goin’ on in the Bay.” It would have been impossible for you to ignore. It wasn’t the streets that was hatin’ when they said I was tryna take the title of the hyphy movement. Nah, I’m not tryna do that. I just came across a hit record. Me, Keak and Lil Jon came with a blapper. That was one of the biggest songs period to come up out the Bay for a rapper, shit, I don’t know in how long, prolly since [The Luniz’] “I Got 5 On It.” Besides Baby Bash I don’t recall another record out of the Bay goin’ gold. Prolly the last one that went gold before Baby Bash, was prolly mine and that was the Element of Surprise in ’99. The last record that prolly went gold was my damn record! [laughs] You feel me? Here I am eight years later right back at it with another one. Yeah, you been there all the way through. I been holdin’ on like a hubcap in the fast lane. Even during the drought when it was nobody payin’ attention to the Bay, nobody was fuckin’ with the West Coast, I stayed consistently puttin’ out music. Whether it was Loyalty & Betrayal in 2000, Grit and Grind, Breakin’ News, all those records was classical records too. It just wasn’t no push. I was fuckin’ with a label that coulda pushed the button and turned on that machine, but they just didn’t. That’s just how life is. It’s good now that I got with BME and Warner though, ‘cause they pushed the button for me. They knew what they had. Game recognize game. I never really had a chance to be A&R’d. I sat back and I really was an artist this time instead [being in] CEO mode like I always do. But I knew I’d have to work hard. People don’t understand how hard you gotta work,
Everybody compares every album you do to In A Major Way, but your last effort was an extremely solid project. At this point, what keeps you going? What motivates me is the love of rappin’. I got something to say. I feel like I was put on this earth to be an innovator, a trendsetter and a true player in my rhymes. I really feel like I’m one of the coldest if not the coldest in the industry. I done covered every part of the game. I’ve said so many things, not just slang, but I done touched down on shit that muthafuckas ain’t never touched down on and is scared to touch down on far as subject matter wise. Just my unique style, being able to not have to rap like that all the time, fast
For every one hater, it’s a hundred that love me. When they stop talkin’ about me that’s when I need to be worried about it.
ery one ater, it’s undred ove me. en they p talkin’ bout me s when d to be d about it.
successful as his 2006 was as an artist, it’s easy to forget that E-40 is one of the most business-minded cats to approach the mic – ever. A self-made millionaire, 40 remains the standard for artistic hustle in the Bay Area and beyond. The Ball Street Journal, due out this May, promises to be a fitting follow-up to My Ghetto Report Card, 40’s ninth full length solo album – one where he went dumb (“Tell Me When to Go”), snapped his fingers (“U and Dat”) and came up golden with the assistance of Executive Producer Lil Jon. Beyond the music, Charlie Hustle’s plans for 2007 would make Donald Trump wanna fire the remaining members of “The Apprentice” and see about a true Bay Area Boss.
rap or slow, I do it all. I go according to what the beat is telling me to do.
You did slow it down on My Ghetto Report Card. Was that intentional or was that something that came with the move to BME and Lil Jon’s supervision? It’s just a mixture. Sometimes I say some cold stuff to where it go over a lot of cats’ heads and I wanted to make sure they heard everything I said. Some of the songs I rapped fast, but it was according to the beat. I got my point across this time around. Ain’t nuthin’ changed about me. I still do my startstop-and-go-scoot-type delivery flow. It don’t stop with me.
gettin’ up at five in the morning, catchin’ a flight, hittin’ the radio, gotta be there early for the morning show. You get a little breath and then you gotta go to the afternoon show. You got autograph signings. Man, it’s not no easy thang. It’s wear and tear on the body. I like to get my sip on ‘cause it relaxes my mind. A lot of times we gettin’ in from an afterparty, then go eat. You actually goin’ to bed at 4:30, 5:00 and you gotta wake up a couple hours later? Sometimes we don’t even go to sleep. It’s blood, sweat and tears in this rap game and it’s not like it’s a money tree in my backyard. I work hard for the money.
The hyphy movement took off in a real way this past year and you were a big reason for that. But you also received your share of flack in the process. You care to clear the air? I got the torch, man. Three or four years ago it wasn’t no hate. I was at a point where I was makin’ a transition in my life comin’ from Jive Records. All of a sudden things started gettin’ out there to the world and I saw it
What’s a typical day like for you? A typical day for me is thanking God for waking me up early in the morning. I’m on the phone right away, because a lot of my calls be three hours ahead of us, East Coast time. So I make my phone calls, gear up for my studio session, call my engineer and get in the lab and just go for it. I might get up outta that lab at one, two in the morning, sometimes five, but when I get up OZONE WEST // 13
in there I get up in that batter’s box and I try to hit them home runs. I don’t be tryna bunt. You know how some cats be throwin’ away verses? Like they don’t like they verse? I keep my verses, cause they can always be revamped. You can put a new beat to it or something. It just might not work for that particular beat. From the perspective of an artist, was it an easier process with Jon there this go round? It’s like this: I listen. I’m not stubborn and I put my pride to the side. If Lil Jon tells me he don’t like a verse and wants me to do another one, I done seen him do it to so many people, but we really go change our verses. And guess what? It comes out for the better. And that’s what happened for the album My Ghetto Report Card. It was a couple verses I had to switch up, but I did it. All it takes is one or two funguses or cancers with some heavy mouths to make it spread. A lot of times rappers is the most gossipin’ muthafuckers in the world and it’s like people let everybody get in they ear. You let somebody get in your ear, that’s how crews break up. You know how muthafuckas be havin’ camps and shit? Couple dudes get in they ear, that’s how groups break up, cause you let somebody get in your ear. That’s the thang. I need to make a song about it. “Don’t let ‘em get in your ear.” [laughs] How does that work when you’re E-40 and you already see it coming? You know, they hate you and they love you. Muthafuckers love me in real life. Even the ones that hate me, they don’t even know why they hate me, cause they don’t even know me like that. I’m cut from a whole different cloth than a lot of these muthafuckers, man. Muthafuckers wanna holla about bein’ crack babies, shit, my generation is the reason why you niggas is crack babies. I done really got down and dirty about mine in real life and I always kept a solid slate. I ain’t never done nothin’ foul to nobody in the game. I’m on some real time. I’m a real nigga. You smell me? And those who try to get it all twitted up, they don’t even know me like that. It’s very few. For every one hater, it’s a hundred that love me. Even the ones who hate me, they know that I’m one of the coldest human beings overall. When they stop talkin’ about me that’s when I need to be worried about it.
