YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE! OZONE AWARD WINNERS!
HUSTLER’S EDITION FEATURING
I’M WAY MORE TRILLA
PLIES YUNG JOC
RICK ROSS PIMP C TRAE APOLOGIZES USDA TO ATLANTA! BLOCK T-PAIN GRIT BOYS HURRICANE CHRIS DRE’s BROWN PAPER BAG MONEY
PLUS OZONE WEST: SEPTEMBER 2007
MITCHY SLICK WESTURN UNION SKEE & REFLEX KAFANI AND MORE!
OZONE MAG //
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE! OZONE AWARD WINNERS!
RICK ROSS PLIES YUNG JOC DRE’s
BROWN PAPER BAG MONEY
TRAE USDA BLOCK T-PAIN GRIT BOYS HURRICANE CHRIS 20 // OZONE WEST
PIMP C APOLOGIZES TO ATLANTA! PLUS OZONE WEST:
MITCHY SLICK WESTURN UNION SKEE & REFLEX KAFANI
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE! OZONE AWARD WINNERS!
HUSTLER’S EDITION FEATURING WE WASN’T HOMIES LAST WEEK SO DON’T CALL ME TODAY
PIMP C APOLOGIZES TO ATLANTA!
PLUS OZONE WEST:
MITCHY SLICK WESTURN UNION SKEE & REFLEX KAFANI
HURRICANE CHRIS GRIT BOYS TRAE USDA BLOCK T-PAIN DRE’s
BROWN PAPER BAG MONEY
SEPTEMBER 2007 OZONE MAG //
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PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF // Julia Beverly CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER // N. Ali Early MUSIC EDITOR // Randy Roper FEATURES EDITOR // Eric Perrin ART DIRECTOR // Tene Gooden ADVERTISING SALES // Che’ Johnson PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR // Malik Abdul MARKETING DIRECTOR // David Muhammad 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, Rio G, Rippy, Rob-Lo, Stax, TJ’s DJ’s, TJ Bless, Tim Brown, Trina Edwards, Vicious, Victor Walker, Voodoo, Wild Billo, Young Harlem
monthly sections 28 CHAIN REACTION: DRE’S BROWN PAPER BAG 46 PRODUCER PROFILE: DRUMMA BOY 34 THE CHRONICLES OF PIMP C 42 INDUSTRY 101: MTV JAMS 17 10 THINGS I’M HATIN’ ON 44 DJ PROFILE: CRISCO KID 95 CAFFEINE SUBSTITUTES 21-49 PHOTO GALLERIES 24 SIDEKICK HACKIN’ 26 DOLLAR MENU 20 MATHEMATICS 90 DVD REVIEWS 17 JB’S 2 CENTS 22 CHIN CHECK 92-93 CD REVIEWS 30 TRUE RAPS 18-19 RAPQUEST 36 TATTED UP 14 FEEDBACK 94-98 END ZONE
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 // Plies photo (cover and this page) by Ray Tamarra; Yung Joc photo by Blake Ribbey; Rick Ross photo by Blake Ribbey; Dre photo by Julia Beverly. 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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features 32 Follow The Leader 85-87 Ozone Award Winners
interviews 58-59 Trae 68-69 Block 80-81 Grit Boys
PLIES pg 72-77 YUNG JOC pg 62-6 7 RICK ROSS pg 51-54
OZONE MAG // 13
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us up at www.myspace.com/ozonemagazine away with saying “nigga.” I understand blacks, Chicanos and certain Middle Easterners especially from areas near the head of Africa like Egypt and Palestine and Saudi Arabia can say it, but DJ Drama? Also, what’s good with my boy Pitbull? He looks white. I’m not one to hate – I love all ethnicities – but in Africa, we are very defensive with the “n” word, ya dig? Pitbull has blue eyes in all the pics I’ve seen, so what’s good with the Cuban homeboy? I’m a huge fan and love everything you’re doing. Keep up the good work! - Nathaniel Ramsey, email@example.com (Australia)
Editor Responds: DJ Drama is half black and Pitbull has addressed this question.
You’re doin’ the damn thang with OZONE Magazine. I buy that shit monthly. It’s informative and straight up real, unlike XXL or The Source. - Myspace.com/southsidevet (Central FL) The OZONE Magazine with The Runners on the front cover is one of the best I’ve ever read. It gave me a lot of information and insight about what I’m doing with my career. – Kavid Mathis, firstname.lastname@example.org The Patiently Waiting: Mississippi OZONE Award nominees listed in your August issue was somewhat accurate, but not as accurate as you think. If you ask any of the names on the list about Rah Fontaine, I guarantee you they’ll mention his name! I think you guys and gals over there at OZONE should mention it also. – Maurice Rounsaville, email@example.com (Jackson, MS) Ms. Beverly, I honestly do look up to you. On some real shit, you are my motivation. I’m a 19-year-old female, mother of one, and a full-time college student on the grind when it comes down to this music stuff. I am the only female member of an independent record label called Mo Midi Music and I do all the behind-the-scenes shit. I know before you had your own mag, niggas might have talked down on you. Look at you now, though. Bottom line, reading your mag lets me know that anything is possible. – Mo Midi Music (San Diego, CA) OZONE is a killer mag. I’ve been into Hip Hop for years and the journalism was never up-to-par. You guys are really pushing the bar out there now. I just discovered this mag about 3-4 issues back, so you’re still breaking new ground with your hustle. Keep up the good work. Damn! Now the best rapper is white and the best mag is run by a white chick. Even if I was black and a hater I’d find that funny, but I’m an internet person – I have no color and am not that amused. You should have a few reader contests and maybe some polls as well, and get a webpage going. XXL had an awesome online contest. – Rory McLaughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org I love OZONE. I’m a jock at a radio station in Shreveport, and music is my life! I couldn’t believe Kisha hated on Hurricane’s “A Bay Bay” in “10 Things I’m Hatin’ On.” If Rick Ross, who raps about all the cocaine he sold/uses, why can’t a rapper with a catchy song get some love? I’d be lying if I said “A Bay Bay” was my favorite song, but Hurricane is the first rapper from Shreveport to make it this far and I support my city. Can everyone else do the same? – Lil D, email@example.com (Shreveport, LA) I live in Australia via Africa. I’m a fan of your magazine but we don’t get it over here so it’s a website thing to read ‘em. As a longtime fan, I would appreciate some answers to my questions. I was wondering how DJ Drama gets 14 // OZONE MAG
JB, I just picked up the new issue of OZONE and you did it again. I feel that it’s becoming the best magazine covering the music culture. I’m from the East Coast, but I can tell that you and your staff is really putting in the work. It shows. In the Pimp C article, he sure expressed himself – and also followed it up on a radio station in Atlanta. That little article in your magazine made headlines throughout the industry and sure made an impact. It had people checking for OZONE even if they weren’t before. I know it wasn’t a publicity stunt or for sales, which was even more intriguing. I just wish more artists would express themselves like Pimp C – not for controversy purposes but just because I’m sure there are a lot of artists who feel like him but are just scared to express themselves in that manner because of the press or the confrontation. Pimp C said that there was a Part 2 coming, so if it’s anything like the first one, oh boy! With the Benzino article, you proved that you are a woman and in this crazy industry you also have class. Much respect for giving a man that disrespected you a voice in your pages and showing that you are the better person. To be honest, when I saw the article I was surprised, but it also put a smile on my face because it shows that with you it’s business not personal. Tell Delta or any airline you travel to not give you a hard time, because you’re on a mission. - Rinarys “Sincere” Matos, firstname.lastname@example.org I just finished reading the June 2007 issue and I loved JB’s 2 Cents. You’re right – why is it that ladies always have to lower themselves for men, dress inappropriately, and get called all sorts of trashy names, and they still respond? They follow men like they’re on a leash. Your write-up has opened up a can of worms, but the worms have been around before you and I have. I’m like you – we should dress however makes us comfortable. I’m with you, Julia. Keep doing what you and the team at OZONE do. I’m loving the magazine and the South is awake! – Coconut Fob, myspace.com/coconutfob (Sydney, Australia) You were wrong in JB’s 2 Cents. Although I can understand the reason you feel like it’s a hopeless situation with these idiots in the industry, it’s not hopeless. Those girls you are referring to have never had a voice of their own. You’re now in a position to do something about it. – Sonya Blankinship, email@example.com I saw that article you did on Yukmouth in the last issue online. That shit was pretty tight. Y’all cover a lot of Bay Area artists in OZONE West but you can’t find the magazine anywhere in the Bay. What’s up with that? – Keita Jones, firstname.lastname@example.org (California)
Editor Responds: Check 7-11! Eric Perrin’s joke about Virginia Tech wasn’t cool. Hate all you want, but it’s just not cool to say that these people could still be with us if girls had put out. That’s pretty low. For all we know, that Asian kid could have been gay. Everything else was funny, but this joke came a little too soon. – Shanette Little, email@example.com (Orlando, FL) God bless you! I really smell myself to fill with enthusiasm as soon as I find the OZONE Mag. I live in Haiti and I adore the OZONE Mag because I would like to know all about the artists such as Akon, he is an artist I like so much. – Josue Wandlyne, firstname.lastname@example.org (Haiti)
Correction: Fred Taylor, featured in photo #15 on page 27 of the August issue, was incorrectly labeled as Ray Lewis.
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10 Things I’m Hatin’ On Lil Duval used up all his material at the OZONE Awards so I (JB) had to step up to the plate this month. How hard could it be to think of things to hate on?
ow that I’m an award show veteran with two years under my belt, I’ve decided that my favorite thing about the post-OZONE Awards wrap-up is the occasional emails that are like insults hidden inside a compliment. To paraphrase: “Great show, but maybe next time you should try to be a little more organized.” No shit!
01 // HIGH TOP PRADAs I don’t care how much they cost. Those things are ugly. 02 // PEOPLE REVEALING TOO MUCH PERSONAL INFO ON MYSPACE Thank God Myspace and YouTube and all that didn’t exist when I was a teenager, because there might be living proof to this day of all the dumb shit I did back then. I also love when people you don’t know post comments on your page as if they really knew you “Hey, boo! Call me! Miss you! We should hang out again! Last night was fun!” etc.
Polow would love having the opportunity to caption this
03 // KID RAPPERS Gotta love kid rappers with their simplistic rhymes about all the ice they’ve got and expensive cars they drive and how they’re going to blow your back out. “Throw it deep like Michael Vick?” Aren’t you like 14 years old and four feet tall? How much dick could you possibly be slangin’? 04 // ARTISTS BLAMING ME FOR THEIR BEEF I don’t mind a lil’ controversy if it sells magazines. But if I’m holding a recorder in front of your face and you voluntarily talk shit about somebody, don’t try to cop out later by blaming it on the white girl with “the media made me do it” excuse.
07 // OVERLY SENSITIVE PUBLICISTS I hate on publicists, period, just because I can. Except 5WPR, OZONE loves them. But the worst are the ones that are actually fucking the artist they’re promoting and get personally offended if you don’t want to interview their “client.” 08 // HOTEL VALET CHARGES I ran into MJG outside a hotel in Birmingham recently where they were charging like $30 for valet parking. In Birmingham! Hotels charge more now for parking than the room. 09 // CHARLIE MURPHY Either him, his publicist, or his manager is full of shit. Maybe all of the above. 10 // ROLAND “LIL DUVAL” POWELL What kind of comedian would start a hilarious column and then quit? Lame. I can’t think of 10 things. Come back to work Duval.
06 // PROACTIV CELEBRITIES They’ll take an old picture of Jessica Simpson and photoshop a zit onto it. Get the fuck outta here. We know you never had acne.
You could plan a big grand finale with a live band and end up in a screaming match with the Hollywood-ass dude who runs the band the morning of the show because you just can’t put up with any more of his diva bullshit (“Don’t you know who the fuck I am????” Actually, no. No one knows who the fuck you are, which is why I’m not even going to mention your name. Should’ve taken advantage of the lil’ opportunity to be seen on MTV Jams, but whatever). You could plan to give out a Lifetime Achievement Award to somebody who constantly bitches about never getting a Lifetime Achievement Award and actually deserves it (*cough* Uncle Luke *cough*) and then he somehow forgets to come? You also might end up with a major artist giving an ultimatum demanding 80 tickets an hour before the show (yes, eighty tickets). You could tell artists to “dress to impress,” but they will still show up on the red carpet in wifebeaters or whatever the fuck they feel like wearing. You could pay a sickening amount of money for security who are apparently unable to prevent people without tickets from entering the venue; meanwhile they are busy pissing off your headliner who’s about to leave because they’re searching his wardrobe bags. They could also be somehow unable to prevent five unplanned performances throughout the course of your show by random rappers jumping on stage with their shirts off. Bottom line: you can’t create order from disorder, so as long as rap entourages are chaotic and disorganized, yes, the OZONE Awards are gonna be ghetto. But that’s why it’s the shit. It’s raw, uncensored, and a little rough around the edges. If you don’t like it, don’t come.
Me & BOB have haters everywhere
Boosie clearly has more money than me. Maybe I’ll start rapping
05 // HIGH MAINTENANCE D-LIST ARTISTS Between Ky-Mani Marley, the Shop Boyz, Buckeey from Flavor of Love, Tango, and Freeway, I must have received at least 5,000 emails in reference to their attendance at the OZONE Awards. Is it that serious? Do the Shop Boyz really need a “backline,” “production budget,” and “AFTRA fees” to get on stage for 3 minutes with a DJ and a CD? Why does Buckeey have four publicists? Is it necessary for Tango from I Love New York to have two managers and two bodyguards?
Me & the Aphilliates in ATL
It kinda surprises me, though, because organization has never been one of my weaknesses, and I must humbly say that I think we do a great job considering the circumstances. The problem in this situation is that you’re dealing with rappers, egos, entourages, and a million other variables. News flash: “Organized” is the last word you will ever use to describe artists and their entourages. You can plan seating charts and ticket allotments, but in reality, rappers are going to show up however deep they want and sit wherever the fuck they want (or roam around backstage with the 20 other entourages – even better). In theory, you can plan a show down to the minute – who’s going to present which award, who’s going to perform when – but in reality, you end up with thirty impatient artists who all think they are the most important one. Everyone waits til the last minute to make all kinds of crazy demands. I don’t even remember how many people I cursed out during the OZONE Awards weekend. Artists show up when they feel like it, expect to immediately go on stage, and get pissed off if they have to wait. Inevitably, there’s also a handful of artists who promised they were coming but don’t show up at all, completely throwing off your minute-by-minute show schedule, even though you already know they’re flaky as hell so you gave them a grace period of 24 hours fully expecting them to miss the first one, two, or three flights (yes, you).
Shit happens. Usually at 5 AM in an OZONE truck far away from home
Thank God it’s all over and I can go back to being a regular person again. People have been literally hunting me down like a wild animal for the last few weeks trying to get free tickets. I was getting so many random calls at my hotel room I had to check in under an alias. That’s how you know you’re famous. It’s crazy. You all really give me too much credit. I don’t know who told you I’m important. I just take pictures and talk shit. And the groupies, wow. We’re not gonna even talk about my groupies. Let’s just say that if I was a guy, I would’ve got plenty of free head during the OZONE Awards weekend. It’s unfortunate that we females can’t take advantage of groupie love in quite the same ways. Damn emotions and the whole not-wanting-to-look-like-a-slut thing, you know? Maybe next year. - Julia Beverly, email@example.com
Plies f/ Akon “Hypnotized” Chamillionaire f/ Slick Rick “Hip Hop Police” B.G. f/ Young Jeezy “I Hustle” UGK f/ Too $hort “Life Is 2009” Yung Joc f/ Gorilla Zoe “Bottle Poppin’” Bohagon “Bring It Back” USDA “Corporate Thuggin’”
jb’splaylist Plies f/ Tank “You” J Holiday “Bed” Mr. West “Stronger” UGK “Chrome Plated Woman”
OZONE MAG // 17
T S E U Q RAP
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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 INDIANAPOLIS, IN T E E STRISEMISREPRESENTED, OR H DJ B-Nasty has started to make noise all across the nation. He is rocking T S T I H E clubs on three coasts now. 4 Given 4 is on top of a lot of peoples minds. These four OZON L THAT YOUR CITY E IF YOU FE
NEW YORK, NY
The streets are buzzing in New York over a new movement called Keeplock Entertainment. Their artist Countri Boi just got signed to TVT Records. The 4th of July is near and there are many parties popping in the city. The biggest event in Harlem is The Most Hated Cookout uptown on 145 & Lenox. Rapper Jae Millz is hosting the event. Word on the street says Mase is signing to Steve Rifkind’s SRC/Universal label. If you need a great hair cut, go to Master John’s located on 126 Street & 8th Avenue. They will hook you up, and they rep OZONE. - Young Harlem (www.Myspace.com/YoungHarlem00)
young ladies have taken gospel rap to an all new high. DJ 5 Foota is becoming a force on the mixtape scene, as well as DJ Rally. Rebel World Records has dropped a hot mixtape featuring some artists you should be checking for. Upfront Promotions did their thing bringing the hottest show of the summer with UGK, Scarface & the Geto Boyz, Devin the Dude, & Big Mike. - Lucky The Promo King (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BDG (Big Daddy Gaddy) held the city down with a weekend long birthday celebration. Drupy just released his highly anticipated CD entitled The Low End Theory and is getting heavy club spins. The candidates for Mayor are sitting down with the music community to put together a plan of action for change. Cashville’s Prince All Star invited all of the DJs out for dinner and then had a listening session back at the studio. Word on the streets is that Lil Bizzy has a few labels looking at him and there’s a brand new club on the block called The Cartel. - Janiro (Janiro@southernentawards.com)
Former Hot 107.1 Memphis radio personality Big Sue returns from Louisiana and joins the K97 team on the Mike Evans Morning Show. Memphis is definitely glad to have her back. Gangsta Boo isn’t slowing down a bit, especially with her latest project with Snoop Dogg and Rich Boy. Their single “Break a Nigga Off” will appear on Rich Boy’s upcoming album. Muck Sticky and his wild crew have teamed up with Lil Wyte and Taco Da Mofos. They will be doing shows all summer and Muck has his latest city release on August 7th. If you’re looking for something different, Muck Sticky has it covered! - Deanna Brown (Deanna.Brown@memphisrap.com)
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX
Tum Tum’s Eat or Get Ate and Mr. Lucci’s 100% Real are in stores now. Young Bleed’s Once Upon a Time in America drops this month and I’m hearing a lot of Ke Ke’s single “Debt or Credit.” Super producer E-rotic D is a must know while the song “Get It Big” by Trap Star is blowing up radio. Tee Cherry Ent. is bringing local shows to the Jinx Bar and Big Tramp is airing local videos on N Da Streetz TV. Gatormain is the truth; Peezee is starting to buzz, and it’s still Free Bo-Leg and Twisted Black! - Edward “Pookie” Hall (www. email@example.com)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC
Local artists are preparing for the Southeast Music & Entertainment Summit this summer. UC Strategies, Sean Valentine, The B1nz and Squad Familia all have hot records that buzzing in the streets and getting spins on radio. The competition and beefs between area DJs is heating up like a down south cotton field. I hear a ton of subliminal disses on mixtapes and radio commercials. Instead of working together to get money, we’d rather put the blade to someone’s throat to be the man. Congratulations to Ramon Sessions from Myrtle Beach; he was just drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks. The draft party was ridiculous. - Mr. Smith (Roderick.Smith@cumulus.com)
DJ Rapid Ric spent a portion of June and July on tour with Chamillionaire in Norway. He DJed at various performances. Rapid Ric was also nominated for the category of Best Mixtape at the 2007 OZONE Awards. “Free Ryno” is the chant going around Austin in support of the On The Line Records artist who was recently caught in an unfortunate situation. The Gangstar Roc mixtape from PLA and Set 4 Life will be available soon. Basswood Lane’s latest project with DJ Grip titled Basswood Select will also be out soon. Tosin of TheScrewShop.com just released a two-disc set titled Major Moves. - O.G. of Luxury Mindz (LuxuryMindz@gmail.com)
SAN ANTONIO, TX
The Hip Hop scene in old San Antone, Sa-Town, or SA as it’s been called has been booming over the last month with a slew of new local celebrity releases. NBA finals MVP Tony Parker’s debut “T.P.” has set the tone, followed by the release of Laws of Power Vol. 1 from San Antonio’s mega group Tha Coalition. With backing from Chamillionaire, Famous a.k.a. Lil Ken has set his own course to prominence with the release of Undisputed. It’s packed with a list of underground Texas allstars. Cinamatic Music Group’s Question is tallying up spins for his local hit “Ridin Slow.” - Bishop Maxx (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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BAY ST LOUIS, MS
The Mississippi sound is very much alive. DJ Deliyte’s underground movement is still going strong. Strong Arm’s hit single “Bitch Niggaz You See Me,” T.Z.’s “Rock n Sway,” GNo’s “Ballaholic,” and Dead End’s “D-Boy Rock” are in almost every club in the Sipp. Shawt’s grinding is paying off as his hit single “I’m Drunk” just hit the airwaves. Scrapin’ the Coast was back hard with rides and entertainment. Sir Rod stopped through with his So So Def Best of the Best Tour at Nel’s Sports Bar and Lounge. - DJ Deliyte (email@example.com)
Summer brings out the mini skirts as the Columbus scene heats up. The Usual Suspects DJ Crew kicked off Black Music Month with an open mic set at Bodega. Their radio show can be heard on fullblastradio.podomatic.com. DJ O Sharp and Rich NYCe keep mixtapes in the streets. King Seven the Great holds down the reggae scene while J Rawls rips the Atlanta Soul Festival in July. Columbus is the 5th fattest city in the nation and we got plenty of festivals to keep those spare tires rollin’ – Juneteenth, Latino Festival, Red, White and Boom and the infamous Rib Fest. Niggas and ribs, oh my! - Dawn Dickson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ludacris hit the city and did his thing at one of Jackson’s biggest street festivals. Plies dropped into town and had dinner with a few lucky Hot 97.7 radio listeners. Benz of 1Life1Love is getting heavy spins with his single “The Wait is Over.” T-Pain was a no-show but reasons as to why are still uncertain. He did make it to the city though. Slim Thug performed in Jackson then gave props during an interview at the BET Awards. The streets are going crazy waiting for the BLOCK WEAR DVD to be released. Get at us! - Tambra Cherie (TambraCherie@aol.com) & Stax (email@example.com)
NEW ORLEANS, LA
R.I.P to the nine firefighters that died in the furniture store fire. Pimp C was supposed to perform at The Weekend’s Pub but didn’t show. B.G. showed up on June 24th. It went down real big with DJ Cleve at the pool party at The Tunnel. The Gutta Ent. Cookout at the Ladson Fairgrounds takes place July 7th. Gucci Man performed at Club Nuvibe along with Charleston’s own Fatboy and Redrum. DJ Chuck T continues the mixtape slaughter with DSS 65. He’s also nominated for Best Mixtape DJ at the SMES. I was nominated for Best Club DJ at ‘07 OZONE Awards! - DJ B-Lord (BLordDJ@aol.com)
Dizzy, a.k.a. Raw D.I., released his album From the Ground Up. The album release party was a star studded event. The project features production from Raj Smoove, Stevie Drumma, The Runners and much more. Lil Wayne is also featured on the album. Weezy F. leaked The Carter 3 Sessions to the streets. Currency’s “Fly Society” movement has the potential to be bigger and more supported than Lil Wayne’s movement. Lil Boosie threw a concert in Slidell which was well attended and actually covered by Q93. Tha Street Team performed their single “Jazzy Chick” as an opening act. - Derrick Tha Franchise (www.Myspace.com/DerrickThaFranchise)
Question of the century: Who’s gonna be the first cat from Bmore to blow? There are five dudes from the city getting closer to bringing that first platinum plaque to Harm City. Bossman, Los, D.O.G., NOE, and A-maz-on are in the studio working on their major label debuts. On the indie side, Testme, Ogun, Mullyman, and Skarr continue to supply the block with heat. Hamsterdam got the streets in a frenzy too. The Wire is back in town filming. You can catch cast members on any given night in the club spending that HBO bread. - Darkroom Productions (firstname.lastname@example.org)
> > > > > > > > > > > > >>>>> CINCINNATI, OH:
The body of a missing pregnant woman was found in a wooded area near Canton, OH. Her baby was to be born only weeks after her disappearance. The coroner stated that the number one cause of death among pregnant women is homicide…hmmm. Black-Jackk (Stunt-Aholic Records) is creating a major buzz in the Nasty Nati’. He’s promoting in clubs and the streets with mix CDs and collaborating with everybody. Them freaky tattoo girls are lovin’ his song “She Gon Fuck Me Off The Chain, Suck Me Off The Watch and Ménage off the Ring.” You better cover up your shit Black-Jackk, they gonna get you. - Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com)
Big things are poppin’ in the Mac right now. Major artists like Musiq, Tank and Lil Wayne have made their way through the area. Macon’s Finest are doing their part chasing car thieves down I-75; I would not leave my keys in the car anytime soon. The “A” might wanna step up their game as The Rock re-opened, after a multi-million dollar renovation, as the biggest and sexiest club from here to Miami. Up-coming solo projects from Doski Wo and Big Wu have the streets buzzin’. Y’all gotta smoke on that ‘til next month. - Ali Rock (email@example.com)
Hip Hop activists stepped up in a big way recently. The Hip-Hop Caucus (H2C) and other non-profit organizations teamed up on July 19th to raise awareness and protest a range of issues dealing with prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. H2C’s founder Reverend Lennox Yearwood, a.k.a. the Hip Hop Rev, led a day of activism which included a press conference in the U.S. Capitol and a concert at the 930 Club. Revolutionary rap group Dead Prez headlined the event but other progressive MCs such as Wise Intelligent and Mystic, and local rappers Head-Roc, Emoni Fela, and Akir blessed the stage as well. - Pharoh Talib (Ptalib@gmail.com)
ST. LOUIS, MO
Huey just dropped his album Notebook Paper through Jive and he was even featured in USA Today. Derrty DJs and Da Deck dropped the new mixtape Muddy Waters. Their single “Swing On ‘Em” has been tearing up the airwaves out here. The Mr. Marcus Mixtape Show is back on the air every Sunday from 4p.m. to 8p.m. on 89.5 fm The Wave in North County. Congrats to Top Notch for being on the TJ’s DJ’s mixtape. - Jesse James (JesseJames314@aol.com)
T-Pain is the first homegrown R&B recording artist to sell out at the Leon County Civic Center for his album release concert. Some of his celebrity friends in attendance were Kanye West, Bow Wow, Yung Joc, Twista, Trick Daddy, Plies, Bobby Valentino, and Sammie. He’s also the first local R&B artist to sell over 175,000 copies of his second album Epiphany during its first week on the Billboard charts. Diddy Boo, a.k.a. Julius of Quincy, made it into the house before being cut on MTV’s Making of The Band with P-Diddy. Blazin 102.3’s Supa Star J-Kwik was named the new tour DJ for Gucci Mane. - DJ Dap (DJDapOnline@gmail.com)
Up-and-coming producer Freebass is setting the bar higher for himself with placements on Fabolous, LL Cool J, and 50 Cent’s albums just to name a few. Full Impact All Starz head MC Madd Illz has taken his freestyle battling on the road and is straight spitting fiyah to cats. Treal, Sho Boy, and Wes Fif shut down the stage with crazy performances at the House of Blues. Orlando seems to have dominated this season of MTV’s Making The Band 4, with four of the show’s contestants hailing from The City Beautiful. - Destine Cajuste (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Black Ops has returned home from touring and performing in the Czech Republic. Ybor City was the birthday headquarters for DJ Knucklez who partied like a rockstar during a week long birthday celebration. Tampa’s own Mad Linx came home for the 4th Annual Tampa Music Conference and joined the panel along with DJ Sandman and more. As a surprise, Tony Montana, DJ Kramtronix, and J.U.S.T.I.C.E League were awarded for their accomplishments at the conference. Summer Jam 3 was so big this year it took two venues to hold roughly twelve performances and ten DJs! - Mz T-Rock (MzTRock@yahoo.com)
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA:
Royalty Life Records’ Jigzaw is heating up Hot 97.5’s airwaves with his single “Damn.” Lil Flip and Huey popped, locked, and dropped it at Club Fantasia, and I am happy to report that there were no stabbings at this event! The Library is the hottest club right now. Blok Boyz and G.B.U. shot the video for, “In Yo’ Scraper.” David Wade wrapped up his video with Baby Bash and Lil Rob. Boxer Ray Sanchez won his last bout and is preparing to knock somebody out in July. THA LAB kicks off its Open Mic/Emcee Showcases this summer. - Beno (Beno@eadysmusicgroup.com)
