RAW, UNCENSORED WEST COAST RAP SHIT!
Topic | 40 Glocc | Cellski | ProHoeZak | Askari X
E-40 | YUKMOUTH
The Godfather Unites Tha Whole Damn Yay!!
On a paper chase
U C IT!!
Far from Hyphy and more OZONE WEST //
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OZONE WEST //
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Publisher Julia Beverly Editor-In-Chief N. Ali Early Art Director Tene Gooden Music Editor Randy Roper ADVERTISING SALES Che Johnson Isiah Campbell Contributors Big Fase 100 D-Ray DJ BackSide DJ E-Z Cutt Eric Johnson Jessica Essien Joey Colombo Keita Jones Luvva J Regi Mentle Shemp Todd Davis Ty Watkins Wendy Day Street Reps Anthony Deavers, Bigg P-Wee, Dee1, Demolition Men, DJ Jam-X, DJ Juice, DJ KTone, DJ Quote, DJ Strong & DJ Warrior, John Costen, Juice, Kewan Lewis, Maroy, Rob J Official, Rob Reyes, Sherita Saulsberry, Sly Boogy, William Major COVER CREDITS I Love The Bay photo by Vivian Chen.
ozone west 6 7-17 8 10 12 14 24-25 32 33 34
CHAIN REACTION: MISTAH FAB PHOTO GALLERIES BANGIN’ 101: BIG WY RAPQWEST WEST IS BACKSIDE: ASKARI X SHORT STORIES TJ’S DJ’S & OZONE AWARDS RECAP DJ 2 DJ: DOW JONES SLAP END ZONE
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PATIENTLY WAITING: 40 GLOCC PATIENTLY WAITING: CELLSKI PATIENTLY WAITING: GLASSES MALONE PATIENTLY WAITING: INTERSTATE IKE PATIENTLY WAITING: JACKA PATIENTLY WAITING: PROHOEZAK PATIENTLY WAITING: TOPIC
Aye Bay Bay
eing from the Bay is some strange shit. Real talk. It’s not me though. It’s everybody else. They don’t get it. They don’t understand why I rep so damn hard. Why I bought all those shirts and sport ‘em every chance I get; why I walk the way I do, why I talk the way I do – why I never let go of my Bay’ness. And it’s not even something that I consciously hold on to. The shit is just embedded in me, ingrained in my loins, sketched into my thinking patterns and fixed in my speech.
It’s San Pablo Youth Baseball, the Renegades, Saturday football at CC, AC Transit, Bayview Elementary, the daily trek through Hilltop, The Richmond Auditorium, The Plunge, PAL, the Marina, Blondie’s Pizza, Fat Slice, Kimball’s East, Sweet Jimmy’s, Foothill Boulevard (“the bumpy ass strip…”), the A’s, the Oakland Coliseum, BART, the Bay Bridge, my ’79 mob, De Anza High, Salesian Boys & Girls Club, burritos from the truck on 23rd, cheese dogs from Casper’s, Nation’s chocolate shakes and chilli cheese fries at 3AM, GIANT Burger, Mark’s Barber Shop, Geoffrey’s, Jack London Square, the City, the Trees, the Valley Jo, the water, I80, 580, E-40, Too Short, ‘hella,’ the game, the hustle and a gang of other shit. Mine may mirror another man’s experience, but it’s very obvious to me that a ‘Bayboy’ is an extremely unique breed. I see it when I’m at the club doin’ my thizzle and they see it the minute I step through the door. That swag, that rhythm, that Cali cool. It’s in me and it ain’t goin’ nowhere, no time soon. So in the spirit of OZONE’s fifth annual “Patiently Waiting” issue, it seems fitting that the Bay Area graces this month’s cover, as we know a little something about ‘waiting patiently.’ It’s been upwards of a decade since our last run – a time when the Luniz were poppin’ with the herb anthem, “I Got Five On It,” Dru Down was the “Pimp of the Year,” “Captain’ Save A Hoe” was on the loose, 40 and Short showed the world what a “Rapper’s Ball” was, Richie Rich was signed to Def Jam and the “Get
Low” was a party stopper on any dance floor in America that had a Bay Nigga on it.
Then came that exxxxtra long stretch where it dried up. And that was okay I guess, ‘cause the independent game in the Bay – the coldest on the earth – took over. That in and of itself, is the reason why the term “out the trunk” was coined to begin with. In fact, it’s the independence of the Bay, in my opinion, that helped resuscitate the rap trend therein (the Bay). No one stopped making music and no one in The Bay, Portland, Seattle, Denver, KC, LA or even New Mexico, stopped buying it. No one stopped thinking and being inventive. No one stopped creating. No one stopped performing and no one stopped having fun. In the process the term “hyphy” was born in the O and spread like wildfire. Mac Dre continued to push his movement, incorporated his version of “hyphy” into his shit, along with Keak Da Sneak – the undisputed “King of Super Hyphy” – and it was back on again. So I salute the Yay for being dedicated soldiers to a movement that illustrated to the world how to stay afloat whether paddles were plenty or not. Courtesy of Too Short and the Up All Nite Crew, this month’s main attraction (pages 26-31) is all about my soil, my turf, my home – The Bay Area. From The Godfather to the Ambassador, the Prince, everybody thereafter and in between, they all showed love, fittingly on a project entitled: I Love the Bay. In the words of Young Turfy, “We rep tha Bay!! We don’t rep California!” Ya Dig?! N. Ali Early West Coast Editor Ali.firstname.lastname@example.org *Keep ya head up E-Ratic!! Thanks for the pics mayne!
26-31I LOVE THE BAY
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he new chain I got is called the “Mistah FAB” piece. Every six months I get a new chain. My jeweler is crazy. His name is Carl “The Jeweler” of Highline Jewelry. He just got started. He’s really fresh with it though. He did Kafani’s piece. He did Keak’s piece. He does all the Bay Area shit. He did 40’s new piece. The funny thing is, Johnny the Jeweler in Houston is his cousin, so he’s really got connections. He’s got whatever you need and he’s got great designs. He’s respectable and he’ll work with you. All my shit comes from there; my bracelet, my grill, everything. He did the “Yellow Bus” for me and he did this one. I’m about to get rid of this one and have him do a new one for me, which will be the “Bay Bridge.” This one is about seventy-five, eighty carats in blue, yellow and white diamonds. I paid about $37,000 for it. It’s basically a reflection of who I am and what I represent. My clothing line is called “Color Boy.” I like to brighten my shit and have the stand-out look and those colors, for some reason, I was drawn to them. I ain’t seen nobody else with the same color combination, so I went with it. My mother calls me a Skittle kid, so I rock the Skittle chain and it looks like Skittles on my neck. It’s about three or four pounds. The good thing about it is you don’t even have to know me and it’s like, “Hey, Mistah FAB!” They see that! And that chain shuts major niggas down! The major niggas be lookin’ like, “Damn bruh, who is this nigga?” And that’s good, ‘cause I like whatever I’m doing to go with my movement.
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When I was rockin’ the “Yellow Bus,” that was my movement. So when cats was seein’ me with that they could identify me with that. Yung Joc said it himself. He said, “Man, I went and got this ‘Hustlenomics’ chain ‘cause of that ‘Yellow Bus.’ Man, he was a fool for that.” This one is like, y’all already know] about the Yellow Bus. Now I want you to know my name. This is my name right here. So when y’all see me, that’s who it is. Mistah FAB, mayne. Then it’s like, “Oh, you Mistah FAB. You’re from the Bay Area, right?” Cause people may not know my face, but they know the name. This is like my nametag. I’m tryna go after that “Hustlenomics” piece with the “Bay Bridge.” Joc, I’m comin’ for you man. Joc got the coldest chain in the game right now. Him and Lil Jon’s new shit and Akon when he pulls it out, but Akon don’t even wanna stunt. But on the chain game right now, Joc is whuppin’ they ass. But this next chain is what you’re not supposed to do. E-40 said, “Don’t buy an $80,000 chain before you buy a house.” I’m definitely not listening to him. I’m definitely about to do some ignorant shit with this [next] one. After I get off this tour I’m definitely going to see Carl. I’m tellin’ you, with this “Bay Bridge” I’m finna shit on ‘em! I’m finna shit on ‘em with the “Bay Bridge” with the crown on it! I’ma be lookin’ real Slick Rick-ish. I may even go get a patch over my eye. But I ain’t in no rush, cause the “Mistah FAB” piece is still wakin’ niggas up. I be seein’ major label niggas tuck they shit in. I may hold out, but I’m definitely going to have that for my birthday, January 23rd. // – As told to N. Ali Early // Photo by Ray Tamarra
E V O L A I N R O F I L A CWEST COAST PHOTO GALLERIES
party pre-BET Awards @ @ Privilege for op n Ch lso ia Hi ol ri gn Ke & Ma & n, , CA) 04 // Olis y, Polow da Do CA) Lil Jon, Rich Bo oot (Los Angeles e’s birthday party (Oakland, keley, CA) 02 // “Ay Bay Bay” remix video sh h at er vg sta (B Ba Mi re r // fo sto 09 17 in ) b B’s ris’ oh Sauce @ Clu ing (Oakland, CA in for Mistah FA of Hurricane Ch Mistah FAB & Po da Most, & Kilo @ Youth Upris shoot (Oakland, CA) 12 // h FAB @ Rasput Game, & Bay Bay on the set // sta 06 Mi ) & CA , n les ma i wg, The 01 // Sand s (Los Ange // Percy, Miam zzo Fly’s video Boosie, & ) 03 // Phunk Da Nouch & Fedx @ Club Basque Angeles, CA) 08 CA) 11 // Lil Dre & Dubee @ Ku , CA) 14 // Mouse, Foxx, Lil (Los Angeles, CA , ards party (Los les ) 05 // & J Diggs @ ge CA ale Aw B T yv An d, FA s BE nn h lan e(Lo ak (Su sta pr s (O Mi rty ys e’s // pa Ab Le Youth Uprising ayward, CA) 16 y Bay Bay” remix video rd 3 for Debra million @ Club pre-BET Awards (H va xa s e’s ule Tra Le kid & a Bo e br th @ Fly De y es on r Mistah FAB lov Boulevard 3 fo , OR) 10 // Kuzz 07 // Nick Cann rricane Chris’ “A h FAB, Mama Dez, Uno geles, CA) 15 // izzfest (Portland gas, NV) 13 // Nas & Nelly @ on the set of Hu wk Marlon, Mista eo shoot (Los An CA) 18 // Lil Jon cools down FAB & fans @ Th s Ve ha vid (La x Mo h mi // iva re 21 Dr y” ) a Ba NV Th y D dro, ggs (Las Vegas, Mistah FAB & PS e set of Hurricane Chris’ “Ay Ba e Dragon’s Studio (San Lean Di J& y ro Ma Th 20 // th Phunk Dawg on , CA) 17 // Meezy & Bavgate @ @ Moses Music (Oakland, CA) ejo ) nnedy & AMG CA Ke d, Crest Park (Vall an lan Se ak // (O 19 t eo shoo les, CA) shoot (Los Ange t @ Club 17 for Kuzzo Fly’s vid (02,07,13,18) J Ne ); Julia Beverly of The Pack, & ,16,17,19,20,21 ,15 ,14 ,12 0,11 4,05,06,08,09,1 D-Ray (01,03,0 Photo Credits:
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Words by Big Fase 100 // Photo Courtesy of Checkmate TV
Representing Inglewood, CA, Big Wy is one of the most respected, credible emcees on the West Coast. Recently, I caught up with “The Relative” and we engaged in a lil’ Q&A between G’s, Bangin 101 style !