Snoop.” I never entertained that shit. I keep it wigglin’. I never said nothin’ about it. I knew one day true bosses would come together. God works in mysterious ways. We got down on that song, went to the studio together and it worked out. We did the video. I put my input on the video, said I wanna bring my dudes from the Bay so they can get down and do they turf dancin’ and we got ol’ girl from the Digable Planets on there and it all unfolded. That’s how it is. Northern California is my soil and he got Southern California. We can’t let one or two people get between us. We gotta all come together. To me, I’m the trunk. I’m the main root of the tree. The rest of my fellas are branches and I gotta stay afloat ‘cause we gotta make this a bigger tree. You gotta stay prayed up. That means a lot. I pray throughout the day. I ask God to put the blood of Jesus around me, ‘cause you never know. Anything could happen. We sittin’ right here at the airport. A plane could just crash into this building where we are. So I thank him for waking me up every day and all the blessings that he’s done for me, keeping me in my right mind. I just praise dude. I’m not tryna act like I’m saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost, but I’m a serious believer in God. And I suggest that all of us be that, real spill. I stay givin’. I make more withdrawals than I make deposits, but I stay givin’. Some people try to get in there and make it out like I’m just a bad guy and I’m selfish, but to know me is a beautiful thing. I believe in loyalty. I’m a loyal dude and I like loyal people around me. What
was I e ik l l e e f “I earth tao is h t n o t u p ator, v o n in n a be setter and a trend layer about true p mes. I really my rhy e I’m one of feel likoldest if not the c ldest in the the codustry.” in
A lot of outsiders, and even some Bay Area residents, are looking at the hyphy movement as if it’s on some clown shit — Tell ‘em to come to the Bay and watch one of these dreadheads take ya top off. One of these young niggas will take ya top off. Don’t let the dancin’ fool you. Feel me? Like my “Tell Me When To Go” video, that shit was gutter. That was a lifestyle, man. That’s how we get down. That shit shows as much as you can show in four minutes how our shit went. Wasn’t nothin’ game goofy about that shit. Sometimes I think the Bay can be the Bay’s own worst enemy, cause it be muthafuckers that ain’t really with the hyphy movement that talk about muthafuckers that get down with it. Then they contradict themselves with they shit and put “hyphy” all on the title. It be all kinds of contradictions muthafuckers be doin’. They be sayin’ they ain’t with it, but then all of a sudden you see ‘em on this song talkin’ bout “ghostridin’,” “yadadimeans,” “doors open,” just all kinda shit. But we just gotta step our unity game up. I can’t help you if you can’t help yourself. You’ve been accused of not putting other Bay Area artists on the map along the way. Muthafuckers be like, “Oh, he the Ambassador, man.” Man, I done got at so many muthafuckas that I done liked, to sign, but I just say I’ma stick with who I got. Cause a lot of people get it twisted. They think off top just because it’s me, they s’posed to get cracked off when they sign. They s’posed to be ridin’ big, this that and the other. But it’s like, “You ain’t sold record 1.” I’ma do the standard whoo-wop, feel me? But then again, we got so much talent out there in the Bay. There’s a lot of talent. A lot of cats do it all. You heard me on snap music. You heard me killin’ it on the Snoop track, “Candy,” killin’ it on the Lil Scrappy track, “Oh Yeah.” You hear me on the hyphy blap. I do it all, just like my album. It was a mixture of everything. My Ghetto Report Card was a monster. No punk and it’s mixed with a little bit of all angles of music. The youngsters is on it and the OGs. I got something for everybody. I got fans from 2 years old to 55 years old in real life. [laughs] You mentioned the song with Snoop. A while back there was talk that the two of you weren’t on the best terms. How did that song come about? Muthafuckers was steady in my ear like, “Man, you should do a song about 14 // OZONE WEST
do you have to see in an artist to ride with them? I got good insight. I can kinda tell who will end up turnin’ on you in the future and I can tell who really gon’ ride with this shit. So I kinda go with my gut and I judge them by the way they carry themselves. It’s hella rappers out there that I’m tryna [court], that’s raw than a muthafucker, but they minds is fucked up and they in the way of theyself. A lot of ‘em always think somebody tryna get over on ‘em. How the fuck am I gettin’ over on you and I’m the one puttin’ my hard earned money and time into this and you just usin’ your talent? You ain’t sold record one yet [laughs]. But I look for uniqueness and somebody who ain’t scared to do some different shit. Stick with what’s in the envelope. Don’t go out and do no game goofy shit. Keep it soil, but at the same time, make it some [fire] shit.
Gotta tip my hat to you too. I know it took awhile for you to accept Turf on that level, but it was a pretty good damn decision considering the 2006 he had. Yeah, Turf Talk, that’s a good dude. That dude got a big ol’ heart. If we at the airport or somethin’ and he at a different terminal or I’m down at the gate, he’ll call me and be like, “I’m over at this little ooh-whop over here by gate 7. You want something to eat?” You know, he’ll treat me. It’s very rare a muthafucker treats me. I’m always the one doin’ the treatin’. If a muthafucker with me, nine times out of ten I’ma pay for the bill. I don’t care if it’s eight, nine, ten of us. The majority of the time I take care of it. I just love when muthafuckers do shit like that [for me]. That shit means a lot. It could be just $3. I don’t care. What were your thoughts on the BARS Awards and the disorganization that led to reported “disturbances?” I take my hat off to [BARS Awards founder] Booyowski. The Bay is a place where it’s hard to control everybody. Nobody got shot or nothin’ like that. I was happy that Turf Talk got his award. He’s a cold individual. That’s a cold ass rapper man. I’ma say it. He one of the best I know in real life. If people just sit down and look at it, he gamed up. He got a lot of uniqueness. He got delivery and when he rap it seems like he means it. What was the relationship between you and Mac Dre before he died? We was cool, man. It wasn’t like we was buddy-buddy. We just had a mutual respect for each other. I respected him and he respected me. We talked. We was talkin’ bout comin’ out with some songs or a compilation or whatever. We had something. Muthafuckers wanna act like I was tryna create record sales and wanna come with diss records. That shit don’t move me. I’m a boss. They be tryna get me to respond. I’m cool. Me and [Mac] Dre was alright and dude was a raw ass rapper. When he was on Young Black Brotha, that’s when I feel he was the coldest, just like people say my earlier work was my best shit. But he redefined himself before he passed. Man, dude was a trendsetter and definitely was a big part of the hyphy movement. I ain’t gon’ deny it. I’m not finna say that he wasn’t. Man, I take my hat off to dude. Rest In Peace. Dude set trends and he was doin’ his thang. He wasn’t on no “Fuck 40” shit and I wasn’t on no “Fuck Mac Dre” shit. When he was alive I had a song called “Hyphy” with The Federation. Dude was a trendsetter. The hyphy movement started in Oakland and he had his own branch of the movement and he did his thang. That’s wassup. E-40 just preaches about what’s goin’ on in our area. //
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est w e| issu dj
DJ JUICE TURF – The Bay: born in San Francisco, lives in Richmond, came up in Oakland HANDLE – pretty much handed down. Pop’s nickname was ‘Juice.’ “From there on out everybody called me Juice and when I became a DJ it was a no-brainer. My real name, Hugo, if you mispronounce it in Spanish, it means Juice.” CLICK – CORE DJs, Double Impact Productions PRODUCT – Hip Hop series, R&B series, Bay Area series, No Dirt, Grindtime, Audio Crack, NWO (New West Order), KDIP Radio CATCH ME IN THE CLUB – 17, Anton, Mingles (resident DJ before it shut down), Zebra Lounge, Velvet Lounge HOOKUP – djjuice.biz, myspace.com/djjuicemixtapes BAY AREA MIXTAPE KING – “On that, I’m pretty much like Juelz Santana. I don’t claim to be the king, I just do my thing. A lotta cats out here claim to be the mixtape king, but I don’t really get caught up in that whole thing. In The Bay your achievements and your actions are going to stand out over all of that. I get money. I put mixtapes out and I break records.” THA BUBBLE – “Everybody jumped on the mixtape wagon when 50 Cent blew up and got signed, but I been doin’ my mixtapes forever. That’s how I got
started. When I first started DJing, that’s all I used to do - mixtapes. I’d record a mix a day and just sell it. I never kept a copy of it, so whoever got that copy, that was the original and nobody else had a copy. People would go into stores and the whole wall would be mixtapes. If they bought one from another DJ they had no idea what to expect, but they already knew what to expect from a DJ Juice mixtape. That evolved into what it is today.” PAYING DUES – “What have you really done? Just cause you put out fifty mixtapes it don’t make you the tightest. At the end of the day it’s quality over quantity and at the same time, if you ain’t paid no dues, you’re just another guy putting out mixtapes with no street cred. Anywhere you go out here, you ask about me and they’ll tell you. Cats come to me specifically because they know how I get down.” BAY’D OUT – “Before the hyphy movement blew up I was out there reppin’. Every red carpet event, every photo shoot, anything that I ever did, you saw me with a 49ers cap, a Giants cap, an A’s cap, something to do with The Bay to where people would know. When cats come out here from New York, they wear their NY hats. You don’t see them with no Bay [gear] on. So I was one of the cats that was like, ‘I’m from the Bay.’ I didn’t do it myself, but I did my part in bringing recognition to The Bay.” MIXTAPES VS THE CLUB – “They both work handin-hand. Anything I’ve ever achieved in this game [was] because of my mixtapes. When I first came out my intention was never to be a club DJ because I was a mobile DJ at first. I always wanted to be a DJ. I been buyin’ records since I was eight.”
