YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE: 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
DEVIN THE DUDEH MANNIE FRES RICH BOY T-PAIN PLUS OZONE WEST: I LIKE MY SPRITE EASTER PINK
TOO $HORT THE FIXXERS MISTAH FAB
DJ A M A R D
A T S G N A G T I ’ N I P E KE
BLES A T O U Q E ZON NE PHOTOS O E L B A T T EGRE EARS OF OZO FESSIONS R T S O M * 20 * FIVE Y* GROUPIE CON & MORE OZONE MAG //
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE: 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
DEVIN THE DUDE MANNIE FRESH RICH BOY
AME*A* DJEXDCR LUSIV **
PLUS OZONE WEST:
TOO $HORT THE FIXXERS MISTAH FAB
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YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE: 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!
AME*A* DJEXDCR LUSIV **
T-PAIN MANNIE FRESH DEVIN THE DUDE
PLUS OZONE WEST:
TOO $HORT THE FIXXERS MISTAH FAB OZONE MAG // 1
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PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF // Julia Beverly CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER // N. Ali Early MUSIC EDITOR // Randy Roper FEATURES EDITOR // Eric Perrin ART DIRECTOR // Tene Gooden ADVERTISING SALES // Che’ Johnson PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR // Malik Abdul MARKETING DIRECTOR // David Muhammad LEGAL CONSULTANT // Kyle P. King, P.A. SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER // Jason Brown ADMINISTRATIVE // Cordice Gardner, Kisha Smith CONTRIBUTORS // Alexander Cannon, Bogan, Carlton Wade, Charlamagne the God, Chuck T, Destine Cajuste, E-Feezy, Edward Hall, Felita Knight, Iisha Hillmon, Jacinta Howard, Jaro Vacek, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Jason Cordes, Jo Jo, Johnny Louis, Kamikaze, Keadron Smith, Keith Kennedy, Kenneth Brewer, K.G. Mosley, King Yella, Luis Santana, Luxury Mindz, Marcus DeWayne, Matt Sonzala, Maurice G. Garland, Mercedes (Strictly Streets), Mike Sims, Ms. Rivercity, Natalia Gomez, Ray Tamarra, Rico Da Crook, Robert Gabriel, Rohit Loomba, Shannon McCollum, Spiff, Swift, Wally Sparks, Wendy Day STREET REPS // Al-My-T, B-Lord, Big Teach (Big Mouth), Bigg C, Bigg V, Black, Brian Franklin, Buggah D. Govanah (On Point), Bull, C Rola, Cedric Walker, Chill, Chilly C, Chuck T, Controller, DJ Dap, David Muhammad, Delight, Derrick the Franchise, Destine Cajuste, Dolla Bill, Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom, Ed the World Famous, Episode, General, Haziq Ali, H-Vidal, Hollywood, J Fresh, Jammin’ Jay, Janky, Joe Anthony, Judah, Kamikaze, KC, Kenneth Clark, Klarc Shepard, Kuzzo, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lil D, Lump, Marco Mall, Mr. Lee, Music & More, Nick@Nite, Nikki Kancey, Pat Pat, PhattLipp, Pimp G, Quest, Rippy, Rob-Lo, Stax, TJ’s DJ’s, TJ Bless, Tim Brown, Trina Edwards, Vicious, Victor Walker, Voodoo, Wild Billo, Young Harlem DISTRIBUTION // Curtis Circulation, LLC SUBSCRIPTIONS // To subscribe, send check or money order for $11 to: Ozone Magazine, Inc. Attn: Subscriptions Dept 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318 Phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-350-2497 Website: www.ozonemag.com COVER CREDITS // DJ Drama photo by Blake Ribbey (special thanks to Everise); T-Pain, Rich Boy, & Don Cannon photos by Julia Beverly; Too $hort photo by D-Ray; Gorilla Zoe photo by Randy Roper. DISCLAIMER // OZONE Magazine is published 11 times per year by OZONE Magazine, Inc. OZONE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement or validation by OZONE Magazine for products or services offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their respective artists. All other content is copyright 2007 OZONE Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA.
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INTERVIEWS 90-94 106-107
MANNIE FRESH DEVIN THE DUDE
ANNIVERSARY FEATURES 26 30 42 44 46 66-84 102-103 94 98
GREATEST HITS STARTING LINEUP TRAINING DAY FEELIN’ OURSELVES FOLLOW THE LEADER 5 YEAR PHOTO SPREAD THANKSGIVING REGRETTABLES NEGRO PLEASE
MONTHLY SECTIONS 110-112 14 18-19 24 108-109 17 22 28 32 23-47 34-40 113 17
END ZONE FEEDBACK RAPQUEST CHIN CHECK CD REVIEWS JB’s 2 CENTS MATHEMATICS POLE POSITION SIDEKICK HACKIN’ PHOTO GALLERIES PATIENTLY WAITING CAFFEINE SUBSTITUTES 10 THINGS I’M HATIN’ ON
54-58 pg A M A DJ DR
pg 60-62 oy b rich
50-52 pg ain p tOZONE MAG // 13
Send your comments to email@example.com else will be held to a higher standard. Somewhere along the line you were exposed to something real and that has biased you for the better. Honestly there is no such thing as objective journalism. The only objective is to fool the masses into thinking what that media outlet wants you to believe. Allow me to get off my soap box, and get back to work, keep doing your thing. Stay true to yourself and although the load gets heavier the higher up the ladder you go, never let go of those two key elements: integrity and moral responsibility! - Rasheed Amin Chappell, firstname.lastname@example.org
JB, I just read OZONE for the first time last week. My boyfriend works in a barbershop and he brought home the March 2007 issue and I read almost every page. It’s crazy. It was all new to me, how real it was. You’re writing about what your readers really wanna know. My boyfriend’s got this chip on his shoulder about white people cause he’s had some run-ins with white cops and stuff like that. We have a different outlook on things and he makes fun of me and calls me white cause I talk proper and don’t smoke weed. When I showed him who was editor-in-chief of this hood magazine that he supports so much, he was in shock. I like that you’re doing what you know and you’re not like some corny white girl tryna act. This obviously comes natural for you and it’s cool to see a white girl with a magazine like this. I can only imagine how much negativity, hatred, and jealousy you must get from black girls. – Toots Mickels (email@example.com) You’ve done it again with the latest issue of OZONE magazine, with Rick Ross and Carol City Cartel and Young Jeezy and USDA on the cover, who continue to make good music (regardless of people’s opinion of their overused cliché of drugs, cars, and women). I read the magazine from front to back in its entirety on a trip to NYC, and of course your JB’s 2 Cents section is always on point. I’m from the East Coast but I respect good music and I don’t care where it comes from. At this point in time it’s plain to see that the South is doing what they do. Much respect, because they deserve it, and that goes for your magazine as well because you and your staff continue to bring interesting articles. I don’t see your mag as being biased because you also cover any artist from the East Coast that is doing something except complaining about the South. Like DJ Khaled’s blazing single “We Takin’ Over” that is exactly what OZONE is doing, and I see it continuing to be that way because you don’t bullshit or sugarcoat nothing. Also, I really respect Wendy Day’s work ethic and all the information that she provides readers via OZONE Magazine. It is truly helpful and valuable information and I appreciate her for it. I have always followed Wendy even before OZONE because she is a part of the culture we call Hip Hop. If it wasn’t for Wendy a lot of individuals would not be where they are today, and that’s just the truth. Can’t nobody take away what she’s brought to the table and what she means to the game. That’s why she receives the love and respect that’s he does – because it’s deserved. - Ray Matos, MatosR2@corning.com JB, kudos for another issue hitting the stands. Give yourself not a proverbial but a literal pat on the back for having the balls to name names, for those who lacked the vision to see what you were trying to do. I was taught that sight without vision is the true definition of blindness. Many of us walk around with our eyes wide open but our minds closed to the potential we possess and our souls closed to the power we hold, so you can’t fully blame them for their shortcomings. I laughed out loud when I read your 2 Cents. One of the first things people shed when they climb up the ladder of success is integrity. It’s a long climb and the less baggage you carry, the quicker you’ll make it. People give up their integrity by saying things like, “This is what the people want,” so they rehash old stereotypes or alleged tried-andtrue selling techniques. They abandon moral responsibility by saying things like, “Who I am as an artist is not what I depict in my music.” To see that you have held on to those two things is commendable. I offer no critique and no advice, just a sigh of relief that there is still journalism available that provides a biased opinion. When I say “biased,” I mean that in the most complimentary way. Once you have been exposed to something real, anything 14 // OZONE MAG
The DJ issue was tight! I want to give some advice to all the artists that want us DJs to play their music, like you asked in the DJ issue. If you artists out there want DJs to listen and possibly play your music on-air or in the clubs, here’s some ideas: Do a personal and very creative studio drop for the DJ you are trying to network with. Or, do a personal freestyle for the DJ on a current hit instrumental, studio quality of course, so that we can mix to it. People will still jam to it, and it gets your name out. Or, submit your single with the DJ’s name in the intro. If you do things like this, all DJs will take you more seriously. You’ll stand out from all those Myspace wannabes and unprofessional artists that are out there. – DJ Thailo, firstname.lastname@example.org (Orlando, FL) The DJ Issue was fresh. You’re reppin’ Chicago in here with two of the most deserving: V-Dub and Boolumaster. Love it when people get it right. Good shit! -Shala, email@example.com (Chicago, IL) Thank Port Arthur, TX, for UGK. Pimp C, we need more men (not rappers) with brains, not more jewelry in this “new” rap game. Thanks for standing up and letting people know the real deal in your Release Therapy article and how these labels are just the new plantation. I wish more rappers would stand up and not just wait for a check. - The Green Kang, firstname.lastname@example.org I think I speak for all DJs when I say thank you, OZONE, for showin’ us love. Out of all the Hip Hop magazines I’ve read, y’all are the best, no question. Hpefully one day I’ll be in there, but until then, keep holdin’ it down. DJ Drama, keep your head up! - DJ Shawny Boy, email@example.com I just read the Pimp C article on mixtape DJs and that dude told it right. I don’t know about them Carol City boys, they seem to have little focus. I’m glad to see my nigga BloodRaw got some justice. He’s a humble dude. I’m about to finish reading the rest of the mag - this month is hotter! Keep bringing the real! - Kash Kastro, firstname.lastname@example.org Keep putting the mash on these other so-called Hip Hop mags that are out there putting out garbage. But I couldn’t believe Baltimore wasn’t in the Rapquest section of OZONE. You had D.C. and Virginia in there, two-thirds of what we like to call the Middle East, but you didn’t have the third and very important section of this up and coming region: Baltimore. Besides being home of the hottest urban show on television (The Wire), our area has quietly started an active Hip Hop scene. We have four artists signed to major labels (Bossman – Capitol Records, D.O.G. – Universal, Los – Bad Boy, and Young Leek – Def Jam). My company Darkroom Productions produced original music for season 4 of The Wire and were featured in Rolling Stone, Fader, and the New York Times. Also, we produced multiple joints for Chamillionaire, Sqad Up, and Maino. Baltimore is also home to Stay Getting Productions, who have produced mad joints for the whole Diplomats family. If you go anywhere in the city, you’re bound to see someone out on the corner pushing their latest mixtape. Our scene is jumping here and we’d appreciate the same love. - Jamal Roberts, email@example.com (Baltimore, MD)
Corrections: In last month’s April DJ Issue, the phone number for DJ Blak on page 83 was listed incorrectly. The correct number is 404-446-8504. Also, Isaac Frias name was spelled incorrectly on page 63. //
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jb’s 2cents T
here’s a lot that could be said after five years. Now that we’re somewhat settled into our Atlanta offices, we pulled an all nighter sorting through the Uhaul full of back issues and I sat down with one copy of each issue, all the way from #1 to #55.
I started this game as a white girl with a hustler’s mentality but no knowledge of the game. I was bored with life and subconsciously put myself in a do-or-die situation to motivate myself. I’m my own worst enemy and so are you. If you want something out of life, you’ve got to find a way to motivate yourself to get it. The things that worked for me might not work for you, but I’m living proof that you can become anything you want to be.
10 Things I’m Hatin’ On By Roland “Lil Duval” Powell
Disclaimer: This is really what everybody else is sayin’. I know I’m dead wrong, but I’m hating anyway.
01 // RAY J’s SEX TAPE Man, that shit was set up. Plus, he did a video with the wrong bitch. If he really wanted the video to sell out, he should’ve did one with Whitney Houston. Trey Songz is so cute
02 // FEMALE ENTERTAINERS If you’re wondering why men in this business don’t really fuck with women in this business that much, it’s because y’all get the big head quick as shit and turn diva quick when you ain’t even had a diva career yet. 03 // TIMBALAND VS. SCOTT STORCH BEEF You can’t make me believe they’re serious. 04 // T-PAIN Now, this is my nigga, but there ain’t no way in hell he’s gonna make me think that his ugly ass is gon’ “Flirt” and take any of my bitches. 05 // “THIRTY IS THE NEW TWENTY” Jay-Z got y’all old niggas thinking y’all can wear Rocawear and Phat Farm and look young. But y’all ain’t fooling nobody cause you still got on your nugget jewelry.
I do talk a lot of shit in my editorial. You have to believe in yourself. But at the end of the day, I appreciate every struggle I’ve been through and stupid thing I’ve done because I learned from it. It’s the little things that count. I’m successful because no matter how stupid it is, I care about every tiny detail. If there’s a typo, that shit bothers me. I want everything to be right because I fucking care. I couldn’t even tell you why. I just do.
Webbie & Mannie trying to convince me to have the OZONE Awards in Louisiana
Better pay for your ad or we’re coming for you on some Bonnie & Clyde shit
06 // BLACK MOVIES Why do all our movies have to be about relationships, starring Gabrielle Union? 07 // NIGGAS ASKING FOR YOUR NUMBER Why do you really think I will give you my direct cell number if I don’t know you? Just cause you say, “I got some money for you,” doesn’t mean you gonna get my cell number.
Petey Pablo is mad he’s not on the cover
08 // FOLLOWERS We as black people need to really stop with this gold rush mentality. Just because you see someone else doing something, that doesn’t mean you should do it or it’s gonna work for you. Have your own mind and do your own thing. Music ain’t the only thing you can do to make money
10 // WOMEN WHO DON’T KNOW THAT THEY SHOULDN’T WEAR EVERYTHING You should not be wearing a two-piece if your stomach looks like a Coogi shirt. www.myspace.com/rolandpowell
Through these 55 issues the biggest thing that stands out is how much everyone’s status has changed. That artist with a hot single who was a complete dick during his interview? He fell off hard and no one gives a shit about him now. Talented people with promising careers have died or gone to jail. That guy throwing up the Roc sign in a picture in our photo gallery labeled “producer” because no one knew who he was? He’s Kanye West now. People don’t come up by themselves. People come up together. While I was a rookie interviewer learning the game, I came across “unknown” artists that just had that charisma and you knew they were official. Me and Noel and Nick@Nite interviewed “Lil Rich” almost four years ago at a Mobile, AL Red Lobster and now he’s on our cover with the biggest song in the country. I conducted Jeezy’s first interview on the spot at Ciara’s video shoot (also an unknown at the time) because of the way people reacted to him – it was obvious he was gonna be a star. Back when they were called Pretty Rickie & the Maverix, I heard a record on 99 Jamz cruising down 95 at like 4 AM one morning and texted everyone I knew in Miami trying to find out who sang it. David Banner was fat and broke and wearing the same “Mississippi” jacket the first three times I saw him but I believed in him. I saw Mike Jones get booed at a show and six months later he was platinum. I heard Pitbull’s “Welcome to Miami” freestyle on the radio years ago and was an instant fan. One hit wonders aside – anybody who lasts in this game, it’s not an accident. We work hard and believe in each other and that’s why we made it. We don’t shit on the little people. We have relationships with road managers and security guards and street team reps and interns and engineers and secretaries because you never know who somebody’s gonna be tomorrow. Man, I’m glad to see people come up. T-Pain, Akon, Pitbull, Rick Ross, Webbie, Boosie, Slim Thug, the list goes on and on as you look through the pages of these last 55 issues. To see anyone come from nothing to something is a beautiful thing - if you’re not a hater. Personally, I’m not. If you’re willing to put in the work, I’mma support you 100%. And as for me - I never even dreamed I’d be in the position I’m in. If I can stick it out for another five years, maybe I’ll really be the shit then.
Taste the rainbow!
09 // RINGTONES If you’re a nigga and your ringtone is Beyonce, kill yo’self.
Through all the parties I’ve snuck into, people that have come and gone in my life both personally and professionally, opportunities I’ve been offered, crazy road trips I’ve been on, events I’ve been kicked out of, people I’ve battled, and all the other craziness, after reflecting on the last five years there’s one thing that sticks out in my mind. It’s the importance of staying humble and true to yourself. Maintaining who you are and what you believe in and the qualities that brought you success in the first place.
- Julia Beverly, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rich Boy f/ Zak, Pastor Troy, & Big Boi “I Love You” Treal “I’m Not Lock Down” Smitty f/ T-Pain “Died In Your Arms” UGK f/ Outkast “International Players Anthem” Young Buck f/ Chester Bennington “Slow Ya Roll” David Banner f/ Jazze Pha “Fly” The Shop Boyz “Party Like A Rock Star” Hurricane f/ Big Kuntry “Ay Bay Bay”
jb’splaylist Plies f/ T-Pain “Shawty” Lil Boosie “I Quit” Ne-Yo “Because of You” Flo-Rida “Birthday” Nelly Furtado “Say It Right”
OZONE MAG // 17
T S E U Q RAP
’ , HIT US UP at JB@OZONEMA N I P P O P ’S WHATT REPRESENTED AT ALL E E S O T S T STREEISREPRESENTED, OR NO E INDIANAPOLIS, IN: H T S T I H Former heavyweight champ Lamon Brewster is headed back to the ring and starting his own OZONFEEEL THAT YOUR CITY IS M label. The Midwest Music Convention, one of the largest events in the Midwest, will be held IF YOU
in our city this August. The group B.O.E. hit hard with their new single “Dope Boy Slide,” and rumor has it they just signed with Koch. Young Goldie signed with CTE and Lil Kev signed with Sony. Mike Epps has reached back to help his homie, comedian and actor Willie from the movie ‘Bout It, as they work on a movie about his life, and a stand-up comedy routine. - Lucky The Promo King (email@example.com)
With so much going on in Cashville, a.k.a. Nashvegas, it’s hard to pinpoint what the streets are really talking about. Is it Musiq Soulchild having to ask for crowd participation at a recent concert? Is it Young Jeezy packing out Club 615 and already being scheduled to come back at the end of March? Or is it the shocking increase in sales of Pacman’s mix CD with local DJ Chief Rocka? Buck the World is finally coming out, but without “Fuck The Police”! Damn censorship!- Janiro (Janiro@southernentawards.com)
Many fans have awaited the moment when the old Memphis rap sounds will return, and with the release of the new Prophet Posse The Return: Part 1 the wait is over. This new CD features old and new artists of the crew including Gangsta Boo, Skinny Pimp, Koopsta Knicca, Hottsauce, and Kilo. This CD also features Playa Fly who was recently released from jail. Artists such as JAG and Kinfolk Thugs are getting their chance to shine and represent Memphis to the fullest with their new hot singles flooding the Memphis radio airwaves. Much love to our local DJs and radio stations for their support. Keep a look out for more Memphis artists making a comeback.
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX:
Stubb-a-lean and Lucci’s single “I Like It” is stuck in my head and I’m starting to hear Inertia’s “Mo Bass” on K104. Play N Skillz shot a new video with Boomtown featuring Mannie Fresh and Slim Thug. Mannie told me to tell JB he got love for OZONE! Whether you want to or not, we need to support Tum Tum or we will still be asking that “What’s wrong with the Dallas scene?” question. Rumsquad got the production you need and I heard Club Blue has shut down. I know we are in DFW, but FREE my ‘SIP native Smoke D! - Edward “Pookie” Hall (www.urbansouth.us@ gmail.com)
Why in the hell did some dude knock The Last Mr. Bigg’s mic down in the middle of his performance last week? Secu- Deanna Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org) rity rushed due out of the club while everybody got a kick and a punch in. At the same club, a chick got drowned with mace and started shooting. Anyway, Mr. Bigg’s “Wipe Me Down” and Dirty’s “Look At Her” are flooding the airwaves and the streets. The most anticipated mix CD (other than Hot Girlz) is Mr. Blu’s Street Surgence that’s dropping this month. Already, the station the keeps you up on local flavor is The Big Station 107.9/95.9. - Hot Girl Maximum (email@example.com)
Four states keep the big station 99.7 KMJJ on lock seven days a week, so it’s no wonder they’ve been #1 in the area for three years running, not to mention being named the #1 station in America for their market size by Radio & Records magazine. The hottest R&B act hitting the scene in Shreveport is Brotha, and local rap stars include Billy Broadway, BulletProof, and Willie. There are two powerhouse independent record labels making noise in the Port City: 5 Entertainment and Lava House Records. – C-Mac (Cmac@cumulus.com)
SXSW 2007 was a huge success with performances by UGK, Trae, Devin the Dude, and a lot more. Local SXSW participants included Basswood Lane, The Whut It Dew Family, VIP, J-Kapone, Ryno, Set 4 Life, South Bound, MC Fatal, Nac, KJ Hines, and more. DJ Rapid Ric and Mr. Blakes just dropped Woodgrain Collection, which consists of all-exclusive material. DJ Harvey Don’s Dons of Tha South will be released soon. Top Dollar Clothing’s Music Videos Part 2 DVD is available now. JB came out to Spiro’s during Texas Relay weekend and brought Scarface and DJ Chill along for the ride. Paul Wall’s in-store signing at Music Mania was packed.
JACKSON, MS: Tyrese a.k.a. Black Ty brought his Alter Ego tour to Jackson, and Miller Lite’s Mississippi tour features Cadillac Don, J-Money, and other Mississippi artists. Lil Boosie’s bad azz had one of the biggest show turnouts in Jackson history. You know we’re all the way gangsta – the mayor of the city has a warrant out for his arrest! Mims shows why he’s hot as he hits the city, and Tank brings his smooth voice to town. Yo Gotti makes tracks to the city as well. Music City presents its Welcome to Mississippi mixtape featuring the #1 d-boy Boo, Lil Boosie, and more. - Tambra Cherie (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Stax (email@example.com)
- O.G. of Luxury Mindz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As the heat comes in, that springtime bug is biting! Look for major moves soon on a national level for Miz Smurff! The mixtape scene is slow-mo due to the nationwide bullshit the government is on. Though city officials are doing all they can to stop urban clubs from opening, parties and events continue to go down. The excitement of Greek Weeks (Que/Delta, Mandingofest, Bruhfest, etc) keeps the city abuzz! The Perfect 10 party series has women throughout the Pinebelt deliriously confused – 5’s and 6’s think they’re at dime status! Happy 4/20, fellow herb heads! - DJ Big Brd (email@example.com)
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The weather is warming up and the Crime Stopper snitches are on the prowl, getting paid $500 a bust and with the streets more active than they have ever been they are constantly picking up that paper. Even teachers are getting busted for buying drugs, serving alcohol to minors and fondling babies. The entertainment in Cincinnati has truly picked up the pace. Never has the city had so many good artists on the radio, thanks to Eddie Bauer (PD) and Big Greg (MD) over at WIZF 101.1 for recognizing good music and real talent, like Showtime. This young brother has got a real stage performance and industry quality rhymes. - Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com)
Through his popular Street Wars mixtape series, P-Cutta easily established himself as DC’s most prolific mixtape DJ, but that was a couple years ago. Word on the street is that underage mixtape phenom DJ Rob is lighting a match under P-Cutta’s comfortable seat. Because of his Target Squad affiliation Rob’s various celebrity hosted mixtapes have been gaining a substantial following in and out of the area. He generated enough buzz to be featured on MTV’s Sucker-Free Sunday and was nominated as Best New Mixtape DJ on mixtapeawardsonline.com. Rob is about to spearhead a seven city Spring Break Tour with his Target Squad cohorts. He’s kinda like premature labor, it’s hard to stop the kid. – Pharoh Talib (Ptalib@gmail.com)
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA:
Alyssa hit the 106th & Park stage, representing for VA at Wild Out Wednesday. D-Strange is creating a buzz in the streets, and Mims has the hottest joint in the club. Pharrell begins construction on his youth center. TeamHood is the most gangsta group in VA; a sea of red can be seen following them everywhere in the Hampton Roads area. Their mixtape Da Makin’ is in the streets right now. Doubt Gotcha’s new single “Dopeman,” with The Clipse, is blazin’ . – Derrick Tha Franchise (Trax4Profit@hotmail.com)
The first ever A-Town Day went down at Morris Brown’s football stadium, featuring performances from virtually every Patiently Waiting act in ATL and more. The event was well-organized but at times seemed more like a community circus – literally. There were a whole bunch of little kids running around, a funnel cake stand, and free giveaways. Drama ensued between Killer Mike and Big Boi and their entourages, but who “won” and “lost” the altercation depends on which camp you ask. D.G. Yola, shot in the face at a red light during an apparent robbery attempt, is reportedly recovering.
The CIAA Basketball tournament takes place in Charlotte every year around this time. It’s the oldest black basketball tournament in the country. It looks like the boys from Little Brother are making some steady moves out of Durham to get ready for the upcoming year. - Big K (firstname.lastname@example.org)
– Eric Perrin (Eric.Perrin@ozonemag.com)
Lil Ru continues to keep the hits coming as his new single “Don’t I Look Good” is picking up momentum on radio and clubs throughout Columbia. Club Evolutions remains a premiere party spot with performances from the likes of Yo Gotti and Lil Boosie, and a Monday night talent competition hosted by the Bad Girl Venom that gives independent artists a chance to showcase their skills. Charlamagne Tha God celebrated his one year anniversary as co-host of the Wendy Williams Experience- Wendy, Deelishis, Jermaine Hall, and DJ Chuck T were all in attendance.
Last month we had concerts from everyone – Pastor Troy, Fabo, DJ Unk, Lil Boosie, and the Heisman Boyz, largely led by Blak of TUK Entertainment and Coach of Direct Connect – who are the driving force behind Tally’s Hip Hop entertainment. Be Out Day at FAMU featured One Chance and the recently released Shawn Jay of Field Mob. Trick Daddy is back in town for the 305 to 750 Hood Rich concert at Baja’s on Easter night, so hopefully everybody went to church first! Blazin’ 102.3’s Birthday Bash (www.blazin1023.com) goes down April 22-28 with Uncle Luke, Gorilla Zoe, Tank, Plies, and more. Exclusive J is the hottest new mixtape dude in Tally, and The Shop Boyz’ “Party Like A RockStar” is the hottest new record in the streets - totally, dude! - DJ Dap (DJDapOnline@gmail.com)
- Randy Roper (Randy.Roper@ozonemag.com)
CHARLESTON, SC: Since we ranked as one of the nation’s most dangerous cities last year, Hoodz DVD Magazine came through and did a special feature on life in Charleston a.k.a. The Chuck Town, granting the nation full access into the United States’ newest murder capital. The streets are also buzzing about the release of TwinD of 1st Century Entertainment’s newest compilation featuring the city’s hottest talent. Ferl Gates’ new mixtape Still In The Mix is still a best-seller in almost all the record stores. New singles and mixtapes from local artists Redrum, P.I.M.P., Venni Mussiani, and Carlos Cartel are also setting the streets on fire. – DJ Chuck T (DJChuckT@aol.com)
DJ Nasty’s birthday bash at Firestone was the best party of the year so far, with Rich Boy, Plies, Rick Ross, and more. Across town, a man was stabbed six times outside of Club Hush. Infinity Beats, who produced Mary J. Blige’s single “Take Me As I Am,” is currently working with 112’s Slim on his upcoming solo album. Federal agents executed a search warrant on Lou Pearlman’s offices and home, the latest in a string of legal problems facing the man who built the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSYNC. The Young Buck and Lil Scrappy “show” at Club Legends ranks right up there with Orlando’s greatest flops, but at least the ice sculpture looked good.
Believe it! Boosie, Webbie, Young Capone, and Yola all rolled through Duval. Swordz and Dukwon did their thing hyping up the crowd at Plush Nightclub. Dukwon’s new mixtape I Will Be Heard by DJ Smallz is circulating in the streets, along with the Roger for Mayor DVD hosted by Roger from Point Blank Ent. Bigga Rankin has been making major moves for Jacksonville and rumor has it Young Cash just did the photo shoot for his debut album. If you’re on the Southside, check out DJ 151’s new hot spot at Jim’s Place. Until next time, suck it easy, haters. - Ms. Rivercity (www.myspace.com/msrivercity)
- Destine Cajuste (email@example.com)
Acafool’s “Damn I Look Good” Tour is coming to a city near you. DJ H-Vidal is now the official DJ for the Tampa Bay Storm and the official tour DJ for Bubba Sparxxx! If you wanna hear a DJ that will make you fall out laughing and will support you if you sound good, tune into AM 1150 WTMP and 96.1 FM o hear Big $$$ Ced – yes, we still have an AM station! Make sure you send get well wishes to DJ Doc D, who suffered a heart attack and is recovering. - Mz T-Rock (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My 99 Jamz morning show partner in crime Big Lip was the talk of Wendy Williams’ syndicated gossip show. A female called in claiming he has a 7-year-old son in Charlotte, NC, that he doesn’t take care of and that his wife doesn’t know about, and that he lives in a $1 million home. Funny considering he has custody of his two sons, has never been married, and his house is nice but not worth $1 million! BET’s Spring Bling did its thing up in West Palm, but it was the clubs on South Beach that were crazy! Speaking of crazy, DJ Khaled shot the video for “We Takin’ Over” with dozens of celebrities. With all the jumping and leaping Khaled did in this minimovie, I see movies in his future! God help us all! ListennnnnnN!!! - Supa Cindy (Supaisaqueen@gmail.com)
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20 // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // 21
byWendyDayof the RapCoalition
How To Get A Record Deal I’ve already written about this, but since I still get over 100 calls and emails a week asking me this same damn question, it looks like I’m going to have to write about it yet again. Almost every artist I know wants a record deal. There are basically three types of record labels that offer deals: 1) independent record labels, 2) major record labels, and 3) those in-between labels that consider themselves “incubators” or “independent distributors.” An indie label is a record label that has independent distribution (meaning distribution that is NOT part of a major label pipeline). Examples of current indie labels in rap include Swisha House (Houston), SoBe (Florida), etc. A major record label is one of the Big 4, and they are called major labels because they have their own major distribution companies attached that have a tight lock on the industry in terms of traditional distribution (traditional distribution means CDs sold through retail stores, which is slowly reducing in importance with the rise of the internet). The major labels include: Universal (Def Jam, Motown, Republic, Interscope, and all of the sub-labels with deals through those labels, such as Jeezy’s label Corporate Thugz. G-Unit, Eminem’s Shady Records, Slip-N-Slide, etc); Sony BMG (Sony, Jive, J Records, etc), EMI (Capitol and Virgin, which seem to have just merged); and WEA (Warner Bros, Atlantic, and all of the sub-labels such as Bad Boy, T.I.’s label Grand Hustle, etc.). An incubator, as they exist today (in my opinion, which does NOT necessary reflect the opinion of this magazine or any of its employees), seem to be a middle ground for artists and indie labels that the majors do not yet feel can compete 100%, yet have enough value for them to sign to deals. The deals are smaller, the resources are less, and often if the artist or label experiences any success at all, they are upstreamed to the major label affiliated with the incubator. This includes Asylum (WEA’s incubator), Fontana (Universal’s incubator), and Imperial (EMI’s incubator). The incubators and distributors seem to attract the smaller artists and labels who can sell between 50,000 CDs and 300,000 CDs. If the incubator feels the artist can go gold or platinum, they often upstream the project to the major label (the best examples of this are Paul Wall and Mike Jones, who were upstreamed to Atlantic and Warner Bros respectively from Asylum). Upstreaming usually occurs at a pre-agreed upon amount of money, which benefits the incubator because it enables them to sign deals for less money when the artists have far less leverage.
