YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
PLUS OZONE WEST:
WILLY NORTHPONLED DOGG POU KEAK DA SNEAKE MESSY MARV & MOR SO INSPIRED BY MY STYLE YOU DECIDED TO TRY IT YOURSELF
PAUL WALL SHOP BOYZ CRIME MOB MIKE JONES JUNE 2007
D E L A H DJ KT H E B E S T W ERICK ROSS, AKON, TI,YFNAET JOE, BABY, & LIL WA
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YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
l u a p l l a w FOXX D DJ KHALEYZ SHOP BO B CRIME MOES MIKE JON MORE & Y R O T HIS P A R N R E H OUT S N I S T N E OM M T S E T A E R * 25 G
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PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF // Julia Beverly CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER // N. Ali Early MUSIC EDITOR // Randy Roper FEATURES EDITOR // Eric Perrin
features 52-55 GREATEST SOUTHERN MOMENTS 90-93 TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS REVIEWS
ART DIRECTOR // Tene Gooden ADVERTISING SALES // Che’ Johnson PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR // Malik Abdul MARKETING DIRECTOR // David Muhammad Sr. LEGAL CONSULTANT // Kyle P. King, P.A. 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 $11 to: Ozone Magazine, Inc. Attn: Subscriptions Dept 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318 Phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-350-2497 Website: www.ozonemag.com COVER CREDITS // DJ Khaled (cover photo) by Oluwaseye Olusa and (this page) by Julia Beverly; Foxx photo by King Yella; Paul Wall photo by SLFEMP; Mike Jones photo provided courtesy of Tremedia/Warner Bros. DISCLAIMER // OZONE Magazine is published 11 times per year by OZONE Magazine, Inc. OZONE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement or validation by OZONE Magazine for products or services offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their respective artists. All other content is copyright 2007 OZONE Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA.
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monthly sections 26 HUSTLIN’ 96 END ZONE 14 FEEDBACK 18-19 RAPQUEST 86 KICK GAME 16 GUEST LIST 80 DJ PROFILE 88-89 CD REVIEWS 24 CHIN CHECK 17 JB’S 2 CENTS 22 MATHEMATICS 82 INDUSTRY 101 30 DOLLAR MENU 48 DRUNKEN RANT 28 PRISON DIARIES 32 SIDEKICK HACKIN’ 23-49 PHOTO GALLERIES 56 RELEASE THERAPY 36-46 PATIENTLY WAITING 78 PRODUCER PROFILE 94 THROWBACK REVIEW 97 CAFFEINE SUBSTITUTES 17 10 THINGS I’M HATIN’ ON 84 ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE
interviews 66 TROY HUDSON 68-69 MIKE JONES 70-71 CRIME MOB 58-59 STACK$
DJ KHALED pg 62-
PAUL WALL pg 72-
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Send your comments to email@example.com or hit us up at www.myspace.com/ozonemagazine
I just became a fan of this great magazine. I was introduced to OZONE at the modeling competition in St. Louis at The Loft and since then I’ve been looking forward to the next issue. I love the Groupie Confessions and the Photo Galleries. I also wanna thank y’all for putting four of my runway pictures on the website cause even though I didn’t win, it made me feel like a winner. – Samantha, firstname.lastname@example.org (St. Louis, MO) I’m an avid reader of OZONE Magazine and I want to thank y’all for holding down the South in such a thorough fashion. I’m originally from Oklahoma, now residing in Texas. Contrary to what most people think, Oklahoma is a Southern state and we do have artists – like Razzmatazz, 9 Milla, Issco Say, Nitro and the late great group 918 (R.I.P. CTS). I would love to see y’all search out this talent and give Oklahoma some shine and respect! – Zach Zinda, email@example.com (Oklahoma) I’ve been purchasing OZONE for a little over a year now, and I sincerely love your publication. The photography is great, the topics are interesting every issue, and most importantly the articles are always on point. Offhand I can’t think of any typos that I have to read around like I do in those “other magazines.” Keep up the good work. My only small complaint is the lack of light shone on Detroit artists, because that’s where I’m from. We also have many good DJs that didn’t make the second annual DJ issue. Keep up the good work. The dedication definitely shows! – Big Gryph, firstname.lastname@example.org (Detroit, MI) Florida is next. We’re being watched as the next Southern spot to have a chance at the torch. I love that article Wendy Day did in your last magazine on how important passion is. I carry a copy of that article in my wallet for motivation. – 2 Slabz, email@example.com (West Palm Beach, FL) I just wanted to thank Wendy Day. I try to read everything she writes. Her articles in OZONE are the first ones I go to. She helps out the women in the business that truly want to work and aren’t trying to get “hooked up.” Thank you! – Cyn Management, firstname.lastname@example.org The April issue is a classic! The first thing that stands out is the number of new advertisements, big shout out to Che Johnson. RapQuest was on point as always. Tell Supa Cindy that she could get it for real. Wendy Day’s article on passion was accurate and informative. When I want useful information, I know Wendy will always break me off proper. You could’ve added The Clipse to that Gangsta Grillz We Don’t Want To See article. Jive won’t release another album on them til I’m 28 (I’m 21 now) and a Gangsta Grillz for them would be a waste of time. Is it just me or is Lil Boosie looking more and more broke with every passing issue? I think he borrowed Webbie’s gold herringbone in
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one photo. Thanks to the heavy starch and creases in his blue jeans, I knew Rob G was from Texas before even reading his article. The Alliance looks like an imitation City High. Capitol did a good job of capitalizing off the buzz “This Is Why I’m Hot” already had, but they failed at producing a second single. In May we’ll be saying “Mims who?” thanks to their promotions and marketing department. I’m going to cop that new Lil Flip album. I’m also going to cop that new album from Carol City Cartel. I like the fact that Gun Play just doesn’t care, about anything. Pimp C’s promotional tactics are solid, but not intelligent. Maybe that’s why UGK hasn’t sold many records. Three 6 Mafia is officially Hollywood. Where is Yo Gotti when you need him? USDA is another group I’ll support. What is Killer Mike thinking? How do you fall out with a cat that takes you around the world and lets you win a Grammy? He’s dumb. The Chopper City Boyz album was cool and I’m waiting on the new joint from B.G. OZONE West makes me want to take a vacation. All things considered, this issue is another classic and OZONE continues to have the streets on lock. – Derrick Tha Franchise, email@example.com (Virginia Beach, VA) I’ve been down with OZONE Magazine for about two years now and it’s the tightest thing on the market, for real. That new Pole Position section is fire! Since just about every rapper nowadays has a tattoo, what’s up with an Ink section? - Made (Ocala, FL) I’m waiting to read a groupie confession about JB. Maybe you should just make one up to have some fun with your readers! That would be gangsta! - Justin Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org (Tampa, FL) I was pretty upset about your Kentucky Derby special edition. Where was the Villebillies? Where was Determined? Where was Code Red? You had a bunch of artists featured that don’t even do shows or have radio play? I know this might not mean a lot coming from a lil white girl from the Souf side, but next year do your research before you do a whack-ass issue like that. - Sara Pepper, email@example.com (Louisville, KY) Just wanted to say hello and tell you big ups on your magazine! I still have one of the first copies, a little faded and stained with coffee, but still good reading. Keep up the good work! - Nigel One (Pensacola, FL) I saw the OZONE Awards y’all did. It was monumental. It showed the unity in the South, real talk. I copped my first OZONE Magazine and was impressed. I hardly buy The Source or XXL. I fuck with West Coast mags like Murder Dog and Xplosive faithfully, and since coppin’ OZONE I’m hooked on that too. I fuck with real mags that show love to the independents on the come up. - Sean L. (Tacoma, WA)
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// by E
Kisha Smith Administrative (Atlanta, GA)
Kisha Smith is OZONE’s aspiring model, and owner of the loudest mouth in the south. Though her official title is Administrative Executive and Assistant Manager of Subscriptions, or something like that, Kisha’s main duty is checking JB’s three voicemails daily (note to all artists and publicists who call and leave a message about trying to get in the magazine — Kisha is really the person who’s ass you need to be kissing, not Julia). Kisha is also OZONE Atlanta’s resident caffeine substitute. She keeps everyone in the office awake with her persistent giggle and bubbly demeanor, but prevents anyone within in a three block radius from getting any work done.
DJ Chill Houston Representative (Houston, TX)
Mr. Mix 2 Cold is Houston’s biggest music supporter and OZONE’s H-Town representative. You can find him on the Southside of Space 16 // OZONE MAG
City USA in the oldest OZONE/CRUNK!!! Energy Drink truck in existence. (Don’t worry, Chill, you’ll get a new truck soon) Chill is widely known and respected as Houston’s number 1 street DJ, but is an honorary European at heart. He spends much of his time in Oslo, Norway spinning at Norwegian night clubs and slangin’ Chill Factor mixtapes at five Euros apiece. Chill is also an underground radio personality on 90.1 KPFT’s Damage Control Radio and a major part of OZONE’s promotional team.
Ms. Rivercity WRITER & SPECIAL EDITION Guest Editor (Jacksonville, FL)
Jennifer “Ms. Rivercity” McKinnon is OZONE’s other white girl. And no, she is not JB’s cousin, sister, or childhood best friend. She is, however, the most prevalent name appearing in most of OZONE’s Florida mini special event issues (Florida Classic, Super Bowl, Memorial Day in Miami, etc.). Ms. Rivercity is a photographer/writer/editor who is extremely fast — in a good way, meaning she can literally finish an article faster than perhaps anyone in America. Ms. Rivercity has lived all over the south, from Tennessee to New Orleans to North Carolina, but only calls one place home: the River City, otherwise known as Jacksonville, FL. Ms. RC, who is a juggernaut Jacksonville Jaguars fan, recently won Publicist of the Year at The Ghetto Grammys. // (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
This month, I’m taking a rare monet out to speak to our female readers. Truth be told, I can’t always relate to my female counterparts. Eye shadow, jewelry, shopping, manicures, flowers (with one exception :) and most of the usual “girly” things have never interested me, but trust, I get emotional enough to represent for women.
10 Things I’m Hatin’ On GUEST EDITION
Ladies, we have to smarten up. The longer I stay in the music business the more I realize how idiotic some of us are. The airheaded groupie bitches among us make it hard for those of us who are trying to make a decent living and be treated with respect.
By Eric “Not An Intern” Perrin
The theme this month is: Put all your chains on JB, make her strike a thugged out pose & laugh (Plies started this trend, but the pic never made it in the mag because I looked retarded)
Disclaimer: No, I’m not Roland “Lil Duval” Powell but since OZONE is such a good promotional tool, sometimes it works against us. Partially due to the success of his OZONE column, Roland was too busy working to hate on anybody this month, so it’s my turn.
04 // THE KENTUCKY DERBY Everybody said the Kentucky Derby was the second coming of Freaknik, but there were so many busted nappy headed hoes I thought I was gonna have to pay admission and wait in line to run from they ass. But on a serious note, Kentucky has some dope ass rappers. They might just have next. 5. Oscar de la Hoya vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. This shit was boring as hell. Floyd Mayweather shoulda destroyed De La Hoya, but it looked as if he took that Cinco de Mayo theme a bit too far and ate some bad refried beans before the fight.
03 // FAKE FRIEND REQUESTS Every time I log onto to Myspace I’ve got 12 fine-ass, half-naked white girls that wanna be my friend, but each one of them has the exact same profile. What kind of loser makes fake Myspace pages all day to disappoint horny niggas with bullshit friend requests?
Me & Carol City Cartel at our mag release party in Miami
Me & Basswood Lane at our Texas Relays party in Austin
BISHOP OF CRUNK
02 // PEOPLE CALLING ME AN INTERN I’m not a fucking intern! Everywhere I go people either refer to me as an intern or try to give me whack ass work, like pinning up posters or passing it out flyers. I may look young, but if I hand you a business card that says “Eric Perrin: Features Editor” I’m probably not an intern.
01 // AKON & HIS 14-YEAR OLD TRINIDADIAN Akon and the 14-year-old preacher’s daughter made a better sex tape than Ray J, R Kelly, or Paris Hilton, and they didn’t even fuck. I gotta give it to Akon, he was dry humping the shit out of that little girl. Immigration must not have let any of his four wives in the country recently.
6. Other Magazines SWAGGER JACKING OZONE Reading any other rap mag is like reading a threemonth-old OZONE. Are we that far ahead of the game or do these other editors just savor the taste of your favorite rapper’s favorite magazine?
Stuff like this has been happening a lot lately. Maybe I need a bodyguard
08 // VIRGINIA TECH GIRLS The girls at Virginia Tech could’ve saved 33 lives if they had just given that crazy ass Asian dude some pussy. People are completely overanalyzing this situation and underestimating the power of pussy. Kim Jong Jr. was just tired of whacking his egg roll and wanted some chop suey. Ladies, if you suspect a possible terrorist, suck a dick and save a life! 09 // PRISON OFFICIALS HATING ON OZONE Every day a prison subscriber calls us complaining that they didn’t get their subscription. A lot of prisons reject OZONE because of the supposed “gang signs” in our photo galleries (peace signs and A-Town down symbols are not gang related). 10. DIPSET Beef Pretty soon every rapper in New York will have beef with each other.
If I pissed anybody off, good. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know.
07 // The Detroit Pistons I thought Detroit losing Ben Wallace was gonna make them a lottery team for sure. Obviously I was wrong. Fuck the Detroit Pistons.
Dap, me, & TJ in Tallahassee
There’s been a lot of controversy around this whole Don Imus “nappy headed hoes” thing lately, and everybody’s talking about censoring lyrics. Well, guest what: Men are dogs. This is not a news flash. That’s not an excuse for all rap lyrics, but ladies, if we are in the front row at the concert singing along with those same lyrics word for word, we can’t complain. We should always expect that men, famous or not, will test us to see how far they can go and what they can get from us. We have to know who we are and what we want out of life and how much shit we’re willing to put up with. If that line is crossed, don’t catch an attitude and make a fool of yourself. Keep your head up and move on. I saw a few things this month that bothered me. Ladies, if you’re drunk as hell hanging on a dude at the club bragging that he “loves” you because you gave him some pussy, you look like a fool (especially because he was trying to get rid of you and convince me to leave with him behind your back). Ladies, if you follow a man around everywhere he goes with a vacant look on your face and do whatever he tells you to do and call him “daddy” along with ten other women, he does not respect you and personally I’m embarrassed for you. Ladies, if you scream in public to a man you’ve never met before that you want to suck his dick, just because he has a hot mixtape out, you look pathetic. Ladies, if you wait in a hotel lobby for a rapper’s security guard to “pick” you out of a crowd of women, go up to his room and are flat-out disrespected in front of a dozen entourage members, and STILL come to his show that night talking about “I’m with such-and-such,” you will never be taken seriously by me, him, his crew, or anyone else he knows. Men are playing us. Fuck that. We have to step our game up. Maybe I’m weird. Maybe some women just don’t care if they’re respected or not, or can’t tell the difference. But me, I have a complex about that. I have pride. We’ve gotta fight back. But fight smart, not with attitude or violence. Men’s lives revolve around pussy. Some of them focus on getting money, but at the end of the day they want the money to get pussy. Men work hard at their game. We’ve gotta develop our own. We have all the power and don’t realize it. We try to take advantage of pussy power in all the wrong ways. We’ve gotta collectively stop settling for bullshit. Dumb bitches are like the DJ who spins at a party for $50. They fuck the game up for everybody else. Pussy is the most valuable thing we own and it should be treated as such, not given away so easily. I’m not talking about selling pussy, or playing hard to get. Just respect yourself and know what you want. Focus on developing yourself so you’ll be in a position where you have leverage; negotiating power. Don’t be so blind and naive. Pay attention (you bastards). And don’t think I’m exempt, either. I’m talking to ALL of us. I might even be a hypocrite for writing this shit. The optimist in me would like to believe that it’s about a connection between a man and a woman, and not about money or status or random hookups to avoid loneliness. The pessimist in me knows that nothing I write in this column will ever change the world. So I’ll just have to continue on, concert after concert, club after club, watching beautiful yet desperate and insecure women humiliate us as a gender. Critics of rap music always point to the misogynistic “bitch” and “hoe” lyrics, but it’s unfortunate to say that after five years of seeing life partially through the eyes of rappers, it’s not hard for me to see how they can legitimately claim their music is just a reflection of real life. - Julia Beverly, email@example.com
Devin the Dude f/ Snoop Dogg & Andre 3000 “What A Job” Foxx, Boosie, & Webbie “Wipe Me Down” Trae f/ Lil Wayne “Screwed Up” Rick Ross “Ridin’ Thru The Ghetto” Shake Severs f/ Rick Ross & BloodRaw “Sunglasses” Fergie f/ Ludacris “Glamorous” David Banner f/ UGK “Suicide Doors” Des-Loc of Piccalo “Stick N Roll”
jb’splaylist T.I. “Big Shit Poppin’” R Kelly f/ Usher “Same Girl” Tabi Bonney “In The Pocket” Bohagon “Bucket”
OZONE MAG // 17
UEST Q RAP
NEMA ’ t JB@OZO N a I P P U P S U O E WHANOTT’SREPPRESENTED AT ALL, HIT E S O T S T E R E INDIANAPOLIS, IN: S THECSITTYRIS MISREPRESENTED, O T I H E N The city is getting crazy as it prepares to hold the Midwest Music Convention in August (MidO Z R O U O Y T A H LT E IF YOU FE
westMusicConvention.com). DJ JF continues keeping the airwaves and clubs hot, breaking all the new music from coast to coast. Y.G., Ms. Stress, & Nappyville are hot in the streets. Movie director Jeff Renfroe has been hard at work with his new movie The Last Straw. New talent is getting ready for the 2nd Annual Indy Idol Competition. The Artistic Group is also working on a “Stop The Violence” CD due to all the murders and crime plaguing the city. - Lucky The Promo King (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Level 88, BB Kings and 615 continue to be the hottest urban nightclubs in the city; 1st Fridays, BDG Entertainment, Tee Entertainment and Lovenoise are bringing new, exciting, and different things to the city. These clubs, events & promoters set the trend for urban nightlife in Nashville. The streets continue to be supplied with the hottest mixtapes and local talent thanks to Infamous, Spade, Swift, Whitey, Chief & Red. - Janiro (Janiro@southernentawards.com)
Summertime has hit Memphis big! The 5th Annual Crunkfest Concert kicks off July 3rd at the Fed-Ex Forum with a roster of artists including Three 6 Mafia, Lil Boosie, Yo Gotti, Jeezy, DJ UNK, Gangsta Boo and more. Issac Hayes’ restaurant & nightclub has closed after five years in service. Mr. Hayes is disappointed it didn’t work out but thanks everyone for their support. The Commercial Appeal had issues with Three 6 Mafia performing at the Memphis In May Festival. They attempted to throw Triple 6 off the lineup due to lyrics and morals, but Paul and Juicy held it down for the M-Town anyway.
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX:
Play N Skillz picked up a Grammy Award, and Rack Daddy’s is the spot to be in Oak Cliff. Cuntry Boi is picking up a buzz and D’Lyte from 97.9 The Beat keeps us visible in the streets without all the politics. Mr. Pookie & Lucci are back pumping hit singles, and Clout Records is another step closer to becoming a full machine. Bloc Bleeda steps up to the plate for Stampede Records & Dallas took over SXSW. Welcome to DFW is the newest DVD on the blocks. The sun is out so Big T’s Bizarre & Rochester Park are the hotspots on Sundays. - Edward “Pookie” Hall (www.urbansouth.us@ gmail.com)
Nawty Shawty of the Deuce Komradz was gunned down for no logical reason after celebrating his seven year anniver- Deanna Brown (email@example.com) sary with Bezzeled Out. To add insult to devastation, the gunman then aimed at another local artist, Big Yoshi of NSE. Nawty Shawty a.k.a. Shawt from the South died; Big Yoshi is in Jackson Hospital’s ICU but reportedly recovering. Bezzeled Out is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who can find the gunman before the police. R.I.P. Shawt. - Hot Girl Maximum (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lil Wayne, Rich Boy, and Foxx all hit Jackson for the From My Block to Yo Hood concert. Avant, Carl Thomas, and K-Ci bring what’s left of their voices to the city. Mannie Fresh packed the club last month, with DJ Wop on the one’s and two’s. Lil Boosie is still the king of Jackson’s streets, from sellout shows to the new mixtape. Fabolous breezed through town. Tambra Cherie hit the airwaves of Hot 97.7. Yo Gotti put on his usual show, but the crowd wasn’t what he expected. This is going to be a hell of a summer; big ass rims and candy paint. - Tambra Cherie (email@example.com) & Stax (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bavu Blakes was featured on the cover of The Austin Chronicle. KJ Hines also had an article. The write-ups were courtesy of Robert Gabriel and the photography by Luxury Mindz. Bavu also killed his freestyle during a Hot 93.3 Morning Show interview with Boogie and Mimi. Footage can be seen on YouTube.com. DJ Rapid Ric is hosting Rob G’s Reppin’ My Block, a legal mixtape that will be nationally distributed. DJ Bounz’s Heavy Weight Hustlerz is out now. Although he was from Houston, Austin had nothing but love for Hawk and remembers him a year later. Rest In Peace Hawk (November 15, 1969 - May 1, 2006). - O.G. of Luxury Mindz (LuxuryMindz@gmail.com)
NEW ORLEANS, LA
Monster with the Fade continues to control the clubs. MC Shakie and DJ Lil Man do it big every week at Club Rocafella 2.5. Dj Black-N-Mild commutes from Texas to New Orleans to keep his name blazing on the streets. Dj Raj Smoove and Gorillaz 4 Skrilla have a padlock on the House of Blues and Club Dreams; Raj also hosted the Lil Weezyana mixtape with Lil Wayne and Young Money Entertainment. The Street Team continues to grind and they’re in negotiations with Universal Records for the release of their single “Jazzy Chick.” – Derrick The Franchise (Trax4Profit@hotmail.com)
We wrapped up the biggest Que/Delta week in the last ten years; 20,000 black college students invaded the city and DJ Sweat had 14,000 of them jumpin’ at the closing party. The next big party is Masonic Week. GMB is killin’ the airwaves with his new single “Work” and his debut album I’m Clean is near completion. Yung Joc and Block Entertainment came down and ripped da Hub City a new one for Greg Street’s homecoming. Yeah, that’s right, he’s from Hattiesburg! Urban nightspot The Park continues to be delayed by city officials. - DJ Big Brd (email@example.com)
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Are things really quieting down? With the Street Dreamz Tour coming through the city and no incidents I would personally like to say congratulations to T.C. Entertainment and Garnett Entertainment for the opportunity to show the city that we can have a gathering without any major incidents. Also big ups to Black Rain, this cat is super hot and I had the pleasure of hearing him spit not only on the Streets Is Talking Video but also in person. This guy is the truth not only on Memorex but more so live and in livin’ color.
Some people didn’t agree when I called Wale and Tabi Bonney “nerd rappers” a couple issues back. Deal with it; it’s not a bad thing. Actually, I’m a fan of nerd rap. Local rapper Izzy Battle made a name for himself by signing with Nick Cannon’s Can I Ball Records and appearing on one of his singles, yet he is virtually unknown on the local scene. Even though he’s touring with Dub Magazine, Izzy’s trying to raise his profile locally by dropping records that scream “I’m from DC.” Check out his latest “Talkin’ Bout” featured on DJ Rob’s Throw Ya Sets Up 4 mixtape. – Pharoh Talib (Ptalib@gmail.com)
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA:
A birthday party for the Clipse’s manager ended with a man shot multiple times on the dance floor; no motive for the shooting has been discovered as of press time. Fam-Lay finally shot a video for his song “Da Beeper Record.” Derrick Tha Franchise a.k.a. Young Fame made the move over to Energy 106. He hopes to broaden his audience but will continue to produce his mixtape series Ear 2 Tha Street. Students at Hampton University hosted a producer’s battle this month. Among the guests was J Praize, who produced “Wangsta” for 50 Cent. – Derrick Tha Franchise (Trax4Profit@hotmail.com)
- Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com)
ST. LOUIS, MO
Huey signed a deal with Hitz Committee/Jive and is getting video play on all the major outlets, and he also has a hot little mixtape floating around the town. 714 is still on a roll; they kicked the year off with their group Da Banggaz’ song “Ain’t No Bitch” landing at #1 for The Evening Whirl. 714’s other act, Lil Roge, has been opening for every major artist you can think of. Local Hip Hop publication INBOX just dropped another hot issue. Vintage Vinyl’s top selling indie St. Louis acts are County Brown, Top Knotch, Huey, Tantrum Montana, and OutDaWoodWorks.
There seems to be quite a buzz coming from the Norfclk Camp with the hot new single from Small World “Put It In Reverse.” That joint is fire. Y’all might want to request that one. There’s also some noise coming from the Haz Camp, J-Khrist with the “Rockstar” track, and I even heard that Josey Mo & P Batters are back in the studio. R.I.P. Knotty, we’ll all miss you. - Big K (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Jesse James (JesseJames314@aol.com)
After going through it with the MIA police, T-Pain, a.k.a. “Tallahassee Pain,” might have a new nickname - “Miami Pain.” It’s all good though, “Buy You a Drink” is the #1 single in the country. The “Tallahassee Hero,” as he calls himself in Unk’s “2 Step” remix, is having the biggest album release party North Florida has ever seen. He’s inviting over 40 artists, from Akon to R. Kelly, to perform at the 102.3 Summer Jam on June 10th in the Tallahassee/Leon County Civic Center. Congratulations to the newly crowned IBA Boxing Champ, Travis Walker, who won the title in April. - DJ Dap (DJDapOnline@gmail.com)
Neek, DJ B-Lord, Rob Lo, Big Gee, DJ Frosty, DJ Cleve, Ant Mac, Collard Greens, 9 Mil and Head Hunter Records were all nominated for the SMES Music Summit coming up in July in Myrtle Beach, SC (smesmusicsummit.com). Piazo is preparing to drop another project that’s sure to have the streets talking. Club Level is keeping the club scene hot with Cadillac on the mic, and John Abraham of the Atlanta Falcons, Cash Checks and Snoop from In The Hood fashions popping bottles every time their in the spot. Welcome home Teezy. - Rob Lo (RobLoPromo@aol.com)
DJ E-Feezy, the hottest radio DJ on B96.5 fm and a member of the Heavy Hitters, keeps the streets buzzin’ with the Hottest in Da Ville - where local artists go at it and the people decide. Shadyville’s own DJ Q keeps the Best Damn Mix Show poppin’ on Saturday nights. B-Simm is killin’ the Young Jeezy Street Dreams Tour as he reps da Ville. Hurricane always balls like it’s his birthday in the clubs. What up Club Villa! Plus Static keeps Pretty Ricky on the “hotline”. Jon Woo got placement with Birmingham J. Young Sears is with DJ Drama. A.P. reps the 502 fa sho. - Divine Da Instagata (Jaron_Alexander@tmail.com)
Believe it! Duval’s own P. Pluck is BET’s 2007 Spring Bling Freestyle King. The Duval Mixtape Vol. 2 just dropped. Flyi DCG is smashing haters with his new “Gossipin” video. J-Ville’s nightlife is booming - Club Paris is popping at The Landing; Point Blank is still kicking it at De Real Ting on Friday’s; 92.7 The Beat’s T-Roy hosts Open Mic Monday at Endo Exo; and every third Wednesday RM Entertainment holds the Tristate Music Competition there as well. Club Christophers is still the spot on Wednesday nights. When he’s not hosting Rap City, DJ Q45 keeps all the parties bangin’ in the Bangem’.