DJ D WREK TURF – from The Bay: born in Oakland, moved to Vallejo as a youth, currently residing in Los Angeles BIG BREAK – Nick Cannon’s MTV series Wild’n Out – “My name is more famous than my face. People always want to know what you do and when I tell them my name, they get excited and act like they know me all of a sudden.” SIDE HUSTLE – So So Def DJs, Warner Bros. mixtapes – “What Wild’n Out has allowed me to do is get gigs all over the country. People want me to DJ their parties, but more than anything else, they want to hear my voice.” HANDLE – “My name is Derek and Nick was like, ‘Yo, your name is Derek. You should be D-Wrek, like records.’ So I went with it. It didn’t make me no difference anyway. Names, after you say them enough, they stick anyway.” HIS-STORY – Started off as a b-boy/ dancer and began DJing in the late ‘80s. Stopped deejaying in the ‘90s and started rapping until the fateful meeting with Nick Cannon. “I met Nick in like ’97 and we started doin’ his demos and stuff like that, and he asked
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me if I could DJ. I was kinda like his hype man. But as a hype man, you ain’t really gettin’ no real respect. You just the other dude with a mic.” CREATIVE FREEDOM - “I can do me as far as lettin’ as much of my personality out in the world of a DJ as it fits on that show. But as far as creating, Nick is the Executive Producer [of Wild’n Out] and 90% of the ideas come from him. He is the end-all, be-all of that show. That is his brainchild.” INSTINCTIVE HUSTLE – Moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams in the music industry. While juggling his rap career with choreographing and the arduous duties of a production assistant on the sets of Malcolm and Eddie and eventually the Nickelodeon series All That, D Wrek met and ultimately bonded with Nick Cannon. “I knew when I left The Bay that I wasn’t going to LA to have a regular job. If I was gonna do that I would’ve stayed home or went back East or something where the cost of living is cheaper. I was hustlin’. Out here it’s a hustle.” HOOKUP – djdwrek.com, myspace. com/djdwrek
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TURF – San Francisco, Filmore and the Mission District CREW – California’s Local 1200 Sound System, Snobb Deep Movement, Soul Deluxxe and Planet Fillmoe FORTE – “Remixes, mixtapes, and production on the soul side of things. I combine rap and R&B, kinda do both equally. It got to the point where I got kinda frustrated so I just started throwin’ my own shit. I was blessed and they was real successful and they took off. Out of that I started Ubiquity Records and Fader hollered at me to do mixtapes for them and I became a tastemaker DJ as opposed to a street DJ or a scratch DJ. “ ROOTS – “Hip Hop, but I branched off into a different style/sound so now I get compared to the DJ Spinners and DJ Jamads of the world.” PRODUCT – FADER/Cornerstone Mix – Suite 903, Podcast for Ubiquity Records (out this fall), Soul Deluxe mixtape series, Miami Winter Music Conference mixtape 360 DEGREES OF SOUL – “It’s a soulful edge, but my definition of a soulful song could be anything. It could be a dancehall reggae song. It could be a Mary
J. Blige or it could be an underground tune, but I’m able to find soulfulness out of it and rock a party with it. [My style has] a sexy edge but it ain’t too sexy to where the homies ain’t feelin’ it. That’s my niche.” HANDLE – “My name stems from graffiti from back in the day. It doesn’t really mean that much. The funny thing is I did a gig in Japan and they thought I was Japanese, cause they thought it was like ‘Sake’ and I went out there and they were trippin’ cause I was definitely not Japanese. It’s just a word that I used to write when I was little and I used to tag in the streets and it just stuck with me.” BOTTOM LINE – “The Hip Hop part is always going to be in me, but for me it’s not about going to a party and playing a bunch of music that I’m paid to play, because I’m promoting myself as an artist/producer. I started out as a DJ, so it’s always going to be about rocking a party. If I got a song that I made that rocks the party then it’s all good, but if it’s another song that rocks the party then I’ll play that too. At the end of the day that’s my goal.” HOOKUP – myspace.com/djsake1 , djsake1.com
DEMOLITION MEN MEMBERS – DJ Devro and DJ Impereal TURF – from Los Angeles (Devro) and Queens (Impereal), but rep Oakland – “LA’s cool. It’s a nice place to visit, but the Bay is where it’s at.” – Devro HANDLE – The Mixtape Kings; earned their moniker(s) by hitting the streets day and night with backpacks full of custom mixes for the Bay Area masses and demolishing weaker, less polished competition in the process. THE BUBBLE – came up by delivering customized mixtapes to their customers in every corner of the Bay. Over the course of three years they moved 36 mixtapes, including nine devoted to East Bay slap, which helped earn fans a dedicated market that serves the entire West Coast. THE MERGER – After leaving Los Angeles in favor of the Bay, DJ Devro tried going it alone until he and Queens native Impereal met through a mutual DJ friend. “Just as Impereal
was moving out here, one of my roommates was moving out and I let him move in. He came in here and it was instant. We just clicked,” Devro says. PRODUCT – Nuthin’ But Slap, Best of the Bay, Out the Trunk, Supply & Demand, R&B Slap, Mas Caliente, Mixtape DVD hosted by Husalah and various customized mixtapes for underground Bay artists. BAY LOVE – “It ain’t nothin’ like the Bay. We stick with Bay Area artists because thy’re independent. They ain’t got nobody standin’ over their shoulder tellin’ em what they can and can’t do.” PROOF POSITIVE – “We talk with our hands out here. After the first couple mixtapes came out and we sat down and listened to them with the talking on them, we decided that that’s not what we do.” HOOKUP – www.myspace.com/ demolitionmenmusic OZONE WEST // 17
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TURF – from Seattle, currently residing in Los Angeles HANDLE – “One of my pa’tnas came up with it. Niggas get up early as fuck every morning to check and see what the stock shit is doin’, what trends are being set daily. Hopefully I’ll be the one settin’ the trends. It’s about always bein’ about the money and the business too.” STATUS – In-house producer for G-Unit THA BUBBLE – came up doin’ the mixtapes and got put on by DV One. “I used to go out with him and do all the Rice City Crew parties and fuck wit’ all them niggas in New York.” PRODUCT - Play Your Position mixtape series; has featured Mistah FAB, Mitchy Slick, Problem, Strong Arm Steady, Xzibit, Ras Kass, Lil Scrappy, Glasses Malone, E-40, Parker Brothaz, Khao and others GRIND – one half of Tha Bizness Productions (J Hen) – has produced for the likes of 50 Cent, Young Buck, G Unit, LL Cool J, Mistah Fab, Glasses Malone, Clyde Carson, DG Yola, P Stonez, Yung Joc, Roccette & 211 from CTR, Grand Hustle, Memphis Bleek, San Quinn, Ya Boy and others. “We used the mixtape thing to get the production off. It’s been
a blessing ‘cause now G-Unit is the ones branding a nigga name puttin’ us out there.” HOOKUP - www.westcoastlivin.com, www.myspace. com/dowjonesplayyourposition, www.myspace. com/thabiznessbeats LOCAL LEGEND – # 1 Hip Hop radio show (104.5 FM) in Seattle for two and a half years before broadening his hustle to the club scene. “I was one of the first niggas in Seattle to go and produce and promote my own parties. From street promo to street team, doin’ the flyers, doin’ the graphics, all that shit to DJing events and puttin’ some of our other DJ homies on.” KNOWLEDGE SERVED - “If it was up to me I’d rather be in the studio 24 hours a day than doing anything else. It’s just the whole environment of creating shit. When you get it right and get the artist to lay everything down right, to me that’s it. Everything else is boring. But that’s what makes a nigga more well-rounded – being able to see every side of the table.” HOME ALONE – “The way the Seattle market is, being that we never really had a Hip Hop artist crack off since Sir Mix A Lot, I took it like I started from nuthin’ and I got to where I’m at now, so let’s branch out and see what the next level is going to be. That’s why I figured I had to go to a big city.”
