Ozone Mag #60 - Oct 2007

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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 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 // David Banner photo (cover and this page) by Ty Watkins; Twista photo by Parrish Lewis; Soulja Boy photo by Anthony Cutujar; Yela Wolf photo by Meca 4 ReVamp. 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.


patiently waiting

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pg 51-53 A T S I TW pg 41-45 R E N DAVID BAN


Send your comments to feedback@ozonemag.com or hit us up at www.myspace.com/ozonemagazine

I am so proud of OZONE. I’m here in Oklahoma and it’s so nice to see someone covering the Southern music scene. I’ve forcibly read The Source and XXL, hoping that each issue I came across would finally pay the South their just dues. And of course as you know, they don’t. XXL tries, and we all know The Source is a joke. When my friend showed me a copy of OZONE I read it from cover to cover and loved every freakin’ page of it, real talk! Everything about the magazine is top notch. You have everything a true Southern Hip Hop head wants to see and read about. Wendy’s advice is golden. Charlamagne is a fool wit’ it, and JB’s 2 Cents editorial is dead on. I’ve never written to a magazine before and I’ve been listening to and studying Hip Hop for a good fifteen years. Hell, the first rap single I ever bought (of all things) was “Rampage” by EPMD & LL. My first whole album I bought was Cypress Hill’s first album. I was hooked from there, and now with the South being the hottest thing in rap, I’m basking in it, loving every money-makin second of it! Once again, thank you for providing a magazine that’s well worth the paper it’s printed on. Don’t ever stop! - Bigg Dave (Ada, OK) JB, your 2 Cents in the June issue makes sense to this 23-year-old virgin. I have been working on radio for six months now, which has brought back my hunger to be a part of the music industry. I’m a big fan of OZONE and I love that there’s an OZONE West section now too. I’ve loved Hip Hop since I was young and I’m trying to get into the game; I see myself as the female version of Ne-Yo. The only problem is this: I am not a hoe. I don’t walk around the club with my hand out. I have a degree, I read, I pay my own bills, I care about politics, and I’m saving myself for that special one. It’s hard to find Hip Hop artists that understand that kind of female. I have to put a disclaimer up that I don’t do overtly sexual hooks, moan, or say anything that is against my character. I feel like women like me have no real place in Hip Hop today. What I represent is the woman who will be down for a man who’s down for her, one who can hold her own financially but still wants her man to treat her like a princess, and most importantly, a woman who values respect more than a designer label. I totally agree that if a female puts herself out like a hoe, she deserves to be called that, period. It’s not a derogatory term when it’s correctly used. I’ve never been called a hoe. I’m 23 years old and still a virgin. I’m waiting for the fellas to step up their game, cause I am not impressed with you doing something for me that I can do for myself. You’re exactly right when you say that women have the power. Real women have the power cause no dude can truly disrespect them. Hoes are hoes. They aren’t trading pussy for a touch of celebrity, they are trading it for their respect. Once you give up your respect, you can’t get it back. Ladies should realize what they’re giving up and who they’re giving it to – I can’t understand a female who’ll give it up to a member of the entourage. That’s just stupid. Keep up the good work, and I’ve included a picture to show that I’m a virgin by choice. – Shanetta Little, Shanetta.Little@CoxRadio.com (Orlando, FL) I just got the June joint with DJ Khaled and everybody on the cover and this is definitely a hot issue! I know everyone missed Lil Duval on this one. The substitute wasn’t funny at all. RapQuest was on point, and I see that New 14 // OZONE MAG

Orleans is finally back on the map! Thank God you didn’t put Baton Rouge on there because Webbie and the rest of the country fam would have a field day. Wendy Day should write a book on how to make it in the music business. If she doesn’t, I’m going to steal all of her articles and make it myself! Prada looks like her breath may stink, among other things. I wouldn’t tip. Y’all need to put a stripper from She She’s in New Orleans up in there. They got that work! I really didn’t know DJ Khaled was from New Orleans. I’m never buying another Mike Jones album. I equate his record to someone selling bonk in the hood. Once you sell someone bonk (horrible product), you’ll never get your customers back. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Tell Diamond to holla at me if she wants to learn some new words. I made a 4.0 last semester and I’ll take her under my wing. Paul Wall seems like the truest of all. He’s still reppin’ Swishahouse, unlike some others who “allow” them to put their logo on a CD. Like Ludacris said, “The streets respect that cheddar.” Paul Wall is a blueprint to getting paper. Fat Joe is the richest guy to never sell records! He can sit around and play as himself on video games all day – wow! In conclusion, OZONE is the truth. Continue to hold it down for the South and everyone out here grindin’. – Derrick Francis, Derrick_francis03@hotmail.com (Virginia Beach, VA) Why in the hell would you put groupie confessions in a male-oriented book? I damn near threw up. That’s sick! I never see women reading your mag, only men. Why don’t you find the guys that are bangin’ female artists and interview them? That would be more interesting. I wanna hear how wet Eve is or how tight Rihanna’s pussy is or which female artist takes it anal and who gives the best head. - 7577145256@pcs.ntelos.com

Editor Responds: Who said it was a “male-oriented” book? I loved JB’s 2 Cents in Issue #53 talking about New York. Even though I’m not from the South, I feel exactly the same way about those snobby ass New Yorkers. I see how that shit must irritate y’all down South – they’re always jealous that someone else is getting their shine on. That’s exactly how shit is up here in Milwaukee. They can’t accept the fact that they really just ain’t doing shit! I wish Milwaukee could be more like the South. Don’t get me wrong, I love Milwaukee, but not too many people come together around here. And the fucked up thing is that if we in the Midwest came together like the South, we could be having our time to shine right now too. We need to do something for ourselves before blaming our non-success on what some other region is doing. Long live Southern rap, and any other region that’s willing to put in the hard work to make raw music. – Joe Wiggles (Milwaukee, WI) OZONE is an air-tight magazine. I’m from NYC but I appreciate quality when I see it. The way y’all do the stories is very clever and original. I like the “10 Things,” that’s what’s up. I’m a journalist fighting my way up the food chain. Keep up the good work. – Black Pacino, myspace.com/blackpacino (Brooklyn, NY)

Wendy Day’s Mathematics article in the latest issue of OZONE called “Politricks” was good. It seems like she’s seen it all, and all the topics she shed light on are very true. She painted a vivid picture of the music industry for people who are considering becoming a rapper or DJ. I think anyone who is aspiring to become a part of the industry needs to read through Wendy’s section in past issues of OZONE. She’s always provided us, the readers, with very valuable information. Knowledge is key, and she shows us the ins and outs of the business. I also think that OZONE and TJ’s DJ’s coming together for the conference is monumental for the betterment of the music industry. Continue to make major moves – your hard work is very much appreciated by individuals that want to be in the music business. I believe OZONE coming together with TJ’s DJ’s is just another door of opportunity for those of us getting into the industry. - Ray Matos, matosr2@corning.com I would like to comment on the second annual OZONE Awards. First of all, it made the Southern division of rap and Hip Hop artists look so ignorant and uneducated. I feel so disgraced to even say that I live in Louisiana or the South. The camera was constantly flashing on dirty-looking, half-naked prostitute looking whores. There was a lack of organization and coordination. The presenters spoke like they were illiterate and their speech was unclear. The stage was dark and muggy like it was a club, not an MTV production. I hope that you take this constructive criticism and make next years’ award show better, with a little more sophistication and class. If you need more info about how to make your awards better, contact me. I could produce my own show and it would be 300% better than yours. I am a 21 year old college student with a very high IQ and OZONE Magazine can go straight to the trash can. Producing a tacky award show is not an achievement. I can publish a better magazine than OZONE. I wrote better stuff than that in elementary school. At this time, people of color need something refreshing and uplifting, not garbage. I am not dissing rap or Hip Hop because I write and make music myself. I am dissing your award show and some things in your magazine. Your award show was disorganized and tacky. If you ever feel the need to enlighten yourself, read some books by real writers like W.E.B. Dubois or Booker T. Washington. And if I feel the desire to ever produce an award show, I guarantee you it will be better than that. News you can use: those were not celebrities on stage or in the audience. You had entertainers, not celebrities, and some of them did not do a real good job. They were looking like some fools. My mom is an attorney and I have met real celebrities. I’ve seen those rappers you had on several occasions: Lil Wayne, Boosie, and other Louisiana rappers. You didn’t have Juvie at the OZONE Awards. He’s a friend of the family. I met Mystikal and Master P and all of No Limit when I was ten years old. - C Payne, highmaintenceguttachic@yahoo.com (New Orleans, LA)

Editor Responds: Since “high maintence gutta chic” (sp) has such a high IQ, knows how to produce a better award show than us, wrote better articles than us in elementary school, and is obviously a hater, we offered her the opportunity to be a guest columnist for “10 Things I’m Hating On.” She declined, stating that OZONE isn’t “ready” for her. I always enjoy OZONE Magazine and I’m glad you all are getting the national and international recognition you deserve. I had to write to let you know that I really enjoyed the True Raps column. Real creative and funny as hell! I think it adds a great element. – Wally B., wallybclark@hotmail.com (Tampa, FL) The new True Raps section in the magazine is absolute genius! Not only is it creative, but it’s funny and timely. Paul D is clearly a refreshing addition to the OZONE family. I have all my friends reading OZONE now because of that section. Great move! – Patrice Bynum, patrice.bynum@pgcps.org (Washington, DC) After reading Pimp C’s article I must say that I agree with his opinion that there are several fabricated emcees out there. I live here in Houston now but I’m originally from New Orleans, in the 3rd Calliope Projects. There’s a certain rapper who reps the N.O. that is so fabricated it’s not even funny. As a viewer, seeing all the videos and costumes, you would think he’s a thug, goon, soldier, or whatever you wanna call him. There’s several cats I know that hate the fact that he actually raps about their lives, current and past, so in a sense they’re living vicariously through this clown. So Pimp C was right, in a sense, but I do think he needs to learn more about geographical locations. – Derek Hampton, Derek.hampton@lyondell.com (Houston, TX)

That fuckin’ Pimp C article was the shit. That’s my mu’fuckin’ nigga. He kept it real as a bitch. I don’t give a fuck what no nigga says – you gotta respect that man, or you ain’t shit! He can back all his talk up to the fullest. They say the older the wiser, and comin’ from the Pimp, you gotta love it or leave it. – DJ Black, djblackhcp@tmail.com (Indianapolis, IN)

Pimp C responds: Again, repetition alone does not make a lie the truth. Yeah, young brotha, I did tell the truth in the article. But the shit about ATL not being the South was a muthafuckin’ lie and I’m not gonna ask nobody to ride with me on a lie. So thank you for your support, but at the same time, you’ve gotta recognize lies from the truth. Any man will correct his mistakes as he finds them. Yo, Wimp C is a clown! I just moved to Houston and heard his ass on KBXX 97.9 The Box and he sounds like a damn fool. I agree with some of the shit he was kickin’, but, what’s up with that whole “ATL ain’t the South” shit? Country ass nigga, please. I’m from the MIA and we’re on Eastern Standard Time, so we ain’t the South either? Niggas must be calling Bun B cause they can tell he’s got some sense. That’s why shit took off once the dead weight was dropped. What I don’t get is why the nigga kept talking about who’s gay and who’s a bitch, but he’s worried about what their diamonds look like. Wearing those damn furs in Texas has fried that nigga’s brain or something. What nigga do you know talks about his “toes are pretty”? He sounds like he’s got a finger in his own bootyhole, to use one of his phrases. Hell, he says niggas ain’t no rappers, but I heard his ass so-called “freestyle” on KBXX and he damn sure fooled me cause I didn’t think he was either. He’s just ridin’ niggas coattails. If you let him tell it, he made all the UGK beats. Don’t get me wrong – some of their shit was tight, but nigga please. Enjoy the ride. Sounds like a jealous ass nigga mad because he ain’t rich like them ATL niggas, but I bet the stank-ass finger in his ass that he be hangin’ out there in ATL. Do something positive for H-Town instead of dressing up like it’s Halloween everyday. Now I ain’t ridin’ on Pimp C; I’m just tellin’ it how I see it. And I’m not a rapper, I’m a consumer. Now print that shit! – Dade County’s Finest, nwingfield@cox.net

Pimp C responds: Wow. [laughs] Pussy ass nigga, I’m on Westheimer every day in something foreign, bitch. I’m not hiding, I’m riding. So I challenge you to come out and show yo’ muthafuckin’ face or put a name with that pussy ass shit you’re talking. I can show you better than I can tell you, nigga. I just got off the phone with Rick Ross, bitch. Miami’s riding with me. You’re talking about I’m this and I’m that, but you’re hiding behind an email address. So what I’m gonna say about you is this: You’re a bitch for life, your mama’s a bitch for life, and everybody down with you is a bitch for life. Fuck you in yo’ pussy. Pimp C has got the streets going crazy with his comments in the new OZONE. I call it the page of hate. You gotta love it! – Stax, blockwear@tmo.blackberry.net (Jackson, MS)

Pimp C responds: It’s not the page of hate, it’s the page of truth! The truth shall set these bitch ass niggas free! Free Big Meech! When it was cool to be BMF, everybody was down. When the Feds came, niggas stopped flying the flag! Respect the real BMF niggas who are still riding for the man, the real Big Meech! Fuck the ATF, DEA, FBI, the judges, the police, the pussy ass prison guards, and snitch ass niggas all over the world! If you testify, you need to die! If you’re a gay rapper, come on out with it bitch! If you let Gloria Velez fuck you in your ass with a fake dick, she told me about you, nigga! If you suck dick in trucks in ATL and got caught and play like you’re a preacher man, shame on you! If you ride up Sunset picking up chicks with dicks and play like you ain’t know that’s a boy, shame, shame on you, bitch! If you say you’ve got work for one price and you know you ain’t never seen a kilogram of no kind of drug, shame on you! If you rent thirteen cars and stay in a townhouse or rent a white man’s house, shame on you! In the words of the mighty MJG, “A [Chrysler] 300 ain’t a Bentley, and an apartment ain’t a house!” A Geneva ain’t no Rolex! If you rent out a white man’s club two nights a week and put up a plastic sign with your name on it, news flash: That ain’t yo’ club, nigga! You’re a customer! If you’ve got HIV and you go around giving that shit to little girls and we find out it’s you for sure, the streets are gonna erase you off this planet, bitch nigga! If you’re sick, go to the doctor, bitch! If you’re scared, go to church! If you’re mad say my name and we can have World War 3 ‘round this muthafucker! Rap-A-Lot Mafia life, bitches! You ain’t gotta like it, but you gotta respect it or get your whole muthafuckin’ head knocked off in yo’ lap, nigga! Chuuuch! Tabernacle! Sanctuary! Preach! OZONE MAG // 15


jb’s 2cents T

o the average viewer, the OZONE Awards may appear to be simply an 84 minute segment airing repeatedly on MTV Jams. But to me, it’s a fascinating (although extremely exhausting) up-close-and-personal display of the whole psychology of life, the complete range of human emotions (greed, jealousy, and anger, among others). If you could watch the behind-the-scenes drama or my “post partum depression” a.k.a. adrenaline rush hangover, it’d be so much more captivating than Khaled, Ross, Plies, Trick, and T-Pain on stage together performing “I’m So Hood” or Lil Wayne’s acceptance speech.

10 Things I’m Hatin’ On GUEST EDITION

By Malik “Nobody Knows You” Abdul

03 // OVERZEALOUS SECURITY GUARDS They’ll violently prevent you from taking a photo of the artist even after the artist said it was cool. No one will remember you - it’s the artist’s legacy we are trying to preserve. You’ll be replaced next week anyway.


02 // ARTISTS WHO GET HOLLYWOOD Some artists are so damn nice when they have an album coming out and as soon as it goes gold or platinum, they don’t have time to stop and take a picture or sign an autograph for the fan that they say they love so much.

So it was somewhere in the midst of OZONE Awards recovery and the backlash of bruised egos that it hit me, and just for a minute, I saw it all clearly. The world operates on equilibrium – what goes up must come down. Every time you take a step up the food chain, someone else takes a step down or at least perceives themselves taking a step down. Yes, I do own a dress


01 // THE GOLDMAN FAMILY First Ron Goldman’s family was on TV telling people not to buy OJ Simpson’s book. As soon as the judge gave them the rights to the book, they went ahead and sold it.

The OZONE crew in Miami: DRay, Eric, me, Malik, & Randy

05 // SORE LOSERS We’re not saying any names, but if you were nominated for an OZONE Award and didn’t win, you’re lame as hell. There are a million artists, DJs, and producers, and just to be recognized for your work with a nomination should be as good as a win!


04 // USELESS ENTOURAGE MEMBERS You know the ones I’m talking about - the dude that’s a part of the crew who gets onstage with the artist for no reason except to be seen. “Nobody knows you!”

I got in trouble for all the pictures where Trey Songz is holding me “too tight”

08 // UP AND COMING ARTISTS If you’re an unknown artist and I’m trying to take a picture of you while you’re performing, maybe you should take a second to stand still so I can snap your photo. 09 // NO-NAME CLOWNS RUINING MY PHOTOS Sometimes people send in great photos for the magazine, like a picture of Pimp C, Too $hort, and Snoop Dogg together which is a great power shot - and then right in the middle ruining the pic is the clown who sent it in. “Nobody knows you!” 10 // UNSUCCESSFUL GROUPIES Some groupies hate on other groupies just because they’re better at hunting down artists. Get to the venue earlier and maybe you’ll have a better chance at getting in VIP; maybe it’ll be you and your other groupie friends getting fucked by the artist and his entourage. Or, team up. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

OZONE is taking over the West Coast too. Ask FAB & Keak

We all have insecurities on some level, whether we admit it or not, and those insecurities manifest themselves in strange ways when it comes to things like award shows. Everyone who played any part in your success, no matter how trivial it may seem, feels like you owe them something. Bottom line, this shit is exhausting, and sometimes, there’s just not enough of you left to spread around. On a video set a couple weeks ago I overheard a Rich Boy/Rick Ross conversation that put into words what I’ve been thinking for years: Success changes the people around you more than it changes you. And once money gets involved, it’s over. Bridges get burned forever. Once that lil’ attitude creeps into the conversations and you start looking at each other sideways, it’ll never be the same again. So let’s just say, out of nowhere, you hook up with this new guy. He’s in the right place at the right time and says all the right shit and before you know it, you’ve got a key to his crib because it’s so convenient. Instant boyfriend. You’re missing flights cause the bed is too warm and spending your “spare time” at the movies instead of the office and taking unplanned vacations that you don’t have time for. And even when there’s an extra condom wrapper in his trash can, the usual jealous rage just isn’t there and it’s such a relief to not care. And then one day, he’s gone. Totally disappeared as if he never existed. It ends as abruptly as it began and you’re not sure if it ever really happened or if it was just a good dream. There’s no arguments, no drama, no lingering emotions, no guessing, no crying, no regrets… nothing. It’s just over. It’s beautiful. It’s like a rapper who dies in his prime. He’ll forever be a legend because he never had time to get whack and fall off. No bittersweet aftertaste; only pleasant memories. If only they could all end this way. If we didn’t care so much, we coulda made a clean break the first time and still been best friends forever ever, ever ever - like Andre 3000? Maybe you’d remember the beginning, when we had nothing to lose, and this issue wouldn’t feel like the end of us.


07 // SOUTHERN DICK RIDERS Every artist tries to sound like they’re from the South now. If you’re from California, don’t try to sound like you’re from Mississippi. Stick with your own identity.


06 // RINGTONE DEALS Record labels putting out albums just because that artist had one song. They’ve had one song! One damn single! One!!

Industry folks have fun catchphrases to make themselves sound intelligent when speaking on panels and such (“the music business is 90% business and 10% music” is a classic) but in reality, there’s at least 50% ego somewhere in that equation. For that one brief moment, everything made sense. Then the moment passed, and I’m stuck here trying to put it into words. It’s really not about music and it’s not about business either. It’s about people’s feelings and how they view themselves and how this affects their ever-changing relationships. It’s not even about building relationships – that’s the easy part. You spend years building relationships to help you get to the “top” (wherever that is) and the truly difficult part is trying to maintain those relationships once you’ve reached a level where your friends and colleagues feel they’re replaceable or unappreciated.

Me & my semi-assistants Cordice & Kisha

- Julia Beverly, jb@ozonemag.com

Fabolous f/ Jermaine Dupri “Baby Don’t Go” Twista f/ T-Pain “Creep Fast” R Kelly f/ Usher & T-Pain “Same Girl (remix)” Timbaland f/ Keri Hilson “The Way I Are” Akon “Sorry, Blame It On Me” Too $hort & Mistah FAB “Lose It” Hot Dollar “Streets on Lock”

jb’splaylist UGK “Shattered Dreams” David Banner “Candy Man” Freekey Zekey “Like This” Miss B “He Lying”




> > > > > > > > > > > > > >

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 We would like to thank the staff and panelists who T S T I H E made the Midwest Music Convention what it was. The Hard Headz stole the show, plus OZON L THAT YOUR CITY E IF YOU FE

chicago, il

Everyone is preparing for Chicago City Classic, a game between Southern University and Mississippi Valley State. There’s been a lot of noise from SoundMaster T’s new single “Do It Like My Birthday.” Windy City Flavor, a weekly showcase of indie artists, has moved to Club Vain on Mondays. The Soul Selectors are back with Industry Night on Tuesdays at Vain also. Vi is making noise with his record “Hurta” which is getting mixshow spins. Newly signed Dude Nem debuted on Rap City and 106 and Park with “Watch My Feet”. Everybody is gearing up for Kanye West’s new album. - Jamal Hooks (JHooks@tmail.com)

groups like Adore, Bobby Lee, Chop Shop (STL), Big Chief (Dallas), Tone (Louisville) and Mink gave it to the people. The fashion show was really the highlight. Check out the photos in the OZONE Gallery. DJ Balo is nominated for an SEA award. There is strength in numbers as Mixed Up Record Pool, DJ B Nasty and his STM Camp have merged with the Heat Spinner DJs. Yung Mane is coming on strong. His mixtape should be out soon. - Lucky The Promo King (srfoleaf@aol.com)


DJs, independent artists and store owners are in total shock after several stores and individuals were raided and arrested for selling what we know as mixtapes, but what was made out to look like “bootlegged” CDs. Don’t they have something better to do? JC, Rip and Stix will battle it out for the title of Song of the Year for the 2008 SEAs, while Sir Swift holds it down as the only Cashville representative up for #1 DJ of the Year. Lovenoise celebrated their 4 year anniversary this month and John Merrit Classic weekend was another one to remember. - Janiro (Janiro@southernentawards.com)


Nominees for the 2008 SEA Awards are in and Memphis is taking over. Several DJs from our area are nominated like Freddy Hydro for Impact DJ and Rob Storm for Slept on DJ. Gangsta Boo and Yo Gotti are both nominated for Mixtape of the Year, plus numerous Memphis artists are nominated for albums and singles. MemphisRap.com received nominations for Website of the Year and Online Magazine. Club 152 has closed floors 2 and 3 for remodeling so we’re excited to see what’s in store for the famous Beale Street hot spot. Rumor is that Yung D has signed with Hypnotize Mindz. - Deanna Brown (Deanna.Brown@MemphisRap.com)


Cuntri Boi shot his video for “I’m a Boss” while Big Aziz gets with Team and Don Cannon for the Texas Hold Em mixtape. You have to see the Definition DJs if you are looking for consistent club rotation in the city. Sophpaw Produktions is recording 24/7; Drunk N Throwed radio is wide open; and DJ Wildhairr got Next Level – the official Aggtown after hour spot. Boobie is holding down Power Move and Tum Tum brought home an OZONE award. Be on the lookout for Big Hud. Will Hustle is everywhere while the group PPT is locking down the conscious side of DFW. - Edward “Pookie” Hall (www.urbansouth.us@gmail.com)


Quick and to the point, it was a big month in Myrtle Beach. A whole lotta stars came through including Funkmaster Flex, Hurricane Chris, Mims, Kia Shine and T-Pain. The month was then topped off with a visit from Erykah Badu. Big things are poppin’ in Myrtle Beach and there’s more to come. Stay close. - Mr. Smith (Roderick.Smith@cumulus.com)


Carnival Beats is working on production for Twista. Rob G performed at Aftermath and promoted his Reppin’ My Block mixtape. Basswood Lane released their “Ciabatta Bread” remix featuring Chingo Bling. DJ Bounz hooked up with fellow Bumsquad DJ, Eddie Deville, to drop the Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger mixtape. VIP & DJ Knowledge’s Plastic Crack Vol. 1 is out now. Ryno of On The Line Records received a nomination for Indy Album of the Year at the 2008 SEAs and his sophomore album Another Level is in the works. DJ Rapid Ric was nominated for Mixtape DJ of the Year. - O.G. of Luxury Mindz (LuxuryMindz@gmail.com)


The biggest event happening in San Antonio is the Beat Bash hosted by 98.5 The Beat SA. In every barber shop around you hear talk of stars like Chamillionaire, DJ Unk, Fabolous, Mims, and Sean Kingston gracing the stage. Famous – a.k.a. Lil Ken, Tha Coalition and Question are headlining the after party. The other major radio station in town, Power 106.7, is readying another end-of-summer car show. The biggest concert this past month came from Rap-A-Lot legend Z-Ro at Kristal Nightclub. It was one of his first shows since being released. He performed in front of a packed and excited audience. - Bishop Maxx (bishop_maxx@yahoo.com)


virginia beach, va

Fam-lay sought out Hype Williams for a new video version of his song “Da Beeper Record.” Ray Lavender hit town to do a show with Keyshia Cole and everyone thought he was J. Holiday. The Aqua Lounge is poppin’ again at the beach, even after a man was shot to death in the parking lot. The Clipse and Star Trak Ent. held a party at Club Reign and the dimes were in full effect. - Derrick Tha Franchise (www.Myspace.com/DerrickThaFranchise)

tulsa, ok

Ramal Hometown Heat from 105.3 KJAMZ has the highest ratings in Tulsa urban radio. Tyson Family barbershop is the best place to get a “Lil Boosie” fade. Dangerous Rob (now an official member of the Dogg Pound) released one of the hottest mixtapes of the summer with Brok Bundles (Comin’ from Da Thugg). 106.9 KHITS brought Akon to Tulsa, the first artist to ever sell out the Expo Square Arena. Club Fever is the newest spot to get your Souljah Boy dance on. Kanebeatz signed a 3 year deal with Atlantic after producing Lil Wayne’s “S on My Chest.” - DJ Civil Rightz (poplockking@hotmail.com)


montgomery, al

I am so tired of fake Free and A.J. dogging Alabama on 106 and Park. Stop worrying about what Rich Boy is wearing and get the ratings back up because I know y’all been struggling. Greg Street came to Club Fuzions and mixed his ass off with Michael London and DJ Shadow, and word is, Deuce Komradz signed a deal with Warner Brothers. Is Small Tyme back together? The Dirty Boyz are, and they dropped a new album without Rap-A-Lot. Finally, the highly anticipated Maxximum Exposure CD hit hoods this month. - Hot Girl Maximum (HotGirl.Maximum@ gmail.com)


Young Jeezy hit the city with USDA for another long awaited, hot performance where he announced the signing of Boo The Boss Playa to his CTE label. Local artist Jewman has been hitting the streets hard with his single “Pull Em Out.” Soulja Boy is another example that Mississippi has plenty of superstars. Former Cash Money player BG brought his birthday party to the Jack. Trey Songz, Hurricane Chris, Lil Boosie, and The Shop Boyz also came through this month. - Tambra Cherie (TambraCherie@aol.com) & Stax (blockwear@tmo.blackberry.net)


Keyshia Cole hit the town with J. Holiday on the 2 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Many would agree that Keyshia has a better presence than Ciara. Screamfest 2007 also rolled through the city and everyone was fresh from head to toe. She She’s is official on Friday and Saturday. When you come to New Orleans and your budget is tight, hit up Harrah’s Casino. You drink for free as long as you’re gambling. Get some quarters and get your drink on. Here We Go Entertainment and Big Stan Productions have the club nights on lock! - Derrick Tha Franchise (Myspace.com/DerrickThaFranchise)

DJ Kub continues to pound the club scene, spinning at 4 venues a week. DJ Chuck T just dropped 5 new mix CDs at once! DJ D-Nyce’s Birthday Bash at Tucan Reef was a huge success. The Weekend The city of Baltimore is honoring Baltimore native Kevin Pub is the official Sunday night hot spot with DJ Liles by naming a street after him in his old neighborhood. Cleve. Carlos Cartel got the streets on fire with Kevin, currently the Executive VP of Warner Music Group, is his new single “I Got That” featuring Lil Boosie. best known for his former position as President of Island/Def Tunnel Nightclub did it huge for Labor Day Weekend Jam. Darkroom Productions has just won 2007 Best Producer with Pastor Troy, Montana the Mac and Boo Boo’s at the Best of Baltimore Awards for the second consecutive Birthday Bash. Chuck Town’s legendary Pachino year. Finally, the 1st Annual Bmore Luv Hip Hop Festival was Dino made S. Kak proud by freestyling for Fabo in a massive success. Energetic performances by Mullyman, front of hundreds at the 2007 TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Bigg Patch, GEM, and B.O.M.B. set the crowd in a frenzy. conference during OZONE Awards weekend. - Darkroom Productions (TheDarkRoomInc@yahoo.com) - DJ B-Lord (BLordDJ@aol.com)


If Labor Day is the end of summer, the Hub City didn’t get the memo! It continues to heat up down here with show after show of hot artists. Webbie had a B-day bash with us. Hot Boy Ronald did what he do. The crowd acted an ass for The Shop Boyz. DJ Unk and Hurricane Chris cooked at the 4th Annual House of Chrome Car Show. Soulja Boy had folks 8 to 80 Crankin’ Dat. And the legendary UGK is guaranteed to fill the Multi-Purpose Center. With S.W.A.C. and C-USA football in full swing, we’re officially extending summer ’07! - DJ Big Brd (llerbac@yahoo.com)



> > > > > > > > > > > > >>>>> oklahoma city, ok

Our very own Honey Siccle Models are fresh back from the M.I.A. and have a show set for September 2nd at Club Spyce in Bricktown. Done Deal Entertainment is doing it big at On Broadway with Back to the 90’s/80’s and speed dating on the 29th of August. PTH crew has partial sponsorship in these events. P.O.L.O. returns to Club Spyce with Dakari Black at Club Spyce on September 1st. - PL (beatbrokers77@yahoo.com)

Three words: We’ve got game! The Warner Robins Little League brought home the championship and Ft. Valley took out Clark. If you didn’t know, now you do. Sorry fellas, you missed your chance to spit game to Serious from Flavor of Love, maybe at the next PJ party. Dark Houses’ Hard Head Jacob is politicin’ on the House of Representatives mixtape this month. In the coming months, DJ Rick Flare’s I Set the City on Fire is dropping as well as mixtapes from PPC, Young R and J-Rell. Hit ‘em up on Myspace. The streets are quiet, for now. - Ali Roc (radiodj242000@yahoo.com)



Sunday night air waves are the talk of the town. Chingy and DJ SNO have a local hour on 104.1FM from 11pm-12am. STL’s North County can tune into 89.5FM The Wave from 4pm-8pm every Sunday to hear HittBreaka DJ Mr. Marcus. His Mixtape Show is the hottest in the city. He’s interviewed local artists like DerrtyBoi Montana, Dutch Jackson, County Brown, Da Banggaz, EQ, Family Affair, D Mac of All Stars and done live phone interviews with other artists like Grandaddy Souf, Kia Shine, Cool Nutz, Triple Darkness, B.O.B. and Short Dawg. - Jesse James (JesseJames314@aol.com)