R&B sensation KC is working with Grammy nominated producer Wyldcard (Chris Brown, Mary J. Blige, Destiny’s Child). After months of being in New York, DJ Prostyle returns to Orlando, only to join the Power 95.3 team. Orlando’s former Kings of Crunk, Treal, came with a new sound and sparked a bidding war with the first single from their sophomore album, “I’m Not Lock Down.” Slim Goodye dropped a new mixtape called 1,000 Grams with DJ Khaled.
- Ms. Rivercity (www.myspace.com/msrivercity)
- Destine Cajuste (email@example.com)
Supa Man was crowned king of the show and Jersey followed at another Aych Enterprizes production at Da Cypher. Is there an all girl street team in Tampa with Trinity as the ring leader? There is an unconfirmed rumor that Tommy Gunz aka Tom G will do a video for his hit song “10 Wangz and Fryz” at a favorite local wing restaurant - you know, the one that’s thick after the club. Plies was hangin’ in VIP at Studio Inc while Jagged Edge was performing, but why did I see a few pregnant groupies in the club tryin’ to holla? - Mz T-Rock (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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OZONE MAG // 21
mathematics Politricks Since the music business is a who-you-know business, and there are so many unscrupulous and unprofessional people involved, there is a proliferation of emotions, side deals, kickbacks, and all around fuckery going on at all times. For me, politics has always been the most difficult aspect of the industry to deal with. Since I am a straight up, honest, do-what-I-say-I’m-going-to-do person, it’s hard for me to deal with the side of this business that’s based on relationships, hook-ups, favors, ego, and emotions. Regardless, the politics in this business are there all day everyday, and must be dealt with accordingly. Most of the time, no one realizes the part they play in the ending of a deal, an unjust firing, or the abrupt halt of a project, but they exist causing havoc constantly whether you know it or not. Here are some of my all-time favorites: 1. Divide And Conquer: Please know that if you are an industry person who is working with an artist signed to a label, unless you are on the side of the label (meaning against your own artist), they are doing everything in their power to have you removed so they can put someone they can control in your position. Labels do not like people who oppose them in their efforts to rule, control, or get the artist to do whatever they want. If you try to be the voice of reason or stand up for your artist, they will see you as a threat, and do everything in their power to cause a rift between you and your artist. And believe me, they have the “divide and conquer” game down to a science. As an artist, the only way to avoid this drama is to have a manager or team with so much power that the label wouldn’t even think of doing that, or have someone on your side who is proficient at making everyone so much money that they welcome that person with open arms and don’t care if they fight for your rights—because they are making so much damn money! On the flip side, if the label loves your manager or your team, be worried. Be very worried. If the label recommends someone to manage you, run fast and far. On a happy note for the artist, there is something called “breach of fiduciary duty” which will get you out of a fucked up contract with that team member who doesn’t put your best interest first with your career. It’ll also end their career. 2. Relationships: You are signed to a label and are truly talented and may even have a strong fan base or track record of success, and along comes a lesser artist whose release date is bumped ahead of yours, or who has a budget twice as big as yours even though everyone knows that artist won’t be successful. Bear in mind that the artist who seems to be getting more than you is being done a great disservice and the A&R person who signed that artist will be out of a job soon. Perhaps the artist is his or her cousin or boy from around the way, or perhaps the A&R person is secretly a part owner of their production company…regardless, truth always comes to light and that A&R person will be unemployable as soon as that artist tanks, and he or she will.
byWendyDayof the RapCoalition
always be in a meeting, always be on the road, or always away from their desk. Why? Because they don’t even want to tell you the truth about why they won’t take your call about not telling you the truth to begin with. 5. Speaking Of Lack Of Virgins: This industry has more whores than Las Vegas. Female whores AND male whores. If you can’t figure out why one artist is favored, or why another artist gets more press, look no further than the bed. This is a who-you-know-industry, and most people know each other a little bit too well. When you hear those stories about folks sleeping their way to the top, there may just be some truth to it, both heterosexually and homosexually (there, I said it!). By the way, this is also a who-you-tell industry. There are no secrets. Without ever having been in the same room, I know exactly what it’s like to fuck Young Buck, Jay Z, Puff, and a few female rappers. Many sexual escapades were even profiled on the pages of this very magazine. Or, for more proof, see Superhead’s book. Any page. 6. Beef Is King: Be wary of getting dissed by a multi-platinum rapper. Your label and your team will say supportive things if you get dissed by someone like TI or 50 Cent, but they will lose interest in working your project or building your career. Very few people are real enough to continue working with what is perceived to be damaged goods, and that’s exactly what you will be seen as. For more proof ask Ja Rule and Lil Flip how supportive folks were when they got dissed. 7. Ignorance Is Bliss: If you have too many people on your team who understand the game, but who don’t have enough power to scare the labels into doing what’s right, the labels may keep you at arm’s length. No one wants to be caught doing something dirty or foul, and if you have the potential to catch them, they will keep you at arm’s length unless you have so much power or success that their egos force them to want to deal with you. 8. Who You Know: If you are signed to a label, and a few of your label mates have the same powerful manager, they will have preference over you. This is especially true if one of those artists sells a lot of records. The entire goal of that label will be to keep that superstar happy and recording. So if that superstar appears on a lot of records with another of your label mates, that artist will take precedence over you. If that superstar is managed by the same manager as another artist on the label, that other artist will take precedence over you. The entire goal of that label staff will be to placate the superstar and keep him happy, at any cost. 9. Superstar Status: Consequently, if you are signed to a label that has a superstar, you will be bumped continually by his boys, or artists that he has signed to his new imprint that was created when he went Gold or Platinum. So if you think you will be put ahead of D12, Murphy Lee, G-Unit, any of the artists left on Rocafella, Slick Pulla, or Grand Hustle, you are sadly mistaken. This is outstanding for the artists I’ve just mentioned, and I am very happy for them.
3. Proper Connections And/Or Timing: You are signed to a label and the person who signed you gets fired. Or even worse, the entire department is let go and a new Head of Black Music is brought in to run the company, who of course brings his connections and staff into the company. You are fucked. No new employee wants to work a project that he or she didn’t sign and isn’t passionate about, and sadly, there is no rush to give you a release from the label since leaving you sit there isn’t really costing them anything. You probably don’t have enough power on your team to force a release, or the proper connections to land you at another label willing to buy you out of the first deal. See #4 to know why you can’t get a straight answer from your label about what they plan to do with you.
10. If You Hang With Shit, You Smell Like Shit: Be careful who introduces you to someone because you can only get as far as they can. If you are referred by someone who is seen as shady and underhanded, you will always be seen as shady and underhanded. If you are brought in by someone who is loved and respected, you have a good chance of being loved and respected too. This is an industry where most people are shady and are predators, so the person who brings you in is key. If your team is not well liked, you will never succeed because there will be too many people rooting for your demise (and you could be the nicest, most worthy person in the world— tough luck!). I know many artists who are great people but have fucked up representatives. Those artists rarely have successful careers or last long if they’re able to move forward in spite of that person’s reputation.
4. Lies, Lies, And More Lies: This is a business of insecurities. Everyone wants to be liked, and no one is sure who might blow up next. It’s easier to find a virgin than someone who will tell you the truth instead of what they think you want to hear. Get used to being lied to. If you confront the person about lying to you, get used to having your calls avoided. The person will
So, there you have it; some of the politicks that I’ve encountered over the years. This is not meant to scare anyone away from the industry. I just want you to know that everything is not always what it seems. If you seem to be hitting a glass ceiling, you may need to take a closer look at what the real reason might be. Other than that, happy sailing, and avoid those sharks!! //
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he chickens have come home to roost!”
This statement was made by Malcolm X after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Now it is being uttered again, by me, before the death of a culture that we created but corporate America exploited. Let it be known that this Hip Hop culture wasn’t always the way it is now. At one point, it stood for something. Brothers and sisters used to rap about things with socially redeeming value. Artists like Chuck D, Brand Nubian, and Big Daddy Kane established a sense of black pride and black power within Hip Hop. Queen Latifah refused to let you call her a bitch, but now we (myself included) have embraced all the negatives of the black culture and tried to turn them into positives. Truthfully, it can’t be done. “Nigga” means “nigga,” and you never realize it until you hear another race say it. We must look like total and complete idiots to white people whenever they hear us using it amongst ourselves as a term of empowerment, but when another race uses the same word we are ready to go to war! It’s what I call the “mirror effect.” Far too often, we look in the mirror and see everything that’s right with us, but for some reason it’s hard to admit what is wrong with us. That is one of the greatest problems with our culture. That is the reason Hip Hop is about to be attacked in a fight we can’t win. I’m sure you are all aware of this whole Don Imus situation, and it may seem like a victory. I see you out there pumping your first talking about, “Yeah, he called them girls a bunch of nappy headed hoes, fire him! He needs to be dismissed!” You all got your wish. He was terminated, but do you understand that this situation just exposed our black leaders – Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton – and made them both look like total hypocrites? The Christian Defense Coalition is already criticizing Al and Jesse, asking them why they are not protesting outside of record labels and radio stations who release and broadcast the same, if not worse, words than the ones Don Imus is under fire for. Snoop Dogg tried to justify his lyrics and explain why it’s “okay” for him to call women “bitches and hoes,” but Don Imus can’t, and ended up making himself look like not only a hypocrite but a jackass too. He’s the only rapper who really shouldn’t have anything to say on this matter because he has consistently degraded black women and called them much worse names than “nappy headed hoes.” Ladies and gentlemen, this situation is bigger than Don Imus. In fact, it’s not about him at all. It’s about us. If you think that what Don Imus said about the Rutgers’ ladies basketball team is racist and hateful, every time you call your homeboy “nigga” or a woman you’re dealing with your “bitch” or a “hoe,” you are practicing self-hate! Let’s be clear on this: I’m not supporting Don Imus. I believe in equality. If we’re going to attack Don Imus, to avoid looking like hypocrites, we have to attack ourselves. Hip Hop is about to be held accountable for all the negative images we’ve put out for the past decade. There’s going to be a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to insensitivity towards race and gender. I agree with it totally because I am personally striving to stop using the word “nigga” and referring to my women as “bitches” and “whores.” I encourage all rappers who are profiting off the degradation of our culture to clean up their acts, because the powers that be have already started to flip this around on us. When the shoe is placed on the other foot I would love to see what our people come up with to defend the negative images Hip Hop has put out. The powers that be are going to make an example out of someone. Don’t be surprised when Snoop, 50, and a lot of these other rappers start losing endorsement deals when a little pressure is applied by the good ol’ boys. Don’t 24 // OZONE MAG
by Charlamagne Tha God email@example.com
you think they would sacrifice a Don Imus just to have a reason to really go after Hip Hop? They probably said, “Listen, Don, we’re going to have to let you go and let them win this battle so we can win the war.” They have a reason to attack us on all levels now, and there isn’t a thing we can do to defend ourselves. How can I possibly defend a song like “Bitches Ain’t Shit But Hoes And Tricks”? What are you going to say? “Snoop’s a reformed gang member who coaches youth football”? Yeah, but he is also facing four years on gun and drug charges! 50 Cent has his G-Unity Foundation and gives to charity all the time – so what? He also glorifies the gun and is alleged to have ordered the attack on Jimmy Henchmen’s 14-year-old son. This whole Don Imus situation has us looking like one big contradiction. It makes us seem like we’re the racists because ewe never go after our own, only after others who say and do to us just as we do to ourselves. Hip Hop is under fire, and when they start asking record labels and corporations to drop certain artists for the same reasons we asked MSNBC and CBS to fire Don Imus, how are we going to say they’re not justified in their actions? The Bible says, “You reap what you sow.” All I can do is pray for repentance, change my ways, and hope the consequences of my actions aren’t too much for me and Hip Hop to bear. Hip Hop, I want to have your back on this one, but I can’t. //
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hustlin’ For Us, By Us by WendyDayof theRapCoalition // www.wendyday.com
Dear Smoke D; This column is dedicated to you this month because of the fucked up situation you are in. I know how much you like to read, and I just finished a book called Display Of Power: How FUBU Changed A World Of Fashion, Branding, And Lifestyle. The book was so good, I read it through in one sitting. It was written by Daymond John and Daniel Paisner, and was written as if Daymond was sitting right there with me in my living room talking to me. There were so many outstanding lessons in his book for anyone in any industry looking to build a successful business. In the early and mid-90s, FUBU gear was everywhere. The buzz on this group of guys from Queens, New York was incredible. Everyone was wearing FUBU, all over the country. From LL Cool J rocking a FUBU hat in a Gap television commercial, to the hockey jerseys with a big 05 (to symbolize the 5 partners in FUBU at the time) on the front to counteract the fact that MTV was blocking clothing logos but weren’t savvy enough to block out the fronts of FUBU jerseys (fans would still know that their favorite artists were rocking FUBU jerseys by the 05 on the front), the brand was hotter than hot. And just as I was wondering whatever happened to FUBU, I found out that FUBU now owns Coogi, which is currently hotter than hot, proving it ain’t just luck. Daymond John started FUBU out of his house in Queens by making hats that he saw in a rap video but was unable to find in any store. He wasn’t able to find a certain type of hat that he saw in a De La Soul video, so he began making them himself. This led from making hats for himself and his friends, to making them and selling them outside malls, concerts, stores, and anyplace he could hustle them. Eventually, he began making clothing and asking artists to wear them so others would want to own the same clothes. It worked. His passion for fashion started as a way for him to make enough money to go on the road with artists and hang out, but soon turned into a profitable career. Daymond and his partners learned as they went along. While not the best way to start a business or build an empire, their tenacity and dedication led them down a path to building one of the hottest clothing lines that existed in Hip Hop culture. The many lessons Daymond learned, he shares openly in his book. He discusses his humble beginnings and his life lessons learned: such as the importance of family, and of the hassles and headaches usually associated with making “easy money.” He learned early on that scams and drug deals weren’t as financially impressive as they appeared to be because the risk that came with them was a high price to pay for the return. He learned the importance of dedication and commitment to doing anything right that was worth doing—in fact, he felt that “anything worth doing, was worth overdoing.” Daymond learned the importance of passion and how that drives you even when things are difficult. There are many lessons in this book worth learning and applying to our own everyday situations, but my personal favorite is what Daymond terms “The Geography of Cool.” Timing runs all businesses and trends. What is cool in New York (or most big cities) one day, eventually filters out around the rest of the country slowly. It spreads from area to area as the word of mouth spreads. So, for example, something hits New York City and a couple of months later it’ll filter out across the rest of the country. “It might hit next in DC or Philadelphia, before snaking its way down to Atlanta, or Orlando, or Miami. Or maybe it’ll pop out in L.A. and spread east,” says Daymond. “And by the time it hits the heartland, there’s something new to replace it, already making noise in the big city. It takes word-of-mouth, buzz, and the slow burn marketing tools promoters have been using for centuries.” Daymond points out how if you are there when this stuff shows up on the radar in various places, there’s money to be made if you are the first one there to sell it to them. The book points out how the “buzz” was created at FUBU. “Without really realizing it, we did what we could to help it along. We didn’t think of it as marketing, or branding, or advertising, didn’t even think of it as a strategy, but we kept pushing the line in every way available to us. We wore our clothes ourselves, out at the clubs and at concerts, so we became our own walking billboards. We got out friends to wear our stuff too, and since NY was the center of our universe and the locus of Hip Hop culture, a lot of our 26 // OZONE MAG
friends were starting to make some noise of their own, so it worked out well for us that as all eyes were starting to fix on them they were fixing on our t-shirts at the same time,” recalls Daymond John of the early FUBU days. Another lesson Daymond shares came from his time as a waiter at Red Lobster (pre-FUBU). Rather than raise prices, the company chose to put one less shrimp on each plate when someone ordered the Shrimp Scampi. No one noticed, yet it saved the restaurant chain millions of dollars each year. “The lesson, to a lowly waiter hoping to become something more than a lowly waiter, was that little things mean a lot. They add up. It’s basic, but all important,” shares Daymond on his lessons learned prior to starting FUBU. It was his first lesson in keeping the share holders happy, yet not pissing off the customer with a price increase. The lesson that Daymond shares that impacted him enough to use as the title of his book, was “display of power.” While in Vegas at the all-important MAGIC Convention for men’s fashion, he learned an important aspect of power: utilizing it. He noticed two antique Chevy sports coupes side by side, stopped at a light. “One of the cars was being driven by a little old lady, just as polite as could be. The light turned green and you could see her ease back gently on the gas, but she was blocking traffic. And this other car was being driven by this young guy in his mid-twenties and he was just cutting it up. Fish-tailing, burning out, basically drag racing to each stoplight. My philosophical cab driver turned and said, ‘Look at that. Same two cars, but this one here, he’s gonna get a display of power ticket,’ pointing at the car being driven by the young guy. The cabbie explained that this little old lady didn’t have the slightest idea of the power she was sitting on, but this young kid was all full of adrenaline and ready to go. Same car, same engine, and this one’s just a beast.” Daymond recalls how it hit him then and there that “two different people, all outward appearances they might look the same, but inside they just have no idea what they’re capable of. Inside they have the same ability to turn it on and fire it up, but it’s how we turn it on and fire it up that makes all the difference.” Daymond goes on to explain how the world is full of talented people who are technically proficient but lack the drive or the instincts or the contacts to make a meaningful impact. He discussed FUBU’s competition and how they couldn’t get the right artists to wear their clothes, or get their clothes into the clubs. They were unable to “connect the power of music with the power of persuasion, the power to remind people of times, places, smells, colors, styles, and the fact that music packs such an emotional charge that if you find a way to connect it to the consumer market you’ll be so far ahead of your competitors they couldn’t even find you with a map.” Outstanding branding advice, from the king of Hip Hop gear. The last lesson that Daymond shared in this book that I will mention here, are his staffing philosophies, and his ability to hire and fire as necessary. Regarding staffing, Daymond believes in hiring the best people for each job. He also believes in learning every aspect of the company and each job in the company. “A lot of managers and executives are held hostage by their employees because they don’t know their own business. They’ve never worked the line. At FUBU, we knew the drill from the ground up, because we’d done it all. Me and my boys, we worked the mail room. We cut fabric. We designed new lines. We came up with the marketing plan. Even as the big money started to roll in, we did it all—and we still do it all,” he reminds us. “Display Of Power” is a fascinating and well written insight into the world of FUBU, but is also applicable to all of us who run businesses. While it was interesting to see where Daymond John came from and where he’s going, it was more interesting to have him share how others can succeed in business by showing what worked for him when building his empire and one of the hottest clothing brands of the Nineties. //
, LA) 03 // DJ er (New Orleans rty T’s Stand & Deliv Boy’s release pa BE by @ e Ba r yn fo Wa 0 ld 30 a, b Wi nt & Clu k, tla @ (A Un ld se o, Mi Dr ca Ng ow kun // Baby Boy, Yo Smith, & DJ Blac llawolf @ Club Esso for BMI Sh tt y 02 Ma ce ) & Tra TX , uly e, as Pa yn all Wa cle (D GA) 04 // Wild nnie Fresh & Ye n, MS) 09 // Un ustin, TX) 12 r K104 concert @ Palladium fo so for BMI Showcase (Atlanta, Medina (Orlando, FL) 06 // Ma Boy @ Jackson State (Jackso (A in nia Pa T Ma & sic us Mu lo h @ 01 // Fabo @ Club Es eld @ Fiesta Banner // Kool Laid & Ric ) 11 // Rapid Ric & Slim Thug , B Rich, & BOB Khaled, & Garfi i, FL) 14 // David (Dallas, TX) 08 LA Toomp, Big Oomp 05 // Marlon, DJ Prostyle, DJ lease party (Miam // Hoodlum & Rick Ross @ (New Orleans, r K104 concert re fo er y m liv Cit l De diu & ro ) lla Ca LA nd Pa , d (New Orleans & Marquita @ ya @ BET’s Sta ) 19 // e for OZONE an ugusta, GA) 16 ky, Unk, & Nake e Models Yaima ollz @ Sobe Liv @ Powerfest (A Bling (Miami, FL GA) 07 // Nitelif for SXSW (Austin, TX) 10 // Pin tlanta, GA) 13 // The Paperd , Lil Scrappy, & Khujo Goodie e during Spring ” (TalLiv in’ pp be Tri So U @ nk ls (A s ris s Cru nie Sonzala @ Vision ie Fresh @ Patchwerk Studio party (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Lil Ch TX) 18 // Mad Linx & Matt Da oot for “U Ain’t sh eo vid ’s tch nn y n, Bu // Too $hort & Ma ther @ House for his birthda @ Street Dreams Tour (Housto FL) 21 // DJ Butch & Bilbo @ mo ezy s (Tallahassee, z er dancing with his 17 // Slick Pulla & Young Je nc da his & i, 8); Luxury Mind GA) // Unk, Miss Nikk car show (Dallas, TX) 7); Kool Laid (0 Fever (Atlanta, ouston, TX) 20 at King Yella (01,0 (H ); Be o e Gl 7,19 Th @ (1 .9 97 ith ico Ch @ Sm n Dream Guest & ,15,16); Keadro // DJ J-Hustle & rly (03,06,12,14 lahassee, FL) 22 9,22); Julia Beve (0 ll Ha rd wa Dap (20,21); Ed city (18) Bogan (13); DJ 4,10); Ms River Photo Credits: s DeWayne (02,0 rcu Ma ; 5) (0 l (11); Malik Abdu
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e, BG, The 03 // Wild Wayn (Houston, TX) t of Crunk oo p sh ho eo Bis & vid , ol k” eppin’ My Bloc er, Willie, Get Co “R nn verly, & his Ba Be of vid t lia se Da Ju , e , th ga ck Guest, Gravedig Rob G & crew on ndy Roper, G-Ma // // Ra of D4L 04 // 02 ) Lo ) 06 LA ty , LA ) ns e, FL aw ug as, TX) 08 // Sh liver (New Orlea ekend (Orlando, wn” (Baton Ro (Augusta, GA) 04 concert (Dall of “Wipe Me Do BET’s Stand & De ers for Front-Line’s Luau we t st K1 @ r se rfe s e fo nt we th m de Po on diu stu @ ie lla k ty 01 // Boos rd Universi Q45 @ Whisp ig Boogie & Un Cheatham @ Pa @ Whispers yz, & Suno Dilla tlanta, GA) 05 // Tigger & DJ xwell, & T-Roy Scrappy & Skip a, GA) 10 // Cra Choppa City Bo // DJ Q45, DJ Sa rty (A ee, FL) 07 // Lil Esso for BMI Showcase (Atlant ce @ Spiro’s ss 13 pa fa y ) ha ar da GA lla Sc , th & (Ta ta bir y us rs Cit ke his ug n b (A ma ee @ House for Schuster epy Brown @ Clu Monique & Unk @ Powerfest owcase (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Gr r TJ’s DJ’s Taste rry fo Sle La & on // h Mo es 17 e Fr ) Th ie , FL nn Ms Sh Malik Abdul @ iro’s for rs (Tallahassee Sp b Esso for BMI ustin, TX) 12 // ta, GA) 09 // Ma ke (A us @ Clu ma ug SW @ sin ste (A p SX To Ta r st & om ’s fo t rfe t To DJ , FL) 19 // Gues rcus. & & guest @ Powe & Stubb-a-Lean on 6th stree DJ Drama, Mannie Fresh, & DJ e Moon for TJ’s ee Ma Th ss // ha @ 21 lla om ) (Ta Do TX ’s , Dr h DJ // ut DJ eo shoot (Dallas e Moon for TJ’s guest, Kiely, & 11 // Kotton Mo au weekend (Orlando, FL) 14 vid Th u” la, @ Te Yo , TV t m ou die th Ja Bo r Wi Lu // Big Dap filming fo for “Can’t Live (Dallas, TX) for Front-Line’s Relays party (Austin, TX) 16 // Baby Boy & DJ sinthe Lounge South @ Dreams s (Orlando, FL) 18 odspeed & Pookie from Urban ay and Classick of D.D.C. @ Ab ce for OZONE’s Texa en er nf Co Rivercity (17); y yD Stradag Wayne (03); Ms 20 // Jamie Go a, GA) 22 // Pa & Jill Strada @ (07); Marcus De rty (Austin, TX) y party (Atlant lla pa da Ye s th g lay bir Kin Re ; ’s s 2) er xa (0 nn OZONE’s Te r David Ba ); Keadron Smith nk @ House fo 2,14,15,16,19,21 the Bishop of Cru rly (04,08,09,10,1 ve Be 1) (0 lia t Ju en ); ward Hall (11,20 son (05,06,13); Trill Entertainm DJ Dap (18); Ed nce Ty Photo Credits: Repo (22); Terre
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Words by Eric Perrin // Photos by Sean Cokes Makeup by Mike Mike // Hair by Baby Boy
Dollar Menu: Prada
his is the story of Alesyah Flores — a good girl by day who turns bad at night. Most days, the 23 year-old Black, Mexican, and Indian combination works as a high class hairstylist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A few times a month however, Alesyah will hop on a plane and head to Atlanta, then hop on a pole and ravish the strip club crowd as “Prada,” her alter ego. “I picked the name Prada because I thought it was expensive and sexy. And that’s me, expensive and sexy,” she says.