An indie distributor is a self-distributed company that takes on projects because they feel they can make a profit. Examples of rap distributors are Select-O-Hits, Navarre, RED, TVT, Koch, etc. Although each deal is as different as the distributor, most indie distribution deals are 80/20 splits (the indie label getting the 80% while the distributor makes the 20%). Some of the indie distributors act kind of like labels (Koch and TVT) offering small advances and offering services (for a fee or a larger percentage split, or both) to the artist or label such as radio, video, marketing, etc. Income from record labels and distributors depends on many things: How much money is spent on a project that needs to be recouped (paid back) The terms of the contract in the deal [how much of a split is supposed to be paid AFTER the CD recoups (breaks even)] Whether the label or distributor actually pays (many do not) How many production companies and sub-labels are between the artist and the person putting out the CD (Chingy was a not-so-happy example of this — he was signed to a St. Louis production company, which was signed to DTP, which was signed to Capitol Records. So after Capitol Records recouped all of the money spent on the project, there were others getting a share of the money before any trickled down to Chingy). How many CDs actually sell, less the returns that come back to the label or distributor.
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So, how do you get signed to a deal at a record label whether it’s an indie, a major, or a distributor without coming through one of the sub-labels (a sub-label is G-Unit, or Shady, or Slip-N-Slide, or Grand Hustle, etc)? You need a strong buzz, good music, and lots of leverage. Since this is a business, whoever signs you will have to believe they can make a lot of money by putting your project into the marketplace. The economy in the music industry sucks right now. Rap sales are at an all-time low. At a time when music can be downloaded for free, the amount of good quality music is also at an all time low. This makes for a weak music economy for record labels, which translates into less risk, lower deals monetarily, and smaller budgets. Since 1996, the way that I have personally seen artists getting signed to successful deals is through having strong leverage. I’m not talking about just getting signed to a record deal. That’s not enough! I’m talking about getting signed to a deal that will come as close to a guarantee of success as possible. If you look at the deals I have negotiated over the years, almost all of the artists have gone multi-platinum. Just being signed to a label is not enough — many, many, many careers are killed by well-intentioned labels (and some not so well-intentioned labels, too). You must get signed to a label that can create phenomenal success for you, create a lasting career, and allow you to share in as large a percentage of your financial success as possible. This takes team effort on the part of the label and the artist. The best way to build strong leverage is to put out your CD independently in your own region. Once you sell about 30,000 CDs (verifiable by SoundScan) and get some radio spins, the labels will clamor to sign you. At this point, you should have enough leverage to get a top deal with a major label that has the resources to push you to international fame and financial success. Or, you will have enough leverage to get a wonderful split and enough money to push your own release further with an indie label or distributor that has a track record of success in doing this for other rap releases. All labels are not created equal. Make certain that you pair your type of music and sound with a label that can excel at that type of sound. I have seen many artists over the years spend a grip of money at radio to get some strong BDS spins (labels get excited when they see an unsigned act hit about 200 to 250 spins a week at BDS) with the intention of getting signed to a major label. [BDS is a company that measures radio play for the music industry and you can get more details of how they do it and who they are at www.rapcointelpro.com).] The problem with artists who try to get signed through radio play is that it is not enough leverage to convince the labels to take a risk on signing the artist. A lot of radio play does not necessarily turn into strong CD sales. Many artists have had a lot of radio play but did not sell in proportion to the amount of spins (D4L, Jim Jones, Terror Squad, David Banner, etc). This makes labels very leery to put millions of dollars in promotion behind an artist who has only garnered radio play. The only proof of potential sales ability, is for the artist to actually sell CDs. If you can sell 30,000 CDs in your region by yourself, with the strength of a larger label behind you, they figure you will be able to sell hundreds of thousands of CDs nationally (possibly even millions, the ultimate goal). For an artist, selling 30,000 CDs on your own through an independent distributor like Select-O-Hits means close to $200,000 or more in income. With income from sales, this makes you less desperate to take a bullshit deal, and it creates a financial starting point for the larger labels in signing you. Releasing a record is hard work and has expense involved. You will need money to market and promote the release, so this is not for everyone. Many artists are not willing to grind to sell their own CDs. But, I have never seen an artist get a good deal from shopping a demo around to the labels. I have seen many, many artists get great deals that have built successful careers by putting out their own CD and creating the necessary leverage to have value to a larger label. For me, it’s the only way to go! //
i, FL) kin’ Over” (Miam s Khaled’s “We Ta rd DJ co of Re t J se s e DJ th d & Jadakiss on ck Crooms, & Big Teach @ CORE Dukes, & ) 02 // DJ Khale rri ge GA or De , a, Ge rk nt h, pa tla es lli (A Fr Co rty // Mr FL) 06 // Haitian P$C @ The Velvet Room y’s listening pa tlanta, GA) 04 d Show (Miami, werk for Rich Bo the tening party (A r CORE DJs Awar Mac-Boney of Sense @ Patch tone for DJ r Rich Boy’s lis fo & DJ fo y 51 & ez , rk ea Je bo we Ar g Fa tch @ un a, Pa Yo do DJ Nasty @ Fires Khaled’s // @ an & n 08 mm Do ) ies Co Pl TX da // 01 // DJ Dram DJ n, w & lo 10 , sto Po ) us ou DJ & FL (H mo i, of lu, t ck Fa Zu iam se Bu a rld e (M g ak th Wo un rty e 03 // DJ Blak, Ch 07 // Lump & Yo CORE DJs Atlantic Records pa y & Rick Ross on iami, FL) 15 // Bun B DJ Quest, Ed th ) 12 // Freewa r iami, FL) 05 // rty (Miami, FL) (M ) 18 private party (M ion for Akon’s 3x platinum pa Ross & Ike G Da @ Sobe Live fo y’s listening party (Atlanta, GA ion for The CORE DJs Retreat event (Miami, FL ns ns k werk for Rich Bo ) 14 // CORE DJs crew @ Ma Retreat Def Jam 21 // Amir & Fabo a, GA) 09 // Ric Zoe Pound @ Ma s tch nt DJ Pa tla (A @ RE CO zie rty e pa Oo th FL tinum Gipp & ctory (Miami, the Bentley for ny @ Wildsplash (Tampa, FL) for Jeezy’s pla o, FL) 11 // Big Jonsin @ Hit Fa Tony Neal & Derek Jurand @ y party (Orland sley & Tampa To y, T-Pain, & Jim // itt Mo 17 Sm KG ) Nasty’s birthda // // TX n, 13 20 ) ) sto FL FL ou ) a, ” (Miami, ss & Lil Keke (H k (Jackson, MS ldsplash (Tamp ea Cla Wi Br E@ g // G “We Takin’ Over rin k 16 Sp oc ) Sh TX n’s (Austin, y Wonder & Abdul (10,20) & Stax @ Freelo ine Ma & Magno @ SXSW be Live (Miami, FL) 19 // Bo sta Mi // ntana (19); Malik @ So (Atlanta, GA) 22 (07,16); Luis Sa rty ith pa Sm g n ro // Jit & Stack$ nin ad te Ke r Rich Boy’s lis 4,17,18,21,22); @ Patchwerk fo 6,09,11,12,13,1 (01,02,03,04,05,0 rly ve Be lia Ju ; 5) Eric Perrin (08,1 Photo Credits:
OZONEMAG MAG////23 23 OZONE
CHINCHECK Now Walk It Out Like Usher / If You Say Real Talk I Probably Wont Trust Ya / If You Wanna Go To War, The Gunz My Pleasure / Even Jesus Had 12 Disciples On The Level, Trigger, Whatever / Pumm You Don’t Want Naw Beef With 3 Thou / I’m Like Jury Duty, You’re New To This Part Of Town / Your White Tee Well To Me Looks Like A Nightgown / Make Ya Mama Proud Take That Thing Two Sizes Down / Then You’ll Look Like The Man That You Are Or What You Could Be / I Could Give A Damn ‘bout Your Car But Then That Would Be If It Was Considered A Classic Before The Drastic / Change In Production When Cars Were / Metal Instead Of Plastic Value / Is What I’m Talkin About / Take Two Of These And Walk It Out / You’ll Be The Reason They Talk It Out / You Cant Be The King Of The Parking Lot Forever / Not Sayin I’m The Best But Til They Find Somethin’ Better / I Am Here No Fear Write Me A Letter ‘Til Then Where have you been, Mr. Benjamin? We missed you! Only you could make me enjoy this 2007 negro spiritual! Can’t you just see the slaves singing, “Kunta walk it out, Toby walk it out!”? Everyone needs to recognize that these are some of the realest words ever spoken on a rap record. This verse should be a wake-up call for what I call Generation Now. I had to break this verse down for those who listen but may not understand. Please, on behalf of Charlamagne Tha God and Andre 3000, pay attention: IF YOU SAY “REAL TALK” I PROBABLY WON’T TRUST YA Damn right I won’t trust ya. If you’re making a statement and your statement is true and not filled with falsehood, why do you negroes feel the need to try to convince me you’re not lying by saying “real talk”? Either you’re lying or you’re not secure in what you’re trying to convey to me, so you say “real talk” like that’s the stamp that’s supposed to make me have faith in your word. If you’re talking to me and telling the truth, say what you have to say and end it with a verbal period. “Real talk” is a verbal comma. It just pauses the dialog long enough for you to continue scripting your fictional verbal paragraph that you recognize I’m not buying into. So now you’re going to continue spewing this bullshit my way because you realize I don’t really believe you. That’s when you try to throw a “real talk” in, basically saying, “I’m not lying.” Well, if you’re not lying then why do you feel the need to tell me you’re not lying? If you feel the need to tell me you’re not lying then 9 times out of 10 you are lying. So if you say real talk I probably won’t trust ya..... IF YOU WANT TO GO TO WAR, THE GUN’S MY PLEASURE, EVEN JESUS HAD 12 DISCIPLES ON THE LEVEL, TRIGGER, WHATEVER This is a power statement. I take it as we all want peace. We know guns contribute to the conflict of you going against your own, but let’s be real, you have to protect yourself in this day and age. These negroes out here are crazy. You are either going to be a predator or prey, victor or the victim, the choice is yours. So let it be known that I come in peace, but if you want to wage war on me, the gun’s my pleasure. I take pleasure in knowing that I will bust a cap in the name of the righteous on any negative forces that dare try go against me. “Even Jesus had 12 Disciples on the level,” meaning even Jesus had some sort of backup. The Disciples were gangstas; they protected Jesus. The disciple Peter even cut someone’s ear off when they came after Jesus. Even God’s only begotten son Jesus needed some sort of protection to keep him from these no good, unrighteous, devilish bastards. Disciples on the level, trigger, whatever, it’s all the same… YOUR WHITE TEE, WELL TO ME, LOOKS LIKE A NIGHTGOWN. MAKE YA MAMA PROUD, TAKE THAT THANG TWO SIZES DOWN, THEN YOU’LL LOOK LIKE THE MAN THAT YOU ARE - OR WHAT YOU COULD BE Do I even have to explain? You Generation Now negroes are the reason the dress codes are so strict at every night club in Amerikka! When did the white tee become the standard uniform for every negro in every hood in the United States? Don’t get me wrong when it’s 100+ degrees in New York or the mighty state of South Carolina you will catch me rocking just a plain white tee because I’m not sweating all over some fly uniform I paid some big money for. My problem is you negroes who wear those extra long tees past your knees! What is the science in that shit?! Personally I think that’s some NY fad,
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by Charlamagne Tha God email@example.com
long tees past your knees with hats that are four times your size. Fitted hats should be on top of your head, not sliding down over your face like a football helmet. If you want something that to come past your knees, buy a dress! You might as well start cross dressing cause truth be told, that’s what your long white tee looks like: a dress. Or as Mr. 3000 put it, a “nightgown.” So, make your mama proud. Take that thang 2 sizes down. I COULD GIVE A DAMN ‘BOUT YOUR CAR, BUT THEN THAT WOULD BE IF IT WAS CONSIDERED A CLASSIC, BEFORE THE DRASTIC CHANGE IN PRODUCTION WHEN CARS WERE METAL INSTEAD OF PLASTIC, VALUE IS WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ‘BOUT I could give a damn ‘bout your car! That’s for all you dudes who think your car makes you a better man. Pardon me while I laugh at you. If you’re not fly standing barefoot in your briefs, you will not be fly behind the wheels of a Phantom, Bentley, Maybach or whatever other expensive negro mobile you rappers make hot. Besides, cars are not investments! There a few exceptions to this rule, but in general vehicles are what we call depreciating assets. Glass and plastic lose value over time. On average, cars and trucks lose more than 20% of their value in the first year! Some vehicles lose as much as 40%! The opposite of depreciate is appreciate, which over time is what a house tends to do. This means it actually gains value. The average age of cars in the US is somewhere between 7 and 8 years. Most families have two or more of them, which means on average they end up buying a car every 3 or 4 years. This, my people, could really fuck up your bank account! My advice from an investment standpoint when it comes to cars: DON’T BUY THEM! I don’t care if it’s new or used, don’t lease it, don’t finance it, don’t even rent-to-own. Just don’t fuck with them, period! Who am I kidding. Even though I know all this, I’m still copping a Bentley GT this summer. Sorry Mr. 3000, but you still gave me something to build on.... YOU CAN’T BE THE KING OF THE PARKING LOT FOREVER The simplicity but powerfulness of this statement is what I marvel at. I know a lot of you hate to hear this, but it’s the truth. You can’t be the king of the parking lot forever! Honestly what you negroes are doing is called loitering! Some people say trespassing! Can you go get a job? Maybe a hobby? Isn’t there something you could be doing other than posting up in the parking lot of some gas station or fast food restaurant? It’s two in the morning! No disrespect to the ladies, but where the pussy at! Nothing productive or constructive is going down in the parking lot. Plus it’s only matter of time before you negroes start fighting and shooting, so the reality of being the King of the Parking Lot is really being the king of nothing at all. The Burger King got way more juice than the King of the Parking Lot..... My people, if you stop walking it out for just a minute and pay attention to what Pastor 3000 is saying you will realize this is ghetto gospel! This verse can really make you change your life if you have a proper understanding of what Brother 3000 is saying. He’s only trying to help you become the man that you are - or what you could be.
Until next time, this has been a Public Street Announcement from the Cerebral Assassin Charlamagne Tha God.
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OZONEMAG MAG////25 25 OZONE
In honor of our five-year anniversary, we’ve rounded up some of the most entertaining cocktales from our always-popular Groupie Confessions.
And now, for the disclaimer: These “Confessions” are anonymous, so we cannot verify if they are true or not. All details (cities, club names, hotel names) have been removed. These stories do not necessarily represent the opinions of OZONE Magazine. These stories did not necessarily occur recently, so if you are currently seeing one of these fine gentlemen, no need to curse him out. These stories are from different women.
01 // 50 CENT
“ just dropped his pants. He had boxers on, and he was all hard. His penis was poking out, like ewwwww. It was small, like, ‘What the fuck!?’ I told my homegirl it was gonna be small cause he got all those damn muscles, but she ain’t believe me. She was more devastated than I was after we saw it.” (Issue #40 December 2005)
02 // ALLEN IVERSON
“[Allen Iverson] has the littlest, ashiest dick I’ve ever seen. It’s like, nonexistent. He looks like he should have a pussy. And it’s dry. I would give him four inches at best, and skinny.” (Issue #29 November 2004)
03 // BENZINO
“I would recommend Benzino. He’s freaky as hell. He’ll lick any hole that you ask him to. If anybody reads this, he’s gonna get a lot of pussy.” (Issue #29 November 2004)
04 // ELEPHANT MAN
“Elephant Man will have you all over the room. Carrying you around the to the sink, in the bathroom, all that. But it was all this pumping with no action, you get what I’m sayin? Like a jackhammer. His dick is like, short and stump. Girl, I was in the bathroom on the damn sink! Are you serious? ‘Pon di river!’” (Issue #41 January 2006)
05 // FIELD MOB
“Shawn Jay is really nice and he’s good, great all the way around. I was fuckin’ Shawn but I liked Smoke. Both of them are really, really sweet. He’s great in bed, too. He’s big. He’s a keeper, trust me.” (Issue #41 January 2006)
06 // FREEWAY
“He’s nice, a sweetheart, a real nice guy. He’ll eat your front quick. He’s the type that likes to please. But he wasn’t lying when he said he’s a Trojan guy. Not the Magnums, the regular kind.” (Issue #41 January 2006)
07 // JADAKISS
“Jadakiss is a minuteman, for sure. It doesn’t even count as sex because he busted so fast he didn’t even really stick it in.” (Issue #29 November 2004)
08 // JAY-Z
11 // METHOD MAN
“He’s a very interesting character. He’s a beast, he likes to tell you to lay down, do this, do that. He’s very controlling.” (Issue #29 November 2004)
12 // MOBB DEEP (HAVOC)
“Havoc wanted to suck on a bitch’s toes and lick my asshole for like forty-five minutes. He’s a toe-licker and an ass eater. We took a shower together... he put my right foot in his damn mouth. I’m like, ‘Boy, you crazy.’ It was just a cover up for his medium-sized dick. [The sex] wasn’t mindblowing or anything. Like, Alright, see you later, where’s 50?” (Issue #40 December 2005)
13 // NELLY
“Nelly’s got a small wiener. I’d compare it to those little sausage links; that’s how I’d describe his thing. ‘Bout the size of my Newport. (laughing) And trying to get me to swallow his pimp juice? Please.” (Issue #31 February 2005)
14 // NOREAGA
“Noreaga likes getting his ass licked. I was like, ‘Oh, hell no.’ He’s fat. He got a big ol’ stomach. He was bending over and I was on X, so I was gonna do it… He was bent over, I was thinking, ‘Why the fuck is this gangsta rapper bent over trying to get me to suck his ass?’” (Issue #31 February 2005)
15 // PLIES
“Plies got his own thing going on. He likes the lights on. He likes to see everything and look at everything. Before he about to nut he takes his condom off. Every time, he always takes it off so he can see it coming out. He do it every time.” (Issue #46 June 2006)
16 // PRETTY RICKY (SLICK ‘EM)
“It was pretty good, but… he liked to play around a lot. That’s kind of a turn off when I’m in the mood to do something and he’d be telling jokes, acting silly, playing around.” (Issue #37 August 2005)
17 // SLIM THUG
“He answered the door in his boxers... I started taking off all my clothes. I don’t know why, I guess it was the adrenaline rush or maybe the Grey Goose. He threw me on the bed and that turned me on even more. We fucked for like an hour, and it was a good hour, too.” (Issue #46 June 2006)
“[Jay-Z had] the biggest dick you will ever see in your life, but boring. Huge. Like a one liter Pepsi bottle, what do they call those things? The 20 ounce bottle…it could block the sun… And he screams like a bitch when he busts. It’s horrible. He has a humongous dick and no idea what to do with it.” (Issue #29 November 2004)
18 // TRACY McGRADY
09 // LIL WAYNE
19 // TRICK DADDY
10 // MARIO WINANS
20 // TYRESE
“He does stuff during sex, like he might be smoking during sex or drinking during sex… and he always says, ‘Please say the baby.’” (Issue #37 August 2005) “Mario Winans does drugs and I don’t. So he was real rude. He didn’t really care about having sex anyway. He tried, but it only lasted like two minutes.” (Issue #36 July 2005) 26 // OZONE MAG
“We’d watch TV first, while he put baby powder on his bed. He says it makes his skin soft. He’s real, real boring. Watch TV, start kissing, turn around, from the back, turn around, cum. Every single time. Same thing. I used to give him head just cause I was bored.” (Issue #34 May 2005) “We were there for hours... his shit is like, king ding-a-ling for real. I don’t know how long cause I didn’t have a measuring tape. I’d give him like 8 1/2 inches. He’s very, very good. He was on point.” (Issue #40 December 2005) “Tyrese’s mouth should be for rent. His mouth and dick are both good. He’s working with something major. It was, like, R&B sex. More sensual.” (Issue #29 November 2004)
ne // Basswood La Orleans, LA) 03 g ew nin te (N lis sh ba eir y th da @ th DJ Popa, & 8Ball an Bender’s bir th G, na MJ ley Jo // nt r 05 fo Be e e ) er (Orlando, FL awt @ The Venu Chaka Zulu @ th Sobe Live Convention Cent FL) 07 // Bobby Valentino & Slim Thug, & Sh @ Orange County i, 02 // Tony Neal, red & Gun Play @ ) iam rte TX (M sty , Di ” Na // tin er us DJ 09 Ov ’ (A & ) y, FL kin Hogan & Pimp C @ SXSW ’ Over” (Miami, FL) 11 // Hulk ve, Kaye Dunawa the set of DJ Khaled’s “We Ta i, kin Lo y Ta iam e Ja (M , “W t gi en 01 // Willie D & Yo d’s ev y ale e on the on az m Kh Jo Kr Ja ol t f // DJ Co Fa De & of 04 & t , at e, ) se tre lez TX Rid e , Ve Re Cth s @ SXSW (Austin & Lil Wayne on Gil Green, Gloria y’s release party (New Joe Hound, Dre, for the CORE DJ B // // n ley 13 06 Bu nt ) ) // Be FL LA e 08 , i, th ) ns @ FL (Miam Demp 300 for Baby Bo party (New Orlea treat Def Jam event (Miami, ae & Young Cash DJs J Records private party rren$y @ Club - Storm 17 // DJ e for 10 // Paris Jont s Re , Baby Boy, & Cu Smilez @ CORE lis (Miami, FL) & for the CORE DJ tic Records party (Miami, FL) ler Liv po B, we be tro FA Je So h Me e @ th @ sta l G Mi rm So lan hstar, oove, 5 & Sto Shawn Prez & MJ llipark @ CORE for CORE DJs At i, FL) 12 // Sout Dizzy, DJ Raj Sm eet (Atlanta, GA) 16 // DJ Q4 Co iami, FL) 19 // Sobe Live (Miam ” (Miami, FL) 14 // McManne, e Takin’ Over” (M (Miami, FL) 21 // Tarvoria & Mr z meet & gr at “W Be TJ Chapman @ d’s er izz ale Ov ’ Sw Kh r kin fo DJ Ta t of e n’s en t “W ha ev se e uli m d’s th Ja Ho ale f on @ Kh De ts ky at set of DJ , & gues & Lil Chuc e CORE DJs Retre // DJ Jelly, Jibbs 18 // Rick Ross e Bentley for th Orleans, LA) 15 eamz Tour (Jacksonville, FL) x & Apple @ th rm (16); Lin d ) TX Ma Dr , t // tin ee 20 ) (Aus e (02,05,14); Sto & Plies @ Str party (Miami, FL Chase Pat and Lexlu @ SXSW Marcus DeWayn ; s 3) rd co 4,1 (0 Re l tic du Ab i, FL) 22 // CORE DJs Atlan ndz (03); Malik ivate party (Miam 0,21); Luxury Mi DJs J Records pr 0,11,12,18,19,2 9,1 8,0 7,0 6,0 (0 rly 5,22); Julia Beve Eric Perrin (01,1 e Tyson (17) Photo Credits: Terrenc
OZONEMAG MAG////27 27 OZONE
You asked for it and now you got it - a model section. But in true OZONE fashion, we had to remix it. It couldn’t just be like every other mag’s model section, so instead of models, our Pole Position display showcases some of the most succulent strippers in the game.
Touched by an Angel This is the story of Capri, a 27-year-old former factory steel welder who left welding steel rods for a new career erecting them. Today, you can find the captivating Black and Dominican mix at Strokers Club, one of ATL’s premier strip spots, which, according to Capri, is the place to be on Sunday nights. “If you wanna find me, go there on Sunday,” says Capri. “Sundays are always hot at Strokers, that’s the only day that I’m definitely in there.” If for some reason the two golden arches between her shoulders and triple-thick thighs haven’t compelled you to make the trip next Sunday — and every Sunday after — then her double Big Macs in the back will definitely do the job. “I get a lot of attention from my butt,” she shyly reveals, in an obvious understatement. “Both males and females seem to love my butt.” Truth is, her butt is beyond belief. And then, as if her small, 23-inch frame leading to a 38-inch derriere didn’t already attract enough attention, Capri has made her spacious behind home to an equally alluring angel tattoo; a tattoo so big it looks as though Shaq himself slapped her on the ass and left a permanent print. “I love my tattoo,” she gushes. “I think it fits perfect.” The tattoo also worked perfect for her position as one of the most desired dancers at the club. Capri’s natural resources are so coveted that her customers will do or say damn near anything to get more than just a lap dance from the heavenly body. “One time I met this guy at the club and he told me that his wife died giving birth to his son, and I ended up dating him for about a year,” she remembers. “It turned out that his wife was alive and well, so now, I kinda stay away from customers.” // Words by Eric N. Perrin // Photos by Sean Cokes Hair & Makeup by Christian // Model provided by StrokersClub.com 28 // OZONE MAG
listening party for 8Ball & MJG’s DJ Nasty @ Fire& @ Studio 7303 , G ino MJ Ch & c, DJ , Ro gi nblo, & Swirl 02 // 8Ball, He ) 04 // Krazy Yo ent (Miami, FL) party (Miami, FL iami, FL) 06 // Guest, Petey Pa s ev rd m co Ja f Re De tic at lan tre (M At Prince & King s Re e ow s DJ th Sh DJ y RE d Bo RE ar CO r CO by Aw e fo s Ba DJ Bentley for th Mistah m @ Sobe Live iami, FL) 08 // ea 51 for CORE iami, FL) 11 // Mad Linx @ the f Jam event (M Ron C, & Tum Tu x, & guest @ Ar 01 // DJ Q45 & for CORE DJs De DJs J Records private party (M ank White, Kaspa, Tuck, Trini D, OG mmando, DJ Six ley Big Co nt , DJ Be co e // Pa th // 05 @ ) 03 Fr RE sh // B& (Houston, TX) rty (Orlando, FL ppi & Young Ca e & K Foxx @ CO (Miami, FL) 13 i, FL) 15 // Bun sty’s birthday pa at (Miami, FL) 07 // Deuce Po Studios (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Dr DJ Khaled’s “We Takin’ Over” ivate party (Miam Bigga Rankin & DJ stone for DJ Na pr tre rk of s t Re we rd se s e co tch DJ th Re Pa RE J on @ s CO // e h DJ es The t Jo ” (Miami, FL) 17 ent (Miami, FL) 19 ite Boy @ CORE e-Z & Mannie Fr @ Mansion for TV Johnny & Fa // Chance & Wh “We Takin’ Over TX) 09 // Mac Br ivate party (Miami, FL) 12 // treat Def Jam ev ke Caren & Mistah (Atlanta, GA) 14 Rich on the set of DJ Khaled’s Re pr Mello (Houston, s s rty rd DJ pa co g RE Re CO nin J e te s th Mi y’s lis RE DJ B, & B iami, FL) 21 // the Bentley for (M @ v FAB & Cool @ CO hard @ Patchwerk for Rich Bo ) 16 // TJ Chapman, Akon, BO at Sa tre g Re un s Yo DJ ep FL for The CORE // DJ Impact & ion 18 ns ) FL Ma guest, & Klarc Sh t of “We Takin’ Over” (Miami, i, @ ) l iam MS du (M n, Ab e se Jam event Tony C & Malik g Break (Jackso DJ Khaled on th for the CORE DJs Retreat Def Freelon’s Sprin iami, FL) 20 // ley D @ Mansion (M est, & Harvey @ gu Big ie, & z er az Ch EFN @ the Bent ab ra Sh RE DJs Malik FL) 22 // Tamb lik Abdul (04.07) // The sexiest CO CORE DJs Award Show (Miami, Smith (02,08); Ma for 1,22); Keadron 0,2 9,2 8,1 7,1 FAB @ Area 51 2,13,14,15,16,1 5,06,09,10,11,1 Beverly (01,03,0 lia Ju s: dit Cre o Phot
OZONEMAG MAG////29 29 OZONE
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Julia “JB” Beverly – Publisher (Orlando, FL) Julia Beverly is the largest consumer of sweet tea in the South and wears white Air Force Ones like she owns a minority percentage of Nike stock, throwing them away after the first scuff mark. She eats a lot but gains no weight, and is the single biggest celebrity in Orlando. If you don’t know who Julia Beverly is, obviously this is your first time reading OZONE. For the few first time readers, “JB” is OZONE’s 25-year-old Founder/CEO/Editor-In-Chief/ Lead Photographer/Layout Specialist/Sales Executive/Promotions Manager/Senior Writer/Street Rep/Web Designer. Basically, she does a little bit of everybody else’s job, and has never been seen sleeping. Though she no longer writes 92% of the magazine (currently it’s at about 35%), JB still pens a significant amount of the content, including her monthly 2 Cents column, which has been known to shut down more bogus businesses than Wal-Mart. If you bounce a check, beware, because it may end up in the next issue. And don’t think those pictures of JB with random rappers that run adjacent to her 2 Cents are there just for show; nope. JB is pimpin’, but like a true pimp, she’ll never announce that fact. Some of other names JB has been called throughout the years include Julie (it’s Jul-E-Ah, not Jul-E), the OZONE lady, Pimp Red, slut monkey (her favorite), white girl, and many others.
Malik “Copafeel” Abdul – Promotions Director (Orlando, FL)
Eric N. Perrin - Features Editor (Chicago, IL) Eric spends most of his day trying to convince anyone who will listen that Chicago is the center of the universe. Eric, however, is actually from Evanston, Illinois, (a north-side suburb) just outside of Chicago. He has been living in Atlanta the past two years and is (kind of) a full-time student at Morehouse College, but basically lives in the OZONE office. You’ve probably seen him scurrying behind JB fetching her sweet tea at video shoots, OZONE parties, studio runs, and other industry events. He is also a photographer, but his Radio Shack-clearance-rack-camera and seemingly 16-year-old appearance make him look more like a male groupie who somehow snuck past security. If you see Eric out and about, please do not ask him how long he has been “interning” for OZONE.
Randy “Exclusive” Roper - Music Editor (Charleston, SC) Rappers, label execs, and managers, this is guy you need to speak to if you’re disappointed by the review your CD or mixtape received in the last few issues. Music editor Randy Roper is from Charleston, SC, but for now, you can find him in the A. He truly believes he knows anything and everything about music, especially rap. We, however, feel more inclined to believe that Randy knows everything about South Carolina rap. At any given moment, Randy “Exclusive” is trying to convince us at OZONE that some random South Cack artist, who no one in hell has ever heard of, is the next to blow. We love South Carolina, but come on. Randy has spent his entire time at Ozone trying to convince JB that the mag needs a model section, because he secretly knows it’s the only way he’ll be able to pick up chicks in ATL. Sorry Randy, I guess you’ll be stuck hollering at big girls on Myspace forever.
Mercedes STREETS – Queen of the Streets (Orlando, FL)
Malik has been with OZONE damn near longer than anyone not named JB, and although his title is Promotions Director, Malik does it all - from writing, to photography, to ad sales, and more. The legendary former pirate radio DJ was once sentenced to four months home confinement with an electronic bracelet and 18 months probation for operating several immensely successful pirate radio stations throughout Central Florida. Today, OZONE’s smooth criminal spends much of his time cruising the scene in his extremely conspicuous OZONE/CRUNK!!! truck looking for unsuspecting hoards of [white] women on which to prey. He is also responsible for nearly all of the halfnaked pictures of “video models” you see in the photo galleries of OZONE (thanks, Cop). Malik lives in Orlando but spends most of his time on the road.
