YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
RAY J IT’S A THOUSAND YOU’S IT’S ONLY ONE OF ME
PIMP DAMM D
THE DUDE OJ DA JUICEMAN
C-MURDER & more
OZONE MAG //
YOUR FAVORITE RAPPER’S FAVORITE MAGAZINE
MJG RAY J MAINO
DEVIN THE DUDE OJ DA JUICEMAN
BRISCO DAMM D & more
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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 // Alex Cannon, Bogan, Charlamagne the God, Chuck T, Cierra Middlebrooks, Destine Cajuste, Edward Hall, Felita Knight, Jacinta Howard, Jaro Vacek, Jessica Koslow, J Lash, Jason Cordes, Johnny Louis, 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, Thaddaeus 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, Bogan, Bo Money, Brandi Garcia, Brandon “Silkk” Frazier, Brian Eady, Buggah D. Govanah (On Point), Bull, C Rola, Cartel, Cedric Walker, Chad Joseph, Charles Brown, Chill, Chuck T, Christian Flores, Clifton Sims, 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 E-Feezy, DJ EFN, Episode, Eric “Crunkatlanta” 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, Quinton Hatfield, DJ Rage, Rapid Ric, Robert Lopez, Rob-Lo, Robski, Rohit Loomba, Scorpio, Seneca, Shauntae Hill, 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 COVER CREDITS // Ray J photos (cover and this page) by Ray Tamarra; MJG photo by Angela Morris; Brisco photo by King Yella. DISCLAIMER // OZONE Magazine is published 11 times per year by OZONE Magazine, Inc. OZONE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement or validation by OZONE Magazine for products or services offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their respective artists. All other content is copyright 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 70-71 Maino 62-63 Brisco 64-65 Scarface 68-69 C-Murder 66-67 Devin the Dude
monthly sections 15 JB 82 End Zone 14 Feedback 18-21 Rapquest 34 Tatted Up 26 Chin Check 78 CD Reviews 30 Dollar Menu 22 Mathematics 28 Chain Reaction 32 Sidekick Hackin 25-47 photo galleries 40-48 patiently waiting 81 Caffeine Substitutes 36 DJ Booth: Sam Sneak 76 Industry 101: Ryan Cameron 74 Producer Profile: Bangladesh
RAY J pg 56-59 MJG pg 50-53 OZONE MAG // 13
Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us up at www.myspace.com/ozonemagazine
You are the shit for that 6 Year Anniversary Throwback article! I absolutely love it. Those pictures brought it back and were very entertaining. My favorite was definitely Goodie Mob, but I also loved Boosie, Outkast, and Rick Ross’s pictures. Keep it up! – DJ Princess Cut, email@example.com The new issue is really dope! Cinque dropped off a few copies to me. That’s my dude right there. I’m in Arizona now but I was born in San Mateo and I’m from the Bay; from Alameda to Milpitas to Redwood City. I was hoping you could do something on Richie Rich! I still have my 415 tape. I had to convert it to an mp3 because I couldn’t find the CD! Thanks for reppin’ the Bay tough, I appreciate it. The Cinque feature was dope. He deserves it. He’s dope, humble, and has star potential. – Flo Montana, myspace.com/flodirt (Phoenix, AZ) I loved the Sidekick Hackin’ article with Trey Songz and Shawty Lo in last month’s OZONE. It was hilarious! Keep up the good work, because I was on the ground laughing at that! – Headache, myspace.com/halesheaven (Mississippi) Thank you for all the love you show to the West. I first became a fan of your magazine when I saw all the props you gave to the dirty South. I’ve lived in Atlanta half my life and no one was showing the South any respect. I’m originally from San Francisco so when you dropped OZONE West I got the best of both my worlds. Whatever happened to the Groupie Confessions? I know y’all didn’t run outta hoes with big mouths, did you? - Rich Johnson (Atlanta, GA) I really like your magazine. It’s real cool. The things that make it unique compared to other magazines are the in-depth interviews with up-andcoming artists to mega-million-dollar artists, and also the regular features. I have a request to make the interviews better. Your interviews are already better than other Hip Hop magazines like Hip Hop Weekly but there is a couple ways they can be improved. This is not a diss and not negative. When you’re interviewing artists can you please ask them more about their life before music. We see artists like Puffy with their Vitamin Water deals, Mercedes, Rolex that can’t tell the time because there are so many diamonds in it, girls that are so beautiful it’s like they’re not even human, million dollar clothes, jewelry that ways a ton, and so on. It’s hard to believe that half these cats started off like us, from the hood or trailer park or lower class. Most of the readers can’t even spell jewelry, let alone own it. There is a magazine called HooD Magazine that asks questions like “What hood are you from?” and
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“What was it like?” That’s kinda what we as the readers are interested in, plus all the other stuff y’all cover. Even ask big niggas like Big Boi or Lil Jon, not just lil’ niggas like Ace Hood. It’s real important to us to know that they don’t forget us [in the hood]. Some niggas give constant shout outs, but some don’t. Other than that, your magazine is hella dope. It’s one of the best magazines out, if not the best. It’s so unique in every way. It’s just one of a kind, ya dig? Also, can y’all do an issue on deceased emcees from the South? Last year, we had a lot of casualties. You should do an issue like the DJ Issue or Sex Issue just to remember those fallen soldiers, from Pimp C to Big Moe to Fat Pat to Big Mello and everyone in between. A perfect example of the “what hood are you from” questions is a recent interview y’all did with B.o.B. asking some of the best questions about Decatur and the struggles he had growing up there. It was fantastic. Keep up the good work. – Dat Latino Kidd ‘El Amante’ BKA Nathaniel Purez, dat.latino.kidd@gmail. com I’m looking at the issue with Three 6 Mafia and David Banner on the covers and I just wanted to give you props for featuring Tech N9ne. I’ve been wondering why he doesn’t get much media attention. Isn’t he from the Midwest though? I’m confused on why he’s on the OZONE West cover. JB sounds a little violent in her 2 Cents and maybe a tad bit arrogant too. Be careful not to start feeling yourself too much because then you lose focus on making your dreams grow. You can always be bigger than what you are today. It’s just a thought, but maybe they don’t give you the respect yet because the magazine has yet to reach its peak. I know lots of people who have no idea what OZONE Magazine is but they know about other Hip Hop magazines like your arch rivals XXL and The Source. Don’t take that the wrong way; I highly respect what you have accomplished and you have a much better product. I just hope to see you expand so that not only the artists and industry people know who you are, but also the common folk. Keep up the brilliant work! – Lady Zane, firstname.lastname@example.org Julia, I feel you on your 2 Cents. I feel like 97% of the entertainment industry are robots and they don’t know how to be themselves. I come across a lot of people who think that just because of their status, I’m supposed to kiss their ass. It seems like everyone takes after what they see on TV, and they have no idea who they were before their current position in the industry. A lot of people say, “Scholar, you do not act like a lot of the artists I meet.” My response is, “Before I was Scholar, I was me.” I am a part of the industry; the industry is not a part of me. I am just a down-to-earth cat who loves music. I apologize if it seems like I’m babbling on and on. I just wanted to commend you on your words, sister. I am all for genuine people vs. robots. – Mr Scholastic, myspace.com/mrscholastic (Phoenix, AZ)
efore I started OZONE I had a day job complete with a high-paying salary (for a 19 year old), benefits, and an expense account. I used to sit in my cubicle on the top floor of a building overlooking downtown Orlando and look down on all the suckers sitting on I-4 in traffic amazed at the fact that no matter what I did between 9 AM and 5 PM, I would still get paid. Regardless if I busted my ass all day long to get a job done or completely fucked off playing Solitaire and IMing my friends or posting “Jungle Fever” ads on Blackplanet or charging side clients $40/hour to design their websites while I was already on the clock, as long as I looked like I was working, my paycheck would always be the same. I loved it and hated it at the same time. It seemed unfair. I was bored; I wanted a challenge.
10 THINGS I’M HATIN’ ON 1. BIG BOI VS. KILLER MIKE DRAMA Wasn’t that so yesterday? Being from Atlanta myself I understand the big dick swagger, but chill out! We’re about to have a black president. The last thing we need is two rappers killing each other over a Purple Ribbon. This beef should go to the market and die.
by comedian Kiana Dancie myspace.com/kianadancie
Me & Rick Ross gettin’ CRUNK in Denver
5. CRUSTY TEETH I’m hatin’ on people with thick, white, crunchy plaque on their teeth! Look, your teeth are what people use to conclude many things about you. Even if you don’t have dental insurance, floss only costs a dollar. Get some mint floss and I promise you’ll feel better about yourself and your teeth. And you wonder why you can’t get no suga? 6. Kim Lee at everybody’s nail salon! No, I don’t want my eyebrow waxed! No, I don’t want rhinestones or little flowers on my nails! Just fill my damn nails and paint my toes like I asked you to! And when I’m in your chair SPEAKA ENGLISH!! 7. FLOSSIN’ I’m hating on guys that drive the hottest cars, but don’t have a house! Please tell us why you’re driving a big body Benz with 20” rims but have no garage to park it in? 8. HOUSE DATES Excuse me, but when did “Come over my house” become a date? 9. FAKE ASS CHAINS Everyone pretends to be a superstar; everybody is balling! But really, how much do you make that you can afford to spend $30k on your necklace!? 10. Wal-Mart! Why do you have 50 lanes in your store if you’re only gonna keep 5 of them open?
4. NOSY PEOPLE I’m hating on people that are always asking how much some shit cost! First, if you’ve gotta ask, you can’t afford it! Second, it’s rude, and third, it’s none of your business!
Everybody else kept trying to get me drunk for my birthday, but, believe it or not, that’s fruit punch...
...and DJ B-Lord offered some Happy Juice in Florence, SC
3. N’awlins Fish and Shrimp truck in Houston! I never thought the day would come that I would be standing outside in 4-inch heels trying to get some damn shrimp! They are rude with a pinch of ghetto, but baby…. the shrimp is worth standing on the corner for!
2. HAIR WEAVES This chic in Houston, who they call “Hair Do,” a.k.a. Tasha is the baddest hair weaver in the state of Texas! She’s so bad, that she gave me a part with my sew in and I still can’t figure out how she did it (myspace. com/2020Imaging)
Me and Ray J in L.A.
Now, as an entrepreneur, my life and career is definitely a challenge. There’s no guaranteed paychecks and my success or failure rests solely on my shoulders. And now that I own my own magazine, a lot of people who are in the position I once was in are hitting me up, which makes me reflect on my own approach back in the day. Truthfully, there are only a few real hustlers out there. I think too many people have gotten used to expecting steady paychecks for nothing, and the old saying “if you don’t work, you don’t eat” should still be true today. Everybody thinks they’re owed something. Smart people don’t ask for money upfront. They do free shit to build relationships and then let it develop. True hustlers find ways to integrate themselves into your organization and prove their value first. Maybe I’m biased because Rick Ross is my homeboy and a fellow Florida representative, but I personally think all the blog ranting about him being a former C.O. are quite exaggerated (bloggers are haters by nature, so it’s to be expected). R Kelly can piss on little girls and videotape it and people still buy his music. TheSmokingGun.com, who dug up Ross’s old C.O. paychecks, also discovered that Akon barely spent a day in jail (remember “Locked Up”?) and nobody even blinked. Even though image and credibility mean so much, at the end of the day, as long as artists make good music they’ll be aiight. If you dig hard enough you could probably come up with some pictures of 17year-old JB working as a portrait artist at Disney World (yes, I’ve had a lot of jobs; they say I’m Jamaican). Disney is actually in a town called Lake Buena Vista, 45 minutes southwest of downtown Orlando. Since I lived on the northeast side, it was a solid hour and a half drive to (and from) work every day, on a toll road, $3.50 each way. Gas wasn’t $4/gallon back then but it still added up. Miles and miles of backroads and finally you arrive at this gigantic parking lot, walk a long distance in the heat, and get on the bus. Once you’re finally on property, you walk through underground tunnels and change into your costume (a fulllength, heavy pink dress). Did I mention that my workstation was outside? In Florida? In the summer? Heat and humidity? Yes, picture JB suffering. We got paid according to how many portraits we drew in a day, so when I did the math, during slow weeks (taking into account tolls and gas) a full 16 hour day would often net around $20-25 in my pocket, not exactly a promising career path. Also, I didn’t like working at Disney because 95% of their employees are gay. Sorry if I offend anyone; I know this is the age of tolerance and we’re supposed to be okay with seeing gay couples on afternoon television on MTV’s “Date My Mom,” “Next,” “Tila Tequila” and a dozen other dumb reality shows, but my personal opinion is that God made dick and pussy go together for a reason and anything else is unnatural. So it was somewhat traumatizing to see my supervisor arrive at work every Monday morning with shaved eyebrows, showing us albums of pictures from his drag queen shows over the weekend. Way off topic, forgive me. Point is, we’ve always got the power to reinvent ourselves. Just don’t be ashamed of your past lives. They all came together to make you who you are today.