Tampa was the home for CDs, mixtapes and launch parties with Plies, Tommy Gunz a.k.a. Tom G, Cristol, Aych, and others. They brought the city to the clubs to help them celebrate their latest releases. Mahogany Lounge continued its high class party with a twist by taking it to the XO Club at the St. Pete Times Forum. DJ H Vidal worked the turntables keeping the party hype. Rumor has it Boyz 2 Men Barbershop, Inc. is the latest celebrity hot spot. They even provided H Vidal with a new braidless look! - Mz T-Rock (TRock@BayAreaHaps.com)

DJ Rob is finally receiving DJ Drama-type recognition, but not the kind he wanted. Recently, the mixtape DJ suffered a major setback as his DC studio/store was raided by the RIAA and the Feds. He was later arraigned with piracy charges. The authorities confiscated over $100,000 worth of potential evidence including mixtapes, computer hard drives, and cars. He believes the Feds focused more attention on him after he received a sudden boost in publicity in national magazines such as Vibe and OZONE, and exposure on MTV which included a feature of Rob’s mixtape with DJ Drama. - Pharoh Talib (Ptalib@gmail.com)

shreveport, la

The heat is on in Shreveport, Louisiana! Hurricane Chris has a new remix of “A Bay Bay” featuring The Game, Boosie Bad Azz and E-40, just to name a few. 5 Entertainment signed a deal with Rap-A-Lot/Asylum. Be on the look out for Billy Broadway and Bulletproof. Lava House is rumored to have inked a major distribution deal and they are already sweating out clubs and airwaves with their hot single “Pass Me Some Water.” - Cmac (cmac@cumulus.com)

Chamillionaire previewed his latest album in da 505! Local R&B artist David Wade’s song “Playground” is getting rotation on Kiss 97.3, and he’s the most popular local artist according to DJ Animal. J Biggs and J-Mar are also hustlin’ hard. The Annual Takeover Concert is coming in October. DJ Homie Marco’s show “Straight from The Streets” continues to support local music. Del Taylor has assembled a 9 piece all star band called The Law of Attraction. Labels and artists looking for production better get with them now. - Beno (Beno@eadysmusicgroup.com)


The city is buzzing with the influx of mixtapes hitting streets this month. The first ever Gangsta Grillz/Real Nigga Radio mixtape from Hollywood & Big Koon of Two Dogg Records is deemed a classic by Bigga Rankin. It’s in every hood. Local artists Young G.P., M.A.D.E. and Swamp Boyz have all released or are releasing mixtapes hosted by DJ Leezy. C-Nial is on the verge of a very powerful comeback with their upcoming mixtape. The Florida movement is alive and well in Ocala. - DJ Leezy (DJLeezy352@yahoo.com)

cincinnati, oh

Blazin 102.3 just had the Celebrity Wipe Me Down Car Show in Tallahassee with a live performance by Lil Boosie and special guest Jacki-O. Ne-Yo is scheduled to arrive in Tallahassee for a benefit concert at the Civic Center. It’s back to school for FAMU and FSU and the city is full of excitement. Plies has the streets on lock with The Real Testament. He grinds so hard and has alwasy showed love to Tallahassee. He was here the week of his album release and gave away free autographed copies and signed hundreds more. - DJ Dap (DJDapOnline@gmail.com)

Big things are poppin’ in the O. TREAL recently inked a label deal with Universal Records. Marquis Daniels of the Indiana Pacers celebrated his birthday with his hometown. The three-day affair included events at The Roxy, JJ Whispers and a finale at Firestone with performances by Plies, Trick Daddy, Wes Fif and more. Dawgman Entertainment held down Labor Day with the Unity Fest Car Show. The after party was at Club Destiny with Trick Daddy and Trina. Everyone who’s anyone was in attendance. Last but not least, Stick 3000 hit 102 Jamz airwaves with “I Ain’t Had Sex in a Long Time.” - Ms. Rivercity (msrivercity@yahoo.com)



Club Dream was closed due to a shooting which took the Life of B-Chubbs. He wasn’t out there looking for trouble; he was just selling his CD. This is crazy, why are we killing off our own race? Not just in this city, but in this country, more Afro Americans are destroyed at the hands of another Afro Americans than by any other race. It has to stop. R.I.P. B-Chubbs. - Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com)

houston, tx

Houston is prepping for round two of the new South takeover. Chamillionaire’s Mixtape Messiah 3 is all over the streets. Trae is back and showing you why he is the truth. Tre 8 via New Orleans is here putting it down. Jak Da Rippa and Fatman are making things happen for Texas City and Galveston. Street Hop is resurrected with Uppa Dek, Boss Hogg Outlaws, Grit boys and more. Devin and the Coughee Brothaz got the city smoked out. - Jamal “J Gamble” Irby (my. upclose@gmail.com)


Kentucky was well represented at the 2nd Annual OZONE Awards with nominations, performances, and DJs. Patiently Waiting Award for Kentucky went to G-Mack. It was well deserved and no one can argue. The other nominees (Don Fetti, B-Simm, and Below Zero) weren’t pushovers either. Sincere performed at the Tastemakers Only Showcase. Heavy Hitter DJ E-Feezy was in the building on the 1s and 2s, along with DJ Q45. FyreBoy and CXPX Records stopped through The Ville to throw a talent showcase. B96.5 is buzzin’ with hot singles from J.I.G., Mack D, and Nova. - Divine Da Instagata (OuttaDaShopEnt@hotmail.com)


The rap scene in Arkansas is jumping on the underground level but no one from the state has blown up yet. The radio station 88.3 Trill shows love to local artists. Major labels need to open their eyes to the talent in here. Countryside Productions keeps the scene jumping in Southeast Arkansas with parties and local shows. Duke is opening up a club soon and Kilo is one of the best promoters in the area. - DJ Hiley (LamarHiley@yahoo.com)

bay st. louis, ms

Summer’s over and you know we ended it with a bang. 2-Loose, Michael Blackson, Shaun Harris and crew came to town and tore it down at the after party at Nell’s Sports Bar and Lounge. Yours truly, DJ Deliyte, kept the party going till the early morning. On the local music scene, J-Dubb made their debut in our marquis. Richi Gotti is setting the record straight on the Rags to Riches mixtape. - DJ Deliyte (unodasound@yahoo.com)

dothan, al

Southern Nights is operating under new management. Rumor has it that radio DJ Jimmy Doctrie will give up his afternoon drive shift to focus on his duties of Operations Manager at WJJN. Local artist Beefy, jailed on non-support charges, was also charged with possession of a controlled substance when drugs were discovered concealed in his dreadlocks. Montgomery DJ Darrell E refused to play at Club 123 in Newton, AL when the air-conditioning failed. Radio DJs Marcus Kage and Bryant Corbitt were in the area and came through in the clutch. - DJ Akil (CreativeVybes@yahoo.com)


Hustle House is the new label everyone is talking about. Nephew, Young Cash, and others opened for Plies at Plush. When someone started shooting in the club, Plies left the stage but proved he’s a G by returning to finish his set 10 minutes later. Several J-Villains are nominated for the 2008 SEAs: Young Cash (Indy Rap Artist), Bigga Rankin (Club Promoter), Ms. Rivercity (Industry Executive), Morton Sisters (Models), 904 Fashions (Clothing Store) and Glamour Girls (Model Agency). DJ Q45 made our city proud by bringing home title of Best Club DJ at the OZONE Awards. Midget Mac is the newest contestant on VH1’s I Love New York! - Ms. Rivercity (MsRivercity@yahoo.com)


Julia Beverly became the Queen of Miami, at least for a weekend, when the 2nd Annual OZONE Awards hit the M-I-A. TJ’s DJ’s also did the damn thang with the conference. We already know Rick Ross is doing the damn thang! Brisco filmed a video in Opa Locka’s infamous Triangle for his single “I’m in the Hood” featuring Lil Wayne. FloRida’s single “Low” featuring T-Pain is blowin’ up. Flo-Rida even made it on HBO’s Entourage soundtrack. Ending on a very sad note, R.I.P. to Doc Fresh reppin’ Phat Man Promotions. We will miss you! - Supa Cindy (www.Myspace.com/Supadupe)



mathematics They say everything comes to you as you need it most. I’m about as sure who “they” are as I am about what I need exactly. I seem to excel at knowing what I don’t need and finding it easily. Anyway, today I happened to be reading a book about how to make money with foreign exchange (thanks to Betty Diggs, super supportive mom of Bay Area rapper J-Diggs) and got a lesson in “self” and emotions - of all places to find such a lesson. This month I am going to veer from the usual how-to topics in the music industry that I normally cover in this column, and talk about something much more esoteric and general, but just as important: knowing yourself and how destructive making emotional decisions can be. Recently, I went through a very difficult break-up (difficult for me) with a man I cared for greatly, who didn’t seem to feel the same way about me as I felt about him. It cost me a lot mentally, financially, and emotionally. Had I paid attention to the numerous warning signals, I would have walked away far sooner than I did, which would have fucked me up a lot less. It didn’t “feel” right as I was going forward in the relationship, but I didn’t listen to that little voice inside of me, because I cared about him so much. And besides, he “needed” me and was saying all the right things. In trying to heal from this emotional setback, I learned a lot about following my heart, seeing and acting on warning signs, and the value and detriment of emotions. I learned that actions speak louder than words. People may have good intentions but they are, after all, human. I also learned that he’s a great guy - just not for me. I reflected on my situation and realized how many times myself and others have made bad decisions based on emotions not only within our personal lives, but with our businesses. Of all places to find answers, this book on ForEx (foreign exchange is the buying and selling of currency from around the world to make a profit) had these two basic jewels to share about life in general: 1) successful business is nothing more than making and executing unemotional decisions that make economic sense, and 2) we can’t control what happens to us - only how we handle those situations, and if you let your emotions control you, you are going to be more reactionary instead of responsive and are most likely to go through life with unhappiness, poverty, and mediocrity. Just about everything negative that happens to us is either self-inflicted or the result of not paying attention to warning signs, red flags, proper advice, or details. Accepting responsibility for our own actions is so painful that we often blame others rather than analyzing what really happened and responding with a system to prevent it from ever happening again. How many times have I seen failures in this business? Too many to count. The jewels I read in the book were resoundingly clear with my own recent relationship, and even more clear with the things that go wrong for many in the music business. The one mistake I see repeated constantly (including myself) is putting our energy, efforts, and money behind artists we like (emotional decision), instead of artists who will sell well (business decision). How many times have you seen people backing their cousin, brother, or friend in this business? Unless that artist has tremendous commercial potential in a world where most do not, that person is making an emotional decision and backing someone they care about instead of making a business decision to back someone they know will sell well. In 1998, I decided to enter into managing artists and built my roster based on artists that I liked personally, or the misfits who needed my help (see a pattern here?). I did not choose artists based on the non-emotional and rational business decision of managing an artist with strong sales and touring potential. I managed a stable of artists that I liked as friends or felt sorry for. This is obviously a very BAD business decision, and it should come as no surprise that I spent more money than I made (talk about hustling backwards!) managing those artists. The one that did eventually become financially feasible ended up screwing me out of money just as I was finally about to make money from renegotiating his deal — no surprise since Twista had jerked everyone who worked with him before me, in almost the exact same 20 // OZONE MAG


byWendyDayof the RapCoalition


way that he jerked me. I am thankful for that hard lesson learned though. Fortunately, karma is a muthafucker and the ugliness that is done to you by others eventually comes back around and is done to them even harder! I shut down my management company in 2001 after losing more money than I wish to ever admit in an article. Against all odds: I am so in love with the underdog scenario that I’ve built a career (and apparently a love life) on helping the underdog, only to get bitten in the end. Every time. This is an inadequacy within myself that I need to fix. Many of the rappers who have crossed my path aren’t necessarily deserving artists, they’ve just had access to folks with connections and/or money to help move their careers forward. And let’s be real, without some sort of investor or funding, fulfilling any dream is next to impossible. It’s also a good litmus test to see how badly someone wants to make their dreams happen—if you somehow find the funding to succeed, you are definitely committed. I am currently consulting a label in Houston (I am not mentioning them or the artists here because this is not a shameless self-promotion plug) and the thing that struck me first and foremost about this label is that the artists are not related to the owners. They aren’t friends or even friends of friends. The label signed these artists based on merit and the level of grind the group had put in before getting down with any label. Impressive! And very, very rare. In an industry where sports stars and dope boys back their friends and family instead of running their businesses like a business, it’s very easy to understand how people lose hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to put out artists. This is why we have far more failures than successes in this business of music. As long as you continue to make decisions based on emotions (including ego, which is an emotional decision) instead of what makes good, financial sense, you will be destined to fail. Emotional decisions to be avoided at all cost + A label signing an artist because he or she is: • A family member or friend • Someone you are fucking or would like to fuck • Always around you • Accessible, and you are too lazy to look for anyone else • Going to give you a kickback + An artist signing to a label because: • They seem to have money and will give you some • They are related to you or are your friend • Another artist you admire is signed to them • You just want a record deal and don’t care who the label is • You’re tired of doing all the work alone • It’s owned by the biggest dope boy in the ‘hood • You think all labels are the same • You don’t understand how the industry works + Hiring someone because: • You are fucking them or would like to fuck them • You trust them, so whether they are qualified to do the job or not is irrelevant • They are your family member or friend, or a family member or friend of a friend • They say they’ve worked with other people in the industry whose names you recognize or that you admire If you noticed, in writing this I am all over the place - from talking about a difficult break up with my boy toy, to not hiring friends of friends. That’s because I wrote it from an emotional point of view instead of planning it out and writing it in an orderly fashion from a business perspective. See what I mean? Emotions have no place in the business world. Make professional decisions based on knowledge, correct information (research), understanding, and long term vision (not short term things like quick money). If you can keep emotion and ego out of your decisions, you will be infinitely successful. //


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by Charlamagne Tha God cthagod@gmail.com

ANGER ISSUES When you live in a society or world like this that is founded on racism, sexism, and unbridled materialism, we who have been servitude slaves, never finding justice, have anger in us. We have anger, not because we think we have been disrespect – we know we have been disrespected. If Allah (God) ever asked us like he asked Cain, “Why has your countenance fallen and why are you angry?” we could quote the honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and say, “God, it is because of 400 years of injustice. 400 years of watching our women be raped and disrespected and our children be slaughtered. Why shouldn’t we be angry?” Praise be to Allah! Only the minister could put everything into perspective for me and make me understand I’m not crazy. In the fifth grade, I was clinically diagnosed as being bipolar, having attention deficit hyperactive disorder, being emotionally unstable, and manic depressive? All this just because my fifth grade teacher said I had “anger issues.” One trip to the punk-ass guidance counselor almost had me on Ritalin, Lithium, and Prozac. They were ready to label me EH (“emotionally handicapped”). I would’ve been going to class in the trailers all the way in the back of the school, eating lunch before all the regular kids, and riding that short yellow bus with tinted windows. All because they thought I was angry. Well, I was angry! And still am! So what is pissing me off today? Well, damn it, where do I start? How about Michael Vick? This brother had the NFL in the palm of his hands. He’s a multimillionaire bringing in all types of bread, but the one thing this guy chose to invest his money in had to be illegal – dog-fighting. You see how us coloreds do it? Now, don’t get me wrong. Fighting pitbulls is a way of life where I’m from (South Carolina all day) and I totally understand the culture, but when you’re a young black millionaire, you have to play the game better than that! You can’t even remotely be involved in no stupid shit like dogfighting. I can’t even understand a man who can afford to go anywhere in the world wanting to be in a dirty ass pit with fighting dogs. That shit just does not make logical sense to me, but that is where my grease for Michael Vick stops because the punishment that brother is receiving does not fit the crime. There is a big difference between dogs and humans! If Michael Vick had midgets fighting and he was electrocuting them when they didn’t win, I can understand him getting a year in jail. I can understand him being suspended from the league indefinitely. I can understand him losing all his endorsement deals. But for some damn dogs?!? All you holier-than-thou types know that if you ran over a dog in the street with your car, you’re not going to stop and turn yourself in for committing Scooby Doo homicide. The 50+ pitbulls they took off Michael Vick’s property are going to be put to sleep if they’re not claimed. If the powers that be are planning to kill the dogs anyway, what is the issue here, people? Someone told me they have to kill the dogs because they’re not tamed and are trained to fight, which makes them dangerous. Okay, well, here is my solution: Bring the troops home and dump the pitbulls in Iraq. Let them go fight that unjust war, or build a halfway house for pitbulls. Keep them in a nice cage, feed them, and keep them sedated on all that medication you offer to people like myself when you diagnose us with “anger issues.” Let them die a natural death. Michael Vick did commit a crime because dogfighting is illegal, but I don’t think he is inhumane, nor do I think he showed a lack of compassion. You know what I think is inhumane and shows a lack of compassion? The fact that there are so many tax-paying African Americans here in the USA with littleto-no healthcare. When I watch a movie like John Q and hospital doesn’t want to give a little boy the surgery he needs to survive because he doesn’t have proper healthcare insurance, that is inhumane and shows a lack of compassion? By the way, the title of that movie is a reference to the term “John Q Public,” indicating that the struggles in the story could be experienced by any average American, white or black. Damn right I’m angry, because blacks keep getting caught up this damn injustice system. Look at what they’re doing to


those poor kids in Jena, Louisiana. It’s a blatant racial injustice, but we’re too busy doing the “Supaman” to notice. What we don’t realize is that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s statement that “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” is the truth. The powers that be know that black leadership in America is finished. They know there’s no one that’s going to fight for these kids. We’re too busy to give of ourselves, stage sit-ins, and protest. There are no more Malcolm Xs, Denmark Veseys, or Nat Turners, and the government knows this so they take advantage of it. We couldn’t get them to spare Stanley “Tookie” Williams’ life, we didn’t scream loud enough about racial injustice after Hurricane Katrina, and we’re damn sure not doing it enough now to assist those kids in Jena, Louisiana. Matter of fact, if you are reading this and don’t know what I’m talking about when I speak of the “Jena 6,” then I challenge you to kill yourself! Die! You’re already mentally dead, so what’s the point of breathing? Now, I will leave you with this thought: The American justice system needs to be applauded for putting Foxy Brown’s manicurist-attacking, Blackberryslapping, probation-violating, still-thinks-she’s-a-celebrity-but-chick-thisain’t-1996 ass in jail! Who the fuck does she think she is? She’s had more than enough chances to straighten up and fly right. Truthfully, with the behavior she has exhibited, I thought she was trying to get into prison! I’ve heard of people trying to break out of prison, but breaking in? Someone needs to tell this broad that nobody cares. Foxy might as well be on the next season of Charm School on VH1. Her career is finished and she’s going to need Jesus or the Golden Child to resurrect her situation. Someone called the radio station and said, “Charlamagne, don’t you think Foxy will go platinum when she gets out of jail?” After I finished laughing for thirty seconds straight, I responded, “Foxy Brown wouldn’t go platinum if Jay-Z wrote all her rhymes, 50 wrote all her hooks, and Jeezy did all her ad-libs.” Since making that comment, I have changed my stance a little bit. Foxy could go platinum if she was signed to Jehovah Entertainment by God himself, and Jesus is the executive producer of her next CD. Her first single would have to feature fresh new 2007 verses from the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Big Pun, Big L, Left Eye, Soulja Slim (for the South), and feature Aaliyah on the hook. If Foxy can make that happen, angry black men like me will be buying her next album. Until next time, earthlings, Charlamagne Tha God says peace.


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man. ng on them haters, Soulja Boy: Jocki sa te? Yes, class. That’ Mr. Henderson: Ha will receive from peers you common response ve carsuing an alternati and family when pu u experienced yo ve ha ere wh reer path. Tell us, criticism? this condescending I lean I do dat Soulja Boy. Soulja Boy: When I’m jocking on e. nc da t da nk cra to the left and I’m cockwe get to fightin’, yo bitch ass and if . ing on yo’ bitch ass and your lm down! I underst Mr. Henderson: Ca young man but violence , on anger and frustrati ank olve your issues. Th is not the way to res ere wh ow kn the class you for sharing. Let ves so of your dazzling mo they can see more s. ion bit am r ee car ur we can all follow yo party. ch me at yo’ local Soulja Boy: You cat on the the weekdays and Mr. Henderson: On weekend? crank it every day. Soulja Boy: Yes, I ap R .Y .P True job. THER.I ujar ank you, sir. Great l D. of t Mr. Henderson: Th plause, class. (scattered By Pau Anthony Cu ap by Give him a round of Photo applause) lack of ing disturbed by the me Soulja Boy: (Look so me t go I cuz ’ mad love...) Haterz gettin Bathing Apes.


n, TX) wz party (Housto Boss Hogg Outla (Dallas, TX) e th @ rd Wa ris at Killa Kyleon & Ch e CORE DJs Retre Lil J Xavier & Kiotti nville, FL) 02 // Money Waters, & Loaded @ Th ston, TX) 07 // er Day (Jackso ou , th (H uf ge So rty To y pa dd ity te da un GT’s birthday Arena for Comm @ 50 Cent’s priva Marcia Magana & J Mac @ DJ 04 // Guest, Gran @ Jacksonville l (Houston, TX) TX) 06 // Lil Flip & Crisco Kidd // LA) 12 // JT, ju ro , 09 Al nt ns ) & Co e TX lea , ge Or Zo as la ma ew all Da (D 01 // Goril @ Screamfest (N @ 50 Cent’s private party Short Dawg @ RE DJs Retreat party (Houston, c & CO , se Jo e Do lea ng Th Bre Yu @ DJ & s um i, l, es n yn 03 // Kritika e for UGK’s alb ggie, E-40, Rosc & KJ Hines tti & Killa Kyleo Chill, & King Uh & Shoota @ Lif as, TX) 11 // Ju // Lil Peace, DJ n, TX) 14 // Kio (Dallas, TX) 17 // Melvin Foley lease 05 // Jas Prince DJs Retreat (Dall Baby Boy, & KJ Hines (Housto ouston, TX) 08 re at (H RE c’s tre CO rty Jo e Re pa s Th ng DJ te Yu @ r y iva RE fo @ 50 Cent’s pr des & Young Cit 13 // J Star, Sol, ddy Souf & Tum Tum @ The CO of The Green Group @ Opera TX) 10 // Merce at (Dallas, TX) y da n, ar tre an sto De Re Gr s ou // on DJ (H ht 16 RE As ) rty & CO TX pa e er n, 19 // Leah Gunt Boomtown @ Th Hell Date @ Mantran (Housto s Deat (Dallas, TX) Big Chief, & Mr ndz (20); Marcu 1) // J & Kiya from & Foxx @ The CORE DJs Retre 15 ) TX n, ,17); Luxury Mi sto (0 e ,15 y ) (Hou Lif cit ,14 TX er m , 9,13 Fa tin Riv 7,0 of us Ms (A ju 6,0 ); 18 // Ju Wayne (11 Lee @ Antone’s Intl K (02,03,05,0 (Houston, TX) // Magno & Kyle Eric Perrin (19); 20 ); ) ,18 GA a, 2,16 nt 0,1 tla 4,08,1 party (A Edward Hall (0 Photo Credits:


Words by Eric Perrin


his is the story of Sweetie, a shy girl who secretly loves attention and has a thing for orange soda. And any man lucky enough to witness the bottle shaped beauty downing a bottle of her favorite beverage will undeniably be left with an orange crush. The 19-year-old Atlanta native has been dancing since she was legally able, literally. As soon as she turned 18, Sweetie traded in school books for a schoolgirl uniform and started earning extra credit. Although she admits that getting naked was initially the hardest part, Sweetie feels comfortable enough in her body to flaunt her 34-22-28 figure.

If you ever convince her to go on a date, however, don’t be surprised if her shyness is the only thing she exposes. “I’m really, really shy,” she admits. “I’d say that out of 10, my shyness is a 9. When I go on a first date, I hardly say anything until the guy starts talking and I feel comfortable.” But Sweetie is comfortable with her family knowing about her profession, as long as it’s not her grandmother. “Everybody, I mean everybody in my family knows I’m a stripper, but for some reason my grandmother is under the impression that I clean buildings for a living,” she laughingly confesses. Yet the only building Sweetie cleans up at is Strokers, and trust she cleans up enough to support her lavish lifestyle. Sweetie is a certified shopaholic who spends most of her days in the mall. Clothes are her passion, even though at work she doesn’t get to show them off too much. But her future plans do involve clothing; after her dancing days are done Sweetie hopes to pursue a career as a pediatric nurse. “I don’t know why. I just like to help kids. I think I’d be good at giving shots,” she says with a smile. But for now, Sweetie spends her nights nursing grownup kids in an adult playground, and the patients wish they could be the ones sticking her with a needle. //

Website: www.strokersclub.com Photographer: Sean Cokes 404-622-7733 Make-Up Artist: Mike Mike 678-732-5285 Hairstylist: Baby Boy 404-396-2739



at (Dallas, CORE DJs Retre DJ Chill @ The & DJs Retreat , irr RE ha CO ld e Wi Th Mike Clarke, DJ Young Bleed @ & Ivory @ Rain // & , 02 vin ) FL ha e, Be ill Mz nv , er Day (Jackso Dick, Loaded, DJ Rich Boy, DJ Q45 x (Houston, TX) mmunity Togeth as, TX) 04 // OG Ron C, Moby Dr Doom 06 // @ KBXX The Bo nce Tyson @ Co nville, FL) - DJ all na so rre (D ga ck Te at Ma & (Ja e tre ia us rty Re ric s pa Ho Ma e for UGK album DJ & of Hustle om’s birthday the Smoke @ Lif as, TX) 14 // uth @ The CORE 08 // Souja Boy 01 // Mob Boss The Globe for Do Scooby & Joke na Beach, FL) ill, & Kotton Mo @ all // to a Ch (D ay 11 Kir DJ at (D ) i, fe tre TX cc wi rty Re Lu n, s pa his sto DJ ck TX) 03 // Mr Dr Doom, & e Cookman blo @ Mantran (Hou Waters & Ike G Da @ The CORE m So Hood” // Rasheeda, DJ Mason @ Bethun ark Dawg, Sun, & Yung Texas y on the set of “I’ ss & Trina d ne ra Mo ale Elo // & Kh (Dallas, TX) 05 13 ck DJ ) & Du TX Sp ss , pa Ro // Ro as Pa k k 10 // all Ric Ric ) (D 07 // // TX at ) 19 n, 16 FL tre ntran (Housto e CORE DJs Re (Jacksonville, at (Dallas, TX) at (Dallas, TX) & DJ Ryno @ Ma stah FAB & Young Bleed @ Th e CORE DJs Retre ddy Souf @ The CORE DJs Retre wg Th Da @ k al ar Sp Ne // ny Mi 09 To da // ) 15 // RawLT & (Miami, FL) 18 // Play & Gran ouston, TX) 12 release party (H @ KBXX The Box (Houston, TX n, TX) “I’m So Hood” ,14,20); J Lash of sto ts t ou es se (H e gu n th & ra y on nt Bo Ma Nasty Intl K (08,09,10,11 6) Souja y@ 4,12,13,15,18); (0 Spiff, Cool, & DJ FL) 20 // Sun & Tracy McGrad n 3,0 // so 2,0 17 Ty (0 e ) ll FL nc i, Ha rre (Miam iami, ; Edward ercity (01,07); Te m So Hood” (M DJ Dr Doom (05) (16,17,19); Ms Riv on the set of “I’ Photo Credits:


She saw my chain and started relaxin,’ that’s what the fuck I call a…

Terror Squad Piece

got a few TS chains, but the new one that I upgraded to is a huge, yellow diamonds, black diamonds, and white diamonds piece that’s just a big heavy, phenomenal, amazing, tremendous TS logo piece. And it hangs on the belly of a don. I had to upgrade because I had a new album [We The Best] out and it was only right that I upgraded the chain, because every album gets an updated chain or something incredible. Plus, for different occasions, I want to wear a different type of chain. This big one is called the “ignorant, arrogant, but very humble at the same time” piece; it’s a combination. The other TS chain I have is more of a sexy, keepin’ it smooth type piece, but this one is just boom, inyour-face, and it reminds you who I be and who I rep with. The greatest reaction I got from this chain was at the OZONE Awards, on that OZONE stage during the opening performance. I was performing “We Takin’ Over” with Lil Wayne, Birdman, Fat Joe, and Rick Ross, and then “I’m So Hood” with T-Pain, Trick Daddy, and Plies. When that chain was bouncing and they were shooting the cameras at me and that TS piece


“ I

Khaled’s 65K on stage, every magazine in the world and every TV screen with MTV Jams had their attention on me. That’s what you get a chain like that for, to attract attention. When you stunt on stage and rip it down, and then open up that OZONE Magazine and see yourself with that chain in the photo gallery, that’s what you want. The chain cost $65,000, but it’s proved to be a great investment for me. The chain was made by TV Johnny, and I’m gonna be honest with you: Fat Joe actually made this chain for himself, but one day I looked at Joe and said, “Joe, I need that upgrade. I’m going on the road to promote my album, I gotta look right. Joe, you can’t tell me no. I need that.” And he said, “Khaled, it’s yours, you can have it, I’ll just buy me another one.” I swear to you, Joe only had that chain for two days. It was a great gift. Now I gotta get as big as him so I can buy him one someday. As told to Eric Perrin // Photo by Ray Tamarra


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Akon and T-Pain T-Pain: Hey, this is Nappy Boy. Have you been fucking with my voice machine again? Akon: No. T Pain: Well, the shit ain’t workin. Akon: Sorry, don’t blame it on me. What’s wrong with it? T Pain: I dunno, the pitch is off, the shit has me sounding like Macy Gray. Akon: Lol! T Pain: That shit ain’t funny. I gotta hurry up and finish my verse for the crank that Soulja Boy remix.

OZONE EXCLUSIVE Textin’ is no longer safe now that OZONE’s dangerous minds have hacked the system.

Akon: Fuck you, I’m supposed to be on that. You stealin’ all my shine. I’m at the fuckin’ bowling alley and nobody even knows who the fuck I am. I’m sick of this shit. I’m the number one artist on Konvict Music, not you. Remember that. T-Pain: But I’m Nappy Boy, the Tallahassee Hero. Akon: You’re fucking ass is everywhere. You were on that Plies song, then you were on the “I’m So Hood” song, and then Chris Brown, and now you’re on Kanye’s new shit. The only work I got lately is on Curtis’ fuckin album and ain’t nobody like that shit. T-Pain: But Boss, you were on the “We Takin’ Over” song. Akon: But I didn’t take shit over. Nigga, you won three OZONE awards and all I got was one. That’s why I fucked up your voice machine. I’m tired of hearing you every time I turn on my radio. T-Pain: But boss, we’re on the same label. Akon: Fuck that. This is African Pride, and you crossed the line. The next time I see you I’m gonna throw spears at yo’ fuckin ass and send that Mini Cooper off a cliff. You’re officially dropped from my label. T-Pain: Finally! If I had known it was that easy I would have never slept with three of your wives.

- 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.



Disclaimer: These are my opinions and my statements. They do not reflect on Bun B or UGK as a group.