If you look in the very first issue of OZONE, Mercedes name was right there on the masthead. 5 years and 56 issues later, she’s still a major part of the magazine. Mercedes plays an integral part in the magazine’s promotions and also runs OZONE’s Myspace page (don’t ask to placed in the top 8; she won’t even give such an honor to any of the new staff members). Mercedes rides or dies for OZONE, literally. This past winter, she was involved in a car accident driving from Orlando to Tallahassee with thousands of magazines in tow. Thankfully Mercedes is okay, however, she did break her right arm. She wears a CORE DJs customized cast, since she is also the Promotions Director for the DJ collective.
N. Ali Early - Chief Operating Officer/OZONE West Editor
Tene Gooden - Art Director (Mandeville, Jamaica)
Bay Boy N. Ali Early (we were gonna tell you what the “N” stands for, but he edited it out) graduated from Clark Atlanta University and is a die-hard Kobe Bryant fan. JB couldn’t have picked a better, more knowledgeable West coast rap cat to head up the new monthly left coast tribute. Ali basically bleeds Bay soil. If you ask the veteran rap critic, he’ll probably tell you the best rappers that have ever lived are Mac Dre, E-40, 2Pac and Too $hort; and he’ll go dumb on anyone that disagrees. Ali has been known to wear a different Bay Area t-shirt every day for a month straight and is the only dude riding around Atlanta bumpin’ hyphy with his stunner shades on all day long, then poppin’ his collar on his way to Compound that same night. He is a very unique dude who laughs uncontrollably at his own jokes and belches better than Booger from Revenge of the Nerds.
Art Director Tene (pronounced ten-ay) Gooden has been designing magazines for the last seven years and still can’t spell worth a damn. She claims to be Jamaican but we have our doubts, primarily because Tene doesn’t have the slightest Jamaican accent. After living in Miami for 6 years and graduating from the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, she moved to Atlanta with a degree in Graphic Design. If you’ve been noticing the visual differences in OZONE the last few months, Tene is the one to thank. Though she claims to love what she does, she gets visibly frustrated when a story is too long or the pictures provided don’t look right. Even though she looks harmless, if you go too far over the designated word count, Tene will really turn Jamaican on your rasclat ass and you’ll forever regret it. She is also the only one in the OZONE office who genuinely laughs at (or even listens to, for that matter) Ali’s jokes.
30 // OZONE MAG
of DJ rch on the set Sam Sneak, & To t & Young Buck , ay Pl n Gu l’s rte // Carol City Ca i, FL) 04 // Gues et @ Sobe Live m event (Miam (Miami, FL) 02 CORE DJs Def Ja a, GA) 06 // Stack$ Press Junk i, FL) 09 // s private party r rd fo co Re ley J nt s Be DJ e nt iam Feezy @ th @ The CORE ning party (Atla Award Show (M big booty bitch Young Cash, Mad Linx, & DJ E@ Firestone Rich Boy’s liste rson @ Area 51 for CORE DJs 5, gged up with his Khaled & Disco Patchwerk for Ca DJ @ // de an 11 Cly Se ) & ng B TX 01 // Lil Jon hu ’ Over” (Miami, FL) 03 // DJ Q4 , Yu FA as rk for Rich & h all n, we sta (D Do Mi tch ow // Pa da sh w @ 08 r lo a ) kin ca FL am ’s t, Po Khaled’s “We Ta est Palm Beach, ip Cheatham @ 97.9 The Beat TX) 13 // Jason Brown & DJ Dr Sobe Live (Miami, FL) spa, Greg Stree (W Ka // ing Bl 05 g ) TX rin n, Sp , Sk @ TSU (Housto & Hulk Hogan @ Area 51 for CORE DJs for SXSW (Austin & Young Buck @ ainesville, FL) 10 // DJ Bink & Hogan, Stack$, auty Bar Patio // DJ Don Juan @ & The Pack @ Be ) 15 // Brooke @ The Venue (G (Miami, FL) 07 e Poppi & Plies & e TX , ec n on Du tin tio rle // us ra Co (A de 18 & , Fe ) Nice, DJ Chino, SW The wood ins, & Trae @ SX t Palm Beach, FL m event (Miami, FL) 21 // DJ ndo, FL) 12 // es wk Big Koon, Holly (W rla Ha (O ing ah Bl rty sh g pa Me y rin Ja thda e @ Sp DJs Def Johnson, tlanta, GA) for DJ Nasty’s bir GA) 14 // Chris ) 17 // Famous & Chamillionair Neal @ the Bentley for CORE release party (A party (Atlanta, ezy’s video game EFN & Tony Je (Houston, TX DJ g // wn Boy’s listening un To 20 Yo H) @ TX of l (03,09,11,20); n, Blak Southside (14); Malik Abdu his son (Housto o, FL) 22 // Don Adams & DJ 16 // My Block ; Luxury Mindz 19 // DJ Chill & 4) nd ) (0 rla FL i, (O ith Sm iam rty n (M pa ro Award Show sty’s birthday 3,15,18,22); Kead estone for DJ Na 1,02,05,06,08,1 Rich Boy @ Fir Julia Beverly (0 ; 9) 6,1 2,1 (1 n Perri Chill (21); Eric D-Lyte (10); DJ Photo Credits: 7) (07,1 Terrence Tyson
OZONEMAG MAG////31 31 OZONE
Jim: Yo Buck, whut up, son?
Buck: Shit homie. This beef shit crazy, man. These muthafuckas actually believe Cam and 50 got beef! Jim: I told you they would, niggas is mad dumb, B. Buck: We some muthafuckin’ geniuses. We gon’ sell millions off this shit. Jim: Fuck wit me, this is what I do, bruh. BALLLLLLIINNN! Buck: Hey, I gotta admit homie, that monkey lookin muthafucka in Cam’s Currrtis video look just like 50. I be laughin my ass off every time I see that shit.
Jim: Hell yeah, and that dude keeps fuckin calling us about gettin the part as Mase in Killa Season 2. I told that stupid nigga people already recognize him as 50. How he gon be 50 one day then mase the next? Buck: Shit I don’t know. But is you and Cam gonna be at 50’s party in Connecticut next weekend? Jim: Naw, da boy Jay havin a little get together with Beyonce next Friday and you know Juelz and everybody tryin to fuck Solange, so we gon hit that up.
Textin’ is no longer safe now that OZONE’s dangerous minds have hacked the system.
Buck: Aw man, I wanna go to that shit, homie. I heard Beyonce momma a freak. I wanna fuck. Jim: You nasty muthafucka, Tina’s like fuckin 60 or something. Buck: I don’t give a fuck, homie. That just means I can’t fuck around and get her pregnant or no shit. Jim: I don’t think you can hit that shit. Poppa Knowles ain’t gonna honor no shit like that Buck: I’m a boss, I can make it rain. Jim: Well, good luck. I heard she like it ruff. Buck: How you know nigga? Jim: Shit, Jay told me. Buck: Hell nah, Hov fuckin Beyonce and her momma? Jim: You ain’t know? Why think they let Jay stay wit B this long? He be fuckin both them at the same time. BALLLLIIIINNNN!!! Buck: R U serious? Does Beyonce dad know about that shit? Jim: Hell yeah, he be the one the filming they ass. Jay be killin’ that shit. No homo. Buck: That shit too crazy for me homie, but I gotta go homie. Tell the rest of the dips I said what up. Jim: Okay. Tell Yayo that was fucked up how he did Jimmy Henchmen’s boy. Buck: Yeah, but that muthafucka Jimmy Henchmen owed Yayo money from a dice game last month in Cali. Yayo tried to warn him, but that nigga just don’t like to pay mafuckas. Jim: Damn, I didn’t know that shit. If Yayo really wanted to fuck that nigga up he shoulda just gave dude some of Cam’s Snapple. BALLLLIIIINNN!! Yo, son, U should have 50 pretend to kick U out of G-Unit on the radio! You’ll sell millions! Buck: Jones, U a fool. I’ma tell him. He callin’ Hot 97 in the morning. Jim: Word, I’ma tune in. Dipset! Dipset! Dipset! Buck: G-G-G-ood Bye - From the mind of Eric Perrin.
* This is just a joke. No, we did not really hack into anybody’s sidekick.
32 // OZONE MAG
aled’s the set of DJ Kh & Jim Jonsin on , & , ith od Sm y wo ce lly Tra Ho // BOB, Cedric // Wild Wayne, (Miami, FL) 02 (Miami, FL) 04 party (Miami, rty rty te pa pa iva te pr um s iva tin rd pr s pla co rd Re 3x , LA) 08 // CORE DJs J Reco Velez @ Mansion for Akon’s n @ CORE DJs J sh (New Orleans & DJ Suiside @ Carl Washingto Storch, & Gloria Jon, Big Theo, r his birthday ba party (Miami, FL) 10 // Mr. Collipark, & t fo , Lil ot e cc Sc x, nu Ro O, Lin Ve Dd ke DJ ac Th Ma Bl // @ 01 // DJ Big D, // Mali, Akon, Records private Orleans, LA) 05 Jonathan Bender & Deelishis g Jeezy & B @ CORE DJs J ” (Miami, FL) 03 se party (New FL) 12 // Youn ston, TX) 07 // “We Takin’ Over Club 300 for Baby Boy’s relea aos & Mistah FA Retreat (Miami, ou Ch rker @ s (H // Ba DJ e y” 09 RE cil ne ) CO Ce GA Mo e er a, et Th th @ r “G fa tlant DJ Black N Mild te @ Mansion fo iami, FL) 14 // Stack$ & his The Beat e set of Lil Flip’s ys at the Universoul Circus (A mi .7 th na 92 on Dy BT p DJ WJ Fli & @ Lil (M G & r Ice oria @ Area 51 nesia May, & MJ FL) 06 // Bun B & Unk @ Walk it Out Wednesda 11 // Mixmaste & Rickey rv Ta ) , Ta vis FL & all Ta i, y, 8B // ez // iam 19 Ge (M 16 ) ) rty y, uf, My” (Houston, TX event (Miami, FL ne ) 22 // Baby D, Big Kore CORE DJs J Records private pa 13 // Ike G Da, Grandaddy So m FL Mo Ja h, et f ac “G De s Be of t DJ se a@ rlando, FL) ntley for CORE Bling (West Palm Lil Flip on the (O g Be & e ur rin h th Tara & Elisa Lis to Sp et @ Te @ mz s Dr rd ea na // Dr co ay & Sh e Street i, FL) 18 2 Dog Re Sherell, Lloyd, Duck, D-Tec, & Jim Jones on th ard Show (Miam son, MS) 21 // for CORE DJs Aw i, FL) 15 // Papa ring Break (Jack Sp n’s Sobe Live (Miam 17 // Grafh & guest @ Area 51 lo ee Fr 4,07,18); ) man & JC @ rcus DeWayne (0 (Miami, FL) (Jacksonville, FL Beat (Dallas, TX) 20 // China dul (12,15); Ma Def Jam event Ab at lik tre Re Ma ; s e 8) DJ Th 6,1 (0 Smiley @ 97.9 ley for the CORE Keadron Smith our @ the Bent 3,14,17,20,22); DJ Nasty & Benis 3,05,09,10,11,1 2,0 1,0 (0 rly ve lia Be ic Perrin (08); Ju D-Lyte (19); Er (16,21) Photo Credits: Terrence Tyson
OZONEMAG MAG////33 33 OZONE
s y o B n a m s Hei I
friend was played for t made by a childhood ly March. Cap, bea ear a in en day wh Fri an rm beg wa gle sin sually t’s 3:32 PM on an unu dance studio hidden concealed in a small the group. n Center. tio rea D-Ray, and D-Nell are Rec e vill into ms Atlanta’s Ada beat and it just came and de itu att in the basement of the ant ber re just listening to the just exu we ir and we the g m cin ally fro sic dan g d “Ba gin rte jud teenage rappers/ a dance song, so I sta ee s They’re exhausted, but thr wa Cap it t The re,” tha w. the ds kno m er hea fro our , you’d nev rm and it just went tine (much envy evoking energy ed to do a little stiff-a earsing their stage rou pen reh hap sly les ent rel inn friends have bee day, and though our concludes. n you may think) all upt more complicated the lly impossible to interr tua vir is it , PM Tube video views 3 for s led thi t edu tha sch s tes wa s of MySpace and You ica w tervie icated hustle which ind few months and million z, now called 3rd Flo, witnessed their hit A ded a . n; act ime rap reg w us rro an Boy their rigoro y-gone-tomo later, the three Heism a mere here-to-toda pop culture. ATL Trio is more than e an enamored part of om bec gle sin the be to m see y ma an” relishes. “That was s single “Do Da Heism o oblivion, their is beautiful, man.” Cap e int l Though their infectiou Tub fal You to ed and tin ce des Spa were in school and it “My t joy riders lly gotta promotion when we product of adolescen much all we had for t anything but. “We rea tty ges pre sug or ’re ean we t dem ice us.” work ethic and it’s our future tha helped the world not ss like men, because ds take care of our busine ell. D-N ld r-o yea 19 s hundreds and hundre rm affi d it for us, after that, rke living for right now,” spa lly in. s rea me be chi uTu “Yo D-Nell own Heisman video,” ferent. They were of people made their lifestyle was much dif State any Alb at Six months ago, their m ted the dor or living in a third flo ich has brutally lambas freshmen in college, in Campus activities, the music industry, wh to bootlegging streaks, 3rd ed of pat ch tici mu par like y Un The ll. Ha g from album leaks University’s Andrews end English 101, probed great, it shows that internet for everythin other morning to att burgers in ght in the web. “It’s ese cau che ng woke up early every bei and s for ul frie nkf nch to make their tha Flo is n ate the Fre ody in college wants female dorms, and eve still have fun. Everyb nsive. All you can xpe ple ine peo tty pre are Tube the residence halls. and MySpace and You eo, ell. vid n D-N ow tes l camera and go,” sta n,” states Cap. “And gotta do is get a digita fries never let you dow gers everybur ese “French fries. French che ble y afloat dou se d to eat tho ether 3rd Flo will sta Cheeseburgers, we use stion remains as to wh ably fades. vit que ine the ce l, ell. spa Stil My D-N s and ber e tub day,” vividly remem ay. paign crafted by You D-R cam ds the ten er con aft ,” sic nt, but we make mu itself that we felt “Label us what you wa opportunity presented an but we e, leg now col ht rig ed “We lov ool but n’t be able to always go back to sch album drops, you wo states 18 we had to take. We can music, period. When the ke music and not always be there,” y ke ma ma ma t “We s. “We tha ty add uni ell ort ers.” D-N have a unique opp rize us as just entertain is complete. It’s well-rounded and ego cat our album year-old D-Ray. our music is complete, // lated to one sound.” once, D-Nell, Cap, iso at t all jus pen not hap ely s nit ng thi defi at it’s gre t tha do ces cre deu Following the They threw the erly pelled to pull a Kanye. g // Photo by Julia Bev and D-Ray were com ned a deal with buddin sig and te Sta Words by Eric N. Perrin any Alb at s s iou ate tag ssm con cla ir and the to que lion Records. Their uni independent label J Mil
34 // OZONE MAG 34 // OZONE MAG
eg Street @ on, Big Zak, & Gr RE ) 03 // Don Cann , & M-Geezy @ Area 51 for CO TX , tin us (A SW SX sh e ille, & Pimp C @ y Souf, Young Ca andon quickly adjusting to th zv dd nt da Hu an D, Gr e // lli Wi 05 Br iami, FL) 02 // ezy’s video // Bun B’s son SW (Austin, TX) Je (M 07 SX g ry ) @ un FL t cto Yo es e, Fa @ t ill gu Hi & nv dd C, so Frankie J @ ings & Tango Re The Beat (Jack // Mr 3-2, Pimp n @ Patchwerk t, Jim Jonsin, & c @ WJBT 92.7 tlanta, GA) 04 ) 09 // Lyfe Jenn ise Chaplin & Keinon Johnso 01 // BOB, gues tening party (A , Yancey Richardson, & Hen-Ro listening party (Atlanta, GA an g Jeezy @ lis Je un y’s // Yo Bo & 11 h y ) Ric dd LA lik Patchwerk for (New Orleans, ) 13 // Trick Da e Bentley for the rk for Rich Boy’s sh GA 06 // Shoeb Ma we ba a, ) y nt FL tch i, da Pa tla th (A @ iam bir e (M rty Sens g pa s @ th nder’s DJs Award Show // DJ Nabs & DJ @ Jonathan Be tchwerk for Rich Boy’s listenin (Miami, FL) 15 // Chingy & DJ ivate party (Miami, FL) ouston, TX) 08 is & Slim Thug h Boy @ Pa Takin’ Over” 20 s J Records pr e Ric rap star life (H ) 10 // Deelish DJ & “W GA n RE d’s a, Do CO nt ale da @ tla Kh w (A (Houston, TX) ag rty Polo t of DJ i, p’s “Get Money” // K Foxx & Dirtb game release pa ning party (Atlanta, GA) 12 // & Bernard Hopkins on the se (Austin, TX) 17 Boomtown on the set of Lil Fli for The CORE DJs Retreat (Miam SW e te SX Jo lis t @ y’s Fa ys // Bo Bo h 14 it ) ion Mr Gr FL & e ns for Ric e, th p, Ma ill & Fli @ nv dd Lil so , To Rip // A Dubb // Pretty Tour (Jack guest, & DJ Street Dreamz (Miami, FL) 19 t (Miami, FL) 16 Aleshia Steele, at Def Jam even ea 51 for CORE DJs Award Show rds party (Miami, FL) 21 // co CORE DJs Retre Ar Re @ tic & Papa Smirf RE DJs Atlan Wayne (10); 18 // Baby Boy Sobe Live for CO z (16); Marcus De & Krazy Yog @ 2); Luxury Mind 9,2 7,1 (0 ith // Michael Watts Kuccur (Houston, TX) Sm n p& 8,20,21); Keadro FL) 22 // Lil Fli 1,12,14,15,17,1 1,03,05,08,09,1 (0 rly ve Be lia 4); Ju Eric Perrin (02,0 e Tyson (06,13) Photo Credits: Terrenc
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e n a c i r r u H W
erts Hurricane. “He Ace Booncoon,” ass his a lil’ saying, since d Bay Bay, that’s my d oo ha yh oll we d “H in Shreveport an ir minds ing with the ow jok s sh e, wa io can We rad rri . n Hu ow him rd to got his king ans hear the wo ver, re, the started a rhyme tal hen most Louisian s of Katrina; howe name is Bay Bay, we d the song became snappy.” From the ding its the painful memorie ange all that. His an y,’ Ba y Bay,” is fin inevitably drift to ch y Ba to Ba ‘A d e, “A ne lik e’s mi ter him can de rri is tive his destruca hit, and now Hu ide. this Shreveport na en to him as a result opponents’ song went on to be ace profiles nationw Hurricane, was giv playlists and Mysp his n d tio ate sta acu io ev rad ly on on maligned moniker, t way . If skills; skills that no ng anybody can use disarrayed frenzy. tive battle-rapping dy’s name to a sla b looking crowd in a bo clu on me so the the t t to jus lef o ing m go als fro t pride, bu “I switched it asks you, ‘You e divulges. club and somebody embarrass to can the d rri to Hu use I ing o,” es go sh e ttl fa ba u’r s yo an er each one of my to just be , ‘A Bay Bay.’ It me a problem “Not to brag, but aft that when it was over, people used tonight?’ You can say rricane has positioned himself to be be lookd uld ba relate to wo Hu so to e; dy rs] sur bo ing pe try ery for rap m ’s r “Ev [othe One thing game by storm. “I’ umble Hurricane. why i-h the t’s e sem good tha tak d the to the An s e .’ in’ im sur liv ‘em cla ry silent,” ex He destroyed in the indust hood to the people at just happened? silent,” he affirms. m the people in the it’s fro ; rm dy sto bo a ing crazy, like, ‘Wh ery er ev aft rricane, because they named me Hu life,” he says. conzz had rsatile,” Hurricane category 5 type bu e’s can rri Hu , jor nts ma e thing, I’m real ve ne bit a on po le to t op litt ou a him ab , ced g led en mp pin sil bu lly d rap he Though and eventua “I ain’t just that you can ride an ’t too gangsta to on industry execs, brainchild of execu club songs, songs ain t it the go , “I ck; rds s. ma co the opposite effect de a Re d clu /J an n’ feel Ying Yang lo Grounds Music between a gangsta y it, but you still go ng Lil Jon’ and The label deal with Po of everything. It’s ople ain’t gon’ pla be ited with discoveri pe n’ ed n go (cr tai gs ch cer thu Lea ere an the wh d Bry tive the point folks, gangstas, an ite Wh ). m. ers fro oth g ng on mi Twinz, am where I’m co // eport savior is able to ride to this.” effect and the Shrev single “A Bay l ful in is n so sea y ch cat y usl ero Today, Hurricane ng da Beverly ’t even p the industry. His n // Photo by Julia s. Initially, it wasn ready to reign ato Words by Eric Perri an immense succes for y me wa co a be as dy n ea ga alr be s Bay” ha like track ng; the quicksandsupposed to be a so me. na ’s nd frie his Hurricane to say
36 // OZONE MAG 36 // OZONE MAG
nta, ning party (Atla Rich Boy’s liste r fo rty rk pa we te tch iva @ Pa DJs J Records pr & DJ Infamous working @ CORE Boi @ Orange County Conven n, Greg Street, d to see Teach e // Polow da Do ou De 02 pr & , ) is FL 00 n i, 30 Jo ck iam Lil 09 // Baby & Sti (M // ) h, 04 FL rty es ) o, pa Fr LA nd te , an ns rla iva iti (O pr lea Ha s J Records // Boy Wonder, g party (New Or ’s birthday party nnedy & DJ Tech @ Young Shep @ CORE DJ @ their listenin s Award Show (Miami, FL) 06 ne for DJ Nasty Ke 01 // Fiend & D ntry @ Plies @ Firesto FL) 11 // Keith DJ all, & Rob Fresh & e, 8B RE ill do 1, CO nv Be r b so fo // Sla ck 51 08 DJ (Ja ) ea ie Fresh & Big Ku tinum GA) 03 // MJG, ms, & DJ Q @ Ar y @ The Moon (Tallahassee, FL & Plies @ Street Dreamz Tour Over” (Miami, FL) 13 // Mann pla Mi e, 3x ot ’s Qu on Ak DJ r // n, fo ’ Bo cords (Miami, FL) 05 // J Baby, his so T-Pain & Baby aled’s “We Takin DJ Khaled & Nelly @ Mansion DJs Atlantic Re ndo, FL) 07 // ” (Miami, FL) 10 & DJ Nasty on the set of DJ Kh iami, FL) 15 // be Live for CORE // tion Center (Orla DJ Khaled’s “We Takin’ Over (M So s 20 er @ ) rty FL nn Bil pa i, Ru te ck e iam wi iva Th (M // t of DJs J Records pr te party (Miami, FL) 17 // Bush for Akon’s 3x platinum party tlanta, GA) 12 King Bun B on the se h FAB @ CORE nta, GA) 22 // release party (A iva sta ion tla pr Mi ns me s (A & rd ga Ma e rty co Jo @ eo pa e Re ss g vid J lli s Ro nin k DJ // Wi te Ric lis RE 14 Jeezy’s & CO ) d y’s GA @ un Bo x a, h Ho nt Six r Ric Joe s (Atla orge, & DJ iami, FL) 19 // @ Patchwerk fo Patchwerk Studio Ashley, Dior Ge @ Sobe Live (M anise Chaplin & Randy Roper ) 16 // Storm, Gotti Bonanno Je & s // ke 21 party (Miami, FL Du ) FL an i, 0) ) 18 // Rahm d Show (Miam rrence Tyson (1 party (Miami, FL r CORE DJs Awar se party (Atlanta, GA) yne (03,07); Te s @ Area 51 fo 8); Marcus DeWa relea 6,0 me (0 l ga du eo Ab Plies & Ted Luca vid lik Ma @ Young Jeezy’s 7,18,19,20,22); Arthur & 4-Ize 2,13,14,15,16,1 2,04,05,09,11,1 1,0 (0 rly ve Be ; Julia Eric Perrin (21) Photo Credits:
OZONEMAG MAG////37 37 OZONE
D Shep S
athlete, his abilities as an rytelling. Just like fact, his sto In . for ed e ign lov -s nd co d fou news; he quickly noticed an re ect – DJ sp we r pro ers pe ak top rap bre a ’s mi as ord s his effort of Miami’s top rec Shep was one of Mia ve numbers. But the was hosted by two even years ago Dssi pe pre xta im mi ry t ve firs me so sn’t and had skill, stamina ng upon himself wa Khaled and DJ Irie. ll nition he was drawi attention and recog . The interest was coming from footba current single “Stay Rs A& el ney, introduced his onto Miami radio s Mo lab wa nt jor ep Re , ma Sh pe m ck, fro xta ba mi g ng d comi l runnin His secon neuvered its way ll. ranked high schoo and ended up ng unexpectedly ma r in professional ba so ee e Th scouts. As a highly car ” l al. sfu Re ces t out the mixtape suc a long and ficult life Darrell lly unheard of. “I pu spinning on dif tua s, the vir gle is nt sin predicted to have ou ich be acc wh to o – did not take int t weren’t planned tha s, nobody yet, gle ’t sin ain o u tw yo But the predictions g If havin off the field. iami is starstruck. “M ing . liv ins s pla despread wa ex wi rd ’s he pa ” ng ep Sh the radio, was He attributes the so d who you are an get on the radio.” Southside, D-Shep s to are iou rd u tor ha yo o no it’s ’s wh mi to eets of Mia meet. me one ge of being true Struggling in the str order to make ends appeal to its messa change who I am or my attitude. I’m football dreams in e in to ing go t no m forced to give up his ns was disappointing, he found solac d.” “I’ not. aroun should pla ardless of who I’m nk a lot of people While the change of hundred percent, reg high is therapeutic. I thi er sic Aft ” mu m. my says, , the me to it “To music. y I bring reach listeners. He my music by the wa s to his a song, outlet Shep uses to be able to relate to same determination he had in sport “When you perform dio is not the only Ra the ance school, he applied you really get a ch u feel to express how yo thing no ’t ain It about it. ge and like getting on sta you.” people vibing with has s fan m fro e The lov pand inspired him to ex town. outside of his home k, spea “Right now as we y promo I’m on a twelve cit shows to ion dit ad tour.” In moand street team pro working tions, Shep is also ck Daddy. Tri th wi ix rem on a tured fea be ll wi The remix along on his first major LP, duced with new tracks pro d his an on Ak , mp Too by DJ rn. Ho cer du pro in-house ent D-Shep is a testam plan d’s Go es tim me so that g lon the ing tak includes ys road. Whether he sta r his independent unde breaks or acy pir ns Co label e, Shep gu lea jor ma into the work out. knows things will n so far He says, “I’ve gotte the of e on of t ou ng comi pers. rap for ies cit toughest t and I’m I accomplished tha f.” // real proud of mysel ity Words by Ms. Riverc y Photo by Joe Wesle
38 // OZONE MAG 38 // OZONE MAG
, // Troy Marshall DJ e (Miami, FL) 03 // Liv 05 be ) So FL @ i, a iam ag , DJ EFN, & Nore DJs J Records private party (M e CORE DJs Re) 02 // DJ Epps th RE TX r fo CO n, @ sto ley r nt ou ta (H Be hs the Sout listening party splash (Tampa, & Jeff Dixon @ ilez, DJ Q45, & for 8Ball & MJG’s Shock G @ Wild ) 11 // Ms // DJ Quest, Sm // Chaka Zulu, Crystal Isaacs, bba Sparxxx & G @ Studio 7303 Award Show (Miami, FL) 04 FL Bu 06 MJ i, ) // & FL iam C, 08 n o, (M ) ” Ro nd FL er i, rla ’ Ov for CORE DJs 01 // 8Ball, OG thday party (O cords party (Miam set of DJ Khaled’s “We Takin Ellis @ Patchwerk for Rich tness @ Area 51 r DJ Nasty’s bir e DJs Atlantic Re th RE Kim on CO & r d y, fo ale ne e k Enhis wife, & Swee h, & Mercedes @ Firestone fo Kh Mo Liv DJ o Wade @ Bloc Montgomery, JT & Brisco @ Sobe er” (Miami, FL) 10 // Trina & Fres Joc, Block, & Ric h Money & Smitty Chino, Haitian 07 // Flo-Rida ) 13 // Sabrina ng Ov ) TX ’ Yu FL n, kin e, i, Ta sto Zo e iam ou la “W (M (H ril nc t Lu d’s 03 en // Go ston, TX) 18 // r show treat Def Jam ev Johnny on the set of DJ Khale y, Rich Boy, & Trae @ Studio 73 private party (Miami, FL) 15 & Shawty (Hou .9 The Beat’s ca & TV DJs J Records GA) 17 // Mims i, FL) & E-Class @ 97 ille, FL) 12 // Ta a, RE e nv FL) 09 // Spiff nt iam CO ac so tla (M @ Pe ck (A y at Lil (Ja Ba rty tre // y in pa Re 20 Ba s g Rank // Hurricane & h Boy’s listenin k D @ Wildsplash (Tampa, FL) for The CORE DJ 14 Ric ) ion Rivercity & Bigga r GA ns fo a, Ma rk nt @ we tla e party (A Bo @ Patch ssa, & Drun dul & DJ Backsid Boy’s listening // DJ Drama & J- 19 // DJ Christion, DJ Headbu lik Abdul (21); ) 22 // Malik Ab tlanta, GA) 16 ana (08,19); Ma i, FL) rty (Orlando, FL iam pa y (M da tertainment (A rty th pa bir 2,17); Luis Sant te ’s 1,1 iva sty (0 pr Na s ith rd DJ r Sm co fo n Re ro J ne @ CORE DJs Boy @ Firesto 4,16,18,22); Kead // Mr CC & Rich 4,06,07,09,10,1 (Dallas, TX) 21 Beverly (02,03,0 lia Ju ; 3) (1 n rri Pe Chino (05); Eric D-Lyte (20); DJ Photo Credits: n (11) so Ty e nc rre Te 5); Randy Roper (1
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e o Z a l l i r Go
es recognize real. ent sounds, real do tem sta s thi as é ch s cli newest member, ck Entertainment’s Take for example Blo e. If you ask Block Entertainment CEO a Zo ristics 25-year-old Gorill veritable characte vibe,” , Zoe embodies the cer his en ed Sp lik t k” oc jus I “Bl de ll Russe “When I met the du gas. When I looked . ist art an to him that draw like real nig hood nigga, and I tter, gangsta Block says. “He’s a one of those real gu out what ’s He . me of me ed ab ind rap rem lly he , rea t him tha at gas t’s what I like. Nig ass niggas and tha gh.” they really go throu that pen those rhymes ars of struggle to ye , Zoe, an 14 red at du en me e ho Zo t r’s Bu er leaving his mothe ng odd jobs, Job Corps Aft . CEO his ed all enthr worki t his teenage years te that would Atlanta native, spen g an alternative rou partners, din fin e for be ing ess sin bu his and street hustl th wi his life. Zoe, along ultimately change
plan was studio. The initial Atlanta recording an studio o for int s y ist ne art mo charging invested generate income by abitant, teaching inh ry ma pri to use the studio to ’s dio himself the stu s time, time. But, Zoe found ment. Within a year’ outs of studio equip from local producer Chris d an ins the f sel him help Pro Tools and with independent Zoe had mastered songs to release an gh ou en ed let mp Flame, had co album. ns ependent album pla m with Block, those ind fro ng cks eti tra me ce ing an ord ch rec After a e knew it, he was re Zo mo e d for ha Be ck ld. Blo ho were put on ays visionary ing studio. The alw th Boyz the Block Ent. record ‘I wanna see what you sound like wi er the said, the studio. And ov plans for Zoe. “He “He threw us all in lis. all mp co rec e to d Zo ,’” rte od sta N Da Ho good. We rted sounding real d with the three ate cre e Zo t weeks that shit sta tha ry From the chemist Big Gee eze, Big Duke and ment each other.” of BNDH — Jody Bre roduced ers int mb lly me cia nt offi be s um wa inc — Zoe mber. me st we ne ’s up as the gro Da Hood “I first built Boyz N t types of en fer dif t en res to rep Block says. ,” od ho the niggas in of the er stl hu “Jeezy was the the gorilla of is e] [Zo w no w, cre ents niggas the crew. He repres n’ get it by go t’s tha in the hood lo single so e’s any means.” Zo king up spins pic is ” ga Nig d oo “H . And he has across the country ssion on DJs pre im g tin made a las the list of on #5 who ranked him w Up In 2007 in Blo To s ist Art xt Ne nual DJ Issue. OZONE’s second an res to release As the group prepa Back In The um alb d on sec ir the eduled for a sch ely tiv nta (te Chevy ains conrem e Zo , se) ea spring rel d the tan ths wi can fident that he a platinum ing lac rep of re ssu pre no pressure, superstar. “It ain’t Zoe says. ,” ga nig I’m a hood ndard so high, “[Jeezy] set the sta pressure, but everybody thinks it’s en to hell be ne do I . me not for // ” and back. Words and Photo by
40 // OZONE MAG 40 // OZONE MAG
as, ’s car show (Dall @ 97.9 The Beat birthday party ls de Mo ut Clo the for DJ Nasty’s rey Cleghorn & d @ Firestone n @ Mansion o, FL) 02 // Co phew, & DJ Khale hy Lee, Ali, Big Kipp, & Kewa Ne y party (Orland , da ss th Bo bir b ’s Mo , rp sty Mu Na be Live (Miami, odye s, DJ So Go es r pr @ m fo n Ex Sli ne ga // BT to Ho // es 04 lk ) E-Class @ Fir // Keith ” (Miami, FL) 06 YC) 08 // Cecile Barker & Hu Live (Miami, FL Disco, & Dre, & (Miami, FL) 11 “We Takin’ Over apman @ Sobe ” (N 01 // DJ Nasty, t of “Emotions DJs Award Show ess Records on South e Barker, & TJ Ch yne on the set of DJ Khaled’s se RE cil e Ce CO th r e, fo on rk s 51 Cla ne Jo ood, & Lil Wa tlanta, K-Tone @ Area TX) 03 // Mike // Strictly Busin a, guest, & Jim werk Studios (A // Baby, DJ Dagw l, DJ Big D, & DJ (Miami, FL) 13 t, Juelz Santan ) 10 // Big Swol 51 for CORE DJs Award Show rilla Zoe @ Patch 51 (Orlando, FL) 05 treat (Miami, FL) 07 // Gues GA Go ea & s, Ar e, bu @ Ge lum rm Big (Co Sto ea FA s Re Kuntry, Webbie, Dior George, & ard for The CORE DJ ck, Amir, & DJ Incognito @ WB ) 12 // Baby Boy & Mims @ Ar n, MS) 15 // Big ey, Malik Abdul, for CORE DJs Aw LA g Bu g Break (Jackso Orleans, LA) 17 // Guest, Ashl 19 // R&B and Dre @ Area 51 (New Orleans, @ rin ll FL) 09 // Youn Sp ko Be Ko n’s te & lo Na n ee & ma Fr @ Angela, ) 22 // TJ Chap the studio (New ow (Dallas, TX) Harvey, & pimp Sweat, Uptown SXSW (Austin, TX n$y, & Shawt in krack @ 97.9 The Beat’s car sh // 2 Live Crew, @ rre e 14 Cu stl ) J, FL Hu y i, ll me Wi iam re & ad no Beach (M ck Maine, Je , Paul Wall, & He d Show (Miami, FL) 21 // Ry ) g A, T Hilly, Ma // Sista Sondra ar Live (Miami, FL GA) 16 // Youn (Miami, FL) 18 y Bucs @ Sobe for CORE DJs Aw rcus DeWayne Ba ow 51 a Sh ea d mp Ar ar Ta @ e Aw p th s dul (01,04); Ma ho of r Bis ylo DJ Ta & for CORE DJ ed tch Fr No & z (21); Malik Ab p a, nd To ec Mi // De ry , 20 at xu ) Lu He FL ; i 0,22) Show (Miami, y of the Miam 4,15,16,17,19,2 i, FL) 23 // Pose 5,06,08,10,13,1 Sobe Live (Miam a Beverly (03,0 uli 9J (0 ito gn Inco Lyte (02,18); DJ Bogan (23); DCrook (07) Photo Credits: (11,16); Rico da
OZONEMAG MAG////41 41 OZONE
TRAINING DAY Feel free to keep reading those other whack magz, where they sit in the office all day long and 90% of their former staff hate them. But it’s a well-known fact that over here at OZONE, life is one big never-ending road trip. A few former (and one current) OZONE contributors reminisce on their favorite mag moments.