Rick & Roccett fighting over me in Dallas
- Julia Beverly, email@example.com
B.G. f/ Lil Wayne, Juvenile & Trey Songz “Heard Me” Slim f/ Yung Joc & Shawty Lo “So Fly (Remix)” Nas f/ Busta Rhymes “Fried Chicken” T-Pain f/ Lil Wayne “Can’t Believe It” Jazmine Sullivan “Need U Bad” Gym Class Heroes f/ The Dream “Cookie Jar” Charles Hamilton “Brooklyn Girl” Wale “The Artistic Integrity”
firstname.lastname@example.org T.I. “What’s Up” R. Kelly “Playas Get Lonely” Asher Roth “Roth Boys” Lil Ru “Deep Stroker”
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Summer has gotten off to a good start in the live music capital of the world. Slim Thug, Big Pokey, Rob G, ESG, and Big Tuck all came through town to perform at various venues. Bavu Blakes is up to week 26 of his weekly free 08issogreat.com flows. Domy, a new independent retail bookstore, opened up on the East Side off of Caesar Chavez. Rapid Ric headed out to New York for a show. Matt Sonzala continues to hold it down via AustinSurReal.com. - O.G. of Luxury Mindz (www.luxurymindz.com)
This month we regretfully report the passing of a local Bmore Hip Hop heavyweight Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson has blessed our city with local hits over the years and he will sorely be missed. RIP big homie. Mullyman just released his debut DVD Bmore’s Buffalo Soldier and his new mixtape The Return. - Darkroom Productions (TheDarkRoomInc@yahoo.com)
Plies hit the Magic City and Demeco Ryans of the Houston Texans came home for the summer and hosted an event at Club 1709. DJ C. Ross of 103.1/Freewill Records dropped Showtyme Take 2 with features from Baby D, Gucci Mane, Get Low Khao, Shawty Lo, Yung Killa, Plies, and many more. DJ Stikubush had numerous acts on stage at Club Elevations. Mastermind Group is doing their thing every Thursday at Club 1709. All or Nothing Promotions is doing their thing on Fridays at Club Onyx with Big Tony. B-Money of 95.7 Jamz hosted a great event during 4th of July weekend. - K. Bibbs (AllOrNothingPromo@hotmail.com)
Stretch 1 Radio has embraced Chicago music with live interviews with artists, DJs, and producers. Sho has a new single “I’m Showing Off.” According to statements made by Luda during a recent Chicago visit, it seems that Shawnna may be heading back to DTP. Timbuck2, Jamal Smallz, and DJ Sean Mac were recently seen on BET’s Rap City with DJ Q45. Producer Boogz has started a new blog called Ucan’tfuckwitchicago that highlights past and present history of Chicago Hip Hop. Other sites such as E biz, gowherehiphop, fakeshoredrive, and the blog by artist Lungz are also helping the movement. Malik Shabazz and DJ Averi Minor are at Funky Buddah Lounge every other Monday. DJ Shotime just dropped his new mixtape Too Hot for TV and DJ Shaun T and DTLR are hosting a weekly showcase. - Jamal Hooks (JHooks@tmail.com) 18 // OZONE MAG
DJ ThruDaRoof hosted his first Slip-N-Slide DJs mixtape with Solo, Kentucky USA’s Babe Nelson, and others. Hurra-Season has been on the road. Nappy Roots are back with Greg Street. J Skillz has production on lock. G-Mack got a hot one for the ladies. The KYMP Kamp took their show on the road as well. A couple of new clubs opened, Versatile and Club Premiere. - Divine Da Instagata (OuttaDaShopEnt@hotmail.com)
JYS production has finally done it – The Shoot is an exciting new video magazine that covers a wide range of urban entertainment, sports, news events, technology, and documentaries of local and national artists (www.jysproductions.com, 513-739-9252). Congratulations to Blaze and Harmony for the release of their new album The Collision and the video for the first single “Girlfriend.” These white boys have been grinding for a long time and this shit is super hot. The Tri-State (OH, KY, IN) has seen a huge decline in music sales due to at least 10-15 key store closings. It’s so hot outside that G-Mack’s new single “Get Naked” has the females strippin’ not only in the clubs, but on the streets. - Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com)
Swisha House has it with Still Smokin’ and Eviction Notice. Both can be heard on any block. SMC Recording artist Killer Mike made a special appearance at this year’s Buckeye Community Festival courtesy of Ron Spaulding (Fontana) and Nikkis Music. The city represented and forced a second Tech N9ne/Paul Wall show. The 3rd Annual Ohio Hip Hop awards is coming September 22. Cali Miles “Snowbunni” video shoot featured dimes galore. Peep her Myspace for a preview. - “X” Allah (X@NuBludManagement.com)
Lil Wayne and T.I.P. both stopped through and did the damn thing. We were the first to learn about 8Ball’s addition to Grand Hustle. Fabo was on the same show – if he wasn’t geeked up, he must have been catching the Holy Ghost for 30 straight minutes. Project Rebound hosted its 2nd Annual Hip Hop Summit, which had a talent showcase, career fair, and panels. The panels discussed topics ranging from Hip Hop, to other careers in music, to family issues. Foxie 105’s Family Day in the Park brought back the Nappy Roots, among others. - Slick Seville (SlickSeville@gmail.com)
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX:
Julia Beverly celebrated her b-day bash with Webbie at Rhythm City. DJ Drop’s mixtape DJ Drop 4 President is flooding the city. BC from Southern Fried Marketing got this relaxed beverage called DRANK in the streets. The Texas Urban Music Summit was a success. Rich Mind Records became big promo sponsors for DFW. The North Dallas Movement is rolling strong. Damm D from NFL signed with Rap-A-Lot. He has the ladies requesting “Dallas Girlz” on the radio stations. Club Next Level has Aggtown crunk until 5 AM and Lil Will’s album Dollas, TX is in stores now. Pat Bush is in the Yazoo Fed – stay strong. - Edward “Pookie” Hall (email@example.com)
DAYTONA BEACH, FL:
Trina, Blood Raw, DJ Q-45, Webbie, and Ace Hood have hit up the home of Black College Reunion. Bethune-Cookman University launched a new radio station: WRWS 99.1 FM. Locals have been exposed to a new hot spot on Saturday’s with Tommie Tom Ent. and G-Type Promotions at Club Xclusive. Rapper Mr. Willie Mays put out a mixtape entitled Dope Hole. His teammate R&B singer Tarvoria gets ready to release her mixtape Pillow Talk with the Gorilla Tek-produced single “Juicy,” which is killing the club scene in Daytona and the airwaves at 99.1 FM. - DJ Nailz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Al Profit dropped a must-have documentary The Murder City (www.themurdercity.com) that takes a look into Detroit’s underworld. Black Lagoon’s single “Fever” has taken over both major radio stations. DJ Young Mase is now an Aphilliate DJ. The new production crew Olympicks consists of P.C., Jay Fab, Knoxville, B.P., and Flawless. Chief just shot a video for his new single “All Mine.” Big Herk also shot a video for his new single. Rock Bottom Ent. has a new single “Cannon Ball Run.” T. Dot of CUI signed a deal with Irv Gotti and Murda Inc. Records. Danny Brown’s “Hot Soup” is banging. If you ain’t up on dirtymitten.com, then you aren’t into Detroit Hip Hop. Street Justice’s Out 4 Just Us hosted by WJLB’s DJ DDT is another banger. - AJ (email@example.com) & Eric tha Crunk (Myspace.com/CrunkAtlantaMusic)
FORT MYERS/NAPLES, FL:
Wick’s album release party for City of Wicks Volume 2 went down earlier this month. Frank Lini continues to makes the streets buzz with his lyrical style; he’s definitely Southwest Florida’s most unsigned hype. Riskay’s “Who You Creepin’ With,” produced by 105.5’s own DJ Quest, continues to rise in the charts. Yes, it’s only the first quarter of the year and the 13th grow house in Lee County has already been busted. See all the pretty green? - Jae Rae (JaeRae1055@aol.com)
With school at the University of Florida almost back in session, there is an expected influx of about 50,000 students. The impact is made apparent through a yearly event known as Blue and White Weekend in which the city was shut down by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. Operation Respect Yourself, a joint effort between Magic 101.3 and the Sheriff’s department set up for youth in the community, was a great success with hundreds in attendance. Rick Ross is reported to be stopping through the ‘Ville for a special concert performance. Clubs are finally giving local artists their opportunity to shine. - Jett Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
G-Side is about to drop Starshipz and Rocketz. Bipola are working their single. CP from Laponne has been preparing his debut solo album. The Heart Beat TV began their second season. Slowmotion Soundz is prepping for the Beast of the Streets Car Show. Pixel PI graphics has got the CD cover game on lock. G Mane had the North Alabama Music Conference over in the Shoals area. Block Beataz have the sound of North Alabama in a choke hold. National acts that have been through town include Shawty Lo, Rich Boy, Gucci Mane, Unk, and Bun B. The club battle is heating up between The Green Room and Club Focus. - Codie G (email@example.com)
Lil Boosie put on a hell of a show in front of a wall-to-wall crowd at Freelon’s. Boo, a.k.a. Rossini, celebrated his birthday with an all-black Affair. He’s had the streets on fire with his latest singles “Head Like Kush” and “Good Game” off his latest D Boy mixtape. DJ Phingaprint and Kamikaze made a trip to Africa. 3535 Entertainment’s J Money and Diesel have another banger called “What It Is” that has been increasing in airplay. Rob Gold has the streets buzzing about new mixtape with DJ Scream. Word has it Blockwear is launching a ladies line. - Tambra Cherie (TambraCherie@aol.com) & Stax (blockwear@tmo. blackberry.net)
Newest Nappy Boy Young Cash finally dropped his debut album Scared Money Don’t Make Money. It’s rumored that his hype man Midget Mac is getting his own VH1 show. Jacksonville’s first internet talk show Mobile Trappin TV will showcase Duval County’s best, from Nephew and the HardHeadz, to P.I.T. and Dirt Diggla. Young Jeezy and Ace Hood stopped through the city this month, and although 5-0 has been raiding our clubs, the entertainment scene here is still pumpin’ heavy. Bigga Rankin, M. Geezy and more are cultivating a bridge from J-Ville to ATL, while Point Blank Ent. has been making waves with foam and lingerie parties. - Lil Rudy (LilRudyRu@yahoo.com)
LAS VEGAS, NV:
This is the time of year for 110+ degree temperatures in Vegas. Since many people don’t want to be in the hot ass club, an alternative is Rehab Pool at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. It goes down every Sunday from 11 AM – 7 PM, and you’ll most likely catch all your favorite celebrities partying and relaxing. Julia Beverly threw her Vegas birthday celebration at Poetry Nightclub with Too $hort, Mistah FAB, and Keak da Sneak. Happy Birthday JB! The Annual Magic Fashion & Trade Show will be here August 25th – 27th. Expect everyone to invade Sin City. - Portia Jackson (PortiaJ@sprint.blackberry.net)
LOS ANGELES, CA:
Young Money/Cash Money snatched up another L.A. artist and debuted Tyga’s single “Coconut Juice.” Powerhouse 2008 was the talk of the town as Lil Wayne and Game ripped the Honda Center with their cameo laced performances, and an announcement confirming a Blood Brothers Tour. The lineup is said to feature the two stars alongside Nas, Jay Rock, Birdman, Glasses Malone, Tyga and more. Nipsey Hussle dropped the Bullets Ain’t Got No Name mixtape. The title track got a West Side assist from none other than Game. The DUB Car Show Tour is back at the Convention Center. - Ant Wright of Swag, Inc. (www.Myspace.com/antsandg)
KANSAS CITY, MO/KS:
Hot 103 JAMZ Summer Jam was off the hook. The event had artists on the bill from KC to the Bay back down to ATL. The headliners were the King of the South T.I. and Kansas City’s King Tech N9ne. Black Walt and Block Life Ent. also represented KC at the Summer Jam. Underground Heat is still breaking music in KC. Recently added to rotation at KPRS are local independent artists Legion the Legend, Jae Casino & Yung Flash, Chain Gang Parolees, and Block Life. Is there beef cooking between SSP and VBE? Stay Tuned. - Kenny Diamondz (KennyDiamondz@gmail.com)
R Mack and Gutta of Macks on tha Rise, MyLyfe Records, Spark Dawg, and Green City made an appearance and Fedtyme Records performed at the first annual Texas Urban Music Summit in Dallas, TX. The event was held by Aleshia Steele, Linda Robins, and Tonya Terelle. Lil C Da