Sparetimes is poppin’ every Thursday in Hampton. Burgandi hosted a fashion show at the Aqua Lounge and actually hit the runway! 103 Jamz is bringing Summer Jamz to town with UNK, Fabolous and many more. Energy 106.1 climbs up the ratings charts and comes closer to domination of the market. 600 models, dancers, actors and singers met Young Fame at the MacArthur Mall for the largest model search in recent memory. Ear 2 Tha Street Mixtape Vol. 7 was released and documented over 1,200 downloads in two weeks. Scotty Quixx holds it down on Friday nights with every flavor of woman imaginable. - Derrick Tha Franchise (Trax4Profit@hotmail.com)
Drayton Florence of the San Diego Chargers held his annual Celebrity Basketball After Party with DJ Leezy keeping the packed crowd hype. NFL stars Daunte Culpepper, Antonio Gates, Antonio Cromartie, Keiwan Ratliff as well as OZONE Magazine were in attendance. Two Dogg Records’ own The Strangers broke new music this month. The two tracks “Road Dawg” and “Pen Pad” continue to blaze the independent scene. The Swamp Boys continue to push their new single “Shop With Me” which is gaining speed locally. The streets are anticipating the release of C-Nial’s mixtape. - DJ Leezy (DJLeezy352@yahoo.com)
In the 336 P-Wonda and the Othaz Camp are buzzin’ with their new single “2.3.” In the 919 Young Real is back at it with his new single “Jing-a-Ling”, a follow up to his hit “Holla 10-4.” The Voice of the Streets are also in full force. D Y Nasty is running the airwaves in the 919 and his counterpart Waleed Coyote is doing his thing in the 336. You can catch Waleed on 102 Jamz (102.9 FM) and D Y Nasty on K 97.5 So if you’re rolling through the Carolinas towards the North or South, tune in; you won’t be dissatisfied. - Big K (KapCityPromo@gmail.com)
The crunkest events these past months were the Junetenth in Little Rock, AR and the Junetenth in Wilmar. The afterparty in Monticello at the fairgrounds was packed and crunk but there were no fights or any drama. It was hosted by Countryside Productions. A party that was to go down until 6 AM was shut down by the Drew County Sheriff’s Department because the crowd was getting huge and they were afraid a riot would start. - DJ Hiley (LamarHiley@yahoo.com)
BrickLayer Ent. held the Down South Summer Jam Tour featuring Young Buck with a live BET taping. Every Wednesday night G Mack travels from Lexington to Louisville to throw parties with Amore’ at Club Stages. After some instigating, DJ Q (Core DJs) and DJ E-Feezy (Heavyhitters) have teamed up to drop RockOut Boyz, a double-sided mixtape. LoudMouf Media had a very successful indie showcase with Atlantic Records in the building. Hurricane filmed a video for “Birthday Anthem.” Liquid Ice Lounge, with over 25,000 square feet of entertainment space, has been the club of choice lately. Louis Keyz hosts after hours at Crazy Coconuts. - Divine Da Instagata (email@example.com)
The River City is going hard this month. Look for Dukwon, Young Cash, Supa Chino and Swordz to be featured on “The Future of Florida,” a track produced by DJ Smallz that showcases the hottest artists in the Sunshine state. DJs Q45 and Bigga Rankin were nominated for OZONE Awards. Grand Prix is doing his thing in the streets. The Marcus Stroud/ Kiwaukee Thomas Celebrity Weekend promoted by Upper League Ent. was a good look for Duval, as were performances by Young Jeezy, The Shop Boyz and Fabo. Does anyone else think Fabo should replace the X pills with some Ritalin? Holla. - Ms. Rivercity (MsRivercity@yahoo.com)
Over 500 fans showed DJ Khaled love during his We the Best autograph session at Best Buy. Trina, Rick Ross, Cool N Dre, Flo-Rida, Brisco and C-Ride signed everyone’s albums. Julia Beverly’s birthday party at SOBE Live was the ish! Performances by Rick Ross, Triple C’s, and Piccalo along with partygoers Trick, Big Lip, Supa Cindy, Cracker Jack, Stack$, Cool, C-Ride, P.M., Jacki-O, Bigg D, DJ Entice, DJ Epps, Bryant McKinnie and chilled Patron equals off da chain! DJ Irie’s celebrity weekend was hosted by Jamie Foxx, Gabrielle Union, Dwayne Wade and Shaq. Big ups to everyone who got naked at Lorenzo “Ice Tea” Thomas’ Jamaica Jumpoff Freakfest weekend. - Supa Cindy (Supaisqueen@gmail.com)
OZONEMAG MAG////19 19 OZONE
byWendyDayof the RapCoalition
HOW TO CHOOSE AN ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER
lawyer is a key component of your music business career, so choosing him or her wisely is very important. I have spent 15 years looking over contracts for artists — both extremes: the good contracts worth signing, and the bad contracts that need breaking. I learned very early in my career that it’s not always what’s in the contract that can hurt you, but what’s missing. A good lawyer sees what’s missing immediately. Entertainment is a specialty that a lawyer chooses when he or she decides to practice law. Just as you wouldn’t go to a heart surgeon for a brain operation, you should only go to an entertainment attorney for your entertainment career needs. An entertainment attorney becomes skilled at certain things (writing contracts, negotiating deals, securing opportunities for the artist, shopping deals or tracks, etc) based on what he or she spends the majority of time doing, and based on experience. I, personally, avoid new lawyers in this business unless they are working under one of the powerhouse attorneys for a few years because experience and connections are so important. I have had three different attorneys throughout my career, plus I have worked with a ton of other people’s attorneys on negotiating deals and breaking contracts. In my opinion, many are out for themselves and care nothing for the artist beyond getting a check for the work they do. I am fortunate that I have gotten to see and work with many capable, efficient, and gifted lawyers who do care and want what is best for their client regardless of the fee attached. These are the attorneys all artists should choose. Lawyers usually get paid by the hour. Most will forego that hourly fee for a client, in hopes of collecting a percentage of a deal down the road. For example, many attorneys will work with a new artist when he or she has no money, in exchange for a commitment to be paid 5% or 10% of a deal that may be forthcoming. The upside to this arrangement is that you don’t have to have money to hire the best in the business. The downside is that you will always wonder if you are getting the attention you need, and when that deal does come down the road, is it the best deal for your career or is the attorney trying to get paid for the work that has been put in? I recall in one of the major deals I was negotiating, my (previous) lawyer said to me out of anger and frustration, “Let’s just take this deal now, as I have over $50,000 in billable hours already invested.” I ignored him, we held out for another month, and ended up getting the artist DOUBLE the advance that was on the table when the lawyer wanted to take the deal. He got fired after that deal was completed (he got paid). That comment showed the content of his character. When I started in this business, I chose a lawyer based on paying him a percentage down the road. He was my attorney for many years and I am sure he made more money from me and my referrals than he invested into me in the early days when I couldn’t afford $475 an hour to pay him. I chose the most powerful lawyer in the industry at the time I was building my career because I wanted the biggest bully on the block. I needed his power behind me. The best way to choose an attorney that is a good fit for you is to meet with as many as you can — a referral from someone else in the business, especially someone successful, is a great start. Meet with five or six attorneys and choose the one you feel most comfortable with. A legitimate lawyer will not charge you for this first introductory meeting. You will get the feel for a handful of attorneys and be able to trust your gut on which one will be best for you. Some of the questions you should ask: who do you represent now? What types of deals have you done recently—label deals, artist deals, distribution deals, tours, endorsement deals? How long have you been practicing entertainment law? Who are your strongest relationships with in the industry? Who do you have working under you that will also handle my career along with you? As you are interviewing the attorney, he or she is also interviewing you. They are figuring out what type of person you are, do you have the potential to 20 // OZONE MAG
succeed, how demanding are you, is your follow through on point, how close are you to getting offered something that will bring money in-house, if you will pay them when you say you will, how you fit with their other clients, how time consuming you might be, etc. I am not a lawyer, and although I negotiate deals for folks in this business, I rarely do so. My goal is not to do deals, but to do outstanding deals. So if I can’t work with an artist who has incredible leverage (yes, I have helped artists in the past build the necessary leverage, but that is very rare that I invest that kind of time in building a career anymore), I pass on doing the deal. I do not know of anyone else in this business with that attitude. Most people don’t give a fuck if the artist succeeds or fails, as long as they get paid their percentage of the deal. In my opinion, if you have an attorney (or even a middleman bringing you to the table at a label) whose goal is to get a check, you are already about to fail. No deal comes with a guarantee of success, but there are some things you can do that will offset the guarantee of failure: - Have an “out” built into the contract in case the label doesn’t release your CD by a certain date - Have an “out” in the contract if the indie label you sign to doesn’t have major distribution by a certain date - Have an “out” in the contract if the manager you choose to hire you doesn’t make you a certain amount of money every year—the amount should be realistic and agreeable to both you and the manager. - Ask for certain places for money to be spent on your project or guarantee the number of singles released or videos shot (I do this video clause by a dollar amount—like a $200,000 commitment, so that if I want to shoot 3 videos for the artist equaling $200K, I can, or if I only want 2 better videos at $100K each, then I can do that). - Have a deal that is so demanding of the label that the artist has to become a priority at the label—this can be done with a small front end and large back end, or an advance that is too large for them to lose, or by timing the deal for when the label needs it the most. It is my preference to have an attorney based in either New York or Los Angeles since that’s where the music business is based. Yes, I know there are a ton of lawyers in Atlanta, Houston, Chicago, and other places who practice entertainment law, but it has been my personal experience that the ones in NY, near where the labels are based, have better relationships, better connections, and stronger experience in doing deals. I believe in hiring the best professional I can for my career. I want my lawyer near the action, not near where I live. This means that to interview attorneys you will have to incur the price of a trip to NY or L.A. I prefer meeting them in-person to interviewing attorneys by phone, but will if I am unable to make the trip. The flip side of this relationship is that you don’t want an attorney who is “in bed” with the label. I ran into a situation where an attorney that was supposed to be on my side of the deal was way too close to one of the major labels. Even though the deal had flaws in it, he was pitching the artist hard to just sign it. He got fired, a new attorney came on board, and we upped the deal from 18 points to a 50-50 split with an even larger advance involved. I never referred that first attorney to anyone again, nor have I ever returned another phone call to him. That label was in the WEA system, and the attorney’s top 3 clients were signed to one of the WEA labels — it wasn’t hard to figure out that my artist was going to be the “sacrificed fly” that this lawyer needed to keep his best label happy. A good entertainment attorney is a key player on the team that helps propel an artist’s career forward. While you never have to sign a contract to keep a lawyer (they get fired when they fuck up), you do want to have a good relationship with your lawyer. Make sure they get paid when they are supposed to, always be honest and forthright with them, and choose the best one you can for your needs. A bad lawyer can kill your career, and by the time you figure it out, it will be too late! //
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OZONE MAG // 21
by Charlamagne Tha God firstname.lastname@example.org
THE ART OF SHIT TALKING
alking shit is an art form. It’s a skill that is never recognized, a craft that is never acknowledged, and a gift that has not been given its just due. The reason? Because everybody talks shit! For example, nowadays everyone raps, and like rap, some of us are better than others when it comes to the game of talking shit. I consider myself to be one of the best shit-talkers. I am what you call a professional slang spitter, heavy hitter, shit talker! Don’t nobody run off at the mouth better than me! That’s why I loved reading The Chronicles of Pimp C in the last edition of OZONE! Pimp was talking a lot of shit! Or, let’s not say “talking shit.” Pimp C was stating his opinion. Yeah, that’s better. “Stating my opinion” is what we’re going to claim we’re doing whenever we’re talking shit. I don’t think people in this world state their opinion enough, at least not in public. People talk shit or state their opinion in private all the time. You could be sitting around and someone might say, “Chingy is whack,” but you won’t hear that statement being made too often in public (even though, in my opinion, it’s the truth). When a statement like that is made, someone will comment, “Oh, he is just talking shit,” but I am just stating my opinion. That’s why I can’t knock Pimp C for anything he said. If he thinks Russell Simmons gets dick in the booty, then that is his opinion. If he thinks Ne-Yo is a pillow biting prick that wears lip gloss and gets dick in the booty, that is his opinion. If he feels ATL is not the South (even though that is one of the most ignorant things I have ever heard a person say in my life), then that is his opinion and he is entitled to it. Freedom of speech and freedom of expression! I can say what the fuck I want to say, whenever I want to say it, to whomever I want to say it to. For example, if I feel like expressing my feelings about the new T.I. vs. T.I.P. album, then I can do that. I think the new album is just okay. With previous albums, he has set the bar high, so I think this one is borderline whack. If you ask me, the T.I.P. part is bangin’! I’m playing it as a type this, but you know who kills the album for me? T.I. kills it. I can understand why T.I.P. wants to get rid of this dude. T.I. is trying a little too hard to please the industry, and his whole section of the album is quite shaky, especially the much-hyped collaboration with Eminem titled “Touchdown.” That song, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the whackest songs I have ever heard in my life! If you put two of the best emcees on the planet together on one record, something should manifest from the booth other than pure garbage. Remember, I’m not talking shit. Just stating my opinion. Does the album get back on track? Yes, when Act III starts and my favorite song on the al bum comes on, “Tell ‘Em I Said That.” After that the album ends with a bang, but it’s too little too late. Overall, T.I. vs. T.I.P. suffers from a severe case of L.O.T. (that’s Lack of Toomp, people, keep up) not to mention the absence of the P$C. No Young Dro, no Big Kuntry, no Mac Boney? I mean, damn. All eyes are on T.I.P. right now, so why wouldn’t he showcase his crew on this record when he knows everybody’s listening? Just my opinion. I’m entitled to it and I’m not afraid to express it, just like Pimp C when he talked about Young Jeezy having kilos for $17,500, and you know good and damn well that is who he was talking about! If I was there, I would’ve been popping shit or stating my opinion right along with him. I would’ve said, “Hold up, Pimp, while you’re talking about Jeezy, let me talk about Young Buck.” Now, I like Young Buck. My homie Big Worm told me he
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came to the Pub in Orangeburg, SC and went in the kitchen and fried his own chicken wings. That’s real hood figure shit! I can appreciate a man who will fry his own chicken wings in the kitchen of a packed club, but Buck knows damn well he can’t get no kilo of nothing for ten stacks! That whole Ten-A-Key thing is not real! If there were kilos for ten out there, I would have to cop at least twice! Fifty grand each time; why wouldn’t I, when I’m going to make $100,000 or more back? If kilos were going for ten grand in Tennessee, I would encourage college kids to invest their money in dope! Forget buying property or shares of stock. Kilos for ten stacks is a guaranteed come up! So if Buck knows where the kilos are for ten grand, why is he rapping? I’m not talking shit, I’m just stating my opinion – something that more of us here in Amerikkka 2007 need to do more often. Talking shit or stating your opinion will stop people like LL Cool J, who no longer needs to rap, from making albums. He’s a wrap. His time is done. Go back to Hollywood and keep getting money out there. Don’t get me wrong, LL was that dude. But right now, in 2007, he doesn’t stand a chance like an eightball of cocaine that Bobby Brown forgot he had in his coat pocket. You just don’t have it anymore, LL, and it’s not my fault. Blame nature. That, ladies and gentlemen, is not talking shit. I’m just stating my opinion. So what have we learned today? Shit talking is good for the soul. Opinions are not meant to be held in. They are supposed to happen like bowel movements; quite naturally. Express yours, because the life you change by talking shit may be your own. Until the next shit talking session – Peace, Charlamagne Tha God Photo by Mr. G
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OZONEMAG MAG////23 23 OZONE
dj drama & hurricane chris HURRICANE CHRIS: Ay Bay Bay. Drama, what’s up? DJ DRAMA: Who the fuck is this? HURRICANE CHRIS: This Hurricane Chris. DJ DRAMA: Who? HURRICANE CHRIS: You know, ay bay bay, turn it up? DJ DRAMA: Oh, what up, fool?
OZONE EXCLUSIVE Textin’ is no longer safe now that OZONE’s dangerous minds have hacked the system.
HURRICANE CHRIS: Ain’t shit. I want you do a Gangsta Grillz for me, I’ll tell my label to cut the check. Turn it up. DJ DRAMA: You know, I stopped hosting mixtapes, so I can’t even do it. Holla at DJ Scream. HURRICANE CHRIS: Nah, you lying, nigga. I want Drama. DJ Scream just did some shit for Soulja Boy. DJ DRAMA: Naw, I told you I ain’t doing mixtapes anymore. How’d you get my number anyway? HURRICANE CHRIS: Quit lying, Drama. You just did a Gangsta Grillz for Gorilla Zoe, and you know I’m hotter than that nigga. Ever since I dropped Ay Bay Bay I been running the south. You might as well call me the king. DJ DRAMA: I was tryin’ to be nice, but PAY ATTENTION!!! TIP is the King of the south. All you got is one catchy single. You don’t deserve no Gangsta Grillz mixtape! HURRICANE CHRIS: Ay Bay Bay was just the beginning. I’m finna run the game, and whoever feel different can holla at Hurricane! Shit, Drama, if you lucky I might even make you my personal DJ. Turn it up. DJ DRAMA: WHAT?? AMG nigga!! Do you know who the fuck you talking to? I’m DJ the FUCK Drama. Mr. Thanksgiving, I’m the I-POD KING, nigga. Barack O’Drama, you must not know who you fuckin’ with. Dramatic, nigga! HURRICANE CHRIS: You wanna know what I say when a DJ gets crunk? DJ DRAMA: What? HURRICANE CHRIS: Ay Bay Bay, that’s my song, turn it up. See, I was tryin’ to do yo ass a favor by letting you host my mixtape, but now you done missed out. DJ DRAMA: Cool, check out Gangsta Grillz radio now on 5 times a week, and Gangsta Grillz album on the way. And like that, I’m gone. - From the minds of Eric Perrin and Randy Roper (Photo by Julia Beverly)
*This is just a joke. No, we didn’t really hack into anyone’s sidekick.
24 // OZONE MAG
TX) 03 video (Houston, the set of their & Twa on the set of on m Tu m Tu th ntis, Sweetz, w’s The Grit Boys wi ille, FL) 05 // Do p of Crunk @ Opera for Polo iami, FL) 02 // ho e Jay (Jacksonv nk video shoot (M Ce Bis ” Ba e od Big th Big & & Ho , // b So ley 10 Mo m ke ) “I’ me // J Holla, C Wa man (Dallas, TX of DJ Khaled’s n, TX) 07 // Cri lumbus, GA) 04 de @ Club Enig GA) 12 // Derrick, Buckeey, ney on the set g party (Housto Du (Co Mo e nin FA JT th te & WB lis d vin @ un e’s De & aw Ho Tra a, ch @ 01 // Joe D, & BloodR , LA) 09 // Stret ll for TI’s release party (Atlant DJ Toomp @ Patchwerk StuDJ Chill & Alvin , Slick Pulla, Lil l (New Orleans iami, FL) 06 // // DJ Incognito // Rick Ross & & guest @ in the Lenox Ma Essence Festiva video shoot (M 14 ” ) @ on er itt GA ld ak Vu Mi a, pe N nt “S uis k tla ’s Lo ac tar, DJ Smallz, (A David Banner // Q-Tip & DJ Bl TX) 11 // Keke & Bibi Guns @ s Zone 4 party nkin & Dr FL) 16 // Souths , w’ 08 Ra lo ee ) ga ss Po GA r ha Big a, fo r lla nt a fo er tla (Ta in t & Big Zak @ Op Pain’s album release concer Zone 4 party (A shoot (Houston, t & Ms Asia @ Ra // Access Hollywood’s on eo es Lo vid Fin // -O l’s 13 ne ) va Wi Du MO T, @ 20 uis for 18 // Plush Hank & Wine-O llahassee, FL) ’s Plaza (St. Lo ty Civic Center (Houston, TX) nkin & T-Roy @ lease party (Ta iya @ Blackmon DJ Demp, & Huey @ Leon Coun ief & Yung B @ Kiotti’s party Pain’s album re rty (Dallas, TX) 22 // Bigga Ra Webbie, & Mahl TCh r ie, fo Lil mm er // Sa nt 17 // Ce ) ic ) 15 Civ a, FL se pa dios (Atlanta, GA ristion’s birthday party (Tamp & Shoeb Malik @ Leon County b One for Lucci’s album relea Ch ies Chief @ Clu 0); Big // Club Skye for DJ sh (Jacksonville, FL) 19 // Pl 21 ) LA , s DeWayne (08,2 Orleans y ba l (01,12); Marcu du Ab Doom’s birthda Mario @ Essence Festival (New nville, FL) lik Ma ); n& ckso Luis Santana (16 Shaun Robinso iation Party (Ja 7,11,13,14,15); s’ Hater Apprec lia Beverly (05,0 Ju ; 7) 0,1 for Cool Running 6,1 2,0 (09,21); Intl K (0 3); Edward Hall ,19,22) DJ Incognito (0 4,18 (0 n so Ty e Photo Credits: Terrenc
OZONEMAG MAG////25 25 OZONE
PEBBLES This is the story of Pebbles, a 23 year-old college girl who gives a completely new meaning to the term “going postal.” Two years ago, Pebbles was slaving in the back of an Atlanta post office sorting though millions of pieces of a mail and stuffing the endless piles of envelops, letters, and packages into crates and boxes. It was hot, it was cramped, and it drained all the life out of the former high school basketball star. “It was a lot of work,” she admits in a vast understatement. But since her mother, a veteran postal employee of 20 years pulled some strings to get her the job, Pebbles persisted with her parcel position. Until one day when she reached her boiling point. But her Post Office frustrations didn’t bring her to insanity or mass killings; instead it led her down a much different path - the pole. Fully fed-up with the mundane routine of the job and lack of hours, the natural born dancer decided to trade in her Post Office uniform for something a little less concealing. Now, instead of packing boxes full of mail, Pebbles packs Strokers full of males, and she goes to work everyday with a smile. “I’ve been dancing my whole life,” she says. “So it kinda just made sense. I just enjoy entertaining people.” But during her early days of dancing, she was often misinterpreted. “When I started off dancing people thought that since I’m pretty I might be stuck up, or that I might act funny. But when they talk to me, they see that I’m not even like that,” she insists.
One thing that can’t be denied is that this Black and Indian confection’s contagious personality isn’t the only reason she has succeeded in the stripping game. It probably doesn’t hurt that Pebbles possesses the perfect model measurements of 32-22-36 and has the face to match. Her personal favorite physical attributes are her ass and her smile, which are two of the biggest reasons she has been placed in Strokers’ starting lineup.
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But don’t bet on finding Pebbles anywhere outside of work. She is a self-proclaimed “homebody.” In fact, she spends most off nights at home on her couch, watching movies. “I figure that working at Strokers is like going to the club,” she says. “So I don’t really need to go out that much. Plus, I wanna keep my face clean — on some exclusive shit.” Being seen club hopping around Atlanta would be bad for business, and Pebbles is all about her business. Even though she is undeniably a remarkable decoration to the strip club poles, her future plans include decorations of a different kind. Currently, the Macon native is majoring in Interior Design and Business Management. She hopes to one day decorate commercial buildings such as banks and theatres. But for now you can spend your bank on her, at Atlanta’s number 1 theatre. You can find Pebbles at www.myspace.com/strokersclub
Words by Eric N. Perrin Photos by Sean Cokes 404-622-7733 Website and Booking: www.strokersclub.com Makeup and Hairstylist: Christian 678-613-6154
Macho tion, Fat Joe, & ) 03 // DJ Chris ) 05 // TX GA n, a, sto nt ou tla (H (A N all white party Kiotti @ Club AB (Ord’s & , en rty wg ek pa y Da We f da e, De th Tra So ye Dunaway’s bir e Lenox Mall TX) 02 // Guest, t Dawg @ Compound for So Ka n, r fo sto s ou ue (H Bl t er th of House itton in nce conc Cox & Shor Wally Sparks @ wife @ Louis Vu s Prince @ Beyo Bryan Michael Thug @ Trae’s e, Yung B, & Ja ree 6 Mafia & DJ mpa, FL) 04 // nny Burns & his sco Kid & Slim , Cri // 01 // Lloyd Princ Christion’s birthday party (Ta concert (Houston, TX) 06 // Th eo shoot (Miami, FL) 08 // Ke 10 ) GA a, nt z concert (Dallas ill tla Sk (A s DJ & vid r es rty ” ay fo en pa er Pl ar ak se @ Club Skye Up & Lil Flip @ itton in the The Box’s HIV Aw the set of David Banner’s “Spe Primetime for TI’s album relea ad Vu Sq XX uis // KB Lo 12 @ @ ) m y FL ez Fa e, Je Rob G & The DJ Black on y & Mob Hustle ladies @ end (Jacksonvill iami, FL) 14 // Lil C & Young John Roberts & ) 16 // Freewa celebrity week Kuntry & Grand t (M lando, FL) 07 // sh (Atlanta, GA etime for Ba a, GA) 09 // Big rcus Stroud @ Marcus Stroud’s d’s “I’m So Hood” video shoo y im nt Pr da tla th @ (A r Bir rty ge ’s pa Ro ) 18 // Gotti & ena for Hot 107.9 // DJ Q45 & Ma for TI’s release set of DJ Khale Ar GA (St. Louis, e 11 a a, th ) ips nt az ill TX on Pl tla n, Ph in ’s (A @ sto Pa on o rty Tkm (Hou & Gun Play with Polow da Don & Bobby Valentin @ Opera for Polow’s Zone 4 pa ) 20 // Nvee & Ooops @ Blac birthday party rch To ) FL l’s i, rte iam Ca City ) 15 // ael Cox ma (Dallas, TX video shoot (M TX) 13 // Carol rty (Atlanta, GA 17 // Doughboy & Bryan Mich er’s “Speaker” uth @ Club Enig TI’s release pa ie from Urban So Black on the set of David Bann nville, FL) e ok so Po Lenox Mall for ck & (Ja de s Du dio e th DJ (13,20); Terrenc House Stu GA) 19 // Devin (Houston, TX) 22 // Marcus. & 3); Malik Abdul Boss @ Hustle party (Atlanta, Luis Santana (0 ); rty se ,22 pa lea g re ,18 e nin ,17 ap te ,15 xt Gotti’s mi C @ Trae’s lis rly (04,07,08,09,14 Mack & OG Ron 0,21); Julia Beve MO) 21 // Mike tl K (01,02,05,1 In ); 2,19 (1 ll (06); Edward Ha DJ Wally Sparks (11,16) Photo Credits: Tyson
OZONEMAG MAG////27 27 OZONE
Liked my necklace started relaxin’, that’s what the fuck I call a…
Brown Paper Bag
I don’t know exactly how many carats are in it, but it’s crazy, it’s ridiculous. I don’t wanna guess the number and be wrong, but just know that it’s a gazillion carats; it’s too much to count. Basically, for the price of that chain, you could go out and buy a Range Rover. And not the Range Rover Sport, the expensive Range Rover. This chain will definitely cost you a Range Rover and a good month and a half stay at The Ritz Carlton in Manhattan. This chain right here is about ten Chevys souped up on 26”s. My man Yung Joc has a huge Hustlenomics chain that he’s been sportin’ lately, but when he saw my chain, he looked at it and said, “Wow, now that’s just crazy!” But my favorite reaction was from my man Jay-Z.
28 // OZONE MAG
I was in his office, and he looked at the chain, picked it up and said, “Brown Paper Bags, huh? Aight kid, I see ya. I see ya.” And when Jay-Z says something like that, it’s a big deal. That’s the most you’ll get from Jay, but the fact that he acknowledged it, and knew what it was, that was dope. And Christina absolutely loves it. That’s wifey right there, and she knows that there’s a bunch of Brown Paper Bags-type jewelry she gets also. I gotta keep the wife laced at all times. Also, I gotta shout out my brother Cool, my brother DJ Khaled, and the We The Best album, that record inspired the chain. Pretty soon everybody in the whole Epidemic clique is gonna start wearing those Brown Paper Bag chains with an “E” on it. We’re trying to do it big, man. We’re from the hood, so whenever we get a little opportunity to shine we do it. My man Rick Ross said in a song, “Niggas spend 5,000 on they paint jobs just so life can see ‘em” That was a dope line, and it’s true. When you’re in the hood, you’re stuck, man. Sometimes we might feel like nobody’s paying to attention to us, that’s why we soup up cars. People don’t understand the politics of it at all. We paint our Chevys and put 26”s on them so we can be acknowledged. We want to feel important. We might not have the money to buy Bentleys and Phantoms like rich people do, but we take the little bit of money we do have, and we soup shit up, just so life in general can acknowledge us. That’s how we shine, and that’s what this chain represents. As told to Eric Perrin // Photo by Julia Beverly
This Brown Paper Bag chain was inspired by a record Cool and I produced for Khaled’s album, “Brown Paper Bag.” A brown paper bag is just so important in life, it ain’t even got to be about hustlin; it’s just life in general. The chain was designed by Emmett, he’s a jeweler out of Houston and he’s crazy with the jewelry. He does all of our stuff; my bracelet, my watch, the Brown Paper Bags piece. It’s got the champagne diamonds, the Epidemic logo on it, and the green diamond in there with the money. I world-premiered it backstage at Summer Jam in New York, and everybody just bugged out. All the rappers, everybody just fell in love with the chain. The chain is in a scene in Khaled’s new video, “I’m So Hood,” and OZONE Magazine is doing a special feature on it, so the whole world is definitely gonna see it!