BIG DEE TURF – originally from South Central, now resides in Sin City HANDLE – “The hardest working DJ in Las Vegas” a.k.a. “don’t let the competition hire me.” CATCH ME IN THE CLUB – 2007 All Star weekend (Dwayne Wade, Ben Wallace, All Star Comedy Concert), Paris Hilton’s birthday party HUSTLE – Sirius Satellite Radio (Hot Jamz channel 50), Music Choice TV, spins on KVEG Hot 97.5 six nights a week, clothing line, jewelry line (Diamonds by Derrick) CLICK – CORE DJs HOOKUP – www.myspace.com/djbigdee702, coredjs.com, kveg.com WORTH THE WEIGHT – “You got these nickel and dime deejays who’ll do a party for fifty bucks and five drink tickets. Then you have the cat who’ll do it for $800.00 or a G or $500.00. What promoter do you know that doesn’t want to save a buck?”
dj felli fel TURF – born in Rock Hill, South Carolina, raised in Atlanta, currently resides in Los Angeles. HANDLE - started as DJ Felony and finally settle on Felli Fel. HUSTLE - Music producer and DJ for big events: Three 6 Mafia, Akon, Ne-Yo, Paul Wall, Mike Jones and hosted Kanye West’s concert in Vegas, etc. HIS STORY – started out in Dallas on KNON, moved to KICK FM (Spanish station) and eventually landed at K104 KKDA. Now host and DJ of the number one rated nighttime show on Power 106 in Los Angeles where he’s responsible for breaking Kanye’s “Through The Wire,” T Pain’s “I’m Sprung” and PCD’s “Dontcha,” Quik and AMG’s “Can You Work Wit That,” among others. “It’s important that we have more than just Snoop and The Game repping LA on the radio. Quik and AMG are staples of LA rap.” PRODUCT – Felli Fel mixtapes (new artist and host every month), Vinyl issues (Breakbeats and Partybreaks) CLICK – Heavy Hitters
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RED CARPET TREATMENT - Most recently House of Hype (Paris Hilton, Nick Cannon, Three 6), DTP Grammy party (Luda, Chamillionaire, etc) HOOKUP – myspace.com/djfellifel, mixmatters.com, heavyhitters.com PROJECTS – in the mold of Dr. Dre’s classic Chronic, is currently overseeing a project that he produced from the roota to the toota.
DRINKING AND SPINNING – I’ve been wasted DJing before, but I’ve never been to the point where I was stumbling and falling. I’ve seen some DJs so shitfaced that they’re records will skip and they don’t even know. I’ve seen cats pass out in the DJ booth before. You have to do it in moderation. Two, three shots, and the energy in the club keeps you awake.” THE TRUTH ABOUT RADIO – “It’s very political with some corrupt haze over it. All these record labels at the end of the day just care about gettin’ their shit played. It’s a freakin’ number on a spreadsheet.” POWER OF THE DJs – “A lot of these artists really need to respect DJs. You got artists that’s disrespectin’ DJs, puttin’ their hands on DJs, but they don’t realize he can make a phone call and they’ll get shut the fuck down.” WEST UP – The Bay Area really took over. I’m not from Northern Cali, but that’s still a part of the West Coast. As far as South Central, I really feel like we can go harder, because the South right now is running it. 75% of the music I play on my radio show is Southern music or Southern- influenced music. They don’t have any West Coast on our playlist. The Game is doin’ his thing, Snoop is doin’ his thing and Cube made his comeback, but it doesn’t stop there. We could be doin’ a lot more than we’re doing right now.
DJ SKEE TURF – Los Angeles HANDLE – “I was tryna figure out a DJ name for the radio and I just saw my name (Scott Keeney) sittin’ there and I just took the first four letters and dropped the rest.” STATUS – official mixtape DJ for THE Game, CEO of SK Consulting
DJ FRANZEN TURF - born in the Bay Area, now spinning on Hot 97.5 in Vegas STATUS - known for breaking Bay Area artists and introducing the hyphy movement to Las Vegas, where he’s held it down since the station’s inception five years ago. ROOTS - started as an intern at fourteen and worked his way into a position at KMEL (number four market). By sixteen he had his own air show and earned the highest ratings for a night show before bolting for Vegas.
GAMETIME – was working at Loud Records as an intern and met The Game. “I saw his talent and he saw some of the stuff I was doing and we’ve been rocking ever since.” MOST MEMORABLE GAME MOMENT – “It had to be the one with ‘300 Bars.’ That’s the one that took it to the next level, especially in my career with the mixtapes and all.” GRIND – mobile TV Network, “SKEE TV,” marketing consultant for T-Mobile Sidekick, Chrysler (300, Dodge Magnum, etc.), former Marketing Director for SRC
spot on Sirius Satellite Radio – Hip Hop Nation (Sat. nights). HOOKUP – djskee.com, skeetv.com, myspace. com/djskee B BOY OR BAD BOY – “It’s crazy ‘cause I started off likin’ rock and all that underground shit, that whole New York vibe, but I’ve always been appreciative of everything. From the Cash Money heydays to classic West Coast – Dre, Snoop, Death Row, to everything. I’ve always appreciated all flavors of music and that goes beyond Hip Hop.” SKEE FOR PRESIDENT – “I want to eventually keep expanding my voice. It’s kinda crazy. You look at my Myspace, I’m like the number one rated Myspace page in terms of hits and all that shit, so I wanna keep gettin’ my voice bigger and bigger with some TV shit and the syndication shit. I wanna use the power that I acquire to eventually go into politics and do stuff like that so I can actually make a change. Honestly, my goal is to be the President. I still got a ways to go, but that’s what I’m shootin’ for.”