NOEL MALCOLM (former OZONE assistant editor) What do you get when you put over 200 pounds of magazines in a 1999 Mercury Cougar and send off me and JB to visit five States in five days? Haven’t thought of it yet? That’s because you get three things: The foundation for OZONE becoming a monster in the South, 3,000+ miles on my damn car, and one memory that will stick with me for years to come! Five states in five days was a statement. Until that point OZONE was known mostly in Florida. Even though people from across the entire country were feeling OZONE, we hadn’t really had the opportunity to live up to the tagline “Coming to a city near YOU!” But this proved to be a time when we needed to give a voice to more of the Southern artists out there – people who had been clamoring for some shine on glossy pages in a then Southern-prejudiced Source and XXL. So it was a simple mission: OZONE to the rescue. On that excursion, we found the talent that would inspire the first “Patiently Waiting to Blow” issue. We first met with TJ Chapman from TJ’s DJ’s, and he and numerous other DJs helped set us up with an underground artist map that would give the world first dibs on some of our hottest Southern talents today. Diligently we kept on through the nights with JB and myself switching driving duties across thousands of miles of interstate. On our travels we found up and coming talents like Lil’ Scrappy and Trillville. The artist that most recently made us proud is Rich Boy, who we met at a restaurant with DJ Nick@Nite on our first trip to Mobile, AL. We linked up with DJs like B-Lord and H-Vidal and kept pushing. Hooked up with David Banner in Mississippi, stopped at the Dungeon in ATL, introduced ourselves to Collard Greens in South Carolina and wrapped up everything back in Florida. There were way too many names to mention from that one trip but many of the artists were featured in Issues #16 and 17 of the magazine and it was great being able to introduce them early to the masses. Their success has helped build the foundation for OZONE. That trip became a benchmark for the numerous other cross-country trips that happen almost on a monthly basis now, helping to spread the name of the magazine and take us from handing them out at clubs to tagging them on newsstands. Five states in five days, that was some fun shit.
RAYFIELD WARREN (former OZONE photographer) The two years that I spent with OZONE were the most memorable times of my life, as I experienced more during this period than a lot of people will probably experience in a lifetime. Whether I was taking pictures of Diddy in Miami, being told to take multiple photographs of Chingy for an article and coming back with only one that was usable, being scolded by Julia for not knowing who Elephant Man was at the “Get Low” remix video shoot or just hanging out with the OZONE family, every day was an adventure. It began at the Chili’s on Semoran and University Blvd. where I showed Julia some of my photographs. After about twenty minutes of talking and eating cheese sticks she changed my life forever with five words: “Okay, you can be down.” Although I am no longer with the magazine, the lessons that I learned while there are still with me and have played a major role in my development as a corporate executive. OZONE gave me the opportunity to build a strong foundation in Orlando which has allowed me to reach many of my goals and dreams and for that, I will always be grateful. ERIC PERRIN (current OZONE Features Editor) Since I joined the OZONE staff, literally every day has entailed some kind of adventure – from crackhead hunting on the West end of Atlanta to getting lectured by Pimp C in Austin, TX. One thing is guaranteed with OZONE: never expect a dull moment. It’s difficult to pinpoint my single favorite OZONE experience, but one that stands out in my mind was Super Bowl weekend 2007 in 42 // OZONE MAG
Miami. It was only my second time ever in Miami, and after driving the OZONE truck all night from Atlanta, I was tired as hell. I had damn near overdosed on CRUNK!!! Energy Drink and by the time we arrived on South Beach my heart was thumping so fast I know I must’ve been close to cardiac arrest. We were transporting over a thousand pounds of Super Bowl special edition magazines and the back of the truck was nearly scraping the ground. We made it to the OZONE mansion around 11 AM, and all I wanted to find was a bed. Instead, I found a pool in the back of the house overlooking Biscayne Bay, and my exhaustion evaporated. It was like taking an intravenous shot of the extraconcentrated horny goat weed with Ashwaganda; I was ready. I don’t think I slept more than two hours that weekend, but with the slew of celebrity guests we ran into, as a 21-year-old college student, it doesn’t get much better than this.
WALLY SPARKS (former OZONE Music Editor) My favorite OZONE memory isn’t really a memory of my own. It’s really a congratulatory feeling for JB and my longtime friend TJ Chapman. The amazing feat they were able to pull off with the OZONE Awards last August made me feel good to see my friends accomplishing something monumental. I really don’t want to turn this into a “you gotta be from the South to understand” type of rant, but for real, you have to have an appreciation for Southern rap music outside of the T.I.s, Lil Waynes, and UGKs of the world to realize how much of a timeless moment that was. Speaking of UGK, Bun B said something so real during his award acceptance speech that should tell you how big the OZONE Awards were: “I wanna thank everybody that actually came to this shit, cause I’ma be real and say what everybody ain’t gonna say. I ain’t know what this shit was gonna look like and I really didn’t know if I was gonna come, but… I came out and supported and I’ma bring a hundred trill niggas with me next year, and y’all better do the same. This is some South shit right here. Ain’t nobody else gonna come together and put this shit together for us but us… We gonna do this shit ten times bigger next year.” Man, you couldn’t get a better statement from a more qualified person. That was the icing on the cake of the whole weekend of controlled chaos in the Florida sun with some of the most important people in the music industry. It felt good to know that my personal friends that I’ve learned so much from were responsible for making it happen. It made me proud to be a Southern Hip Hop head.
(clockwise from below) Wally Sparks @ the Tech.Nitions conference in Vegas with OZONE’s Alabama affiliate Michael London; Eric Perrin having a lil too much fun at SXSW in Austin, TX; Noel Malcolm interviewing Gloria Velez in Miami - strictly because of her emcee skills, of course; Rayfield Warren sitting in as a test lighting subject before a Rodney Jerkins photo shoot in Orlando
e? n o z o g n i who’sread
for BMI a @ Club Esso 01 // DJ Dram nnie Fresh a, GA. 02 // Ma nta, GA). nt tla (A se ca tla Show (A se ca ow Sh r BMI @ Club Esso fo @ Spring ezy & Slick Pulla Je g un Yo // 03 // 5th Ward Beach, FL). 04 Bling (West Palm @ Club 300 for Baby Boy Weebie & Baby ns, LA). 05 rty (New Orlea Boy’s release pa // B Simm 06 . IL) , go (Chica Big Neil // 8Ball & MJG // 07 ). GA a, tlant in the studio (A (Cincinnati, ht nig b clu s cord b Esso @ Locdown Re N Da Hood @ Clu // OH). 08 // Boyz 09 ). GA a, nt tla se (A for BMI Showca tone for Money @ Fires Chris Turner & G- rlando, FL). 10 // DJ (O Yung Joc concert @ The Moon for TJ’s tch Bishop & Top No FL). 11 rs (Tallahassee, DJ’s Tastemake (Miami, 96 r we Po @ tz // DJ Fingerprin Nice e Pro & DJ Mista 13 . FL). 12 // DJ Jo VA h, ac Be VA unge @ The Aqua Lo ge for ke @ Aqua Loun Mi gic Ma J DD // (Daype release party Tarvoria’s mixta y Fresh ne Mo DJ // ). 14 tona Beach, FL by Club 300 for Ba & Raj Smoove @ ns, LA). rty (New Orlea pa se ea rel y’s Bo ng (West le @ Spring Bli 15 // DJ Prosty m with Sly DJ // 16 ). Palm Beach, FL rty (Day@ BCR pool pa his BCR article y @ The La mFa // 17 ). tona Beach, FL Play of n Gu // 18 ). VA Norva (Norfolk, e for Liv be So @ l rte the Carol City Ca i, FL). iam (M rty pa se ea OZONE mag rel Boy @ by Ba & ld na Ro 19 // THot Boy party by Boy’s release s Club 300 for Ba Jone Jim // 20 ) LA (New Orleans, h, (West Palm Beac @ Spring Bling grappy @ Club Le FL) 21 // Lil Sc rly. FL) - Julia Beve ends (Orlando, ency qu Fre @ s ing 22 // Lyfe Jenn tom showcase (A for Legion of Do Houston s ue rq Ma // lanta, GA). 23 h, (West Palm Beac @ Spring Bling ndo, rla (O y ht Lig FL). 24 // Mike a @ Fiesta Medin FL). 25 // Mims @ ll Wa ul Pa // (Orlando, FL). 26 , TX). 27 // ustin Music Mania (A le ill, & Keio Gamb Rapid Ric, DJ Ch E’s Texas ON @ Spiro’s for OZ // ustin, TX). 28 Relays party (A g Bling (West Rich Boy @ Sprin y ). 29 // Rock Cit Palm Beach, FL rence nfe Co sic Mu @ Greg Gates 30 // Roland (Pensacola, FL). ll @ Spring Bling ‘Lil Duval’ Powe FL). 31 // Sel h, (West Palm Beac & Smoke D one Fish reppin’ Oz 32 // Slim Thug (Jackson, MS). nia (Austin, & Gu @ Music Ma ular & Slick tac TX). 33 // Spec ky @ Spring ‘Em of Pretty Ric ach, FL). Be Bling (West Palm & Elora Mason 34 // Tarvoria for Tarvoria’s @ Aqua Lounge rty (Daypa mixtape release ). 35 // The tona Beach, FL @ The Norva Ying Yang Twinz // T-Pain @ (Norfolk, VA). 36 owcase I Sh Club Esso for BM // Wendy (Atlanta, GA). 37 tes Mueg Ga Day & KLC @ Gr (Pensacola, sic Conference g Dro @ FL). 38 // Youn R (Daytona Club Aqua for BC Beach, FL). Eric Perrin Photo Credits: verly (01 (06,22); Julia Be ,24,27,36); ,02,08,10,18,21 ,32); MaLuxury Mindz (26 ,23,28); ,20 lik Abdul (03,09 e (4,14,19); Marcus DeWayn ,31,37); Edward Hall (29 ); Ms ,33 Poppy (11,15,30 ,25,34); Rivercity (13,16 ); Ken(38 Terrence Tyson Rohit (5). neth Clark (17);
OZONE MAG // 43
20 FEELIN’ OURSELVES
Our tagline claims that we’re “Your Favorite Rapper’s Favorite Magazine,” so we asked 20 rappers and industry execs to explain why OZONE Magazine is the shit. // Compiled by Julia Beverly & Rohit Loomba
01 // TRINA
11 // B.G.
“OZONE allows artists to express how they truly feel. It’s for the streets, the hood, and the artist who’s really tryin’ to get in this game.”
“Anything you need to know about what’s going on, from independents to the majors, it’s all in OZONE. I like lookin’ at all the pictures. There’s no tellin’ who you’re gon’ see. It’s always fresh and new.”
02 // RICH BOY “OZONE is my favorite magazine because y’all talk about the stuff that Hollywood people don’t talk about, and y’all get the artists that other [magazines] don’t say nothing about. OZONE most definitely does its groundwork; y’all take it from the bottom to the top. OZONE messes with people at the bottom and the people at the top, so y’all gotta know something more than most magazines to catch artists like me and Rick Ross before it happens.”
03 // RICK ROSS “OZONE is the shit cause it used to be thin as toilet paper and now it’s one of the most important parts of marketing an album for any artist in the game.”
04 // KILLER MIKE “It’s great to finally have an alternative to mainstream media. I’ve been getting The Source since ’92, XXL since their first issue, Rap Pages, Rap Sheet, all of ‘em, I’ve got ‘em, but OZONE’s ‘Patiently Waiting to Blow’ section was the best ‘who’s next’ I’ve ever seen.”
05 // LYOR COHEN
(CEO, Warner Music Group) “When it comes to marketing, OZONE is as close to the streets as you can get.”
06 // PAUL WALL “OZONE is a widely read and respected magazine that’s affordable to advertise in. We as artists read it religiously, and the fans read it even more.”
07 // PITBULL
12 // 8BALL & MJG “OZONE is our favorite magazine because it’s raw. It’s the rawest. It’s not true, it’s not real, it’s treal. Y’all have been around and gonna be around. OZONE ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
13 // DAVID BANNER “OZONE is the hottest magazine coming out of the Southeast, period. It’s easy for somebody to jump on an artist after they blow up, but it’s magazines like OZONE that set the foundation. A perfect example is their ‘Patiently Waiting to Blow’ section. I think that’s how a lot of A&Rs get their check. They look at OZONE Magazine and sign somebody. Before OZONE, the South didn’t have a magazine that speaks from our perspective. It’s usually somebody else giving us a spot when they feel like it, but OZONE is the voice for the South.”
14 // ADAM FAVORS
(National Mixshow & Street Team Director, Interscope Records) “OZONE helps break artists that are on the bubble, before they become household names. When they’re regional, OZONE has already exposed them to the world and brought them to people’s attention. It covers the whole South, a lot more than just Atlanta and Miami. You really hit the smaller markets too, the Macons and Tallahassees, and that’s what I’ve always respected about OZONE. It covers the nooks and crannies of the South.”
15 // BLOODRAW
“OZONE is the future. It’s helped break artists such as myself coming from the South. Bottom line, OZONE is a blessing.”
“OZONE has kept the same morals they came into the game with – staying grounded with the independent artists and exposing them to national viewers, not just catering to mainstream artists.”
08 // DJ DRAMA
16 // LIL JON
“OZONE is kinda like DJ Drama and Gangsta Grillz. OZONE came from the South and came in its own lane and murdered the competition from a Southern aspect and now it’s not even known as a Southern magazine, it’s just a Hip Hop magazine. OZONE is the shit because they take chances, and they got a lot of pictures.”
17 // SHAWN PREZ (VP of Promotions, Bad Boy Records) “OZONE Magazine is the most effective way to incorporate your product into the lifestyle of the Southern hip-hop community.”
09 // DJ KHALED
18 // BRYAN LEACH
“OZONE’s the #1 magazine in the world. Don’t get it fucked up.”
10 // MANNIE FRESH “OZONE is the next big magazine because they’re on the grind, and that shit is popping up everywhere you go. You see it in everybody’s face. They tell it how it is. Most people candycoat the shit, but with OZONE, if you don’t like it then you just say you don’t fucking like it. And that’s real. I read articles and get pissed off sometimes because I’ve got emotions, but that’s somebody’s opinion. So I always respect people that tell it like it is and don’t candycoat shit.” 44 // OZONE MAG
“I love OZONE cause it’s got a lot of pictures!”
(CEO, Polo Grounds/J Records) “For breaking an artist, creating a buzz, or finding new talent, executives like myself always look to OZONE as that #1 source for info, news, interviews, and a who’s-who gallery of pictures.”
19 // ALI MUHAMMAD (former Director of Music Advertising, VIBE) “OZONE is everything The Source used to be and everything XXL wishes it was – an uninhibited platform for the overlooked and ignored.” 20 // J PRINCE
(CEO, Rap-A-Lot Records) “I know the truth when I see it.”
e? n o z o g n i who’sread
Palladium for s & Slim Thug @ 01 // Fabolou Yella 02 // g Kin ) TX , allas GA) - Julia K104 concert (D ta, us ug (A t wefes OZONE Trey Songz @ Po his th wi c Jo Yung Beverly. 03 // (Hampton, s nd ge Le @ iew sex issue interv Degree & Clark. 04 // 3rd ola, FL) VA) - Kenneth ac ns (Pe b Clu tinum Tha Tarvoria @ Pla // Big Karl of On , TX) 05 ll. Ha rd wa - Ed (Dallas ow sh r ca at e Be Real @ 97.9 Th Johnson 06 // Bigg V & - Edward Hall. nville, MS) ree (G ers isp Wh Boy @ Southern // Block & Gorilla Zoe 07 - Edward Hall. (Atlanta, r BMI Showcase @ Club Esso fo illionaire am Ch // 08 rly GA) - Julia Beve h, FL) ac Be lm Pa t (Wes @ Spring Bling keley & Wa es arl Ch // 09 - Malik Abdul. Confersic Mu tes Ga eg BloodRaw @ Gr Hall). 10 , FL) - Edward ence (Pensacola arrell @ The Norva Ph // Coco Renea & 11 // DJ Kenneth Clark. (Norfolk, VA) as Relays Tex E’s ON OZ for Grip @ Spiro’s z 12 nd Mi ry xu Lu ) party (Austin, TX Spiro’s for OZONE’s @ lla Ye lla He DJ // - Luxury rty (Austin, TX) Texas Relays pa stleman @ Greg Hu Mindz. 13 // DJ acola, nference (Pens Gates Music Co ts, B, & Wa DJ // 14 ll. FL) - Edward Ha - Ken) VA h, ac Be a ini Young Sav (Virg Bay Bay & ne ca rri Hu // neth Clark. 15 makers r TJ’s DJ’s Taste @ The Moon fo . 16 rly ve Be lia Ju ) (Tallahassee, FL Jock @ ol Co c Lo s’ es pr // Jam Pony Ex dul. a, FL) - Malik Ab Club 112 (Tamp i, FL) iam (M mz Ja 99 17 // K Foxx @ Keith & Brandi Lil - Poppy. 18 // r Slim Thug concert x fo Garcia @ Matri . Keadron Smith (Houston, TX) @ py & Big Smooth 19 // Lil Scrap nneth Ke ) VA h, ac Be O.C.’s (Virginia c-Boney of P$C Clark. 20 // Ma r Legion of Doom n. @ Frequency fo Perri nta, GA) - Eric showcase (Atla ,& ed br gh ou or Th 21 // Maurice, ’s The Moon for TJ Derek Jurand @ e, FL) sse ha lla (Ta rs DJ’s Tastemake ie & . 22 // Mr. Pook - Julia Beverly ustin, (A uth So n ba Pookie from Ur , ll. 23 // P Love TX) - Edward Ha liyte @ Greg De Wendy Day, & DJ nference (PenGates Music Co // Pusha T reppin sacola, FL). 24 @ The Norva Ozone in the VIP // Rico reppin - Norfolk, VA. 25 Velvet (Newd Ozone @ Club Re nneth Clark. - Ke port News, VA) & Killa Kyleon 26 // Slim Thug 04 concert r K1 @ Palladium fo g Yella. 27 // (Dallas, TX) - Kin e Beat car .9 Th Steve Nice @ 97 ) - Edward show (Dallas, TX eet Pharmacy @ Hall. 28 // Str Conference Greg Gates Music ward Hall. - Ed (Pensacola, FL) Drop @ Club 29 // Sway & DJ SXSW E’s Visions for OZON Edward )party (Austin, TX Beatz @ Hall. 30 // Swizz ndo, FL) rla Fiesta Medina (O // Tity Boy 31 - Malik Abdul. r TJ’s DJ’s @ The Moon fo llahassee, FL) Tastemakers (Ta 32 // 33 // . rly - Julia Beve t Em Awards Treal @ the Ge - Eric Perrin. (Pensacola, FL) Sobe Live 34 // T-Roy @ ng (Miami, during Spring Bli 35 // ity. FL) - Ms Riverc r son @ 97.9 Veda Loca & he ow (Dallas, The Beat car sh ll. 36 // TX) - Edward Ha Beverly lia Wendy Day & Ju ’s DJ’s r TJ @ The Moon fo llahassee, Tastemakers (Ta n. 37 // Tyso FL) - Terrence nnie Fresh Wild Wayne & Ma leans, LA) @ Q93 (New Or yne 38 // - Marcus DeWa piring the Young Jeezy ins (Virginia kids @ Hot 102.1 nneth Beach, VA) - Ke OZONE MAG // 45 Clark : Eric
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Back before mainstream media outlets started showing love to the Dirty Dirty, a lil magazine called OZONE recognized these 20 Southern up-and-comers who are no longer unknown. // Photos by Julia Beverly
01 // T.I.
“I’m the King of the South because I know what I speak of. I’m not rapping about anything I haven’t seen or done.” – T.I. (Issue #4 August 2002, page 39)
02 // Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz
11 // Trillville
“Trillville is any hood, any city, any state. If you livin’ that shit, be real to that shit. Be treal to that shit.” – Dirty Mouf of Trillville (Issue #16 September 2003, page 36)
< 12 // Rick Ross
“I think the reason the South is doin’ it is because we’re not trying to conform. At one point, everybody was like, ‘Be true to hip-hop.’ We didn’t give a fuck about all that shit – we just made records.” – Lil Jon (Issue #5 September 2002, page 34)
“I’m the 300 pound handsome nigga with $80,000 worth of jewelry at the club.” – Rick Ross (Issue #17 October 2003, page 14)
03 // Ying Yang Twins
13 // Crime Mob
“We’ve been in this game for many many years, way back when the dinosaurs was still in existence.” (Issue #6 October 2002, page 17)
“I go to school, do my homework, and then go straight to the studio.” – Diamond of Crime Mob (Issue #22 April 2004, page 23)
04 // Akon
“When I’m on the mic, I really feel like I’m speaking to somebody.” – Akon (Issue #13 June 2003, page 22)
14 // Slim Thug
05 // Pitbull
“Pitbull is one of those few people who don’t just say they rap, but are actually in the streets pushing a product.” - Noel Malcolm (Issue #13 June 2003, page 22)
< 06 // Pretty Ricky
The quartet of blood brothers known as Pretty Ricky was originally known as “Pretty Rickie and the Maverix,” named after their older brother. “I do feel good music for feel-good people, so when you’re in the club and you vibin’ and bumpin’ and that Pretty Rick comes on, it’s gonna be off the meter,” he said. (Issue #17 October 2003, page 16)
07 // Jacki-O
“Being independent is lovely.” – Slim Thug (Issue #22 April 2004, page 22)
15 // Mike Jones
“If I keep grinding and building a buzz, I know good things will happen.” – Mike Jones (Issue #23 May 2004, page 21)
16 // Young Jeezy >
“I’m on some hustlin’, gettin’ money shit. I don’t just rap cause the words rhyme. I don’t just say words cause they go together. I spit from the heart. It’s not some video-type shit. It’s for real.” – Young Jeezy (Issue #23 May 2004, page 23)
17 // Lil Boosie
“I did ‘Pussy’ just to shock people and get their attention, and I definitely got that.” – Jacki-O (Issue #16 September 2003, page 29)
“I really live my rhymes. A lot of people be lying.” – Lil Boosie (Issue #24 June 2004, page 22)
08 // Lil Scrappy
18 // Chamillionaire
“You won’t be sitting down when you go to our concerts. We’re tryin’ to make crunk ‘Fuck You’ songs and er’thang.” – Lil Scrappy (Issue #16 September 2003, page 34)
09 // Paul Wall
“We got our own world out here [in Houston]. It’s weird.” – Paul Wall (Issue #16 September 2003, page 36)
10 // Rich Boy >
“I never was trying to rap, never thought nothing of it.” – Lil Rich a.k.a. Rich Boy (Issue #16 September 2003, page 38) 46 // OZONE MAG
“I’ve been hot for a long time in the streets. I’ve always sold records, so I’m gonna be alright when my album drops regardless. I’m just positioning myself to get the deal I want.” – Chamillionaire (Issue #27 September 2004, page 38)
19 // Webbie
“I just know it’s been way more hoes comin’ up to me than before. That’s how I know [me & Boosie’s underground album] has been selling.” – Webbie (Issue #29 November 2004, page 10)
< 20 // T-Pain
“I just listen to the beat, go in the booth, hit record, and see what happens.” - T-Pain (Issue #34 May 2005, page 19)
e? n o z o g n i who’sread
for BMI a @ Club Esso 01 // DJ Dram nnie Fresh a, GA. 02 // Ma nta, GA). nt tla (A se ca tla Show (A se ca ow Sh r BMI @ Club Esso fo @ Spring ezy & Slick Pulla Je g un Yo // 03 // 5th Ward Beach, FL). 04 Bling (West Palm @ Club 300 for Baby Boy Weebie & Baby ns, LA). 05 rty (New Orlea Boy’s release pa // B Simm 06 . IL) , go (Chica Big Neil // 8Ball & MJG // 07 ). GA a, tlant in the studio (A (Cincinnati, ht nig b clu s cord b Esso @ Locdown Re N Da Hood @ Clu // OH). 08 // Boyz 09 ). GA a, nt tla se (A for BMI Showca tone for Money @ Fires Chris Turner & G- rlando, FL). 10 // DJ (O Yung Joc concert @ The Moon for TJ’s tch Bishop & Top No FL). 11 rs (Tallahassee, DJ’s Tastemake (Miami, 96 r we Po @ tz // DJ Fingerprin Nice e Pro & DJ Mista 13 . FL). 12 // DJ Jo VA h, ac Be VA unge @ The Aqua Lo ge for ke @ Aqua Loun Mi gic Ma J DD // (Daype release party Tarvoria’s mixta y Fresh ne Mo DJ // ). 14 tona Beach, FL by Club 300 for Ba & Raj Smoove @ ns, LA). rty (New Orlea pa se ea rel y’s Bo ng (West le @ Spring Bli 15 // DJ Prosty m with Sly DJ // 16 ). Palm Beach, FL rty (Day@ BCR pool pa his BCR article y @ The La mFa // 17 ). tona Beach, FL Play of n Gu // 18 ). VA Norva (Norfolk, e for Liv be So @ l rte the Carol City Ca i, FL). iam (M rty pa se ea OZONE mag rel Boy @ by Ba & ld na Ro 19 // THot Boy party by Boy’s release s Club 300 for Ba Jone Jim // 20 ). LA (New Orleans, h, (West Palm Beac @ Spring Bling grappy @ Club Le FL). 21 // Lil Sc - Julia Beverly. FL) ends (Orlando, cy ings @ Frequen 22 // Lyfe Jenn tom showcase (A for Legion of Do Houston s ue rq Ma // lanta, GA). 23 h, (West Palm Beac @ Spring Bling ndo, rla (O y ht Lig FL). 24 // Mike a @ Fiesta Medin FL). 25 // Mims @ ll Wa ul Pa // (Orlando, FL). 26 , TX). 27 // ustin Music Mania (A le ill, & Keio Gamb Rapid Ric, DJ Ch E’s Texas ON @ Spiro’s for OZ // ustin, TX). 28 Relays party (A g Bling (West Rich Boy @ Sprin y ). 29 // Rock Cit Palm Beach, FL rence nfe Co sic Mu @ Greg Gates 30 // Roland (Pensacola, FL). ll @ Spring Bling ‘Lil Duval’ Powe FL). 31 // Sel h, (West Palm Beac & Smoke D one Fish reppin’ Oz 32 // Slim Thug (Jackson, MS). nia (Austin, & Gu @ Music Ma ular & Slick tac TX). 33 // Spec ky @ Spring ‘Em of Pretty Ric ach, FL). Be Bling (West Palm & Elora Mason 34 // Tarvoria for Tarvoria’s @ Aqua Lounge rty (Daypa mixtape release ). 35 // The tona Beach, FL @ The Norva Ying Yang Twinz // T-Pain @ (Norfolk, VA). 36 owcase I Sh Club Esso for BM // Wendy (Atlanta, GA). 37 tes Mueg Ga Day & KLC @ Gr (Pensacola, sic Conference g Dro @ FL). 38 // Youn R (Daytona Club Aqua for BC Beach, FL). Eric Perrin Photo Credits: verly (01 (06,22); Julia Be ,24,27,36); ,02,08,10,18,21 ,32); MaLuxury Mindz (26 ,23,28); ,20 lik Abdul (03,09 e (4,14,19); Marcus DeWayn ,31,37); Edward Hall (29 ); Ms ,33 Poppy (11,15,30 ,25,34); Rivercity (13,16 ); Ken(38 Terrence Tyson Rohit (5). neth Clark (17);
OZONE MAG // 47
48 // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // 49
O // JULIA BE WORDS & PHOT
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re you happy with the response to your debut album? How many copies did you sell? We’re up to around 800,000 right now. Were you hoping for a million? Shit, I was hoping for two. Two copies, shit. I was just hoping someone wanted to listen to it and someone would buy it. I didn’t give a fuck. (laughs) So I’m happy as hell. How do you think your image has affected your record sales? Oh, it’s affected it a lot. People didn’t understand it at first. They just thought I was the weed man. You know, the weed man done got his own studio and shit. I guess I can’t hate on that, you know, people got to get used to some different shit. So were you the weed man before you started rapping and singing? Not at all. I wasn’t shit. I was one of the least cool niggas in my whole neighborhood. I was the only person that always stayed in the house. I didn’t ever do nothing. I ain’t egg nobody’s house on Halloween. I didn’t do none of that shit. I was always chillin’. I ain’t going to act like I was the gangster of the year. My family owned two restaurants, so I was a little rich kid at first. Then when they lost the restaurants, shit got crazy. That’s when things started getting hard. People always say it was hard in their childhood, but for me, it was hard in my adult hood. It was just getting worse and worse as I got older, but it’s all good right now. You started out as a songwriter, right? What are some other songs you’ve done that people might not know about? I just wrote a song for Britney Spears that’ll be her first single when she gets out of rehab or when her hair grows back. I wrote one for Joe, and one for Mario. People are just starting to get wind of T-Pain as a writer. That just started happening as my second album has been progressing. “Sprung” and some of the other songs on your last album were initially for Akon, right? Yeah, but he wasn’t doing that type of stuff at the time. [The sound effect] was just something I always wanted to do, even as a young producer. So when I got it I went crazy on it. Charlamagne The God kinda clowned you on his radio show in South Carolina. How do you feel when people say you can’t sing? I don’t really care. I’ve got songs I don’t use at home, and I don’t need all those [sound effects] to do it. With Charlamagne’s show, I know what that’s about. I mean, I was hoarse from the [performance] and they brought me in right after the show and asked me to sing. If I hadn’t done it, they would’ve been like, “This nigga really can’t sing.”
want me to rap, but even fans wre like, “Man, you gotta rap more.” I guess they’ve heard mixtapes or some of the other stuff I’ve done. Same kind of flavor as the last album? Yeah, I mean, I’ve got more knowledge now. I know what to do now. I’m not saying that I’m going to follow the standards, but I know what people want to see. I know what people want to hear from me now. You’ve got a new chain to represent Tallahassee, shaped like the capitol building. Are you into politics or any of that. Not at all. That really don’t matter. (laughs) But I gotta represent Tallahassee. They did give you a proclamation, right? Yeah. T-Pain Day. I’ve actually got two of them. One is July 17th and the other is December 7th. Why do you have two? I don’t know. They called me to Tallahassee and was like, “Hey, you got another T-Pain Day.” I wasn’t gonna turn it down. (laughs) So what happens on T-Pain Day? I come to Tallahassee. I mean, nobody gets off work or no shit like that. That’s how you’ll know you’re really famous. Did they give you a key to the city? Nah, they didn’t even give me a key to a car. Speaking of that, DJ Khaled says he thought you were Jewish. Is it true that you have a big stash somewhere? It ain’t hidden. I just know how to not be stupid. I’m not going to waste all my money on fucking Mercedes and gotdamn Bentleys and shit. You got a Mini Cooper instead? Yeah, I got a Mini Cooper. I got a Scion, an Escalade EXT, a ’72 Impala, a lil Ford Expedition just to ride around in, and another Escalade. I got a lot of fucking cars. People know my house just by the cars in the yard. They think it’s always a party going on, but it’s just all my cars. Right now I’ve got eight cars. Basically, add them all up and you’ve got one Bentley. Exactly, very smart. Have you made any other luxury purchases besides your chain? My damn house. That’s not really a luxury purchase. That’s luxury, trust me, it is. You go in that muthafucker and it’s luxury. I meet a lot of [artists] and a lot of them don’t have shit to show for it. By “luxury purchase,” I mean, stupid shit that you shoudn’t buy. Stupid shit? Oh yeah, I waste my money on stupid shit. Like fucking figurines.