Jenston, TX) 03 // @ Club ABN (Hou in’s album release t et ck Cri t et ck Wi Center for T-Pa Rich, Young Boyz, Bingo, & on County Civic B GA) 02 // Shop Bigga Rankin, ik, & Shane @ Le ga party (Atlanta, la, Kw 4 gg J Di r ne rt Zo sta Di s pa // w’ Su lo 06 a, GA) 08 // Big Po in, ) r nt nk TX fo tla Ra a n, (A er ga sto Op rty ou Big pa @ (H // n se x & Polow da Do book signing (Houston, TX) 04 wkins @ Trae’s listening party the Lenox Mall for TI’s relea (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Teresa of Co l ae ch Mi n in sh 01 // Brya ns @ his Meshah Ha oop, Akon, & @ Louis Vuitton a for Hot 107.9’s Birthday Ba & Russell Simmo , Trae, Clip D, Nancy Byron, & // Lil Wayne, Sn um release // Toni & Shana nifer Douglass Beach, FL) 12 @ Phillips Aren // Stacy Beach, FL) 07 h alb na 05 na es s to ) Fr to in’ ay FL ie ay , Pa (D (D ee nn Tce r ss ce Ma en fo party (Tallaha // Bibi Guns & Music Conferen e Music Confer ty Civic Center , FL) 15 // Hood Magazine sic Conference (Tampa, FL) 09 @ Hood Magazin ista, & Yung Joc @ Leon Coun release concert (Tallahassee rs ne ow od Ho Cash, & BOB @ Tw Mu ekend’s // um a We st, 11 alb f mp ) s We De Ta e TX in’ So @ ny n, Pa y Ka TSo sto Da r r // y fo (Hou @ Compound fo So So Def Radio Rankin & Wend ty Civic Center t (Miami, FL) 13 t birthday party un es oo Co sh gu n’s & ro on eo , By Le ce vid y Ni ” @ r nc er nd Na , DJ JDeep @ V103 fo Banner’s “Speak al, & Derek Jura SF2 & Rasaq @ a, DJ Infamous FL) 18 // Three ond & Cherrell @ Kiotti’s party the set of David s, guest, Tony Ne (Atlanta, GA) 16 // DJ Traum d (Jacksonville, am en David Banner on , FL) 14 // DJ Demp, Mike Jone Di rty ek e pa Po we 4 y // ne rit 21 Zo low’s ee d’s celeb llahassee, FL) party (Tallahass Polow da Don @ Opera for Po Ayana Angel @ Marcus Strou @ The Moon (Ta k, & // Baby & Gully Reynolds & 20 xy ) ) Ro TX TX Greg Street, Un // , n, as 17 sto all ) ou (D e Tyson (Atlanta, GA t @ Club ABN (H s Summer Music Conference l (06,08); Terrenc all white party & Wickett Cricket Texa ,20); Malik Abdu bb @ ,18 Du d A ,16 on // ,15 hm 19 Ric ) 2,14 9,1 (Atlanta, GA ters & JB from Beverly (01,07,0 22 // Money Wa 0,19,21); Julia (Houston, TX) tl K (02,03,05,1 In ; 2) (2 ll Ha Edward Photo Credits: (04,11,13,17)
OZONEMAG MAG////29 29 OZONE
Buy You a Drank BY T-pain s your name?
what’ T-Pain: Baby girl,
Music. B Behind the
ased On a
arly to a Black and Mild ne Desiree (smoking nt? wa u yo at Wh . the tip): I’m Desiree y you a k to you. Let me bu T-Pain: Let me tal drink. n first double shot of Patro Desiree: Get me a me t ge n’t do d there. An and we’ll go from er. You wn and cheap neith nothin’ watered do from the n ma a t ou ab lot a know you can tell o are you anyway? dranks he order. Wh back’ to the beat in the T-Pain (pop-lockin Konvict . me ow kn u Yo . ground): I’m T-Pain Ooh wee! music, Nappy Boy, You You random as hell! Desiree: “Ooh wee?” thing, but thanks for me so must be rollin’ or though. Patron. I gotta go the watered-down rning. mo the in 2 t almos It’s getting late. It’s at’s the club close at 3. Wh T-Pain: I know the ? me t’ wi ’ lin chances of you rol u t’ you? Hell naw, yo Desiree: Rollin’ wi smoke and ly on I s. op bo ojust tried me, bo m pills experience with the d drank. I had a bad ha I . ain ag it sh t in’ tha and I ain’t neva do m for some the d ke sta mi I d an a headache on the sitting right there Tylenol. They were ng, but thi no or ie up gro no night stand. I ain’t We ain’t . ne Ma cci Gu ht with I had spent the nig wn like do t ge n’t ‘cause I do do nothing though rning with a mo xt ne the up that. But I woke in’ my d a stray dog hump g got Q-Tip in my ear an do mn da t tha w ow ho arm. I still don’t kn m. roo in the hotel t cause) her like she’s a los T-Pain: (looking at e? liv I w ho u ow yo Back to the crib, sh ard are famous and I he What Desiree: Well you house. the at e atr the you’ve got a movie or that you got a Scion you ridin’? I heard , what we gon’ do So ”s. 22 on ’ tin sit some shit when we get there? ap R .Y .P .I True R E H t): T keys out of his pocke l D. of ly ain (grabbing his By Pau Julia Bever T-P . did we by get what Let’s get drunk, for Photo ’s just ow you like that. Let Desiree: I don’t kn . ng thi every sip and remember his eyes the bartender and T-Pain: (glances at something n see t jus I ty, aw get big) Hold on sh r. Stay right here. I like behind the ba To be continued…
30 // OZONE MAG
” d’s “I’m So Hood e set of DJ Khale ye for DJ Christion’s th on d re rte Di // Cubo, Toro, & lando @ Club Sk atz t (Miami, FL) 02 // Guest, Bubba Sparxxx, & Or (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Swizz Be er” video shoo ms 04 on ak ) iti ea pe et Dr GA “S b a, mp ’s nt Clu er Co tla @ nn DJ (A y Ba psi e set of David kia Shine & Dizz n B & Slim w’s Zone 4 party // DJ Aaries & DJ Drama @ Pe oop Dogg on th 09 // Kinfolk Na Opera for Polo Bu Sn ) 06 @ // & MO ) 12 , on er TX ) , Lo uis nn & TX as Lo Ba , . n, all Bo 01 // David Attitude, JHMF @ M5 (D kmon’s Plaza (St Trae’s birthday party (Housto ll for TI’s release party (Atiami, FL) 03 // Pauly, & Shug of Buckeey @ Blac Ma e@ video shoot (M 05 // C-Bo, Uncle 08 // Mahliya, Small World, & Red & Jas Princ on in the Lenox omas, DJ Dr Doom, & Marcus ) t’l FL In a, // mp 11 (Ta ) ) TX TI @ Louis Vuitt TX n, & n, i sto pr sto ou Du ou (H e birthday party (H sic iation ain // Kiwaukee Th rty Mu rm 15 r pa Je y ) cto // da GA Fa th 13 a, ill ) nt bir Ch r TX s’ Hater Apprec tla (A & Solange @ he 10 // Shawn Harris & Kamn @ Awareness concert (Houston, for Cool Running party (Houston, TX) Birthday Bash h ’s us 7.9 Pl 10 @ t w Ho r cre ) V fo & HI LA ena crose @ Kiotti’s y party (Houston, n, Young Cash (New Orleans, KBXX The Box’s e @ Phillips Ar MC Kane & DJ La da Rockstars Lil He t the iPhone @ ama, & DJ Sens iami, FL) 18 // Solange’s birth // Duval County (M shoot Thug testing ou n Cannon, Joie Manda, DJ Dr @ t 16 $ oo ) ise sh FL Ch e, eo & ill vid ja nv ” peaker” video De so er Do “S // ck ak // ’s 20 (Ja pe er 14 ) d “S nn ) FL en ’s , Ba GA er ek , ee nn vid we ss y Ba Da ha lanta rit of lla vid t leb (Ta Da se ce t e of er t th d’s nc the se se co gg on s Strou Stroud @ Marcu t Cool & Omar on Center for T-Pain’s album relea ille, FL) 22 // Topic & Snoop Do ille, FL) 17 // Ge ic nv Party (Jacksonv Eric Perrin @ Leon County Civ d’s celebrity weekend (Jackso ; Malik Abdul st & rcus Strou is Santana (04) 19 // Kanye We Kastro (06); Lu DJ Cowboy @ Ma sh & Ka om ); Do ,22 . Dr ,19 ,14 TX) 21 // DJ verly (01,03,13 ,18,20); Julia Be ,21) (Miami, FL) tl K (07,10,11,12 e (09); Terrence Tyson (15,16 In ; 5) (0 ll Ha rd yn wa Wa Ed De s: s dit rcu Cre Ma Photo (02,08,17);
OZONEMAG MAG////31 31 OZONE
>>FOLLOW THE LEADER
>>>>>>>“Step your mag game up!”
READ IT ALL BEFORE
>>LEADER >>T-Pain on moving from Miami to Atlanta OZONE May 2007 “I lived in Miami for six months, moved up to Atlanta, and got more shit done [in Atlanta] in six weeks than I had done in the six months I was in Miami.”
T-Pain on moving from Miami to Atlanta<< VIBE July 2007 “I got more done in six weeks than I ever would have in Florida.”
>>T-Pain on working with Britney Spears OZONE May 2007 “I just wrote a song for Britney Spears that’ll be her first single when she gets out of rehab or when her hair grows back.”
T-Pain on working with Britney Spears<< VIBE July 2007 “As soon as she does what she needs to do, the first single will be the one written by T-Pain.”
>>Young Jeezy on Slick Pulla and BloodRaw OZONE April 2007 “This is real family shit over here. This USDA shit is real… they’ve been through gangsta shit with me.”
Young Jeezy on Slick Pulla and BloodRaw<< XXL June 2007 “I don’t consider them my homies, I consider them my family. I was with these niggas in life.”
>>Young Jeezy on making hit records OZONE April 2007 “I do good music, I make records... at the end of the day I can still make good music.”
Young Jeezy on making hit records<< XXL June 2007 “I do good music, I make good records, so at the end of the day, I make hits.”
>>Rick Ross on the drug game in Miami OZONE March 2007 “Cocaine, that’s what supported the fast life of South Beach, all the clubs on the beach, and the Colombian drug lords…that’s the M-I-Yayo, the city that yayo built.”
Rick Ross on the drug game in Miami<< XXL July 2007 “People focus on the drug game in Miami because we make it look the best. When you come to Miami, you see the plush city; you see Lamborghinis and Rolls Royces... This is the city of dope”
>>Rich Boy on his subject matter OZONE November 2006 “I feel like it’s my responsibility in the rap game to bring back some real topics. People are always rapping about making money, but they don’t ever rap about the people that ain’t got shit. You rapping about a $100,000 dollar watch but these people can’t relate to that shit.”
Rich Boy on his subject matter<< XXL April 2007 “I don’t rap about things I know the average person ain’t done… Things that are so outrageous the average person can’t afford them. I know people can relate to me if I keep it on an averageperson level.”
>>Young Buck on album sales OZONE March 2007 “In my opinion, even if I didn’t sell one record my first week, I’m already successful, man. Honestly, with all respect to every nigga who quotes his numbers in sales, I’m looking to pretty much shock myself. I don’t know what I’m gonna sell. The anticipation of Buck is strong. I’m just looking to outdo my last numbers. In my last first week I did like 270,000 and I think the streets want me to do more. I think I’m gonna do way more than that.”
Young Buck on album sales<< XXL May 2007 “I’ma outsell 50 and everybody at this point. What I done realized is the streets understand who I am now. And there’s more people than I would ever thought would understand who I am. So it’s exciting for me to actually see, you know, what my true numbers is gon’ be, as far as sales from my album. But I can honestly say that I’m going to outsell everybody.”
>>Young Buck on 50 Cent OZONE March 2007 Young Buck: “I’m pretty good at voicing my opinion and I said it to 50, ‘Yo my nigga, damn. Maybe you might be a little too hard on niggas.’”
Young Buck on 50 Cent<< XXL May 2007 Young Buck: “But I don’t agree with everything 50 does. I voice it to him, and he loves me for that. Because I’m a nigga that can say, ‘50, hey, man, I don’t think that was cool, what you did…’”
>>Mannie Fresh on Def Jam record label situation OZONE May 2007 Mannie Fresh: “My dream for Def Jam is this: It’s a label where you have a lot of artists and they don’t really know each other. They know of each other, but I want to really bring everybody together in unity and say, ‘Let’s take over this. Let’s be the next movement.’ It hasn’t been a label since the old school days that’s done that. Def Jam, they got a powerful roster. They got Ludacris, Rick Ross, Jeezy, Jay-Z - so if we could all get together collectively and go out there and get it, that would be some shit.”
Mannie Fresh on Def Jam record label situation<< Scratch July/August 2007 Mannie Fresh: “I just wanted to do something different with a label that ain’t been done in a long time. I’m looking for that next movement. I just feel like Def Jam got a whole bunch of talented artists but not all of them know each other - they know of each other. Why Jeezy gotta go on tour with somebody else while his family is here? They got Jeezy, Ludacris, Jay - that right there is a tour. They got the power to do it. I’m not saying nobody was thinking that way, but sometimes it takes another vision to say, ‘We gotta get together.’”
>>Baby Boy Da Prince on Hurricane Katrina OZONE November 2006 Baby Boy Da Prince: “I went without light. I went without food. We had to hustle up, break in stores, you know, we had to put our natural instincts on forthat situation.” >>Pimp C on resurrecting old school NY rappers OZONE February 2007 Pimp C: “And remember, on the [UGK] album, I got Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap on a song produced by Marley Marl. I’m trying to resurrect old school rappers from NY.”
32 // OZONE MAG
Baby Boy Da Prince on Hurricane Katrina<< XXL May 2007 Baby Boy Da Prince: “We didn’t have lights, gas, water or shelter. I had to take a bath in a fuckin’ pool!” Pimp C on resurrecting old school NY rappers<< Scratch March/April 2007 Pimp C: “It’s ironic that some boys from Texas had to be the ones to reach back and grab Marley Marl, Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap and put them on in ’07. .
ile, Club Miami (Mob // , Tay, & guest @ 05 ug ) Th FL m e, Sli ill , nv lo so ck ld Bil ) 07 mp @ Plush (Ja a, GA) 02 // Wi FL nt De i, tla DJ iam (A & (M y, t rty wa oo pa ee sh end’s all white Trick Daddy, Fr peaker” video ek t, “S tic We es ’s zo f er Gu Xx De // nn // So Ba 04 09 So ) nd for nta, GA) t of David allas, TX nner on the se e set Dupri @ Compou Summer Music Conference (D ole Palace (Atla Rivercity @ Po ne & Jermaine ncy Byron on th eetz, & David Ba s 01 // Young Capo ter & the Nappy Roots @ Texa tlanta, GA) 06 // Get Cool, Sw nta, GA) 08 // DJ Scream & Ms Worth, TX) 11 // Tum Tum & Na e Dupri @ Louis (A Je t. tla ain (F (A al rty rm ch er pa Je rty nt AL) 03 // My s Zone 4 pa low’s Zone 4 y, Jazze Pha, & camore Rec Ce uckee & @ Opera for Po & Rich Boy @ Opera for Polow’ lly Rowald @ Sy (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Young Jeez shoot (Miami, FL) 15 // Lil Ch t @ KBXX Cam, CL, & Loon key Smiley & Ke s et tonio, eo Ric ck dio An vid Lu // Stu ” ah ya 10 od rk nn ) To Ho we Da Le TX & n, So tch n, Pa // Polow da Do DJ Khaled’s “I’m nville, FL) 17 // DJ Aggravated The Alliance @ The r Studios (Housto Mannie Fresh & Rick Ross @ a on the set of de @ Block Sta so // of rci Du ck w 12 Ga e ) (Ja tla & th h TX Ou in us vin n, & Pa Pl De Tsto tta & s album // t@ ou Cu nter for T-Pain’ video shoot (H (Atlanta, GA) 14 ) 16 // Dukwon, Big L, & gues Plaza (St. Louis, MO) 19 // Ty County Civic Ce of the Grit Boys x Mall for TI’s release party GA ’s on a, on Le nt @ km tla ac ak (A Bl Bl no game arl @ z & DJ Vuitton in the Le So So Def celebrity basketball // Tracey & Roland of Black Pe (Houston, TX) 21 // Memphit i@ tening party ston, TX) 18 lis ou (H Jermaine Dupr e’s t er Tra nc @ co T ) s n (04,08,16); arenes ston, TX e & RawL ); Terrence Tyso The Box’s HIV Aw ouston, TX) 20 // Troublesom d & Kiotti @ Kiotti’s party (Hou lik Abdul (14,18 Ma ); (H ,21 on b am 2,13 Clu Di ls 7,1 Boys & Gir FL) 22 // Poe verly (01,05,06,0 t (Tallahassee, ,20,22); Julia Be release concer Intl K (11,17,19 ); (15 n rri Pe ic rd Hall (03); Er D’Lyte (10); Edwa Rhodes (09); Wild Billo (02) Photo Credits: Turhan
OZONEMAG MAG////33 33 OZONE
Disclaimer: These are my opinions and my statements. They do not reflect on Bun B or UGK as a group. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Repetition does not transform a lie into the truth.” That quote is the truth. First off, I wanna say that 98% of what I said in my OZONE article last month was the honest-to-God undisputable truth. But to say that Atlanta, GA is not the South is a muthafuckin’ lie. I was trippin’ when I said that shit, and I’m recanting that statement. There’s no doubt in my mind or anybody else’s mind that Atlanta, GA is the muthafuckin’ dirty South and has always been the muthafuckin’ dirty South. Off top I wanna apologize to T.I., I wanna apologize to the Dungeon Family, and all the rest of my people out there [in Atlanta] that’s been buying my records from the jump. But to all the pussy ass DJs, fake ass rap niggas, and bitch-ass muthafuckers typing that bullshit on the computer, fuck you in your ass, bitch. You’re either down or you ain’t down. There ain’t never a good time to tell the truth because nobody wants to take their medicine. But somebody had to say it and I’m stepping up to the plate. I’m saying, no more of these fake ass niggas, no more of this lying on muthafuckin’ records, and no more accepting this bullshit coming out of the muthafuckin’ speakers no more. I’ve got St. Louis riding with me. I’ve got Chicago riding with me. I’ve got the West Coast riding with me. I’ve got muthafuckin’ Houston, Texas riding with me. I’ve got muthafuckin’ New York riding with me, nigga, so you’re surrounded. Everybody I called told me they understood what the fuck I was saying, and they understood how a man could make a mistake. So I’m apologizing again to my fans and everybody in Georgia that has ever bought one of my muthafuckin’ records. I don’t know what Russell Simmons’ sexual orientation is. My statement that he was “dick-in-the-booty” did not reflect as much on his sexuality as it does on the statements he’s made recently that we need to stop cussing on records and stop saying the “n” word. Last time I checked, Russell Simmons was a multi-billionaire, and he made his money off niggas saying the “n” word and cussing on records. So by me saying the nigga is “dick-in-the-booty,” I ain’t saying that the nigga actually has a dick in his ass. And it ain’t me saying that he’s actually doing some gay shit, cause I ain’t seen the nigga do nothing. All I’m saying is this: If you’re a billionaire off rap music and you want us to stop cussin’, give us that billion dollars back and let us throw a party in that muthafuckin’ mansion you’ve got or forever hold your peace. The only reason I felt bad about riding on Russell Simmons is because he was one of the forefathers that helped build this thing called Hip Hop, and that’s what country rap came from. His brother Run is the man that made me want to do this thang called “rap.” I’ve been trying to rap since 1984. I heard Run DMC’s first album in December 1983 and ever since that day, I’ve been bitten by the rap bug. So I’m hoping that my words, and my [Hot 107.9] radio interview that was on radio stations all across the country, have been clarified as to what I meant by that. After saying that, if that ain’t good enough for you pussy ass muthafuckers that’s out there, well, fuck you, bitch. Shoot your shot. I guarantee, nigga, it’s gonna be like Noah’s Ark around this bitch. I’m gonna ride on your ass for
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forty days and forty nights or however long Noah was on that boat. Rap-A-Lot Mafia for life. You ain’t gotta like it but you gotta respect it! I’m very proud of all the rappers from the South that are selling records and getting money. I’m a congratulator, not a hater. When a nigga gets a new house, I congratulate him. I think we all deserve to have new houses. They criticize us a lot for buying jewelry and shit when we get our first royalty checks, don’t they? Don’t they say we’re fools for spending all our money at Jacob’s and Queen Johnny’s and Emmett’s? But let me tell you my outlook on why we do this shit. It’s gonna make sense to some people, and it’s gonna sound crazy to others. Before we were brought over here to [America] we were kings and queens over there in Africa, ya dig? That’s where diamonds and gold and all that shit is derived from – the motherland. When they brought us over here, they made mutts out of us because they crossbred with our women. That’s why we’ve all got different skin tones now. We’re mutts now. We’re not pure no more. But the African side of us is yearning to get back to our roots. So subconsciously we buy diamonds and gold to try to get back to our roots. That’s my take on why a muthafucker would take his first royalty check and spend half of it on a muthafuckin’ watch or chain. That’s why muthafuckers get their first check or first show money and buy a Rolls Royce – because we used to ride in chariots. We used to have all the diamonds and gold. Now the game is reversed where we’re buying the diamonds from a muthafucker that doesn’t even look like us, and we’re buying them at a 300% markup. Any jeweler out there that’s claiming to be down with a nigga and wants a nigga to be down with them, they need to give us that shit – not at cost – but at least at 100% markup. Don’t markup that bullshit 300%. So this month we’re riding on the muthafuckin’ jewelers, that’s who we’re riding on. You’ve overcharging us and we’re tired of it. Diamonds come from the motherland. I’m challenging everybody out there to find a black jeweler, a man of color, and let’s start buying our muthafuckin’ rocks directly from Africa. Let’s buy them from niggas that look like you and me instead of buying it from the muthafuckin’ Iranians and Arabs and Russians, ya dig? I came through the New York airport and I had my praying hands piece on. You know when you come through the checkpoint and you’ve gotta take your [jewelry] off? I was putting my shit back on and a bitch asked me, “Are those conflict diamonds?” You know what I told that bitch? I said, “I don’t know.” I gave her the chain and put it in her hand and said, “Does it say ‘conflict diamonds’ anywhere on there? Can you tell conflict diamonds from regular diamonds?” The bitch looked at me like I was crazy. I said, “Okay, so I can’t tell conflict diamonds from regular diamonds either.” So shut your muthafuckin’ ass up, bitch! When they start writing on the diamonds in microscopic letters whether they’re conflict diamonds or not, that’s when I want somebody to ask me if I’m wearing conflict diamonds. Until then, shut your bitch ass up. Until we start buying diamonds straight from black folks, we’re all buying conflict diamonds. // Photo by Julia Beverly
od” aled’s “I’m So Ho the set of DJ Kh ips Arena for Hot on ol Co & y, ez Je Phill Khaled, Young low da Don @ Nancy Byron’s FL) 02 // Dre, DJ llie The Kid & Po ys & Yung B @ a, GA) 04 // Wi Bo d (Jacksonville, nt it en Gr tla ek // (A we 06 dio y ) rit Ra TV Johnny & TX f // leb n, De ce 09 sto So ) d’s ou So GA ou (H r a, fo Str nt rty s Taylor @ Marcu Kool Aid, & DJ X-Rated @ V103 @ Nancy Byron’s birthday pa for Polow’s Zone 4 party (Atla Daina & Lil Wayne on the ed Fr & sh Ca g // a ve Da 01 // Youn DJ Funky, DJ titude @ Oper (Tampa, FL) 11 13 // Memphitz & Treal @ Killa Kyleon, & iami, FL) 03 // // Rich Boy & At birthday party ) Chris Johnson, video shoot (M Slim Thug (Dallas, TX) 08 nta, GA) 05 // for DJ Christion’s rly’s birthday party (Miami, FL M5 tla ye @ (A Sk Bo sh b CBa Clu & y // Yung Berg & d @ da ee n 107.9’s Birth (Tampa, FL) 15 Manda & do & DJ Christio g D @ Sobe Live for Julia Beve ) 07 // Young Bl rty ie TX lan pa Jo y Or n, // da // sto th 18 10 ou ) bir ) (H FL birthday party oot (Houston, TX i, FL) 12 // Trick Daddy & Big for DJ Christion’s ll @ The Moon (Tallahassee, // Jekala Ma Wine-O video sh iam ilez @ Club Skye (Miami, FL) 20 Latin Prince @ ” video shoot (M -Rida, Smitty, Southstar, & Sm ) 17 // Vaughn Wilson & Marco e Forge for his book signing 22 // Steve Bellamy & er ak pe “S ’s er Th nn t (Houston, TX) set of David Ba ssee, FL) 14 // DJ Christion, Flo Blackmon’s Plaza (St. Louis, MO Simmons & Kendrick Meek @ areness concer ha e Box’s HIV Aw ) 19 // Russell The Bangerz @ Th GA // The Moon (Talla a, XX 16 nt KB ) tla @ TX (A a n, sh rci (Housto day Ba andi Ga n @ Shadow Bar Hot 107.9’s Birth ) 21 // Brooke Valentine & Br ); Terrence Tyso illips Arena for lik Abdul (02,16 Orleans, LA Ma ew ); (N Lil Boosie @ Ph 0,14 st (1 Fe a e n @ Essenc ,18); Luis Santan & Terrence Tyso FL) 4,08,11,12,13,17 h (Jacksonville, lia Beverly (03,0 Ju ); (19 uis Freeway @ Plus Lo 9,15,21); Johnny 7); Intl K (05,06,0 Edward Hall (0 2) Photo Credits: (01,20,2
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tatted up O
nce upon a time tattoos were taboo. Hip Hop culture has changed all that. Rap revolutionized the form of body art that was once restricted to Harley Davidson riders, prison inmates, and hardcore rock stars. People who call rap’s current obsession with rock culture a “trend” obviously haven’t done their Hip Hop history research. Rock stars have been influencing rap since the beginning. They had us tat, tat, tating it up long before skull belts and metal chains, and today, tattoos are an all-out phenomenon. Photo credits: Terrence Tyson (“Jesus” and “Faith”), Edward Hall (“Spark Dawg”), D-Ray (“Miami”) 36 // OZONE MAG
ence er Music Confer um @ Texas Summ for T-Pain’s alb y Waters, & KG er ne nt Mo Ce k, ic Bin Civ ty Big Ron C T @ Leon Coun a, GA) 02 // DJ ki, Ju Ju, & OG zy nt hs Cra tla ug & (A Do st, , rty an We pa e Le A ny @ b lease Ka rd re t, Stu Fo s es // TI’ ee Gu r 06 hl // fo ) As ll & ) 04 party (Dallas, TX in the Lenox Ma e // Paris Jontae zz (Norfolk, VA album release e, FL) 11 // Tra (Dallas, TX) 08 @ Louis Vuitton , 2Face, Young Fame & Big Ja i’s ill cc TI rty nv & Lu pa so r y ck fo ez se e Je (Ja lea g On y re ed lay Club 01 // Youn for Lucci’s album 10 // Malik Abdul & Keith Kenn FL) 13 // Yung B, Lil Wayne, of Spade, Fam- nnie, Tum Tum, & Mr Lucci @ e ck On Ja b // Clu 03 @ ) ) Tum (Dallas, TX FL) 05 // Ro y party (Tampa, g Bleed & Tum ning (Miami, FL Banner’s t (Tallahassee, ristion’s birthda e set of David for his book sig , TX) 07 // Youn release concer b Skye for DJ Ch n, TX) 15 // Dre & Baby on th on the set of nference (Dallas ns & Louis Oliver @ The Forge Clu Co sh @ Ca sic y J itt Mu & er Sm al & @ Texas Summ // White Boi Piz signing (Housto Russell Simmo TX) 12 // Mims 17 // pt Studios n, CD ) ru 09 GA sto his Er ) a, r ou @ FL nt fo (H t t e, tla ino ar er ill Ch l-M sh (A Plush (Jacksonv The Box’s HIV Awareness conc // Redd & Supa hnny & TI @ Wa a for Hot 107.9’s Birthday Ba 19 thday Bash Jo ) Bir TV GA ’s // a, 7.9 14 nt 10 ) t tla XX Zone 4 party (A ewon @ Phillips Arena for Ho rty (Houston, TX Young Jeezy @ Phillips Aren & Intl Red @ KB s pa w’ y lo da Po th r bir fo a ’s ry & Oper lange ex Gid ) 16 // Big Kunt & Chise $ @ So Polow da Don @ (Dallas, TX) 21 // Kinky B & Al shoot (Miami, FL oot (Miami, FL) 18 // Loon & illz concert Sk & sh “Speaker” video ay eo Pl vid @ ” h 2); Malik Abdul So Hood ban Sout Luis Santana (1 DJ Khaled’s “I’m 20 // Lil Flip & Pookie from Ur 4,15,16,18,21); 1,0 (0 ) rly ) FL ve TX e, Be ill n, lia (Jacksonv e (Housto ny Louis (09); Ju // Terrance & Ac ,13,14,22); John (Atlanta, GA) 22 7,20); Intl K (11 6,0 5,0 2,0 (0 ll (03); Edward Ha 8,10,19) Derrick Francis son (0 Photo Credits: (17); Terrence Ty
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weekoud’s celebrity y @ Marcus Str man, on rse Eb Ho & // n, 05 oo ) sp TX ther party (Houston, @ anie B, John Wi g ph ies nin Pl Ste te & // lis tti ’s 02 Kio DJ ) // FL Go hassee, FL) 07 y party (Miami, e, Lil T, DJ Hi-C, & DJ Awol @ rly’s birthday verly’s birthda The Moon (Talla ve Be Tra @ , Be n lia KB lia Ju ma // r Ju ap fo r 04 Ch e fo ) e Sobe Liv tlanta, GA ert (Houston, odie, Kevin, & TJ i-O @ Sobe Liv y & Rick Ross @ Masquerade (A @ Beyonce conc day party n, TX) 06 // Wo ston, TX) 09 // Geisha & Jack 01 // Trick Dadd FL) 03 // TMI Boyz & crew @ ug & Breneshia th concert (Housto ou Th s bir (H es m ’s t en Sli ith oo ar // e, sh Sm ill l Aw 11 eo V nv ) Me HI vid GA @ x’s end (Jackso Mr Pill @ party (Atlanta, of the Grit Boys of Play & Skillz t & @ KBXX The Bo lf se se e, ha nk e lea on d th Ha re xt s an nk on TI’ Ne ug Ba r m e fo Tu th m Th RawLT, & Big the Lenox Mall & Coach K al, C-Note, Nick // Yung B & Tum a, GA) 13 // Sli y in Ne nt ez 08 on tla ) Je ny itt (A g TX To Vu un // n, rty Yo uis 15 sto pa // Lo Harlow’s (Hou end’s all white t (Houston, TX) (Miami, FL) 17 i & Big Gipp @ Simmons ek er Bo rty We nc ell f pa ss co Big y De e Ru // da nc & So 10 th yo th So ) bir Be r oo party (Miami, FL ex Gidewon @ Compound fo FL) 19 // LA Sm imetime for Gotti’s d wife Queen @ r Julia Beverly’s fo o, an e n nd Liv do rla an (O be Br So rty & Al @ & hia y’s birthday pa Slim Thug @ Pr g City, & guest TX) 12 // Nelly his kids Brenes // Stacks, Youn Silver Knight & for Kaye Dunawa 14 // Bun B with n, TX) 21 // DJ (Dallas, TX) 16 House of Blues sto @ rty (Houston, TX) ou pa KC (H s & DJ rty Fif s on pa iti g tenin r Defin ) 18 // We Rhythm City fo ther @ Trae’s lis t (Houston, TX) rty (Atlanta, GA e Tyson (02); low’s Zone 4 pa (Miami, FL) 20 // Trae & his mo t of the Grit Boys video shoo 2,17,21); Terrenc se @ Opera for Po g e th nin sig on rly (01,06,09,10,1 ze ok ve ee bo Be Fr his & lia r B Ju fo ); ng e rg (19 @ The Fo GA) 22 // Yu ); Johnny Louis party (Atlanta, 8,11,13,14,20,22 mixtape release ; Intl K (05,07,0 3) (0 n rri Pe ic Er ward Hall (15); ) Bogan (16); Ed (04); Wes Fif (18 Photo Credits: Turhan Rhodes
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Rec te & Sycamore Bink and Key No ck Daddy & JT Big DJ n, so ck Ja Tri n s, nta, GA) 04 // FL) 02 // Actio t (Tallahassee, lease party (Atla ock, & guest @ WBFA (Columbu release concer Mall for TI’s re Bl x & um e, no k Ge Le alb Un e s // Big th in’ 08 D, in Pa k TLil nter for uis Vuitton Big Duke, e) - Jaro Vace County Civic Ce Boulevard @ Lo , Jody Breeze, um release & Sweetz (Pragu & Twista @ Leon ney, Big Boi, Little Brother, & 05 // Gorilla Zoe, DJ Incognito e, David Banner, Utopia for his alb t of DJ lli b Wi Clu // @ 01 // Yung Joc 07 ) Mo re ) FL tu Bo GA i, se ulp // a, e sc iam nt 03 th (M ) tla ice on (A TX rty , ts Ize sh pa es 4rth y Ba gu // Wo y da & th 09 Center (Ft. t 107.9’s Birthda Lil Bass, Brisco for Polow’s llahassee, FL) lia Beverly’s bir // Ho a Ju (Ta r er r t 11 fo Op fo er ) a e nc @ GA en y co Liv Ar a, Bo nt se be ips tla Money @ So Goodie, & Rich t of the Grit Outlawz @ Phill Center for T-Pain’s album relea Weekend’s all white party (A ujo e se Kh e th th & k, Za ck on B Bu Big n g // f Bu GA) 06 // Youn on County Civic ce @ Compound for So So De ouston, TX) 13 sh (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Trae & Le unty Civic (H e Co @ z nu on Ve od Le lo @ @ gB ala 40 Ni un re, & Matt Sonz J-Bo of the Yo e Dupri & DJ J7.9’s Birthday Ba TX) 17 // T-Pain’s father & ENo 10 rty (Housain , t pa rm Mo Ho ol Je r ry fo // po Co a 10 // his en ) 12 @ ter @ Phillips Ar e Live (Houston, Amino & Kiotti party Atlanta, GA od” video shoot (Miami, FL) n, TX) Ge us DJ n ho sto // so re ou Ja 19 Wa (H & ) t @ k, TX er h Za nc n, Ho wkins, & Dr Teet V Awareness co y party (Housto low da Don, Big Ha HI da Khaled’s “I’m So Po th ah // x’s sh bir Bo 14 ’s e Me ) , Th ge GA cy KBXX tlanta, ala, Sta $ @ Solan his children @ Zone 4 party (A 16 // Matt Sonz // Bone & Chise dul (11); Turhan 21 // Lil Keke & t (Houston, TX) hassee, FL) 18 ,14,17); Malik Ab (Houston, TX) rty Boys video shoo album release concert (Talla pa y da th 3,04,06,08,10,13 bir 1,0 ’s (0 ith s rly in’ Sm ve l Pa Be Me TCenter for ke Sterns @ Vacek (07); Julia oria Velez & Mi ,19,20,21); Jaro ton, TX) 20 // Gl ; Intl K (15,16,18 9) (0 n rri Pe ic Er Incognito (05); D’Lyte (02); DJ Photo Credits: Rhodes (12)
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Words // Randy Roper
Tuma BasA & Buttahman
RY UST IND
wenty-six years ago when MTV first launched, they played music videos (in 2007, not so much). Reality shows like The Real World and Diddy’s Making The Band have taken over the station originally launched to broadcast music videos. Luckily, to appease the viewers that would rather watch T.I.’s latest video over a spoiled 16-year-old’s birthday party, MTV parented channels like MTV2, MTV Hits and of course OZONE’s personal favorite, MTV Jams. Under the guidance of their Music and Talent Director, Buttahman, and Music Programming Manager, Tuma Basa, MTV Jams, which launched in May 2002, features Hip Hop and urban music programming that true Hip Hop fans can appreciate. In 2005, MTV Jams partnered with OZONE for the 25 Greatest Southern Artists countdown and continued to support OZONE by airing the first and second annual OZONE Award shows. As they say, real recognize real. What are your positions and duties at MTV Jams? Tuma Basa: I’m manager of music programming initiatives. So basically, I do MTV Jams’ record label relations. We schedule the music programming for [MTV] Jams. Buttahman: Basically, both of us are in charge of developing the channel, coming up with ideas for programming. We really wanted to take it to the next level. And what we’re doing is collectively coming up with ideas, the OZONE Awards being one of them, in terms of ways to bring more eyes and attention to the channel. What was the basic reason for launching MTV Jams? Tuma Basa: Basically, they wanted to super-serve that audience that wanted Hip Hop/urban music through the digital channels. And it also acted as an incubator for up-and-coming urban artists that weren’t necessarily ready for MTV2 at the time but to be able to super-serve that audience by introducing them to new faces and new trends in the music. Buttahman: And when he says, “weren’t ready,” it means they were unknown to the mass audience but were well loved by the core Hip Hop fans.