On an internet rumor stating that Pimp C was arrested for crack cocaine possession on September 8th before a show in Fort Smith, Arkansas: That sounds like somethin’ that some of them internet niggas put out there. That’s some bullshit. As of today it’s Friday [September 14th] and I’m on parole, so if I had been arrested somewhere [last weekend] I would’ve been extradited back to Texas by now and I’d have a 90 day hold on me and we wouldn’t even be doing this interview, so that’s some dick-in-the-booty-ass shit that some ol’ hatin’ ass niggas put out there. There’s videotapes from the show on YouTube or one of them ol’ internet gangsta-ass sites where them ol’ faggot ass niggas be watching each other like they gon’ suck each other’s dicks. I don’t understand that internet shit anyway. I don’t be on that shit every day like these niggas; I’m in the streets trying to get money. So there’s pictures of me at the show and a video of me doing the show, and niggas like me don’t get caught with crack. If we did get caught [with anything], it would be some muthafuckin’ work. We ain’t gonna ride with it already rocked up. We gon’ ride with it soft and when we get to where we goin’, we gon’ sell some muthafuckin’ wholesale. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with these people. Why the fuck would I have some muthafuckin’ crack anyway? At no time in my whole muthafuckin’ past life have I ever been caught with no hard nothin’. Bitch-ass niggas get caught with hard cause that’s the only type of niggas that would ever be out in the streets with some muthafuckin’ shit like that. If you had got a report from years ago that I got caught with some bricks, maybe that might have been the truth. But this is a whole new year, a whole new day, and we’re not selling dope. We’re selling dope CDs. On UGK’s album Underground Kingz: This is the first time we’ve had the #1 record in the country. That’s a blessing coming from a group that’s been around as long as we have. I consider us to be a part of the Old South – the forefathers, niggas that were paving the way and making records back when it wasn’t all that cool to be from the South. So for a group from the old regime to sell 160,000 double albums the first week – that means 160,000 times two – that made me and my brother Bun feel good. We had never done those type of numbers before and it let us know that what we’re doing is still relevant. We couldn’t have done that without the fans actually going to the record stores and buying records instead of buying it from the guy at the gas station or the car wash for $5. So we feel very blessed and we’re humbling ourselves and giving all the credit to the staff at Jive Records and Barry Weiss and the people that helped us promote this record. We’ve also gotta give a bunch of credit to Outkast for getting down with us on “International Player’s Anthem,” and Three 6 Mafia and Project Pat for bringing us the track. It was a team effort. Right now we’re gold and it’s a very good chance that we’ll get our first platinum plaque with this album, so we’re very blessed. On UGK the group: We took an oath back when we were teenagers that this is UGK for life. We’ve actually got tattoos on our arms in the same place that says “UGK for life.” So it’s self-explanatory. A lot of times when you see Bun you don’t see me; that’s because we have to go our separate directions to promote on our own. When we’re separate, we can cover more ground than we can being together. That doesn’t mean that it’s not still UGK for life; we’ve just figured out ways to promote and cover more ground. He works good on his own; he’s got a real good mouthpiece. I’m doing pretty good on my own, when I can control my tongue. (laughs) We’re still getting good solo show money as Bun B of UGK and Pimp C of UGK, so we’re still out there doing [solo] dates. When the time is right and the tour money is right, you may possibly see a UGK tour. But we ain’t tryin’ to go out [on the road] for pennies. Every time we go out, we risk our lives. Every time I go out, I risk my freedom. I’m on parole. I ain’t tryin’ to go out nowhere for $10,000 or $15,000 and risk my freedom for that shit. Anything can happen on the road when you’ve got a crew of people – road managers, security, sound man, bus 32 // OZONE MAG

driver – anywhere from 10 to 30 muthafuckers on the road at one time. If one of them fucks up, everybody can be fucked up. If a bitch screams “rape,” she ain’t gonna say “Joe Blow the bus driver” raped her. She’s gonna say “Pimp C and his crew” did it. An allegation for you may be just a case you’ve gotta fight and when you prove it’s a lie, everything is cool, right? But an allegation like that for me means I get arrested, extradited back to Texas, and held in custody until we prove whether the shit is true or not. I’m on parole. This shit is serious business. I’ve got one foot in and one foot out [of prison]. So I’ve gotta be real careful.

On Russell Simmons, Oprah, and Al Sharpton: Going back to the Russell Simmons shit, that wasn’t mainly about his sexual preference. I’m talking about all his statements about what we should and shouldn’t be saying in these rap records. That’s some dick-in-the-booty-ass shit cause he’s the one who does the most cussin’ on Run’s House. You cuss like a muthafucker every day, nigga, and you built your whole muthafuckin’ record label off of niggas cursing and making gangsta ass records. And now you wanna team up with all these ol’ fogey ass muthafuckers like Oprah Winfrey because you’ve got all the muthafuckin’ money, and you niggas wanna try to dictate what’s going on? You ol’ funky ass muthafuckers get on airplanes flying to Africa talking about “save the children.” Bitch, we’ve got some children that need to get saved right here in Detroit. It’s enough homeless kids hurting right here in the states; you ain’t got to get on no muthafuckin’ airplane and fly halfway across the world to try to find some kids to save. That bitch [Oprah] has got every other muthafucker on her show, but she doesn’t wanna let Ice Cube come on because you don’t like his lyrics. Bitch, fuck what you’re talkin’ about. Everybody got mad at David Banner cause he made that record [“So Special”] and talked about Al Sharpton. I don’t know enough about Al Sharpton to even make no statements about the muthafucker, but I do know that his hair is in a perm and he does look like a muthafuckin’ old school pimp. I thought the song was real funny. On Young Jeezy and Atlanta: Even when we have disagreements in the South amongst each other and even when we don’t see eye to eye down here, that don’t mean that niggas from other areas can attack a nigga from down here and think that we won’t posse up with each other and get dead on yo’ muthafuckin’ ass. For instance, this lil’ muthafuckin’ small-framed lil bitchass nigga from New York – you know who I’m talkin’ about, one of them little niggas that ‘Pac took off the map way back when – tried to diss TI to sell a couple of records. If any nigga from any part of the world gets on a muthafuckin’ record and says something about Young Jeezy or Ludacris or Jermaine Dupri or me or Plies or anybody down here, we’re gonna unite like the Bloods and the Crips and the mandingo warriors and all the rest of the black people do in the penitentiary when it’s a war against the Mexicans. We gonna posse up and fight you muthafuckers side by side and when the shit is over we’ll go back our separate ways. Everybody tried to make the shit a certain thing between me and Jeezy, right? Me and Jeezy got some shit we need to iron out. There’s some shit I don’t like with some things that are personal between me and him. And there’s some shit he don’t like about me right now. And it’s some other people that I might have some problems with. But let one of you bitch ass niggas from up North try and attack [Jeezy] and he ain’t even gonna have a chance to get out there and get jiggy with your bitch ass cause I’m gonna jump out there and get on your funky ass myself before he gets a chance to do it. We can have internal disagreements down here, but let one of you outside-ass niggas jump out there with that shit and you’ll see some cold muthafuckin’ shit go down. Niggas will unite on your muthafuckin’ ass, and I’ll be the first one to say it. I’ll ride for Atlanta in a war before anybody else gon’ have a chance to do it. When I be rapping on records, I’m representing the whole muthafuckin’ South, not just one part of it. // Photo by Julia Beverly

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34 // OZONE MAG Photo credits: Terrence Tyson (“Allergic 2 Broke” & “Make A Bitch Rich”); D-Ray (“Love/Hate” & “Cutthroat”)

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1 0 Michael VICK Ways for

to Make A Living Post-NFL Words by Drew Beverly // Photo by Cameron Krone


Now that Mr. Vick has decided to be a man about his actions, he may very well never play another NFL game. He still has needs though, right? As caring, compassionate individuals, we decided to come up with a few ways for Mike to make some cash without killing any more dogs.


Become A Used Car Salesman Hey, Dan Marino did it, right? Look at it this way: No one trusts a used car salesman who appears trustworthy. You’ve already done an excellent job of ruining your image, so people would have no choice but to trust you. Besides that, how many people would buy a car from you just to say they bought a car from Mike Vick? Autograph each steering wheel, and the value of every Cutlass Supreme on the lot just tripled. Be careful, though: If you’re going to get into this car business, know that it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. No pun intended.

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Join The “Incredible Athlete Turned Terrible Rapper” Community This amazing list of people already includes Shaquille O’Neal, Deion Sanders, and Roy Jones Jr. That is tough to beat. Michael, Michael…You’re a great athlete, and you get bored every once in a while, we understand. But instead of taking out your frustration on the animals, get somebody to throw you a beat. We’re here for you, Mike. Join The Mafia Everybody has seen your bulging muscles in those Under Armour commercials, and we’re all very impressed. The Al Capones and Charles Lucianos of this world would love to have someone like you on their “staff.” They even said they’d promise to “make you an offer you can’t refuse.” Be a bouncer, do some dirty work, just try to stay away from the



BY THE NUMBERS $23,102,750 Vick’s salary last season $8,667,200 The salary of the 2nd highest paid player on the Falcons last season 75.7 Quarterback rating for Vick last season 19 Number of NFL quarterbacks with a better rating 1 Number of women named Sonya Elliot who filed civil lawsuits against Vick in 2002, claiming that he gave them genital herpes, and went to see a doctor for the disease under the alias Ron Mexico. 2 Number of days after the incident that it took for the NFL to ban all personalized jerseys from having the letter and number combination “Mexico, 7” 4 Number of major professional sports leagues (NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB) that ban any personalized jersey from bearing the combination of “Mexico” and “7” to this day.

animals. If you need someone to help get you started, we can get you in touch with Tim Donaghy. We’ve heard he has some friends in that area.


Get A Job At The Georgia Dome Give Arthur Blank and Rich McKay a call and propose a serious meeting to determine where to go from here. Let them know that you are on a tighter budget now, and maybe they could pick up some Twistee Treats and meet up at your place. Try and work your magic into another job at the Georgia Dome, possibly in concessions. I know the pay is probably a little less than you’re used to, but I definitely think that there is potential here. Imagine with me if you would: Vick’s CONcessions. The best part, though? You get to throw dogs around all day long! You can toss them in the air, stomp them while they’re on the ground, stab them with a knife repeatedly if you so desire; I don’t think you could make them taste any worse. Just make sure they get on the bun and to 12 year old “former Michael Vick protégé” Johnny Boy in time for him to catch kickoff.


Join The WWE Pacman Jones got TNA, but you, Mike, you have the chance to go BIG. Come up with a catchy nickname, The QB, The Vickinator, or my favorite, Top Dog. Do a few shows, travel around a little bit, attract some big crowds. It would be a decent way for you to stay in shape, just try to stay away from the Chris Benoit Workout Plan, I think that one is a bit risky. Maybe you will win of those huge belts, and you can use it to beat some more innocent puppies.


Start A Fantasy Football League With Your Fellow Inmates Take some big bets at the beginning of the year (once again, if you need help, Mr. Donaghy said he’s got connections) and sit back and watch the royalty checks come in. Who could possibly beat you? You already have the experience of playing with and against these guys every week, and you know who is good and who sucks. Also, you played on the Falcons for all those years so you already know not to pick anyone from Atlanta. How could you possibly go wrong?

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Become A Weatherman I don’t care if you don’t know the difference between Hurricane Katrina and a hurricane with a double shot, this would be high comedy. I would move to Atlanta just to watch you on the 6 o’clock news every night: “Well, Bob, it’s raining cats and dogs out there.” Start Your Own Clothing Line Vick7 hats and shoes would be a huge hit. Throw in some doo-rags and XXL tees and this line would be flying off the shelves. Dog tags and dog collars too? Hire Snoop Dogg as a spokesmodel if you have to. The idea has worked for some people, and for others it has been a complete bust. It’s all about your attitude, and you have to be passionate about what you’re selling. Just imagine your clothes not selling like little Fido not winning his wrestling match. Try not to get any blood on the merchandise though; it’s not good for sales.


Become The New Kevin Federline Film some commercials making fun of yourself and your situation. You killed innocent canines, so you can’t seriously care what people think about you. Remember the “Michael Vick Experience” commercials? Just make a few more of those, relevant to your new life. Maybe have one where participants dress up in an orange jumpsuit and try to weave their way through rapists and murderers without being molested? Show us how Mike Vick escapes from prison, complete with juke moves and body slams?


Become The International Ambassador for PETA Seriously. These guys have talked so much junk about you; this would be a great way for you to redeem yourself. Not only would they have to pay you, but you would ruin any and all credibility that they currently have. This would be like a woman’s rights association hiring OJ Simpson. You’d be back in the news again and back as a nightly punchline on Letterman. This is a good thing. We believe you can succeed in whatever you put your mind to. Whether you and Pacman Jones want to revive the XFL or if you would rather just move on with your life, we’ve got your back 100%. If you do decide to venture out into a new career, be careful. You know what they say: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. //





Words by eric perrin // photos by ty watkins


Look at beef in rap, that’s just how they used to do the slaves. Just think about when niggas are beefin’ against each other, the nigga who wins is the one who strips the other nigga naked and totally embarrasses him.

Every time we talk you have a different story to tell. What’s been going on with you lately? Money. That’s been my only focus. In the past I’ve let the way Lavell Crump feels rule David Banner, and I don’t think that’s the smartest thing to do; from my [Heal The Hood] benefit stuff to personal things. I think I’ve really spread myself thin, where I should’ve probably focused on me. And it ain’t nothing wrong with that but the better that you do [for yourself], the more you can do for others. But the thing I thank God for is that when a lot of people get to the level of understanding that I have now, they’re not in a position where they can use it to their advantage. That’s not the case for me right now. I’m in a very good position to really capitalize off all the blessings I’ve been given. This is the best time of my life, ever. I got a new look, I done cut it up, so physically I’m looking better than I ever have in my life. Mentally I know more than I’ve ever known. I’ve got the best album in the last three years, so really how much can you ask for? Now it’s up to me to get out there and make sure the people hear the records, and for them to pick up [the album]. Recently you were quoted as saying that last year was the worst year of your life, so it’s kind of ironic that you say this year is the best of your life. Can you explain? Well, ’06 was the worst year of my life, but with ’07 it’s a different year, and it’s filled with different things. I went through a real, real bad depression, man. I went through a lot of really bad shit that most rappers wouldn’t admit they went through, and my thing is, if we want our kids to get through certain hardships we have to let them know that we’ve been through the same things, but you can also come out of it. I think most rappers only tell half of the story. They tell the good part of the dope game, or the good part of the rap game, but they don’t tell you about when you go to jail and what happens to you when you go to jail. Or when you don’t invest your money right and the IRS is coming after you. People never tell the bad part of the story.



avid Banner has a story to tell, but you’re not ready to listen. He has the album you’ve been waiting to hear, just not from the person you want to hear it from. He has something to say, but you won’t let him speak, and today, neither will we. Right now, David Banner is tied to a chair in a poorly ventilated garage in Southern California. It’s the middle of August, and what’s worse, his mouth is taped shut. But even when vocally dormant, David Banner is deafening. His presence alone is more audible than the Southern University Marching Band and his facial expressions during our four hour photo shoot are screaming through the silence; they are telling of the disgust he feels for the rap industry that turned its back on him. So for a while David Banner turned his back on rap. But now he’s back on rap. Armed with a fuck-you-pay-me attitude, fresh beef with some of Black America’s most powerful leaders, a new career in Hollywood (that has him paid him to the point where rapping has become more of a hobby), and an album he says is the possibly the best ever, Lavell Crump is finally happy. After more than two years in the making, David Banner is ready to reveal The Greatest Story Ever Told. Shut the fuck up and listen.

So with me, I really want to keep it one hundred and just be honest about the good and the bad parts of life. I went through hell, and for the most part, I ain’t blaming nobody for it. I’m blaming it all on me. What kind of hell were you going through? I was overweight. I was 21 points from diabetes. I had my homeboys managing me, and it’s not that we weren’t doing the best that we could do, but niggas didn’t know what the fuck we were doing. Just because I can speak well and people think I’m smart doesn’t mean shit. Yeah, I’m book smart and street smart, but that ain’t got nothing to do with the record industry. It’s crazy coming from being homeless all the way to making million dollar mistakes. That’s hard for anybody to swallow. I did all the shit that niggas said I wasn’t gon’ do. Niggas was hollering that I was gon’ leave Mississippi—I stayed down. Niggas was saying I wasn’t gon’ do nothing for the community — a nigga did it. I listened to every negative thing anybody ever said I couldn’t do, and then it became my goal to prove ‘em wrong. Niggas said I couldn’t make a hit record by myself — there goes “Play,” all off in yo’ muthafuckin’ mouth, bitch. What I’ve learned is that you can’t satisfy everybody. You really can’t satisfy nobody, so I really don’t give a fuck anymore. 2006 was terrible, and when I was going through all that bad shit, everybody just spread away from me. I had a couple of friends that rallied and helped me, but a nigga was down and out. I felt like God was taking me through a valley. Now I’m stronger than I’ve ever been mentally and physically. I don’t get mad about too much shit, and I don’t get happy about too much. It’s just sorta like an even kill, and now I know how much I’ve contributed to the game. I know how important I am. I know I’m doper than most of these niggas from the rapping perspective. This year I’m gonna prove it. On the rap side most niggas can’t fade me. I want you to listen to “9MM” and write that verse out. “If I got 9 slugs, 9 bullets gon’ fly. If I got a red beam, 9 people gon’ die, 9 mamas gon cry, 9 spirits in the sky, 9 preachers preaching 9 sermons tellin’ 9 lies. Cause each and every 1 of all 9 niggas wasn’t shit.” Dawg, write that verse out. If Biggie would’ve spit my verse from “9MM” it would have been a Hip Hop quotable. Niggas would’ve been talking about that verse to this day. I smashed that verse! I’ll put it to you like this: I got the album niggas been waitin’ for, but not from the person they want to hear it from. Why is that? If you feel that you and Biggie are the same page lyrically, why don’t you get the same respect? Well, it’s a lot of reasons, but one thing is that I don’t come from no clique. Something people gotta give me though, is that didn’t nobody make me. I didn’t have nobody to vouch from me. I didn’t come from no major label, I came from SRC. I made SRC; I started SRC. If it wasn’t for me, none of the acts you see on SRC would have come into fruition. I didn’t have that Jimmy Iovine push. I had to get out there and do it myself. I stayed on tour for three years! Niggas don’t remember that with my second album, I did that shit in two weeks. I A&Red the record, did the beats, and I was staying up two days at a time making history. That was history; one nigga in the studio by himself, rapping and recording like a muthafuckin’ slave. And then, what people don’t understand about my third album is that I was promoting during Katrina, and my region was fucked up! Look at the amount of albums that I sold with my region being fucked up, and ain’t nobody in my region buying records ‘cause they homes were gone. So imagine what my record sales would have been if Katrina never happened. But people don’t see that.

It seems like people respect you more as a community activist than a rapper. But what’s fucked up is that all the industry muthafuckers that I helped, and all the people whose sons’ bar mitzvahs I was coming to and whatnot, and all the muthfuckas that was like, “David Banner we salute you for what you did after Katrina, you the realest nigga ever,” they weren’t there for me when I needed them. I was asking all those same people for some help on my album, and they were all like, “We’ll get you next time, my nigga.” With my label I was like, “Didn’t y’all see what I did? Don’t I get credit for any of that?” And they were like, “We’re sorry, you did a good deed, but fuck it.” That’s when I realized that it’s God that gives you your blessings. So God took music all the way from me, and he gave me movies, dawg. He gave me cartoons. He showed me that music is not my god, and that this music shit is only a small part of my eternal life. And I let music go. I didn’t do no music for 7 months. I hated gospel. I hated blues. I hated jazz. The label had taken that joy away from me. God showed me that music ain’t important, and if I believe in Him, He’ll take care of me. And that’s when the movies started coming in. What’s been the best moment in your experiences in Hollywood? The first time Sam Jackson looked at me and smiled, and told me I was doing a good job. He coached me through Black Snake Moan. And also, I want to give credit to Snoop Dogg. When I was fucked up, Snoop Dogg called me and told me to come to his studio. Dude sat down and counseled me through the whole shit. We always holla when niggas is beefin’ against each other, but not when niggas is helping each other out, and that nigga helped me and I would like to thank Snoop for that. Being that you’re spending a lot of time on the West Coast, do you feel like you can bridge the gap between the South and the West? I don’t know. For some reason niggas in the West really love me. It’s a cool ass vibe. I’m very focused when I’m in L.A. I train two times a day, I read my scripts, and I set up a studio in my apartment where I do beats. I’m real focused out in L.A. ‘cause I don’t know too many people. So L.A. is sorta like my boot camp. What kind of scripts have you been reading? I know you tried out for the next Batman movie. I can’t really talk about the scripts because I did that one time and I lost a movie. Some directors don’t like that kinda shit. But with the Batman situation, you gotta think; the fact that I even got a chance to audition [for the part] with Batman, that’s huge. Think about how big that is from where I come from. I come from nothing. You mentioned earlier that your emotional state has changed to the point where you neither get overly happy nor sad anymore. Are you sure that’s a good thing? You’re a pretty animated dude, so if your emotions are always set at a certain level is it possible for you to truly be yourself? Yeah, I can exude my full personality, but I just can’t get too excited about anything. When you get overly excited or mad, that’s an exaggerated state. If you notice, usually when people are really, really happy about something that shit really ain’t that good. Or when people are down about something, it really ain’t that bad. That’s how life is, just take it. My daddy just died four months ago, and I’ve just figured out that he really was my best friend. It’s hard when you find that out after they’re gone. Looking back at my life he was really, really hard on me, but if you want to know why I’m the type of man that I am, and why I stand up for the shit that I do, it’s because a man raised me, not a woman. So, I’m gonna act like a man. That’s why most of these rappers feel uncomfortable around me, ‘cause they bitches! Most of these rappers is bitches. I’d say 80% of these niggas that’s rappin’ is hoes — and you can tell ‘em I said it. They bitches. That’s the reason you don’t see me hanging out and kickin’ it and shit, ‘cause these niggas is false, these niggas is bitches, they not men of they word. Niggas talk all this street shit, but really it’s all about yo’ word. I don’t give a fuck if you a dope dealer. I don’t give a fuck if you a killer. It’s about yo’ word. Niggas talk about mafia life, but mafia niggas kept they word. They kept a sense of honor. Where’s these rappin’ niggas’ honor? Niggas don’t keep they word. They don’t do what they say they gon’ do because these niggas is bitches. Damn. I’m sure when you first came into the game you didn’t feel that way, so obviously you’ve come across a lot of disloyalty. Is there any specific event prompted you to be so angry at the industry? Well, it’s just living. You gotta live. I’m at the point now where it’s like, “Don’t call David Banner for shit unless it got something to do with money!” I’m dead serious. If it ain’t about money, bury yo’ self. I do my own charity. Don’t call me when it’s time for charity, or don’t call me when it’s time to do something for free; call me when you got some money for me. Do you think people perceive you as too much of a nice guy because of all your charitable work?

What happened with me is that I had a pretty hard life, and niggas act like selling dope is cool. Selling dope ain’t cool. Not knowing if somebody gon’ kick in your door, not knowing if your homeboy a snitch, not knowing if the shit around you is real, that shit ain’t cool. Killing somebody ain’t cool; having somebody’s soul on top of your soul, that ain’t cool. Going to jail ain’t cool. The shit I used to do ain’t cool. So once God blessed me and got me out of that shit, I was so happy to be out of the streets, my nigga. I didn’t want nobody else to feel the way I had felt way no more. But now I’ve figured out that’s what niggas want, so I’ma give it to ‘em. You want the old David Banner, you want me to smack you in yo’ muthafuckin mouth? I’ll be glad to. Fuck it. What’s your problem with Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and some of the other black leaders? My problem with them is this: Out of all the problems going on in the world right now, why would they choose to attack young black men? Don’t you think that America attacks us enough? What pisses me off is that people act like young, black men are the reasons for America’s problems, but it’s not young, black men, it’s old, white men who you can trace most of the problems to. If you look at crack in America, you can trace that back to the CIA, but Oprah doesn’t want to talk about that; Jesse won’t talk about that; that would mess up their corporate sponsors. I tell people all the time, what we do as rappers is art. Oprah Winfrey will have a show dedicated to the words “bitch” and “hoe,” but she won’t put Martin Scorsese on there. She promoted the book A Million Pieces that had all kind of hoes and bitches and drugs in it, because Oprah feels that what white folks do is art and what we do is trash. That’s hypocritical; you’re a sellout. Nobody protects young, black men. We don’t even protect ourselves. We didn’t protect Akon, and you know he didn’t have nothing to do with that girl being young and in the club. Come on my dude, where they at to protect us, homie? But we’re guilty of the same thing too, because we’ll beef with each other, but we won’t come to help each other. And everybody in America knows that. They feel they can put anything off on us, because we not even gon’ protect our own damn selves. That’s my problem with the so-called “black leaders.” Why do you think the rap game doesn’t stand up for itself? It’s a whole bunch of bitch shit going on. The Hip Hop game right now is whole bunch of girls yapping at each other. Niggas in the rap game are grown ass men with children, acting like little children, and then since they see they can make money off this shit they done turned it into the WWF. That’s why I say that this Hip Hop shit is bullshit. This shit about money. Do you still have a love for the game, even though you say it’s all bullshit? Yeah, I love it. But I’m not gon’ lose no sleep over this shit no more. I’m just gon’ continue to make jammin’ ass music. I know I got the best album in the last three and a half years, whether people buy the record or not. I feel good and I know it’s the best, and real niggas know it too. If you look at everything from the verses, to the people I got featured on it, to the beats, and the whole nine, you’ll see that it’s the best. I know I’m killin’ these muthafuckas! I know these niggas’ not fading me. So if I don’t sell, that’ll show you the hypocrisy and in the bullshit going on in the rap game, cause I’m smashing these muthafuckas! You gotta give it to me this time, a nigga can’t fade me. And I look great! And they bitch wanna fuck me too. So what can you do? You can’t out-rap me, my beats are better than your favorite producer’s beats, and then I can knock you out. And then, if I call my boys they’ll come and shoot you! Damn, it sounds like a win-win situation for you then. [Laughs] But let me tell you, the crazy thing of it all, in the end, I just wanna go to heaven. When all this shit fades away, I still wanna be a man, dawg. I still wanna be respected. Although I talk all this shit, when I leave this earth I wanna know that I’ve affected people, and influenced people in a positive way. I want to make people strive to do better, and know my story. That’s why I call my album The Greatest Story Ever Told, because I came from nothing. I didn’t have the great city of New York behind me. I didn’t have no big record label behind me. I didn’t have a company buying my own records back for me. Nigga, if I sold a record you know it’s real. I made my own beats. I struggled my way up through this shit. I can look any of these niggas in the eye. Most of these rap niggas really ain’t the man, they the man through another nigga. I can look any of these niggas in the eye. Me and Steve Rifkind are partners, homie, it’s 50/50. Nigga, I came with record spins. I came with an album done. Didn’t nobody do shit for me. I can look any of these niggas in they eye and say, “What?” I’m a man, nigga, I ain’t gotta bow down or bite my tongue for no nigga. How has the industry responded to your new “I don’t give a fuck” approach? I don’t really give a fuck; I ain’t trippin’ off these niggas, man. I don’t have to do this rap shit anymore. I do it because I wanna do it. And the fact that


Okay, I’m listening. Imagine if you really knew for a fact that God was your father, like you knew it for a stone cold fact. Like you done touched him, you done kicked it with him, he done burped you, and all kinda different shit like that, right? Now wouldn’t your swagger be just a little bit different? You wouldn’t trip on jumping on that cross, or you wouldn’t trip on what people have to say about you, because you knew that he was your Daddy. So there’s a certain amount of confidence that’s being exuded because of your faith, and it’s even more than faith because you know it’s a fact. With me, I know it now. So it’s not cockiness, it’s not arrogance. And for one, with the Al Sharpton shit, what are they gonna do to me? What, are they gon’ stop my record from coming out and I’m gon’ be broke? Nigga, I come from Mississippi, being broke ain’t nothing new. I done been shot at, I done had my ass kicked before, so what can you do to me? My family already know I’m a rider, so death? Nigga, I already think I’m dead. What they gon’ do? Nothing! They ain’t gon’ do nothing that I ain’t already had done to me before, or that I don’t think is coming to me anyway. So is there anything in life that you do fear? There are two things I fear and two things only. I don’t fear nothing but God and leading my people in the wrong direction, because I know people listen to me. I do fear that. I fear that I’ll make a wrong decision, or a wrong mistake and people will follow me because of who I am, and what I stand for. And the truth is, I’m not perfect. I don’t know everything. Have you ever done anything that you feel has led your people in the wrong direction? Naw, not so far. I feel like there are some things I could’ve done better in my career. But usually if I talk about something or say something about people, I’ve researched it. I hate losing, so I’m not gon’ say no ignorant shit, like I’m not gon’ talk about Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton unless I’ve done research on them. The truth is — and this is an exclusive — since people have known about me being on Oprah and Jesse Jackson and them’s ass, niggas have been coming at me with so much information. There are street niggas and corporate niggas coming to me telling me all type of shit about them. But I don’t wanna destroy the so-called “black leaders,” I just want them to leave us the fuck alone. So can you give me an example of some of the dirt people have came to you with? Of course not. That’s not my point. That’s what I’m telling you. People want to see niggas fight each other and crucify each other. If you go to my Myspace page you can listen to a song called “So Special,” a song I did about Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Oprah. And in the song I say it’s bad that we gotta talk about each other this way, because that’s what America wants. It’s the gladiator mentality. America wants to put people in the middle of the ring with the lion and watch him get ripped to shreds. That’s bullshit. We should be able to sit down and talk to each other rationally and come to some agreements, and the reason why I didn’t do that is because I tried to get on Oprah’s show. We wrote letters and hollered at people. And with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, they attacked us first, so when people asked if I wanna sit down with them, I was like, “Hell nah I don’t wanna sit down with them!” If I walked up to you and slapped you in your face without warning you or telling you, what you gon’ do? You gon’ hit me back right? So fuck talkin’ to ‘em, it’s on! That’s bullshit! And it’s so pitiful, ‘cause that’s what we do as niggas. Look at Mike Vick, they’re making him do that plea agreement and snitch on other people because they know how black people feel about that type of shit, so they’ve ostracized that man in front of his people. And we turn around and do that same type of thing to each other. Look at beef in rap, that’s just how they used to do the slaves. Just think about when niggas are beefin’ against each other, the nigga who wins is the one who strips the other nigga naked and totally embarrasses him. So we turn around and do it to each other, and it’s pitiful! A lot of people feel you have the potential to be a great black leader. Is that something you aspire to be? I’d be willing to do it if God deemed it and the people deem it, but that ain’t something I wanna do. I wanna be rich and make money. Nigga, I wanna live life good. I want an easy life like everybody else. People think I wanna be this big political figure, but that’s not something I want. When I was the SGA President at Southern, that was something people asked me to do. I’ll do it if that’s what I’m called on to do, but that ain’t no fun shit to do. Think about this: Every young, black man that stood up and did something, what happened to him? He was killed! Not 44 // OZONE MAG

persecuted, killed dead! Niggas always talk about “ride or die.” I don’t wanna die. I wanna have kids and live a fun life and I wanna make money! The two things I hate the most in this world is preachers and politicians, and it’s just crazy to hear everybody including my mama say that’s what I’m probably gon’ end up being. Why are you so involved in the community if that’s not really what you want to do? I need the community as much as the community needs me. The higher up you go the less black people you see, and in a lot of cases when you become successful people leave you alone. They start thinking that you’re special and acting funny. But I need them. I need to stay grounded. That’s why I’m so into the community, because I need people around me. I’m not perfect. That’s what Baptized in Dirty Water meant. No matter how good you are, if you go to get baptized and go in some dirty ass water, you’re gon’ come out dirty, even if your intention was to get baptized. All my albums have meanings, and I don’t know if I’ve done a good enough job articulating the goals in my albums, but they all have meanings. When you look at Certified, I don’t like suits and ties, but I did that shit to show people that all niggas in the South ain’t ignorant and not all of us have t-shirts on. We got sense, too. So what are you most passionate about in life? Making money. Fuck it. I’m keeping it 100. I’m about making some muthafuckin’ paper, because money is the first breeding ground of power, and power is how you truly affect change. Instead of sitting up there preaching about what other niggas should do with their money, I can do it with my money. That’s why I started Heal The Hood, because I’m tired of begging another nigga to help the community. I gotta do me now. When these rap niggas try to fuck over me and do different shit and I be wanting to whoop they ass, I tell myself, “No, don’t whoop they ass, get money, make a hit a record.” For those independent rappers out there, if you wanna know how to change your career, make a hit record, that’s all you gotta do. If your label ain’t behind you, make a hit record. If niggas talkin’ shit about you, don’t beef back with that nigga, just make a hit record and let that nigga suffer for the rest of his life watching you live gloriously. So how do you want people to perceive you? What’s the ideal image you want to portray? A rich ass nigga. People always ask me what me what I want them to call me, and I tell them, “You can call me anything but broke, homie!” The reason why I’m on Jesse Jackson and them like I am ain’t because of no fuckin’ record, it’s because they playin’ with my muthafuckin’ money. They playin’ with my lifestyle, they tryin to make people stop playing my muthafuckin’ records. Come on dawg, you fuckin’ with my livelihood, the way we eat. It ain’t too many ways niggas can be young and make money: sports and muthafuckin’ rap. They trying to take our hustles away from us, and that’s some serious shit. You fuckin’ with street niggas, these ain’t no pussy ass niggas, homie. This ain’t no laughing matter, you fucking with my money and it’s already hard enough with the downloading, and the bootlegging. If there is one word to describe where you’re at in life right now, what would that word be? I can say for the first time in my life, I think I’m happy. I think I’m happy, and want to explain that to give some clarity. However this rap shit turns out — and I’m pretty sure it’s gonna turn out great — but either way it goes, I’m good. For the first time in my life, I’m happy being Lavell Crump, just being me, Lavell — without David Banner, without the rapping, without the movies, without all that shit. For the first time, God has shown me that’s it’s alright to just be me. //

eel rappers f e s e h t f se they y most o d me, ‘cau That’s wh n u o r a e bitches. rtabl appers is r uncomfo e s e h t ppin’ is ost of that’s ra s a g bitches! M ig n of these I said it. I’d say 80% d you can tell ‘em hoes - an

I don’t have to do it has made me love it again. I’m having fun, and I’m smashing ‘em. And I tell people all the time, I don’t believe that people really believe in God, and I’m gonna prove it to you. There’s nothing that I say that I can’t prove to you.