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Big Fase 100: A lot of people don’t know it, but you were a member of the original Bangin’ On Wax album in 1993. Can you tell me a little bit about that project and how you got involved with it? Wy: That project was very groundbreaking. It was the first of its kind. It fully jumpstarted my career in the industry. I got involved with it through my boy Redrum. He asked me to get on it and I used my gang ties to elevate my rap career as an artist. If one existed, what was the positive message behind the Bangin’ On Wax project? It showed that money always overrules any type of beef. Bangin’ On Wax was the same idea as Bloods and Crips getting money on any type of street level. It provided us a way to understand the business side of doing things. You have collaborated with other West Coast artists; how is it that gang members are able to come together with their street rivals to do business? Money. It’s the only neutral idea in gangbangin’; in the business period, in life as we know it. What do you think about the way gang life, especially the Bloods, has spread across the country in the past ten years? It has its pros and cons. For the better end, it took that [bangin’] for people to recognize real talent for me and other artists. For other people, they use it as a gimmick. It’s nothing different from when Snoop and the Dogg Pound came out back then. Real niggas know what’s happening with who’s real and who’s not in a sense. The one thing that people don’t understand is people that really do it for real that might wanna know the truth of your understanding for gang bangin’. There is a lot of depth in becoming a Blood. [It’s more] than just throwing on some red. You representin’ for people that lived it and now are in wheelchairs, dead or whatever happened. People don’t understand that you can really get penalized for your gang ties. You can get legally judged just from your gang ties. Free Lil Hawk. How much is Hip Hop to blame for this spread? Hip Hop is not to blame whatsoever. This music is influential in itself. It’s the most influential since rock & roll back in the day. So when something is displayed in Hip Hop, it’s going to get as big as it can
be. No direct faults to it. That just shows how big Hip Hop is and [how big it] can make everything around it. What’s your view on the rappers in the industry who are all of a sudden gang-affiliated? Everybody has fans. Rappers have fans and gangbangers have fans. You’ve got a track with G. Malone who is a Crip and J-Rock who is from the Nickerson Gardens Projects. How did this collab come about? We were already friends, on top of me being a fan of their music and recognizing that their movement was strong on the West. So I wanted to do a record with them and make it pop. I understand you just shot a video payin’ respect to some of the West Coast street legends who are now resting in peace. Tell me about the video and the song. The video and song is a revisiting of the hit single that made Bangin’ on Wax blow – “Piru Love 3000.” One day I was sittin’ back thinking about the friends I used to hang with, that I also rapped with that passed away. Three of them keep repeatin’ in my mind. That was Mausberg, Bloody Mary and 4 Bent. Those three artists passed before they really got a chance to bring forth their talent to the world. I feel that it’s my job to make sure that they’re remembered as well as the people in the pen. You and Billboard of Black Wallstreet did a song together before he passed away. That is definitely a street anthem for the gangstas in red up until this day. What was your mindstate around the time you recorded this track? I mean it was really to push 4. On a street level, we felt that the Bloods wasn’t getting represented the proper way. 4 Bent dropped the hook like that and I choose to bring a political side to how being a Blood was supposed to be. What would you say to a youngster out there who is looking up to you as a role model? Get money. By any means. What can we expect from Big Wy in the upcoming months? Checkmate Entertainment – the official movement. Production, music, and film. Check out the website (www.checkmatetv.net). I have official partner ownership in the first black owned cognac company Carnivo XO (www.carnivoxo.com), quite a few mixtapes and a brand new album called Hood Hitchcock Vol. 2 coming out October 4th. Shout out to PoliDony, 211 and B Fly. //
E V O L A I N R O F I L A CWEST COAST PHOTO GALLERIES
& Bedrock ni, Mistah FAB, , CA) 03 // Kafa geles, CA) 05 // Kuzzy ale yv nn (Su s @ Club Abys 3 shoot (Los An & the Pearl Girls y” remix video es @ Boulevard ) 02 // Kia Shine of Hurricane Chris’ “Ay Bay Ba ) 07 // Mike Kyser & Kevin Lil CA t d, Ra & lan , ak sh (O Ba t t by CA video shoo on the se (San Francisco, // J-Diggs, Taz, Boss Hogg, Ba release party ci @ Kuzzo Fly’s Hurricane Chris, & Donna Gryn Scales @ Crash B & Bleu Davin s Vegas, NV) 09 @ Club 17 for J Diggs’ record Tum, & Brannon (La m Tu ion a, n, 01 // Mistah FA cisco, CA) 04 // Julia Beverly, ns ste Ma Co y , CA) 14 // Kasp the Playbo 06 // John & Band Aid an @ Crash (San Fr @ Club Abyss (Sunnyvale, CA) , CA) 08 // Jerry Rice & Hasi @ s Angeles, CA) 11 // Jon Nash e @ Super Hyphy 17 (Petaluma s Angeles, CA) 16 // ok (Lo (Lo les on wp lli el ds ge ar Fly & Traxami party (Los An & Baby rty Girls @ Sofit , CA) 13 // Mistah FAB & DJ Slo ter the BET Aw pre-BET Awards ne Chris, Lil Jon, J-Diggs & his Di co asses Malone af for Debra Lee’s geles, CA) 10 // ’s birthday party (San Francis s Angeles, CA) 15 // Kam & Gl (Los Angeles, CA) 18 // Hurrica zzo Fly’s video shoot An s (Lo ’ ne clo Ku ” @ PK on the set of ‘Cy & Kuzzo Fly @ n DJs Retreat (Lo set of “Cyclone en, & G Archer OR) 20 // Guce oe’s for Hittmen by Bash, & Aaron Hall on the 12 // K9, DJ Am ard (Portland, Rankin @ Rosc Ba (Oakland, CA) nd s, ga Sta gg b Big Di & Clu ) Jy, CA @ // Ba , les ) 17 , Bay Turf Talk shoot (Los Ange Hurricane Chris 17 (Petaluma, CA 19 // J Diggs & y” remix video @ Super Hyphy x video shoot ris’ “Ay Bay Ba Ch K-Loc & Caution cane Chris’ “Ay Bay Bay” remi ne ca rri Hu e set of rri Abdul (14) on the set of Hu & 40 Water on th rly (07,18); Malik 21 // Hyphy Juice ,21); Julia Beve ,20 ,19 (Oakland, CA) ,17 ,16 9,10,11,12,13,15 3,04,05,06,08,0 D-Ray (01,02,0 Photo Credits:
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>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Don’t see your city?
Hit us up and let us know which clubs, DJs and artists are worthy of representing: Ali.Early@ozonemag.com
SEATTLE/TACOMA, WA (The 206/253/360) San Francisco (415) Get your Hip-Hop & R&B fix at Fanatics, Jilian’s, Suede, Whisper, Club 6, Loft 11, LeDuplex, & 330 Ritch. Remy Martin Cognac’s “10 artists, 90 days, 1 interesting summer” campaign hit most of them with spokesman San Quinn and DJ Juice on the turntables. Reggae Gold is every second and fourth Saturday at the End-up with resident DJ Rolo 1-3. It goes after hours and is usually packed after all the other clubs let out at 2 AM. “The city’s real Mayor” has a mixtape in the streets buzzing right now. A collab with DJ Juice, Bay Area mixtape vol. 7, is steady building San Quinn’s buzz for the highly anticipated Boy To A Man album. Big Rich has a collab with Balance called Da Unda Doggs. Guce has his Bullys Wit Fully brand supporting Messy Marv with the Free Mess campaign. A new group, EvenOdds, is building on their street buzz with the song “That Swagg.” - Dj Juice (www.djjuice.biz)
Massline Media’s star is shining with dope work from Gabriel Teodros & Blue Scholars. The “I Support DJ DV-ONE” campaign is strong in Seattle, as he defends himself against police brutality and assault charges. Soul Gorilla, the mega-promotion camp, continues to rock Seattle clubs. Tacoma pioneer Wojack of Criminal Nation is cocking the gauge with an overdue project. 206 Zulu Nation and West Coast DJ of The Year B-Mello recently honored radio pioneers Nasty Nes and Glen Boyd at the Asian American Hip-Hop Summit - OG Status! DJ Kun Luv’s 15th Annual Virgo Party goes down every September. Are you ready? - Luvva J (email@example.com)
denver, co (303/720) Clubs are getting scarce in the town! Purple Martini doesn’t like African Americans, so we need to support our own (Paradise, Reign, Cleatz). Vinyl and DC10 going strong, and we have had more big concerts than usual. Beyonce, Snoop, and Screamfest swept thru Denver all in a 2 week span. The town is still anticipating the release of Young Doe’s album, Welcome To The Maze, and Gang Green is making noise. DJ Bedz is one step closer to winning the Pepsi DJ competition, and Innerstate Ike’s “Hunid Racks and Patron” is becoming a favorite in clubs and on 107.5’s Mixtape Show. - DJ K-Tone (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PORTLAND,OR (The 503) Portland OG Cool Nutz is a hustler for real. He’s got a new album with Sac-Town’s Luni Coleone (Every Single Day) and his name is on Sick Wid It stationary. Take notes! The Rose City continues to host the best with upcoming tour dates from Brotha Lynch, Andre Nickatina and WC. Check for Doug Fir, a bar/club/motel combo in the heart of PDX, and party people need to know about The City and The Greek on Mondays. Portland’s finest came out for Illaj & Mikey Vegas at their Unsigned Hype Party. Kia Shine, Cool Nutz, Chill & The Fli Boies fell through. - Luvva J (email@example.com)
OAKLAND (The 510) LOS ANGELES (213, 323, 310) Hollywood nightlife has never been this hot! DJ Mark da Spot’s schedule is steadily filling up with weekly spots including Star Lite Saturdays at Shag, High Society Sundays at Sugar, Encore Mondays at Basque, Rendezvous Tuesdays at Spider Club, and Miami Live (Wednesdays) at the Day After. Special events in October: DJ Mark da Spot’s Birthday Weekend & Fashion Show Week (Fashion Show) in Downtown Los Angeles. Check out other local Hollywood hot spots as well: Sexy Fridays at Guys, Fridays @ Garden of Eden, Crush on Fridays at Facade, and Saturdays @ Forbidden City. New “not to be missed” artists to look out for include Bangloose from Watts with his hot indie single “Grey Goose” (myspace.com/bangloose), Def Jam’s Dro, also from Watts, with the single “Our World” - his album is in stores now (myspace.com/drofromwatts). Hot Dollar from Mississippi has a hit single and he’s also signed to Def Jam - “Streets On Lock” (myspace.com/hotdollar).
“1st Saturdays” at Geoffrey’s is the place to be if you are tryin’ to hear all the Hip-Hop & R&B cutz, plus all the street anthems! (Yours truly is the resident DJ!) Since the city of Oakland closed down popular Hip-Hop clubs (Mingles & @17th) and with Kimball’s Carnival not allowing much Hip Hop, the choices are slim, but not gone. Now that football season is back Q’s Lounge inside Everett & Jones is crackin’ every Monday night from 5 PM until...! It’s sponsored by Remy Martin Cognac & endorsed by the Official Northern California DJ, DJ Juice. It’s FREE admission, FREE BBQ (while it lasts), FREE Remy (while it lasts) and no dress code! 30 +? Check for Maxwell’s & Kimball’s Carnival and Karribean City (for reggae heads)! Open mic on Tuesday (at KC) by Bay Life Entertainment. Go snatch Too $hort (I Love The Bay compilation in stores now), Mistah FAB (Da Baydestrian in stores now & Yellow Bus Rydah coming soon), G-Stack (of The Delinquents – Purple City Vol.1 & Color Purple Vol. 2), Money B. (Of Digital Underground – Mandatory: The Mixtape with DJ Juice & Nu Stylez) and Clyde Carson (Theatre Music, coming soon). - DJ Juice (www.djjuice.biz)
- DJ Mark da Spot (myspace.com/djmarkdaspot)
SACRAMENTO, CA (916) LAS VEGAS, NV (702) “Sin City” hosted the fall unveiling of the semi-annual Magic Fashion Convention. Attendees included the most elite of the music and fashion industry such as Jay-Z, Beyonce, Diddy, 50 Cent, Young Jeezy, and many more. Jay-Z also broke ground on his new 40/40 Club which will open December 20, 2007, inside the Palazzo Hotel. Keyshia Cole lit up the stage with her performance at the House of Blues and J Holiday opened the show with his smash hit “Bed.” The MTV Video Music Awards made its first appearance in Vegas bringing together the Who’s Who of the industry @ the Palms Hotel. The weekend festivities prior to the award show included Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent pool parties, a record release party for Yung Joc, and many other great events. Other celebrity partygoers included Diddy, Rich Boy, Ludacris, T.I., T-Pain, and Lil Wayne. OZONE Magazine hosted a VMAs afterparty @ OPM in Caesar’s Palace with David Banner, Too $hort, Mims, Sean Kingston, J Diggs, BET’s Mad Linx, Buckeey, & more. - Portia Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Empire, Avalon and the Park Ultra Lounge are hot spots, but not Hip Hop friendly. Thursday nights at Zokku Sushi Lounge, Friday nights at Harlow’s or Hard Rock Cafe do show an appreciation for real urban nightlife. Saturday nights at Tunnel 21 cracks in Old Sacramento. Sacramento was on fire this summer, with Ike Dola of the legendary group the Farm Boys releasing the hot single “Ice like Dice” from the just released solo project Dope Illustrator (produced by J-DA Man). New artist and label executive J Gibbs from Take Ova Entertainment also hit with “Damn Thing.” Sacramento native Doey Rock’s “Bring Back Double” and Sumtin’ Terrible’s “You Stupid” also turned plenty of heads. All of Sac showed up for Bueno’s album release party at the Zokku Lounge (Ron Artest, Rick Rock and DJ Big Al). DJ Epic spins at The Distillery every Thursday and is sure to be playing “I Won’t Hurt You” by Tone Malone (Omina Bust). - Isiah Campbell of Zaemai Entertainment & Marketing (email@example.com )
E V O L A I N R O F I L A CWEST COAST PHOTO GALLERIES