(l to r): Buttahman, Tuma Basa
different things that go on in the streets. Like what kind of cellphones people are using, how people shake hands, tattoos, sneakers. We also have artists give us their tidbits, like Kia Shine talked to us about how he keeps it fresh. And Lil’ Scrappy had his G’s Up TV. Another program that we have coming up in the fall is called Parker Report. Eric Parker will be hosting, it’s driven on different people’s opinions on Hip Hop. We have Jam of the Week, which is a video we play on the hour, every hour. It airs 168 times in one week, so if a song is hot we will make sure that it’s seen. Buttahman: We have a lot of short form programming that doesn’t interrupt the music video experience but also gives you a glimpse into the culture, lifestyle, everything that we feel the audience can relate to. Buttahman, can you tell me more about the Hood Fab program that you host? Buttahman: It’s the first ever interactive Hip Hop trivia game show. And we’re on the streets, going to different hoods and testing people’s knowledge of Hip Hop and giving them prizes. We managed to incorporate some of the rappers into the game. So far we’ve had Eve, Snoop, Common, Khia, and Kanye. So what have you found out so far? How good is people’s knowledge of Hip Hop? Buttahman: It’s surprising because you see a lot of people that say they represent Hip Hop and then you ask them a question like what’s EPMD’s first album and they don’t know the answer. Even some artists, you’d be surprised at the questions they’ve gotten wrong.
Who are some of the artists you’ve helped break? Buttahman: Rich Boy, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, Jim Jones. It was never really about radio stars, it’s always [been about] giving them that video support to help put them out there. Also, a cool thing about Jams, we try look for those regional artists that are making videos that may not be big budget, Hype Williams [videos] but they’re good enough to air those music stories on visual.
What was it about OZONE that made you guys want to connect with this publication? Tuma Basa: It’s authentic and it’s comprehensive. When you pick up an OZONE Magazine there’s so much in it. Buttahman: Also, we felt that if Jams were a magazine then OZONE would be it. It’s very grassroots, it kinda started off that way where Julia was off doing her thing with these artists before anyone knew who they were. And then the culture of Southern Hip Hop exploded. And Jams is kinda the same way, where we’re that little operation, very grassroots, still underground where a lot of people may not be aware of the channel but the people that have it really love it a lot. Like the OZONE readers and the OZONE artists really love that magazine because it gave them that exposure when no one else was doing it. We did the first thing, which was the 25 Greatest Southern Artists with [OZONE] and as the relationship grew, it just made sense to continue with the awards show.
Is the MTV Jams programming just videos? Tuma Basa: No, it’s a mix of videos and specials. With our programming, we’re not trying to interrupt anyone. We want you to be able to have the music on in the background. So we play a lot of music videos and we also have programming like Hood Fab which is a Hip Hop game show that Buttahman hosts. We have Look Around, it’s kind of like a cultural piece where we talk about
Do you have anything that you want to say to the MTV Jams viewers? Tuma Basa: They’re a lot of people that show a lot of love to MTV Jams. There are a lot of people that kept Jams on all day long on their TVs and just let it run. And it becomes a part of their lives and households. And we want to say thank you to them. Buttahman: And shout out to my mom. (laughs) //
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? e n o z o g in d a e r s ’ o h w
ess @ Power Diamond & Princ 01 // Crime Mob’s ncert (Little Rock, AR) 02 h co 92’s Juneteent an (Dallas, de @ Club Enigm DJ Khaled’s // Devin the Du of t se e aled on th TX) 03 // DJ Kh // Trick Daddy (Miami, FL) 04 “I’m So Hood” 05 // Steve ) FL e, llahasse David @ The Moon (Ta o on the set of ed ev Ac by Ga & i, FL) iam Rifkind (M t oo sh ker” video Plaza n’s Banner’s “Spea mo ck Bla DJ Q45 @ 06 // Webbie & Power 92’s 07 // Yo Gotti @ (St. Louis, MO) AR) 08 , ck Ro e ert (Littl Juneteenth conc f celebrity basketball De So So @ // Jibbs ss & Johnny GA) 09 // E-Cla game (Atlanta, nta, GA) 10 tla (A s rk Studio Boy @ Patchwe ine @ Play & Skillz conSh // Kinfolk Nakia & Buckeey ) 11 // Mahliya cert (Dallas, TX MO) 12 // , uis Lo . Plaza (St @ Blackmon’s r his vidfo y Cit m @ Rhyth ne Chris T-Ball & ladies ca rri Hu // 13 , TX) eo shoot (Dallas teenth concert (Little ne @ Power 92’s Ju @ Rhythm Fedo & Kazeno Rock, AR) 14 // ndra G Ke & t es Gu ) 15 // del City (Dallas, TX Mo E ON OZ r Chica fo Skillz @ Club Transit IL) 16 // Play & m, go ica (Ch h Searc as Su // RawLT @ Tex 18 // (Dallas, TX) 17 ce (Dallas, TX) ren nfe Co sic Mu tion mer en nv Co h ac Be ami Lil Scrappy @ Mi show (Miami, FL) 19 car Center for DUB aled’s the set of DJ Kh // Flo-Rida on Cool & iami, FL) 20 // (M ” od Ho So “I’m Beach, lm Pa t es (W unge n, & Dre @ Ultra Lo 4-Ize, TJ Chapma FL) 21 // Big Al, Club Utopia for his @ ins wk Ha o Janir GA) 22 party (Atlanta, album release DJ Fish @ KNON & s ter Wa y ne // Mo Block Party show 89.3’s Dirty South bull @ 104.9 Pit // 23 ) TX , as (Dall pe n, TX) 24 // Po car show (Housto rcedes’ birthday r Me fo ne to es Fir @ Geter FL) 25 // Jason bash (Orlando, illips Arena for Ph @ r se Ky ke & Mi nta, day Bash (Atla Hot 107.9’s Birth y, DJ ol Aid, DJ Funk Ko DJ // 26 ) GA r ckey @ V103 fo X-Rated, & Lil Mi (Atlanta, GA) 27 dio Ra f De So So d@ & Marcus Strou // Ms. Rivercity end celebrity week d’s ou Str s rcu Ma ) 28 // Rosci @ FL , ille nv so ck (Ja y Tigger’s celebrit Morehouse for (Atlanta, GA) 29 me ga all etb sk ba tMasquerade (A // TMI Boyz @ y Big Tuck @ Pla // 30 ) GA ta, lan // (Dallas, TX) 31 ert nc co illz Sk & on the set of DJ op Dr & y Bo ite Wh Hood” (Miami, Khaled’s “I’m So & Sway @ Bill lla Do // 32 ) FL (Dallas, TX) 33 hood car show the Next One @ k Nic & d Hu G// ce Music Conferen er mm Su as Tex // Paris Jontae (Dallas, TX) 34 The Moon for & Ashlee Ford @ rty (Tallapa T-Pain’s release // Wendy Day & hassee, FL) 35 Tampa Music Michael Watts @ mpa, FL) 36 // Conference (Ta Sobe Live for Teddy T & PM @ birthday party Julia Beverly’s // Jugg Mugg (Miami, FL) 37 Club Enigman & Blind Rob @ // DJ Lil (Dallas, TX) 38 @ Taste of John & Timbuktu , IL) Chicago (Chicago Bogan (36); DJ Photo Credits: Edward Who (01,07,13); ,16,17, Hall (02,10,12,14 c Perrin Eri 22,30,32,33,37); ); Johnny (08,21,28,29,34 ry Mindz Louis (18); Luxu l (03,05,0 (23); Malik Abdu ,35,38); ,31 6,11,15,19,20,24 ,09,25,26); Julia Beverly (04 ) (27 Terrence Tyson
OZONE MAG // 43
Words by Randy Roper Phtoo by Clubzone Houston
Marco, gave me the opportunity to run the board overnight. So without him, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. Him and a couple other program directors, Pete Manriquez, helped get where I am too. When where you on the air in Albuquerque? From February ‘03 to July ’05 then I came back to [Houston]. Went out there and started a radio station. The competition in about a year, they folded. That’s pretty much what they flew me out there to do. I stayed out there for an extra year and came back home. You put out mixtapes as well. How heavy are you in the mixtape game? In ’06 I really did a lot more with mixtapes and I gave out a lot of free stuff. I felt I needed to get out more. The mixtape game was real competitive. And of course, the whole situation with Drama [getting arrested], it was like, I need to get back to the basics and focus on the radio again. I still give the streets these mixtapes but I’m not pushing them for profits. Tell me about your mixtape series called Hood Pass? There’s a boutique out here that laces up a lot of these artists that you see wit’ the fly gear on in the South. And we started this program called “Hood Pass.” It’s a discount card, it’s an independent urban retail network. You go to a whole bunch of independent urban retailers in Houston and they use them. From tire shops to barbershops to clothing places. You take my “hood pass” and go to these places, you’ll get tax free or 15% off or different discounts. We got a new Jordan coming out, you don’t have to wait until Saturday, you can get them on Friday night wit’ the “hood pass” card. That’s how I use those and the mixtapes are all free. The last one I did was with Lil’ Flip. And my new ones are wit’ Trae and Glasses Malone. And the Crisco Kidd Block Party [mixtapes] is stuff you can tell that’s gonna be a radio hit. It’s gonna be something most people can feel.
risco Kidd is establishing himself as one of the best radio DJs in the country. This DJ from Houston, TX holds down the 7 pm to midnight slot on Party 104.9 and his show Crisco Kidd’s Block Party earned him a Best Radio DJ nomination at this year’s OZONE Awards. In 2004, he battled cancer and won. And with that kind of resilience, battling a shady industry and rising to the top is nothing.
What’s your role in the Bum Squad DJz? Of course, you know Latin Prince, he’s the man. I’m pretty much in charge of Texas and the Southwest region. The crew out of Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Lubbock, Corpus Christi, Oklahoma, New Mexico, those are pretty much my territory. We got a strong crew. There are a lot of DJ crews but nobody can honestly say they have the power we have, worldwide. Especially in Houston, we’re real heavy out here.
How long have you been DJing? I started DJing house parties, doing mixtapes on old cassette [tapes] back in ’95. I got a loan, bought a turntable, two CD players, my mixer and started from there. I went from house parties to birthday parties to private parties, and by my senior year in high school, I was already locked into three nights a week, doing clubs and throwing my own party on Friday nights.
You have a quote on your Myspace page that says “No time for games or groupies.” Are you trying to tell me that you really don’t make time for groupies? They’re around, man, but it’s really about focusing. I really committed myself after cancer to focusing and really trying to make the most I can out of everyday.
This year, you were nominated for an OZONE Award for Best Radio DJ. How did it feel to have your industry peers nominate you? I really appreciate the look, man. I’m honored to be in the same category as some of those other DJs. A couple of them have been doing their thing for a minute. I just appreciate that the industry people and the people that listen to the show in my city appreciate what I do. It’s good to know that somebody’s taking notice of what’s going on.
You had cancer? I got diagnosed with cancer on September 24, 2004. I was in New Mexico. I flew back home for three months and went to chemotherapy. My last treatment was December 27th. That’s it. I just got my checkup last week. Two years, seven months, cancer free.
What is the basic format for your show? It’s not a show that has to follow a routine every night. But we do have things that we do. Of course we lace everybody up with what’s going on wit’ Hip Hop and the news. I got a feature called “Rock the Block,” that’s what we call the mixshow. It’s me and DJ Rockwell, that’s my official DJ on the show. I gotta shout out to him because he makes a lot of things possible. That’s the coldest DJ in Houston on turntables, on the radio. I brought him from New Mexico when I was out in Albuquerque. Our DJ crew, the Bum Squad DJz, we have this thing called the Bum Squad DJ “block burner.” It could be a new exclusive remix, something that we might have done or a new song from an artist, or whatever song is hot right now. We’ve “block burnered” a lot of songs from Atlanta and they’ve become power records on our rotation. We got a feature called “Choppin’ Up the Block” wit’ the Choppaholix, it’s DJ Coolaid and DJ Ovadose. And that’s the chopped joint of the night, we gotta do that for Houston. We pull artists in all the time. I ask a lot of questions that a lot of people might not wanna touch or something that some people just forget to ask about. Not necessarily being all controversial but about things that I feel people need credit for or they’re too humble to touch on themselves. I make sure that credit is given and touch on things that need to be discussed. So right now you’re with Party 104.9? Actually, this station used to be called 100.7 House Party. I was one of the people that started this radio station, man. The program director, Homie
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That’s good, man. How is your whole outlook on life since going through cancer? I tell people, I thank God I got cancer cause I was crazy, man. I was young and my priorities weren’t focused. Going through that helped me take advantage of a lot of different things that I needed to take myself to a different level. So I changed my focus. Not that I’m a square, I still party and get down. But at the end of the day, I know radio is about money. It’s a business, man. This whole industry is a business. A lot of people that got talent get taken advantage of, like myself when I was younger. Now that I’m older and my eyes have been opened, I see the business of a lot of things and I see how much money there is. A lot of times you gotta get your corporate game right or they take advantage of you. Is there anything else that we need to touch on? We can talk about this website. It’s gonna be called www.thablockparty.com. It’s gonna represent what we do in H-Town. We wanna do things with t-shirts, wit’ the shoes, wit’ the CDs, wit’ the DVD. It’s gonna be something to represents our city and Texas. We’re gonna have our own internet steaming. We’re gonna have our own media player, where you can check out the hottest new tracks that are coming out. News, interviews, that represents what we do in Houston, along with my show. And I’m also working on my album. It’s gonna be like a DJ style compilation. I appreciate OZONE Magazine for the look. I wanna thank God. I wanna thank Nancy Byron and everyone everybody over there at OGPR. I wanna thank my radio station for making a lot these awards possible. And thank everyone that works on my radio show. //
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er Music @ Texas Summ 01 // Green City , TX) 02 // Kanye West @ as all (D ce Conferen Pain’s release ic Center for TLeon County Civ e, FL) 03 // Lil Jon & sse concert (Tallaha illips Arena for Hot 107.9’s Ph Mannie Fresh @ nta, GA) 04 // Jim Jones (Atla Birthday Bash r birthday Firestone for he Cool @ & Mercedes @ // Joe Hound & 05 ) FL o, nd rla y party da bash (O th bir ’s rly lia Beve Sobe Live for Ju Primetime for // JR & crew @ (Miami, FL) 06 a, GA) 07 // nt tla (A se party TI’s album relea celebrity r’s ge Tig r ouse fo // Mad Lil Mo @ Moreh 08 ) GA a, (Atlant mpa, basketball game (Ta ce ren nfe Music Co Lucci’s Linx @ Tampa @ Club One for ain rm to Ga // // 10 FL) 09 ) TX , as all party (D mmer album release allz @ Texas Su Sm DJ & z pe Lo JT // George 11 ) TX , as ce (Dall Music Conferen verly’s Live for Julia Be Money @ Sobe i, FL) 12 // Killa iam (M rty pa y n, TX) birthda car show (Housto ena Ar Kyleon @ 104.9 ps illi Ph @ lentino 13 // Bobby Va (Atlanta, Birthday Bash Club for Hot 107.9’s and E-Class @ ss Cla E// 14 al, GA) ) 15 // Tony Ne TX , as all (D a as Enigm rek Jurand @ Tex ) De & n, ma ap , TX TJ Ch nference (Dallas Co sic Mu er Summ p@ Juvenile, & DJ Da ng 16 // Wild Billo, ile, AL) 17 // Yu ob (M s ion us Ill Club it the set of the Gr B & Scooby on 18 // (Houston, TX) t oo sh eo vid rity Boys So So Def celeb @ i pr Du e ain // DJ Jerm (Atlanta, GA) 19 me ga all etb ch ot bask Kn p To // 20 , AL) Scecher (Mobile , MO) 21 // 4-Ize uis Lo . (St e’s nt @ Da his Club Utopia for & DJ Scorpio @ GA) party (Atlanta, se ea rel um alb sh Dr Doom @ Plu 22 // T-Roy & DJ 23 // Grit Boys @ ) FL , ille nv so ck (Ja // DJ (Dallas, TX) 24 hood car show Day f @ Hood Hard He e Hu & s rie Aa // Big Bank Hank 25 ) GA a, nt (Atla as Summer Music & Dr Teeth @ Tex , TX) 26 // Massa as all (D ce ren nfe Co ) 27 ow (Houston, TX @ 104.9 car sh Raj Smoove (New DJ & y Bo by Ba // the // Sean Paul on Orleans, LA) 28 r” nner’s “Speake Ba vid Da of t se iami, FL) 29 // video shoot (M 104.9 car show @ Kid sco Cri DJ 30 // Cory Mo & ) TX n, sto ou (H n, car show (Housto guest @ 104.9 Boss & Baje @ b Mo // 31 ) TX DA concert (OrFirestone for US pastar J Kwik Su // 32 ) FL , do lan 33 llahassee, FL) @ The Moon (Ta f celebrity De So So @ lly Ne // (Atlanta, GA) basketball game ford & Antoine ad Br rey Co // 34 r Transit Chica fo Walker @ Club arch (Chicago, OZONE Model Se & Trae @ 104.9 IL) 35 // Rob G n, TX) 36 car show (Housto ouse for reh // Terrance @ Mo sketball y ba Tigger’s celebrit GA) 37 // DJ game (Atlanta, Rated @ Rain Kool-Aid & DJ X- celebrity d’s @ Marcus Strou sonville, FL) weekend (Jack So So Def 38 // Chingy @ all game celebrity basketb (Atlanta, GA) Bogan Photo Credits: Hall (05,11); Edward ,23,25); Eric (01,09,10,14,15 ,21,33,36,38); Perrin (02,07,18 Beverly Intl K (17); Julia Kastro sh (03,06,13,32); Ka ndz (24); Luxury Mi ); Malik Ab(12,26,29,30,35 ,34); Mardul (04,08,28,31 Tammie ); cus DeWayne (27 nce Tyson White (20); Terre lo (16,19) (22,37); Wild Bil
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So why did you choose to produce instead of following your father’s orchestral influence? I was in the band in junior high school, marching band, stuff like that but I started playing ball. I started getting into the streets. I started getting into the hood a little bit more. Just seeing what was cool, seeing what was more relevant in my generation. And once I started getting older I was just looking at what was really selling. Hip Hop and R&B was really where my heart was when I started making beats. I still know a lot about reading music and orchestral music, so I started mixing the two. I started making Hip Hop/orchestral beats or triumphant beats like [Young Jeezy’s] “Standing Ovation.” Just music and the trumpets and the horns. I still take a lot of things from the orchestra and write my own music. My dad plays other composers’ music but he doesn’t write his own music. And that’s what I do, I write my own music. I would prefer to write my own music as opposed to just playing everybody else’s music. And record sales as far as orchestral music as opposed to Hip Hop, they’re really no comparisons. There’s not as many people buying orchestral music as Hip Hop. I love both so I just combined them and do what I do. So you quit school to pursue producing as a career? You were at the University of Memphis, right? I went to school for my father and my mother, but even in high school I was pursing a career. I had joints on the radio by different local artists, pretty much all the local rappers, Gangsta Boo, Yo Gotti, Tela. All of that was poppin’ during high school. Going to college I was already making money. I stayed in school about 2, 3 years majoring in music business and it got to the point where I couldn’t handle both. I had to choose which one I was going to pursue and I rolled with the music, man. I moved down to Atlanta and that was the end of college. Which artist did you hook up with first as far as producing when you moved to Atlanta? My first artist coming to Atlanta was Pastor Troy. I did a lot of work with Blackout Music, Fione Simone, and Charlie Hustle. That was one of the first DJ Drama Gangsta Grillz that we put out, that really got me a lot of [publicity]. We got a couple songs playing on the radio. I was rapping on a song with Rob Jackson, me and Pastor Troy. That got my name out there a lot. Between [Blackout Music] and Pastor Troy I had a song called “Pop That Pussy” and “Off In This Game” on the D.S.G.B. album and that had me on fire wit’ the independent street cats. I was selling beats and bumped into Block. Jeezy used to see me out in the streets hustling. I used to always tell them, “You gotta get me on that album.” They were working on the Boyz N Da Hood album and we made that poppin’. We were doing a lot of work with Jody Breeze. I made the “Stackin’ Paper” beat featuring Slim Thug for Jody Breeze. I did “Get Your Gangsta On” with Jody Breeze and Jeezy, and even though those records didn’t come out, they were poppin’ in the clubs which got my name hot. We just moved up from there. From the Boyz N Da Hood album to the Jeezy “Standin’ Ovation” and then the second Jeezy album. 46 // OZONE MAG
Words // Randy Roper
Your father was a musician. What kind of influence did he have on you growing up? He had a lot of influence, man, because he had a recorder in my mouth damn near since the age of 4 or 5. Years after that, I moved up to the E-flat clarinet. By the time I was 8 or 9, I had the B-Flat clarinet. He taught me a lot of classical music. He taught me how to read music. He taught me a lot of articulations and all of the language of concert music, which is orchestral music. He just had the orchestral influence in me. My mom was more the Solid Gold Soul, ‘70s and ‘80s jamming, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, coming from Memphis, the home of Stax, the home of Al Green. So between the two I just got a good mix.
ou can call 2007 a breakout year for 23-year-old producer Drumma Boy. After producing album tracks for Young Jeezy, Boyz N Da Hood and Yo Gotti, his production has made it into heavy rotation on the streets and radio with USDA’s street smash “White Girl” and Plies and T-Pain smash hit “Shawty.” Now that he tastes the sweet victory of mainstream success, this hit-maker from Memphis, TN finds himself one of the game’s most sought after producers.