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L.E.S. always holds it down there. They even have a $300 “New Orleans Shake that Thang” contest. When you come to VA, please don’t expect the strippers to get naked; they don’t. You’ll still have a good time with Joe Pro at Liquid Blue if you don’t mind tippin’ a stripper in a bathing suit. The “celebrity” basketball game at Bethel High was well-attended. - Young Fame (firstname.lastname@example.org)
OCALA, FL: a new mixtape hosted by Dubb with features by Niccel Nutt, Chalie Boy, R Mack and Gutta. Brusier tha Beast and Cool TY won the Hip Hop Underground Showdown held by 360 Hood Ent., Alexander Stand Alone Ent., and DJ Redd at the Music Vault in Harker Heights. Big Pokey of S.U.C performed at Club Seduction. - Tre Dubb (Myspace.com/mackonthariserecords)
The Memphis Music Foundation has just opened a non-profit music resource center to help provide artists with information, hands-on learning, and program workshops. It’s being directed by Cameron Mann, more popularly know as Lord T from the comedy rap duo Lord T and Eloise. DJ Freddy Hydro’s artist Trai’D has just released a new video called “Gutta Chick.” Keep a look out for this fella; he’s already creating a heavy buzz in the streets. Drum Squad teamed up in Memphis at The Silverspoon for a big celebration. Boogaloo, Drumma Boy, Ensayne Wayne, and Swizzo were in the building to help tear the club up. - Deanna Brown (Deanna.Brown@MemphisRap.com)
In September, 2000 the incredible duo of Big Lip Bandit and Supa Cindy (myself) changed the radio game. Today, our show’s format has molded South Florida radio. A male and female duo talking about love, life and sex, gossip reports, and the energy and fun is now being imitated because of us. But on June 18th we were fired! The rumors are retarded: no, our ratings weren’t in the toilet – we were #1; no, we were not bad employees – we were team players. We did nothing wrong. The station hired a syndicated show so we move on. I wanted to thank our fans and industry heads that looked out for us and still do. This is not a sad event; it’s time to shine. - Supa Cindy (www.Myspace.com/Supadupe)
Ocala’s own Certified is slowly taking the streets by storm with their new single “Turn off the Lights” featuring Pleasure P. The Lil Boys Pushing Big Wheels custom car show got rained out again unfortunately and will have to wait until next year. Gritsandeggs.com and certifiedmagandtv.com are the premier media outlets and always keep the area informed of the latest events. Certified Sundays at Club Zanzabar has become the local hot spot along with Clubside on Saturday nights, which surprisingly has gone off without incident. Artists and groups to look out for are K.S.B., S.G., Swamp Boyz, and Certified. - DJ Leezy (DJLeezy352@yahoo.com)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK:
Infamous of Mastermind Entertainment is pushing weight in the Oklahoma City metro. Look out for Infamous headlining two shows with Bizzy Bone in August. Check him out at www.myspace.com/infamousok. Feel is blazing the airwaves with “She’s Bad” and “One Night.” See for yourself at www. myspacee.com/pwii. - Marshlynn (Marshlynn.Bolden@uscellular.com)
Florida invaded Phoenix this month with Rick Ross and Flo Rida taking over the city for an ultimate summer showcase featuring local AZ talent at the Celebrity Theatre. The DUB car show brought out more than 10,000 fans and featured performances by Shawty Lo and Ludacris, who made the crowd go crazy. The city is rallying behind our hometown favorites Bombay, Willy Northpole, Cinque, Jiggalo, C-Thug, and Tajji Sharp all who have scheduled releases in the next few months. Sharp is a protégé and best friend of Kanye West. His album is sure to be a different sound for the city of Phoenix. - Jasmine Crowe (email@example.com)
C-Hall’s “So Much Money” is getting so much love they had to shoot the video. Promotions was on their jobs and everyone was there from Michael London, Goodfellas Radio, DJ Aaries, Deakon Board, Burn’em, Hard Headz, Greedy Money, M3, Chappy, Pleiboy, DJ Who, Michelle C (97.9), Maxximum (107.1), JoJo McToy (105.7), King David, South Boyee, and Napalm the Bomb. Napalm’s “UnCanny” got artists on their toes while “Baby Mama Drama” got ‘em paying attention to women in the game. Dem King Boyz and Iron Kids held it down for King 16 at The Mint. - Hot Girl Maxximum (Maxximummp3@gmail.com)
Ocean Records, the long-time Tacoma, WA based recording company (released Criminal Nation’s Resurrection in 1998) and record store (served the G.I.s tons of down-south mixtapes at Ft. Lewis/Tillicum, WA), has relocated to Redmond, Oregon. Isolated central Oregon is going crazy over Hip Hop. Get that money, Steve O. The Big 503 is hosting many shows. RZA and Snoop’s West Fest (Warren G, Tha Dogg Pound, Warzone and Western Union), or more aptly nicknamed “Crip Fest,” is hitting the Pacific Northwest. Don’t miss Willamette Week’s music festival in early September. I’ve heard Cool Kids, Blue Scholars, and more may be in attendance. - Luvva J (Myspace.com/luvvaj)
Cashville is serving up coffee: Allstar and Young Buck released StarBucks. Bun B celebrated the success of his new album at the Firm. Iceman and the U.N.T. family shut Hadley down with their video shoot. The 1st Annual Cancer/Leo B-Day Bash hosted by Serious was off the chain with performances by JC, Stix-Izza, and Emeka alongside DJs Whitey, Chief Rocka, Infamous, C-Lo, Sir Swift, Rage, C-Dub, Crisis, Outlaw and more. Van Hunt gave a great show to a full house and Lovenoise Nashville prepares to celebrate 5 years of giving nothing but good music and entertainment to Nashville. - Janiro (Janiro@southernentawards.com)
NEW ORLEANS, LA:
Curren$y leaves Young Money Records and Lil Wayne focuses on Fly Society. Speaking of Weezy, he reached back to grab Nutt Da Kid of Sqad Up for “Mrs. Officer” on The Carter 3. Raj Smoove is at 1000 degrees in the clubs right now. Big Stan and Here We Go have the party promotions on lock. Young Marley is one of the only artists who lives his lyrics. He went to jail for distribution of narcotics. 9th Ward is on the map with So So Def. - Derrick Tha Franchise (www.Myspace.com/DerrickThaFranchise)
Ace Hood stopped through town and showed love. 103 Jamz has the airwaves on lock, even though everyone is listening to their Carter 3 CD. If you don’t get shot, Club Mystique is a good place to hang on a Sunday. DJ 20 // OZONE MAG
Wednesday night is said to be stripper heaven at the classy Club Equator. It’s said that the 4030 Club went from street classy to hood ashy with all the fights they’ve been having lately. DJ Ill Digits is the newest member of Radio One. He was on K97.5 with Dy-nasty and they were ripping that shit on Friday night. The Truth DVD released the new Carolina edition DVD. Now, who the hell put together that fake-ass Carolina Music Award show? They were giving out cereal box trophies. I heard it was O Entertainment. You’re making us look bad! K97.5 and Brian Dawson held a great celebrity hot car and bike event. - DY (firstname.lastname@example.org)
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND:
Jigga rolled into town for two dates ahead of his groundbreaking Glastonbury gig earlier this month. Despite the hype around his tour, neither show sold out, with the Dublin concert barely reaching 50% capacity. While Jay’s pocket might be aching, not so for Chris Rock who sold out two Dublin shows within minutes. Meanwhile, Snoop announced he only wants the Rap Ireland crew to support his concert in September. A new Hip Hop radio show called The Block kicked off this month on Spin1038, though its 12 AM – 3 AM slot is not exactly prime time. Local Irish rapper Rob Kelly was featured in this month’s XXL magazine, the first time an Irish rapper has graced an American music magazine. - Kev Storrs (email@example.com)
The hottest song in this region is no doubt Hard Knox’s “She’s in Love with the DJ.” It’s getting played on all the urban stations in Sacramento. Where the hell is the YouTube video? T-Nutty has a new album coming out. Bueno is working on a new album and Doey Rock is going steady. Also, Hunid Racks is planning a huge promotion all over Sacramento which is sure to be the biggest Hip Hop Event to hit this city in a long time. If you’re feeling left out, send me a text or email and let me know what’s going on. - Zay (firstname.lastname@example.org)
SAN DIEGO, CA:
Power 106’s Big Boy’s Neighborhood fills the morning void at Z90 San Diego, and even knocks Miss Jones of WQHT New York into the unemployment line as they take over her morning slot. With this merger, Southern Cali seems to be more united than ever before. Ice Cube resurfaces to the music scene with his 14th installment entitled Raw Footage. He’ll be bringing that classic CUBEvision live and direct with a highly anticipated concert at 4th and Bs. - Ant Wright of Swag, Inc. (Myspace.com/antsandg)
Seattle’s 4th Annual Hip Hop Festival was a great success on a 90-degree weekend. All respects to Jace and Blak of The Silent Lambs Project. Jace thought it up in 2003 and it went off with the best of the Pacific Northwest represented including: Alpha P, Butler Boi, DJ Connex, G-Khan, Khingz, Kitty Wu, Luvva J, OMG!, Orbitron, Sean Malik, Seaspot, T-Love, Wojack, The Mighty Zulu Nation, and most importantly the children were there B-boying/girling too. It’s really DOPE!, as Husalah would say. - Luvva J (Myspace.com/luvvaj)
Recently, another film company broke ground on a future film studio located in the city. Hurricane Chris and Teflon are taking the city’s heartbeat to the masses with their on-going successful push of Ratchet City music. Webbie and Slim Thug tore down the Municipal Auditorium and Lil Wayne blew the roof off of the Hirsch Memorial Coliseum with Hurricane Chris. 5 Entertainment is growing rapidly with its strong musical background courtesy of Navajo, one of the hottest producers in the business with credits in film and broadcast. - Cmac (email@example.com)
ST. LOUIS, MO:
RIP to the Rose Man who was brutally shot down while doing his job spreading love at the clubs with his roses. Trillion Billion Dollar Beats are at it again, this time with Smackman’s “White Bricks” and “Gangsta.” DJ Trackstar dropped Boogie Bang 14 and DJ D Luv dropped Blue Magic. STL’s hot singles so far this year are DerrtyBoi Montana’s “Ain’t Wurried Bout It,” Ray Da Kidd’s “Jump Stupid,” Ebony Eyez’ “Don’t Touch,” Phat Pheezy’s “Pockets Flooded,” Unladylike’s “Sit Down,” EQ’s “Rep’n My Block,” Huey’s “Money Tall,” Jung
Tru’s “Mr.Miyagi,” J Kidd’s “Exclusive,” Vic Damone’s “Check My Swag,” and Gena’s “Look At Her Go.” - Jesse James (JesseJames314@aol.com)
TAMPA, FL: The USF Sun Dome housed the 5th Annual Tampa Music Conference hosted by Tango and sponsored by Street Laced. Rawkus 50 artist Laws announced plans to tour with Hard Target and Marpo in the Czech Republic on WMNF’s Saturday Night Shutdown. After releasing his debut album Death before Dishonor, 2 Pistols scuffled with Dolla in the BET Awards radio room in L.A., setting off an internet gossip frenzy. Aych celebrated the 2 year anniversary of Da Cypher, the premier weekly open mic event at Empire Nightclub. DJ Spinatik released more Street Runnaz mixtapes including collabs with BloodRaw and Alfamega. - Slick Worthington (SlickWorthi813@gmail.com)
Tay Dizm of T-Pain’s Nappy Boy Digital has a new single called “Beam Me Up” featuring T-Pain and Rick Ross. It’s heavy in the streets as Tay Dizm begins his new movement to promote the single. Local hero and Tallahassee representer M Beezy is making lots of noise with his long-awaited mixtape Black Star Power featuring Blazin 102.3’s Supa Star J Kwik. Thrill da Playa hit the road for his Legends of Bass summer tour with acts like The 69 Boyz, 95 South, Quad City DJs, DJ Taz, Ghost Town DJs, Dis N Dat, Splack Pack, and of course Thrill da Playa and the HB Fraternity. - DJ Dap (DJDapOnline@gmail.com)
Artist P.D.A., of Fat Lip Entertainment/Yeah Siam Records is still on his southwest regional tour gaining more exposure for Oklahoma. Be sure to hit up Tulsa’s super-producers The Beat Mafia, which is comprised of three musicians: EmBeatz, The Arsonist, and Big City (Myspace.com/getahit). Starship Records has all of the latest mixtapes and vinyl for every DJ searching for the next hit to spin. Local rapper Fedel’s new single “Tell a Friend” hit number one on 105.3 KJamz count down. - DJ Civil Rightz (Myspace.com/DJCivilRightz)