But unlike most strippers, Prada is not really in it for the money—she just likes dancing naked. Yes, the monetary influence is appreciated, but even more fulfilling for her is the thought of people enjoying her mesmerizing measurements. (36c-28-36; all natural) “Yeah, the money is good,” she admits. “But at the same time, I enjoy dancing. I love the feeling of being on the stage, performing and knowing that the people in the audience are enjoying my presence. That’s my favorite part; I just like the fact that they like me.” And yes, they like her, possibly too much, even. Her customers are far from satisfied with just watching Prada perform nude. They always ask for more, particularly her female clients. “I have a lot of customers who want more than what I’m trying to give them,” she says. “I’m
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basically seducing them in the club and they want more than just a dance, especially my lady customers. They want sexual acts from me, and the men do too, but the women are even more upfront with it.” One thing Prada is upfront with is that she prefers men. She even details her ideal date, for all those men who can only dream of being with her. “I like a romantic man to take me out on a dinner date. I want it to be nice with candlelights. We don’t even have to go out; he could cook for me in the house. It just has to be real sexy. We’ll be wearing something real nice and comfortable and then after we eat, we’ll get in the nice lil’ Jacuzzi, the roses scattered all around and the R. Kelly playing in the background, and then he’ll seduce me. Maybe even perform for me, that’s what turns me on. I like that,” she divulges. Though Prada is the center of attention at the strip club and in your dreams, her real fantasies are centered around her career. Prada isn’t just an average beautician; she’s a licensed cosmetologist who plans on going into business for herself soon. “I went to school for cosmetology and business management,” she proudly states. “I’m gonna open up my own salon soon. Dancing is fun for me right now, but that’s not long term.” For now, you can catch her at Stroker’s Club (strokersclub.com) having fun on the pole, but remember, it’s a limited time only offer. //
of Treal LA) 03 // Poetic (New Orleans, DJ er @ liv ys De Bo & t Ho nd ee nce J @ BET’s Sta & The Tallahass Thug MS) 08 // Slim yd, Rosci, & Terre FL) 05 // Marco Mall, DJ Dap, n, Llo so , ck BG // (Ja te 02 ) Sta o, GA n nd // so a, rla nt ck 10 (O Ja tla ) d (A @ TX en a n, rty day pa Luau week o da Boss Play shoot (Housto ) use for his birth for Front-Line’s // Lil Larry & Bo G’s “Reppin’ My Block” video ver (Atlanta, GA vid Banner @ Ho // Hustle House @ Whispers (Austin, TX) 07 ir Stewart @ Fe Rob SW ak of SX op t Sh @ Sh & se t , e 01 // Xtaci & Da e 04 es ss Th th ) gu Ro // FL on & k 15 a (Orlando, & Rapid Ric ry Mo, Push, // Pee Wee, Ric (Houston, TX) @ Fiesta Medin TX) 09 // C Rola ee, FL) 06 // Co rlando, FL) 12 k” video shoot xas Relays party (Tallahass Block” video shoot (Houston, a & Atiba @ Fiesta Medina (O “Reppin’ My Bloc RawLT & Big Bank Hank @ Te chal G’s b Ro of Dap’s birthday t lik My ’ se // Ma e An pin // & 17 th ep n ) 11 on “R FL ) z ma i, ill MS ell G’s Sk b iam Sh n, & FL) 20 // Tony on the set of Ro Boy @ Jackson State (Jackso private party (M ’s Be // Bun B & Play h cords CORE DJs ions (Pensacola, llywood @ FAMU a Beach, VA) 14 Ric Re ns J & ini Ho me @ irg DJ Di ine (V & b ce Ma an Clu rm 2.1 Ch sta Se @ 10 & t Mi o , DJ Ho Wh ya // @ an DJ 22 z & Ch ) Bo $ y, TX te , DJ Bo Ga & tin y ite us eg 13 // Young Jeez Studios (Atlanta, GA) 16 // Wh Premier (Norfolk, VA) 19 // Gr OZONE’s Texas Relays party (A rk Renea @ Club ith z @ Spiro’s for co nd Boyz @ Patchwe Co Mi & ry z xu ng Lu So & 1); Keadron Sm // Trey verly (01,12,17,2 21 // Spark Dawg (Austin, TX) 18 ek (Miami, FL) uis (20); Julia Be We Lo ny ion hn sh Jo Fa ); @ Joseph 6); Eric Perrin (15 ssee, FL) Edward Hall (0 Out Day (Tallaha 2); DJ Who (19); city (03); Terrence Tyson (04) 5,2 (0 p Da DJ ); er Renea (13,18 yne (02); Ms Riv Bogan (16); Coco ); Marcus DeWa Photo Credits: Malik Abdul (11 ; 0) 7,1 (0 id La (08,09,14); Kool
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OZONE EXCLUSIVE Textin’ is no longer safe now that OZONE’s dangerous minds have hacked the system.
diddy & joc Diddy: Joc, did U pick up that Press Play yet? Joc: Yeah, P. Diddy, I got it. Diddy: I told you muthafucka, its just Diddy Joc: Oh, yeah, my bad. Diddy: I’m wit the boy Fabolous right now, I think y’all should do a song together. Joc: I’m already done with my album. Diddy: Fuck that! Fab is the truth, he’s helpin’ me pick out my next single. Joc: Well maybe we can fit him in somewhere. Hey Diddy, I think I want a new chain. Diddy: Well did you go pick up Press Play yet? Joc: Yeah, I got that, but I’m talkin bout a new chain, something big. Diddy: Press Play is something big, it’s a monumental album, go grab another copy, you won’t need a chain then, cuz that album got all the shine you need. It’s a classic. Joc: Yeah, but… Diddy: If you stop bitching about a damn chain I might put you on the next remix of “Last Night.” Its gonna be the Latin remix, I’m gonna have Ricky Martin and Shakira on there, you know Spanish? Joc: Naw, but I know I want a new damn chain. Diddy: Did you help me pick out a new single yet for Press Play? Right now I’m feelin like its going to be “Through the Pain” featuring Mario Winans or “After Love” featuring Keri Hilson. But I want you, Yung Joc, to decide for me. Stop by www.myspace.com/diddy to vote for your choice. Joc: Okay, but why U always hijacking my Myspace page to promote your album? Diddy: cus niggas need to get that press play and help Diddy pick his new single. Joc: I’m gonna change my password and remove you from my top 8 if you keep doing that shit. Diddy: If you do that then I’ll have your ass out there like Black Rob and Da Band. Joc: Who? Diddy: My point exactly, I own all your publishing. Take that. Joc: I’ll just buy my own chain then. Diddy: God Bless-P.Diddy Joc: I thought it was just Diddy? Diddy: Just go pick up that Press Play. - From the minds of Eric Perrin and Randy Roper (Photos by Julia Beverly)
* This is just a joke. No, we did not really hack into anybody’s sidekick.
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I Club Esso for BM Joc, & DJ Blak @ leans, LA) 05 // Sam ng Yu , riq Ly y 02 // T-Pain, Ja & DJ Ro (New Or lease a (Orlando, FL) y Fresh, DJ Slab1 @ Club 300 for Baby Boy’s re e @ Fiesta Medin ) 04 // DJ Chicken, DJ Mone thve zin bir oo ga his Sm ma j r e fo Ra th e & us in GA y, get his picture rfest (Augusta, by Boy, Curren$ ed Edge & David Banner @ Ho to Ba we w y, Po co zz ho Co @ s Di // l, ris ow 11 So Ch kn ) e, le always y Fresh, & Lil n Casey of Jagg st (Augusta, GA ) 06 // McMann 01 // DJ Prosty Lil Scrappy, Sta ) 08 // Brando se (Atlanta, ew Orleans, LA Unk @ Powerfe nta, GA) 03 // nd & Deliver (N case (Atlanta, GA ensacola, FL) 10 // DJ Kiki & h @ Club Esso for BMI Showca dium for Sta ow Sh T’s I BE BM Showcase (Atla @ r fo izz (P lla Bl so es ce & Pa Fr Es J, b en ie @ y er Clu nn nf am me @ Ma th Co re i & ea Je Al a sic Ch Mack, Shawt, ock & Rashan Greg Gates Mu ) 13 // Jazze Ph dy Jade & Skip owcase ns, LA) 07 // Bl Urban South @ lays (Austin, TX a, GA) 15 // DJ Steve Nice, La on of Doom sh Re gi s Le r xa fo Te y @ nc party (New Orlea GA) 09 // KLC & Pookie from ce ue fa nt eq OZONE’s ar r tla Fr Sc fo (A @ & e O rty dd Liv pa Lil Re be y // a, ty So da nt ndy Day & Shaw ) 20 // Reppin’ Rick Ross @ (Norfolk, VA) 12 day party (Atla use for his birth We ier Ho // @ em 17 Pr ol ) b Co TX t Clu , Ge TX as & n, p@ all , David Banner, Renea & Big Ka K104 concert (D mp @ Dave & Busters (Housto eo shoot (Dallas, TX) rrin, Gravedigga in & Big Taz @ Palladium for izz Beatz & Lu thout You” vid 1); Sw Wi Pa GA) 14 // Eric Pe e // T Liv // 19 ’t ) 16 an GA ) “C a, TX r ); Malik Abdul (0 fo allas, (Atlant ); King Yella (16 ngac @ Dreams Co (11 K104 concert (D The Clipse @ Club Sugar Hill h rk ac Cla Co h & et a nn // // Paol n Smith (19); Ke (Atlanta, GA) 18 e release party (Miami, FL) 21 ,14,17); Keadro zin 3,07,08,10,12,13 2,0 (0 Carol City maga rly ve Be n (18,20); Julia 9,21); Eric Perri Edward Hall (0 Photo Credits: e (04,05,06) Marcus DeWayn
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Showb Esso for BMI Jim Jonsin @ Clu stemakers (Tallahas& B, BO c, Jo ng for TJ’s DJ’s Ta Jill // Memphitz, Yu iami, FL) 08 // dul @ The Moon ouston, TX) 03 ey @ Matrix (H cords & Malik Ab E & Carol City release party (M ney Mark @ The Hu Re & g d Do ea 2 Dr // // 05 ON Mo a, GA) 02 ach, VA) Sobe Live for OZ a, GA) 10 // Vaughn Wilson & Studios (Atlant Ent (Virginia Be House for his ss & C-Ride @ esh & TI @ Echo ezy & DJ Wats of Hush Money David Banner @ the set of ) 07 // Rick Ro Esso for BMI Showcase (Atlant & TX , s. as rcu 01 // Mannie Fr all Je Ma (D g // t un er 12 Yo nc b on ) // co ie TX Clu , 04 os 04 @ as ) k K1 Bo all r GA & oc (D fo Bl a, t ie, & case (Atlant @ Palladium Richardson for K104 concer ) 14 // BJ, Webb Orleans, LA) 16 // Tango 04 Street Team ) 09 // Yancey de @ Palladium oot (Houston, TX ew see, FL) 06 // K1 @ Fiesta Medina (Orlando, FL nd & Deliver (N lliams & Lady Ja Beatz @ Block” video sh Wi Sta My y ’ T’s Ro pin BE // ep d @ 11 “R ) ale ms Garcia & Swizz G’s , FL Strada & DJ Kh the set of Rob ic, & Chiquita Sim oot (Orlando, FL) 18 // Brandi Brandon @ Glo (Houston, rs (Tallahassee kt on ke He ug ma DJ Th ste y, m Ta Bo Sli ’s & by sty’s video sh Moon for TJ’s DJ // Play & Skillz anchize Boyz & y Boyz, Rosci, Ba the set of DJ Na l Man of Dem Fr t (Orlando, FL) e J, Choppa Cit (Atlanta, GA) 13 & Junior Reid on Bling (Miami, FL) 20 // Jizza ) 15 // Terrenc birthday party oo LA rm sh e, Sto eo ug // vid Ro 17 ’s on ) sty FL ’ (Bat e during Spring the set of DJ Na n Club (Tampa, ‘Wipe Me Down s DeWayne ld 98.7 @ Cuba ment @ Sobe Liv 22 // Oddz & Endz & Mims on Wi Ele of DJ & ies e lad Abdul (08); Marcu tic e En with th ntana (16); Malik n, TX) 19 // DJ ert (Dallas, TX) Sa nc sto is co ou Lu (H 04 ); rs K1 ,21 r ste fo 6,11 (0 Dave & Bu Palladium ,20); King Yella a & Lil Boosie @ Smith (02,13,18 TX) 21 // Yaim 0,12); Keadron 9,1 7,0 3,0 ) 1,0 (14 (0 t ; Julia Beverly ll Entertainmen Coco Renea (04) e Tyson (05); Tri Photo Credits: (17,22); Terrenc rm Sto ); (19 y (15); Ms Rivercit
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z y o B p o Sh
the youngest Shop s Sheed, who at 20, is re than a trend,” say mo up with the song is ch is cat “Th tta go t jus them to a deal with make history, man. We led a gle ng the velocity finn sin ati g “We . stim gin Boy ere sur ir und t,” he says, vastly t’s one week after the fas ked in Studio B of so loc g are vin z Chapman calls mo Boy TJ its p r se Sho nde cau fou The ating which catapulted. TJ’s DJ’s deb Universal Records, and has g y’re son the r seen. “I’ve ir s; eve the dio s Stu ich at wh chwerk telltest growing single he’ Atlanta’s legendary Pat e in and cam e a Rock Star” the fas “I made it” chains. “I’m it Lik y tor rty how nda zy “Pa ma cra ir It’s the s g catch on that quick. jeweler will construct nager/On Deck Record song, it’s son a ma a t n ir jus the see n s er tha ise re nev adv mo ” s ny, says Chapman. “It’ g,” me $10,000 just for hin ing you, don’t go to Son rge ryt cha eve to r d ove trie k he too ’re right, e is .” CEO Bingo. “Yeah, you Shop Boy whose nam like a whole movement s Fat, the 21 year-old pendent of an ‘S’” say ck Star themed g. e, flyers promoting Ro somewhat misleadin nth of the song’s releas anta and the movement had mo a hin Wit , e the streets of Atl hat misleading. Meany y. “I never would hav parties were flooding ge, however, is somew just three Bowen-Home all parts of the countr t to y kep wa y The group’s entire ima its are bod g y ery kin The “Ev ma . rs. begun from rock sta New York,” says Fat school Fat, and Sheed are far y’d play our song in sic played, so I ernoons fixing up old the mu t aft r nd ugh you spe tho get to to d ce use pla o s ATL is the hardest e day our boys in the hood wh And yet somehow thi saying that New York York,” he admits. “On ly project’s parking lot. ntry screaming, “Total every place except New DJ in New York, man. He said cars in their housing cou get ole ’d we wh d the ure t fig go e and just got a call from a ” trio galvanized the gam CEO called me like, ‘I s the biggest moment. there!’ To me, that wa out g duuude!” son the e lov y the n eAtlanta’s Central Statio on the bandwagon, esp on a Saturday night at g that inspired him. “I g that New York jumped a New Yorker is somewhat sin The song first started pri son a sur rd ’t isn hea it any But , r-old Me star most recent rap trends nightclub, when 21 yea nded like some rock e full credit and say cially because unlike song it was, but it sou ‘Party like “We’d be wrong to tak g, ic. gin dem sin t epi s kep I thi can’t remember what for and le go e first person I saw sib Bin “Th pon CEO ed. res my She s to t say ‘We nex , ,” shit. I was standing s rock star movement again and he was like r thi es. He added d ove rte Jon and sta r Jim s we ove wa r,’ st sta k r thing with a hood twi a rock, party like a roc sta k t happened roc jus s. the “We ber ng s. em doi lain Meany rem we did,” Sheed exp ore bef g gon’ run with that,’” lon . We aren’t it to ong str ag his sw point t brought the trend on up with the song tha has transcended to the unity to mix rock e g ort com son opp ir to an the ay saw tod we es’ style, but They ran with it, and ated by rock culture. trying to steal Jim Jon t worked.” // industry is being suffoc d humming from electric er, and the concept jus eth where the entire rap che tog p pit h Ho hig Hip s, cut and sar tal Cae me ing lac and ts rep bel are ll Mohawks ’s, and sku lacing the boom of 808 ns. c N. Perrin guitar strings are rep tar jea k-s roc s’ Words and Photo by Eri per rap m fro chains are dangling
36 36 //// OZONE OZONE MAG MAG
, Mike ) 03 // Scarface rl,& aton Rouge, LA Ca (B , ’ ra wn me Do Ta Me // the set of ‘Wipe (Orlando, FL) 05 // Greg Street & tertainment on estone for Yung Joc concert En 07 ll ) Tri FL i, // 02 iam ) (M Skye (Tampa, FL do, Tampa Tony, & Disco @ Fir GA) 10 // Mark y release party r Hill (Atlanta, ONE & Carol Cit D Demetrius @ Be ing @ Club Suga Sobe Live for OZ Pitbull, & Drunk ustin, TX) 04 // r K104 concert rm @ n, (A fo ss tio rfo rty m Ro ris pe pa diu k a Ch s lla My Ric DJ lay , Pa & // Re G@ 01 // Cubo // E-Class E’s Texas ndo, FL) 09 15 // OZONE , DG Yola, & MJ Spiro’s for OZON (Orlando, FL) 06 us @ DJ Nasty’s studio (Orla ert (Dallas, TX) LA) 12 // 8Ball Hee, & Kiotti @ r Front-Line’s Luau weekend m for K104 conc rappy & DJ Chino @ Club (New Orleans, & Fabolo diu er lla sty liv Pa Na De @ & DJ fo us s nd // lo er Sc Sta bo Lil Kyli @ Whisp tlanta, GA) 08 usta, e & BG @ BET’s Lil Scrappy & Fa weekend (Orlando, FL) 17 // Echo Studios (A Powerfest (Aug , TX) 11 // DJ Ro werfest (Augusta, GA) 14 // Mannie Fresh @ t-Line’s Luau ey, & Kidtrell @ ncert concert (Dallas Po on Hu co Fr @ 04 r n, de K1 fo ne ow r s Du bo Br fo e er ck th m ad isp Ba Ch diu Wh ,& 2 Main for Devin ndo, FL) 19 // & Foxx @ Palla ger & ladies @ 31 DJ Shorty Rock rla Tig @ D, (O // d by vin en 16 Al Ba ek ) & k, CO we de Un // ver, Luau // Devin the Du (Dallas, TX) 13 son theater (Den @ Whispers for Front-Line’s (Orlando, FL) 21 o Parker Robin er Luau weekend e’s showcase @ Cle FL) 18 // Bianca & Chris Turn Lin ton Fr r 4,15); Marcus o, ers fo ; Malik Abdul (0 Legends (Orland dul & Wayne Freeman @ Whisp is Santana (01) Lu ; 2) ) Ab (2 YC lik (N id La Ma ds // ol GA) 20 & Cipha Soun lla (10,12,14); Ko 22 // Rich Boy ith (21); King Ye (Houston, TX) ,19); Keadron Sm 7,13 6,0 3,0 (0 inment (02) ; Julia Beverly Eric Perrin (09) ,20); Trill Enterta Photo Credits: nce Tyson (05,18 rre Te ; 8) (0 iff Sp DeWayne (11);
OZONEMAG MAG////37 37 OZONE
t u T g n You
Jackson, MArSkansas) (via Marianna,
. rapper as a role model ked up to the young loo t tha oss s acr kid get ced to d uen infl I wante the Fresh Prince’s in school but [what] up to him. nk DJ Jazzy Jeff and “He had a few issues s. “A lot of kids look grind lain ry exp ust eing a kid is hard. Thi ie ind oog sic mu G-B ,” The ng ” to his n you nd. s sta bee he’ der s, I’ve Un wa e. n’t itiv Do t pos But “Parents Jus to just live a lot more it’s just effects on a teenager. its him but e d kid nte hav e wa lat I can r icu So sta art , required of a rap well strive to be teachers. He’s a smart as base his ht fan to mig k ge tal lar you a to t é, go ool tég sch a kid pro [and] authority. He’s rapper Nate if you’re going to be a positive role ential to run things,” n issues with behavior be tai pot to y cer the ilit sib had . I Tut pon like res pt? t he’s got a the best. “I fel h to ever rule Egy now. And he’s learning the youngest pharao e a name to go with Ulrich says. “Who was hav not y wh .” t, del tha mo like n If I’mma have a positio pted his moniker from outlook, h that, Nate Ulrich ado ck and a new positive the position?” And wit age 9. at gn rei behavioral issues in che e model responsibilities. He’s a his his an h Wit beg t tha h rao the Egyptian pha sising pride in his rol rcials running on Mis ’s Young Tut is tak abstinence with comme career is starting to Bone Thugs N Harmony g for rin son hea per er aft kes g spo pin rap io stations. His music Young Tut, who began first taste of the music business from Mishas the streets and sippi and Arkansas rad t his working with e My Name Hot Vol. I an tap beg “Tha Crossroads,” go mix ut Tut ie. deb oog His f. G-B accompanied by an eof per tak lk,” rap Wa n de era ie “Si vet oog e gle sissippi mixtap s buzzing. And his sin rs and posters until G-B ool flye sch ctor (Mr. Magic’s “I h out Do g t hig sin Bea pas Da m, Boogie’s street tea two-step produced by the time seemed right, ed en arg Wh -ch r. rgy ste ns. ng ene spi you io the king up regional rad saw the potential in and pick up the microSmoke, I Drink”), is pic put down the posters ’s got the whole “He s. Boogie pushed Tut to say ie oog I should. One G-B was ready,” ferent s, “I feel like if I can, phone. “I felt like he a role model, Tut say l of people. the kids love him in dif ng dfu bei And han it. for a for As k ate tiv loo mo the package. He’s got e the world, but I can ple.” ng peo cha ’t of l can dfu n ma han r “ s. go motivate anothe can towns and high school ple peo of l dfu han A music. Tut displayed Words fit for a king. // on Tut extended beyond 16-year-old to have G-Boogie’s influence the sed cau ich wh , ms ble pro // Photo by Jaro Vacek numerous behavior ns. But Boogie’s guidWords by Randy Roper y and school suspensio tel rs ima che ult tea h and wit sic ues iss his mu his actions reflected ance helped Tut realize
38 38 //// OZONE OZONE MAG MAG
y @ BET’s awt, & Baby Bo o, Terrance J, Sh a, GA) 05 Gin nt o, tla Dr (A g y un Da ) 02 // Nosa, Yo Roper & DJ B-Lord @ A-Town GA a, @ Blazin nt p tla Da (A DJ & se y for BMI Showca FL) 04 // Rand e Heisman Boyz so Th la, Es // co b i, FL) 09 sa 06 Clu en ) iam (P @ FL (M s o, ce rty an b Paris (Orland City release pa omp, & Clay Ev y s Music Conferen ah Kang, DJ To and guest @ Clu Sobe Live for OZONE & Carol ONE & Carol Cit al @ Greg Gate nn OZ ts, Tre r Ha Je & fo h, k e e th es oc Liv Fr -L of ie be Co le @ So Co DJ 01 // Mann Boy & C-Ride @ mpa, FL) 14 // T-Roy, Pat om, Laveranues GA) 08 // DJ Q45 & DJ Element leans, LA) 03 // Or Do lla . Ye Dr ew // (N DJ 11 er s, ) ar liv Stand & De (Houston, TX sonville Jagu st (Augusta, s party (Aus@ Cuban Club (Ta ize Boyz @ Glo ngz @ Powerfe son of the Jack E’s Texas Relay ugs N Harmony // John Hender , FL) 07 // Kydd Joe & Trey So ) 10 // Brandon & Dem Franch ) 13 // Bone Th wood Lane @ Spiro’s for OZON tin, TX) 18 // DJ Slym & GA a, nt tla FL ee (A i, ss se 102.3 (Tallaha mie Lee of Bass cci & Mr. Pookie on 6th St. (Aus @ Firestone (Orlando, @ Rollexx (Miam @ Club Esso for BMI Showca e // Scarface & Ja e & Shawn Jay in Lu son & The Clips // DJ Krunch On Yung Joc & T-Pa au weekend (Orlando, FL) 15 erence (Pensacola, FL) 17 // // 12 ) FL i, ) 20 // Sha John iam nf Lu City (Dallas, TX Gates Music Co release party (M for Front-Line’s eg hm s Gr yt er ) Rh @ isp GA @ Wh ins a, t nt @ es wk tla & gu o Ha cher A-Town Day (A Nix, & Willie Fis y, 4-Ize, & Janir // Small Soldier, Big Dougski, a (13); Marcus anise Chaplin @ essed, Wendy Da 19 (10); Luis Santan ew Verden & Je tth tin, TX) 16 // Bl ol party (Daytona Beach, FL) Ma // 22 ) Keadron Smith GA ); a, ,21 nt po ,15 tla R ,12 (A BC s @ 8,11 Makzilla Echo Studio Beverly (01,07,0 ie Fresh & JR @ J Lash (09); Julia FL) 21 // Mann Perrin (04,22); ic Er ); ,19 ,17 ward Hall (03,16 (20); Terrence Tyson (14) DJ Dap (06); Ed son Photo Credits: 5,18); Sha John (0 y cit er Riv Ms DeWayne (02);
OZONEMAG MAG////39 39 OZONE
Baton Rouge, LA
gle his breakthrough sin on the scene with ke for bro wn ie do bb We ors n do he the 05, he helped kick Rouge, LA. “Gimme That” in 20 whole city of Baton the d an t en nm tai him and the d hin Trill Enter be ht rig z Az ie brought his Bad os d the Trill Bo lai Lil o er du aft ie ly os Short While the Webbie/Bo in the wings for his ar. cle s wa e tur waited bigger pic rn Jonathan Reed), w that his foundation, Foxx (bo tandem into a Trill triple threat. No ll Tri an, is bubcle the so ge d an an ch sh to fre n so tur ,” an ode to being artist. “I wn lo Do so ll Me Tri a ipe as “W single xx is set to step up Fo , ” the try m, un tea co ing the s nn bling acros I’m on a wi thing to prove, but bie and Boosie] eb [W y wa e ain’t saying I got no “Th y. hind r says confidentl for me to come be 23-years-old rappe ng. So it’ll be right thi ir the did y the came, me for myself.” them and make a na put Baton was attempting to Entertainment, Foxx eased an independent Before joining Trill rel nt his by his lonesome. He changed the mome Rouge on the map cer Out Cha, but things du gle pro Jun a use ho It’s ined m album titl nds of the Trill Fa ha er the Aft in d ”). de om lan “Zo album snippet ” and Boosie’s Webbie’s “Bad Bitch talent and Mouse (producer of recognized Foxx’s use Mo r, ple sam um Foxx into alb ing ’s ng xx Fo bri er ng heari the rapper. Soon aft the budding Baton er aft ht ug so y tel immedia a deal with s, Foxx had inked the Trill Fam studio Rouge label.