How big was it for you being the producer for “Standin’ Ovation” on Jeezy’s debut album? It was huge, man, everything that I had to go through to make that placement. A lot of people don’t know, the original [beat for] “Standin’ Ovation,” I sold that beat. I gave Jeezy the beat CD, and he called me six months later like, “This is the beat that’s going on my album.” And I was like, “Damn, man, I sold that shit.” I told them to give me the acapella, cause that’s how I started making beats. I take the acapella and build around it, that’s just something that I do. I said, “The beat is sold, ain’t nothing I can do about that but give me the acapella and I’ma smash out on it.” So they got me the acapella. I did the first version to it and Jeezy was like, “Nah, that ain’t it.” I did the second version and he was like, “Nah, but that’s close.” After he declined me twice I was like, “Fuck that, I gotta make this nigga’s album.” I just went hard on that shit, took him the third version and that nigga went crazy. When he came through with acapella, he was like, you come through for me on this, nigga I got you. And I came through, that broadened our relationship. That’s my nigga right there. Just for him to give me that opportunity and for him to believe I could get the job done and for me to get the job done and get my first platinum plaque is just beautiful.
What are some other tracks you’ve produced that some people don’t know you did? I did the “Sippin’ and Spinnin’ (Remix)” with Gangsta Boo. I did “Shawty,” Plies and T-Pain. I did the “White Girl” for Jeezy. I did the “Go Getta (Remix).” I did “Quickie” off the USDA album. I did Yo Gotti “That’s What’s Up,” that was a big street record for Yo Gotti. I did hella shit. What’s the Drumma Boy sound? My style to me is music, man. Of course it’s street, gutter. The biggest thing is just that triumphant sound. When you hear it, it’s triumphant, just some glorious type of music. And then I’ve still got that Stax sound, with the musical instruments. It’s not one word that can describe me. I do a little bit of everything, from orchestral Hip Hop to the triumphant sound to the Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, the Stax. It’s just gumbo music that sticks. Plies’ “Shawty” is your biggest record to date. How big was that song for you? It’s just opening up the doors. For me that was a crossover record, as far as having a dude’s first single. And having a video, it’s the first time we’re on 106 & Park. That joint was the Jam of the Week. “White Girl” was the Jam of the Week, so we had MTV Jam of the Week two weeks back to back. And just to understand what a single will do for you as opposed to just being on a nigga’s album. It was just a big record. We’re getting all kinds of nominations and the girls are just going crazy off of this joint. “White Girl” was a record that had trouble crossing over because of the drug references. How do you feel about that situation as the producer of that track? [As producers] we sell a lot of records and if that’s what you’re feeling on a beat, to me, I like “White Girl” and that’s what Jeezy stands for. You gotta stick to the script and be you. If it’s successful or not, or whether they play it on the radio or not, it’s still getting a lot of attention. Everyone’s been commending me on “White Girl.” I’m not going to tell a dude to make it radio or make it more commercial. Do you. [The USDA album] still moved 95,000 the first week, so someone was obviously going to get the album and taking heed. And it wasn’t even on every radio station. If it was on every radio station, it would have probably moved more units than that. What projects are you working on next? I’m on Yung Joc’s new album, got a joint called “Livin’ It Up.” I did a remix to “You Make Me Better” with Ne-Yo and Fab. I’m working on the “Coffee Shop (Remix).” I got a lot of work with LeToya Luckett. Trying to do some work with Mary J. [Blige], Usher but we’re just working, man. Got Trey Songz coming in, got [Juvenile] coming in this week. I’ve been out here doing my thing. I’ve been telling niggas I’m next. And now that it’s happening I appreciate all the love. Shout out to all the fans, shout out to Memphis, shout out to Atlanta. And we’re just going to keep going hard for the squad. //
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e uis Vuitton in th Don & Mya @ Lo nta, GA) 02 tla 01 // Polow da (A rty pa se TI’s relea es Lenox Mall for ns, LA) 03 // Pli Boy (New Orlea w& // Lil Wayne & G- n, TX) 04 // USDA’s BloodRa sto in, @ Harlow’s (Hou (Jacksonville, FL) 05 // T-Pa sh Slick Pulla @ Plu d on the set of DJ Khaled’s Khale e DJ Nasty, & DJ Rick Ross on th iami, FL) 06 // iami, FL) 07 // (M ‘I’m So Hood’ (M ” od Ho So d’s “I’m o, set of DJ Khale concert (Orland estone for USDA odie, & Go Sytonnia @ Fir ujo Kh z, all ia, DJ Sm ce FL) 08 // Inert Music Conferen Texas Summer ouse for reh Mychal Jeter @ Mo @ is sh // Deeli ) (Dallas, TX) 09 me (Atlanta, GA y basketball ga Tigger’s celebrit r 92’s Juneteenth concert we 10 // Cupid @ Po adford, Devin ) 11 // Corey Br (Little Rock, AR Chicago (Chiof ste Ta ktu @ Hester, & Timbu er @ Drayton pp lpe Cu Daunte cago, IL) 12 // game (Ocala, all etb sk rity ba Florence’s celeb neteenth Ju ’s 92 r @ Powe w Wow & FL) 13 // Huey Bo // 14 ) Rock, AR basketball concert (Little y rit leb ce f So De Lil Chuckee @ So 15 // Eddie “Gigs” & Garcia GA) game (Atlanta, birthday party r Julia Beverly’s Rowland, & @ Sobe Live fo lly Ke ie, an // Steph . Worth, TX) (Miami, FL) 16 re Rec Center (Ft verly’s Be D’Lyte @ Sycamo lia Ju r fo e Liv Sobe 17 // D Shep @ Dolla Boy iami, FL) 18 // (M rty pa y da e Bag birth yaz Circle’s “Duffl on the set of Pla (Atlanta, GA) 19 // TJ oot Boyz” video sh the set of o, & E-Class on Chapman, Brisc i, FL) 20 iam (M ” od So Ho LA) 21 DJ Khaled’s “I’m t, or ep rev (Sh KMJJ on // Hot Sauce @ Mo e Th @ Rip & DJ lliams, // Bigga Rankin 22 // Rovella Wi a for ) FL e, sse ha (Talla ps Aren Mason @ Philli GA) 23 guest, & Elora y Bash (Atlanta, da th Bir ’s 7.9 10 ty Civic Hot un Co on Le @ Dap // DJ Demp & DJ se party in’s album relea tti @ Center for T-Pa Kio & D Lil // ) 24 (Tallahassee, FL 25 // K ) TX n, sto ou sic (H Chill Factor Mu “I’m So t of DJ Khaled’s Foxx on the se h@ Ric BDJ // 26 FL) KidHood” (Miami, , TX) 27 // KB da as all (D e On b xas Clu (Te rk Pa d un ho Grey y Knappa @ Gulf nn Jo & r air ldh DJ Wi City, TX) 28 // um e for Lucci’s alb Kash @ Club On as, TX) 29 // Lil Joe all (D rty pa se ea ck & rel as, TX) 30 // Bla @ Club One (Dall n’s Plaza (St. Louis, mo Webbie @ Black One, & e, Nick the Next MO) 31 // DJ Dr ition fin De r fo y Cit m DJ Drop @ Rhyth y& ce Tra // 32 ) TX as, DJs party (Dall stival Fe e nc se Es @ er Jonathan Bend sty & LA) 33 // DJ Na (New Orleans, “I’m t of DJ Khaled’s se e th on ll bu Pit ck Ma // 34 ) FL i, So Hood” (Miam his CD Review on off Maine showing ker” Banner’s “Spea the set of David i, FL) 35 // iam video shoot (M , n, Young Bleed Loaded, Olman G’z, m, Tum Tum, TB Stoney Crook Fa Club One for @ s & Money Water ease party (DalLucci’s album rel Daniels & Mr tt las, TX) 36 // Ma sic Conference Mu Smith @ Tampa e // Willy Northsid (Tampa, FL) 37 yaz Circle’s on the set of Pla t yz” video shoo “Duffle Bag Bo // Young Cash, (Atlanta, GA) 38 Bigga Rankin @ TJ Chapman, & ce Music Conferen Hood Magazine FL) (Daytona Beach, Bogan (15,17); Photo Credits: yte (16); DJ C-Mac (20); D’L ward Hall Who (10,13); Ed ,35); Eric Perrin (08,26,28,29,31 tl K (03,24); (09,14,18,37); In ,22,34); ,21 Julia Beverly (01 ,06,07,11,12,1 Malik Abdul (05 ); Marcus De9,25,30,33,36,38 Terrence Tyson Wayne (02,32); Rhodes (27) (04,23); Turhan
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RickMoâ€™Ross Hungrier Words by Eric N. Perrin Photos by Blake Ribbey
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Rick Ross just finished eating — but he’s still hungry. He’s sitting on the couch in the artist lounge of Patchwerk Studios with a vending machine stocked full of Oreo cookies, Doritos, and Skittles directly in front of him, but he’s not interested in any of those items. Right now, Ricky’s picking out something a little more sticky. The weedman has just arrived and he has come bearing Rick’s favorite investment — kush (Rick now refers to reefer as an “investment” instead a “bad habit,” because it keeps him out of trouble and helps him focus on his music). He opens the bag and a fresh vegetable smell fills the room. Rick diligently examines the produce, then, after a thorough inspection, hands the “investment broker” $1,400 and passes the two ounces of olive colored kush he’s just acquired to a member of his entourage. Without saying one word, Rick’s legion of weedcarriers instantly retreat to back of the room and religiously roll-up. The Boss looks happy.
become one the game’s elite rappers. And if you don’t believe that, just listen. Hearing is believing. You’ve been in the studio a lot lately. What are you working on today? We’re working on the album of the year, Trilla, the follow up album from the boss, Ricky Ross. Right now, I’m in here with Mannie Fresh. He just gave me some incredible shit yesterday. It takes me like an hour to write the songs, so I let him make the beats and when I’m done writing the songs we just lay ‘em. So how is it coming along? It’s way easier than the first time, and the music is much better. I got “Maybach Music,” which is a dope record featuring my homie Jay-Z. And everybody’s just coming together for my project, man. Everybody’s supporting it. The streets are waitin’ for it, and the radio is waitin’ for it. Def Jam Records, Slip N Slide Records, E-Class, we all here, man. We finna get some mo’ money. So what’s the biggest difference in you between Port of Miami and Trilla? I’m just mo’ hungrier now. We got more shit now, so we got more shit to do. Just to put it simple, niggas always talk about your follow up album and all that. This the kinda album people wanna hear. This is the album of the year — Trilla. When most artists drop a successful debut they kinda lose a little bit of the hungriness, especially someone with your kind of finances. So it’s kind of ironic that you say you’re hungrier. Yeah, I’m more hungrier. When you got 8 million in real estate, 2 million in whips, you gotta be more hungrier. Well from a rapping standpoint, you seem hungrier. Your flow seems to have improved a lot since Port of Miami. I’m just stepping it up. I’m just more hungrier, and now I’m writing easier. I barely even use a pen now. A lot of the shit is just coming to me, because now, I’m just putting feelings on the record. It ain’t really about the words and all that — it’s just about the feeling. That’s what I’ve been doing, and that’s why when y’all hear the new album and the new music, it is what it is. It’s the best. Right now I’m making the best music. Do you feel your music is better now because you’re more comfortable or is it just all the practice? It’s all that. All of
When y’all hear the new album and the new music, it is what it is. It’s the best. Right now I’m making the best music.
But even as much as Rick loves weed, kush can’t satisfy his insatiable appetite. The Big Boss repeatedly swears he is “mo’ hungrier than ever,” but it’s hard to believe. He certainly doesn’t look malnourished. His diamonds surely haven’t gotten any smaller. The Maybach waiting for him outside has a full gas tank, and Rick’s pockets continue to bulge out farther than his belly. So what could be causing this much hunger? It’s the music. The music is what that makes Ricky Ross salivate. And if you’ve listened to any of his new material, it’s evident that Rick Ross is starving to truly become the Biggie of his city. When Port of Miami dropped a year ago, it was well received and critically acclaimed, but musically, it pales in comparison to Rick’s sophomore set, Trilla, which Ross claims will be the undisputed album of the year. Whether or not you believe his statement is one thing, but you have to admit, Rick Ross has quietly 52 // OZONE MAG
those elements play a role in being an artist. I’ve been writing music for a long time, but I may have a lot less studio time than another nigga. When I listen to artists, that’s the kind of shit I listen for — the experience in the booth, the experience in the streets, and as long as it’s real, it’s gonna pop. But in my situation, I’m just getting better, and people are starting to realize that. I’ve been seeing you around Atlanta a lot lately. Yeah, I did the first half of this new album at Hitco Studios in Atlanta, and then I did another piece of it in Miami, and now I’m back in Atlanta at Patchwerk. I’m just getting shit from all the producers around here and it’s been a good look. So aside from the music, what’s the best part about being Rick Ross right now? Just being 10 million up on haters. Getting ready to close the label deal, finna put out something that was just a dream to me two years ago, which is M-IYayo the movie. It’s finna be groundbreaking. And my squad, Carol City Cartel, I
love them niggas, them my niggas for life. I’m gon’ buy them mo’ whips for no reason. Shit, we keeping it gangsta. When I walked in here you were making a purchase. It wasn’t a whip though. Yeah, this called kush right here. You know, niggas be making up all types of other names and shit: Gorganic kush, bubonic kush, all kinds of shit — I just call it the best. As long as it’s the best, you could make up any name for it, I don’t care. As long as it’s the best. Is it true that you spend $3,000 a day on weed? Yeah, I got a bad habit. I just was paying my weedman when you walked in here. I just bought 2 ounces for $1,400. It’s a real big part of my life, but it equals everything out. If I don’t have weed, the engineers get roughed up, bitches might get elbowed here and there, a nigga at the car wash might get a “fuck you” and not get paid, you know. So it’s not a bad habit, it’s a good investment? Great! It keeps me out of trouble. The kush keeps me outta trouble. Other than the SK riding with me everywhere, it keeps me outta trouble, man. How instrumental is weed to your music? Aw man, weed is Hip Hop. It’s a lotta niggas who don’t smoke it, but it’s a part of life for me. It goes hand in hand with my music, it lets me get away and just focus on my music. How has your status as a boss improved since you put out Port of Miami? Right now I’m feeling good to be able to call my company and say, “Yo, I need Mannie Fresh,” and now my nigga is here. But before my music came out I was a certified street boss. Niggas knew I was from the streets, and niggas died to get in this position, and niggas killed to get in this position. But once you make music, people look at you different. It ain’t just the streets, now it’s the whole entertainment part. And the people who don’t really know you think they know you. So just trust me, I’m the boss, I run this shit. Believe that.
going on? You’re involved in real estate, too, aren’t you? Yeah, we just opened an upscale barbershop and beauty salon on Old National in Atlanta; it’s like one of the nicest ones in the world. It’s real exotic. We doing that, and we’re putting together a clothing line, which is really coming along. I’m gon’ build a store in Miami on one of the biggest streets in my hood, and we doing all that independent. You already know, the film, M-I-Yayo, everybody should go get it when it drops. Trilla, the album of the year, I already know everybody gon’ go and get that when it drops, that’s mandatory. Do you think Trilla is going to get five blunts in OZONE? Aw, it’s too easy. OZONE is like one of the most accurate magazines when it comes to ratings because OZONE really be in the streets. I see y’all everywhere, that’s why y’all get the most pictures of me, and the most interviews. Y’all know that Port of Miami came out 11 months ago, close to a year ago, and we still doing five shows a week. We still getting and doing everything we supposed to be doing. We got the Converse endorsements. I just did my acting debut in the film Days of Wrath alongside Lawrence Fishborne. Shout out to Faizon Love. It’s gon’ be a great movie, make sure y’all look for that. We just doing our thing, man, on all levels. Why is Trilla going to be the album of the year? ‘Cause I’m making the best music out right now. I can’t tell you everything about the album ‘cause I wanna keep a lot of it a surprise, but you already know I got my homie Jay-Z on it. “Maybach Music,” that’s gon’ be a huge record, monumental. And of course you know Triple C is on the album, Lil Wayne on it, and you see Mannie Fresh right here with me in the studio. Pharrell checked in, my brothers Cool & Dre checked in, everybody checkin’ in man, so, you know. Hands down, it’s gon’ be the album of the year.
It’s M-I-Yayo, it’s always tension in the air in Miami - but I love it! That’s the way it goes, and if you didn’t understand that, you wouldn’t survive. I understand it. It’s not uncomfortable when it’s four guns riding in the car with me. That’s normal.
This last year has to have been a ride for you with all the mainstream fame. Yeah, yeah, yeah, man. A lot of snakes came out the grass. Old, garbage lawyers. I had to step my game up. Old garbage lawyer wanted to sue me, but he’s stupid. He’s a loser. His career is finished. Can you talk about that? What went down with the lawyer situation? [The lawyer] tried to — well, the shit’s still going on, but I don’t care. I’m good. So basically it’s like dude is trying to come up off of you or something? Yeeeaaaah. He trying to say we threatened him — bodily harm to kill him and all this and that we took money and all that. But after the case is over I’ll talk to y’all in-depth, you know? But we laughing about that shit, we getting money, man. We doing our thing and we expect that. We anticipate shit like that. It’s just like as if there’s been a lot of break-ins in your neighborhood and everybody house been getting broke into one by one, so you know what you gotta do — cut all the lights off and sit in there with the 50 round drum, and just wait. You gotta be patient, a nigga gon’ stick his head through the window and you know how you gotta do it. And that’s all I’m doing. I’m sitting in the dark, with that 50 round, 50 caliber, just waiting to blow a bitch head off. Believe that. Okay, so besides the music, the movie, and the label deal, what else do you have
What’s going on with you and Trick Daddy? I heard he’s on the album? Yeah, he on my album, too, “Day in Day Out,” look out for that. Look out for Trick Daddy on the album. I know for a while, you two had a little turmoil. Is everything cool now? Yeah, you gotta understand man, real niggas do real shit. It’s like, when you a nigga, and you move wit’ yo camp, whatever’s happening in the streets, all that shit reflects. People hear shit and people gon’ say shit, but when you are bosses and there’s two rich niggas from two different sides in the same area, that tension gon’ always be in the air. And I’m comfortable with that. Trick my nigga, he know what time it is. He know where I’m at. I know where he at, that’s how we get down. It’s M-I-Yayo, it’s always tension in the air in Miami — but I love it! That’s the way it goes, and if you didn’t understand that, you wouldn’t survive. I understand it. It’s not uncomfortable when it’s four guns riding in the car with me, that’s normal. I’m not uncomfortable. I been knowing Trick for a long time. That’s my nigga, man. Is there anything that does make you uncomfortable? Is there anything that bothers Rick Ross? Being broke, man. That makes me uncomfortable; knowing that I’m not rich would make me uncomfortable. That’s what would make me uncomfortable. What a nigga says can’t make me uncomfortable. But not gettin’ money? That would make me uncomfortable, and I’m real comfortable right now. As far as MI-Yayo, Miami, we doing our thing. We putting a lot of young niggas on. Y’all, as OZONE MAG // 53
magazines gotta make sure y’all salute us for putting niggas on. You gotta salute Trick Daddy for reppin’ The Dunk Ryders, and for the label situation they finna get. You gotta salute Rick Ross for reppin’ Triple C, finna put out a movie. You gotta salute E-Class for Brisco’s success. You gotta rep for Flo-Rida’s success. You gotta salute Cool & Dre for C-Ride’s success. And these are all new artists that’s coming up out, D-Shep Torr\o, Hennessey. And it’s a lot more cats that’s starting to bubble because of Rick Ross, because of Trick Daddy, and his longevity. That’s what y’all gotta salute, and that’s what niggas gotta look at, and it’s a problem when that shit don’t happen. But other than that, it ain’t no problem ‘til the Boss say it’s a problem. //
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Trae Words by Randy Roper
or years, Trae has been one of the realest rappers ever to walk the streets of Houston. Unfortunately, after group albums with the Screwed Up Click and Guerilla Maab and four solo albums, including his critically acclaimed 2006 Rap-A-Lot Records debut Restless, the rest of the world has given this “Asshole By Nature” a narcoleptic response. With his 2007 follow up album Life Goes On dropping this September, hopefully the mainstream will take notice of what the streets already know: Trae is Tha Truth. You’ve been slept on for quite some time. You’re nominated as Slept On Artist of the Year at this year’s OZONE Awards. So how do you feel about being slept on? It is what it is to me, man. There are a lot of people from the streets and there are a lot of people in the industry who know who I am. So on a bigger scale, there’s a lot of people still sleepin’. I’ve been doing this shit for a long muthafuckin’ time and I get respect from the hardest of the hardest. And my
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track record and my story, everything about me is real. You can check my background and my whole path that I took since I’ve been doing this, shit’s real. Your last album, Restless, was your first on Rap-A-Lot and it was a critically acclaimed album. Did it frustrate you to put out a critically acclaimed album and not have it pop in the mainstream for you? Well you know, wit’ niggas like us there is a real life. So if shit don’t go the way you feel it needs to go, you dust yourself off and you go at it again. For me, I’m a soldier wit’ mine. That last album just brought a little bit of attention to let these muthafuckas know, dude ain’t playin’ around. The new [album] I got called Life Goes On is going to crash that album. And I love all my music but this one here is gon’ be the one. What did you do differently on your new album as opposed to your previous
albums? A lot of entertainers live a fabricated life, a fairytale. I live a real life. So wit’ me, every day that I breathe I’m going through something different, so it matured me a lot more. So this album is way more mature. My whole subject matter, my everything is on some real grown up ass shit. So this album here, I promise you hands down, if not the best, it’s one of the top three [albums] of the year ‘07. What are some of the features you have on the album? On the album, I got Lil’ Wayne, Yung Joc, Gorilla Zoe, Jadakiss, Styles P, Jody Breeze, L-Boogie, 2Pac, Rich Boy, Lloyd. I got a lineup on there. The album’s coming September 25th. I got the single “Screwed Up” wit’ me and Lil’ Wayne. I got a hellafied song called “Throwaway” wit’ me, Joc and Gorilla Zoe. And then, I got the song “Ghetto Queen” wit’ me, Rich Boy and Lloyd. What’s the meaning behind the title Life Goes On? Well you know, everyday you get the good and the bad. But at the end of the day, life still goes on, whether you want it to or don’t. If you lose somebody, you got somebody locked up doing a long bid or one of your close people being murdered or doing good. Just real life in general. No matter what happens, life still goes on. You have Jadakiss and Styles P on your album, obviously, you don’t have a problem with working with artists from New York or other regions? Wit’ me, it’s real recognize real. I fuck wit’ everybody. It doesn’t matter what coast, what city, what state, what hood, if you’re a real nigga, we vibe like that. Wit’ me, I’m younger than a lot of people. I used to listen to Styles and Jada. I used to listen to a lot of different shit. To Styles and Jada on [the East] Coast, to Spice-1, 2Pac, everybody on that coast. I listened to a tad bit of everybody. I ain’t one of them cats that try to be sectioned off. I’m always gonna be real no matter what city or what state I touch down in. Real niggas gon’ fuck wit’ me. Your music is real street. Some people are trying to clean up rap lyrics. What do you think about the attack on Hip Hop’s content and lyrics? They can try to do whatever the fuck they wanna do. But me, I’m in these streets. So they can’t stop cats who are in these streets from doing what they’re doing. If they did, a lot cats wouldn’t be out there in those major stores that they don’t want them in, but they ain’t out here in these streets. They trying to fabricate music and make it all family and fun music, they gotta understand there’s people out here that go through the struggle. There’s people out here that lose people on a daily basis. All females are not bitches and hoes either. There are some triflin’ muthafuckas that deserve to be called that. Just like the term “nigga,” that’s how we were raised. What you want us to call our people? We ain’t gon’ never just down our people but these are terms we came up using. But they don’t understand that cause they ain’t out here. Them muthafuckas can’t tell you nothing about how it is on my block or how it is on nobody else block. Wit’ my music, even if I never had that bitch in another major chain store, I’m still gon’ go. I’m still gon’ go across the internet and I’m still gon’ go in the hood through every bootlegger. Did you get a chance to read Pimp C’s comments in OZONE about fake rappers in the game? I mean, I glanced at it a little. But when you’re from where we’re from or when you’re from where anybody’s from that came up like a lot of niggas come up, you got a right to express yourself. Some might agree, some might not agree. But you got a right to express yourself and that’s your opinion. A nigga can’t make your opinion be different. His personal opinion is his personal opinion. So you gotta take that for what it is because just like you got muthafuckas saying that Houston is fallin’ off, that’s their personal opinion. That doesn’t mean we’re fallin’ off. On another note, some shit does need to be addressed. 98% of the industry is fake and I can honestly say that cause I’ve witnessed the shit. A lot of these niggas don’t really be ‘bout that. When you got a lot of fake niggas saturating such shit, shit gets fucked up in the process of whatever way things were going. Just like you got niggas on the block and they come up under a fake OG. If you got a fake OG out here trying to train one of his younger Gs and he’s teaching that nigga wrong, then wrong is what he taught him. And ain’t nobody out there tellin’ that OG, you outta line doing this foul shit, there’s gonna be a whole lot of more foul shit going on ‘til that nigga get told that. So wit’ some of the shit [Pimp C] said, I respect that shit.
majors were wondering how the hell we seen so much money. But we’ve been out here. Texas is gonna support Texas regardless. If you do your research, we outsell a lot of these major artists. And that ain’t to say that we’re better than nobody but that’s to say our state [gives] us a lot of support. Texas stands up for Texas. You’re heavy on the mixtape scene. What the importance of dropping mixtapes, even when you have an album coming out? Last year at the Southern Entertainment Awards, I won Mixtape Artist of the Year. This year I’m going back at it again. I got so many mixtape stores, I took a whole bunch of songs and told them niggas to eat. There are certain places that I can’t be, that they do be, to get somebody to listen to my shit. So I’ve still been messin’ around wit’ a lot of mixtapes. I got the DJ Scream mixtape that just came out, it’s runnin’ through Atlanta right now. Empire, who did Lil Wayne’s last mixtape, they got a mixtape coming out on me. Then my promotional mixtape Streets of the South, street shit before the album, I’m giving that away for free. I’m always out here to give back. A lot of people, they don’t reach out to do the types of shit we do. If ain’t always about money with me, man. What’s the situation with your brother, Dinkie? Wit’ Dinkie right now, he’s coolin’. They got him out here in Huntsville, TX. They move him a lot. But he’s moreso on the path of making sure I’m out here making the right decisions. This album Life Goes On is dedicated to him, Hawk and Screw. So I’m gonna get out here and bust my ass for them, man. Hopefully, when I finally get everything situated and we try to take Dinkie back to trial, I’ma get a lot of support from the media and I’ma get a lot of support from the streets. And we’re gonna go fight. My main focus is to do this shit to one day be able to bring my brother back home. If I ain’t able to do it, I’m gonna go out wit’ a muthafuckin’ fight, believe that. What’s your brother locked up for? They got him for capital murder, man. But it’s still the code of the streets. You never speak on nobody else, you never snitch. He took that, stood up for that like a man. And I hate that shit is like that sometimes but God does everything for a reason. There’s a possibility that he’ll still come home, so I’m cool wit’ that. How has your brother being locked up affected you? That’s why I started rappin’. He was able to rap. He’s a legend out here in Houston. You check wit’ the OGs, the old heads, he’s a legend in the penitentiary system at TVC. I gotta send a shout out to the whole TVC because there are a lot of niggas on lock a lot of people forget about or they don’t go to make sure they got money on their books or they don’t even go to try and send them a picture. A lot of people locked up and these guards and wardens feel you don’t got family, they’re gonna treat you like shit. Who you gon’ call, who you gon’ get? And my lil’ brother, Jay-Ton, just got out the penitentiary but Dinkie’s in there. But the situation wit’ them, them guards know if happens to them, we’re gon’ fight. I’m coming. I don’t give a damn about none of this situation. I do this to let them know they got family. As long as they got people that’s gonna stand up like I stand up for people that’s gone, they’re not going to do as much bad stuff. The system out here is corrupt. When is your album dropping? September 25th. If they ain’t never witnessed the streets, up close and personal, Trae Tha Truth is coming. //
You mentioned the Houston rap scene. Paul Wall didn’t do big numbers his last time out. Mike Jones has been pushed back. And it seems like people aren’t really checking for Houston right now. You know, I’ve been here from when they wasn’t checkin’ for Houston to when they was checkin’ for Houston. And to now, if they are or if they’re not checkin’ for Houston, Houston is gon’ do what Houston do regardless. You gotta understand, we’ve been in the independent game, that’s why a lot of OZONE MAG // 59
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YUNG JOC Words by Julia Beverly Photos by Blake Ribbey
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re you still working on recording your album Hustlenomics? Hustlenomics is wrapped and finna get mastered. It’s ready. It comes out August 28th.