Former Roc-A-Fella V.P. Kenny Burns has been busy on the music front ever since his high-end fashion brand Ryan Kenny fizzled. The self-proclaimed “Lifestyle Expert” is pushing his SRC/Universal-backed imprint Studio 43. After burning bridges with Interscope’s newest signee Wale, who was first signed as Studio 43’s centerpiece, Burns went out to find another young franchise artist from the D.C. area. He’s putting his money on Marky and hoping that “Sheila,” a Hip Hop remake of the 80s Prince classic, will create enough buzz to set up his debut album. - Pharoh Talib (Ptalib@gmail.com) OZONE MAG // 21
Coalition (www.WendyDay.com) The Basics | By Wendy Day from Rap
his article is dedicated to Mannie Fresh, who was kind enough to give one of my indie clients a hit fucking record for a great price! Mannie is in the process of putting out his first artist, The Show. I have chosen to devote this article to giving my friend some free advice, since he was kind enough to give me the ammunition that I need to win with my group. A smart reader would eavesdrop and apply it to his or her own situation! Mannie is a super producer, and I have proven to be skilled over the years at putting out records (not to mention negotiating deals), so we all might learn something: Dear Mannie, Putting out an artist, either independently or through a major label, is a tremendous amount of work. Even with your relationships and connections, knowing who to trust and who can really benefit your release is difficult. Imagine if you didn’t have the access or name recognition that you have! I understand what you mean when you talk about the talent and passion missing from this industry today. While I do agree with you completely, just talent alone isn’t enough to win. Much like you, I am a purist. I believe that the beats and rhymes are key and the folks who are doing this solely for the money are fucking it up for everyone. That’s really why the sales are down. So many folks treat the music industry like it’s the new (legal) drug game. Those without passion, however, won’t be able to withstand the licks that this wicked industry doles out. They won’t stand the test of time. You will, and have! But in addition to the driving passion, I also realize the need for an artist to sell CDs. My favorite rapper is Ras Kass. He’s lyrical as hell, but has he been able to sell CDs? You’ve heard Jay-Z, Common, and Talib Kweli talk about dumbing down the lyrics, and we’ve all watched Bun B go from dopest Southern lyricist to rap star able to sell CDs (thank God! He deserves it!!). There’s nothing wrong with making a living from one’s artistic craft. That is not selling out! Those who believe that it is, need to go get real jobs and make CDs as a hobby and pass them out for free. I like the Victory Lap mix CD that you and DJ Wop made for The Show. It highlights his lyrical abilities over some incredible Mannie Fresh beats, and gives the fans 27 examples of what’s to come. But in my opinion, the mixed CD lacks slam-dunk-, hit singles. You most likely chose not to put them on a mix CD, saving them for his release. In today’s environment, it will be difficult to go to market without a hit radio record or two. This is especially true if you have a major label behind you, like Def Jam, because they survive on that formula of radio records to drive sales and exposure. It’s not that it is right or wrong, it’s that it just “is.” If that’s what they have to do to blow up an artist, any artist, then so be it. It’s up to you to give them the ammunition that they need. Hopefully, that was part of your thinking before doing a deal with a major, and that you chose one that needed what you could deliver (some folks see all of the labels as interchangeable and only care about getting a check; truth is, the checks are small and the opportunities are shrinking everyday). If not, you will find that you have to build a ridiculous buzz on the streets to get them interested in working your release. The reality is that if you want someone who excels at chasing radio hits to get excited about your project, and you decide not to deliver radio hits to them, you will need to show them how to work your records, make it appear to be cheap and easy, and then let them take 100% of the credit when it happens. It’s like you driving that gorgeous new Bentley. If someone was only used to Hondas, there may be some apprehension and discomfort in driving such an artful machine. But once one is used to driving perfection and sees how easy it is, it becomes easy. We all become comfortable with what we know—you with good music, a major label with hit radio records. But, hit radio records do not always equal sales. There have been plenty of hit records that the labels paid to drive up the charts, but the fulllength CDs tanked when they came out. My guess is that they only had one or two good records on the album. You are Mannie Fresh, so I’m not worried about that. You make great music. And The Show is lyrical and seems able to make great songs.
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Since he’s based in New Orleans, I’d build a buzz in LA, TX, and southern AL. I’d attend all of the events in the Summer and Fall where large amounts of potential fans gather (Summer Jams, park parties, college homecomings, music festivals, etc). I’d throw him in a wrapped van, and hit a different city every day. I’d make sure we went through radio, retail stores (chains and independents), clubs at night (performing if possible), strip clubs, and Hip Hop gear shops. If you really want to grind it out, I’d also hit the chicken wing spots, key barber shops and nail salons, high schools and colleges, and make sure you spend time in the ‘hoods. Your name will open a lot of doors for him. I’d be sure to pass out flyers, hang posters wherever I could, and sign as many autographs as humanly possible. I’d advertise ahead of time the cities we were hitting through his website and his MySpace page (and yours). Also, I’d suggest explaining to The Show that artists don’t really make money from their record deals. It’s important that he knows he’s grinding this out for something bigger down the road, especially because of the way you, and other artists before you, got jerked out of money in this business. It’s important that he understand how the payments work and how the money comes from shows, endorsement deals, and other opportunities that fame brings. He’s very bright so he probably already knows this, but it’s important he understands it fully to alleviate problems down the road. After building the buzz in that 3-state area, his buzz will organically grow. As college students return home for their breaks and vacations, they will spread his music. People will naturally share great music with friends, and the internet speeds up this process. It spreads like fire. You can also start working a single at radio. The DJs will already be aware of The Show, now it’s time to spread that awareness to program directors around the region. Focus on the South. Work the project for a minimum of 4 months before you drop the album. Six months is preferred and 9 months is even better. If you aren’t coming through a major, make sure you choose a distributor with a strong track record of paying, and one that has great relationships with rap record buyers and stores. This is NOT the area to take risks. It’s your money! A hit radio record will make the promoters start calling to book shows faster. A super hot record will make the show price increase quickly. When The Show is making good money, it will be easier for him to work even harder. It’ll be more hectic, but better. It will save you money too. As he travels to different cities on the promoters’ dime, you can hit radio and retail in those cities. Lastly, make sure The Show is the shit at home. Be certain to give back to the local community, especially New Orleans because it needs the support more than any other place. Offer picnics in the park and Kids’ Days. Support the Moms and the schools that need help. Speak to the kids and keep them from going down the wrong path. That’s not mandatory, but it is the right thing to do. Mannie, you are the shit! You’ve been down a long, hard road. But you survived and survived well. No one can take that from you. You have legions of fans and soldiers, just waiting for you to do something for yourself. The Show is it! Go get it baby! And I am always here when you need me. Always. I love you Chubby Boy!
With Love and Respect, Wendy
OZONE MAG // 23
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(above L-R): J Prince Jr & Lil Will @ Arena Theater for Lil Wayne’s concert in Houston, TX; Bootz, Buddha, & Buckeey @ JW Marriott in Houston, TX (Photos: Knowledge); Plies & Pacman @ Nokia Theatre for K104 Summer Jam in Dallas, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Bohagon reppin’ Citrus CRUNK!!! Energy Drink @ Studio 72 (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Pacman & Suga D @ Nokia Theatre for K104 Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 03 // DJ Slikk & DJ Marlei Mar @ Esso for ATL Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Kelley, Gabrielle Union, Lori, & Lindsey @ Zo’s Summer Groove (Miami, FL) 05 // Charles Young & Fentz on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 06 // DJ Drama, TI, Get Cool, & David Banner @ Reliant Arena for Party 93.3’s car show (Houston, TX) 07 // Ray J & Slim Thug on the set of the Boss Hogg Outlawz “Keep It Playa” video shoot (Houston, TX) 08 // Michael Watts & David Banner @ Reliant Arena for Party 93.3’s car show (Houston, TX) 09 // Trick Daddy, Charles Young, & DJ Khaled on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 10 // TJ Chapman & BloodRaw @ Patchwerk for BloodRaw’s listening party (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Webbie, Nick the Next One, Julia Beverly, & Corey Cleghorn @ Rhythm City for JB’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 12 // Baby Boy & Webbie @ The Venue (New Orleans, LA) 13 // Supa Chino & Young Cash @ Club Christopher’s for Young Cash’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 14 // Shawty Lo & ladies on the set of Shawty Lo’s “Foolish” remix video shoot (Miami, FL) 15 // Roccett, Young AC & crew @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 16 // Lloyd Banks & Lump @ 93.3 (Houston, TX) 17 // Dee Money & Smitty @ Belvedere (Houston, TX) 18 // J Xavier & Birdman @ Arena Theater for Lil Wayne’s concert (Houston, TX) 19 // DJ Bomb Shell Boogie & Raj Smoove @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) Photo Credits: Ben Rose (01); Edward Hall (11); J Lash (04,14); Julia Beverly (02,05,06,08,09); Knowledge (07,16,17,18); Marcus DeWayne (12,19); Ms Rivercity (03,10); Terrence Tyson (13); Tre Dubb (15)
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CHIN CHECK By Charlamagne Tha God 10 Reasons Jermaine Dupri must be a Leprechaun a.k.a. The Luckiest Little Man in Hip Hop 10) Money Ain’t a Thing Video This video was all the Luck of the Leprechaun. Using his Leprechaun luck, a phone book, and pedal extensions, he was lucky enough to be able to reach the pedals of those hot ass cars he was driving in this video. This video did a lot for the Leprechaun’s image and had him mentioned in the same breath as Sean Combs, but only when people said, “Damn, JD trying to be like Puffy.” 9) Kris Kross This was one of the Leprechaun’s first pots of gold. He was lucky enough to discover two childhood friends, Chris Kelly and Chris Smith, in 1991 at an Atlanta shopping mall. Dupri thought the two “looked like a rap group” and proceeded to gas these twelve-year-olds to wear their clothes backwards. There debut album Totally Krossed Out went 4x platinum in the U.S., and to this day nobody knows why. I also always wondered if he encouraged them to wear their boxers backwards? If he did, with the hole in the back instead of the front, their album should have been called Totally Assed Out. 8) Whoever introduced him to Bow Wow In 1998 at the age of eleven, Bow Wow was introduced to JD, who sprinkled a little Leprechaun luck on his young career. Now, I don’t know who introduced Bow Wow to the Leprechaun, but half of this pot of gold should have gone to them. Nobody gave a damn about Slow Slow Death in 1998. I mean, nobody cares now, but they were damn near dead then. It was rumored that Bow Wow was a Leprechaun, but nobody would really knew until he got older. Those rumors have been shot down now that he’s older because he’s too tall to be a Leprechaun and has established himself pretty well in the music and film industry (without the Leprechaun’s assistance). 7) His Braids JD was lucky enough to wear cornrows years after going bald. This, combined with his natural Leprechaun height, kept up his youthful appearance so he didn’t look like Bow Wow’s vertically challenged father in the videos.