40 40////OZONE OZONEMAG MAG
y bbie, Foxx is finall nd to Boosie and We Me rou ipe ckg “W ba n. tio the g rac yin att ng After pla as Trill’s next comi set ge is sta xx ter Fo d cen e an ready to tak lboard charts climbing up the Bil ts: Trill Fam Down,” is currently tertainment Presen En ll Tri um alb s el’ lab p (featuring ssi the Go t on ee ar Str pe ap to sylum debut album ll/A Tri hopes to his g xx sin Fo ). ea rel before ll and T-Pain from UGK, Paul Wa m front men. “I Fa ll Tri his guest appearances m fro and stand apart Webbie and carve his own niche n as ‘that other dude that raps with ow kn be to .” nt me wa na n n’t do my ow s. “I want to make Boosie,’” Foxx say er years of t of the struggle. Aft Foxx has made it ou ds meet, he’s finally living Most importantly, en udly. wage jobs to make erful,” Foxx says pro out working minimum made my life wond me m] ht Fa ug rill bro “[T ey ly. Th ab . comfort d pizzas ips. You sh baskets, delivere “I done did it all. Pu ht me a house. Got ‘bout four, five wh ug bro t of all that. I jus just don’t know.” ginning. “That ‘Wipe t this is just the be tha s ist ins ain’t heard wn Do Mr. Wipe Me doors for me. Ya’ll ; it opened a lot of eves. I ain’t no sle my up ff Me Down’ took off stu dicts. “I got some nothing yet,” he pre t getting started, man.” // jus I’m er. nd wo one-hit g Yella per // Photo by Kin Words by Randy Ro
Brewton, Joc, Catherine , LA) 03 // Yung // DJ Money Fresh, ns lea Or ew (N er 05 (Augusta, GA) T’s Stand & Deliv sic Conference Baby Boy @ BE dd Joe, & DJ Cox @ Powerfest @ Greg Gates Mu OZONE’s Texas , Young Dro, & Ky pio BG 1, or // e Sc 02 llo DJ ) & Me FL $ r y, a, te fo nn mp ’s Ga Da iro (Ta eg ie, Sp Gr ye nn // @ Sk Ma ce 06 @ ) ite Boy, & Cubo I Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Gamble & Scarfa ckson State (Jackson, MS) ew Orleans, LA Wh io (N ll, Ke rty // bu pa Pit 08 , se ) ce lea TX Ja re 01 // Chan Esso for BM shoot (Houston, a & Rich Boy @ for Baby Boy’s Esso for BMI Wright @ Club pa @ Club 300 My Block” video la, FL) 10 // Boo da Boss Play B, Jim Jonsin, & B Rich @ Club T-Pain, & Byron Weebie, & DJ Po b G’s “Reppin’ day party co rd Ro BO th sa Wa p, of bir en t h (P om 5t se his To e ce r ty, th fo en DJ or e on nfer Chi-Town Sh a, Mannie Fresh, Banner & DJ Holliday @ Hous Gates Music Co ss & Yung Redd am ston, TX) 17 Cla eg Dr ou Gr E(H DJ // @ U // TS 07 mz 12 ) @ ) e (Pensacola, FL Dead Fresh Custo e Dude concert (Houston, TX , TX) 14 // David bolous, & J-Qu // as Fa , t (Houston, 09 all ) oo (D mp t TX sh Lu , er // eo nc tin 16 th co us vid ) pin’ My Block” Relays party (A ew Orleans, LA 2 Main for Devin & Foxx @ Palladium for K104 ep (N 31 “R ’ My Block” er @ i his pin liv Al ep of De & t & “R se de nd G’s ie Du the the set of Rob 11 // Devin the t Daddy, Lil Boos y, Young A, & Shawt @ BET’s Sta // George Lopez & Rob G on on Ca n, TX) ke // sto Ke 13 ou Lil ) (H & n GA G, nta, rsity of Housto nce J, Baby Bo Orleans, LA) 18 tin, TX) 20 // Slim Thug, Rob Showcase (Atla an Boyz @ Unive us Young Dro, Terre @ BET’s Stand & Deliver (New ism (A // He 15 rty // ) pa s 22 GA ) a, lay , TX (Atlant g Dro Texas Re 1); Marcus s party (Austin ’s for OZONE’s dy Dolla, & Youn Luis Santana (0 E’s Texas Relay // Terrance J, La wg, Dread, & Mike Hee @ Spiro Kool Laid (10); Spiro’s for OZON ); @ (13 ce lla Da fa k ar Ye ar g Sc & Sp TX) 19 // // Rapid Ric ,16,18,20,22); Kin ouston, TX) 21 ron Smith (07,11 video shoot (H 2,14,19,21); Kead 8,1 4,0 3,0 (0 rly 6,09); Julia Beve ) Edward Hall (0 ,17 Photo Credits: DeWayne (02,05,15
OZONEMAG MAG////41 41 OZONE
B y l l e h S S before music. At a different person helly Bradley was direction. She was g on aded in the wr 14, her life was he and out of trainning the streets, in skipping school, run ters, and hanging enile detention cen ing schools and juv s, Rough Raleigh. up gro p Ho , NC’s pioneer Hip Ludacwith one of Raleigh er wrote a song about Shelly (think mb t made me tha ”) gh ne lei Ra Go l h Gir ug A Ro vin The Dude’s “Lil’ De ned or ” nfi ve co , Lo y sat e wa ris’ “Runa ys. And as sh self-destructive wa that in ng so ly rep her reflect on her a ote ] was ool walls, she wr r path. “[The song to her training sch n a newfound caree now 24, aw sp uld wo ct pe retros Shelly, I was at the time,” an outlook on how g. un yo says. “I was
m. I lly minding my mo the streets. Not rea l for me and cal up ke wa I was wild. I was in a d s a turning point an think the song wa a write.” lly made me wann ua act it d An . my life eets, reviews from the str ord received raved to Shelly’s response rec hibited on that track was enough ing she ex 10 years after penn and the potential e a rap career. And us uo rsu pu pic ns to y co st ell Sh mo e ’s convinc one of Raleigh, NC is B. y ve ell ha Sh s s, ow me sh her first rhy ne. Her live burgeoning rap sce outshines emcees in the city’s rolinas and Shelly Ca the t ou gh ou thr e rous laz me ab nu s r ge he g sta t rin lef le counterparts du ma r he of many collaborations. enfemale emcee is an But in Hip Hop, the man’s wo a it, l tel T BE Let dangered species. as a minated industry is role in this male do oots. The obstacles sh any sex object for video with the struggles women face coupled game rap the o int ing ak artist has when bre eer for women an l car makes a successfu rs lished female rappe elusive task. Estab Trina have all d an a nn aw Sh , like Remy Ma in their record labels been released from recent months. nt Shelly B. is deter But the independe on her it ke ma can e sh mined to prove le lp of a superstar ma own without the he the game, which into artist leading her t her upcoming debu is the premise for . “No Conz sig Co No um alb independent to what I’m bringing signz is to explain ist art an as me t jus the table, and that’s ’t need big name esn do t tha t en with tal me cosigns from producers or big na ople know that pe other artists to let s. “I want people I’m hot,” Shelly say I have been doing t tha d an rst to unde by myself without rd, ha ng this, worki des behind me, du of a whole bunch thout being the without a crew, wi the Queen of that or s thi of y Lad First now. I just want e cad de a t for almos for that.” // me ct pe people to res - Randy Roper
42 // OZONE MAG
& Malik Abdul @ GA) 03 // DJ Q45 Jim Jonsin & Man, ta us ug (A st // rfe (Miami, FL) 05 inment @ Powe um rs & King Enterta E and Carol City release party (Denver, CO) 07 // Lil Flip alb de Ry t as Co st ON se Ea ung A @ BET’s ustin, TX) 02 // k & E-Class @ Sobe Live for OZ son theater for OZONE showca Yo (A & k, nia Un Ma y, sic Bo y @ Mu int Blan o Parker Robin ggi, Shawt, Baby on for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers , DJ Chill & Rand o, FL) 04 // Po Gotti Boy @ Cle a, GA) 09 // Ju Mo 01 // Jonny Kash Line’s Luau weekend (Orland owcase (Atlant // Young Dzo & Blackout @ y Roper @ The Sh 06 I nd ) BM Ra GA tr & fo a, on y Fr nt ed so r r, Junior Reid, tla (A b Es Kenn Whispers fo ) 13 // Benisou Fresh @ Club 300 for Baby TX r BMI Showcase Mannie Fresh & DJ Jelly @ Clu te (Jackson, MS) 11 // Keith n, fo sto so Es ou b (H t Clu oo TX) 08 // nie Fresh @ zzy, & DJ Money r OZONE’s @ Jackson Sta Block” video sh Depot (Houston, 15 // DJ Popa, Di DJ & Spark Dawg @ Spiro’s fo Club esse & Rich Boy G’s “Reppin’ My signing @ Music A @ se (Denver, CO) , LA) 10 // DJ Fin la Kyleon on the set of Rob t // ca ns en 17 ow lea ) sh inm Or FL E rta h, ON ew te ac (N OZ En & Kil BCR (Daytona Be // Skye & the ladies of Block 04 Stand & Deliver son theater for ad, Slim Thug, o Parker Robin Lounge during 19 Palladium for K1 ) 12 // Hardhe Cle ua ) FL @ , @ Aq CO y ee r, @ dd rlz ss ve w Da Gu ha t en m Cre lla (D Ca d De & (Ta se ndo, FL) 14 // Fresh & Zopoun 21 // Fabolous OZONE showca rla r ) an fo (O iti MS r a Ha n, te din // so ea Me ck th 16 n ) (Ja Fiesta ns, LA Robinso anson @ WJMI rty (New Orlea @ Cleo Parker ); Marie, & Stan Br Boy’s release pa (Austin, TX) 18 // Crazy 380 Abdul (06,14,18 y, Big Baby Alice da lli ) rty Ho FL pa y s h, Ja ac lay // id (10,20); Malik Be 20 La na ) ol to GA Texas Re Ko ay ; a, (D 1) nt R (2 tla BC lla owcase (A ge during (07,12); King Ye Esso for BMI Sh ) 22 // Luc Duc @ Aqua Loun Keadron Smith , TX 2,05,08,17,19); (0 rly ve Be concert (Dallas lia ) ; Ju 3,11 Eric Perrin (22) rrence Tyson (0 ward Hall (01); city (13,16); Te Bogan (04); Ed 9,15); Ms River (0 e yn Wa De Photo Credits: s Marcu
OZONEMAG MAG////43 43 OZONE
hile many indepen dent rap labels are funded by crack sal and trappers turne es d rappers, B. Simm is a little different the norm. Louisville, from KY na tiv e Simm makes it cle not a dope boy, bu ar that he is t sti to be a hustler,” he ll makes dope music. “You ain’t gotta says confidently. “I touch bricks just want people to I’m a grinder and I’m just trying to pu know that t some real grind to something real tha the music, t people can feel.” And to this point, pe ople are definitely feelin’ his hustle. His gious club banger “Rope-A-Dope” pro ves that B. Simm ha contacapabilities and ma s hit-making ins potential, but don’t tream think that Stremelyne Entertai nment’s signature artist is all about club tracks, his music ha s much more depth and subject content. “I’m bringing it ba ck to real music. If you hear [my single] “Rope A Dope” and you think that I’m a dance typ e rapper, then you’re gonna be thrown for a complete loop,” he says. “I do it all. I’m 21 doing what it takes most people 30 ye ars into their life to do.” Though the Lost Cit y’s rejects the party mu Hero sic making relegation, he still know have fun with his cra s how to ft, but more importantly, he is serious about his work. When you firs his music, it become t listen to s apparent that B. Simm is no t what you would expect from your average Kentucky emcee. “In Louisville it de finitely ain’t no people walking aro straw hats and shit; und in hell naw,” he laughs. “No dis respect to the Nappy Roots, but a lot of people are thrown off by the whole country thing. It’s not really country up here.” This Louisville slugg er hopes that proving his ve rsatility will ensure future hits. “My thing is my versatility, and I bri different style. It can ng a whole ’t be classified as just South, or Ea or nothing. It’s a litt st Coast, le everything and I thi bit of nk people will really enjoy what I’m bringing to the table. I’m just gonna come in and make good mu sic, man.”
44 // OZONE MAG
Good music or not, B. Simm still has ma ny obstacles to ov of which include de ercome, most feating the typical Kentucky stereotyp thus far hindered B. es, that have Simm from nationa l prominence. Howe that in the long run ver, he feels , his hometown hu rdles will work in from Kentucky, I thi his favor. “Being nk it’s harder to op en doors, but in a helps,” he says. “It way it also ’s almost impossible for a Kentucky artist so if you can alter their mind and ma to make it, ke them see you in it’s legendary. It’s a different way, almost epic.” // Words by Eric N. Pe rrin // Photo by Eri c Johnson
? e n o z o g in d a e r s ’ o h w
r BMI Show@ Club Esso fo 01 // DJ Drama ie Fresh @ nn Ma // 02 ) case (Atlanta, GA owcase (Atlanta, GA) I Sh Club Esso for BM @ Spring y & Slick Pulla 03 // Young Jeez ach, FL) 04 // 5th Ward Be 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 ica // 8Ball & MJG (Ch a, GA) 07 // Big Neil nt tla in the studio (A (Cincinnati, cords club night Esso @ Locdown Re Club @ od Ho Da N OH) 08 // Boyz ) 09 // se (Atlanta, GA for BMI Showca estone for Fir @ y ne Mo G// DJ Chris Turner & (Orlando, FL) 10 Yung Joc concert @ The Moon for TJ’s tch Bishop & Top No FL) 11 rs (Tallahassee, DJ’s Tastemake 96 (Miami, r we Po @ tz // DJ Fingerprin Nice @ e Pro & DJ Mista VA) FL) 12 // DJ Jo Beach, a ini rg (Vi ge The Aqua Loun unge Mike @ Aqua Lo 13 // DJ Magic se party ea rel pe xta mi for Tarvoria’s ney FL) 14 // DJ Mo (Daytona Beach, 300 for b Clu @ ve oo Fresh & Raj Sm Orleans, se party (New Baby Boy’s relea le @ Spring Bling sty Pro LA) 15 // DJ Slym h, FL) 16 // DJ (West Palm Beac pool party R BC @ e icl art with his BCR Lay FL) 17 // Fam(Daytona Beach, lk, VA) 18 // Gun fo or (N @ The Norva Sobe l City Cartel @ Play of the Caro se party ea rel g ma E Live for OZON ld & // Hot Boy Rona (Miami, FL) 19 Baby Boy’s r fo 0 30 b Clu Baby Boy @ ) 20 // ew Orleans, LA release party (N (West Palm ng Bli g rin Sp b Jim Jones @ Lil Scrappy @ Clu Beach, FL) 21 // FL) 22 // Lyfe o, nd rla Legends (O n quency for Legio Jennings @ Fre nta, GA) 23 tla (A se ca ow of Doom sh ng ton @ Spring Bli // Marques Hous FL) 24 // Mike h, ac Be (West Palm @ FL) 25 // Mims Lighty (Orlando, ndo, FL) 26 // rla (O a Fiesta Medin , sic Mania (Austin Paul Wall @ Mu ill, & Keio Ch DJ , Ric pid TX) 27 // Ra 28 ’s (Austin, TX) Gamble @ Spiro g Bling (West rin Sp @ // Rich Boy y ) 29 // Rock Cit Palm Beach, FL nference Co sic Mu te$ @ Greg Ga l 30 // Roland “Li (Pensacola, FL) g Bling rin Sp @ ll we Duval” Po h, FL) 31 // Sel (West Palm Beac & Smoke D e on Oz ’ Fish reppin & 32 // Slim Thug (Jackson, MS) , TX) tin us (A nia Ma Gu @ Music r & Slick ‘Em 33 // Spectacula @ Spring Bling of Pretty Ricky h, FL) 34 // (West Palm Beac son @ Aqua Ma ra Elo & Tarvoria ria’s mixtape Lounge for Tarvo na Beach, to ay (D rty release pa g Yang Twinz FL) 35 // The Yin lk, VA) 36 orfo @ The Norva (N b Esso for BMI // T-Pain @ Clu nta, GA) 37 Showcase (Atla KLC @ Greg & y Da y // Wend rence nfe Co sic Gate$ Mu 38 // Young (Pensacola, FL) for BCR Dro @ Club Aqua ) FL (Daytona Beach, Coco Photo Credits: ward Hall Renea (17); Ed Perrin (29,31,37); Eric verly (06,22); Julia Be ,21,24, (01,02,08,10,18 Mindz 27,36); Luxury dul (26,32); Malik Ab rcus ); Ma (03,09,20,23,28 ,19); Ms DeWayne (04,14 ,25,34); Rivercity (13,16 ); Ro,33 Poppy (11,15,30 rrence ); Te hit Loomba (05 Tyson (38)
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e had a show in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The people who owned the club, the original place where [the promoters] were going to do the show, found out they were doing a rap show and told them they couldn’t do it there. So they found another spot like 12 miles away from Fayetteville, in another little county. It was one of the spots where they have rodeos and shit. A week before that, we were supposed to be in Fayetteville performing at a frat party, but Project Pat performed instead of us. That shit went on with no problems, but when it came to our show, they had roadblocks set up and shit. This was only a week later, twelve miles from where the fraternity house was. The police had roadblocks set up everywhere and they were checking driver’s licenses, trying to deter people from coming. Our people went over there to do soundcheck and the police were just following them all through the city, just ridiculous shit. The number of police they had was just ridiculous. I know you need extra security and extra police for rap shows, but shit, they were actually deterring people from coming to the place. The show got cancelled and we really just got on a plane the next morning and left. That was basically it. What happened was hella unnecessary, but we’re used to that shit because we live in Memphis. Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, they’re all kind of one and the same in those small towns and how the white folks are. We only had one thing happen similar to that before. We were in Tupelo, Mississippi and they did the same shit. We were [performing at] a civic center or something. We did perform in Tupelo, but they had the police following us. They had a bunch of roadblocks set up. Every second car that pulled out of the lot was being followed and pulled over. They were checking people for drunk driving and suspended licenses and warrants on the night of the concert. They know they’re deterring people [from coming to the show] with that shit. I think it’s just the way these small towns are. These are places that are assbackwards with the way the world is going. They don’t give a fuck what the world thinks about black people and Hip Hop music. Those muthafuckers are thinking, “I ain’t gon’ have this shit in my town.” They have that mentality where they don’t want that kind of shit in their town. It’s a lot of that. Those two events I mentioned were the only things that ever happened like that recently, but Memphis is one of those types of places too. It’s a lot of
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“EVERY CONCERT IS A POTENTIAL HAZARD, NOT JUST WITH RAP. WHEN YOU HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE IN ONE PLACE, EVERY EVENT LIKE THAT IS A RISK. I KNOW THEY [HAVE EXTRA POLICE] BECAUSE THEY THINK SOMETHING’S GON’ HAPPEN AT EVERY RAP CONCERT, BUT THAT’S JUST NOT THE CASE. SOME PEOPLE COME OUT TO ACTUALLY ENJOY THEMSELVES AND SEE THEIR FAVORITE GROUP DO THEIR FAVORITE SONG.” equality here with the young people, but a lot of the older white people who run shit are still racist. At the end of the day, they don’t understand that it’s just music. But still, any real hustler knows that it’s bread in those little towns, so we’re just gonna take those chances. I don’t think nothing will ever deter us from coming to any one of those small towns to perform. That’s just the way it is. I grew up in Memphis and I’m kinda used to racist and prejudiced white people. I kinda just look the other way with them. As long as they ain’t touching me physically, I’m cool. Every concert is a potential hazard, not just with rap. When you have a lot of people in one place, every event like that is a risk. I know they [have extra police] because they think something’s gon’ happen at every rap concert, but that’s just not the case. Some people come out to actually enjoy themselves and see their favorite group do their favorite song. But, nothing’s going to deter us. We’re about to perform in Ohio right now. The album Ridin’ High is doing real good, and it’s in stores right now. If you don’t have it you need to go get it, and 8Ways Entertainment, that Light Up The Bomb is in stores right now. This year I’ve got The Vet And The Rookie dropping the end of August, which is me and my artist Devius. His solo album will be dropping too, probably sometime in October. Life is good. The Fayetteville incident is really miniscule compared to the other things going on in our lives. It’s tiny. It’s like a hair on my nutsack. // - As told to Julia Beverly
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Palladium for & Slim Thug @ 01 // Fabolous // Trey Songz @ 02 ) TX , as all K104 concert (D Yung Joc with usta, GA) 03 // Powerfest (Aug @ Legends iew erv int ue iss his OZONE sex & Tarvoria 04 // 3rd Degree (Hampton, VA) , FL) 05 // Big ola ac ns (Pe b @ Platinum Clu e Beat car Real @ 97.9 Th Karl of On Tha V & Johnson g Big // 06 ) show (Dallas, TX ispers (Greenville, MS) Wh Boy @ Southern b Esso for rilla Zoe @ Clu 07 // Block & Go ) 08 // ChamilGA a, nt tla (A BMI Showcase lm Beach, g Bling (West Pa lionaire @ Sprin BloodRaw @ & ley ke Wa es FL) 09 // Charl nsacola, Conference (Pe Greg Gates Music a & Coco @ Aqua ne Re FL) 10 // Coco // Coco a Beach, VA) 11 Lounge (Virgini rva (Norfolk, No e Th @ ell Renea & Pharr r OZONE’s ip @ Spiro’s fo VA) 12 // DJ Gr ) 13 // TX , tin us (A rty Texas Relays pa iro’s for OZONE’s Sp @ DJ Hella Yella 14 // DJ rty (Austin, TX) Texas Relays pa Gates Music Confereg Gr Hustleman @ ts, B, , FL) 15 // DJ Wa ence (Pensacola h, VA) 16 // ac Be a ini rg (Vi & Young Sav on for y Bay @ The Mo Hurricane & Ba hassee, lla (Ta rs ke ma TJ’s DJ’s Taste Cool ny Express’ Loc FL) 17 // Jam Po mpa, FL) 18 // K (Ta 2 11 Jock @ Club // Lil (Miami, FL) 19 Foxx @ 99 Jamz Matrix for @ a rci Ga di Keith & Bran ) 20 ert (Houston, TX .’s Slim Thug conc @ O.C th oo Sm Big & // Lil Scrappy Boney VA) 21 // Mac(Virginia Beach, Legion of r fo cy en qu of P$C @ Fre (Atlanta, GA) 22 Doom showcase ghbred, & Derek ou or // Maurice, Th for TJ’s DJ’s on Mo e Jurand @ Th ssee, FL) 23 ha lla (Ta Tastemakers from Urban ie ok Po & // Mr. Pookie P Love, // 24 ) TX , South (Austin @ Greg te liy De DJ & Wendy Day, (Pensacola, ce ren nfe Co Gates Music T @ The Norva FL) 25 // Pusha Red // Rico @ Club 26 ) (Norfolk, VA ) 27 // VA , ws Ne rt po Velvet (New llala Kyleon @ Pa Slim Thug & Kil allas, TX) (D ert nc co 04 dium for K1 @ 97.9 The Beat 28 // Steve Nice t , TX) 29 // Stree as all (D car show Music tes Ga eg Gr @ Pharmacy // nsacola, FL) 30 Conference (Pe Visions b Clu @ op Dr Sway & DJ , SW party (Austin for OZONE’s SX @ Fiesta atz Be izz Sw TX) 31 // y o, FL) 32 // Tit Medina (Orland ’s DJ’s TJ r fo on Mo e Boy @ Th llahassee, FL) Tastemakers (Ta Get Em Awards e th @ 33 // Treal // T-Roy @ 34 ) FL , (Pensacola ring Bling Sp g rin du e Sobe Liv da Loca & Ve // 35 ) (Miami, FL Beat car e Th .9 97 @ her son // Wendy 36 ) TX , as all show (D The @ rly ve Be lia Day & Ju stemakTa ’s DJ ’s TJ r Moon fo e, FL) 37 // ers (Tallahasse nnie Fresh Ma & e yn Wild Wa ns, LA) 38 lea Or ew @ Q93 (N piring the ins y ez Je g // Youn rginia (Vi 2.1 10 t Ho kids @ ) VA Beach, Coco Renea Photo Credits: ,26,38); ,20 ,15 (03,10,11 ,05,06, Edward Hall (04 ,35); 09,14,23,28,29,30 Julia ); Eric Perrin (21,33 ,32); ,22 Beverly (02,07,16 King (19); Keadron Smith xury Yella (01,27); Lu Malik Mindz (12,13); ); Marcus Abdul (08,17,31 Rivercity Ms ); (37 e DeWayn rrence Te ); (18 y pp (34); Po ) (36 Tyson
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DRUNKEN RANT BET: THE BILLION DOLLAR SCAPEGOAT
hen you’re an African-American, stereotypes come with the territory. From the corner to the corner office, we are faced on a daily basis with a destructive reputation. It’s frustrating to those of us that carry ourselves and our heritage with dignity to be thought of in such a vilified manner that is a result of the asinine actions of a few. But BET isn’t the place to direct these frustrations. Many black people feel that the execs behind BET are nothing more than sellouts, smut peddlers who carry a part of the blame for some of the ills of the black community.
nothing to stand around all day in the hopes that the director or rapper might find their look valuable. Some are there to “service” the entourage, and honestly, they give the rest of the models a bad name. Most of them are well-spoken and down to earth and are participating in these videos in order to carry out a viable plan to market themselves and further their career in modeling, acting or dancing. Why aren’t these women called out? I’m not saying they’re guilty of anything, but if one presents the argument that BET degrades women, why not address the problem at its root?
The heat coming towards BET is that as a network that’s supposed to be the voice of black people, it only shows images depicting black men as thugs and black women as hoes. People claim that there is very little programming focused on the positive efforts of blacks around the world. They cry out when shows like BET Tonight with Tavis Smiley and BET Nightly News are cancelled. But here’s the kicker: BET is a business! It’s not a non-profit or a grassroots organization committed to bettering the overall image of black people. Its purpose is to bolster the stock value, even if by doing so, it plays into a few stereotypes. BET knows that its core audience is the 18-34 year old demographic and we tune in to watch videos, reality shows and maybe the occasional In Living Color rerun.
Black people have this spirit of rebelling against the man in charge instead of blaming the party most responsible. I know drug dealers do their part to drag down neighborhoods for the profit of a few, but why doesn’t anyone tell an addict to get the needle out of their arm or the pipe out of their mouth? I know the subject is taboo, but if there aren’t any crackheads, then what’s a crack dealer to do? We all sympathize with the underdog; that’s human nature. Being an underdog alone mitigates the very crime deserving of persecution, but sometimes they need someone to wake them up. They need to realize that their own personal actions are spreading a virus that is affecting their own people with a chain-reaction effect that might reach their own sons or daughters one day. I know it’s harsh, but it’s reality.