gas, NV) Barcode (Las Ve t (Los Haji Springer @ oo & sh s eo gg Di vid J x // remi geles, CA) 02 , CA) ’ “Ay Bay Bay” eo shoot (Los An y 17 (Petaluma Hurricane Chris ph vid of x Hy t r mi se re pe e Su th y” @ Ba on y B & yn FA Ba B Gr h y FA a “A h sta ’ nn Mi sta ris Do & Mi Ch , & , en ne geles, CA) 09 // , , Hurricane Chris ley, CA) 06 // J Diggs, DJ Am e set of Hurrica eo shoot (Los An enn DJs Retreat (Los Angeles ke Big Teach on th Vegas, NV) 04 // Julia Beverly er & vid (B x ris re mi Ch re sto ne y” in ca Ba B’s y s ttm 01 // Hurri s Angeles, in for Mistah FA set of Hurricane Chris’ “Ay Ba ) 11 // Kaspa & DJ Quik @ Hi r @ Barcode (La (Lo ut zie t sp Do oo Ra & sh @ B r eo FA ge h vid e 03 // Mista & Haji Sprin eo shoot B (Las Vegas, NV ne Chris’ “Ay Bay Bay” remix ris & Baby on th // J Diggs, PSD, @ Kuzzo Fly’s vid ca // Hurricane Ch CA) 10 // Lil Monie & Mistah FA Angeles, CA) 05 & the Dirty Girls rricane Chris & Bryan the set of Hurri Vegas, NV) 08 s s d, on gg (La lan Di 40 e ak J Einc (O // & Pr 15 J rty ris pa Ch Hu s Angeles, CA) enn 07 // J-Diggs & ate’s birthday gas, NV) 18 // 13 // Hurricane CA) 20 // Hittm n DJs Retreat (Lo (Oakland, CA) Davinci (Las Ve Club 17 for Bavg shoot (Oakland, , CA) oe’s for Hittmen co, CA) 17 // J-Diggs & Bleu Pooh Sauce @ Youth Uprising eo sc @ Ro B vid FA ’s @ h in Fly sta o nk zz Mi Ra les cis Ku r& Bigga shoot (Los Ange party (San Fran ) 19 // Mistah FAB & B.I.G. @ CA) 12 // Jama ris, Bay Bay, & Dre’s birthday y” remix video a, Hurricane Ch ris’ “Ay Bay Ba rty Girls @ Mac x video shoot (Los Angeles, CA Ch Di CA) 14 // Kasp ne his ca & s rri gg Hu Di of 16 // Jy” remi the set (Oakland, CA) Chris’ “Ay Bay Ba ) 21 // J Diggs & Bay Bay on t of Hurricane CA ,15,20) Leach on the se icken & Waffles (Los Angeles, ); Malik Abdul (11 Ch verly (08,13,18 Be lia DJs @ Roscoe’s Ju ); ,21 9,10,12,16,17,19 3,04,05,06,07,0 D-Ray (01,02,0 Photo Credits:
OZONE WEST // 11
ou may have never heard of this guy before in your life, but he has been in the rap game since the late 80s. A Bay Area rapper, born and raised in Oakland, he can tell you all about being in jail. He’s practically lived in jail his whole career, only releasing albums about 4 years apart. His most acclaimed song was released while he was locked up (“Ward of the State” on Righteous Records). Most of his incarcerations were due to parole violations, and between the late 1980s and 2007, he’s spent more time in jail than out (he was released after his last stint this past January). But during his time of incarceration, Askari X has become a rapper with strong political fervor and spiritual awareness. Why have you been in jail so much? Really they were just parole violations, but I want to say all this to explain my disappearances in between albums: Each time I got out, I would have numerous raps on the dome, so people would be impressed. My latest album came out in 2000 and now I’m about to re-release an album called Ward of the State which is due out September 25th. It’s big for me too because there is a huge movie coming out called Black August in January that will feature the song on the score. What is Askari X all about? The music still as always. The music is the message for the other movements that I do. Building a Master J Temple of Islam, PCC (Prisoners Consciousness Committee) and other ways of getting the message of the new black woman and man to the people. I just want to the get a few words to the people; it doesn’t take a lot. With “Ay Bay Bay” and “Crank Dat (Supaman)” being the most popular fads in Hip Hop, where are we going as a people? All music reflects the mentality of the people and their surroundings, and what is coming out of these kids are the knowledge of what they know right now. Some of us with our talents are chosen, and it’s our own job to educate our own culture about other things going on in the black community besides “Ay Bay Bay.” I can’t hate on it though, even though I am dissatisfied, because I can’t hate without participating in the solution. If it’s time to change, then it will be time. So when it’s time for the Public Enemys and the Scarfaces to bring change, it will come. We have to have the emcee skills too. Where were you and what were you doin’ during the surge of the hyphy movement? I was down during this period of time. But I do know that as [hyphy] manifested, the devil, or the so-called enemy wanted to get control over it, and now everyone wants to be all goofy. But at the same time, I can’t hate on [hyphy] either because everyone needs a little laughter. What should be West Coast Hip Hop’s main priority right now? Well, you know we are trendsetters out here on the West Coast. And you know the scripture says, the sun will rise in the West and the light will shine all the way to the East Coast. It’s timing, but really, all the other regions are waitin’ for us to come up with our messages and ideas. 50 Cent or Kanye? That’s a tough one, but since they are promoting it like they are, I predict a tie. I don’t think that there will be a clear winner unless they go for round two or three! Do you think Obama is gonna win it for us? I think Hillary is goin’ to take it because America is a dragon. And there was a woman sittin’ on top of this dragon called The Mother of Babylon the great. But it is ladies night, on the positive tip. What are your 2007-2008 NFL Predictions? Any Bay teams. The Raiders or the 49ers. We gotta keep it in the Bay! Have you seen Celebrity Rap Superstar on MTV? No, I don’t watch too much TV. Wait, I did see the preview. But I didn’t watch it though. Speaking of reality shows, I think Flava Flav is doin’ his thing, I’m diggin’ him and how he’s shockin’ em. He’s black as ever, but he’s universal. He’s attracting a lot of love for the black man from a lot of the other peoples. Do you have an iPhone yet? A what? No. What’s that? I’m a Black Quaker so, I’m just tryin’ to come up. // For more on Askari X: www.myspace.com/ansar_askari_x Ahuru Entertainment Group (Management) Photo by Clifton Photography 12 // OZONE WEST 12 // OZONE WEST
Askari X The West is Back…Side:
The Bay Area’s DJ BackSide links up with the Best of the West to see what’s really goin’ on in their heads!
E V O L A I N R O F I L A CWEST COAST PHOTO GALLERIES
HitRoy, & Bigg V @ rty h, King Ron, Tpa es y Fr da an th iti bir Ha s, e’s 2 Dog Record b 17 for Bavgat (San geles, CA) 02 // & J-Diggs @ Clu eda Weeda & Kyzer @ Crash eo shoot (Los An , CA) 04 // Bavgate, S-Dog, Be Revid // s x DJ 06 mi n ) re en CA , y” ttm Ba les Hi ejo y shoot (Los Ange Crest Park (Vall ga’s brother @ @ Kuzzo Fly’s ne Chris’ “Ay Ba eo @ ca Big h & rri vid y, x iva Hu Dr mi Ro of a re t TTh se y” in, p m on the ate & PSD Chris’ “Ay Bay Ba Angeles, CA) 08 // Bigga Rank n Nash, Kafani, Lil Al, & Thum 01 // Baby & Sli , CA) 03 // Bavg for Bavgate’s t of Hurricane s Jo at (Los Angeles Mr Pill on the se e’s pre-BET Awards party (Lo ichmond, CA) 10 // Big Rich, agons @ Club 17 & Dr al, ge Ne va tmenn DJs Retre Sa ny e To th y, ne Chris’ “Ay & Le (R Ba t ca e a y at ee br rri Ba gr vg De Hu r & // Ba of fo et t // 05 3 se ) me 12 rd (Oakland, CA Beverly on the eo shoot & guest @ USDA ’s video shoot (Oakland, CA) Tank @ Bouleva , lia vid & Ju lla ’s & on Pu h Fly Ak ck o ac // zz Sli Te , 07 Ku Francisco, CA) oodRaw, DJ Juice Fly, Rat, & Fatman @ Kuzzo Fly in store (Berkeley, CA) 14 // Big // Bleu Davinci & Kuzzo Fly @ epard @ Hittmenn DJs Bl // 09 ) CA , les Sh 16 zzo for Mistah FAB’s treat (Los Ange Rankin & Klarc Francisco, CA) // Boss Hog, Ku t (Los ggs @ Rasputin B @ Crash (San , CA) 18 // Bigga y Bay Bay” remix video shoo akland, CA) 11 // Balance & J Di Band Aid, Cellski, & Mistah FA mix video shoot (Los Angeles video shoot (O “A ’ 13 ris ) Ch CA d, ne ca lan (Oak y” re 15 // of Hurri birthday party ris’ “Ay Bay Ba s Angeles, CA) Bay on the set video shoot (Lo Dre on the set of Hurricane Ch Vegas, NV) 20 // Baby & Bay & Bay Bay” remix s h (La ac is Le 5,07,17,20); va n au 17 // Brya lia Beverly (01,0 e & Garcelle Be (Oakland, CA) ,14,15,16,19); Ju ) 19 // Big Dant ,13 CA , ,12 les ge 0,11 An 9,1 s 6,0 Retreat (Lo 8,18) D-Ray (03,04,0 Malik Abdul (02,0 Photo Credits: Angeles, CA)
OZONE WEST // 13
obody really knows how I became Too $hort “the dirty rapper.” Most people only know the story of me selling cassette tapes out of the trunk of my car before I made it big. I didn’t write explicit lyrics until I noticed how much people liked it when I used curse words in my rhymes. It was always on some comedy shit. The truth is I didn’t even have a car before I made it big; I sold tapes with my rap partner Freddy B on the bus or we walked around the streets of Oakland on foot. Even before crack cocaine hit the streets, Oakland was a tough, violent, no-nonsense city. I quickly learned the codes of the streets and the rules of the game. My friends have been getting arrested and doing time since I was 14 years old and quite a few have been murdered since then. When I moved from Los Angeles to Oakland, I started running with the thugs. But even if I had never moved to Oakland, that would’ve been the outcome. The streets were calling me just like they’re calling so many young homies today. It’s always been that way. Some of our fathers and grandfathers were criminals and street thugs when they were young. I’ve always understood how the REAL drug dealers and gangbangers justified the homicides they were doing by saying, “If somebody kills my homie or family member, I’m killing them,” but somehow it doesn’t settle the same way with me now that I’m 40 years old and my homeboy’s sons are getting shot and murdered in the streets. Somehow, I feel partially responsible for the state of mind these youngsters are in. I can’t 100% blame myself, Tupac, Master P, N.W.A., Scarface, any other rapper, or Hip Hop as a whole for the condition the streets are in now, but I know that if you look at the big picture, we all made thuggin’, gangbangin’, pimpin’ and being a hardcore rapper look like fun. A lot of people in my generation eventually found out, after the judges started handing out 20-30 year sentences, that we were set up. There used to be lots of career criminals who would be in and out of prison. They’d make a lot of money, lose it all, and then get it back again - but that was before privately owned prisons, “three strikes,” and all the Federal laws that were designed to lock drug dealers up forever. I truly feel that the generations older than me have no idea what’s going on in the streets and how so many kids became murderers. I don’t think any of us have a solution that would stop the killing immediately. They say jobs, housing, education and inner city programs are the solution. They say lock ‘em all up and they problem will go away. I honestly don’t know what needs to happen. I’ve been working at Youth Uprising in East Oakland for the past year and it’s not your average youth center. It’s located next door to Castlemont High School, one of the toughest schools in Oakland. The building looks new inside and outside. They have recording studios that kids use for free if they’re members (age 13-24). They also have modeling and dance classes, video editing, counseling and health care among many other things. My only purpose there is to pass down some knowledge and to be a positive role model. Imagine that! I don’t get paid one dime. Some residents of Oakland don’t like the fact that “the dirty rapper” is working with the kids but there’s nothing to worry about because my generation is the bridge between the youngsters in the streets and the political powers that run the city. I was 17 when crack hit the streets of Oakland. Most of the kids at Youth Uprising were born into the crack epidemic just like the kids in Los Angeles and Chicago were born into the gang culture. The kids don’t know how plants grown in Columbia became crack cocaine in the ghetto. The way I see it, it’s not much different than the blood diamonds in Africa. Kids are killing kids. Earlier this year, I recorded a 10 song CD for Jive Records, the last thing I’ll do with Jive as a solo artist. It’s a very typical Too $hort album and this time I’m not celebrating my album release, I’m celebrating my release from a major label. I’m looking forward to being independent again.
14 // OZONE WEST
There are too many young homies getting killed for me to keep writing songs about bitches sucking my dick. I’m too intelligent to let my knowledge go to waste without passing down some of this real game to the youngsters. When I talk to politicians, preachers, teachers and parents, they all agree that rappers have a loud voice and we really don’t use it to motivate the kids in a positive way. If you’re a rapper, you probably already know that if you went into a major label on some positive shit, you won’t get any support. You might get dropped. Kanye is definitely on some positive shit but he gives them what they want with his super-fly swagger and his million-dollar wardrobe so they can market his image even though his lyrics are positive. If you go to a record label on some dead prez pro-black, I’m-for-the-community shit, you won’t get a marketing funds or video budgets. You won’t even get a deal. Every time a rapper tells me he’s the next big shit that’s gonna blow up and then I listen to his music and all I hear is “I sold dope, I’ll kill a nigga, I got hella cars and money,” I wish could make him be original. I wish I could make the next generation of rappers tell the truth about what they really feel. Rap is all about boasting and bragging. It’s all about being invincible and coming out on top. It’s all about rivals and battles. It’s also always been all about uplifting and speaking out against the system.