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6) Da Brat This is when rumors of JD being a lucky little Leprechaun really started. He swagger-jacked Snoop and reincarnated his style in the form of a female emcee, and Da Brat was born. Even though much more talented emcees like Queen Latifah and MC Lyte came before her and had commercial and critical success, none of them ever went platinum. Da Brat was the first female solo artist to ever go platinum. The Leprechaun strikes again. 5) The Street Single This is what Greg Street was talking about when he said the Leprechaun was a BDS A&R. He goes and grabs pots of gold that are already out there and claims them as his own. For example: Bonecrusher’s “Neva Scared,” J-Kwon’s “Tipsy,” the Youngbloodz’ “Damn,” Dem Franchize Boyz’ “I Think They Like Me,” and Rocko’s “Umma Do Me.” A deaf man could hear these were going to be hits, but JD was lucky enough to sign these artists at key periods in Slow Slow Death’s existence. These records have served as life support for a label that should have been dead years ago. 4) Michael Mauldin Michael Mauldin is the Leprechaun’s father and former President of Columbia Records. What, you thought JD worked his way into the game? No! He was lucky enough to get handed his position in the game. This explains why he doesn’t really have an ear for talent. Most of his artists were introduced to him by someone else (see #8), had more of a gimmick than talent (see Kris Kross, Da Brat, and Bow Wow), or they already had a single buzzing (see #5) and JD just stamped So So Def on it and called it his own. Who needs an ear for talent when your father was a president for a major record label? Lucky bastard! 3) The Emancipation of Mimi Mariah Carey’s comeback record went 6x platinum, fueled by the
singles “It’s Like That,” “We Belong Together,” and “Shake It Off,” all co-produced and co-written by JD. This had to be the luck of the Leprechaun (see #2). 2) Janet Jackson This is the moment when people realized JD was not human, but was an actual real live Leprechaun living among us. How did he bag Janet Jackson? The Luck of the Leprechaun! This is how we know the Emancipation of Mimi was pure Leprechaun luck. He had two chances to bring Janet back with 20 Y.O. and Discipline and couldn’t do it. He used all his pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, and green clovers to bag Janet in the first place. He had no more luck left to make pots of gold appear at the end of the rainbows of her last two albums. 1) DJs playing Slow Slow Death Records If it wasn’t for the DJ, not one record JD produced or wrote would have ever been played! If it wasn’t for the DJ, Da Brat and Bow Wow would be nobodies! If it wasn’t for the DJ, he would have never established the So So Def DJs even though we know he did this just to have a coalition of people to force his latest batch of hot garbage down the world’s throats! Now since his “the DJ is dead” comments, the Leprechaun’s luck has run out. The DJ has no reason to support a mediocre talent, with a mediocre roster of artist and a very mediocre label. R.I.P. to the Leprechaun’s career. Sadly, it was already dying a Slow Slow Death.
(above L-R): Rick Ross & Foxy Brown on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” in Brooklyn, NY (Photo: Julia Beverly); Bun B with his wife & kids Queen, Breneshia, & Young B @ the Galleria’s Louis Vuitton store for Bun B’s private album release party in Houston, TX (Photo: Knowledge); Rocko & Monica @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Janiro Hawkins & Young Buck @ Hang Time (Nashville, TN) 02 // Pleasure P & Simmona @ 4th of July party (Jacksonville, FL) 03 // DJ Charlie Chan & Youvee @ Skybox (St Louis, MO) 04 // Young Sav & Joie Manda @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Chris Ward, Killa Kyleon, James Prince Jr, & TOE on the set of the Boss Hogg Outlawz “Keep It Playa” video shoot (Houston, TX) 06 // Redd Eyezz & Toro on the set of Shawty Lo’s “Foolish” remix video shoot (Miami, FL) 07 // Lil Boosie & TQ on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 08 // Bay Bay & Plies @ Nokia Theatre for K104 Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 09 // Boomtown & ladies @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 10 // Birdman & ladies on the set of Shawty Lo’s “Foolish” remix video shoot (Miami, FL) 11 // DJ D-Strong, DJ Infamous, & DJ Nasty on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 12 // Show, Dizzy, & models @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 13 // G Dash & Yung Redd @ Reliant Arena for the 93.3 car show (Houston, TX) 14 // Ron C, Bigg DM, & Chief Rocka (Nashville, TN) 15 // Midget Mac, Young Cash, & Vic @ Club Christopher’s for Young Cash’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 16 // Paul Wall & Mo Bounce @ Hot 95.7 (Houston, TX) 17 // T-Roy, DJ Q45, & Suga D @ SeaBreeze for Terrence Tyson’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 18 // Malik Abdul & Kisha Smith @ Rhythm City for JB’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 19 // Wild Wayne & Mike Epps @ Q93 (New Orleans, LA) 20 // Dollar Bill & Mya @ Arena Theater for Lil Wayne’s concert (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (09,18); J Lash (06,10); Janiro Hawkins (01,14); Julia Beverly (04,07,08,11); King Yella (03); Knowledge (05,13,16,20); Marcus DeWayne (12,19); Terrence Tyson (02,15,17)
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She Liked my NECKLACE and started relaxin’, that’s what the fuck I call a… I took it a step further and got King Johnny from Texas to put it on a chain for me. First I went with [a chain] of my name, Flo Rida, which everyone saw in the “In The Ayer” video. Then when the BET Awards came I wanted to do it real big with my logo for my big television debut. I knew everybody was gonna be watching so I wanted to represent me, Khaled, Ross, Ace, and everybody. The chain is pretty heavy so I usually just bring it out when I’m performing. When I go through the airport [security] with it, I have a lot of problems. I have to take it out and everybody wants to come see it, and it causes a lot of onlookers. But I’m not worried about somebody trying to take it, because
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MADE BY: Nick THE JEWELER with King Johnny’s Custom Jewelry in Houston, TX CARATS: 200 carats weighT: 1000 grams SIZE: SIX INCHES WIDE appraisal value (CHAIN & PIECE): $600,000 I worked hard for it and I ain’t never robbed nobody so my conscience is clear. I’m always calm and laid back and I ain’t really worried about it. I have insurance so I’m good.
was born in Florida and I felt that if I wanted to reach my dream and my goal, I had to spread my name in Cali, Vegas, and various other places. I wanted to have my name be my logo, so I thought taking the state [of Florida] and making it into an “F” at the same time would be perfect. If I put this logo on a hat or a t-shirt, it’ll stand out.
When I go to [third world countries] I can’t speak their language but I can tell they’re just amazed [by the chain]. They say, “It’s so many diamonds,” or, “We could feed our whole country with that.” I’m definitely gonna keep this piece for a while. Me and Ross were talking about how crazy it is that we’ll get a new piece and love it for two weeks, and next thing you know, we want another piece. It’s a sign of success. I’m looking forward to getting another piece real soon. I’ve already got a couple pieces on the way. // As told to Julia Beverly Photo by Luis Santana
(above L-R): Lil Boosie & his son on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” in Brooklyn, NY; The Dream & his daughter @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA; Young Jeezy & his son @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // DJ Buddha & Rob G @ Reliant Arena for Party 93.3’s car show (Houston, TX) 02 // Day 26 @ Nokia Theatre for K104 Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 03 // Mike Mack & Damm D on the set of Bun B’s “You’re Everything” (Houston, TX) 04 // Freda & Flo Rida @ The Venue (New Orleans, LA) 05 // Boomtown & guest on the set of “You’re Everything” (Houston, TX) 06 // Tum Tum reppin’ Drank @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 07 // Jas Prince & guest @ Nokia Theatre for K104 Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 08 // Plies & Cat Daddy @ Nokia Theatre for K104 Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 09 // Chris Ward, Killa Kyleon, Bun B, & Slim Thug on the set of “Riding With No Ceiling” (Houston, TX) 10 // Steve Raze & Tony Neal on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 11 // Richy Rich & Breneshia @ Reliant Arena for the 93.3 car show (Houston, TX) 12 // DJ Nasty, The Runners, Young Jeezy, Bali, & DJ D-Strong on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 13 // KJ Jines & Roccett @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 14 // Ben Baller, Bun B, & DJ B-Do on the set of the Grit Boys “Now Later Paint” video shoot (Houston, TX) 15 // Paul Wall & Pookie @ Bar Rio for JB’s birthday bash (Houston, TX) 16 // Xtaci @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Gu & Coline @ Reliant Arena for the 93.3 car show (Houston, TX) 18 // DJ Drop, Tony Neal, & Tre Dubb @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 19 // Slim of 112 & Lucky @ Venue (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (15); Julia Beverly (01,02,05,06,07,08,10,12,13,16); Knowledge (03,09,11,14,17,19); Marcus DeWayne (04); Tre Dubb (18)
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by Eric Perrin It’s been a long time, shouldn’t have left you… For the last couple of months the Dollar Menu has been in a recession, and for that, we apologize. Hopefully, the triple thick and tasty Tink will make up for the absence of ass in the last few issues. Hey, we love to see you smile. This is the story of Tink (short for Tinker Bell), the female equivalent of ten pennies who shakes her fairy tail nightly in a NeverNeverland called Strokers. And while her name may sound innocent, the 20-year-old Erie, Pennsylvania product is anything but. In fact, the former ballet and classical jazz dancer recently encountered an unwanted 15 minutes of shame when her sex life was broadcast to millions of viewers on national television last spring. Fans of the BET show College Hill may remember Tink as the The Velvet Room Vixen who got caught by the cameras making love after the club with College Hill: Atlanta cast member and aspiring rapper Drew. “I wasn’t even aware that I was going to be on the show,” she says. “I was just in the club, and the camera spotted me dancing with [Drew], and when we went back to the house that night, the cameras caught us having sex. I was kinda upset about it, but it didn’t bring me down so I’m not really trippin’. And while the Stone Mountain resident doesn’t necessarily regret getting caught, she does feel a bit of remorse about who she was caught with. “I would never have sex with [Drew] again. First of all, it wasn’t good, and second, a lot of people tell me he’s gay, so I would never have relations with him again,” she strongly asserts. Though her BET debut was not exactly what she would have planned, the 36-22-36 boasting Black and Italian blend would love to reappear on the network one day under her own terms: as a successful (and clothed) R&B artist and dancer. “A lot of people know that I’m talented and that I can sing,” insists the delicious almost-old-enough-to-drink Gemini. “But most people don’t know that music and dance are my passions; that’s what I want to do for a living.” “Stripping is not my mentality,” she continues. “It’s just something I do because I’m good at it, and I need to pay my bills. It’s fun, but one day I plan to do a lot more in life.” Hopefully one day Tink can pull a Paris Hilton and transform from sex tape star to celebrity singer. Booking: www.myspace.com/strokersatl 770-270-0350 Website: www.strokersclub.com Photographer: Sean Cokes 404-622-7733 Make-Up Artist: Mike Mike 678-732-5285 Hair Stylist: Baby Boy 404-396-2739
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(above L-R): Baby Bash & Rob G @ Reliant Arena for the 93.3 car show in Houston, TX (Photo: Knowledge); Play & Skillz, Slim Thug, & Tum Tum @ Play N Skillz All Star weekend in Dallas, TX (Photo: Gina Torres); Hurricane Chris & Bay Bay on the set of “Jigga Juice” in Baton Rouge, LA (Photo: King Yella)
01 // Malik Abdul & Ms Dynasty @ Club Christopher’s for Young Cash’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 02 // Gu, Kiotti, & Paul Wall @ Bar Rio for JB’s birthday bash (Houston, TX) 03 // Model Monica C. & Currensy @ the NV Lounge (New Orleans, LA) 04 // Lil Josh, Big Teach, Hurricane Chris, & Ernest on the set of “Jigga Juice” (Baton Rouge, LA) 05 // DJ Bomb Shell Boogie & DJ Ro @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 06 // Poppy & Unique of the Grit Boys & Young B @ Reliant Arena for the 93.3 car show (Houston, TX) 07 // DJ Drama & Trae @ Reliant Arena for the 93.3 car show (Houston, TX) 08 // Jas Prince, Slim, J Prince, Trae, & Baby @ Arena Theater for Lil Wayne’s concert (Houston, TX) 09 // Kisha Smith & Webbie @ Rhythm City for JB’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 10 // Flo Rida & DJ Christion @ Club Skye (Tampa, FL) 11 // BloodRaw, Lex, DJ Rhymer, & DJ Cutterman @ 94.3 (Miami, FL) 12 // Slim Thug & PJ on the set of the Boss Hogg Outlawz “Keep It Playa” video shoot (Houston, TX) 13 // Tank, J Tweezy, & Dirty on the set of “Jigga Juice” (Baton Rouge, LA) 14 // Snook da Rokkstarr & Collard Greens @ Club Hypnotik (Florence, SC) 15 // Young B & Steve Chavez @ Reliant Arena for the 93.3 car show (Houston, TX) 16 // Chamillionaire, KJ, & Famous @ the Galleria’s Louis Vuitton store for Bun B’s private album release party (Houston, TX) 17 // DJ Wop, Mannie Fresh & Grand Hussle’s Street Team (New Orleans, LA) 18 // DJ Princess Cut & DJ Ben @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 19 // Todd Moscowitz & Lil Boosie on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 20 // DJ Oakcliff & Aztek on the set of Bun B’s “You’re Everything” (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (18); Julia Beverly (09,14,19); King Yella (04,13); Knowledge (02,06,07,08,12,15,16,20); Lex (11); Luis Santana (10); Marcus DeWayne (03,05,17); Terrence Tyson (01)
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DAVID BANNER & JESSE JACKSON David Banner: Did U buy my album yet, nigga? Jesse Jackson: Damn, my nigga! Your album came out? When did it drop? David Banner: U know my shit came out July 15th, 2008. Jesse Jackson: I thought that shit came out last year? David Banner: Nah, muthafucka. My shit came out July 15th, 2008. Jesse Jackson: I hope your album is as good as Lil Wayne’s shit. That shit was jammin’! David Banner: My shit is better than Tha Carter III. It’s the greatest story ever told, nigga. Jesse Jackson: How many songs u got Lil Wayne on? David Banner: He’s on there twice, but he’s on everybody’s shit twice. But my shit is better than Tha Carter III, better than Ready To Die, better than Illmatic, better than All Eyez On Me, better than Thriller, better than James Brown’s Greatest Hits. Better than all those bitch ass niggas’ albums. Jesse Jackson: I might check it out as long as that bitch ass nigga, Nas, ain’t on there. I don’t fuck wit’ that nigga.