If BET shuts down tomorrow because of some moralistic enlightenment, rappers and video girls won’t disappear off of the face of the earth. Corporate America is quite aware of the marketability of Hip Hop. One of the first informal lessons we all learn about marketing is that sex sells. Perhaps the sexuality in Hip Hop videos could be a little more subtle, but one of the reasons black, white, red, and green people like rap is because of its rawness, because it doesn’t hold any punches. Demand creates supply, not the other way around. Why shouldn’t BET capitalize off of them? Better yet, why don’t any of the other networks don’t get any flack? They show the same videos, in addition to fish-out-of-water/new money reality shows depicting blacks in a less than savory light. Not only do Viacom’s other networks have no problem airing some of this offensive programming with augmented ignorance (much to the delight of the predominately white audience), but aside from a couple of black history month infomercials every February, and a generic Hip Hop hour, these networks don’t care about most of the issues that affect the black community. BET goes out of its way to bring light to such issues as HIV/AIDS awareness and obesity, issues that run rampant in the black community. Imagine a world with non-blacks assessing African-Americans on par with the Flava Flav show. Oh, it’s scary, isn’t it? Instead of going at BET, go at your cousins, or roommates or whomever watching these videos to try to change their opinions on what acceptable programming is. Until then, there will never be much of an argument.
Those women at Spelman who launched the attack on Nelly never even realized that several of their own were actually in the “Tip Drill” video, or dance at Magic City on a regular basis. With all of the controversy in the entertainment industry, I wonder how many of these women pulled a stripper aside and said, “Listen sister, you’re better than this. I know you’re getting money right now, but how do these men regard you?” I suspect this is because these dancers will curse them out, claiming that they are minding their own business and providing for their family, and could give a fuck what anyone else thinks of them. If you really feel that strongly about BET and their programming, convince your peers not to watch it. Don’t launch this passionate fight against a faceless enemy; call out an individual.
I know it’s a lot easier to blame BET, the multi-billion dollar international company, than to single out the poor little models, but give credit where credit is due. BET is not in the business of producing videos. They don’t make women dance around with their asses hanging out and they don’t make rappers get in front of the camera with a blunt dangling from their lips with their entourage flashing gang signs behind them. In reality, video girls who aren’t in a lead role (“extras”) are paid next to
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I’ve been thinking this for a while and I’m glad I have an arena to speak my mind. Sometimes, I can see why white people can be racist. Not because of ignorance, or lack of education. Jack Nicholson said it best in The Departed: “If it’s one thing I have against the black chappies, it’s that they don’t realize that no one gives it to you. You have to earn it.” We’re always quick to bitch about something, but we never want to fight to change it. Our parents bled, sweat, and fought to change things in the 60s and here we are 40 years later at each others throats. BET employs blacks at all levels of the organization, so why don’t they get credit for that? Rappers go from 5th level crack dealers to making deals with Chevrolet and McDonald’s, but the negativity of their lives can never escape them. If I’m not mistaken, I’m sure even Oprah was a jumpoff at one point, but then she realized her ways. Why the fuck is she going at Ludacris and Ice Cube? Brothers and sisters, we have to fight for what we want. We’ve got affirmative action and integrated schools, and this is far from a happy ending, but we’ve got some ammo to work with. There are no more excuses. // - Mike Sims (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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er & aunt er with his moth 01 // David Bann thday party (Atlanta, bir @ House for his on @ Club Esso for Cann GA) 02 // Don // Twisted (Atlanta, GA) 03 l’s for BMI Showcase sta Cry b Clu @ JT r Black’s manage night (Dallas, TX) 04 ck Free Twisted Bla use for David Banner’s Ho // Plush Blue @ // Alyse (Atlanta, GA) 05 sions birthday party b Dimen Clu @ uly Pa Fields & Uncle The Moon 06 // Chaos @ (Pensacola, FL) llahassee, (Ta rs ke ma ste for TJ’s DJ’s Ta Magazine Renea & Streetz FL) 07 // Coco ach, VA) 08 // Be a ini rg (Vi @ Aqua Lounge The Moon & Hurricane @ Derrick Crooms llahassee, (Ta rs ke ma ste iro’s for TJ’s DJ’s Ta of Hot 93 3 @ Sp tin, FL) 09 // Deuce rty (Aus pa s lay Re as for OZONE’s Tex 97 9 Bink & guest @ TX) 10 // DJ Big (Dallas, TX) 11 // ow The Beat car sh rdi Gras dels @ Club Ma DJ Bigg V & mo f @ Power De DJ // 12 ) (Greenville, MS FLX, & 13 // DJ Deliyte, 96 (Miami, FL) sic ConferMu tes Ga eg Gr BloodRaw @ Strong, , FL) 14 // DJ D- ne ence (Pensacola Firesto @ y Gu CD & , DJ Nasty, Disco FL) 15 ncert (Orlando, for Yung Joc co ge (Miami, un Lo en yg Ox // DJ Entice @ imey, & ck of Spades, Gr FL) 16 // DJ Ja folk, VA) 17 or (N rva No e DJ Fontz @ Th unge h @ The Aqua Lo // DJ LES & Paris ) 18 // DJ Rapid VA h, (Virginia Beac ONE’s @ Spiro’s for OZ // Ric and Picazzo tin, TX) 19 us (A rty pa s Texas Relay r TJ’s @ The Moon fo DJ Stilo & crew ssee, FL) ha lla (Ta rs ke DJ’s Tastema .9 yte & Amy @ 97 20 // Dream, D’L , TX) 21 as all (D ow sh r The Beat’s ca ) 22 x (Houston, TX // Huey @ Matri ring Bling (West Sp @ d // Joe Houn sta ) 23 // KC @ Fie Palm Beach, FL // Kevin 24 ) FL o, nd Medina (Orla @ o Green Global and Gino of Gin Palm Beach, t es (W Spring Bling is @ Frequency FL) 25 // Kim Ell om showcase Do of for Legion // Lucy Lopez @ 26 ) (Atlanta, GA FL) 27 // Lui, iam Power 96 (M dina (Orlando, Me sta midee @ Fie b Dimensions Clu @ at Me FL) 28 // Mr CC & DJ // 29 ) FL , (Pensacola Yung Joc r fo ne to es Nasty @ Fir 30 // Nikita ) FL o, nd rla concert (O ston, ou (H cs cti Ta Keisha & Ill crew @ & ck Du pa Pa TX) 31 // a, FL) 32 // Pezo Club 112 (Tamp , & Big Smooth E DJ Coconuts, unge (Virginia Lo ua @ The Aq // Pope & Kaye 33 ) Beach, VA ua Lounge Aq @ Dunaway ) tona Beach, FL during BCR (Day ach @ Co & ks oo Br o 34 // Ric ng Joc concert Firestone for Yu // Roscoe P. 35 ) FL (Orlando, a Beach, VA) ini rg (Vi in Coldcha & guest dd Re ty aw 36 // Sh gion of Le r fo cy en @ Frequ nta, GA) tla (A se ca ow Doom sh y, & ChiBo h Ric y, fan 37 // Tif Street Dreams Town Shorty @ ns, LA) 38 lea Or ew tour (N BOB @ The & n ma ap // TJ Ch e, FL) sse ha lla (Ta Moon Coco Renea Photo Credits: ); Edward ,35 ,32 (07,16,17 ,20,28); Hall (03,05,10,11 ); ,36 Eric Perrin (25,30 Julia Beverly ,19,38); (01,02,04,06,08 (21); Keadron Smith Luxury Mindz dul (09,18); Malik Ab ,31,34); (14,22,23,27,29 e (37); Marcus DeWayn ,26) Poppy (12,15,24
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With every chart topping hit, box office smash and life changing verse; Southern Hip Hop is leaving a permanent dent on music and pop culture. Some marks were small while others grandiose, but all of them played a part in creating one of the biggest movements in music history. From the first Screw tape freestyle to Three 6 Mafia performing â€œTear Da Club Upâ€? at The Gate in Decatur, GA, all of us have landmarks in Southern Hip Hop that we hold dear to us. So, to complement our 30 Greatest Southern Artists and 20 Essential Southern Albums lists, here is a collection of 25 Great Moments in Southern Hip Hop History. - By Maurice G. Garland
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Limit army. Something like Hip Hop’s version of David and Goliath, Troy’s “We Ready” can be credited for starting the eventual downfall of P’s kingdom.
Master P & the No Limit Soldiers Take Charge Master P started his career in 1991 repping Richmond, California with In A Minute records. But he will always be remembered for putting New Orleans on the map with No Limit. In hindsight, his marketing genius is clearly what moved most of his music (and movies, clothes, etc.), not necessarily the quality of it. However you can’t deny that from 1996 to 1999 (especially 1997-98) No Limit had Tuesdays at the record store on lock.
“The South Got Something to Say”
Outkast Gets Booed at the 1995 Source Awards The 1995 Source Awards goes down in history as the show where the infamous East (Bad Boy) vs. West (Death Row) beef started. It is also remembered as the day where Outkast unexpectedly won the award for Best New Group of the Year — and got booed. The then baby-faced duo of Andre pre-3000 and Big Boi accepted their award with dignity, but a clearly frustrated Dre closed his acceptance speech with those six legendary words that still live to this day.
Game Over JULIA BEVERLY
T.I. vs. Lil Flip Beef
Free Pimp C!
The Ultimate Shoutout
Refusing to let his partner in rhyme become lost and forgotten during his three years in the pen, Bun B made sure the world knew who Pimp C was. Using his numerous cameo appearances as a platform, Bun often shouted Pimp’s name instead of his own, until his proclamation grew from an utterance into a slogan slapped on t-shirts and fitted caps. Even though Pimp C was released from prison in late 2005, the “Free Pimp C” campaign wasn’t officially laid to rest until months later with the release of Bun’s “Get Throwed” video, where he passes on wearing a “Free Pimp C” t-shirt.
Before T.I. and Lil’ Flip, Southern artists never really had any major beefs among each other that couldn’t be settled without fanfare. As unfortunate as it panned out to be, the conflict between these two emerging stars signaled that the South was officially a big blink on the rap radar. Words were had and fists were thrown, however, a closed door meeting with Rap-A-Lot records CEO J. Prince put an end to their volatile misunderstanding.
UGK Steals The Show UGK outshined Jay-Z on his own song long before Emimem showed Jigga who the real “Renegade” was. Pimp and Bun came so hard on “Big Pimpin’” that Hova had to go back and add a verse for the video version. What makes it even sweeter is that the song dropped in the midst of the torturous down time between Ridin’ Dirty and Dirty Money, giving UGK fans some much needed new material outside of that Dirty Money bootleg and Trill Azz Mixes. Six years later UGK still managed to steal the show when they performed “Big Pimpin’” with Jay on 106th & Park, leaving the crowd shouting “U-G-K!”
Oscar Joins the Mafia Sure, Gangsta Boo, Koopsta Nicca, Crunchy Black and Lord Infamous were no longer in the group. But Oscar replaced all four of them in grand fashion when DJ Paul & Juicy J won the Academy Award for Best Song with “Hard Out Here For A Pimp” from the Hustle & Flow soundtrack. Even though some locals feel it didn’t do much to help the plight of Memphis’ Hip Hop scene in general, it’s still a good look, and helped Three 6 expand their audience and land gigs like their MTV reality show HollyHood.
Pastor Troy Takes Shots At the Tank In 1999, an unknown rapper from Georgia named Pastor Troy packed his Holy Bible, loaded his assault rifle and started a war with Master P’s towering No
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Do Yo’ Dance
The Bankhead Bounce Goes Nationwide Leaning and rocking was not the first dance to come out of Atlanta’s shifty Westside. Bankhead also gave us that bounce where all you had to do was move your shoulders up and down, and modify it with baseball swings or fishing reel motions if you pleased. The A-Town Players and Diamond & D-Roc (now of the Ying Yang Twinz) can both take credit in popularizing the dance, but it was Outkast’s “Benz or Beamer” video that took it nationwide. The dance officially died when people started fucking it up on Soul Train.
Snap Out Of It
Too Much Drama
The Snap Music Craze Before the media and labels slapped a name on it, “snap music” was simply referred to as “that Bankhead shit.” D4L and Dem Franchize Boyz have had quarrels over who created the sound and its accompanying dance, but all can agree that producer K-Rab is the wizard behind the curtain and the Poole Palace is the birthplace. Up until T-Pain’s “Buy U A Drank” and The Alliance’s “Tatted Up,” the sound had all but died. It looks to be making a second goround.
The RIAA Raids the Aphilliates On January 16, 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia, the RIAA, GBI, FBI and all the rest of the alphabet boys ran up in the AMG’s offices charging the mixtape titans of racketeering. DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon were both arrested at gunpoint as their CDs, cars and studio equipment were confiscated. Since then the mixtape game has been in slow motion with DJs fearing jail time for simply doing their jobs.
Money In the Bank
Cash Money Records Cashes In Right in the middle of No Limit’s reign, another New Orleans based label was set to make a name for itself. In 1998, after years of independent success, Cash Money Records secured a $30 Million distribution deal with Universal. They wasted no time in flooding the streets with albums from their mega group the Hot Boyz that was made up of soloists Juvenile, Lil Wayne, B.G. and Turk. Their unique brand of music included elements of N.O. bounce and straight up flossing, giving the world new catch phrases like “Back Dat Azz Up” and “Bling Bling.”
The September 2003 Source “New South” Cover
Many consider 2003 to be the year that the Southern Takeover began, partially due to the September 2003 issue of The Source that featured Lil’ Jon, David Banner and Bonecrusher on the cover. That image and the accompanying story introduced the rest of the country to already-known-to-us names like T.I., Youngbloodz and Killer Mike.
Suave House Records Opens Doors Starting with the 8Ball & MJG classic Comin’ Out Hard, Suave House helped build the foundation of Southern Hip Hop musically and professionally. Landmark albums from South Circle, Crime Boss, Tela and solos from Ball & G made Suave one of the definitive forces in the 1990s. In what would become an evolving trend, Universal Records gave Suave a lucrative distribution deal in 1997. Unfortunately, the relationship never maxed out its full potential, leaving the door open for labels like Cash Money to follow and capitalize.
Rest In Screw
DJ Screw Leaves Behind A Legacy In the days before November 16, 2000 Robert Earl Davis, Jr was a living legend. The day after, he became a mythical figure. When DJ Screw formed the Screwed Up Click in the early 90s he was showcasing the kind of unity that that Hip Hop heads thought exclusively belonged to the Wu-Tang Clan. Names like Big Hawk (R.I.P.), Big Pokey, Fat Pat (R.I.P.), Big Moe, Z-Ro, E.S.G., Lil’ O, the Botany Boyz, and Trae would emerge as national stars as future members Lil’ Flip and Yungstar would contribute as well. Already a star in the eyes of Texans, the rest of the country wouldn’t get fully educated on his impact until after his untimely death and the 2005 Houston Hip Hop explosion.
Young Jeezy Makes It Snow
Taking a page out of 50 Cent’s book, Young Jeezy used the mixtape game to make himself the star that he is today. His Streetz Iz Watchin’ mixtape ushered in a new sound, but Trap Or Die introduced a new way of life. His shit-talking humor, easy-to-remember lyrics and shadowy mystique pretty much made you forget about P. Diddy’s voting campaign that he borrowed the name from. And love it or not, Trap Or Die helped usher in the genre now known as “coke rap.”
The Crunk Explosion
Crunk music was born in Memphis, crawled down to Atlanta and learned how to walk. The genre had been around for years starting with groups like Three 6 Mafia and the Prophet Posse. But Lil’ Jon’s emergence and branding of the music (it eventually got its own energy drink, CRUNK!!!) in 2002-03 is what got the world jumping, screaming and unfortunately mimicking. The music is still relevant to people who were down with it from day one, but lately, its biggest highlight has been Jon’s $500,000 chain claiming that it isn’t dead.
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Big Mike Replaces Willie D in The Geto Boys When Willie D left the Geto Boys after their platinum album We Can’t Be Stopped, New Orleans rapper and former Death Row recording artist Big Mike was chosen to replace him. Not only did he come close to making Willie an afterthought (no disrespect to “muthafuckin’ D”), he gave Scarface a run for his money in regards to being the dopest lyricist in the group. Although he was only around for 1993’s Til’ Death Do Us Part, Mike made his presence felt and went on to release solo projects on Rap-A-Lot including the lauded Somethin’ Serious and Still Serious.
Big Shoes To Fill
Hip Hop Moves to the South
The Founding of Def Jam South Looking to ride the approaching wave of the South’s dominance of rap music, flagship rap label Def Jam created Def Jam South and named Scarface its boss. His first signee was some new guy named Ludacris. They also signed Haystak and a handful of other acts, but none of them came out. Lil’ Flip was signed briefly but he soon left. As of now, the label is non-existent but it did help bring attention to the Southeast during its brief operation.
David Banner Unites Fellow Rappers to Help Hurricane Katrina Victims
Frustrated with the delayed responses from President Bush and FEMA, David Banner rekindled his activist spirit and put on the Heal The Hood benefit concert in Atlanta to raise money for New Orleans’ evacuees. The concert featured Young Jeezy, Lil’ Jon, Busta Rhymes, Nelly, and Big Boi. T.I., who also did his part in raising money by challenging rappers and business owners on Atlanta radio to donate, performed as well. The Heal the Hood show raised over $500,000. The Right to Bear Arms, Legs and Breasts
Luke Skywalker and the 2 Live Crew Get Nasty with the Government “Sex sells” was an nationally accepted reality up until the 2 Live Crew decided to cash in. Their 1988 album As Nasty As They Wanna Be raised eyebrows and sexual awareness with songs like “Me So Horny” and “My Seven Bizzos.” But Broward County officials started arresting store owners for selling the controversial album because of its explicit sexual nature, and arrested 2 Live Crew members for performing the songs on stage. Eventually they beat the obscenity charges, released the politically charged Banned in the U.S.A. and continued to sell millions of records. But most importantly, it opened the lane for other rappers to practice true artistic expression, silencing censorship.
The Trials And Tribulations of Goodie Mob After two groundbreaking albums, and a third lackluster release, the Goodie Mob (who coined the term “Dirty South” with their ode to Atlanta’s South side) didn’t die over bullshit, but seemed to break up over it. Cee-Lo left the group in 2000 to pursue a solo career while the remaining members released an album titled One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show, which looked to be a Cee-Lo diss. During that time, Khujo was involved in a car wreck that would lead to his right leg being amputated. With their quarrels now behind them, Goodie Mob has reunited and plans to release a new full-length album.
In the Zone
1st Annual OZONE Awards
One fateful weekend in Orlando, FL, the likes of Young Jeezy and Rick Ross invaded the city best known for Disneyworld. The show was complimented with TJ’s DJ’s Tastemaker’s Music Conference. Hey, we might be biased, but it was a hell of a weekend. The first UGK performance since Pimp C’s release was the highlight of a show that included an all-star lineup (Yung Joc, Ludacris, Lil Wayne, etc.) and aired on MTV2. And, perhaps most amazing of all, everyone came in peace. Diamonds Are Forever
Outkast Sells 10 Million Records The thought of a rap group selling over 10 Million records is almost unimaginable nowadays. But just three years ago, the Pimp and the Poet put up Garth Brooks numbers with their Grammy award winning double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. To some, the album symbolized early signs of the group’s rumored split. Regardless, ‘Kast had definitely made their argument for being the best rap group ever.
Say Something Now
The Dirty South All-Stars Ransack the 2003 Source Awards Stage
Eight years after Andre Benjamin took to the Source Awards stage and proclaimed, “The South got something to say,” David Banner, Bonecrusher, Lil Flip, T.I., Lil Jon & the Eastside Boys, the YoungBloodz, Uncle Luke, The Ying Yang Twins, and whoever else could fit on the stage said something and said it loud. Capping off a night where Pastor Troy wowed the red carpet with his oversized yellow pick-up truck, “Neva Scared” was Song of The Year, and Lil Jon took home two awards, the Dirty South kicked the doors down with this performance. //
The Miami Bass Movement of the Early 90s Before there was buck, crunk, snap or trap music, bass music reigned supreme. 2 Live Crew exposed it to the world with controversial party lyrics while Orlando’s DJ Magic Mike contributed to the scene releasing back-toback albums throughout the decade. Groups like Poison Clan and Splack Pack gave it more street cred by a gangta element to it. Even though the sound began to die out towards the end of the 1990s, it is kept alive via massive play in strip clubs while remnants of the sound can still be heard in the stutter-step production of hitmakers like Timbaland.
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Aces of Bass
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ours is not the typical rapper story of someone who got shot five times and grew up in the heart of the ghetto. What was your childhood like? I grew up in a very blessed and privileged life. I had a great education. My family always supported me and everything like that. I went through the whole school thing. I was on a focused set path with that and midway through it I went to college in Southern California for film. I started messin’ with the music thing. I always loved Hip Hop, but I just started falling in love with freestylin’ and when I was 18 we moved to Miami and me and my Pops decided to start up SOBE Entertainment. What did he think about you wanting to rap considering your role in helping start the label? He thought I was crazy when I told him. He was like, “Yo, I know where you come from. You can’t rap, dawg.” I was like, “Man, I can rap, pops. I can work at it.” So I worked at it for four or five years. A lot of shit was wrong with my label. A lot of people didn’t believe in me. They said I needed to make songs catered to women. They were like, “He’s a pretty boy.” But that’s not all me. I made the decision when I dropped out of school when I met the executive producer for my project, Scott Storch. I told him I really wanted to do this Hip Hop thing. So I stopped school, moved to Miami, met up with [some cats] in the Poe Boy camp and just started workin’. I met writers, producers and after awhile, I started lookin’ at what I liked and started pickin’ that apart and it sort of merged into my own style to the point where I wanted to write everything from there on. It was a real wild ride. A lot of people turned on me and a lot of weird shit started happening, but my music got in the hands of Cash Money. They just happened to move into the same building with me when Hurricane Katrina happened. They got wind of my music, I did a song with Lil Wayne and the rest is history. They cosigned on the project. What other producers are you working with other than Scott Stortch? We got Steve Morales, Swizz Beatz and a lot of local Miami producers and dirty South producers that are on the come up right now. What was the grind like when you got to Miami in search of that ever-elusive rap career? I started working the Hip Hop scene in the streets. People thought I was crazy for a long time and didn’t think I could materialize into anything substantial, but I think the music speaks for itself. We’re really determined and focused. Every day I wake up is dedicated to selling this album and making sure that Hip Hop is not left the way it is now, cause it’s fucked up. What kind of prejudice have you run into along the way? Originally when my project was supposed to come out there were a lot of features associated with it. So it was like, “They sold out with the kid or is he just buying a shitload of features?” And you can believe that I buy them, but personally I believe another artist wouldn’t put their name on another artist’s track [if it’s whack] ‘cause that’s their reputation going on that track. And if the song is whack, I don’t want my name affiliated with it. So I stripped a lot of the features that were on the album and felt like a lot more of me needed to come out on this album. I sat in the studio and thought about what they said and my rhymes just became more vicious because of it and it made me who I was. I got some down South producers and came up with some crazy tracks and I think they come out on my album Crazee and Confuzed real well. Talk about the title of the album and what it means to you. Crazee and Confuzed. It’s everything. I think it’s like the closure of Hip Hop, to be honest with you, with my story. My story is real unique. I don’t come from the block. I don’t come from the streets. I was born real privileged. But Hip
Hop has gone far beyond the streets. It’s a worldwide movement nowadays. You got people that are Chinese now flippin’ on Hip Hop. It came to me real strange, but it came to me and I love it. My passion is to create music and a byproduct of that is to create film. Some serious people cosigned on it and I had some things to say because my life was changing. I felt the album needed to come out because a personal story from a Hip Hop artist is really rare right now. It’s not many artists telling their true story. They’re saying what the public wants to hear, like some bullshit ass dance songs and their album sales are reflective of that. It’s cool on the radio every now and then, but you ain’t tellin’ me nothin’ about your life or where you came up. My story is real different cause not many people get to live or see what I’ve seen. I’m 21 and I’ve seen a lot of shit. That said, what makes you Crazee and Confuzed? My life was completely different than the way it is now. From what I’m rockin’ on my wrist, the chain, everything. It was school oriented. It was around people who were really wealthy. Not a lot of them appreciated what they were about and somewhere along the line I fell in love with Hip Hop. People kept telling me not to go to the streets but I was like, “Fuck it. I’ma go to the streets.” I went to the block and I started freestyling and battling with people. Somewhere along the line, they were like, “I know dude come from money, but he real.” It’s funny cause the people that I came from and who I grew up with turned their back on me and the people who I met in the street were like, “Yo, I’d take a bullet for that lil nigga. For real. I love that dude. He got a lot of heart. He got a lot of respect.” So it’s crazy and confused and a byproduct of that is that the person who I was kind of disappeared and I came into this rapper image called Stack$ – on some ballin’ shit. I was real humble about my shit at first and I’m still humble but it’s like fuck em. If they say I can’t do it I’ma show em I can do it. A lot of people would venture to say you’re bragging, calling yourself Stack$ considering what you inherited. It’s ain’t braggin’. It’s Stack$ with a dollar sign and the dollar sign is my symbol cause it’s money and it’s a gift, but at the same time it’s a curse. A lot of people took advantage of us at first and it took a lot of time for that project to materialize to where it is today. A lot of people were about the quick buck. They looked at it for money and they didn’t listen to my music. They didn’t care about my music. “Fuck it. He ain’t gon’ work. We ain’t gon help him out.” So I had to get some people who really believed in me. From Swisha House to the Black Wall Street, to Cash Money. Eventually it was like an avalanche. The boulder rolls down the hill and more people jump on it. It’s at the point now where it’s really strong with the single, “Money Ova Here,” with Lil Wayne. With several mixtapes out already and an album on the horizon, have you found yourself as an artist? Definitely, ‘cause now it’s to the point where I can write anything. I can flip any style. Whatever way a rapper is flippin’ it right now, I can write something iller than that. It’s at the point now where I study some of the best writers in the game and I work with some of the best producers in the game to the point where I don’t know what a hit is, cause I haven’t had a hit per say. But I’m starting to understand the key formula and there is a formula to making hits in Hip Hop right now. In a way it’s starting to change the youth, cause the youth is fucked up right now. The role models, if you wanna even call them that, ain’t portrayin’ themselves in the best light. So I intend to change that. We all intend to change that. The whole perception of what people think about the South - they say we don’t have lyricists - we’re going to prove that wrong. // Words by N. Ali Early // Photo by Julia Beverly OZONE MAG // 59
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Words and Photos by Julia Beverly
Real recognizes real so people just fuck with me because they got a lot of love for me. I know a lot of these artists and a lot of these people in the business, and we started together. Iâ€™m 31 years old and Iâ€™ve been in the game for a minute, so my grind is like their grind. We came up together so we bumped heads throughout our missions.
