YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
BUN B FAT JOE
FASCINATION WITH THE killer drug
WEBBIE RECESSION? WHAT RECESSION?
UGK RECORDS CARRIES THE TORCH
STIC.MAN of DEAD PREZ conquers alcoholism
AMERICAN GANGSTER 28 // OZONE WEST
+ozone west YUKMOUTH HUSALAH SAN QUINN MUGZI
Too $hort Kicks Game HAJI SPRINGER
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
RICKY ROSS THE REAL DJ SCREW BY THE GALLON
FASCINATION WITH THE
BUN B CAN’T STOP, WON’T STOP
CARRIES THE TORCH
STIC.MAN of DEAD PREZ conquers alcoholism
CALVIN KLEIN: AMERICAN GANGSTER
YUKMOUTH HUSALAH SAN QUINN MUGZI
Too $hort Kicks Game HAJI SPRINGER
CHRIS NOTEZ OZONE MAG //
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PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF // Julia Beverly MUSIC EDITOR // Randy Roper FEATURES EDITOR // Eric N. Perrin ASSOCIATE EDITOR // Maurice G. Garland GRAPHIC DESIGNER // David KA ADVERTISING SALES // Che’ Johnson PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR // Malik Abdul SPECIAL EDITION EDITOR // Jen McKinnon MARKETING DIRECTOR // David Muhammad Sr. LEGAL CONSULTANT // Kyle P. King, P.A. SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER // Adero Dawson ADMINISTRATIVE // Kisha Smith INTERN // Kari Bradley CONTRIBUTORS // Bogan, Charlamagne the God, Chuck T, Cierra Middlebrooks, Destine Cajuste, Edward Hall, Felita Knight, Jacinta Howard, Jaro Vacek, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Jason Cordes, Jo Jo, Johnny Louis, Kamikaze, Keadron Smith, Keith Kennedy, K.G. Mosley, King Yella, Luis Santana, Luxury Mindz, Marcus DeWayne, Matt Sonzala, Maurice G. Garland, Mercedes (Strictly Streets), Natalia Gomez, Ray Tamarra, Rico Da Crook, Robert Gabriel, Rohit Loomba, Shannon McCollum, Spiff, Stan Johnson, Swift, Thaddeus McAdams, Wally Sparks, Wendy Day STREET REPS // 3rd Leg Greg, Adam Murphy, Alex Marin, Al-My-T, Benz, Big Brd, B-Lord, Big Ed, Big Teach (Big Mouth), Bigg V, Black, Bo Money, Brandi Garcia, Brian Eady, Buggah D. Govanah (On Point), Bull, C Rola, Cartel, Cedric Walker, Chad Joseph, Charles Brown, Chill, Chuck T, Christian Flores, Danielle Scott, DJ Dap, Delight, Derrick the Franchise, DJ Dimepiece, DJ D’Lyte, Dolla Bill, Dorian Welch, Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom, Dynasty, Ed the World Famous, DJ EFeezy, DJ EFN, Episode, Eric Hayes, Erik Tee, F4 Entertainment, G Dash, G-Mack, George Lopez, Gorilla Promo, Haziq Ali, Hezeleo, H-Vidal, Hotgirl Maximum, Jae Slimm, Jammin’ Jay, Janiro Hawkins, Jarvon Lee, Jay Noii, Jeron Alexander, JLN Photography, Joe Anthony, Johnny Dang, Judah, Judy Jones, Kenneth Clark, Klarc Shepard, Kool Laid, Kurtis Graham, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lump, Lutoyua Thompson, Marco Mall, Mario Grier, Marlei Mar, DJ M.O.E., Music & More, Natalia Gomez, Nikki Kancey, Oscar Garcia, P Love, Pat Pat, Phattlipp, Pimp G, Quest, DJ Rage, Rapid Ric, Robert Lopez, Rob-Lo, Robski, Rohit Loomba, Scorpio, Sir Thurl, Southpaw, Spade Spot, Stax, Sweetback, Teddy T, TJ’s DJ’s, Tim Brown, Tony Rudd, Tre Dubb, Tril Wil, Trina Edwards, Troy Kyles, Vicious, Victor Walker, DJ Vlad, Voodoo, Wild Billo, Will Hustle, Wu Chang, Young Harlem, Yung DVS SUBSCRIPTIONS // To subscribe, send check or money order for $20 to: Ozone Magazine, Inc. Attn: Subscriptions Dept 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318 Phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-350-2497 Website: www.ozonemag.com
features 84 DRUG DETOX 56-58 PURPLE RAIN 42 drug Survey 76-77 UGK RECORDS 38 HOME GROWN 85 under the influence 34 MUST HAVE BEEN HIGH 26 “FREEWAY” RICKY ROSS 62-65 BAPTIZED IN DIRTY WATER 36 MORE MONEY MORE PROBLEMS
monthly sections 98 12 32 16-18 94-96 24 92 13 28 40 22 21-43 44-52 95 13 30 90-91
END ZONE FEEDBACK TATTED UP RAPQUEST CD REVIEWS CHIN CHECK BOARD GAME JB’S 2 CENTS PRISON DIARY DOLLAR MENU MATHEMATICS PHOTO GALLERIES PATIENTLY WAITING CAFFEINE SUBSTITUTES 10 THINGS I’M HATIN’ ON CHAIN REACTION: YO GOTTI TJ’S DJ’S TASTEMAKERS CD REVIEW
COVER CREDITS // Bun B photo (this page) by Mike Frost; Bun B photos (cover) courtesy of LRG; Vic Damone photo by King Yella; Webbie photo by King Yella; Dolla photo courtesy of Jive Records. DISCLAIMER // OZONE Magazine is published 12 times per year by OZONE Magazine, Inc. OZONE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement or validation by OZONE Magazine for products or services offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their respective artists. All other content is copyright 2008 OZONE Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA.
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interviews 60-61 78-80 82-83 76-77 86-88
FAT JOE GUNPLAY STIC.MAN UGK RECORDS CALVIN KLEIN: AMERICAN GANGSTER
BUN B pg 70-
66-68 pg E I B WEB
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Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us up at www.myspace.com/ozonemagazine
I just read the December 2007 issue of your magazine and the article on Lil Wayne was amazing. It couldn’t have been any better. I think Lil Wayne is arguably the best rapper in the game right now and I’m a huge fan of his. - Pat Durnigan, email@example.com I love OZONE. Y’all’s 2007 Year End Awards were mad funny and on point. The only problem I have with your magazine is that it’s so damn hard to find in the Midwest. I’ve gotta run around on a scavenger hunt to find it, but it’s worth it. OZONE and XXL are the two magazines I go out of my way to find. Keep up the good work! – Young Deuces, myspace.com/StreetznYoungDeuces (Milwaukee, WI) JB, I just read the 2 Cents that you did on Pimp C and you almost got me teary eyed. Shit, I’m lying, you did get me teary eyed! I’m too hard for that shit! But I was very touched about what you said in your column, because when Slim & I heard the news, I couldn’t help but cry. I guess it kinda hit me a little hard because I was a UGK fan for so many years and then to hear that one of your favorite rappers isn’t going to continue to make anymore new music that I grew up listening to was almost like it wasn’t real. Even though I only met him once, his music made me feel like I’ve known him forever. He will truly be missed in this household! Keep up the great work with OZONE! – Candy Girl, firstname.lastname@example.org (Atlanta, GA) I just caught the December 2007 annual Sex Issue, and yes, I’m late! First of all, great job of showcasing so many different perspectives from rappers, strippers, pimps, prostitutes, and groupies on sex and sexuality. It was definitely an interesting read. But there did seem to be one arena that was left totally untouched, and that was the BDSM arena! I know most folks view this type of action as “creepy white people stuff” but there is a scene here, and from my perspective it’s up and coming. I work off and on as a dominatrix, and there’s so much that this scene has to offer. There are a respectable number of attractive, sexy women of color who are getting into this, and it’s honestly something that empowers us. We’re kicking scrawny white ass and getting paid for it! We’re not necessarily getting naked, and not necessarily fucking. We’re using our brains to conduct serious mind-fuck sessions, and our bodies are to be worshipped and adored. We are drawing on our inherent female superiority to make these men grovel and beg. And yes, I realize that these kinds of clients are more often than not white businessmen, but as women of color we can rule these men without a second thought. I would love to see this topic touched on in OZONE - in the Sex Issue ’08 or sooner! – Mistress Agave, email@example.com I loved the December issue. I’ve been a fan of Lil Wayne since Tha Block Is Hot. I knew he was deep then, but I didn’t know he was that deep. He is really intelligent and I enjoyed reading the whole interview. I also liked the piece on Lloyd, he’s so sexy and seems real down to earth. He’s one of my favorite R&B artists in the game right now. Keep up the good work, OZONE! – myspace.com/ptdabaddest (California) 12 // OZONE MAG
I hardly ever get to read an OZONE Magazine but today I read your 2 Cents and I was so impressed that I had to start typing before I lose the inspiration and passion of my comment. Your 2 Cents in the January issue was very well said; the words fell right into place and it became easier to read. It seems that once you put the pen on the paper your heart took over. I can appreciate an editorial that comes from the heart. Like many of his true fans I miss Pimp C too and I still can’t believe it myself. Your 2 Cents are worth a million and you said it best: We will miss his charisma. I hope in some way he was able to hear your spirit as you were writing. – Rory, firstname.lastname@example.org (Dallas, TX) OH MY GOD! This fuckin’ magazine is amazing. The Sex Issue is off the fuckin’ planet. JB, you are my favorite person in Hip Hop, period. I’ve read damn near everything you’ve ever printed. – Quake, email@example.com (Atlanta, GA) This is my first time ever being introduced to an OZONE Magazine. My homegirl showed it to me and the first thing I saw was Lil Wayne, so I knew I had to really get into it. When I ran through the pages, every one of ‘em caught my eye and it was a great feeling. I’ve never been so interested in a magazine before. They’ve never ever been that serious to me, but now I’m going to read every one that comes out. – Diamond Robinson, firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks for those words on the Grit Boys in the Year End Awards. It shows that people still appreciate good lyrics. – Scooby, myspace.com/gritboys (Houston, TX) You’re killing the magazine game right now! I tell anybody who will listen that OZONE is the best magazine out. The latest issue with the dedication to Pimp C is awesome. I’m going to miss The Chronicles of Pimp C. That was the first thing I turned to in the magazine to read. I knew he was going to “tell the truth and shame the devil.” To your credit, you saw the specialty in Pimp C and hundreds of Southern artists to whom you’ve given a stellar platform. – Beno, eadymusicgroup.com (Albuquerque, NM) Thanks for having Lil Wayne in the December issue. Please keep having him on the cover. Next time you have him in OZONE, can you ask him: 1) How many women have you had sex with? 2) How many virgins have you had sex with? 3) Have any women asked if they can measure your dick, and if they did ask, would you let them? 4) Where are the places you’ve already had sex? 5) How long can you last in bed? 6) Do you like to cuddle after sex? I can’t think of any more questions right now, but I’ll send the rest later. – Yanira Ramirez, email@example.com
Editor Responds: Damn, you didn’t think the questions we asked him were intrusive enough?
10 Things I’m Hatin’ On PART 2
s we’re finishing the annual “drug issue” I’m also arguing with our distributor, who doesn’t think it should be allowed in stores because of the controversial subject matter. This is a battle that I fight nearly every month. Everywhere I go people complain that they have a hard time finding OZONE Mag. Well, just like radio station playlists are controlled by people sitting in a cubicle in some random location who have no clue what local listeners want to hear, chain stores that carry magazines are controlled by one buyer who decides which content is acceptable and which isn’t, so I have old white people who hate rap music sitting behind a desk hundreds of miles away telling me I’ve got to “tone it down” because the consumers don’t want to see such naughty language.
by Alexyss Tylor a.k.a. the Vagina Power lady
4. WOMEN’S STANKIN’ PUSSY I’m hating on women with bad hygiene. I’m sorry, even though I am a woman, I’ve been noticing this and I’ve smelled it. And the people are telling me, too. A lot of times we need to just go check ourselves. We need to go to the bathroom: work bathroom, public bathroom, it don’t matter. When I go to the public bathroom I see it a lot, we don’t wash properly. Women leave a funky ass bathroom, so I wish that when we go places we would take us some damn fresh wipes or salt water, or something in our pocketbooks. It’s a problem if I’m walking by you, or am standing in a close area—in a restaurant even and you got fishy smelling pussy. 5. SKID MARKS IN THEIR DRAWERS Women are tired of these niggas lookin’ good; fine ass niggas with they expensive ass suits on, and expensive shoes and socks on, and then they take they draws off and they ass is stankin’ and they dick is stankin’ because they shittin’ and not washing they ass properly or getting all the shit out. I don’t know if they need to shave the hair around they asshole, or if they need to get a wax ‘round they asshole, or spray that muthafucka wit some Lysol, or something, but they really need to change they hygiene. Women are tired of laying
I then pointed out that our annual “drug issue” and “sex issue” are always top sellers, so clearly the consumer is more turned on than off by our raw content. Apparently it’s okay for Playboy to have women posing naked, but if I ask a recovering crack addict what prompted him to pick up the pipe that first time, that’s a problem. Clearly, drug addiction is a problem in our country - not just in our country, but worldwide. How are we supposed to find solutions without pinpointing the original problem? I’m not encouraging anyone to sell drugs, do drugs, or even think about drugs. My opinion has always been that there are too many natural highs in life to waste time, energy, and money on putting chemical substances into my body. I believe in the natural order of life: what goes up must come down. But I think we’d be doing a disservice to ourselves to avoid discussing issues that are a reality in our community: alcoholism (pg. 82), lives destroyed by crack cocaine (pg. 24), intelligent minds behind bars (shouts out to Zo, Tampa Tony, & Smoke D); the negative effects of cough syrup abuse which hit home recently with the death of Pimp C (pg. 56, 85) and how it affects their loved ones (pg. 70); rappers glamorizing crack cocaine in their music (pg. 60); all the money that’s spent on drugs that could go to more positive uses (pg. 42, 67, 78). My lil rapper friend always jokes that I’m the “Hip Hop missionary” sent to save rappers from their lives of misogyny and destruction and sin, and we laugh. Although there might be a little bit of truth to it, don’t get me wrong. I’m not here to preach at anybody or tell anybody to change. Can’t knock the hustle. But it’s actually frightening how much knowledge I’ve gained about the drug game simply by publishing a rap magazine. Our worlds are truly intertwined.
3. Men WITH BREATH THAT SMELLS LIKE ASS I’m just tired of these men approaching me when their mouth hygiene is real fucked up, and every time they talk, all that ass-breath hit you in yo gotdamn face. Clean yo damn mouth, brush yo teeth, get a new partial, or fix that muthafuckin twisted partial, or start some golds up, or something, ‘cause this is ridiculous out here. All these men get up in yo face wanting to talk and they got that funky ass breath in a raggedy ass mouth.
Webbie & I in New Orleans
Me & Big Boi in Atlanta
2. Women who wear OBVIOUS WEAVE Go get your fucking hair fixed! If you gon’ wear a weave, or if you gon wear a portion of a lace front wig, get it touched up on a regular basis or style it in a way that we cannot tell that it is a weave, and so we don’t see nappy ass hair hanging out, or tracks hanging out so that we do not know that the textures do not match. We know it’s white folks’ hair and nigga hair blended together, or on the same head in different locations.
Young Jeezy, me, & Young Buck in Las Vegas
Mistah FAB & I in the Bay
1. BLACK ON BLACK CRIME In Dekalb County [Georgia] where I am there a lot of black boys who are so full of self hatred and shame that they are creating gangs, or joining gangs that go around doing initiation by shooting other black boys just to prove that they are men. This shows me that we still have a lot of young black boys that hate themselves. It’s so easy for your young black boys to shoot each other down like dogs, and shoot anything down that looks like a reflection of themselves. If we keep going at that rate, we ain’t gon’ have another generation. The generation we gon’ have is gon’ be in jail, on dope, and on the streets and have nothing to offer to the women that are coming up and the children that are coming up. We are basically committing genocide. When one black boy shoots another black boy we are destroying the sperm cells that could bring forth a whole prolific generation of new black men
Alexyss had so much hate last month we had to split it into two parts!
Malik, me, & Slim Goodye in Miami
From a strictly business standpoint, I respect the entrepreneurial skills of organizations like BMF; the skills of the Frank Lucases and “Freeway” Ricky Rosses (pg. 36) and the fictional Tony Montanas. My point is that it’s such a waste of great business minds. If they had put that same time and effort into a legitimate business they might not have made as much money, but it would’ve lasted longer and they would still have their freedom. Granted, I’ve never had the luxury of blowing millions of dollars, so I can’t tell you how it feels, but I think if you ask most of them (pg. 26), at the end of the day it wasn’t worth it. On one OZONE trip, our wrapped CRUNK!!! truck was looking pretty grimy after a long day on the road so I asked a local rapper to take us to the nearest car wash. After we ran it through the wash he directed a homeless crackhead to clean up the rims. Now, dude was into it. I mean, he was on a mission. I was impressed. He got down on his knees and put his all into it. I tried to give him a can of CRUNK!!! Energy Drink and he barely noticed. No distractions, no breaks, and by the time he was done thirty minutes later, our rims were sparkling clean. And then I learned why: Our local tour guide paid him with a crack rock. So it got me thinking: Wouldn’t the world would be a much better place if we all worked as hard as crackheads when they’re about to be rewarded with a rock? We all should desire to win as bad as a fiend desires their next fix. And no matter what your job is, we all should be hustlers; we all should have “the world is mine” mentality. Just stay away from that cocaine. It’s the devil (pg. 79). - Julia Beverly, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Ross f/ Trick Daddy, Young Jeezy & Lil Wayne “Luxury Tax” Webbie f/ Rick Ross & Birdman “Miracle” Rock City “After The Club” Blu “Just Another Day” B.G. “Ode to the Hot Boyz” Plies f/ Trey Songz “Bust It Baby (remix)” Scarface “Git Out My Face” JC f/ Gorilla Zoe “Nobody Gotta Know”
email@example.com Curren$y “Spitta” Jean Grae “Love Thirst” Common “The Light 2008” Snoop “Neva Hafa Worry”
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T S E U Q P A R
’ , HIT US UP at JB@OZONEMA N I P P O P SEE WOHR ANOTT’SREPRESENTED AT ALL O T S T E E R THE SITTY IS MISREPRESENTED, S T I H E N OZO FEEL THAT YOUR C IF YOU
All of Oklahoma showed up to the Cox Business Services Center for Deja Vu Entertainment and Wild 104.9’s 1st Annual Holiday Fest starring Lil Wayne, Gorilla Zoe, Juelz Santana, and Yung Berg. 1st Saturday’s at Club Hive is completely ladies night and DJ Ramao continues to shut the club down spinning the latest club bangaz. Tulsa has caught on to the contagious vintage 80’s clothing trend; Quickie Mart is the spot to shop for the tightest Hip Hop vintage garments for the streets. Kanebeatz produced new tracks for Baby, Flo-Rida, and Rob G’s new albums. - DJ Civil Rightz (Myspace.com/DJCivilRightz)
BAY ST. LOUIS, MS:
2007 has come to a close and there was no place to be for New Year’s Eve but Nel’s Sports Bar & Lounge. Everybody and their momma came out including the Block Burners, Gotty Boi Chris, Shine Baby, T-Byrd, and of course the Swamp Root Klik whose single “You Know the Sound” is tearing up the streets. Carlos Cartel, Pimp G, Lil Hound, Greg B, Big G, and Mississippi O are also holding it down for Mississippi. - DJ Deliyte (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hurricane has been hosting the Kentucky U.S.A. (Unsigned Artist) nights every Thursday at Club Stages. This is where local talent gets seen and heard. SOLO had his hit single “EEEH” added to the radio format on B96.5 fm. Plies came to town and shut it down! Wild Style/ Wild City Entertainment opened up for Plies and it was a sight to see. That crew has showmanship. Wild Wayne showed his ass as always though. John Doe of Johnsdomain T.V. Show dropped his documentary DVD titled Is Hip-Hop Dead or Alive? It was sponsored by Unstoppable Sound Agency. - Divine Da Instagata (OuttaDaShopEnt@hotmail.com)
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX:
Lil Will dropped the remix to “My Dougie” featuring Tum Tum. Speaking of Lil Will, the K104 Morning Team spoke on a beef with him and Soulja Boy that just got squashed. Word is Soulja Boy stole the “My Dougie” dance for some of his own moves. Lil Shine from Big Wheel Records has a fire club singled called “Check Out My Lean.” DJs K-Roc and C-Note stay breaking local hits at Club GG’s. The Trap Starz’ video “Get It Big” is rotating on BET. BoBo Luchiano lost his bro Pimp C; DFW still reps Boleg & Twisted Black. - Edward “Pookie” Hall (email@example.com)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK:
The New Breed is a ménage of talent from the middle of the map (PDA, Drakdee, MeduNetr, Playya1000 and Deeksta, MistaCain, Hotlink) to the East coast with acts such as Big Rec, LEWN, and Ntrepid. The New Breed mentality is a new fresh perspective on the Hip Hop nation. From beat to beat, lyric to lyric, The New Breed uses Hip Hop to show the world the good and bad in all of us. Oklahoma City is quickly becoming a breeding ground for The New Breed of Hip Hop. The City Boyz (Myspace.com/CityBoyZok) have some sure crowd pleasers with “The American Dream” and “Holla.” - Marshlynn Bolden (Marshlynn.Bolden@uscellular.com)
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CLEVELAND, OH: The area’s homicide rate rose 10% from 2006. This has the community leaders in an uproar. The King of Cleveland, Scratch Master L, has returned to WENZ. L-Soprano will return to his daily 5 p.m. slot. High school b-ball is off and running. Top-ranked player Delvon Roe is out for the season thus opening the door for #2 ranked Garfield. Sonny Johnson’s team is led by Carl Jones and Robert Wilson (Wis). Coach Wojciechowski’s VASJ Vikings (#5) led by Nate Barnes will have a say as the season rolls on. The Browns returned to respectability by posting a 10 win season. - “X” Allah (X@NuBludManagement.com)
The Hittsquad DJs are a new crew in Chicago dedicated to breaking records in clubs and on mixtapes. DJ Shotime is the official club-rocker of Chicago. He continues to break records at Club D’Vine. Jak Frost has a mixtape release party at Zentra hosted by Freeway and Beanie Sigel. L.E.P. has a new banger with Fabolous called “We Ain’t Playing.” Hot to Def just shot a video for “Walkin Around the Club.” Superpromoter Donski had his Capricorn bash at RedNoFive. DJ Timbuktu, from WGCI, just launched GO ILL Radio on Saturday nights. Hymalaya’s new single “Let Me Get That” is building in the clubs. The Chicago Music Conference went down in February. DJ KCPerfect, DJ Predator, DJ Averi Minor, and DJ Shotime were just made CORE Streetz DJs. - Jamal Hooks (JHooks@tmail.com)
KANSAS CITY, MO/KS:
Cash Image is now the number one played indie artist in rotation on HOT 103 JAMZ with his banger “In My Chevy.” He’s also been added to Fat Man Scoop’s Full Throttle Radio and SupeRadio’s syndicated mix show Club Jams. Mon E-G wrapped up his video shoot in Miami for “Chevy Anthem Remix” featuring Rick Ross. It has cameos from down South and BET heavyweights. Bodyworks Phase II will be closed until April. When it re-opens it will hold 1,500. Kenny Diamondz’ mixshow Underground Heat on HOT 103 JAMZ now has two days to break new music in KC. - Kenny Diamondz (KennyDiamondz@gmail.com)
ST. LOUIS, MO:
A-Verb and Street Status DVD brought back the battle scene in STL with World War. The battles can be seen at Myspace.com/averb. Ruka Puff had a nice turn out at Dante’s for the premiere of his DVD Grind or Die. Tech Supreme dropped his mixtape Hip Hop Ain’t Dead in STL. It features Tech Supreme, Tef Poe, Family Affair, and a few others. 2 Gun Trust of the ALL STARS has his solo mixtape Da Campaign out in the streets. TOP TEN TUESDAYS and DJ Shock have just dropped the TOP TEN TUESDAYS mixtape. It features County Brown, Family Affair, Dutch Jackson, Phillthy Rich, EQ, and a whole bunch more. - Jesse James (JesseJames314@aol.com)
AUSTIN, TX: The 2008 SXSW (South by South West) is just around the corner. Basswood Lane dropped their new single “The A” featuring J-Kapone. Tosin and TheScrewShop. com just dropped the Stop Stealin’ Our Style mixtape. Every Thursday night, the Light Bar turns into the Soul Lounge. VIP, Set 4 Life, Slim Gutta, and more held down their performances at Karma. DJ Grip headed down I-35 to San Antonio to join Kyle Lee, Fade Dogg, and Question for an autograph signing at SupaFly. Paul Wall came through town for a show at Fuze. Rest in peace Chad “Pimp C” Butler. UGK for life. - O.G. of Luxury Mindz (LuxuryMindz@gmail.com)
Baby Drew, Strick, Taste Emcees, Black Elephant, Beefe, Fam 1st and Cincere are a few names buzzing in The Mil right now. There are many different venues supporting independent Hip Hop in the 414. Myspace. com/414Luv is a cool spot to check out local events, artists and labels. One Mic/Many Voices gets a significant mention for encouraging artists to help promote peace on the streets. Miltown also has one of the hottest spoken word scenes in the country. We build with all independent artists. - Fidel Vasquez (VivaFidel@tmail.com)
The DMV Awards are gearing up for their second show. The categories are widespread, ranging from best spoken word artist to most supportive radio personality. While some of the names on the recently released nominees list are noticeable, many of the nominees are not well-known outside of their immediate circles. Many higher-profiled rap acts that should’ve been obvious nominees are noticeably absent. Notable nominees that did get a nod include 20 Bello, Multiple Man, Laelo Hood, Shy Thoro, Porche 9-11, Da Committee, Harlem X, and Tabi Bonney. - Pharoh Talib (Ptalib@gmail.com)
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA:
McArthur Mall was flooded this holiday season with all types of celebrities from Pharrell to Timbaland. Young Fame recruits Torch and Dirty Nation to bring B-More club music to the airwaves of VA. Also, Young Fame’s debut album Hip-Hopcrisy is coming to your hood soon. You can catch Anguz Black doing this stand up comedy thing at The Funnybone on Wednesday nights. The Clipse signed with Columbia Records and the streets are patiently awaiting their release. Fam-Lay is coming one step closer to strangling his label’s executives. He’s been pushed back again. - Derrick Tha Franchise (ContactYoungFame@gmail.com)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC:
Myrtle Beach is the 4th fastest growing market in the country so it’s about to go down in the ‘08. It would not be right if I didn’t say RIP to Pimp C. I will miss his music but Pimp C will still live in all of us real niggas’ hearts. My prayers go out to his family and friends and to all of my people who have lost a love one. The only way to honor your lost people is to keep them in your thoughts and prayers and continue to go out and make success for yourself. In the words of UGK, please keep it trill. - Mr. Smith (Myspace.com/SmithBigShow)
Jeezy came through Macon and showed love. The Kadalack Boyz (Myspace.com/KadalackBoyz), with a little help from DJ Rick Flare (Myspace.com/DJRicFlare), threw the New Year’s Eve party to remember. They also dropped the Together We Stand/Divided We Fall mixtape. Tex James’ solo mixtape dropped in February. The 11th Hour Mag People’s Choice Awards started off the year (Myspace.com/The11thHourMacon). They showed Hip Hop love and pitted some of Mac Town’s hottest emcees against each other. - Ali Roc (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This month Montgomery was on fire with performances by Jeezy, Shawty Lo, Chrisette Michelle, Rocko, and Yung Ralph. Jeezy’s performance was tight as hell. He stayed on stage for thirty minutes giving the crowd exactly what they wanted. He didn’t have to do his own ad libs because the crowd had his back. Shawty Lo turned out the Rose Supper Club twice this month right before Long Money Entertainment’s Patron party. Boycott Records have big things popping for 2008. - Hot Girl Maximum (HotGirl.Maximum@gmail.com)
NEW ORLEANS, LA:
This month had some of the biggest parties New Orleans has ever seen. Everyone who is someone watched the ball drop at Club Dream New Orleans with DJ Hollaback. Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets threw his Certified All Star Party at Club Ampersand. Speaking of the Hornets, the Hornets Buzz Fest 2007 was successful with the hot girl group Elysian Fields performing live. Everyone was at Club Metro for Ultra Sundays with Raj Smoove; Young Fame was even in there poppin’ bottles. If you’re looking for a dime that’s top of the line, hit up She She’s on Chef Highway. - Derrick Tha Franchise (www.Myspace.com/DerrickThaFranchise)
Demp Week went down January 7th through the 13th. The annual celebration, which has been around for over 10 years, jumped off with lots of special celebrity guests, games, fashion shows, community events and more. Stars like Buddha from I Love New York 2 (who is a former Tallahassee resident), Lil Duval, Rick Ross, Trick Daddy, DJ Khaled, and Juvenile came through. Notty Black of the Nappy Headz, the group that T-Pain got his start in, is on the charts with “Freaky Song” featuring T-Pain. Vote for Obama in ‘08! - DJ Dap (DJDapOnline@gmail.com)
HOUSTON, TX: ORLANDO, FL:
Kheep Entertainment presented Tony Khuu’s American Gangster birthday party hosted by TV Johnny. Ajaxxx won 102 JAMZ’ Rap Against Violence contest. R. Kelly made the Double Up tour official when he stepped through Orlando alongside Keyshia Cole and J. Holiday. Iconz Night Club shut the city down with their Christmas party that was crammed from wall to wall. Blitz Krieg collaborated with TREAL on a record that promises to be a banger in 2008. Wes Fif inked a deal with Slip-N-Slide. - Destine Cajuste (email@example.com)
SAN ANTONIO, TX:
We had some big things popping off in San Antonio, including the biggest MLK march in the country. The Annual Hip Hop Summit was that same weekend and included the likes of Bun B, Rob G, and Tha Coalition – San Antonio’s very own super group. Even more people and visitors than last year showed up. - Bishop Maxx (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A true pioneer, Klondike Kat of the S.P.C. is prepping his spring release The Game Needs Me. The Dre Steel Project is coming soon. He’s got the streets buzzing with his new song “Whole Hood’s Behind Me.” Slim Thug and the Boss Hogg Outlawz are back all over the city. Kid Stylez and Jayne Wilda Designs are hooking up the streets with whatever they need. MC Qua makes everybody feel comfortable at the Downtown office. Need studio time or beats? If you have the money at the door, Cory Mo has what you need. Uppa Dek is dropping The NoseBleed Section soon. - Jamar “J Gamble” Irby (My.Upclose@gmail.com)
FORT MYERS/NAPLES, FL:
Charlie Murphy came to the Off The Hook Comedy Club to help us piss our pants fresh for the New Year. The New York Times named Riskay’s “Smell Yo Dick” (produced by DJ Quest) as one of the top underground hits of 2007. The 35th Annual City of Palm Classics hit Southwest Florida with a bang. It’s said to be the best high school basketball in the country. Irv Gotti was in the house watching his nephew play, posing for pictures, and signing autographs. - Jae Rae (JaeRae1055@aol.com)
OZONE MAG // 17
COLUMBUS, OH: In the past month we’ve popped bottles with Gorilla Zoe and Yung Joc, cranked that with Lil Wayne, cut and scratched with DJ Kid Capri and DJ Drama, and spotted Lyfe Jennings, Juvenile, Freeway, Gucci Mane, Ginuwine, and more. FlyUnion’s new video “Big Trucks” is blowing up on YouTube. Dreamlife artists Reese and Blaze jumped off the Greatest Rapper Alive concert with Lil Wayne. Their new mixtape American Dream is that deal. Everyone’s hope for a new urban radio station (106.7) was doused when they decided to go Modern Rock. Club ICE got that ACE of Spades finally and Club Karma (with its $500k facelift) is opening up. - Jorden Martin (Mz_Emjay23@yahoo.com)
DJ Q45 of Rap City put Jackson in the spotlight by filming his BET show live from Club Freelon’s. Malik came down and represented big for OZONE Magazine. DJ Drama came through for his album release. Hot 97.7 packed the house with Pretty Willie and local R&B singer Romaine. Everyone is on the grind for ‘08 with new albums and singles dropping. Expect to hear something real soon from Boo (1Life1Love) of CTE, J Money of 3535 Entertainment, and Jewman. Expect to see something hot from Banner. Other hot acts for ’08 are Lil C, Gutta Twins, and Paper Chasin Family (PCF). - Tambra Cherie (TambraCherie@aol.com) & Stax (email@example.com)
Former club The Premier has re-opened its doors as Level 2 and is creating quite a buzz around town with promises of a whole new atmosphere. From concerts to grown and sexy parties every week, this should keep Memphis entertained. Prophet Posse is on a promo radio tour this year stopping through cities such as Chicago, ATL, Orlando, and Dallas. They are also in the process of working on a new movie and a Nick Scarfo and Kelo compilation album The Pimp and the Dealer. Kia Shine is receiving bad reviews on his latest album and video from various media sources outside of Memphis. Haters love us. - Deanna Brown (Deanna.Brown@MemphisRap.com)
Black Monii hosted the Lil Red Cup party starring Savannah State University’s own A.M.I. Lil Wayne shut the city down at Frozen Paradise. 31 Flavurs – GA’s hottest female street team, Clouds, and Asia Black Entertainment hosted Rydin into The New Year with the new Nite Rydaz. Rowe Ent and 31 Flavurs presented the Double Up Tour starring Keyshia Cole, J. Holiday and R. Kelly. The hottest parties of the entire year went down at Island Breeze and Frozen with Blak Monii Ent. Lucky celebrated her birthday on New Year’s Eve with Clouds, Asia Black, Blak Monii Ent, A.M.I., and 31 Flavurs (Myspace.com/31Flavurs). - Lucky (LuckyCharmsEvents@gmail.com)
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The Double Up Tour was dope but the highlight was Keyshia Cole’s momma Frankie acting a straight nut! Imagine onstage “Pop, Lock and Drop It” to the Beyonce bounce. Frankie is now my official role model. Trina’s private mansion party was an NFL and NBA buffet. Trina introduced me to her new and fine man and said I could tell y’all who he is but because that might’ve been the Patron talking, I’m going to hold off. Here’s a hint: when she hugged him her nose was in his belly button! Look out for Grind Mode, Ball Greezy, CrackerJack and production by Gorilla Tek. - Supa Cindy (www.Myspace.com/Supadupe)
As 2007 came to an end, the biggest event in Columbus was the Foxie 105 Fall Talent Show. The talent show is like a right of passage for any local singer, rapper, or dance group. The event also brought performances by The Eastside Boys and Loony T, a Columbus Native, whose song “Dear Keyshia” is blowing up on YouTube. The song expresses views of people who attended the highly publicized concert that kicked off the R. Kelly Double Up Tour. Many concertgoers believed Keyshia Cole’s refusal to perform meant she felt as though she was too big of an artist for Columbus. The winners of the talent show were ROTC (dance), April Epps (singing), and Young Legacy (Rap). - Slick Seville (SlickSeville@gmail.com)
R&B powerhouse Descendants of Reality close out ‘07 and the Ray Charles Exhibit was a powerful show at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The city is trying to get the Place to close their doors simply because some could care less about anything urban which leads to the question in the streets, what’s up with The Cartel? All Star and Loyalty Records dropped Starlito’s Way II. NYE was crazy and Grammy winning producer Shannon Sanders opened it with a bang. The city also saw flyers promoting discounts with church programs and 2 for 1s on the same line? - Janiro (Janiro@southernentawards.com)
The ladies of the ‘Nati are making a huge comeback. DJ Dimepiece the Mixin’ Vixen started the year off with her new mixtape series I’m So Cincinnati featuring the hottest music in the area. Femme’ Cartel is a hot 2-piece that not only has good looks but also good music. Kadijah, the First Lady at Fort Chang, is also doing her thing. She’s featured on a track with Hi-Tek, who we all know makes nothing but hits. Attention: all local labels are still open and doing business despite the negative publicity, in other words fuck what you heard. - Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com)
The Jaguars were knocked out of the NFL Playoffs by New England. This is a completely biased statement, but New England is a bunch of cheaters. Miss D.I.M.E. will host the “Party of the Decade” coming in March. Dukwon released a new single with Young Capone called “I’m Phresh” (Myspace.com/DukwonsMusic). Grand Prix was featured in OZONE’s Super Bowl edition. Point Blank Ent is killing everyone’s phone bill with mass text messages for their upcoming events. Lots going on. Lil Rudy is taking over Jax’s Rapquest as I have gone to Atlanta to work in the OZONE office. Email him your updates LilRudyRu@yahoo.com. - Ms. Rivercity (MsRivercity@yahoo.com)
Doug E. Fresh entertained all for the grand opening of the first Hip Hop Soda Shop here in Tampa. Busta Rhymes, Cassidy, Andre Harrell and others were there signing autographs and taking pictures with fans and supporters. DJ Sandman and DJ Ekin keep the party going every Sunday night at Pin Chasers spinning old school Hip Hop and R&B. They also helped 3rd Leg Greg celebrate his birthday. The community suffered a huge loss with the sudden passing of DJ Clips. His music touched many and his soul touched even more. He will not be forgotten. - Mz T-Rock (MzTRock@yahoo.com)
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(above L-R): Z-Ro & Paperchase @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX; Lil Wayne, Lil Chuckee, & Mike Jones @ One Eyed Jack’s for Myspace Secret Show in New Orleans, LA (Photos: Julia Beverly); Lil Boosie & Stax @ The Palace for DJ Sweat & OZONE’s Lil Boosie concert in Hattiesburg, MS (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
01 // Dem Franchize Boy @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 02 // DJ Raj Smoove & Mack Maine @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 03 // Lupe Fiasco & Killa Kyleon on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 04 // Treal, PK, DJ Nasty, Smilez, & Spiff on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 05 // DJ B-Lord and his Happy Juice @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 06 // Yung Joc, Rick Ross, & the Carol City Cartel @ Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // E-Class & Rick Ross @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 08 // TJ Chapman & Trick Daddy @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 09 // Webbie & Lil Phat riding around in style in a Rolls Royce for All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 10 // OG Ron C & DJ Lil Steve @ the Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 11 // Raw, Wendy Day, & Anonymous @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 12 // Cam, Dukwon, & guest @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 13 // J Holla & C Wakeley @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 14 // DJ Demp, BG, & Tracey @ FAMU for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 15 // Guest & Papa Duck @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 16 // Sosa, FLX, & Turk @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 17 // Malik Abdul, DJ Chuck T, & JB of 2 Dog Records @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 18 // Jullian Boothe & video models on the set of Trina’s “Single Again” video shoot (Miami, FL) 19 // Kid Money KG & DJ Headbussa @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) Photo Credits: Bogan (18); Intl K (03); Julia Beverly (02,04,05,06,07,08,16,19); King Yella (09); Ms Rivercity (10,11,12); Terrence Tyson (01,13,14,15,17)
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mathematics Radio Spins: The Million Dollar Advice by Wendy Day of the Rap Coalition www.wendyday.com
ithout careful planning, you can go out of business as quickly as you go into business. Spending money on one’s company is the ultimate form of sacrifice. It’s not like having kids where they hug you and tell you they love you repeatedly. It’s like having a husband or a wife that doesn’t love you back. Yes, I’d rather buy a new pair of shoes or a new purse than pay to have my website redesigned, but that’s just not realistic. The website will bring money into the company while the shoes will only make me feel good for a few days. I just furnished my new office in Buckhead, and buying chairs and desks didn’t directly put money back into my pocket. For example, flyers and web sites are expenditures that bring clients and money into my company. A hot conference room table doesn’t bring in business, but not having one could actually cost me business. See what I mean? So when I planned it out, I had to consider my expenditures carefully. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money. I tell the labels I consult that if it doesn’t directly impact you selling CDs, skip it. That means a $10,000 set of rims on the wrapped vehicle is unnecessary, but spending $10,000 to press the CDs is very necessary. The artists who tell me they want to buy rims because “image is everything” need to learn to keep their wrapped truck washed and neat while they build their image as one who grinds hard, instead of flossing wildly. Substance matters. The most beautiful scandalous hooker in the world is still a scandalous hooker. Waking up one day and deciding to get out there and grind isn’t enough. You need to have a plan. While hiring a music industry accountant to put together a business plan for you will cost thousands of dollars, you can put together a plan that will at least cover the basics so you know what you need. There is nothing worse than having a hit record with no money to back it up.