OZONE EXCLUSIVE Textin’ is no longer safe now that OZONE’s dangerous minds have hacked the system.
David Banner: What! U don’t like Nas? That nigga is almost as good as me. Jesse Jackson: Nah, I’ll cut that nigga’s nuts off. How that nigga gonna call his album Nigger? David Banner: I don’t know. But fuck that nigga’s album. We’re talking about the Greatest Story Ever Told. Jesse Jackson: How is your album selling? David Banner: It could be better. But these bitch ass niggas ain’t supporting real music. Jesse Jackson: Well, U know I downloaded that shit on the internet. But I’ll go buy it since Lil Wayne’s on there. Keep hope alive, my nigga. - From the minds of Eric Perrin and Randy Roper (Photos by Julia Beverly & Chip Somodevilla)
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(above L-R): Paul Wall & TV Johnny @ Bar Rio for JB’s birthday bash in Houston, TX; Akon, DJ Khaled, & Fat Joe on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” in Brooklyn, NY; David Banner & Bun B @ Reliant Arena for Party 93.3’s car show in Houston, TX (Photos: Julia Beverly)
01 // Dorian Forbes, Shawty Lo, Smack, & Shawty on the set of Shawty Lo’s “Foolish” remix video shoot (Miami, FL) 02 // Sean Kingston & guest on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 03 // Aztek & guest @ Arena Theater for Lil Wayne’s concert (Houston, TX) 04 // Queen, Ashlei, & Breneshia @ the Galleria’s Louis Vuitton store for Bun B’s private album release party (Houston, TX) 05 // DJ Hi-C & Lil Keith @ Venue (Houston, TX) 06 // Tum Tum, Play & Skillz, & Slim Thug @ Purgatory for Play & Skillz’ Summer Jam afterparty (Dallas, TX) 07 // Rick Ross & Red Cafe on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 08 // Lil Josh, Gloria Velez, & Ernest on the set of “Jigga Juice” (Baton Rouge, LA) 09 // Guest & Pacman @ Nokia Theatre for K104 Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 10 // Clip D & Troublesum on the set of “Nothin’ To A Boss” video shoot (Houston, TX) 11 // Slim Thug, DJ Chill, & Rob G on the set of “Nothin’ To A Boss” video shoot (Houston, TX) 12 // Unk & DJ Demp @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107 Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 13 // JC, Freddy B, & Serious (Nashville, TN) 14 // DJ Chill & DJ Ryno @ Trae & Z-Ro’s listening party (Houston, TX) 15 // DJ Princess Cut & Big Chief @ Rhythm City for JB’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 16 // Bigg DM & Janiro Hawkins (Nashville, TN) 17 // Gil Green & Kardinal Offishal @ Summerfest 2008 (Miami, FL) 18 // Play & Lil Twist @ Play N Skillz All Star weekend (Dallas, TX) 19 // Breezy & Ivory Orr @ 4th of July party (Jacksonville, FL) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (15); Gina Torres (18); J Lash (01,17); Janiro Hawkins (13,16); Julia Beverly (02,06,07,09); King Yella (08); Knowledge (03,04,05,10,11,14); Terrence Tyson (12,19)
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(above L-R): Dwayne Wade & his mother @ Zo’s Summer Groove in Miami, FL (Photo: J Lash); J-Que, Rocko, & Trae @ Trae & Z-Ro’s listening party in Houston, TX (Photo: Knowledge); DJ Khaled & Shawty Lo on the set of Shawty Lo’s “Foolish” remix video shoot in Miami, FL (Photo: J Lash)
01 // Don Cannon, DJ Infamous, & DJ Holiday @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 02 // The Dream & Q93’s PD Derrick Corbet @ Q93 (New Orleans, LA) 03 // DJ Fahrenheit, DJ Demp, & Pastor Troy @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107 Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 04 // DJ Nasty, Plies, & Ricky P @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 05 // Brandii & Teka @ Whispers for Pat Nix birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 06 // Pitbull & TV Johnny @ Bar Rio for JB’s birthday bash (Houston, TX) 07 // Big Boy, David Banner, & guests @ Reliant Arena for the 93.3 car show (Houston, TX) 08 // CRUNK!!! CEO Tom Mahlke & Lil Jon @ Studio 72 (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Mannie Fresh & his sister Trina @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 10 // Rico, Hawatha Herd, & Damm D @ Texas Urban Music Summit (Dallas, TX) 11 // Wendy Day & Trai’D @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 12 // DJ Chill, Chris Johnson, TJ Chapman, & Bone on the set of Bun B’s “You’re Everything” (Houston, TX) 13 // Young Selah @ SeaBreeze for Terrence Tyson’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 14 // Clay Evans & Big Oomp @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 15 // James Prince Jr, TOE, & DJ B-Do @ Belvedere (Houston, TX) 16 // G Mack, Marlei Mar, Khadijah, & DJ Drizzle @ Esso for ATL Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Aztek & Bone on the set of “You’re Everything” (Houston, TX) 18 // Slim Thug & TJ Chapman @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 19 // Mr Lee, Cindy Hill, & Charles Chavez on the set of the Boss Hogg Outlawz “Keep It Playa” video shoot (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Ben Rose (08); D’Lyte (11); Edward Hall (10); Julia Beverly (01,06,14,17,18); Knowledge (07,12,15,19); Marcus DeWayne (02,09); Ms Rivercity (16); Terrence Tyson (03,04,05,13)
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DJ Sam Sneak Hometown: North Miami, FL Website: www.myspace.com/djsamsneak Radio: Streetfm.com Poe Boy Radio Mixtape Series: Kicks DJ Affiliate: Jam Squad Clubs: Take One Lounge (Miami, FL) 3 Songs In Current Rotation: Rick Ross “Here I Am,” Ballgreezy F/ Brisco “I’m Da Shit,” Billy Blue “Ball Like a Dog” Rick Ross’ tour DJ tells us what its like to hustle, hustle, real hard with the Boss and why vibe music is the new sound to listen out for from the 305. “I’ve been down with Ross for a minute, way before ‘Hustlin’ even jumped off. I always seen him out, like, ‘What’s up, how you doing,’ and checking up on him and stuff like that. When ‘Hustlin’ came out, I was DJing at Diamonds and I hadn’t seen him in a minute. I was blowing the record up, playing it like eight times a night. I called him one day and he was like, ‘What’s up, man. I’ve been looking for you. I need to get you that record.’ I was like, ‘I’ve been at Diamonds playing it.’ He said, ‘Oh, that’s you? They’ve been telling me about you.’ It was all love and we just kept in contact from there. I would always make sure he was good. Triple Cs, Poe Boy, there was always that love. The average day for me, with [Ross]…I go to the studio, make sure DJs get their drops, making sure he hears beats, make sure freestyles are bumpin’, make sure features are ready for him. I used to sleep til 12, 1 in the afternoon. I don’t sleep like that anymore. I sleep maybe four hours [a night]. It’s different now. But I still go to the hood. I still check out the hood clubs. They show more love than anything. They wanna see you be successful. There’s haters everywhere you go, but there’s also love where you’re at too. We just came back from Europe. I’ve been to Amsterdam, Paris, France, Norway, Germany, all different places and they love him. I don’t think you understand. They love Ross, they love Khaled, they love Triple Cs, Brisco. Everything we threw to them, they love it. It’s like another world over there. It opened my eyes. In the Miami scene, I’ve come across a lot of local artists like The Dunk Ryders, Ballgreezy, Under Surveillance, Bizzle, Brisco, and Billy Blue. There’s a lot of artists that I’ve had a touch in their projects, helping them, promoting them and making them big. Jam Squad, that’s what we do. We’ve promoted a lot of independent artists. I don’t know if you heard of what we got out here called ‘vibin’ music.’ Ballgreezy did his thing on it, Under Surveillance, you got on that Bizzle, you just be vibin’. That’s that Miami vibe music. Y’all gotta lookout for that. You know how Atlanta got their snap music, L.A. got their crump music? Well, we got the vibe music, where we’re vibin’, shakin’ and rollin’, be in the club chillin’, jookin’ and all that stuff. You can go to any club in Miami and I can guarantee you they’ll play a vibin’ song. Everybody got a vibin’ song, where you can just vibe to it. The Miami movement is all the local artists that’s down with the movement and that’s down with supporting one another. What I’m working on is just helping local artists get out. That’s what I’m all about. I just want local artists to get out there and make things happen. Just make sure Miami just keeps doing what we’re doing.”