It seems like you have a crazy work ethic. What’s your recording schedule like? I never did stop recording from the first album. I’ve been recording for the last three or four years of my life. My work ethic is second nature. Nobody’s gotta tell me to come to the studio. You ain’t gotta ride with me and tell me, “Yo, you need to make sure you get these songs done.” I’ma try to beat you to the punch if I’m working with you. That’s how I finished Hustlenomics so fast. I never stopped recording after New Joc City. How do you prevent your material from sounding dated once it actually comes out? Easy. A lot of times you’ll hear a “new” record but it didn’t just drop. It just takes time for it to bubble sometimes. It’s ’07 now but I dropped “It’s Goin’ Down” in August 2005. It wasn’t really a big, big record until June of ’06 but it had already been recorded. It takes time just to get a record to start bubbling unless you’ve got a way to just drop it everywhere and have everybody go hard on it at the same time. I think the best way to keep it from sounding dated is to stay ahead of yourself at the moment. Don’t try to do what’s hot right now. Try to be ahead of the curve. You’ve changed your look a little bit from when you first came out. Have you been working out? Got some new tattoos? I always had tattoos. I just never showed them cause I had started gaining so much weight. I’ve got one new tattoo that says “Hustlenomics.” I was always a smaller dude. I’ve always been physically fit but once everything took off with the “It’s Goin’ Down” record and the album, I wasn’t able to keep it up. I could have if I had been in the workout room at the hotels, but when I get to the hotels, I’m tryin’ to go to sleep. A lot of times we work with no sleep. Just imagine – I’m working with no sleep and then I’ve gotta jump on stage in front of 50,000 people and give it my all. Then hop on a plane, go to the next city, and do it again. Sometimes I’d do shows two or three times a day, plus interviews, autographs, all that. It’s a lot of work. Do you think people don’t appreciate the demands of being an entertainer? A lot of people don’t understand the demands of being an entertainer. They really don’t. Just think about it. The average person thinks that if they’ve got a million dollars, they ain’t gotta work. They think they’re good and they can just chill and ball out. But the more you ball, your money depletes and the more money you need to make. A million dollars is nothin’. I thought a million dollars was a whole lot of money at one point in my life, but I spent more than that on my house. And now I’ve gotta maintain it. Did you decide to get back in shape to sell more records, for the look? Naw, it’s just to keep myself up. People see me and be like, “Aw, man, you’re looking good,” but I’ve always looked like this. It’s just that when the world started seeing me, y’all caught me in the transition of gaining the weight. When I’m on stage, I wanna be able to have more energy. I’m 24, but there’s cats out there that are 17, 18, and 19 doing the same thing I do. They’re coming with way more energy, so I’ve gotta be able to outdo them to stay ahead. What is your workout routine like? It’s more than just a workout. I do a lot of cardio. I do about thirty minutes a day on the treadmill. One day I might work arms and legs, and one day I’ll work chest and shoulders. Then the next day I might work my back and arms again. I eat like five times a day, but they’re small meals. I cut the carbs out. It’s a pretty extreme regime but I get it done. It works. What’s up with the hairstyle choices? The Sponge Bob look, now the gumby? Yeah, it’s the gumby right now. The wop. High on the right and low on the left. That’s just me. On my first go round I had to be very, very careful of what I did. I wanted to have a clean image, and I still do, but I can try different things now because people know who I am. People probably think I’m going through changes, “Oh, he’s tryin’ to find a new look,” but naw. When I was a kid I wore a wop, or a gumby – high on the right low on the left – whatever the hell you call it. A Bobby Brown. It was just something I wanted to do. You’re looking at me with a crazy face, but a lot of people compliment it and even if they’re lying, they still want to take pictures of it. I’m on a lot more webpages now [because of my hair] just like with my necklace, the big “H.” I knew when I brought the “H” out I would get a lot more people talking. When you put my name on YouTube or MySpace you’d already come up on 1.3 million websites. I’ve had the necklace since February, but I didn’t bring it out til the summer. Once I brought the necklace out, I ended up on more like 3.2 million webpages. How much did the big “H” chain cost? 64 // OZONE MAG
A nice little downpayment on a mansion. I ain’t even gonna tell you cause I’m a little embarrassed to say that I spent that much on a chain. Aren’t you affiliated with a jewelry company? Yeah, I teamed up with Focused Diamonds and we started the Icebox Jewelry company. I design the jewelry and they create it. We’ve been doing a lot of different pieces and a lot of them have sold. A lot of people don’t know that I designed the pieces they’re wearing. I didn’t want to tell people right off. I didn’t want to just be selling jewelry because I’m a part of it. I said, “Naw, let’s just see if people really like my designs.” Once I did the deal with them, there was no sense in me just sitting around with all this jewelry. So before I spent any more money, we took all my pieces and melted them down to make this one piece. I took all the links I hfirst had – and each one of those necklaces was heavy on the arm – so I melted them all down. I was gonna ice out the whole “H,” the entire “H.” The sides, the top, the bottom. But we didn’t have enough stones because when you melt pieces down, sometimes when you’re taking the stones out they’ll break, chip, or crack. It’s useless then, and I didn’t want to spend no more money, so I used what I had. So you actually own part of the jewelry company? Yeah. I wasn’t finna keep spending my money with these folks. It didn’t make sense to me. Don’t you also have a luxury car company? Yeah, Import Rentals, that works out great. I make more money dealing with artists because I rent my vans out to them. I’ve got like four Explorer GMC nine-passenger vans and a rent them out. A lot of times labels will come to me and get them for the whole artist’s promo tour. That might be two or three months, so if you do the math and look at what I pay per month [for the vehicles] it makes sense. For what I pay per month on a vehicle, I can make that back in two days off a rental. That’s Import Rentals and for anybody who wants to check me out, that’s www.importrentals-atlanta.com.
the more you money deplet ball, your money you nees and the more million dollaed to make. a rs is nothin’. What other money-making ventures are you working on? Hustlenomic Productions. That’s why I’m producing. That’s been bringing in some good money for me so I ain’t mad about that. I’ve been doing tracks for other people and tracks on my new album Hustlenomics too. Within the industry there’s a lot of little jokes about the Bad Boy curse, disgruntled Bad Boy artists falling off and Diddy keeping all their publishing, stuff like that. Are you happy with your situation through Block and Bad Boy? I’m great. Bad Boy doesn’t get any of my publishing. I’m in a better situation, and I’m happy about that. The way mine is set up, I won. I’m straight off my first album. For a lot of artists, it would take four or five [albums] to get what I got off my first album. And that’s no bull. How were you able to negotiate that? It just happened. Let’s just say this: Let’s say I want you to have the best, but there are other entities that want more of what you have. So to keep them from doing it, I’ll stand in the way to make sure you get the best. Initially, there was a little controversy because Nitti said that you were his artist and since he did the “It’s Goin’ Down” track, he felt like he should’ve got more credit. I didn’t do the deal with him. Period. I was that cat that was right there with him for two years. I was the cat that brought him Miss B, his first artist. I was the cat that was out there promoting his label, working with him. I was Miss B’s hype man. Anything he ever needed me to do, I was the type of dude who would get it done. But you were never under contract? Nope. I wasn’t on a contract. And I paid him for the [“It’s Goin’ Down”] track. I don’t think he wanted it to be known that he was paid for it, because he didn’t pay all the people that were involved on his end. I don’t think he wanted to look bad amongst his cohorts. He was signed with So So Def at the
time, so it made him look bad because I had been right there under his nose all the time. So people were lookin’ at him like, “This was the same lil’ dude you had around this whole time, and you didn’t sign him, but you gave him a hit record and let him move on to somebody else?” I think it hurt because I had gotten through his fingers. When he first signed Miss B I was like, “Yo, you need to sign me too.” He didn’t think I was hot. He didn’t think I had the work ethic. I was like, “How can I not have the work ethic? I’ll outwork you and anybody else around you.” I’d go day in and day out with no sleep just trying to get on. If that ain’t work ethic, then what do you call it? I was doing shows for weeks at a time and still worked a regular job. Why do you think he didn’t want to sign you? He just wasn’t interested. I think he got what he wanted, which was Miss B. He wasn’t interested in me as an artist. But once the record started bubbling, he knew it could’ve been something. So by the time he wanted to do the deal, I had been up under him for long enough to know how he operates. I felt that we really didn’t have the same vision. The only thing that was negative about the situation was that once he realized I had moved on, it hurt. I think he may have looked bad amongst his cohorts so that kind of pissed him off and he wanted to stop the success of the record. It’s sad because at that moment he didn’t realize that, to date, that was gonna be the biggest record he’d ever done in his life. I don’t think he realized that was the most money he had ever made and was trying to stop the record. He was trying to stop it so he could’ve had leeway to get the things he wanted out of the deal. If he had just asked for whatever he wanted without doing all the other stuff, he and I would probably still be working together today. But after that, it felt like he was trying to take food out of my mouth so it left a bad taste in my mouth. And this is the most I’ve ever spoken on [Nitti] to anybody. I promise you, I never even told anybody this much in-depth in an interview. You can do your homework and check and see. I’m only doing it now because it don’t even matter no more. Everybody knows I’ve never talked bad about him. I think he just got so hot cause nobody was comin’ to him like, “Yo, you did this track
from the actual music industry and what percentage is from these other hustles you have? All of that is from music. That’s record sales, ringtones, touring, and other endorsement deals of that nature. If you think of all the features I’ve done, cameos, endorsements, publishing deals, label deals, and album deals I’ve done, that’s money right in my pocket. Gross, that’s a lot of money. What’s your reaction when you hear the stories about artists who sold millions of records and ended up having to file bankruptcy? My reaction is to make sure I keep hustling and make sure I put some of this up. That’s the key. I mean, if you come from nothing and all of a sudden you’re making $30,000 - $40,000 a show and you’re touring and doing shows 300 days out of the year, you feel like that’s a lot of money. When you start getting that kind of money you start spending it frivolously. Hey, that’s a new watch, it’s only $60,000. I’ll make that in two shows and still have some left over. That’s how cats start thinking. You walk in the club and you’re looking at everybody else’s table, and everybody has liquor which is only $25 a bottle in the regular liquor store but in this particular club it’s $125. But you’re here in New York and there’s a bottle of Cristal that costs $750, so since you just did a $40,000 show, you say, “Bring me ten bottles.” That’s $7,500 you just spent, and you’re doing that every night of the week. And let’s not even talk about your jewelry game. Let’s not even talk about your groupie expenses. You’re just ballin’ out, buying cars, clothes, whatever. Where did you get your hustle from? Your parents? Hell yeah. My father once owned a men’s undergarment line – boxers, briefs, undershirts, t-shirts, stuff like that. My dad had a million dollar situation on the table and he sent out every piece of clothing he had on this one run. This was ‘bout to make him a millionaire. At the time I think UPS was just getting started, and there was this one other parcel service operating, this fly-by-night parcel service, and they had a way cheaper price. This was going to be the deal that made him a millionaire. He sent his entire inventory out.
MAKING NO ’T IN A U O Y E ND STAY LOOK AT IT LIK A A Y T R T G O N G U E H ’V Y U A T F. YO ’S HOW YOU S E TO CHALLENGE YOURSEL T A H T . Y E N O M D CONTINU N A E IV S S E R G AG
and we wanna get interviews with you.” It didn’t happen like that so when he finally started surfacing on one or two interviews here and there, he made sure to talk bad about me. I don’t know if he thought it was gonna create some hype for him or what, but I guess it must have worked, because you’re asking about it now. And I’m so over that. What does Hustlenomics mean? It’s Hustlenomics because I didn’t get here sitting on my ass. I got here by hustlin’. I just wanted to try to break down the basic fundamentals of hustlin’ to cats, and that’s what Hustlenomics is. I had to hustle my ass off to get here. You’ve gotta know that one plus one equals two, right? One plus one is supposed to equal two, but if there’s already 20% gone and another 10% gone off those dollars, it ain’t gonna equal two. It’s gonna equal 1.7, and if you add 1.7 to 1.7, you do not get four. That might not even make sense, but what I’m saying is that even though you might feel like you’re making money, you’ve gotta look at it like you ain’t making no money. That’s how you stay hungry and stay aggressive. That’s how you continue to challenge yourself. I’ve always hustled like that from day one. I don’t think I’ve done anything differently from the beginning. I’ve matured – I’m older now, I’m a little wiser in my decisions. Hustlenomics, that’s what it is. What’s the most expensive luxury purchase you’ve indulged in? It would have to be Import Rentals, the car company, even though it’s a business. I had to make a lot of purchases to make this business work, and that’s a lot of Jags, Mercedes, BMWs, Range Rovers, and vans. And you made the Forbes list this year of the wealthiest celebrities, right? How did you pull that off? Yeah, to make the Forbes list for 2006, you had to gross over ten million dollars. If you know any other rappers who grossed over ten million dollars, they need to report it [to the IRS] and they can be on the Forbes list too (laughs). So, if you grossed ten million dollars last year, what percentage of that comes
This was it. This was the motherload. He kept getting calls all week because nobody received their merchandise, and he didn’t understand why. He kept calling the parcel service to find out what was up with the tracking and it would just ring and he’d get an answering service. So finally he goes to the location himself. There had been a trailer there before with loading ramps for the tractor trailers, and none of it was there anymore. The only thing left was the spots in the concrete where the trailers had sat, and while the rain and the weather had left a mark on the concrete, there was just a rectangle there. So I saw him go from that to selling incense. He’d get his three youngest sons together and put us in a car and we’d sell air fresheners. We’d get a box each. Fifty air fresheners in each box, five different scents, which meant there were ten bottles per scent. We’d sell ‘em for $2 a bottle, so when you finished you should have $100. He’d take $50 and we’d take $50. I saw him go from aboutto-be-a-millionaire to nothing. So we hustled. Then he started a haircare line called Claudio St. James and that’s what he’s been doing forever. And my mother, I’ve seen her hustle. My momma was working for the railroad getting $13-14/hour. She had an accident and reported it, and they fired her, so she sued. She took that money, flipped it, lost it, and then came back. So I’ve seen the power of Hustlenomics. Tell me about the album itself, Hustlenomics. I had to spend time making this album. I’ve got some records on there for the streets. I’ve got some records on there for the cats who want to take time to think about the real issues. I’ve got records on there for cats who wanna party. I’ve got records on there for the cats who are really trying to hustle. Do you think “hustlin’” is misinterepreted by most people as being drug-related? To a lot of people I’m sure it is. But it’s not just a dope thing. I’ve hustled everything. I used to sell Gucci bags, Louie bags, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, shoes, belts, wallets, women’s clothes, men’s clothes, children’s clothing. I’ve sold everything. It wasn’t all about dope for me. I was that dude. I was out the trunk with it. The first time I ever made a thousand dollars within two hours, OZONE MAG // 65
Do you have kids yourself? Yeah, I’ve got three kids. It’s crazy, cause outside of music, this is what I do. That’s why I came up with the name Hustlenomics, cause this is what I do. I learned how to take what I love to do and make it work for me on a day to day basis. Are there features on the album? Yeah, I’ve got cats on the album, cameos. On the first album I didn’t really put a lot of cameos on there because I wanted people to know me. And I want people to know some of the affiliations I’ve made in my journey to the second album, the second coming, Hustlenomics. I collaborated with Snoop and Rick Ross on a record called “Brand New,” that’s crazy. I got a record that DJ Quik produced featuring Game and Jim Jones called “Cut Throat.” Jazze Pha produced a record featuring Trick Daddy called “Chevy Smiles,” and that’s a great record. There’s a crazy street record with Young Dro and Bun B called “I’m A G” produced by Chris Flame. Pharrell is on the album. Pharrell produced a record featuring Diddy called “Hell Yeah.” That’s one of those records I came up with just by being on stage and talking to the crowd. I’d get them to say “hell yeah,” so I decided to make a hook out of that shit and it worked. It’s a good album. A while back, during OZONE’s always controversial Year End Awards Issue, we said you should get the “Style Over Substance” Award. Do you agree? If you feel that way, you should tell that to the bigger powers than me at these record labels. I noticed that in a lot of [reviews] of my first album, the writers liked my record “Picture Perfect,” which was the very last record on my album. It’s a big substance record. Out of all the write-ups on me, no matter where it came from – North, South, West, wherever – a lot of them said that was a good record and I needed more records like that. It’s funny because I’ve got a lot of records like that, substance records and the label was like, “You’ve gotta ease it to the people.” I agree, because if you drop it on them too fast, you become preachy. I have a lot of kids [that listen] to my music, so I want to feed it to them slowly so they’ll get the message. It’s crazy that I’ve been scrutinized because at the end of my “Coffee Shop” record I say, “Kids, don’t do drugs.” A lot of people thought I should’ve left that off there. Kiss my ass, man. I don’t give a damn how crazy it sounds. More rappers should step up and tell the kids, “Don’t do drugs. Stay in school.” Why wouldn’t they want you to say that? A lot of people think “Coffee Shop” is about selling crack because of the hook. I say, “First I take their order like the coffee shop / Then I steam it up and cook it like the coffee shop / Serve it out the window like the coffee shop / Work comin’ in, got my rims sittin’ real big.” Well, yeah. Sounds like it’s about selling crack. Yeah, but listen – first, I take orders from the people. People are gonna tell you what the hell they want to hear. When we come here in the studio and get to workin’ on this equipment, we say, “I’ve got a hot beat,” or, “I just cooked up a crazy one.” I cook up the record and then I serve it out the window like the coffee shop. And in the verse I say, “It’s just another day at the coffee shop, we sellin’ everything down to the shoes and watch / For the right price, meet me in the parking lot / I’ve got a sale on them old school Chevy drops.” At the end of the day, I like sending a message to the kids, and I’m gonna continue doing that. This album is full of good records and if you feel like I should get the “Style Over Substance” Award, so be it. But if you say “Style Over Substance,” then tell me why I’m in the position I’m in. The substance is what’s keeping me relevant; me being a man, having self-respect, keeps me out of the headlines on some ignorant and negative shit. I’ve learned how to represent for my culture. I was on CNN talking about shit that everybody is pointin’ fingers at us about. But the rappers with all the “substance,” I ain’t seen them on there. I didn’t catch that. How did you defend Hip Hop music on CNN? It’s sad to say, but if you pay attention to the names of a lot of entertainers and rappers, a lot of them named themselves after Italian gangsters. They weren’t black gangsters. So a lot of these muthafuckers are just portraying what they see in a movie. They say, “You depict women as whores and bitches and adopt misogynistic undertones that are just so graphic and vulgar.” Well, turn on the fuckin’ TV. Look at Sex In The City or Desperate Housewives. Shit, watch any movie. You all promote guns, violence, and drugs, so kiss my ass. Show me one movie that doesn’t have drugs, guns, sex, violence, greed, and deceit. Show me one. Even The Passion Of Christ had all of the above, you understand? So that’s what I’m trying to say. Don’t point fingers at us. They were like, “Is Hip Hop poison or poetry?” Kiss your own ass. Is daytime television poison or entertainment? That’s how I came at ‘em. They played a clip of me from “I Know You See It” where the women were walking around in bathing suits and she said, “Well, Yung Joc, can’t you see why after view66 // OZONE MAG
ing this clip me and millions of other American women would be upset after seeing the way you depicted these women in your video?” I said, “Listen, I could understand it if I was just exploiting these young ladies. If everybody else was fully clothed and they were just walkin’ around next to a car with rims on it and they’ve got their ass out. But respectfully, we’re at a pool party. The women are in bathing suits and walking by the water. Nobody’s doing anything that’s oversexed. There’s no ass shots. Nobody’s bustin’ their titties all up in the camera. We’re at a pool party. I don’t want to see women at a pool party in sweaters and corduroy, I’m sorry.” Speaking of women – has the groupie love increased since the success of your first album? That’s gonna happen anyway. You ain’t even gotta be a rapper, you could just be in the video and [the groupie love] will increase. They’re like, “I don’t know who he is, but I keep seein’ him.” (laughs) You’ve gotten cuter, maybe? I don’t know. I’ve lost weight and I noticed that attracts a lot of women. I’ve been in the gym, made a little more money. Got a few hits under my belt. But at the end of the day, I’m human. I’m a man with some substance. People can kiss my ass with that “Style Over Substance” Award. Do you think there are women who deserve to be called hoes and bitches? Yeah, definitely. Some of ‘em put it on front street themselves. They’ll let it be known: “Okay, I’m a hoe. And what?” or, “Yes, I’m a golddigger. That’s all I need you for,” or, “Yes, I want to fuck, and that’s it. Yes, I’m only fuckin’ you because of who you are. Yes, I’m gonna fuck you, your friend, and all the
it didn’t come from dope. It came from clothes, for real.
If you thin i p ut style over substance, tkel l in the positionme why I’m substance is w I’m in. The me relevant; mhat’s keeping having self-re e being a man, me out of the spect, keeps on some ignorheadlines negative shit. I’ ant and how to represeve learned culture. I was nt for my on CNN.
homies after the show is over because that’s what I want to do. You can do it, why can’t I?” And it’s a lot of women who feel that way. It’s not just black women. It’s all kinds of women, trust me, and that happened way before Yung Joc. But there’s a reason why I do records for women. Have you ever noticed, in a fight or an argument, who’s the loudest? The female, of course. Right. Who screams loudest at a concert? The female. Right. If a famous man walks into a room full of females and they love him, they’re gonna scream. But if a famous female walks into a room full of men who love her, the men are not going to scream. It’s going to be a low murmur throughout the room but it’s not gonna be yelling and screaming. And because of that, that’s who should be my target market. So it’s a strategic move. Yeah, and then you’ve gotta give the hood cats what they want too. Keep it gangsta for ‘em and talk a little shit. Is Miss B signed to you now or is she still with Nitti? Miss B has always been down with me. She wanted to venture out and do some of her own things, and I said cool. You have to be confident in yourself, first and foremost. She said she wanted to do it respectfully so I said, “Do it, baby.” That’s my best friend. I told her to go get that money, and she’s out there gettin’ it. Just like me. //
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Words by Randy Roper Photos by Blake Ribbey
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ussell “Block” Spencer is a hustler. His Block Entertainment label introduced Young Jeezy to the masses, started a Boyz N Da Hood movement and scored big when Yung Joc started “joc’n’.” For most hustlers, that kind of success would be enough, but not for the “Leader of the New South.” With Yung Joc’s sophomore album Hustlenomics hitting streets, Boyz N Da Hood and Gorilla Zoe’s albums on deck, Block’s Welcome To My Block album forthcoming, as well as a movie with Ice Cube on the way, Block should have a masters in hustlenomics. You refer to yourself as the “Leader of the New South.” What makes Block the “Leader of the New South?” I am the “Leader of the New South.” I mean, think about it. This is monumental right now. Who in the South came and empowered as many people as I have? I came in the game co-managing 2Pac and The Outlawz. I came in the game being the president of Suave House with Tony Draper; that nigga taught me damn near half the shit I know. Then I came in as the Head A&R at Noontime. Then me, Jazze Pha and Noonie, we created Sho Nuff [Records], where we signed Ciara and Jody Breeze. Then I branched off and started my own shit, Block Entertainment, which springboarded Young Jeezy’s career. I signed Jeezy to Boyz N Da Hood. I created a Boyz N Da Hood movement; the brand is so fucking big it won’t go away. I signed Yung Joc, a nigga who everybody shitted on. He came and sold 1.1 million records and counting. Jeezy sold 2 million records and counting. Me and Ted [Lucas] signed Rick Ross. A lot of people don’t know I got a part of that; he’s at a mil right now. Then I signed the most anticipated niggas from Big Gee to Gorilla Zoe. That’s empowerment. Everybody that I talked about is doing their thing, they’re helping other niggas, they’re creating their own movements. If that’s not a leader, what is? A lot of people feel that Block Ent. saved Bad Boy during a time when no one was really checking for them. I was in a bidding war with Jimmy Iovine, I was in a bidding war with Lyor [Cohen], I was in a bidding war with Puff, I was in a bidding war with Dr. Dre. I was in a bidding war with all four of these big powerhouses. I just feel like Puff, with the formula he has and the success he’s had, he could teach me a lot. So I feel like we helped other out.
Let’s go back to Joc for a minute. He did 1.1 million on his first album and his new album has a lot of features. A lot of artists are judged on their second album and try to avoid the “sophomore slump.” Is that the reason for more guest appearances and big name producers for his second album? There’s a purpose for me doing Hustlenomics the way I did it. The first time we didn’t have nobody on our album. We didn’t have nothing but Boyz N Da Hood and Rick Ross, our bloodline. At the same time, this is when the North was saying the South shouldn’t be on top and all this. You know what, when I was in the streets, I hustled everybody. I didn’t give a fuck where you’re from, what color you are, nigga, I’m a hustler. On [Joc’s new album] we got a song called “Cut Throat” on there, that’s wit’ Jim Jones, Game, me and Joc. Then we got another joint on there called “I’m a G” wit’ [Young] Dro, Bun B and Joc. Then we got another song called “Chevy Smile” wit’ Joc and Trick Daddy. So Hustlenomics, we just hustled everybody, dawg. That’s the whole game and whole movement of Joc’s new album. Just showing everybody we can hustle wit’ everybody. We ain’t trying to build a taipei, we’re trying to build a whole building. So that’s what we did wit’ Hustlenomics. And once again, that’s just an extension of what I do, wit’ Block Ent., wit’ my album, wit’ my movement. I’m not going to shut myself in. I’m not going to closet myself. I fuck wit’ everybody, dawg. I have no problems getting money. I got 36 niggas locked up, 22 niggas dead, dawg. I ain’t got no reason out here not to be trying to get it. You’re coming up under Diddy. He’s the type of CEO that’s always been in the forefront. Is that something we’re going to see from you, especially with you putting out an album? I’m the type of nigga, I’ve been ducking the cameras and microphones all my life. I never wanted to be in front of no cameras, I never wanted to take no pictures. I’m a street nigga, I ducked that shit. Then Puff came to me one day and said, “Block, you need to get out a little more. Niggas need to see your face a little bit more. Niggas used to laugh at me when I used to be in those videos, talk on those records but look at me now. Every nigga that didn’t do that, they’re gone.” That’s promoting yourself and that’s what I do. If you see me out there, I’m promoting myself. I’m trying to take myself to a different level cause all this music is a steppingstone for me. I got much more planned. My first movie with Ice Cube directing, and he helped me write it. So that’s where I’m at right now. I’ma use everything I got as another stepping stone to get bigger and better places and to help empower every nigga that’s going with me. //
On your label, Yung Joc has been your most successful artist. Do you look at him like your franchise player? Yeah, but I look at all my cats as franchise players. Just because Joc sold more records doesn’t mean Jody Breeze and Boyz N Da Hood didn’t spark some of the shit I’ve done. I can even back it up to Tay Montana, an artist that I signed that’s locked up right now, he sparked a lot of shit. Rick Ross, the Outlawz, so I can say a lot of people put in a brick to build Block Ent. I think everybody’s a franchise player at Block Ent., I think everybody’s a leader at Block Ent. The newest addition to your roster is Gorilla Zoe. What was it about him that made you feel he’d be a good fit for Boyz N Da Hood? Truthfully man, I had my eyes on 70 cats from Atlanta to Little Rock to the Carolinas to Texas. And what got me with Zoe is I saw Zoe wouldn’t give up on his dream. I talked to him, looked in his eyes and I saw this dude was gonna do this shit. And that’s what I like. I like niggas that got that fire in them. Plus Zoe’s his own man and I don’t like followers. I saw that he believed in himself, I saw that he’ll eat what he kills and I saw he was a man. And that’s what I liked about Zoe. Gorilla Zoe’s album is coming out this year. So how do you keep the rest of Boyz N Da Hood together knowing that Zoe just came in and he’s dropping a solo album while the rest of Boyz N Da Hood members have been waiting to release solo projects before Zoe? Truthfully, with the other group members it’s like everybody with Boyz N Da Hood, all of us are brothers. The way I wanna build Boyz N Da Hood is everybody gets together and builds one house. When that house is fully built then we can start helping each other get our own home. I look at it like Jeezy’s get his home, he came back and helped Zoe on his single. And now Zoe’s building his home and hopefully Zoe can help whoever’s next build their home. But you gotta have your own single. You gotta get your own record started. Zoe came in with a single. Zoe had a movement going on within himself. Now, Big Gee fixin’ to start his own movement, Duke got his movement going on, Jody Breeze got his own movement. So whoever movement captures the streets first, I’m wit’ ‘em.
I was in a bidding war with Jimmy Iovine. I was in a bidding war with Lyor [Cohen]. I was in a bidding war with Puff. I was in a bidding war with Dr. Dre.