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Khaled & Jadakiss
Khaled & Fat Joe
et’s start in the beginning, for the few people who don’t know how DJ Khaled came to be “The Best.” Aren’t you originally from New Orleans? I was born in New Orleans. I moved to Orlando, FL, and then I moved to Miami. I’ve been in Miami for about fifteen years, so you know, I’m Dade County for life. I got love for everybody.
Khaled & Baby
Khaled & Rick Ross
You did the record “Born & Raised” and there was a little controversy here and there, some hate from people saying, “Khaled isn’t even from Dade County.” Do you feel like you can still represent for the city even though you’re not from there? I am from Miami. I’ve been here for fifteen years. If you’ve been in a city more than ten years, that’s your city. But that’s just life. People like to talk, but I don’t really bump into many of those types of people because I surround myself with great people that just got love. I don’t keep myself around negative people. I appreciate all the love. That record was real big for me, and it was big for Miami. I made the first, biggest
Miami classic record and it’s going to be in the history books forever. Shout out to Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, my brother Pitbull, shout out to The Runners for making the beat. R.I.P. to Uncle Al, I repped for my brother on that record too. For the people who aren’t from Miami, who is Uncle Al and what did he mean to the city? Uncle Al was a legendary DJ out here, and an artist. He was a legend in the hood. He started out on underground radio, the same way I started out. He was just that dude out here that people loved. He brought people together and supported everybody, and he was a personal friend of mine. He always showed me love. And I don’t know the reason [he got killed] but I just know that it was wrong. He was about peace in the hood. Uncle Al is going to live on forever, throughout my career and the whole Miami, feel me? Underground radio has always been huge in Miami, but the FCC comes through and shuts them down sometimes. What’s the underground radio Trina & Khaled
Bun B & Khaled
Khaled & video director Gil Green
Bisco, Khaled, & Nicole Khaled & T.I.
Bun B & Khaled
“We Takin’ Over”
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scene like in Miami these days? Underground radio can never leave Miami. But the FCC is always going to be attacking the underground radio stations because they’re going to keep coming out. They’re not doing nothing negative, but that’s just the rules. I guess you’re not supposed to have them. But at the end of the day, Miami ain’t never gonna stop. Without underground radio, it’s just impossible. Do you see satellite radio becoming much more of a factor in the music game in the next few years? Satellite radio is real good because you hear different types of music and different personalities. But at the end of the day, every city has to have its own. Wherever you’re from – Orlando, New York, Miami, Atlanta, wherever – you’ve got to know what’s going on locally. You’re always going to have to tune into your favorite radio station, like 99 Jamz, the number one radio station in Dade County. You always have to know what’s poppin’ locally. Obviously being on 99 Jamz has helped you become huge in Miami. Is the purpose of this album to reach beyond Miami and get love in other cities? I get a lot of love in Los Angeles and New York and Atlanta. The purpose of the album is just to deal with greatness and unity, collaborating with artists and making music. You’ve got some brothers like Lil Wayne from Louisiana, Bun B from Houston, T.I. and Jeezy from Atlanta, and Game from the West Coast all coming together, and of course it helps spread the love when a brother like that cosigns DJ Khaled. The city comes behind them too. You have great relationships with a lot of artists that helped you put together this project. Aside from just the fact that you’re an influential DJ, what do you think is the key - on a more personal level - to maintaining those types of relationships where artists are willing to go the extra mile for you? I think that with me, people love my passion. They love me as a person and they just vibe with me. Real recognizes real so people just fuck with me because they got a lot of love for me. I know a lot of these artists and a lot of these people in the business, and we started together. I’m 31 years old and I’ve been in the game for a minute, so my grind is like their grind. We came up together so we bumped heads throughout our missions. The bigger an artist got, the bigger I got. Just like with your magazine. I saw you start from day one and have seen you grow, and you’ve seen me grow. Everybody’s got to go through their building process. Where does your passion come from and what drives you to do what you do? My drive, number one, is because I love it. And when someone says that you can’t do something, I love to do it and show ‘em that anything is possible. Music can never end. Every day is a challenge, and that just motivates me like crazy. Who told you that you couldn’t do it? Did you feel like people doubted you with your first album, and that motivated you to push harder? I wouldn’t say that people doubted me on my first album, because everybody showed me nothing but love. But before that album, people didn’t think that I could make an album. Some of these record companies had a chance to [sign] DJ Khaled and they didn’t take the opportunity. Now they wanna see me. That was my motivation; to show that I could do it. Making an album shows you that I can put records together like an A&R; put production together. It shows you my executive skills, besides just being an artist and a producer and a DJ on the side. It shows other skills in me. I tried different things, and now look at me. Khaled is going to be the next Jay-Z, Lyor Cohen, Alan Grunblatt, Kevin Liles, and L.A. Reid. So you’re going to be executive producing other artists’ albums? Oh, absolutely. I’m definitely getting into the executive game. I’m definitely going to have a label. I’m definitely going to put out some artists. I’m definitely going to A&R some projects. How did your actual record sales come out on the last album? Two hundred thousand something plus. I haven’t checked lately. I’m very happy with the sales of the last album. I appreciate all the support, because
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now it gives me the chance to make a second album and this one is much bigger. You weren’t happy with the review of your last album in OZONE. Do you care to comment on that? Yeah, whoever was writing it, basically, no disrespect, but they must not know the greatness of music. That first album was a classic. The whole album, every song was good. I hit you back to back with so many classic joints. And the people endorsed it, obviously, by my sales and the love and everything. Obviously it was a great album. I don’t even remember how many blunts y’all gave me on my first album. But whatever it was, you know, the writer needs to smoke a blunt. That’s what he needs to do. What should we expect from this upcoming album We The Best? Is it similar to the first one? Nah, it’s different. Bigger records, more collaborations. You’re going to hear a lot of Rick Ross, a lot of Lil Wayne, The Game, Young Jeezy, Keyshia Cole. She’s going to be on the remix of “We Takin’ Over.” I got some other people on there too. I shouldn’t have even said that. (laughs) I’ve got like five other artists on the remix. We’ve got Bun B and Paul Wall. We’ve got T-Pain on this record called “I’m So Hood.” It’s going to be so big for Florida. It’s going to be big everywhere; we got T-Pain, Trick Daddy, Rick Ross, and Plies on that record and it’s going to seriously fuck up the club. It’s going to be amazing. My second single is called “Brown Paper Bag Money” featuring Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Joey Crack, Juelz Santana, and my man Dre [of Cool & Dre] singing the hook. It’s gonna be so huge. It’s going to be so fucking big, remember I told you. Do you think your success – with your album, your birthday parties, and everything else – has inspired other DJs to make the same moves you’re making? Is it fair to say that there’s some DJs out there swagger-jacking DJ Khaled? Everybody’s got their own thing, but I’m definitely motivating people, and it’s a positive thing. I’m glad to see brothers get up and take their career to another level. It’s a beautiful thing, and that’s what you’re supposed to do. Whether you’re a DJ or whatever, you’ve gotta have a plan B in life. You’ve gotta set up yourself for the next situation. Being a DJ, you’ve gotta set yourself up as a producer or a program director or an A&R. You’ve gotta set it up so that when it’s time to move on, you’re established in another situation. What I’m doing is showing everybody that it can be done and you can take it to another level. You’re like the Energizer bunny. Are you on speed or something? Do you have an exercise routine? How do you keep yourself moving, all the time? (laughs) God is great. I live so great. I wake up every day, and that’s my motivation. I’m breathing and I’ve got life. That’s my motivation. I’m happy I’ve got an opportunity to live. Being Arabic, how do you feel about what’s going on in the Middle East? I’m all about peace. It’s sad to see people fighting each other. Everybody wants to live the good life, so I pray every day for my people over there. There’s always problems around the world, but we’ve just gotta pray for love and peace. Florida had a big year last year with Rick Ross and T-Pain and now you’ve got other artists like Plies coming up. Is there anybody under the radar in Miami that you’re working with? I think Flo-Rida and Brisco are gonna be really big coming out of Miami. You’ve got Des-Loc of Piccalo with a new record called “Stick N Roll” which is starting to blow up real big out here. Then you’ve got Redd Eyezz, C-Ride, and Joe Hound. It’s a whole ‘nother batch of artists coming out of Miami gradually, the same way we had Rick Ross and Trick Daddy and Pitbull. The list goes on and on. The “We Takin’ Over” video has an interesting concept. Gil Green, who shot the video, came up with the idea. I told him I wanted my
video to be as big as “Hypnotize” and as big as “Hate Me Now,” with Nas; as big as “Victory” from Biggie. Those are my favorite videos, so we put parts of them all together. You’ve got me and Rick Ross driving backwards, that was a big scene. You’ve got me and [Fat] Joe on the boat making a movie. You’ve got Birdman in the church, T.I. in the truck with Bun B, and Akon right in front of the Port of Miami. The concept is big because it’s like the haters are trying to stop us, but they can’t. That video right there has got to go in the history books. Tell that writer that wrote my last review to watch that video. Yeah, you were driving fast backwards. Were you really driving backwards or did they film you driving and reverse it? I was driving backwards for real. Those Bentleys got great handling. (laughs) Who’s album do you think will sell more – your album on Koch or DJ Drama’s on Atlantic? I don’t know. I don’t look at it like that. I hope we both sell millions of records. My goal is to stay relevant. It’s not a competition thing. Drama is a great friend of mine. I wish the best for him and I know he wishes the best for me. I wish the best for every DJ that’s coming out with an album. I think it’s a great thing. That’s a good answer. Do you think that type of attitude, as far as unity, is the reason why the South has seen so much success? And how do you think we can maintain that? I hear a lot of people saying that the South is becoming like New York, with everyone hating on each other. You’re always going to have hate, and you’re always going to have people that represent unity. I represent unity and love. The thing about hate is that it can’t last forever. They hate so much and end up getting out of tune. The haters aren’t on my radar because I surround myself with nothing but greatness, and you can tell by the music we’re making. “We Takin’ Over” is the biggest record. It’s huge, and the second single is going to show the same type of unity. I think the South is good and even New York is starting to unify more because they’re starting to realize. You have good relationships with a lot of New York rappers, and of course you’re closely affiliated with Fat Joe and Terror Squad. Do you see the South and the North coming together more in the future, or do you think we’re two different cultures with different music that should stay the way it is? Everybody has their own sound and their own swagger in different cities. That’s what’s so beautiful about music. You can go to Atlanta and hear a new sound, go to Miami and hear a new sound, go to New York and hear a new sound. But do I think people are more connected? Yeah, I do. New York loves Southern music and the South grew up on New York music. We all listened to Rakim and KRS-One and EPMD and Biggie, so we all loved their music. I think little by little, it’s becoming unified. Biggie made records with Bone Thugs N Harmony. Bun B represents unity at its finest. Then you’ve got Fat Joe rappin’ with a bunch of down South people, and he still goes on his New York tracks and rips it down. Jadakiss raps with different people. Diddy always puts Southern rappers on his records. A lot of people are starting to rock with each other. So the next project for you is to start a record label? Yeah, I’ma end up having my own record label. I’m about to take it to the next level. But right now it’s all about my album, coming out June 12th. It’s called We The Best. This is a five-blunt album. Trust me. //
The haters aren’t on my radar because I surround myself with nothing but greatness, and you can tell by the music we’re making.
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ts or ozone
You talk about the block a lot on your album. Is there a particular reason why you went that route as opposed to browbeating the listener with your hoop exploits? I do it because it’s me. I’m 31 and I been in the league for ten years, so that means for 21 years I was on the block. I’ve seen it and I’ve done it. Everybody who’s passionate about their music has a motive behind their lyrics and what they tell the public. What do you want people to get from this album? I want them to get that I’m not just a basketball player who picked this up as a hobby to pursue. I’m a basketball player who is pursuing something that he loves and something that he can really do. It’s nothing that I’m looking at as far as a major income avenue. I just want to prove to the world that people can do more than one thing. I really want to be that athlete that entertains another realm of life to bring forth the rap. You always get that notion that basketball players and athletes can’t rap. I wanna set the blueprint for how to do this. It’s a common assumption that athletes, basketball players in particular, want to be rappers and vice versa. Do you buy into that? I do. I think they go hand in hand. You get a lot of these cats that rap, but their first love was sports. Hip Hop has been around. As far as making a bunch of money, it hasn’t been long. So you have cats that come up, either you wanna be highly educated and be a doctor or a lawyer or you wanna be a football or a basketball player, especially from a standpoint of an inner city youth. And I think over the last few years Hip Hop has become another avenue to follow. The name of your album is Undrafted and you were undrafted as a player. Is there a parallel where the music and sports meet? Coming out of college I left my junior year and I knew there was a very slim to none chance that I would get drafted. I had been rappin’ five years prior to that. So I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. I knew that education was something that I could always go back and get. So I said if I didn’t make it in basketball I was going to pursue this rap thing. No matter what it takes for me to get there, I’ma get there. That’s where it comes from. Me being undrafted really pushed me a lot. I knew I had to get it somehow. The Lord blessed me with an opportunity to play in the NBA, but I didn’t say, “Okay, I made it in the NBA, so I’ma put the rap down.” I continued to rap and I never forgot that being undrafted is what really pushed me. So you basically were an artist while you were in school. Yeah, that’s where I really picked up the pen and put in work. I used to freestyle with the homeboys in the cipher. I was a group called the Talented Tenth from Chicago and I used to go down there with the blue light and get in the ciphers with them. I started writing a little bit and got to liking it more and really found a niche for it and a love for it. Being from Carbondale and going to Chicago to play basketball you obviously had to be a star player to survive in the city. What was it like for you being the talent that you were and then having to blend with your peers at SIU on a day to day basis? I think they really saw my determination. At that point I didn’t have any money. They didn’t know if I was going to make it to the NBA. They didn’t know nothin’. They accepted me into what they were doing. A lot of times I’d rap for people and they’d look at me like they weren’t paying attention, but at the same time that’s what drove me. I’ma make you listen to me; that was my thought process. If you turn your head from me, that’s not going to make me put the pen down. That’s going to make me go harder to try to make you listen to me. I think a lot of people respected that.
AGAINST ALL ODDS Words by N. Ali Early
At that point were you thinking more rap or more NBA? Which one was it? And at what point did you decide to go one way over the other? I was thinking both ways because I knew I had a chance to make it in basketball, but rap was a chance for everybody around me to make it. Hip Hop is something where you can treat a lot of people. It’s a lot of stuff that people are naturally going to do that’s tied into Hip Hop and I always looked at it that way. How believable is your album? It’s very believable. When you look at me and you listen to it you can honestly say it’s believable. I ain’t talkin’ about killin’ everybody on every track or sellin’ dope on every track or talkin’ about havin’ thousands of women on every track. I’m givin’ you a well rounded album. I’m giving you a hood song, a banger, a crunk song, a ridin’ song… I’m just giving you good music. //
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The Simple Life Words by Eric N. Perrin
ike Jones is a simple man - in all facets of his life. His rhymes are simple, his story is simple, his songs are simple — hell, even his name is simple. Everything about Mike Jones is common, and that is exactly why he has succeeded.
Most people burdened by such a blatant lack of distinction would be cursed with a life of mediocrity, but like a superhero with no inherent special powers (remember the movie Blankman?), Mike Jones was forced to turn his weaknesses into strengths. Last time out, with 2005’s Who Is Mike Jones?, he morphed his weaknesses (plain name, pudgy gut, and forgettable flows) into 2 million albums sold. At the height of his prominence, Mike Jones’ name was everywhere. In fact, the ubiquity of his government moniker was almost nauseating — everyone from little kids, to grandmothers, even police would repeatedly chant: “Who? Mike Joooooones!” as if they were somehow haunted by the Houston rapper’s ghost and hoped that chanting his name would magically protect them from mythical monsters. Mike Jones defied all odds; he proved his critics wrong and reserved a place in the rap record books. But how was he able to pull of such a seemingly 68 // OZONE MAG
I’m certified double platinum, so everything bad that people said about me doesn’t matter. Fuck what everybody else thinks, the people that hate don’t pay my bills anyway, so until you start making the money that I’m making, I’m not finna talk to you no more.
impossible feat? Simple — he’s a fuckin’ genius. Mike Jones has a lot in common with Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton. Sure, he plays the dumb blonde role, but secretly he is a marketing mastermind, responsible for perhaps the most effective advertising campaign and business strategy in the history of the rap game. Instead of trying to be someone he is not, or taking on a false image, Mike Jones embraced his commonality and exploited his weaknesses. In doing so he was able to parlay his everyday, completely ordinary experiences into The American Dream. Now, he is living anything but the simple life. But the question remains: Is Mike Jones a perennial platinum plaque act, or just a rap gimmick who got rich off of his 15 minutes? A lot of people call you a gimmick rapper. What are your thoughts on that? The people who saying that ain’t making no money. The people who say that - show me where they stay, show me how they live. If they had a chance to do what they call me a gimmick for doing, I guarantee they would’ve done it. To let everybody know, I’m putting the movie out with my album to show everybody that it wasn’t a gimmick. It was something that I got from my grandmother, the name, the number, the “Who,” and all that stuff. If you watch the movie, it shows you how I came from nothing to something, it shows you how
I got the concept of the “Who?” from my grandmother, and it just shows how if you work hard and get somebody to motivate you like my grandmother motivated me, you can live your own American Dream. What’s your definition of The American Dream? The American Dream to me is being able to finally do what I want and be able to help others with my dream, so they could live their dream. Aside from your financial situation, what’s the biggest difference between this CD and Who is Mike Jones? This one has the street stuff that the last one had, but this one also has R&B. I got LeToya Luckett, Lil Mo, and Trey Songz on this album. I didn’t have none of that on the last album. I read that you’ve been writing some R&B stuff that Bryan Michael Cox was really impressed with. Oh yeah, Bryan Michael Cox heard a lot of the stuff I’ve done, so he knows what it is. I wrote the song “I Know” and I got Trey Songz on the hook. I also wrote one called “I’m Sorry” featuring Lil Mo and Pimp C, and I wrote the whole hook on that one, too. And it’s just about me apologizing to the girl for not doing right. On the last album I didn’t have none of that. On this album I’ve still got the street stuff, and you’re gonna hear more of the stuff you heard on Who is Mike Jones, but you’re also gonna hear the other side on this album, too. A lot of people are saying the Houston rap scene is kind of dying down, and that it’s not what it used to be. What do you think? I don’t think it’s dying down, if we’d have stayed in everybody’s face then they would have said that we’re getting oversaturated, feel me? So we all fell back to let somebody else shine. We fell back and other people started doing their thing, you know, hyphy started blowing up. We ain’t gotta have all the shine, we just want people to know that H-Town is relevant. You kinda disappeared completely for a while; do you feel that being away for so long diminished some of your shine or killed your buzz? I stepped back so that wouldn’t happen. When you get too much of anything people get tired of it. The Flavor of Love show was the hottest thing on TV, but when they show it so much you get tired of it like, “Oh, I missed it? Oh well, I’ll catch it next week, it ain’t a big deal.” It’s the same with music. So you gotta be strategic. Like Usher, for instance. He came out and sold ten million records and then he faded away — Usher ain’t dropped in 2 or 3 years, but when he come y’all gon’ know he coming. When you dropped Who is Mike Jones you had damn near the whole world yelling your name. Do you think with The American Dream album you’ll be able to create the same kind of tidal wave? Oh, most definitely. Even now I’m still doing the “Who?!” that’s me. Even the number, I still give it out. I called the number just to see if it works and it never rings. Did you get it disconnected? The number’s still mine and I still answer it. I was going back and forth with a phone company, but we’re good now. They tried to take my number because I put so much clientele behind it, but I told ‘em I couldn’t do that. Do you still feel that it’s necessary for you to yell out your name all the time, or do you think by now people know who you are? When I first started to say my name a lot everybody was like, “Damn, he say his name too much. Is he gon’ say his name that much on the next album?” But then the minute I stop saying my name they gon’ say, “Damn, I like it when he used to say his name; it ain’t the same now that he don’t say his name anymore.” But the most important thing people want to talk to me about is the American Dream, how I went from nothing to something. How people who didn’t believe in Mike Jones now gotta suck it up and see me on TV and see that I did the unthinkable. I did the impossible. Mike Jones is a dude that will prove anybody wrong that don’t believe in me, and it’s a lot of people that’s like Mike Jones in this world, that’s why I speak for the underdog all the time. And for the record, if it wasn’t for the movie, the album would’ve been out. What made you want to do the movie along with the CD? I wanted to do that with Who Is Mike Jones but the American Dream in my eyes, is really a first album. And the reason I say that is because on the Who Is Mike Jones album I wanted to get this celebrity, that celebrity, this guest appearance, that guest appearance, but everybody was like, “Naw, you hot, but you ain’t on our level hot so we can’t fuck with ya.” I was like, okay that’s cool, so I just had to play with the cards I was dealt. So, I got the “Back Then,” and the “Tippin,’” but if you look at Who Is Mike Jones I didn’t really have a lot of features on there. That’s not because I didn’t want to have them,
it’s because they didn’t want to get on the album. But now that I blew up, everybody and they momma wanna work with Mike Jones now, so now I’m able to put together the album that I really wanted the world to hear for the first time. So the whole “back then they didn’t want me” concept applies to artists as well? Yeah, but the artists that’s on this album wasn’t the “back then” people, they wasn’t the ones that wasn’t messin’ with me. It was other artists and celebrities who didn’t want to mess with me. Now they try to get me on their songs and I just don’t do ‘em. Even though you’ve gotten to the point where you can choose who you want to work with, do you feel that you still don’t get the amount of respect you deserve from Houston? I think the important people respect me. I think the haters don’t show me much love cause they feel that they’re supposed to be in my shoes, or they say shit like, “Man, that nigga can’t rap, anybody can do that. My little brother can do that.” But as long as the important people show me respect — the loyal fans — then I’m straight. Whenever I throw an event the whole city shows up. The haters are stuck outside hatin’, but you gon’ always have haters. People hate on you for a lot of different reasons, and they say all kinds of negative things about you and your music, but is there anything that is said about you that particularly bothers you? Nothing bothers me no more. It bothered me in the beginning when Who Is Mike Jones came out and people always said I need to lose fat and that I was chubby, and that my image wasn’t right for commercial success. But I got certified double platinum, so everything bad that people said about me doesn’t matter. Fuck what everybody else thinks. The people that hate don’t pay my bills anyway, so until you start making the money that I’m making, I’m not finna talk to you no more. I heard somewhere that your label Ice Age is under Swishahouse now, is that true? No sir. Ice Age is under Ice Age, most definitely. Me and Swisha decided to do our own thing and go our own way, but I still show the love and respect for them to still let them put their logo on the CD cover. But as far as when you watch the commercials and all that, its gon’ be strictly Ice Age Entertainment. What do you see for the future of Ice Age? I’m planning for a big future, I mean, that’s anybody who has invested in a record label, you wanna be the best thing smokin’ or at least make sure you put out good music and make good money. Tell me about your relationship with Michael Watts. Is it true that you refuse to go on stage with him? No, I don’t know where you got that from. I seen Watts like two days ago. It was cool, I seen him at the radio station; we shook hands like, “What’s up, what’s up,” and kept it moving. It ain’t no beef with Watts. Is Chamillionaire featured on The American Dream? Naw, he ain’t on the new album. But we’re not beefin’, that beef was over with two years ago. I mean, we’re both grown men, we both do our own thing and we both respect what each other is doing. I’ve got nothing but love for what he’s doing, and I’m pretty sure he feels the same way about me. Is there anything else you feel you need to prove to either your fans, critics, or more importantly to yourself? I ain’t gotta prove nothing. I just want my fans to know that I appreciate what they did, cause that’s how I was able to prove the critics wrong. That’s why I went into my own money to put this movie together to give to the fans because I appreciate all the love they’ve showed me. If your new album does as well as Who Is Mike Jones do you think that’ll be enough to silence all your haters and critics? I know they gon’ hate regardless. The critics was hating on me for the first album and I sold 2 million copies, and they gon’ hate on me for The American Dream if I go platinum on this album or not. They also gon’ hate on my third album, and the fourth album, and the fifth album; you’ll never be able to shake a critic. People hate on Jay-Z and he’s ten albums deep, so that’s one thing you’ll never do, shake a critic. There’s not one artist out that the critics don’t say at least one thing negative about, so I don’t try to impress my critics. You’ll lose your hair trying to impress the critics. Okay, last question. There’s a “Mike Jones sex tape” circulating on the internet. I’ve gotta ask, is that really you? Hell no. But my new album is in stores July 10th. (laughs) // OZONE MAG // 69
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Perrin ill ub we’ve st from the cl Words by Eric ussing aside that everybody sc di ys gu u of topics are yo We got stuff song is one What kind of t a lot of stuff on there. ircles.” That ng. “C go d so lle We at : ca th ss e ng ce Prin cially our so ople really lik at Luther pe pe es of , t to lo te a la les” th ve and can re “Going In Circ ime ats that we ha the riding be the Bobby Womack song but we still got the old Cr t a , of go ng We so y. od ta go on a M It’s a sample rote, and it’s oduced by DJ Vandross co-w the “Shake and Look” pr ith w d un Mob so s on there. lot of banger OZONE MAG // 71
No Pressure Words by DeVaughn Douglas Photos by SLFEMP
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creases my grind. It makes me realize that I can’t play any games. If I got to go to work then I got to go to work. Ain’t no taking days off or making excuses because I got to get out there and get it.