I can’t 100% blame myself, Tupac, Master P, N.W.A., Scarface, any other rapper, or Hip Hop as a whole for the violence in the streets, but we all made thuggin’, gangbangin’, pimpin’ and being a hardcore rapper look like fun. There are too many young homies getting killed for me to keep writing songs about bitches sucking my dick. I’m too intelligent to let my knowledge go to waste. STARTING in 2008, I’m gonna be on some other shit.
As things are getting worse in the inner cities, us rappers are popping bottles, getting pussy and celebrating lies. Most of us aren’t Forbes Magazine-rich but we’ve convinced the youngsters that we are.
Some of the kids I talk to at the youth center don’t have Hip Hop dreams of fortune and fame. They just say things like, “I don’t wanna get shot.” I’m not talking about adults who made the choice to be gangsters. I’m talking about kids who have no choice in the matter. They feel like they need to carry guns if they wanna stay alive. I’ve seen too many kids wearing “R.I.P.” t-shirts with pictures of other kids on ‘em. I’ve seen too many obituaries of kids who were born in the late 80s/early 90s. I don’t even know the majority of them but it hurts like I did. I just jumped on a plane in Oakland and on my way to the airport I saw about 15 cop cars racing to the scene of a crime and I assumed another youngster had been shot in broad daylight. Maybe not, but I decided to write this and let you all know that I’m going to focus on making positive songs instead of nasty sex songs. Some people might misinterpret that as “cleaning up my act,” or trying to be something I’m not, but I already have a history of making positive songs from the start. Check my track record. I’ve recorded and released several positive singles in my 25-year professional rap career - “The Ghetto,” “Life Is Too Short,” “Money In The Ghetto,” and “Gettin’ It,” just to name a few. Starting in 2008, I’m gonna be on some other shit. I’m still gonna make party songs and I’m still gonna use explicit lyrics but after 20 years on Jive Records, I’m not gonna let my voice go to waste once I’m independent again. Our youngsters need guidance and every last one of ‘em LISTENS to rap music. //
E V O L A I N R O F I L A CWEST COAST PHOTO GALLERIES
s, NV) ards (Las Vega Video Music Aw V Prince, MT tin e La th // @ y 05 Bo ) llipark & Soulja VMA afterparty (Las Vegas, NV er @ OPM for Co Mr // 02 ) nn s Angeles, CA M for OZONE’s s Linx & David Ba t for “My Car” (Lo // Too $hort & ladies @ OP NV) 06 // Mad Music Awards (La their video shoo ) 04 ce (Las Vegas, the MTV Video of NV en t @ s, er se er nf ga e nn Co Ve th s Ba sic on t (La vid Mu Big Dee & DJ or c ds Da $h gi DJ ar // o // Ma Aw To 08 11 @ & ) sic ) ts ck NV Mu NV es Pa s, Neal, & gu 01 // The (Las Vega e MTV Video (Las Vegas, mous & Chall Out Boy @ th rek Jurand, Tony ls @ Hard Rock eo Music Awards s, NV) 13 // Fa 03 // Ne-Yo & Fa pact, DJ Vlad, TJ Chapman, De -O & DJ Drama @ the MTV Vid ) 10 // J Diggs & the Dirty Gir rparty (Las Vega m’s Shawn te Ja af f A De VM // ve E’s NV Im 15 s, ) ON Ste DJ ga NV OZ // John Patillo, (Las Vece (Las Vegas, Vegas, NV) 07 terparty (Las Ve Mims, & Mad Linx @ OPM for s en ds af er ar A (La nf VM Aw ty Co ar sic E’s rp sic Mu ON te Mu OZ c OZONE’s VMA af @ the MTV Video // David Banner, Neal, & TJ Chapman @ Magi end @ OPM for sic Awards e fri 12 Mu Zo & ) y la eo NV ril ee s, Vid ck Go V ga & Bu MT Ve c // ny e s ) 16 // Yung Jo Vegas, NV) 09 Valentino @ th A afterparty (La gas, NV) 14 // John Patillo, To NV y ly’s Magic VM s, bb ek ga Bo E’s We Ve & p ON s v Ho OZ Lu (La p r t fo ne’s VMA party , CA) 18 // Cour rio & Dave Mays @ OPM for Hi Awards (Las Ve Sto Franzen @ OPM les sic ge ng Mu lli An eo s Ro r Vid (Lo fo V r” va e MT Rock s, NV) 20 // Ca shoot for “My Ca millionaire @ th Kanye West’s mother @ Hard t of their video ONE’s VMA afterparty (Las Vega party (Las Vegas, NV) er & c $hort on the se gi OZ o r To Ma “Peckas” Costn fo & s’ M ck hic OP Pa lyp @ e erog Franzen Uno of Th inum for The Hi ton, guest, & DJ gas, NV) 17 // FAB @ The Plat 19 // Sean Kings D-Ray & Mistah // 21 (Las Vegas, NV) ) NV Beverly s, Photos by Julia party (Las Vega
OZONE WEST // 15
c i p o T A
wEST COVINA, Ca
subject of conversation or discussion is how Webster ’s Dictionary defines the dictionary of note, it wou wor ld likely read: “highly ant icipated West Coast Hip Hop d “topic.” Culturally speaking, if there were a rap your average cookie cut artist’s ter artist, capable of flowing Wes t Coa st rapper, this Southern and confident posture tho about pretty much anythin Cali native, appropriately ugh, is an extremely defi g.” Not dubbed Topic, got swag. ned and molded artist who Beyond his polished exterio has weathered ‘nuff storms r . Born in Los Angeles, Top ic claims the smaller, sub urban city West Covina – ban” fool you though; this a good thirty minutes from rapper is seasoned as the the city of Angels. Don’t y come. By the early 80s affiliation through his fath let the word “subur, at only ten years old, Top er and older brothers. “It ic was thrust into the gan ain’t where you from, it’s it. I’m the truest nigga out gbang what you do,” he Topic offe here.” rs. “If anyone wants to test game via me, they can do Music soon materialized as a savior of sorts. By the 9th grade Topic was a cer free flowing with no dire tified backpack rapper. On ction a nostalgic note, he des teach him about really stru or content. It took his good childhood friend Dar cribes his lyrics as ius, who played Eddie Win cturing his raps slow on the hit sitcom “Fa with hooks and bars. mily Matters,” to “He turned me on to ano ther side of life, because he was already making money,” Topic explains. “He really opened my eyes to what this [rap game] could be for me, and that’s when my lyrics went from just being freestyles to actual music.” Fast forward past failed deals with Aftermath and WC’s label, a 9 month bid in LA’s County Jail for a “wh ite collar” hustle (messing with corporate profiles), and Topic is finally where he wants to be. Long-time associate Big Chuck Norris (formally of Aftermath) helped negotia te a deal with SRC Records, the powerh ouse responsible for breaking mega-succes ses Akon and David Banner. “I chose SRC because Ste ve Rifkind is known for breaking indie artists and he also knows about the streets, ” Topic explains. “It’s a good situation for me and Rifkind signed me pretty much on the spot.” The streets of LA are alre ady abuzz over his street album The Coast Gua rd, hosted by DJ Skee and Kay Slay. Top ic’s debut album, Topic: If Not Me, Then Who ? is set to drop during the first quarter of 2008, and he’s convinced it will bring the West back. “The West isn’t how it use d to be in the Death Row and 2Pac tim es,” Topic begins. “People right now are sca red now to throw up the ‘W.’ That feeling is lost, and that’s what my music will bring back. I don’t even talk about Crips or Bloods in my music. Girls don’t want to go to the club and hear that. They want to party and dan ce and be proud of where they come from .” Topic preaches about “sta ying at all times and “doing you in your lane” ” - two phrases that describe his daily act ivity. “I’m not wit that bubble gum shit. Tha t’s not me,” he says, promising, “Expect me to come with the real every time.” // Words by DJ Backside // Pho to
16 // OZONE WEST
courtesy of SRC
E V O L A I N R O F I L A CWEST COAST PHOTO GALLERIES
ty (Las E’s VMA afterpar @ OPM for OZON ls, Dre Dae, Mad Linx, x Lin d Ma & nner, nie e Dae, David Ba ny Neal, Matt Da Vegas, NV) // DJ Big Dee, Dr ence (Las Vegas, NV) 04 // To gic party (Las Vegas, NV) 02 Ma er s ’s nf (La ar Co ds we sic ar ca e MTV Video Mu Ro Aw // TI & Tiny @ th V Video Music The Mirage for artists @ Magic J Lyriq @ the MT valuable advice to aspiring Haji Springer @ Conference (Las Vegas, NV) 07 the MTV Video Music Awards & & in, rz Pa sta Tod , Ho ick m 01 // Sidek & DJ Vlad give Music Awards e @ Magic Music Vegas, NV) 09 // Keri Hilson @ c party 05 // De // Latin Prince the MTV Video nd, & DJ Big De s p Weekly’s Magi Vegas, NV) 03 OPM for Hip Ho Neal, Derek Jura e MTV Video Music Awards (La weler & guest @ The Mirage for Rocawear’s Je @ ny e e To th De t, b es co Big gu Ja , DJ // @ DJ Impact, & f, Julia Beverly Kevin Hart @ th s Vegas, NV) 11 y, & Slick Pulla MTV Video Chapman, Wycle Shar Jackson, & ’s VMA party (La NV) 13 // Roccett, Young Jeez Common @ the 06 // Mr Pill, TJ 08 // Warren G, r Rolling Stone // The Clipse & s, ) (Las Vegas, fo 15 ga NV ds ck ) Ve s, ar Ro s NV ga Aw rd s, (La Ve s sic Ha ga ty Ve Mu Music Awards (La // Chamillionaire & Big Jon @ OPM for OZONE’s VMA afterpar the MTV Video afterparty (Las A @ r” (Los VM by Ca y Ba E’s // “M ON r 17 OZ fo 10 an Kingston @ Linx @ OPM for Music Awards (Las Vegas, NV) eir video shoot Se d th (Las Vegas, NV) & t Ma of ’s VMA t or & ne se $h er, e o Sto nn th To ng Ba 12 // vid the MTV Video B of The Pack on rd Rock for Rolli Buttahman, Da (Las Vegas, NV) ll, & Lil Mama @ Vegas, NV) 19 // Stunna & Lil ’ Chief & Sean Kingston @ Ha Be gas, NV) 14 // o Ve s Tit B, (La FA rty h s pa Lil // Mista Magic ards (La gas, NV) 21 // s Vegas, NV) 16 Video Music Aw terparty (Las Ve Music Awards (La n & Robin Thicke @ the MTV OZONE’s VMA af r fo M tto OP Pa @ ul ts Pa NV) 18 // Beverly // Maroy & gues rty (Las Vegas, NV) Photos by Julia pa Angeles, CA) 20
OZONE WEST // 17
c c o l G 40 ow n d n a e r e h
colton city, ca
om a c emerged fr pper 40 Gloc Tory Gasaway, ra n ra te ve know that me is nee’ nearly odd to ton, TX, 40, whose real na to be in movies and do d ay lately it’s es w te lv s an hi Ga w e s of y first m e ay co rn a nativ od that’s a kid, I alw I recorded m passion for. ith all the go thunderous beginning. Bo iles away. “When I was ew this a kn d I y ha I da ng at m hi th d et there. From disorderly an s sights set thousands of ardom. “It was just som om fr .” d w ue no in hi st cont And here I am grew up with vid visions of Hollywood The Galleria Mall and it was for me. bers vi , inside TX em m n, re to us 40 ,” Ho s in music popsicles e of my friend peaches and It wasn’t all t a reasonable means of music with on ou though. With her family, 40’s mother for e du g in ak s grandparm mont with hi d. au Be in m hi left rn. And she di omise to retu ents and a pr rhaps the best news his pe 40 Arriving with grasp young d ears could eight year ol Southern California with to y was moving “I was alread ’s baby sister! a brand new Dre, Snoop, NWA, Compton Dr. recalls, realistening to and 2pac,” 40 move made Most Wanted e th much sense soning how . to him n City digs (a into his Colto on abanAfter settling so s Angeles) 40 structure his suburb of Lo ht knit family , opting tig e th d m done ranged for hi mmitted ar d ha mother s. As a co et re st e d th r instead fo Crips, he relie e Colton City dealing drugs th of r be em , m ctics to get by on guerilla ta ing on the daily. All the py ng ba ng and ga n as Tiny Slee c, then know ly while 40 Gloc d an aspiring emcee. On ne ai r, m ai re ch c, el Lo he w 40 confined to a mmit to after he was lled, did 40 co ki ly ar ne d shot an music. ew (K-9 and g the Zoo Cr occ landed Upon formin Gl 40 , 97 ) in 19 pire Natural Born mi imprint, Em ould ia M ith w al w al ck a solo de Ja e ’s His debut Th MusicWerks. cade later, he ally a full de nt’s puzzle tic ac Pr . w llo Ce fo rt al piece of 50 now an integr uldn’t be happier to be pa co d an “G Unit is . ng – G Unit ni in w ad set on d of a team de eryone has their ups an ev ily, d m an fa ily ith m w fa a fers. “I know of ith c w oc m Gl le ,” ob ns a pr dow one, you got .” you fuck with is it ’s how G Un all, and that ohind his soph y tailspin be , a Zoo Babies t) With a health ye as ed l (untitl more album and an overal t on the way c’s “revival,” group projec oc nding 40 Gl fanfare surrou is is but a new chapter. th ns ai nt ai m he hic has kept d my work et “My grind an ese years],” he insists ll th ng me going [a until somethi “I don’t stop fuck’ attitude steadfastly. a y ‘don’t give is finished. M staining.” // su e m ep will ke
Davis Words by Todd of OGPR sy te ur co o ot Ph 18 // OZONE WEST
Cellski Frisco’s Finest
San Francisco, ca