The average person probably doesn’t understand the demand on your voice that’s required when you’re performing every night. Shit, all the time. My voice is fucked up right now. I’m trying to recoup and I’ve gotta get right back in the studio.
Bobbleheads? Little shit. I go to London, they have different cartoons over there. I waste money on stupid shit like that just because I can. I’ve got a lot of guns too. I like fucking guns. I think I’ve got more guns than Young Cash now.
Your features are all over the radio right now. Yeah, I got a whole lot of things coming. I just did something for Twista today. In the last few weeks, thirty something people have called me to do hooks and be on their songs. And this isn’t even underground, I’m talking about all major artists. I’m getting calls from A&Rs and getting song deals left and right. Atlantic wants five songs from T-Pain. I got 12 songs for Jive, 10 songs for Interscope. Basically, they just want that T-Pain flavor. I’m doing way better than the first go-around.
Sometimes when an artist blows up from a small town, there’s a bit of a backlash. Do you still get love in Tallahassee? It’s okay. Not to say that I don’t like Tallahassee no more, but I try not to go back to that [small town] mindstate. It was holding me back. There’s people there that are still in the Tallahassee mindstate. They’ve got to understand that it’s bigger than Tallahassee. It’s bigger than Florida. It’s bigger than the United States, period. If somebody goes from Tallahassee to London, their whole mindframe would change. They’d fucking move somewhere else just to get out of that mindframe. Even going from Tallahassee to Atlanta – that was my experience – just seeing the difference in cars, that’ll put you in a whole ‘nother mindstate. It’s a different environment. I think a lot of people could come from Tallahassee and make it big, but they’ve got to get out of that mindstate.
When does your new album come out? May 22nd as it stands right now, but [the release date] might move back or forward. The first single is “Buy You A Drink,” with Yung Joc. Are most of the songs you write based off personal experience, even when you’re writing for another artist? Some are based on my personal experience. Some are based on the person I’m writing for, what kind of person I think they are, how they feel. I’m like an actor. I’ve gotta get into character when I do shit for somebody else, just to try to turn myself into them so I can know how they think about situations. Is this album more rapping or singing? It’s definitely way more rapping. It’s about 50/50. I didn’t know people would
So you live in Atlanta now? Do you like it better? Yeah, I live in Atlanta now, and I like it a lot better. A lot of people work together up there, man. I was living in Miami at first. I lived in Miami for six months, moved up to Atlanta, and got more shit done [in Atlanta] in six weeks than I had done in the six months I was in Miami. It was a big difference. A lot of people call me and come to my studio to work with me. People don’t do that in Miami, for some reason. I have no idea why. People just act funny. They want it all to theyselves in Miami. Or maybe I just wasn’t shit OZONE MAG // 51
then, when I was in Miami. That’s probably what it was. (laughs) Ain’t nobody gonna fuck with you when you ain’t shit. What’s been going on in your personal life that you incorporated into the album? Cause I’ve been hearing some rumors here and there… (laughs) Here you go with that shit. I’ve been hearing shit too, I ain’t even gonna lie. But I’m not gonna put it out there. I just have a different perspective on life now. Different experiences make you appreciate life more. Shit has changed. That’s the only change between my two albums; you can tell that I’ve experienced more. What’s the name of the album? It’s called Epiphany. Martin Lawrence had said “epiphany” in [the movie] Bad Boys and I always wanted to know what the hell it meant, so I looked it up and was like, “Aw, shit, that’s what happened to me.” I had an epiphany. I really didn’t even know what that shit meant until I looked it up. My daddy taught me that. If you hear something and you don’t know what it is, just look it up and you’re one point smarter. Your parents have been pretty heavily involved with your career. Are there good and bad aspects to that? It’s good and bad to everything. They expect more out of me. They expect me to do more for them. Even if I feel like I’m doing everything I can, they’re like, “This is your family, you’re supposed to do more.” But every artist goes through that. So it’s a lot of pressure on you. Yeah, hella pressure, even just from random muthafuckers. If I go to Tallahassee I’ll see somebody that I don’t even know and they’ll be like, “Boy, don’t forget about me.” (laughs) They’ll be like, “Boy, let me hold somethin’.” I don’t even know you, dawg. “Let me get a ride.” I’ll give a nigga a ride. I’ll do anything for total strangers, man, but when a nigga comes up to me like I’m supposed to do it, that’s when I get offended. What’s going to be the next single after “Buy You A Drink”? It’s called “Lay Down,” it’s a rap song. I’m just getting people used to that, tryin’ to get them ready for all the shit that’s going to be on the album. What’s going on with your group the Nappy Headz? The Nappy Headz? Wow. I don’t know what’s going on with the Nappy Headz. Aren’t they your brothers? A couple of them are my brothers. Two of them.
You come from a big family, right? Yeah, a big ass family. Six muthafuckers. They’re going through a lot of emotional, stressful times. I guess life is catching up to them. Not to say that I had them on my back, but I was pretty much carrying them because I was everything: the producer, the engineer, the CD manufacturer. When I started getting busy and fucked up, they were like, “What the fuck?” They were so used to me doing everything that they decided they weren’t going to [rap] anymore, I guess. I heard they’ve all got their own managers now, so I’ve got to follow protocol. If I want to talk to them or do something with them, I’ve got to talk to their people. Are you a workaholic? I am now. I damn sure wasn’t the first time around. I was being an asshole. If I was going to work with somebody that I didn’t think was good, I would be like, “I don’t like how he raps and I don’t like his music so I ain’t doing this shit.” Now I’m like, “Shit, let’s do it.” Let’s grind. I was just being an asshole and being stupid, thinking I was the shit. Now I know that I’m not, so I’m just trying to work with as many people as I can. Now they’re trying to work with me too so (screams) I guess I am the shit now! You got to work with R Kelly. Who else would you like to work with musically? Devin the Dude. I talked to him today. I sent him something but I don’t think he was feeling it. That kinda hurt my feelings. It was my first time sending him [a record] and I guess I didn’t make a good impression. You gotta send him a smoking record. That’s it. I can’t send him no other shit. I was trying to be innovative but I guess that doesn’t work anymore. Who else is featured on your album? We haven’t finished yet but, Yung Joc, and I had J-Bo from the Youngbloodz but we ended up putting that song on his album. We’re doing this rapperturned-singer thing with Cee-Lo and Andre 3000, it’s going to be crazy. Have you gotten over your love for a stripper? That wasn’t even me, that was J Lyric, but yeah, he was off that a long time ago. No strippers should every try to get money out of me. They were having a hard time when the record was out, so they should already know. So you’re cheap at the strip clubs too. Yup. Very, very cheap. I don’t fuck around. Shit, I will make it mist in the strip club. I will go get $50 in ones and that shit will look big as hell. That’s a stack: $50 in ones. //
(center) T-Pain performing at Wildsplash in Clearwater, FL, in March 2007 (Photo by Luis Santana)
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T I ’ N I P E E K
A T S G N A G DJ DRAMA
Even while head, handcuffed and accu was pinned to the ground with M16 rifl Grillz creation - rap’s mos sed of “bootlegging and racketeering” for es at his mentality (“can’t stop, wo t coveted mixtape series - he knew his Puff his Gangsta n’t stop”) would secure hi s place in history Daddy
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And basically the Morrow Police Department says that they didn’t know you were “famous.” Yeah, in all the interviews I’ve read with the police officers, that’s what they’ve been saying: They didn’t know I was famous. The quote I’ve seen them say the majority of the time is, “It’s like when you stop somebody for speeding and then you figure out they’re famous.” That’s the one I’ve heard over and over. When I saw the arrest on the news, the officer commented that they were surprised they hadn’t found any “drugs or weapons” on the property. That was the insulting part. From my track record and my history, as far as who I am at the age that I am, that was insulting. I’ve never been arrested [before]. I’ve never had any drug charges or gun charges. I feel like I’m a success story and a positive person from all angles; in business and in family. I’ve been to school; never been locked up. So, why say anything about drugs or guns if you didn’t find anything? A lot of times, I’ve heard arguments where people say, “DJ Drama makes Gangsta Grillz,” even though I’ve been educated. But me making Gangsta Grillz is just like Martin Scorcese making The Departed. Just because I have a series of mixtapes called Gangsta – you know, anybody who knows me or has talked to me or seen me knows that I don’t personify that. Who I claim to be is who I really am. So to see that on the news in my hometown, where I’ve been living for the last ten years, that was harsh. Did you have any family members or friends looking at you sideways wondering if you really had been involved in drugs or other activities aside from just mixtapes? Naw, my family was very supportive. Everyone in the situation was very supportive. I come from a very conscious, socially aware family anyway, so they were aware of what it was from the jump. Everybody that knows me or knows The Affiliates knew that was an absurd and outlandish statement to make on the news. The officer also stated that the profit margin on your mixtapes was similar to the profits from kilos of heroin. Do you think that was a fair statement for him to make? First off, as far as profits on mixtapes, that’s something I really can’t talk about under the circumstances because the case is still going on. But as far as my situation, being in the music business, being compared to a drug dealer or anything of that nature is kinda sensational. But at the same time, even we in the music business compare it to drug dealing. Every rapper says the rap game and the dope game are the same thing. You definitely have a point. But for me, under the circumstances, it was a harsh statement. Anybody in the dope game knows in the back of their mind that a day like that may come, and they save up for a rainy day. Did you always have a thought in the back of your mind that something like this could happen? No, because I never felt like I was doing anything wrong. I’m 28 years old and the only thing I’ve known in my life has been Hip Hop since the beginning. Mixtapes have been here since the beginning of Hip Hop. Mixtapes are how people in London or Connecticut or Philly or L.A. knew about Hip Hop. They heard about it through Lovebug Starski or Kool Herc, people like that were putting out mixtapes. There’s a whole ‘nother generation, from the Kid Capris to the S&Ss to somebody like Ron G who basically created what Puff got rich off of – R&B singers on Hip Hop beats. All I’ve known through my life is mixtapes – from watching those who came before me. Clue went platinum. There’s so many generations of it, and I’m just another part of that lineage in Hip Hop to do mixtapes. To me, all I’ve been doing was something that was part of Hip Hop, a part of the music business, something that I’ve always gotten support in. So at what point would I be thinking I was doing something wrong?
BEVERLY WORDS BY JULIA E RIBBEY PHOTOS BY BLAK Do you think your arrest was a concerted effort to shut down the biggest mixtape DJs in the game, or was it really a random bootlegging tip? There’s a lot of theories, and of course a lot of them have come to my attention. I’ve gone over all of them in my head, but to be honest, all I really have to go on is the affidavit that basically broke down how the city of Morrow’s police department started their investigation. It started from a kiosk in the Riverdale Mall and led to them coming to The Affiliates’ studio for the arrest. That’s public knowledge, so that’s all I really have to go off of.
What do you think ultimately was the cause of this situation? Did you just get too big? Too visible? Too successful? Do you think the fact that your mixtapes were being sold in Best Buy and other major retail outlets contributed to your arrest? I really don’t know, and that’s my honest answer. All those things have come up since my arrest, but as far as the clear cut affidavit that led to my arrest, it came from a kiosk in the Riverdale Mall. If you go to FreeTheDJs.com you can read it for yourself. The mixtape is as huge as everything in Hip Hop, it’s definitely gotten to great levels, but I can’t say what led to this because I don’t know. What exactly happened the day of your arrest? I was at the studio. It was the day after Martin Luther King’s birthday, so we’d had a long weekend. We were just getting back to work and there were a couple guys from South Carolina who came to do an interview with us. We OZONE MAG // 55
were outside of the studio at the time. I was getting into my car and heard the sirens and the undercover Tahoe pulled up on the curb. First thing I saw, from that first Tahoe about five police [officers] jumped out. Cobra unit outfits on, M16s drawn, and they were headed directly for us. What was your initial reaction? My initial reaction was really just to be as cool, calm, and collected as I could in the situation, because there were guns. I didn’t know what was going on. I thought it was some big, big mistake, basically. I was put on the ground and when I told them my name, “Tyree Simmons,” they said, “We got one of the perps.” When they said that, my whole “cool, calm, and collected” thing went right out the window. By that point, he had put handcuffs on me and pulled me up. Then they rushed into the office. I was still outside. Were you duplicating CDs in that office? Nah, we don’t do duplication and all that. It’s our office plus recording studio, where we had been working on my album and Willie [the Kid]’s album. The officer told me that I had been charged with bootlegging and racketeering under the RICO law, which is the law they created for criminal organizations. Just for the record, we haven’t been indicted or been to court, so there are no official charges. That was what I was told originally. I was put into the cop car after that and taken to Wright Street, and I noticed that [Don] Cannon was being arrested at the same time. And there were other people in the office at the time? We had employees there, but they also were bringing other people from the area to our studio that weren’t employees of ours. So when they said they detained 17 people, that wasn’t 17 people that worked for The Affiliates. They also said that they confiscated 81,000 CDs. I don’t know the exact number of CDs but if I had to estimate, I’d say it was about 25,000 CDs that we had in our office. They went in [the office] and asked our employees, “Tell us where the guns and the drugs are. It’ll be easier on you if you tell us now.” I heard that there were rumors earlier in the day that police were coming. Nah. It wasn’t really no tip off. It was very random. After reading the affidavit later it was quite interesting to me to see how the whole thing unfolded. How long were you detained? Did they question you? Naw, they didn’t do none of that. I went to jail, me and Cannon. In jail, they knew who I was. People were telling me, “We saw you on the BET Awards. You was shinin’.” I had a lot of Hip Hop conversations in jail. The guards were let-
I spent 24 hours in jail, and it was a long 24 hours... but it showed the amount of support we have. I got out and saw ‘Free Drama and Cannon’ campaigns... I wasn’t even in jail for a night and a movement had started. I realized that it was bigger than me. It was bigger than Cannon. What happened to us represented a bigger struggle.
ting me know, “They talkin’ about you on the radio right now,” and, “You’re on TV.” I tried to just stay focused. I spent 24 hours in jail, and it was a long 24 hours. I’d never wanna see the inside of that jail again, but it showed the amount of support we have. For me to get out and see “Free Drama and Cannon” campaigns and everything, that was more important than any of the supposed side comments anyone was making. I wasn’t even in jail for a night and a movement had started. I realized that in a lot of ways it was bigger than me. It was bigger than Cannon. What happened to us represented a bigger struggle. I got a lot of love. After that it was the time when the All Star and Super Bowl events were coming up so I was real heavy out and about. People from all over knew what had happened and showed love. Everybody was like, “Drama, keep your head up. Do your thing.”
What’s the difference between what you do and what a “bootlegger” does? Everything. What I consider a bootleg is like, if I was duplicating and selling a Beyonce CD or a Jay-Z CD or a Young Jeezy Thug Motivation. “Bootlegging” would be me making a copy of a major label release and putting it out on the streets or duplicating other people’s works. Obviously, all of the mixtapes that I do are pretty much 100% artist supported and label supported. It’s not me making a copy of Young Jeezy’s Thug Motivation. It’s Young Jeezy and DJ Drama Present: Gangsta Grillz I Am The Street Dream. It’s like you going to the store and buying a frozen chicken. People bring that chicken to DJ Drama because he has the best stove, he knows the best spices to use, and he knows the exact degree to cook it at to make that chicken the best possible meal it could’ve been. The chicken was frozen when it got to me, but I cooked it and used my kitchen and put the spices on it and presented it to the world. The people that ate it said, “Man, that’s the best chicken I ever had.” If you gave that frozen chicken to somebody who didn’t know what they were doing, it would’ve tasted like shit. Just because the ingredients are there doesn’t mean that everybody knows how to make it. I consider myself an artist. I consider my mixtapes and street albums works of art; they’re projects in their own right. That’s something totally separate from a bootleg CD. When you do a mixtape with someone like T.I. or Young Jeezy, do they get a percentage of the money made from sales of the mixtape? Yeah. Anytime I’ve done a mixtape with somebody, from jump street everybody is all the way involved. There’s a clear understanding of what I do. Obviously, with a lot of the main artists I’ve worked with, we’ve done [projects] on many occasions. There’s never been a situation where I did a mixtape that wasn’t supported on any level, on my end or their end. Everyone is clear on what our purposes are for the mixtape, and we go from there. Not too many artists spoke out on your behalf after your arrest. There was a comment by Lil Wayne – maybe taken out of context – that came across as negative. From everyone I’ve come in contact with since the situation, I’ve gotten nothing but support. A lot of people have talked about the Lil Wayne comments. Again, those comments were made in a media forum. I’ve seen Lil Wayne since then, we’ve talked, and it’s been all love. Lil Wayne came through for me when I needed him for my album. We made history together. Jeezy has been right there for me, Tip, amongst others. I could name a whole host of people that have shown me support. I’ve had conversations with everybody from Chamillionaire to Busta [Rhymes] to Pharrell to Jermaine [Dupri], so I’ve gotten nothing but support. I can’t really go off the media hoopla or what people think other people are saying behind closed doors. All I can go off of is when I talk to somebody directly. For real, after the raid, I had lost a lot of my album because they took my hard drive. So I was on the phone constantly with all these artists trying to get everything done, and everybody came through for me when I really needed them.
(above) Tyree Simmons a.k.a. DJ Drama’s arrest warrant 56 // OZONE MAG
What are the chances you’ll recover the items that were confiscated? I’m hopeful and positive, but at the same time, I feel very blessed with my
mixtape DJ and getting to the level I’m at by making mixtapes. The mixtape game is at a point now where there’s gonna have to come some resolution, some communication, some dialogue between mixtape DJs, record labels, and the RIAA so that everybody can leave the room with a smile on their face or an agreement. I would never say, “I’m right and they’re wrong,” or vice versa, but obviously there’s been a breakdown in communication when it comes to the music business and the mixtapes’ value to Hip Hop. Where do we go from here? Mixtapes are not gonna die. They’re vital and necessary. So many people wouldn’t have careers if it wasn’t for mixtapes. Now we’ve got to move on. I’m glad that I’m in a position where I can help it move forward so it doesn’t die and a whole new generation of mixtape DJs can come up. There’s gonna have to be some type of guidelines put into order; some “t”s crossed and some “i”s dotted. Before you were arrested, did labels pay you to do mixtapes? Yeah, labels paid me. How much? Everything varies. From zero dollars to $20,000 to $25,000. Every situation is different. It’s like a producer. Producers may charge a fee when they get to a certain level, but if there’s an artist they really want to work with, they’ll work with that artist regardless of the money involved. So every situation is different. For me – and I tell people this all the time – it was never just about money. It was about the project and the artist that I was working with. It’s a lot of things that come into play. It wasn’t like I had a set fee and if you couldn’t match that, you couldn’t get a DJ Drama Gangsta Grillz. It all depended on the situation. When you invoiced a label for a mixtape, was there a secrecy aspect involved? Were they paying you a “promotional fee” or was it very specific that they were paying you to do a Gangsta Grillz mixtape? That’s a hard one. I don’t know if I can answer that question under the circumstances. You were involved in a legal battle with a distribution company called BCD right before your arrest. Were they distributing Gangsta Grillz? I never had a distribution deal with BCD. I never supported BCD putting my mixtapes into Best Buy and Target and other retail stores. I don’t really know what they were doing. I just know that they had a lot of my projects in a lot of stores in a lot of places that I had never gave permission for. When the situation went to court and they were asked to show the contract for DJ Drama, they weren’t able to produce it.
career. I went into my office after the raid and saw it empty, after all the things we brought to the game with a brand we built from scratch. But instead of feeling like putting my head in the dumps and waving my white flag, I felt like, it’s time to get motivated. It’s time to get to work. I gotta go buy some new shit. If I never see anything back that I lost in this circumstance, or if I just receive one thing back, that’s a blessing. It’s just a challenge to secure my place in the world, my place in Hip Hop, and my place among leaders. I’m hopeful that I’ll get everything back, but if I don’t, so be it. I lost my hard drive and I was still able to accomplish in three or four weeks what had taken me a year before that to get my album done in time. God works in mysterious ways. In the DJ issue, we asked other DJs what affect your arrest had on the mixtape game. What would be your answer to that question? For one, shout out to all the DJs because everybody pretty much showed support for myself and Cannon and what we bring to the game. Obviously, me being in the position I’m in and this happening to me, it has a lot of people concerned. I call it “the day the game changed.” Again, it’s bigger than me, so it’s very important that I hold my head high and stand proud for being a
Do you think there’s any correlation between that situation and your arrest? No, I don’t. Pimp C did an article for our DJ issue. He feels that mixtape DJs make a lot of money off artists. Is that true, not just in your situation but in general? Do you think mixtape DJs are making huge profits off the artists? First, being a mixtape DJ is not necessarily all about the actual mixtape. Being a mixtape DJ means that I’m able to get a lot of money from a lot of places. I have endorsements, an album deal, and a label deal – that all comes from what I was able to create in the streets by doing mixtapes. I think mixtape DJs are vital to the game. I think I’ve helped a lot of people sell records. I’ve helped a lot of people reach incredible heights with their music by adding my flavor to what they were already doing. I feel like I gave a stamp to a lot of people who were already doing their thing, and I helped. I might have helped bring attention to some of the greats that might not have been looked at. I love Pimp C, I respect Pimp C, and from his article I think he really showed a lot of support for me. I felt where he was coming from, but naw, I think mixtapes and mixtape DJs are a key element of Hip Hop. So now you’re working on Gangsta Grillz The Album, right? Aside from just the OZONE MAG // 57
I went into my office after the raid and saw it empty, after all the things we brought to the game with a brand we built from scratch. But instead of feeling like putting my head in the dumps and waving my white flag, I felt like, it’s time to get motivated. It’s time to get to work.
legal issues, how does it benefit you to do an album instead of just a mixtape? The album benefits me because it’s a bigger platform. Having a major label behind me pushing me and pushing that button on a bigger scale is a great thing. This mixtape album is like the accumulation of everything I represent and everything I’ve done in the game over the last four or five years. To see it come full circle to get here, in a lot of ways, I think it would be every mixtape DJ’s ultimate goal. We make mini-albums, so here I am with the opportunity to paint my picture on a broader canvas. I think it’s important because over the last few years, DJ albums have been a little lackluster and haven’t really gotten the support from the major labels that they deserved. We’re trying to take it back to those early years of the mixtape albums. With people like myself and Khaled in the positions we’re in, we’re really making good music and putting out a good quality DJ album to open the doors for other DJs to come and do what we do.
DJ albums or compilation albums have been known to not sell very well because a lot of times they’re just throwaway tracks from artist’s albums. How do you avoid that stigma and really brand it as a DJ Drama album? I’ve got a lot of answers to that question. First off, one of the things that I knew early on that I have to my advantage is that I don’t consider my album a compilation. Other people may disagree, but I consider my album a mixtape album. Gangsta Grillz the brand at one point in time was even bigger than DJ Drama. People knew Gangsta Grillz but didn’t know who the hell I was or what I looked like. It’s not just about DJ Drama the individual; it’s also about the brand I’ve created and what it represents for the Southern movement and for mixtape culture and for Hip Hop and the stamp of quality that I’ve brought to the game with my brand. Secondly, when I got the opportunity to do this album, it was very clear to me that I didn’t wanna tarnish anything I had created before. I’ve done a lot of classic mixtapes. There are no songs on my album that are throwaway tracks, or songs that were leftovers. I went into it with a blank canvas and paint, and I painted the picture I wanted to paint. Myself, Sense, and Cannon, we A&Red the album from scratch. We picked the artists and the beats and the topics. I wanted to get rid of that image of a “DJ album” just being a bunch of throwaway tracks. I wanted to make good music and make a good album. The single is called “Takin’ Pictures,” but under my circumstances, a lot of people wanna call it “Feds Takin’ Pictures.” Instead of me running from my situation, I embraced it and made a song about it for everyone that’s paying attention. I feel like the best music is made when you make it more personal and let people feel what you’re going through. I’m letting people see what I just went through and what we overcame. Do you think in the long run this situation will help you make more money by turning you into a bigger star than you already were? The positives have outweighed the negatives. Of course, I still have a criminal case pending, and the most important thing is to have a resolution for that. Overall, God works in mysterious ways. It’s opened up doors. It’s put DJ Drama and The Affiliates and the whole movement on a larger scale. People who may not have paid attention before are definitely more aware of what we do. They’re embracing me and supporting what I do, so it’s a positive thing. This is not the last chapter of my book. This is just a chapter of my book. If anything, I would wanna use January 16th [the day of the raid] as a platform for me to do bigger and better things. Have any of the labels that were paying you for mixtapes worked on your behalf in any way throughout this situation? I haven’t had any conversations with the labels. Except Atlantic Records, they’re about to put out my album, so that’s definitely support. But right now, I’m not looking for labels to come out and support me. I’ll support me. Everyone in the music industry knows how mixtapes have benefited the labels. Everyone knows how Gangsta Grillz have been topics of conversation in marketing meetings at every single label and how mixtapes have helped everyone from 50 Cent to Young Jeezy. Everyone has utilized mixtapes. Now, I wanna take my position help everybody figure out where we’re gonna go from here. There’s gotta be some type of conversation, but I’m not looking for any label to come out and support me. I have my own team; The Aphilliates, 58 // OZONE MAG
people around me for that support. Worst case scenario with the trial – what kind of penalties are you looking at? We haven’t been indicted so we don’t know any charges yet. My lawyers are in conversations with the RIAA and the district attorney. It’s not a Federal charge, it’s state charges. It’s the state of Georgia. It wasn’t the Feds that came to our doorstep, it was the Morrow Police Department of Clayton County. So it’s not a Federal situation and everybody’s having an open dialogue, so I’m hoping that it can get resolved. I have no idea when that will be, but hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later.
Is it an unsettling feeling, not knowing what’s going to happen next with the case? Not really. The unsettling feeling was the 24 hours I was locked up, when I had to put that blue suit on. (laughs)
Did you post bond? We were released on $100,000 signature bond, which means the city or the state puts up the money and we were released on a signature to the state basically saying, I’m not gonna run. I don’t really have an unsettling feeling because I’ve got a lot of things to look forward to. I’m not locked up and I’ve got good people around me and a good family. Things are moving forward. Is there a “right” and “wrong” way to do a mixtape? For example, if Jeezy brings you a track and wants you to put it on a mixtape, does he legally have the right to do that? Or does his record label or publishing company own it? I think there are a lot of conversations that need to be had with myself, the record industry, and the RIAA to figure that out. From the RIAA’s perspective, from what I’ve read, they don’t have a target on mixtapes. Again, they just use the line of “finding somebody speeding and realizing they’re famous” so I don’t really know where they stand on it. I know from conversations I’ve had with very powerful people in the music business, and from conversations my lawyer has had on their terms, the RIAA is very willing and open to finding a resolution and making sure that everyone can go forward being happy – meaning them, me, and the labels. Do you have a release date for Gangsta Grillz: The Album? June. After that, we’ll be dropping Willie the Kid. I’m gonna set it up for Willie to basically show how much of a monster he is on my album. He’s on there like six or seven times. After that, we’re gonna put out his album. His album is pretty much done so it’s just looking for the right time to put it out. Our label AMG – Affiliates Music Group – is on Asylum, and Willie’s the first artist off the label. I’m signed to Grand Hustle/Atlantic for my album. I’ve got endorsements, doing a lot of stuff with LRG, Stall & Dean, Stashhouse, a bunch of clothing situations. My main goal is to become more of an executive in Hip Hop and at some point break into the film industry, probably behind the scenes. As much as I’ve accomplished, I still have a lot to do. This is my first major label release. This is my first opportunity to show my ability to sell records. It’s like the difference between college basketball and finally getting to the pros. It’s kinda like starting all over. When you get to the league you’re a rookie again and you’ve got to prove yourself. When you got out of jail you went straight to the radio station to promote the album? Yep, that night. I went home first. All in all – was it an unreal experience? When I put it in the context of my whole career, the shit blows my mind. I’ve been DJing for a long time, and I really love what I do. It all comes from having a passion for my music. I can’t believe I’ve been on major magazine covers and I’m putting out an album, or just how big Gangsta Grillz got. When I put it all in context – even us being arrested and the “Free Drama and Cannon” campaign, the shit blows my mind. That’s why I really don’t look at it as a negative situation. How many people can say they’ve had the career they’ve had, or gotten to the heights I’ve gotten to? Especially as a DJ, it’s just amazing. It’s just proof that anything is possible. I remember when people were telling me, “Why would anybody put you in a magazine?” And now I can’t stay out of them. I’ve traveled the world, so when I put January 16th in that context, at the end of the day, that’s not what I’m going to be known for. Look at some other people in Hip Hop and the situations they’ve overcome: Snoop’s murder charge, Puff when Biggie died or Puff when he got the charge, Russell Simmons and Def Jam. It’s not that I’m comparing myself to them – I hope to be at their level one day – but this is just another step for me to prove that I’m one of the greats, overcoming adversity. I’m sure when Snoop was on trial he didn’t know what direction his life was gonna go, but if you look at him now, he’s an icon. That’s how I put what happened to me on that day in context. It’s motivation. That’s it. Motivation. //
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I’m the underdog... that’s what gives me the upper hand because I can catch ‘em from the blind spot. If you ain’t expecting somebody to make no moves you can’t prepare for it and you can’t fight against it no kinda way, so I caught ‘em off guard with the album.