For those independent rappers out there, if you wanna know how to change your career, make a hit record, that’s all you gotta do. If your label ain’t behind you, make a hit record. If niggas talkin’ shit about you, don’t beef back with that nigga, just make a hit record and let that nigga suffer for the rest of his life watching you live gloriously.







perrin // photos

by parrish


everything that’s hot right now sounds like a Twista beat. All that “Wipe Me Down,” and “Ay Bay Bay,” and all of those Soulja Boy songs, those all sound like classic Twista beats, and I love it. I’d kill all those beats.

Words by eric



en years ago when Twista released his most celebrated classic, Adrenaline Rush, a gallon of gas in the United States would cost you $1.09 - for premium. Bill Clinton still had three years left in office, and you could choose only two musical mediums: CD or cassette. A lot has changed since then. But one thing hasn’t: Twista’s loyalty. He is loyal to the game, loyal to his fans, and loyal to not selling himself out just to sell out in stores. Twista is one artist who never really let the outside world in. He’s not vocal on his personal problems, you’ve never heard a rumor about anyone he is dating, and most of his diehard fans don’t even know his real name. But somehow he has managed to maintain one of the most faithful followings in Hip Hop. Twista’s fan base has proven throughout the years that they love him despite not knowing Twista from Carl Mitchell. And the same Adrenaline Rush fiends that lined up to support him in the beginning are still right there eagerly anticipating the next hit. Though Twista has added some new allies along the way, the world’s fastest rapper is comfortable knowing that regardless of the state of the industry, he still has that loyal 500,000 strong who will run to the record store on his behalf faster than he can spit 16. Adrenaline Rush 2007 is a ten year anniversary disc with all new music featuring the likes of Kanye West, Bone Thugs N Harmony, R Kelly, and T-Pain. While many critics were disappointed with the R&B-heavy production of The Day After, on AR2K7 Twista promises to deliver that vintage sound, raw and perfectly unpolished. Twista, what’s been going on, man? I’ve just been chillin’ since I finished up the last couple of pieces of the album. I’m getting geared up to get back out there and do my thing. Tell me about the album. Man, it’s hot. It’s hot! I’m happy with everything, all the way down to the last skit. It’s crazy, it’s off the chain, and it’s gonna be a nice treat for the fans as far as the ten year anniversary, so I’m ready. I think everybody gon’ like it. October is Patiently Waiting month at OZONE, and you had the distinction of being somewhat of a “Patiently Waiting” artist for a long time. From your experiences, is it harder to be an underground artist or a mainstream artist? It evens itself out. When the success was moderate and I was so-called “struggling,” the love was better back then. I was maintaining and I had the love of my city, and even though I had fewer fans, it was so much more genuine. And now, it’s like you still get love, and you supposedly sitting on top of the world because you a bigger star now, but then comes that hate that you never really experienced, because you’ve never experienced success to that extent before. So for me to be the type of person I am and experience so much hate, that kinda caught me open in the beginning, but I’ve learned how to handle it, and I’ve learned I can’t please everybody. So at this point, I’m happy. That’s a good place to be. A lot of individuals in the industry don’t seem to enjoy what they do, and it seems like you really have a love for it. You gotta have the love for it, and for me, the best way to enjoy this shit is to be humble. Egos are good on a promotional level, and it’s good to feel strong and positive about who you are from a business standpoint, because


that’s how you sell yourself. But at the same time if you go too far with it, and you really just start believing that you’re that shit, you enjoy it less. I wanna be able to hop in a limo and still be like, “Man, this is a dope limo. This shit is fresh, look at the woodgrain. Look at the rims! I like this!” As opposed to being like, “What is this shit y’all sending me? Send me something better.” So that ego makes you enjoy the game less. I wanna still love it like I’m just getting blessed with it. The South embraced you long before much of the rest of the country. Why do you think that was? I think it’s a connection between Chicago and the South. Most of the people I grew up with in my neighborhood, either their parents or grandparents were from the South. And it’s the same thing with me, my grandparents are from Mississippi. It’s a similar type of upbringing, a similar type of accent, and in general there are a lot of similarities between Chicago and the South. I think people can hear a lot of that Southern swagger in my music. So when I go down to the South, it feels like there is a genuine love; it feels like home. I love the South; I love people in the South. The South is one of my favorite places to be. And we have a very similar taste in music. Everything that’s hot right now sounds like a Twista beat. All that “Wipe Me Down” and “Ay Bay Bay” and all those Soulja Boy songs, those all sound like classic Twista beats, and I love it. I’d kill all those beats. What’s the biggest difference in the game between 1997 when you dropped the first Adrenaline Rush and now with Adrenaline Rush 2007? The game got a lot of people in it now! Back when Adrenaline Rush came out there were a lot less artists being released, now it’s so many artists releasing so many projects there is less attention being devoted to any particular artist. The game is funny because of that. The other main difference I see is technology. When Adrenaline Rush came out that was still during a time when record sales were still relevant, Soundscans were a big deal. People actually went out to buy CDs. There weren’t any I-Pods or things like that. You couldn’t just get on your computer and download a song. People can get your music so many different ways, so it’s like the value of a song is less now because people can get your music immediately. You have grind that much harder to be as successful as you could be ten years ago.

The Day After didn’t sell as well as Kamikaze. Do you think that was a result of all the bootlegging and downloading? Not necessarily the bootleggers. I don’t think it’s just about the bootleggers because there is always good that you get with the bad. The bootlegging epidemic also helps promote artists, as well. So if you get a hit or if there is a rumor that something is hot, the bootleggers gon’ bootleg it and help promote it for you, and that’s less money you’ve got to spend on distribution. So if you’re smart, you give certain music to the bootleggers to let them work for you for free. I think the decline in sales from Kamikaze to The Day After has more to do with the way music was bought between the two albums. That’s when I feel that everything with the internet just hit real hard and people started to download music and get music in different ways other than just the purchase of a CD. Also, I had a big hit with “Slow Jamz,” and that really helped me on Kamikaze” That type of hit never came from The Day After, so it’s good to have longevity as an artist. That was just an axe in my hand. I ain’t gon’ do nothing but snatch it up and keep coming at ya. I’ll be here. It’s good to be an artist that’s known in the game and is well respected and got as many fans as I got. I’ve got a core audience. I can keep putting music out for them regardless of whether I go platinum or not. Me and 500,000 or 600,000 folks can go kick it from now on, so it’s love. That’s a good strategy. Do you think you have any songs on Adrenaline Rush 2007 that have the potential to be as commercially successful as “Slow Jamz” or “Overnight Celebrity?” Definitely, definitely. I got the “Give It Up” joint that’s doing something now, but I got songs on there like “Was Time” produced by Kanye West, and he gave me another joint on there. Another song that’s getting a lot of recognition

What’s the situation with you and Roc-A-Fella? It seems like every other week there is a new rumor of you leaving Atlantic, or doing a joint venture with the Roc. Right now I’m on Atlantic. I ain’t really been talking to nobody on that type of vibe. I’ve just been working on the album, I ain’t been on that whole flip labels, walking out on labels mode right now. I’m just making music, and I’m kinda comfortable doing what I’m doing right now. I’m always looking out for my best interest, but I’m pretty cool, man. As long as I ain’t gotta holla at them to put my music out and everything is copacetic, we’re straight. I’m a vet now. I ain’t young and feisty like that anymore. As long as I can do what I do, and they happy and I’m happy, everything is straight. Do you think your label fully appreciates you as an artist? I will see what happens. I’m always open to do business. The Roc is my family, so if we ever are able to make that music happen, I’m a be 100% with it, cause that’s my family. I work with all the artists. I’m cool with Jay — he got my man from my hometown on his label, Beans, Peedi, Bleek, everybody. That’s my family, so if it was to happen that would be cool. But to answer the question of feeling fully appreciated as an artist on Atlantic I would say that I’m not fully understood as an artist. Why do you think that is? Because I’m not one of those “rah rah” artists. I’m not the in-your-face type of artist. You see how Prince just laid back later in his career? I got one of those type of personalities. I’m kinda laid-back; I just like to let my music speak for me. It kind of hurts me sometimes in situations where putting yourself out there to the point where the mistakes you make in life help your sales because I’m not the type to tell you all my problems outside of my music. A lot of times in interviews people only wanna talk to you about your tragedies, and that kinda hurts Twista, because Twista wants to let his music speak for him. I just wanna make dope ass music. But don’t you think that’s a part of making dope ass music? If people know your background and the situations in your life that influenced the music won’t they relate to it better and enjoy it more? I’ll talk to you about my music, I’ll let you know how Chi-Town is, I’ll let you know how we getting it, I’ll floss a little bit, let you see my ice, let you see how I’m doing it on a businessman level, but I ain’t gonna put myself out there on a negative level. I got too much pride; I’ll try to get it another way before I do something that I don’t feel is morally right. I ain’t finna exploit myself for no little music industry people. Can you tell me about the situation with McDonald’s dropping your from their tour? You know, the Don Imus thing kicked off, that was the first domino, and before we could get on the subject of what he said about our black women some kinda way it was immediately pushed on Hip Hoppers saying negative things about women, then it got pushed on this whole Reverend in Chicago saying some comments about a bunch of rappers. Then the Reverend started to single me out, and from Don Imus being the first domino to fall, Twista was the first artist to take a hit from Hip Hop becoming a scapegoat over racism. The whole situation made me mad because we have parental advisory stickers on all our music and kids’ parents can make the choice to either support another artist or buy the clean version. So to me it felt like they were trying to hurt my credibility, and my pockets, and my music, all because of something that another man started. There was an internet blogger that said the real reason McDonald’s dropped you was because you did a show in New York that didn’t fare too well, and that the crowd wasn’t really responsive. Do you think there is any truth to that? Naw, I think they did that strictly off of the Reverend giving them a call and speaking his comments. Everything was cool, and then all of the sudden it wasn’t cool. But its funny because they got the Bump J lyrics from the “Move Around” song on their commercial and Bump J is a street rapper, too, just like I am. But the Reverend just sent a direct hit out to me. When the Reverend put out all those anti-rap billboards protesting you, 50 Cent, Fat Joe, and Snoop Dog, and Eminem, what was your initial reaction? Man, I felt like, not that I got picked on, but that I got put in a bogus position. You gotta think that that Reverend leads a congregation in Chicago, so

I’m the easy to come at artist. So once McDonald’s was bringing an event to Chicago, and asking me to do the event, the Reverend decided to come at me. Have you spoken to him at all to try to work the situation out? Naw, the funny thing is that he never called any of these artists to say anything. He attacked us. And an attack is not positive, either. An attack is negative. He attacked us the way a rapper who has beef would attack another rapper. You know how rappers don’t call each other to work it out, they just diss each other before they get on the phone? That’s the same thing he did. He dissed us before he picked up the phone to ask us, “Man, can you clean it up a little bit?”I’m not saying we would have, because that’s how we make our money. But we put it in a certain category that allows you to control what music your kids buy. It’s the parents who decide what music their kids buy. If you don’t want your kids to have it, don’t let ‘em have it. There were a couple of charities I was gon’ look out for with that money, ‘cause I knew it was a McDonald’s thing and I’m a veteran artist, so I know how to flip it when it’s time to do something that’s for the kids. I don’t do profane lyrics at events for kids. I was gonna have the Choir Academy come out and do the “Hope” song with me, and I was gonna donate money to a couple of charities, but now the Reverend took money out of not just my pocket, but the community’s pocket. He didn’t know that, so he dissed me first. Back in 2004, it seemed like Chicago was the next major Hip Hop hub, and then that movement kind of ended a little bit. It’s not really like it ended, but the light will be on one place for a minute, and it’s hard to keep that light the light on that one place. At one point it was Houston, they had all the hot artists gettin’ it, and now people are coming at them the same way they were coming at Chicago, like, “Damn, I though y’all had it?” So it’s a shift. Everybody’s gotta share sometimes; the spotlight moves around. Sometimes it’s on the main man, sometimes it’s on the hype man. Speaking of sharing the spotlight, I heard you’re working on a new project with the Speedknot Mobstaz? Yeah, for sho. We got The Speedknot Mobstaz coming out on Koch Records, we got the new album, it’s hot to death. It’s called Mobstability Part 2: Nation Business. So they hitting you over the head with a ten year anniversary type of theme, too. We’re not making it just a Twista thing, we hittin’ you with a movement. The ten year anniversary movement. The album is coming out at the top of the year. Is it true that you’re going to be starting your own label? Yeah, The Get Money Gang. That’s something I’m starting to basically bridge the Midwest with the industry. It’s a way for me to help other cats get on. Are there any patiently waiting artists from the Midwest who you think we should look out for? Man, I gotta say love to man Skooda. I gotta say love to Dude N Nem for that “Watch My Feet” joint, I feel like they keepin’ it real with that one. That’s hot. I gotta say love to Chibliz; I like what he’s doing for Chicago. I gotta say love to Cap One, and especially I gotta say love to Yung Berg for doing it the way a Chicago artist should be doing it. But really, I’ve got love for all Chicago artists. I’m so happy Chicago is at the point now where I feel we can hit niggas over the head, and once we open the door fully it’s gon’ be business. The Midwest movement ain’t never end. Common just dropped his album. Kanye just dropped his album. The spotlight might move around a little bit, but we’re still right here doing our thing so I just want people to keep they eye open for the Midwest movement. Adrenaline Rush 2007 is my thanks to the fans for keeping me around for so long, doing my little thang thang. //

.I audience core a I got music putting keep can regardless out for them I go platinum of whetherand 500,000 or or not. Me go kick can folks 0 0 600,0 on, it from now

so it’s love

now is called, “Pimp Like Me,” and that’s a tribute to Chi-Town juke music. I wanna let people see how infused our Hip Hop sound is with our sound in general. We make stepping music and we make house music, and juke music is like a faster form of house music. People are really loving that song, but I got even more on the album. I got a song with R Kelly called “Love Rehab,” and my joint with T-Pain called “Creep Fast.” I got a song with Bone Thugs N Harmony called “Ain’t No Hoes.” You’ll see. It’s some hits on there.



ROCSI New Orleans Saint By Eric Perrin

You probably recognize Rosci as the female host of 106th & Park or the sexy King cover girl with a distinctive voice and pretty face, but there is much more to Rosci than celebrity status and sex appeal. This Crescent City native is also a dedicated community servant whose Rock Star Foundation is doing monumental things for the children of her ravished hometown. While most people of any eminence have donated money to the rebuilding efforts of New Orleans, Rocsi has donated something much more valuable: her time, her efforts, her life. Tell me about your Rock Star Foundation We do nonprofit events. Our first real big event was with the City Council of New Orleans and it was just a couple months ago. We did a celebrity softball game, which was really, really, really good. The city partnered up with me, and a whole bunch of NFL players, rappers and some other celebrities came out. All you had to do was donate a canned good to come in, and we were raising money for school supplies at the same time. We had fun. It was a chance for people to come out and just forget about everything that was going on with them. What’s next? Right now, we’re trying to plan a back to school event for the kids at my [former] high school, West Jefferson High School in New Orleans. We’re trying to encourage the kids to go back to school, plus I’m trying to help rebuild the school at the same time.We’re gonna do a big ‘ol presentation for them to start the year off right. That’s the main thing I’m working on right now. I’m sure you get a lot of interesting reactions when you go back to your old high school, being that you’re a celebrity now. Yeah, the kids get so excited when I come down. I think it snapped into play [that I was a celebrity] when I was walking down the hall and some of the kids were chasing after me and stuff. But we have fun. I’ll go in the office and announce over the loudspeaker, “Everybody get outta of class, school’s dismissed!” The principal thinks I’m hilarious, but we have a lot of fun. The kids come up to me, and to them, it’s more like, “Wow, she’s actually coming back to where she’s from. She’s actually showin’ love.” What was it like the first time you went back to West Jefferson High School after Hurricane Katrina hit? I hated to see my school like that. And I was kind of taken back because I saw so many people who worked there when I was still in school. It’s real crazy when I go back and still see the same teachers that were there when I was in school. But I couldn’t even tell you exactly what was going on in my head because it was just so hard to see my school like that. For me it was more of a wake-up call, like, damn, this is really, really, bad. I gotta help out. How bad was the school damaged? Was it closed down? Well, it was closed right after the storm, but my high school was one of the few high schools that stayed open after, and they actually brought in [students from] other schools. It was halfway destroyed. The library was completely gone and the extensions of the school were all swept away. The school had a lot of damage. I couldn’t even tell you how much, but for a school that holds up to 9,000 kids or more, only about 1,000 to 2,000 kids came back. Is New Orleans the main focus for your foundation right now, or are you doing work anywhere else? Right now I’m just trying to help out in any way that I can. That’s really my biggest thing. I do charitable events all across the country, and wherever somebody needs me, I show up. But I always try to at least make a contact to somehow, someway, bring it back to New Orleans. What do you hope to get out of it? How will New Orleans be better off in the future as a result of the work you’re doing? Right now, I’m thinking small. I’m just helping to rebuild my high school, and I don’t know, maybe they’ll name a hall after me, or something. Hopefully in the long run my contributions to New Orleans will at least make a mark on the city so that they know they can turn to me in any time of need. They definitely have all my support. I’d like to eventually open a youth center down there, and have


after school programs to help the kids out, because it’s so easy for them to fall into some nonsense, or street violence, or something that they have no business doing. They have so much talent. I met this 8-year-old kid in Baltimore, and he had this shot that even made Allen Iverson say, “Damn!” All eyes were on this kid playing basketball. I asked him about his family, because it’s real easy for them to get negatively influenced. And I adopted this kid because I didn’t want to see him waste his talent. He is so talented. I wanna make sure kids like him get the opportunity to just stay out of trouble and accomplish great things. So I’m funding him. I’m sponsoring him. For instance, his mama needs help paying for basketball camp; so I’m definitely gonna help out. But there’s rules and regulations to everything. He has to keep up a certain grade point average, he can’t be messin’ up in school, and he has to remember that school is first. It definitely doesn’t come free. I read a story about you that said, “Rocsi’s dreams don’t last long because she turns them into reality.” And that seems to be true. You started out doing street team promotions, then you went to radio, and now you’re hosting BET’s flagship show. How did that happen? I got the position through the New Faces Talent Search that BET did. I won the contest [out of 5,000 competitors], and after I won, I was still kinda in shock. It was bittersweet for me because I had to leave radio, and I love radio. I really do. So, I had to leave Chicago [where I worked as the Midday Mami on Power 92], and I had made a home in Chicago. I had to come to New York and start all over again. So I was a little scared, and I even doubted myself, like, “Man, am I gonna be able to do 106th & Park? Am I gonna be what the people like?” You see it on TV, but when you’re up there it’s a whole different mindset. When you’re up there, you’re wondering if they really like you. It turns into a popularity contest. It was a scary transition, but I’m glad it worked out for the best. Yeah, there will always be critics. Oh yeah, you’re always gonna have the haters, but I thank Katt Williams for saying, “If you’ve got 15 haters, you better get 30,” or something like that. You gotta just embrace the haters. As a Latin woman in Hip Hop I’m sure you’ve had some unique obstacles to overcome, especially working at BET? Definitely. I really try not to bring ethnicity and my race into things, but I can say that it was hurdle to jump to be a Latin woman on a black network. Julissa definitely took most of the backlash of being the Latin face of 106th & Park first, so I commend her. She really went through it. People can be mean. But when it comes to me, I’m Hip Hop before anything, I know what I’m talking about, and I know what I’m doing. Not to be cocky about it, but give people a chance. I just try to adapt to my surroundings and try to do the best job that I can. I never tried to come across as something that I’m not. I’m just me. I’m just real. //




Miami, FL // august 10-13, 2007

(l-r): Jacki-O, K-Foxx, & Trina hosted the Sobe Live kickoff party (Photo: Terrence Tyson); The weekend was brought to you by Defient Entertainment’s Paul Gulbronson & Greg Calloway, shown with OZONE’s Julia Beverly (Photo: D-Ray); Defient artist Jon Young performed along with labelmates J Cash & Corey Bapes; Sobe Entertainment’s Stack$ (Photos: Terrence Tyson)

(l-r): Hurricane Chris stopped by to holla at the DJs: Guest, Element, & Q45; Jim Jonsin, B.O.B., & Roc; Upcoming Miami artists Flo-Rida & Joe Hound (Photos: Terrence Tyson)


(clockwise from below): Trey Songz fans (Photo: Bogan); Lil Duval & Joker da Bailbondsman (Photo: D-Ray); DJ Element & DJ Entice (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Trey Songz performing (Photo: Bogan)


(clockwise from above): Big Bank Hank (Photo: J Lash); OZONE & TJ’s DJ’s crew were all in the building - Eric Perrin & Keith Kennedy; N. Ali Early & Tene Gooden; Alishea, Keisha Glinton, & Brandii Johnson; Kenny Brewer & Randy Roper (Photos: Terrence Tyson); Fidel Cashflow & guest (Photo: Terrence Tyson); DJ Juice & PK (Photo: D-Ray); 1/2 of Piccalo & Toro; The CORE DJs Mr Pill, Aleshia Steele, & Tony Neal; Arnold Turner & guest (Photos: J Lash)



Miami, FL // august 10-13, 2007

(above l-r): K-Foxx hosting the CTE & 8732 Tasties Fashion Show @ Chakra (first four photos: J Lash); Cassidy performing with TJ’s DJ’s & CTE bodypainted models; Foxx; J-Money (Photos: Edward Hall)

(clockwise from above): M-Geezy, Young Cash, Grandaddy Souf, & Ike G Da; Lil Jon & Hurricane Chris (Photos: Terrence Tyson); Trae & Foxx (Photo: Intl K); one of the OZONE/CRUNK!!! trucks outside Chakra (Photo: D-Ray); Bingo, Crazy T, Stay Fresh, Lil Jon, Lucky Leon, & D-Tec reppin’ OZONE; Playaz Circle performing (Photos: Edward Hall)

(clockwise from above): Luc-Duc & JT Money (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Cartoon Network’s Nick Weidenfeld with Trae’s Family Guy pieces; Big Al & Cheryl Moss; DJ Scorpio, DJ Princess Cut, & 4-Ize (Photos: Intl K); Supa Cindy & Julia Beverly; Ms Rivercity & Dirt Diggla; Diamond of Crime Mob & DJ Demp; Shoeb Malik, Dee Boi, & Tarvoria; Ooops, guest, & Malik Abdul; Jim Jonsin & Young Cash (Photos: Terrence Tyson)


(above l-r): CTE’s Roccett (Photo: D-Ray); Grandaddy Souf; Joe Hound; C-Ride (Photos: J Lash); Midget Mac & Young Cash (Photo: Terrence Tyson); RawLT; Chamillionaire (Photos: Edward Hall)



Miami, FL // august 10-13, 2007


(clockwise from right): the Producer Panel with (top) Nasty Beatmakers, Cool & Dre, Play & Skillz, TJ Chapman, Mannie Fresh, (bottom) Nitti, Bryan Michael Cox, Polow da Don, & Drumma Boy (Photo: Ray Tamarra); the crowd at the Producer Panel; Bryan Michael Cox & Polow da Don (Photos: D-Ray); the Media Panel with (top) Randy Roper, Buttahman, Wendy Day, (bottom) Matt Sonzala, Darnella Dunham, 1st Lady El, & Grouchy Greg; Ric Ross, Wendy Day, Jason Geter, Keith Kennedy, guest, & Kaspa the Don (Photos: Ray Tamarra); DJ Smallz, DJ Khaled, DJ Q45, DJ Scorpio, & OG Ron C on the DJ Panel (Photo: Terrence Tyson)

(clockwise from right): Swirl reppin’ Prestige Luxury Auto; the Morton sisters (Photos: J Lash); Portia, Mercedes, & D-Ray (Photo: D-Ray); Mr Pill, Cory Mo, Trae, Felli Fel, Tony Neal, & RawLT reppin’ OZONE (Photo: Bogan); Treal & DJ Slym (Photo: Terrence Tyson)


(clockwise from above left): Strictly Business models; the Strictly Business Lounge; Defient Entertainment & Wally Sparks; Redd Eyezz & crew; Trae & JackiO (Photos: J Lash)


(clockwise from above): Wally Sparks & DJ Smallz (Photo: Ray Tamarra); Mannie Fresh & Supa Cindy; Foxx & Tax Holloway (Photos: Terrence Tyson); Sean Mac & Freddy Hydro on the DJ Panel (Photo: J Lash); Rob G & Rapid Ric; Roccett & Brandi Garcia; DJ Impact, Meshah Hawkins, & Tony Neal; Grit Boys & Spark Dawg; Manicurists & masseuses @ Asylum Records’ DJ Pampering suite (Photos: Intl K); DJ Chill & 1/2 of Play & Skillz (Photo: Ray Tamarra)


(below l-r): Memphitz & Freekey Zekey (Photo: Intl K); DJ Funky, DJ Princess Cut, DJ X-Rated, & DJ J-Nice (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Promotions Panelists Corey Llewellen, Adam Favors, Jazz, & Lex (Photo: Ray Tamarra); Hurricane Chris, Trae, & Killer Mike at the Artist Panel (Photo: Intl K)

(clockwise from above): Smilez, Acafool, & Southstar (Photo: Ray Tamarra); Trey Songz, Ric Ross, & Clyde Carson (Photo: Edward Hall); Smitty, Teddy T, & C.O. (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Baby Boy & Freeway (Photo: Marcus DeWayne); Mercedes & the Demolition Men (Photo: D-Ray); Lil Duval & Haitian Fresh (Photo: Edward Hall)

(clockwise from above): King Yella & Malik Abdul (Photo: Edward Hall); Pastor Troy & J Cash; Xtaci & DJ Chuck T; Brisco & Bensiour (Photos: Terrence Tyson); Pimpin’ Ken & DJ Khaled (Photo: King Yella); Big Will & DJ Epps (Photo: J Lash); Kevin Black & Steve Raze; Hot Dollar & Young City; Wendy Day & the TMI Boyz (Photos: Intl K); Baby Boy & Grandaddy Souf (Photo: Ray Tamarra)


(clockwise from above left): BloodRaw, Pitbull, TJ Chapman, Diamond, Lil Scrappy, & Princess on the Artist Panel (Photo: Ray Tamarra); Panelists Eric Nicks, Shawn “Tubby” Holiday, Kevin Black, TJ Chapman, Memphitz, & Chad Brown (Photo: Ms Rivercity); the Artist Panel (Photo: Ray Tamarra); Slim Thug & Trey Songz on the Artist Panel (Photo: Marcus DeWayne); Lil Scrappy on the Artist Panel; Artist Panelists Mistah FAB, Kia Shine, Clyde Carson, TJ Chapman, Fabo, Trae, BloodRaw, Lil Scrappy, Diamond & Princess of Crime Mob, Pitbull, & Killer Mike (Photos: J Lash); DJ Crew Panelists Ray Hamilton, TJ Chapman, Tony Neal, Bigga Rankin, Crisco Kidd, 1st Lady El, Kaspa the Don, & Felli Fel (Photo: Ray Tamarra)


Miami, FL // august 10-13, 2007





Miami, FL // august 10-13, 2007


(clockwise from left): TJ Chapman & DJ Khaled; Plies @ The Real Testament album release party @ Mansion, presented by Big Gates/Slip-NSlide/Atlantic Records; DJ Nasty & Pitbull; Rick Ross & Pastor Troy; Lil Scrappy & Diamond of Crime Mob; Rick Ross & the Carol City Cartel with guests & Don Fetti; Cool Runnings’ Shane & Bigga Rankin, DJ Entice, Supastar J-Kwik, & DJ Nasty; TV Johnny, Southstar, & guest; Bay Bay, Hurricane Chris, & Big Teach; Rick Ross, Shay a.k.a. Buckeey, & DJ Demp (Photos: Terrence Tyson)

(clockwise from left): B.G. & Big Kuntry (Photo: Marcus DeWayne); B.G.; DJ Drama & Keak da Sneak (Photos: D-Ray); Flo-Rida (Photo: Marcus DeWayne); Twista (Photo: Edward Hall), B.O.B. & Brisco (Photo: Ms Rivercity)

(clockwise from above): Many Atlantic Records artists were in the building for Plies release party including DJ Drama & LA The Darkman; Jim Jones; Papoose & Cipha Sounds filming for MTV’s Sucker Free; Bibi Guns, Memphitz, & Jeanise Chaplin; DJ Chuck T & OZONE’s Randy Roper; Killer Mike, DJ Princess Cut & Yela Wolf; Slip-N-Slide’s Ted Lucas & Byron Trice helped make the night possible; Princess of Crime Mob & Plies’ DJ Suga D; Mighty Mike & Wes Fif; G-Mack & Freeway (Photos: Terrence Tyson)

2nd ANNUAL OZONE AWARDS & TJ’s DJ’s WEEKEND RECAP Miami, FL // august 10-13, 2007

(above l-r): Trina; Lil Scrappy & Diamond of Crime Mob (Photos: Ray Tamarra); Kia Shine & his wife; T.Q.; DJ Chuck T & Buckeey; Devin the Dude & Blowfly; Kandi from Xscape, Baby Boy, & Rasheeda; Soulja Boy (Photos: J Lash) (left l-r): Aleshia Steele, Grandaddy Souf, & guest; T-Pain (Photos: J Lash); Fat Joe (Photo: Ray Tamarra) (below): Flo-Rida making a grand entrance on the red carpet (Photo: Matt Weichel)