henever “San Fr an years under his cisco” and “Hip Hop” are men tioned in the sa belt he has gues me sentence, ve popular acts fro t ry m RBL Posse an starred on over one hundred projects as both seldom is Cellski’s name not d Master P, to Ge brought up. Wi a rapper and pr t Lo w Playaz and the Cellski credits m th over 15 oducer for som late Coughnut. os e of the Bay Ar “That was my be t of his success in the rap ga ea’s most me to Coughnut st friend, that’s , wh to this day,” he who I came up under. That nigg o gave him his start in the in says. dustry by letting a was the first nigga who put him perform as me on the stag As a rapper an an opening ac e. [His death] st d pr ill fucks with m t. when Mr. Predict oducer, Cellski earned a nam y head e for himself al er hit the street on s in 1995. “Tha get heard.” t album right th g the streets of San Francisco ere put me on,” and his buzz ex pa he notes. “It op ened a lot of do nded all throughout the Peni Mr. Predicter we nsula ors for me and nt on to becom a lot of mu’fuc e ground classic kas to and was lauded an underby many as the best album to ever be rele as Francisco rapp er. Selling 6,000 ed by a San un radio play or pr omotion and fo its with no llowing the success of Master P’s West Coast Bad Level of the Ga me, Cellski cont Boys: Another inued to break new ground. “I was producing for Master P,” he remembers. “H e of fuck with him at fered me $100,000 to come No Limit.” Rather than join the No Limit So ld decided to rem ain a completel iers, Cellski y se cient artist and founded his ow lf-suffin label, Inner City Records, at ag produce my ow e 18. “I write my own shit, n shit, executive pr shit, mix my ow n shit. I’ve done oduce my own self-contained it all,” says the emcee. “I own all my publishing. I have a long ca my shit, all talogue I still eat off.” With six album s, seven mixtap es an DVDs under his belt, the long ca d 2 Took TV talogue Cellski speaks of is ab out to get long er as he prepar to release the es mixtape Coach Celli by the album Ch emical Baby. Sla check followed ary 2008 releas te e, it boasts gues d for a Janut appearances the likes of Tw by ista, Lil Boosie, Kille Roccet, Keak da Sneak and Mist r Mike, CTE’s ah FAB. Having experie nced the transfo rm Area music first hand from mob ation of Bay m and the purgat ory in between, usic to hyphy Cellski plans to introduce a new sound to the Ba latest project. y Area with his “The phy movement,” y think everything is the hyCellski says, no tin Rick Rock, Play -N-Skillz and Mi g DJ Toomp, dnight Black among produc tion out here that be credits. “We got real rappers en doing it. I’m not tryna saturate myself to the Bay. I’ve be en my life. You go tta get out ther doing that all e.” // Words by Keita Jones // Photo by D-Ray
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s e s s e Gla n o l a M DER I R D E I F I T R CE
who calls , California emcee thanks to a Compton e Glasses Malone first hit the , ain ag e ris the Hop currently on lead. Watts’ nativ fevered ith West Coast Hip t others follow his . With his buzz at a in’ (Sticks) in 2005 it is only fitting tha me , so htn r Lig Game pe e t ite Th ee Wh f Str by sel ll ed him ck Wa Crack mixtape, follow Malone decided on aligning with Bla could cement himself circuit with his The he e for pitch, G. be sued Fase 100. However, rce bidding war en prodding from Big oversial camp, a fie ntr n. co llio the mi in .7 e $1 tur tune of as a fix imately won to the – one Sony Music ult plains. “It was Street,” Glasses ex ed with Black Wall a Crip, and ink s lly wa ua I d. act r ha I ve d ne an “I ’s brother Fase me Ga .” ng les thi ge l An tua s Lo mu just a look for It just was a good they were [Pi]Ru’s. iase proud, Majors and Ted DiB that would make Lee An unprecedented $1.1 milThe principle, one ce. rMalone’s convenien um, meaning any po was broken up for r) to create the alb got pe e rap nc va ast ad Co 0 st ,00 We 00 a lion (for t and a $5 ectly into his pocke available for tion unused goes dir ing monies ($100,000) were made ain ent] made rem nm tai ter En o Eg him started. The Big fore sim“Mike Lynn [CEO of s in excitement be street promotions. eet!” Malone burst sw bly va t.” lie lef be m un tea whole the deal leaving because my mering. “I ended up ite Lightnin’, the streets with Wh a strong impact on er Mack 10, h mb suc me de ma ion g ect vin nn Ha former West Side Co of Hip Hop te d ori oo fav lew l na Ing a perso ping game with the op ch f ooth sel sm him bly ba nd Glasses fou t would impro he got the call tha wn talking rap do g tin sit heavyweight when lly ua eer. “We were act t of A&R] over his budding car l from [Sony Executive Vice Presiden cal they were t the tha t ] go I me d en tol shit wh e remembers. [He lon let me Ma n’t r,” uld the wo Pra ” ck ntract. Ma Kawan “KP ease me from my co Hoo Bangin’.” to actually going to rel me thout first signing leave the room wi underground pheespecting West Coast Mack, understandf-r sel y an at wh Glasses did d line. And signed on the dotte the 28 year nom would do and nd himself singing fou n, itio uis acq w with Cash s wa on ati ers nv ably proud of his ne h co sts regularity. One suc ared business intere olds’ praises with th whom Mack’s sh wi , by Ba n ma nt Money fro or Ball release. since his 2001 Bang nvo,” w I got into the co friends and someho sent it. are ck ck Ma it. Ma d sh an my by of “Ba a requested some nn t if he Stu ou e “Th me t ls. pu tel Glasses uld let him was no way he wo agreed to it, is, he n ma Stunna told Mack it ess sin ck, being the bu Records, wasn’t involved. Ma m Sony to Hoo Bangin’/Cash Money Fro solo .” his are th wi we s re gin he be d] [an rous ride officially ntu ve ad e’s lon Ma Glasses iser. debut – Beach Cru s of the ngster-ism,” he say West Coast and ga timeless the as t ts jus en be res to rep it “It um. “I also wanted alb BMXs, ted t ipa ou tic me an co heavily ny bikes No matter how ma rs.” // ise cru ach as a beach cruiser. be e rid le will always Dynos, or GTs, peop Interscope Records // Photo courtesy of Words by Todd Davis
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Intersta te Ike SOUL SURVIVOR
enver, CO is full of dope-selling bl contradictions. Ride the stre ets ac Bullets, Blessin k nationalists. Denver-reared and you’ll find both granolags and Blacktop ba ra survived a 2005 Music, is a testam pper Interstate Ike reflects th r-eating Republicans and shooting that al ose extremes. ent not only to so claimed the His new album his appeal as a life of his best , rapper, but as friend and fello “I was in the ho man who w rapper, Colfa spital for four x Cac. months,” he re ried about mus members, citin ic.” g long days of intensive physica l therapy. “I wa That changed af sn’t worter he was rele as spanking new ed an d ca m e home to a studio, a welco me took him a min ute to get back back gift from his mother. It into the groove when he did, it of things, but was on and po ppin’. Since January 20 07, Ike has rele ased seven mixt Batman & Robi n, fe apes, two titled Cac. He’s moved aturing pre-recorded mater ial with Colfax over 10,000 un its over the pa — a serious feat st eight month co s Mile High are Ka nsidering that the closest m ajor cities to th nsas City to the e Vegas to the we east (10 hours away) and Las st (12 hours aw ay Tone, More G’s Than Gucci, drop ). His latest outing with DJ Kped in July and Mile High rapp ers Young Doe, features fellow Mr. Analyzer an d Young Boss. “My music is so ulfu spiritual rap. “It l,” explains Ike, who occasio nally records m turf time under ay be an R&B beat but I’m go nna spit that it.” Hailing from De nv Latino area that er’s Montbello section, a pred ominately wa population, Ike’s s once home to the bulk of the city’s black willingness to put his deepes wax is what’s m t insecurities on ade him a hous ehold name on ing rap scene. “Everybody kn the Mile’s inclinows me out he mentioning his re,” he wo Killa Tay and C- rk with Bay Area mainstays Lu declares, Bo ni Coleone, a breakthrough . “I’m like an underground ce lebrity ready fo .” r For Ike, who’s been in the ga me for over 12 outside attentio years, n Denver is overlo hasn’t been easy. Like most Mi getting dwestern cities oked by major , la people think it’ bels. “You brin s all horseback g up Denver an d riding and mou not bothering ntains,” he says to hide his irrita , tion. “We got a are doing their lot of artists wh thing. We just do o n’t have the na and the backin g to really put tional exposure it out there for the world to se e.” Still, if he has an ything to do wi th it, folks are paying attentio about to start n like an Aphilli at me as a top ha t,” he says. “I’m e. “I want you to recognize the best unsigne now.” // d artist right Words by Jacin ta Howard // Ph oto by Sal G
OZONE WEST // 21
a k c a J e h T IED
ISF NEVER SAT
nown as one-fifth of the super group Mob Figaz (Hu salah, Fed-Ex, Rydah J. Sacramento rap legend C-B Klyde and AP.9), assemble o, Dominick Newton a.k. d by a. The Jacka, is easily one and talented emcees. Afte of Northern Cali r the 199 9 debut album – C-Bo’s Mob listeners in the Bay and Figaz – that announced the fornia’s most active beyond, Jacka moved to m to over 100,000 establish himself as an ind ependent artist. In a little more than sev en years, the Pittsburgh native has appeared on Trials 1-3, Devilz Rejectz more than two dozen pro and an assortment of Thiz jects, including Mob z Nation mixtapes. Not to proclaimed “Mixtape Kin mention his collaboration gs,” Demolition Men, Ani mal Planet (hosted by The with the selfabout of its kind and rem Jacka and Husalah), is one ains in demand two years of the most talked after its release. Needless with critical acclaim and to say, the 2005 special is still the DJs’ most pop delivery was met ular and best selling stre et tape to date. Since arriving at this sta ge in his budding career, The Jacka has sur vived some extenuating circumstances to say the least. During the height of the promo tional group’s debut, C-Bo caught album for the a case and was forced to sit down as Mob Figaz momentum promised to soar. Years later (in February of 2006), Husalah was senten ced to four and a half years in prison over a possession charge that originated in 2001. “If Allah made me go thro ugh what I had to go through, there’s a rea son,” Husalah told SFBG Online in July of ‘06. “I’m a better person. I learned what not to do. The statistics show it’s death or jail for a street nigga. So for me it happened to be jail. I feel like it’s a blessing that I’m breath ing. I’m healthy.” Understandably, fans wan t to know if Mob Figaz will ever reassemb le. “We’re definitely doing a reunion album, but we ain’t signing with nobody unless your name is C-Bo,” The Jacka says point blank. “We could do a Mob Figaz album right now. We got songs with [Husalah] that we did bef ore he went down so we gonna push that, and that’s gonna be big. That’s gonna be something for him when he gets out.” Jacka’s third album, app ropriately dubbed Jack of All Trades (2006) , seems an afterthought, considering he’ s com Shower Posse, Andre Nickat pleted The ina Presents: The Jacka, AP.9 and Husalah – Mob Trial since then. More importantly, he’s readying himself for his fourth solo pro ject – Teargas. “I really won’t drop it unt il I’m 100% satisfied with what I’m hearing ,” says the perfectionist, citing a familiar production crew in Bedrock, Traxxamillion and Rob-Lo. “But I’m just picking beats that we normally wouldn’t. I’m comin’ with a whole new sound. Teargas is an album where you’re gonna wanna give me a deal ‘cause the sou nd is incredible.” // Words by Kay Newell // Pho to by D-Ray
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ProHoeZ SOUL SUR VIVOR
ac East Palo Alto, C A
he abundance of rol e models in East Pa lo Alto is about as that light of seaso existent as Marriott nal bliss, for some children, threatens ’s Great America tra of the child who ba to never wake from ffickers during the rely escaped that om month of Decembe winter’s dark slumb nipotent shadow. His r. And er. EPA rapper ProHoeZ en vir on s may have been clo “All a nigga can do ak knows the cours se, but they sure as is be a bookworm e hell ain’t Stanford. and do right and go “I chose the wrong to school and beco road. If it wasn’t for me somebody or jus music, I’d probably t be a nothin’,” the be dead somewhere rapper / producer .” In choosing the pe confesses. rilous side of that twofold equation, Pro, born Simon McKinley, sea so himself in the fine arts of drug peddlin ned g, gangbanging, petty thievery and in the process, refined an inherited pe his father. The latter nchant for pimping from speaks to the uniqu ing of his name. “M e y dad named me Pro spellHoeZak cause he said I ne ed to calm my ass down,” he explains. “But I wa nted to be creative with the shit, so I spelled it with the ‘Hoe’ silen t cause hoes ain’t ‘sposed to speak.” Whether misguided or pimp is quick to de unguided, the former nounce his path as misfortune and circumsta nce. Those circumsta nces slowly began to ch ange each time his cousin and original memb er of Public Enemy, Fla Flav, visited the Ba y. “I was just aroun va d them back stage and wh atnot whenever the y came to town,” ProHoeZak admits. “I got to be with them and check out a dif ferent part of life besides being a knucklehea d.” Taken aback by the bri overall positive res ght lights, big crowds and ponse to PE’s tight kn Pro decided on DJi ng. A natural music it camp, ian even before his love of Hip Hop and the de sire to broaden his horizon s, the young talen t fiddled with the keyboard and other instrume nts at his leisure. But it was Flav’s example tha t took him over the top. “Whe n I saw them doin’ their thing, it made me want a piece of it,” he rem embers. As such, Pro earne d his and relied on his DJi first record deal in 1989 ng production in an ast skills to learn studio onishing two week s. Upon convincing his lab el he set, the talented em ad that he was a vital ascee contributed to up of ten albums – fiv e of his own and fiv wards e of which he produced for other artists. In 1994 the budding producer/ra pper then known as moved on, landing C Funk a deal with Scarfa ce/Pri ity and San Francisc o veteran emcee Pa orris. Over the next decade, he landed production credits for the likes of Dig ital Underground, E-40 Conscious Daughte rs, Rappin’ 4-Tay, Cel , ly Cell, San Quinn, Sugar Ra y and Messy Marv, among others. Since uniting with In Ya Face Records , Pro has all but resurrected his career and his new album Did You Get It Yet?, is living proof. “I got some shit on this album ,” he promises. “Ev erybody gon’ say that abou t they album, but I can say it because I’ma back mine up.” // Words by N. Ali Ea rly Photo courtesy of Top Shelf Ent.