Of course, everyone is thinking that, so you run the risk of not standing out among the other hundred or so artists in grind mode. Regardless, getting out on the road is the key to success. Plan wisely. This industry is oversaturated. There are so many rappers and producers per square inch these days that it’s hard to stand out. What will you do to be different? How will you stand out? Most importantly, how will you pay for it all? Without a proper plan in place on paper, you don’t stand of chance of doing anything but wasting money. Here’s an idea of what a plan looks like: 1,000 t-shirts 5,000 posters 10,000 flyers Wrapped vehicle Art work Website MySpace page Travel expenses Mix CD (to sell) Club entry Buying drinks for DJs Snippet CDs
$4,500 $2,000 $400 $3,000 (plus the cost of the vehicle) $1,000 $250 $100 $5,000 (gas & hotels) $3,000 (DJ) + 5,000 (pressing 5,000 mix CDs) $1,000 $2,000 $5,000
Before I even get in my van to leave my house, I need a MINIMUM of $32,250 PLUS whatever I’ve mistakenly left out (like food). Not to mention, I need to have my music mixed and mastered professionally so it sounds good enough for someone to buy, spin at a club, or play on the radio next to Kanye and Jeezy! And if I’m going out on the road, I need to make sure that my bills at home are taken care of so I don’t come home to an eviction notice.
The best way to format a plan is to make a list of everything you want to do in order to market and promote your music. Then call around to see what costs are involved for each. The costs may determine which direction you decide to go. For example, an artist who wants to blitz the entire southeast US will quickly discover that the costs involved in that will make him or her plan smaller and slower. Rather than blitz seven southern states, it may make financial sense to start with one or two and expand slowly as the money comes back into the company from sales or performances. You may decide that spending $10,000 to give away 2,000 T-shirts isn’t as great of an idea as spending $10,000 on 10,000 snippet CDs that you paid an established DJ to mix for you. A t-shirt is a great way for people to learn your name, but a snippet CD is a great way for people to learn your music. Do people buy CDs because of the name or because of the music? That’s a no-brainer.
This is why it is sooooo key to make a Plan. It’s also important to not leave anything out; try to anticipate all of your needs ahead of time. It would really suck to only have $15,000 in your pocket and start down a road that might cost you $40,000. You’d be certain to accomplish nothing more than losing your hard-earned fifteen stacks. And quickly, too.
Getting into your wrapped van and traveling within a few hour radius of your hometown will expand your buzz beyond just your home turf, and will quickly give you an idea if people outside of your area will embrace your music. For the more serious artists that I consult, I always pull SoundScan for the region where we are targeting to see what type of music the fans in each area embrace. For example, in Washington, DC you can sell more copies of BloodRaw, David Banner, Young Jeezy, and MJG & 8Ball than Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, or RhymeFest. In Philadelphia or New York, the opposite is true.
Make sure you know what that person’s consulting fee will be, especially if they are charging you monthly. That’s the oldest swindle in the game. $5,000/ month for the year it takes to put out your CD is $60,000. You can get someone with a great track record for $60K; you don’t have to settle for the local industry wannabe who probably can’t make it happen for you (for the record, I was a local industry wannabe in the early 90s and both Do Or Die and Twista took a chance on me and both won. Of course, I worked both projects for free because I had no track record yet). Someone who tells you it will take just a few months is either lying to you or has no clue. And you should NEVER give up a percentage of your company for someone to advise you. You’ll be stuck with them forever, even if they don’t succeed with your project.
As you make the list of what tactics you want to utilize, whether it’s local BET cable ads during 106th & Park, or posters and stickers sniped everywhere in the ‘hood, it is important to consider what is legal and available in different areas. For TMI Boyz, we were unable to buy local BET ads in our best market, McAllen, TX, because BET isn’t available in that market. In Atlanta, GA, BloodRaw doesn’t spend a lot of time and money hanging posters or putting up stickers because they are illegal and will come right back down as soon as they are put up, with an expensive ticket from the City of Atlanta. Once you have assembled the list, and priced everything out, you will know how realistic it is for you to begin your promotional campaign. You may want to start your campaign around the time of year that brings large events to your area so you can reach the maximum amount of people at one time. In New Orleans, it would make sense to hit the NBA All-Star Game at the same time as Mardi Gras, followed by the Core DJ event in March. In early first Quarter in north Florida, it makes sense to hit Demp Week, the Gainesville Music Summit, and TJ’s DJ’s, all of which occur within about 30 days of each other. August is probably the busiest month in rap music with the OZONE Awards, TJ’s DJ’s, the CORE DJs, and numerous other conventions and events.
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If you are hiring someone to consult your label, make sure they give you a realistic budget (call printers and pressing plants to check prices to make certain your budget is realistic before you start spending money). Your consultant should also tell you when the expenditures will come up, way ahead of time. Nothing is worse than realizing on a Tuesday that you have to press up CDs in the next week or so, and having to come up with $15,000 overnight to make your deadline with the distributor or for a key event.
I was speaking on a panel in Jacksonville, FL at Bigga Rankin’s Ghetto Grammy/Hood Conference, and a very frustrated man in the audience asked who can be held accountable when he hires someone. Anyone to whom you hand money is accountable to you. But the real answer is that YOU are accountable to yourself. If you hire someone to help you that has a limited track record and no real success that you can verify, it’s not rocket science to figure out that you will lose money. Most people do. Very few people in this game win. Very, very few. And it is not a quick process. Putting out a CD takes 6 to 8 months on the short side, and a year to a year and a half on the long side. Make sure you can go the distance. Plan it out on paper and then follow the plan! If you are seeking investors, you will need to have a professional business plan that shows what you will spend, how you will spend it, why you will spend it, and how and when the investor will get their money and profit back. If you are unable to afford a real one, Business Plan Pro software can be somewhat helpful to you. There’s more info at www.rapcointelpro.com. It’s a free resource! //
(above L-R): Jas Prince & J Prince @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX; Juelz Santana & Lil Wayne @ Club Dream during All Star weekend in New Orleans, LA; DJ Clue & Tank @ the NBA All Star game in New Orleans, LA (Photos: Julia Beverly)
01 // BJ, 3 Deep, & Webbie on the set of Webbie’s “I Miss You” video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 02 // Jackie Chain, Attitude, & DJ Scorpio @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Kiotti & OG Ron C on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 04 // DJ Storm & Southstar @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL) 05 // Wendy Day, Young Cash, & BloodRaw @ Dunks R Us (Eulonia, GA) 06 // ESG reppin’ UGK @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 07 // Mike Jones & VIC @ One Eyed Jack’s for Myspace Secret Show (New Orleans, LA) 08 // KLC, Tony Neal & BG @ House of Blues (New Orleans, LA) 09 // Haitian Fresh & his mascot @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 10 // Trina & Big Tigger @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 11 // Stephanie & Karen @ Rain for Keyshia Cole’s Double Up tour afterparty (Jacksonville, FL) 12 // Scooby & TV Johnny @ the Grit Boyz video shoot (Houston, TX) 13 // Chise $, Dj B-Do, Kiotti, Young B, & Bone on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 14 // Playa Young, Olmann, Selfish, Young Bleed, Money Waters, & Loaded (Jackson, MS) 15 // BOB & Zain @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 16 // Tony Neal & Malik Abdul @ Demp Week celebrity basketball game (Tallahassee, FL) 17 // Derrick Washington & Raw @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 18 // Rick Ross & Turk @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 19 // Kaspa the Don & DJ Trauma @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 20 // DJ Jelly & Big Ed @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (14); Intl K (03,12,13); J Lash (10); Julia Beverly (06,07,18,19); King Yella (01,08); Ms Rivercity (02,15,17,20); Terrence Tyson (04,05,09,11,16)
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by Charlamagne Tha God firstname.lastname@example.org
SELLING CRACK IS WHACK “Thou Must Not Celebrate the Drug Culture: Drugs are destroying the black community. There isn’t a dope boy in the country who wants to be a dope boy. The Trap is just that, a Trap. You’ll either end up in jail or dead. It’s like playing Russian roulette with your life. Trap or Die? You might as well die because in the Trap you are killing yourself and your community slowly but surely.” - Charlamagne Tha God’s 10 Commandments of Hip Hop If you have ever studied my Ten Commandments of Hip Hop then you have definitely read the Fifth Commandment, “Thou Must Not Celebrate the Drug Culture.” There is nothing on this planet that has done more damage in the black community than drugs. I’m sure there is some trap star, some d-boy out there that read that and said to himself, “Damage? Does this Escalade I purchased with dope money look like damage? You see my grill shining in my mouth, does that look like damage? You see these diamonds on my neck and diamonds in my wrist; does this look like damage to you? What the fuck does Charlamagne mean by damage?” “Damage” is defined as the occurrence of a change for the worse or causing damage to something or someone. That “something” being the community and a family torn apart because the heads of the household are strung out. That “someone” being a father, a mother or a newborn addicted to something he or she never even had the chance to deny. That “someone” is a cousin you grew up idolizing but now he’s just a fiend. You can’t trust him because he breaks in your daddy’s shop and steals a TV, raw whiting, some frying pans, and the cooking oil! Then he tries to go right up the street to one of the local traps and sell my daddy’s shit and offers to fry fish dinners for a twenty of rock! I wish I had made that up, but I didn’t. It’s a true sad story and I’m sure you can think of a few yourselves. How many people do you know that have been victims of crack cocaine? I know of athletes who were so talented in my hometown of Moncks Corner, SC. I listen to older members of my family tell me how this person should have been in the NFL or this person should have been in the NBA but then he started smoking rock. When I was young my pops used to point out to me fiends walking down the road and say to me, “Boy, that used to be one of the finest women in Moncks Corner.” “What happened?” I asked. “That rock did her bad,” he would say. That’s why I don’t understand how people can glorify being a dope boy! We live in an era where people really brag about that shit like it’s a profession! I need a Criminology major to study this shit because I don’t understand. I asked my wifey about that last line while typing this. I asked her whether I should say a Criminology major should study this shit. She said that she didn’t know because Criminology is the social-scientific study of crime and she didn’t know if being a d-boy is a crime like a murderer. Now I questioned whether or not I really wanted to breed with this young lady after she made such a dumb statement. Then I realized there are so many people celebrating the drug game and commercializing it that it doesn’t look criminal anymore, but, news flash ladies and gentlemen - it is! I don’t care how many rappers talk about selling kilos in there music. I don’t care how much weight you talked about moving on your last DVD, that shit is not legal! I proceeded to explain to my lady that A) People do die from drug overdoses which technically make the dealer a murderer; B) People do get robbed and killed for their packages. I had to remind her about Paid in Full when Camron killed Mekhi Phifer in the lobby for those bricks. Not to mention the dudes who wanted the drug money and shot the two innocent women in the bedroom and tried to blow
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Wood Harris’ brains out; all that was directly related to drugs. Sidebar: I’m about to cut all ties with this young lady. Why do I have to explain a real life issue to her using movies as an example? It is because these statistics may be over her head. According to the 2006 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 8.6 million Americans ages 12 or older reported trying crack cocaine at least once during their lifetimes, representing 3.5% of the population aged 12 or older. In 2006 NSDUH data indicate that approximately 1.5 million (0.6%) Americans reported past year crack cocaine use and 702,000 (0.3%) reported past month crack cocaine use. The 2006 NSDUH results also indicate that there were 245,000 persons ages 12 or older who used crack cocaine for the first time within the past 12 months. Results of the 2007 Monitoring the Future survey indicate that 2.1% of eighth graders, 2.3% of tenth graders, and 3.2% of twelfth graders reported lifetime use of crack cocaine. In 2006, these percentages were 2.3%, 2.2%, and 3.5%, respectively. Do you see how many people’s lives you dudes are damaging? Do you see what you are doing to the future of our country? This is what you brag about in your records and on your DVDs? Why are niggas walking around glorifying this shit? You walk around wearing t-shirts that say “Trap Star” and “D Boy,” well, you might as well wear a shirt that says “Indict Me” since you are obviously trying to make it easy for the Feds! The funny thing is, most of you dudes glorifying it aren’t making any real money! The crack business, it turns out, is a modern, brutalized version of a nineteenth THE CRACK BUSINESS IS century A MODERN,BRUTALIZED VERSION OF A NINETEENTH sweatshop.
CENTURY SWEATSHOP, AND MOST OFYOU DUDES GLORIFYING IT AREN’T MAKING ANY REAL MONEY!
Despite the popular notion that crack sellers all drive Mercedes-Benzes, wear gold jewelry, and get rich quick, most of the people in the business work around the clock, six to seven days a week, for low wages in an atmosphere of physical threat and control. Their pay is often docked if they arrive late. They may be shot or maimed if they are even perceived as trying to cheat their employers, and many fall into such debt to their bosses that they have to go into hiding. Not to mention the success rate for drug dealers sucks! You end up one or two places: jail or the mortuary. In 2004, cocaine was the primary drug involved in Federal drug arrests. There were 12,166 Federal drug arrests for cocaine in 2004. The DEA made 7,082 arrests for powder cocaine and 3,921 arrests for crack cocaine during 2004. In 2006, there were 5,623 Federal defendants sentenced for crack cocaine-related charges in U.S. Courts. Approximately 96% of the cases involved crack cocaine trafficking. You are glorifying a game you can’t win! You are betting on a fixed fight! The only people winning are the people that have been oppressing us from day one, the people who put crack in the inner city communities after the civil rights movement. The people who benefit from hours of free labor after your ass is doing 30-to-life for being a D Boy. The same people who benefit from our people being psychologically enslaved to whatever substance they choose to abuse. This is what y’all choose to celebrate? This is what y’all choose to glorify? This is what y’all are indirectly encouraging our kids to become? I used to sell crack but now that I know better, I do better, and knowing is half the battle. //
(above L-R): Devin the Dude & J Prince @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly); Gorilla Zoe & BloodRaw @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party in Tallahassee, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Cory Mo & Willie D @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Steve Francis @ his Flavorz boutique (Houston, TX) 02 // Derrick, Bighead, & Malik Abdul @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 03 // Rocko & DJ Burn One @ the Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 04 // Rick Ross, Tracey, & Roccett @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 05 // Shawty Lo & crew @ Royal Sonesta (New Orleans, LA) 06 // Wes Fif & Ms Rivercity @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // ESG & Cory Mo @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 08 // James Prince Jr & Young B @ Rick Ross concert (Houston, TX) 09 // Chris Gotti & J Prince @ Madison Square Garden for the Roy Jones Jr vs Tito fight (New York, NY) 10 // Trina & J Lash on the set of Trina’s “Single Again” video shoot (Miami, FL) 11 // Aziatikk Blakk, Young Bleed & Janky John (Jackson, MS) 12 // Premiere, Kitty, & Pookie from Urban South @ Club Crystals (Arlington, TX) 13 // Treal & DJ Demp @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 14 // DJ Slab 1 & DJ Ro @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 15 // DJ Khaled, Gutta, World, & guest @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 16 // Model search winner Tearany, Regina, & Sheina @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL) 17 // DJ Nasty, 2 Pistols, & Orlando on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 18 // Rick Ross & 5th Ward Weebie @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 19 // DJ Teknikz, Gorilla Zoe, & JC @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) Photo Credits: Bogan (10); Edward Hall (11,12); Intl K (08); Julia Beverly (01,05,07,09,13,15,17,18); King Yella (02); Ms Rivercity (03,14,19); Terrence Tyson (04,06,16)
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Many consider “Freeway” Ricky Ross to be almost solely responsible for the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s. Rappers have borrowed his moniker and name-dropped him. Former presidential candidate John Kerry built his entire reputation by using the C.I.A. to bust up Ross’s drug operation. But, his success in the crack game helped destroy many lives. Spending the last 12 years in prison has given Ross plenty of time to dwell on the impact he’s had in society. He says he’s a changed man, and wants to prevent anyone from following in his footsteps.
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(above L-R): Carmelo Anthony, DJ Clue & La La Vasquez @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party in Miami, FL (Photo: J Lash); Bun B reppin’ UGK for life @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Chamillionaire & Famous @ Sugar Mill in New Orleans, LA (Photo: Terrence Tyson)
01 // Streetz & Young Deuces with HK @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 02 // DJ Khaled, Emmanuelle, & E-Class @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’ birthday party (Miami, FL) 03 // Mr Pill, Tony Neal, & Juggie @ Club 300 (New Orleans, LA) 04 // 2 Pistols & Coleone of the Justice League on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 05 // Pops, DJ Khaled, & Ace @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’ birthday party (Miami, FL) 06 // T-Pain & Smilez on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 07 // Carmelo Anthony & DJ Quote @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 08 // Grandaddy Souf, OG Ron C, & Bohagon @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 09 // Gucci Poochie & Rick Ross @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 10 // Lyfe Jennings & Juelz Santana @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 11 // Turk, Webbie, King Yella, & Mouse @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 12 // DJ Wildhairr, Mike Clarke, & Cutty Mac @ S&S Entertainment’s New Years Eve party (Des Moines, IA) 13 // JC, Yung Joc, DJ Demp, & Gorilla Zoe @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 14 // Ivory Orr, Karen, & Malik Abdul @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL) 15 // Erik Mendelson & EJ the DJ @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 16 // DJ B-Lord & BJ Cash @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 17 // Deanna from Memphisrap.com & Ms Rivercity @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 18 // Slim Thug & Teresa on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 19 // Rick Ross @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 20 // Wendy Day & TJ Chapman @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) Photo Credits: Intl K (18); J Lash (07); Julia Beverly (02,04,05,06,08,09,10,11,13,15,16,19); King Yella (03); Malik Abdul (12); Ms Rivercity (01,17); Terrence Tyson (14,20)
OZONEMAG MAG////27 27 OZONE
On February 28th, 2008, Jelani Deleston, the four-year-old daughter of New Orleans, LA rapper Juvenile (pictured above), was murdered, along with her mother, 39-year-old Joy Deleston and sister, 11-year-old Micaiah Alique in their Lawrenceville, GA home. The three victims were gunned down by Joy Deleston’s son, 17-year-old Anthony Tyrone Terrell; a motive for the killings still has not been determined. Juvenile’s manager, Aubrey Francis, released a statement to the media on the rapper’s behalf saying, “It really shocked him and devastated him to the point where I’ve never seen him before.” According to reports, Juvenile did not attend funeral services in James Island, SC, because he did not want to distract attention away from the ceremony with additional media attention. He was photographed performing later that night in Augusta, GA. In a letter from prison, the uncle of Juvenile’s daughter speaks out on the rapper’s relationship with his daughter, or lack thereof, and accuses the rapper of using his daughter’s death to gain sympathy from the public.
(above): Dwayne Deleston
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(above L-R): Block & Rick Ross @ Demp Week in Tallahassee, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly); 3 Deep & C-Murder @ Webbie’s listening party in New Orleans, LA (Photo: King Yella); Bun B & his stepson Young B on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K)
01 // Young Twinn, KD & guest @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 02 // Dawgman & J Trouble @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 03 // Rick Ross & the Carol City Cartel with Ms Rivercity @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 04 // Empress RAW & Kahryn @ the Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 05 // Streetz & Lil Chuckee @ One Eyed Jack’s for Myspace Secret Show (New Orleans, LA) 06 // Pat Nix & Kid Capri @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 07 // Slick Em of Pretty Ricky, Gorilla Zoe, & Rico Brooks @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 08 // Ivory Orr & DJ Q45 @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL) 09 // Trick Daddy, Dunk Ryders, & Freeway @ Dunks R Us Super Bowl Party (Jacksonville, FL) 10 // DJ Sweat & MIT @ The Palace (Hattiesburg, MS) 11 // Joe Pro @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 12 // Mob Boss, Yung Joc, Coleone, & Nephew @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 13 // Jason from Raw Report, Wendy Day, & DJ Burn One @ the Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 14 // Kenny Kane & Randy Roper @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 15 // Tosha @ S&S Entertainment’s New Years Eve party (Des Moines, IA) 16 // BloodRaw & Nokey @ Errupt Studios (Jacksonville, FL) 17 // Kiotti & Chamillionaire @ 93.3 (Houston, TX) 18 // Ashley Smith & Storm @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 19 // DJ Impact & Brandi Garcia (Houston, TX) 20 // Webbie & Shaheim Reid on the set of Webbie’s “I Miss You” video shoot (New Orleans, LA) Photo Credits: Intl K (17,19); J Lash (01); Julia Beverly (05,11,14); King Yella (20); Malik Abdul (15); Ms Rivercity (02,03,04,13); Terrence Tyson (06,07,08,09,10,12,16,18)
OZONEMAG MAG////29 29 OZONE
She Liked my NECKLACE and started relaxin’, that’s what the fuck I call a…
KING OF MEMPHIS
an this chain here, a nigga named Freeze out of Miami did it. I was at the Birdman and Lil Wayne video shoot for “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy” and the jeweler was on the set because he had done some shit for Baby and them before.
I wanted a piece that would represent my city, so I told him to do the University of Memphis [Tigers] logo, or the [Memphis] Grizzlies logo, and he said he had a template for both of ‘em. So I decided to go with the University of Memphis. It’s got white, yellow, and black diamonds. I don’t know the net weight of it, but it’s heavier than a muthafucka. The piece itself is close to 50 carats. I gave the nigga like $65,000 for everything. You know what they say: ‘When the light hits the ice it twinkles and glistens,’ but when you got them white stones in yo’ shit the light could be off in the club, and you know what’s gon’ happen. The women gon’ lose they minds.
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I’m the king of Memphis, so it’s only right that I have Memphis on my chest. It’s more than just a chain to me. I only wear two chains and one of ‘em says ‘Memphis,’ and the other says ‘Yo Gotti,’ so if you approach me you gon’ know who I am and where I’m from. Everywhere I go people are like, ‘Gottdamn, you play for the team?’ People who aren’t into Hip Hop, like old white ladies on elevators at the Ritz Carlton, see this chain and start talking about the team, like, ‘They’re doing good this year,’ thinking that I play for the team. People always ask me if I play for the team, and I say, ‘Naw, I just represent for the city.’
YO GOTTI I seen the boy John Calipari — the coach of the [University of Memphis basketball] team — at the casino, and he looked at chain and was like, ‘Damn, you a big fan, huh?’ And I said, ‘Naw, I fuck with y’all, but I’m a big fan of the city.’ I wouldn’t be doing all this for the basketball team. This chain is about my city. // As told to Eric Perrin // Photo by Julia Beverly
(above L-R): Bun B & Mama C @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX; Ace, Rick Ross, & DJ Khaled @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’ birthday party in Miami, FL; Trick Daddy & BG @ The Moon for Demp Week in Tallahassee, FL (Photos: Julia Beverly)
01 // Did Frosted Flakes cut you a check for this??? Graffiti Boyz @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 02 // Six Shot, KLC, V90, & Fiend @ House of Blues (New Orleans, LA) 03 // Lil Ru & Daytona @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 04 // Dukwon, Malik Abdul, Cam, & guest @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL) 05 // Young Sav & Rick Ross @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 06 // T-Pain, Boomtown, 2 Pistols, & Rage on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 07 // Amina & Keyshia Cole @ Rain for Keyshia Cole’s Double Up tour afterparty (Jacksonville, FL) 08 // J Baby & Bigga Rankin @ Plush for Cool Runnings New Years Eve party (Jacksonville, FL) 09 // 2 Pistols & his video girlfriend on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 10 // Randy Roper & T-Mobile @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 11 // DJ 007 & Mic Tee @ House of Blues for Yo Gotti’s mixtape release party (Memphis, TN) 12 // DJ GQ, K-Foxx, & Wendi Morgan @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’ birthday party (Miami, FL) 13 // Nikki Jean & Popeye on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 14 // Kid Money KG & Cindy Nuzzo @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 15 // Brannon Scales & Big Dee the Weatherman @ One Eyed Jack’s for Myspace Secret Show (New Orleans, LA) 16 // Geter K, Rick Ross, & Gunplay of Carol City Cartel @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 17 // J-Mac & Willie D @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 18 // Justice League @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 19 // Big Bubb & Seventeen @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 20 // C-Murder and I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T ladies @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) Photo Credits: Intl K (13); Julia Beverly (03,05,06,10,11,12,14,15,16,17,18,19); King Yella (02); Luis Santana (09); Ms Rivercity (01,20); Terrence Tyson (04,07,08)
OZONEMAG MAG////31 31 OZONE
TERRENCE TYSON D-RAY
clockwise from right: Ja Rule, Young L of The Pack, David Banner, AP9, & B.O.B.
32 // OZONE MAG
(above L-R): Steph Jones, Brandi Garcia, Willy Northpole, & Small World in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Rick Ross & Webbie @ Webbie’s listening party in New Orleans, LA (Photo: King Yella); 2 Pistols & Winky Wright on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” in Tampa, FL (Photo: Luis Santana)
01 // Young Cash, Vic, Midget Mac, & the Duval County Rock Star clique @ Plush fro Cool Runnings New Years Eve party (Jacksonville, FL) 02 // DJ Bigg V & Hollywood @ Southern Whispers for Bigg V’s birthday bash (Greenville, MS) 03 // Big Teach & Malik Abdul @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 04 // Benji Brown & Teddy T @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 05 // Tony Neal & Keith Kennedy @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 06 // Six Shot, Snoop Dogg, KLC, Joe Anthony & Gillateen @ House of Blues (New Orleans, LA) 07 // 3 Deep & Rick Ross @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 08 // Pretty Ricky & fans @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 09 // Lola Luv & guest @ Dream (New Orleans, LA) 10 // Nikki Jean & Dr Teeth on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 11 // Courtney Scott & Mouse @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 12 // BG’s manager Anthony and Juvenile’s manager Aubrey getting ready for the Hot Boyz Reunion @ Dreamz, pre-shooting (New Orleans, LA) 13 // Street Money Records @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 14 // Bone & Ashlei @ Rick Ross concert (Houston, TX) 15 // TV Johnny, Young B, & DJ B-Do @ the Grit Boyz video shoot (Houston, TX) 16 // BP & ladies @ The Palace for DJ Sweat & OZONE’s Lil Boosie concert (Hattiesburg, MS) 17 // Geter K, Carol City Cartel, Gucci Poochie, Shakir Stewart, & Ted Lucas @ Madison Square Garden for Roy Jones Jr fight (New York, NY) 18 // Clean & Jay Mall @ SEA Pre-Party (Tunica, MS) 19 // Xxzotic & Bobo Luchiano @ The Fare for Big Push’s birthday party (Dallas, TX) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (02,19); Intl K (10,14,15); Julia Beverly (04,12,17,18); King Yella (06,07); Terrence Tyson (01,03,05,08,09,11,13,16)
OZONEMAG MAG////33 33 OZONE
Last year we brought you the Great Under-The-Influence Moments In Rap History, but with the prevalence of drugs and alcohol in pop culture, moments that make you say, “he must have been high” never stop. Here are 20 moments from this past year where we think someone was more than likely under the influence.
<< When Cam’ron Was On 60 Minutes
In what has got to be the most idiotic representation of Hip Hop on national television, Killa Cam not only embarrassed himself but the entire rap game with his support of “stop snitching” and serial killers on 60 Minutes. We’ll blame his bonehead comments on purple haze.
When Mr. Collipark signed Soulja Boy
Signing Soulja Boy ended up being the move of a genius, but to hear Soulja Boy’s music and actually see the vision behind it, Smurf had to be out of his mind. When Terrell Owens Cried After The Cowboys’ Playoff Loss
Grown men aren’t supposed to cry, and they sure as hell aren’t supposed to cry on national television. T.O. has done some crazy things during his tenure in the NFL, but when he cried for his quarterback after Dallas’ loss to the New York Giants in this year’s playoff, we have assume Owens was on something. Maybe he got it from his teammate, you know, his quarterback? << When G-Unit Clothing Launched
50 Cent and Marc Ecko’s G-Unit clothing line recently folded, but those two must have been passing a doobie when they decided to launch G-Unit gear in the first place. Those G-Unit tank-tops looked more like Gangstalicious bras. At least Tony Yayo, Lloyd Banks and Young Buck won’t be forced to wear that bullshit anymore. When Gucci Mane Dissed T.I.
Back in July of 2007, Gucci Coochie dropped a diss record called “What Kind of King (I Smell Pussy)” on the King of the South. He would later apologize, stating that there was a misunderstanding, where he thought Tip dissed him on the T.I. vs. T.I.P. album. Stay off of those mushrooms, Gucci. They make you hallucinate. When Nas Titled His Album Nigger
No one makes headlines with album titles like God’s Son. But to think up this title for his new album, Nasir was probably getting high with Michael Richards when he came up with this one. Fabo right now
No one was seen or heard much from Fabo lately. He’s probably high as a muthafucker, right now. Maybe he’s somewhere geeked up, chasing spaceships around Bankhead. When Trey Songz Jumped Into The Crowd
If you haven’t seen the video where Trey Songz leaps into the crowd during a performance, it’s on YouTube. Songz literally tried to superman a hoe. I guess he was so high, he couldn’t help but wait until after the show. When Master P Encouraged Hip Hop To Clean Up Its Lyrics
In the wake of attacks on Hip Hop lyrics, Percy Miller vowed to clean up his music and encouraged other rap artists to do the same. But no one has listened to P since “Make ‘Em Say Uhh.” Why would anyone start back paying attention to him now? Nigga, please. What was he smoking? When Chingy Signed Back To DTP
Ching-a-ling had a good run during his first stint with Disturbing Tha Peace. But did Luda and Chaka Zulu really think we wanted another Chingy album on DTP? They must have been on that “Blueberry Yum Yum” to think Hate It or Love It would be more than a new weed plate. Word to Charlamagne Tha God. When Whitney Houston Left Bobby Brown
They were high for the duration of their relationship, so we’ll just assume Whitney was high when it ended too. “Crack is wack,” so who’s going to smoke with her now? (Ray J?)
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When T.I. Made T.I. vs. T.I.P.
The concept for T.I.’s fifth album was creative, but to actually complete an album where you battle yourself over 18 tracks is borderline psychotic. Clifford’s not crazy (although, that topic is up for discussion) but we know what it is. Da Dopeman’s been getting high on his own supply. Every Time Lupe Fiasco Speaks
Fiascogate was just the beginning. Every time Lupe made a comment in the media since botching the lyrics to A Tribe Called Quest’s “Electric Relaxation,” it sounded like a contradiction to the music he makes. In between dropping dope albums, he must be kick, pushing on skateboards while daydreaming with a pound of that good stuff. When Shawnna Left DTP
Artists leave their labels all the time, but when DTP’s first lady left Luda and company for Gucci Mane’s So Icey, we couldn’t help but ask, “Is she rollin’?” She might be. When Rick Ross Took Off His Shirt On Camera >>
Rick Ross is probably high all the rest of the time too but taking off his shirt on camera is just wrong. We know you’re trilla, but don’t do that again, Ross. Please. When 50 Cent Released Curtis
50’s album had songs with Justin Timberlake, Mary J. Blige, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke on it. Yeah, he gets money but to release an album so commercial, he must get high too. Buck Marley loves to “puff puff pass,” and maybe Curtis is on the receiving end of that. Put down the steroids, Vitamin Water and the weed, Fifty. We want a better album next time. When Yung Joc Tried To Pass Through Airport Security With A Loaded Gun
You can’t bring bottled water on an airplane these days, so why was Joc trying to carry a loaded hand gun on a flight? He must have been high. Airport security doesn’t care if you’re a G, Joc. It’s not goin’ down.
When T-Pain Commented On Ray J’s “Meat”
T-Pain told sohh.com he wouldn’t have sex with Kim Kardashian, which is reason enough to believe he was faded. But when he explained he’d pass up on Kim because he wouldn’t want to go after Ray J, or as Teddy Pain put it, “the man’s got a huge meat,” that’s where we draw the line. Please say you were high. Don’t tell us those comments came from a sober mind. << WhenEVER Aaron McGruder Writes A Boondocks Episode
With the storylines, controversial topics and out-of-line dialogue on each episode of Aaron McGruder’s hit cartoon series The Boondocks, this cartoonist has got to be on cloud nine to come up with this stuff. When Amy Winehouse Finally Went To Rehab
There’s no joke or punchline with this one.