(clockwise from below): OZONE Awards host Lil Duval (Photo: Johnny Louis); Doughboy & Bryan Michael Cox (Photo: J Lash); B.O.B., Yela Wolf, Cubo, Pitbull, & Jim Jonsin; Defient Entertainment’s J Cash, Greg Calloway, Dan Callahan, Paul Gulbronson, & Jon Young; Jagged Edge; Trill Entertainment’s Webbie, Foxx, & Lil Boosie (Photos: Ray Tamarra); Haitian Fresh, his mascot, & Redd Eyezz (Photo: J Lash)

(clockwise from above): Gorilla Zoe & Yung Joc; Lil Ru & Collard Greens; B.G. & Mannie Fresh (Photos: Ray Tamarra); Fabo & Khujo Goodie (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Yung Chill, Scooby of the Grit Boys, & Young Twin (Photo: Matt Weichel); Murphy Lee, Big Gipp, St. Lunatics, & DJ Demp; Mannie Fresh & Trey Songz; Freekey Zeekey & Benji Brown; The Shop Boyz; Rick Ross & Carol City Cartel (Photos: J Lash)


(above l-r): Pitbull, Polow da Don, & DG Yola; Plies (Photos: J Lash)




Miami, FL // august 10-13, 2007


(above l-r): OZONE Award winners included Rick Ross for TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Award; T-Pain & Plies for Best Rap/R&B Collaboration; Killer Mike for Best Mixtape/Street Album; Lil Wayne for Best Lyricist, Best Male Rap Artist, & Mixtape Monster (Photos: Ray Tamarra) (clockwise from right): Some of the OZONE Awards standout performances included Baby, DJ Khaled, Brisco, & Lil Wayne (“In The Hood” & “Championship Pop Bottles”) (Photo: Ray Tamarra); Soulja Boy (“Crank Dat Supaman”) (Photo: J Lash); Foxx & Lil Boosie (“Wipe Me Down”) (Photo: Ray Tamarra); Lil Wayne & Lloyd (“You”); USDA’s BloodRaw, Young Jeezy, & Slick Pulla (“Corporate Thuggin’” & “White Girl”) (Photos: J Lash); Rick Ross, Baby, Lil Wayne, & DJ Khaled (“We Takin’ Over”) (Photo: Ray Tamarra)


(clockwise from below): Lil Wayne & Plies (Photo: Marcus DeWayne); OZONE & TJ’s DJ’s crew: Kisha Smith, Phoenix Higgins, Dior George, Keisha Glinton, Keith Kennedy, Eric Perrin, guest, & Kenny Brewer (Photo: Terrence Tyson); No more beef between B.G. & Baby (Photo: King Yella); Juelz Santana, Jim Jones, Polow da Don, & Rich Boy (Photo: Ray Tamarra)


(clockwise from above): Baby & his son, Lil Wayne, & Slim (Photo: King Yella); Trina, JackiO, & K-Foxx dressed as Wonder Woman, Superwoman, & Storm; Gil Green & DJ Khaled with their Best Video Award; Chingy & Chaka Zulu; E-Class & Flo-Rida (Photos: J Lash); Fabo & Lloyd; Soulja Boy, Pitbull, & Yo Gotti (Photos: King Yella); Cellski & Benzino (Photo: Ray Tamarra); Soulja Boy & Hurricane Chris (Photo: Intl K); Fat Joe, Trick Daddy, & Rick Ross (Photo: Leon Lloyd)



i o B i r t n u o C dallas, tx

], it was 2.2 wasn’t 2.5 [million on TVT Records. “It thing like al no de or ed et uir dg bu acq y my w much I get or king about his newl ho t ea ou d. sp ab rte en lie sta wh ’s n’t st he ne do ountri Boi is ho prosperous path uthern drawl. “I rapper in a thick So et if he keeps on the dg bu a t ou ab rry [million],” says the wo a teenager, he per won’t have to the West Coast. As that.” The Dallas rap mother relocated to ed the gang lifestyle and stayed his rld wo the ed got involv r ortly after he enter le. Once his mothe rn in Dallas but sh in and out of troub n Countri Boi was bo tte go d ha ast co t decided that the lef they returned to us a little too dangero nt in then had a brief sti Dallas. Countri Boi to Dallas me ho ed urn ret d the military an r. on for his rap caree to lay the foundati k loc ep Ke th wi ed up He eventually hook ly led him to ate im ult o wh t, en Entertainm his deal with TVT.


ted to the artist The label was attrac background, which al tur cul his because of ile veling the world wh was developed tra in ing ng bri up His ry. o enlisted in the milita als rld wo rap the s of two different region deal. By mixing the a helped him to secure ing West Coast upbring influences from his i is Bo tri un Co n, tow and his Dallas home but w sound on his de trying to bring a ne m gonna speak on . “I’ album Countriversy ven’t t other rappers ha a lot of things tha .” ’96 or ’95 touched on since ing “I’m A Boss” featur With the first single the airg tin hit ug Th m Sli Rick Ross and rs boasting guest sta waves and an album E-40 and Snoop ), Dre like Dre (of Cool & flexing his regional Dog, Countri Boi is his debut. ate cre to connections to mething? You need “You think that’s so re’” ss, Bo A to ‘I’m check out the remix when asked about per plies the Dallas rap Boy, ’s gonna have Rich his new single. “It th, Tru the e Tra el, Sig ie David Banner, Bean me everybody that’s na Kiotti….I can’t even a be ’s just say it’s gonn gonna be on it. Let ix. Believe rem ’ od Blo e ‘On longer than the ist re than twenty art me; it’s gonna be mo t.” tha for t ou e ey ep an on the song, so ke en untri Boi is outspok But even though Co ll a self-described sti is and confident, he “humble dude.” streets, don’t be “If you see me in the talk with me. We d an afraid to come up with e to be in contact can chop it up. I lik websites or the on up me hit my fans, so atever.” // the myspaces or wh lockentertainment


Words by DeVaughn




Atlanta, GA

Doughboy rap’s most he’s co-signed by two of September. Even though in d lf. ase itse rele for aks st spe mo t m tha sts that his music r average rapper. It’s a clai popular DJs, Doughboy insi oughboy says he’s not you sic doesn’t live up to the mu ir the if n eve , erly ed rapper says. “My artists shout eag true. h air,” the east Atlanta-br oy’s case, it just might be “It’s like a breath of fres e.” don ly ual act declaration. But in Doughb I’ve I talk about stuff is legit. Everything n Bria sic, mu an urb in ers led “I Gets st respected produc Backed by one of the mo Book, the gravelly, guitarbeen anything but lly. And unlike lead single from Da Cook gh’s musical journey has sica His Dou mu s far s iver thu del de , he ma Cox t , l per wha hae Jas of Mic is oy” is a prime example than just and business partner, Chr re ghB r mo Dou the for bro d , his goo sso s and he’ Pica He sts l. norma introduced to him through Atlanta peers, Dough insi ng his ,” he says. “I bei of r e me of afte som Cox end h the wit the t’s the connection have one song and tha ressed by Dough’s grind, just Imp ’t el. don lab “I . hit. Inc to.” en one aby list ckb an A&R for Cox’s Bla stuff that you’re gonna venture with Dough’s producer formed a joint got albums of songs. I got Dough’s yet-toGrammy Award-winning for h hig are s tion ecta by up and lly, exp e Me a Profit” produced Nu Breed imprint. Natura newest single, “Gotta Mak e in early 2008. ize Boyz), his s nch etim say Fra som He Dem out ne, due , Way um be-titled alb Maestro (David Banner, Lil er, “Selling duc l. pro wel ing and com e aliv r-old offers, adding t critics say, Hip Hop is aspects of life,” the 26 yea proves that no matter wha l, but I want more coo is m tinu pla ng goi “I’m bringing the real live . l and is based on good lyricism a million ringtones is coo s. “I want longevity.” // that at the core, his music he says, his voice seriou t,” tha n tha In 3’s 200 , ject pro nt nde epe with his first ind He got his musical feet wet boybeatfactory h DJ Khaled, Da Cook s dropped a mixtape wit www.myspace.com/dough the Game. Since then he’ ma, which was Dra DJ h wit lz Gril a gst a Gan Book, and also recorded // Photo by Terrence Tyson Words by Jacinta Howard




a m r a P Don prichard, al

to take the But he was willing ’t have been there. e who Don ldn tiv ou ecu sh ex he , Jam hts f the promise of a De Rikers Island. By rig ng on sti le “I did that ho Tru s. . nth -Z the in mo Jay g th rma was sittin in the box for eight chance meeting wi n a ow — kd n so loc of rea e ot long ago, Don Pa urs on through 23 ho another inmate for usin, Don suffered blame for sticking take the L for his co the to him ed ding inc nv says co , Alabama native, ad it.” rily jovial Prichard reiterates. sh ina d he an ord ,” s ng the car s eti on me say rk a ,” for go fishing and wo ular country dude s Island. “I’m a reg ng” if they catch him before noon. “I sed to be on Riker’ rni po mo sup d en oo s like ev “g y lly art rea He wasn’t residents, Don say rby with a he Known as PA to its blem greeting passe the city of pe sco the , that he has no pro ns most American tow resist ck came. Unable to changed when cra t ingo n Do y, ne quick mo the temptation of found another on so t bu , me ga from volved in the — transporting guns route to get dough The stint landed him in rk. naAlabama to New Yo amous prisons in the time one of the most inf life a in ce d him a on tion, but also offere opportunity. fat Rikers, Don, a sel ll Before doing time s already we wa , ad he p Ho Hip proclaimed r in g a successful caree on his way to pavin ducing for other artpro music, writing and dit of prison he imme ists. When he got ou orded a track rec He rk. wo to ck ately got ba ho still ich the executive (w with Ghostface, wh mediim se) mi pro his on hadn’t made good the n bumping around ately liked and bega landed in the hands the it lly tua office. Even intert the rapper wasn’t of Jay’s cousin. Bu track the d nte wa He n. ested in signing Do roster, uthern artist on his for another hot so Young Jeezy. this not selling records “I was like ‘Yo, I’m gh to ou en t ho I’m “If bers. year.’” Don remem e me giv can u yo er niggas, sell records to oth ” a record deal. of , but off the strength Jay didn’t sign him him nd fou Don soon his industry buzz, ga r, eventually landin self in a bidding wa but de His . tic an Atl th distribution deal wi label, t next year on his Haterproof is due ou says his sound is like . He Major Greater Music music with down South ed European synthesiz of his ntioning that two drums under it, me Serbia. d an a ati Cro m il fro main producers ha women and white ns “I make records for “See, the hood cosig y s. gh people,” Don lau homebo y the m fro it sh you. But they get the ine love for music genu and burn it.” Don’s en arts has already tak coupled with his sm emerging rappers. st mo him eons beyond d my of my time I correcte n’t “I’m so far ahead do “I s. ert ass he rday,” next mistake yeste out guns and ab hit lls bu the all gotta scream be a e. I’m not trying to drugs. I did my tim gangsta.” //




ward Words by Jacinta Ho urces Jr. sso De l he Mic by Photo



Cupid B


y now almost everyone has probably heard about Cup done his dance at the club id. Even if you don’t kno w the , at The Louisiana native’s new a wedding, at a cookout, or wherever large groups man, himself, you’ve probably dance song has managed of people meet and music to cross genres as well as eryone in between enjoyi is playing. ng the music. His first sing age barriers with young, has been climbing the cha old, and evle, “Th e Cupid Shuffle” off of his rts and playing on nation debut album It’s Time For al networks. And when he just referring to the Hip A Change Hop charts. says his album is climbin g the charts, Cupid is not “I do R&B music. I’m not a rapper. I’m an R&B singer. The ‘Cupid Shu ffle’ is playing on five different formats : jazz, contemporary, R&B, pop and Hip Hop. Music is music and I’m trying to get my voice out there.”

Cupid is also not fazed by the criticism he receives for not making “real Hip Hop.” “Like I said, I’m an R&B sing er. I just make music. I mean, how do you characterize something like the ‘Cupid Shuffle?’ The people who criticize me, I call them dinosaurs. They’re stuck in their old ways. I don’t even see the m. I don’t pay attention to them at all. It’s just being creative. Everything cha nges and evolves with times. You can have my music in the deck right next to Unk and T.I. because it’s all music. Where I’m from, you’ve got so many influences. There’s Bat with the jig movement, New on Rouge Orleans with the bounce, Texas with the Screw, Atlanta with the crunk. There are just so many elements that affect my music.” The R&B singer also tackle s some subjects on the album tha t listeners might not expect after hea ring his first single. “There’s a song on the album called ‘Don’t Love Her To Death,’ which addresses men who are violent towards their women. You can lov e a woman, but you never at any point hav e the right to hit her or take her life awa y. Don’t get me wrong, there’s going to be fun stuff on the album. There’s goi ng to be ballads and up-tempo tracks, but its still going to address some real wor ld issues,” he says. With all the work that Cup id has put in, it looks like he’s finally sta rting to reap the rewards. His debut alb um might bring about the change in his life like the title states. “I sold records out my trunk,” he reflects. “I did weddings. I worked jobs. I put my way through sch ool working hard at this music.” // www.cupidshuffle.net Words by DeVaughn Dougla s Photo by Andrew Zaeh



y t i C n e e Gr

killeen, tx

TX, is hometown Killen, nickname of their Scott, Big Spade J. , MJ up, named after the s, xu gro e Tex Th ng l producer). Dawg, Mike Hee, Yu group should be rea and is their in-house Brand composed of Spark of the Killeen, TX rap uston rap legend is hails from Atlanta um lly alb ua t act bu Ni de ir (Ghe seven members Ho the Ni and Gcomplete ce. Thankful that the dy working hard to “Like A Porn Star . Thankful that the thankful for Scarfa The group is alrea -assisted first single re into the rap game sh de nc Fre Un tra ie el en nn ir lab Ma the his its ng to endorsi signed them New Money with ed them so much he ld be thankful that the rapper tar).” ou respected lyricist lik (Party Like A Rocks sh y the , all m. of gy never st g mo xin t bo Bu . the ad at ilro ll Ra I thought I would ski d groun d of unbelievable; hands” keeps up his kin was s ck his wa ba th it r wi ou d ce, ve oo ‘Fa “g ha th ll who’s sti “Working wi uth and for him to So er mb the he of – me g up him Kin gro cts s the pe Everybody res at a gym,” recall meet him. He is ng out in exclaims pass to anywhere. cause Face heard us h school were worki music on the map!” e him giving us a G “We got signed be hig lik rap m as fro y Tex t ow the pu kn at He we wh re! ys m he gu the t o ou ed “Tw it . ask sh wg s ce Da thi rfa d Spark starte pes. Sca t he to one of our mixta e Hee. s just a mixtape bu the gym listening group member Mik uld he buy it. It wa we co t ou ere nd wh d fou an us, w group. “I to th wi ct nta co in were listening t go to work with the ne flavor, they eady signed. He be just as excited w to ne a ars pe ng ap bri y ce the rfa thought we were alr ne, and the rest is history.” se Sca for Green City cau yo x ever seen for an bo ve to ha d the I ne of t ion sig ou ’t tat ed weren stepp t his have the best presen eping on Green City.” ou ey s Th int . po do d y an the up at just do wh ve been sle y signed gro t signed, people ha of faith in his newl . // the business when Scarface has a lot a group trying to ge g up when Brand New Money drops . “I am the best in p ure Fli fut ’ ir Lil ll, the e Wa kin cas ul Pa wa e, be air ld on ou illi sh le am Ch op past picks to show Pe ht TX and raw talent. I broug up going to Killeen, it comes to finding y didn’t bite. I end e never the u’v t yo bu , cityrecords ng thi Jam f me De so to and T.I. myspace.com/green some different shit, on are ey Th y. dz Cit found Green by O.G. of Luxury Min Douglas // Photos hn ug Va De by heard before.” rds Wo




Hoodlum K

iwanne “K-Dub” Rivers, Robert “Phamous” Jewell, Cydel “Prynce” Young, Deven “Era” Smith and Melvin “Info” Mackgatlin, the five early twenty-somethings that make up Hoodlum, are sitting inside a medium-sized office at Sho’Nuff. They’re supposed to be talking about their debut album, …late 1900s, due out on Sho’Nuff/Def Jam early next year. Instead, Era is remembering a time that McGruff the Crime Dog came to his elementary school to give a speech. “Once he left, we all went back to class but I ended up going to the restroom,” he recalls deliberately, his eyes faraway. “I saw him outside with his costume hat off, smoking a cigarette and I just watched. I went home and asked my mom, ‘Now how can he tell me not to do this?’ It’s the same thing with us. I’m not gonna tell you to do nothing that I wouldn’t do.” And therein lies the concept behind Hoodlum. With the on-wax chemistry of Nappy Roots, raw intelligence of Goodie MOB and 10-Point perspective of the Black Panthers, Hoodlum isn’t your proto-typical Atlanta-based group. “We talk about the other side of the game,” Cy explains in his raspy voice, adding that they don’t just brag about getting money and selling keys. “We talk about niggaz in the penitentiary doing 25 for that, niggas getting out that been in the hole for 20 years that don’t even know how to work a TV.” Songs like “The Package” where each verse personifies a different issue — AIDS, weed and weapons of mass destruction - and “Mr. No Face” which

Atlanta, GA

talks about a faceless junkie, father and victim of the prison system, further reiterate Hoodlum’s desire to break from cookie-cutter mold that’s become standard. “If we wanted to be super hard, we’d call ourselves thugs,” Info says. “A hoodlum is clean cut, well-mannered. Thugs die young — hoodlums are in the neighborhood. Steal from the rich, give to the poor. That’s what we on.” While it’s clear that Hoodlum is definitely on a mission, the truth is that they still have to play industry politics. “We’re not getting the Jody Breeze treatment,” K-Dub states stoically, referring to their labelmate who after three years of being signed has yet to drop his once-anticipated debut. Even still, they’re prepared to revert back to releasing mixtapes should politics rear its head, like 2006’s indie outing, Hard Labor with DJ Scream. “We ain’t tryin’ to be one of them groups that pop up and be gone after they first single,” Cy surmises. “Niggas is cool with show money, but we ain’t cool with show money. We got the type of records where if we put them out, George Bush gonna be callin’. That’s how real we speak on it.” // myspace.com/hoodlumatl Words by Jacinta Howard // Photo by Derek Blanks



d n u o H e o J MIAMI, FL

d how ida. When aske d e in South Flor pe tre m ht bu I rig . e ol th me high scho is barking up e went to the sa l studio in Miami, Hound bel, Joe Hound Dr la d sic an e Mu “M ic , em lls d reca e’s Epid in a loca p he under Cool & Dr associates, Houn ecting with Dre th the rap grou ith distribution e situation with his Epidemic pin’ ever since.” After reconn parted ways wi gan taking steps ly al tu en th m ev d bu he encountere s been on and part of and be n. was originally ck in ’98 and it’ into him in a ba lucrative positio e or m a s rd towa e heavy hitting stockpiled som Although he’s leading factor d’s music is the ncosigners, Houn oning rap career. At the begi d ge ur an e bo s Dr hi g in nd behi r” featur ar, “My Choppe of Miami nt fro ning of this ye re fo e th Hound to ed C-Ride brought ea DJ from Khal d had every ar in d ee sp e street music an . Th g on the record the to Ideal hoppin ught on was staggering and ca ng so e there was t bu e, which th siv es pr rs were im talYouTube numbe single from capi m keeping the th wi ‘em t hi a slight proble d potential. “I ha ins izing on its full reet single and I got some sp st e ly. th nd as rie r’ -f ‘Choppe radio un , but it was very e the album and off that record omot pr to rd co re o ,” I needed a radi I ended up with ‘She Likes It’ so e m e ot om pr to . Hound explains ing towards releas a steady track es Hound is now on sery Loves Company. “She Lik Mi m y bu “M al as t n bu tio de his oduc same quality pr iented hook proIt” features the e female-or th r, ve ore we ho Chopper,” el aimed at a m ely different fe ra vides a complet ce. When it comes to collabo en di ty au un Co am de tre Da ns s hi mai rks closely with ag. tions, Hound wo records with C-Ride and DirtB t go ve Ross if “I’ ck Ri th wi brethren. rd co I g to get a re of [my album]. I’m really tryin produced most special because e Dr & ol Co n. I ca real m’s going to be the opportunity think this albu ’ll all have we if eat ow kn r ain. It was a gr you neve cord together ag this to be able to re know it’s Epidemic artists on l u’l Yo e. nc rie pe ex album.” tion never any ques s tive, there was i wa m ia “M , ys sa For this 305 na d end up. Houn ayed football where he was to t football. We pl e it in ou ab tly an in predom n’t mak ways said if I ca usic.” After a year round. I al e it in m ak m a nn go ed s football, I wa orts, Hound turn a ry ruled out sp nn ju in go s ol wa ho sc ne gh rtu hi fo usic ve. “I guess my to his second lo I decided a while back that m ic. us m my own in g in en op be made f el ys me. I see m don’t is what it is for ns decide they int. When the fa ast I can bring po e on at l be le la und no more, at nd want to hear Ho t and I can be in the backgrou e ou se el y . That’s th ny pa m somebod co y m r oject unde working their pr // .” al go ehound305 myspace.com/jo



Words by Ms Ri



Pachino Dino Charleston, SC


iming couldn’t have been worse for Pa chino Dino in 2002 album Dummin’ Ou . When his debut ind t hit the streets, the ependent Charleston, SC rappe behind bars in a Fe de r found himself sit ral pe nit entiary on firearm my time and the alb ting and drug charges. um came out, I fel “When I was doing t lik now,’” Dino says in a thick Geechee dia e, ‘Damn, I wish I could have been ou lect. “Dummin’ Out t there right into that. The shit meant so much to was straight real, me. I put so much live, raw and uncut reality, gangsta music. If yo u don’t feel that, I don’t kn ow what to say ab out you.” As Dino sat, the str eets spoke loud an d clear. Dino’s album, cons idered by many to be a Carolina classic, fill ed with murderous rhy and hardcore tales of sex and drugs, cre mes ated an unprecedented street buzz in SC. “Ch arleston loved [the album ]. we were waiting on That was something down here. Not jus t Charleston, but thr oughout South Carol ina,” Dino explains. Despite his four an da proper planning an half year incarceration, d subsequent mater ial helped Dino remain one of South Carol ina’s most talked about and respected emcee s. “I had a good promo tion and marketing sch even though I was locked up,” Dino ex eme, plains “I put in so much wo rk in the studio; I ha . lot of music on de ck. So what I did wa d a s chop it up and stretched it out, to where as I could put a CD out this ye ar, I could put a CD out next year, I could put a CD out the year aft er that, even though I was locked up. I just tim ed it out to the ‘T’ to ke ep my shit burning until I got back.” Five years since rel easing his debut alb um, Dino is back on the str benefits from what eets and reaping the he started. Since be ing released from the bing, Dino has reu nited with Dummin’ Out producer and popu lar SC beatmaker Twin D for his latest comp ilation project and first un der his Hard Head Reco imprint, entitled GMixxin’. Now that he rds second chance, he has a ’s making the best of it. He’s currently in talks wi th major labels to nationally re-release thi s debut album and back his next project Hustlin’ and Head Bustin’. An he insists, the next d, time he drops an alb um it won’t be from the belly of the beast. “Everything happen s for a reason,” he rationalizes. “Everythi ng’s coming aroun d full circle. So next time I’m going to be ou t here.” Word to Akon. // myspace.com/break


Words by Randy Ro per Photo by Carminski Lat




e s e e R Raw


United ighborhoods in the most dangerous ne native en the ev of , e ne on yo an it’s , ss lly pre city in Illinois. Actua d rape. That morbid reality could de .” st lie rld nd wo frie the of the ’t rt ast St. Louis isn like the dark pa ault, murder an ly high rates of ass year-old says. “It’s States with alarming a closed area. That’s all it is,” the 25 , he was “It’s High School in 2001 rapper Raw Resse. slept from East St. Louis he ng ati nt, du me gra art er ap ’s Aft . crashed at a friend tricken metropolis y -s od all rty go dic ve rio the po pe for the ist all th r wi was the struggling art Resse is too familia mostly in his car. It his mother. Though y. She feels like by pla n’t use do ho ma the ma of t y booted ou though. “M you the nest and once a bird has to leave when a s at’ Th t. ou u yo ks get grown, she kic didn’t n,” he explains. “It I man has to be a ma se cau be g on ke me str do nothing but ma nted me to wa t jus e Sh . ng mi had a child co d do e my language, an get off my ass, excus .” life something with my and eer more seriously Resse took his car as he dio stu the at e spent as much tim ase to Wal-Mart, purch could. He would go his music and rn bu s, CD nk bla of 50-packs eet mixtapes on the str sell his homemade for ten dollars.


m eive much love fro Though he didn’t rec ed a strong following lop ve de deejays, Resse Lot as a result, Rap-A- ding in the streets and bid nimi a in d ge enga Records and Sony he chose to stay d, en the In . him war over Ren with Rap-A-Lot independent and sig paperwork done fast ir the d to cords. “They had time. I really wante and I was hot at the “I . ins pla ex he market,” jump fresh on the ent.” w and I was differ was fresh, I was ne Pimp C d an B n Bu th wi Also, collaborating al. helped seal the de s released a slew of s Since then, Resse ha eet Credit earlier thi Str material including ling sel top the of e on e year, which becam ild west. Looking to bu mixtapes in the Mid is working on sse Re m, ntu me upon his mo t don’t ed debut album. Bu his currently untitl ” Aside es. On s rce Fo r “Ai t expect songs abou orty” tracks like “Hey Sh from radio-friendly of Trillville, Resse P n Do ing tur fea and “24’s” city. reflects on his gritty use g proud. With a ho Raw Resse is feelin port from Rap-Asup d an , GA in Atlanta, more able to live a little Lot Records, he is the of e on is uis Lo St. comfortably. “East vivsur me h Wit . ow I kn most violent places al, it made me feel a de ing it and getting when plishing something good about accom he e,” tiv ga ne ng thi me I could’ve done so oices. t to make good ch admits. “You just go // es.” A lot of good choic se myspace.com/rawres r

Words by Bear Frazie



e r e c n Si

Y Louisville, K

. A lot of good thing for me d and it was a real ad Ali, is le. We sse mm vil ha ble uis Lo Mu I’m d of rt. t an po ou ss, a lot of sup e of music coming ge the Derby, blue gra an typ of d you ch the an me to by re ho nts he the sed wa wn e pri ky, do cer entuc people were sur so much going on ists. Louisville’s Sin a is is art re ere rap the Th . its re, he cky for n wn ntu not know nt out of Ke are not country do to get the moveme slept on. It t one way.” that. “I am trying because of us being d did well. can not look at it jus ars ye the er ov up an ilt bu am on tre ati ins str cere. A free agent, ma fru lot of has not deterred Sin . Nappy Roots went al on de so e out there ord tim rec r p.” ou ma jor be ma the y to get his name is going to that city on The lack of a c relations compan I am going to put in the streets. “We ing go hired a major publi zz s bu ha As far as Louisville, he the ep . I think Hip Hop. tting out hits to ke it like Master P did their own style of while he keeps pu . We are trying to do areas, is developing North and the South, Kentucky tity er en oth an e be lik , to cky st, Kentu are going East and the Midwe m everywhere; like him again.” Nestled between the sed to all regions. “We get music fro someone can do it u Yo t. tha all po t ex in March. “In ge en artists have be release his album ne and Twista. We ddy Kane, your Bo cere is planning to ” Sincere’s cats.” With Da re. Sin , se he Big dy the to wn rea .A on s do n d hit N.W un tto m the so bu fro e With ead and push the ah There is not just on like “Stays On My Mind” and . ping that it go tile ho to is rsa ing ve he go t, be ou to am have March I nced on songs and refusal to sell . You ide dy lity ev bo is na ery ty t into the rso ev ge tili pe s to rsa rth cat er ve ea stuff to cat incredible his down to eer. “A lot of these “I try to broaden my o a prosperous car If not number one, of little stunts to int es re. e typ the lat ns all up tra do me “Against All Odds.” ll t to wi pu try le quality rsatile artists and l their souls. They to give these peop can take all the ve game and try to sel to e thinking.” ing me. I am going u’r ate be t yo rel jus at can wh am le I ow op re. kn pe t the I don’t get out real life stories tha ching be rea l d, It’l // d. roa it.” ate the ric to on has been music, not fab new age twist movement, Sincere h as Juelz ac put down with a Ready to spread the w ones. He has opened for artists suc rformed in - similar to what 2P ne pe g s old fans and makin d Lil Scrappy and ha ck, Three 6 Mafia, an all those states and received elyyoursforever Santana, Young Bu ed myspace.com/sincer ch tou “I a. rid Flo to as Tex m venues fro Words by Seven