is said that a music artist spends his whole life creating a debut album…. and then spends a year creating the follow up album. That second album often decides whether the artist will become a mainstay in the music industry or a contestant on a VH1 reality show. It is for this reason that many artists dread the sophomore slump for fear that they may not have enough creative juice to put on wax. An artist creating that all-important second album can be under a lot of pressure. Pressure from the record label. Pressure from the fans. Pressure that the artist puts on himself. As if that’s not enough, add a brand new marriage and a newborn baby. But in the words of Beanie Sigel, “Pressure burst pipes, but pressure can also make a diamond.” Paul Wall is dealing with all with the pressures in his life and seems to be taking it all in stride without losing his cool. If anything, The People’s Champ seems relaxed as he sits down and speaks about his new album, Get Money Stay True, his new family, and his outlook on Hip Hop. You just celebrated your son’s first birthday. How is having a child affecting your music? Creatively [being a father] doesn’t affect me too much, but it does make me want to work hard. It in-
What separates this album from your last album? Man, on the last album we made about 14 or 15 tracks and that was it, but for this album we made about forty songs. We’ve were working hard at it. We just took it serious and recorded as much as we could. Me, T. Farris, Mr. Lee, Lil’ Keke, my wife [Crys Wall], Young Red, and some others went in as a team to make the album. We just tried to come up with every concept we could come up with that would parallel the concept of getting money and still staying true to who you are. Staying loyal to your fans, staying loyal to the team, and staying true to the music. We just stuck with every concept that we could think of that coincided with that theme and we made about forty songs. It was off the chain and a hell of an experience. It was a lot different then The People’s Champ because that album was kind of rushed. With Get Money Stay True it was just a better experience. Are we ever going to hear those songs that were not released? Shit, who knows, we might release them on some soundtracks. I got a song with Slim Thug and Rick Ross but unfortunately we couldn’t get the record labels to clear it. I got a song with Damian Marley, but we couldn’t get that cleared. I did a song with Nas that was a lot of fun, but we couldn’t get it cleared. I wish we could have put the Nas song on there because he killed it. It’s unfortunate that those songs didn’t get cleared, but overall you had more fun on this album then the last one? Yeah, especially being in there with Lil’ Keke. When I recorded The People’s Champ it got to a point where it was all work. We we’re on the road all the time, going from show to show, and doing interviews. It started to get monotonous. I was doing the same thing over and over, and just a job. It was always work to me, but I was losing love for what I was doing. I didn’t have the same love for [Hip Hop] as when I had first started. The reason I fell in love with rapping was listening to screw tapes and listening to Lil’ Keke, so working with him on this album helped me. Just being around him in the studio while I was working on my album made it fun. The whole time I was working on my album he was working on his Album Before the Album and Gangsta Grillz mixtape. Just seeing Keke have fun in the studio every day reminded me of why I fell in love with Hip Hop in the first place. Now I’m just falling back in love with making music and Hip Hop. You’re an artist that is involved in a lot of different business ventures. Do you feel those other dealings take you away from the music and add to that lack of love you were feeling for Hip Hop? Sometimes. When you have so many things going on you don’t have a lot of time to focus on the music. But at the same time, [those business ventures] give me something to take my mind off of the music. After a while, if you only focus on the your album, a lot of the songs start to sound alike. If I take a step back and start working on something else, I might have some of the same concepts and topics, but the sound will be a little different. I’ve grown so much compared to The People’s Champ that this album is just a huge success for me. I don’t care if it doesn’t sell at all because I can see how far I’ve grown. It’s a huge success for me and hopefully on the next album I can show some more growth. You were in a special this year with Raekwon and Tego Calderon about Hip Hop and its relation-
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ship with diamonds. The three of you visited African diamond mines. How did that experience affect your growth? In terms of the diamonds it made me want to make a difference and just help out. Before I never felt I could help and that I was too small to make a difference. I hear about Oprah donating millions of dollars and think, “I don’t have millions of dollars to donate,” but at the same time the experience showed me that I could help out by raising awareness. I can help out by just doing what I do in the way that I promote and get other people involved. We started a charity organization called the Bombai Bling Foundation. On the documentary we visited an orphanage of children that had been affected by war and [the orphanage] was about to be evicted, but we helped save them from that. There’s also another place called Coyvey where the city had been treated as a public dump because there was no waste management system. We’re in the process right now of cleaning that up right now, putting in a soccer field, and creating a waste management system. We’re also going to help build some schools around there and crate some jobs in the area. It’s been a lot of fun just helping people out. We’ve been helping out people in this country for a long time with the food giveaways that Swishahouse has every year. We also give out scholarships here in this country, but it feels good to help out people on the other side of the world. Artists like yourself are criticized for everything from wearing diamonds to your lyrics and how they affect the youth. Do you think that because a lot of people outside of Hip Hop don’t get to see the positive things artists do, it makes Hip Hop an easy target? I think that Hip Hop is so big, there’s a lot of negativity that comes from it, but there’s also a lot of positivity. A lot of times the negativity from outside of Hip Hop overpowers all of the positive things that are happening. There are a lot of artists out there doing a lot of good. I heard Jay-Z helped a village in Africa get running water, but you don’t really hear about that. Plus it’s not just charity that artists are involved in. Andre 3000 has a cartoon show that my little boy watches all the time. Just seeing these artists and musicians in Hip Hop branch into different things and creating positive avenues for others to follow is a beautiful thing.
ing. We released a mixtape with DJ Skee on our myspace page which is available for free download. Hopefully we get to put out something soon but we haven’t even really talked to any record labels. So many times, major record labels come in and try to control the music. You have to have a video that appeals to a large group of people. You have to have a song that has crossover potential. You have to sell to this market or that market. I just want to make songs. Expensive Taste just gives us the opportunity to make music without all of the rules and restrictions. We just go into the booth and have fun. You spoke earlier about songs that weren’t cleared for your album. Is that a problem that comes up often when trying to put out a project? The record label politics is a muthafucker. I just want to make music and it’s hard when you’ve got someone standing over you saying, “You can do it with this person, but you can’t do it with that person because this person is on our record label and the other person is not.” Expensive Taste is featured on your album with other artists, including your wife, Crys Wall. What was it like working with her on the album? She would come to the studio every day - me, her, and the baby - so it was like a family affair. We would be in there just collaborating with the whole Swishahouse team. My wife can sing and she use to be in a group that just didn’t go anywhere. She kind of hung the microphone up for a while, but Lil’ Keke and T. Farris kept motivating her to get back in it and sing. Every time she and Keke would collaborate they would come up with some monster jams. I love seeing her do her thing. I’m happy to see her do what she loves to do. When we were all in the studio collaborating she would make suggestions for a track and the next thing you know she’s singing the hook. What’s the next single off of the album? Shit, I don’t even know. We’re supposed to shoot a video next week and we don’t even know what the single is gonna be yet. My favorite song is “Slidin’ On That Oil” with Expensive Taste but the songs I like are never the hit singles. It’s up to T. Farris because he always picks the smash hits. Whatever T. Farris says, I’m with it, because he’s always right about the singles.
Now that you’re a father, what do you think of critics who say Hip Hop artists should present a better example to the young fans? I respect freedom of speech to the fullest, but at the same time I feel we take advantage of that freedom and don’t speak responsibly. As a musician I see that sometimes we don’t make the most responsible music. A lot of these artists are telling stories of their life and people just take it the wrong way and think that it’s being glorified. Most of the time it’s just to get something off of our chests or just speak on what we feel because this is how we came up. I think we definitely have a responsibility in the music that we make and our actions. We have a responsibility as role models and leaders in the community but at the same time I respect freedom of speech. We just need to be more respectful and more responsible with our freedom.
You’ve been with Swishahouse since the beginning working with T. Farris and Michael Watts. Have you thought about taking what you’ve learned from them and starting your own record company? Nah, I thought about it, but it’s too hard. As a manager or owner of a record label you kind of have to babysit the artists. It’s too much to do and too much responsibility. You have the career of an artist in your hands. Plus, a lot of times, the artists get the caught up in the diva lifestyle and start acting spoiled. They start being a superstar and it takes away from the reason the artist got in this game in the first place. They start to lose their grind. For this album T. Farris was constantly reminding me of the time when we were broke so that I could maintain my grind. That’s how I keep my edge, just reminiscing about how it use to be.
How do you feel about the state of Houston Hip Hop? I’m loving it! There are so many artists here, and the screwed and chopped style is being accepted everywhere. You’ve got people like Justin Timberlake with a screwed and chopped chorus in one of his songs. Ciara has a screwed and chopped chorus. Just seeing different things like that shows me how much the music has been accepted. At the same time though, there is so much other Hip Hop here in Houston that isn’t even do screwed and chopped. Artists like The Grit Boys, I’m real excited about them because they just got their deal with TVT. My boy PKT has some stuff going on. There is a lot of talent here in Houston that doesn’t even do the screwed and chopped style, but they are still trendsetters and leaders here in the Houston community. Artist like Devin the Dude and K-Rino, to name a few. It’s just a Houston movement and I love seeing it.
It’s rumored that you’re open to doing another album with Chamillionaire. You want to speak on that? Yeah, definitely. I saw him at the Grammys and I was so excited about him winning. My boy Mike Frost did all of Chamillionaire’s graphics for his album and he had both of our platinum plaques hanging in his office right next to each other. It was pretty cool seeing that. We’ve proved to the world that we can stand on our own two feet as solo artists and it’s great to see that. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to work together and put an album out. We just have to get a record company that believes in the project and will put out some good music.
How did you link up with Fall Out Boy for your upcoming tour? I wanted to do something different. I was on a promo tour with Brooke Hogan for “About Us” and it was just a different type of tour. Fall Out Boy was on a couple of the shows and I realized I shared a lot of things with the group. I figured the tour would be a nice change of pace for me. When you see a RunDMC or Cypress Hill going on tour with rock groups it’s just people making good music for the fans. I think that’s what the fans are going to get when they come see our tour, just a lot of great bands and me doing my rap music. The fans are going to see a good show. Fall Out Boy isn’t the only rock group that you’ve worked with. When is Expensive Taste, your rap/rock group with Skinhead Rob of the Transplants and Travis Barker formerly of Blink 182 supposed to come out with an album? Who knows, man. We’ve just been recording for fun. Travis is doing all the production with me and Skinhead Rob on vocals. We come from three different walks of life and put it all together in the studio. It’s been a lot of fun record-
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Why not on Swishahouse? Definitely on Swishahouse but also with Atlantic, Sony, Universal, Interscope, or whatever record label wants to get down. We haven’t talked to anybody about it. I haven’t even talked to Chamillionaire about it. I just saying I’m down to do it. Hopefully that will happen in the near future because you two are good collaborators. Speaking of people you work well with, you spoke earlier about Lil Keke helping you on your album. When is “your favorite rapper’s” album supposed to come out? I know he just signed his deal with Universal Records. I’m pretty excited about that. He’s got a serious album and the world is finally gonna see where it all started and how far Lil’ Keke has come. He has definitely come a long way. Are there any other artists that you’d want to work with? I’m just having so much fun working with Lil Keke and Expensive Taste. Who knows? I’m just a fan of good music so there are a lot of artists out there I would like to work with. //
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ocoa Chanelle is an oddity; better yet, she’s a rarity. Yes, she’s a woman in a male dominated industry, but consider that she’s a DJ, MC, producer, and CEO, and you realize that whether male or female, she’s in a league of her own. Born in Brooklyn, she later relocated to Bluefield, West Virginia. Chanelle first fell in love with Hip Hop when she began mixing on the one’s and two’s in her grandmother’s basement under her brothers’ tutelage. First place in school and local talent shows came too easy and proved not to be enough of a challenge, so she decided to head back to her native Big Apple to see how far her musical talents could take her. She landed a job as the host DJ on the now defunct BET show “Teen Summit,” which led to a slot on New York’s premier Hip Hop radio station Hot 97 as well as reoccurring roles on Rap City. If this weren’t enough, she gained her first bit of acclaim as a producer for churning out an unofficial remix of 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” which never quite reached the airwaves. Word of her skills circled around various circles, and when a beat which was originally made for Styles P fell through, New York’s next great phenom Saigon picked up where he left off and used the beat as his first single entitled, “Pain In My Life.” The jack of all trades then linked up with Da Brat and Lil’ Mo for an all-female remix to Ghostface’s “Back Like That”. She also owns her own production company, 5th House Entertainment. To say Cocoa Chanelle is breaking down barriers in the music biz is an understatement. She was already named one of the top DJs (male or female) in the world by VIBE Magazine, and won the award for Best Female Mixshow DJ at the Mixshow Power Summit. Swizz Beatz even lent a hand on her latest mixtape. She has even been anointed the “female Dr. Dre” by some of her peers due to her producing prowess. It’s a well-documented fact that women happen to be far better multi-taskers than men. The music industry sometimes breeds an environment that tolerates and in some cases encourages sexism. Those involved with the creative process behind music fall victim to this more than others. Make no mistake, Chanelle is no charity case, or recipient of gender affirmative action. This young woman has worked hard for where she’s at, holding her own with whomever the competition may be. With years of musical creativity left, the sky is the limit for Ms. Chanelle.
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How did you get into the music game? CC: I started DJing. My brother got me into it and I loved it. I DJed in school competitions and talent shows. Then I realized I couldn’t go but so far and I moved to New York and I got a job DJing on a show called Teen Summit and things just kept going from there. I got on at Hot 97 and I haven’t looked back since. So you’re not originally from New York? No, I’m from Bluefield, West Virginia. I was born in New York and I moved to West Virginia when I was young and then I was in DC for a little while and then ended up moving right back to New York. What do you think was the defining moment in your career? Probably when I got the job at Teen Summit. There weren’t a lot of female DJs at the time and it was just really a good opportunity for me. I could also say the Hot 97 job was really good for me. How did the beat for “Pain In My Life” come about? What was the process behind it? It was actually a beat I made for Styles P. Saigon wanted it and it was kind of a sad beat and with all that Saigon went through, it was really a good beat for him. I had promised to give it to Styles P, but every time I saw Saigon, he was always asking me for the beat. He asked me about the beat for like, a year. Things didn’t go through with Styles P taking the beat and then I finally gave it to Saigon. I know Saigon has gone through some things. What is your relationship like with him? I really like Saigon. He’s been in jail and he always sends the message to kids, like, “I’ve been there and that’s not what you want to do. Jail isn’t a positive thing.” You have a lot of rappers about here talking about how much jail time [they’ve done] and stuff like that, so it’s good to get a positive influence. What are your plans for the next 5 years? Just to keep doing what I’m doing. DJing is my first love so I definitely want to keep doing that. I want to get on the executive side too, and try to start other people’s careers. I have a production company, 5th House Entertainment, so I’m working with that and we’ll see where that takes us. // - Mike Sims
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utside of any DJs not named Drama or Cannon, DJ Infamous has become one of Atlanta’s most omnipresent turntablists. The newest member of the Aphilliates holds down the 9 o’clock mixtape for Atlanta radio station V103 and spins at some of Atlanta’s hottest nightspots. As the “youngest in charge” this 24-years-old DJ from Lansing, Michigan is already years ahead of the competition. Pay close fucking attention. How long have you been DJing? I’ve been DJing about 10 years now. I used to see people DJing on TV and it looked cool. My sister’s boyfriend was a DJ and I used to be around his turntables all the time. I’d be in the room, he’d be scratching, mixing, and stuff. I was like, “I wanna try it,” and he sold me his turntables. I started practicing; I really didn’t get into it until my freshman year of high school. I did my first party in ’97. I only had 25 records. I only had about 5 hot records, everything else was underground. At the time, one of the hottest records was [Uncle] Luke’s “Scarred.” I rotated that record about 20 times. Did you DJ all through high school? Yeah, I was like, if I become a DJ and I get good enough instead of these high schools hiring older cats they could hire me for a lower price. I did my first high school party in the spring of ’97. I did a high school party after a basketball game. And from there on word started spreading around that there’s this kid DJing, he’s cheaper. When I got to college it was the same thing. I went to school at Alabama A&M, and I charged less than what the bigger DJs were charging. I did the fraternity and sorority parties. People would get lodges and warehouses, and I’d DJ them. Parties on campus, picnics, club to club, shutting clubs down, everything. My junior year I got on my first radio station Power 93.3 [in Huntsville, Alabama]. How did you get with V103 in Atlanta? I’ve been on the air 2 and ½ years now. I interned with them for a whole year before I actually got on the air. I DJed all the events that the DJs at the station wasn’t doing. Say the station was having an event at a gas station, the bigger DJs didn’t wanna do that, but I’d do it for nothing. How did you get down with the Aphilliates? I had created a name for myself. I was in the hottest clubs in Atlanta, like South Beach, Visions, and Vegas Nights. I DJed for Greg Street. I was on the air four times a week. Drama came to me, like, “We’re thinking about adding some new members to the squad. We wanna put you down.” At the time I was with the Hittmenn DJs. I didn’t wanna disrespect Greg cause he’s running the Hittmenn but at the same time I thought it would have been a better move. I 80 // OZONE MAG
talked to Greg about it, made sure we were cool cause he’s my mentor. [But] I decided I was gonna be an Aphilliate. A lot of people still hate to this day but it’s a move Infamous made for Infamous. Not for anybody else. How were you affected by Drama and Cannon’s arrest? We were all affected. [Drama and Cannon] are my homies. When you see your homies in a situation, of course that’s gonna affect you. When everything got confiscated, I was there at the time. My studio was in there too. My stuff got confiscated. So when it came to recording time I [didn’t] have any equipment. When [the RIAA raid] happened a lot of people were like, “The Aphilliates are over. Drama and Cannon are over. Infamous, your team is through, y’all are done.” Nah, we’re not done. It made us all closer. This is only gonna make us stronger. I went and bought all [my equipment] again but I just appreciate all the love that everybody showed me. How did you become Young Dro’s DJ? Drama, Sense and Jason Geter called me like, “Drama gotta go start working on his album, and want you to fill in [to DJ] for Tip.” I went out [on the road] with T.I. for about a month. He was working on a movie with Denzel [Washington], so his shows started to slow down. “Shoulder Lean” was still popping. Clay [Evans], Tip’s manager, was like, “Dro needs a DJ.” He had a lot of shows. I was like, “Okay, cool.” But I thought to myself, damn, it’s gonna fuck up my radio and club shit. I got scared cause I wasn’t used to going from different cities every week with an artist and not being on the radio and in the clubs. So I went to my Program Director Reggie Rouse and talked to him about it. My PD told me to do it and everything worked out. I was still in the clubs, still on the radio every week, and still out with Dro doing all his shows. It’s hard to balance all three, but I did it. Which do you enjoy the most: radio, clubs, or touring? All three, man. It’s a different feeling I get from each one. Now that I’m doing all three, I gotta remain doing all three. All three are the ultimate rush. Do you have anything else that you’d like to say? Shouts to Grand Hustle, Snake, Clay, the whole Aphilliates family, pay close fucking attention. Shouts to Greg Street, Reggie Rouse and Tosha Love. Without Tosha Love, I wouldn’t even be here. DJ Infamous, the youngest in charge, I go hard. People have told me I’m in the game early for my age, to be doing it the way that I am. I’m not at DJ Khaled status or DJ Drama status, but that’s what I’m working towards. That’s my goal and that keeps me going. // - Randy Roper
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With the digital divide looming over the urban demographic, partners Corey “CL” Llewellyn and Andrew “D-Major” Edgar decided to do something about it. Their solution, Digiwaxx, is now arguably the most sought after marketing and promotions firm in the industry. Having defied traditional marketing and promotions to bridge the gap between artists, record labels, and DJs, they’ve all but redefined technology as we know it… and they still want more.
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ell us about some of the initiatives you’ve started from the publicity and marketing standpoint this year and how Digiwaxx has expanded in such a short span of time. Kasey Woods: Basically, at this point we’ve just expanded outside of the normal Digiwaxx service. We just implemented this division into our fold. It includes the spinworld division as well as our IO – Influence and Outreach Marketing division. Our primary account right now is with Microsoft Zoom. They have us doing all of their influence and outreach for the urban demographic and we also have done some things for Adidas as well. We’re branching out to other major companies who want to take advantage of our insight into the urban demographic as well as our contacts into all these different arenas. Between Corey, who’s been in the industry over ten years and mine, we’re basically trying to leverage that into something big. Tell me more about the relationship with Zoom and what types of projects you plan to do or have already implemented. Kasey: We have these influence and outreach receiving suites that we do for them as well as parties and we have a slew of them coming up. We have six planned up until June. So basically we either have our own event, like a Digiwaxx Presents or we leverage an event that’s already going on like the BET Hip Hop Awards or the MTV Music Awards and we’ll be taking part in the TJs DJs/OZONE Awards this year. We like attaching ourselves to events that are already happening because we know that there’s going to be a celebrity following that’s already going to be there. But basically we’re at the point now where we are expanding from what it is now into something bigger because Digiwaxx was the first record pool of its kind to have feedback that goes out to members of the site. People have a certain respect for Digiwaxx because we were always able to do things a different way and in a way that a lot of other companies haven’t been able to do to this point. Do you expect the marketing side of it to take you away from the digital trend that’s made your company what it is or can the two entities coexist? Kasey: Well actually that’s what makes so viable to other companies, because we tie in the marketing aspect of it with the technology. With Adidas they give us a sneaker and we have a blast set up the same way as the Digiwaxx, but instead of the music that’s being rated, we actually send the sneaker to top
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tier DJs and they give us feedback on how they feel about the sneaker. It’s like a 3D version of the sneaker that they can see as well. So we’re marketing it to them, but instead of getting a packet in the mail that you would open up and check off everything, we’re actually using the technology of it to get instantaneous feedback. So we’ve basically been combining the two instead of having them be exclusive. Were you ever skeptical that Digiwaxx wouldn’t reach the people that you intended it to considering that everyone isn’t quite caught up in this age of digital information? Corey “CL” Llewellyn: No. That was part of our agenda. Truthfully there was only one way we could go. Most people live in this world out of convenience. If you make things easier for them then they’re going to take the easier route. Whether it’s the amount of music you can hold or the tool it takes to manipulate that music, everything was going that way and it was a matter of how we could help that process. How do we include us into that equation. My partner Drew is into technology more than I am and he was always on it. So that was it. Has the DJ always been the primary focus of Digiwaxx? Corey: Yeah, but on a bigger focus it’s digital distribution as well. But yeah, the digital wax service and always the DJ has been a part of what we did. Straight up. You were instrumental in Mims’ career taking off. Is your focus strictly on what’s hot per se, or could the cat walk into your offices and say, “I deserve a shot with Digiwaxx,” and get it? It all starts with the music on that level. If an artist says their hot and they come in and play the record and nobody’s feelin’ it, we can give them the strongest, realest criticism and advice. Mims was an artist that when he came to my office, it wasn’t like it was somebody I knew, he just had a hot record called “I Did You Wrong,” and off the bat I felt it. It was off the soundtrack for Big Men Little Men and it just hit me. We never turn away anybody. If you got a hot record, then come with it. // – N. Ali Early
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ark Starr never thought he’d be an entrepreneur, it just kind of happened that way. As a recent college grad and amateur DJ, Mark was hoping to make a little money throwing parties. He knew he had to promote his parties, but since he couldn’t afford to advertise on the radio, he decided to get flyers printed. The only problem was, Mark couldn’t find anyone in Tallahassee to make his flyers. So, strictly out of necessity, the History major decided to dabble in graphic design and make his own flyers. He went to a bargain electronics warehouse, maxed out his credit card buying a computer, and learned how to use Microsoft Publisher; the rest is history. Though Mark never ended up making much money from his parties, he found a lucrative career designing flyers and graphics for other people. Today, Mark has over 10 employees, and his company Mark Starr Multimedia is one of the nation’s premier full service printing, marketing, and advertising companies. Tell me about your company? Basically we’re a full service marketing, advertising, and printing company. The range of what we do is ridiculous. We do a lot of club flyers, mixtape inserts for record labels, album covers, and any kind of promotional materials like t-shirts, CDs, and posters. How long have you guys been in business? I started the company in Tallahassee in 1999, but about three and a half years ago business was really getting stagnant. I had a lot of clients in Atlanta, so I just decided I was gonna move to Atlanta, I rented a big house in Lithonia and was bringing up my employees one at a time, and we all lived in the same house and just hustled. We got out every single day and put out flyers, every single day just grinding, grinding, grinding. We lucked up and got a couple big accounts when we first got here, which put some money in my pocket to at least make it a stable situation. Soon we were able to pretty much dominate this Atlanta market because our work ethic was so strong. Do you think it’s harder to be an entrepreneur or work for someone else? As an entrepreneur it’s definitely harder, but the rewards are much greater. Seven years ago I was damn near homeless. I was broke, I had just graduated from college and I didn’t have a job. I had opened up a nightclub in Tallahassee and that didn’t work out. I asked God to show me direction, and this is the direction he wanted me to go. At first I was just doing graphics as a way to make a few dollars to eat and try to pay my bills. Now the
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mark starR company has grown, and I know that if I would’ve went and worked for somebody else I would not be in the situation I’m in today. Did you always know you were going to be an entrepreneur? No, when I first started doing graphics a company called Pen and Pixel was the big graphic company. They did all the No Limit covers, all the Master P covers, the Cash Money covers, and I thought my stuff was good enough to work for them, so I sent them a resume and they never contacted me back. If they had hired me, I would’ve worked for them and been happy about it, but since nobody gave me an opportunity I created my own opportunity and my own lane. Now, I don’t even know if Pen and Pixel is in business anymore. How did you get into designing graphics? When I was in college I used to DJ. We decided that we were gonna throw our own parties, and we needed somebody to do flyers. I didn’t have the money to pay anyone to do flyers and my cousin was real good with computers so I went and maxed out my credit card and bought a computer and he showed me how to use Publisher. That’s how I got started. I was just doing flyers for my own parties and then people started asking me to design their flyers. I brought the style of flyers that people were doing in Miami to Tallahassee and I took those concepts and ideas. I’m not a super-creative person or an extra artistic person but I think I have a good idea of what people want to see, or what’s going to sell. I know how to make the design appealing enough to make people want to look at. It seems like everybody has flyers nowadays, I went to a restaurant last week and instead of a menu they handed me a flyer and I looked at the bottom of it, and it had your logo on it. Why do you think there has been such an influx of flyers recently? Because it’s a good, grassroots way of marketing your company. Two or three years ago I thought flyers would be on the decline because of the internet and people sending out E-flyers and stuff, but flyers ain’t gonna go nowhere because it’s the cheapest way to get out there and market your business. When I first started in 1999, I had saved up and bought a little car, and I said to myself, “I’m doing all these flyers for other people, so let me go ahead and print up my own flyers.” I would get in my car and drive from Tallahassee to Atlanta and other cities and I would just go out and put my flyers out everywhere. I’ve driven all over the country just putting my flyers out, and that’s why we were able to rise to the top so fast. I spent $250 on a box of flyers and gas, and I would drive all over the country, sleeping in my car. That
Words and Photos by Eric N. Perrin
$250 investment led me to thousands in new client sales. A lot of people can’t afford to advertise on TV, or the radio, but for a few hundred dollars, you can buy 5,000 flyers and go out and market your company directly to your consumers. If you know your consumers are going to be at the basketball game on Saturday, you just take your flyers out there, and somebody’s gonna call you. Do you still do most of the designs? I do a little when we’re backed up, but my partner Justin does the majority of the designs, and I think he’s probably the best entertainment urban designer in the country. He’s phenomenal. I started the company, but together we built the company. I would say he does 80-90% of the designs, and everybody else in the office helps out. How many projects do you guys do a week? We probably do anywhere from 75-100 projects a week, sometimes over a hundred. We have a set price because we offer a consistent service Your shirt says, “Stop Paying For Bullshit,” so how can someone distinguish your work from bullshit? It’s just the level of quality. I feel like most of the work that’s out there is like a 1986 Hyundai, and we’re that 2007 Benz. We put a lot of time into our work and I consider us experts at this. We know what the consumer wants to see, we know how to make the information legible to the point where its gonna draw somebody’s attention and they’re gonna be impressed by it. People are going to look at your business in a whole other light. There have been businesses that we’ve done stuff for that didn’t have nothing, and we went in and did their whole brand identity and made it at least look they have a legitimate company. We might do a flyer for a rookie promoter and made the party pop just because the design on the flyer made people want to come out. They flyers look so good that people think it’s really gonna be something even when it may not be. What’s one piece of advice that you can give to aspiring entrepreneurs that you wish someone had told you when you first started your company? The biggest thing is just knowing that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It’s not gonna happen overnight. In the society we live in now, everybody wants to have it right now, and nobody’s willing to put in work and grind. It takes a lot of hard work, and a lot of times people want success right now so bad that they end up making bad decisions or just not working hard. If you wanna be successful in life, you’ve got to work. Yeah, I just bought a new Range, but shit, I’m still here every night, grinding. It’s Saturday night and I’m still here working. There’s no way around hard work. //
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Fat Joe: Hip Hop Icon
at Joe recently stopped by Atlanta’s Four Season’s Hotel with video game creator Kudo Tsunoda to discuss the making of Electronic Arts latest creation, Def Jam: Hip Hop Icon, which features many Hip Hop stars including T.I., Big Boi, Young Jeezy, The Game, and Joey Crack himself.