(above L-R): Rick Ross & Trick Daddy @ The Moon for Demp Week in Tallahassee, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly); TJ Chapman, BloodRaw, & Shawty Lo @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party in Tallahassee, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson); 5th Ward Weebie & Snoop Dogg @ House of Blues in New Orleans, LA (Photo: King Yella)
01 // OG Ron C & DJ K-Tone @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 02 // J Hoodz & Yung Joc @ All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 03 // Jessica Williams & Kaye Dunaway @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 04 // JAG @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Carol City Cartel, DJ Khaled, & Rick Ross @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 06 // DJ Q45 & Haitian Fresh @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // DJ Demp & Brisco @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 08 // Hornets cheerleaders @ NBA Jam Session (New Orleans, LA) 09 // Hezeleo, Mama C, Seventeen, & Bankroll Jonez @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 10 // Tony Neal & Derek Jurand @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 11 // Rascal & Kiotti @ Party 93.3 (Houston, TX) 12 // Joe Anthony & DJ Chill @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 13 // Fentz & Gorilla Tek @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 14 // Trick Daddy & the Dunk Ryders @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’ birthday party (Miami, FL) 15 // Young B reppin’ UGK all day (Houston, TX) 16 // Winky Wright & DJ Smallz @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 17 // Dwayne Wade & Pat Nix @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 18 // Khujo Goodie & Khao @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 19 // Scooby & Cory Mo @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Intl K (11,15); J Lash (13); Julia Beverly (01,02,05,07,09,14,16,18,19); King Yella (12); Ms Rivercity (04,06,08); Terrence Tyson (03,10,17)
OZONEMAG MAG////35 35 OZONE
MORE MONEY, MORE PROBLEMS Success in the drug game always comes with a price. If you think hustling is a glamorous profession, check out the fate of these legendary American gangsters before you try to become the next Scarface. BIRTH PLACE
NAME Leroy Antonio “Nicky” Barnes Frank Lucas
Rayful Edmond III
Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff
“Freeway” Ricky Ross
CLAim to FAME
DRUG(s) OF CHOICE
Portrayed by Cuba Gooding Jr. in American Gangster (2007); dubbed “Mr. Untouchable” by The New York Times
Net worth estimated at several million dollars at height of his career
Sentenced to a life sentence in prison, turned states evidence and was released in 2003; currently lives in the Witness Protection Program.
Born in LaGrange, NC; resided in Harlem, NY
Portrayed by Denzel Washington in American Gangster (2007); allegedly smuggled heroin from Vietnam in coffins of dead soldiers; known for his “Blue Magic” heroin
Estimated gross of $1 million a day
Sentenced to 70 years in prison in 1976; turned states evidence and was released in 1981 on parole; convicted again in 1981 and released in 1991.
Washington, D.C. 11/26/1964
Credited with helping make D.C. the ‘80s murder capital of the world; American Gangster BET documentary; rumored to have sold drugs to D.C.’s mayor
Estimated $70 million dollars monthly
Arrested in 1989; sentenced to life in prison; received an additional 30 years for conducting drug business from a Federal prison phone; became a government informant to secure his mother’s release from prison and a reduced sentence; currently a part of the Witness Protection Program
New York, NY
Formed a crack distribution organization in Queens, NY called “Supreme Team”; some claim the characters Nino Brown in New Jack City and Majestic in Get Rich or Die Tryin’ are based on him; allegedly had a hand in the murder of Jam Master Jay and the 50 Cent shooting
Estimated $200,000 daily at peak in 1987
Served 7 years in prison and released on parole in 1994; served another 2 ½ years for violating parole and released in 1997; Sentenced to life in prison in 2007 for conspiracy to commit murder and drug dealing
Born in Jackson, 11/30/1950 MS; resided in South Side of Chicago, IL
Leader of the Chicago-based Growth & Development Nation, formerly Black Gangster Disciples
The Gangster Disciples brought in an estimated $100 million annually
In 1998, sentenced to six life terms, seven terms of 20 years, three four-year terms, and one five-year term, with all sentences running concurrently in addition to the 150-200-year sentence he received for his 1973 murder conviction
Born in Troup, TX; resided in Los Angeles, CA
Ross’s career was emphasized in Crack-Cocaine The Last White Hope where he was noted as the biggest crack dealer in American history; name adopted by Philadelphia rapper Freeway and Miami’s Rick Ross [Ed.’s note: Rick
Estimated gross of $1 million a day (“on a good day”)
Sentenced to life in prison in 1996 after trying to purchase more than 100 kilograms of cocaine from a federal agent
Ross denied this in last year’s drug issue]
Alberto “Alpo” Martinez Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory
Howard “Pappy” Mason
Depicted by Cam’Ron in the film Paid in Full; rose to power in the 80s alongside teenage friends Rich Porter and Azie Faison
Estimated $1 million per month at the height of his career
Currently serving a life sentence for 14 homicides including the murder of Rich Porter
Co-founded the drug enterprise Black Mafia Family along with his brother Terry. BMF appeared in Hip Hop DVD magazines, had billboards towering over Atlanta proclaiming “the world is BMF’s;” affiliated with rappers like Fabolous and Young Jeezy
Exact amount unknown, estimated over $270 million
Sentenced to 30 years in prison on December 5, 2007 for multiple counts of charges including running a criminal enterprise and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments; also fined $270 million dollars.
Estimated $100,000 per week at the height of his career
Serving a life sentence for federal charges including the murder of a police officer. In 1990 his mother sentenced to a ten year prison term for drug trafficking. She was released in 1998.
Jamaica Queens, 9/8/1959 NY
Compiled by: Ms. Rivercity
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From behind bars on gun charges, Crack-Cocaine Mason ordered the murder of police officer Eddie Byrne; partnered with Lorenzo “Fat Cat” Nichols
Note: If we failed to include your favorite drug dealer, it’s because enough statistical information could not be obtained.
(above L-R): Pastor Troy & J Prince @ Madison Square Garden for Roy Jones Jr vs Tito fight in New York, NY; Rick Ross & Bun B @ Club Dream during All Star weekend in New Orleans, LA (Photos: Julia Beverly); Master P @ NBA Jam Session in New Orleans, LA (Photo: Ms Rivercity)
01 // Lex, DJ Storm, & TJ Chapman @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 02 // DJ B-Lord & TR Flow @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 03 // K Clark & Boomtown @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 04 // Tara Hunter & Cindy Nuzzo on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 05 // Tragic, B Rich BOB, & TJ Chapman @ House of Blues for Yo Gotti’s mixtape release party (Memphis, TN) 06 // Tank @ the police station claiming police brutality (New Orleans, LA) 07 // Bun B & Z-Ro @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 08 // Sommore, Trina & Kenyon Martin @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 09 // Vic Damone & Guccio @ House of Blues for Yo Gotti’s mixtape release party (Memphis, TN) 10 // Billy Cook & crew @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 11 // Bobo Luchiano & DJ Fish @ Club Hush for Dirty South Block Party’s final event (Dallas, TX) 12 // Acafool, Kid Money KG, & crew @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 13 // Grand Prix & Jackie Chain @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 14 // Stayedown & Ed of Trill Images @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 15 // DVUS & Swordz @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 16 // Princess & Richie Rich @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 17 // Mighty Mike, Wes Fif, Dawgman, & Clientell Fam @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 18 // Bobo & Stax @ The Palace for DJ Sweat & OZONE’s Lil Boosie concert (Hattiesburg, MS) 19 // DJ Chuck T & 4-Ize @ the Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (11); J Lash (08); Julia Beverly (02,03,04,05,06,07,09,10,12,14,16); Ms Rivercity (13,15,17,19); Terrence Tyson (01,18)
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The Green Movement
And we ain’t talkin’ Al Gore BY SJ BROWN
Fuck the corner boy and his paltry dime bags, you’re going to start your own home-grown garden of quality lah. But replacing your shrubs for shrooms? You might be asking for more than you can smoke; there’s plenty cause to reconsider converting your terrace into the Ganja of Eden—like jail time, getting your stash robbed or giving the local fire department a serious case of the munchies. Read up on these people who got caught up making their crib too green.
SMOKE UP Gresham, Oregon - February 2008
Herb Phi Herb New Brunswick, NEW JERSEY - June 1998
Firefighters breathed in so much marijuana that they would have failed a drug test while spending more than a half hour battling a home fire which burned 907 kilos of ganja. More than 35 firefighters battled the blaze.
Maybe frats have learned something over the past ten years: Bring chicks, bring alcohol, but don’t grow weed in the fraternity house. Too bad for Rutgers’s Beta Theta Pi, who were busted growing 30 marijuana plants in the frat house attic. The chapter was closed.
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9504 E1D7103CF937A15755C0A96E958260&partner=rssnyt& emc=rss
Edinburg, Texas - June 2007
Neighbors said they smelled burning plastic, but not the case. Not only did dude’s crib catch on fire, but so did the 50 marijuana plants he had inside. http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/article.html?in_article_id=54227&in_page_id=2
The Grow Me State Lehigh Acres, FlORIDA - November 2007
MariJuana and a Happy New Year Norwich, England - December 2004
This 25-year–old thought it was a jolly idea to disguise his marijuana as a Christmas tree. The po po’s didn’t buy it and he had to pay up £145 (about $300). http://www.hightimes.com/ht/news/content. php?bid=1117&aid=10
Florida is second to Cali in marijuana grow houses. So it’s no surprise that the sunshine state is home to a bevy of suburban muthafuckers itching for their slice of Scarface decadence. Case in point: A 44-year-old Cuban man from Miami went straight Tony Montana on the po po after a botched weed deal at his crib. Lucky for him the cops didn’t murk his ass for shooting several rounds of ammunition at them. Instead they found 50 marijuana plants worth $195,000, a hydroponic irrigation system, lighting equipment, cooling fans, and power converters, according to the Miami New Times. Off to jail he went. http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2007-11-08/news/ marijuana-goes-upstate/
The Real OC EAST COUNTY, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 2008
Detectives apprehended over 6,000 marijuana plants estimated at $10 million in addition to several hundred thousand dollars in cultivation gear and handguns from homes in the otherwise pristine neighborhoods of Antioch, Bethel Island, Brentwood and Oakley, California.
Dumbest Mother Fucker Award Wichita, KanSAS - DecEMBER 2006
This nigga called 911 to report that he’d been robbed of $1,100 of weed that he’d been planning to sell. Clearly this idiot was jailed on several charges. http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2006Dec11/ 0,4670,StolenDrugs,00.html
High SChool Greeley, Colorado - March 2006
Education doesn’t always afford common sense. A 22-year-old college student was accused of growing four 3-foot marijuana plants in his closet while the maintenance crew was performing an annual inspection. He was ordered to pay a $10,000 bond—certainly not what his student budgeted ass needed. Any nigga in the hood knows that you need to keep a close eye on the super’s henchmen, otherwise known as maintenance (especially if you live in Section 8 housing). http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/8167109/detail.html
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(above L-R): Bun B & his wife Queen @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); Breneshia, Killa Kyleon, & Young B @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX; Taydizm, 2 Pistols, & T-Pain on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot in Tampa, FL (Photos: Julia Beverly)
01 // Vee & Milk @ White Diamonds for Rick Ross’ birthday party (Miami, FL) 02 // DJ Chuck T & Janiro Hawkins @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 03 // Lil Boosie & fans @ The Palace for DJ Sweat & OZONE’s Lil Boosie concert (Hattiesburg, MS) 04 // DJ Ritz & DJ Christion @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 05 // Daniel Beverly, Chamillionaire, & Drew Beverly @ Sugar Mill (New Orleans, LA) 06 // DJ Blak, Yung Joc & crew @ All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 07 // Edgerrin James & Keshia Knight Pulliam @ Kenyon Martin’s New Years Eve party (Miami, FL) 08 // Lupe Fiasco, DJ Hi-C, & Paul Wall on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 09 // Derrick & BJ on the set of Webbie’s “I Miss You” video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 10 // Rakoo, Money Waters, & E-Bang @ Club Hush for Dirty South Block Party’s final event (Dallas, TX) 11 // Kerisha Smith, Eric Perrin, & Kisha Smith @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) 12 // Allhiphop’s Jamile & Odiesel @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 13 // Intl Red, Bun B, & DJ B-Do on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 14 // Big Cee Jay, Big Amp, TJ Chapman, C Wakeley, & J Holla @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 15 // Supa Chino & Mob Boss @ Rain for Mob Boss’s birthday party (Jacksonville, FL) 16 // J Prince, Kid Stylez, & Cory Mo @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 17 // BloodRaw & BG @ Dunks R Us (Eulonia, GA) 18 // Acafool & Tom G @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 19 // TR Flow & Carlos Cartel @ Club Level for Randy Roper’s birthday party (Columbia, SC) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (10); Intl K (08,13); J Lash (07); Julia Beverly (01,04,06,11,12,14,16,18,19); King Yella (09); Ms Rivercity (02); Terrence Tyson (03,05,15,17)
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Bleu Magic T
his is the story of Bleu, a small town girl with big city ambitions and a thirst for the limelight. Though her birthplace of Canton, Ohio is the home to the likes of Macy Gray, Marilyn Manson, and the pro football Hall of Fame, Bleu feels that Canton could never be large enough for her adventurous personality and daring spirit. “Everybody always knew I was way too big for my city,” she says. “I’ve always known I was destined for more than Ohio could offer.” The 26-year-old Gemini began dancing at the age of 18 at a small, local strip club, but it wasn’t until a year ago that she finally decided she had endured enough of the corn and wheat fields of the Midwest and was ready to try something new. But how exactly did she end up in Atlanta, you ask? Well, Bleu’s clue came from a fellow stripper girlfriend of hers who had similar ambitions. “One day a girlfriend of mine was like, ‘Let’s just go and move to Atlanta and see what we can do down there,’” Bleu remembers. “The club had called me for a job, and I decided to go check it out.” The two dancers packed their bags and headed to the strip club capitol of the world: ATL, GA. And according to Bleu, “Life’s pretty much been great ever since then.”
Website: www.strokersclub.com 770-270-0350 Photographer: Sean Cokes 404-622-7733 Make-Up Artist: Mike Mike 678-732-5285 Hairstylist: Baby Boy 404-396-2739
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Words by Eric N. Perrin
Though the chipper stripper proudly boast a 34-26-36 frame and an adoring smile, Bleu feels her best asset is her toes. “I think I have the cutest toes in the world,” she brags. “And I keep a pedicure all the time. They gotta look lovely. Right now they’re a really soft pink, with a really thin white line. I love that.” And unlike most strippers, Bleu seems to genuinely love her profession as well. In fact, her biggest strip club complaint is when the customers ask her real name. “I really don’t like it when guys ask us our real names. I hate that. That’s the worse part about my job. My real name is really, really country.” Out of respect for Bleu, we won’t print her real name, but if we were to commit the malicious act of revealing her government name, her business would surely decline. “If you look at me, you would never guess my real name,” she adds. “It’s so grandma-ish.” www.myspace.com/bleuonly
(above L-R): Pimp C’s mother Mama C & J Prince @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly); Soulja Slim’s mother, Snoop Dogg, & BG @ House of Blues in New Orleans, LA (Photo: King Yella); Pimpin’ Ken, Bankroll Jonez, & Seventeen @ Warehouse Live in Houston, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Killa Kyleon & the Grit Boys @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 02 // DVUS, Grand Prix, & guest @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 03 // Guru & DJ Bruce Wayne on the set of Lupe Fiasco’s “Hip Hop Saved My Life” video shoot (Houston, TX) 04 // Roccett & TJ Chapman @ Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 05 // Southern Syrup DVD crew @ Demp Week celebrity basketball game (Tallahassee, FL) 06 // Webbie & Bighead @ Webbie’s listening party (New Orleans, LA) 07 // 5th Ward Weebie & Baby @ Club Dream during All Star weekend (New Orleans, LA) 08 // TJ Chapman, Paperchase, & Pimpin Ken @ Warehouse Live (Houston, TX) 09 // Snoop Dogg & Joe Anthony @ House of Blues (New Orleans, LA) 10 // Nephew, Bigga Rankin, & Mob Boss @ Dunks R Us Super Bowl Party (Jacksonville, FL) 11 // Fukas, Dizzy, & Stevie Drumma @ Dreams (New Orleans, LA) 12 // KD Han D Man, Renee, & Rock @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Boomtown & CL Llewellen on the set of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” video shoot (Tampa, FL) 14 // Big Koon & Hollywood with Young Cash @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 15 // Tre Dub & Freddy Hydro @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 16 // DJ Nasty, Acafool, & DJ Christion @ Hip Hop Soda Shop for the filming of 2 Pistols’ “She Got It” (Tampa, FL) 17 // Malik Abdul & Slick Em of Pretty Ricky backstage @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 18 // Joe Anthony & DJ Spin @ House of Blues (New Orleans, LA) 19 // J Baby & BloodRaw @ Errupt Studios (Jacksonville, FL) Photo Credits: Intl K (03); Julia Beverly (01,04,06,07,08,13,15,16); King Yella (09,18); Ms Rivercity (02,11,12); Terrence Tyson (05,10,14,17,19)
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INTRODUCTION We polled a selection of the general population in search of the most popular methods for getting intoxicated – by “general population” we mean college students, mall shoppers, nightclub patrons, and even your favorite rappers. Well, maybe your favorite rapper isn’t exactly part of the general population, but it does make the survey more interesting. For the sake of privacy (and preventing death threats, lawsuits, or accusations of snitching) we’re keeping the results anonymous, but we will say the findings were obtained mostly in the South, including Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, etc. On another note, there’s nothing more awkward than asking complete strangers about their heroin use, which by the way, none of the 100 people surveyed actually use heroin, or at least didn’t admit to doing so, which is a good sign that hard-core drug use may be on the decline. In fact, a good percentage of the poll doesn’t use drugs or alcohol at all. Still, marijuana, alcohol, and ecstasy are prevalent outlets for getting high amongst adults between the ages of 19 and 45. - Compiled by Ms. Rivercity & Eric Perrin
SURVEY PARTICIPANTS 45% female 55% male Average Age: 28
ESTIMATED MONEY SPENT ON DRUG OF CHOICE (SEE GRAPH BELOW) Total of all 100 survey respondents = $17,465/month ($209,580/year) Average per person = $174/month ($2,095/year) MORE PRODUCTIVE THINGS WE FOUND ON THE INTERNET FOR $209,580 One 4-bedroom house in Atlanta, GA Seventeen years of Geico car insurance One 2-bedroom townhouse in Chicago, IL Three 2008 Mercedes Benz CLS’s 5,533 large cases of Pampers Lifetime membership to LA Fitness for you & 5 friends 42,000 copies of OZONE Magazine 17,123 copies of The 48 Laws of Power Sponsor 28 newborn Ethiopians for 18 years 538 penis enlargement pumps
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SHOULD YOUR DRUG OF CHOICE BE LEGAL? 49% said “YES” 51% said “NO”
(above L-R): Soulja Boy @ Party 93.3 in Houston, TX (Photo: Intl K); BG @ The Moon for Demp Week in Tallahassee, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Plies & DJ Q45 @ Plies “Bust It Baby” reality show casting call in Tampa, FL (Photo: Malik Abdul)
01 // Jody Breeze & Roccett @ Demp Week celebrity basketball game (Tallahassee, FL) 02 // Yo Gotti @ House of Blues for Yo Gotti’s mixtape release party (Memphis, TN) 03 // BOB @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Rippy, guest, & DJ Scream @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Small World @ Party 93.3 (Houston, TX) 06 // Malik Abdul @ FAMU for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // Stix Malone @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Drumma Boy @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Suga D & ladies @ Plies “Bust It Baby” reality show casting call (Tampa, FL) 10 // TMI Boyz @ the Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 11 // Shannon, Alexsis, Nikole & Tiarra @ S&S Entertainment’s New Years Eve party (Des Moines, IA) 12 // Vic XL @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 13 // Partners N Crime @ Club 300 (New Orleans, LA) 14 // Plies & guests (Columbia, SC) 15 // Kitty & Xxzotic @ The Fare for Big Push’s birthday party (Dallas, TX) 16 // Tearany Cullens & Southstar @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL) 17 // Grand Prix, Jawar, & AJ @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 18 // UTP & Partners N Crime @ Club 300 (New Orleans, LA) 19 // Guest & Bohagon @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 20 // DJ K-Tone @ the Southern Entertainment Awards panels (Tunica, MS) 21 // DJ Princess Cut @ Club Hush for Dirty South Block Party’s final event (Dallas, TX) 22 // Brisco @ The Moon for Demp Week (Tallahassee, FL) 23 // Big Koon, Hollywood, J Holla, & DJ Headbussa @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 24 // DJ Wildhairr & Mike Clarke @ S&S Entertainment’s New Years Eve party (Des Moines, IA) 25 // D’Lyte & C-Dog @ Club Cirque (Dallas, TX) 26 // Leon Philts & The Governor @ Nexxus Media Studios (Dallas, TX) 27 // Macadocious @ Southern Whispers for Bigg V’s birthday bash (Greenville, MS) 28 // DJ J-Hustle @ Club Cirque (Dallas, TX) 29 // DJ Dapa @ The Moon for TJ’s birthday party (Tallahassee, FL) 30 // DJ Big Bodie & DJ Dr Doom @ Gainesville Music Summit (Gainesville, FL) 31 // DJ 007 & 2 Deep @ the Southern Entertainment Awards (Tunica, MS) 32 // Curren$y & Ms Rivercity (New Orleans, LA) 33 // Baby D @ Club Esso for Atlanta Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 34 // DJ Storm & Terrence Tyson @ The Globe for OZONE’s Winter White party & Model Search (Jacksonville, FL) 35 // Chamillionaire @ Party 93.3 (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Clevis Harrison (14); Edward Hall (15,21,25,26,27,28); Intl K (05,35); Julia Beverly (02,31); Malik Abdul (09,11,24); Ms Rivercity (03,04,07,08,10,12,13,17,18,20,23,29,32,33); Terrence Tyson (01,06,16,19,22,30,34)
OZONEMAG MAG////43 43 OZONE
E D O M D N I
New n out. Leaders of a groups just don’t pa all fit nd Ba Da ’s ometimes Hip Hop dy Did d aire and Paul, an rk. School, Chamillion the least—didn’t wo All of groups that—to say s of up ion Gro ipt 10 scr de Top the in most fans’ that probably isn’t e. Although the fam ” Up d cke Another rap group Fu t ’s founding -based Iconz of “Ge , one of the group Time is The Miami tkast-esque status making Ou ll ed sti ch is , rea ud r ve Clo ne Mc Iconz members, Stage
(l-r) Chaos, McKlezie, & Hunger
M IA M I, F L
litics was involved trio Grind Mode. “Po FLA the of rd McCloud, who thi eheadway as on ell on the negative,” to the drive t I don’t like to dw bu led ] it nz d an Ico , the gle sin ith t [w a ho more zie, says. “We had creating something now goes by McKle th Grind Mode and wi g nin joi of ill and the thr beautiful.” er and Chaos, local emcees Hung of hooking up with other’s s ist ch ns ea co d ty cte au pe be That who mutually res forces. n joi to ing grind, before decid mics,” Hunger en op l kil to d use “We all solo to go real hard as explains. “We used ars old ye o tw e lik is de artists. Grind Mo been individuals, we’ve as a group. But as d un ‘ro up w te. I gre doing it for a minu run into [Chaos]. s ay alw to d use Stage. We and t ‘it’ about him. Me Chaos just had tha were We ip. sh on ati rel a Klezie already had and er this super group the trying to put togeth on s wa he se, cause Chaos just made sen ” same note as us. niistry has been unde Grind Mode’s chem ir single “I’m the it, un e siv he co able. As a arts climbing up the ch So High” has been ss to spit Ro k Ric g tin mp in Florida, even pro signed the group recently on the remix. And um alb ir the to release a distribution deal rds (the co Re c bli pu Re l through Universa y eased 5-time Gramm same label that rel To ck Ba s se’ ou Wineh award winner Amy Black album). Flo, DJ Khaled, Pitbull, With Rick Ross, Trina rap the g vin dri ers d oth Rida, Cool & Dre an timing all-time highs, the scene in Miami to uce their rod int to GM for r couldn’t be bette mi, . “[Our sound] is Mia s. style of MIA music say zie Kle Mc ,” sic d mu man, that feel-goo , getting out there and mi “The nuances of Mia club, and at the same in a enjoying yourself th mesd lyrics are laced wi time the words an t it’s so bu mi Mia It’s hear. sages that you can ing life joy en t ou t. It’s ab much more than tha .” nd mi ur yo ing and strengthen Chaos the glue of the city,” ing. “We’re about to be str rth fou d third an adds. “We started off them [are] the star all d an Trick and Trina ond up all the way to sec ir players. We moved the th wi urt co on the string, about to be ass.” en we s up, “Just trust wh And as McKlezie sum n, with the maturity and , ma come on the scene three you got with these the professionalism g Miami down by any tin let t guys, we are no means.” // per
Words by Randy Ro
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l e t r a C s o l
SC unsigned ly recognize Charleston, oyal OZONE readers probab very magathis in s ent sem bold adverti ng two rapper Carlos Cartel. His turi fea ads le. For months, his zine have been memorab ng in between, ndi sta tel Car h wit , fins of cof dead bodies resting inside , ran on the pages of OZONE. “[The bodies pon holding an automatic wea y, [who] got killed my cousin and his homebo pictured on the ads are] show the other side of to just at’s “Th s. lain exp by another homeboy,” he ut.” rappers [aren’t] talkin’ abo the game, to what these ement for dealing king more like an endors But when he ran an ad loo
et boys decided for a rap album, the alphab had to put out I cocaine than promotions ing eth som felt like that was ,” to pay him a visit. “I just magazine, shit hit the fan the in t tha put I r afte find ’t ldn cou there,” he says. “[But] y the nt something on me, but real case has he says. They tried to pla the law, he states that no by d aze unf at ewh Som nothing.” . been brought against him ous city in the United , SC (the 7th most danger Born in North Charleston gs), Cartel had a kin Ran e Crim City Press’ States according to the CQ his father passed , old rs yea n he was just 10 troubled childhood. Whe from AIDS, which he ns atio away due to complic use. At 13, Cartel contracted through drug Memphis, TN. to r the mo his h wit ved mo Three Six like s per rap s phi Seeing Mem g tapes out tlin hus p Pim ny Mafia and Skin his own hustle of their car trunks inspired to Newport and flow. He later moved riended Marbef he re whe , inia News, Virg d Atlanta ble trou of r the cus Vick, the bro hael Vick. “I’ve Falcons quarterback Mic life who’ve been around niggas all my h there were oug Alth s. say he rs,” been sta ss and the ele hom self him times he found inst him, seeing cards seemed stacked aga a and the Vick the success of Three 6 Mafi his pursue of a in him ted tiva mo brothers, sic. career in rap mu known for his conBut Cartel may be more chain boosted UTP A sic. mu his n flicts tha up in the ed end p cam from Juvenile’s ght the media’s Cartel’s hands, which cau t incident where attention, and a subsequen during a ne Way Lil at tle bot a he threw SC, earned him a performance in Florence, and the nickname troublemaking reputation sts those days insi He ” tel. Car l Hel use “Ca people know of lot “A . him ind are far beh says. “The he ,” rter sta m me as a proble misunderstanding, Juvenile situation was a love to Wayne too. much love to him. Much it’s a new year. ff, stu f bee t tha I ain’t on t somebody over sho e hav ld The old me wou some petty stuff.” grind speaks volThese days his music and releases (Soulja nt nde epe ind umes. His two ) are heavy on tel Car l Stories and Cause Hel World Is Yours, The d, thir a and ets stre the n. With records is set to be released soo Fresh, Spark tian Hai sie, featuring Lil Boo ck T as well Chu DJ Dawg, Skinny Pimp, and s pictured on his ket cas in ies bod d dea as ching the attention wrapped van, Cartel is cat media outlets and ent em orc of both law enf // . ast throughout the Southe cartel www.myspace.com/carlos Words by Randy Roper
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a l l Do
Atlanta , GA
unique appeal nces to the creation of a s his difficult life experie [in me] is the ute on trib visi the in see es Jive ggl de e faced challenging stru his deal. “I think what ma to some shit. led t ugh tha thro n e bee typ ost rappers claim to hav I’ve these other rappers. s couldn’t comprehend the like cee not em I’m st la. t mo Dol tha s t yet fac say s, ” live sic, ir the one, ress that through my mu Dolla has faced. Since day I’ve seen a lot and I exp a of hardships 20-year-old As tle. bat ill uph an is his year, II has persisted through ous rapper believes 2008 age five, he Roderick Anthony Burton h, while he survived. At some time, but the ambiti The Fuck birt o en at tak “Wh d le It’s ishe sing per d n iste twi age ass his newborn, t in front of him, and at Montay-produced, T-Pain righ DJ ugh his ide his h tho suic wit And mit and be. com l er wel witnessed his fath ransplant began ionwide, it may very nta-raised, Los Angeles-t Is That” getting airplay nat to retain substance ms clai also he , one l 10, the Chicago-born, Atla mercia knows his single is a com hustling on the street. ft. cra his in rify trying to glo of the house, and I’m not chains, the jewelry, “I realized I was the man things: the cars, and the I’ve been financially ily. fam my of e car e tak “I do talk about the flashy stresses. “I’m he rt,” la. hea Dol s the say for ,” sic what I did, but I had to old mu rs the hoes. But I also got sisters since I was 13 yea se niggas that and the and of m mo one my be na ting wan por ’t sup towards longevity. I don g kin ple to see what wor peo the t has wan I g street perils, one thin just want to be accepted. and I es go. ggl and stru e his com of all However, through a career in music. Dolla: His desire to pursue I see.” remained a constant for s. “That’s always been say he ,” now rs yea opportuten for sic mu ng doi n bee And A Dream stands as his e “I’v ing debut album A Dolla om upc His .” // . my passion of his acclaim nity to prove he is worthy up with two fellow young ked hoo er form per n tee At age twelve, the pre up performed at ed Da Raskals Cru. The gro Words by Eric N. Perrin d a record deal rappers from ATL and form lan to ugh eno ive ress imp was and ws sho nts local tale with Elektra in 2001.
During the group’s stint at Elektra, Dolla met a gifted but slept-on singer named Akon, who at the time was producing for the label. The two upand-comers became friends, and when Elektra closed in 2003, Da Raskals disbanded, while Akon’s journey was slightly more storied. Yet the relationship Dolla formed with Akon was a lasting one, and eventually Akon not only signed Dolla to his Konvict Muzik imprint under Jive Records, but also gave the young’n his one imprint, The Gang Entertainment. “I’ve been knowing ‘Kon before ‘Kon was ‘Kon, so when he got an opportunity to put me on, he did that, and he believed in me,” acknowledges Dolla. “He gave me the chance to not only be a rapper, but also a young mogul.” The rising ATL rapper at-
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his voice, but ph Jones’ name, or even ou may not recognize Ste del-turnedmo the his face. For years, chances are you’ve seen appearing in , line g hin clot ce Eny singer was the face of the e. billboards ads nationwid numerous magazine and his focus has es his modeling career, as s always came Today, Steph rarely discuss say ive nat TX , City ri sou the Mis to sing ever ng shifted to music, a talent tryi n bee e “I’v never nurtured. up in the t natural to him, but was ‘shu of fan my mom was a big since I was a little kid, but time I’d open my mouth she’d be like ‘Shut ery house,’” Steph laughs. “Ev up!’”
MISSOURI CITY, TX
success as his school, but found even less ents as his So Steph sought refuge in tim sen e generally had the sam teachers and classmates ned my mouth. I ope I as n soo as up t to shu mother. “They’d tell me my discipline slips school for singing, and all actually got kicked out of s. class,’” he add said, ‘student disrupting he truly could sing, t Steph even discovered It wasn’t until college tha eding his craving imp was t tha eer deling car sure in the back but by then, it was his mo I’m er, sing a someone I was ures, boy. No one to croon. “Anytime I told pict se the , shut up and take of their mind they was like s. ent took me serious,” he lam ided to take Three years ago Steph dec d his dream owe foll and himself seriously ntion of several to sing, garnering the atte e. He soon tim labels in a short period of e friends—or in hav to ps hel it t tha learned ces. Steph’s pla h hig in r the his case—a bro Davis (of ay DeR an half-brother, comedi non’s Wild’n Out Can k Nic and p sho ber Bar improv comedy fame), was hosting a live e brother littl his e gav show in LA, and se his talents. an opportunity to showca telling jokes, “[DeRay] was hosting and up a comedian ting put him of and instead let me go up to d use he s, for five minute up there and go just every week. I used to bers Steph. em rem la,” pel cap a sing the house; he One night Ludacris was in er’s a cappella heard one of the Texas sing ressed. Five ly imp ant inst was and s sion ses to New York with months later, after a trip is, Steph was Dav e Cliv Luda, Chaka, and signed to DTP. a and Disturbing “I chose to sign with Lud e the only label wer y the e Tha Peace becaus me,” says nge cha that wasn’t trying to wanted my sound el lab er oth ery “Ev ph. Ste artist that’s on to be like every other R&B le puppetwho the into not the radio. I’m artist thing.” s sound is anything True to his claims, Steph’ ” is a term ary din “or but ordinary. But much so that he he readily embraces, so ry and titled his labeled himself Mr. Ordina “I don’t travel e. sam the CD g forthcomin create a certain to try to elf outside of mys ,” he says. “And me to sound that’s not true um Mr. Ordinary, alb my d title I why t’s tha r ordinary [self], because when you are you s comes out. It nes que uni that’s when the r soul never you and comes from the soul // .” lies cartel www.myspace.com/carlos Words by Eric N. Perrin
50 // OZONE MAG
E N O M A D VIC
St. Louis, MO
and others o, Ali of the St. Lunatics Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti, Fab y pictures sie, ybo Boo Pla Lil n tha er fast y uel ing z in the streets spread is, Missouri sounds vag buz Lou ’s St. one of Dam out ing has com ry his sto the Hip Hop internet. starts to make noise on of Kim Kardashian on the familiar. A Lou rap group emerges to carry his er mb me up gro a r, Derrty DJs, afte scene, and soon ntry grammar ted by DJ Smallz and the this chronicle isn’t the cou h follow-up mixtapes hos ons with wit But rati s. And abo ture coll pas r and rs. e ene Sta Wad gre Allteam to Organized Noize’s Rico of Vic Damone and the t from tha streets of but tion s, the duc atic nt pro Lun rese St. rep to sed of Nelly and the sts in the works, he’s poi arti jor ma re mo explains. “When iration for me,” Damone the Lou. “[Nelly] is definitely an insp staying in Florida. I was in the military. of St. was I d, ppe dro m the realness coming up out had Nelly and ly gonna see and feel the ceedings] and shit. Nigga Don’t nite pro e. al defi tun [leg in u’re e y “Yo Sta som . erg ugh My iceb . I was going thro -Stars was the tip of the muthafuckin’ nine to five “All no k s. say wor ’t he ldn is,” cou I Lou w caught a case. I kne had to get back n I heard Nelly, I knew I change the channel.” // heart’s with this music. Whe home.” www.guccioonline.com one returned to St. Louis, Dam y, itar mil the in e After serving his tim s Guccio and Just Black h B.O.B./QP Records. CEO Words by Randy Roper where he hooked up wit lar, Trust, D-Mac and Dol Top — up gro rap er mb Photo by King Yella me r fou the d assemble as The All-Stars. wn kno vely ecti coll — Vic Damone
floodThe group quickly started es, tap mix h wit ets stre ing the ws including the Hustle & Flo makmixtape with DJ Drama, ing a name for themselves the throughout St. Louis and Allmusic industry. Later, the All City Stars released the album sal. through a deal with Univer ch mu not , ase rele the ing Follow Stars as materialized for the Allst in a group, and the solo thir nsify. each member began to inte I’m so s, ture ven solo had “We all now t righ shit solo pushing my ng and the team’s still standi behind me,” he says. ng in With the group staying stro l for support, V.D. has done wel conhimself as a solo artist and vemo r Sta Allthe ry car to tinues single ment to the forefronts. His Boosie “Check My Swag” with Lil Louis, is a street favorite in St. s on spin n gai to es tinu con as it oss acr s club and s radio station ‘em,” the country. “He gon’ kill duced says Drumma Boy, who pro ga nig at “Th g.” Swa My “Check got the got the look, that nigga deck, streets, got the bitches on [and] the got the goons in pocket music is one hundred.” Bigga Rankin, who hosted Balls To Damone’s latest mixtape nigga’s e “Th st. atte can , l Wal The swagit’s l, erfu pow so swagger is says. The matic, like a magnet,” he Rick Ross, mixtape, which features
52 52////OZONE OZONEMAG MAG
OZONE MAG // 53
OZONE MAG // 55
Everything is bigger in Texas, including drug addiction. By Maurice G. Garland Photo By Diwang Valdez
Letâ€™s face it, drugs are to Hip Hop what steroids have become to professional sports. They can make your product or performance look better for a moment, but in the long run, the effects are detrimental. Just put a microscope on Houston, TX and youâ€™ll find plenty of parallels.