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N. perrin words BY eric BEVERLY LIA PHOTOS BY JU
riving through Alabama on a sluggish Sunday in early April is a lonely experience. The entire state is literally tucked in by the time the street lights come on and the only thing that stands out amidst the never-ending black backdrop is the congregation of stars highlighting the Alabama sky. Speeding east on I10, racing towards Atlanta, it becomes evident that out here, the diamonds in the sky are the resident rock-stars; and they party like such every night until the sun comes up. In fact, stars are so permeated throughout Alabama that the state’s license plates are adorned with a simple yet poetic phrase, “Stars fell on Alabama.” But the logo is a lie. In Alabama, the stars have always been restricted to the sky, millions of miles away from reality. For an eternity, it seemed impossible for the state the stars fell on to actually produce one of its own. Of course it would take a lot more than one catchy tune about rims and Cadillacs to change all that, right? Apparently not. By January 2007, Rich Boy had successfully bombarded the Billboard charts and witnessed his single “Throw Some D’s” ascend higher than anyone would have ever imagined. Multiple remixes of the infectious hit have included everyone from Outkast to Jim Jones to Kanye West. By now, you’ve probably received the text message about the boy who received all F’s on his report card and disgustedly told his teacher to “Throw some D’s on that bitch!” A hot single like Rich Boy’s is the envy of all artists, and has even eluded many of the best, most heralded rappers of all time. But until recently, Rich Boy’s star-crossed path was one of few triumphs. In 2003, when a dread-headed Lil’ Rich first appeared in OZONE, he had just dropped out of Tuskegee University and was more of an aspiring producer than rapper. His image wasn’t fit for the mainstream; even worse, he was from Alabama, and ‘Bama’s didn’t rap — at least that’s what most of the critics thought. Alabama was more known for the civil rights movement than the rap movement and industry execs paid no attention to the multi-talented, driven emcee. But according to Rich, his underdog status is part of the reason he thrived. After signing to super-producer Polow Da Don’s Zone 4 Inc. Records, Rich Boy’s career seemed to be headed in the right direction; he had a growing industry buzz, a strong label backing and increasing spins on local radio. However, his career almost ended before it truly began. While at home in Alabama, Rich was the victim of his own looming success and was forced to kill a man out of self defense, resulting in an attempted murder charge. After a lengthy trial, Rich was given a deal that allowed him to serve just 36 months probation with no prison time. Rich Boy calls it a miracle and today, as Alabama’s brightest star, Lil’ Rich is on top - right where he always knew he would be. You were first in OZONE back in 2004 as a Patiently Waiting artist, then you were featured few times throughout the last couple of years, and now you’re on the cover. Did you ever doubt that you’d be on top? Man, I never doubted it. What’s so crazy is that OZONE was the first magazine to ever get at me. Julia came down herself to take the pictures. We did the shoot on the railroad tracks, and we did the interview at Red Lobster. I’ll never forget that. It was crazy. But I most definitely knew at some point in time something was gonna pop. Some people believe they’re gonna make it
and then some people really believe they’re gonna make it. I really believed, you feel me? Yeah, but was there any point during your trial that you were afraid you might not make it? Yeah, there was a time. One day I just woke up like, “Man I’m fucked up. I ain’t gonna be able to get out this situation. It’s impossible. Not in Alabama.” I was just fucked up. I knew it wasn’t gonna happen for me, and I was just depressed. I was real depressed; it got to the point where I just felt like, really, it was over and I pretty much just gave up on the situation. So what moment turned it around for you? It was like five minutes before I walked in the courtroom, they had the jury and everything. I thought it was just gonna go down and I was gonna be fucked up, but they came to me at the last minute, like, “Okay, we’re gonna offer you one more deal.” With the first [plea]I had to serve time, period. So at the last minute they said, “We’re gonna sentence you to ten years, but you can execute it with three years probation.” Man, it was just a miracle. That had to be a triumphant moment, probably even more so than having your album debut at number two. But the success in the game this year has to feel almost as good. Yeah! [laughs] Yeah, it feels good. The number two debut was a big deal, especially coming from where I’m coming from. It’s crazy, I can’t even explain how it feels. This type of situation is the first of its kind, especially from my state. A lot of critics didn’t respect you, and many still don’t respect you. How do feel about that? Well, you know, that’s just how the game is. I’m the underdog, but at the same time I feel like that’s what gives me the upper hand because I can catch ‘em from the blind spot. If you ain’t expecting somebody to make no moves you can’t prepare for it and you can’t fight against it no kinda way, so I caught ‘em off guard with the album. They most definitely thought I was just gon’ be throwin’ some D’s on it throughout the whole album. You did a little over 100,000 your first week, and I know you have platinum aspirations. Are you satisfied with your album sales thus far? On the record I’m satisfied, but I’m just the type that’s never satisfied, to tell you the truth. That’s just the way I am, but I’m happy with it. I feel like it’s a great accomplishment. Definitely, but three years ago a CD as solid as yours might have sold a lot more copies. In today’s market, album sales have been really stagnant. Do you ever see the game bouncing back? I feel like people just have to start touching on real topics instead on just following what they hear already and I feel that’ll bring the game back to something refreshing. We have to keep the people refreshed. The game is so saturated right now that a lot of people just gon’ have to quit rapping for it to really recover. The game is saturated to the point where it’s rappers everywhere you go. You can walk into any restaurant or any store and somebody in there raps; that’s why people don’t take albums seriously and they don’t purchase them anymore. One thing that stands out is the concepts in your music. Yeah, I felt like my concepts are my strength. The difference between me and the average artist is that the average artist is tryna hit a lick; they’re tryna get rich. They do it just to get rich so it ain’t no passion behind it and it ain’t no emotion behind it. They just think, “Okay, this tight. People gon’ love this, so I’m gonna do it this way.” I never went in the studio questioning if people were gonna like what I was doing, I went in there and just did what I felt. It was all off emotions. There would be days in the studio when I had my shirt off, almost finna cry recording a song like “Ghetto Rich,” or “Let’s Get This Paper,” and then it’d be days when I’d go write a song right after a funeral, like “Madness.” OZONE MAG // 61
When I first saw myself on 106th & Park, that’s when it first hit me. Like, damn, I’m actually doing this shit.
Your dad owns a liquor store where you used to hang out at when you were young. I heard you witnessed a lot of traumatic events. How did those experiences influence your music? That was the main kick it spot, man. I’d say that’s where about 70% of my music comes from. It started at that liquor store. But I didn’t wanna glorify it, so the way I recorded it and put it down was in a certain way to where a young kid wouldn’t hear it and think it was cool. When I say, “Bulletholes in your house make it hard to sleep,” and stuff like that, it shows that it ain’t cool.
for what they doing, the game would be crazy. It’s great to have money. Everybody wants to have money. Shit, I wanna have money. But when I go in the studio that’s not what I’m thinking about. What kind of image would say you’ve crafted? I feel like me and Polow made our own avenue, just cause we came different. I’m a totally different artist; I came with totally different music and a totally different tone. It’s just like something brand new, it’s like a gift to the game. My people at the label say all the time that everybody [in the game] is like soup and I came out and was like shrimp and cheesecake. People were like, “Damn, this is great.” Some people are just so used to the soup that they’re scared to try the shrimp and cheesecake, but once they try it they love it. It’s that type of situation, man.
When you’re back home, do you still kick it at your dad’s liquor store? Yeah, I just pop up out the blue every now and then, cause people feel connected. They feel like we a team, so if I’m winning they feel like the city’s winning. If I separate myself from them then we ain’t a team, so I most definitely stay in touch with everybody and go out and reach people. Every time I go back to Alabama, I go back to the same spot. I still get my hair cut at the same spot.
How do you feel about the Kanye West “Throw Some D’s” remix? I feel like it was a great look. I seen the video on YouTube, he called me and said he wants to give me four free [show appearances]. He just wants to come out and perform it. He loves it that much, which is great. He’s a fan too, I’m just surprised people like that are fans. Even with Outkast, they just wanted to get on the album. That shit’s amazing to me.
With success inevitably comes hate, and your triumphs have probably made some people envious. Have you felt the backlash of your success from anyone in Mobile yet? I know most definitely that will come, that will come and go, but that’s something I’ve been trained not to pay attention to. That’s how I caught my case, paying attention to the hate, so I know not to pay attention to it now, because it leads to other things.
Speaking of cosigning, when I was in the studio with you and Polow last December you were joking about getting some Cadillac endorsements, what ever happened with that? I don’t think they like rappers. I’m gon’ have to see. I’m gonna have to actually go in the building myself and see how they react. That would be outrageous money. I would probably never have to work again.
But I imagine overall, the love you get from Alabama probably far outweighs the hate? Yeah, and I feel it’s just like a plant. A plant got a root, and it’s in the ground, so if you take the plant all the way out the ground, it’s not connected no more and it’s gonna die. So that’s why I feel like I have to stay grounded in the place where I’m from. I have to keep a foot there. I have to keep a house there in the city just ‘cause. I feel like you die, just like a plant, when you disconnect yourself from where you come from. Why aren’t there more artists from Alabama in the position you’re in right now? Because a lot of them were probably underestimated before they got a chance. Alabama is just a state that’s looked down on, so as soon as somebody hands you a demo and say they’re from Alabama, 9 times out of 10 the person wouldn’t even listen to it, like, “This is just some Alabama bullshit.” You’re definitely changing that with this album. It seems like everyone has a different favorite track on the CD. That was the plan, and I don’t wanna compare myself to Tupac or nothing, but if you hear a Tupac album, everybody likes something different on it. But my personal favorite is “Ghetto Rich” with John Legend. All the songs have substance on the album, but I feel like that one has the most. Did you get to go in the studio and work with John Legend? No, he actually got on the album the last night before I had to turn the album in. He rushed to be on it, but he wanted to be a part of the album so he did out of love, you know? How much has Polow Da Don contributed to your success? Most definitely he played the biggest part in my success besides me. If it’s anybody that really counted, it was him and [Mobile, AL radio personality and DJ] Nick@Nite. They are the two biggest people. Polow introduced me to the industry, period. He’s the one that talked me into trying to rap, because I wasn’t rapping at the time I met him. He was like, “Man, I’m telling you, you oughta try it.” So I tried it, and that’s when shit started poppin’. I just wanted to make beats and be in the background, but he helped me find a talent I didn’t know I had. Do you feel that Polow overshadows you at all? No, I feel like we balance it out equally. It’s just like Timb and Missy Elliott or Dr. Dre and Snoop, I feel like we balance perfectly. We finna do a whole bunch of shit that the game ain’t never seen, because we don’t too much think about the money part, and I think that’s the trick. If you don’t think about the money, it’ll come if you’re great at what you doing. We just be trying to outsmart everybody when its time to go into the actual studio. It ain’t all about being rich. If people stopped caring about the money and just had a passion 62 // OZONE MAG
A lot of the biggest names in the game have been cosigning for you. Yeah, even people that’s beefing cosigning together, like I got Game on my album and 50 Cent consigning my project; that’s real rare to me.
Yeah, that would be nice, and I know you’ve been working a lot lately. What’s been the one thing that’s stood out in your mind from the last couple of months? When I first saw myself on 106th & Park, that’s when it first hit me. Like, damn, I’m actually doing this shit. I just woke up one day and forgot that it was coming on, then I saw it on TV and was like, “Damn, I’m on TV.” I’ve seen the video a million times, but it ain’t never hit me. I was always like, “Is this really going on?” But then when I saw myself perform on TV live, that shit was crazy. That’s probably the biggest accomplishment, being on show that I used to watch coming up, but I never thought I’d be on. //
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They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Looking back over five years of OZONE photo shoots, please enjoy the following 18,000 word essay. - JB
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Young Jeezy July 21st, 2006 Alley behind Mansion Nightclub Miami, FL Photo: Julia Beverly
“Being an American, I’ve got the right to freedom of speech. For me to connect with my people, I’ve gotta speak about what I’ve seen.” – Young Jeezy (Issue #34 September 2006, page 19)
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“If you don’t respect DJ Screw and the Screwed Up Click and the people that came before you and paved the way and laid the foundation for all this shit, then you’re stepping on people’s toes.” - Paul Wall (Issue #37 August 2005, page 27)
Paul Wall April 15th, 2005 Spring Bling Daytona Beach, FL Photo: Julia Beverly
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“A lot of younger cats are making more money than me from the rap game. I’m not bitter, but I still need to get my money. A lot of cats before me got discouraged and just gave up. You can’t just do that. This shit makes too much money. The [record labels] try to get all your music and break your spirit before you learn the game.”- Bun B (issue #34 May 2005, page 23)
Bun B July 27th, 2005 Check Cashing store Houston, TX Photo: Julia Beverly
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Lil Scrappy August 23rd, 2006 Record Plant Studios Los Angeles, CA Photo: Julia Beverly
“I’m a real person, so through the hood music I slide God in there every now and then… You can’t just be out here in the streets and be waking up in the morning by your lonesome thinking there’s nobody to help you.” – Lil Scrappy (Issue #37 August 2005, page A49)
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DJ Khaled June 15th, 2004 Jerusalem Studios Pembroke Pines, FL Photo: Julia Beverly
“Once I co-sign on a record, the artist can go ahead and make plans to buy that house or that Bentley.” – DJ Khaled (Issue #12 May 2003, page 26)
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Camoflauge’s murder scene May 23rd, 2003 Pure Pain Studios Savannah, GA Photo: Julia Beverly
“You have to be down for the cause. If you’re down [with somebody], be down forever. Don’t let a little bit of change come between you and your folk.”– Camoflauge (Issue #4 August 2002, page 46)
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Field Mob August 20th, 2005 House of Blues Hotel Chicago, IL Photo: Julia Beverly
“I don’t wanna be that nigga with the chains on all the time just frontin’ like that. That’s not me. They’re just gay. Everybody’s gay. It’s simple.” – Shawn Jay of Field Mob (Issue #38 September 2005, page A26)
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Plies October 31st, 2005 Ivanhoe Plaza Orlando, FL Photo: Julia Beverly
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Turk March 1998 Royal Senesta on Bourbon Street New Orleans, LA Photo: King Yella
“Back then, [heroin] was just the thing to do. It was like a fashion statement. All the girls wanted a nigga with the dope dick. I didn’t think I was a junkie, but now that I’m not in denial, I can see it for what it really was… I guess God answered my prayers, because right now I’m supposed to be dead.” – Turk (Issue #37 August 2005, page B21)
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David Banner July 1st, 2006 His backyard Byram, MS Photo: Julia Beverly
“I define the American dream as a nightmare. I honestly don’t think I’ll be here long. I believe I will die young. The American dream is for those who fall in line. You’ve got to give up something to make it in America, you’ve got to take something. That’s how America was established. It wasn’t bought or negotiated for, it was taken. All the things they tell other countries not to do, America already did.” – David Banner (Issue #11 April 2003, page 34)
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Pitbull July 3rd, 2004 395 Bridge Miami, FL Photo: Julia Beverly
“These New York labels are fucked right now. Thank you so much for overlooking us and teaching us how to grind and how to sell our own shit and how to make our own relationships. It’s ridiculous, really, cause you go up there sometimes and they don’t wanna show nobody love. Thank you very much to the labels for overlooking the South, teaching us, putting us in a position where we had to learn how to do it ourselves. We appreciate that very much. Thank you. I will laugh all the way to the bank.” – Pitbull (Issue #19 January 2004, page 44)
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Dawgman January 15th, 2005 pirate radio station WDME Orlando, FL Photo: Julia Beverly
“[Operating an underground radio station] is a felony now… They’re tryin’ to say that a local police office can lock you up now for operating a pirate station. I’m like, what the fuck? You ain’t got nothing better to do with your time?.. That’s just the game, though. It’s just like being in the streets. You win some, you lose some. If you get knocked down you come back again. Them [radio] transmitters come a dime a dozen, and tell ‘em we’ve got a dollar. Quote that shit. We gon’ get our music heard, bottom line.” – Dawgman (Issue #31 February 2005, page 21)
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Ludacris May 15th, 2004 “Diamond in the Back” video shoot Atlanta, GA Photo: Julia Beverly
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Pimp C and Bun B reunited December 30th, 2005 Texas State Penitentiary Huntsville, TX Photo: Julia Beverly
“I feel like I got put on the shelf, preserved, so I could come back and do something positive later. Maybe I will be in a position where I can prosper when I get out. I’m not going to challenge it, I’m just gonna take it for what it’s worth. If ‘Pac hadn’t got out [in prison], he might still be alive today. Maybe there was a worse fate out there waiting for me.” – Pimp C (Issue #34 May 2005, page 25)
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Killer Mike July 26th, 2005 Purple Ribbon office Atlanta, GA Photo: Julia Beverly
“Niggas [are] telling you the truth about the good shit about coming up, but not the whole truth. Part of the truth is just as bad as a lie. Yeah, I used to make money off crack, but that shit ain’t good for the neighborhood. It fucked a lot of people up. The first time I ever counted out $10,000 to myself, just from the stench of the money and the thought of what I had to do to get it, I threw up. That’s the truth.” - Killer Mike (Issue #37 August 2005, page B31)
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“People just doubt you, and revenge is success. I love this position that I’m in right now, because I’m so confident… The Sound of Revenge, just watch me. I’m gonna create a hell of a story when I’m successful.” – Chamillionaire (Issue #37 August 2005, pg A24)
Chamillionaire July 27th, 2005 “Turn It Up” video shoot Houston, TX Photo: Julia Beverly
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“I want to be a leader forever. When you want to be a leader, you’ll take any challenge that comes towards you. Challenges and competitions are different cause you can make them enjoyable. That’s what you strive for. With every challenge I get, I love it.” - Lil Wayne (Issue #42 February 2006, page 58)
Lil Wayne December 12th, 2005 W Hotel New York, NY Photo: Ray Tamarra
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“It’s definitely 90% grind, 10% sleep. I stay in the studio ‘til 5 AM. I go to sleep, wake right back up at 7 AM and do it all over again.” - Mike Jones (Issue #32 March 2005, page 29)
Mike Jones January 17th, 2005 Swishahouse recording studio Houston, TX Photo: Julia Beverly
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KILLIN’ EM DNESS WITH KIN
Even though su p MANNIE FRESH erproducer all his former reco eges that rd CASH MONEY ow label e millions of doll s him a wants to do is rs, all he m and give Cash ake music Money CEO BABY a hug - tr u his talent, God sting that ’s and a new Def blessings, Ja tion will ensure m situah end up on a VH e won’t 1 special.
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WORDS & PHOTOS BY JULIA
ou’re here at T.I.’s studio in Atlanta – what are you working on? This guy I’m working with right here is JR, Tip’s artist. From there, I’m going to be working with B.G. I just finished T.I., and tomorrow I got Young Dro. So I’m working with everybody in their camp while they got me here. What else have you been working on? Beats for a lot of different artists? Yeah, for real, the underdogs. If you’ve been paying attention to BET, [I produced the tracks for] a lot of the little videos where them dudes are trying to get discovered. It’s partly me redefining myself, too. Sometimes you gotta start from scratch and build your way up. I still want to have that feeling that I can make a new artist. It’s easy to get in there with somebody that’s certified already and give ‘em a hot track. That’s easy because that’s what the record company is going to get behind. It’s not easy to get behind that new cat and make a new song. It’s more of a challenge and it’s a rebirth for me because that’s where I started from. I always want to be in touch with what’s going on in the streets. I’m not that dude where you can’t reach me. If you’re on a major label, yeah, I’m going to try to [charge] an arm [laughs], but if you’re not on a major label, I’ll work with you. A lot of people have said that it’s a production-driven game now. What percentage of an artist’s success would you say is attributed to their beat selection and the producers they work with? I mean, it became a production-driven game. Everybody’s not that. Some dudes still inspire me. But I ain’t even gonna lie, it’s been certain situations where I’ve been in the studio where it all falls on the producer. I ain’t gonna say no names, because I might not get business with them again. They want all your ideas. They want you to write the song, produce the song, arrange the song, and make [the artist] looks good. It makes you feel like, dude, you must know somebody. [laughs] For real. I’m not sayin’ this to be fucked up, but a lot of Hip Hop is bullshit right now. So you’ve got a new situation with Def Jam. Is it a label deal or do you have an executive position at the actual record label? It’s all of that, because I don’t really have a title. I can go sign whoever I want. I get to work outside of the Def Jam umbrella. I can bring artists to them, and I get to voice my opinion. I went with Def Jam because they didn’t ask me to do nothing exclusive. They were like, “We know how you eat. Do whatever you do, and when you have time for this, cool.” And I feel like I can deliver on that. It’s not a strain on me. I can sign acts, I can consult, I can produce those acts, and I can also produce for artists outside of what’s going on at Def Jam. Are you involved on the business end as well? Yeah, because my [financial] splits with Def Jam are crazy. I’m not going to say them, because I don’t want nobody else to go try to get a deal like that. But you know, if I bring something there and I produce it or whatever, my splits on the album are crazy. So it’s a big incentive for you to bring an act to Def Jam. Yeah, exactly. So even if I just put my input on somebody else’s album, it’s still a paycheck for me, so that works for me. A lot of labels have started a “Southern” branch, tagging that “South” title onto an existing label, but in most cases it doesn’t seem to work. Do you think they just don’t have the right people in place? Yeah, that’s super important. If you think about it, when you meet most of the people that run record companies, it makes you feel like it’s a family business. You feel like they must have inherited their job or something. They have no idea what’s going on. I think Def Jam’s approach is to have people that know what’s going on. If I want to sign [an artist], it’ll be easy for me to sign them, as opposed to somebody that’s in a suit and doesn’t have no idea about their song. Somebody handed him a piece of paper that shows how many spins you’ve got and told him that it’s a buzz. I think an artist should be listened to creatively. [Most executives] just see dollar signs. Will this situation also involve you working with the existing Def Jam roster? Yeah, if they want to work with me, I welcome them. My dream for Def Jam
is this: It’s a label where you have a lot of artists and they don’t really know each other. They know of each other, but I want to really bring everybody together in unity and say, “Let’s take over this. Let’s be the next movement.” It hasn’t been a label since the old school days that’s done that. Def Jam, they got a powerful roster. They got Ludacris, Rick Ross, Jeezy, Jay-Z – so if we could all get together collectively and go out there and get it, that would be some shit. Even with Jay-Z being in an executive position, there’s been some criticisms of some of his business moves. Do you think it’s hard for yourself as an artist or a creative mind to make that transition to working in a more corporate environment? Or is your situation not really structured like that? Nah, it’s not that different. And dude [Jay-Z], he’s experienced, you know? Look at what he’s done with Def Jam. A lot of the moves are his moves. It’s his call – go get this dude, go get this dude. I’m trying to put this team together where nobody is bigger than nobody. I think I’m kinda like the middleman. It’s a different thing, how we get down in the South. We’re more family oriented than New York, to make a long story short. Are there any new artists in particular you’re looking at signing? Not at the present time because my plate is full right now. I’m trying to finish producing a few things and then I’m going to breeze through them little towns myself and check out what’s going on. For an artist that’s trying to get on, is there a way they can send you material or would you rather just hear about them? More than somebody sending me a CD, I’d rather find somebody that’s making noise. If I was visiting Miami, I’d rather just ask around and say, “What’s the buzz?” I’d rather put you on the spot and see what’s going on with you. I bet you have a lot of people coming up to you freestyling. Yeah, all the time. [laughs] As far as raw talent, what impresses you most about a new artist? The biggest thing I could ask for from a new artist is creativity. And I’m always thinking about longevity. When I hear a song, I want to know, what else do you have after that? I’m looking for longevity, for real. You have a lot of major labels that are signing them ringtone songs. That’s what I call ‘em. You know them songs – it’s gonna be a big ringtone, and after that, your career is over with. I’d rather have somebody with longevity. You told us earlier that you had some things you wanted to get off your chest. Recently when you were doing a radio interview at Q93 in New Orleans, Baby called in during a commercial break and made some threats towards you. What exactly happened? The interview was basically about what’s going on with me. And some of the statements I made, apparently dude [Baby] didn’t like. I think he just called at the wrong time. He called when we went on a commercial break. I was like, “For real, you could’ve called when I was on the radio.” I welcomed him to call back when I was on the radio and we could’ve discussed it man-toman. I even promised on the air, I was like, “I’m not going to curse. You don’t curse, let’s just discuss what problems you have with me.” I told [Baby], “I’ll give you the first three questions free. Ask me the first three questions.” And he never called back. Do you feel like those issues should be discussed in a public forum? Or have you already had those conversations behind closed doors? I mean, I buried that. I left it behind me, but he called and brought it back up. I don’t have no hate for them. I don’t feel nothing bad about [Cash Money]. I moved on; I’m doing me. But it’s just funny how whenever they get in articles or do interviews, my name is smeared. And I’m like, dude, I didn’t do nothing to you. You did something to me. What did Baby do to you? It was all-around bad business. If what I’m saying wasn’t true, he wouldn’t have been found guilty of nothing. I ain’t gonna air out everything that was done, but the point I made is this: Every artist that was on Cash Money is not there [anymore] except Wayne. Is everybody wrong? Why do you think Wayne is still there if everyone else was unhappy? Honestly, I have no idea.
YTHING THAT R E V E T U O IR A A N N NESS... I AIN’T GO ARTIST THAT WAS ON CASH SI U B D A B D N U O R A IS: EVERY “IT WAS ALL TH IS E D A M I T IN O BODY WRONG?” P Y R E E V TH E T U IS B . , E E N N Y O A D W S T A P W E [ANYMORE] EXCE R E TH T O N IS Y E N O M OZONE MAG // 91
When Juve left, what were we stuck with? When everything else went down and The Carter came out, Cash Money was back to where it needed to be. So I feel like, dude, what am I really worth to you? Am I just a workhorse? I look at it like this: Some people in this game really love what they do, and some people do it to get paid. You really love what you do. Yeah, I wouldn’t be here that long if I didn’t. Man, my first record was in ’87 or something. And all through my career, I’ve been through bad deals. So if I didn’t love it, I would’ve been walked away. Whenever you hear of situations where an artist is beefing with their label over money, you’ve gotta wonder if the artist just wasn’t on top of their business and signed a bad deal. Is it possible you just agreed to a bad contract? Or was it just them not handling their part of the deal? It was them. I was over my bad paperwork days. It was just them not doing what they were supposed to do, not living up to their responsibilities.
Basically, you just weren’t getting paid? Yeah. It was a learning thing with me. And he said in an interview he did in another magazine that I just woke up and left. Like I just got up one morning and said, “Fuck it.” Nah, dude, we talked about this. We talked about this over and over again. Repeatedly. And if nothing happened, there was only two places for me to go – up or down. It was time for me to move on. Believe me, we wouldn’t be having this interview right now if they hadn’t said nothing about me. Dude, why can’t you leave me alone? Why can’t you let it be? I just want to make music. Stay on your side of the field and I’ll stay on my side of the field.
What motive would they have to keep money from you? Like you said, with them giving you credit for a lot of things musically, why would they not want to keep you happy? I think that sometimes in life, money is somebody’s worst enemy. If you’ve got a legitimate business, you’ve got to look at it as a legitimate business. It’s not the streets. You don’t apply street rules to a legitimate business. I think some people don’t know how to separate the street business from legitimate business. A lot of times you don’t know the difference, but those rules don’t work with it. In music, the important thing is to keep the people happy that keep you in money. If you’ve got a producer or an artist, it’s gonna hurt them. It hurts me to see you trickin’ off to somebody else right in front of my face when you owe me something. It’s gonna hurt me as a man to see you steadily buying cars and shit and you owe me some money. That’s crazy. And then you wanna show me that shit? Dude, how are you gonna come around me like that and you owe me some money? When you owe me something, don’t give nobody shit around me because it’s going to actually affect me. It’s going to hurt me. Chicks, dudes, whatever. Don’t take care of your homeboys if you owe me something, especially if they don’t have nothing to do with the equation. You can’t have your dudes around you from off the block and decide that they’re “security” all of a sudden. You know, “I gotta give security some cars to keep the goons off me.” But you still owe me.
Allegedly, they forged your tax returns and B.G.’s tax returns, right? It was a whole bunch of stuff. Paperwork that wasn’t done right, taxes that wasn’t done right. All kinds of shit. And I’m more than sure you’ve done all kinds of interviews with other people that was on [Cash Money], and they’ve told you the same thing. I’m not saying this to smear their name or fuck up what’s going on with them or whatever. Either I’m crazy, stupid, retarded, or I’m telling the truth. It was time for me to get the fuck up outta there. [laughs]
You seem like a real laid-back person, but did it ever get to a point where you just confronted them like, “What’s up with my money?” I mean, I think we’re past all that. We honestly talked about this. That’s the part that y’all don’t know. The first time that everybody heard about me [leaving Cash Money], I had went up to them. Me, by myself, nobody else. I went up to their office and we talked about it, man to man. I was like, “C’mon, dude.” But nothing happened. Nothing changed. So it was time for me to move on.
How much money are we talking about? Millions. Not thousands.
What was their reaction when you went to their office? They were like, “Alright, dude. We feel what’s going on. We get you, and we’re gonna work it out.” If nothing happens, then that’s not working on it. And for the longest, dude kept saying that I was just upset about what happened with my album sales. It was never that, dude. I feel like in life, you can’t win every battle. Some you gonna win, some you gonna lose. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that everything you do cannot be a hit. You move on. It ain’t had nothing to do with that.
But even for you, it seemed like things at Cash Money were good. Was there a point where things started going bad? I was more in love with what I was doing [musically] than paying attention to my business. But as time goes on and things happen in your life, you’re forced to pay attention to your business. I was forced to pay attention to what was going on because it was affecting me. I was like, “Dude, this ain’t being taken care of, and this ain’t being taken care of, but yet I’m still here with y’all doing songs.” So it was a learning thing for me.