OZONE WEST // 23
TASTIES FASHION SHOW
TJ’s DJ’s TASTEMAKERS MUSIC CONF. // WEST COAST RECAP
TJ’s DJ’s TASTEMAKERS CONFERENCE
HYPHY HAPPY HOUR
(l to r): Roccett performing during the CTE/USDA Tasties Fashion Show at the Chakra Lounge on South Beach; Bay Area crew in the building for the afterparty; Mistah FAB, Keak da Sneak & Roccett, DJ Skee & Tito Bell (Photos by D-Ray)
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(clockwise from left): Clyde Carson introducing DJ Juice to Hyphy Juice during Capitol Records’ Hyphy Hour listening suite; Clyde and Foxx; Keak da Sneak, Cellski, Clyde Carson, Cuzzo, Beeda Weeda, Mistah FAB, & guest; Mistah FAB, Cellski, Beeda Weeda, Keak da Sneak, Dennis, & Gary Archer; Clyde Carson; Clyde, Keak da Sneak, & DJ K-Tone; DJs Spin & Wild Wayne; Plenty of Hyphy Juice on deck (Photos by D-Ray & Marcus DeWayne) (clockwise from right): Traxamillion and CRUNK!!! models; Kafani, John Costen, & N. Ali Early; Pimpin’ Ken, J-Diggs, & Dre (Photos: D-Ray); ProHoeZak’s models (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Kia Shine, Mistah FAB, Keak da Sneak, & BloodRaw showing off their unique styles on the artist panel (Photo: J Lash); Joker da Bailbondsman, Hawkman, Young Doe, & DJ K-Tone on South Beach; DJ Juice, Cuzzo, & Cellski @ Sobe Live (Photos: D-Ray); DJ Backside & Hot Dollar; Clyde Carson & Killer Mike (Photos: Intl K); Cellski & Sean Kennedy (Photo: D-Ray)
2ND ANNUAL OZONE AWARDS // WEST COAST RECAP
(l to r); Mistah FAB (Photo: Edward Hall), Kafani (Photo: J Lash), Hot Dollar (Photo: Terrence Tyson), Keak da Sneak & Clyde Carson (Photos: Ray Tamarra)
left: J Diggs & the Dirty Girls (Photo: Terrence Tyson); DJ Juice, DJ Backside, & J Diggs (Photo: D-Ray) center: Keak da Sneak & Mistah FAB (Photo: Edward Hall) right: J-Diggs, Beeda Weeda, DJ Juice, Kafani, Cellski, Titi Bell, D-Ray, Mistah FAB, & guests reppin’ the Bay Area in the media room (Photo: D-Ray)
OZONE AWARD SHOW
below: Keak da Sneak & Mistah FAB performing “Super Hyphy” right: Mistah FAB, Kafani, & Beeda Weeda performing Kafani’s “Fast (Like a Nascar)” (Photos: Ray Tamarra)
“I wear these bright ass colors cause I’m tired of gettin’ overlooked. Everybody thinks that all we do is rap about hyphy shit. Go ahead and think that, but once you sit down and talk to me you’re going to realize that I’m like the Quincy Jones of this shit. We was the most talked about [group] there.” - Mistah FAB
OZONE WEST // 25
Images provided by D-Ray, Jaws, Barry Underhill, & Vivian Chen 26 // OZONE WEST
THABAY BRIDGE Words by N. Ali Early // Artwork by Tene Gooden
By the summer of 2006 the word “hyphy” had taken on multiple meanings. Once used to describe objects, emotions or feelings of unbridled energy, it was soon packaged as an energy drink (Hyphy Juice) and more importantly a way of life. The Bay seemed poised for the comeback it had been waiting on upwards of a decade and a single courtesy of the Ambassador of the Bay – E40 – seemed to be the track that would push the movement off into the stratosphere. The song was “Tell Me When To Go,” featuring “Mr. Super Hyphy” himself – Keak Da Sneak. It was all that and a bowl of grits. Equally important was the video, which captured the visual of the growing genre. 40 laid out the Hyphy Commandments on the last sixteen and it was official. Bundles of t-shirts went to press, beeswax sold out in every beauty supply this side of the Town and MTV2 made a special trip to announce their findings to the world. But months after the release of 40’s My Ghetto Report Card major record labels still weren’t convinced that hyphy was the surefire hit that its cousin “crunk” was. Even a second single, “Blow The Whistle,” courtesy of The Godfather of the Bay, Too $hort, couldn’t withstand the industry’s cold shoulder. In the aftermath, none of the young guns, who desperately wanted to carry the torch, were able to. Thankfully, time has worked to heal the wounds and the Bay’s talented pool of artists is active as ever. With label and distribution deals secured from the likes of Koch, Capitol and Atlantic, the Bay is arguably stronger and more ready than before. On cue, $hort decided on a compilation album that would effectively re-announce the Bay Area – hyphy or not. Appropriately titled I Love The Bay, the 21 track All Star slapper is a defining moment for the Yay; and in the scheme of things, much more than music. It’s a coming together of the ages – old and new. It’s legends and their would be successors all on one project. This is the Bay Bridge.
here I w t c je o r p a r ut togethe p s a w o d to n the beats o d p te a n r a to w I m t a e Wh nd asked th a in thing, y y d n o a b r y o r k e c v a e b d calle ke giving li ’t n s a work of w r It e . th d o e n id a v , o it r that I p mething to o s d d a to d te but I just wan $hort o o T .” e r tu pic art to the big OZONE WEST // 27
Too $hort Also Known As: Short Dog Love Handle: “The Godfather of the Bay” Current Project/Product: I Love The Bay Label: Up All Nite Soil: Tha Town (East Oakland)
nspiration behind the I Love the Bay compilation: I’d been working with two producers, Young L from the Pack and Traxamillion. Trax has been doing a lot of work with Bay Area artists and L’s just now emerging on the scene. I like the sound they both have and I like the sound that’s coming out of the Bay. And it’s not just what they’re doing. I like what the artists and other producers are doing in the Bay right now. What I wanted to do was put together a project where I called everybody in and asked them to rap on the beats that I provided. I didn’t do that for everybody, but I did that with the majority of the people on the album. It wasn’t like giving back or anything, but I just wanted to add something to it, another work of art to the big picture. On the process of completing the album: I didn’t wanna just go get the whole Bay. I just wanted to collectively get as many people as I could and make one nice album representing the Bay and where it’s at right now. I didn’t want to play on words like “hyphy” and box it in. I wanted to have some real hyphy stuff on there, and I wanted to have some stuff on there that had a Southern feel. I wanted to have some traditional West Coast stuff on there. I let all the artists pick the beats that they wanted to rap on. I didn’t say, “Here, you rap on this beat.” So they had a little motivation to take the beat and do something good with it. I like the final results. We’re not going to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars promoting it and blowin’ it up and all that. It’s just a cool little compilation to ride to or do whatever you wanna do with. Pulling it together: Some guys did the vocals at their studios and some of the guys came to the sessions I booked. Then I had some people working with me. My man Mike Sebastian was calling some shots, doing favors contacting people. My man Mistah FAB was very instrumental in helping me put the project together, picking the right artists and the right tracks. It was a team effort. It wasn’t just me on the phone saying, “I need you to do this.” Mood and motivation: Everybody’s pretty much in a decent mood right now. Nobody’s really mad or anything. Everybody’s kinda comfortable with the struggle and the hustle, just trying to get from point A to point B and elevate their game. Everybody’s about gettin’ their money right now, so it wasn’t like you were reaching out and niggas was like, “Aw man I ain’t fuckin’ widit.” It was cool. I told pretty much everybody that if they come and get down with me, I got ‘em. The Bay Area unspoken rule is, “You come rap on my shit, I’ll come rap on your shit and we don’t really have to talk specifics.” So anybody that’s on that compilation can call me and get one good favor from me right now. We made that connection so they got it like that now. How hyphy happened: I think that a lot of people love that hyphy sound, but when you get to talkin’ to rap artists and producers, they like to think of hyphy as a part of what goes on out here. It’s a major part. It’s the newest, hottest thing, but it didn’t just wipe out the music scene. It wasn’t like every backpacker, every hip hopper, underground, or gangsta artist just threw away everything they ever did and said, “Oh, I’m hyphy now.” It didn’t really go down like that. But that media portayed it like, “This is the new Bay sound and they’re hyphy and this is all they do.” There is a culture out there with the doors open and the sideshows, but everybody’s not doin’ that. It’s not like if you’re not doing that, you’re an outcast. I think the real frustration is knowing that if I sell fifty thousand albums in the Bay, no label is going to offer me a deal. If I sell those numbers in Texas, Atlanta or Miami somewhere, every label is going to be like, “Oh, this is hot, we gotta sign him!” The CNN Factor: It looked so good in the E-40 video (“Tell Me When To Go!”), with modern communication and all the different ways to communicate, where everything is instantly blasted all over the world, it was sensationalized. I think the media sensationalizes any fuckin’ thing now. It’s, “I need a story, I need a story,” and hyphy was the story ‘cause it was the new thing. Now the story is, “What happened to hyphy?” In the meantime, you got a bunch of youngstas out there that really do that shit and they don’t give a fuck what you said about it last
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year or what you’re saying about it this year. They don’t care. It’s a way of life. Straight-laced: There’s a long list of cities that love Bay Area music and if you can create a movement like some of the Bay Area artists have created, major labels would be all over you. But if you’re a Bay Area artist and you’re getting major love in Alaska, Canada, Seattle and Portland, all up and down the coast, it means nothing. The reason why is because from what I hear the West Coast doesn’t have urban radio stations. They play a lot of urban music on the radio stations, but those stations aren’t categorized as urban stations. Those are like pop crossover stations, shit like that. So when you get those spins, they’re not considered “urban spins.” BET doesn’t give a fuck about a hot urban artist from the West Coast, because it’s not poppin’ up on the urban chart. It doesn’t show up because it’s being played on white radio. The Numbers Game: We can’t get our videos on BET, so we deal with real numbers. This is what I really did. I sold thirty thousand copies last year and I made $200k. I split it up with the Crew and we ‘gon do it again. It’s a damn good job to be a rapper in the Bay and know how to sell your albums. Shout out to Kafani and The Federation who are making their way up to the major labels and going for it. That’s a hard thing to do in the Bay, to get a major label to offer you a deal. Why I love the Bay: The media kind of wants everybody’s emotions [to spill over] because of the hyphy movement. I like that shit, but that’s not what I love about the Bay. I love the new sound that the hyphy shit brought in. I love the shit, but I also love the fact that the Bay Area is still about musicians and diversity. You’ve got every nationality out there heavily involved in Hip Hop. You go to some other places and the Hip Hop scene is just black. You don’t go into an event and see an equal amount of Asians, Hispanics and blacks groovin’ to the same beat. //
Also Known As: 40 Water, Charlie Hustle, 40 H2O, Watermelon, etc. Love Handle: “The Ambassador of the Bay” Current Project/Product: My Ghetto Report Card, The Ball Street Journal (forthcoming), 40 Water Label: Sick Widit/BME Soil: Tha Valley Jo (Vallejo, CA) Album Contribution: “This My One”
ome Sweet Home: I was wigglin’ and I’m still wigglin’, but anytime $hort needed me on anything, I’ve been right there. One of the biggest things ever in my whole life was to do a song with Too $hort back in the days. I wanted to do that since the late ‘80s, early ‘90s and when we actually got in there to do it (“Rappers Ball”), it was a winner. So timing is perfect and that’s my OG. Anytime I ever needed $hort for anything, he was right there on deck with it. So I’m the same way. Music versus the turf: Hyphy is a lifestyle. It’s a culture. It’s the streets. The music scene of hyphy doesn’t really have anything to do with the way people are living. Niggas is in the hood really livin’ hyphy. So basically the music part of it, the coals ain’t really hot as they was. They’re really lukewarm as far as the music part of it, but good music is good music. Whether it’s hyphy, whatever it is from whatever angle. Good music is good music. You got your backpack rappers, ya gangsta rappers, your rappers that do the Gangsta shit. You got your rappers that do the struggle rap. You got all kinda phases of the game. Tha New Yay: I feel like The Bay Area, we’re the ones who kill it, ‘cause we’re the ones who talk bad about it. I think a lot of people would agree with me on that. Some of the people who talk about it don’t like the whole thing, but at the same time, it’s a lot of rappers that never adjusted to hyphy. I’ve always been one who could fit in with any kind of music, whether it was rock or whatever. I just know I can do that shit, cause I’m a well rounded rapper. I can do it all. Some people are stubborn, so they didn’t ever want to fuck with the movement. They was lovin’ the attention and everything that it was bringing, but never wanted to break that barrier and try to do hyphy music. So those are the ones who didn’t like it and can’t wait for it to die down. They wanna stand on stage with all black on with a 40 ounce in they hand lookin’ mean at everybody. They want them days back and right now, God ain’t tryna have that. No Limit Soulja: I ain’t hatin’ on none of these youngstas. I was once a youngsta.