56 // OZONE MAG
omegrown baseball stars and former teammates Roger Clemens and Andy Pettite have seen their award winning careers sullied in recent weeks with news of them using performance-enhancing drugs. At their height Clemens and Pettite, who were friends since college, were the top two pitchers in baseball. Now, with their names linked to steroids, their pristine reputations are all but dead. Similarly, late Houston Hip Hop stars DJ Screw, Big Moe and Pimp C of UGK have had their iconic rap statuses marred posthumously with speculation that their recreational use of prescription-strength cough syrup, known in the streets as “lean,” was instrumental in their untimely passings. Lean, also referred to as “barre,” “Texas Tea,” “sizzurp,” “purple punch,” and “drank,” among countless other names, has gained a dangerous reputation due to its frequent mention in America’s current prescription drug epidemic. The two main ingredients, codeine and promethazine, are intended to cure cough, diarrhea, motion sickness and hay fever. But when mixed, they can result in a list of side effects that rivals those rattled off by the fast voice at the end of pharmaceutical commercials. “It’s different from other drugs because you have a cocktail substance,” says Dr. Ronald Peters, Assistant Professor of Behavior Science at the University of Texas School of Public Health. “Codeine is an opiate, promethazine is an antihistamine, that makes you drowsy. Plus, it has 7 percent alcohol. Mixing them all together, you’re getting a 3-in-1 deal.” That trifecta gives users a hallucinating effect that is known to slow down one’s motor skills, make them sluggish, nod repeatedly and in keeping with the nickname, lean. The concoction has been credited as the inspiration behind the innovative turntablism of DJ Screw whose infamous blends and grey tapes featured slowed down songs to complement the dragging effects of the drug. Even though Screw released a handful of nationally distributed albums in the mid to late-90s, the Southside Houston-born genre of music still held on to its underground roots via hundreds of hand-passed blend tapes. When Screw passed on November 16, 2000 (a Houston Chronicle article that same month reported his death came from “undetermined causes”) it sent shockwaves throughout the local Hip Hop community. Plenty of rumors circulated around his death, but nothing concrete. Add that to the fact that he and the music he created was still considered regional, and national press didn’t take to the story. “It fucked niggas up heavy when Screw died,” says Houston rapper and member of Slim Thug’s Boss Hogg Outlaw crew, Killa Kyleon. “It’s still a mystery. We didn’t get no toxicology reports back then. All we heard was that he had codeine in his system.” When Houston Hip Hop crossed over into the mainstream in 2005, much to the credit of artists such as Lil’ Flip, Bun B, Mike Jones, Slim Thug and Paul Wall, Screw’s name and mythical status finally began to draw the interest of national media outlets. Much akin to how the late Mac Dre’s presence permeated through the Bay Area’s 2006 Hyphy and Thizz movement, Screw’s legacy lived on through H-town artists shouting him out on records and name dropping him in interviews. Also, like Dre’s relation to Thizz (i.e. ecstasy pills), drug connections were discovered and exploited. Even though songs dating back beyond 2000’s Three Six Mafia and UGK hit “Sippin On Some Syrup” chronicled the psychadelic effects of the drug, media and law enforcement latched onto the newfound popularity that Houston brought to lean and its culture in 2005. With numerous news reports on America’s abusive addiction to over-the-counter prescription medicines also popping up around that time, syrup and its connection to Hip Hop music made it an ideal target. Earlier this year MSNBC.com reported that a 2006 survey, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, revealed that 3.1 million people between the ages 12 to 25 had used prescription drugs and cough syrup to get high. It seems as if prior to Houston’s rise to stardom, reports on cough syrup and prescription medicine abuse never mentioned connections to rap music. Since then, countless articles like MSNBC’s have made it a priority to state that the drug “gained famed in Southern rap circles.” “They try to get us with so much negativity,” sighs rapper and Boss Hogg Outlaws member Chris Ward. “They try to make it look like we’re just down here tripping. It seems like nothing is a problem until white kids get affected. Nobody is putting a gun to their head, but when they get to it, it’s a problem and everybody wants to blame it on rap.” Dr. Peters agrees. “A lot of media sources have tried to demonize Hip Hop
artists by blaming them for these particular problems with codeine and promethezine,” he says. “The bottom line is if it weren’t for the Hip Hop nation mentioning it in their songs, many researchers like myself would not have an idea of what’s going on in underserved populations. The medical field should be happy to have someone diffuse that information so we can provide prevention resources to kids who may not know the enormous impact that this particular drug has on their local communities.” With the deaths of Screw, Moe and Pimp reportedly being linked to syrup one has to wonder what direct impact they would have on the scene itself. Would syrup use decrease? Would the music eventually fade away as a result? “Nah man,” laughs platinum-selling Houston native Paul Wall. “First thing we said when Moe died, was we gonna toast some taste for him. Same thing for Pimp C. But there are probably some people that slowed down on it, myself included. I slow down on it when I’m in work mode.” Many of Paul’s peers share similar sentiments when queried about lean. “I drink when I feel it, but I chill sometimes,” says Chris Ward. “Some people get addicted, like cigarettes. But you still can’t knock the people who want to do it all the time. There’s a lot of working people who wanna hit a blunt everyday after work, that say, ‘I can’t wait ‘til I get home to hit this blunt.’ Some people be like ‘I need to get a cup.’ It relaxes you.” Lean, just like weed, gives users the munchies. Being that most syrup sippers drink at night, they have a tendency to eat late and then go to sleep. That’s a blueprint for weight gain. Medically, the ingredients in lean, especially the opiates in codeine, are prescribed to relieve pain and diarrhea. People usually take 1-2 teaspoons of syrup for coughs and other illnesses. Lean drinkers easily ingest 8-10 ounces until they get the hallucinogenic experience. That over-consumption usually leads to kidney failure, constipation, decreased gastric emptying, hard stools and disinterest in sex. “It slows your bile down from working,” reveals Dr. Mike Leath, M.D. of Houston’s Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center. “[In that case], X-rays show massive amounts of stool or colon content that has yet to be expelled. The biles stop functioning and you can have a rectal vault full of stool and see their colon big and dilated.” In layman’s terms, you can’t shit and whatever doesn’t come out, stays inside you. “I stopped sipping because my stomach started knotting up,” admits Bun B of UGK, who backed off the barre in early 2007. “I’m not saying I was constipated, but that shit causes constipation. Especially if you’re not eating the right
Paul Wall, along with Three 6 Mafia’s Juicy J, proudly displays a prescription codeine bottle on the set of Frayser Boy’s video for “I Got Dat Drank,” an ode to the drug, in May 2005
“Some Texans have oil and horse ranches, we have drank. It’s just a part of Texas culture.” - Paul Wall OZONE MAG // 57
food, and not drinking water, you’re gonna have a fucked up stomach.” Paul Wall agrees, but adds, “A lot of sippers pop pills too, so it’s hard to say that it’s just lean [causing stomach problems]. People be doing a lot of other fucked up shit on top of the lean. I’ve never had no problems on the toilet or the bedroom. I only got fat because I was eating and not exercising. But, you do have a lot of people walking around with what we call the ‘drank belly.’” While there is medical information that links lean’s ingredients to weight gain, a connection to actual death is still a gray area. Plenty of medical reports state that codeine overdoses can be fatal, but it’s hard to find actual death reports outside of Screw, Moe and Pimp C, which to many are still mysteries. In a July 2005 interview with OZONE, Houston recording artist Z-Ro responded to questions about Screw’s suspected codeine overdose by saying, “Codeine is a downer… When they did the autopsy on [DJ Screw] they found some ol’ white boy speed type shit. That’s an upper… Somebody slipped something in my man’s drink that made his heart blow up from the inside.” [OZONE could not confirm this with the Harris County Coroner’s office] “A lot of people out here know the truth, but you might end up talking to the wrong people who don’t know,” says Chris Ward. “Moe used to drink [syrup] a lot but being his friend for 20 years, I can tell you that for the last two years, he didn’t drink. His mama had a stroke a year ago and he himself was overweight. He had the same [obesity] problem as Big Pun.” Big Moe suffered a heart attack in October 2007. He fell into a coma and died one week later. “Moe was like my brother. He used to drink too much, but that ain’t what killed him. The hospital killed
“[Cough syrup abuse] is a big problem in Houston because so many crooked doctors and clinics are popping up here, so its tough to crack down on it… By the time the police and medical board get around to wanting to bust these places, they are up and gone.” - Dr. Mike Leath him,” claims Ward. “They drained 100 pounds of liquid out of his body, nobody can shape their body that fast. How you just gonna change your heart rate like that? But since he was the ‘Barre Baby’ they blamed the drank. If he was calling himself the ‘Coke Baby’ they would have said that’s what killed him.” Nearly two months after Moe’s death, Pimp C was found dead in a Hollywood, CA hotel room. Media outlets originally reported he died from natural causes. But in February 2008 reports surfaced that he his death was accidental, caused by a combination of sleep apnea and an overdose of prescription cough syrup. The Houston Chronicle reported that the bottle [of cough syrup] had no label. “I wasn’t in L.A. so I don’t know exactly what happened in that room,” says Pimp’s rhyme partner and close friend Bun B. “The reality is that nobody knows either, so we just take the information from the coroner and it is what it is. But we all 58 // OZONE MAG
know that syrup in Houston is an epidemic. I’m not gonna sit here and act holier than thou about that shit. But the reality is that there are people who can do cocaine for the majority of their life and die an old man, and then there are people like [former college basketball star] Len Bias who can do one line and die. Everybody reacts differently to certain shit. You have to be careful with what you are doing, prescribed or not.” Dr. Peters offers that most syrup-related deaths are actually attributed to drowsy drivers falling asleep behind the wheel. When it is reported, that info is left out and it’s simply recorded as an auto accident, ultimately getting overlooked. “For example, bicycle accidents outnumber homicides. But the news will report about the woman assaulted or the guy murdered [instead of the bicycle accident],” he says. “It’s more [auto] accidents due to codeine and promethazine than people who are overdosing, but both are bad.” Either way, be it from accidents, overdoses or accidental overdoses, “lean” is becoming synonymous with “death.” Most times when rumor spreads about a drug being potentially lethal, usage goes down either because of law enforcement cracking down on the drug or users backing away from it. Houston’s reaction to the supposed syruprelated deaths has been a two-sided one. From November 2004 to July 2006, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS/CI), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) joined forces to investigate and indict fourteen people - including 8 pharmacists and a doctor - for conspiracy to illegally distribute prescription narcotics in Houston. The pharmacists sold prescription medicines to people who had no medical needs for them. Additionally, they and their staff used names from the phone book and drew up fake addresses and phone numbers to fill phony prescriptions. Seized records reveled that the co-conspirators had sold over 1.7 hydrocodone pills and roughly 2,500 gallons of codeine/promethazine. “[Cough syrup abuse] is a big problem in Houston because so many crooked doctors and clinics are popping up here, so it’s tough to crack down on it,” says Dr. Mike Leath of Houston’s Memorial Hermann – Prevention and Recovery. “They literally spring up overnight, since they aren’t doing surgery or doing normal doctor stuff. By the time the police and medical board [are ready] to bust these places, they are up and gone.” Law enforcement crackdowns have been somewhat effective, though. “It’s hard to get [codeine] now. Even if you’ve got a cold you can’t get it,” says Paul Wall. “It started getting harder to get when the music got popular, around 2005. It got real bad and prices got high.” Dr. Peters adds, “Amongst people who have money, the usage hasn’t dropped. But for kids that don’t have money, it’s not as accessible as it one was. It may be the wrong way to look at it, but if we can protect our kids for the future and [prevent them from having] access to drugs, that’s all we can really do. If people have money and want to get high, we can educate them and support them with programs, but we need to make sure we target the kids first before we as adults try to do things for people that already know the effects and choose to do the drugs.” On the flip side, some are choosing to either scale
back or leave the drug alone. There won’t be any lean references on Bun B’s new album, 2 Trill. “That was just something out of respect,” says Bun about his decision to omit the drug from his lyrical content since Pimp C’s passing. “That would have been in poor taste for me to continue to make music along that same line. That would be ignorant. But that’s just the way I feel about the shit. I don’t expect anybody else or any other rapper to change a muthafuckin’ thing on their record based on what I do.” Killa Kyleon is one of those people. His latest edition of his mixtape series, Purple Punch, features him on the cover appearing to pour up. “It’s our culture,” he says unapologetically. “We consider our music to be the new drug game. It’s me saying that my lyrics are the purple punch. It’s what I want the streets to consume, and my lyrics are the dope. It’s just like when Scarface named his album The Fix. It wasn’t an intent to glorify the culture but shit, it is what goes on out here.” Surely, Houston isn’t the only major U.S. city battling a syrup epidemic. As chronicled in songs by artists such as Beanie Sigel, Lil’ Wayne, Three Six Mafia and their extended family, lean is widely popular in Philadelphia, throughout Louisiana and Memphis. Addiction has been a problem for both Sigel and Wayne, with Weezy’s struggles (and glorification) recently becoming the hot topic amongst Hip Hop circles. In a recent interview with MTV.com Wayne says about quitting, “It ain’t that easy. Shit feels like death in your stomach when you stop doing that shit, homey. You gotta learn how to stop. You gotta go through detox.” “When you abruptly stop the drugs, you have these feelings of intense muscle pain, deep bone pain, severe diarrhea, watery eyes and runny nose,” supports Dr. Leath. “Opiate withdrawal can be severe. [These] drugs are in the same family as heroin. They might not be injecting it, but they are getting the same withdrawal [symptoms] as a heroin addict when they run out of their fix.” It’s hard to look at Houston Hip Hop and not think of lean. To try and separate the two could almost be deemed as disrespectful because of the part the drug and its effects have played in the music’s history and popularity. Perhaps the same reason why Wayne can’t just quit cold turkey, is the same reason why lean will probably never disappear from Houston’s Hip Hop scene. “In a way, it gives us an identity,” says Paul Wall. “Some Texans have oil and horse ranches, we have drank. It’s just a part of Texas culture.” He pauses with a hint of seriousness now in his voice. “Sometimes, being a rapper, I feel like I’m promoting it. When I rap, I talk about my life, so it’s hard not to talk about [lean]. I don’t want to tell the next person that it’s cool to do [it]. I tell kids not to be like me, but to be better than me.” Others offer more straight-to-the-point advice. “At the end of the day, it’s about you being healthy, whether or not you do drugs,” says Chris Ward, offering the fact that many syrup sippers don’t qualify for healthcare, possibly robbing them of the opportunity to be warned or encouraged to stop. “That’s your responsibility as a person.” “Too much of anything will kill you, bro’,” blasts Killa Kyleon. “That’s pretty much the answer to every question about the shit. Too much of anything will kill you.” //
OZONE MAG // 59
CRACK HOUSE: FAT JOE DEMANDS RESPECT
Words by Randy Roper
ith monikers like Joey Crack, Coca and Don Cartegena, it’s safe to assume Fat Joe knows a thing or two about the drug game. Not to get anyone indicted, but with a new street single entitled “Crackhouse,” what else could he be insinuating? It’s been 15 years since he left the street hustle for the rap grind. And after eight solo albums and more hit records under his belt than your favorite rappers, he’s still relevant in today’s fickle rap game. Luckily for the rap game, he chose to spit crack instead of selling it. In the movie that is Joe’s career, the gangsta didn’t die, he got chubby and moved to Miami. You go by the nickname Joey Crack. Is that a drug reference or how did you 60 // OZONE MAG
get that name? The way I really got that name, was when I was younger and I was in junior high school, the teacher would ask me to write on the chalkboard or something and my pants were always baggy, so the crack of my ass would show. So the girls would tease me and call me Joey Crack. That name’s still with me, [after] all these years. When people hear “Joey Crack,” they think of drugs. I’m spitting that crack, you know. I’m what the streets call me. I’m what the streets made me. The streets call me Joey Crack. That’s cause I got that addictive flow. I love [the name]. I have police niggas stop the police car and
be like, “Joey Crack!” (laughs) That’s the craziest shit when the police be like, “Joey Crack, what’s up, nigga!” You’ve been in the game for a minute, and there’s a lot of trap rappers in the game now. Do you think there is too much drug talk and too much trapping going in rap music now? I mean, they’re just rapping that real shit. When you talk about niggas rapping, niggas are just painting a picture. We’re poets, we’re authors. We’re like the niggas who make movies. If there’s a nigga in jail in a box, and he don’t see no light of day and the only thing he can do is listen to his Walkman, we’re painting a movie for that nigga. It doesn’t necessarily mean that every nigga spitting about crack is hustling crack or selling crack, it’s just niggas painting that movie. It just seems like we all wanna be the next Scarface. Out of all the rappers that rhyme about selling drugs, how many of them do you think have actually sold drugs? I think almost everybody has. We all grew up in poor, fucked up neighborhoods, so you know when I left the game and I said I was gonna become a rapper, hustlers, all them niggas were looking at me like I was crazy, “Crack, you crazy, there’s money out here.” I decided to change my life through music, and most of them niggas done got locked up for 75 years, unfortunately. I was ahead of my time and now I see hustlers going into the [rap] game. Niggas used to laugh at me when I told the real niggas, “I’m about to get this rap money.” At the end of the day, I think niggas hustle cause they have to and it’s survival. But when you turn around and you make it legit in the industry and you’re holding money, I don’t think there should be no reason to go back and go hustle. Do you think there’s more money in the rap game or the drug game? There’ll always be more money in the drug game, but who’s to say that you’re gonna get that money? In the drug game Pablo Escobar and [those type of] niggas made billions of dollars. But a nigga on the corner or a nigga in front of a trap house, he ain’t making billions. At the end of the day, if you’re able to rap about hustlin’, and you’re able to be a rapper, you making legit money. You ain’t gotta go to jail for that. But when you’re hustlin’, you know it’s one or the other, dead or jail. And if you go to jail, you shouldn’t be snitching on niggas cause you knew what the fuck you was doing. And I don’t understand niggas who snitch on niggas knowing that they were doing what the fuck they were doing. You’re caught, why you gonna snitch on the next man cause you fucked? Knowing damn well that you were breaking the law, doing whatever it was you were doing. You knew what it was when you was in the game. You said everybody wants make the next Scarface. What do you say to people that look up to drug lords? Well, you know, the young niggas just gotta know this is just entertainment. Just because it’s a black or Spanish nigga doing it, should be no difference. If a black or Spanish nigga says, “I’ma blow your head off,” for some reason people believe it. But when Eminem says that he’s gonna put his fucking wife in the trunk and ride around with her dead, we don’t believe it. Rappers are poets; we’re painting a picture. We’re making movies through music. When you see [Martin] Scorsese or one of them niggas that do the movies, you don’t look at them like, “Oh shit, that’s a real nigga, he’s gon kill you.” You just gotta know that this is entertainment. So when you do a song, like your new song “Crackhouse,” are you referring to an actual crackhouse? Or is it like this is Joey Crack’s house? We’re referring to [a crackhouse], but the “Crackhouse” song itself, actually is talking about me. You know, Joey Crack, you’re in Crack’s house. Like “Run’s House.” “You’re in the crackhouse, welcome to the crackhouse.” So, you moved from New York to Miami. I got both. I live in New York and I live in Miami as well. I’ve been in Miami for like 10 years, just back and forth, New York and Miami. I just love the vibe in Miami. Niggas show love, good niggas, loyal niggas. So I fucks wit’ them. Miami is on the coast and there is a lot of drug trafficking going on there. Is there more drug trafficking going on in Miami or New York? I think everybody gotta get their drugs from Miami. The shit comes in from Columbia and all that to Miami. And then niggas gotta take it everywhere else. So I think it originally hits Miami before anywhere else. As far as music is concerned, you’re a New York rapper that said “change your style up, switch to Southpaw.” So you feel you have to go to Miami to get that flavor in Hip Hop right now? Not really, my nigga. I been there for like 10 years. The whole Miami movement, we have a lot to do with starting it. I went to Miami on a promo tour and heard Trick Daddy. Took his demo, gave it to Atlantic Records, next thing I know, Craig Kallman signed him a week later. As far as DJ Khaled, we brought him along, now he’s the biggest nigga in the game. Cool & Dre, we brought
them along, biggest niggas in the game. Khaled discovered Rick Ross, popped that off. So, in the most respect way, I feel like I got a lot to do with shit moving the way it’s moving. You do have a lot to do with that and you’ve been in the game for a long time, but you’re not getting that respect. Why do you think that is? I really don’t know, man. You look at most of your rappers and they got one hot album, or one hit record. And then they do a second album and the shit is wack or whatever the case may be. The longevity for a rapper ain’t there no more. So, when you got somebody like Fat Joe, who’s been in the game 14, 15 years, dropping crazy hit records and crazy hit records, and got a hit now on the charts, it’s like, when are you gonna show the nigga respect? When are you gonna admit that the nigga’s spitting that shit? I heard people say, “Fat Joe’s only around because of the song he did with Lil Wayne.” What do you say to people that say things like that? I mean, they say that all the time. “Lean Back” was #1 in the country 19 weeks. “What’s Luv” was #1 in the country, spun 38,000 times. “We Thug“If a black or gin’,” smash hit record. “Make It Rain,” Spanish nigga hit record. People don’t really says,‘I’ma blow smash like it. You know, I don’t really love the your head record I did, “Get It Poppin’,” but that off,’ people shit went Top 5. “Make It Rain” went #3 believe it. But in the country. Now I got “I Won’t Tell,” when Eminem and that shit is like #18 in the country, moving on up. You can’t categorize me says that he’s as one song. I got too many hits under gonna put his my belt. Can’t nobody take credit for fucking wife nothing. And by the way, the joint with in the trunk me and Weezy, I came up with that and ride hook. Then I asked Weezy to get on that around with right there, you know what I’m sayin’. her dead,we And that’s my brother. People can say don’t believe whatever they want; it’s all about unity it. Rappers are and that commission. Niggas together.
poets;we’re painting a picture.”
Speaking of unity, we have to touch on the other side, the beef side. G-Unit just released another diss record going at you. That beef has been going on for a long time. Is that something that you’re tired of yet? 50 Cent is pussy, man. Niggas is pussy, man. He got shot a bunch of times by a nigga. A nigga be in the club everyday, he don’t go get him. Ja Rule’s a little nigga, he ain’t even slapbox with him. And a nigga wanna come fuck with Fat Joe? I don’t believe this guy. We don’t believe you, you need more people. Go fucking rot out in your fucking mansion. You also said in the past that you’ve made more money since you’ve been beefing with G-Unit. Ever since I went independent, I’ve been cha-chinging it all the way. (laughs) Like, they can’t stop me, my nigga. They got it fucked up if they think so. If that was the case, the nigga would have been stopped me along time ago. You can’t stop me. I make hit records. At the end of the day, you can’t stop somebody that keeps making hit records. And by the way, 50 Cent is just 2% of the game. There are 98% other people who love Joe Crack. You see in my videos, how many niggas come support me in videos and wish me well? We don’t give a fuck what them niggas say. What does the title of your new album The Elephant in the Room mean? The room is Hip Hop and I’m the elephant in the room. Ask one of them niggas that told you, “Yo, Joe’s hot cause of ‘Make It Rain’,” who they know that’s been in the game for 15 years dropping hits after hits, after hits, after hits? That’s something niggas gotta ask themselves. That’s exactly my point. I constantly keep coming back with hit records. Yo, by the way, have you checked the Billboard, have you watched your BET or MTV screen to see who’s on there all fucking day? Don’t you see how this nigga is spittin’? Nigga been in the game 14, 15 years, fucking wit’ new niggas that just got in the game, spittin’ neck to neck wit’ these niggas. Do you smoke while you record or before you record? Nah, nah, nah, I don’t even smoke to be honest with you. I drink but I don’t smoke. So what’s your secret to success when it comes to making a hit? I know how to make ‘em. And everybody don’t know how to make ‘em, that’s the problem. A hit record is something you hear on the radio all day and you see on BET and MTV all day! A hit record ain’t what these niggas be thinking, they do a little pitty-pat record and it’s a hit. And niggas don’t got hits. // OZONE MAG // 61
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Jackson, Mississippi’s MAYOR Frank Melton has an eye-to-eye relationship with Hip Hop. And just like the powerful culture, he’s got as many haters as he does supporters. Take a sneak peak into the city David Banner put on the map, and the mind of the most controversial public official you’ve never heard of.
hen Kwame Kilpatrick was elected mayor of Detroit in 2002, Russell Simmons labeled the then-31-year-old America’s first “Hip Hop Mayor.” The abrasive image that rappers like Eminem, Trick Trick and Guilty Simpson portray of the crime-riddled city (it ranked first on CQ Press’ most recent annual City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America list) seemed to run congruent with Kilpatrick’s football player stature, fresh-off-the-block swagger and ability to talk both policy with pencil pushers downtown and survival with the people on the streets. Rocking an earring and throwing lavish parties didn’t hurt his “Hip Hop” image either. In rough-and-tumble Philadelphia, Mayor Michael Nutter may be a little too old to be labeled “Hip Hop.” But that didn’t stop him from reciting “Rapper’s Delight,” word for word from beginning to end, at his inaugural ball earlier this year. While you shouldn’t expect him to be spitting any Beanie Sigel lines anytime soon, he still had ?uestlove from The Roots DJing alongside him. In bustling Atlanta, Mayor Shirley Franklin has embraced the Hip Hop brass, including rappers on everything from tourism interests to community initiatives. In 2005 she enlisted R&B/Hip Hop producer Dallas Austin to write a theme song for the city which opened with a big “Ladies and Gentlemen!” from Jazze Pha. She was instrumental in bringing the BET Hip Hop Awards to town and even quoted Andre 3000 in her speech at the 2008 MLK celebration. But none of those mayor’s relationship with Hip Hop compares to that of Jackson, Mississippi mayor Frank Melton. He’s both locked rappers up and courted them for votes and support. He’s shut down Hip Hop nightclubs. He even serves as the Chairman of the Broadcast Music Industry’s (BMI) Performing Rights Committee which oversees the execution of contracts for the likes of T.I., T-Pain, Mike Jones, Slim Thug, Lil Jon, Kanye West and Polow Da Don just to name a few. During his 2005 mayor campaign, Melton promised local artists that he’d use his industry rolodex to build a state-of-the-art recording studio on Jackson’s equivalent of Memphis’s Beale Street, Farish Street. As much as Melton appears to be in tune with the Hip Hop community, you shouldn’t expect him to rap Banner’s “Like A Pimp” at any upcoming ceremonies, although some say that’s exactly how he operates. A native of Houston, Texas’ 5th Ward, Melton has had his iron fists in almost every plate imaginable. The late 50-ish husband and father of two comes from a background that includes an 18-year run as CEO and principle owner of Jackson’s WLBT-TV 3. With financial backing from Dallas tycoon Robert Buford and First Chicago Bank to the tune of $23-plus million, he bought the station in 1984. Prior to his purchase, the station had a storied reputation for supporting segregation, refusing to cover the Civil Rights Movements of the 1960’s, selling airtime to the Ku Klux Klan and featuring little to no programming including African-Americans, even though they made up a sizable portion of the viewing population. After many complaints, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) revoked WLBT’s license in 1969.
Ironically, by the time the station got back in good standings and under Melton’s rule, he used the station, and his money, to voice his own interests. In the late eighties Melton caused a stir when he started purchasing billboards and plastering the faces of known drug dealers and a hotline to call if you saw them doing anything shady. But his tenure is mostly remembered for hosting a notorious television segment, The Bottom Line, where he’d call out slacking city officials and neighborhood drug dealers by name. “I started that program because I had a 15 year-old kid named Ricky ‘Chicken’ Moore who came to my office at WLBT, who had just came home from juvenile,” says Melton. “He was on his knees telling me he had been robbing the trains on Mill Street. I had a speech at 7 p.m., he came in at 6:15 p.m. I gave him money to join the Boys & Girls club, which he did do. But by 8:30 he was dead, shot four times in the chest. In my heart I knew I should have taken him with me. A mistake like that is pretty devastating. So with The Bottom Line, I felt like it was something that was really needed to deal with some real community issues.” To this day, the show is a subject of folklore. Ask a Jacksonian about the show and they’ll almost automatically imitate Frank’s closing gesture, stuffing an ink pen in his suit pocket and quipping, “And that’s the bottom line!” “I thought Frank was crazy when I first saw The Bottom Line,” says Jackson native and rapper Kamikaze. Together he and David Banner as the group Crooked Lettaz introduced Jackson Hip Hop to the masses with their 1999 album Grey Skies. “I didn’t think he was gonna make it for another two years. I thought he was going to get assassinated. But that showed me that when you have money and power, you can do and say anything you want. Almost.” Melton’s days at WLBT were riddled with conflict, largely because he fired many black employees and eventually sold the station in 2002 to a majority-white company for a sum that reportedly exceeded $200 million. The same year that the station was sold, Melton was appointed head of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics by former Governor Ronnie Musgrove. According to Melton, he was appointed after joking with Musgrove that he’d come run the bureau since he seemed to be having a hard time with it. To this day, that move has drawn scrutiny because Melton reportedly had absolutely no prior experience in law enforcement and operated seemingly under his own rules. However, Melton insists that he did have experience, as a certified deputy in Angelina County, Texas in the 1970’s. Melton’s tenure provided plenty of headlines. In addition to openly carrying weapons and perusing the city dressed in camouflage, Melton frequently set up random roadblocks to conduct drug searches, much to the disapproval of the U.S. Supreme Court. Melton’s hands-on approach and ethics also came into question because of the drop in drug arrests during his reign. Since 2000, drug arrests in Mississippi hovered around 3,000 per year. During the 14 months that Melton ran the MBN, the total didn’t even reach 2,000. This low number, coupled with the fact that Melton often caught young dealers, and invited them to live in his house and work for him, birthed rumors that Melton himself was involved in the drug trade or at least capitalizing off it. “I’ve heard the rumors about the drugs and gun running,” says Melton. “I was accused of bringing guns out of Texas and giving them to the gangs. I’ve been accused of being the biggest drug dealer in Mississippi. I’ve never consumed, distributed, or caused anyone to consume or distribute narcotics in my life. As many dealers I’ve put in jail over the last 27 years? If I was dealing drugs and standing up publicly calling out dealers, you’d see me floating up in the river.” When Governor Musgrove was succeeded by Haley Barbour in 2004, Melton was dismissed from his MBN position.
“I didn’t think [Melton] was gonna make it another two years. I thought he was going to get assassinated. But that showed me that when you have money and power, you can do and say anything you want. almost.” - Kamikaze OZONE MAG // 63
“The reason I was fired was because I pissed off a lot of white people, because they thought only blacks got arrested for drugs,” insists Melton, who often catches young kids with joints in their car, but opts to destroy the small quantity rather than arrest them over $10. “I arrested a lot of white dealers in meth houses and white people who got impunity for years, while the black street kids were getting busted for years. I can deal with the black kids in another way. But the 50-year-olds who are feeding them have to be dealt with severely.” After losing that title, Melton used his popularity among citizens believing in his stance on crime and drugs to run for mayor. He ran a balanced campaign that appealed to both rich whites intimidated by the presence of drug dealers and the poor and underprivileged. He also won over the Hip Hop community by speaking to the Mississippi Artists and Producer’s coalition (M.A.P.), an organization founded by local artists including Kamikaze, Tony B., Azziatik Blakk and Donnie Money. He went on to win the election and was inaugurated into office in July 2005 after defeating Jackson’s first black mayor, Harvey Johnson, Jr. Though he promised everything from lowering crime rates to boosting the economy, Melton’s time as mayor has been nothing but controversy.
department. J.P.D. made the shoot a hassle, harassing crew members and even lured Nitti into getting arrested for disorderly conduct on the spot. Eventually, Batman wound up in jail again too. About a year later, the Wood Street Players had a show scheduled with rap neighbors 601 Playas on a rival’s part of town at Club Soups. Already reluctant to do the show, Donelson spotted a rival and “one thing led to another.” “I was on stage rapping. All I remember is people shooting and people running, so I took off running,” says Donelson. “When I got to my car, they arrested me and another guy named Roger Taylor, who is a confidential informant now.”
read about his dispute with ex-con/rapper Albert “Batman” Donelson.
Batman says that despite the police’s failure to match gun residue with his weapon, he and Taylor were both charged with aggravated assault because of that night’s incident where one man was shot three times in the back. Donelson made bail that night. The cloud of trouble did not disappear. Donelson was preparing to do a show in Hazlehurst, MS no more than a week later and was arrested again. This time, cops came to Donelson’s house demanding to know how he got out of jail so fast. Donelson provided proof of posting bond, but not without a heated exchange, which he to this day calls a dumb mistake. Feeling provoked, the officers switched into attack mode and began a search on the premises. They found a weapon on an associate of Donelson, who claims the cops pinned on him to charged him with constructive possession of a firearm by a felon. He served five years, but during the sentence, he continued to be charged with crimes by Mayor Melton.
“When I used to see him on TV I’d pray, ‘Man, I hope he never gets on me,’” says Donelson, who became a frequent subject on The Bottom Line. “I wasn’t doing anything that no one else wasn’t doing. I never had any contact with Frank other than seeing him on TV. Everybody else he’s called out had some kind of contact with him. But, one day, I guess my name came across his desk. You see the name ‘Batman’ and newspeople can latch onto that.”
“They use terms like ‘gang boss’ loosely in Jackson when they really want to demolish a person,” says Donelson, who has had a handful of murders pinned on him by Melton, while he was locked up in jail. Melton has also posted up on Donelson’s mother’s doorstep with a shotgun in response to supposed death threats. “You should check your facts,” Donelson spits. “[Melton] calls me a drug dealer but he’s never caught me with any bricks or anything like that.”
Batman was originally known as a member of the Wood Street Players, your prototypical independent Southern rap group who did what they had to do to pay for studio time, CDs and video shoots. Their name pays homage to the notorious Jackson street that is home to the usual crimes you find in Inner City, U.S.A. Originally comprised of Donelson and Willie “Frank Nitti” Hardge, and later adding B.I.G. Bigalow of Reese & Bigalow fame, the Wood Street Players released three albums between 1993 and 2000. The group’s founders found their passion for rapping during a jail stint in the early 90s where they’d find themselves battling each other in the cell blocks. Jail was a constant during the span of their rap careers. Both members went back to jail in 1995 after the release of their Jacktown Playaz album, got released, put out a second album, Turnin’ and Burnin’ in 1997, and went back to jail. By the time they dropped their third album Rules of the Game in 1999, they had a big enough name to land a deal with Sony. They had a video shoot for a single, “Life Ain’t Easy,” that was both the talk of the town and the Jackson police
Donelson feels that Melton’s obsession with him and Wood Street stems from the shooting victim supposedly being the son of a close friend of Melton’s. He charges that Melton has faulty sources to trump up charges on him and enforce the vendetta. In a 2006 interview with Jackson Free Press, Melton admits to being obsessed with the Wood Street Players, but for another reason. Melton revealed that the infatuation began in the late 80s during his tenure with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, when he came across a videotape of 16-yearold Reginald Versall. Believed to be a beating victim of Wood Street, Versall was found lying dead behind a house with maggots coming out of his head.
A simple Google search will give you pages of information ranging from him tearing down suspected drug houses with sledge hammers to pulling over school buses on the freeway just to give hugs to the kids on board. You’ll also
“It’s not the police who are watching my back, it’s the guys on the street.” - MAYOR Frank Melton
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“It is a damn vendetta. Forget what people think, I’m telling you myself,” says Melton, who feels guilty for not being able to reach out to Donelson when he was still a teenager. “I know for a fact he took those people’s lives. He may not have done it himself, but he ordered that it be done. I have probable cause, witnesses and six dead bodies.”