Fat Joe, you’re everywhere these days. How did you get down with the video game? I’ve always liked the game, and I know kids love videogames. I wanted to be under everybody’s Christmas tree on Christmas Eve, and I think it would be dope for the kids to fight with Fat Joe against their favorite rappers. It’s a hot concept from the jump. Since you’re not a Def Jam artist, how did you get involved with a Def Jam video game? There’s a couple of guys that ain’t on Def Jam. There’s T.I., there’s Fat Joe, Jim Jones. You know, the original Def Jam is Hip Hop, so anytime you can support that cause, it is what it is. I’ve been a part of all the Def Jam games, but they took it to a completely different level with this one. The screens are iller, the fights, the moves are iller. They got a section where you can shop for clothes. I’m a sneaker freak so they got a Jordans section; you can buy your character LRG and Phat Farm, so you could be fly and get jeweled up. When you get tired of playing with your favorite rapper you can create somebody in your own likeness who looks just like you. It’s hard to explain, but they got this ill, bug way of making noses change, eyes change, the complexion, everything, until it looks similar to you. Would you say that your character is an accurate portrayal of you? Aw, it’s dope, man. I love the Fat Joe character. I love how he moves, I love how he fights, and he looks just like me. He’s a little bit fatter than I am, though. Who is a better fighter: You in real life, or your character in the game? I think my moves in the game are ill, so I would say that the Fat Joe in the game would fuck me up, bad. Aside from this game, do you play a lot of video games? I’m real particular, real picky, so the only other game I really play is NBA Live. I don’t play Madden, cause I’m not really a big football guy. I’m more into basketball. Since this game is mainly marketed to kids, do you think fighting in videogames is a good way to divert kids from fighting in real life? Oh yeah, definitely, man. I don’t know if it “diverts” them, but you know, it’s just a game, and what are video games gon’ do? Kids can play the video games and it’s very therapeutic. It’s a way they can have fun and entertain themselves, and it’s better for them to fight in a video game than in real life. I think video games like this keep kids out of a lot of trouble. Is this game gonna be occupying a lot of your time? Definitely, it’s a hot, hot game and the crazy part is that every time you play it, it’s some new shit that you never did before, so it’s ill. 86 // OZONE MAG
Words and Photos by Eric N. Perrin What character are you most looking forward to fighting on the game? I mean, as a fan, I just fought Jeezy against The Game on there. I had them fight on the set of 106th & Park. So, who won? The Game won, but it’s just a video game. But that was ill! So I can see where the fans are really, really gonna enjoy themselves with this game. //
Next, we spoke with the video game creator Kudo Tsunoda, General Manager of Electronic Arts Chicago and Def Jam: Hip Hop Icon’s Executive Producer: What exactly do you do at Electronic Arts and how were you involved in the production of Def Jam: Hip Hop Icon? I’m the General Manager of the studio and I’m the executive producer of the Icon game. I come up with a lot of the design concepts at the beginning of the project and then as the game is in development, it’s really my job to play the hell out of the game to see what we need to change and what will ultimately make the game more fun to play. How do you go about developing a game like this? Icon has been in development for over two years total, from the initial concept to finally getting the game done. At EA Chicago, we really try at the beginning of the game making process to immerse ourselves in the content and come up with a wealth of design ideas. We spent the first 3 or 4 months just meeting all the Hip Hop artists, finding out what’s important and coming up with the ideas for the game. What kind of goals did you have going into the project? We had three big design goals from the beginning of this project. The first one was to make the first truly authentic Hip Hop game where the Hip Hop elements drove the core game-play mechanics. If you look at other so-called Hip Hop video games, like 50 Cent’s Bulletproof, its only considered a Hip Hop game because it had people out there in bling shooting each other, but what we really tried to do with this game was have Hip Hop drive our core game play. You can see in the game that everything in the environment animates to the beat of the music. So knowing the beats, and knowing the music is a big part of fighting in the game. Even with the controls, the analog sticks are set up just like a DJ’s turntables. The other goal we had was to change the way fighting games are played by making the environment more of a third person in the fight. The third goal was to bring in the next generation of NextGen art, stylizing it to make it seem like as if you’re actually playing a Hip Hop music video. How many hours in total have you spent playing this game? Oh my God, over the last two years, I’ve played it between 10-12 hours a day, six days a week. So I’ve probably played it about 6,000 - 7,000 hours at least. Damn, I know you gotta be tired of playing this game by now. No, not even close. The game comes out this spring and its going to available on XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3. //
OZONE MAG // 87
Paul Wall Get Money, Stay True SwishaHouse Paul Wall deserves a pat on the back for this sophomoric major label release. The door was wide open for him to become a personality-driven rapper and make a pop-chart-seeking album. But instead he’s doing what his album title suggests and staying true to the Houston underground that made him. The album is done with a minimalist approach. None of the production is mind-boggling, but it serves the purpose for Paul’s sip-and-lean delivery (especially on the Mr. Lee-produced “On The Grind” featuring Freeway). Of course, the only flaw is again, Paul’s subject matter. It would have been nice to hear him make a song about his recent truth-seeking voyage to Africa, since diamonds seem to be his favorite thing to rap about. But, you can’t have it all. — Maurice G. Garland
Mims Music Is My Savior A lot of dirt has been kicked on Mims for jacking Southern swag on his breakthrough single “This Is Why I’m Hot.” On his debut album Mims does little to defend himself against naysayers’ views. If you expected Mims to go hard lyrically on his debut you’d be highly disappointed; no Hip Hop quotables here, folks. Music Is My Savior does have ear catching moments when Mims goes dirty dirty again on “They Don’t Wanna Play” featuring Bun B and Seed, and pays a psychiatrist visit on “Doctor Doctor”. But the cliché chick record with Letoya Luckett (“Without You”) and the “I’m so fly” rhymes on “Superman” won’t win over the non-believers that have written Mims off as a swagger-jacker. — Randy Roper
Prodigy Return of The Mac Koch Prodigy hasn’t been the same since Jay-Z renamed him Ballerina P. And after signing with 50 and watching their G-Unit debut album flop, Mobb Deep has been looking like the shook ones. But Prodigy regains his composure on Return of The Mac. Alchemist produced the entire album and crafted the perfect soundtrack for P’s gritty New York street lyrics. Although P’s rhymes begin to wear as his subject matter sounds recycled towards the album’s ending, songs like “Stuck On You and “Mac 10 Handle” are comparable to classic Mobb murda muzik. — RR
Bohagon Power Move 2 Luckily for Bohagon, whose album may never seen the light of day, he can still make power moves through the mixtape circuit so he won’t have to answer the question, “Who am I? I’m Bohagon, BME representa” every time he picks up the mic. Power Move 2 dual DVD and CD is 14 tracks of new music where Bohagon spits Southern lyricism (“Get It Off Ur Chest”), lives a bosses’ life with Young Dro and Lil Scrappy (“Been A Boss”) and lets the streets know the business (“What It Iz”) with Young Gotti. The CD does have a few throwaway tracks, but with so many album-quality records, the streets want to know “Wuz Up” with Bohagon’s album? — RR
Smack-A-Batch (HOSTED BY FREDDY HYDRO) Live From Da Plantation Smack-A-Batch hails from the state of Mississippi, but is on deck to shine light on a state beyond its shadow of negative stereotypes. With help from host Freddie Hydro, Live From Da Plantation is a compilation of Smack’s crew primed to raise music from Mississippi to another level. This mix CD and matching DVD boasts tracks such as “So Good” that can put you on a smooth vibe while “Blessed” touches on making sure you “count your blessings because some [people] got it worse.” Plus, they speak on the frustrations caused by ineffective politicians charged with helping the common man especially in the wake of the Katrina fiasco and lack of public opportunities to grow in one of the poorest states in America. Overall, Live From Da Plantation is a diverse offering that is good to smoke and ride to while expanding your horizons. — Keith “1st Prophet” Kennedy
Small World (Hosted By Don Cannon) World Domination Norfclk hasn’t been heard from since the Ludacris Presents: Disturbing Tha Peace album. But on this mixtape hosted by Don Cannon, Small World (one third of Norfclk), rides hard for his DTP trio. Small World’s standout tracks “Just Blaze,” “Neva Before” and “Carolina” don’t dominate, but do show enough skills for World to demand attention. — RR
DJ Jazzy Jeff The Return of The Magnificent BBE The new generation of Hip Hop fans may only remember Jazzy Jeff from getting kicked out of the Banks’ household by Uncle Phil on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reruns. But Jazzy Jeff was voted the Most Influential DJ in OZONE’s DJ issue, and the Philly turntablist has been releasing critically acclaimed solo albums since his 2002 debut The Magnificent, so don’t call him washed up. His latest offering The Return of The Magnificent features an all-star cast of ‘90s rap favorites Big Daddy Kane, Method Man, CL Smooth (“All I Know”), and underground stars Jean Grae, J Live, and Rhymefest. Jeff has put together an album reminiscent of the days when Hip Hop was about feel-good music without sounding obsolete. — RR
Marco Polo Port Authority Soulspazm/Rawkus On Port Authority, exclusively produced by Canadian beatmaker Marco Polo, Kardinal Offishall goes to battle and destroys the beat on “War,” Masta Ace takes listeners back in the days on “Nostalgia” and Buckshot sounds rejuvenated on “Go Around.” The album also features Kool G. Rap, Wordsworth, Sadat X and many others, who shine over Marco Polo’s essence of real Hip Hop productions. Hip Hop isn’t dead, nor does it only live in the South. Apparently, it lives in Canada. — RR
88 // OZONE MAG
Gucci Mane/Zaytoven/Dutty Laundry Ice Attack Gucci Mane hooking up with San Francisco producer Zaytoven is a far cry from Snoop and Dre. The mixtapes ends up being of collection of Gucci Mane’s sub par verses and Zaytoven’s my-first-Casio beats. Ice Attack is supposed to be a DJ Dutty Laundry Hood Classics special edition, but “Give Us What You Got” featuring 4Tre and Jody Breeze, and Gucci’s singles “Pillz” and “Freaky Gurl,” are the only tracks worth playing in any ‘hood. — RR
Mack Maine & T. Hilly Freestyle 101 Freestyling is almost a lost art form in Hip Hop today. Young Money’s Mack Maine’s Freestyle 101 takes rappers to freestyle school. Through 22 tracks Mack Maine seems accredited to teach non-rapping emcees how to spit off the top as the majority of the tracks are freestyles and wordplay practices. Maine’s rambling does go over board with 4 and 5 minute long freestyles that even the best students would lose interest in. But overall, when it comes to freestyling, Mack Maine is a scholar and this mixtape is grade-A work. — RR
Sunny Valentine & DJ Holiday Street Judgement Hoping to show the world that he’s better than the simplistic snap-beat rapper you heard on “F.U. Payme” Sunny V gives listeners a mixtape where he makes it known that he’s cut from a different cloth. The best example is the bass-riddled “Come On” where he blasts, “Don’t wanna play my record, cool, that’s your loss / You can suck my dick, that’s your loss.” Outside of a couple of Jeezy-ish moments here and there, Sunny V’s lyrics on songs like “Only Way Is Up” and consistent production proves that he deserves to be taken dead seriously. — MGG
Big Tuck and Tum Tum/On The Grind Houston has always been the central city for rap music in Texas, but with Dallas rappers like Big Tuck and Tum Tum leading a new wave of Dallas rappers, Houston might have a problem. Big Tuck and Tum Tum get on their grind with J.A. and drop a solid mixtape that shows what these boys are cooking up deep in the heart of Texas. With tracks like “The Whole City,” “Caprice Music (Remix)” and “Ain’t No Mistaken” featuring Erykah Badu, rappers will have to step up their grind when these Dallas boys come through. —RR
B Simm & DJ D Ceezy The One, Legend in the Making The Bluegrass State hasn’t had any Hip Hop representation since those nappy headed country boys were on the scene but newcomer B Simm puts Louisville, Kentucky on the map with The One. The self proclaimed King of Louisville’s freestyles take Unk’s “Walk It Out” on a Kentucky stroll and breaks down his father’s absence by flipping “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy” into “Fuckin’ With My Daddy.” After hearing “Mr. B. Nasty” you’ll remember this name, and after “Lost City” you’ll remember his city isn’t all country. His “legend is the making” boast is a tall mountain to climb but B Simm is a name to remember. — RR
J-Khrist & DJ Stylz The Young Richard Porter Story J-Khrist, a 2006 OZONE Carolina Patiently Waiting nominee, got his buzz through his 2006 regional hit single “Swagga Back,” and in 2007 Khrist still has the swag of a hungry MC with something to prove to the game. Khrist reps the Carolina streets on “Carolina G’s,” lives the life of a rocker on “Rockstar” and faces the realities of the drug game on “Can’t Sell Dope Forever.” The mixtape is a good listen straight through, although Khrist is excessively braggadocios at times and has frequent issues with his delivery. But those mishaps don’t overshadow an overall solid performance. — RR
Kinfolk Thugs/Worth The Weight When you hear “Kinfolk,” you might be confused, but these Memphis boys aren’t Big Gipp and Ali nor are they the Carolina group that had a video in rotation on BET last summer. With Worth The Weight, the Kinfolk Thugs separate themselves from their similarly named counterparts. Their trademark style of simple sing-along hooks and hard hitting 808 productions are an infectious combination. — RR
R.O.M.E. & DJ Smallz Before The Take Over According to R.O.M.E.’s mixtape title, the Alabama native has a takeover planned in the near future. Unless R.O.M.E. hires Gillie Da Kid as a ghostwriter, those takeover plans won’t manifest in Hip Hop. Through 24-cuts R.O.M.E. and his Dade county rhyme partner Bigg D showcase primitive rhyme skills over instrumentals like “Chevy Ridin High,” “Money In Da Bank” and “Holla At Me Baby.” As bad as the freestyles are the original tracks aren’t much better, and if R.O.M.E. seriously plans to takeover the game he has to set it up on his next project. —RR
Big Cas & DJ Stylz/Cut The Check Vol. 1 Max Minelli & DJ Smallz/Pain Pill Dealer Max opens this mixtape like a cocky prize fighter poised to knock out the competition (“Rocky 6”) and later kicks colorful imagery rhymes that even Young Dro would be envious of (“Colors”). On “Murda Beatz” Max Pain does exactly what the track’s title says, as his punchlines and flows could be considered lethal weapons. Mediocre production on “A&R Warning” and “Real Hustla” does slow Max’s momentum but the Baton Rouge emcee regains his composure on “All My Life.” Listeners won’t want this Pain to go away. — RR
Nappy Roots & DJ Ritz/90 In The Slow Lane It’s been nearly four years since these country boys from Kentucky spit their version of country fried rhymes. But tracks like “Get Em Back (Remix)” produced by Three 6 Mafia, “GA Woods (Remix)” featuring Roam Bad Daddy and “Run Tell The DJ” produced by Mannie Fresh are proof the Nappy Roots are back with more watermelon, chicken and grits to satisfy fans’ Southern appetites. As a prelude to Nappy Roots’ forthcoming album The Humdinger, this mixtape reminds listeners what was so lovable about them. If you thought the Nappy Roots fell off, awnaw hell naw, they done up and done it again. — RR
From the beginning Cas’ “The Future Pt. 1” freestyle shows why he was a 2006 OZONE Patiently Waiting nominee, and standout cuts like “The Rush” and “My Addictions” show it’s not a fluke. Big Cas’ street storytelling abilities are evident on “Benny Got A Gun” and he sweet-talks the microphone “I Used To Love Her” style on “One Tru Love.” He’s still unsigned, so major labels should be lining up to cut Big Cas a check. — RR
Joe Hound/Papa Smirf & DJ Kronik 2 Sides of Life Cool & Dre’s artist Joe Hound is in a coveted position. As long as Cool & Dre are there to provide the instrumentals, Hound could recite his rhymes backwards in Chinese and still have heads nodding with approval (no disrespect to Jin). Cool & Dre’s production on songs like the buzzing “My Chopper,” “Connect Boy,” and “Neva Change” are well fitted for Hound’s gritty Miami street rhymes. — RR
OZONE MAG // 89
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90 // OZONE MAG
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OZONE MAG // 91
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OZONE MAG // 93
N.W.A NIGGAZ 4 LIFE
I think the Niggaz 4 Life album was so significant to what Hip Hop was, both then and now, because of the way they set that shit up. Before they released the album they put an EP together, and it had some incredible shit on it. They said the name of the album and played it backwards so we ain’t know what the fuck it was. They set us up so fucking nasty for this shit, man. We were already fiendin’ for the new N.W.A album. With Ice Cube gone, we thought, them niggas ain’t gonna be shit. But they dropped the EP and that shit was incredible. And then when the album came out it couldn’t be topped. You could put Niggaz 4 Life against any rap album right now and it would destroy them, my shit included, as hard as I work. When I do a studio album by myself I try not to mimic, but I pattern my albums off some of the greatest albums of all time and N.W.A’s Niggaz 4 Life is one of my favorite rap albums of all fuckin’ time. It’s the greatest rap album ever created. Nobody was doing skits like that. I was used to hearing dope rock albums like Pink Floyd with different types of intros and skits, but N.W.A just took it to another level. Any rap album or ran fan that’s not putting their albums up against a great fucking rap album is not maximizing the potential of what they’re creating. This is one of the best rap albums ever made, and I’m not saying that just as my opinion. This is fuckin’ documented. They were selling two million records when niggas couldn’t go gold. They were doing rock & roll numbers when other niggas were struggling to sell a hundred thousand. When other niggas were trying to get a gold plaque, those niggas were already double platinum. The first song of this album was an intro and they fuckin’ wrecked it. It was like, The real niggas are back because there’s too many bullshit records out. Niggas are feindin’ for what we put out, but you ain’t gotta wait much longer because the new album is out and this shit is much stonger. We were like, damn, niggas is not playin’. We wasn’t even trippin’ on their street credibility, we were into the music, how they blended the songs. Shit, where’s my iPod? I don’t have many rap albums on my iPod, but I have Niggaz 4 Life. I also have It Takes A Nation Of Millions and believe it or not, A Tribe Called Quest. I’ve got all the Outkast shit. I’m talking about records that took time to make. There aren’t a lot of rap records that took time to make. A great producer can grab an artist and make them a star, but who can make a good fucking album? I love what JD did for Mariah Carey’s career, but as far as making great rap albums, that’s a hard one. Dre is the epitome of a great fuckin’ producer, in my opinion. I’m not feelin’ anybody else. “100 Miles and Runnin’,” best rap production of all time. Niggas is lazy these days. There are a lot of key tracks on this album. It’s one of those albums where you can just push play. There’s no songs that you can look over. You can’t pass shit up. It’s a big record, man.
Rap is a scapegoat. Rap isn’t the reason why Imus said that shit, no, he said that shit because he hates niggas and he fuckin’ hates nappy headed hoes. Point the finger at the white boy. 50 Cent didn’t say that shit all over the radio. I’m not trying to sound like I ain’t down with my peoples, but if you’ve got a problem with the use of the word “nigga,” stop letting people treat you like niggers. The citizen guidelines are different for niggers. The way they stereotype niggers is different from the way they stereotype anybody else. The condition of the neighborhood that niggers live is in worse than anybody else. They’re pushing niggers out and raising the property tax. Stop acting like the word “nigga” is the reason we’re treated that way. Stop putting yourself in that position. I have more respect for religious people who try to defend their turf and their territory. I’ve got more respect for those people than I’ve got for niggas. At least they’re willing to die for what they believe in. We’re just willing to go against each other. The way we make our money is just like acting. It’s just like porn, and there’s some nappy-headed hoes in porn too. But Hugh Hefner is a god; he throws a fucking Playboy party and he’s got titties and shit hanging out, naked muthafuckers running around his Bunny ranch. What about [the All Star game] in Las Vegas? And you think that’s the problem with black folks, the words they use? Naw, man, that’s not it. Take whatever you want to take away from this, cause I’m a crazy muthafucker, but I know that the words we use are not the reason why we’re in the condition we’re in. Our people were slaves – fuck that, our people are still slaves. Look at the penitentiary system. We’re still fuckin’ slaves. Look at the number of minorities in the prison system as opposed to the white folks. Paris Hilton was just [sentenced to] forty five days for driving with a suspended driver’s license. Let a nigga get caught with a DUI and a suspended driver’s license; they would throw the book at him, man. What the fuck is this “three strikes and you’re out” shit? They’re playing fucking baseball with us.
“Real Niggas Don’t Die” was one of my buddy’s favorite songs. He got killed in the early 90s; may he rest in peace. That’s really when I started taking a liking to that shit, because he was a real nigga. For him to play that shit over and over again, it made me go buy the record.
So if black America thinks that the use of words like “nigga” or “hoes” is the problem, I think the so-called leaders of black America need to really look at the big picture. They really need to dig up these history books and read up on these people; read up on the reason the United States government told Dred Scott he could never be a citizen of the United States and could never sue the Federal government. Read up on the people who lived through that shit and just know that it ain’t got nothing to do with what you say. I’m more concerned about gas prices than the words that come out of a nigga’s mouth, and I use that word freely, man.
I love the album title Niggaz 4 Life, because you never stop being a nigga. You can be a rich nigga, a poor nigga, even an educated nigga, but you never stop being a nigga. Get used to it. It’s all in how you take that [word], man. You’ve got some 85-year-old niggas that are offended by it. As far as [Don Imus], whoever he is, he said that shit, so don’t put the blame back on rap.
Niggaz 4 Life was a brilliant title for the album, and the artwork was brilliant, the bodies raising up from beneath the sheets. You never stop being a nigga. If you’ve got some rims on your car and you go drive through Kansas right now and you ain’t done shit, you’ll find out what I mean. You’re just a nigga, so accept it as a term of endearment. //
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Location: Miami, FL Venue: Sobe Live Event: OZONEâ€™s April issue release party Date: March 30th, 2007 Photo: Julia Beverly
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DJ Teknikz “Georgia Power Three”
01. DJ Dolby Devious “Trill Azz Remixes” myspace.com/dolbydevious 02. DJ Slym (Hosted by DJ Q45) “F**k Now I Got Now” www.djslym.com 561-542-1701 03. DJ Chuck T (Hosted by DJ Drama) “Down South Slangin’ Vol. 37” www.djchu ckt.com
04. DJ Rondevu (Hosted by Cham) “Feelin Irie” www.djrondevu.com 05. DJ Frogie “Who Run It Vol. 7” www.myspace.com/djfrogie 888-318-7 918
06. Dutty Laundry (Hosted by Nakia Shine) “Hood Classics 7” myspace.com/duttylaundry 423-298-1410 07. DJ 2 Mello “Undercover R&B Law & Order” myspace.com/supa_dj2mello
410-746-2335 08. DJ Furious Styles & DJ Dub (Hosted by Swizz Beats & Nas “Shine Vol. 2” myspace.com/djfuriousstlyes www.djdub.com 09. DJ Show “Street Cred” www.djshow211.com 407-290-1110
10. DJ Lex “RNB In The 90’s Vol. 4” www.silentkillahdjlex.com 718-289-3182 11. DJ Sean Mac & Skee Franchise “Midwest Gangstaz 4.0 Mob Related” myspace.co m/skeefranchise
12. DJ Sam King “Mind of a Hustla Soul of a Grinda” myspace.com/trackmastersamking
DJ Tekniz brings the hottest new music from Corporate Thugz Entertainment as a warm up for USDA’s Corporate Thuggin’ album. This mixtape features USDA’s new single “White Girl” and a lot of new music from Slick Pulla, Blood Raw and CTE’s West Coast newcomer Roccett. DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for consideration to: Ozone Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318
13. DJ Woody Wood “In Heavy Rotation” myspace.com/djwoodywood 512-964-3116
14. Evil Empire “Interstate Trafficking 4.0” myspace.com/evilempire 646.577.4968 15. Brandi Garcia (Hosted by Monica) “Southern Stiletto’s R&B” myspace.co m/brandigarcia 16. DJ G-Spot & Mike Jones “Inspired By The South 12” www.doublement.com 917-592-6917 17. DJ Sir Swift “Got What U Want Vol. 5” Myspace.com/djsirswift 18. Team Invasion “Hood Rules Apply Vol. 5” myspace.com/teaminvasion06 19. DJ Smallz “Best Thang Smokin” www.djsmallz.com 20. DJ Envy & Tapemasters Inc. (Hosted by Paul Wall) “Purple Codeine” myspace.com/thepeopleschoicedjenvy
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