I’m a nigga straight from the soil. I done seen it, lived it, did it, been around it, heard about it, got folks affiliated with it and I done seen a lot of street shit go down. Everybody wanna hate on Soulja Boy, but when we was young, we had the “Pee Wee Herman.” What’s the difference? When it comes to music, I don’t think there are any limits. You gotta be able to mix your shit up. My whole album was not hyphy, but I did participate in the movement because I felt like that was my obligation. I never said, “I’m the King of hyphy” or ever claimed that I made it up. I just said, “I’m here to endorse it,” and I was in a position to let the world know that it’s some good shit that’s goin’ on in the Bay Area. I played my part. I played my position. Verbal Vision: We shoulda had more people come out when I opened up the floodgates and broke the levee. We never had this much attention on us even when we was hot with “I Got Five On It” and In A Major Way, back in 1995 when the whole Bay was eatin’. This time we had cameras on us! We never had this much attention, not in one swoop. So basically, we just needed more people to follow up. It’s good to want a little jumpstart, but you gotta keep the car runnin’. Why I Love the Bay: I love the Bay because it’s where I was born, raised and groomed. I love the Bay because there’s no other place like Tha Bay. We got the coldest swag. We can talk our way out of anything. Bay niggas and Bay broads, no matter where they at, they got that cold mouthpiece. I see ‘em everywhere I go and I can always tell they’re from the Bay. And what I love right now is that when the attention came, everybody came from everywhere. Now niggas can walk with they chest out and say, “I’m from Tha Bay.” Niggas been doin’ it, but now it’s like they’re more happy to do it. They’re more proud to scream it and they’re not going to stop. And we’re the most creative muthafuckas on earth, straight hustlas, playas!! //
“We shoulda had more people come out when I opened up the floodgates and broke the levee. It’s good to want a little jumpstart, but you gotta keep the car runnin’.” – E-40
“I want the world to know us like this. That’s the only reason I’m still in the game. I ain’t gonna stop until everybody knows about this and they relate to it.” – Keak Da Sneak On a mission: I’ma give it CPR if it’s dead. I’ma give it mouth to mouth if that’s the case. If I’m the creator and the founder of it and I have the last word on it, then I haven’t introduced it yet. My album will be out November 6th and I’m getting distributed the right way this time. And it’s not just fast music and hangin’ out the cars. It’s actually just a way of life. It’s where I’m from. This is how we have fun. It’s how we interact. It’s similar to “crunk.” It’s similar to the East Coast’s “wildin’ out.” It’s basically just a lot of energy and expressing yourself. It’s definitely not dead. It’s just that E-40 was the only one that dropped an album at that time to define it. Now me not getting a deal that fast right after that, it just seemed like, “What’s next?” I’m definitely about to open that door back up and let ‘em know this is an everyday ritual. It’s more than a movement. It’s a Bay way of life. It’s been goin’ on. Y’all just now gettin’ a whiff of it. Succeeding Hyphy: I feel like they tried to keep it going, but I don’t really like everybody tryna take the credit, cause I didn’t do that. Don’t try to introduce it when you’re not the one to do that. I first said the word “hyphy” on a compilation in ‘96. Then I did it again on a song called “Sneakacydal” in ‘98. All I’m saying is don’t try to exploit the definition of it when that ain’t the right definition. My thing is, just get it back to where it should have been. Balance and Options: I feel like I’m a trendsetter. I grew up off E-40 and Too $hort, Mac Dre, N.W.A. Ice Cube, and Tupac. I feel like I’m all them people in one and it makes me different. I don’t sound like nobody. So my main thing is, everybody follows what I do as far as the Bay. Mac Dre left a lot on my shoulders. When he was here it was more of a balance, but now I gotta work that much harder. So right now I’m just setting the trend and basically saying, “You don’t gotta rap on a 180 mile track. You don’t gotta get extra hyphy. You don’t gotta do that. Just take it back to doing good music. “ Why I Love the Bay: I’ve been in Oakland all my life. That’s all I know. I was born in Alabama. I came to Oakland when I was six months [old]. I just now started leaving and going other places, ‘cause I gotta see something new. But at the same time, this is all I know. I know the Bay like the back of my hand. And I want the world to know us like this. That’s the only reason I’m still in the game. I ain’t gonna stop until everybody knows about this and they relate to it. //
Mistah Keak Da FAB Sneak Love Handle: “The Prince of the Bay” Current Project/Product: Another One Like the Other One mixtape Hyphy Hit: “White T-shirts, Blue Jeans & Nike’s,” “Super Hyphy” Label: ALLNDADOE Soil: The Whole Damn Yay! (East Oakland) Album Contribution: “Going Dumb”
istorically Keaking: I been knowin’ $hort since like ’96, as well as E-40, all the Bay Icons and legends. It was a blessing for all of us to come together, ‘cause it seems like we don’t come together enough. So this project was definitely a good thing. It opened a lot of eyes and is gettin’ a lot of people to look at the Bay again to let them know that we still there. This project will definitely let the world know about our music and the history behind it. Too $hort, Toni Tone Tony, MC Hammer, Digital Underground, R.I.P. 2Pac, Keyshia Cole, Goapele, 3X Crazy, Keak Da Sneak, The Luniz, etc., it’s definitely still icons in the Bay. And it’s new up and coming artists in the Bay like FAB, Big Rich, I could go on and on.
Also Known As: Fabby Davis Jr. Love Handle: “The Freestyle King,” “Prince of the O” Current Project/Product: Da Baydestrian, Da Yellow Bus Rydah Hyphy Hit: “Ghost Ride It” Label: Faeva Afta/Thizz Nation/Atlantic Soil: North Oakland Album Contribution: “That Thang”, “Lose It”
akin’ em up: We got the Kobes. We got the Greg Odens. We got the Lebrons. Niggas just ain’t seein’ it. We’re the [Golden State] Warriors of the industry. How long niggas been hatin’ on the Warriors? I been a Warriors fan for-EVER! When we got to the playoffs this year, we knocked off the number one seed. That’s the hyphy movement! Niggas just ain’t seen it. When we knocked off Dallas we had everybody comin’ to see us play. You got Snoop Dogg – a dedicated Lakers fan – at the Warriors game. That’s all I’m saying. Put us on and I guarantee you niggas gon’ talk about us. The Groovement: The dance of the West Coast is the hyphy dance. From Alaska to New Mexico. When the shit comes on in the club, niggas is gettin’ hyphy. You got L.A. niggas, real gangbangers, doin’ the thizz dance and really thizz facin’. That’s the dance of the West Coast.
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Why I Love the Bay: The Bay made me who I am. It gave me my existence, my hustle, my arrogance, my confidence, my intelligence, my drive and my ambition. Being a product of your environment, I know that if anybody can survive in the Bay, they can survive anywhere in the world. A female from the Bay can go out and get a nigga, next thing you know, she come back rich as shit! Cause niggas in the Bay ain’t givin’ her nuthin’. But outside, she’ll meet somebody and run so much game on em, they’re going to fall in love. It’s just how you survive and that’s how we do. Niggas in the Bay is real sharp. You’d need a real expensive blade to cut into us, cause we real Ginsu out here. //
Also Known As: The Almighty San Quinn Love Handle: “San Francisco’s Real Mayor” Current Project/Product: Bay Area Mixtape 7, Boy to a Man (forthcoming) Hyphy Hit: “Do Ya Thizzle” Label: Done Deal Entertainment Soil: Uptown Fillmore District (San Francisco, CA) Album contribution: “You Don’t Wanna See Me Rich”
he Bay is Active: Everybody is on their second go around. I got a new single with Clyde [Carson], “Push Up On Me.” Too $hort got the I Love the Bay compilation. Clyde got him a new single goin’. Frontline got them a new single goin’. Turf Talk’s record is out. The boy Kafani got the record deal with Koch and we seen him on BET, so I think that we’re scratching at the surface. We just gotta get that 106th & Park stature going. I think everybody’s mind is probably still in the same place though. It should be. The Quick Fix: We live in that era where people get bored too fast. They saw it and now they’re waiting on something new to come up out of it and nothing else materialized, yet there was a phenomenon. Out in Atlanta you got Unk and he got “Walk it Out.” Now you got Soulja Boy and you got TI. Now you got Playaz Circle. Seem like they finna make waves and that’s what we missed. We needed that back to back so we could have a Bay Area set outside of the Bay Area playing our music with about ten songs – that the nation is familiar with. Go Hard or Go Home: We’ll look up and it’ll be hyphy in Seattle or hyphy in Portland. Somebody will know how to maximize it on the business side. Being that we’re independent it’s a lot of cutthroat business moves. Nobody is really going the extra mile to be a mogul. A mogul in the industry is respected amongst the people who are not independent. And we’re missing that too. Why I Love the Bay: I was born and raised here. That’s number one. Then all the things that came from here to make me proud. Jerry Rice, Barry Bonds, the Black Panthers. There’s a musical history all the way back to the Grateful Dead, the atmosphere and it being a melting pot. I got Philippino, Mexican, Japanese, white fans, as well as I got cutthroat negroes that love me all behind the walls of the penitentiary, representing this Bay Area. That’s why I love it, cause it loves me back. //
Also Known As: Fill More Rich Love Handle: “Tha Undadogg King” Current Project/Product: Block Tested Hood Approved, Get Down or Lay Down, Unda Dogg Kingz Noted Slapper: “That’s The Bizness” Label: 3 Story Muzik/Koch Soil: Fillmore Album Contribution: “Speakers On Blapp”
n the ILTB experience: Coming into that situation and $hort really reaching out to a nigga like, “I like your shit, come and fuck with us and be a part of this,” it was a great feeling to me. It was an honor to me. So I don’t know how everybody else felt, but to me it was an honor. Far From Hyphy: Seeing it from the City it was cool, but we’re kind of on an island. In the 510, it’s like everybody is kinda together. It was different for us, ‘cause we didn’t really jump aboard onto the hyphy bandwagon as far as the culture as much. So that kind of translated into our music. I made some controversial comments during my campaign last year, saying that I support the movement, but I don’t really make the music. A lot of people took that the wrong way, but my thing was, in no way was I going to make a profit off of the situation if I wasn’t of the situation. But in all interviews I always said I supported [the hyphy movement]. I just said I didn’t make the music. Why I Love The Bay: I love it for the diversity, but I mostly love the rap game out here because we’re the underdog. When the rap shit pops off for us, it’s gon’ be great. Seeing all of us on TV last year was wonderful. Just the fact that we are all underdogs keeps me hungry. I love the culture. You can drive through every city out here and it’s something different to look at. It ain’t the same monotonous shit. We all different and that’s what makes it pop. //
Also Known As: Yuk Love Handle: Mr. Smoke-A-Lot Current Project/Product: City of Dope Mixtape, United Ghettos: Eye Candy Edition, Million Dollar Mouthpiece (forthcoming/October 2007) Label: Smoke-A-Lot/Godzilla/Rap-A-Lot Soil: 69th Village (East Oakland) Album Contribution: “Shine Like Me”
n the ILTB experience: I live in L.A., so I didn’t get to work with anybody. I did mine at my studio. I did my shit within two hours. It’s crazy how you make a song hella fast and it ends up being a hit. Then other songs you spend days with and that shit’s boo boo. So it was right. That “Shine Like Me,” I’m using it for my album too. [It’s] the hottest song I ever wrote. Breaking new ground: A lotta niggas be thinkin’ that me and $hort be still beefin’ and shit, cause after the Luniz shit it just continued. But we had to let niggas know that we’re above that. We’re over that and we’re unifying in the Bay. Regardless of the past [problems] that we had, he’s still a legend. I still look up to him and it’s a pleasure and an honor working with him. Why I love the Bay: I’m from the Bay, born and raised! (laughs) I’m from the Bay and I am the Bay. I’d probably be a cartoonist or something, so the Bay made me. I love the Bay because it got game. It got more game than anywhere else I’ve been. It laces you. Ain’t no gangbangin’ out there, none of that shit – just hustlin’ and game. If I was anywhere else I wouldn’t be as seasoned as I am now. In L.A. I notice that people are waiting around for Dre to sign them. We don’t do that in the Bay. If niggas close the door in our face, FUCK YOU. We gon’
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put it out ourselves. That’s that drive. That’s that hustle that we got up in us, that we was taught since youngstas, since niggas was pumpin’ gas for money since a little kid or workin’ at the Coliseum. It’s a hustle. You gotta go get it if you want it. So I love the Bay because it taught me the game. //