Donelson was acquitted of all charges in 2006 after District Attorney Faye Peterson ruled that Melton had tampered with state’s evidence. Melton’s key witness in the trial, Christopher Walker, was a former Wood Street member that he arrested along with 10 others in 2001. Melton provided Walker with money and a place to stay, but both have told the media that it didn’t coerce him into giving false testimony. “We don’t have a witness protection program in Jackson,” says Melton, who let Walker stay in his mansion. “We didn’t have a place to send him. I wasn’t going to leave him out there to die.” Walker was not and probably will not be the last wayward youth to live with Melton. A millionaire many times over, Melton owns a lavish three-story, seven bed and bath mansion with an indoor Olympic size swimming pool. He’s had everyone from the Mississippi State football team to singer/porn star/Brandy’s brother/Mississippi native Ray J sleep over. But those aren’t the guests that are making headlines; it’s the convicted felons and known troublemakers in the house that causes a stir. While Melton sees it as his way of keeping kids out of the street, many see it as him surrounding himself with his own goon squad. In 2006 Melton and his group of unofficial adopted children, whom he often brings along with him to patrol the city in a police RV, made the news when they reportedly entered a suspected drug house and demolished the place with sledgehammers. Melton has defended his actions in saying that the house was a hub for crime that other city officials turned a blind eye to. That same night Melton, police officers and the youths barged in on popular Jackson nightclub Upper Level (DJ Drama was the featured guest that night) with Melton reportedly ordering management to “shut this muthafucka down!” According to eyewitnesses, Upper Level manager Tonari Moore pulled out a video camera to record the intrusion. Officers demanded he stop filming, but he did not. At that point witnesses say the officers handcuffed Moore, dragged him outside and with help from Melton’s youths, beat him unconscious. Melton admits that he did go into the club with two plainclothes officers and intented to shut the place down. According to Melton, when Moore began taking pictures, officers ordered him to stop, but Moore replied “muthafuck you” and took off running with officers pursuing. “He does this all the time,” says Melton. “What actually happens is that the club security staff were trying to interfere with a legal arrest. The kids with me came and pulled the security off my officers. Then [Moore] goes out in the street and goes into convulsion. I even rode in the ambulance with him because I was concerned, only to find out he does that every time he’s under arrest.” Moore, who filed a lawsuit over the incident, couldn’t be reached for comment. “Upper Level is very hood. You can get killed, get your ass whupped, it’s been some gunplay up there,” says graduating Jackson State University senior “Straw.” “It was cool to go if you wasn’t beefing with nobody. But it did get violent, so if that’s a stance Frank wants to take, I can understand. There was a time you could lose your life going to Upper Level.” Melton is a frequent visitor to the nightclub. “I’ve shut it down three different times,” admits Melton. “My problem with that club is that it was bought with drug money and the guy, Starsky Red, who bought it, shot at federal agents when they attempted to arrest him. They caught him with an 18-wheeler full
of drugs. We never found the money, but all of a sudden, the club opens up. The club is a haven for the distribution and consumption of drugs. My intentions are to shut it down. I’ve gone to [Moore] and told him I want him to have a good business, but no dope. He just blows it off.” Melton’s hands-on brand of justice and community activism includes a laundry list of questionable actions such as keeping a weapon on him at all times. His actions have not come without punishment and scrutiny. Even though he is a member of New York Mayor Michael Bloomburg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, Melton carried one on the campus of the Mississippi College School of Law in 2006. As a result, the mayor of Jackson, Mississippi was placed on probation. Yes, the mayor is on probation. His school bus incident, on the other hand, only fueled the persistent rumors of Melton being a child molestor. “In the early 80s when I started working with the gang kids, [people] couldn’t understand why I was so close to the kids,” says Melton, who insists that many Jackson youth are loyal to him now because he taught them how to swim when they were younger (he owned the local YMCA). Regardless, his close relationships with the youth made him a target in an early 90s rape and molestation scandal at the Hinds County Juvenile Detention Center. Former Police Chief Jimmy Wilson accused Melton of molesting boys who were placed in his custody. “Have you seen the kids I’ve taken in?” he charges. “What damn gang member is gonna let somebody abuse them?” Even with the barrage of rumors and actual truths that don’t weigh in Melton’s favor, he claims he still has the backing of most people on Jackson’s streets. “It’s not the police who are watching my back, it’s the guys on the street,” says Melton. “I’ve been through a lot with them. They’ve done some things I disagree with, but at the same time they deserve second chances and I have a lot of them working for the city right now. If they’re 27 now, you can’t punish them forever for mistakes they made at [age] 17. I don’t give a damn about politics. I was born in the 5th Ward and was one of the guys that was not supposed to make it, but because of my father I was able to make it, and able to become very wealthy. I feel guilty about that and I want to spend the rest of my life giving it back to generation behind me. I don’t need it.” “I’m not here to defend Frank, let that be known,” blasts Kamikaze, who with some string-pulling by Melton, was appointed Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Farish Street Historic Foundation. He’s spearheading efforts to revitalize the area. “I’m here talking solely about the fact that this is the first politician in Jackson that has ever given a damn about what goes on in the hood. I am a Hip Hop artist and activist that sees him as innovative and something we need to key into in the city of Jackson. He does shit that I don’t agree with, but the difference is that I can call him and tell him when he’s done something wrong. You can’t just do that with other politicians. Frank speaks like a real nigga and you can’t do that if you’re a politician, so people call him crazy.” He adds, “Once, I told [Melton], ‘People gonna think you’re crazy.’ He said, ‘I am crazy.’ So I left it alone. I haven’t been around him doing anything criminal. When I meet with him we’re on the third floor of City Hall getting shit done. If you wanna change what’s in the city, you gotta be involved in what’s going on and Frank is letting me and the rest of the Hip Hop community do just that.”
“I was accused of bringing guns out of Texas and giving them to the gangs. I’ve been accused of being the biggest drug dealer in Mississippi…As many dealers I’ve put in jail over the last 27 years? If I was dealing drugs and standing up publicly calling out dealers, you’d see me floating up in the river.” - MAYOR Frank Melton OZONE MAG // 65
GIMME DAT PU RPLE WORDS BY J PHOTOS BYUKLIA BEVERLY ING YELLA
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You first came out with “Gimme Dat,” which was real aggressive. It gave people a certain image of you and now with the “Independent” record are you kind of trying to switch up the way people view you? Oh yeah, I just make all kinds of music. You know “Gimme Dat” was my club banger for my girls but you know I couldn’t dance with my sister or grandmother to “Gimme Dat.” I respect women. I got my two twin daughters coming up; they’re gonna be independent women. My grandmother raised me to be independent. My sister is independent. I just tried to make something that inspired them too. People took “Gimme Dat” the wrong way. What way should they have taken “Gimme Dat?” Why do you say people took it the wrong way? ‘Cause I was just being me. I was just having fun. You know, a lot of girls like when a boy tells ‘em shit like that. So you’ve been getting good feedback off “Independent” from your family members and what not? They diggin’ it? From everybody. It’s not just for my family members; it’s for all independent women. You and Boosie are so respected in the South but it seems like you haven’t really reached that whole worldwide level that you should be at. What do you think it’s going to take to get everybody to recognize the talents that y’all have? What do you think it’ll take to get you to that next superstar level? It’s gonna come. We just gotta be patient and keep grinding. I mean, we made it this far. So what’s the next record from the album you’re gonna drop after “Independent?” I have a single with Letoya Luckett called “I Miss You.” Is that dedicated to anyone in particular?
(laughs) It’s for everybody. It’s for every man ‘cause they can play it for their ol’ lady. How does Savage Life 2 compare to your first Savage Life album? It’s still me. I’m savage. You know? They call me a savage. It’s a savage life. I’m just running my life. It’s my life; I’m living it. I’ma just keep going ‘till Savage Life 100. I know you’ve been making a lot of money these last couple of years. Have you bought anything lately that you’d like to tell people about? What’s your favorite luxury purchase that you’ve gotten for yourself? I don’t know. I been buying a lot of stuff – cars, clothes, jewelry. I’m buying my sister and brother a house. You know, just buying all kinds of shit. Do you have a favorite car or anything? My favorite car is probably my drop top, the old school ’73 bandit. You know this is for the drug issue, right? I know you’re a weed connoisseur. Do you have a favorite type of weed? (laughs) Yeah, purple weed. What’s so special about it? That’s just my favorite one, the real purple. When you look at it you ain’t even got to ask what kind it is. It’s just so purple it looks like somebody colored it or something.
Just the purple? Yeah. How much do you spend on weed during an average week? I smoke like an ounce a day. An ounce costs like $600. I can spend up to at least two or three Gs a week. Do you think weed should be legalized? Yeah, in California they got the stores you walk in and just buy the weed from behind the shelf. You gotta have your medical card or whatever so they should just go on ahead and [make it legal]. You know, they just wanna get they tax money off the shit. So you have a medical marijuana card? When I go to California I’m straight. What’s your ailment? What does it help you with medically? Oh, I don’t know. That’s just what the people who own the store say in California. I just been smoking weed since I been in middle school. You know what I’m saying? Do you remember the first time you smoked weed? Hmm, not really. Me and my cousin just started smoking it…
So do you have any other drugs of choice? Or are you just basically a weed dude? Oh no. I’m straight with weed.
And you fell in love? Yeah.
Why do you avoid other types of drugs? It just ain’t for me.
How’s the road been treating you? They feeling me. My fans been keeping it real.
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They’ve been waiting and anticipating the album and saying they can’t wait ‘til it comes out. It’s finally here, now I just need them to go get it off the shelf. I’ll pro’lly go platinum. So do you worry about bootlegs and downloads and all that? You know it’s hard for people to really be selling records these days. Do you think that’s gonna affect your bottom line? Yeah, it’s gonna affect everybody but the real loyal fans are gonna go get it out the store. They understand what’s going on. They understand this is our hustle and this is how we eat. We give them good music so, shit, go to the store and support our shit. You know, some of them are so loyal you could have a burned CD and the real CD right in front of them and they gonna turn the burned CD down ‘cause they just don’t even roll like that. Independent women don’t even buy burned CDs. That ain’t even part of being independent. So what made you come up with the video concept of having the president, the doctor, and the women with different positions in there? We were just letting our mind go. A woman president is just independent, you know? Women can be strong. We’re just letting them know. Do you have an opinion on a woman being president or a black dude being president? Are you leaning one way or another as far as Hillary or Barack? Nah, just however they handle it is how they handle it. You don’t get too political I guess? Nah. What else is coming up from the Trill Camp? I know y’all had the big record “Wipe Me Down” which was kind of like a collaboration with everybody. What else do y’all have coming up that we should look out for? We got the Ghetto Stories movie coming out. We got Gangsta Musik 2 with me and Boosie coming out. Wwe’re gonna have Boosie’s solo album Return of Boosie Bad Azz coming. We got some stuff coming in ’08. I don’t know if you saw it, but we did a little piece on your brother and in the interview he was saying that before you actually got down with Boosie,
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you were excited to be part of the camp. What’s the vibe like between you and Boosie? Is it kind of like a competitive thing where you inspire each other to step your game up even more? We’re like brothers. I like seeing him succeed. He likes seeing me succeed. I like hearing him come with something raw and he likes seeing me come with something raw. We just love the shit. We love doing good. We’ve been successful at what we do and we’re just trying to take it to the top. Is he featured on your record? Yeah, that’s a no-brainer. Who else is featured on the record besides Boosie? The whole Trill fam. Everbody. Pimp C, Rick Ross, Birdman, Letoya Luckett, Dro. I got a few people on there. When was the last time you talked to Pimp C? About a week before he died. What were your thoughts when you heard that he passed? You know how that goes. At first I didn’t believe it. I thought it was just somebody starting another rumor but I called and it was real. I had to accept it for what it was. He was involved with Trill pretty heavily, right? Has it affected your camp? What’s the vibe like? We’re gonna use it as motivation to get this money, go platinum, work harder. On the production tip, did Mouse do most of the production on your record? Yeah. How much time on average would you say you spend in the studio? I know Mouse cranks out the tracks for you guys. Is it like a family thing where y’all are all there and you hear something you start vibing with? Yeah, we just be at the studio hanging out all the time. Like we talked about
before, what do you think it’s gonna take to get that nationwide and international respect? Do you think people understand and respect you as a lyricist too? You do say some stuff and I don’t think people necessarily appreciate it as much as they would coming from a New York artist just ‘cause of the southern accent. Do you think you get the props you deserve or are you not really there yet? Yeah from my real fans who take the time to listen, they give me my props. I just gotta wait ‘till everybody listens. What are some other tracks from the album that you want to mention? You mentioned the one with Letoya Luckett; what other topics do you get into on this record? I got this song called “Miracle” with Birdman and Rick Ross. We’re just talking about how the whole situation we’re in is a miracle. We all come from damn near the same background. I look up to them niggas. They older than me. We’re all talking about how it’s a miracle to be in this situation, to be rappers. To some people we’re celebrities; to some people we’re superstars. It’s a miracle to be in that situation instead of being dead or in jail or working at Winn Dixie or some shit, or selling dope. I got one called “Just Like Me” talking to my sons, telling ‘em they gonna be just like me when they grow up. Sometimes I be scared ‘cause they gonna be just like me. Sometimes I’m happy ‘cause they gonna be just like me. I got a few songs on the album. How many sons do you have? I got three. I got two twin girls too. Oh wow. You’ve been busy then? Hmm. None of them are a full year apart.
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Keep on Pushin’
here are days in life that change you forever. December 4th, 2007, brought one of those moments for Bun B, who, along with thousands of UGK fans, heard the tragic news that his charismatic rap partner and brother from another mother Pimp C had passed away in a Hollywood hotel room at the untimely age of 33. What followed was a whirlwind as Pimp’s friends and family retreated into their “respective clouds” and Bun found himself unable to even function in a recording studio, overwhelmed by emotion. Now that the dust has settled and Bun can finally admit that his friend is gone, he’s doing the only thing he can do: keep on pushin’. Just like funeral attendees were heartened by Mama C’s courageous “I’m okay, he’s okay, we’re all okay!” speech at her only child’s funeral, Bun knows he’s gotta stay strong for everybody. And, although he loves the fans, please don’t tell him what he’s gotta do. He’s way 2 Trill to even think about quitting this rap shit. Whether it’s Free Pimp C or R.I.P. Pimp C, it’s still UGK for life. When does the album come out and what’s the name of it? The album is coming out April 1st on Rap a Lot/Asylum. It’s called 2 Trill. That’s what I am – I’m just too trill for a lot of this bullshit that’s been going on lately. It’s time for somebody to step up to the plate on some of this shit. I can’t address everybody’s issues; I’ma address the things I feel are important and we’ll see what happens from there. Bullshit? Like, for example? I’m a cat that’s still in the hood. When you see me, I’m always one deep. We’re in the hood now and it’s 3rd Ward. It’s the cut. It’s row houses. It’s always been one of the most infamous weed houses in Houston right around the corner. You know, bullshit with the hood, just a lot of shit that’s starting to get out of hand. The way they letting little niggas do things nowadays, nobody’s really checking nobody on nothing. They definitely not checking the young niggas, that’s why the young niggas feel like they run everything. They feel like they can do anything. There’s no rules and no respect in the streets anymore? Yeah. First of all, respect gotta be given; respect gotta be earned, so I can understand if cats don’t wanna respect a lot of people in the hood ‘cause niggas ain’t acting right. Niggas is snitching and telling and everybody’s acting like that shit is cool. The honor amongst thieves isn’t there anymore. You gotta at least have that in order for the hood to operate in a certain sense. You feel like the honor amongst thieves was there, at a certain point? Yeah, it used to be there definitely. I don’t know what really happened as far as the late 80s/early 90s. I think when the sentencing laws started getting a little stricter, for the crack and all of that, niggas just couldn’t really do the time that they were being given. It’s not like nobody was doing time for other people’s cases. This was they case; it was they hustle, they grind. They got caught doing it and just didn’t wanna do they time. They didn’t wanna pay they debt to society. A lot of cats that I know are prepared to do that or go out whatever way but they not finna take other people down with ‘em just
WORDS BY JULIA BEVERLY PHOTOS BY MIKE FROST
because they slipped up. When people say “no stitching,” people think [it’s about] if we see somebody get shot. That’s not what it’s about. Where’s do you draw the line between what’s snitching and what’s not? First of all, “stop snitching” has nothing to do with common people. That’s the problem. The stop snitching campaign is really only amongst gangsters. We’re talking about “stop snitching” if you get caught doing something. We’re not talking about if you witnessed [a crime]. That’s just pure victim of circumstance; just a common person in the wrong place at the wrong time. I feel sorry for you in that circumstance. But when you see the shirts and all of that, when they say “stop snitching,” they ain’t talking ‘bout the old lady across the street that’s calling the police. Of course the old lady across the street is gonna call the police. That’s what old ladies across the street do. But we’re talking about people for one, who don’t know nothing sticking they nose in serious business that they shouldn’t be sticking their noses in, and more specifically and more directly, to the individuals living in the criminal world who are committing these crimes. When you get caught, don’t snitch on somebody else just ‘cause you got caught. That’s what the saying “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time” means. Unfortunately nobody lives by that shit anymore. So these are still active issues for you. Oh, absolutely, ‘cause I’m still in the hood. I still got homeboys that’s in the hood. I still know people that live within the criminal world. A lot of people who were prepared to do their five or six years or whatever it was for their particular case are getting caught up in these crazy conspiracy cases that had nothing to do with them just ‘cause somebody who got caught with dope knows that it’s somebody that’s doing big business. They not even doing business with this dude and they giving up these people’s names just so they can get time off for themselves. So for people who are hustling and prepared to do they six years, eight years, ten years, if they get caught now they’re looking at thirty, forty, fifty years ‘cause of conspiracy charges they have nothing to do with. That type of stuff is crazy. Too many people are pulling these youngsters in too early. You got hardheads, knuckleheads, people that no matter what you do they’re not gonna get the message; they’re gonna do what they wanna do. So be it. But it’s a lot of these kids that aren’t even given an option as to what they wanna do. We used to run lil niggas off the block; we used to not even let lil niggas see the alley, you couldn’t even see the alleyway where niggas used to sell dope and shit at. They wouldn’t even let niggas go down that alleyway. Now niggas scared to be in the alleyways so they put lil niggas in the alley. That shit is weak, man. That’s the type of shit I’m talking about. You got grown ass men letting lil kids take cases for them. Is there even enough money in the streets these days for it to be worth it? That’s the problem. For a kid that ain’t got nothing at home, that little $20 or $30 looks good. They not even getting R20 off the R100 that niggas used to get anymore. They just getting a little something and that’s why they going
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so bad ‘cause they feel like they being cut out of a bigger pot, but there is no big pot. In any form of business right now, but especially in the criminal world, people have to do more just to make the same [amount of money]. Sometimes it’s not even worth it. I don’t know what’s gonna happen to the streets in the next five or six years. There’s always gonna be people selling dope and always gonna be people buying it, but the profit margin is crazy right now. I can say the same thing about the retail market, for that matter. When the country’s in a recession everybody suffers. Point blank. It trickles down through the whole social system, from the upper class all the way down to the lower class poor people, everybody’s gonna feel it. What’s your take on the whole “Houston is dead” thing? Houston had their momentum and now it kind of seems like it’s back to its own world. I think that’s got a lot to do with the state of music in general. It’s not like people just aren’t buying Houston records. It’d be different if all of a sudden Los Angeles had five artists who went platinum last year, or the Midwest had five artists, or D.C. or Maryland. I would have loved to see that. The fact is we are probably one of the last people to really get people to go in the stores and buy music. If you look at the music scene as a whole, Southern artists are still doing better than the majority of artists from other regions but we’re all doing bad. Nobody’s selling what they used to sell anymore. We did pretty close; we’re still doing good but we worked very hard to stay connected to our fans. We don’t just Myspace it. We’re out there actually physically touching people. Like I said, Houston is suffering simply because everybody’s suffering right now. It’s just a matter of everybody has to step back and regroup and figure out exactly how to push this music forward but you can’t step back and spend more money. I know that. That’s the thing, you gotta think more. This is not the time to throw money at the situation. That’s number one. I feel like we got as good of a chance as anybody to bounce back, but everyone’s gotta pretty much rethink how they gonna reconnect to their fanbase right now. How do you plan to reconnect to your fanbase? I just plan to keep doing what I’ve been doing. Everything’s been working for us. I’ve always been amongst the people, going out touching people, doing extensive promotion on the road for projects. So I’m just gonna continue to do that. Luckily with Bun B/UGK fans, 9 out of 10 of em’ have to have the CD ‘cause they’re car people. I’m lucky my fans are car people. A lot of people have digital fans – the iPod, mp3, iPhone people. My people have cars. They gotta have that physical CD. Even some of ‘em that get the bootleg, they buy the bootleg ‘cause primarily they wanna be the first cat to pull up bangin’ it. They’re not necessarily about getting it for cheap ‘cause at the end of the day they still want they artwork. They got the big CD cases that flip open and hold a hundred CDs and they manage the CDs with the cover art. I feel bad for the new generation of fans that are like 22 years old; you’re probably not riding around in your car listening to music; you’re listening to a majority of your music on an mp3 player, your phone, your computer. That’s the reality of the world. They’re not physically in a car listening to music. Most of ‘em are commuters. During a radio interview before he passed, Pimp was saying that if we don’t start talking about more real topics in the South that it’s about to leave the
South. Do you share his opinion? I think that’s gonna be about music in general. The problem I notice is that the media would rather follow Snoop Dogg around for a day to see if he catches a case rather than follow Talib Kweli around for a day and see what kind of positive influence he has on his community. That’s the problem, and the reality is it’s not the journalist’s fault; it’s the publisher’s fault. If I’m a journalist and I go to my newspaper and I have a story about Kweli doing something positive in the neighborhood and I have an exclusive on Snoop Dogg’s last arrest, they’re gonna want the arrest story. Then they’re gonna want to turn around and write a story that criticizes us at the same time. So it’s like the media is not giving the positive rap, or people that are giving a positive spin on certain issues, they’re just not giving it any attention. Nobody’s doing a reality show on dead prez or Mos Def. They don’t want that; they wanna see what Flavor Flav is gonna do that’s crazy. It’s sad. The media demands decency but promotes indecency. I don’t get it. Shit that used to be reputable is not even real anymore. You mentioned that you do a church mentoring program. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff with my church lately. My church is right in the hood. They’re selling crack right down the street from my church. Pastor Wilson is really trying to help change the neighborhood. He’s there in the neighborhood; he’s seeing the homeless, the drug addicts, the single parents, and the kids with no guidance. They’re really trying to do some hands-on shit and just give kids an option. Like I said, that’s the problem; kids in a lot of these communities don’t have an option and when you’re put in survival mode you’re gonna survive. It’s no other option; you’re gonna survive or die. That’s what’s happening, particularly in the Southwest side of Houston. It’s crazy right now. It’s a lot of violence; people are getting shot and hurt damn near everyday. It’s always on the news. Whether or not people want to talk about it, deep in the hood the poverty level [is high] especially where drugs are being sold. The Houston street hustlers and New Orleans street hustlers are not getting along. They’re fighting for territories; they’re fighting for corners. It’s the same thing New Orleans people were doing amongst each other in New Orleans and the same thing Houston people were doing amongst each other in Houston, but now they’re fighting amongst each other. You got New Orleans people beefing with each other, like uptown boys or from the East; that beef carries over to Houston. Plus now they getting into it with different sides of town in Houston. It’s crazy. Houston is very hot right now. It’s the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about. We’re just trying to give the kids options. It’s only so much you can do with grown people. I’m not here to start preaching to people; I’m just like, if you wanna live your life and do what you gotta do, I understand that but think about if you would want your kid on this corner fifteen years from now. Do you want your son out here drawing down, stackin’ at niggas, hitting niggas up? Is that what you want for your children? You gotta start thinking differently. If you don’t want to change it for your generation, that’s cool but you gotta start giving to the people that’s trying to make it different for your kids. I ain’t asking nobody to stop banging, but don’t bang by the church. When the church is trying to go through the hood and give to the kids, let them do that. What do you think are some other viable options for kids?
“i couldn’t say shit. i couldn’t say, ‘Chad is dead.’ Last month I couldn’t say that without breaking the fuck down.”
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It’s just really gonna take money. Money is what’s missing in the inner city. You gotta look at the billions of dollars lost on after-school programs and education. All these different programs had money and government funding prior to the war. These niggas just got another hundred-something million dollars for the war. The shit is getting bananas. In California they’re saying Schwartzenegger is getting ready to cut like 10 percent on education, 15 percent from health. That’s why muthafuckas is dying. That’s why old people are dying. They borrowing against social security; that’s why ain’t nobody gonna have nothing. So it’s more important than ever that people start learning about financial responsibility. That same social security check that your grandmother got, it’s a wrap for that. Unless you’re 55, ain’t finna be nothing for you. People gotta start thinking differently. If they don’t wanna live differently that’s them, but I feel like I gotta tell niggas what little I know. It’s not for me to preach to niggas or tell ‘em what to do. I’m just telling niggas, “Look, this is the way it’s finna be. If you don’t wanna change you, that’s you but you gotta think about your lil man and lil girl.” Is it frustrating for you, being as intelligent as you are, that the media doesn’t pay attention to the things you’re talking about and nobody cares that you’re mentoring kids at your church? Yeah, it is. It’s fucked up. Do you feel like if you make a record about it nobody’s gonna play it? They don’t wanna play it ‘cause first of all, they don’t wanna hear it from me ‘cause they’ve already made up their mind about who I am and what I represent. They don’t wanna hear anything good from me at all. And if they hear something good from the good people, they don’t wanna promote that. It’s like a catch 22. They only wanna talk about certain shit, only around election time. That’s really the only reason we’re having a lot of the conversations that we’re having right now. They’re only talking about the money and different shit because everybody’s programs are getting hit. It used to be only the inner city programs getting hit, now it’s everybody’s after school programs and education. Now you can’t just send your kids to a good neighborhood to a public school ‘cause they fucked; they losing money. Everybody’s trying to send their kids to private schools. It’s crazy. Speaking of elections, who are you going for? I don’t know, man. It’s still kinda early. I don’t wanna say If I say, “I’m going for this person” and they don’t even get the nomination, then I’m looking like an asshole. I’ma sit back and wait to see what happens. I lean a little bit more towards Barack because he was the only person that didn’t wanna just go to war. He was like, “Hold up, let’s really see what it is.” I can respect that mentality, but when it is time to go to war I don’t need a nigga hesitating either. Like I said, I think it’s a little bit too early. I still believe it’s the lesser of two evils. It’s basically still the powers that be dictating who they feel is the best candidate. At the end of the day, it may be a representative of change as far as visually, but as far as following the status quo, they’re all party members. So it really don’t matter who wins, their personal agenda really doesn’t come into play. They gotta carry along the agenda of their party. Until maybe an independent has a good chance of winning an election, we’re never gonna see a true representation of the people if you ask me. But that’s just me; I’m from P.A., what the fuck do I know?
Was it hard for you to get back in the studio after Pimp’s passing? Oh yeah. Absolutely. It was real hard. The first time I went, I never even got to pick the pen up. Just looking around the room at different pictures on the wall brought up a lot of memories and we just ended up talking about a lot of stuff more than [recording]. The first time I picked up the pen it was kinda hard to write the rhyme. I actually say that in the rhyme, that it was hard to pick up the pen. The first rhyme I wrote was for a song on TIP’s album. It’s about Pimp; it’s about dealing with loss. It wasn’t easy. I’ve probably done three verses total since Pimp passed away. I used to do four or five verses a day; it was nothing. It’s just a different process. I’ve never been more nervous about what I’m saying in my life because now more than ever I can’t have my intentions misunderstood. Most niggas know me for coming in [the studio], writing my rhyme and I’m done and out in fifteen or twenty minutes. That’s why I’m on everybody’s album. I’m kinda like a rap doctor – they call me when they need me to fix a song real quick. I’m real easy to clear; I do quality work and get it back in time. It’s not like they send it to me and I’ma get to it when I can. I’m usually not doing shit but chilling at the house or whatever. I ride over to Corey’s house, knock it out, and go home. I try to be home before the news comes on. Now it’s just a real different process. Then you gotta be careful ‘cause you don’t wanna over-think shit; you don’t wanna under-think shit. It’s just a very careful line that I’m walking right now. I don’t wanna seem too selfish or seem too much about me. I don’t wanna seem too preachy. I wanna make sure I do my dude [Pimp C] justice. It’s a lot of different things that goes into sixteen bars of a rhyme that usually didn’t go into that shit. It’s like, this song is about bitches or hustling so we gonna talk about this or that and I’m out. Now it’s a little bit different. Even if it doesn’t feel like this in a while, right now it is different. It’s important that the shit niggas hear from me is what it is. Niggas know I’m fucked up but they wanna see me still be able to carry on [the UGK legacy]. Fans in the street tell me I gotta keep it going. It’s definitely that obligation to them. And of course there’s an obligation to my family with this shit being my career, having to feed my family. It’s a lot of shit that goes into this that I guess a nigga might have never really paid attention to. I’m just dealing with it. It’s not gonna be easy for a while. I understand that, though, and everybody around me understands. I just grabbed the mic for the first time when Rick Ross came here last weekend. We did “Down in The Dirty” and then they played “High Life” afterwards and that shit was kinda emotional. I hadn’t heard “High Life” in about two or three years. That’s a real ass song. I know when it comes to performing some of this shit, it’s not gonna be easy. That’s why I want [my first performance] to be here in Houston with the fans. If I get emotional, they’re probably gonna get emotional too. I’m gonna have all his artists there with me with all this love and positivity in the building with me. I feel like that’s something I need to really get me back out there ‘cause I want to get out there. We’re taking it a day at a time. It’s still emotional; a nigga get choked up. I went and watched Cloverfield this weekend. Not to give too much away but there’s a scene where somebody has to call somebody and tell them that somebody is dead. I had to do that. [The character in the movie] pretty much broke down the exact way I remember breaking down. That shit kinda fucked me up. I watch people talk about death in a movie all the time and I don’t cry. Shit’s a little
different now. This shit is heavy. How often am I gonna see and hear shit that’s gonna hit me like that? You gotta be very in touch with your emotions right now. You gotta be very smart and real about shit. This shit is gonna affect me for a little while. You gotta understand that and give yourself time to breathe. Today’s gonna be what it is. You can’t say today’s gonna be easier but you can’t be afraid to say things. Initially that was my problem; I couldn’t say shit. I couldn’t say, “Chad is dead.” Last month I couldn’t say that without breaking the fuck down. Certain things get easier. You gotta be willing to deal with that shit too. It’d be real easy for me to go lock myself up in the crib, lay in bed, pop me some Xanax, smoke kill all day. People would grant me that kind of freedom but that’s selfish. I’m not really doing myself no good. I’m not really honoring my homeboy or keeping the movement going like that. So you suck it up; you have moments where you feel weak; you give yourself a moment and you get back to it. Shit, I got a momma, a wife, kids; there’s still other people I may potentially lose in my life. For me to act like this is it, like Chad is dead and I’m not gonna happen…I’m definitely not going through as much as his mother is right now. He was an only child. I’m definitely not going through what his children and his wife are going through. That was their only dad, and her only husband. These people are fucked up emotionally. I’m emotional but I know these people are bent up. So at the end of the day I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself. I’m happy to know a real nigga and if I don’t get up and rep for him, I don’t believe anyone’s gonna rep for him. I kinda got to and if I don’t, that’s it; the nigga just kinda goes away. I felt like that [when he went to] prison and it’s even moreso now that he’s dead. When Pimp passed a lot of people started making Tupac comparisons. Do you feel like that’s accurate? Yeah, I feel like that’s a safe assumption to say that what Biggie was to the East Coast and what ‘Pac was to the West Coast, Pimp C was to the South. You gotta keep in mind that Pac and Biggie were just rappers; Pimp C was a rapper and a producer, and not just a producer for our group but he made great records and helped jump off a lot of other people’s careers. Hell, there’s an argument that he may have been more impactful. He never had the media notoriety that a lot of these other artists may have had. Do you think he’s going to get that media notoriety now that he’s passed? He’s definitely gonna get his play. It’s definitely gonna be people like yourself and others acknowledging him, which you always did, but even moreso now. People are gonna wanna make sure people understand what he was, not just a rapper, a producer, and an artist, but a father and a leader. People wanna show everything that Pimp was. This UGK movement is still gonna be going forward. We got another album to put out. All through the year people are gonna wanna honor him. We’re gonna have anniversaries and things coming up. We’re trying to make his birthday a holiday in Port Arthur. We’re talking about giving him a street. We gotta hurry up and get that done before the election is over ‘cause we’re not even sure the mayor is gonna be there next year in Port Arthur. Did you feel like the Feds being out so heavy at the funeral was disrespectful? Initially, yeah, but if you really think about who they are and what they do, you can’t feel disrespected. Federal agents been popping up at peoOZONE MAG // 73
ple’s funerals for years. Normally it’s for a criminal but I guess Pimp C [did] have a case. I don’t see the threat, but whatever. I don’t wanna say too much ‘cause it’s not like they’re not watching me and my life, the same way they watched his death. It is what it is. We come to expect certain things from certain people. I don’t think it’s so much that they were there for him as much as for who was coming there to pay their respects to him. But we can’t worry about what other people are gonna do. We just gotta mash forward. The Feds have always been there taking pictures. Yeah, I guess they were just a little more blatant about it at the funeral. Yeah, [they figured] since today all the other police agencies are out and they’re showing their colors, we’re gonna show our colors too. Even the S.W.A.T. came out. What are your thoughts on all the conspiracies theories popping up? People are gonna say anything anytime somebody passes away suddenly. They’re doing it now with Heath Ledger. Everybody has their opinions about what he was doing and what caused his death. It was probably just accidental. [Editor’s note: this interview was conducted prior to the coroner’s conclusion that Pimp C’s death in fact was accidental, caused by the use of prescription codeine mixed with a pre-existing condition called sleep apnea] Sometimes shit just happens. Do the wrong thing on the wrong day at the wrong time and you’re gonna die. Walk down the wrong steps at the wrong time of day and you’ll slip and fall. It’s kinda fucked up ‘cause it’s almost like they expect something bad and they’re not happy unless something bad is associated with it. Like [if the coroner says] Pimp C died in his sleep, [people would say], “Nah, that’s bullshit; somebody’s lying; somebody’s covering it up.” People still think Tupac is walking around somewhere. Has it been difficult within the UGK camp? I assume he didn’t really leave instructions on what he would want to happen in the case of his death. Yeah, nobody really [knows] in this case. Everbody’s still somewhat reeling from the shock of it as everybody comes out of their respective clouds. Everybody’s not just trying to figure out how to move forward, but how to move forward respectfully. That’s what I’ve pretty much been getting from a lot of his artists. They definitely don’t wanna stop rapping. They definitely wanna move forward with they rap careers. Pimp was definitely there for guidance so they’re still looking for guidance. I’m trying to help ‘em the best I can but it’s like, shit, I’m looking for guidance in certain areas too. This is a different walk for me too. I gotta get myself on solid ground before I can even begin to consider trying to help these other people’s careers. I’m just trying to give people the same advice I’m taking right now. It’s been rough. I’ve heard there’s some conflict within the family. You know, I’m not really sure about all that kind of stuff. I’ve been at home really getting my family together more than anything. I’m trying to make sure that in the event I would pass away suddenly that all my t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. I really just pray for everybody, all his friends and family and everybody, that this grief and strain and pressure of dealing with this gets lifted off of them ‘cause it’s not easy. If I were to pass away suddenly, who’s to say what my wife or mother would be going through? Who’s to say how they would be taking it or dealing with it? Me personally, I don’t take anything in a bad way, re74 // OZONE MAG
gardless if it was meant or not. People are dealing with a lot of emotions, not that anybody’s been anything but caring with me. People aren’t really sure what’s going on. The best thing I’ve been trying to do is stay close to God, making sure I got the right connections with my family. I just pray for everybody and myself that we can keep a clear mind through this shit. This shit is rough; this shit is fucking with people’s heads. Going back to the Biggie and ‘Pac comparisons, obviously we hope it isn’t, but do you think this is, like, the death of the South? The West hasn’t been the same since ‘Pac died. I wouldn’t say that, because I’m here and I’m from the South and I don’t think it’s over. But shit’s gonna have to be different. I’ve been in a very cushy position being the other half of UGK. I just show up and rap. The shit’s been very good for me. Now I have to get up off my ass and get a little bit more into shit. Everybody else is gonna have to do the same thing in the South. We’re not gonna have Pimp to speak on certain shit, so niggas are gonna have to take it upon themselves to speak. We’re not gonna have Pimp here to try and squash beefs so niggas are gonna have to take it upon themselves to squash beefs. We’re not gonna have Pimp to tell niggas, “I don’t care who you are or where you’re from, this is the South and we’re gonna be here.” We’re gonna have to take it upon ourselves to do that shit. There’s a lot of shit Pimp was trying to do and a lot of representing for the South and forward movement he was trying to get for the South throughout his whole career. He never felt satisfied. He always felt there were bigger and better places we could go as artists and people and that’s the thing we’re gonna have to carry on. Speaking of beef, he said a lot of controversial things before he passed, in OZONE and radio interviews. Even though he put the disclaimer on it that it was his opinion and not Bun’s opinion, did those situations affect you? Nah, not really. I’ve never worried about myself or whether any relationships I had with people were gonna be strained. I was really more concerned about him taking on the stress and pressure about feeling like he had to solve everybody’s problems and address every issue. I was like, “You don’t have to take up every cause, man.” But he just felt like if he didn’t speak on certain things then nobody was gonna speak on them. Sometimes some shit is better left unsaid. But who am I to tell any grown man what he can or can’t say? At the end of the day if that’s how he feels, then it’s just gonna be what it’s gonna be. It’s always been like this. That’s not the first time Pimp’s said some shit I ain’t agree with. It’s a lot of shit Pimp said that I didn’t agree with. That’s just being real, but you’re either down with somebody or you’re not. I can’t tell Pimp he can’t say that. I can tell Pimp it might not be cool if you say that; I don’t know if people are gonna appreciate that; some people might take shit a certain way. Who’s to say Pimp’s gonna even ask me how I feel about shit before he say it? Nigga don’t have to call me and say, “Yo, nigga, I’m finna call Julia and say this or that.” He’s a grown ass man; he can call who he wants and say what he wanna say. When you’re with people and down with people, even through the bullshit, even if it’s a lie, we’re gonna ride on that lie and deal with it when we get home. When you’re really, really down with somebody you gonna ride with ‘em no matter what. There’s instances where Pimp didn’t like a lot of shit going on. I wanted this group to be as big as possible, commercially, and there’s a lot of times where Pimp felt like I was compromising the street integrity of this group,
but I was just trying to put us in certain circles. I was just trying to get us paid. But Pimp was like, “Nah, man, we gotta do this shit a certain way or we can’t do it at all.” It’s a lot of shit that me and Pimp didn’t agree on but at the end of the day we were riding for each other. That’s what homeboys do. When Pimp spoke on the “17.5” dope prices and what not, of course, a lot of people took it as a diss towards Young Jeezy. The three of y’all had performed at the OZONE Awards together and everything, so it seemed like that just came out of nowhere. Do you know what sparked that situation? We never discussed that. He never called me and said he had an issue [with Jeezy]. I was like, “Wow.” When I had first talked to you about it, I hadn’t really heard about it. I hadn’t even read the whole [article]. I just heard about him saying something about me or Russell Simmons. Then when the whole thing came back, I was like, “This is finna look real fucked up. Certain people are gonna take this a certain way.” I don’t know if that’s what he meant. Like I said, he was gonna do what he was gonna do. He never said he was dissing Jeezy. Jeezy always said he didn’t take it as that. Whether or not them dudes had any issues or whatever, I never saw it. The last time Pimp and I were together was at Jeezy’s concert in Houston.