HIS-STORY – started off on radio at 16 in Minneapolis and moved to Los Angeles to work with Steve Rifkind a year later at Loud. Eventually landed a
HOOKUP - www.myspace.com/djfranzen LAS BAYGAS - “I brought [the Bay] out here to Vegas and a lot of people adapted to it. It works in the club because it’s high energy music and when people are on the dance floor they’re having fun with it. I’m one of the first DJs to break Bay Area records in the Bay Area. When I first got my break in radio, that’s what I always wanted to do so that’s what I represent. But yeah, people out here [in Vegas] like it too.” THA LV BRAND - “There’s a nice local scene out here but it’s hard to get on the radio cause of all the politics. If you’ve been in the business for a long time, you know about the politics in radio. I’ve been trying to get a local show on forever, but it seems like it’s not working. As far as the local artists, you got Trigga – he’s very well known. Steve Rock - he’s a producer, artist, and lyricist and there’s a guy named Wease Mac who’s well known, too. There’s a local scene here but it’s not as strong as it should be.” FROM THE GROUND UP - “You got to start out with the streets first. Go to barbershops, mom and pop stores, malls, get on Myspace. Self promotion comes first. Certain artists put out a CD and automatically think it’s going to sell. That’s the wrong perception. You have to hit the streets and not just in your area. A lot of people in the Bay are satisfied with just getting played in the Bay Area. There’s so much more. You want to hit the major cities like Chicago, Miami, Detroit, New York, Atlanta, Houston, L.A., Phoenix, all the big markets. That’s the best promotion there is.” THE FUTURE - “I see myself using my connections to get more behind the scenes. I produce music as well. I want to be an A&R and find a platinum hip-hop or R&B artist. I want to A&R for someone and help executive produce their album.” Words: Ms. Rivercity
DJ Moe 1 TURF – Tha Bay – born in San Francisco, moved to Richmond in 1992 FAMILY TIES – DJ Juice’s younger brother IN THE GAME – 11 years, been deejaying since his youth, inspired by big bruh - “We grew up in a small house and the turntables were in a mutual spot, which was the living room, but he gave me the green light. He was like, ‘Fuck wit it, but don’t fuck it up’.” CLICK – Double Impact Productions CATCH ME IN THE CLUB – 17, Jeffry’s, Mingles (before it shut down) 330 Ritch, Glas Kat HOOKUP – djmoe1.com, myspace.com/djmoe1 SIDE HUSTLE – PRODUCTION - “I like working behind the boards. My ultimate goal is to smash out some platinum beats. I’m tryna get to that level.” PRODUCT – The Chosen One, R&B series – Hot & Wet, Old School Hip Hop Classics, Slow Jams Mixtape Series, Bay exclusives with Jimmie Reign, Mistah FAB and various underground artists. “The
mixtapes definitely got me out of my region. The clubs, people know me for that, but I think outside of The Bay, people know me for the mixtapes. That definitely got me poppin’. I owe a lot to the mixtape game.” BRAGGING RIGHTS – Juice, who is widely acknowledged as the Bay Area Mixtape King, has gone on record as saying Moe 1 is more skilled than him. “He says that, but I don’t know. I think we kinda different. He likes to do a little bit of mixing and I like to scratch and do all kinds of other crazy shit too.” SATISFACTION GUARANTEED – “You wanna come to a DJ Moe1 party ‘cause you’re definitely going to have fun. I get the crowd involved. It don’t matter who’s in there, you’re going to feel like a superstar when you leave the party.” DEXTERITY – “I’m a party rocker and a mixtape DJ and that’s kinda rare. A lot of DJs do the mixtapes and they don’t do the parties, but I do it all. I get down on the party. I really know how to rock a party. I get on the mic. I know how to talk to people and get the party goin’ and on the mixtape side I get real creative with it. My whole thing is being creative with the cuttin’ and scratchin’ and the blends. I might talk a little, but I like to let the mixes do the talking.” OZONE WEST // 19
With a pending investigation looming over their successful run in the mixtape game, DJ Drama and Don Cannon are literally victims of their own success. Thousands of miles away a pool of West coast jocs felt a need to sound off.
DJ K Tone TURF – Denver, Colorado (Park Hill) HANDLE – “The Turf DJ” PRODUCT – Bricks Superbads & Duffle Bags, Playa’s Glide, Slap Music, U Don’t Even Know, Southern Takeover, Get Money, I’m So Fresh SHOWSTOPPER – The A List at Blue Ice, Oasis Cabaret, Club Flow, Denver’s Finest Awards HUSTLE – Internet Radio WOET Radio (oentertainment.com) “The cool thing about it is you’re stretching out your network so tough. It’s like anybody can log on.” CLICK – All Out All Stars, DJs R Us, Elite Entertainment Group, Lights Out Entertainment HOOKUP – djktone.com, myspace.com/djktonedotcom SUPER HYPHY – “Denver and The Bay, we grew up on their music. Now the world is getting’ up on the Bay, but we been bumpin’ the Bay since the early ‘90s. We been up on the Bay. That’s where a lotta niggas got they style from. We spend a lotta money on their records out there and that’s why they show us love. We been up on the underground Bay for years. It’s not even nothin’ new. This was goin’ on in ’02, ’03 with Mac Dre. They been here. You know how fads go. It seems like a fad, but it ain’t no fad. This is how them niggas live.” BACK IN THE BOOTH – “The DJ is the core. The DJ is the center of the whole movement. If you don’t have a DJ, you’re music ain’t goin’ nowhere. If you’re an artist and you go to a show and there’s no DJ to bring your music in, you’re not performing. I feel like DJs are finally gettin’ the respect they deserve.” GAME RECOGNIZE GAME – “We run the party. If you go to a party and there’s no DJ, there’s no party. You could have a party without a promoter, but you can’t have a party without a DJ. It’s not gonna happen. Niggas been playin’ us to the back for so long, but with groups like The CORE DJs and all these other organizations that bring DJs together, they have to recognize now.” - Words by N. Ali Early
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“I think he was targeted unfairly. He’s not one of those DJs who goes down the Top Forty charts and puts the hottest 25 tracks on his mixtape and sells it. Drama was working with the artists and he had permission from the artists. At the end of the day the problem is that the artist doesn’t own their masters, the label does. So if the label [objects], they can sue you and what’s the artist going to say? It’s their music, but they don’t own it. I’m hopin’ that it doesn’t go through, cause that would be unfair.” – DJ Juice “I don’t know all the ins and outs of it, but it just seems like a DJ doin’ his own thing and I guess it turned into a Federal case. I haven’t read up on it enough to speak on it, but you know… Free Drama! That’s my dude.” - DJ D-Wrek “Because the record industry is so wack and has its head so far up its ass the DJs have actually been cakin’ out. Drama and Cannon got attention not because they were making mixtapes, but because they were drivin’ Benzes and off in their face and the record industry was like, ‘Wait, that’s our bread.’ But if they’re not creative enough and smart enough to get that bread, whose fault is that really? If you look at the artists that they’ve worked with in an era where when record sales are definitely decreasing, I think the argument should be made that Drama and cats like that have helped the artists on a certain level.” – DJ Sake 1 “I think it’s fucked up. I don’t know exactly why they got in trouble. I don’t know if it had something to do with copyrights or tax evasion, I don’t know. We’ll see how it pans out. If they get them on some copyright infringement type shit then that’s gonna change the whole mixtape game. As far as what happened to them I think it’s fucked up that labels don’t get behind DJs more.” – DJ Devro of the Demolition Men “A lotta that shit is a test to see what the street really likes. It’s definitely going to separate the weak muthafuckas from the real niggas and keep the real niggas in the mixtape game. We need to start puttin’ out mixtapes just like albums and shit with a barcode on it and record original material. That way the RIAA can’t fuck with you.” – DJ Impereal of the Demolition Men “That shit will weed out a lot of the borderline niggas that was just in it to get some paper or that was pretty much just downloadin’ some shit and puttin’ it out. Now it goes back to really having a relationship with these artists.” – Dow Jones “Once it got past the street value and it went to big chain stores, that’s when I feel like it got out of hand. I’m not knockin’ nobody for makin’ money, but when you don’t handle your business right, the folks are going to come crack down on you.” - DJ Big Dee “As far as the artist and DJ relationship, being a mixtape DJ, that’s crucial to me. There’s no other way a lot of times. Out here or anywhere, these big corporations and radio take over and ain’t no other way they get heard other than mixtape DJs. I think it’s a big part of an artists’ career to get with the DJ. It’s crucial.” – DJ Moe1 “I think the white man just tryna get his money right now. The mixtape game, no matter what they do, they’ll never in their life be able to stop it. I think the RIAA ain’t makin’ no money from it, but they’ll try to find a way.” - DJ K-Tone “[The Affiliates] are the biggest name in mixtapes in the world. When the RIAA wants to send a message, they like to do it by making an example out of key people. They did the same thing with a group of college students when illegal downloading on college campuses became a big issue. The RIAA considers mixtapes bootlegged music and they wanna stop it. They figured the best way to do it was by getting at the cats that run the mixtape game. The funny part is that many times mixtapes are financed out of labels’ promotion budgets. So something still doesn’t add up.” - DJ Felli Fel
the outside looking in, 2006 would seem to have been a storybook-like year for Bay Area newcomer Turf Talk. Riding off the success of Turf Talk Brings the Hood, a compilation released a year earlier which featured a myriad of guest appearances and showcased his rapid fire flow, he built enough interest to legitimately claim the Rookie of the Year Award at the BARS Awards. On the flip side, he was a victim of his own success, getting shot and losing unaccommodating homies in the process. So it doesn’t surprise that his most recent project, West Coast Vaccine: The Cure, is laced with anger, retribution and vivid storylines. It’s from the soul. So what’s wrong with the West Coast that it needs a vaccine? Basically my album was supposed to drop months before. This was before The Game had dropped and it was around the time when everybody was sayin’ the West Coast was dead. But I don’t think the West Coast is dead cause I’m an up and coming artist. So it was like, “If the West Coast is dead, then I’ma make the West Coast vaccine because it’s a new face.” So basically that’s what I’m runnin’ with right now – the West Coast Vaccine: The Cure is just a new generation. We heard Snoop. We heard Ice Cube. We heard E-40. Now this is the West Coast vaccine. This is the cure. This is the new shit. This is the future. I feel you, kinda like that new Nike commercial. So who you got ridin’ with you? Who are your accomplices? Right now, from the gate, when I started my little career and whatnot, I patterned myself after Ice Cube for the simple fact that when everybody was on the ‘Pac hype, he stayed to himself. When everybody was on the Death Row hype, he stayed to himself. You never saw him doin’ hella features with other artists. He didn’t get down like that. So how I’m makin’ my movement is, I’m just showin’ these majors I don’t need no crew ridin’ with me. I don’t need nobody ridin’ with me. Turf Talk do his own thang. Your buzz in the Bay is real potent right about now, so much so that you won the Rookie of the Year at the BARS (Bay Area Rap Awards) amidst some pretty stiff competition. How’d that feel? Yeah, that was big. At first I really wasn’t trippin’ off winnin’ it, but then it got kinda competitive. Cats started talkin’ about it and it just felt good to know that how I feel, other people felt that way too. Was there anything in particular that you did to get them on your side or was it just a matter of being you that reeled them in? I think what it is, is that I didn’t let people down. When you hear a Turfy feature, I try to give it all that I got. I don’t care if I think the artist [I’m featured with] is weak or whatever. I kinda just try to gas on every track that I got. It’s not a lot of cats out in the rap game, at least out here to me that really got music in they soul. I’m not sayin’ everybody, but when you do hear a person that got music in they soul, it stands out. So I think I just came to The Bay and was a person that really just liked being an emcee. It’s not too many rappers out here that consider themselves emcees.
What are you talkin’ about on the album? This album is really showin’ a lot of versatility and I’m really lettin’ you know. A lot of people had questions about me after my first couple of albums. “Is he from LA?”, “Is he from the Bay?” So after this album you gon’ know everything about Turfy and you gon’ really know what he stand for and what it is with him. Also, I had a rough 2006. The music and everything was good, but as far as life in general, I had a rough time, so I have a lot of new subjects to talk about and I’m having a little money now. I got a lot to talk about. What was so tumultuous about 2006 for you? People don’t realize how hard it is to transfer from being a real hood nigga, and when I say ‘real hood nigga,’ I don’t mean a nigga that’s out killin’ people and all that. I’m just talkin’ about a nigga that all he knew was the turf. That’s all I knew. You didn’t have to call my cell phone. All you had to do was roll through the hood. So going from that to [being] a rapper that got a little bit of success out here, I went through a lotta shit with the homies. A lotta the homies is not business-orientated. You gotta go through homies feelin’ that they’re left out. You gotta make sure that it’s ways for the people around you to eat, and you’re still on a minute level tryna make it. I got shot earlier that year. It’s just a lot of personal things that I went through. When I was in the booth makin’ this record, I was angry the whole time. I had a lot of anger. It got club bangers too, but it’s more hardcore than ever. It’s really on some gangsta shit for real. How’d you get shot? I just happened to be standin’ by the wrong person at the wrong time. It was my homeboy and we had just got into some street shit. But the homies gotta understand that if you wanna make it in this rap shit, you either gonna be thuggin’ 100% or you gon’ do this music. Some of my homies is still in the streets and if you around that then you gotta suffer the consequences that comes with your company and I fell into that. But 2006 really made me a raw-ass businessman now. Your big cousin E-40 was pretty instrumental in helping you along the way. How do you feel about the criticism that’s come his way with respect to the movement? With respect comes hate. If you take the ratio of niggas that’s hatin’ to the niggas, it’s like a ratio of 10% of the whole world. It’s like a club. So that’s how we look at it. The real people and the real street cats that’s reputable out here all respect the Watermelon. You gotta respect 40 ‘cause he done brought it to the world. He been doin’ it for fourteen years. He been put The Bay on the map. They call The Bay the ‘Yay Area’ because of him. If you hatin’ on 40, you really wastin’ your time. A fan might take off on you for talkin’ about 40. And to tell you the truth, he a family man, but he got enough money to really eliminate niggas from the earth if they playin’. They should be happy that he’s a good dude. // - N. Ali Early OZONE WEST // 21
is street cred is undeniable and unwaveringly solid, part of the reason his brother was accepted as the thug that Hip Hop now adores. Eight months after a breakup with his brother The Game, George “BigFase100” Taylor is ready to tell his side of a story that he insists has been corrupted by his younger sibling. So what happened? Basically when the mission set out it was me and him. A lot of people came in and they pulled him and he succumbed to those pulls. A lot of promises that he made to me to get behind him to get it goin’, not a lot of them, well, none of them were kept. There became a time when there were people that had come into that situation when it was already goin’ on and they started bubblin’ off it and I didn’t have no answers for my kids or nothin’ to put on they plate. It was actually a little less than what I’d been providing all my life through my hustle. So I had to step off.