Love Handle: Mr. Hyphy Juice, Mr. President Current Project/Product: Theater Music (forthcoming) Noted Slapper: “Doin’ Dat,” “Hood Stomped Out,” “2 Step” Label: Moe Doe/Capitol Soil: The Whole Town Album Contribution: “You See It” (by The Team – includes members Kaz Kyzah, Mayne Mannish and Carson)
n the ILTB experience: It was a like a big party. The Team came through. We all met up there and picked out one of them Young L beats. It was a slapper and we just did the shit. Everybody wrote their shit right there. I think that was the last Team song we did, ‘cause everybody was workin’ on their album. On contributing to the album: I grew up listening to Too $hort. He was my favorite rapper my whole time growing up, so for him to call me and ask me to get on his project, was big. It was an accomplishment. It made me feel like I’m in the right direction. Everybody else that contributed had some heat. So I was more or less about just coming through and puttin’ a hot record on the album. Moving with a purpose: As long as it’s a movement coming out the Bay that represents good music, I’m with it. I think we’re hyphy no matter what. That’s our spirit and our attitude. When we made that “Hyphy Juice” remix, we watched mu’fuckas get hyphy off that slow ass [cadence], so it really don’t matter. It’s all about music. Just make some hot shit and I guarantee you they’ll go dumb. I don’t know where we are with fashion and stunna shades and the whole hyphy fashion. Everything gets played. It’s finna be ‘08. If muthafuckas is still dressin’ like they was in ‘04, it’s a problem and I damn sho’ ain’t with that. I ain’t supportin’ nothin’ that’s ancient. I’m supportin’ keepin’ it pushin’ and keepin’ it movin’. Why I Love the Bay: That’s where I’m from. I’ve lived all over. I’ve lived in Richmond. I’ve lived in Berkeley, Vallejo. So I feel like I represent the Bay to the
fullest. I just love the Bay and everywhere in the Bay. I got nuthin’ but love for the Bay. That’s my home. //
Turf Talk Also Known As: Turfy, Young Turf Love Handle: “The Hardest Nigga In Tha Bay” Current Project/Product: West Coast Vaccine: The Cure Hyphy Hit: “Super Sick Wit It” Label: SickWidit/30/30 Soil: The Valley Jo (Vallejo, CA) Album Contribution: “In The Streets”
he Takeover: I think the movement is gettin’ stronger again, maybe even stronger than it was before. But to me, besides 40, the movement is not being represented right. The world thinks we on some clown shit right now. They think we on some funny dancin’, jumpin’ around, goofy shit and it’s kinda startin’ to piss Turfy off, man. I support the movement to the fullest, but now, I’m tryna be the leader of the movement. I’m not holdin’ back no more, cause the cats that came after 40, I feel like they didn’t represent the Bay right. I want people to see the hardcore image of the Bay, not the funny, laughin’ image of the Bay. We’re not going to win that way. Mind Control: My little daughter can rap how these niggas is rappin’ and the radio is supporting this funny ass commercial ass rap, so when these out of towners come out here they be like, “Damn, this is what the Bay is on? This is what they like out here?” It’s not a certain individual, cause it’s a lot of individuals. It’s this bubble gum ass rap that I’m tired of. I’m sick of this shit. My mind is about taking over now. I’m claimin’ “the hardest nigga in the Bay” right now. 40 is my OG, but one day the young hyena gotta step it up. I’m steppin’ up and I’m the dopest nigga out here. Every Day We Hustlin’: You gotta love the Bay. The thing about the Bay that is so dope is we got our own shit. We’re really not trippin’. We created the hyphy movement. A lot of places in the world don’t have anything that they created from the root. The Bay, what makes it so cold is it’s hustle. Out here people is really tryna get it. You go other places and people look like they in a trance. Why I Love The Bay: I love the Bay because it’s original. It’s so much shit that has started here – fuck the rappin’ – from the Black Panthers to the Muslims, even Tupac was here. E-40, Too $hort, man, the list goes on and on. This place is a very beautiful place. It’s not too big. It’s not too little. Everybody here is money motivated. It’s no bloodin’ and crippin’, but everybody out here is real hustlers and real gangsters. I was born here and I ain’t never leavin’ this muthafucka. //
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Dow Jones If
you’ve been on the West Coast over the past couple years, you’ve probably heard Dow Jones’ production on your favorite rapper’s album or mixtape. A DJ by trade, Jones’ Tha Bizness Productions, a company he shares with his cousin J Hen, has produced tracks for practically every up and coming artist on the Coast like Problem, G Malone, Mistah FAB and Turf Talk. Jones says, “We just want to do our part of the job to help bring our coast back to where its supposed to be, so if we gotta go outta town to do that and to get muthafuckas to recognize west coast game, then that’s what we need to do.” How did you get in the game? Been in the game for 8 years, started hangin out with DV1 who was with the Rock Steady Crew. I carried his crates for a minute for all the tours he was on. He DJed for Dialated Peoples, so I seen things from the ground up, and I always wanted to do the DJ shit. I mean I was messin’ with the beats first, but DV1 taught me the DJ shit. That led to mixtapes, and that lead to makin’ beats that people were spittin’ on and that pretty much led me where I am today as a [mixtape DJ and a producer]. I know you’ve been in the Bay and Seattle, Los Angeles and now in Atlanta. What’s up with all the moving around? I’m not scared of change. Some DJs like to be the hottest nigga on their block and that’s it. I just looked at the game as a hustle, so I did whatever I needed to do to make it happen. In Seattle I came up from the true school of things and then did all the hottest mixtapes there. Los Angeles is one of the biggest cities on the West Coast, so I decided to go get my feet wet out there. While in L.A., my partner and I met up wit DJ Toomp and some of the cats from the Grand Hustle family and that’s what brought us to Atlanta where we are right now. As far as the Bay Area, I used to see Mistah FAB everywhere I went and we just came together on some nigga shit and related to each other on a personal level. You keep sayin’ “we.” Can you clarify who “we” is? Dow Jones: Well it’s a family thing so that’s just me and my cousin J Hen. He’s been on the beats and the keys for minute now and we hooked up back in L.A. and have been doin’ everything together ever since. That’s why we call the company Tha Bizness Productions, because if you come to us, we will get you crackin’. Mixtapes, beats, street team, music videos, everything.
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Are you part of a DJ Crew too? Dow Jones: I used to do that, but right now, I still mess with my Houston DJs, the Hustle Squad DJs, J Classic and Clue’s cousin DJ Storm. Are you still doing mixtapes? Dow Jones: Yeah, but right now it’s more like street albums. Something we pride ourselves on is really having a relationship with the artists. We can go in the studio with the artist and get them to do new songs over our production, or others’ production, and basically put together a whole new album of music. Who are the top three West Coast cats that got next, in your opinion? One, Glasses Malone - He spits real shit and his presence on records is real big. He’s the real street prophet and his album has a real story to it. Two, Mistah FAB and Clyde Carson because they’re the best of two different things. FAB has the energy and charisma and the ability to spit. Clyde’s a great songwriter and [has the ability] to make big club records. Third, Mitchy Slick. That dude has been grindin’ for so long and he has such a strong fan base, but hasn’t been able to get the right push behind him. It’s hard bein’ a real street artist because some labels don’t wanna mess with that. But still, he’s got a huge movement behind him. As a DJ, is it just a natural progression for you to start doing production as well? As a DJ in the club, you have to know what’s hot, but if you don’t know how to play the hot songs together you’ll clear the dance floor. You have to make it all come together to make the party hot. It’s the same way with producing; there’s a difference from being a producer and a beatmaker. As a producer, you gotta make it all come together. You can’t just put it in cruise control. You gotta know how to get in the studio with the artist and make the artist bring out the best in the song and the vision. You have to be a one band man today. You can’t make a beat and email it to the A&R. That shit don’t work anymore. // For more info on Dow Jones and The Bizness Productions go to myspace.com/thabiznessbeats Words by DJ Backside Photo by Vivian Hsu
Too $hort & Friends/I Love The Bay/Up All Nite Since the Bay’s so-called “revival,” Too $hort’s presence in the Town (Oakland) has been about as consistent as a Pac Bell late notice and this album is a testament to his unwavering commitment. A true “compilation,” I Love The Bay is more than $hort’s affinity for his stomping grounds, but a coming together of legends ($hort, 40, San Quinn, Yukmouth, etc.) and a new generation (Mistah FAB, Turf Talk, Big Rich, Dem Hoodstarz, etc.) in musical harmony. $hort and Keak keep the hyphy candle lit on “Going Dumb” and Mistah FAB picks up where they left off with turbo precision on the frenetic “That Thang.” ILTB ironically gains greater momentum on the more tempered “Shine Like Me” (Yukmouth), “You Don’t Wanna See Me Rich” (San Quinn) and the Droop-E produced “This My One” (40 and $hort featuring Mike Marshall). Tha Bay ain’t went nowhere. – N. Ali Early
Marvaless/Ready Made/Black Armor
Arguably considered the hardest female lyricist on the West Coast in the mid ‘90s, C-Bo understudy Marvaless never had issues holding her own alongside her testosterone-laden counterparts. With the release of her sixth solo complete album, C-Bo presents Marvaless: Ready Made, it appears the six year layoff has done nothing to diminish her trademark delivery and persuasive swag. The Killa Tayassisted title track and “Do The Math” announce the rejuvenated rapper in true “mob music” fashion. Meanwhile, “Thug Life,” featuring Jacka and Rydah J. Klyde, speaks to Marvaless’ less celebrated socio-political side. “Fuckin’ Wit Us” and “U So Fly” both find the undisputed Sacramento rap empress going dolo before she shifts gears once more on the uplifting “Black Queen,” featuring Juana Blaze. Don’t call it a comeback. – N. Ali Early
Taje/Hot Box: Second Hit Cali Untouchable Radio/Baby Ree Records If you happened to miss the first installment of Hot Box, The Second Hit (presented by Untouchable Radio’s DJ Warrior), will do
everything to catch you up to speed. By definition this is what you would call “music to drive by.” Jump started by the bouncy “Still Dumpin’,” the Southern Cali-based emcee comes out blastin’. Much like his homies Glasses Malone and Bishop Lamont, Taje fuses clever wordplay with street and sociopolitical elements, arriving at a very likable place for today’s finicky listener. “Misunderstood” and “Butterfly Effect” cruise at a steady pace and the Dae One produced street hit “Houseshoes” takes Hot Box 2 off into overdrive. Eiht’s got to be smiling somewhere. – N. Ali Early
ANDRE NICKATINA/BOOTY STAR: GLOCK TAWK FIllmoe Coleman Records With his 13th studio release, Booty Star: Glock Tawk, Andre Nickatina is like a sniper casing wack MCs. Booty Star elevates the game, with Nicky in classic fashion – spitting from planet Fillmoe. Booty Star heats it up for pole dancers, alley prancers and the hustlers. However, Nickatina’s OG flow and penchant for using elaborate descriptives set Booty Star apart. “San Francisco Bay,” “Contract Out On Cupid” and “Cocaine” find Nicky chopping game from the mind of a capo and a fitting tribute to another legend, “My Friend Mac Dre,” builds worthwhile nostalgia. Booty Star’s diverse production, original lyricism and Nicky’s persona – a cross between Alfred Hitchcock, Albert Anastasia and Iceberg Slim – is instantly engaging. With classic Bay style, Booty Star celebrates the glitz, glamour and grime of the night life in a rare display of game… certainly 3 AM music. – Luvva J Balance and Big Rich Unda Dogg Kingz/Catier Ent The irony in this DJ Rick Lee-administered project is just as brilliant as much as it is overdue. Big Rich, by and large considered one of the City’s (San Francisco) more talented emcees and Balance (of New Bay fame), born and bred in the Town (Oakland), are the Bay Area’s overlooked, underappreciated lyricists vying for rap royalty. Unda Dogg Kingz is their testimony over album-ready production. The Ya Boy assisted “Bang’ Em Anthem” kicks off Unda Dogg Kingz in grand fashion while the hypnotic “Crack Music,” featuring Glasses Malone and Scipio, cinches their claims. Complete with a surprising but believable Akon/Coolio collab (“Nothing Changed”), Rich and Balance take their respective turns at separating themselves from the barrage of guest spots (“Get Money” and “Balance Is The Name” respectively) via their flawless flows, leaving the listener yearning for a full length album. – N. Ali Early
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Kanye West Event: Rolling Stone MTV VMAs preparty Venue: Hard Rock Live City: Las Vegas, NV Date: September 8th, 2007 Photo: Julia Beverly
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