“It’s about Pimp; it’s about dealing with loss. It wasn’t easy.” There was no issues. Pimp’s whole reason for going was to show that there was no issue. I literally saw Jeezy two days afterwards when I went to Atlanta to the Dirty Awards – excuse me, the Radio One Dirty Awards. I saw Jeezy and I knew it was no problem, he knew it was no problem. We all know Pimp and what he’s gonna do and be like. Nobody took anything personally, whether it was meant to be taken personally or not. In Hip Hop, you can write a rhyme saying a nigga’s name and feel like you biggin’ ‘em up and nigga’s see you in the street and be like, “Yo, why’d you say my name? Don’t even say my name in shit.” At the end of the day it’s not even be about how I took it. That shit is about how the niggas I stand up for took it, especially when you a street nigga and you represent for the hood and streets. When I interviewed Pimp a few times he talked about his drug use in the past. He basically said that being in jail was kinda good for him ‘cause it helped him get clean of everything. Not saying that was the cause of death, but from what you saw was he able to stay clean since he was out? I didn’t see Pimp doing cocaine. I only saw him do cocaine one time and that was back in the 90s. I can’t attest to whether he was still physically doing cocaine. He didn’t piss dirty and he didn’t violate [parole]. I can’t say that he was doing cocaine, but I can’t sit there and say he wasn’t either. We haven’t gotten the toxicology reports back. His cause of death hasn’t even been determined yet. Pimp was never ashamed of who he was or what he did. Everybody’s got their own issues. Every man has demons. Every person has something they hope nobody ever finds out about. I know I probably got two or three things that I hope nobody ever finds out about.
You wanna tell us? (laughs) Not at all. Yhat ain’t nobody’s business. It’s no dumb shit like I’m gay or I touch kids, but I got my own little quirks. I’m not saying I do this, but maybe I bite my toenails or dumb shit like that and it ain’t nobody’s fucking business. I don’t bite my toenails, but my toenails are ugly as a muthafucka. Everybody’s got their own thing that they like to keep to themselves. Pimp was one of the few people I knew that laid all his strengths and weaknesses out on the table. He never hid anything about himself from anybody. You either accepted him for it or you didn’t fuck with him. So the UGK album coming out through Jive. I heard it’s called The Last Album? I don’t know where they getting that name from. That’s just an ugly title, I think. They keep wanting to call it that but that’s an ugly title. So you don’t know what it’s going to be called? I got an idea what I would like to call it but The Last Album is just an ugly title. I don’t even know why they wanna call it that ‘cause they know good and damn well they’re gonna put out a greatest hits album or a UGK anthology so why would y’all even go there? They’ll probably drop two more [albums] and a DVD. Why y’all even frontin’ like it’s the last album? Y’all still have a lot of material right? We got stuff that the label had and we had stuff that we did together. We were already anticipating doing another UGK album in the fall of 2008 after my solo and his solo. I was gonna come in the spring and he was gonna come in the summer and UGK was gonna come in the fall. My album was pretty much done ‘cause I was coming first. He was still working on a lot of his stuff and there’s UGK stuff done. I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of music. I don’t even physically have the music so I couldn’t tell you what exactly is left. And there’s different music with different people. I believe his wife has a majority of it. I’m not gonna be the one to dictate when and where all that stuff comes out. A lot of people think that I am, but shit don’t work like that at all. We got a homie who was a rapper but he ended up getting shot in the neck and paralyzed from the next down. He says Pimp was the only person that still came around and saw him on a regular basis and treated him the same way he did prior to him being paralyzed. People don’t really understand how much of a friend Pimp was to people. If you was his people, he really fucked with you; he really cut for you. He used to overextend himself, to be honest. I used to hate seeing that, but the kid just had a lot of love and when he fucked with somebody, he really fucked with them. That’s just how it was. Smoke D took it pretty hard. Smoke D is currently back in prison. Hell, even my house arrest niggas – T.I. and C-Murder – niggas that couldn’t make the trip, they was hurt. They just wanted to come and show they respects. When I interviewed Big Gipp, he said he felt like it was disrespectful that Jay-Z didn’t come to the funeral. Did you share that thought? Nah, I don’t feel like that at all. Gipp said that about a lot of people that he felt should have came. People are gonna deal with grief in their own separate ways. I talked to Jay. He sent his sentiments. At the end of the day, yeah we did a record with Jay-Z; Jay-Z’s definitely a friend of ours, but it’s a lot more people in the rap industry that were a hell of a lot closer to Pimp C than Jay-Z that probably could have made that trip. A lot of people think that because he’s a rich person,
he’s got a private jet at his disposal so if he wants to get up and go somewhere he shouldn’t have no trouble but at the end of the day, I don’t hold anything against anybody. My homie from the West Coast wanted to come and he was like, “I’ll come down there and support you, but I’m not going in that building. I can’t look at the homie in the casket.” It’s a lot of people that probably didn’t want to see him like that. The reality is, I don’t care how much money you got, in what state they find you in, how quick they embalm you or whatever they do to you, you are not gonna look how you looked in life in that casket in passing. I’m sorry, that’s just what it is. That’s a reality that a lot of people don’t wanna face. A lot of people didn’t want to see him in that state or didn’t want to deal with it. Dealing with Pimp C’s death has them dealing with their own mortality and the finality of life for them. A lot of people don’t wanna accept that right now. They really wanna believe life is footloose and fancy-free and we’re all gonna get away scott-free. That’s just not the truth. I can’t think like that; I’m forced to deal with reality. So for other people that can cling to that world, I hope they do. I hope they never have to feel like I do. So is 2 Trill going to be similar to Trill, in terms of a lot of guest features, a similar type of sound? Yeah, I got features on there but even songs I’m doing by myself, it’s crazy because I have people doing the hooks on certain songs but if you pick up the CD it’s featuring so-and-so. It’s a song where I do all the verses on it and somebody else is doing the hook, but because somebody’s doing the hook as an artist with a name, it’s like, “Oh damn, he’s got all these people [featured, it’s like] a compilation.” I can’t fucking sing like Lyfe Jennings so why not ask Lyfe Jennings to come and sing the fucking hook? I can’t chant like Junior Reid; why not ask Junior Reid to come and sing the fucking hook? I do have songs with other people on there, definitely. I wanna make a good strong album. I’m not a solo artist; I make solo albums and I’m dealing with a solo career but I’m not just a solo artist that’s got all these fucking songs sitting in a tablet waiting to put this shit on somebody’s beat. I’ve never been like that. We’ve never made music that we didn’t put out. Everything we made was for something. I mean, I’ma make a solo album. It’ll probably be closer to Trill. It’s what I do. I don’t even know how to do any other kind of solo album. My solo albums are always in light of UGK. They’re something to represent in place of UGK until the UGK can be done again. That’s why it always ends up having so many features ‘cause it’s not just me. I try to encapsulate as much of myself and Pimp’s train of thought and the kind of shit Pimp would want to do too. I would never make a “Get It Girl” ‘cause I don’t know how to so it’s best for me to call Collipark, that makes the music all day, and get the Ying Yang Twins to walk that shit with me. Usually, Pimp would come up with it, do the beat, do the hook, do his verses, and call me to rap on it. But it’s a different thought process now. It’s just something to deal with. That being said, 2 Trill is a strong album. It would probably have more songs with me doing the verses than Trill would. It’s definitely gonna be some people on there. When 8Ball and MJG send you some vocals, you don’t turn that shit down. People need to hear that, you know, Rick Ross, Junior Reid – when Sean Kingston wants to sing a chorus for you, why wouldn’t you let him sing it? The Sean Kingston feature is hot, the first single. Yeah, it’s produced by J.R. Rotem. I’m just trying to take things as far as I can possibly take ‘em. These
kinds of options weren’t available to me. Why not take a chance? It’s still some gangsta shit. I’m not making “Beautiful Girls” the rap version. I’m doing it as a gangsta. They gotta come to my world. I’m not trying to do what they doing; I’m just trying to do what I’m doing and maybe let the people that listen to him get a little whiff of me. At the end of the day, I’m doing G shit. Is there going to be a Pimp C tribute? Yeah, definitely. Like I said, that shit’s not easy. Just writing a verse about it wasn’t easy. You look at a song like “The Story,” where I probably heard “The Story” like four times in my life – the day I laid it, the day I played it for the label; Pimp and I sat and listened to it, and I may have heard it in somebody’s car one other time. That shit is hard to write; it’s hard to record, and it’s damn sure hard to listen to. This shit is gonna be even harder but at the same time it is therapy. I do wanna say certain things. With all due respect to my fans, I’m not doing this shit for them. I have to do it for me ‘cause I can’t make the dedication record that everybody would want me to make. Some people are gonna want this; some want that; some want fast; some want slow. I gotta talk about my dude
“When it comes to Pimp C and UGK, please don’t tell me what I gotta do, other than continue mashing. I know I gotta make a song about my nigga. That’s the first thing you think abouthow do I do my nigga justice?” the way I feel I want to talk about my dude. I’m not gonna do it because people say I gotta do a song about Pimp; I know what the fuck I gotta do. When it comes to Pimp C and UGK, please don’t tell me what it is I gotta do, other than continue mashing. But that’s just about people trying to uplift me. I know I gotta make a song about my nigga. That’s the first thing you think about – like, how do I do my nigga justice? I talk about the group and different things but to really speak on the man, it’s a little different. I ain’t never really wrote no shit like that before. I ain’t never really had to dig like that before. “The Story” is digging but it’s about the career. Some of it is about the people, but it’s more about the career. That shit’s not gonna be easy. Is there anything else you want to get into? Thank everybody for all the love and passion and condolences, from the man on the street to the man. I seen a lot of people hurt and dealing with pain. I seen a lot of grown ass people cry, people who a lot of people didn’t even think had a heart. I seen people really give it up emotionally for my dude. I thank them. I miss my dude too. I loved him too and it’s good to know people understand my pain. I hate to see people going through it but it’s good to know that he touched a lot of people and that people really loved him. We’re gonna represent for him. We’re gonna make this happen. It’s still UGK for life. That goes without saying, but just in case it needs to be said, it’s still UGK for life and we’re gonna rep for the Pimp. // OZONE MAG // 75
(center): Bun B (top row L-R): Kilo, Bankroll Jonez, Eddie Rabbit, Bad Ass Bam, Bandit, Hezeleo, Vicious, Big Bubb, XVII, DJ B-Do, T.O.E.
UGK RECORDS Carrying the Torch for Pimp C
words by Ms. Rivercity photo by mike frost
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Location: Pass Christian, MS Myspace.com/17thaboss “I grew up listening to Pimp,” XVII recollects. “With every artist on UGK Records, it was family. Everybody had a role.” After flying to Houston to record a song with Pimp, XVII would soon find that his role was to be Pimp’s first round draft pick. “I was supposed to just feature him on one song and Pimp ended up wanting the record to come out under UGK Records. Pimp knew I was fucking around in the streets so he moved me to Port Arthur. Me and Pimp sounded a lot alike and I reminded Pimp of himself, so he wanted me to go first. Pimp had a lot of people down with him before me and I was a lil nervous about how everybody else would feel. But I didn’t see jealousy or nothing like that when I met them.” Starting off as a featured guest in his music career, Pimp would end up becoming a brother to XVII. He guided his new protégé with the distribution of XVII’s album Certified, which under Pimp’s guidance would sell 9,000 units. Released only two months prior to Pimp’s passing, a permanent distribution situation was never finalized for the album and now XVII faces legalities and clearance hindrances. Despite the current situation, XVII continues mashing forward, not only for himself but for the sake of preserving a legend. He states, “It’s like taking five steps backwards. I have to go back to the roots. But I have a close relationship with Bun; I am with UGK Records. I’m gonna sit back and wait ‘til all the legalities clear up and then drop another record. Until then, I’m gonna grind on the mixtape circuit and stay in the streets with Certified. That’s how Pimp taught us to be.” With mixtapes slated to drop soon with DJ Chuck T and others, XVII simply wants to make music with a cause. “It’s hard to keep a legacy alive when that person’s not here anymore but as long as I’m breathing, Pimp’s breathing. As long as I’m still rapping, he’s rapping. I just want people to pay attention to everything he said now, even if you didn’t pay attention to him when he was alive.”
Location: Charlotte, NC/Houston, TX Website: Myspace.com/bankrolljonez Over the past ten years, Bankroll Jonez has released nine albums – the ninth being a project he solicited Pimp C for a guest feature on. This feature, which was arranged through Pimpin’ Ken, ultimately led to Bankroll’s artist deal under UGK Records. “Pimp called me out to L.A. for the ‘I Choose You’ video shoot,” Bankroll remembers. “Then he brought me to Houston and I ain’t left since.” Through his persistence and a little reinforcement from UGK artist XVII, Pimp was persuaded into signing Bankroll, who says, “Everybody that Pimp signed was basically their own boss. They earned their own money and ran their own companies so all Pimp had to do was give his approval and create a 50/50 situation.” With his album completed just a few weeks prior to Pimp C’s death, Bankroll was faced with finding his own distribution. “Plans really haven’t changed,” he affirms optimistically. “We’re all pushing. I’m out here campaigning like Bankroll Obama. I appreciate what Pimp and Bun have done for me. They were my favorite artists for all that time and having the privilege to be with them is unbelievable. They’re never gonna regret fucking with Bankroll Jonez.”
Location: Beaumont, TX Website: Myspace.com/bigbubbugk As CEO of Go Gettas Entertainment, Big Bubb was introduced to Pimp C’s artist Hezeleo while marketing Go Gettas in the streets. After forming an alliance with Hezeleo and assisting him with promotions, Bubb eventually became a permanent fixture in the UGK entourage. He elaborates, “I stepped down from being CEO to help Hezeleo with UGK Records. We would be at the chicken place getting dinner and me and Hezeleo would turn it into a record store, signing autographs and everything. I was made an official member of the group just by my work ethic.” At first Pimp C wasn’t sure how to incorporate his new artist’s abilities into his rapidly growing family. Bubb states, “The grinding got me in and basically I was tuned into the marketing and sales. When Pimp realized I could rap, we did a project called The Triangle. I was trying to take off as a solo artist, but they kinda looked at me and Hezeleo as a group so we went forward as a group.” Coinciding with the group concept, Pimp began arranging the UGK Posse project. “Pimp hosted albums and mixtapes for a few artists and it was kind of unbalanced with him trying to figure out the next artist to come out, so he figured he could bring everyone out together.” Although Pimp never saw the results of his plan carried out, the UGK Posse album is still a vivid dream for Bubb and his labelmates. As Big Bubb continues to bring Pimp’s dream to life, he also focuses on his own goals and those of his associates, stating, “Every individual in UGK Records plays their part. It keeps the record company going forward. The next thing for me is becoming a household name and getting my artistry heard. Once that happens, I’ll put artists out under my independent label. I’m gonna host parties, mixtapes, and do shows. I’m just trying to stay busy so Pimp C’s legacy can go forward. I’m gonna help Bun B and he’s helping us at the same time. We’re all leaning on each other right now.”
Location: Port Arthur, TX Website: Myspace.com/djbdo Raised in Port Arthur on UGK classics, DJ B-DO initially joined the rap game as a DJ in high school. A one-stop-shop for music, B-DO raps, produces, and engineers. Both his production and lyrical skills are demonstrated on “Grind Hard,” a selection off of UGK’s first album. “I’m one of Pimp’s secret weapons. He had a production company called the 808 Boyz with me, Pimp, Avery, and Below,” B-DO continues. “When Pimp passed we were working on many projects. Me and T.O.E. were working on a project called Da Underdawgz. We were working on the UGK Posse project with everyone. We’re still working on everything now.” While still constructing Pimp’s visionary Underdawgz album, B-DO is searching for solid ground as a solo artist. He states, “UGK is all family. Everybody’s collectively getting everything together. We got our project basically finished. We’re just trying to create situations for ourselves with some majors. Ain’t nothing stopped. Pimp wouldn’t want us to stop.”
Location: Port Arthur, TX Website: Myspace.com/tgrugk “I’ve known Pimp and Bun since back in the day when everybody first started rapping,” Helezeo expresses with honor as he introduces his history with UGK Records. Although he wasn’t aiming to become a member of Pimp and Bun’s crew, he always viewed them with respect. He continues, “I was doing my thing, selling CDs out the trunk, just trying to pave my own way. I was on the corner out pumping a CD and Pimp’s brother-in-law put me down with Pimp’s mama. Pimp was locked up at the time.” Soon afterwards, Mama West became Hezeleo’s manager.
Upon Pimp’s long awaited release, the dream of UGK Records fully materialized. Pimp began sharpening Hezeleo’s skills and assisted with hosting Hezeleo’s project Block Stars Volume 1. The project featured some of Pimp’s other artists like X-Mob and Smoke D. “Pimp brought us together and it was a real family vibe. I was there to do whatever he needed me to do, whether it was carrying bags or being an artist. He took me on tour. We did a lot of exclusive stuff, family stuff, and business stuff. It was a great experience.” With the current situation seeming gray, Hezeleo is positively contemplating his visions. He says, “We used to have these big barbeques, when we would unwind. No cameras, no groupie shit, it was just family. This is when you would see Chad Butler just clown and make a nigga laugh. I envisioned us working hard, with our families missing us, and we’d come back home to these times and realize what the sacrifice was all about. I envisioned us being older, flyer than a muthafucka, chillin’ with our family, knowing we had just stomped a mudhole in the game. I’ma really miss that. I hope Pimp can do that in his mind, spirit, and heart.” While some dreams may seem distant, others are clearer. In his solo efforts, Hezeleo is working with the Fleet DJs on several mixtapes as well as finishing up his album Tribute to the King. The album will utilize several beats that Pimp C set aside solely for the purpose. He’s also promoting the Pimp C Forever t-shirts whose profits are distributed amongst Pimp C’s family. The UGK Posse album is still in the works, along with a UGK Posse DVD. He sums up his outlooks by pointing out, “We’re all solo artists, but once we combine the efforts it’s real powerful.”
Location: Beaumont, TX Website: Myspace.com/ivorypdapimp Hailing from the Beaumont corner of the “Golden Triangle” (Beaumont, Port Arthur, Orange), Ivory P was introduced to Pimp C through Pimpin’ Ken. “I’ve been in the rap game since the late 90s,” Ivory begins his story. “My passion was music but I was always getting street money. I’m a real pimp. I’ve caught three dope cases and been to pen and stayed silent. I had street credibility and Pimp just saw that I was real with what I did.” Over the past year, Ivory P became tight with Pimp C and began contributing to the UGK Posse album. “Pimp looked at me as the future of UGK Records,” he states. “He really had big plans for all of us. He was a good dude; he helped a lot of people. He said whatever the fuck was on his mind. He was a true friend of mine. Things have been hard since he passed.” As the dust settles on their recent loss, UGK Records must move forward. “I ain’t gonna say things are on hold but they’ve been prolonged.” He adds, “We’re still mourning but at the same time, we’re keeping shit going for him and we got Bun’s back 100 percent.” In his future, Ivory has scheduled the release of his solo album Ivory P the Chosen One which features Gucci Mane and Pittsburgh artist Ray Zellous. “We’re still wreckin’ this shit and repping UGK for life,” Ivory concludes.
Location: Port Arthur, TX Website: Myspace.com/toepa15 Residents of the same city, T.O.E. and Pimp C met in the streets of Port Arthur and quickly became tight. “Pimp put me on this rap music thing,” T.O.E. begins, “I grew up on UGK. If you wasn’t listening to UGK out here, then you really didn’t know what was happening.” Along with Pimp C and B-DO, T.O.E. was recently working on a group project called Da Underdawgz. The album was close to completion when Pimp passed and T.O.E. and B-DO are left to finish the project devoid of their mentor and business partner’s direction. Although his physical presence is no longer with us, Pimp C will forever live in the lyrics he left behind. Da Underdawgz project will include several Pimp C verses as well as his group’s solo tracks. T.O.E. adds, “We’re still in the lab continuing our things that we got going. We’re doing everything we’d be doing if he was still here. We check on his family and kids, making sure everything’s good. Me and Bun still have a great relationship. We want to keep on going with it ‘cause that’s what we know he’d want us to do. It’s what we got to do.”
Location: Lake Charles, LA Website: Myspace.com/viciousraps Vicious credits Pimp C with guiding his career since his first record. He was originally part of the X-Mob group and eventually went on to appear on the UGK album. Currently releasing several mixtape projects, including Am I My Brother’s Keeper, Vicious is waiting patiently to launch his full length record under UGK Records. When asked about his imminent plans, Vicious states, “We’re basically grinding right now and putting out everything and hoping a situation will evolve. I’m still in the streets until then. I also a hot song called ‘That Ain’t My Hoe’ that’s out as well.” Just like every other member of the UGK Posse, Vicious also keeps the memory and wishes of Pimp C close at heart. “UGK Records is an institution and we’re trying to represent for the Pimp. It’s all 100 over here. UGK Records till I die. I’m also a big muthafuckin’ supporter of Trill Entertainment as well.”
OZONE MAG // 77
What’s the difference between Miami weed and Jamaican weed? The weed in Miami is expensive, like $800 an ounce. It looks real good and smells real good, but it only gets you high for fifteen minutes. But when you go to Jamaica, they grow it out of the sand, the black dirt, with the yellow sun and the blue water, the shit is the same as kush but with seeds. It’ll get you high for five hours instead of fifteen minutes, and it’s way cheaper. $40 will get you an ounce of that good sticky in Jamaica that breaks down just like kush. When you smoke it you can taste it. Jamaica has natural kush. How does it compare to California weed and other places you’ve been? Cali weed is good too, but all that stuff is chemically grown so it’s only gonna give you the chemical high for fifteen minutes. We’ll run through $2,000 easy in two or three days out there [in California]. Jamaica has the best weed. Jamaican weed is so good I almost went to prison bringing this back right now. Customs almost searched my whole life. Wait a minute. Customs just pulled you aside at the airport bringing weed back from Jamaica? How did you not get busted? They were sweating me extra hard but I’ve got God on my side. If I was a pussy nigga that had never really been through nothin’, I woulda been sweating. I would’ve been nervous. But I’ve been through a lot worse than a couple joints of Jamaican weed. I just stood there [in customs] and played it like a G and got up outta there with my good stuff. I brought kush to Jamaica and now I’m bringing Jamaica to Miami. Ain’t that some shit? How many times have you been arrested for drug-related offenses? I’ve been arrested one, two, three, four... about six or seven times. I just got arrested in Detroit last year, in August. I’ve got a warrant up there now. I was in the airport coming through with some kush and they picked me up. I never took care of it so now I’ve got a warrant. (laughs) Would you consider yourself a drug user, or a drug dealer? Do you make money off it? No, I’m not a user. I’m an abuser. An abuser? Sounds like you don’t take it seriously. Nope. I don’t take it seriously. Some people have a problem. Some people let drugs use them; I use drugs. I don’t sit there and say, “I need a line of coke or a pill or I can’t do nothing.” I need my weed now or I can’t do shit or I’ma snap on anybody three feet near me, but I don’t take it to that extreme where I can’t handle my business. If I don’t handle my business I can’t get high. My business and my family are first and foremost, then after I do all that, I get as high as a kite. I’ll snort an eight-ball; I’ll pop five pills; I’ll sip two or three ounces of syrup; I’ll pop two or three Xanax bars. How much money do you spend during an average week on drugs? Don’t tell [Rick] Ross, but on an average week I spend about $500 to $600 on weed, coke, pills, and Percs. When I had money to spare I was spending $1,500 a week. Right now I’m down to $500 ‘cause I’m trying to reserve myself, but at the height of my escapades it was $1,500 a week, no pressure. How do you think you’re able to “use drugs” without letting them “use you”? At an early age I saw what drugs do to you. My aunt used to be on bricks bad, that’s crack-cocaine. She was freebasing real bad when I was six years old. I saw what overdoing it will do to you. I just made a promise within myself not to go that far, not to ever let it mess up my family, my money, my mind, you know? That’s recreation. I like to do it when I know I don’t have anything to do or when I know it’s time to vibe. People like to see me vibe and when I vibe, I’m usually on four or five different drugs. If I can get paid and do that at the same time, I’m getting off scot-free. I feel like I’m stealing. When you were six years old and your aunt was doing crack-cocaine, what are your earliest memories of seeing the drug’s effects? My aunt used to have this pink nightgown and she would lay down on the sofa. She’s like 240 [pounds] now but back then she was about 89 pounds, and she’s a very tall lady. Imagine a 6’2”, 89 pound lady laying on the couch in a pink nightgown that was
78 // OZONE MAG
An unusually sober-looking GunPlay (right) with fellow Poe Boy artists Flo Rida and Rick Ross
so old, the material was so thin, it was almost see-through. The material is so thin it’s falling in between her ribcage. I came in the house and when I saw her, I thought she was dead. I said, “Aunt Ruthie, wake up, somebody’s at the door.” I looked at her chest and it wasn’t even rising up and down. It just messed my mind up. I said, “Hell naw, I ain’t never doing that shit [crack].” One time, after a big [domestic] fight, my mother went real bad on me. She said, “Don’t you ever do drugs!” She was screaming and crying and slapping me. How does your mother feel about your drug use now? She doesn’t like it but she knows that I’m a smart guy and I know what I’m doing and I handle my business. She doesn’t like it at all. I done came home plenty of times and parked my car halfway on the front porch. My mom had to help me out the car ‘cause I couldn’t drive anymore and I was screaming, “We the best!” and being all happy. She’s like, “You’re too drunk,” and I’m like, “Naw, I’m too successful.” When good stuff happens to me and I overcome a hump in my life, that’s a reason for me to go out, celebrate, and do six drugs. What’s been your worst experience from doing drugs? Usually I take four or five pills. One time, I took just one pill and I swear I thought I was gonna die. I had my homeboy drop me at the hospital and drive off ‘cause I really thought I was gonna die. I didn’t want him to go to prison so I told him to just drop me off at the emergency room and keep going. I took one pill from one of my homeboys and I didn’t look at it or nothing; I just popped it and the next thing you know I felt like I was gonna die. I felt like one of these people that’s on TV, like how they be shaking and shit when they overdose on ecstasy and synthetic pills. They stripped me down to my boxers and left my chain on. So I got my boxers and my chain on and that’s it. I was sweating, drinking water, shaking, and I kinda dozed off. I felt somebody lift up my chain and I grabbed that nurse – a male nurse – I grabbed him by his wrist and his neck at the same time and boom! The head nurse lady said, “Don’t you ever touch one of my employees again or I’m gonna send you to prison!” I thought he was gonna steal my chain and I got sober instantly. I was damn near in a coma but I felt that muthafucka touch my chain and it was going down. How old were you when you started experimenting with drugs? I started smoking weed at 12 years old, in seventh grade, when I was in drop-out prevention. I think that’s how I got in drop-out prevention ‘cause I started smoking weed. I started snorting coke at 15 in the summer of ’94. Why did you decide to start using cocaine? I always had a lot of it [for sale]. I used to serve this one baser all night, outta my mama’s house. I would walk down to the corner store and serve him 40’s all night. He would buy four 40’s a night, every night. That’s when all my niggas was serving lil’ nickel bags of weed and shit and I was sitting here serving 40’s of coke and getting money. One day his eyes were real wide and he walked up to me when he was buying that 40 and said, “Yo, you ever did this shit?” I said, “Naw, man.” He said, “Don’t you ever do this shit, dawg. This shit is the devil.” In my mind, I know crack is the devil. [But] I know rich dudes that maintain in life and still do coke. So I’m like,
“Well, you’re just a baser.” One day, I was in my room drunk and I had a bunch of [cocaine] in there. I was with a couple of my older homeboys, my older chicos that usually had all the work. They were breaking it down. One night I snorted about two or three lines, and six hours later after about the eighteenth conversation, I just noticed, holy shit, I’m higher than a muthafucka. I’m speedin’ right now. I can’t stop talking. I can’t stop moving. This is the best shit God ever created. Do you still think cocaine is the best shit God ever created? Yeah. I mean, naw. I think weed is the best shit God ever created.
“I used to serve this one baser [crack] and One day his eyes were real wide and he said to me, ‘Yo, you ever did this shit?’ I said, ‘Naw, man.’ He said, ‘Don’t you ever do this shit, dawg. This shit is the devil.’”
Um... okay. You’re sounding like a drug advocate right now. Are you advocating cocaine use? Oh, I love cocaine. Let me tell you what cocaine does to me. When I’m on pills, they get me high. It’s an upper and a downer at the same time. When I’m on syrup and Xanax bars, that’s a downer. When I’m on weed and Hennessy, that’s a downer. But when I toot-toot on that white bitch - no offense, JB - it evens everything out. I feel like I’m down but I can function. I can talk; I’m not slurring. I can drive right. It’s a balance for everything.
Which drugs do you think the government should legalize? They need to legalize weed. That’s it, ‘cause everything else is gonna have everybody trippin’. Not everybody can snort coke and be normal and function. Certain muthafuckas can do that, but you gotta be responsible for the other muthafuckas that can’t do that. [Some people] snort white and wanna go shoot up some shit for no reason. I do that too, but I’m gonna shoot up some shit for a reason. When’s the last time you snorted cocaine? Right before I left for Jamaica. I got high to stay awake ‘cause I had a flight early in the morning. I snorted an eight-ball real quick and stayed up all night. I can’t do no less than an eight-ball. I need 3.5 grams. I can’t do nothing less than that or I’m gonna be upset. When you hear about other artists or famous people that have overdosed on cocaine or died from syrup, does that scare you? Naw, ‘cause I feel like that’s God’s plan. If that’s the way I gotta go out, that’s the way he’s gonna let me go out. Just like with motorcycles. I wanna buy a bike right now; I’ve never rode one in my life but I’m gonna buy one and I’m gonna do 200 on the highway at four in the morning on a Wednesday when nobody’s on it. If it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go. I could be sitting right here in this truck talking to you and a nigga I robbed three years ago could run up on the truck and blow my brains out. Either way, I’m not scared of that. I am the original overdoser. I overdose on life. Did your aunt gain weight because she kicked the crack-cocaine habit? Yeah. She kicked the habit because the doctors gave her a bunch of different drugs; they gave her more legal drugs to get off the illegal drugs and it fucked up her whole brain. Now she has the mental capacity of a 13-year-old, and she’s 48 years old. But I still love her to death. So if you’ve been spending $1,500 a week on drugs since 15, that’s a lot of money. How much money do you think you’ve spent on drugs in your lifetime? Shit! A house. I’m 26 now. But nah, I’ve only been spending money like that since 2006 when we got the [record] deal and I started making a bunch of money. What happens if, God forbid, your music career ends and the money stops coming in? I’d have to wind off that shit, because I won’t be able to buy it. I’ve got so many friends in high places that they’re just gonna give it to me, but I would just have to stop doing it, period. I’m not gonna rob nobody for it, and I ain’t finna steal for it. I ain’t a slave to it. I do drugs, I don’t let ‘em do me. My willpower is so strong. The only thing I have a problem with is weed. In the morning I have to have a joint or I’m snapping on everybody. Is drug use a common theme throughout your music? Yeah. We’re about to flood the industry with Triple C’s, Carol City Cartel, Black Flag Music. Drugs are a big part of my life so I talk about it a lot. I got a freestyle talking about the After Hours; that’s where I be at. I come out at 4:30 in the morning and that’s when I start my night. I go to the titty bar for about an hour, and then I go to the After Hours. I’m a king in there. Everybody knows, there goes Gunplay, make sure he got his rice and beans. Rice and beans is coke and pills. That’s the first two [drugs] I need when I go out. Have you ever tried going out sober? Yeah, and it’s not that much fun. It was boring. If you hadn’t been exposed to so much drug use as a child through your family, do you think you would’ve ended up trying them? That’s a good question. I have no idea. I think I woulda probably tried it because I’ve always rolled with the punches. If I didn’t know that crack did that to you, I probably would be more susceptible to smokin’ that shit. I saw that shit early, so it’s
something in the back of my subconscious that will not let me do it. I don’t have no experimental urge to do it.