Atlanta, GA


odney “Rocko Da Don” Hill is probably a new face to many but he’s been invol ved in the music business for years. learning the inner workings of recor After ding from his cousin’s studio, the Atlan ta native started his own label, Rock Records. “Initially when I started the y Road comp any, my goal was to sell 50,000 records,” says Rocko. “50,000 pendently at $10 a wop, that’s a lot records indeof money. We went in with the intentions of trying to do that and it took off from there.” Within the first year of Rocky Road Reco rds, Rocko landed a deal with Universal to Young Dro. But when things with falte release ATL rappers Hitman Sammy Sam red between Rocko and his artists, he and found himself with no artists and no deal. After struggling to find new artist major label s to rebuild his label, Rocko decided his best option was to do it himself. “I was like, none of these guys’ swag is stronger than mine,” Rocko boasts. “Then on top of that, I can write bette guys. So I woke up one morning and r than these gave myself a deal. I went in, started working with this person and that perso I am. The hottest thing in Atlanta on n and here the streets right now.” Since stepping from behind the scenes to behind the mic, Rocko has a right to be confident. His new single “Umma Do Me,” produced by Drumma Boy (Plies’ “Shawty” and USDA’s “White Girl”), is heating up the streets, clubs and radio stations throughout the A-Town. “It’s really a swag song,” Rocko elaborates. “My thing is, whatever you do, do it times ten. Be the best at it. But that’s you. Me, umma do me. Umma have the flyest whip. Umma have the freshest clothes. That may be stuff that you’re not into. I’m not dissin’ you because you’re not into that stuff. Umma do me, you do you.” In doing him, Rocko has his single added to radio rotation, increased his shows and started to receive phone calls from numerous major labels interested in signing the Southwest Atlanta resident. “I leaked the song on a Saturday and by that Wednesday the song was on the radio. Within a week’s time I went from being in the studio to the next week getting calls from every label in the industry.” As Rocko entertains offers from several labels he’s continuing his independent grind. His A Swag Season mixtape featuring Yo Gotti, Jazze Pha and Monica is on the way and he continues to develop artists under Rocky Road Records. And on the mic, Rocko is certain he has next. “I can sit here and confidently looking you in the face and tell you I got next,” Rocko says. “I’m the next out of the city.” But whether his time is now or if he continues to patiently wait, he’s going to do him. // myspace.com/rockodadon Words by Randy Roper Photo by Eric Johnson



d l r o W l l Sma

Henderson, NC

ding meetings day afternoon atten out of his ent most of this Fri sp him s s ha ap d sn an y rk tel Yo dia w t his album imme f Jam offices in Ne ou De ab g the kin of tal t by bu lob ing in the pears tired, mall World is loung . The 25 year-old ap but World Premiere mes from in regards to his de soul in my music co “The passion and the ly about what I do. It’s [due daze. ed art me being wholehe the way I did,” ual and growing up to installto] me being spirit ma nd gra e credit to my he explains. “I giv .” praying over me ing that in me and erson, North growing up in Hend While he was a child d in a car crash. That’s when r die Carolina, his fathe and her s his grandmother he gravitated toward uld keep him grounded later wo Baptist roots, which d for advice. always looked to Go energy on in life. “I have my l ne an ch focus and That helped me to hen my mother sitive,” he says. “W into something po s, I would certain male issue couldn’t be there for my spiritual guidance would and look to the streets hold me down.” his DJ Skazzde came across on That genuine attitu landed in the py co a , lly tua d even produced demo an ulful flow, so his by ed n. Touch hands of Wyclef Jea erstar took Small World under sup the former Fugees mer 106 & Park g both him and for gin na ma , ng wi his tured on fea s wa rld Wo , Small od” from host, Free. In 2000 wo lly Ho to d “Hollywoo to be a ris“Dirty South” and d me see eftic, and he Jean’s album The Ecl ately, the situation went sour. tun ing prospect. Unfor in the Raleigh the next two years Small World spent rfclck (trio No ke , trying to ma underground scene s Brolic D and nd frie od ho ild ch also consisting of a trip to New p. But after taking Perfect Harmany) po 6 & Park, he briefly re-united 10 York to watch BET’s pe Souf Born. her Norfclck’s mixta with Free and gave heard it and signed not only lu Days later, Chaka Zu t his crew in bing Tha Peace, bu tur Dis to rld Wo Small n. tio al situa 2002. It was the ide ere,” Small -oriented atmosph “I liked the family people who th wi be to d wante World explains. “I money togetht ge d an al to be loy knew what it was Aside from ” m. fro ere I came er because that’s wh s Up” on Ludacris Presents nd Ha dropping “Put Ya releasing his with Norfclck and Disturbing Tha Peace ted with Don Cannon, Small na mixtape World Domi his debut rking diligently on World has been wo d with energetic de loa is ord rec e World Premiere. Th r” featuring n Dollars,” “On Pape cris. bangers like “Billio da Lu th wi t” en gnific Freeway and “Mr. Ma , he’s conveils his masterpiece Once Small World un ll become apparent. “People wi vinced individuality the whole Small real sense behind are going to get a ’ll know I come ey “Th . ,” he states World phenomenon roots.” // from great, positive





r // Photo by Eric Jo

Words by Bear Frazie



orlando, FL

Stick 3000 S

tick 3000 is no stran ge and those investme r to paying dues. While many place be nts ts on overnight sta rdom, Stick has inv write songs and giv are progressively paying off. He say ested in long term s, “I used to book e ‘em to other artist op artists with my ma s. So, at the end of and I knew I could n Pupp and Dawgma portunities, ‘05, I decided it wa outdo all of them. n. I used to always ” s time for me to do this. I was tired of Using the experienc booking artists e he acquired as a booking agent and artist. He was soon songwriter in both securing his own sh Palm Beach and Orl ows, including open was a song he record ando, Stick becam ing for Lil Wayne in ed shortly after bra e a do fro Money.’ I was the first person to make nching out on his own. He elaborates, nt of 3,000 fans. During the time, Sti uble threat as an ck’s claim to fame that song. I gotta “The song that rea died down, Stick co ma lly ntinued showering ke that known. Every put his listeners with radiotime I perform, I ma me on the map was ‘I Make It Rain worthy material. ke it rain money.” Even after the record “I did a couple of songs with KC from Orlando – he’s with Th is always playing the e Runners. 102 Jamz song I have with him called ‘I See Yo u.’ It’s like a love so ng. When I wrote it, it was personal. It’s how you’re supposed to treat a woman.” In fact, Stick has a unique ability to target his female audience thr ough up front lyrics and club-friendly produ ction. His most rec ent buzzmaker called “I Ain’t Had Sex in a Long Time” is proof that keeping it real wo rks. The song is even fur ther strengthened by marketing push tha t includes promo ma a terial, merchandise an d radio play. A master at deliveri ng effective concep ts, Stick also tailored a song specifically for a different audienc e – a song that cau ght the attention of Fo rt Myers chart climb er Plies. “I was suppo sed to hook up with Plies about a year ago. At the time, I didn’t really have the rig ht song. Plies is alw ays talking about goon s, so I got up with him and said, ‘I got the perfect song for yo u.’ He hit me up one da y and was like, ‘Wh ere you at? I’m ready to do the song.’ He came over here an d put it down.” No t only did “Goon” become a fan favorite, it als o displayed Stick’s ve rsatility. Currently a free ag ent under Orlando ’s Clientell Music Gro up, Sti release his street alb ck is preparing to um with the suppo rt of DJs Nasty and DStrong. Although he ’s put in years of wo rk and is reaping ple nty of notable rewards, Sti there’s more groun ck understands d to cover. “I hope I make it to where ev ery ain’t gotta worry ab body I mess with ou sure my family and t nothing. I make everybody’s straig ht now but at the sam e time, I can only do so much,” he adds . “As long as the pe ople keep telling me the y love what I’m do ing, I’m gonna keep giv ing it to ‘em.” // myspace.com/stick3


Words by Ms Riverc ity Photo by Dwayne Moore



z t e e r t S L

it is like to struggle. Growing ike many rappers, Streetz knows what the Bahamas and Miami’s of area e resqu up in both the non-pictu poverty and violence firstfaced crime ridden Dade County, he has anything about the Caribbean s know that one “Any life. his of hand most her nature. You have two options: knows that those places are of a toug says. tz Stree tourism or drug trafficking,” with positive role models; to the The inner city did not provide Streetz s the street stood the dealers and acros and s ician left were crooked polit s and dealers. Those were the killer of lot a hustlers. “I grew up around I saw. As a kid, you want to what people that were influences as far as and for me they were the hot ssful succe being see you le peop be like the getting the girls and drivones the were They rs. deale boys and the dope down the street to get a go to had you e wher ing the nice cars. I grew up to. I’m from nothing, ghet the from bucket of water to take a bath. I’m not see if the gun works. You don’t to r othe each g killin just are as where nigg one in those types of environments have the type of time to idealize any it is about the money.” years hanging around older guys, Streetz, a rapper that spent his teen his used to; back when people like est inter spark wants his music to go get an album. “The quality of could they waited for Tuesday so that



to give that classic album that is music right now is falling short. I want every hustler, dancer in the club, make to going s going to sell again. That’ want to make this album for I it. want ica and person in corporate Amer streets.” the s you. This will be the album that unifie to be Successful in Music,” are “How to get a Record Deal” and “How ns. A confident Streetz echoes entio conv c questions discussed at all musi Hop; with the popular single Hip of the statement that he is the new face major frenzy, he just might a ng causi Joc Yung ring featu ” “Beat in Trunk is a lot of politics involved there is try indus this t be. “The only thing abou s up it is a walk in the show entic auth the in it. This shit is fake, so when for hit, song for song.” hit going I am park. Once I get in, I will show why. producers like Nitti and DJ Toomp, With production by Grammy nominated and spins on radio stations all NYC to ATL appearances on mix CDs from labels are after him. All this attention over, it is no secret as to why major the full embodiment of when the am “I deal. a d signe ’t hasn and yet he get the hood, radio stations, you When ica. Amer streets meet corporate table has to make ‘cents.’” // the on y mone and the media behind you, the myspace.com/iamdastreetz Words by Seven


Yela Wolf L

Yelawolf got introduced to Hip ike some rappers, Gadsden, Alabama’s gh radio or television. He throu not But . room living Hop sitting in his . nally perso le met the culture and peop

iend did lights for Aerosmith around “When I was 7 years old, my mom’s boyfr DMC,” remembers Wolf, whose Runwith Way’ This the time they did ‘Walk “When they came to town, Runark. landm graffiti mural in Gasden is a local me t-shirts and copies of ‘My gave They DMC’s road crew stayed at our house. ‘Paul Revere,’ I fell in love.” heard I After d. recor Boys tie Beas Adidas’ and a the only constants in Wolf’s young life Hip Hop and skateboarding became to Georgia, attending 15 different as he moved from Alabama to Tennessee lived with people from all walks of he time that g Durin ss. proce schools in the his. than rent diffe e shad a life, many of them being ed e Hip Hop,” maintains ‘Wolf, who start “I was attached to black culture befor adult his of on porti good He spent a rapping professionally in the late 90s. ta, Oakland and even working on a life as a nomad, roaming streets in Atlan riences help me and my music get expe life my fishing boat in Alaska. “I think t.” puris accepted. People can see that I am a and through chance meetings, connected Yela eventually relocated to Atlanta sit downs with check-writers like Clive him got with producer Mark Sigel who ened. Davis and Sylvia Rhone. Nothing happ


I wasn’t ready, mentally,” says ‘Wolf “I ain’t get a deal then, because I knew afterwards. “I know because of show y realit d -live short a on who appeared back home and dropped Creecame Wolf d, terre Unde ” how ready I am now. , he admits wasn’t his best later years h whic kwater, an independent effort fellow Alabama natives with pes mixta work. It wasn’t until after releasing ta production unit Battery 5 Atlan with g linkin and re Six-T and Jackie Chain r park twang and Southern rock-influthat he developed his distinctive traile enced sound. / Ghet-O-Vision founder and then Sony Impressed after seeing Wolf perform, But after a major 2007. early in him d signe er Prath “KP” Columbia A&R Kawan label together. Yela Wolf is currently personnel change KP and Wolf left the followed by White Girls & Beer with DJ pushing his Ball of Flames mixtape, growing alongside the industry buzz are pers whis ” mick “gim dy, Ideal. Alrea Loathin’ in Smalltown, U.S.A. and n’ Feari t, debu ing around his approach the a boring rapper,” he shrugs, enjoying “I would rather be a character than te “Why es singl his while res Raekwon, best of both worlds. His album featu Jonsin, are gaining spins on 30 rock Trash” and “Gone,” produced by Jim wanna call me a character, that’s fine, music stations nationwide. “If people but you’ll remember me.” // myspace.com/yelawolf Words by Maurice G. Garland // Photos

by Meca 4 ReVamp



Ray r e d n e v La Atlanta, GA


catching his girlfriend ay Lavender had no idea an would play a role in wom r the ano in bed with . But the night he found eer car sic launching his mu ind his breakthrough beh iration his girl creeping is the insp almost friend.” “Man, that song single, “My Girl Gotta Girl kinda embarrassed was “I s. say Ray ,” um didn’t make the alb ng to like, these people are goi by the shit. I looked at it to have girl his for ng doi he not look like, ‘Damn, what was s.” iou cur just me. She was a girlfriend?’ But it wasn’t L beand raised in Atlanta, Ray when Born in Monrae, Louisiana But o. abb Coll up gro in the er gan singing professionally nag ma his , led mb cru h Elektra the group’s record deal wit artist. It wasn’t solo a as him g pin elo dev Drew Bryant began ustry nering attention from ind long before he started gar tin. But Aus las Dal and y Rile , Teddy Live producers like Jazze Pha Kon his h wit sign Ray L to it was Akon who convinced imprint. ‘Ray, I says. “So when he said, “I grew up with Akon,” Ray rted. You see what I did with sta got the Konvict movement y’re all these other dudes, the T-Pain. Don’t worry about ta end up got ’re you and ing pen selling dreams, it’s not hap es.’ That clicked a button, like dud in jail messing with these big brother.” I need to come with my phany It Down” for T-Pain’s Epi After appearing on “Put ix with rem nd” frie Girl ta Got Girl album and landing a “My poised is L Ray rts, cha ng up the Fabolous and Red Café risi music. “’Put It R&B of nd bra his h wit e to infuse the gam Ray songs on Pain’s album,” Down’ is one of the sexiest got I se cau is y, sex is g son that don’t begins. “The reason why e dud the t tha ing it. Not say on there and put sexy on it, I made sure sexy got I n whe but sic mu bring sexy to his sexy.” anything I’m on gotta be was on his music, cause his debut in, Ray L is set to release With Akon ushering him tent already has con y edg His . fall this album X-Rayted Kelly year-old R&B singer to R many comparing the 23G [on my it t kep I but en, wom the and T-Pain. “I kept it for na make “Some guys be like, ‘I wan album],” Ray maintains. wanna hear more age and day se the ks love to you.’ Chic , what ’t got time for no talking than that. They like, ‘I don it into put I and re the t wen I ’ So did you bring candles for? Kelly R n whe ber em rem edible. I song and it came out incr ng down on his goi ut abo ing talk , y Pla came out with 12 wanna hear.” // knees. That’s what they r

myspace.com/raylavende Words by Randy Roper



Montana Da Mac A Atlanta, GA

s one of Koch Records new est signees, Montana Da Mac is climbing urban rad Rock movement. In fact, io charts with his guitar according to Montana, the laced contribution to the immediate popularity of including him. With an air Hiphis single “Rock On” fea of hum bleness, the 19 year old grinding it every Tuesda turing Unk surprised eve East ATLien explains, “It y night at the Libra. Every ryone, took exactly 75 days to club we went to we was with the record. I wasn’t get radio play. We started grinding the record. I eve even in the club and the n had some of my homebo y would ask the DJ to pla ys going out y it. Everybody was grin din g like it was they song.” In less than three month s after releasing the fini shed product in the streets, and that was before inking Montana had managed to a deal with Koch. Now wit land the record on 19 rad h a televised video to acc Man dance. io stations, ompany the airplay, “Ro ck On” has everyone doi ng the Rock Although he’s admittedly aware of his young age, Montana Da Mac possesses wisdom beyond his teenag e years. “I feel like age don’t matter,” he states. “Someone that’s 15 or 16 can do the same thing as someone who’s 30 years old. It’s all about who you be around and how you take in information.” And Montana has been soaking in knowledge of music his whole life. “When I was little I used to listen to music a lot. When I was about 15, tha t’s when I really started spitting. From the day I was born I took a personal liking to music. I would just zone out and be rapping to myself.”

Now that he has transfo rmed his interest into a profession, Montan a has compiled an album’s worth of materi al he feels will expose his multi-dimens ional character. The Life I Chose is scheduled for release this fall and while it features sev eral club targeted songs, Montana’s person al favorites are those that explore more personal topics. “Take a Walk in My Shoes” is one of these records. He says, “I’m tell ing people to take your shoes off for a minute and step in mine. Go through wha t I go through, besides the fame, the gla mour, besides everything you see on TV. Come to the neighborhood I grew up in and kick it with me.” While fame and glamour are not at the top of Montana’s must-hav e list, being financially secure is. Alo ng wit Montana launched Wild Life h his uncle, Productions and plans to own a label. He also wants fans to know there’s more to him than just being a rock star. “I want people to really look at me. Don’t look at the vid eos, just look at me. I know it sounds cra zy, but take a look in my eyes. See if you can see the pain; see if you can see the happin ess.” // myspace.com/montanadam


Words by Ms Rivercity Photo by Chris Stanford



, Fl prings S Tarpon

s l o t s 2 Pi W

ts. Rapper goes and drugs. Rapper grows up on the stree er’s family is involved in the streets is a harsh reality. story same this ls, Pisto 2 e’ve all heard the story before. Rapp omer mes, well, a rapper. For Florida newc to jail. Rapper gets out of jail and beco d myself,” Pistols was coming up, so I pretty much raise ers were in and out of prison when I n that I ever looked up to. He perso only the was He er. “My momma, my daddy and all my broth broth my of d.” rap trying to follow in the footsteps but rap cause I had a fucked up recor remembers. “I ended up falling into up. Then I didn’t really have nothing d locke got I n. priso in killed ng ended up getti to take his chances in the on the streets. This time he decided the Tarpon Springs, FL native was back nt label’s CEO was arrested for ende indep his when , game After serving a brief prison sentence, rap the the dope game can remind you of drug trafficking. rap game. But Pistols soon learned why But he didn’t let this deter his new hustle. He hooked with a Colione, a Tampa producer that produced some tracks for his indie label. At the time, Pistols was unaware that Colione was one-third of the Grammy winning producer trio the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League. Their finished products - songs like “She Got It” with T-Pain, “Fired Up” with BloodRaw and “Closed Eyes” with Young Jeezy began catching ears on the streets. But it’s Pistols’ collaboration with T-Pain that has people liking the newcomer to another Florida representer that broke through alongside Pain this year. “Plies do what he do, but I think I got a little more to offer than what he’s talking about,” Pistols says. “Music wise I don’t think they’re comparing us. It just so happens that I’m a light skin cat from Florida. I’m young. I’m out here getting money and I ain’t afraid to say what I wanna say. I don’t think that our music sounds nothing alike at all. I just got a song wit’ Pain and he got a song wit’ Pain.” Comparisons aside, Pistols feels his grind is harder than any artists that’s patiently waiting in the game and his music will speak for itself. “On six months of house arrest, I did more than any of these cats out here,” Pistols says. “I got a record done wit’ Pain. The shit got added to mainstream rotation down here. I did all that on house arrest. To go to any event I had to keep getting court approval. I just feel like my dedication and my grind got me to where I’m at right now and that’s what’s gonna separate me from them.” // myspace.com/2pistolsbmuboss Words by Randy Roper Photo by Thomas John Bassano




Modesty XO E

very state seems to have a distinct sound that is ide ntifiable through their arti only problem is that Ala bama hasn’t had many arti st’s music. Alabama is no different. The sts breakthrough the ma may be a little harder tha instream, so identifying n noticing the crunk of Atla their style of music nta or the screw music of Tex as. “Alabama sound is really on some laid-back, player , funkadelic, old school fee “A lot of people think tha ling to it,” Alabama emcee t Alabama don’t got the talent and Alabama don Modesty XO explains. of my music is soulful, it’s ’t got the sound, but it’s heartfelt. But I got some really got a soulful feel. club stuff you’re gonna fee A lot l in the club too.” The Birmingham rapper found his penchant for rhy mes during his high school rappers. He soon took his years, while joining ciph rhymes to the ers and battling other streets, appearing on loca l DVDs like NBA Live (‘N Birmingham Alabam a performing at local shows. Allday) and Over the last few years, XO has been ma king his claim as one of Alabama’s bes t. His single “Bag It Up” and 24/7 Grindin’ mixtape hosted by the Aphilliates’ DJ Infamo us has generated a strong buzz for Modesty in 2007, making him a 2007 OZONE Awards Patiently Waiting Alabama nominee. “My style is on some pla yer shit and some gangsta shit, but at the same time I’m coming at you with lyrics,” he says. “I’m trying to give the world some substance. They can listen to my son gs and say I got something from it, get som e knowledge or some wisdom from it.” Now that Rich Boy has driv en his Cadillac across mainstream lines, Modesty is ready to follow suit and let the world hear what the rest of Alabama Hip Hop sounds like. “After Rich Boy came out , it really helped Alabama wit’ the movem ent,” Modesty says. “He’s the first person that really set it off for Alabama. But at the same time, it really was always poppin ’, it just never got to a commercial and nat ional level. Rich Boy kicked the doors dow n, so it’s opened for all of us to come thro ugh. ” With a 24/7 Grindin’ Chapte r II: Beautiful Struggle mixtape and an indie album Cracked Concrete forthco ming, Modesty is looking to bring more recognition to his slept-on state. “Alabam a is a state that’s from the bottom and a lot of people haven’t respected the sta te,” he says. “Most of the people here are from the Black Belt era, the struggl e. Just be looking out for some artists from Birmingham and be looking out for me .” The streets are paying attention. // myspace.com/modestyxo20


Words by Randy Roper



houston, tx

z y o I B TM

to form Track Sayeed the god combined ore Huskey, Dudella, and state, but bef ir the was t out tha ugh but ,” thro y tion for “too much informa an impressive buzz not onl od g sto ting in nin TMI put gai e n und tim bee a e aro n n hav upo z bee nce as Boy ices at the game; they’ve past 6 months, these Tex a second that they’re nov for k Muzic Inc. Throughout the thin ’t don But l. South as wel several other parts of the started r a decade. ove for ly ual ivid ind ryteller of the group. “We k wor ed,” says Huskey — the sto pen hap it t tha like and pped a CD, way,” he explains. came out of nowhere, dro rded over 75 songs that “People think that we just writing down shit. We reco and g rdin reco et, clos a got out of the closet out making songs in When the TMI Boyz finally d. The Texas trio would roa the hit (no homo), they record tracks and get to th travel all over the Sou ction of producers, along beats from a diverse sele Shawty Redd, Mannie h wit ked wor y the way the many others. ong am en Fresh, and Zaytov


used to come to Atlanta “Back in the day when we dude took the Greyone , flew us of one to record, really gotta do You ve. dro e dud hound, and one sic out there. You mu r you get what you gotta do to z got that drive,” Boy TMI gotta have that drive, and of the group. cist lyri the , god the eed claims Say lives to make it happen,” “We really put aside our who brings the dope boy says Dudella, the emcee speaks in an accent and up gro the to element is music game is our “Th st. toa as thicker than Tex s. passion,” he exclaim Boyz that is overwhelmOne thing about the TMI seem to genuinely love y the t tha is ingly obvious ple focus on being on peo of what they do. “A lot the studio, and they try serious when they go in We just go in there and ch. mu too e trat to concen selves, and that’s why our be and make the music love what you do, it’ll you If people like our music. e lov what we do.” show,” says Huskey. “We ty at Atlanta’s MasquerInside their listening par is loving what they do wd ade Nightclub, the cro t most of the listening tha also. And the odd part is know anything about sn’t doe nce nda atte crowd in esome is fine with thre as Tex the but the TMI Boyz, that. at our listening party, “We’re out here in Atlanta re ain’t heard nothing the in ple peo and half the there right now you in k wal about us, but if you g like a muthafucka!” vin gon’ see niggas heads mo . “A lot of people been says a confident Dudella vement is dead, but we mo as Tex saying that the lot of cats coming out of a it’s t lettin’ em know tha w yo fuckin’ head off, like Houston that’s finna blo // y!” bab z, Boy the TMI zic2 www.myspace.com/tmimu to Words by Eric Perrin // Pho


by Kiser



atlanta, ga

h p l a R g Yun

et stuck in the they oversleep, “g ee reasons. Either native reschedthr ta of an e Atl on ld for s r-o ule interview Ralph. The 25-yea ng Yu d still wake up t an no t ht, bu ost rappers resched nig — ie ery groping a group ery day, kick it ev ev t ou y to the other go wa “I h. the urc studio,” or are busy all ay. If I can ride re noble reason: ch nd Su mo on tly e gh tim sli ” says the a le rd, litt for Lo uled do is give God a air and thank the l, so the least I can to go sit in that ch e rid ly ite fin de to see my little gir I can be up in that club, side to town to go on per. rap le mb hu most added songs gly surprisin ney” is one of the Mo the , e all Lik of ok st “Lo be ng ps ), and perha nkful for. His so newest ATL anthems has a lot to be tha r inked a deal pe rap s on cti du And recently, Ralph video for the infectious hit (one of the Stay Down Pro n, the blic. Ralph’s situatio radio, he just shot with Universal Repu suc t igh ern ov an t is no at however, certainly o ag ars ye 8 g n rappin cess story. He bega e more than cam be on so it d an the the age of 17, . He teamed up with just a hobby for him The ThrowBack Boyz, up now defunct rap gro kind of results he was the but still didn’t see deavors through his solo en hoping for. It was acclaim the rn ea to d rte sta that Ralph finally self. usly promoted him he desired. He vigoro the radio station and to He made daily trips b, and eventually his clu nightly trips to the . hard work paid off the past, cee admits that in But the Zone 3 em mentality for him a of re mo s wa y having mone people t, he feels a lot of than reality. In fac never said I ’t ain “I . hit his have misinterpreted and smell I look, walk, talk, had nothing. I said d I had money. It’s all r sai like money. I neve he says. about the image,”


e of ople have an imag And today, many pe ostentatious rapan t bu ng thi no Ralph being that’s stance. But he feels per who lacks sub th. tru the m fro the furthest thing not stuck tes me is that I’m “What really separa song ‘Look my ar he le op Pe rt. on the money pa is just y think Yung Ralph d Like Money’ and the an life t ou ab it’s to me about money, but ve it, but I was ha n’t did I st pa living. In the reveals. d being happy,” he still enjoying life an money. I talk about my t ou “I don’t just talk ab d up. , folks gettin’ locke l [Refamily, the struggle rsa ive Un y wh l. That’s Really, I’m universa best company I could’ve the cords] is probably I am universal.” // use ‘ca th, wi nt we gralph3


Words and Photo by


Eric Perrin


Derty W Den

hen Derty Den realized that he wanted to pursue a career in music, he was reciting the lines from The Notorious B.I.G.’s hit “Unbelievable,” (“Live from Bedford-Stuyverson, the livest one, representin’ BK to the fullest). Derty, who credits his beginning to the late Notorious B.IG., spent his days and nights on end reciting the song until he had it down. And once it was memorized, he added his own flavor in and the rest was history.

enfield, nc

As a native of the 3,200 populated city of Enfield, North Carolina, Derty Den has made quite a buzz in and out of NC. The 6 foot plus emcee explains that though he is from NC, he doesn’t want to be recognized as just that. “I want to be recognized as an artist. I want to be recognized for my skill and talent and not just my state,” mentions Den. With that in mind, he sheds light on the musical atmosphere of North Carolina. “North Carolina Hip Hop reminds me of how New York was in the early 90s,” he theorizes. “It’s developed, but not fully developed like is should be.” Derty’s most notable hit “Bump That Shyt” is a hit across the board. Recently, the song has been featured on the XM Radio hosted edition of Cornerstone Mixtape, which is one of the industries’ largest promotional joints to date. Along with his recent fame, real-as-it-gets-lyrics and widespread appeal, Derty Den recognizes that he has a soft spot too. A few days during the week, Derty says, “I work with at-risk youth. Gangs are getting real serious these days and I can remember when I was a kid everyone wanted to be a drug dealer but now, kids look up to rappers, so since they look up to me, I feel like it’s important that I teach them about my experiences.” Derty has been balancing his humanitarian efforts along with his busy schedule of exercise, networking, studio sessions and power packed shows for about a year now and admits that his grind is just as serious. When asked about his lessons learned this far in the industry, Derty admits that one of the most important is to “stay consistent with your music and goals that you aim to achieve.” And through his consistency, the emcee has maintained recognition as an artist from fans in New York to Atlanta and back to North Carolina. His appreciation and reflective thinking of his fans play a huge role in his definition of his presence in the rap game. He modestly says, “Derty Den is that dude from NC that is going to bring NC to the forefront. But I can’t do it without my support. The people keep me pushing. It’s kind of inspiring to know that people like crack heads and kids hear my music and believe in me. They keep me going.” // myspace.com/dirtydengit Words by E. L. Berry // Photos by Armen Blanco

patiently waiting

Below Zero B

elow Zero, the trio from Bowling Green, Kentucky, has a buzz growing around them. DoughBoy, B-Easy, and Da Child decided to form the group while in high school in 2001. With six years of hard work and Horseman Entertainment behind them, they are ready to expand outside of their state borders and make Below Zero a household name. “We give ourselves a chance to do any type of record. We are not going to do a whole album of just street records or club records. We are willing to experiment with all types of music and sounds,” they say. Their last two singles “I’m Doing Good” and “New Era” are examples of their willingness to change. “New Era” had such a buzz behind it that the New Era hat company contacted the group and they are in the planning stages of releasing a Kentucky hat and using the group to promote it. “They flew us in and had us perform in front of the CEOs from the different countries. They liked the song and got behind us.” Production of their music is handled by their own company and other producers such as Willy Will and Fury. The infectious beats that provided by them provide a canvas that the three members paint with vivid lyrics. The last year has been anything but unproductive for Below Zero. “New Era” got played in 15 different markets; they were nominated by OZONE for a Patiently Waiting Award, appeared in OZONE’s Kentucky Derby issue, and have received a lot of support from DJs. Just getting out of a joint venture a few months ago, Below Zero is not rushing to sign another deal unless it’s beneficial. “What we are doing right now is going back to the grind work,” says the group. “We have been talking to a lot of labels. We are not going to sit and wait. We are doing a mixtape with Big V from Nappy Roots called Street Fame, a new mixtape called You Got to Grind Before You Shine and an album on iTunes.” Looking at the calendar, one of the members flips it to March as their manager Desmond smiles, saying, “We have a six month plan. We understand a lot more about the business and want to prepare our album. We want to have four or five singles. It is needed now. Labels want to give you single deals or just get you to makering tones and not promote your album. We want to be able to stick around. Some people don’t get a second chance.” // myspace.com/below0 88 // OZONE MAG

Words by Seven // Photo by Jackie L

, ky bowling Green


quare peg in a round hole. That’s probably the best way to describe D.C. Hip Hop wonder-kid Wale (an acronym for We Ain’t Like Everyone). The thing is, this square peg can flat out spit. With shoot-em-up thug imagery running rampant throughout the annals of Hip Hop, the fact that Wale would rather go cop new kicks as opposed to copping bricks puts him in the minority. After dropping a host of critically acclaimed mixtapes, including the collaboration with boutique clothing line 10 Deep entitled 110 Miles & Running, the Chocolate City native has both his rhymes and his swagger up to par and is ready for the world. The question is: Is the world ready for him? “My style is ¼ D.C. and ¾ just me. D.C. is a subculture within itself and I’m a subculture within that. So no, I’m not normal,” admits the 22-year-old. “It’s hard to say that you’re unique when you’ve never even focused on anybody else. If you’ve been doing your thing all your life, you don’t really feel unique, it’s just you. But a lot of people have been calling me that, so I’ve been running with it.” Using D.C. as a backdrop to his lyrical compositions, Wale hopes to bring attention to an area of the map not typically recognized for beats and rhymes. Having been pursued harder than the head cheerleader by nearly every major label there is could have easily fed into the ego of a lesser artist. But Wale knows that timing is

key and that when his Mark Ronson executive produced Love Day debut does see the light of day, it’s a wrap. “I’m not going to be surprised when I go platinum. It’s organic. It matters that people believe me and believe in me. But I plan on world domination regardless,” he says confidently. And with some advice from a well respected OG in the game, Wale is planning on becoming possibly the first household name to come out of the nation’s capitol. “I envision it being one of those albums you hear and you know this person is gonna be around for a while,” he says with a hint of cocky in his voice. “Jay-Z told me that all you can do is make the best songs you can possibly make. I wanna be like ‘Yeah, I wanna change the world and Hip Hop,’ but at the end of the day you can only make the best music you can.” // myspace.com/wale202 Words by Anthony Roberts Photo by Good Bully


Washington d.c.