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72 // OZONE MAG Words // Julia Beverly | Photos // Ray Tamarra
Plies has based his whole career on being real, but until now we haven’t exactly known who the real Plies is. Though songs like “Bid Long and “God, I’m Tried of Lyin” have showcased his soul, the Fort Myers emcee prefers not to talk about his struggle outside of the booth. In fact, it has been proven that Plies relies only on music to deliver his heartfelt and deep-rooted emotions. However, in this OZONE exclusive, the media mystery man shows us the other side of his Real Testament. Here, he speaks candidly on everything from fatherhood to fake friends. If you thought you knew anything about Plies before, you’ll see that you had no idea.
ou’ve established this whole image and career based on your trademark of being “real.” Do you feel like that term is overused in the rap industry? Everybody says they’re “real.” What sets you apart from everyone else? I think that term is widely used, but it’s a personal preference. “Real” can be whatever you want it to mean. For me, anytime I’m using that term, it basically means I’m being real to myself. What I call “real” might not apply to what another person considers to be “real.” Being “real” to me is taking care of my responsibilities, not only in the streets, but amongst family. Staying true to myself and not doing nothing that is falsified or not who I am as a person. For me, that’s my definition of “real.” Some niggas think “real” means wearing a dark pair of glasses and having your pants hang off your ass. Some people think they’re “real” because they’ve been to jail 40 times. But to me, somebody who’s not “real” could’ve been to jail 40 times. When I say I’m “real,” I’m talking about the things I value and the principles I’ve got for myself. You mentioned taking care of family. Do you have kids or other family members that you support? I think you’ve got to be a selfish individual to do what I do, and it wasn’t until recently that I realized that. To give all the time and hours to my career and the wear and tear on your body – and even for you, doing what you do, to grind it out in the magnitude that you grind it out – it’s selfish. And for me, to have a son, I’m putting all my responsibilities off on somebody else to chase my own personal aspirations and dreams. For me to do that, I’ve got to be a selfish person, because I am neglecting a responsibility of mine that really needs me. So I understand that you’ve got to be a selfish individual to do this shit. I asked you in a previous interview if there were any artists who had influenced you, and you seemed offended at that question. You’ve always been pretty vocal about not affiliating yourself with other artists and not giving other people plugs. Do you think that attitude will help or hinder your career? I think that what I’m attracted to in life is totally different than most people. I think that most inner-city muthafuckers or people from the hoods and ghettos across the country have the same dreams and the same aspirations. Most of us just want to be financially stable and be a provider for our family. So I think our dreams and outlook are the same, but what I’ve learned in my short stay in this business is that that’s just what it is – it’s 100% business and that’s the approach I take. I’m trying to grow every day and become wiser, but for me, being in the music industry and getting into clubs free and getting caught taking pictures with this [brand] of clothing on and get caught holding up this kind of bottle up in the club – I pride myself in not doing something if I can’t find a way to milk the best of the situation. This is a business and everybody is doing whatever’s in their best interest, so I’m just trying to do what I feel is in my best interest. I’ve got a lot of respect for a long of cats in this industry as far as business, but I don’t know a lot of these dudes personally to have a lot of respect for them. There’s some guys I’ve had the pleasure to meet that I do have a personal understanding with, but for the most part, I don’t really know the majority of this industry. So with that said, are there going to be a lot of features and collaborations on your album? The first two singles feature T-Pain and Akon. On my debut album it was important to me not to have a compilation album. I felt like my situation was a little different because I didn’t
have the force of a major cosigner. I did a lot of the ground work and I pride myself off that. I didn’t want my first national look to be me riding the coattails of other people. I don’t have any other rap artists on my album. But if there’s someone that can do something I can’t do, I fuck with them. Pain can sing and I can’t sing, so I fucked with Pain. As far as the Akon situation, I’ve got the new record with him, the “Hypnotized” record. He was able to do something that I wasn’t able to do. I’ve got three R&B features on my album, but other than that, it’s straight me. I have no other rap acts on my album. You mentioned coming into the game without a cosigner – do you think that will actually benefit you in the long run? A lot of times when you see a major artist introduce their crew, it’s hard for them to step out of the shadow. I take my hat off to a lot of the cats in the industry that assist in changing the livelihoods of their friends. I take my hat off to any nigga that gives other niggas around them the opportunity to become successful, not just in music but in life in general. Me, I never try to be the ear for the whole entire country. Just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean that another million people won’t like it. But for me, in terms of what I’m trying to do, I’m trying to have a societal impact more than just an industry impact. Musically, I’m in this shit to sell records, so I hope I can be successful on a national level as an artist. But at the same time, the other shit I’m doing now is just as important. Like, right now, I’m doing a 15 city prison tour. To me, that’s the highlight of my career. I personally took pride in that. I don’t care how many records I sell or don’t sell. Nothing will be able to top that; going into fifteen different facilities and talking to niggas that either I ran the streets with, or are relatives of mine, or niggas that I don’t even know. I don’t think there’s nothing that I’ve personally faced that can top me being able to go to fifteen institutions and talk to niggas who are at the worst point in their lives. So I take my hat off to niggas that take the time to provide opportunities for their friends and homeboys. But for me, not having a cosigner, that worked wonders for me, because I was able to create something that has a foundation. For a lot of people, this “Shawty” record may be the first time they’ve heard of me. But the foundation I’ve built over the last four years has helped this become one of the most anticipated projects in the game. So this 15 city prison tour – are you performing at these facilities? Or what exactly does that consist of? We’re going into different institutions and talking about people’s situations. A lot of times, there’s a preconceived notion that if somebody is locked up, that automatically means they’re a bad person. And I beg to differ. A lot of times, being a minority, we don’t have $50,000-$60,000 laying around in the bank to get us the best legal representation, so we get stuck with a public defender. You get put in situations where you’ve got to take pleas. So whether you did [the crime] or didn’t do [the crime], due to a lack of finances, you’re put into a whole ‘nother category. So I’ve been able to shed light on that situation and show how that shit not only affects the inmate, but how it affects the family structure.
There’s a preconceived notion that if somebody is locked up, that automatically means they’re a bad person. And I beg to differ... whether you did [the crime] or didn’t do [the crime], due to a lack of finances, you’re put into a whole ‘nother category. So I’ve been able to shed light on that situation and show how that shit not only affects the inmate, but how it affects the family structure.
How will you shed light on their situations? Is this being filmed? Some of the facilities are letting us take cameras in, but some of them, we can’t. So we’re doing some shit via satellite where they’re going to have cameras inside. Some of the facilities aren’t letting us come in with the big camera crews. We’re shopping it around right now; a couple of the TV stations are interested. So we’re just shedding light on people that we feel are wrongly incarcerated and exposing their situations. Even though “Shawty” is your first OZONE MAG // 73
The sad part about being successful is that my culture is so totally fucked up. In white America you’re supposed to be successful. They expect you to be successful. But if you tell a nigga in the hood that you went and furthered your education or played ball in school, niggas don’t perceive that to be “real.” If the streets can’t do it, they hate on it.
mainstream record, most people in Florida first heard you on the Akon “I Wanna Love You” record before the version with Snoop. I know there was a little drama with that whole situation. How did things get worked out between you and Akon to the point where you were able to work together again? A lot of times when bad shit happens to you, people don’t look at it as a blessing. But to me, that whole situation that transpired with the Akon record was a true blessing. I continue to have respect for anybody that’s involved in a situation like that with me, whether it’s good or bad. And I’ve always took the same road when this question is posed to me – until all parties are involved, in one place, at one time – I just choose to refrain from talking about the situation. I had the pleasure of talking to Akon and the pleasure of working with him on the “Hypnotized” record for my album. A lot of times things can happen through management and things can happen on the corporate side that’s not a reflection on the artist. A lot of times we don’t know all the underlying shit that’s going on. I have a better sense of that now because of all the things that are happening with me and my career, so I always try to keep that in mind. And I understand that everything that happens to you in life that’s not necessarily “good” can still be a blessing. That whole “I Wanna Love You” record was still a blessing because it showed that I can make a hit record.
definitely want to make sure I thank you. Anytime you’re dealing with a major, you’re dealing with people on the corporate side who are only driven by black and white: factual information. BDS, how many spins you’re getting on the radio, how many ringtones you sell, how many units are sold in terms of record sales. These people can only identify with black and white information. I could be the hottest nigga in my region and be getting $20,000 a show and doing five shows a week, but they don’t identify with that because they can’t track those numbers. They can only track factual information. I had to take a street situation and show them that I could possibly bring a return on their investment. I was selling stuff off my Myspace page to show them that there were people interested in buying this shit. I registered my ringtones – look at this guy selling a hundred thousand ringtones but he’s never had a national look. That type of shit is what started getting the attention of the people in the building.
That’s just life.
Do you think the version with Snoop on it would’ve became as big as it was if not for your original version? I’m not a “woulda, shoulda, coulda” type dude. I don’t really know. Only thing I know is that the record became one of the biggest records in the country when it came out, and I take my hat off to everybody that was involved in that situation – from the artists that were on the record to the people that worked the record. They came up with a hit record. I always salute people in those types of situations. Why did you change the title of the album to The Real Testament? Did the label feel that the original title was too controversial or that you were going to get backlash from the Christian community? The decision to change the album title from Real Nigga Bible to The Real Testament was definitely a retail issue. A lot of the retailers didn’t want to stock that particular title. There’s a fine line between being stupid and conducting business. I could’ve been stupid and continued to fight that and put myself in a situation that wouldn’t have had a successful outcome. I fought it as much as I could, but at some point I had to make a transition to a title that was just as meaningful and just as close to what I initially wanted to name the project. The Real Testament was the second best thing that I could come up with the suit the concept that I’m trying to give off on this album August 7th. What exactly is the concept that you’re trying to give off? You had a song on one of your earlier mixtapes that was a prayer to God. Does it have a spiritual meaning to you? I’m not a real big spiritual dude. I’m no different than most niggas out of the hood. I don’t really go to church until something bad happens. If somebody gets killed, I go to church. If there’s a wedding, I gotta go to church. But I’m not a big spiritual dude. I definitely believe in a higher power. I think people talk to God differently. For me, by the title The Real Testament, I just felt like this is a book of my life and this is a book that the streets are going to live by for a long time. Even though you’re signed through Slip N Slide, when you have a major record deal with a label like Atlantic, they’ve got a roster of hundreds of artists waiting their turn. You’ve obviously made yourself a priority as they are putting their full promotional machine behind you. What do you think it was that ultimately led them to push the buttons and put you at the top of their priority list? To make sure I answer the question the right way, I definitely want to say this: It’s funny to me when I meet people everytime I go around doing promo shit or paid dates and they say, “Oh, you’re that nigga that used to be in the OZONE all the time.” So I salute you personally for believing in me when my label probably didn’t fully believe in me. I tell people this all the time, so I 74 // OZONE MAG
So you started sending them actual sales numbers. Right, because they only respect numbers. The major labels are so far away from what’s going on in the street that it’s mind boggling to me. You’re dealing with shit that’s the most time-consuming, money-invested situation to do it from the street level up. It’s easy to run this shit now. They get a record that they can work, that the radio can play 3,000 or 4,000 times, and they’d rather build a situation from that. But coming up from the street and doing it the way I did, the label ain’t willing to invest in those type of grinds no more. What role has your brother Gates played in your career? Is it kind of similar to what The Game’s brother Big Fase claimed – that he was the one who was more involved in the streets and gave him a lot of input on the content of his records? My brother is a genius all around. We’re so much alike, but so different. There’s never been a record that I ever cut that he actually heard or listened to before it was done. In the business that we’ve built together, he doesn’t tamper across the line into my world, and I don’t tamper across the line into his world. Behind the scenes cutting deals, to me, dude is a genius and that’s just what he does. He’s got street cred and street savvy. I’ve always been a dude that didn’t have to go to prison first to learn that prison wasn’t for me. I don’t have to go broke to realize that going broke ain’t what I want to do. I’ve always tried to be a sponge in every situation, and dude has been so influential not only to my career but to my life. You’ve gotta have a person that you believe wholeheartedly in, a person that can point you in the right direction, and a nigga that stands for something all across the board. Dude has been a true blessing to me. There ain’t too many people I’ve met in my career that I actually respected as a person, as a human being. He’s showed me so much in my life – fuck how long you run these streets, stay prayed up. Fuck how much money you’ve got – be educated. Those are the things that helped me be in the situation I’m currently in. Without him I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at. He’s currently incarcerated because of his alleged involvement with a shooting at one of your shows in Gainesville, FL, correct? Do you have any details on that situation that you would like to let people know about? Like I said earlier, there are bad things that happen in your life and you can just look at them as being bad or look at them as being a blessing. I don’t think we’d be here if it wasn’t for that situation, and I feel like we’ve all learned from it and grown from it. I know God don’t make mistakes. So for everybody who’s concerned about his situation, I’m glad to see that you are concerned. He’s good and we look at this whole situation as a blessing. When you started to get a heavy buzz in Florida, we got a lot of emails and letters from people about you trying to “expose” you. “Plies was a college boy,” “Plies wasn’t in the streets,” “Plies played football,” “Plies ain’t real,” that type of thing. Somebody sent us copies of eviction notices from back in the day. It seems like a lot of people, especially in Ft. Myers, are out to discredit you. Why do you think that is? I think that with every nigga in this business who becomes successful, there’s people somewhere that say he ain’t who he claims to be. That’s part of the
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I ain’t telling you not to bootleg my album, but in my situation it’s an ongoing fight with me to prove corporate to be wrong. They don’t fuck with the streets because they don’t respect us and they feel that the streets don’t support their own. I’m just trying to make a difference with this particular album and show them that they’re wrong.
game. You can never change that. The sad part about it – not just my situation, but being successful in general – is that my culture is so totally fucked up. For anybody who’s a part of white America and has a white family, you’re supposed to be successful. They expect you to be successful. But if you tell a nigga in the hood that you went and furthered your education or played ball in school, niggas don’t perceive that to be “real.” If the streets can’t do it, they hate on it. That’s just life. I understand what it is that I’m dealing with. You can’t find any street artist right now in the rap business where there ain’t some nigga saying that he ain’t who he claims to be. That’s part of climbing the success ladder. It doesn’t change. In Ft. Myers, it is what it is. If I go to the store in Ft. Myers, I can’t leave because 300 people show up anytime you see my car. I love the city for that. But there’s always going to be a person or a group of people who have seen you become successful and they’re not successful, so they want you to live your life the way they would’ve lived if they were in your situation. You can’t change that.
So you feel like the things they’re trying to “expose” you for – going to college and playing football – should be perceived by the community as positive things instead of negative. For me personally, my information is factual. As far as the situation that transpired with me in Gainesville, these people have painted me to be the thuggest nigga ever living, getting caught with x amount of guns in the car that I was occupying. I wish they would tell these people in Gainesville that I ain’t the nigga they think I am. I’m not a dude who’s going to try to promote my street cred off of silly mistakes I’ve made in life. There’s niggas doing real time – 40 to 50 years – and if they had the chance to change their life, they would. You can’t tell me that five ki’s of cocaine is worth 40 years of your life. You can’t make me believe that no nigga would be willing to swap that out. So for me, I’m comfortable with who I am. But you can’t avoid that. That comes with the culture. Culturally, we’re fucked up. Do you think the public buys into you as an artist moreso because of your look and your image, or the actual music itself? I don’t know. I don’t even really try to figure that out. I always make music to stay true to who I am and what I believe in. Over the course of the last four years, I’ve done it on an underground level. To start from where I was in Ft. Myers, stay hot in the streets for three and a half years without major help or finances, just me and my brother, that’s the hardest way to do this. I never even had a radio record until six or seven months ago or however long this “Shawty” record has been workin’. To stay hot and be one of the biggest niggas on my coast for the last few years, I feel like that’s a testament to not only me and my brother’s mind, but also to our hustle. Whether it’s an image that females are attracted to or music that street niggas love, it’s a combination of those things that’s been the key to my success. I’m one of the few dudes in this industry that is blessed to have both markets. Your lead radio singles, “Shawty” and “Hypnotized,” are obviously aimed at the female audience. Is the rest of the album similar or more street? I stay true to what I believe in. I’m a dude who will always make sexual female kinda records, and I’ll make records about the struggle. I have a record titled “A Hundred Years” talking about the system. I personally feel that the system wrongly oversentences niggas. I’ve got a record talking about “On My Dick” where I’m talking about how it is to be broke. Niggas don’t want to fuck with you when you’re broke, and the streets don’t fuck with you when you get money. So I’d rather be the nigga with money and the streets don’t fuck with me, than be broke and the streets still don’t fuck with me. I’ve got another 76 // OZONE MAG
record on my album called “Kept It Too Real” just talking about the relationships you’ve got with your friends and homeboys. You don’t really know the niggas you fuck with until y’all fall out. I’ve got another record on my album called “Runnin’ My Mama Crazy” that’s talking about the life of a street nigga and what we take our moms through, whether it’s being locked up or calling her at 4:00 in the morning and she’s gotta take off work to come bond us out of jail. I talk about issues that I know are reality, and I know there’s other muthafuckers around the country that are going through the same struggles. I don’t follow the trends in music. I ain’t gonna sit here and tell you that I’m trappin’ and all this crazy shit when I’m really financially stable. A lot of muthafuckers are still trying to sell you stories that, in my opinion, are not viable. If you’ve sold a million records, financially you should be good. If you’re still trying to tell me that you’re still killing niggas and you’re still in the trap, it’s hard to believe that. Maybe you are. But me, I’m going to always make reality music. In the climate of the music business today, artists really aren’t selling too many records as it is. Why should someone purchase your album as opposed to just picking up one of your mixtapes in the streets? I’ve made it a priority to never allow myself to create a distance or a gap between me and my consumers. I never expect you to spend your money on me to purchase this album just for me to tell you how good I’m living. I never expect you to spend your money on 13 tracks of me telling you how much the watch cost, how much I paid for the whip, how big the crib is, and how the trip to the Bahamas was. I’ll never belittle my consumer that way. When I’ve bought music in the past, I wanted to learn something from it when I bought it. I only bought music that related to the lifestyle I was living and the person that I was. That’s what I’m giving you on The Real Testament. When you walk away with this CD, you’re going to be able to take something from it, off every song I put on this album. Is there anything else you’d like to say? The album The Real Testament is in stores August 7th and in the streets August 7th. There’s a personal challenge that I’m giving to everybody that reads your magazine. One thing I’ve learned about corporate America is that they really don’t respect the streets. I hear it all the time: They say my kind doesn’t buy records. They say we don’t support each other and all we do is steal from each other. So I’m trying to utilize my situation to prove that whole notion to be wrong. I gave niggas my music for the last four years and didn’t charge nobody for shit. I feel like at this point they should have enough respect for me and my situation and my grind and everything that’s been invested. I feel like my people deserve more than a CD with something written on it in marker. I feel like it’s a historical situation for people who are interested in my situation. I ain’t telling you not to bootleg my album, but in my situation it’s an ongoing fight with me to prove corporate to be wrong. They don’t fuck with the streets because they don’t respect us and they feel that the streets don’t support their own. I’m just trying to make a difference with this particular album and show them that they’re wrong. And I want you to put this in the article too: I meant what I told you earlier, that I appreciate your support. People tell me all the time, “You must have some stock invested in OZONE, cause she keep you in there.” So I take my hat off to you; I salute your grind as well. So just let my brother Big Gates know that I love him, and we’re living his dream. Johnny Wardlow, he’s locked up in a Federal Correctional Facility in Coleman – I’ll keep him in my prayers. Everybody that’s locked up, I’ma keep you in my prayers. //
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Words // Matt Sonzala
Scooby | Poppy | Unique
talwarts on the south side of Houston scene, many people have watched these young fire starters come up since their inception 5 years ago when all were still just teenagers. Then they were known as the young cats who always performed with Hawk and rolled with Paul Wall. Now in 2007, with a distribution deal thru TVT and an album that is hotter than the Texas streets they came up on in the middle of August, The Grit Boys are finally set to present their Ghetto Realities in Texas to the world. Did you happen to read the article in XXL where they interviewed Paul, Mike and Slim and basically asked them why Houston is – in their eyes – falling off? Scooby: Yeah. You guys have been grinding and coming up through all of the hype that hit Houston in the past couple of years. Now just as you are about to release your first major album, people are saying your city is falling off. What do you say to that? Is Houston still poppin’ and how does it affect you either way? Poppy: Hell yeah, Houston is still poppin’. Unique: I feel like it’s still goin’ down, cuz it’s like a whole ‘nother wave of people that’s coming out. We have our own little situation going on. Atlanta has the crunk, but we got our own thing going on down here and I don’t think anyone else is really doing things like we doing it. I’d say if anything it’s the media to blame if things look like they are falling off here, cuz it’s the media who can only concentrate on three or four artists and never take time to see the big picture. Even Chamillionaire didn’t get as much attention as Paul, Mike and Slim and he sold more records and did more things in the past two years than any of them. Now it seems like the media is just turning their backs on those dudes and not realizing what is coming up next. Scooby: Well, I think it’s because they was the first face. Well, Flip was the first face, but they came out in unity. Now that they’re where they at it don’t seem like there’s that unity anymore. Shit, they all got big things going on. Paul’s on the road with Expensive Taste, Slim is putting out Boss Hogg Outlawz, Mike doing the Ice Age shit. And maybe it’s cuz today the record sales are shorter 80 // OZONE MAG
than they were before, but shit, record sales are shorter for everyone than before, period. And Mike and Slim ain’t even come out again yet. I don’t know, I feel like they just hating right quick. Yes, they seem to be coming back to the hate. Scooby: Yeah, but it ain’t over, it’s not over. We still got UGK coming out, and you know their album is gonna be a classic. And Devin? You know, Devin! You know what I’m saying? To me, the Grit Boys, Trae, and Rob G are the voices that are gonna keep Houston poppin’. You both are coming with something very new and also very jammin’. Scooby: Yeah, man, we’re all doing our thing heavy, so how you gonna say, the guys that you used to seeing ain’t doing the same things they was doing around this time last year? I feel like Slim, Mike and Paul’s albums are all jammin’. I don’t know why they’re on that. You guys came from the same area that the Screwed Up Click came from, and were really young during DJ Screw’s era. How do you feel like you fit in with the classic Houston sound and where that sound is today? Poppy: I feel like we a breath of fresh air that’s about to come through. People categorize Houston as the shit that they hearing right now but it’s more than that to Houston. That’s what we gonna bring to the table and show people. There’s more to Houston than what you been hearing. Scooby: And we’re still young. We’ve got our whole shit mapped out. We’ve got a distribution deal, a production team, and our own promotional vehicles to get around. We do a lot of shit ourselves and make a lot of moves ourselves and then we’ve got the talent on top of that. Well, doing it yourself and getting a distribution deal rather than just going and signing to a major is really what made Houston what it is. That was the attitude and the business sense that brought Houston to the forefront in the first place. Scooby: Hell yeah. Poppy: We’re just trying to bring it back to that.
Scooby: Our producer Pretty Todd helps keep us grounded and he gives us guidance. We’ve got a manager and we’ve got good people around us. It’s gonna be hard for them to say it’s over cuz it ain’t. In a sense though, does it matter? I mean, someone could come out of Wisconsin right now and blow up. Would that mean that the whole world has to feel Wisconsin? Scooby: We ain’t just making records for Houston, we making it for everybody. It don’t matter who come out of Wisconsin, Nevada, we still gonna make our way. Y’all gonna see us regardless. We gonna still rep Houston and be out there on another level, past the hating. Unique said that the other day, he said, “I wanna make it to the level where they can hate, but it don’t even matter.” Your album seems different from the jump though cuz you have features on here that I wouldn’t normally expect to see. Dizzee Rascal, Travis Barker of Blink 182, Ma$e, the list goes on. The album is really well rounded and I think that’s what’s really missing from a lot of rap music today. A lot of these rappers only have one topic, whether it’s cocaine, their car or their teeth, and they really can’t get out of their lane too much. This album covers emotions, the streets, playa shit, all kinds of shit. Scooby: Some people see the cover and they get it twisted from the jump. We got an old school car on the cover, so they’re already thinking that’s what it’s all about. We’ve got a gun on the cover, we’ve got drank on the cover, and we’ve got money, so they think we killin’ people, sippin’ syrup, and makin’ it rain in our candy car, but really, we’re giving you Ghetto Reality. It ain’t even an album like that. So that’s gonna throw ‘em off when they get it. Like, “Wow, it’s called Ghetto Reality in Texas, but they ain’t talkin’ ‘bout shootin’, killin’, sellin’ dope and ridin’ around in a candy car sippin’ drank. They on some real shit.” That’s the most important question I’ve got to ask you: How much drank do you sip? Scooby: Aw, naw, man! Naw, that’s a joke. But in every interview with every Houston rapper they have to ask about the syrup. Poppy: You can put it on pancakes. Scooby: (mimicking a reporter) Tell me about syrup, what do they put in it? Well, they get that Promethezine baby, you put it in the Sprite baby, and it’s goin’ down, baby. You wear your shirt that shows how to make drank, baby, on camera, and then talk about it. Well, okay, we’re making jokes about it now, but tell me, has it gone too far? I mean, yes, in Houston people have candy paint on their cars, yes they have big rims and people sip syrup, but it’s not every person in the hood riding around with candy paint sippin’ syrup. It’s actually kind of a low minority. You don’t see it as much as these dudes rap about it. Scooby: Niggas be riding anything. The thing is, boys be starting to tell you where you get it from and what it’s mixed with and giving up the game. Real niggas in the hood that’s selling drank, they don’t like that shit. You expose it and you really trippin’ like a mu’fucker. Especially with the time people get behind it now. Scooby: Yeah, life and 20 years and boys are trippin’ with that. Have you ever heard anyone address that on a song? Like not just the effects of drinking it but the extra laws they put on drank violations down here? Maybe talking about more of the negative effects. Poppy: All they talk about is leaning on a switch, sippin’ hard. Some rappers that talk about sippin’ drank don’t even really sip drank. They just rap about it. Scooby: Hell yeah, a bunch of rappers be doing that shit. But seriously, that shit is here but if you listen to the records you’d think that you could get it anywhere you go from anybody. In Houston is it as widespread as they try to make it seem it is? Poppy: I think artists make records based on what they think people want to hear. Scooby: That’s not the question he’s asking, nigga! Poppy: They’re just making records they think people want to hear instead of making records they wanna make. They playing follow the leader, really. Scooby: You can’t really get that shit like that in H-Town, not how boys be acting like. You could have a rapper that ain’t ever sipped drank before, working at Astroworld selling teddy bears, then get on the microphone, start freestyling about drank. And now everybody’s rappin’ about Kush. Everybody!
They need to make it rhyme with Bush and make a statement. But on that note, you said that you have seen artists make songs they don’t want to do. Have you seen that personally? Have you seen these boys have to compromise their art cuz that’s what they think their fanbase wants or that’s what their manager told them that’s what they’re supposed to do? Poppy: I’ve seen artists try to make a song for the radio, but when you try to make a song for the radio more than likely you’re gonna fuck up because you’re trying too hard. Music is about emotion. A lot of times boys just be playing follow the leader. Poppy, I really like the song “The Way I Live.” It’s real emotional and from my memory it’s the first time I ever heard you sing on a hook. Scooby: Know what happened the day that Poppy wrote and recorded that hook like that? His momma pushed him out the door and said, “Nigga, get paid!” (laughs) Unique: Man, he trippin’. Poppy: Delete that part. Naw, that’s not true. Really Pretty Todd just gave us a beat CD and I listened to that shit and it just came out like that. I called the boys and just ran with it. I didn’t set out to sing, it just came out like that. A lot of artists go out and spend a lot of money to get a lot of hot producers on their albums but y’all kept it pretty much in-house. Poppy: Well, we’ve got the hottest producers in the game, Pretty Todd and Calvin Earl. And we’ve got Cozmos on a song as well. Scooby: We also had a song that had a sample from Pat Benatar that we couldn’t use. So Todd was in LA and met up with Travis Barker and Travis Barker laid the drums, then here in Houston Corey Funkafingaz played the guitar live on it, then Bun B came and laid a verse, it’s just a real song, but we got Travis Barker on there playing live, also produced by Pretty Todd and Calvin Earl. That song is called “The Streets.” Is Travis Barker from the streets? Unique: He skateboarded on the streets. Naw, ha, well I been on tour with Paul Wall and me and Travis have a good relationship. We’ve been around each other a lot from being in the studio and being on tour. Then PT went out and did some music with him and he ended up playing on the song. It’s just a relationship that’s been building since we met and it’s just getting bigger and bigger. And who else is on the album? Poppy: Ma$e, Dizzee Rascal, Bun B, Trae, Trey Songz, Tum Tum from DSR, Lil Keke, Paul Wall, BG, Travis Barker, Great Scott, King Tutt, Macboney from PSC and of course Hawk. Unique: And Hawk has an album out, Endangered Species, so go get it. Tell me about your relationship with Hawk. Unique: He taught us everything we ever learned in this game. Everything we know, we learned from him on a first hand basis. He actually was there showing us and telling us how to do everything. Poppy: He showed us the whole underground game, what to do on the road, everything, man. Did y’all grow up listening to DJ Screw tapes? Unique: Yeah, I used to walk from school every day just to get the newest one. I used to go to his house, everything. I met him before cause I used to mess with Will Lean of Botany Boys real tough back in the day. I met him when they had Hustletown, SPM’s club. I met him when Botany Boys had one of their release parties. He is a legend. A lot of people from your neighborhood don’t want to hear slowed down music unless it was done by DJ Screw. I have two parts to this question. How do you feel about where the music they call Chopped and Screwed went in these past few years with all these other peoples influence? Unique: It’s all good because it’s all expanding the name, but people do need to acknowledge where it originated from. Poppy: It’s important to call the shit Screwed because if you don’t call it Screwed, you’re gonna lose the name. We understand that Screw ain’t here and he ain’t putting his hands on the shit, but at the same time, that name Screw has its own identity as far as music is concerned. Part two of the question: Do you think that the Screwed sound is starting to fall off? Scooby: We might not be jammin’ it as much but I talked to a guy in Baltimore just today and they was jammin’ Screw music. That fucked me up. Poppy: I know people that don’t listen to nothing regular speed, still! If somebody album’s comes out, they gotta have that hoe Screwed. //
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CADILLAC ESCALADE ‘07 . To boot, the overwhelming feeling once settling into the 2007 Cadillac Escalade is royalty at its finest. Arguably the best looking SUV on the road this year, the 22” chromed out wheels (18’s are standard) and airtight suspension ensure a stately smooth ride. With a growing population of mini-UVs hogging the road, the Escalade moves with masculine intentions. While it shares its internal platform – the GMT900 – with the Denali and Chevrolet Tahoe, the Escalade is pure Caddy. Elegant to the tee, wood grain accentuates the steering wheel, armrest, dash and center stack. As for other specific markings, chrome is easily one of the
Escalade’s more appealing and individualistic features – inside and out. Applied on its massive cross hatch grille, door handles, wheels and spotted parts of the luxury leathered inside, there is no shortage of shine. A newer aerodynamic element sets the ’07 Escalade apart from its previous editions and its flowing bumpers camouflage gaps, creating a less bulky look.