Are there any other drugs that scare you? The most I ever did that was over the limit - and I’ll never do it again - is coke and heroin. Speedballin’. I was with a white bitch one time and my coke was done, and she had some [coke] but I didn’t know that she had mixed with with boy [heroin]. It looked kinda grayish brown, but you’ll find that sometimes if your coke is cut. I snorted it up and instantly I felt like I was on ecstasy. I was like, “Damn, this is some fire-ass coke.” After the fifth or sixth line she says, “Oh. You’re snorting outta that bag? Oh, baby, no. That’s a speedball.” I’m like, “Oh. Well, how much do you want for the rest of that?” I bought the rest from her and after I finished snorting that shit, it was the worst feeling I’ve ever felt in my fucking life. I was The Exorcist in the house. I was projectile puking. I was shooting that bitch so far. Never again. Once that happened, I decided I ain’t fuckin’ around with that shit no more. That was the craziest drug I ever did. It’s called speedball, boy and girl mixed, and you can either vein it or nose it. I was straight nosing it ‘cause I don’t fuck with my veins. So you’re promising, in print, that you’ll never try crack? I ain’t never gonna say never, but I ain’t never gonna try hard and I ain’t never gonna do no boy. That’s not my drug of choice. I’m gonna let the fans know a secret. I heard about meth. They say that if you snort a match tip of crystal meth you’ll be high for six hours. I hope nobody brings that shit in front of me, ‘cause a six-hour high off a match tip, oh boy! But that’s kinda borderline crack. When I see meth [addicts], you can’t tell if they’re on crack or meth. I don’t think I’d ever do that. Have any of your friends told you that you need to chill out? Oh, yeah. If it wasn’t for [Carol City Cartel’s] Geter K, Torch, and Rick Ross, I would be lost. It was messing up my business. At one point when we got the deal and all this money, I couldn’t differentiate business from pleasure. On business time, I was still high. Remember when we did the OZONE cover [photo shoot]? I was on so much dope then and I wasn’t supposed to be ‘cause it’s business hours. You can’t do that. So they had a little intervention for you? Not really. They just said, “You’re shooting yourself in the foot. Stop.” They didn’t have to tie me up and send me to a shrink or no bullshit like that. All they told me was, “Listen, you’re not only fucking yourself up, you’re fucking up the crew. You’re fucking up our money also. You’re fucking up Rick Ross’ money.” After that intervention, I was like, wow, I’d die for my niggas. I would never hurt any of my niggas physically, financially, mentally. Once they told me that, I thought about their kids. I thought about Ross’ son, Geter K’s son, Torch’s son, my son and that clicked in my head: You’re tripping. You’re about to not get a check and you’re a pivotal point in this crew. I’m the underboss, man. How old is your son? My son is 3 and a half and gorgeous. He stays with his mom ‘cause I’m too busy and she’s a real good woman and a very good mother, so I trust her all day with him. I don’t worry about him when I’m on the road because when he’s with her or my mom, he’s good. There’s no pressure at all. Do you think your drug use affects him? I don’t disrespect my son. I don’t get high in front of him. He might smell a lil Newport or Heineken on my breath but that’s about it. [When he gets older] I’m gonna let my son do what he wanna do, but I’m gonna show him firsthand, just like I was shown, what drugs to you. That sticks in your head. I could beat his ass all day, but he’s gotta make his own decisions. I’m gonna show him the real. I’m not gonna shelter him and hide him from stuff like my mother wants me too. I’m gonna show him weed and say, “When you get old enough, if you wanna smoke the shit, it’s cool. Smoke it, don’t let it smoke you.” I’ll smoke weed with my son if he’s a responsible young adult. If he’s headed in the right direction and wants to get high a lil’ bit, do your thing, man. But it’s strictly recreational. Be about your business 25-8 because when you don’t handle your business ain’t nobody gonna give you shit to smoke for free and shit to snort. You gotta buy your shit, and how you gonna buy your shit if you ain’t handling your business? That’s how I do it. Once you handle your business, use it at your discretion. If you a weak-minded muthafucka, that shit is gonna take over you. God bless you. But I’m not a weak-minded muthafucka; I’m strong. I won’t spend my last on it. If it’s either a $20 on coke or $20 in the tank, I’ma put $20 in the tank and then I’ma call my homeboy and say, “Front me $20 of coke.” Is there anything else you wanna talk about? I wanna plug the After Hours in my city in Miami. Every third Thursday once a month I have a Triple C pill-poppin’ party. It starts at 3:30 in the morning. I walk around the club and whoever I think is on the most drugs and stickin’ – that’s when you on two or three beans and your jaw is locked up and your eyes are wide – if I feel that you’re really high I’ma give you another pill. I just go around the party handing out pills. Every third Thursday of the month the whole city comes out just to get high with me. They love it. Rick Ross’ album Trilla is in stores right now and we got Carol City Cartel’s album coming right behind it and Gun Play’s album Kill Switch. I got a new name – GunPlay is the goon, and Don Logan is the business man. GunPlay is Don Logan. //
OZONE MAG // 79
djSCREAM Words by Randy Roper
What other mixtape series to you have? So Seductive R&B. I got a radio joint, Hood Rich Radio. Hood Rich Radio helps promotes my XM radio show that I have on XM 66 Raw. That’s mainly it. I had Only The Crunk Survive. That was my first series, I retired that when the whole crunk movement kinda simmered down. Why do you think the crunk scene died down? What do you think happened to the crunk music? I mean, a lot of stuff that comes out in Atlanta is real trendy. Then when it crosses over, so to speak, then it plays out. The biggest that happened to the whole crunk era, Lil’ Jon took it to a whole nother plateau, You got people in Germany, Europe, Japan using this world “crunk.” So, when its just right here at home base, then its cool, we crunk. Just like the trap thing right now. But when it goes so far and the suburban kids get a hold on it and the international kids get a hold of it, it’s their fad for that summer or that spring. Just like snap music, you saw how it came and went. And that’s how the rock star thing came and went. When it blows up, it’s just because it’s the thing that’s in but when it’s out of style, you gotta move to something new. I mean, Crunk was around a long time before it got played, per say. I wouldn’t say crunk is got but I’d say the word is played out. But I as far as crunk music, you go to Atlanta, go to the club, you still see people being crunk. There’s still crunk music. With so many DJs out there what do you think you did that put you ahead of the game? I work harder and I strive to be different. In everything, production, DJing, rapping, everybody is trying to be the next person. If you strive to be original, innovative, bring something new to the game. As a DJ and if you break artists, then other people will recognize that. It ain’t really no rocket science, you just gotta bring a style to the game and that’s what a lot of people don’t understand. So what did you bring to the game? Definitely artists, I had a lot to do with bringing in some of those BME artists. Crime Mob, helping out Trillville and the whole D4L situation, the Shawty Lo situation, I get a lot of credit for breaking those acts first. It’s just the way I put my tapes together, it’s a little different from everybody else. When I do my parties, or radio shows, it’s different from everybody else’s radio show. My parties are different. I strive to be different. Of course there is different boundaries you have to stay in, with every game. I just try to take it to next level. Can you explain Shawty Lo’s movement from your perspective, being the DJ that helped break him and D4L? Lo, if you crack open one of the older OZONEs, they asked me who I thought was next, I had him at #1. He got the swag, his personality is good, a lot of people fuck with him. He’s like the next nigga, he’s here now. He got three or four hits under his belt, an album out that’s doing good, a damn near classic album in my opinion. This album and these singles are really just the beginning of his career. He has long way to go as far as what he can achieve and what he is going to achieve. Hood Rich Radio on XM, how is that show going for you? It’s going great, man, I gotta show every Thursday 11:30am est. on XM radio. Hood Rich Radio, that is where you can hear exclusives, freestyles even before you can hear it on my tapes. You know, it’s mostly Southern based but play some East Coast and some West Coast music. Just the best street music out there. It’s an experienced if you don’t have it already.
e helped break Crime Mob, Trillville, D4L and Shawty Lo, and now Atlanta native DJ Scream is one of the top mixtape DJs in the South. His mixtapes, both in name and quantity, are heavy in the streets and he’s is poised to become the next DJ that’s a household name. Move over Khaled. You’re heavy on the mixtape scene. What’s the mixtape series that you’re most known for? Heavy In The Streets. [I’m] on Volume 13 and that’s groundbreaking for a lot of artists. If you picked up one you know what is. The regular Heavy In The Streets showcases a lot of exclusives, freestyles and artists. While the Heavy In The Streets artists mixtapes are like street albums for the people, it’s a brand that I created. 80 // OZONE MAG
So, what’s next for you? Scream: Picking up some marketing, some more projects [for Hood Rich Entertainment]. We got credit for the marketing of the Shawty Lo project. That was the first one we visibly got credit for. We’ve been doing it for a long time. So we just looking for the next acts, that’s going to be successful. Continue the whole Hood Rich Radio thing, make that show bigger. I’m still making mixtapes like everyday, every week, that ain’t gonna change. Keeping it moving, working, and trying to get on the cover of that OZONE, man. You were nomination for Mixtape DJ of the Year in last year’s OZONE Awards. How did you feel when you received that nomination? Big up to OZONE for their nomination. They’re coming around again this year. Competitive field, I’m going for the crown this year. I don’t pay attention too many awards and nominations. A lot of times people will tell me I’m nominated for this or that, and it really don’t mean too much. That nomination meant more cause I felt like somebody was watching what I was doing. Last year, outside of this year, was my hardest working year, especially on the mixtape scene. It felt good, man. This year I’m going back in and hopefully I’ll get that crown. //
OZONE MAG // 81
STIC.MAN THE BOTTLE
WORDS BY MAURICE G. GARLAND PHOTO BY CATHERINE WESTERGAARD
…I can’t call it, I just threw up in the toilet // And all my life I said I wasn’t gonna be no alcoholic // I’m flailing son, trying to stay sober // But the alcohol be calling son like a ghost // So let’s make a toast to my liver and my kidneys // Pour out a little Henny here’s to Gout in your twenties // Not many niggas make it to 30, we ride dirty // Breath stinking, already drinking, bright and early // I done hurled off Smirnoff, Gin and 8ball // Passed out on the bathroom floor with my clothes off // Remember them Mickies? Tall can’t fit in they dickies? // Before they put them cameras up in the corner store // We used to be so much fun when we was young // Tryin to holler at something smellin’ like 151 // Gettin’ thrown out the club all buzzed I’m bout to get the gun, dawg // But I ain’t even know where I was // My nigga M had to carry me home many a day // It was Heineken, Becks, E&J, and Andre // They say alcoholism is in my DNA // Cause my pops liked to get fucked up the same way… M-1, taken from “Fucked Up” on RBG: Revolutionary But Gangsta
I got here. My moms had a son and a daughter before she got with my pops. When he came out of the Air Force, since they grew up together, they got married and then I popped out in 1974. I used to smell the urb. I’d see my pops in a real serious, bad-ass mood all the time unless he was fucked up. When he was fucked up you could see it in his eyes. He’d be smiling and playing around with you and shit. But when he gotta go to work, he’d just be the worst. Basically, I didn’t want to do no kind of drugs, because I could see him and my uncles going through that. But even though my pops did all kinds of drugs, he still went to work and made me feel like we had a stable home. It just wasn’t a happy home. My older brother started going in my pops’ room and sneaking his pills. Him and my pops had a lot of friction, then my brother started getting fucked up and smoking cigarettes. Usually, alcoholism is something that is inherited. You spoke on that in the song One day when my brother was about 15 he didn’t come home when he was sup“Fucked Up.” Tell us what your childhood was like? posed to, and my pops kicked him out the house. We wound up all getting in a I don’t think my shit was no different from millions of other people. I grew up in fight; my brother and pops fistfighting and shit. Long story short, he got kicked the South, right outside of Tallahassee, Florida. My pops was an Air Force vet. He out for good. This was in the early 80s and you know what hit us in the early 80s, served in Vietnam. He had a hard life, his father was a real hard disciplinarian. I don’t want to say “abusive,” but just hard and disciplined. So, with him coming up that crack cocaine. My brother stayed with my grandma, basically on his own. He like that, as far as you seeing stuff like the Cosby show, where Theo gets hugs and started hustling, messing with chicks who wanted to boonk out. He got hooked on that shit and to this day he is hooked on that shit. He’s about 40 years old now. all this good shit, you ain’t getting none of that. My grandfather was real hardcore. My pops told me one time that when he went to the Air Force, he started Usually, seeing behavior like that makes kids want to stay away from it. getting into drugs and trying different things. He was already raised with a lack When I saw that, I said, “I ain’t never doing none of that.” I wouldn’t even drink of affection, and when he got in the military he got extra cold. He came back to a beer. But then my moms and pops eventually got divorced, so I was the man of a world that was anti-black folks. My pops was already the type of person that the house. I had mad stress on my brain, I wasn’t really fucking with school. I was will do what he want to do. So just to deal with things my pops wanted to get his mind off of life. He told me he did pills, coke, everything and that was before going through a lot of drama. I was with my homies and cousins and they’d be asual listeners of dead prez would assume that these musical freedom fighters came up living the “conscious” lifestyle that they rap about from the time they left the womb. But you should know that no true wisdom comes without some sense of struggle. Before DPZ was able to record self-awareness songs like “Be Healthy,” group member stic.man had to battle one of the most destructive diseases in our society: Alcoholism. In a rare interview, stic.man opens up about growing up in a household severely affected by drug and alcoholuse, catching Gout in his early twenties, and what he did to not only eliminate his sickness, but live a healthier lifestyle.
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like, “You ain’t never had nothing to drink? You behind. Lets do this!” Next thing I know, I’m like, “I ain’t scared of that shit.” So I’d take the whole fifth and I remember feeling like, this is great, I feel separated from my everyday shit. If there’s a girl I wanted to talk to, I’m more confident because I’m buzzed. That whole lifestyle, I ain’t no different from millions who have been through that. Intoxication became an everyday thing for me. It was an escape from a lot of shit. I felt bad because I told myself I wasn’t going to become that shit. I was drinking everyday, started smoking urb and all that shit, for years. I was about 17 and did that until I was 22. When did you realize that you might have a drinking problem? We’d go to a house party and I’d be passed out in somebody’s bathroom because I’d try to out-drink everybody. You drink one, I’m drinking 10. Nigga, what! Then I’d go to the bathroom and niggas would come get me like, “Nigga, you was butt ass naked on the floor!” I was out of my mind. But it wasn’t like niggas was trying to preach to me because we was all getting fucked up. But at the same time, they’d be like, “Damn, nigga, I had to drag your ass out.” They said I’d be trying to fight bouncers. I was fucked up and out of my mind. People would be like, ‘Oh, this nigga? Don’t let him get no drink.” I was too young to think that I was an alcoholic. Everybody I knew got fucked up. I wasn’t like my older uncles yet. I didn’t think that I was going to be. I just thought I was young and thuggin’. Eventually, me and my partners decided we needed to do some shit in terms of our music. All of us saved up some hustle money and moved to New York to try and get a record deal. We were in New York homeless, but things ended up working out. We met Lord Jamar from Brand Nubian and worked on a demo and ended up getting a deal. I got a little bit of paper. Before that I was always broke, living check to check, hustle to hustle, half-ounce to half-ounce. But I got a little paper so I was able to get a crib and man, I went so hard. From the time I woke up in the morning, I was drinking Andre to the time I went to bed, still in my clothes. I’d keep the bottles in my window. Niggas knew me for that. It was fun. People would tell me I was a funny nigga when I’m fucked up, but when I’m sober, I was just like my pops, real serious. My oldest brother on crack, my mom got diabetes, my dad had two heart attacks, I got shit on my mind, I’m trying to get free, all kinds of shit. Money was always on my mind. One day in my apartment, after a night of drinking and smoking and eating spaghetti at 4 in the morning, I walked from downtown Brooklyn to my crib in Ft. Greene. I don’t know how I got across the streets, but I got to the crib and went to sleep. That morning about 9 AM, I had to use the bathroom. I was laying there like I ain’t want to get up, felt like I was gonna throw up. I got out the bed and as soon as my foot touched the floor I felt like I had got shot in my ankle. I fell down, almost on my face and I was like “YO!” I looked at my leg and my ankle was red and real swollen. I was like “Shit, I got bit by a spider.” I ain’t know what the fuck was wrong with my foot. I couldn’t even stand up on it. It was super painful. I hated going to the doctor, but I didn’t know what else I could do. I had been eating bullshit like hamburgers. My diet was whatever is cheap. 99 cent Whopper? Give me two of them. When I went to the doctor, he asked if I was into drugs. I told him not really, just a little urb and drinking. He asked me what foods I eat, I said hot dogs and hamburgers. He said, “I hate to tell you this, but you’ve got gout.” Did you know what gout was? Nope. I had heard of it like, old people have gout, but I ain’t know what it really was. I just thought it
was something that all the black people you know have when they’re old. I didn’t know specifically. When the doctor broke it down to me, I was like, “What? Ain’t that some old people shit?” And he was like, “Yeah, but you got it.” He said my lifestyle was unhealthy. For the readers who may not know, gout is an oversaturation in your body of uric acid. Uric acid comes from alcohol waste and meat like hot dogs, hamburgers, any kind of meat, the waste, and not drinking enough water and not exercising enough. Your body is trying to get rid of these toxins. Your liver is oversaturated, so your body starts sending that shit to your blood and joints so it can collect in your bones. That’s what happened to me. My body was like, this shit is toxic so I’ll just stick it in your joints to the point where my leg swoll up and I couldn’t use my leg. I was 21-22 years old. That shit transformed my life, man. But I’ma tell you how the Dr. Killer system works. The doctor didn’t tell me to stop eating hot dogs, he just gave me some pills to allow me to keep doing what I was doing.
to say “look nigga, you saw what happened to me,” I just thought that was my role. It’s a blessing that we was doing music at the time and I was able to express that in certain songs like “Fucked Up,” “Way of Life” and “Be Healthy.” Niggas be thinking you just some nigga trying to preach because you’re “positive.” But everything we say is from real experiences.
He didn’t advise you to stop drinking either? Nope. Basically he said, “I’ma be your pushaman, nigga, I got what you need.” He didn’t try to heal me or encourage me. But it reminded me of something I read from Malcom X, when he said the poor are unhealthy. I remembered that at the time because I was living it. Being the young nigga I was, I snapped back. I told him I wasn’t gonna be taking these drugs. My wifey was a vegetarian. I played with that a little bit, but I didn’t have any reason to do it. When this happened she got really involved in my healing process. She started helping me study and giving me shit to read. I ain’t take none of those pills [from the doctor]. We went to Brooklyn on Nostrand Ave. and got with the Rastas and herbologists. They told to me drink water, cherry juice, eat vegetables, and get the meat out of my system. I got a whole education from that community on how to heal myself.
Can you share some of the stuff you were taking to get better and stay healthy? If you’re drinking, there is an herb called milk thistle, you can get it at most organic places. It’s just an herb that tastes like Peppermint Tea. You start drinking that and it helps clean your liver of alcohol and stuff. More importantly, we as a community have to care about ourselves enough to not be addicted to anything. Addiction is a symptom of oppression. It holds us back, robs our pockets, robs our ambitions to get shit accomplished and makes us vulnerable, weak and sick. We are supposed to be warriors. We’re supposed to be bosses and on top of our business and developing ourselves to the fullest. If that’s a goal that you have, drinking, eating unhealthy, not exercising, smoking everyday with no breaks and all that shit is gonna be counterproductive. This ain’t the first time anyone’s heard this shit, but its gotta touch you and your life. Something has to happen so that you can see your own worth and value. I say study the martial arts, that’s a great way to harmonize the mind, body and spirit.
When the doctor told you had gout, did he tell you a timetable on healing from it? He didn’t tell me it could be healed. He said the pills would make the swelling go down. I learned from the elders and Rastas that nature has created everything we need to heal ourselves. Even the pills you take got some kind of natural herb in it, plus the chemicals and sugars they add to it. I basically just got into respecting my culture and the African ways of the bush and knowing the herbs and shit. I became a vegan. I don’t eat no meats, no eggs, no candy, no sodas. Just fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, fresh juices. I went cold turkey. I also wanted my leg back, so I started training in martial arts. You have to remove yourself from certain elements to kick habits. Was it difficult for you, especially being in the rap lifestyle? Yeah, I just had to get my own natural confidence back. Because the very next day I’m with 13 niggas who are like, “Lets get fucked up, nigga!” We going to the clubs and kicking it, and I’ll be the nigga that’s like, “I’m not drinking.” I’d have a book in my back pocket and we’d be at the club, we kicking it, smoking and shit. I’m drinking water with some lemon in it and I’m pulling a book out on techniques and pressure points to the body or some shit. I became that dude, and it made me feel isolated in a way. I just ain’t want to be sick though. I started realizing that this is poison, not to be cliché, but this is a poison that has robbed our community of strong, healthy people and it contributes to arguments and sickness and diseases and all types of shit that goes on in our households, families and ‘hoods. So even though I felt the peer pressure, I held my ground. Not only am I doing this for me, but I’m trying to be an example for the next nigga in my crew, so they don’t go overboard and get fucked up with gout. I wasn’t trying to preach to nobody but I was trying
Did your behavior rub off anyone else in your crew? A little bit. Some of my homeboys were supportive. My nigga M-1 used to be the one to carry me on his back out of the club. But it affects everybody different, because niggas was drinking and smoking more than me, but they didn’t catch Gout. So I look at it like a spiritual thing. That was my lesson; that was for me. If I didn’t have gout, I would not have seven years of martial arts in my life, I wouldn’t be a vegetarian, and I wouldn’t have been able to do those songs in order to motivate somebody else. That was a blessing, I don’t take struggle as “woe is me” and self-pity.
How are your pops and older brother right now? Well, my older brother is doing a bid right now in prison. Hopefully he’ll be home in the next 4 months. He’ll be starting back from scratch and we’ll take it one day at a time. My pops is doing excellent. He ain’t been on no drugs in years. He got a little belly, got his weight up. He is retired, a two-time heart attack survivor and he is just taking it easy. I tell him to lay off those cigarettes and certain things, but he is gonna do what he wanna do. Our relationship is much, much stronger. He comes up and visits me, we go to the games and shit, we just try to stay in touch and support each other. It’s gonna get greater later. Since you have a son yourself, are you being extra cautious to make sure he doesn’t follow in you and your father’s early footsteps? My son has been training in martial arts since he was two years old. He’s been a vegan since he was born and his mom is vegan. I’m definitely gonna keep it all the way 100 with him about my life, but I’ma let him do him. We don’t allow him to eat candy, but if he says “I want a piece of candy,” we’ll let him eat it because, watch how your ass feel, you get that sugar rush and then you gonna crash. And we tell him, “See, that’s that candy.” We ain’t gonna let him overdo it, and he don’t. If you ask my son if he wants some M&M’s, he’ll be like, “I don’t eat candy.” Try and give him some soda, he’ll tell you, “I don’t drink soda,” on his own discipline. We don’t have to snatch it out of his hand. He orders salad when we go to restaurants. I’m so thankful he never had those addictions that we gotta keep him away from. I know when he grows up, he gonna do what he gonna do, but at least he’ll have that healthy foundation. //
OZONE MAG // 83
Nattral DrugByDetox Afya Ibomu ere in OZONE’s second annual drug issue, we felt it was right to supply our H readers (and your favorite rappers) with some valuable info about the effects the drug we use have on our bodies. We can scare you all we want with horror stories, but we know that the drinking and drugging is going to continue. So we reached out to Atlanta-based Certified Holistic Health Counselor Afya Ibomu to have her drop some jewels about health and some natural alternatives for those of us who still want to party all the time. With the deaths of Pimp C, DJ Screw and ODB along with Nate Dogg’s recent stroke, it’s time to really take a closer look at the Hip Hop lifestyle. I don’t want to come off as some goody two shoes about the dangers of the drugs, alcohol and weed because I am very aware, from personal experience, of the reasons why someone would choose to participate in such activities. But its time for us to exercise some discipline in our habits and the choices we make. Unfortunately the medical system along with the government is helping to keep us hooked on some type of addictive substance whether its coffee, sugar, codeine, cocaine, alcohol or blunts. But really this shit is killing us and now the victims seem to be getting younger and younger. Drugs by definition are chemical substances used to treat, cure or prevent disease or they are used to enhance physical or mental well-being. There are man-made drugs like ecstasy that are made in laboratories, and natural “drugs” like mushrooms that are found in nature. Usually man-made drugs are more harmful than natural ones because they have a higher drug content and can easily cause addiction, severe side effects or an overdose. That said, its really hard or damn near impossible to overdose on smoking weed. In general most drugs natural or man-made affect the body by draining it of essential nutrients such as calcium and vitamins C and B which help to keep your immune, nervous, muscular and blood systems working properly. That’s why you see people who have used drugs for a long time lose control of their walking and speaking ability as well as have severe pain, arthritis, lack of erection, heart and liver problems. Drugs also affect the major cleansing organs such as the kidney’s, liver and pancreas, which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and cirrhosis
(rotting) of the liver. If you have ever watched Celebrity Rehab, you know what I’m talking about. Balance is key. There is really no balance for hard drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, or even codeine. Not using them at all is your best bet, but a little herb or a drink now and then coupled with eating healthy and drinking lots of water can have an extremely less negative effect on your body. Blunts have the same effect on your body as cigarettes. Dumping out the inside does not matter. Tobacco is addictive and contains many toxins that cause cancer, heart attacks and strokes. Blunts especially lead to lung and throat cancer, which is obviously detrimental to rap artists and entertainers. Also, tobacco nowadays is heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, which gives a double exposure of cancer causing agents. If you want to smoke weed, use papers, a bong, a pipe or cook with it. I used to classify weed as and herb instead of a drug because of its healing ability and lack of addictive properties. Unfortunately weed has now become a “designer drug.” There are so many different strains and types that have been processed with high levels of THC that I have noticed it seems to be becoming addictive and a hard habit to break. Smoking too much weed (more than 1 spliff a day) can cause severe dehydration and takes essential nutrients out of your body, which makes you more susceptible to colds/flu and can cause erection problems. A rule of thumb, with every spliff smoked, drink 16-20 oz of water and take 500-1000 mg of vitamin C. There are some natural ways to help your body deal with and counteract the effects of drugs. I have listed certain herbs, vitamins, supplements and foods that can help to cleanse, replenish and rebuild your bodies organs. All herbs should be used with caution if you take prescription medication (including, codeine, ecstasy or pain medication). Most of these items can be found at your local health food store or the Vitamin Shoppe. Teas can be drank just like regular tea made with hot water (try to sweeten with honey instead of sugar) and tinctures are the liquid form of these teas (herbs).
FINDING A BALANCE CLEANSING TEAS
These cleansing teas are very strong and you must drink a lot of water while taking them. If you use the bathroom and you urine is dark yellow, increase your water intake. Drink 1 cup of tea or 1-2 droppers full of tincture 3 times daily for 7 days then take a break for 7 days and continue this cycle off and on.
Dandelion - cleanses the blood and liver. Caution: should not be taken with prescriptions diuretics or by those with gallstones.
Milk thistle - protects the kidneys and liver from toxins. It also helps to produce new liver cells that are damaged form drug use. Caution: none known.
Golden seal- cleanses the organs and blood
as well as strengthens the immune system. Caution: should not be taken by those with high blood pressure, insomnia or by pregnant or nursing mothers.
Burdock- cleanses the liver of drug residue and restores it from drug abuse. Caution: do not use during first trimester of pregnancy.
Supplements are usually vitamins and minerals that are important but are only need in small amounts. The following supplements are taken out of your body by the use of drugs.
Vitamin C- aids in the repair of the lungs, liver
and kidney’s as well as builds the immune system. Dosage: up to 1000 mg 3 times daily depending on the drug intake.
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Caution: avoid chewable tablets and look for powdered forms that can be added to juice or water.
Calcium- needed for healthy bones and teeth,
energy and the prevention of muscle cramps. Dosage: 500-1000 mg daily. Caution: the supplemental form should be avoided if taking high blood pressure or heart medication or for those with kidney problems.
These foods can be found at any grocery store and are very helpful for cleansing and overall wellbeing. They can be taken everyday.
Garlic: detoxifies the body and enhances the
immune system. Fresh garlic is best but it can also be found in tincture form. Dosage: take 1 clove daily. Cut the clove in small pieces and swallow like a pill. Caution: not recommended for people taking blood thinners.
Aloe vera juice: helps renew liver and
soothes the lungs from smoke damage. Dosage: 1 shot glass 3 times daily for a week of and on. Caution: do not use during pregnancy or if suffering from abdominal pain. May be an allergen; if a rash occurs, discontinue use.
Lemons: lemon is soothing and cleansing to the throat as well as high in vitamin C. It also helps to cleanse the lungs of mucous cause by smoking. Dosage: can be taken as much as needed.
This tea can be made at any time of the day and can be drank all day long. It’s wonderful for sore throats and a cold/the flu and if you have been doing a lot of smoking. Don’t make it too sweet because you want the sour properties of it to help remove drug residue. 1-2 whole lemons 8 cups of boiling water ¼ cup honey or sweeten to taste.
1.Boil water and add to a pitcher. 2.Cut the lemon in to wedges and squeeze its juice into the water. 3.Add the honey and cut lemon, mix and let sit for 5 minutes. 4.Drink while warm Enjoy!
As an Entrepreneur, Author, Certified Holistic Health Counselor, Freelance Journalist and Crochet Artist, Afya Ibomu (pictured above) has built a dynamic reputation in the past 10 years by consistently delivering on her promise to educate, guide and inspire people to live a healthy, natural, and creative lifestyle. Afya is currently the CEO of her holistic lifestyle company, Nattral Unlimited, LLC (www.NATTRAL.com). She has a monthly online magazine, Nattral Magazine, and is currently working on a vegan cookbook that will be out spring 2008. She is currently going to Ga State University to become a Registered Dietician. Afya continues to keep an active lifestyle and motivate her community.
Words: Dr. Rani Whitfield AKA “Tha Hip Hop Doc”
eah, it’s true! At one point in history cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, LSD, opium and heroin were perfectly legal and in some cases given away- free. Now these drugs are considered illegal, harmful, and addictive. “It was better than sex; it was better than the best thing I ever tried; crack, marijuana, cocaine - put me in a state of mind where I did not care about anything or anyone. I just wanted to get high.” These are all statements made to me by individuals in jail or in drug rehab about how they felt being under the influence of drugs of abuse. How could chemicals that soothe pain, inspire intense euphoria, and temporarily allow us to escape from the problems of the day be harmful? Let’s explore two popular drugs of the Hip Hop culture and see how they affect the body. ECSTASY (MDMA) The “love drug” was first synthesized in a laboratory in Germany in 1912. Believed to have no medical use, it sat on the shelf for years until 1977 when Alexander Shulgin, a chemist living in California, re-synthesized the compound and introduced it to a local psychotherapist. It was not illegal and was given to patients by doctors to help couples communicate, to treat posttraumatic stress disorder, and treat anxiety and depression. The drug was called “empathy” until it hit the party scene where the name “ecstasy” was coined. Ecstasy was so widespread in cities like Dallas, TX that you could buy it over the counter at bars - LEGALLY. Doctors gave it to patients for group sessions and everything was all good, right?
cough, is the most widely used and naturally occurring narcotic (medicines that produce pleasure and calmness) in the world. Promethazine, which does not contain codeine, is the generic name for a sedating, anti-nausea chemical that is often combined with codeine in cough syrups. Symptoms of codeine abuse include slow breathing, seizures, dizziness, weakness, confusion, tiredness, cold and clammy skin, small or constricted pupils, loss of consciousness, coma and possibly death! To experience the effects of codeine, the human body must convert the drug to morphine. The effects of codeine start 10-30 minutes after ingestion, peak within 1 to 2 hours and may last 4-6 hours, depending on how much is taken. Within two to three weeks of repetitive use a physical and psychological addiction may develop. Misuse will lead to an apathetic, dulling-type effect, a lack of coordination and dulled responses. Every illegal drug to date has started out perfectly legal, freely used and widely accepted. They are considered medical miracles until the side effects develop. One major problem with these illegal substances is that there are no long-term studies to tell us what will happen to the body after long-term use. What I can tell you is that destruction of lives, time spent in jail, and the risk of being infected with HIV or other STDs, motor vehicle accidents, violence, and rape have all occurred “under the influence.” The fix is temporary and the cost is high. Let’s seek out the natural highs in life: love, children, music, a good job, a loyal woman, great mixtapes, seeing bootleggers arrested for jacking music, and real Hip Hop! Holla! //
The sense of emotional well being, confidence and love produced by the drug comes from its effects on the brain. Ecstasy stimulates the release of serotonin, which affects our mood, energy and emotions. Normally in the brain, a little bit of serotonin gets released at time; when using ecstasy, all of the serotonin stored in the brain cells is released at once, producing intense euphoria, strong emotions, and feelings of love, happiness, intimacy, openness, and empathy. This dramatic release of serotonin is also what makes the drug potentially dangerous, as the nerves may not ever function the same after repeated use of the drug. The agony begins when the ecstasy wears off and is often called “suicide Tuesdays.” The user feels tired, fatigued, depressed, and is unable to sleep. Some ecstasy users have literally danced themselves to death or had seizures, gone into to a coma, and died due to increased body temperature (up to 107 degrees) and water intoxication. An average 100-milligram dose lasts 6 to 10 hours and costs between $25 and $45 per pill depending on where you live. There is still a push to make this drug legal so it can be used by psychotherapists. OPIUM Opium is a naturally occurring substance that is extracted from the seedpod of the opium poppy. Heroin, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, and dihydrocodeine are all derivatives of opium. They are highly addictive substances that are commonly used by physicians for medical purposes: to treat diarrhea, nausea, and more commonly pain. Vicodin, Lortab, and Oxycotin (hillbilly heroin) are all examples of the prescribed derivatives of opium. They have legitimate uses in medicine, however, the abuse potential is great. Prescription drug abuse has become a huge problem in our society and both the patients and the doctors are to blame. Have you heard of lean, syrup, or sizzurp? Once just a “cough medicine,” this codeine-based drink has become a cocktail of the Hip Hop culture. Just mix your cream soda or fruit punch with some promethazine and codeine, and voila… you have the cheap, sweet drink made popular by the Houston Hip Hop scene and DJ Screw who died from a mixture of codeine, alcohol, and marijuana. Codeine, a commonly prescribed and effective drug used to treat pain, diarrhea, and to suppress
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hen you leave the slick streets of Manhattan’s fashion district and travel across the Brooklyn Bridge to the grimy streets of Brooklyn, the name Calvin Klein no longer symbolizes a fashion icon. Here Calvin Klein is a street certified icon. The kind of street dude the alphabet boys get a hard-on over while dedicating their lives and careers to putting away forever. New Yorkers are well aware of Calvin Klein and his contributions to the streets in Brooklyn. One couldn’t think of Marcy Projects without thinking of Klein and his partner Danny (R.I.P.), since they controlled all of Marcy Housing at one time. The same Marcy Projects that Klein’s former protégé Jay-Z has made famous in his rhymes. In and out of prison since he was 15, Klein caught an attempted murder case in Maryland with a young Jay-Z that had him looking at a 45 year bid if convicted. Klein sat down to serve out his plea bargain, one that he claims earned Jay his freedom (he also alleges paying $50,000 to get Jay-Z dropped from the case because he knew Jay had a future as a rapper).
“Never felt more alive than riding shotgun in Klein’s green 5, til the cops pulled guns…” - Jay-Z, “Allure” After Klein was incarcerated for 14 years, he expected to take his rightful place somewhere within Jay-Z’s empire. At the very least, he was guaranteed a check. Sadly, this never came to pass. Klein has been very vocal about his experiences with Jay-Z, and claims to be yet another person in the long list of folks that Jay-Z has not done right by. Akon, who hails from New Jersey, offered Klein a position within his empire. Akon stepped up where Jay-Z didn’t, although he never ran with nor caught a charge with Klein. Akon never had Calvin Klein buy his way out of a jam, nor were any of his songs based on his life stories and exploits. I caught up with Klein while he was on tour with one of Akon’s artists to hear more. Wendy Day: Before we get into the whole Jay-Z situation, I’d like to talk about what kind of man you are. It’s hard to find anyone with a bad word about Calvin Klein. How is it that you are such a strong human being and a true leader? Calvin Klein: My dream was and is to have everyone around me have what I have. That’s what leadership is. I didn’t wanna have a lot of things by myself that they didn’t have as well. That’s the way it’s supposed to be, but that’s very rare. A lot of people in the music business who claim to be “from the streets” seem to only care about themselves and the almighty dollar and fuck everybody else. When you get a lot of money, it shouldn’t be a problem to share it with others and pretty much touch the lives of others as well. You know, they are the ones who help make it for you too. You know how most people say that their boss treats them like shit? They say that if they ever become a boss, they’ll know how to treat their employees better. But when that time comes, they wind up treating their employees worse than their boss treated them. They dish out the abuse given to them and they don’t even realize that they became worse than the person who did the worst thing to them. You’re only as strong as your weakest link. You can only be as good as the people you have in your circle. Yes. You have guys like Jay-Z, Puffy, you have a list of guys - I’ll just say the guys from New York that sit on a billion dollars. It’s like four people. Let’s use four people, as an example, and not to take anything from them, but most of them didn’t come from the street. So now when the street is in a crisis or the streets are in some sort of a dilemma, they don’t understand. Their thinking is: “Why do you want me to help you? I don’t come from where you come from.” They aren’t there to help anyone. Puffy doesn’t know how to help anybody. Jay-Z doesn’t know how to help anybody. Then, it’s like at the same time, they take on the lives of the people that they looked up to. Maybe Puffy took up the life to live like the Rich Porters and maybe the Nicky Barneses, you know what I’m saying? And the Frank Lucases and everybody else. Puffy acts like the legends of his borough. Jay-Z in some ways tried to act like the legends of his borough. So when Jay-Z talks about people, who does Jay-Z have to talk about other than myself, other than Danny Diamonds, other than maybe one or two other people?