He’s gone on record as saying that the two of you aren’t close, but you just said that you know he loves you. Why would he go that route if there is genuine love there? The dude is real contradictory. People use the word “bipolar,” but I don’t know what the fuck is goin’ on. When I say the nigga loves me, I mean, the nigga always respected me. People come up to me all the time like, “Y’all gon’ be alright. Brothers go through shit.” This nigga’s like four years younger than me. It’s a big gap when you’re a child definitely and that gap closes when you become adults, but the respect was always there. The nigga never went against me until this shit right here. He did some shit that made me upset a few times and he felt my wrath and took whatever I gave him in return. It wasn’t like, “Fuck you too, nigga.” It was always like, “What can I do to get me and my brother back right?” And that was off of sheer disappointment. We never had battles. The respect was always humongous, prolly more than a nigga deserves. I hate to say that, but it was more than I would have given me. So I know he loves a nigga.
How much did music have to do with the relationship that you and your brother developed once things started to pop? The whole thing was, music was always my thing. Somewhere in there real life slapped a nigga in the face so I had to do what I had to do for me and my people. So I kinda backed off it. Him on the other hand, basically basketball was his thing and when that failed him, he kinda got up under me and started doin’ the shit that I was doin’. That came with tryna gangbang and tryna rap and shit. When he pushed the rap thing I damn sure got behind him and gave him all the tools I had so niggas could get up outta Compton and see something better for ourselves. But ultimately the nigga didn’t have my best interests at hand and before it got too bad I had to step off.
What’s the most contradictory thing he’s said or done, as it relates to your relationship? One thing I read, he said that I’ve always been envious of him. Thinking back, I was tryna make sense out of it with respect to that four year gap. A sixteen-year-old nigga? I’m doin’ my thang at twenty. What am I jealous of a sixteen-year-old nigga for when I’m twenty? The way I read it, he said it didn’t start in this rap shit, that I’ve always been envious of him. The only thing I’ve ever been envious of is that he had my father at his house and I didn’t. But I never let that show and I never let that fuck up our relationship. The nigga would fuck over anybody before he would fuck over me. That’s the way it’s always been between me and him until this shit.
What was the mood like when you left? It wasn’t negative when I stepped off. It was just basically that I had to go. I always stayed optimistic because I knew the nigga loved me. So I just waited for the nigga to come to his senses and come holla at me, but that never happened. I had told one of my friends that came along in this music shit that he a good dude and he’ll come to his senses. He was like, “I don’t think so.” He was in the studio when Game had recorded “Two Occasions.” He called me a couple days later with the song, and this is like eight months before the album came out. I listened to it on the phone and Game didn’t know he was callin’ anybody. He just picked it up and I was on the phone and he let the shit play. But I saw how he was really feelin’ and that’s how my boy told me he was feelin’. I just was in denial like, “Nah, my lil nigga love me. He’ll be alright.” So once I heard that song I kinda understood what dude was tryna tell me.
What promises were made? If he’s been telling the story of a gangsta – I’ll take that credit, but that’s the part of it that’s going to build me the right type of reputation in the eyes of the world and the eyes of the people that are listening. Tell ‘em the truth. Don’t tell ‘em you just started rappin’ four years ago. Tell ‘em that your brother used to rap and your father is a poet by nature. Tell ‘em that this shit is in you and you just tuned into another talent that you already have. When I say “promises,” I mean when he got signed. I got a personal call when he got signed and he was like, “We with [Dr.] Dre, dawg. We gon’ be rich.” Nigga get a Bentley and I get a little cash money. A nigga get a Range Rover and I get a Magnum in his manager’s name. Where the fuck is it for me to win at? It’s not. So just let me figure out what I need to do, cause I’m a leader and not a follower.
That must’ve been hard considering how much faith you had in him. What was your next plan of action? Bottom line, I pulled my stock out. Nah, he ain’t that real as we tried to make it seem. Why did I support him in the beginning? I felt like he could say it because he was representing me. If I’m behind that and this is what got the pass then it was always acceptable. But if you ain’t right by the nigga’s story who you tellin’, then it’s all bad. So I’m just pushin’ Brazil Street Records right now. What I got right now is my youngest sister, which is his youngest sister, B-Fly. And then I got a group too named Lost Souls. They outta Compton too. I got like six acts, but the most ready acts I got are those two. Then I got this DVD comin’ called Ain’t No Game. It’s like The Documentary Revisited, where I really break everything down and give people a full understanding along with visuals.
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Like all that gang shit, gimme that, but whatever. I wasn’t supposed to be no gangbanger. I’m from the hood, but I’m from the part of the hood where all the family turned out to be college graduates and shit. I’m the black sheep of that family. This my mother’s side of the family. This ain’t his people. My dad side of the family, it’s all types of fuck-ups. I’m the only fuck-up in the house I grew up in. Give me the credit I deserve. I’m not just no street nigga. I’m a good nigga and I’m a smart nigga. I just happen to be a street nigga. I’m one of those. It just happened. But we got 50% of the same blood runnin’ through our body. If he anything like me he’ll be alright. I won’t blame the blood that ain’t the same for the bullshit. It’s something in his head, but hopefully he’ll be alright. But at the same time I can’t be waitin’ for that nigga to get his head right and if I gotta holla about this shit in public, I will. // - N. Ali Early
A lot of people thought it was hate when I pulled my stock out [of my brother The Game’s career], but a nigga ain’t finna fuck me. I know what I put into this project.
words \\ N. Ali Early
OZONE WEST // 23
You take a Mack, put him in a helicopter, strip him naked and drop him anywhere in the world; I bet you he drive back with two pockets full of money.
Still, Mall is the orator of twelve complete albums since 1993. OZONE caught up with the Mac to find out how he renewed his fervor for the game with his most recent release, Thizziana Stoned and the Temple of Shrooms, and just how he’s coping as CEO of Thizz Entertainment. So where have you been? When Dre died I became one of the CEOs of Thizz and dedicated my whole career to this whole Thizz Nation Cutthroat Music. It took me about a year to make my whole record because I was CEO’n and tryna make all the new artists we have on our label stars: J Diggs, Crest Creepers, and Money Game. So once we put it down, it was time for me to do my thang. My new record is Thizziana Stone and the Temple of Shrooms and that’s my first Thizz release. It’s like I got my swagger back. It’s like I just started. I feel how I felt when Illegal Business came out. Why didn’t you blow up? Why didn’t you become the nigga that we all wanted you to be by the time you were 25? It wasn’t my time. I wasn’t ready for it. If I woulda got that shit then it woulda killed me. I had to go through shit. I’m a real artist in that, the shit that I experience in my life makes my art. If I woulda got it back then I wouldn’t have been ready for it. I wasn’t ready for it; mentally, physically, all that shit. So me, I don’t believe God makes mistakes and it wasn’t my time. Outside of what happened to Dre, what did you have to go through before you could really express yourself in order to become the artist that you wanted to be? I was thinkin’ about this shit last night, thinkin’ about when I first started. Somebody asked me, “If you knew what you was gon’ go through, would you still rap?” And I had to say, “Yeah,” even though it was fucked up shit, all the hate and the shit you go through as an artist, all that shit. I went through that, fuckin’ pimpin’, spent years livin’ in Vegas when I didn’t do no rappin’ at all. I got in a car wreck last year. Me and Ray Luv damn near died. My pa’tna died in my arms. Right on Embarcadero, me and Ray Luv got thrown out of the car. He broke a vertebrae in his back, all types of shit. They said he wasn’t going to walk for like a year, but God makes the rules. All that shit? Pressure make diamonds. Is there a different method for you when it comes to penning rhymes as a 30-year-old man? Me and Furl got to do a record before he got killed called US Open and the time that I spent with [him] really taught me how to be free and just be myself. He was just an individual. He was comfortable in his person. He taught me how to be Thizzlamic. When I first started I thought that I was supposed to have all this shit. Now I cherish this shit. You know how you need air, water and food to live? I need air, water, food and music. Then, me being the CEO of the company, I got to work around all these young artists and it fulfilled me. I got to talk to them, chop it up with them and they respected me for the shit that I put down. Them dudes really made me love this shit 24 // OZONE WEST
again. It basically lit my fire and gave me drive again.