As told to Randy Roper
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(above L-R): Tracy McGrady, Trae, & J Prince @ Arena Theater for Lil Wayne’s concert in Houston, TX (Photo: Knowledge); Midget Mac & Lil Scrappy @ JW Marriott in Houston, TX (Photos: Knowledge); TI & David Banner @ Reliant Arena for Party 93.3’s car show in Houston, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Sho, DJ Drop, & Nick the Next One @ Rhythm City for JB’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 02 // Ms Rivercity & Grand Prix @ 4th of July party (Jacksonville, FL) 03 // Maricia Magana & Candy Girl @ Pashaa Ultar Lounge for Maricia’s birthday party (Houston, TX) 04 // DJ Drama & Get Cool @ Bar Rio for JB’s birthday bash (Houston, TX) 05 // DJ Black N Mild, Tony Neal, & Juggie @ Club Ampersand for the Apple Bottom model search (New Orleans, LA) 06 // Play & Skillz @ SF2 (Houston, TX) 07 // Kenyon Martin & Trina @ Zo’s Summer Groove (Miami, FL) 08 // DJ Strong, Shawty Lo, DJ Khaled, The Runners, & DJ Nasty on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 09 // Ace Hood, Dorian Forbes, & Pitbull on the set of Shawty Lo’s “Foolish” remix video shoot (Miami, FL) 10 // James McMillan & Big Chief @ Rhythm City for JB’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 11 // Camar, Bizzle, & Shonie @ Club Element (Miami, FL) 12 // Rob G & Famous @ the Galleria’s Louis Vuitton store for Bun B’s private album release party (Houston, TX) 13 // Willie Fisher & Sytonnia @ Whispers for Pat Nix birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 14 // Steve Nice, Bay Bay, & Skip Cheatham @ Nokia Theatre for K104 Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 15 // Lil Hen, Young Cash, & Midget Mac @ Club Christopher’s for Young Cash’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 16 // BloodRaw & Lex @ LPMG offices (Miami, FL) 17 // Randy Roper & DJ B-Lord @ Club Hypnotik (Florence, SC) 18 // Rick Ross & guest on the set of Bun B’s “You’re Everything” (Houston, TX) 19 // Fat Joe & DJ Nasty on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (01); J Lash (07,09); Julia Beverly (04,08,10,14,17,19); Knowledge (03,06,12,18); Lex (11,16); Marcus DeWayne (05); Terrence Tyson (02,13,15)
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(above L-R): DJ Khaled & Plies @ Brandsmart for Plies’ in-store signing in Miami, FL (Photo: J Lash); Play & Skillz & Mannie Fresh @ Purgatory for Play N Skillz All Star weekend in Dallas, TX (Photo: Mark Dallas); Webbie & Flo Rida @ The Venue in New Orleans, LA (Photo: Marcus DeWayne)
01 // Killa Kyleon & Goldenchild on the set of “Riding With No Ceiling” (Houston, TX) 02 // Tum Tum, Slim Thug, & guest @ Purgatory for Play & Skillz’ Summer Jam afterparty (Dallas, TX) 03 // Hezeleo & Boomtown on the set of Bun B’s “You’re Everything” (Houston, TX) 04 // Lil O, 9th Ward, & DJ Smiley @ Rhythm City (Dallas, TX) 05 // Dwayne Wade & Dorell Wright @ Zo’s Summer Groove (Miami, FL) 06 // Big Du & 8Ball & MJG @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Bun B & DJ Drama @ Bar Rio for JB’s birthday bash (Houston, TX) 08 // DJ Christion & Pitbull @ Club Skye (Tampa, FL) 09 // John the Baptist reppin’ OZONE @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 10 // Bay Bay & Gloria Velez on the set of “Jigga Juice” (Baton Rouge, LA) 11 // Michael Watts & G Dash @ Reliant Arena for Party 93.3’s car show (Houston, TX) 12 // Rick Edwards, Mercedes, & Roccett @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 13 // Definition DJs @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 14 // Tony Yayo & Blaze @ 93.3 (Houston, TX) 15 // Young City & Christina Clark @ Whispers for Pat Nix birthday bash (Orlando, FL) 16 // DJ Infamous & Sam Sneak on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 17 // OG Ron C, Slim Thug, & Gu @ Reliant Arena for Party 93.3’s car show (Houston, TX) 18 // Teniesha, Flo Rida, Baby Boy, & Mekele @ The Venue (New Orleans, LA) 19 // Bizzle & DJ Quest @ 4th of July party (Jacksonville, FL) 20 // DJ Raj Smoove & Show @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (04,12); J Lash (05); Julia Beverly (02,06,07,09,11,16,17); King Yella (10); Knowledge (01,03,14); Luis Santana (08); Marcus DeWayne (18,20); Terrence Tyson (15,19); Tre Dubb (13)
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he popularity of DJ Khaled’s “I’m So Hood” is a perfect example of hood life glorification in today’s rap music. But as many spend their lives in search of a hood pass, those who dwell in the ghettos of urban America are constantly seeking a way out. McClyndon “Bali” Randolph thought he found an exit. The Fort Pierce, FL, native enrolled at Indian River Community College and joined the school’s basketball team. After a year and a half, hoop dreams and college weren’t working out and Bali turned to the streets. The trap proved to be just that—a trap. Realizing the dead-end road he was traveling, he decided to take his chances in the rap game. “I had too many niggas falling out in the street shit,” he recollects. “I was like, ‘Damn, I gotta find my way out.’ I fucked around and stayed in the muthafuckin’ studio.” Using the studio as his sanctuary paid off. After recording a few tracks in 2002, Bali’s music ended up in the hands of Mayne Zane (one half of the Orlando-based production team The Runners, who are responsible for a slew of hits like Rick Ross’s breakthrough “Hustlin’”) and from there things began taking off for Bali. “Me, Mayne and my whole click made about 20, 30 songs,” Bali says. “We shot them out in the streets and caught a buzz like never before. So, this made me
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believe that a nigga could make it.” Now, with The Runners producing for everyone from T.I. and Rick Ross to Chris Brown and R. Kelly, and helping craft the new sound of Florida’s current movement, Bali is comfortably positioned as the first artist on their Runners Music Group imprint. “Bali’s different than most of these artists,” Dru Brett, other half of the Runners, cosigns. “He doesn’t talk about the same things over and over. You’re gonna be able to see he has something bigger than just rap music. It’s more political; it’s about something. It’s music that represents something bigger than the same old stuff everybody else is talking about.” Bali’s currently working on his debut LP, Rebellion Music, an album where he looks to send a message comparable to late reggae legend Bob Marley. “Bob Marley [had an] album called Rebel Music. So, we came up with that idea, but we’re going to bring it to these days and times. And [I’m] going to tell my story, the struggle, the gutter, my nigga. And give a good message to the people and try to change some lives of these young niggas.”
Words by Randy Roper
(above L-R): Trick Daddy & Young Jeezy on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” in Brooklyn, NY; Pitbull & Rob G @ Bar Rio for JB’s birthday bash in Houston, TX; David Banner & Trae @ Bar Rio for JB’s birthday bash in Houston, TX (Photos: Julia Beverly)
01 // Brittany, Trae tha Truth, Block 2 Block model, Fat B, Punkin, & Big Tuck @ Waco Car Show (Waco, TX) 02 // Dr Teeth & Slim of 112 @ Venue (Houston, TX) 03 // Guest, Princess, & P Brown @ Club Crucial for ATL Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Meshah Hawkins & Dedra Davis @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 05 // C-Lo & Dolowite @ Hang Time (Nashville, TN) 06 // David Banner, Slim Thug, & Play & Skillz @ Reliant Arena for Party 93.3’s car show (Houston, TX) 07 // Keyshia Cole & Grand Hussle @ The Cricket Club (New Orleans, LA) 08 // Yung Joc, Oddz N Endz, Candice, & Shawty Lo on the set of Slim’s video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 09 // DJ Christion & Cool & Dre @ Club Skye (Tampa, FL) 10 // Smitty & Money Marc @ Belvedere (Houston, TX) 11 // Jeanise Chaplin & Malik Abdul @ Plumm for JB’s birthday bash (New York, NY) 12 // Grit Boys & Tum Tum on the set of the Grit Boys “Now Later Paint” video shoot (Houston, TX) 13 // Tezz & guest @ Nokia Theatre for K104 Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 14 // Shakir Stewart & Shawn “Tubby” Holiday @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 15 // DJ Q45 & Ms Rivercity @ Templo Lounge (Miami, FL) 16 // OG Ron C, Killa Kyleon, & DJ Hi-C on the set of the Boss Hogg Outlawz “Keep It Playa” video shoot (Houston, TX) 17 // Rocko & Mami Chula @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 18 // T-Roy & his Bust It Babies @ CD Connection for Plies in-store album signing (Jacksonville, FL) 19 // Queen & Chamillionaire @ the Galleria’s Louis Vuitton store for Bun B’s private album release party (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Janiro Hawkins (05); Julia Beverly (04,06,11,13,14,17); Knowledge (02,10,12,16,19); Kurtis Graham (01); Luis Santana (09); Marcus DeWayne (07); Ms Rivercity (03); Terrence Tyson (15,18); Vinnet Bradshaw (08)
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hen you think about Texas rap, Dallas is probably not the city that comes to mind. With Houston’s music scene as deep and vast as the state itself, Dallas constantly gets left out of the equation. “I don’t think [people have] heard the Dallas sound before,” rapper/producer Fat Pimp admits. “But my solo project is putting the Dallas sound out to the world.”
high school he’s pretty much been known as a beatmaker. After getting his first placement in 2004 on Big Tuck’s mixtape, he realized the game was wide open. Alongside his production partner, Mr. Lee, he delivered all of the tracks for Swag School.
Calling south Dallas’ Oak Cliff home, Fat Pimp isn’t exaggerating about the long reach his music has had so far. Although his Ball Hard Entertainment/ Warner Brothers solo debut Swag School is his first solid outing, radio didn’t hesitate to latch on to the extroverted rapper’s sound, especially “Get Money” and the up-tempo “Rack That.”
“Producing to me is an advantage because before I even create a beat, I try to hear how I would rap on the song,” he says. Even though he was making tracks long before he started spitting, he was always quick to start a freestyle session any and everywhere. Soon, he found out that he had skills both on the mic and behind the boards. A few years ago, when B.G. performed at TSU, where Fat Pimp was majoring in communications, he realized that rapping was something he wanted to take seriously.
“My situation is different than most,” says the self-proclaimed class clown, listing off DJs, promoters and radio stations who have supported him. “Those songs [being broke] at the same time is what helped us seal the deal with Warner Brothers. That’s really unheard of for indie artists.”
Swag School, which features Texas vets Lil Keke, Bun B, and Paul Wall and Bay Area rapper Mistah FAB, among others, is a mixture of the classic Houston sound he grew up on, Louisiana hooks, and Atlanta 808s. Fat Pimp says that creative mixture is actually what defines Dallas’ sound.
So is not even having a solo mixtape. Although Fat Pimp has made appearances on other rapper’s and label’s offerings, including the legendary Swisha House mixtapes, his solo debut will be exactly that. Making what he calls “feel good music,” Fat Pimp says that ever since he got his first keyboard in
“The [album title] is what my music represents,” he says. “That what we do in Dallas. Everything we do, we gotta have swag with it.”