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It’s funny that you picked those two people as examples. They’re great businessmen. But are they successful human beings? Are they truly great leaders as people? All that comes from like guys like myself, because we missed the opportunity because of being away. You have a lot of guys that are original. You have a lot of guys that are somewhat kinda smart. If we stood the test of time, and we were able to be free at the time when the transition changed — because at the end of the 80s, change came. Like any era, time has to turn, for better or worse. The opportunity for blacks to either not sell drugs or to not bounce a basketball, turned into the music industry. And when it turned into the music industry, it went into the 90s. Now you got the Calvin Kleins that are locked up and got sentenced to 25 years. You have the Dannys that got killed in the 80s. You’ve got a lot of guys that were real who got killed in the 80s and/or went to jail in the 90s. So the 90s were open with no leadership. For all the thorough females and gangsta girls, the ratio was like 2 guys to 10 girls. There was nobody left out here. Even having the opportunity to start from the beginning, when Puffy didn’t have anything, and Jay-Z didn’t have anything, they were given a chance. They got to try something new. They got to emulate the new Puffy, or the new Jay-Z, or the guy that’s working a 9 to 5 job. Most of the girls out there didn’t have that; they had a gangsta dude. They had a hustla. Then all of a sudden, it’s okay that this dude is talking like this, because he reminds her of her man. He talks about bustin’ guns and all that. But her man who used to do all that didn’t have that sort of savvy, he didn’t have that sort of aura. He didn’t have that sort of style, that glitz, and that glamour, or all of that stuff that’s built around that: the façade, the Hollywood look. All that came into play, and all of the sudden you see Jay in videos throwin’ money out of cars. And JD throwin’ money out of cars and all this. And they accept this. They can be flashy because they won’t go to jail. Somebody on the streets can’t be that flashy cause they’re going down. Tell us what you have going on now? I have so many positive things that’s going on for me now. I got have a book coming out sometime next year. The book is actually called - and this the first time I’m actually saying this though, but I plan on calling the book Beyond Reasonable Doubt. I’m kinda mad because Damon Dash already used it for the title of the CD that he’s got online for Jay. The reason why I chose that name is because I feel that the story was misinterpreted the way Jay told it. I think the story wasn’t told the way it was supposed to be told. As a character, on his part anyway, the story was told very well. It made sense, but when it started getting personal with him telling the story as if he was using “I” rather than using a particular person as in me, or even “we,” or “us,” it got misconstrued in a lot of ways. Right. Because it was told through his eyes instead of the real person’s eyes who lived it — yours. Yeah, it’s cool to tell the story if you tell it the way it’s supposed to be told. But don’t tell the story and make it seem as if you were the man in the hood, and you had the hood on smash; like you had it on lock down, you had niggas shootin’ up for you, and you was bustin’ your gun putting work in. Or like you had the strongest drug on the block and all that other stuff. I liked the Jay-Z that was the — what did he call himself before Jay-Z? Um, not The Slim - it was something he used to call himself. Wow, I forgot what he called himself when he first started coming up - when he was trying to be on some pimp shit. So what happened between you and Jay when you came back home from prison? I went to Def Jam and had a meeting with Jay. Me and him, we talked—well, actually, we didn’t exactly have a meeting. I went up there and imposed myself on him. I take “the meeting” part back.
(laughs) So you had a meeting, but he had a shake down. (laughing) A shake down. Yeah, I went up there and had a shake down with Jay. But still to this day I would really, really like to know what happened. To be
N REASONAB O L E DOUBT Words by W Photo by Tre endy Day vor Traynor
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honest with you, we had a conversation, and we talked a couple of times after that, but then I started getting phone calls from Ty Ty, his little sidekick, instead of Jay-Z himself. And I do have a better relationship with Ty Ty. Jay recently said in an interview with XXL Magazine that he only knows me through a friend of a friend. That part I still don’t understand: where he knows me from a friend of a friend. But even if he did know me through a friend of a friend, and I don’t want to keep using this as a contradiction to what he says, but you know when we was in Maryland - it takes one situation that can change a person’s life for the better or for the worse. At the end of the day, he made a statement because that’s how he felt. Jay said he “never felt more alive then riding shot gun in Klein’s green Five, ‘til the cops pulled guns.” Now, at that point, that was the greatest feeling in his life. You admired me, you idolized me. Everything else, where you could just look at me from a distance and admire and take away from me, you did that. You can’t say that you know me from a friend of a friend and get away with that one. That one don’t even sound right. Jay don’t want nobody - like you got Jaz-O, you got other guys that’s close to Jay - that should be close to Jay, but Jay don’t want them close to him because they have too much. Jay took too much of them into him. When you look at Jaz you like, damn, Jay act so much like this dude. If Jay stands next to me, you’ll even say Jay kinda looks like me, we favor each other a lil bit. You might even stand him next somebody else and say damn there’s so many similarities. Jay doesn’t even know who he is. He lost his identity of being who he is. He was a good dude. You’d be surprised, Jay was once a good dude. I’m still shocked, still to this day. That would be the only thing that would bother me if I wasn’t sitting so good in my life. My life is good, I can’t complain. My bed is very big. So I’m good. Every time I talk to you, you sound happy. How come you’re not institutionalized? You’ve done long bids.
Because I didn’t allow myself to be in jail when was there. When I was in jail I refused to let the system make me hate my friends and I had refused to let the system make me hate other things around me. So I didn’t hate it the way a lot of other people probably did. I accepted where I was at. I knew that I did wrong in my life and I have a strong belief in God. And at the end of the day I accepted that although I didn’t cause the crime to a certain extent to get where I was at, I accepted it and told God, “Listen, if this is the punishment for what I’ve done in my life, thank you.” I was happy because I was like, “This is all you given me? Thank you.” I had deserved so much more. Even in the worst time of my life and what people would assume would be the worst time of my life, God still blessed me with such little time. Because at the worst, I was probably never supposed to be seen in the streets again. So now I’m here for a reason, there’s a purpose. I’m not out here to get in the way. I’m not lost in the new era because I studied while I was there. I stayed in tune with who Jay had become. I stayed in tune with who I saw Puffy become, and on down the line. Just like Michael Jordan, he came back at 45. He ain’t come back shootin’ the way he shot before. But he got comfortable in his game when he knew he couldn’t dunk no more. He had to take a different approach to the game and that’s exactly what I did. I took a different approach. I didn’t come to New York for almost a year. New York is a jungle. The streets is a jungle, I didn’t start moving around in the streets for almost a year. Come on, 13 years difference? I’m a different person. So are the streets. I came home with the mindset that I don’t owe the streets anything and the streets don’t owe me anything. I’m not in the way of the streets and I don’t want the streets to get in my way. Because the moment I make the exception in getting in the way of the streets, then that’s when I would resort mentally to being who I used to be. I mean, you couldn’t put the real Calvin Klein in the industry, they ain’t ready for that. So unfortunately, I had to water myself down to be accepted. If anything, at worst case scenario, I think I might have made a mistake doing that. You know, I just need to be who I am and whoever embraces that, embraces that and if not, then fuck ‘em. I got so much going on. I got the book deal going on, I got a movie situation going on you know I got a new company right now, I got a hotel booking agency that’s crazy. All I deal with is exclusive artists and elite people in the industry. It’s not even just the music industry. I deal with 5 star people. My service deal was nothing but like 5 star people doing like 100 rooms a month type shit. I’ve got a hell of a company that I just recently started and it’s doing extremely well. My goal is to just not become the old Calvin Klein. I don’t ever want to slip back into who I used to be. That’s the only thing in life I fear! ************************************************************
In our community, we focus on “keeping it real.” Authenticity is king. So how did Jay-Z, one of our most popular rap icons, make it to the King of Rap status, while turning a blind eye to a man whose street exploits were told and retold to help get him his position on the throne? I, personally, have issue with any person who doesn’t support friends who are locked down, but it especially resonates as ugly when that incarcerated man may be the basis of many stories that inspired songs that created an empire. In fairness, I did NOT get Jay-Z’s input, opinion, or side of the story in writing this story. After hearing similar stories over the years from Jaz-O, Dehaven, Biggs, and Damon Dash, I lost the stomach to speak with New York’s king of rap. OZONE Magazine, I’m sure, would be happy to publish any comments Mr. Carter deems worthy to make. I would also be happy to then interview Damon, Biggs, Jaz, and Dehaven afterwards. Klein will never go down in history as “the guy that Jay-Z jerked.” He has built a strong empire for himself in the travel industry, and now that he is putting shit out there, like-minded folks are attracting to him and bringing into fruition even more positive things for Klein. Jay-Z is merely just one small chapter that appears very early in the book that Calvin Klein calls the story of his life.
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Huge thanks goes out to my awesome assistant, Ace, for transcribing hours of taped conversations with Calvin Klein. Without her, this interview would not be what you see here! For the entire article, see: www.RealStreetLegends.com
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5. Cino / Thang Thang – Triple P
Contact: Tony Neal – DJSONLY@GMAIL.COM This is the perfect party song after a long week. Put some Patrón in your cup and vibe out.
1. B.O.B ft. Amy Winehouse / Grip Your Body – Rebel Rock/Atlantic
6. D-Lo ft. Boosie / How I Roll – Light Grey
Contact: TJ Chapman – TJ@TJSDJS.COM This is sexy track from two of music’s finest newcomers, with two of the most unique voices. And the hook is so damn catchy, you’ll be singing it for weeks!!
2. Bloodraw ft.Young Jeezy / Louie Bag – CTE/Def Jam
Contact: D-Lo – 850.728.0990 D-Lo has a very laid back, star quality voice that rides smoothly through this track. I’m loving how he rolls in this one 7. Drop / Oops My Bad – 4 Trey
Contact: Erica Bowen – 917.238.4753 BloodRaw and Jeezy definitely showcase their swag in this beat-heavy street anthem.
Contact: Edna Rivers – 321.299.7114 A comedic edge is the way of the future for rappers. If you can’t enjoy shaking the haters off to this song, then it’s your bad!
3. Geno & Skunk Boogie / Bucket – Original
8. E-Dubb / Big Money Talk – I.M.
Contact: Red Lion – 941.518.3594 Geno & Skunk Boogie have a really nice flow and vibe together. This may be the new song to blow out your stereos in ‘08. 4. Beadz / D-Boy –Manatee
Contact: Calvin “Doc” Flowers – 312.226.9034 It seems like the D-Boys are the hot boys of the year. This clever ode to the game separates the men from the D-Boys.
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Contact: Donald Murphy – 404.606.9112 On this one, just let the money talk for you and name this hot joint your money-making theme song for ’08. 9. E. Mackey / 2 Girls, 1 Cup – Edwin Mackey
Contact: E. Mackey – 850.339.5498 Disclaimer: This is NOT the internet travesty featured on Best Week Ever. E. Mackey does the title justice and turns it into a big tune about living the ultimate male fantasy.
10. J White ft. Rican Diplo and DJ Boos / That Girl – Down North
Contact: J White – 863.381.7410 A sweet combination of Hip Hop and R&B that would make any girl want to be the object of J White’s affection flows seductively throughout this record.
11. J White ft. Rican Diplo and DJ Boos / That Girl – Down North
Contact: Wendy Day – 917.501.6100 This is the kind of song that gets everyone hyped and makes the whole club erupt in synchronized step, wiling out and acting a fool! 12. Jap / My Folk – Sandhill
Contact: Kenyan Tinsely – 404.983.5807 You know in a society where it’s cool to hate on everyone and everything, it’s so refreshing to hear a song about love for your crew with no homo. 13. Jor’el Jebre / I See a Diva – Diamond Cut
Contact: D.CUT –850.524.1039 While the term “Diva” nowadays has a slight stigma attached to it, Jor’el shows that there is still nothing sexier than a beautiful, confident woman who has her s**t together. The ladies are going to love this one!
14. Mighty Mike /D-Boy Swagg – Bangin Bay
Contact: Mighty Mike – 850.319.3365 Haters will probably do what they do best on this song, but can you blame them? It’s hard not to hate on someone with a flow like this and can afford to blow a grand on a whole outfit! 15. Mister Sandman / Doing My Thing – Liquor House
Contact: Mister Sandman – 404.402.7740 Old school hustler songs featuring an OG with a high pitched voice singing the hook, will never die. This track is so hot, it should have been Frank Lucas’ secondary theme song in American Gangster.
17. Nephewblaq ft. Rock and Toni / Hey Shawty – Loudmouf
Contact: Nephewblaq –321.250.0059 Maybe it is possible to find love in the club. Play this sexy single and see if you don’t go home with someone special.
18. D Woodson / She Crazy Bout Me – Oklahoma G
Contact: D Wood –918.759.3220 A girl who loves someone else’s dirty draws may be just plain crazy! But if she gets to hear D Woodson’s seductive voice over the early nineties-inspired guitar and piano lead everyday, it’s understandable how she may be a little loca for him!
19. Khia / What They Do – Big Cat
Contact: Mel – 404.840.4391 Rhyming ‘Absolute’ with ‘prostitutes’ shows in this club banger that Khia lives up to her raunchy lyricreputation we all know and love. 20. TRP ft. King Green / Cash is What I Need – TNT PRO
Contact: Trace Trahan –813.394.6822 I need to be at whatever club these two attend if they are throwing enough money around to buy a new Bentley. An ode to the Almighty Dollar, this is that song you want to bump in your stereo on payday.
16. Modesy XO / What You Got – Frazier Mktg.
Contact: Temekka Frazier – 205.226.9015 The heavy trumpets and use of other marching band instruments add a Trick Daddian quality to Modesy’s Southern syrup.
1. Baby D / I’m Bout Money – KOCH
Contact: Gazelle MCI – 212.353.8800 x266 The paper chase never sounded so good.
2. Vic Damone ft. Boosie / Check My Swagg – B.O.B.Q.P.
Contact: Guccio - GUCCIO.GUCCIO@GMAIL.COM Just as promised, your boy’s swag is NICE. For any skeptics, Vic Damone and Boosie definitely deliver on this one.
3. Lil Ru / Nasty Song – Head Hunter
Contact: Big Will – 803.476.2709 This song should be stored in that box hidden in your closet with your “special” DVDs, magazines, oils, candles. Not to be handled by amateurs; this is meant for the grown and sexy only! 4. D Woodson / Where Dem Ladiezz At –Oklahoma G
Contact: D Wood – 918.759.3220 With a soulful track like this, it’s highly unlikely D Woodson has any trouble finding ladies interested in what a real G has to offer. After all, the ladies are waiting for you to deliver that ‘thug passion’ you promised. 5. The Truth / I Don’t – Truth
Contact: Nick – 305.519.1118 You know maybe it’s the synthesized beat with the strings in the background, the catchy flow of the hook, or perhaps it’s the sweet & simple title that makes me happy to hear the truth. 6. 9th Ward / Chopper – So So Def Jam
Contact: Nick – 305.519.1118 You know maybe it’s the synthesized beat with the strings in the background, the catchy flow of the hook, or perhaps it’s the sweet & simple title that makes me happy to hear the truth.
7. Empress Raw / Goon Luv – Hidden Gem
Contact: Bossy Bisi –786.426.3688 Every girl fantasizes about having that one dangerous dude with the prison tats, diesel physique, and criminal record always ready to rock her world. Even the hardest of goons and gangstas would have a soft spot for this song. 8. Chop Chop / Red Dirt – Presidential Traphouse
Contact: Smiley – 405.200.4357 I must say I’m rather impressed and somewhat amazed. Who knew Oklahoma could rep so hard on a track? 9. The A-Team / Get Money – TNT
Contact: JDP – 850.210.9100 “Get Money” is the quintessential club banging, money-making anthem for 2008. 10. Noah-O / Gwop Gettah – Charged Up
Contact: Robert “Chubbs” – 804.922.0569 This should serve as an inspiration to all of us to step up our grind in so we can hurry up and enjoy the finer things in life.
11. Geno and Skunk Boogie / Not Like We – Original
Contact: Red Lion – 941.518.3594 No one else could have served this song justice like these boys did.
12. Big Sid ft. Tum Tum, Killa Kyleon & Yung Red / Cash on Deck –Playaz Choice
Contact: Big Sid – 337.802.5436 Every now and then you stumble upon the perfect relationship between lyrics, beat, and artists. This is a lyrical love triangle.
14. . Jap / Take Flight – Sandhill
Contact: Kenyan Tinsley – 404.983.5807 This hot dance is already taking flight. Feel free to get stupid in the club to this one. 15. Diggie Die ft. Mister Sandman / Puttin In Da Work – Liquor House
Contact: Mister Sandman – 404.402.7740 The game may not be easy, but Diggie Die and Sandman make it seem like it’s all play and no work with this song.
16. Teflon ft. Birmingham J / High Roller – Frazier Mktg
Contact: Temekka Frazier – 205.226.9015 The rule of thumb is if you start your song off with a Scarface sample, it better be hot! Well Teflon and Birmingham J definitely obey the letter of the law with this one.
17. Thorobread ft. J-Bo / Got Bread – Felonious
Contact: Derek Mason – 615.566.5495 Looking for ballers only with hot tracks; thankfully Thorobread answered the call on this song so no others need apply. 18. The Truth / Let’s Roll – Truth
Contact: Nick – 305.519.1118 The hook is guaranteed to put you in that feel good mode when you hear it at the club. 19. M.O.E. Betta / See Me In Da Club – Deepside
Contact: Christal Jordan-Mims – 678.499.0297 When you see him in the club, buy him a drink for providing such a hot track!
13. J. E-Dubb / Like Me – I.M.
Contact: Donald Murphy – 404.606.9112 “Make money, don’t let it make you;” finding little proverbs in the most unlikely places is what music is all about.
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BEHIND THE BEAT
eople know me for my production more than rapping. I’m a writer at heart because that’s what I started doing first. I’ve been rapping since I was in fifth grade, so I’ll forever be a writer. I feel like I’ll be able to produce records forever, but I’m not gon’ rap forever. I’ve produced for Devin [the Dude], The Geto Boys, Pimp, Bun, a lot of artists. I produced the intro track on Bun B’s first solo project, Trill. And I’ve got some stuff coming out real soon on Bun B’s new album. I actually produced the last song that Bun and Pimp recorded together. It’s called “Underground Thang.” It’s on Bun B’s new album, and it’s Pimp, Bun, and Chamillionaire singing the hook. That’s definitely gon’ be a big deal. Oh, and I got a track on Mike Jones’ new album featuring Lil Wayne. Yeah, it’s some nice shit called, “Ya Dig.” One of the moments that really sticks the most in my career is the last song that I produced on the UGK album, Underground Kingz. It’s a Best Buy Bonus Cut called “Top Drop Dyne.” Pimp actually hated whenever I would sample his voice and use it for hooks, which I do frequently. So he definitely hated that track when I first did it because his voice is sampled on the hook. He was like, “Damn mane, I’m tired of you sampling my voice, mane. Blah, blah, blah.” But I did it anyway ‘cause the shit was jammin’. At the end of the day that song was so jammin’ that Pimp went on and decided to rap on it, and then Bun ended up rapping on the song, too. They needed a third verse, and they were supposed to split 8, but they never got around to recording it. So one day I asked Bun, “What you gon’ do with the third verse?” And he was like, “Shit, C-Mo, you gon’ ahead and write a verse to it. Go on ahead and write a 16 and see how it comes out.” So I was like, “No shit?” So I went on and wrote the third verse and Pimp ended up hearing the song, but he didn’t know that Bun told me to rap on the third verse, so when Pimp heard it he got real mad at me. He was like, “Damn, mane. I ain’t tell you to rap on it, mane. I already didn’t wanna use the beat. You trippin’ mane, you rapping on the
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song and didn’t tell me...” So I told him that Bun told me to rap on it, and then everything was cool. Pimp was like, “Okay, okay, okay, okay.” Like I said, in the beginning, Pimp really, really didn’t like the song, but by the time we were done with it, he loved the song so much that he wanted to make it a single and use it as a Best Buy Bonus Cut. It never really got around to being a single, but I definitely consider it a classic UGK song itself, especially because all that went into it, and the fact that Pimp ended up loving it more than almost all the other songs on the album. A whole lot of people who didn’t even who I was before know me now just because of that song. So, as a producer, that track meant a lot to me. But as a friend, shit, that track meant everything to me, bro. That’s one of the last songs that I produced and rapped on with Pimp C. And I rapped on a lot of songs with Pimp; I produced a lot of songs with Pimp, shit, we done made beats together side by side on the keyboard, you know what I’m sayin’? We did all types of shit together, but that one song there really stands out. It wasn’t even supposed to make the album; it was more a last minute song, and not only did it make the album, but it was a Best Buy Bonus Cut. Now, it’s on everybody’s mixtape, and people are really starting to jump on it now; I think it’s gon’ forever be a UGK classic. But the most important thing is that, it’s a lot more than just a music thing with me and Bun and Pimp. We was pa’tnas before all of this shit. I been knowing them niggas since the early 90s so it’s more than just music to me whenever it come to UGK. A lot of people don’t know that my brother was Pimp C’s road manager, so that just goes to show that it’s an all day everyday thing with them boys. Being able to be produce and rap on of Pimp’s last songs is something that is priceless to me. www.myspace.com/corymo As told to Eric Perrin // Photo by Julia Beverly
OZONE MAG // 93
Webbie/Savage Life 2 Trill/Asylum On Savage Life 2, with tracks like “2 Smooth” and his smash hit “Independent,” Webbie seems to be singing a more mature tune than his “Gimme Dat” days. And on “I Know,” produced by Mannie Fresh and featuring Young Dro, and “A Miracle” with Birdman and Rick Ross, Webbie proves he can stand tall with the best of Southern rap artists. The album is not all notable, with another Fresh beat that sounds like tracks we’ve heard him produce before (“Y’all Ain’t Makin’ No Money”) and “First Night” which serves no propose as a final track. Nevertheless, appearances from Lil Boosie, Letoya Luckett, Foxx and the late Pimp C help Webbie release a solid follow-up album to 2005’s Savage Life. — Randy Roper
Shawty Lo/Units In The City/D4L/Asylum The success of his hit single “Dey Know” has D4L member Shawty Lo, arguably the hottest thing in Atlanta over the last few months. But on his solo debut album the Bankhead rapper is all swag, no skills. Tracks like “Dey Know,” “Dunn Dunn,” and “Foolish” are standouts but weak production on “Let’s Get It” and “Feels Good To Be Here” and “That’s Shawty Lo” make the album sound like “Laffy Taffy” leftovers from the D4L album. L-O isn’t the best rapper and his elementary flow gets to be monotonous after 15-tracks, and without true lyrical ability and lack of quality production, the blunt rating for Units In The City comes in a little L-O. — Randy Roper
S.L. Jones/C.O.L.O.R.S. Grind Time Official
On C.O.L.O.R.S., Grind Time member S.L. Jones does what most rappers coming out under an established artist fail to do; he stood on his own and released a solid album. This album isn’t bombarded with Killer Mike verses. Instead, Jones controls the show with his revolutionary gangster lyricism and metaphors. Although his slow flow does drag along at times, guest appearances from the likes of Killer Mike, Chamillionaire, the Clipse, Trae, offer changes of pace and standout production from beatmakers like Bdon and Smiff n Cash, give
Jones the assists he needed to make C.O.L.O.R.S. something worth checking out. — Randy Roper
Nephewblaq/Urban Lifestyle/Loudmouf Standout tracks are hard to come by on Orlando rapper Nephewblaq’s album, as Blaq’s choppy rap style makes 20-track hard to digest. There are a few tracks worth listening to, including “Judgment Day,” “Unemployed” with Durty and Mardub, and the album’s title track. Although these tracks show Blaq’s potential, songs like “Gotta Be Jelly,” “Hey Shawty” and “Supa Freak,” among others, are enough to justify why he needs to take it back to the drawing board. — Randy Roper
Jim Jones/Harlem’s American Gangster/Koch
First rule of trying to show someone up: actually show them up. There was no attempt to hide the fact that Jim Jones’ Harlem’s American Gangster is Jimmy’s attempt at mocking Jay-Z, complete with Dame Dash as a host. Unfortunately for Jimmy, his 17-track effort falls short, with only three tracks, one of which is the intro, offering the only saving moments of this mixtape. If Jim Jones is going to take anything from Frank Lucas perhaps it should be the lesson that it’s always wise to quit when you’re on top, or at least the closest you can. - Rohit Loomba
Trap Starz Clik/Hood Depot/ Universal Republic
Something about this group and this album just doesn’t seem right. They dress like the prototypical block dweller in Any Small Ghetto, U.S.A. Their production sounds like it came out during the beginnings of the snap movement in 2003-04. The lyrics are so mundane that you feel dumber after listening to them. After adding all of this up, there is no way possible that TSC is supposed to be taken seriously by anybody, including themselves. Everything about them sounds exactly like what Outkast was alluding to with the fictional PimpTrickGangstaClik or what The Boondocks ridicules with its Thugnificent character. Listening to this CD makes you wait for the day that TSC pops up on BET and says “Sike! We was just playin!” — Maurice G. Garland
G-Unit & DJ Whoo Kid/Return of the Body Snatchers
Blood Raw & DJ Smallz/The Streets Love Blood Raw DJ Smallz brings another installment of the Southern Smoke series, teaming up with Florida native BloodRaw this time around. BloodRaw makes sure he doesn’t waste this opportunity to show off his talent and prove that he really is “ballahalic like [he] plays for the Magic.” The mixtape offers several tracks that are worthy of repeated play with the top down and should catch the ears of many who may not have heard that much from one of CTE’s own. If you come across this mixtape, definitely drop this one in your “Louis Bag”. — Rohit Loomba
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When 50 remerges into the spotlight fronting his G-Unit crew, the formula is what is has always been. 50 carries the squad. Lloyd Banks, Tony Yayo and the crew are vastly overshadowed with their latest mixtape effort, The Return of the Body Snatchers. DJ Whoo Kid hosts the mixtape laced with 50’s baritone sing-songy hooks that appear often in the 16 track submission. The most notable songs are the hard-hitting “I’m ‘Bout That” and the street love record “Make Me Feel Good.” While G-Unit is represented, the absence of Young Buck is noticeable. You can ride out to this but it’s no classic. — Jared Anderson
Re Up Gang (Hosted by DJ Drama)/ WE Got It For Cheap Vol. 3
No question, We Got It For Cheap Vol. 3 is a street sweeper! DJ Drama captures hardcore content with classic grimy records, allowing the Re-Up Gang to continue to challenge their competition with reminders that recording is considered their “second hustle” and that record sales don’t reflect their “units sold.” From flowing over Jay-Z’s “Roc Boys” instrumental to Shawty Lo’s “Dey Know,” the Re-Up Gang easily make the songs their own, but the most impressive effort comes on Kanye West’s “Good Morning,” taking the listener through the morning thoughts of a dealer. Drama’s mixtape is direct and to the point. They’re going all out in the spirit of competition. — Jared Anderson
B.O.B./LRG Presents… Hi My Name Is B.O.B. B.O.B. is a breath of fresh air for Georgia Hip Hop, using his distinct personality and creativity to put out music that’s different from other ATL emcees. The Hi! My Name is B.O.B. mixtape showcases B.O.B’s unique talent and brings fans a sizeable dose of new music. While this is an overall entertaining mixtape, one too many skits and a few skippable tracks did make their way onto it. — Rohit Loomba
“Texas Trafficking” www.myspace.com/southernsmoke
1. DJ Scream “So Seductive 9: Valentine’s Day Edition” www.myspace.com/4045405000 2. DJ Emurda “Street Aesthestics Volume One” www.myspace.com/djemurda 3. DJ Chuck T “Scarface & Pimp C: Faces of a Pimp” www.djchuckt.com
4. Dj Clue “Desert Storm Radio 8: I Am Legend” Hosted by Rick Ross www.myspace.com/djclue 5. DDJ LL & Big Rat Loc “Billion Dollar Hustle” www.myspace.com/hoodstarbeatz1 6. Big Dee & Dre Dae “The Jolly Rancher Mixtape Vol. 1” www.myspace.com/vegasheatdjs 7. DJ Delz & Affion Crockett “D187 Hood Radio: Short Circuitz Edition” www.myspace.com affioncrocke
tt www.myspace.com/djdelz 8. DJ Black “Hood!!! R.I.P. To All My Niggaz” www.myspace.com/thekingofdrag email@example.com 9. DJ Bizerkk “Rum Red” www.myspace.com /c4reocrds firstname.lastname@example.org
On his latest mixtape, Mr. Southern Smoke proves that Florida isn’t his only market, as he traffics the newest music out of the Lone Star State. Pack with new music from Bun B (“Gangsta” featuring Sean Kingston), remixes from Texas newcomers (Trap Starz featuring Chamillionaire “Get It Big”) and veterans (Lil Keke featuring Scarface and Birdman “I’m A G”), DJ Smallz continues to be one of the best mixtape DJs smoking in the South.
10. SOLO & DJ Scorpio “2008-2009 GlamaGirls Calender Mix CD” www.glamagirls.com www.soloentertainment 11.Tosin & TheScrewShip.com “Stop Stealin’ Our Style”
DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for consideration to:
12. The DBoy Movement “Come Shop With Us Vol. 1” Hosted by Shawty Lo 786-227-2754 13. DJ 2Mello “Undercover RNB: First Look” www.myspace.com/supa_dj2mello
OZONE Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318
14. Verseus Entertainment “Almost Famous Vol. 5” www.almostfamousshow.com 15. DJ M-Squared “The Corner Vol. 3” Hosted by Kev Brown www.myspace.com/djm_squared
16. Street Value Ent. “The Supply: Street Certified Edition” Hosted by Streetz 17. DJ Bobby Black “Down & Dirty: Special Edition Pimp C Memorabilia ” www.myspace.com/theofficialdjbobbyblack 678-851-0479 18. DJ Black Bill Gates & MLK “King Shit Radio: Hungry, Humble, Focused, Fly Vol. 2” www.myspace.com/theblackbillgates www.myspace.com/mlkng 19. DJ 31 Degreez “Forecast 17” www.myspace.com/31degreez 20. Big Mike & DJ Thoro “Soundtrack To The Streets 9” www.myspace.com/djbigmikeofficial www.myspace.com/djthoro1
OZONE MAG // 95
Fabolous & DJ Drama THERE IS NO COMPETITION
There are a handful of artists in Hip Hop today that somehow manage to consistently put out mixtapes that are hotter than their actual albums, and Fabolous definitely makes the list. On his new mixtape, There is No Competition, Loso teams up with Drama for a Brooklyn edition of the ever popular Gangsta Grillz series. Loso brings a barrage of quality tracks such as “Hustla’s Poster Child,” coupling street-inspired lyrics with his trademark swagger to outperform the Loso we find on most of his album cuts. — Rohit Loomba
Yo Gotti & DJ Smallz Cocaine Muzik
Yo Gotti may not be a platinum-selling artist, or gold for that matter, but on the streets the name is known. And on this DJ Smallz mixtape, the Memphis, TN rapper gets back to the basics with more street shit that’ll keep the gangsta parties going in hoods everywhere. Tracks like “Talk To ‘Em,” “My Niggaz” and “Hoody” are standouts, but a remake to Prince’s “Purple Rain” entitled “Pure Cocaine” with Gucci Mane and Young Cash was a bad idea. And on “Aw Man,” Gotti seems out of his league after Juelz Santana spits his 16. But the mixtape has more positives than negatives, including the new single “Let’s Vibe,” where Polow Da Don flips LL Cool J’s “I Need Love” and Pleasure P delivers on the hook. After hearing new music on Cocaine Muzik, Gotti’s forthcoming album King of Memphis sounds like a fitting title. — Randy Roper
Treal & DJ Smallz/The Formula (To Making Hit Music)
If you’re a fan of trap muzik, gangster raps or 187 rhymes, than Treal isn’t the group for you. This four-man group from Orlando, FL is reminiscent of a time when rap music was fun-filled and carefree. On songs like their regional hit “I’m Not Lockdown,” “Metro” and “The Crush,” they approach relationships from an amusing perspective that’s easy to relate to. And when they’re addressing serious topics like the live-by-the-gun-die-by-the-gun track “The Wrong Man Wrong Time,” their unique sing-along style draws listening in. But the group’s biggest flaw is their lack of lyricism, as none of the members are capable of spitting memorable verses. Nonetheless, Treal is an entertaining group that knows how to make a hit in this ringtone-influenced state of Hip Hop. — Randy Roper
Mack Maine & DJ Smallz/Bitch I’m Mack Maine
Listening to this CD will tell you one of two things. One, Mack Maine can rap his ass off. Two, Mack Maine reads OZONE. While he forgave us for shorting Freestyle 101 of a perfect 5 Blunts rating, he’s still a little saucy about not being named in anyone’s Top Ten Next To Blow in last year’s OZONE Awards issue. But according to his verse on “Young Money Nucca” he’s not sweating any accolades anyway, because “I’m like HBO, no commercial.” Bitch I’m Mack Maine still isn’t a 5 Blunter, but quality beat selection and production on “Other Shit,” “Dead Body Everyday” make it a good smoker. — Maurice G. Garland
Charlamagne Tha God & DJ B Lord/South Carolina’s Greatest Hits Vol. 1/SDM/Pure Pain
South Carolina is one of the last states left that hasn’t cashed out on the Southern Hip Hop phenomenon. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t been staying busy while their neighbors have enjoyed mainstream attention. This collection of South Cack underground hits shows that this small state has a big voice. Past songs from definitive SC rappers Pachino Dino, Lil’Ru, Collard Greens and country fried offerings like Sauce’s “That’s What It Iz” head up a strong show of talent. The over abundance of street-skewered subject matter leaves a little to be desired, but with the state being known as the second most violent in the United States, its to be expected. Quality production throughout, this mixtape should spark an SC power move. — Maurice G. Garland
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DJ Scream & Rocko Da Don/Swag Season With songs named “Really Getting’ Money,” “Money,” “Money Ain’t An Object” and “Yeen Talkin’ Bout Money” all appearing on this mixtape, it’s safe to assume what Rocko’s favorite subject is. His infatuation with cash and swag can either be applauded for staying on topic or berated for lack of variety. With clean-but-typical trap music production throughout, songs like “Language” and “Dis Morning” make for witty, entertaining listens. But if your pockets aren’t quite right, you won’t appreciate Rocko’s idea of a good time on the shop-aholic themed “Nu, Nu.” Seemingly immune to the country’s bad economy, Swag Season will either motivate you to “make money, money” or “take money, money.” — Maurice G. Garland
2 Pistols & DJ Smallz/The Jimmy Jump Introduction With the production team J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League cosigning him and a single with T-Pain (“She Got It”) rising up the charts, the future looks promising for FLA newcomer 2 Pistols. And on his formal debut to the streets, The Jimmy Jump Introduction, Pistols attempts to show fans the reason he’s buzzing. Although this DJ Smallz mixtape is the perfect forum to capture the street’s attention, freestyles over hits like “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and “I Get Money,” aren’t enough to convince listeners of Pistols ability. “I Got That” with Young Skee, “I’m a Bad Boy” and a snippet of “Eyes Closed” featuring Young Jeezy are steps in the right direction but come too few and far in between, making this a less than notable mixtape induction. — Randy Roper
Young Snead & Yae High (hosted by The AphilliBefore Drama and ates)/The Takeover Cannon were ar- Continues Vol. 1 rested, having your mixtape hosted by the Aphilliates meant instance acceptance from the streets, but things aren’t that easy anymore. On The Takeover Continues Volume One, Young Sean and Yae High look to prove they’re the next to blow out of the A-Town. But while the duo shows potential on songs like “I’m a Star,” “Is U Fa Real,” and “On My Block” featuring Lloyd, other tracks sound as if they could have been dropped by any trap rap group out of Atlanta. Snead and Yae have potential, but it’s hard to determine if it’s the potential of artists that have longevity or if “I’m a Star” will serve as a oneand-done hit from the duo. — Randy Roper
DJ Scream, MLK & Young Dro/I Am Legend DJ Scream and Young Dro team up for I Am Legend, a mixtape Dro fans will appreciate. Dro brings the same formula he did on Best Thang Smokin’, matching his distinct voice to a variety of bass driven beats. On I Am Legend, Dro carries everything himself, limiting the number of features. Standout tracks include “Loud,” “House on Me,” and “Tropical.” While Dro does have some bright moments on this mixtape, mediocrity seems to plague Dro’s music for the most part. — Rohit Loomba
Yung Texxus/ThrowAways Vol. 1 Yung Texxus offers fans new music with ThrowAways Vol. 1. Good beat selection helps this mixtape but Texxus lacks much in terms of content. While Yung Texxus definitely brings tracks that are sure to tear up your speakers he doesn’t do much to break the mold that seems to be used for most music out of the South today, failing to really set himself apart. Standout tracks include “Live My Life,” “So Glorious,” and “The Savior’s Here.” — Rohit Loomba
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Rick Ross & Bun B Venue: The Roxy City: Houston, TX Date: December 30th, 2007 Photo: Intâ€™l K
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