Four million? Five million? It was more than that. But like I said, I was in love with what I was doing. My all, my heart and everything was with Cash Money. Is there a lawsuit? Yeah, I brung it to their attention. They had a little thing that said it was settled or whatever, but nah, it’s not settled. I’ll put it like this: It was a payment made on it. But it’s not settled. So did it go to trial? Nah, it was outright. Like, it didn’t even have to go there. It was just outright. Believe it or not, Universal stepped in and was like, “We gotta make this right. If we don’t make this right, this dude is gonna take us all to the hoop.” And I was like, “For real.” So it was a payment made on it, but it’s not settled. I don’t look at it like it’s settled. And I was big about it. I was like, “Okay, that’s cool.” I left it alone. Go y’all way, and I’ll go my way. But then it came, all this [talk] surfacing. [Baby] was saying this and that about me. He said when they got home they went on the block, and I went home. Where else was it for me to go? Y’all ain’t been on the block. Stop that. But for real, if you think about it, there’s a reason why I don’t diss Cash Money. It came out of dude’s mouth repeatedly over and over and over and over again that “Mannie is the man.” You know? He’d be like, “Mannie wrote most of this. Mannie came up with this.” I’m like, dude, that came out of your own mouth. So if I was so much a part of it – you know, all our trials or whatever – whenever something [bad happened] I ain’t taking all the credit, but it was up to me to dig Cash Money out of a hole. 92 // OZONE MAG
You said in an earlier interview that you didn’t even really want to do a solo album. Yeah, anybody who heard the earlier stories or saw me when I did 106th & Park knows, I never wanted to do that album. I was like, “Man, I’m not really into this.” At the time when I did that album, I felt like it was time to let go of the Big Tymers. We did three albums and got crazy sales out of ‘em, doing some shit that nobody else on the planet could’ve pulled off. Taking the producer and the CEO and making a group? Let it go before people feel like, “Oh shit, this is just a big-ass hoax.” This is what I do. I produce. You go back to your office and let’s get this shit straight, the way it’s supposed to be. You can’t be an artist and run your company. Doesn’t Slim play a role on the business end of Cash Money also, behind the scenes? Yeah, Slim is more of the business mind behind Cash Money. But it’s a lot of things, even with me, where I wish Slim would’ve stepped in and just outright said, “Dude, that’s wrong.” It could’ve been a lot of stuff solved it Slim would’ve just told [Baby]. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong. You’re not supposed to be like, that’s my brother so I’ma overlook it. I’m like, dude, you know this is wrong. You can outright see what’s going on.
Once when we interviewed Wayne, he said that if you couldn’t produce for him he didn’t want to do any more albums. Obviously, that changed. Wayne didn’t have a choice. He had to go out there and get it. I take my hat off to him for doing what he did. He could’ve said, “I’ma settle for whatever [tracks] y’all bring me,” but instead he went out and found producers and found songs for his album. Since you had a chance to watch Wayne grow over the years as an artist, how do you feel about Gillie the Kid claiming he wrote for him? I can honestly say that I’ve seen Wayne grow into the artist he is now. I don’t know if Gillie wrote nothing for him. I’ve never seen that, but honestly, I have seen growth in times. At certain times, I would listen to what he said, and he also would listen to what I said. I was like, “Dude, you gotta get back to the South and give the people what they want. You can’t do those songs where you’re just trying to get on the radio.” The whole point of The Carter was to get back to our roots. How was Cash Money able to develop such a roster of talented artists at a young age? It’s kind of amazing when you think about it that you had a group with Lil Wayne, Juvenile, BG, and Turk, so long ago, and they’re still relevant today as solo artists. Our city was always surrounded by talent. For instance, when Wayne came aboard, I was like, “He’s the truth. Y’all might see him as unpolished right now, but let him hang around. He’s gonna be that dude.” And their work ethic when they were young, you couldn’t stop these dudes from writing raps. B.G. would come in with tablets full of songs. That shit is unheard of now. Now artists come to the studio and want to write their verse. And my opinion mattered in the beginning. You’ve gotta think about what Cash Money did. They took some solo artists, put ‘em together and made a group, broke it down to some other shit and kept it moving. We took the producer and the dude that owned the record company and made a group. So it had to be a vision or something.
SOMETIMES IN LIFE MONEY IS SOMEBOD, WORST ENEMY... IT Y’S ME TO SEE YOU TRICHURTS OFF TO SOMEBODY KIN’ RIGHT IN FRONT ELSE OU OF MY FACE WGHOENNNYA OWE ME. IT’S MAN TO HURT ME AS ADILY BUYSEE YOU STEA YOU OWE ING CARS ANDHAT’S CRAZY. ME MONEY. T
At one point, Wayne was talking about signing with Jay-Z. At the time, I can honestly say that he wasn’t happy. Something happened and they made him happy, so he’s still there. But at the time he wasn’t happy. He might not speak on it because that’s his people, but at the same time, why even do that if you’re not happy. What’s the general feeling in New Orleans towards Cash Money? I gotta say it’s half and half. A lot of people take their side and some people take my side. That’s just life. I guess when I did the interview [on the radio in New Orleans] dude felt like I was trying to smear his name or whatever, but I’m just saying what happened. I promised everybody when I get everything settled, I’m going to actually really say what happened and what it was all about. But at the time when it first happened, they were like, “You can’t talk on it, you can’t speak on it, you can’t do this, you can’t do that.” My approach to it is different from everybody else’s. B.G. felt like, “Fuck ‘em.” I’m not that type of dude. I feel like the pen is mightier than the sword. I can curse you out, we can do diss songs and all that, but that ain’t gonna get me nowhere. Basically, you got some money but still feel like there’s money owed. Yeah, they still owe me, and I’m not ever gonna let it go. If God takes me off this earth, I hope my kids inherit it. Go get it. Go after it, cause it’s rightfully mine. I can’t speak on the amount because of the settlement, but I can say that it’s a large amount. If they don’t go by the rules of what they’re supposed to do, then my next step is to bring it back to wherever it’s gotta go to make them do what they’re supposed to do. And in the meantime you’re just trying to move forward.
Exactly. I just want to do my own thing. I’m independent. I made a promise to myself: I’ll never let another man control what’s going on with me. I’m not going to do homie business, buddy business, none of that. It’s me. I’m going to know what’s going on with my figures. If I end up on VH1 on a special, it’s my own fault from here on out. It’s kind of like a Dr. Dre situation where you’d rather just leave the past behind you and focus on making new music. Yeah, that’s what I’ve been trying to do from the get go. It’s just funny how dude and them can’t leave me alone. Just leave me out of your mouth, dude, it’s just that simple. Wayne is y’all president. Y’all label has got a president. Y’all got this, y’all got that. Y’all happy, dude. So just leave me alone. I don’t have nothing to do with y’all. Y’all don’t have nothing to do with me. But I don’t have no bad feelings towards them at all. Despite what they’ve done to me, I can’t move on feeling that way. I think it’s better for me not to hate them, and that’s genuine. I still love ‘em. We were raised like brothers and we grew up together, but unfortunately business changed all that. If you were able to come to an agreement as far as a financial settlement, would you go back to Cash Money if they wanted you to? Wayne asked me to do something on his albums. I’m willing to do it, but there are stipulations. If it happens, it’s on him. He reached out and I agreed to it. After the [radio] interview I saw Wayne in Atlanta. I was leaving out the hotel and he was coming in, so I stopped him as a man and I said, “Dude, I don’t have a problem with you. Do you have a problem with me?” He was like, “Nah, we good,” and I was like, “Wayne, none of this had anything to do with you. I understand [Baby] is your man and that’s who you ride with, and I’m cool with that.” Is there anything else you want to get off your chest? For real, I’m here to stay. If you don’t like it, shit, fuck you in your ass with a broken piece of glass. [laughs] It’s good to hear we won’t be seeing you bankrupt on any VH1 specials. [laughs] Not if I can help it. I’m not going that route. I’m blessed. I look around and see where I’m at in my life and my accomplishments, and it ain’t got nothing to do with money or cars, none of that. It’s a good feeling to be like, this is me. This is mine and I ain’t gotta worry about nobody taking it from me. I ain’t gotta worry about if I’m going to get all of [my money] or not, or if I’m even going to get the message. For instance, if you went to somebody else to do the interview and I never got the message – now, you can come directly to me and I’m going to either say “yes” or “no.” Nobody can make me look like the bad guy. How did Katrina affect you? Did you move from New Orleans? I’m still there. I ain’t going nowhere. That’s my home, but it did affect me. When [Hurricane Katrina] happened, it made you realize what’s important to you. You’ve gotta leave some shit behind, be it a Bentley or whatever. You’ve gotta get your family. My whole family evacuated and it was one of those situations where the only thing left was a five-star hotel. If you’ve got your whole family together, it’s like, what’s going to matter to you? Your family or money? I was glad I was in a position where I could help my family, friends, or whatever. There were so many people scattered everywhere, that made me realize that besides your family, everything else is obsolete. I think I’m blessed, so it’s going to keep coming to me anyway. You seem to do a good job of keeping your family life private. Is that intentional? It’s definitely intentional, because there are some characters in this music shit. Some good and some bad, and I don’t think that’s good for your family. I’ve been doing this a long time, even before Cash Money. It was a gang of years before them and I have learned some hard lessons. I believe you keep your family separated from what’s going on with this music game. With the threats or statements that were made at the radio station, are you afraid of Baby or anyone at Cash Money? Hell no. I don’t fear nothing but God. The fear of man, that’s just not in me. We’ve gotta realize that Hip Hop is still a growing thing. Kids are listening to [the radio]. It’s another generation coming up on us, so it kinda made me refrain from what I was really feeling right then and there. My kids could be listening, or your kids could be listening. If I had just gone crazy [on the radio] that would’ve been a message that I’m sending somebody. Rather than that, I just said what I really felt, which is, “For real, dude, I still love you. If I saw you right now, rather than punch you, I would give you a hug.” //
Editor’s Note: We attempted to contact Baby and Cash Money/Universal Records for comment, but have not received a response as of press time. OZONE MAG // 93
HIP Hop REGRETTABLES
We’ve all said things we regret. Fortunately, for most of us, those statements aren’t recorded in print for history to reread and laugh. But for the artists on our list, these infamous quotables will live on forever.
“Any critic who calls us one-hit wonders has never even tried to do their homework. We have hits after hits after hits.” – Luc-Duc of the Iconz (Issue #6 - October 2002, page 18) UPDATE // The Iconz of “Get Fucked Up” fame have officially disbanded. “[JB], who the fuck cares about what you think? Your articles are shitty, your interview questions are so textbook, and your writing has no substance… You’re ugly. Where do you expect to go, looking like that? You need to stick to Orlando, because you ain’t getting any further.” – Feedback letter responding to JB’s editorial (Issue #8 - December 2002, page 10) UPDATE // Just fuel to the fire. “Most journalists are just frustrated, wannabe rappers anyway. Honestly, most of them are just frustrated people who wish they could rhyme or DJ, but just haven’t been accepted into the society, so instead, they just write about it.” – Benzino (Issue #10 - March 2003, page 18) UPDATE // Do we really have to tell you? “If you’re trying to do anything in the entertainment industry, as soon as you come down to Miami, you gotta holla at me in some kinda way. Whether you come to record or throw a party, you gotta at least say ‘hi’!” – Abebe Lewis (Issue #12 - May 2003, page 37) UPDATE // Abebe still owes us money, so we’re gonna keep clowning him for fun. “I’m real cocky. Trina didn’t even go gold, she’s no competition. Eve went brick.” - Gloria Velez (Issue #13 June 2003) UPDATE // And your album sold... how many copies? “Before you even go in the store [to rob them], you make sure you got somebody with you that’ll watch your back. A lot of stores have floor watchers. You just watch and pay attention.” – Jacki-O (Issue #24 June 2004, page 35) UPDATE // Jacki-O was arrested not long after this interview for shoplifting. “[Chamillionaire] has never made a hot song by himself. If he did, name one?” – Mike Jones (Issue #27 September 2004, page 44) UPDATE // Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty” won awards at the VMAs, the Grammys, and the OZONE Awards (he sent in a videotaped acceptance speech from the Eiffel Tower). Cham and Mike Jones also recently squashed their “beef.” “If I couldn’t have Mannie Fresh [produce] my albums, I wouldn’t make any more albums.” – Lil Wayne (Issue #29 November 2004, page 21) UPDATE // Refer to the Mannie Fresh interview on pages 90-93. “I would hit Trina from the back, all day! Bap, bap, bap! Lay down, open her legs from the back, put the pillow up under her, grab her hair – the part that’s real – put her hands up and bap, bap, bap!” – Lil Wayne (Issue #29 November 2004, page 26) UPDATE // Well, Wayne may not actually regret this quote, since apparently his dream came true. Perhaps OZONE played a role in the matchmaking? “I had to have my seats lean all the way back in the Chevy Monte Carlo… I’m driving, and the bitch just starts gulpin’ like she’s about to throw up on my dick cause it’s big as fuck. She’s going up and down and then I pull over and put the rubber on... We was fuckin’ on the expressway!” – Lil Scrappy (Issue #29 November 2004, page 22) UPDATE // Scrappy later claimed that his sex issue interview was full of drunken exaggerations, but we heard his baby mama wasn’t too happy anyway.
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“I don’t even wanna fuck with Universal cause they’re like a Velcro label. They just throw you out there to see if you stick, and if your shit fall off you’ll get dropped. Unless you Nelly.” – Young Cash (Issue #30 December 2004, page 15) UPDATE // Young Cash signed with D&G/SRC/Universal Records, and hopefully our reprinting this quote won’t push his release date back any further. “We also have a group called B5, which is five brothers from Atlanta. Quote me on this: this group is gonna be a monster. They’re so talented. They sing, they dance, they’re photogenic, they play instruments, and I think they’re gonna fill that void of where B2K left off.” – Shawn Prez, Bad Boy Director of Promotions (Issue #30 - December 2004, page 25) UPDATE // Just because it works in theory doesn’t mean it’ll work in reality. “I may be signing with Jay-Z. Right now we just talking, but it’s sounding like a good idea.” – Lil Wayne (Issue #30 - December 2004, page 11) UPDATE // Rumors of this Jay-Z/Wayne collaboration caused quite a stir until Baby clarified that his son was staying at Cash Money. Later, Wayne claimed to be better than Jay-Z in Complex magazine. “I don’t even say [‘Who? Mike Jones!’] a lot on the album… Some people say that I’m saying my name too much, but if I stop it completely, then some people are gonna be like, ‘I like the old Mike Jones.’” - Mike Jones (Issue #32 March 2005) UPDATE // Who? “Mannie definitely holds the walls up. He’s the piece to the puzzle. It’s his talent that has gotten us this far, so I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I wouldn’t fuck with this without Fresh.” – Baby (Issue #34 May 2005, page 21) UPDATE // Mannie left Baby’s label Cash Money over a money dispute (refer to the Mannie Fresh interview on pages 90-93). “Ain’t no ‘Dame vs. Jay.’ That’s what needs to be stopped. People need to stop making up their own accusations. Where’s this coming from, that they’ve got beef? Ain’t no beef.” – Memphis Bleek (Issue #35 June 2005, page 15) UPDATE // Apparently, there was beef. Guess who Bleek sided with? “I’m a natural born star. I believe I’m made for TV, magazines, videos, everything. Everything I do, I’ve perfected it.” – Tony Yayo (Issue #36 July 2005) UPDATE // Perfected everything except selling records, Yayo? “[My album] is gonna come out in February . It’s gonna shock the world with the first week of record sales.” – Aztek (Issue #38 September 2005) UPDATE // Aztek’s album did not come out, nor did it shock the world. “[I don’t have a release date for my solo project yet] but it’ll be this year. I’m still doing a whole lot of shit.” - Jody Breeze (Issue #39 November 2005) UPDATE // As of press time, Jody’s album is still awaiting release. “I don’t worry about shit like [the RIAA]. They gonna do what they do… But them niggas ain’t gonna affect my grind or my hustle because I know that I’m bringing something to the table. The RIAA can’t tell me a damn thing. When you see DJ Drama, DJ Don Cannon, and DJ Sense, you’re seeing a piece of work that ain’t no fucking bootleg.” - DJ Drama (Issue #43 March 2006) UPDATE // Great way to tempt fate, Drama. Tyree Simmons a.k.a. DJ Drama and Donald Cannon a.k.a. DJ Don Cannon were arrested by police working in conjunction with the RIAA on January 16th, 2007, for allegedly distributing bootleg material (see page 54-58).
OZONE MAG // 95
96 // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // 97
Yeah, yeah. We stole the name from XXL, but since we’re three months ahead of ‘em on everything else, it all evens out. Besides, there’s no other title that’ll fit these laughable quotes we came across during our five year anniversary recap.
“I might open up a soul food restaurant. I might open up a Laundromat… I might make my own car and call it Yingsu.” – D-Roc of the Ying Yang Twins (Issue #35 June 2005, page 17)
“Even when I’m broke, people treat me like a star… Like, how I’m sitting here talking to you right now, some people might assume… that we’re making love.” – Rated R (Issue #8 December 2002, page 17)
“I got my own clothing line called Fruity, for real. It’s for unique, diverse individuals. It’s really for women only. But I had to advertise it sometimes. That’s me, I gotta be fruity, too.” - Gucci Mane (Issue #35 June 2005)
“[Bonecrusher] sold his soul... [Bonecrusher] is banned from Mississippi. Print that. ‘Neva Scared’ was our song. It’s way bigger than Reese & Bigalow. Mississippi shows much love, and these people are upset. If he ever comes through here, there ain’t no tellin’ what’s gon’ go down.” – Reese & Bigalow (Issue #16 September 2003, page 32) “We made it cool to say you’re from Tally. We got everybody wanting to be from Tally, wearin’ 850 shirts.” – Nappy Headz (Issue #21 April 2004, page 23)
“Shit, I got fans. If people love me and wanna give me some special attention, then that’s what’s good. If they wanna slob the knob or somethin’, cool.” – Neef of the Young Gunz (Issue #35 June 2005, page 17)
“I want to start a charity foundation for everyone who doesn’t have friends. Now that I’m a DJ, everybody’s my friend... Girls that didn’t even speak to me give me head.” – DJ Q45 (Issue #24 July 2004)
“The number one workout plan for me is fuckin’ three different hoes three times a week. That’s the best cardio a man can get.” – Pimp of Dirty (Issue #37 August 2005, page A27)
“[Paris Hilton] looks frail. I don’t think she could take it though… I’ve never slept with a white woman.” – T.I. (Issue #29 November 2004, page 20)
“If I don’t go platinum, I’m going back to robbing niggas.” - Killer Mike (Issue #37 August 2005, page A30)
“Young Buck is Jacki-O’s typical kind of dude, but I shoulda got him when he was fresh. If I had got to him, he would be a whole different type of player.” – Jacki-O (Issue #29 November 2004, page 25) “I can’t [eat pussy], man. I’d be kicked out of Swishahouse. It’s like a vegetarian who doesn’t eat meat; we just don’t eat that stuff at the Swishahouse.” – Mike Jones (Issue #29 November 2004, page 29) “My favorite is Lil Wayne, Ludacris, and T.I., and I think they’d all be good in bed. I’m gonna find out and let you know.” – Khia (Issue #29 November 2004) “I don’t get offended… I hang with white boys and I call them ‘my niggas’ and they call me ‘nigga.’ That don’t offend me.” – Trick Daddy (Issue #30 December 2004, page 22) “I was charged with being the ringleader of an anti-theft operation, like, a chain of chop shops. Taking luxury cars and switching the VIN numbers and reselling them, putting in new registration, new title. Like Gone in 60 Seconds, for instance. That’s what I was charged with. I’m not saying that I did it, though.” – Akon (Issue #31 February 2005, page 7) “Every person in the group [Boyz N Da Hood] is at a level of emcee supremacy.” – Diddy (Issue #31 February 2005) “The Florida music scene is all fucked up right now. People in Florida don’t listen to Florida music. DJs in Florida don’t play Florida music.” – Plies (Issue #33 April 2005, page 18) “We’re gonna be the next Russell Simmons and the next Puff Daddy... We’re gonna be the next sex symbols out of the South.” – Pretty Ricky (Issue #34 May 2005, page 21)
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“I’m pretty without makeup. I don’t need a stylist and I don’t need thousand dollar hairdos. Keep it real, you know those hoes look a hot mess. You catch Trina early in the morning without all that makeup on her face and that hoe looks a hot mess.” - Khia (Issue #37 August “Even if [my career] was all over today, I had a good time. I made a lot of money, had a lot of beautiful women, and traveled to a lot of places on the next man’s bread.” – Haystak (Issue #38 September 2005, page A35) “[The paparazzi] make me feel like a star. I’m gonna put out a magazine that just talks about all the other magazines. I’m gonna talk about OZONE, Source, XXL, all of y’all.” – Shawn Jay of Field Mob (Issue #38 September 2005, page A26)
“[Jive] wanted me to cut my hair off and lose weight and get toned up… I’ll never cut [my hair] off. It’s just me, plus, it’s low maintenance. I ain’t gotta comb it every day. They can style it and shit, but it’s not going nowhere unless I get cancer and it falls out by itself. Me and my Sidekick, we on some totally different shit. We’re like Andre 3000.” – T-Pain (Issue #38 September 2005, page A33) “The South was slow, as far as socially. When I said ‘slow,’ I didn’t mean ‘dumb.’ This dude took it out of context. I meant, socially and as far as the new styles and new things. Comin’ from New York, New York was always the epicenter of the country. It wasn’t just in the South. Everywhere you went, coming from New York, you was the man. And now, unfortunately, it’s not like that no more. It’s the opposite now. Now they come up here and get love. They come up here and steal our chicks. We used to go down there and go to the mall and girls would be like, ‘Oh, shit he look like he from New York,’ and we’d get all the love but that shit don’t work no more.” - Saigon (Issue #44 April 2006, page 67)
OZONE MAG // 99
100 // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // 101
Shout outs to everyone over the years who’s advertised with us, let us in the club free, contributed an article, hooked us up with an artist, done an interview, taken a picture, given us some free publicity, dissed us, shit, contributed in any way. As you can see, it’s quite an extensive list. We’re sure we forgot a few people, so if it’s you, our apologies in advance. 102 Jamz 105.5 The Beat 1st Lady El 2 Dog Records 2 Mindz 334 MOBB 3535 Entertainment 4-Ize 50 Cent 5th Ward Weebie 69 Boyz 8Ball 904 Click 92 Blaze 95.3 Party Abebe Lewis Abel Acafool Ace Boom Koon ACE Magazine Acknight Adam Diaz Adam Favors Adam Gutman Adept ADG Admission Granted TV AJ Woodson Akon Akright Records Al Gator Al Kapone Alan Powell Aldrick Williams Alex Alex Gidewon Algierz Ali Alston Ali Muhammad Alison Ramdial All Access DVD All Fam All Star AllHipHop.com All-N-Entertainment All-Star All-Stars Al-My-T Alphonso Alvarez Amanda Diva Amelia Amir Shaw Andover Place Apartments Andre 3000 Anduze Angie Chung Animal Chan Anthony B Anthony Cutujar Anthony Gonzalez Anthony Murray Anthony Pittman Antigua Antonia Jenae AP Apollo Kreed Aquil Armageddon Arrogant Arthur Papillon Ashley Brathwaite Assassin Asylum Records Atiba Atlantic Records Audio Illusions Autumn Williams Aziatikk Blakk Aztek Escobar B Rich B.G. BA Boys Baby Baby Boy Baby D Baby Drew Baby Lac
102 // OZONE MAG
Baby Stone Bad Boy Records Bailey Baje BANG Barry Underhill Basement Beats Bavu Blakes Baydilla Bayer Mack Baylo Entertainment BCD Music Group Bedo Behind Bars Records Belo Benny Boom Benz Benzino Bernard Gourley BET Beth Melillo Bethune Cookman BG BHI Bibi Gunz Big Al Big Bank Hank Big Boi Big Bud Big Cat Records Big Cee Jay Big D Big Du Big Duke Big Earl Big Floaty Big Gates Big Gee Big Gipp Big Karl Big Krit Big Kuntry Big L Big Life Big Lip Bandit Big Mike Big Money Ced Big Mouth Big Neil Big Nod Big Oomp Big Pokey Big Rich Big Rims Big Ro Big Ross Big Sam Big Scale Entertainment Big T Big Teach Big Tuck Big Vic Big Wee Big Will Bigg D Bigga Rankin Biggs Bill Rickett Birmingham J Bishop of Crunk Black Black Chippendales BlackFreakFinder.com Blackjak Blackout Music Blaqk Block Blockwear Blood Over Money Records BloodRaw BLOW BME BOB Bobby Creekwater Bobby Fisher Bobby Novoa
Bobby Valentino Body Head Bogan Bogard Bohagon Boleg Bonecrusher Boo Boo da Boss Playa Boo Rosario Boss Hogg Outlawz Bossman Records Boston Naud Boulevard Boyz N Da Hood Brad Wimpy Brandi Garcia Brandi Garcia Break-A-Dawn Brian O’Hare Brian Rikuda Bridget Brisco Brother C Brova Brotha Brummel Germain Bryan Leach Bu Bubba Sparxxx Budafuco Buggah D. Govanah Buk Bulldog Bulletproof Bum Squad DJz Bun B Bushi Bashi Bushwick Bill Busta Rhymes Buttahman Byron Trice C.O. Cadence Cadillac Don Cai Entertainment Cam Camoflauge (RIP) Camron Capone Cara Donatto Carbon Caribbean Beach Club Caribbean Sunshine Carl “Che” Bosse Carl Washington Carlos Amoedo Carlton Wade Carol City Cartel Carolyn Crump Cartel Cash Money Cathy Caveman Cayenne Magazine C-Bone C-Dog Cecile Barker Cedric Boothe Cedric Collier Cedric Hollywood Cedric Walker Chad Brown Chaka Zulu Chamillionaire Chaos Charlamagne Tha God Charles Chavez Charles Dixon Charles March Charles Wakeley Charles Young Charlie Braxton
Charlieo Charmaigne Chauntey Harvey Che Bosse Che Johnson Chi-Chi Yeyo Chill da Million Dollar Man Chill Will Chilly C Chingo Bling Chino Chonita Floyd Chop Shop Choppa Choppa Hill Chopper City Boyz Chops Chris Imani Chris Johnson Chris Lighty Chris Turner Christian Lantry Christina Clark Christina Saavedra Chubby Relle Chuck Creekmur Chyna White Ciara Circle House Citty City Limits CJ Peters CJ Stankiewicz CL Mecca Clatties Moorer Clay D Clay Evans Cleney Clientell Radio Clipse Club Millennium Club Paradise Clutch Entertainment C-Murder CN3 Coach Coach K Coco Brother Cocoa Chanelle Code Red Codeblack Cody Chesnutt Cognito Collard Greens Collisions R Us Coming Up Records Connections Magazine Cool & Dre Cool Runnings Cordice Gardner CORE DJs Corey Cleghorn Corey Llewllen Cortez Bryant Cory Gunz Cory Mo Court Digga Courtney “Court Digga” Powell Courtney Scott Crazy Hood Productions C-Rena C-Ride Crime Mob Cristal Bubblin C-Rod C-Rola Crunchy Black Crunk Energy Drink Crunk Magazine Crunk USA CRUNK!!! Energy Drink Crystal Isaacs CTE Cuban Link
Cubo Curren$y Curtis Circulation Cynthia Coutard Czar Nok D Cooley D Shep D Suave D’Essence D’Ville D4L Da BackWudz Da Few Da Link Da Muzicianz Da Scoundrels Da Sick One Da Splitta Squad Da Streetz Magazine Daed Jewels Dain Burroughs Dakari Damian Marley Damien Lemon Damon Dash Dan Higgins MixtapeAllStars. com Danger Danny Blaq Dano Dapa Darnella Dunham Darren Thomas Darryl Owens Darryl Phillips Dave Goodson Dave Mays David Banner David Himes David Paul David Phanord David Simminou Dawgman Dawn Campbell Daz Dillinger D-Bo Deca Records DeeMoney Entertainment Def Jam Dem Damn Dawgs Dem Franchize Boyz Dem Hoodstarz Denmark West Dennis Scott Derek Jurand Derek Washington Derrick Crooms Derrick McKinney Deshonica Desmond Clark Desmond John Destine Cajuste Deston Bennett Detour Clothing Detre Val Deuce Poppi DeVaughn Douglas Devyne Stephens Diamond Diaz Brothers Dice Dice Records Diddy Dino DeRose Dior George Diplomats Dirt Diggla DirtBag Dirtered Dirty Disco & the City Boyz Disco Rick Diszwone Dizzy DJ 007
DJ 151 DJ Backside DJ Big Bodie DJ Big Brd DJ Big D DJ Black DJ Blak DJ B-Lord DJ Bobby Black DJ Bull DJ Caesar DJ Chela DJ Chief Rocka DJ Chill DJ Chino DJ Christion DJ Chuck T DJ Co-Lock DJ Controller DJ Cox DJ Dagwood DJ Dap DJ Delight DJ Demp DJ Devro DJ Dimepiece DJ Dr Doom DJ Dr. Doom DJ Drama DJ D-Rocc DJ Drop DJ D-Strong DJ Dutty Laundry DJ E-Feezy DJ EFN DJ Ekin DJ Episode DJ Epps DJ Explicit DJ E-Z Cutt DJ Finesse DJ Folk DJ Fresh DJ GQ DJ Greg G DJ Greo DJ GT DJ H Vidal DJ Hollywood DJ H-Vidal DJ Iceberg Slim DJ Ideal DJ Impact DJ Impereal DJ Infamous DJ Infinite DJ Irie DJ Jaycee DJ Jelly DJ J-Nice DJ Jukebox DJ Junebuhg DJ K-Funk DJ Khaled DJ Kool Kid DJ K-Tone DJ Majick DJ Mars DJ Nasty DJ Noodles DJ Obscene DJ Papa Smirf DJ Pat Pat DJ Paul DJ Phantom DJ Prostyle DJ Q45 DJ Quest DJ Quote DJ Ran DJ Rip DJ Rob-Lo DJ Rob-N DJ Ron Love DJ Sandman DJ Sao DJ Saxwell DJ Scorpio DJ Scream DJ Sense DJ Shadow DJ Skream DJ Slice DJ Slique