.. .. .. .
Seating Capacity: 6 Available Engines: Vortec 6.2L V-8 16 valve OHV SMPI Drivetrains: 4x2, AWD 0-60 mph: 6.1 - 6.7 seconds Fuel Economy (city/hwy): 13/19 mpg, 13/20 mpg Standard Features: DVD Entertaintment, Satellite Radio, Power Driver’s Seat, Heated Front Seats, Heated Rear Seats Optional Equipment: Navigation System, Backup Camera
The 6.2 liter, aluminum-block V-8 purrs like kitten at ignition and subsequently roars when called upon. In the same breath the four wheel disc brakes are designed to stop exactly when you want this monstrous creature to do so. They can come equipped to seat six, seven or eight, complete with a BOSE 5.1 surround system and a rear DVD player for passengers to enjoy. Upfront the navigation system and six disc CD changer aims to maintain balance for the driver. Whether it’s little league baseball game, the upcoming Rick Ross concert or a leisurely trek to and fro the local Red Lobster, the Cadillac Escalade ’07 will get you there in style! – N. Ali Early
f I was Rich Boy and I had just bought this Cadillac I’d be telling anyone within earshot too. This is truly what you call a come up. It’s Red Monkey versus Levis; Air Jordans versus K-Swiss and sweet delectable crab legs dipped in butter versus a Big Kahuna burger. Not that we don’t like burgers around here, but let’s face it, if you have the means and you’re not allergic, seafood is easily the preferred dining option.
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TJ’s DJ’s HUSTLER AWARD
AIRING LABOR DAY WEEKEND on MTV JAMS
DJ Khaled Polow Da Don T-Pain T.I. Tony Neal Yung Joc TJs DJs TASTEMAKER AWARD Andre 3000 DJ Drama Jim Jones Oomp Camp Rick Ross T-Pain MTV JAMS’ BEST VIDEO AWARD DJ Khaled - “We Takin’ Over” Directed by Gil Green Ludacris f/ Young Jeezy “Grew Up A Screw Up” Directed by Chaka Zulu Pimp C - “Knockin Doors Down” Directed by Benny Matthews Three 6 Mafia - “Doe Boy Fresh” Directed by Gil Green Young Buck - “Get Buck” Directed by Bernard Gourley BEST PRODUCER Mannie Fresh Nitti Polow Da Don The Runners DJ Toomp BEST MIXTAPE DJ Bigga Rankin DJ Chuck T DJ Drama Rapid Ric DJ Scream DJ Smallz BEST RADIO DJ Crisco Kidd Emperor Searcy Greg Street DJ Khaled Nick@Nite BEST CLUB DJ B-Lord DJ Irie King Arthur DJ Q45 Supastar J-Kwik T-Roc
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BEST RAP ALBUM Devin The Dude - Waitin’ To Inhale Lil Boosie – Bad Azz Ludacris – Release Therapy Rich Boy – Rich Boy Rick Ross – Port of Miami Young Jeezy – The Inspiration BEST RAP ARTIST (MALE) Lil Wayne Ludacris Pimp C Rick Ross T.I. Young Jeezy BEST RAP ARTIST (FEMALE) Diamond & Princess of Crime Mob Rasheeda Shawnna Trina BEST RAP GROUP 8Ball & MJG Crime Mob OutKast Three 6 Mafia UGK USDA BEST R&B ALBUM Akon - Konvicted Beyonce - B’Day Lloyd – Street Love Ne-Yo – Because of You Pretty Ricky – Late Night Special BEST R&B ARTIST (MALE) Akon Bobby Valentino Lloyd Ne-Yo T-Pain Trey Songz BEST R&B ARTIST (FEMALE) Beyonce Ciara Fantasia Keyshia Cole Letoya Luckett BEST LYRICIST Andre 3000 Bun B Lil Wayne Ludacris T.I.
MOST SLEPT-ON ARTIST
Baby Boy Da Prince Lil Boosie Rich Boy Shop Boyz Unk
Devin The Dude Gucci Mane Lil Boosie Plies Trae
BEST RAP/R&B COLLABORATION
BEST MIXTAPE / STREET ALBUM
Akon f/ Snoop Dogg “I Wanna Love You” Lloyd f/ Lil Wayne “You” Ludacris f/ Mary J. Blige - “Runaway Love” Plies f/ T-Pain “Shawty” T-Pain f/ Yung Joc “Buy U A Drank” Young Jeezy f/ R Kelly “Go Getta”
DJ Drama & Young Jeezy – I Am The Street Dream Killer Mike - I Pledge Allegiance To the Grind Lil Wayne – Da Drought 3 Rob G – State of the Streets
CLUB BANGER OF THE YEAR
OZONE WEST: BEST RAP ALBUM (WEST COAST)
Foxx f/ Lil Boosie & Webbie “Wipe Me Down” Jim Jones “We Fly High (Ballin’)” Rich Boy f/ Polow “Throw Some D’s” Shop Boyz “Party Like A Rockstar” Unk “Walk It Out”
E-40 – My Ghetto Report Card The Game – Doctor’s Advocate Ice Cube – Laugh Now, Cry Later Snoop Dogg – Tha Blue Carpet Treatment Too $hort – Blow the Whistle
MIXTAPE MONSTER AWARD
PATIENTLY WAITING: CALIFORNIA
Chamillionaire Lil Boosie Lil Wayne Plies Young Jeezy
Bishop Lamont Clyde Carson Hot Dollar Mistah FAB Mitchy Slick
PATIENTLY WAITING: CAROLINAS
PATIENTLY WAITING: ALABAMA
Brolic D Collard Greens Lil Ru Small World
Attitude BA Boys Birmingham J Modesty XO Yela Wolf
PATIENTLY WAITING: KENTUCKY B Simm Below Zero Don Fetti G-Mack PATIENTLY WAITING: MISSISSIPPI Boo da Boss Playa GMB Jewman Soulja Boy PATIENTLY WAITING: TENNESSEE All Star Da Volunteers Kia Shine Lil Wyte PATIENTLY WAITING: TEXAS Green City Grit Boys Rob G Tum Tum
PATIENTLY WAITING: FLORIDA Flo-Rida Piccalo Sean Kingston Smitty Treal Wes Fif PATIENTLY WAITING: GEORGIA Big Kuntry B.O.B. D.G. Yola Fabo Gorilla Zoe PATIENTLY WAITING: LOUISIANA Chopper City Boyz Foxx Hurricane Chris Max Minelli Look out for the complete OZONE Awards recap and photo galleries coming next month! OZONE MAG // 87
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Katt Williams Pimp Chronicles Pt. 1 Codeblack
Various Gold Digger Killer
That DVD you watched last week? It’s nothin’! But this shit right here… it’ll have you dyin’ laughin’. Chances are, after watching this sixty minute display, you will have adopted a new meaning for the word “death,” er uh, “def” per Katt Williams. Filmed live a little over a year ago at the Atlanta Civic Center, Pimp Chronicles, Pt. I touches on the war, hairstylists, race, marijuana and more. Perhaps the most devastating and absolutely funny episode is Williams’ unadulterated bashing of pop king Michael Jackson. In what quickly becomes an unremitting attack, the Cincinnati native sounds off at an intrepid pace and shows no signs of slowing down. “Fuck ‘em, fuck ‘em, fuck ‘em!” he repeats toward an astonished crowd, to which Williams looks over once and blurts defiantly, “Yeah, I said it.” The original HBO special is prompted by an intro that finds Katt and West Coast rapper Snoop Dogg seated in a chandelier-laden old school Cadillac. Williams heeds words of advice from the Doggfather before being introduced by funny man Anthony Anderson. Lil Jon falls through with a shameless plug for CRUNK!!! Energy Drink and Cam’Ron dons the comedian/rapper (you ain’t know?) an official Dipset member. Hilarious from beginning to end, Katt Williams’ unlikely performance leaves the viewer gasping for breath and clutching at their stomachs. Who knew he was that damn funny? – N. Ali Early
If it weren’t for the undertones and underlying messages that appear more obvious than they’re intended to, the sensibility in Gold Digger Killer would come off about as flat as an ironing board. Clearly an attempt to address two topical issues in urban America, this Hip Hop horror peers into the ballerific world of the “player” (or “playa,” depending on how Ebonic-plagued you are) and the vultures who sop up all their ends. They would be the “golddiggers.” The latter breed, in this instance Imani (Shatara Curry), finds herself at her wits end when her car breaks down and she’s fired for some reason that writer Jeff Carroll doesn’t care to share with the viewer. Her world suddenly turns upside down after she spends a night on the town with her girls (one of which just had her fifth abortion a day or two before, but who’s counting?) and finds herself seduced by some cornball (Esteban Lastra) at the club. Upon breaking up with her live-in boyfriend, Imani agrees to spend a weekend with the stranger. After being gang-raped she goes on a killing spree, murdering every man who comes on to her; even when she’s dressed like a hooker walking the strip, and at times for no gotdamn reason at all. Chilling. However, chances are, you’ll be dying to press stop before she transforms into the urban version of Aileen Wuornos (Monster, 2003). – N. Ali Early
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Gangster With a Heart of Gold: the Noonie G. Story Block 8 Productions Gangster With a Heart of Gold: the Noonie G. Story depicts the life of Harry “Noonie” Ward, a former member and Chief of the Gangster Disciples – one of Chicago’s most longstanding and ruthless gangs. Perhaps the most telling aspect of the DVD is the idea that Noonie takes it upon himself to tell his own story. From his first encounter with murder (he watched a woman shoot her boyfriend outside his front door at only eight years old) to vengeful attacks on rival gangs and his eventual rise as GD Chief, he leaves nothing out. Originally from Altgeld Gardens, Noonie’s childhood memories are mostly happy ones. But as the timeline progresses, Noonie’s stories become increasingly more horrific. At no point does the former troublemaker turned philanthropist brag or endorse his old ways. He just informs, sometimes in classrooms full of misguided students and others in the middle of the streets he used to terrorize. Beyond his life as a dedicated soldier to the streets of Chi, Noonie went on to organize one of the most sophisticated drug trades in the Midwest – a trait he picked up in 1991 after a call from his GD brothers in the state penitentiary. Narrated by rappers and fellow Chicagoans Common and Kanye West, Gangster With A Heart of Gold literally hits home. – N. Ali Early
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UGK/Underground Kingz/Jive In a year of sub-par albums, this is one of the best — by far. This Underground Kingz album is long overdue, but Pimp C and Bun B make amends with patient UGK fans on their 26-track double album. Disc one alone, highlighted by instant classics like “International Players Anthem” featuring Outkast, “The Game Belongs To Me” and “Quit Hatin’ The South” has more than enough standouts for this release to be considered one of 2007’s best. On disc two, the Texas tandem continue to kick Down South lyricism over soulful production as they trade coke tales with Rick Ross on “Cocaine,” floss whips on the Jazze Pha produced “Stop-N-Go” and take some time out to honor down ass chicks with Talib Kweli on “Real Women.” Although this double disc does have a few repetitive rhymes and some questionable guest appearances, Underground Kingz is a Southern masterpiece full of vintage UGK music from the legendary Port Arthur, TX duo. This album is sure to please diehard fans and earn them some new ones along the way. This is shit you can ride to; country rap tunes. Chuuch! — Randy Roper
Boyz N Da Hood/Back Up N Da Chevy Block Ent./Bad Boy South Instead of sending Boyz N Da Hood back up in the Chevy as a three man crew, Block Ent. CEO Russell “Block” Spencer brought in a hood figure to full the void left by Da Snowman. On BNDH’s second album, Gorilla Zoe fills in nicely as his chemistry with the remaining members is recognizable on tracks like “Bite Down” and “Everybody Knows Me.” When sticking to what they do best the Boyz make quality street music, but the group struggles to make things work on the Don Cannon-produced “Jump.” The ever-present T-Pain helps smooth things out on “Table Dance,” as BNDH gets the dollar flying in the strip club. Rick Ross, Yung Joc and Ice Cube appear on the album but filling Jeezy’s Air Forces is a tough task. Still, dem boyz manage to keep it gangsta the second time around without Mr. 17.5. — Randy Roper
Tum Tum/Eat Or Get Ate Universal Republic/T-Town Music
Plies/The Real Testament/Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic Plies’ take on many subjects are straight to the point on his debut album, where he makes his disdain for “pussy ass crackers,” “police ass niggas” and “pussy ass niggas” clear on songs like “100 Years,” “I Kno U Workin’” and “Keep It Too Real.” But none of those tracks are exactly good, especially since Plies tends to rap offbeat at times as if he couldn’t hear the sound coming through his headphones during recordings. Plies seems at his best when paired with R&B vocalists like Tank (“You”), Akon (“Hypnotized”) and T-Pain (“Shawty”) for explicit tales of sexual escapades. This Slip-N-Slide/Atlantic debut album from the Florida newcomer is one the South’s most anticipated releases of 2007. But anticipated doesn’t always translate into acclaim as Plies’ debut suffers from a lack of mic skills that isn’t helped by the album’s bland production. — Randy Roper
Tum Tum claims to make “Caprice Musik,” but really, this is kind of shit you listen to right before you’re about to beat somebody’s ass. It’s fight music; it’s motivational. This would definitely be a good CD to play on an overnight road trip, because it’s impossible to fall asleep to. At times, Tum’s flow and subject matter sounds slightly too similar from track to track. The high energy and boisterous lyrics can also be a bit much, and this album doesn’t offer much for the ladies either. But overall, Tum gets his “Mission Accomplished.” He successfully captures the Dallas sound while still having mainstream appeal. And with production by such all-stars as Mannie Fresh, Play-N-Skillz, and Scott Storch the only question that remains is whether or not Eat Or Get Ate will be embraced by a nationwide, mainstream audience. — Eric Perrin
Common/Finding Forever G.O.O.D. Music/Geffen
Trae/Life Goes On/Rap-A-Lot/ABN Trae’s major label debut, Restless, was a dark, brooding album which introduced the rest of the world to the Houston rapper’s rapid fire delivery. Although the album did please his core fanbase, many new fans were surprised at the overall darkness which wasn’t displayed in the singles “Swang” and “In Da Hood.” On his latest effort Trae attempts to keep old fans pleased while gaining new ones. Tracks like “Smile” and “Screwed Up” show the Houstonian holding his own alongside lyrical heavyweights Lil Wayne, Styles P and Jadakiss. Meanwhile “Give My Last Breath” and “The Truth” have Trae in his element as he laments on fallen friends and the pressures of life. Often times hardcore artists come off as watered down when trying to appeal to new fans, but Trae successfully creates an album that is sure to please supporters as well as the newcomers. — DeVaughn Douglas
Khujo Goodie/Mercury/Day One Music Sean Kingston/Epic/Beluga Heights
Jamaican artist Sean Kingston blasted onto the scene seemingly overnight, but he’s been on his Myspace grind. It paid off when he consistently messaged producer J.R. Rotem about checking out his music. Through the commute to Los Angeles and eventual link-up with the producer, the artist slides onto the scene with his summer love anthem “Beautiful Girls.” This debut album offers a huge scoop of love infused lyrics, a touch of Hip Hop and pop beats, a dash of rap and a large amount of island flavoring which once mixed together, gives you a lot of love ballads. And too much of anything can make you sick. — E.L. Berry
92 // OZONE MAG
The game definitely needs more Common Sense, and with that said, Finding Forever’s 12 track’s simply aren’t enough. Though FF displays that real Hip Hop everybody said was dead, it’s still doesn’t live up to the quality that’s expected of Lonnie Lynn, nor does it contain any tremendously spectacular stand-out tracks. Don’t get it twisted, Finding Forever is a classic album. You certainly won’t feel the need to press skip at any point during the CD, but you also won’t find any “I Used to Love Her” type tracks on this Kanye produced offering either. Common’s seventh LP seems more like a beat making experiment for Ye than the gem Com fans have waited over 2 years for. Still, on Common proves his flow and lyrical ability are second to none, and even if he never releases another album, he’ll still be one of the greatest emcees ever to ever touch the mic. Let’s just hope he hasn’t found forever yet. — Eric Perrin
As one-fourth of Goodie Mob, Khujo is credited as a rapper that helped pioneer the Dirty South movement. But Khujo’s solo music is a different direction from the Mob’s political and social relevant sound. On his second solo album, the opening track “Ultimate Hustler” is the only Goodie Mob remnant. Instead, Khujo opts for edgier tracks like the confrontational “We Ain’t Askin,” the strip club-influenced “She Killin It” and the play-no-games “No Brown Nosin’.” While Khujo’s distinctive flow is still the same, the gritty music on Mercury will have Goodie Mob fans wishing for a reunion. —Randy Roper
Dirty/The Art of Storytelling/Rap-A-Lot It’s been awhile since we heard from Pimp and Gangsta. They put Alabama on the map before Rich Boy was old enough to drive a Cadillac, but these ‘Bama boys have become forgotten souls in this fickle rap game. Now with Rap-A-Lot behind them, Dirty is set to teach sucker emcees The Art of Storytelling. On songs like “Set Up,” “Check Myself” and “Comin Home,” Dirty vividly paint poetic pictures with real talk but songs like “Chevy Rock” and “Slob On My Nobb” are heard-it-all-before. The middle portion of the album seems dedicated to the ladies, where four songs (“I Got 50,” “Couple Hundred,” “Just Like At Her” and “Ride 4 Me”) focus on the females. Having the Pimp and the Gangsta back is a good listen, as their Dirty South lyricism over soul samples is refreshing music. — Randy Roper
Kia Shine/Due Season/Universal Motown Kin Folk Kia Shine has been hustling hard out of Memphis for the last few years, so you have no choice but to respect his grind. His rhymes are a different story. On Due Season, Rap Hustlaz Music handles the bulk of the production and lays a solid soundtrack for Kia Shine to work with, but this album is filled with far too many songs and rhymes about being fresh. The Play-N-Skillz produced “Krispy” is a perfect example of a standout beat that may be better off without Kia Shine rhyming over it. “Bluff City Classic” featuring 8Ball & MJG is a standout track but being out-rhymed by Jim Jones on “I Be Everywhere” isn’t a good look for Mr. Krispy. Due Season has plenty of dope beats and “swag music” that can teach a listener how to dress but for tips on how to rhyme well, you might want to look elsewhere. — Randy Roper Garcia/Life Unscripted/Latchkey Life Unscripted covers many angles as Garcia fuses Southern sounds, East Coast grit and Latin music on his sophomore album. The 305 representer gets listeners reacquainted on “Tell ‘Em Who You Are,” wears his culture proudly on “I’m Cuban,” and keeps it street on “I’ll Never Run.” “GaveHerDat” featuring N.O.R.E. is the only song that could have been left off the final cut but Garcia’s official street album has enough standouts like “Clear My Mind” and “The Struggle” to nullify a slight blunder. — Randy Roper
G-Mack/Tha Street Bible/Lost Land
Don’t get Kentucky misconstrued. The streets are alive in the Bluegrass State and Lexington, KY’s G-Mack represents for them on Tha Street Bible. Standout songs like “Checks Out” featuring Young Cash and Studio, and Mack’s regional smash hit “Hatah’s” are iPod selections for any street music fan. “I Got This” is another standout where Mack shows depth when he opens up about lost friendships, growing up without a father and a ruined relationship with his older brother. Although Mack still needs to develop versatility with his flow and delivery, ultimately Tha Street Bible checks out. — Randy Roper
Grandaddy Souf/Chasing My Dream SRC/Universal
Grandaddy Souf has spent years on the underground scene trying to breakthrough to the masses and on his latest offering, the underground vet continues to chase his rap dreams. Grandaddy starts off strong on the album’s title track, where he lyrically vents the frustrations of his life and career story. But with the exception of the introspection on “Gospel” and a tribute to his grandmother on “Because of You,” the majority of Chasing My Dream is a collection of stale cliché street tracks (“Deputy Dope Boy”) and poorly executed chick records (“Fun Girl” and “Keep ‘Em Coming Back”). While Chasing My Dream isn’t all bad, after this one, Souf’s dreams are still eluding him. — Anthony King
Reggae Gold 2007/Various Artists/VP
The Reggae Gold compilation has a long history of introducing the mainstream to the newest reggae music. The 2007 edition features new music from veteran artists like Sean Paul (“Watch Them Roll”), Elephant Man (“Bring It”) and Buju Banton (“Bobby Reds”) as well as newcomers Mavado (“Top Shotta Nah Miss” and “Last Night”) and Jah Cure (“Sticky”). The reggae version of Mims’ breakthrough single “This Is Why I’m Hot” featuring Cham and Junior Reid is also a featured track on this 2007 compilation. Reggae fans should find this compilation a must have but Reggae Gold 2007 doesn’t have as many standouts with breakthrough potential as in years past. — Randy Roper
4-Ize/Fantastik 4-Ize/Soular Sausage You may remember 4-Ize as the emcee “mouthin’ off” during freestyles on Luda’s first two albums. Seven years after first appearing on Back For The First Time, 4-Ize is finally hitting the streets with his debut album Fantastik 4-Ize. On many tracks Ize is seemingly rambling about nothing and refuses to pick a topic and stick to it. But Ize shines when he sticks to the script on songs like “We Outside” and “Lust.” 4-Ize is a gifted MC, so, “Can he rap?” is not the question. But the question is: Can he make an album with more songs that don’t sound like three random freestyles with hooks in-between? — Randy Roper
Chamillionaire/Mixtape Messiah 3 On the third installment of the Mixtape Messiah series, King Koopa flows through 22 tracks of remakes from Fabolous’ “Make Me Better” to Kanye’s “Stronger,” still kicking the rhymes of a hungry emcee but with the content of a rapper with more fame and more dollars in his pocket. MM3 could have benefited from a few original tracks or previews of what’s to come on Ultimate Victory, but this mixtape will give fans a Chamillitary fix until Koopa’s next major label release hits stores. — Randy Roper Brolic D & DJ Chuck T/Carolina’s Favorite Even since Raleigh, NC’s Norfclk hooked up with Ludacris’ label, the peace has been disturbed in the Carolinas. And Brolic D, a 2007 Patiently Waiting Carolina nominee, is part of the reason DTP has been making noise in NC. Although his Norfclk counterpart, Small World, falls ahead of Brolic of the DTP depth chart, Brolic D shows that he’s a “Carolina Favorite” on this DJ Chuck T-hosted mixtape. Brolic displays a furious flow coupled with ill punchlines on tracks like “100 Grand” and manages to open up on “I Tried” and “Problems.” A few tracks like “Shoot a Tool” and “Don’t Get Fucked Up” can be passed over but songs like “Shake Dat” and “Do What I Wanna” bang hard enough for listeners to take notice of this Carolina rhymer. — Randy Roper 36 & Bigga Rankin/Check My Resume Tempo and tone wise, 36 and Dirty Music’s Check My Resume is a monotonous listen, where none of the songs standout out from others. Except two records aimed to appease female listeners (“4 Da Freaky Hoes” and “My Bottom”), themes don’t surpass getting money, getting money and getting money. Dirty Music’s Diego appears on seven of the mixtape’s 27 tracks, and each time 36 is outshined by his guest rapper. On “Stand Down” Shawty Redd blesses 36 with the mixtape’s best production but 36 and Diego don’t bring anything refreshing to the table. While the mixtape doesn’t produce anything flat-out awful, it doesn’t produce anything memorable either. — Randy Roper Soulja Boy & DJ Scream/Supaman Starring Soulja Boy Though high school students and clubgoers idolize Soulja Boy, lil’ homie still needs a lot of work lyrically. True, he dominated the summer of ’07 in a major way, and it’s virtually impossible not to sing along to his “Supaman” when it comes on in the club. But if you’ve ever given Soulja Boy’s music a sober listen, it’s a disappointing experience. Most of this mixtape sounds like it was recorded after school in Soulja Boy’s high school gym. He does have an extremely loyal young fanbase, and the fact that DJ Scream hosted this mixtape gives it some credibility. But still, Soulja Boy only deserves 2 blunts. He’s too young to be smoking anyway. — Eric Perrin Willie Joe/The Signing Willie Joe’s The Signing is a solid pre-album release. With guest appearances from artists such as Jody Breeze, Clyde Carson, B.O.B, Lloyd, Playboy Tre, and Mistah FAB., this mixtape is better than average. It’s arranged more like an album than a mixtape, as it only has 13 tracks, but for true Willie Joe’ fans from The Bay to The A this is 50 minutes of crack. The Signing contains excellent production, including the DJ Toomp produced “This is How We Roll,” which is the highlight of the CD. Another can’t miss track is “Why Don’t You” featuring Playboy Tre and B.O.B. Willie Joe reveals glimpses of greatness all throughout The Signing, but on a few of the tracks like “Bay’d Out,” it’s apparent that he is still a rookie in the game. Regardless, Jazze Pha’s number 1 draft pick proves to be a good addition to the Sho’ Nuff family. — Eric Perrin
OZONE MAG // 93
USDA (Slick Pulla, Young Jeezy, & BloodRaw) City: Jacksonville, FL Venue: Plush Nightclub Date: June 14th, 2007 Photo: Terrence Tyson
94 // OZONE MAG
01. DJ Chuck T “Down South Slangin’ Countdown Vol. 7” www.djchuckt.com 02. DJ Teknikz “Georgia Power 4: The Grand Hustle Story” www.myspace.comdjteknikz 678-933-7272 03. DJ Scream “Heavy In The Streets X” Featuring M.L.K. www.djscream.biz 404-542-0847
04. DJ Forgie “Who Run It 9” www.myspace.com/djfrogie 888-318-7918 05. DJ Judge Mental “Dirt Law 14” www.djjudgemental.com 404-760-9606
06. DJ Trackstar “Boogie Bang 8” www.myspace.com/djtrackstar 314-283-6384 07. Team Invasion “Hood Rules Apply: Live Free or Die Hard 8.0” www.mysp ace.com/teaminvasion
06 08. DJ Jay Since/DJ Grip “Down In Texas 5: Texas Slang” Hosted by Kyle Lee www.myspace.com/djjaysince www.myspace.com/djgripmusic 09. Will Hustle/DJ Knowledge “Whatahustler Volume Three” www.myspace.com/w illhustle
10. DJ Saint/DJ Loco “Grindin’ To Get It” Hosted by Will Hustle www.myspace.com/djsaint23 www.myspace.com/djlocowm 11. Chief Rocka “Asshole By Nature” Hosted by Trae http://www.myspace.c om/djchiefrocka2 12. DJ Fresh “On Tha Grind Part 1.5” www.myspace.com/djfreshinc 910-934-9232 13. DJ Vlad “Rock Star Blends” www.myspace.com/djvlad
14. DJ Bobby Black “Down and Dirty” www.myspace.com/theofficialdjbobbyblack 678-859-3303 15. DJ 2Mello “Undercover R&B: SEA Edition” www.myspace.com/supa_dj2mel lo email@example.com
DJ Envy, T.I. & Trackmasters “Purple Codeine 13” www.myspace.com/djenvy DJ Envy & Trackmasters team up with the King of the South to drop a couple unreleased T.I. tracks and brand new music from the South’s biggest artists. This mixtape features music from Rick Ross (“Trilla”), Lil’ Boosie (“Fresh Cut”), Baby and Lil’ Wayne (“Pop Bottles”) and brief interviews with T.I.P. DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for consideration to: Ozone Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318
16. DJ 1Mic “Can’t Knock The Hustle 2K7” Hosted by Sha Stimuli www.myspace.com/dj1mic 17. DJ Rondevu/DJ Premier “The Realness” www.djrondevu.com 18. Tre Unda “Audio Cocaine: Crack Viles Part 4” www.treunda.com 19. DJ Ktone “Turf Love: The Proposal” www.myspace.com/djktonedotcom 720-404-6767 20. Frank Nino/Lique “When the North & South Collide 4” www.mixtapemovie.com
OZONE MAG // 95 OZONE MAG // 95
Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Akon, & David Banner City: Miami, FL Venue: Paskal Lighting Event: David Banner’s “Speaker” video shoot Date: June 14th, 2007 Photo: Julia Beverly
96 // OZONE MAG
OZONE MAG // 97
Hurricane Chris City: Little Rock, AR Event: Power 92â€™s Juneteenth concert Date: June 15th, 2007 Photo: DJ Who
98 // OZONE MAG