was once the Bay Area’s shining light. At only fifteen years old, his no holds barred, arrogant approach on his debut album Illegal Business earned him prince like status and an open path to one day claim the throne Too $hort held down. After the breakout album – Untouchable – his name became synonymous with another Bay Area favorite, Tupac Shakur. But after a brief stint in the City of Angels, Mall tried his luck in Vegas. The gamble proved to be a successful one, as the Country Club Crest (Vallejo, CA) native willingly became the product of a world that swelled his pockets, but stifled his artistry in the process.
What do you liken your experience in the game to? This music shit is janky. I describe it like a bitch – a fine ass bitch who fuck wit’ everybody. She fuck wit Puffy and ‘em. She fuck with Trick Daddy and ‘em, Nelly and ‘em. Before, I expected the bitch to be faithful. It was like, “Aw, bitch, you can’t be cheatin’ on me.” Now it’s like, “Okay.” But the bitch get by me, I’ma whisper in her ear and try to keep her by me. Along those lines, was pimpin’ a natural progression for you or was it more of an escape from the game? I play chess, not checkers. My whole thing is being the smartest nigga. So when it came to the game, it was all about a man and his brain. You gotta survive by your wits. You can’t have a gun, none of that shit in your brain. So that always like, juiced me up. But, it also took from me. It took two and a half years. I didn’t do no rappin’, but it made me strong. But I wasn’t being who I am. I wasn’t doin’ the music shit. What was the good that you found in it? When you in the game it’s just you and yourself, your brain. Your tongue is your gun and you just gotta think. So that always attracted me. Plus, I wasn’t no PI. I was a Mac. The difference is this: A PI, a real pimp? He don’t eat if the bitch don’t pay him. A real pimp don’t sell dope. He don’t jack niggas. He don’t do npthin’ but get paid by a ho. But a Mac is a fuckin’ master at everything. If you give a Mac a sack, he know what to do with it. You give a Mac a gat, he know how to react. You give a Mac a bitch, he know what to do with the shit. You take a Mac, put him in a helicopter, strip him naked and drop him anywhere in the world; I bet you he drive back with two pockets full of money. How often do you get back to the Crest? Oh, all my family live there. I got one of the biggest families in the Crest. My grandmother just died, so when I go out there for me, it’s kinda weird not having her there. But the Crest is the Crest. Any of us, from Dooby, Money Gang, Miami, to Kilo, we all the same. No matter what I do, I’m always going to be a Crest nigga. It’s love. We call the Crest the Womb and ain’t nuthin’ like it. This whole Thizz shit is based in the Crest. With respect to the CEO hat that you’ve been wearing, how do you feel about the movement and how it’s taken off? It’s kinda scary, but it’s beautiful, dude. We did some shit that’s never been done in The Bay. We got a rapper in every city from Sacramento to Seaside, and it’s like, this shit has never been done. We got every side of every janky curb workin’ together. Nobody’s gettin’ robbed and everybody’s takin’ care of they family. I gotta give Kilo props for that ‘cause he was the one who really put it down as far as connecting The Bay. Can’t nobody hate on Thizz cause we feedin’ somebody in your neighborhood. What happens when someone else gets credit for something that originated in the Nation? Real recognize real. The shit that we doin’ happened in the Crest because of Furl. Mac Dre is the flag that Thizz Nation waves. You can’t fake this shit, man, come on. You can try to fake it but a muthafucker gon’ see through you. But I don’t trip off no shit like that because at the end of the day, real recognize real shit. It might get me mad a little bit, but this shit is natural to me. So while niggas try to bite it and make it up, this shit is natural. I used to trip back in the day, but man, a biter is a biter. You can’t stop the sun from shinin’. // - N Ali Early
by Randy Roper C-Bo MONEY TO BURN After 13 years in the game, California veteran C-Bo is still dropping solid releases. Although C-Bo is assisted by guest appearances on 13 of 15 album cuts from the likes of the Outlawz, Baby Bash and Sean Paul of the Youngbloodz, C-Bo commands attention and brings his A-game. Whether you’re in the Dirty Dirty, Big Apple or Midwest, this West coast emcee deserves some undivided attention. Diego Redd & DJ Warrior Gettin’ Money, Gettin’ Paid On Gettin’ Money, Gettin’ Paid, Diego Redd proves he’s capable of helping to bring the West coast back. Diego lyrically and conceptually certifies himself as a West Coast newcomer to pay attention to as he drops 23 tracks of pure, unadulterated heat. Even when paired with the likes of Mistah FAB, Serius Jones and GLC, Redd is never overshadowed. Big Rich & THE Demolition Men Block Tested, Hood Approved Big Rich’s name is buzzing out West, and this mixtape shows the reasons why. On Block Tested, Hood Approved, the San Francisco rapper flaunts his hood approval with tracks like “Where I’m From” and “What’s Beef” featuring San Quinn. Without question, Big Rich is a name to remember.
DJ Whoo Kid & DJ E Rock Bay Bidness If hyphy music hasn’t reached its pinnacle it’s getting close, especially with the biggest bootlegger on the planet dropping hyphy mixtapes. For the third time, Whoo Kid goes stupid with San Fran’s DJ E Rock to deliver new and exclusive music from E-40, Turf Talk, Mistah FAB and a host of other Bay Area artists. With Whoo Kid and E Rock setting things up, going dumb and yellow bus riding never sounded better. Willie Joe and DJ Smallz Free Agent Bay Area transplant and current Atlanta resident Willie Joe is still in search of a major label to call home. Here, he attempts to up the ante and give labels a reason to make him a priority. Although Free Agent has high points like “Get ‘Em Got ‘Em” featuring Da Great Yola and the Jovan Dais-laced “Good Ass Music,” the majority of Willie’s mixtape is filled with sub-par remixes and freestyles over instrumentals like Rich Boy’s “Throw Some D’s.” Dow Jones & Mistah FAB Recess Mistah FAB’s video would lead you to believe that ghost riding whips and spitting ignorant bars is the gist of hyphy and FAB’s rhyme style. But on Recess, da Yellow Bus Rydah silences his critics by going hard lyrically over instrumental tracks like “Hustlin’” and “Mr. Me Too.” After hearing Recess listeners will know that Mistah FAB is not only dumb, stupid and retarded, but lyrical too.
OZONE WEST // 25
Location: San Francisco, CA Venue: Club Fanatics Event: New Yearâ€™s Eve Date: December 31st, 2006 Photo: D-Ray
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