patiently waiting

y o b Cow


his door. Cashville down ng about the city of turned t here’s just somethi tha on the table but I se . So it’s no surpri d a couple of deals ers , will ha stl e ars hu “W ye s ed ten in bre fia t e, Ma tha getter, BuckWild . You gotta think, lik go wn nna nt do go ide t m jus res the t e’s no sse Tenne en staying of my family? I’m CEO Cowboy, has be this deal take care be right.” tta go the in ers e mb cad Records’ artist and nu de e a Th . zzly for close to jump on any major at a time down and on his gri the label back in ’98 really d rte til the sta g vin Ha . game ople hands and wait un were “only a few pe Not one to sit on his wboy is expandCo , ses when he says there his stable of artists which sen ir the and majors come to n TV show, doing it,” Cowboy ney have introducing his ow ger 9 and Young Mo ing his portfolio by distributed lly na tio na be include upstarts Ru brand of D-boy talk into dolild TV,” which will e ckw tur being “Bu na as sig ll ir the we t the as d ou turne ough s the South ependent scene thr on networks acros lars, flooding the ind w with his eyes set on bigD. . No released as a DV down bottom states his hustle to the next level. l ing l big, something rea ger stakes, he’s tak trying to make it rea ’s not just going to e e’r “W be to good plains. “It rket. People say it’s entertaining,” he ex era acting stupid. “It’s a real tough ma od if you can sell 100,000 ning around on cam ting. We’re run s ga go nig all be It’s hard to do independent. t, a real show set on your own, but it’s We got a real forma ists and a or 200,000 records explains. iews with major art he ” erv ry, int ust ve ind ha to the of ing te go ma cli w the no in ck t tha a gimmi me is more about at lot more.” “The whole rap ga But you gotta do wh . sic mu the of g the Dirty ty t ou ab t jus than the quali t no of new artists reppin be hard t paid because it’s And with the influx n’t wo it s say oy you gotta do to ge wb y, Co se ” seemingly everyda “A lot of rappers the the music no more. t crew from the rest. tha his l say tel to to t bu t tha ns efforts, compilatio talk about this and a it, nd nn ou say wa rgr ys we de da en un Wh of After a slew ised to u gotta have pull. Cowboy is finally po ition Of stuff in my city, yo that visual, we and collaborations, Defin e cause you can get l Th , rea ort it’s eff lo ow so ly u kn yo tru t ve to wonder ha firs a his nn ar se go ye ’t ea rel e like this. You ain e at the end of the liv tim lly me so rea , r ke Ma // y est apA Mone s over here.” c, which features gu about these nigga or top of ’08. The dis Cashville bully Young Buck, low fel pearances from Money’s ildmafiarecords ddy Souf and Cash myspace.com/buckw knocking Gorilla Zoe, Grandda ain ag ce on s jor the ma All Star, will have Roberts Words by Anthony



, FL cala O & Deland

Big Koon and Hollywood

dy s just ridin’. Everybo says. “My dawg wa on Ko t.” Big ,” tha e on s lik same shit I wa y.’ So we ran it d good together, bo was like, ‘Ya’ll soun 2002, ver materialized. In himself boration almost ne lla nd co fou od on Wo Ko d t, an jec The Koon ng on their first pro ns. “You rki pla wo n rap ga his be l up rai when the gro uld indefinitely de wo t und tha aro n it tio n ua tur sit n you trying to caught in a legal s in your life and the ass,” Koon says. “Soon as a ke sta mi ny ma so make u in the to do comes and bites yo fittin’ to get ready and some old shit for the better and ge an ch a g kin ma nigga feels he s along.“ , some bullshit come something positive on he was nor setback and so years, ded up being a mi o en tw es t nc las sta the cum Big er o cir Ov But Koon’s park for rap du his rap partner. d ’t been a walk in the nt (a small town eets recording with is Is The Life hoste sn str Th ha e the lik te s on sta pe e ck xta ba hin mi ns ir ide the ing res th FL tur wi , fea ife in the Gu ts ala ee e” Oc str Lif an d, FL (near od. Hollywood, the pair has flooded n Bigga Rankin. And songs like “Good Koon and Hollywo attention to Big Koon, from Delan tita “Rap or play have helped bring d Gainesville) and : an od do by Florida mixtape ho an the Orl of n t ee ou tw and “So Focused” it be e” Affiliated, ke Lif b ma e Mo Th to pe Is ys is xta .” wa mi o “Th elo w rm ly know tw Lil Boosie, Records. With a ne ain’t as good as Ca g Do ga od & Koon’s o nig Wo Tw Daytona Beach) on d ts, ery an ee ev od str it, od says. “Sh Koon, Hollywo ma, circulating the Dra DJ d an in basketball,” Hollywo nk rson’s levels, hosted by Bigga Ra isn’t on Melo and Ive Dog Re wing. o Tw wood’s b-ball game buzz is steadily gro el lly Ho lab d nt an de on lity en Ko ep ind Since the r n, de usi un co rd od says. “We do rea UGK, ’s streets ha . s co-CEO and Koon real, man,” Hollywo ds el’ it’s en , lab leg sic the the FLA duo hit the mu the r by to ou in lo d to ht “If you listen on was broug dy being compare label’s led artist Wil ea alr the // . ’re gh all ou we er t, thr aft g cords. While Big Ko tha d Do ba of beginning stages Florida isn’t that nnected with Two music. And on top red.” Maybe life in 1 Lee, Hollywood co an artist. During the no o ho int I’m y od it, wo the Sh lly ry G. Ho ist & em Ball mold label decided the ch Da Don, who help o new additions, the combination and the best move for of work with the tw ct onandhollywood rfe pe the a ordings was myspace.com/bigko ywood] was on exhibited during rec to package the two as a duo. “[Holl be lik Abdul both of them would per // Photo by Ma Words by Randy Ro


patiently waiting

Da r a t s Gem nChild Golde



o say that South Carolina emcee Gemstar Da Goldenchild has put the state on his back wouldn’t be an exaggeration. He’s released five mixtapes in less than a year and a half — including works with some of the biggest DJs in Hip Hop. From a Gangsta Grillz with DJ Drama to outings with Big Mike, P-Cutta, DJ Jelly and his latest release World Champions with South Carlina’s own DJ Frosty, Gem has flooded the streets with close to 50,000 copies of his work. But he still isn’t satisfied. The Lexington native (located about 15 minutes outside of Columbia) won’t stop until he sees SC on top of the rap game. “We’re on deck right now, because there’s so many different types of style here,” the rapper says, adding that every artist there is determined to be the first to break nationally. “We’re the last Southern state left [to blow] but we ready. When we break through it’s gonna be an impact like when the other states hit hard.” While the rapper is concerned about making sure his home state gets its just due, he says it took a while for listeners there to warm up to his musical style. Garnering comparisons to Cassidy and other East Coast spitters, Gem’s cadence is different from most new millennium Southern emcees. “My rap style is more based on emceeing, the roots of Hip Hop,” he elaborates. “I was influenced by the scene in the 80s and

90s.” Though his flow has East Coast flavor, Gem made sure World Champions was full of material that everyone could ride to, no matter what their preference. “It’s covering everything that’s going on in the world,” he says, mentioning that he’s influenced by many genres of music, not just Hip Hop. Aside from making sure that he had all of his bases covered musically, he was intent on ensuring people from SC know he’s fully committed to representing for them. “It was my idea to release a mixtape with a South Carolina DJ because people were saying I wasn’t linking up with the home team,” he insists. “Frosty’s name is real big out here so I figured I’d go with the best.” So far, his mixtapes have gotten a significant buzz, earning him a few visits from some major labels. But Gem says the numbers weren’t right. “They were giving out single deals,” he says. “That’s really what the labels are doing right now.” Not one to settle, Gem will continue pushing his projects through Street Gallery Entertainment, the label he runs with his brother, Rayco. At the end of the day, he just wants to see his hard work pay off. “It’s just the passion [of rhyming] that’s my motivation,” he says. “It’s my passion to prove to myself that I can do this.” // myspace.com/gemstardagoldenchild Words by Jacinta Howard Photos by Zalontate “Napz” Smith

Columbia, sc


n some inexplicable way, maybe South Carolina is jinxed for being the first state to secede from the Union to kick off the Civil War. Since South Carolina is the only southern state yet to have a rap artist break nationally and join the South’s reign in Hip Hop, some kind of explanation is needed. But Columbia, SC artist Mac-A-Don feels he has what it takes to lead the Palm Metal state to victory in this music industry war and he’s already begun his presidential campaign. “I can be that face for Carolina,” Mac says. “I can put them on my back and they can have their faith in me that I’mma hold it down for Carolina. I am the Carolina President. I am the face of Carolina.” Born and raised in South Carolina’s capital city, Mac-A-Don’s push for Carolina top gun began in 2003, when his first single, “No!!!,” caught on throughout the streets, clubs and radio of his home city. “I heard ‘No!!!’ come on the radio and I turned it up, and I was like, ‘Who the fuck is this?’” remembers Charlamagne Tha God, then Columbia radio personality and now co-host of the Wendy Willliams Experience. “After I heard the hook, I was hooked. I remember being on the radio the next day and playing the record over and over and over.” Once Mac’s first mixtape Bread Up! Vol. 1,


hosted by Charlamagne, hit the streets, his polished flow and penchant for catchy singalong hooks solidified the emcee as a name to remember in the Carolinas. But when things fell apart within his independent label, G-Boy Records, Mac found his career in label limbo, until he united with his current manager Chase Michaels, who quickly backed the rapper through Juggernaut Records. Right away, Bread Up! Vol. 2, with Charlamagne back as the host, was released. “I think Mac is one of the dopest rappers out,” Charlamagne says. “I put Mac in and ride to Mac like I’m riding to a T.I. or Jeezy.” Although the streets supported his music, lack of radioplay forced him to attack radio on his newest street album Bread Up! Vol. 3: Banned From Radio. “I was trying to let [radio] know, you’re trying to ban me from radio but as long as the streets got my back, can’t nobody stop me,” he says. With the streets behind him and radio giving in, his next project Gangsta and Gentleman in the works and a major distribution deal pending, don’t be surprised if Mac-A-Don is voted president of Carolina rap music. // myspace.com/macadonmusic1 Words by Randy Roper Photo by Aaron Johnson

patiently waiting

Jozeemo T Durham, NC

he last year and a half has been extremely monumental for up-and-coming artist Jozeemo. Fans couldn’t have imagined that Jozeemo would be free and back on the block, but this time he’s popping out lyrics and wrapping up video shoots. Three years ago his career came to a complete halt when he walked into a local Hip hop showcase in Raleigh, NC and got arrested. The streets had inevitably caught up with him and he faced two years in the pen for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. “My incarceration relayed a message to me that I’m not here to just be a thug. I got something to say, not just be in the streets,” he says. “I have something bigger to do.” Since his release in the early spring of 2006, Jozee signed to the Hall of Justus, increased his studio time, overbooked his shows, and jumped on tour with Method Man and other artists. Proving that he has learned from his atrocious mistakes, Jozeemo has locked and loaded his lyrics to reach out to his peoples on the block, his family and fans. “I speak to my family and to my community. We’re in the streets and it’s really a chance to show folks in my hood that there’s a better way of doing things. I’m a street dude and I’ve taken that vacation to the Fed joint. And that fast lane money is not the way to do it,” he shares in a sharp demeanor. Bringing L.O.B. (Livin’ On Barnes) and his Blockhugger Entertainment team along for the ride, Jozee makes it clear through his music that he’s back indefinitely. Appearing in the Welcome to Durham DVD and soundtrack with songs like “Say the Word,” “Mr. Franklin,” and “My Only Way” only vouched that the man behind the bars still had unfinished business to take care of in the streets of East Durham and beyond. His latest single “Ya Hear Me” produced by 9th Wonder charted at number 5 on college radio, landed on the RapAttack charts, and is continuously raising heat. Laying down the foundation for the Carolina movement, Jozeemo makes it clear that it is only the beginning. “In the North Carolina scene we don’t get a lot of looks in the music industry,” he says. “So this is our chance. I’m just taking the ball and running with it.” Recently linking up with mixtape king DJ Chuck T, fans can currently feed their ears with Cry Now, L.A.F. Late the mixtape and a forthcoming street album Cry Now, L.A.F. Later. Jozeemo’s Hall of Justus debut L.A.F. is projected to release during the first quarter of 2008 and will feature no collaborations; simply Jozeemo at his best. Self-assuredly he states, “This is just my time to get my shine on and really show the world what I got to offer.” // myspace.com/jozeemo Words by Nadya Nataly // Photo by Tobias Rose OZONE MAG // 91

Pheonix The Firestarter


exual lyrics in Hip Hop are as prevalent as gun talk and drug references. So Phoenix The FireStarter was slightly taken aback when an air-on personality questioned the content in her buzzing single, “Pull On My Weave” during a recent radio interview. “Sex is not negative,” the brown skinned bombshell defends. “It’s what you do and how you do it. There are a lot of songs that are on the air [about sex]. I’m an adult and I talk about what I want to.” Raised in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Phoenix was introduced to music by her Jamaican mother who worked in a recording studio in Jamaica and later, as part of Bob Marley’s management group. Phoenix found music as a way to express herself and realized music was her calling. “Music was always in my blood,” says Phoenix. “I couldn’t sing but I was going to do something that had to do with music.”

, FL auderdale L Ft

After spending some time in Tallahassee, she relocated to Atlanta to pursue her rap stardom dreams. And with her single picking up spins on radio stations and rock, R&B, reggae and rave versions of “Pull On My Weave,” circulating, her move has paid off. She’s also collaborated with Yo Gotti, Rock City, Sunny Valentine, Willie Joe and T-Mo Goodie.

A self-proclaimed “girlie girl,” Phoenix’s music focuses on issues woman can relate to. Whether it’s the pain of a broken heart, the way women are treated in the music business, or hair extensions, she hopes to be a voice for females in a male-dominated industry. “My music is geared towards women,” she explains. “Men think, ‘Oh, she’s talking about me pulling on her weave.’ The issue is I have weave and most women do. Girls are like, ‘Yeah girl, I feel you with that whole pullingmy-weave thing.’ Now, everyone is okay with [saying], ‘I wear weave.’” Music is her passion but Phoenix is far from one-dimensional. As the host of an Atlanta cable show Total Access and owner of a hair salon, she insists that her movement is more than music. “I want endorsements from weave companies, everybody from Dark & Lovely and Revlon, to everybody that needs to be a part of this movement,” says Phoenix. “Cause it’s bigger than me and it’s bigger than music. And I just want to have some type of mark in history as a female that laid it down.” // myspace.com/phoenixthefirestarter Words by Randy Roper // Photo by Vonche Milteer

patiently waiting

P Batters P

icture this…it’s the 7th inning, bases are loaded and team “North Cack” is up to bat. Stepping up to the plate is seasoned emcee P. Batters (born under the government name William Rhodes) and he’s ready to knock all of the other competition out of the park. As a native of small town Williamston, NC, P is no stranger to “hard living,” as he calls it. And since he moved from the town he’s been making continuous moves to not return to that life. The baby boy of three older siblings, P. credits his appreciation for music to his older sisters and admits that “women have a better passion and understanding for music, which ultimately makes them better fans.” This influence has carried on throughout his lyrics. Though P. does admit to cursing and “keeping it real,” he also says, “I try not to offend people through my truth-telling.” Feelings aside, P. Batters has had his ups and downs with those who he nonchalantly calls “snakes” in the game. When asked about the way that the word persistence has played a role in his life, he defines it as “realizing what your purpose is in life and continuing to follow that regardless.” Though Batters continues to endure through the music industry to satisfy 92 // OZONE MAG

his ultimate dream, he does admit to a time where he wasn’t always as aggressive. Once a co-ed at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, NC, pursuing a degree in visual art, Batters realized that he’d lost a passion for the genre because of the structure of the classes which seemed to interfere with his creativity. Unshaken and unashamed of his departure from academia, he admits that music poses the same threat with its structure surrounding production of songs and content of lyrics, but welcomes the challenge with a pioneering spirit and undeniable talent. Batter’s latest project is his forthcoming album Now or Never, which describes his rollercoaster ride through the music industry. Now or Never is the sequel to his mixtape Still Standing and provides a production list of diverse skill that stands in its own category. Using styles from Black Jeruz and 9th Wonder, to Manifest, J-Praize and D. Jay Cas, the album is sure to offer a class-act collage of talent as a background as P. Batters returns to the plate and knocks out hit after hit. // myspace.com/pbatters Words by E.L. Berry

, nc Williamston


atchet is more than a Louisiana dance and slang Lil Boosie introduced Southern Hip Hop to on the underground hit “Do The Ratchet.” For Shreveport indie label Lava House Records, ratchet is a way of life. “Ratchet is a culture, it’s the way we live,” says Mandigo, Lava House CEO and founder of Ratchet music. “We might wear the same clothes for two days. Rent might be due and you can’t pay that bill, or car note or electric bill. It’s a swag.” The Ratchet movement began in 1999 when Mandigo formed Lava House records and released the independent album Ratchatified in the Ghetto and a follow up album United We Stand Divided We Fall. “Do The Ratchet” featuring Mandigo, Lava House artist Angie Locc and Lil Boosie, quickly became a regional smash hit. With Boosie’s already growing popularity in the South, Mandigo gave Boosie the go ahead to launch the ratchet movement by allowing the Bad Azz to remake the song with Lil Webbie, which took the Ratchet movement to new heights. “I created Lava House in ’99,” Mandigo a.k.a. “the Ratchet King” says. “We dropped the first Ratchet song in 2000. Remixed it with Boosie in 2004 and everything’s been Ratchet ever since. That was a movement that I stuck with, that people that knew about it tried to own it and couldn’t, because we started it.”

And now that Hurricane Chris has put Shreveport (a.k.a. the Ratchet City) on the map with his hit song “A Bay Bay,” it’s a perfect time for the five member group Ratchet City to take the sound they birthed to the proverbial next level. Ratchet City, which consists of Mandigo, Angie Locc, Big Poppa, Untamed Mayne and in-house producer Phunk Dawg has already begun making it’s presence in the game felt. Phunk Dawg, the man behind the Ratchet sound, has produced tracks for Lil Boosie as well as Hurricane’s breakthrough hit “A Bay Bay” and second single “Hand Clap.” And Angie Locc recently made her national debut rhyming alongside the Game, Baby, Boosie and Jadakiss on Hurricane’s “A Bay Bay” remix. The group’s first single “Pass Me Sum Wata” is starting to spread more of their Ratchet sound across the South and build anticipation for the group’s Lava House/Polo Grounds album. “‘A Bay Bay’ and the ‘Hand Clap’ and all those things are all good but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg,” Phunk Dawg says. “The Ratchet City album is gonna be bananas. It’s something that’s coming new to the music industry.” // myspace.com/2lavamuzic Words by Randy Roper Photo by King Yella

t e h c t Ra City Shreveport, lA

patiently waiting

Atlanta, GA

Sporty O H

ustlenomics must be a College Park thing. Just like Mr. “Coffee Shop,” College Park resident Sporty-O invested his money wisely. He sold his cars and used the money to open up a record store on the eastside of Decatur, GA. But the underlying benefit from owning a record store was the relationship the business owner/rapper built with local DJs and industry insiders. “Me and my boy Gold Mouth, we used to make mix CDs ourselves and sell them out the store and we started getting a buzz,” he says. But when an opportunity to visit L.A. to work with producer Justin Trugman arose, Sporty took his rhymes and packed CDs and found himself on the next flight headed west. His time in Hollywood would land him much more than a couple beats for his next mixtape. Through his relationship with Trugman, Sporty landed a spot on Jamie Kennedy’s comedic MTV reality show Blowin’ Up. Before Sporty knew it, his songs where being played in episodes and he had a reoccurring role on the MTV reality series based on Kennedy’s attempts to pursue a rap career. “I got to meet a lot of cool people out here,” he says. “I was on the episodes with Ice T. I was just networking. I was in the heart of Hollywood. I was an employee of MTV. I never thought I’d get on MTV before I made it to BET. I still ain’t been on BET yet.” While living the MTV life in Hollywood, Sporty didn’t lose focus. His first priority was music and he used every opportunity to shop his music through all his newfound connections. After recording a song entitled “U Not Beyoncé” he realized Atlanta was the place he needed to be to break his new single. “Atlanta, that’s my home,” he reasons. “I just came to handle my business [in L.A.]. But I had to come back home with my record to blow it right. I couldn’t be born and raised in Atlanta and come to L.A. for nine months and drop a record in L.A. I had to do it right. I had to go back home.” When he arrived back home, his relationship with DJs through his record store paid off. Once in the hands of local DJs, “U Not Beyoncé” gave Sporty his first credible single to impact the streets and radio as he prepares to release his album SuperSport II through his own indie label Home Team Entertainment later this year. No matter if it’s ATL or Hollywood, this bicoastal rapper is still about his business. // myspace.com/sportyo Words by Randy Roper // Photo by Jared Milgram OZONE MAG // 93

Words by Randy Roper Photo by Quenest Harrington


dj e-FEEzy

listen to that shit. So you got an opportunity to build your name, but you can also play some music from your area other people can’t hear in their area. Then that record can become hot in fucking Delaware or somewhere. And it probably never would have reached there if it wasn’t for Sirius.


hen it comes to radio DJing, E-Feezy is everywhere. After starting his career in his hometown of Cleveland, OH, E-Feezy has manned radio gigs in Huntsville, Alabama, Memphis, NYC, and most recently, as music director and on-air personality for B96.5 in Louisville, KY. Not to mention, syndicated shows in Columbus, GA, Myrtle Beach, SC and Little Rock, AR, along with a weekly Grind Time radio show on Sirius Satellite Radio. This Heavy Hitter is everywhere. But for this 24-years-old, multiple shows and a few awards isn’t enough. E-Feezy won’t rest until the New Kentucky is the map. What made you start DJing? When I was young, they used to bring out the CDs before the videos. I used to pick what songs they were gonna do videos for. When I used to pick the songs they were gonna do videos for, they would just come on. I used to be undefeated in that. I figured out I had an ear for music. So I begged my parents for some turntables. They got me some turntables, it was a piece of shit too, but I rocked out on them boys. When did you start DJing seriously? I didn’t take it seriously until I went to college. I was making like $8,000 a month just doing parties as a freshman at age 18. I realized that there was some money in this. Then I started doing radio, I worked for this dude named Philip Davis that’s now the program director at WIZF in Cincinnati. He got me real serious about it and then Ron Mills gave me a chance to do Sirius Radio. It got to a point in college where fraternities and sororities had to ask us if they could throw parties and we used to charge [them] to throw parties. I went to Alabama A&M. Me and DJ Infamous locked down the whole campus. When did you first get on-air as a personality? I first got on-air when I was 18. But I’ve been doing radio since I was 14. I started off interning and doing promotions for 107.9 in Cleveland. In Alabama, I was at WNEP, then I went to another station, WHRP. Then I moved to New York for a year or so, and that’s how I met DJ Enuff and them niggas. Then I moved back to Alabama, then I moved to Memphis. I’ve been everywhere. What station are you with now? Right now I have a show called Grind Time Radio. I’m the music director and I do nights in Louisville, KY. I’m also on the radio in Columbus, GA, Myrtle Beach, SC and Little Rock, AR. I’ve also been doing Sirius for four years now. Sirius changed a lot of shit in my career. What do you like about DJing on Sirius? It gets you away from the commercialization of radio. You can play what you wanna play. You got the opportunity to break more records on a national scale. People in California or fucking Wyoming hit me up on Myspace like, “I heard your show.” So it’s a surprise that Sirius reaches everywhere and people


Why do you choose to mix live on the air? When you DJ a party, you can look at the people and tell when you’re playing something whack. On the radio, you got the chance to shine and break records. I literally go on the internet, check my email and I’ll have a new record that somebody sent me at 10:02, and my mixshow started at 10 o’clock. I’ll download that shit to my Serato and just go. “Brand new such and such, they just sent it out.” But some program directors don’t like live mixing. They don’t like that on their radio stations because some DJs are fucking knuckleheads and they’ll end up playing some cursing music. What would you rather do, a $500,000 fine or let a nigga go live? But I trust myself. You give a lot of your mixtapes out free on your Myspace page. Julia got me doing mixtapes. I never did mixtapes. Before OZONE was the monster that it is now, I called Julia like, “Can I do some mixtapes for you?” I kinda feel like I’m the trendsetter for putting mixtapes in OZONE. You’re in Louisville, KY. How do you feel about the music scene there? The music scene here is nice. It’s different though. Louisville is kinda like a melting pot. As much as people in Louisville wanna think that they are the South, they are not the South. I’ve been in Alabama in the fucking sticks. I’ve lived in Memphis where it’s really hood; that’s the South. When I went to Kentucky, don’t get it fucked up, it’s hood but it’s just not the South. Their influences are Western. Some of the influences are East Coast too. And then there’s Midwest also, so all those things come together. They kinda grew up off the Cash Moneys and the N.W.A.s, so it’s a melting pot of everything. Their sound has its own identity and it’s starting to come more on a national level. They have a lot of talent out here. I deal with an artist named Casanova. He’s like the next Kanye West - he does the beats, he raps, he flows, he does everything. Then you got niggas wit’ a laidback flow like B. Simm. Then you got other niggas like Hurricane or Louis Keyz that have laidback flows and are on some street shit. You got niggas that make any type of music you want. DJ Khaled, Cool & Dre, and The Runners, kinda built a sound for Miami, I’m trying to build a sound for my city and put it on a national scene. I think the people that came before me really didn’t give a fuck about the local talent out there. The reason why people love me is cause I’m for the people. You’re one of the Heavy Hitter DJs. How did you get down with them? The Heavy Hitters took me a very, very long time. I started talking to Enuff in 2002 when I was in New York. I was doing an internship and I used to make mixtapes and give them to Enuff everyday for a whole summer. That nigga was like, “What do you want?” I was like, “I wanna get down in your crew.” He was like, “Nah, you won’t be in my crew. When you finish college, come back and holla at me.” I didn’t talk to that nigga for four years. I left, went to college, graduated, went to grad school, graduated and then I called him. I broke down my resume to him; I had seven radio stations under my belt. You know what that nigga told me? “Hold on, I’ll think about it.” Then, that nigga called me like can you come to New York on Friday? It’s fucking Wednesday. I spent $1,500 on a plane ticket to go out there and holla at him and he still didn’t make me a Heavy Hitter. A couple months later… Kast One, Camillo, Enuff and Felli Fel are the ones that brought me into the Heavy Hitters. All along them niggas were telling me “no” to see if I really wanted to do that shit. It’s not like, “Yo, let me be a Heavy Hitter” and you’re in. That shit takes years. You DJed the 2007 OZONE Awards with DJ Q45. What was that like? That was a blessing. It was a real good look because there were a lot of people from everywhere there. A lot of niggas don’t even know I exist - Q45, niggas know him cause he’s on Rap City every day. For me to get up in front of my peeps to rock out with Q45 in front of labels and artists, a lot of niggas were coming up to me. They might not remember me but I’ll remember that shit cause I had a blast doing it. I thought the awards were great. I thought it was a real good look for the South and for Hip Hop in general. That wasn’t the only good look you had this year. You were the 2007 McDonald’s All-American DJ as well right? I did the McDonald’s shit for the [high school basketball] All-star game in Louisville. I was the 2007 [Southern Entertainment Awards] Mixer of the Year and the 2007 KYMP Camp Radio Personality of the Year. I’m glad people honor my work but you can do bigger shit the next year and they probably won’t even put you on the ballot. Like the SEAs. I won the 2007 Radio Mixer of the Year last year but that’s when I was in Memphis at Power 99 and I still had five radio stations. This year I’m the music director, I have my own night slot in Kentucky, and I added two more radio stations and I’m not even on the ballot. So I take that shit with a grain of salt. But I also got chosen to go to the semifinals for the Pepsi DJs competition. So [2007 has been] pretty good.


rob g

Waited Patiently Words by DeVaughn Douglas // Photo by Intl K


ob G’s office is located in a nondescript building off of the southwest freeway in Houston where a lot of cultures meet. Go a few miles in any direction and you can see affluent Houstonians on their way to the county club, visit Sharpstown Mall and get a grill, smoke Shisha (flavored tobacco) from a hookah pipe in front of popular Middle Eastern hangouts, or eat authentic Vietnamese or Mexican food from the countless restaurants that cover the area. Make a couple of turns and you could wind up in an area where the street signs are printed in three or four different languages. It is in this nondescript building, in the middle of such a descriptive area, that Rob G has set up shop. As you walk in, you’re greeted by a python resting in an aquarium, posters on the wall of Rob’s latest musical offering, Reppin’ My Block: The Mixtape, a small couch, and a computer who’s speakers are blasting…..John Mayer. “I listen to everything,” he laughs as he turns down the music. He apologizes for taking so long to get to the interview. “I’m trying to get ready for the OZONE awards and right after that I start a tour that goes through the South and the West coast.” A new artist adjusts a mike in the booth while another one types quietly on a laptop. Rob sits back in his chair. Behind him is a white dry erase board with the “SWAT Office Rules” written in black marker. Rule #2: Be the Fuck quiet when were working! Rule #5: Don’t Roll up in this bitch 10 deep! Rule #7: No girls during business hours…..that’s all day! Rule #10: This is OUR place of business…Respect the Establishment! For the last few years Rob G has been quietly laying the groundwork to bring his establishment to the forefront. With a hit song “Reppin’ My Block” featuring Lil’ Keke and Slim Thug, and a new single “How You” featuring Trae, Rob is preparing to release his Universal Rebuplic/Latium Entertainment major debut, The Inauguration. The last time we spoke you were a patiently waiting artist and now you’re nominated for two OZONE awards, right? Yeah, two OZONE awards. I was nominated for Patiently Waiting Texas and Mixtape/Street Album of the Year, which was personally real big for me. The category itself was big because I’m a guy that takes real pride in his mixtapes. To be nominated with people like DJ Drama and Lil Wayne is amazing. When can we expect to hear an album from you? The album is scheduled to be released on Universal Republic/Latium. It’s called The Inauguration and it’s scheduled to be released anywhere from mid to late October. It’s going to be big. We have a lot of big singles on there. A lot of stuff that will catch people off guard if you only know me from radioplay. I’m going to be your best friend after you listen to the album.