DJ Slym DJ Smallz DJ Solo DJ Sosa DJ Statik DJ Steel DJ Suggablack DJ Tech DJ Toomp DJ Trademark DJ Venom DJ Vicious DJ Vlad DJ Voodoo DJ Walton D-Lyte DME D-Nice Do Or Die DOA Don Cannon Don Cody Don Dadda Don Diva Magazine Don Fetti Don P Don Q Don Yute Donovan Astwood Doug Peterson Dove Dr. Teeth Dramills D-Roc Dru Drum Majorz DSR D-Tec DTP Dukwon Dungeon Family Dustin Pedder Dutty Laundry Duval Streetz Magazine Dwayne Barnum Dwayne Thomas E-40 Eaion Connor Earl Randolph Earthworm Clothing Eastside Boyz E-Class E-Cleezy Ed the World Famous Eddie “Gigs” Larronde Eddie DeVille Edgar Walker Edward Hall Ee-De Efren Mauricio Elephant Man Elissa Cofield Elliott Wilson Elora Mason Emperor Searcy Epiphany Clothing Eric Johnson Eric Johnston Eric Perrin Erica Valcourt Erick Sermon Ericka King Erik Mendelson Erik Parker Ernest Washington Ernest Wilson E-Scrilla ESG Essence E-Vicious Exposure Magazine Fabo Fabolous Fam-Lay Fantasy World
Models Fat Cats Fat Joe Fatboy Fats FEDS Magazine Felisha Foxx Felisha Palmer Felita Knight Felli Fel Fentz Fergo Fidel Cashflow Field Mob Fiend Five Star Grafx Florida A&M University Florida Boy Intertainment Florida’s DVD magazine FLX Flyi DCG Fo Show Records Fo30 Fokis Frank Zambrana Frayser Boy Freda Freddie Lee Freddy P Freekey Zekey Freelon’s Bar & Grill Fresh Frizz Front-Line Promotions FSU Ful of Drama Records Full Impact DJs Funkmaster Flex Funkmaster Olly FUP Mob Furquan G Dash Gaby Acevedo Gangsta Boo Garcia Garfield Gary LaRochelle Gee General George Dukes George Lopez Germain Phanord Get Cool Geto Boys Ghetto Savvy Ghost Writers Ghostface Ghostwridah Ghostwriters Gigantic Entertainment Gil Green Gilbert Alvarez Gloria Velez G-Mack G-Money Gocha Goldfinga Goldru$h Goode Mob Gorilla Tek Gottaboogie Gotti Gotti Bonanno Grafh Grand Hustle Grandaddy Souf Gravy Green Lantern Greg Charles Greg Fish Greg Frankel Greg G Greg Street Grenade Records Grill Grind Family
Grind Out Records Grit Boys Grouchy Greg GTT Gucci Mane Gucci Mane Gucci Poochie Guccio G-Unit Haitian Fresh Half Mad Poets Hankadon Hannah Kang Happy Harald Blakeslee Hardlyfe Records Harvey Hasan Brown Hav-Notz Hawk (RIP) Haystak Haziq Ali HBO Head Crack Heather Hunter Heddy Bernstein HellaFlow Records Hen-Roc Heroes Nightclub Hezeleo High Powered Entertainment Hip-Hop Uncensored HipHopDX.com Hit Factory Hi-Tek Hitmenn DJs Hittaftahitt Hittin Licks Studio Hittmenn DJs Hollywood East Homebass Homebwoi Hot 107.9 Hot 97 Hot Wright Howard Chung Howard Ringer Hubie Hue Hef Humble Thugs Hungry Men Entertainment Hydela Broadbent Hypnotize Minds I-20 Ian Steaman Ice Cube Ice Shuler Icon Nightclub Iconz Iisha Hillmon IJ Records Image Hair Salon Image Records Impact Impressive Printing & Design InfaRed Inner Circle Intense Advertising Interscope Intox Entertainment Invisible Records Iris DeGuzman Isis Ivory Orr J Dash J Fresh J Lash J Prince J Prince Jr J Records Jacinta Howard Jackie Chain Jacki-O
Jacob York Jacqueline Taylor Jadakiss Jade Jae Millz Jailbird Jam Pony Express James Alexander James Cruz James Eichelberger James Gaspard James Gilchrist James Jackson James Jacobs James Lopez Jamlando Record Pool Jammin’ Jay Jana Fleishman Janet Renee Johnson Janet Treadaway Janiro Hawkins Janky John Jaro Vacek Jaro Vacek Jas Prince Jase Jason Brown Jason Geter Jason Grimes Jason Kpana Jason Standard Jason Wiley Jay Jay Exclusive Jay Love Jay Rock Jay-Ski Jazze Pha J-Baby JC J-Dawg Jean Wooster Jeanise Chaplin Jeff Dixon Jemal McClary Jenny Ebert Jeremy Miller Jermaine Jermaine Dupri Jermaine Watkins Jerry Clark Jerry Elmore Jeska Manrique Jesse Coleman Jesse Jazz Jessica Koslow Jessica Vasquez Jessika Jewman Jibbs Jibreel Jiggalo Jill Strada Jim Jones Jim Jonsin Jimmy Chocolate Jimmy Cozier Jimmy Jamz Jimmy Song Jive Records J-Khrist J-Money Jock Smooth Jody Breeze Jody Mo (RIP) Joe Anthony Joe Budden Joe Pro Joe Schofield Joe Wesley Joe Wiggins Joey Joey Colombo Joey Nice John Lee John Monopoly John Richard Johnnie Cabbell
Joie Manda JoJo Jon Crecy Jonathan Bender Jonathan Mannion Joseph Patel Josh Krause Joshua Jovan Dais JPEG Graphics J-Shin J-Storm JT Money Juan Judah Judy Jones Juelz Santana Juicy J Julia Beverly Julia Schell Jullian Boothe June Junebuhg Jus Nyse Just Blaze Juvenile K Foxx Kadallack Boyz Kadife Sylvester Kaine Kale Swanson Kaliko Kamikaze Kantrell Karen Douglas Kash Kaspa the Don Katching Casez Katerina Perez Katt Williams Kawan Prather Kaye Dunaway KC Keadron Smith Keak da Sneak Keith Dixon Keith Kennedy Keith Memoly Kenika Kenneth Clark Kenny Brewer Kenny Burns Kenny Kane Kenny Thomas Kerri Trayler Kevin Doyle Kevin James Kevin Liles Kevin Schultz Kevin Valentini Kewan Lewis Keyshia Cole KG Mosley Khao Khia Khujo Goodie Kia Selby KID Kiera Lytle Killa Kim Killa Kyleon Killer Mike Kim Osorio Kim Tumey Kimyatta Kimar Kinfolk Nakia Shine King Law Firm King Ron King Yella Kinky B Kiotti Kisha Smith KK Holliday Klarc Shepard KLC K-Lion Knowledge Koch Entertainment Kofa Konkrete Konsole Kingz Konvict Music Kottage Boy Kottonmouth Kraze K-Razor Krazy Yogi K-Rino Kronick Kuzzo Kuzzo DeVille
Kydd Jo Kyle King La Chat La Mega La Messa LaBerge Lady Essence Lady Lyric Lady Saw Lamar Lawshe Latin Prince Latoya Burgess Laura Giles Lavall McLucas Lawrence Crumedy Legion of Doom Legion Records Les Diehl LeToya Luckett Levon Porter Lex Promotions Lexington Steele Lick ‘Em Low Life Music Group Lil Bo Lil Boosie King Yella Lil D Lil Flip Lil Joe Lil Jon Lil Keke Lil Kim Lil Larry Lil Rob Lil Rock Dogs Lil Ru Lil Scrappy Lil Shawn Lil Wayne Lil Weavah Lisa Coleman Liza Simmons Lloyd Loaf of Bread Records Locdown Records Longterm Records Loon Los Lou Pearlman Lua Loa Luc-Duc Lucky Ludacris Luis Santana Lumidee Lump Lupe Fiasco Luqman Luxury Mindz LVM Lyfe Jennings K Foxx Lynn Hobson Lyor Cohen M. Shawn Dowdell M3s Mac-Boney Maceo Macho Mack Dillingham Madd Hatta Madd Illz Maddi Mad Magic Mike Magno Magoo Maino Makin’ That Money Malice Malik Abdul Malik Darby Mami Chula Manifest Media Mannequin Mannie Fresh Manny “Neg” Simmons Marc Decoca Marco Mall Marcus DeWayne Marcus. Maricia Magana Mark Padgett Mark Starr Marlei Mar Maroy Marv Burke
Marvyn Mack Mary Datcher Mase Master P Masterlab Matt Daniels Matt Sonzala Maurice Garland Maurice Rutledge Max Minelli Max-A-Million Records Maximum Security Maxwell Mecca Mega City DJs Mel Testamark Melinda Pas Melvin Foley Memphis Bleek Memphitz Men of Business Men’s Choice Men’s Closet Mercedes Mert Deezine Meshah Hawkins Meshaq Blaq Method Man M-Geezy Mia X Miami Kaos Mic Fox Micah Jones Micha Porat Michael Blackwell Michael Gerardo Michael London Michael Rojas Michael Watts Michelle Hunter Micnificent Mighty Mike Miguel Lorne Mike Blumstein Mike Brunscheen Mike Calderon Mike Clarke Mike Frost Mike Jones Mike Li Mike Lighty Mike Mo Mike Sebastion Mike Sims Mike Watts Mikhale Richards Mikkey Minds Combined Inc Miss B Miss Info Miss Keke Mistah FAB Mistaken Eyedentity Mister Rush Mitchell Boy Mixtape Corner Miz MJG Mo Muzik Entertainment Mob B MOB Records MOE Entertainment Mokah Dimes Momento’s Café Money Mark Money Waters Monica Olimpiew Montana Monte Isom Moses Media Motor Car Concepts Mousa Mr Cartoon Mr CC Mr Lucci Mr Magic Mr Mauricio Mr Pookie Mr. Bigg Time Mr. Blakes Mr. Collipark Mr. Mack Mr. Vegas Ms Cherry Ms Dynasty
Ms Rivercity MTV MTV Jams MTV News Muck Wear Clothing Murda Mamis Murder Dog Magazine Murphy Lee Murs Music & More Music Choice Musikboxx Mya Mykel Myers Mystic Vibes Mystikal N. Ali Early N’Ron Na’sha Nada Taha Naim Ali Name Brand Promotions Nancy Byron Nappy Headz Nappy Roots Nasty Beatmakers Natalia Gomez Nay Fresh Nelly Nelquan’s Touch Nemo Neo Magazine Nevahdaless New Money Records New York Post New York Times Next Level Magazine Nick Love Nick@Nite Nikki Kancey Nitti Nitty Cane Nitty Kutchie Nivea NMusic Nnete Noel Malcolm Noize Mob DJs Noonie Noreaga Nozipho Nubreed Entertainment Nu-Ridians NuStar Recording Nutty Boy Entertainment O Entertainment Obie Oddz & Endz OG Ron C OHB Omar Omar Wilson On Tha Real Magazine One Empire Oomp Oomp Camp Oowee Oozie Orlando Orlando McGhee Orlando Sentinel Orlando Weekly Orlando-HipHop. com Otonial Ruiz Out Da Cutt Records Outkast Outlawz OZONE Barbershop Ozzie Oz P Boy Stone P Love P Stonez P$C P. Jahbril Bryant Pacasso Paco Paid in Full Pamela Shelby Papa Duck Papa Keith Paperchase
Paperview Paradox Unit Parra Mo Party Source Magazine Pastor Troy Pat Nix Patchwerk Studios Paul Burgess Paul Clark Paul Wall Payne PBG PBT Peaches Pee Wee Kirkland Peedi Crakk Penny Palmer Penny Palmer Pete Aronson Peter Peter Pan Peter Spirer Petey Pablo Phantom Phatt Lipp Phsyc Mike Piazo Piccalo Pimp C Pimp G Pimp J Pimpin Ken Pistol Pete Pitbull Platinum Magazine Play-N-Skillz Plies PM Poe Boy Poe Boy Entertainment Polow da Don Polow da Don POP Porsche Taylor Portia Kirkland POSE Dancers Power Moves Prestige Luxury Auto Pretty Ricky Princess Private Benjamin Producers Circle Proof (RIP) Prospect P-Scheezy Psychster Puerto Rico Rob Pupp Pure Pain Records Pure Records Pure Tone Productions Purple Purple Ribbon Pusha T Q QD3 Entertainment Ques Question Quick Flip Records Quik Flip Quincy Jones III R&B Raandu Avion (RIP) Radio Raheim Rafael Rodriguez Raheim Shabazz Rahman Ali Bugg Rahman Dukes Rahman Grayson Raj Smoove Ran Rover (RIP) Randy Roper Rap-A-Lot Records Rapid Ric Rashaan Foster Rashad Rashad Tyler Rasheeda Rated R Ratt Raw Raw 94 Raw LT
Ray Cash Ray Hamilton Ray Seay Ray Tamarra Rayface Rayfield Warren Raylo Rayvon Real Records Reality Realm Z Rebel Life Records Reborn Red Dawn Red Dogg Redd Redman Reel Reggie Benoit Regina Mack Remington Steele Remy Ma Remy Martin Cognac Rene McLean Rhonda Baraka Rhymefest Ric-A-Che Ricco Barrino Rich Boy Rich Dollaz Richard Johnson Richard Quadir Davis Richie Abbott Rick Lee Rick Ross Rickey Jones Ricky P Rico Brooks Rico da Crook Rico Wade Rip Rippy Riskay RMP Studios Randy Roper Roam Rob Gold Rob Jackson Rob Love Rob Mac Robert Gabriel Robert Marley Robert Redd Robin Rockman Rob-Lo Rocio Castro Rock City Rod Z Roger Erickson Rohit Loomba Roland “Lil Duval” Powell Rollo Romeo Ron Stewart Ron White Roxy Nightclub Roy Jones Jr Royal Blunts RPM R-Senal Ruben “Swift” Vidal Ruben Emmanuel Rubox Rude Magazine Rudebwoy Entertainment Rudegal Ruff Ryders Russ Jones Rusty Contella RX Sabai Burnett Sabrina Montgomery Saigon Sam Brown Sam Crespo Sammy Samson San Quinn Sandman Sandy Lal Santana Santiago Skillz Sarai Scar Scarface
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Words by Matt Sonzala Photos by SLFEMP
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his is your third year doing South By Southwest. Is this a big event for you? Yeah, and it’s getting bigger and bigger, actually. It’s cool to be a part of it. I got people from California that’s coming down to it and asking about it, even people from Norway. Everywhere, man. It involves a lot of people, a lot of cultures of music. It’s just a good time. Especially the spot where it is in Austin on 6th Street, man, it’s just a ball every year. It’s getting bigger and bigger. Who all are you performing with this year? All the Coughee Brothaz. The Odd Squad has been a big part, DJ Domo, Good Grief, T-Mac, 14K, pretty much all the Coughee Brothaz. We got K-Rino and Evidence from Dilated Peoples. It’s going to be good. This year you’re not just going for a show, you’re celebrating the release of your 4th album, Waitin’ to Inhale. Yeah fo’ sho’, man. Waitin’ to Inhale, we been having a cool time with it. We been having as much fun as possible, trying to make it as humorous as possible and keep movin’ and groovin’. So we can expect more of the wit and wisdom of Devin the Dude? Yeah, man. Well, there might be a song or two on there that you might say, “Man, what in the fuck is wrong with this dude?” It’s just all in fun, and you know we just having a good time making the most out of what we have. Especially with Hip Hop nowadays, you really just can’t take it too serious, man. You gotta know that there’s gonna be new cats coming. It’s gonna be the old school that you love. There’s different kinds of music with Hip Hop involved in it and it just spreads and it’s really cool; the fact that it lives and breathes everywhere and you’re a part of it. What are some of these songs that people are going to be wondering about? Are you taking shits on record again? Ha! Well there might be a song called “Just Because” on there that we did, and it sounds something like a “I Need Love” type song when it first comes on and it just gives you the flip side of love and what people think about doing to their loved ones. And it’s just a thought, it’s nothing serious. I don’t want people to get the wrong idea. It’s just thoughts that go through peoples’ minds. Then a song called “Cut You Up,” on there. They might get the wrong understanding but if they listen they’ll get it. Wrong understanding of “Cut You Up”? It’s all in the wording. You got to listen to it from the beginning to the end and understand. If you’ve been listening to my music since back in the day you might get a good idea of what I’m talking about, but if not you might say, “This guy, something’s wrong with him. We might have to watch him.” And that’s just not the case. At all. A lot of listeners out there or critics get the wrong idea about certain songs and it goes the wrong way. This is just a way to fuck their heads up. All in all it’s just about something so innocent and pure and natural and good for me and you.
You’ve got a couple of really huge features on this album, like Bun B, Snoop Dogg, and Andre 3000, but it sounds like a lot of it really stayed in house this time. For the most part, that’s what it is anyway. All the previous albums that I did, it’s just the Odd Squad. They played a big part in all the projects. Rob Quest, Jugg Mugg, DJ Domo, we have Funkafingaz on the bass, he’s been around for a minute. We’ve been having keyboard players and stuff, like my homeboy Lester from Shreveport, and we also accept tracks coming from different areas. We work with up and coming producers who have nice music. We invite them over and listen to what they have. If it fits in with what we’re doing and we can make a cool song out of it, then we’ll go with it. That’s what made it real cool over the years. We welcome anybody with open arms, any Coughee Brothaz, you don’t even have to smoke weed to be a Coughee Brotha. It’s just an in-house thing, we just like to have fun with what we do. Is Snoop a Coughee Brotha? Oh yeah, he’s an O.G. Coughee Brotha. We’ve been trying to get something together for a minute. Maybe we’ll have a song together called “A Pound of Coughee,” with the Dogg Pound and the Coughee Brothaz together. We’ve been trying to get that together for years. You have Snoop and Andre 3000 on the same song? Yeah, on a song called “What a Job.” It’s a song done by Chuck Heat from L.A. and we were just expressing how our music and what we do in the studio is considered a job. A lot of time, people wouldn’t consider what we do a job. We have a lot of fun doing it. They hear about the hoes and the bling and the drinks and the weed and they think it’s like a party for the most part. But it’s not. It’s work and it’s gotta be considered work. You gotta take it seriously. And also, a lot of other people depend on what we’re doing with our music and we gotta support each other with it. You’re basically celebrating the life? Do you come from three different perspectives? All in all it’s about the studio and work being done in the studio. On my verse I’m in the studio, on Snoop’s verse he’s at a radio station announcing, letting the shorties know and his family know what he’s doing, and on Andre’s verse he’s actually communicating with a couple and hearing their problems and letting them tell him how they feel about his music and how it’s helped them out through their lifetime. He talks about downloading music for free and the artists get charged for it. It’s a trip, man, it’s wild. You have been touring all over lately. Where will we see you this year? We got stuff lined up. There’s some offers available and people looking forward to having us come out, which is a blessing. People from Australia and London and places that I’ve never been. That will be real cool. Hopefully we’ll get something happening before the album comes out, get a nice little buzz created, book up a solid tour and hopefully we’ll able to get it structured enough to be able to have fun and give the people a good time.
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Young Buck Buck The World G-Unit/Interscope Since record sales in the G-Unit camp have slumped to say the least, 50 Cent has called in the man deemed the “Clean Up Man” to bring the Unit back to prominence. And Buck doesn’t disappoint his G-Unit general or listeners with his sophomore album. Still one for confrontation, Buck keeps tough-guy rhymes flowing on tracks like “Push Em Back” and “Say It To My Face,” while showing glimpses of introspection on the title track and “Slow Your Roll.” He takes a stab (no pun intended) at being a ladies man on “U Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” and “I Know You Want Me” before going off the edge on “Lose My Mind.” Buck Marley comes through for the Unit on Buck The World. Get ‘em Buck! — Randy Roper
Rich Boy Rich Boy Zone 4/Interscope It’s safe to call Rich Boy an underdog, especially coming from a Dirty South city not known for rap music (Mobile, AL). But Rich Boy comes out on top on his self-titled debut album. Although Rich Boy’s lyrics are decent at best, the album is carried by exceptional tracks from Polow Da Don, who handles the bulk of the production, and songs like “Ghetto Rich” and “Let’s Get This Paper” that go beyond expectations set by Rich Boy’s hit single “Throw Some D’s.” - RR
Lil Flip I Need Mine $$ Asylum/Warner Bros. Label drama has had Flipperachi fans waiting on I Need Mine longer than Dre’s Detox (okay, maybe not that long). At last, Flip has returned. Over this lengthy time period, the Clover G was able to compile enough material for a double album. Through 37 tracks, Flip shows no sign of rust as the more-swaggerthan-substance emcee MC produces a comeback journey worth checking out. The only bumps in the road are a few filler tracks along the way. — RR
Twisted Black Street Fame TVT From street lyricism (“The Block”) to party starters (“Shake”) to cold street tales (“Coldest Summer Ever”) and rider music (“Throw It Up”), Twisted Black covers all angles. The production is sometimes weak, but Black makes up for it with his charismatic flows and storytelling abilities. Unfortunately, Twisted Black was sentenced to 30 years in prison on drug charges, so Street Fame may be Black’s parting shouts. Regardless, it’s a solid debut album. — RR
8Ball & MJG Ridin’ High Bad Boy South Ball & G have come to a point in their career where they can do no right, even in the eyes of lifetime fans. Everything is going to get compared to their Suave House-era music, and that’s not completely fair. Ridin’ High accurately depicts where the Southern trailblazers are at in their career, and that’s a place where they can do whatever the hell they want. Whether it’s bouncing on the title track or getting head on “Hickory Dickory Dock,” the Fat Mack and Pimp Tight have earned the right to experiment and be as vulgar as they want. — Maurice G. Garland 108 // OZONE MAG
Redman/Red Gone Wild/Def Jam Reggie Noble might have messed around and spat his best stuff on the Live From the Bricks mixtape that preceded this album. Still, the Funk Doctor manages to crank out a healthy dose of his off-the-wall lyricism on this long-awaited album. Even with minimalist production from Scott Storch on “Freestyle Freestyle” Red reminds you that rap is supposed to be about the rapper. But it’s still nice to hear him get down Pete Rock’s funky horns and pianos on “Gimme One.” Longtime Red heads will be pleased with his latest “Soopaman Lova” episode and “Walk In Gutta” featuring Erick Sermon, Keith Murray and Biz Markie. His Gilla House cohorts also make memorable guest spots throughout. Redman’s television and film career may have stumbled, but he hasn’t missed a step on the mic. — MGG
Lloyd/Street Love/Motown “You” is arguably the biggest R&B single this year and Lloyd’s sophomore album has more smooth R&B grooves to bang in the whip with your shawty this spring. Whether he’s complimenting the ladies (“Incredible”), praising himself (“Certified”) or giving his heart for a lover’s favorite holiday (“Valentine”), even thugs can relate to this crooner. Although Lloyd doesn’t experiment with any new sounds or push any musical boundaries, Street Love is quality R&B music. — RR
Black Milk /Popular Demand/Fat Beats Following in the footsteps of Midwest producers/rappers like Kanye West and J. Dilla, Detroit’s Black Milk is the latest double duty artists to make noise laying his vocals over his self crafted soul sample beats. In wake of Proof’s and J. Dilla’s deaths, with flows as tight as his production on Popular Demand, Black Milk displays the necessary tools to carry Detroit hip-hop on his back. Although Milk’s bars are sometimes incoherent causing hard to follow verses, the Detroit native constructs a showpiece that should be in Album of the Year talks come year’s end. — RR
Crime Mob/Hated On Mostly Crunk Incorporated/G’s Up/Reprise It’s advisable to listen to Crime Mob’s second album while under the influence, so it’ll be easier to tolerate the group’s simplistic flows and Dr. Seuss rhyme patterns. Princess and Diamond consistently outshine their male counterparts on songs like “Shine Cause I Grind,” and their hit single “Rock Yo Hips.” “2nd Look” and “Go To War” featuring Pimp C and Lil’ Scrappy are standout tracks, but with below average rhymes, mediocre hooks and limited “get crunk” subject matter, Hated On Mostly is a dull listen even by crunk standards. — RR
Raheem Mills /Your Majesty’s Breath/Rah Records Representing Orlando, independent artist Raheem Mills has a unique rhythmic flow that entices the most reluctant listeners. Mills is brilliant on songs like “Who’s That” and “Cathedrals” where he spits lyrical masterpieces over melancholy production. But most of Your Majesty’s Breath are disconnected moments like the scattered thoughts on “Charmed” where Mills fails to convey his message. The poetic rhymes on “Amazing” would be a better fit for Def Poetry Jam. Mills walks the line between rap and poetry, and as a result, more time is spent deciphering rhymes than vibing with the O-Town emcee. — RR
Timbaland Timbaland Presents Shock Value/Interscope Some producers need to stick to just making beats. Timbaland is one of those producers. As a producer/rapper, Timbo falls somewhere behind Diddy (and we all know how badly Diddy raps). At least Timbaland is smart enough to know he needs talented artists to bless his surefire production, so Shock Value features guest appearances from 50 Cent, Missy Elliot, Justin Timberlake and Elton John. Unfortunately, those guests aren’t enough to clean up the mess Timbaland makes on the mic, and I won’t even mention Magoo. — RR
Termanology/Statik Seletak/Tony Touch/DJ Dead Eye 50 Bodies On 50 Bodies Tony Toca flips his “50 MCs” theme to emblazon Lawrence, Massachusetts newcomer Termanology as the next great Latino rapper by showcasing the MC’s best 50 verses. 50 Bodies is a straight-to-the-point declaration of Temanology’s lyrical abilities and reaffirms why he’s being touted as the most prolific Latin emcee since the late, great Big Pun. But the short verses make the mixtape difficult to fully get into. — RR
J-Bo & DJ Rip/Still Against The Grain While Sean Paul has been racking up guest appearances, J-Bo has been the Youngblood member seemingly forgotten. Not to be outdone, J-Bo’s hooks up with the CORE DJ’s DJ Rip for his first solo mixtape Still Against The Grain. On this mixtape J-Bo dishes out that presidential Southern lyricism that the Youngbloodz have been known for since the duo appeared on the scene with their debut album Against The Grain. But listening to J-Bo without his drankin’ partna doesn’t have the same effect. Unfortunately, the mixtape is cluttered with features from unknown artists, taking away from J-Bo’s solo spotlight. — RR
Young Money Entertainment & Raj Smoove Lil Weezy Ana Volume 1 On Lil Weezy Ana, Weezy F. continues the lyrical onslaught that has his name being thrown around in “best rapper alive” discussions. In typical KobeBryant-of-rap fashion, Lil’ Wayne seems to ignore his Young Money team members, Mack Maine, Dizzy and Curren$y, who are noticeably out of their league when trading verses with Young Carter. We’d much rather hear Wayne show what he’s got over Jay-Z’s comeback single with lines like, “Gotta talk about the flow cause you is concerned / Only down South rapper coulda been in the Firm / Or the Commission or Wu Tang, nigga / Tryin’ to tell you I can kick it like Liu Kang / Got that sub-zero flow, how you want me ma? / Make her get over here like Scorpion.” — RR
Young Chris/DJ Noodles Hired Gun Since we haven’t heard a peep out of the Young Gunz since “Can’t Stop, Wouldn’t Stop,” we just assumed they changed their minds and quit. But nothing could be further from the truth as one half of the Gunz, Young Chris, embarks on a solo career. On Hired Gun, Young C impressively redefines himself as an artist capable of handling solo duties on tracks like “North Philly Nigga” and the Junior Reid assisted “Things I’ve Done In Life.” — RR
Cardan & DJ Envy/The Rebirth Vol. 1 You may recognize Cardan’s name from Mase’s Harlem World days, but he’s determined to make listeners remember him for being his own entity, even if he’s busting on other people’s beats. He makes bold proclamations on “Hip Hop’s Alive,” shooting numerous holes in Nas’ argument. Cardi even takes on the challenge of rapping on Gnarles Barkley’s “Crazy” to create “Shady,” a humorous, what-if song about kicking another man in the nuts out of self-defense (trust, it’s worth a listen). However, the highlight of the CD is “Harlem Story,” where he borrows Slick Rick’s classic beat and weaves an equally entertaining tale. — MGG
Foxx/The Mixtape Now that Webbie and Boosie have established Trill Entertainment as a bonafide Southern rap label, it’s time for Foxx to carry the baton. On The Mixtape, Mr. Wipe Me Down parallels Boosie’s street tales on songs like “Try Me” and Kill Yo Self.” He lets Webbie know that he can hit a bad bitch too on “Tap Out” and “So Wet.” But Foxx stumbles on many of his jacked instrumentals and makes a wrong turn in remaking Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable” by telling police, “You must don’t know ‘bout me / I can have another brick in a minute / Matter of fact, it’ll be here in a minute.” Foxx does rebound with standout lyrics over Trae’s “Swang” and Bun B’s “Pushin’,” so the few mishaps on his first mixtape are forgivable. — RR
Curren$y/Life At 30,000 Feet “Where Da Cash At” was supposed to be the breakthrough single to position Curren$y as Cash Money’s next superstar. Things didn’t go as planned, but Curren$y is still grinding as he verbally releases his frustrations on Life At 30,000 Feet. Throughout 27 tracks the Fly Spitta flaunts his skills over instrumentals like JayZ’s “Dead Presidents,” Bone Thugs N Harmony’s “Foe Tha Love of $” and the Clipse’s “Wamp, Wamp (What It Do),” and shows the ability to switch flows when needed. Although many mixtapes get boring because of poor instrumental selections, Currensy’s mixtape offers refreshing twists to favorites like A Tribe Called Quest’s “Electric Relaxation” and Tha Dogg Pound’s “New York, New York.” — RR
Dutty Laundry & Boyz N Da Hood Welcome To Atlanta Now that Gorilla Zoe has joined Boyz N Da Hood and Block Ent., BNDH teamed up with Dutty Laundry to debut new tracks with their newest member. Welcome To Atlanta is a prequel of what’s to come when Boyz N Da Hood’s second album hits streets later this year. And from the sound of things, Gorilla Zoe will fill in nicely for the departed Young Jeezy. - RR
Petey Pablo Missing Pages Volume 1 After a long hiatus from the rap game Petey Pablo returns to fill in some missing pages of his diary. Missing Pages has quite a few gems, like the West Coast anthem “L.A. Dreamer” and the dirty South bounce of “Sticky Man.” But other tracks like the overlooped “If I Did It” need explanation, and “Fire” is a poor try at recreating the “Freak-A-Leak” vibe. But it’s evident Petey Pablo still has stories to tell, the passion for rap and skills to carry the torch for the Carolinas when his next album Proper Procedures drops. - RR OZONE MAG // 109
Location: Clearwater, FL Venue: Coachman Park Event: Wildsplash Date: March 10th, 2007 Photo: Luis Santana
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Location: Dallas, TX Venue: Palladium Event: K104 Scream Break Jam Date: March 17th, 2007 Photo: King Yella
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01. Dutty Laundry (Hosted by Lil Boose) “Leaders of The New South 4” myspace.co m/duttylaundry 914-316-5307 02. Will Hustle & DJ Knowledge “Whatahustlers” 2 www.willhustle.com myspace.com/knowledge 03. DJ B-Lord (Hosted by Young Buck) “Trojan Man 3” myspace.com/scdjblor d 843-260-6751
04. DJ Obscene (Hosted by Chingo Bling) “Houston We Have A Problem Vol. 4” myspace.com/djobscene305 305-778-4390 05. DJ Quest “Street Hustle 4” www.djquestdachamp.com 404-775-5810
06. DJ Green Lantern “Myspace Invasion” www.djgreenlantern.com 07. DJ Blade “Backroom Radio 4” myspace.com/thedjblade
08. DJ Raj Smoove “Lil Wayne: The Carter Files” (Hosted by Lil Wayne) www.rajsmoove.com 504-905-8426 09. DJ Quote “Dollarado 2 Detroit” (Hosted by Tre Little & Royce Da 5’9) myspace.com/djquote 10. DJ Chill & DJ Young S.A.M.M. (Hosted by Billy Cook) “Let Me Hold U 6” myspace.com/youngsamm myspace.com/mix2colddjchill 11. DJ Ktone “U Don’t Even Know? Ktonais Part 3” (Rep’d by Mistah F.A.B.) www.djktone.com 720-404-6767 12. DJ G-Spot “Midwest Invasion 4” www.djgspot.com 917-592- 6917 13. DJ Bizerkk “Candy Rain” myspace.com/djbizerkk
Big Mike (Hosted by DJ Drama) “March Madness Pt. 2” Myspace.com/bigmikeofficial The RIAA may have shut down Drama’s mixtape operation but they can’t stop him from hosting mixtapes. Drama teams up with mixtape monster Big Mike for a classic mix just in time for March Madness. This mixtapes includes new music from Lil Wayne (“Young Carter”), Young Buck (“The Clean Up Man”) and Drama’s first single from his Gangsta Grillz album (“Feds Takin Pictures”). DJs, send your mix CDs (include a cover) to: 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318
14. DJ Melo “Undercover R&B” 410-746-2335 15. Small World Music Group “Underground Road Trip” myspace.com/smallwo rdmusicgroup 936-371-2884 16. Hurricane Foss “No Stopping What Can’t Be Stopped Volume 2” myspace.com/hurricanefoss 407-729-2805 17. Haze & DJ Sosa (Hosted by The Game) “The Executives Volume 2” www.stree tgrindent.com 646-267-4135 18. DJ Big Tyme “Fight To The Top T.I. Versus Lil Wayne” myspace.com/djbigtymeofficial 646-464-5646 19. DJ Barry Bee “Feel Good Music 5” www.djbarrybee.com 252-758-1122 20. Treunda “Audio Cocaine Crack’viles Part 2” www.treunda.com 631-220-5767
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