What topics can we expect you to address on the album? Everything. One thing I find in my music is that people have a lot more in common with each other than they think. I feel my main mission is to show that. I mean, I’ve got to play this industry game. I still have to make hits, but as far as the overall feel of my music, I think a lot of people will find something they relate to. I’ve lived a lot in my short life. There use to be a time when legends like Scarface, Nas, Jay-Z and other artist were releasing at the same time. You don’t have people putting out albums like that anymore, and I’m going to try to bring that back. The album is going to focus on family, the streets, partying, crying, basically all of the emotions that I‘ve felt. Who can we expect to hear on the album? Trey Songz, Gnarls Barkley. Of course H-Town is going to be apart of it. Chamilionaire, Lil Keke, Slim [Thug]. I’ll be working with some of my Universal Republic labelmates like Amy Winehouse, Hinder, and Stephen Marley. I’m really trying to think outside the box. I’m still going to keep it H-Town, but I’m just going to bring some other people into my world. For those that do not know, can you tell us about your upbringing? My parents came here as illegal immigrants. My father got lung cancer, which eventually took over his whole body. It got to a point where the doctors couldn’t do anything so they just sent him home. I pretty much watched him die. I was 11, and I couldn’t go to school for about six weeks because my mom still had to support us. I had to take care of him. After he passed away my mom was raising us as a single parent. Let me say right now, God bless my mother. I look up to nobody but her. My inspiration comes from nobody but her. I grew up after my father’s death so I would work with my moms being a janitor. My moms was working a lot and eventually I started to drift out into the streets. I liked the lifestyle and what I saw but I never got into it that serious. I remember I got caught with about a pound of weed and my mom told me something I’ll never forget. She said, “You think you’re big? You think you’re bad? There’s dudes out there that do this and have millions of dollars in cars and houses. You’re nobody but a little punk living in my house.” That kind of woke me up. She worked so hard to raise us and what I was doing was like a slap in her face. Overall, I feel I grew up like any other rebellious kid. I grew up quick. You were married pretty early, right? I got married around 19 when she got pregnant. I love my wife. I had to leave the crib and go ‘head and grow up. That’s when I was involved in the street the heaviest. I’m no thug, though, and I don’t glorify that behavior. At the end of the day what you write and put out there comes back to you. You do

end up in jail. You do end up killed. You just end up hurting the people around you. The streets made me see how quickly things could happen. How quickly life can change. How one day can start off so well with you waking up and going about your business and end up with you having guns pointed at your head about to die. Is that what pushed you towards rapping? A lot of people you meet started rapping at 12 or 13, but I was never serious like that. I would freestyle a little but not that much. The first time I was ever in a booth was 20 and I’m 25 now so I’m just getting started. I started writing and got open with the concept of affecting people just through your words. After about two years I wanted to start getting heard so I started entering these battles. I only entered a few but they were obviously the right ones. I entered one that was sponsored by 97.9 The Box called Roc the Mic. There was about 300 emcees in the competition and I ended up winning. The winner got to go on MTV and battle for an opportunity to get signed to Roc-A-Fella records. It was good, but I ended up getting disqualified because of cursing. Dirty South mouth, baby! [laughs] After that I hung up the battle rap because businesswise it wasn’t going to make me any money. I had to concentrate on making records to help me get to the next level. About a year later I got signed with Charles Chavez to Latium Entertainment, the company that manages Chamillionaire, Pitbull, and Play N Skillz. I just kept releasing mixtapes and about a year later I got the deal with Universal. Do you consider yourself a battle rapper? No, not at all. I just consider myself a real rapper. No one record can speak for all of me. The battle rapping was a phase of my career. But if you say something about my momma or challenge me to battle I’ll battle you. I get a kick out of it because it was always in fun spirits. It’s like a game to me. The battle rapping was just a way that I could show people I could rap. If I have to talk about this guy in front of me to prove that I can get down on the mic, then that’s what I have to do. You speak on your Spanish heritage a lot in your music. What is it like being from a city where the Spanish population is the majority but that is not reflected in the music scene? It’s a double edge sword. First, being a Latino, I rep that to the fullest. That’s my culture, that’s my background. My parents came over here illegally, and I grew up speaking Spanish. I represent that because there’s so many kids out there like me. They can identify with my struggles because they go through them too. It can be against me though, too. I mean, and this happens to me all the time, someone will come up to me and say, “[Your single] ‘Reppin’ My Block” is jammin’, but I really though you were black.” When I walk into predominantly black radio stations where my record is big everyone is surprised. Some people look at me and think, “Damn he’s a lot more interesting now,” while others look at me and think, “Oh, now you’ve got to prove yourself,” because of my heritage. I don’t really play into the whole thing. At the end of the day my music still stands up. I make music for everyone. Last time we spoke Snoop and B-Real were organizing an event to help ease the tension between the black and Latino communities. Why do you think Houston doesn’t have the same tension as other communities with black and brown populations? I think it’s because the way things are set up around here. I mean, my heavy, heavy Latin background comes from the people that were within the four walls of my house like my aunts, my uncles, my moms, and my pops. Outside in my school environment I’d have to say 80% of my friends were black. I think a lot of black people in Houston can say, “Damn, when I was growing up I had a bunch of ese homeboys.” Plus, Houston never really latched on to the gang culture as hard as the West. Houston has a heavy history of having pride in where we’re from because no one paid attention to us for so long. We had our own stars and we were all united through the music. I mean, I’m from Alief and it’s really just a melting pot of people on its own. If you drive around Houston there’s little communities of Spanish, Asian, black, white, Middle Eastern, everything. That’s just how we grew up. A lot of magazines have talked about how Houston doesn’t have the same connections as Atlanta and that maybe the Houston run is over. What are your thoughts? I’m gonna answer that question as honestly as I can by saying that I can’t speak for anybody else, but I never had a problem reaching out to other artist and them not extending love back. You can go down the list of artists I’ve met. When I met Pimp C and Bun B — I’ve been to Bun’s crib — and when he came out for my video that blew my mind. Trae showed me love. The Reppin’ My Block mixtape was a success because in two days I had Lil’ Keke, Killa Kyleon, A3, Kiotti, Big Pokey, Lil’ O, ESG, etc. Maybe I haven’t been in it long enough to experience anything the other magazines are talking about but my experiences have been good. I’ve also met the Chamillionaires and the Paul Walls and worked with the big names to a certain extent. The problem with

the outside saying that [Houston] is falling off is because they are focused on the other stuff only instead of what’s new. The guys that are out right now, and have all the weight on their shoulders, have been doing this. They shouldn’t have to deal with all that pressure. Put the pressure on me and some of these new guys. It’s really up to us because these guys can only do so much. The Slim Thugs, the Boss Hogg Outlaws, The Screwed Up Click, Swishahouse, Wreckshop, people like that all they brought us to were we’re at now. It’s up to the new guys to shoulder some of the weight. I know my city, baby, and I know there’s no way that we’re falling off. In Houston you’ve kind of branded the SWAT area. The SWAT! The SWAT stands for Southwest Alief Texas. That’s the southwest side of Houston, and Alief is where I grew up. I would like to clear something up. A lot of people tell me they are from the SWAT but they’re just not. I mean, it’s hard for outsiders to picture how big Houston is, but the SWAT is southwest Alief Texas. [laughs] People tell me where they live, and I’m sorry, but that’s not the SWAT. Since this is the topic of conversation in Hip Hop today, what do you think of certain figures attempting to censor artists? Fuck them. Honestly, I think they’re just picking on us. Some of the people that are saying these statements have made millions of dollars off of this industry; people like Russell Simmons. At the end of the day, they blame rap. I grew up [listening to Snoop Dogg] and I never did anything I heard on a Snoop Dogg record. Nothing bad I ever did was because I heard it on a record. These people are complaining about one aspect when they need to check all the other stuff that’s going on in these kids’ lives. At eleven o’clock Fox turns into a Girls Gone Wild infomercial but no one is attacking Fox. How many kids are watching all the stuff that’s on TV? I teach my son right from wrong and I don’t think Hip Hop is going to mess him up. I sold drugs cause I was broke and wanted money. I was influenced by the streets. How does having a child affect your lyrical content? It makes me want to write the most fire flow ever. My child has matured me and that in turn has matured my music but he doesn’t necessarily affect my lyrical content. My son isn’t gonna hear my music anytime soon. I raise my son the right way. Maybe one day when my son is older he’ll get on me for saying things I’ve said on record but I’m not worried about him being affected in a negative way. I raise him right. My son isn’t going to have any parental advisory CDs until he’s old enough to purchase his own. I was only able to get a parental advisory CD around ten or eleven because my mom couldn’t speak English. I told her to get the Doggystyle CD and she looked at the cover with the cartoon dogs on it and said okay. [laughs] Bless her heart but she couldn’t have even known. I mean, I had an older sister so I would always stumble upon her N.W.A CDs and other stuff, but Doggystyle was the first one I picked out and got for myself. What artists influenced you? The lyricists. The Jay-Zs, Lil’ Waynes, Scarfaces, Jadakisses, the whole Houston movement, of course Eminem, anyone with real lyricism. They influenced me because I wanted to be better than them. Not to emulate them but to get to that level of success and beyond. Right now Wayne is killing the game. He’s been doing it forever and I see him doing so much work out there. That makes me want to work harder. I respect all the new guys out there doing they’re thing right now. I’ve learned a lot from artists like Chamillionaire. Play N Skillz really took the time to look out for me. They have a great company and good people behind them. I respect everybody, but I’m still trying to be better than all ya’ll, though. //

rob g




Words by Randy Roper Phtoo by Joe Magnani


jr rotem

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year old Xplicit isn’t striving to be the king of Miami, nor does he proclaim to be the best of the best. He is however, one of the most committed and uplifting lyricists on the mic. Sharing the stage with Pitbull, Rick Ross, Smitty, Brisco and performing for 50,000 fans at Calle Ocho, the biggest block party in Miami, has given Xplicit more than enough motivation to be heard. And it’s a voice he hopes will prosper and inspire in the years to come. How old were you when you recorded your first song? The first time I laid down my first song I was eleven years old. I was always a fan of music. It’s been in my blood since I was born. My cousin Shakespeare produced a track and I started playing around with it. So, I played with it and it came out alright. I just went in the booth and did it. I still have the track actually. I look back at it and laugh and I see how I’ve improved. When did you decide to pursue music more seriously? I started taking my music real serious in ’05. I dropped my first legitimate mixtape called That Was Then This is Now. I printed up over 2,500 copies and put it in the streets. I got a tremendous amount of feedback. So many people told me I was talented. I was taking my talent for granted and just doing it as a hobby, but people started hollering at me and paying me money to hop on a feature. That’s when I thought I could make a living at this. I decided to perfect my craft and take it to the next level. What’s the feedback you’ve been getting on your music? People are letting me know that every song I put out gets better and better. I never half-ass anything. Everything gets 110%. If I’m putting it down in a session, it’s the best music I can put out myself. I’m not saying I’m the best rapper; I’m doing the best I can to provide good music to the people. I make music for everybody to listen to but my music is more struggle music. I’ve got a couple of club bangers, a couple of songs for the chicks, but I make music for the streets. I like to touch people. If someone’s going through something, I want to be that voice that lifts them up. What projects are you working on right now? I got The Beginning Volume 2 dropping. I got a straight Hip-Hop mixtape dropping with DJ S1. I got a West Coast mixtape with DJ Warrior poppin’ off. I just put out my two singles. One is called “Haters Watch Me” and I got another one called “I Want You” featuring a surprise guest R&B singer. I’m pushing for it to be on the radio in October. Who are some of the people you’ve looked up to when it comes to your music? Being from Miami, I’ve always looked up to Trick Daddy. I’ve basically listened to Trick since I was born. Besides Trick Daddy, it’s been Nas and Joe Budden. I can relate to a lot of Joe Budden because it’s struggle music. When I was going through some stuff, listening to his freestyles uplifted me and got me on my feet. It made me want to do that for someone else. Have you ever written anything for anyone else or do you plan to do that in the future? I most definitely plan to do that in the future. I’ve written for a couple of people but I’m not going to put anybody out there. But yeah, I am a song writer. I try to do it all. I write R&B, Hip-Hop, I feel I’m very versatile. I can do a club song, and then I can do something that sounds like Talib or Ne-Yo. That’s why I get a lot of feedback on my mixtapes – each song is totally different. What was your favorite verse that you ever wrote? What was it about? My favorite verse was on a jacked AZ beat. It’s called “30 Bars”. I spit the hottest 30 bars I’ve ever spit in my life. It expressed how everybody in the game wants to be a king but not everybody is a king. I’m not knocking anybody, but I don’t need to call myself a king or the best of anything. My music speaks for itself. How did you get the name Xplicit? My name was given to me by an old friend. She just thought I was shot out. Whatever I saw I would rap about, no matter what. How many hours a week do you spend writing or in the studio? Does it ever get exhausting? I write for about 16 hours a day. It gets exhausting but I’m at the state where I know it’s all going to pay off. What are some other things you like doing when you’re not in the studio? Do you have any other talents? I like to have fun. I’m 19; I like to party but my mind is set on music. I like getting this money. I’m focused on getting my family out of the hood. I want to get a big house and a Mercedes for my mother. // Words: Ms. Rivercity // Photo: Dan Vidal OZONE MAG // 99

Reality TV Live From New Orleans: The Inside Story August 29, 2005 will forever be remembered for the tragedy that all but destroyed one of the United States’ most spirited cities. Affectionately known as “The Gumbo,” New Orleans fell victim to perhaps this country’s most tragic “natural disaster” ever. Reality TV: Live From New Orleans – The Inside Story takes an honest and painful look at Hurricane Katrina’s survivors and sufferers. Candid interviews from acclaimed New Orleans natives Baby, Slim, Fiend, Skull Duggery and The Medicine Men, illustrate their genuine desires to help. However, directors Tenel and Kennieth dig even deeper. Reaching back as far as 1994, the duo takes the viewer from Bourbon Street to the hood, where arbitrary tales from the NO’s young and mighty tell tales of loss, murder and survival – one who defiantly blurts, “We ain’t goin’ nowhere like luggage, nigga!” On the flipside, the filmmakers delve into the history of The Carnival and Mardi Gras – pre-Katrina. With the Gumbo’s deep roots in mind, the DVD abruptly shifts into the storm that would change the city’s landscape forever. Familiar footage of people perched on rooftops waving in obvious distress and wading through the murky waters left by the category five hurricane still shocks the most rigid soul, and personal accounts burn even more. A walk through the camera man’s lens two weeks after the devastation brings him to say, “All my childhood memories ruined,” as he caps a tour through his ruined household. – N. Ali Early 100 // OZONE MAG

NICKY PEARL.COM presents: BOOTY STAR with Andre Nickatina Mo’ money and mo’ honey is the noted theme of Nicky Pearl Presents: Booty Star, featuring musical host and Bay Area legend Andre Nickatina. With girls going loco and skin flick DVDs as accessible as oxygen, Booty Star stands out by literally looking into the mind and grind of the average female who desires Booty Star status. Who is a Booty Star? Any female with a body who wants to show her assets and get paid generously for it. Trust, this is female pocketbook empowerment and girls who grind around the clock with cake and the icing, thru and thru. The first in a multiple set series of Booty Star DVDs features Danielle – a professional dancer/rap junkie in love with the camera, and Andre Nickatina. Danielle, like her successors in the Booty Star collection, is someone you might know. She is not a porn star or video vixen with global notoriety – yet. She’s the honey from around the block or Anytown, USA, and in steps King Andre Nickatina to corrupt her even further. Nickatina’s raps lace the soundtrack and score with his unique brand of money motivated and mind elevated Hip Hop with heaters. The title track “3 So What, AM So What” and “Pineapple Juice” set it off. An ideal collection for the connoisseur of fly females, Booty Star remedies the fact that not everyone is or can be a mack. Even further, it simultaneously entertains the legitimate playboys and macks with dope females and a true emcee to navigate the ride. - Jose S. Gutierrez Jr. aka Luvva J

Tha Underground Kings Magazine Shop Class/Simply Deelishis After heating the club up with a stage show befitting Bon Jovi more than a rap group, Da Shop Boyz take to the road, offering the camera crew glimpses of their post performance antics. Cover subjects of Tha Underground Kings Magazine: Volume 3, the Atlanta natives individually and collectively offer themselves open for exclusive interviews. In between Q&A’s and/or performances, this action packed DVD provides the viewer a localized visual of Tennesee’s featured hotspots, namely Memphis and Nashville. To boot, 2006 SEA Most Slept on Artist, Crisis’ commercial prefaces a candid look at veteran Tennessee rapper Kool Daddy Fresh in an engaging and at times hilarious exchange. Later, Project Pat, of Three Six Mafia fame, makes himself available live and direct from VIP, where impromptu interviews and autographs (flesh mostly) follow. The segment climaxes as the rapper and crew ultimately inspire a young dancer to remove her top for the sexually charged crowd. Other exclusives include a revealing sit down with Pistol AKA P. Gates and a one on one with producer Zatoven (“So Icy”). As for the other cover subject, Deelishis, her brief appearance precedes an untimely and uninspired strip tease courtesy of an unsightly “groupie gone wild.” Fortunately, Rob Ski relieves the viewer by hitting the road, in due time uncovering some choice splendor and random sound bites that work to validate the “Kings” lofty claim as the “Southern Voice of the Streets.” – N. Ali Early

OZONE MAG // 101

Gorilla Zoe/Welcome To The Zoo Bad Boy South/Block Ent.

Kanye West/Graduation GOOD Music/Island Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella On Graduation, the jazz-infused beats with lyrics offer a compelling listento-all-the-way-through album that may keep it on repeat. He wastes no time in making his appearance across the stage, as a not-so self-conscious Kanye blesses us with songs like “Stronger” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” He also offers a more mature listen as we sit through the ceremony, yet enlightening and entertaining us still with hits like “Drunk and Hot Girls.” And as the show draws to a close, ‘Ye gives props to his “Big Brother.” Reaffirming the idea that some things never change but yet some things do and since Kanye has just graduated, his songs “Homecoming” and “Glory” lead us in a different direction. Kanye does it again as he finally walks across the stage at his own Graduation, offering listeners some of the dopest all-around hot tracks to date. — E.L. Berry

50 Cent/Curtis Aftermath/Interscope/Shady Since his controversial reign began 50 has not relinquished the public of his intimidating persona and tortured life story. Over the years, his business ventures and media saturation have tested the public stamina for his gangster appeal. After three successful releases Curtis was poised to remind the audience why his dominance is still relevant, yet it falls short of its mark. This album sounds like a struggle for 50. Simply put, Curtis is confusing. At times it seems to be an attempt at a “back to basics” album without the biographical content, while other cuts from the same project suggest 50 is trying to strengthen his commercial strong hold, which makes for an interesting listen. This album carries little sustenance, isn’t particularly entertaining and seems more like a high quality mixtape turned contractual obligation than a well thought production for the masses. — Jared Anderson

Chamillionaire/Ultimate Victory Chamillitary/Universal Houston emcee Chamillionaire won big with his major label solo debut The Sound of Revenge and once again, he triumphs on Ultimate Victory. Still armed with more to rap about than grills and candy paint, Cham continues to expose Uncle Sam on “Morning News” and stands up for rap culture on “Hip Hop Police” with Slick Rick. But those songs are only the beginning as he defends the attack on Hip Hop (“Evening News”), teams up with Pimp C (“Welcome To The South”) and reunites with Krazyie Bone for a follow up of “Ridin’” over another Play-N-Skillz production (“Bill Collecta”). As lyrical as any emcee, lines like “Silly rappers think I’m worried about a punchline / I show more purpose than your whole career in one line” sum up his presence in the game. A fitting title for King Koopa’s album, Ultimate Victory is another “W” in the win column for the Chamillitary General. — Randy Roper

Yung Joc/Hustlenomics Bad Boy South/Block Ent. Even though Joc’s debut album featured few guest appearances, it’s obvious his formula for avoiding the proverbial sophomore slump is simply hustling some of rap’s biggest names into contributing to his latest project. Diddy, The Game, Jim Jones, Rick Ross, Bun B, Snoop Dogg, Gorilla Zoe and Trick Daddy all pitch in a verse, while Cool & Dre, DJ Quik, The Neptunes, Drumma Boy and Jazze Pha all chip in on the production side. Joc’s end result finds Mr. It’s Goin’ Down overshadowed by his guests over first-rate beats. Hustlenomics has loads of standouts like “Play Your Cards” and “I’m a G,” but the randomness of “Pak Man” is one of a couple questionable tracks. Despite a few mishaps, Joc returns with more swagger, more personality and more hooks that stick in your head, proving that his first LP was no fluke. — Randy Roper

102 // OZONE MAG


With the buzz surrounding Gorilla Zoe’s hit single “Hood Nigga,” Block Entertainment’s best bet was to release a full length album. And on Zoe’s debut album, the ATL native goes hard with introspection and still spits gangsta shit on tracks like “I Know,” “Count On Me,” “Real Muthafucka” and “Crack Muzik.” Boyz N Da Hood members Jody Breeze and Big Gee make appearances on the aforementioned tracks and the BNDH vets seem to be the artists more prepared for solo spotlights. Nonetheless, Zoe holds his own and deliveries solid street music on songs “Money Up” and “Last Time I Checked” that hoods across America can respect and ride to. — Randy Roper

Swizz Beatz/One Man Band Full Surface/Motown Universal Unlike other producers-turned-artists, Swizz Beatz stays within his comfort zone, choosing not to experiment, but to keep providing the energy we have come to love and expect. The song placement and selection for this project couldn’t be better. The album boasts plenty of up tempo beats, which could cause exhaustion if not for the sprinkled efforts such as the pseudo-conscious “The Funeral” and reflective “Part of the Plan,” which provides great balance. This album proves that Hip Hop can hold an edge yet be celebratory and light. Songs like “Take a Picture” are fun while “Money In The Bank” is a solidified club anthem about golddiggers. Clearly, Swizz Beatz understands his fan base and knows how to provide them with an entertaining album the whole way through. — Jared Anderson

9th Wonder/Dream Merchant 2 6 Hole 9th Wonder’s Dream Merchant offers listeners and Hip Hop heads alike a return to the roots. This album gives a brief reminder of Hip Hop in its most intimate and real-life state. 9th’s flawless production is timeless and seems to capture the pure essence of Hip Hop. Joints like “Sunday,” which features newcomers Keisha Shontelle and Chaundon, leave listeners feeling refreshed. The head-bobbing continues to carry through as 9th shares joints like “Reminisce” and “Saved,” which showers listeners with retrospective real life lyrics. Guest appearances from Mos Def, Saigon, Memphis Bleek, Camp Lo, Jean Grae, Jozee Moe, Skyzoo, Tyler Woods, Big Treal and many more don’t hurt the project either. And as always, 9th creates the dopest tracks and then brings in the nicest lyricists to spit correlating bars that mesh into a perfect symmetry. — E.L. Berry

Cupid/Time For A Change Atlantic R&B singer Cupid had everyone doing his dance the “Cupid Shuffle” this year and the majority of his major label debut album Time For A Change is filled with similarly up tempo tracks aimed at keeping all ages on the dance floor. “Work” is a snap influenced two-step, “The Let Out” is a potential after party anthem with T-Pain and Pain’s Nappy Boy Entertainment artist Tay-Dizm and “Someone Like You” and “Don’t Love Her To Death” serve as the only slow grooves. It may be time for a change, but this album doesn’t offer any alternatives to the norm nor anything particularly memorable. — Randy Roper

N.O.R.E./Noreality Babygrande With guest appearances from the likes of Jadakiss, Styles P, Kanye West, Capone, Kurupt and Three 6 Mafia and production from Swizz Beatz, the Alchemist and Dame Grease, you’d expect a lot more from N.O.R.E. But his fourth solo album falls flat in comparisons to his previous albums. At times Nore comes across as a veteran emcee should, but also drops frequent “Step Your Rap Game Up” lines throughout. N.O.R.E. fans will probably feel disappointed by this release - but at least it isn’t another reggaeton album. — Randy Roper

Median/Median’s Relief Halftooth North Carolina emcee and Justus League member Median almost can’t lose with the beats producers 9th Wonder, Nicolay, Koen and Khrysis provided for his LP. And Median doesn’t disappoint as he rips and weaves through soul samples and superb concepts like the continuations of 2Pac’s classic “Brenda’s Got a Baby” entitled “Brenda’s Baby,” the thought-provoking “Choices” with Justus Leaguers Joe Scudda and Chaudon and the creativity of “Personified.” The album’s only negative is the similar tones in many of the tracks that give the album a slightly monotonous feel. Still, sitting back and listening to Median remedy his problems through beats and rhymes is a listener’s gift. — Randy Roper

Ali & Gipp/Kinfolk St. Lunatic member Ali and Big Gipp of Goodie Mob hooking up for an entire album is random, to say the least. Listening to the two trade verses, nothing about the tandem says chemistry. But somehow this unlikely duo managed to put together an album worth a couple listens, which is probably due more to the production on songs like “Go Head” and “Get On Da Floor” with David Banner. Nelly and the St. Lunatics, Murphy Lee and Kyjuan, join in as well as Cee-Lo, Bun B, Three 6 Mafia, Juvenile and Lloyd. The Kinfolk duo should thank all their contributors for helping mix their oil and water styles into something cohesive. — Randy Roper

Chingo Bling/They Can’t Deport Us All/Big Chile/Asylum Running around with tamales, a cowboy hats and bobblehead dolls, Chingo Bling is a walking gimmick if there ever was one. Luckily for him, the music on his Asylum debut sounds like half of something. Songs like “Southside Thang” featuring Paul Wall and Fat Pat and “Hangin’ On (My Song)” are somewhat listenable. But “Do The Lasso” can’t be saved even with Fabo and Mistah FAB, “Tira Te Patraxx” doesn’t sound good in English or Spanish, and “Lil Marvin – So Fantabulous” shouldn’t be tolerated under any circumstances. They can’t deport all illegal immigrants but if Chingo Bling gets deported, his music won’t be missed that much. — Randy Roper

Hurricane Chris & DJ Don Cannon Louisi-Animal After this mixtape opens with a four minute freestyle over USDA’s “White Girl,” where Hurricane actually freestyles, listeners can tell that this rapper from Shreveport, LA has a little more to offer than that what he displayed on his hit “A Bay Bay.” And tracks like “Fuck U Mean” and “Rick James” further support that notion. With Hurricane Chris’ debut album 51/50 Ratchet on the way, Chris should thank Don Cannon for cosigning and changing doubters into believers. — Randy Roper Shawty Lo & DJ Scream/I’m Da Man 2 Shawty Lo is still best known for the snap music his created with D4L, but L-O’s solo music is a flipside to “Laffy Taffy.” Lo’s street savvy lyrics and swagger comes through clear on the 25 tracks of I’m Da Man 2. Granted, Shawty Lo isn’t the best rapper and will spit a laughable bar or two per song, but strong production and infectious hooks on tracks like “Let’s Get It” and “Dey Know” have the streets of the A-Town stamping Shawty da man. — Randy Roper Slick Pulla & DJ Drama/Election Day In case you haven’t been paying attention, DJ Drama (a.k.a. Barack Odrama) is back to hosting mixtapes. USDA’s Slick Pulla is one of the first artists to welcome Dram back the street album way - with a Gangsta Grillz feature, you bastards. On Election Day Pull gets busy on “D-Boy Step” and flips a couple freestyles with Da Snowman over Playaz Circle’s “Duffle Bag Boy,” 50 Cent’s “Amusement Park” and T.I.’s “Big Shit Poppin’.” Pulla’s tape could have been better with more original songs and less jacking for beats but the streets can’t complain too much. They tired to impeach Dram from the mixtape circuit but it’s evident with Pulla spitting on this mixtape like nothing ever happened, things are back to normal. — Randy Roper

Doughboy & DJ Khaled/Da Cookbook One listen to “I Gets Doughboy,” “The World Is Ours” and “Born Winners” and you’ll understand why Grammy award-winning producer Brian Michael Cox is behind this new artist. And with tracks like ”Work” and “Owe My Corner,” Da Cookbook is packed with tracks that should be placed on a Doughboy album. DJ Khaled does seem overly excited throughout the mixtape, screaming “WE DA BEST” at any give opportunity, but he’s probably just thrilled to host Doughboy’s mixtape. — Randy Roper

Mac-A-Don & Sam King (Hosted by Charlamagne Tha God)/Bred Up! Vol. 3: Banned From Radio Since radio won’t give this SC rapper the spins he deserves, Mac-A-Don takes to the streets for a street album with all new music, dedicated to radio. During the 19-track project Mac drops more than enough music, like “Six-Four,” “Presidential” and “Pretty Brown,” that demands radio attention. Even though Mac seemingly recycles his rhymes about jewelry, cars, girls and getting money, between head-nodding and singing along with the hooks, his limited subject matter goes unnoticed. Charlamagne’s commentary speaks volumes and Sam King’s two cents and drops add more energy to an already hype mixtape. — Randy Roper

Mac Boney & DJ Teknikz/Georgia Power 5: The Rico Act The Rico Act has plenty of tracks for the streets like “Westside Giant” and “I’m Coming,” while showing love to the one of Atlanta’s premiere strip joints on “Strokers” featuring Too $hort and Daz Dillinger. On “The Hottest” T.I. steps in to assist his artist but Boney proves worthy of sharing the shine and later, Boney teams up with his Grand Hustle cohorts Kuntry, Alfamega and new addition JR Get Money for a “Big Shit Poppin” remix. Mac Boney is somewhere behind Young Dro and Big Kuntry on the Grand Hustle depth chart but he is without question gunning for some more playing time. — Randy Roper

Benisour Tha Don & DJ Khaled/The Introduction This DJ Khaled hosted mixtape is the introductory release for the game to get familiar with Benisour Tha Don but there is nothing especially refreshing about the Miami emcee. Over 16 tracks, Ben does possess a decent flow but his lines come off as a Big Poppa swagger jacker on songs like “In Da Spot” and “Gimme Some More.” The Beat Assassins produced “Gangsta” and “My Momma” are two well produced tracks but again Benisour don’t say anything out of the ordinary. While Benisour does have potential, when the beat stops, it’s hard to figure out if he’s a true don or just another imaginary player. — Randy Roper

Diamond/DJ Scream, Don Cannon & Big Mike Bitch Muzik The streets have been pushing for Diamond and Princess to chunk the deuces to the rest of Crime Mob for quite some time, but weren’t expecting Diamond to test the water on the dolo tip. With DJs Scream, Cannon and Big Mike along for the ride, Diamond hits the mixtape scene hard to show heads what it would sound like if she decided to go for self. On Bitch Muzik, tracks like “32 Flavaz,” “Wishe Washe” ft. Lil Scrappy and “Role Model” with Nicole Ray show glimpses of solo capabilities. This mixtape is entertaining but Diamond’s style is better suited for a partner to offer a change of pace. — Randy Roper

OZONE MAG // 103


Rick Ross, Trick Daddy, T-Pain, & Plies performing “I’m So Hood” Event: 2nd Annual OZONE Awards Venue: James L. Knight Center City: Miami, FL Date: August 13th, 2007 Photo: Ray Tamarra

104 // OZONE MAG

DJ Greg Street “New Era Atlanta” www.myspace.com/djgregstreet

01. The Empire “Southern Slang 7” www.myspace.com/evilempiremixtapes 02. DJ Chuck T “Down South Slangin’ Vol. 43” www.djchuckt.com 03. DJ Mr. King “Southern Smothered & Covered 10” Hosted by Dee Boi www.mysp ace.com/djmrking

04. Kash Kastro and Vigilante DJs “I’m Talk’N 2 U” www.myspace.com/kashkastro 05. DJ Demp & Exclusive J “Tales From The Hood www.myspace.com/dj

demp1 www.myspace.com/1exclusivej

06. Tito Bell “This Iz What It Iz” www.myspace.com/titobell 07. DJ Quote & DJ Chief Rocka “Whole Lotta Swag” Hosted by Tum Tum www.mysp

ace.com/djchiefrocka1 www.myspace.com/djquote

08. DJ Fresh “Respect My Grind Part 2” www.myspace.com/djfreshinc 910-934-9232 09. DJ Gloss “Southern Swang Volume 3” www.myspace.com/djgloss

10. Voice of Da Streetz “Presents: The Runners Collector’s Edition” www.voiceofdastreetz.com 407-267-8984 11. Dope Boy Muzik “Dopeboy Muzik Vol. 5” Hosted by Brisco www.myspace.com/do peboymuzik305 305-926-9808 12. DJ Babe “Legends of Hip Hop Vol. One” www.myspace.com/djbabe1 13. Superstar Jay “For My Generals” www.myspace.com/djsuperstarjay 347-439-0627

14. DJ Kronik “Maybach Music” www.myspace.com/djkronik 15. DJ Bobby Black & DJ Scope “Down and Dirty: Barry Bonds Edition” www.mysp ace.com/theofficialdjbobbyblack

Atlanta DJ and on-air personality Greg Street takes his 6 o’clock V-103 radio show across the global on this New Era Atlanta mixtape. With new and exclusive music that only Mr. Exclusive can get his hands on, this mixtape’s prime features are remakes of Jay-Z’s “30 Something” featuring Andre 3000 and Ice Cube and Playaz Circle’s “Duffle Bag Boy” featuring Lil Wayne, plus freestyles from the likes of Fabolous and Freeway, made exclusively for Greg Street. DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for consideration to: Ozone Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318

16. DJ Dutty Laundry “The Inside Man Hood Radio” www.myspace.com duttylaundry 17. DJ 2 Mello “Undercover R&B: Believe The Hype: Undercover R&B” www.mysp ace.com/supa_ 18. DJ Envy & Keyz “ATL” www.djenvy.org 19. DJ 1Mic “Return of the MC’s Vol. 1” Hosted by Gawdbless www.myspace.com/dj 1mic 20. DJ G-Spot “Inspired by the South Vol. 14” Hosted by G-Mack www.myspace.com/djgspot2000

OZONE MAG // 105 OZONE MAG // 105

106 // OZONE MAG