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(above L-R): Baby & Lil Wayne @ Nokia Theatre for K104 Summer Jam in Dallas, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly); Lil Jon & Shawty Putt @ Studio 72 in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Ben Rose); DJ B-Do & Hezeleo on the set of “You’re Everything” in Houston, TX (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // 5 Star Entertainment, Bulletproof, & J Prince @ Arena Theater for Lil Wayne’s concert (Houston, TX) 02 // Bun B, Rob G, J Que, & Intl Red @ the Galleria’s Louis Vuitton store for Bun B’s private album release party (Houston, TX) 03 // DJ Black N Mild & Bonose TV @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 04 // Raj Smoove & DJ Jigga JT @ the Pretty Nasty Nuppe’s party (New Orleans, LA) 05 // J Mac & Queen’s Bunnies on the set of Bun B’s “You’re Everything” (Houston, TX) 06 // Black Jack & DJ Scream @ Esso for ATL Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Shawty Lo & Shawty on the set of Shawty Lo’s “Foolish” remix video shoot (Miami, FL) 08 // Tony Neal & Gil Green on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin’” (Brooklyn, NY) 09 // DJ Scream & Don Cannon @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107.9’s birthday bash (Atlanta, GA) 10 // DJ Drama & DJ Khaled @ Hot 107.9’s Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 11 // EZ, Rob G, & Hurricane Chris on the set of “Nothin’ To A Boss” video shoot (Houston, TX) 12 // T-Roy, Terrence Tyson, & DJ Q45 @ SeaBreeze for Terrence Tyson’s birthday bash (Jacksonville, FL) 13 // Big Ramp & Show @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 14 // Black & Webbie @ Rhythm City for JB’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 15 // Mercedes Streets, Ms Rita, & Wendy Day @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 16 // Lil Josh, guest, Bay Bay, Diamond, guest, Hurricane Chris, & Ernest on the set of “Jigga Juice” (Baton Rouge, LA) 17 // Darius Miles, Nelly, & DJ Quinn @ Skybox (St Louis, MO) 18 // Lola Luv & DJ Demp @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107 Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Beelow & BK on the set of “Jigga Juice” (Baton Rouge, LA) 20 // Ashley Morton & Bigga Rankin @ 4th of July party (Jacksonville, FL) Photo Credits: J Lash (07); Julia Beverly (08,10,14); King Yella (16,17,19); Knowledge (01,02,05,11); Marcus DeWayne (03,04,13); Ms Rivercity (06,09); Terrence Tyson (12,18,20); Tre Dubb (15)
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on’t tell Shawty Lo and Killer Mike, but Atlanta isn’t the only city that has two sides. In Memphis, on one side you have rap vets like Spanish Fly, Playa Fly, Tom Skeemask and Skinny Pimp. On the other, there are new schoolers like Yo Gotti and Kia Shine. Rap group JAG fits somewhere in the middle. “We started out listening to Three 6 [Mafia], Spanish Fly, Playa Fly, and Skinny Pimp that laid the ground for us doing music,” says one third of the group, Gee. “But now our sound is influenced by Yo Gotti and people like Project Pat. We combine both aspects.” The theory has worked well for the three-man group so far. Group members Gee and West handle production duties, while Wiz raps, though all three are quick to clarify that they are multi-talented. Growing up in south Memphis, they damn near had to be. “Memphis has a way richer sound that goes back to Stax [Records],” Gee says. “We grew up listen to a lot of the old pimpin’ [music] like Al Green and David Ruffin. I feel like we have an advantage over people that come from other cities because so many people come from Memphis. That old [soul] music helped us develop a strong background in music.”
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Their current single “Fuck My Car” takes the classic UGK concept a bit further, and has been heavy in the streets. Their upcoming fall debut Music, Power and Respect features 8Ball and production work from another Memphis native, super producer Carlos Broady. Due out on their own label, JAG Records Incorporated, they hope to reach all kinds of rap listeners. “We got the mob feel to [the album],” says Gee, referencing their track with 8Ball, “Young Pimpin” and “Trap Walk” which was produced by DJ Montay and features Unk. “It has a lot of different styles of music. We’re the next big rap group to come out of the city. We do everything: producing, writing, and arranging.” In fact, JAG says that their album will be a resume of sorts for people looking to buy tracks or songs from them. But for now, they’re intent on making sure that they are the next big group to come out of Memphis. With their album due out this fall, and their new mixtape JAG Mob already making rounds in the streets, JAG is infinitely focused. “Everybody [in the group] writes, produces and arranges,” says West. “Everybody does their part to complete the puzzle. We’re trying to be the next big act to come out of Memphis, the number one indie rap label. We do everything.”
By Jacinta Howard
(above L-R): Shawty Lo @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107.9’s birthday bash in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Ms Rivercity); David Banner on the set of Bun B’s “You’re Everything” in Houston, TX (Photo: Knowledge); Webbie @ The Venue in New Orleans, LA (Photo: Marcus DeWayne)
01 // Rocko & Trae @ The Beat car show (Dallas, TX) 02 // Pitbull @ Club Skye (Tampa, FL) 03 // Paul Wall reading OZONE @ Hot 95.7 (Houston, TX) 04 // Inertia @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 05 // OG Ron C @ Bar Rio for JB’s birthday bash (Houston, TX) 06 // Mr French & Chamillionaire @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 07 // Julia Beverly & DJ Princess Cut @ Rhythm City for JB’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 08 // Trai’D & DJ Rage (Nashville, TN) 09 // Tony Yayo @ 93.3 (Houston, TX) 10 // The Dream @ Q93 (New Orleans, LA) 11 // DJ Bigg V & DJ Dynamite @ Club Millenium (Greenville, MS) 12 // Jason Geter & Ms Rivercity @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107 Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 13 // DJ Hella Yella @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 14 // Lil Will @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107.9’s birthday bash (Atlanta, GA) 15 // 8Ball & MJG on the set of Bun B’s “You’re Everything” (Houston, TX) 16 // Grand Prix @ Esso for ATL Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 17 // First Lady, Mike Hee of Green City, & DJ Grip @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 18 // Foxx & DJ Rage (Nashville, TN) 19 // DJ Chill & Gio Melchiorre on the set of the Boss Hogg Outlawz “Keep It Playa” video shoot (Houston, TX) 20 // Melvin Foley & OZONE street team models Mekele & Teniesha @ The Venue (New Orleans, LA) 21 // Snook da Rokkstarr @ Club Hypnotik (Florence, SC) 22 // DJ Jubilee @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 23 // La Chat & Bigg V (Mississippi) 24 // DJ B-Do on the set of Bun B’s “You’re Everything” (Houston, TX) 25 // DJ Ro & Sincere @ Club Ampersand for the Apple Bottom model search (New Orleans, LA) 26 // DJ C Natze & DJ Shizm @ Studio Inc for OZONE model search (Tampa, FL) 27 // DJ Q45, DJ GQ, & DJ Element @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 28 // Shawty Lo & Baby on the set of “Foolish” remix video shoot (Miami, FL) 29 // Black Bill Gates @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107.9’s birthday bash (Atlanta, GA) 30 // Ben Baller on the set of the Grit Boys “Now Later Paint” video shoot (Houston, TX) 31 // Corey Cleghorn & Cloud Models @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 32 // Trey Prince & Mike Mack @ Trae & Z-Ro’s listening party (Houston, TX) 33 // Young Spiff @ MTV Jams’ ATL Week filming (Atlanta, GA) 34 // RawLT @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 35 // Lil Ru @ Club Hypnotik (Florence, SC) Photo Credits: Bigg V (23); D’Lyte (06,31); Edward Hall (01,04,05,07,11,34); Janiro Hawkins (08,18); Julia Beverly (21,35); Knowledge (03,09,15,19,24,30,32); Luis Santana (02); Malik Abdul (27,28); Marcus DeWayne (10,20,22,25); Ms Rivercity (14,16,29,33); Terrence Tyson (12,26); Tre Dubb (13,17)
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It’s a celebration whenever a young Hip Hop artist rises to mainstream prominence because stereotypically, they burn their fortune on gas-guzzling Escalades and oversized Jesus pieces that strain their necks. But if 20-year-old Leland Austin, otherwise known as Yung LA, earns a hefty paycheck, he plans to purchase a city. “I wanna save all the houses because right now, in Atlanta, they’re tearing down all the projects,” he says. “If I had Donald Trump bucks, I’d buy the hood and renovate it.” The aspiring landlord hopes to make millions through slinging rhymes. In 2000, Yung LA was introduced to the art form when his aunt wrote him a before Da recite Juice’stoad-libs madethrough his single verse –ong a verse he O.J. would classmates his“Getting’ tenure in middle a regional club banger, the rapper bornbars, Otisand Williams school.Money,” Eventually, the budding rapper wrote his own displayed his Jr.club was events alreadyand living up toneighborhoods the song’s title.in Atlanta, Georgia. talent at various
“I got a job the phenomenon 7th grade because I decided I wantedoftosmall startindependent having While thein local worked with a handful some money in mythe pocket,” he recalls. “At about 15 [years old]dreams,” I quit he labels in 2004, partnership was brief. “I would get sold theexplains. job but was still doing myalways thing keeping strong. Then I got in think I “People weren’t it real withinto me.trouble They didn’t school, so I had to start going to the alternative school. From through there I kind had what it takes to take it to next level. So I went a lot just to of dropped out because I thought it wasn’t really benefitting me. At the get stable.” time I had to drive at least 45 minutes to go to school and I was riding around no license.” That with included selling narcotics for five years just to have some sort of Though O.J. didn’t have the drive to stay in school, music steered him down a path leading away from destruction. In 2005, he introduced himself to the game with his first mixtape On The Come Up with DJ Burn One. Motivated by the little attention it received, Juice followed with two more mixtapes, O.J. Da Juiceman: Hood Classics hosted by DJ Dutty Laundry and the DJ Ace-assisted Juice World. In the process O.J. has drafted an impressive collaboration resume over the last few years working with artists like Princess from Crime Mob, Fabo, Gorilla Zoe, producer Shawty Redd, and Gucci Mane. However, O.J. claims that he didn’t hit payday until “Gettin’ Money” found its way into clubs. “That’s the main [song] I wanted to run with because when it hit the club, the response I get off that [was crazy],” says O.J. about the hit that’s grew from out of his Bouldercrest neighborhood and into different parts of the country. “I got people hitting me from D.C., Baltimore, Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Wisconsin. I’m like ‘Wow, that shit’s going crazy.’” Unfortunately, things got even crazier earlier this year for the bubbling rap star. This past April reports surfaced saying that the Juiceman was shot eight times. Comparing his strength and ability to heal rapidly to X-Men comic character Wolverine, O.J. left the hospital and was back on the streets within a matter of days. “I’m just glad that I’m living because a lot of people aren’t so lucky,” muses O.J. who now suffers from a chronically painful leg injury. “I got shot eight times and I’m still living.” Picking up where he left off, O.J. has plans to drop a Gangsta Grillz mixtape with DJ Drama while continuing to brand his own label, 32 Entertainment. In spite of his success taking a shot at him, O.J. doesn’t forsee a day where he’ll change who he is. “I’m not a out-of-world superstar-type artist,” he insists. “I’m about keeping it real, keeping it 100. That’s all I know; that’s all I was brought up around. I’m not turning no faces on nobody. I like to play my part and that’s me.”
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y l t n e i t g PWaaitin
(above L-R): Three 6 Mafia @ Sobe Live in Miami, FL (Photo: Malik Abdul); Plies reading OZONE @ 102 Jamz in Orlando, FL; The Game @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107 Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA (Photos: Terrence Tyson)
01 // Flo Rida @ The Venue (New Orleans, LA) 02 // Drupy & Young Chance (Nashville, TN) 03 // DJ Raj Smoove & Dizzy @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 04 // Nelly @ Hot 95.7 (Houston, TX) 05 // Partners N Crime @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 06 // Pimp G & Webbie @ Club Money (Macon, GA) 07 // J Que @ the Galleria’s Louis Vuitton store for Bun B’s private album release party (Houston, TX) 08 // DJ Big Cheese & DJ E F Cuttin @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 09 // Tonya Terelle, Aleshia Steele, & Ms Rita @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 10 // Jazze Pha @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107 Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 11 // DJ Holiday @ Esso for ATL Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 12 // DJ Quinn @ Skybox (St Louis, MO) 13 // DJ Judgemental @ Patchwerk for BloodRaw’s listening party (Atlanta, GA) 14 // Hi-C & OG Ron C @ Trae & Z-Ro’s listening party (Houston, TX) 15 // Dizzy & models @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 16 // J Boss & DJ Hi-C @ Trae & Z-Ro’s listening party (Houston, TX) 17 // DJ Chill & his son (Houston, TX) 18 // Joey Queens & Muggsy @ Dizzy’s video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 19 // Bay Bay on the set of “Jigga Juice” (Baton Rouge, LA) 20 // Spark Dawg & DJ Ammo @ The Beat 713 (Houston, TX) 21 // Goldenchild & Slim Thug on the set of the Grit Boys “Now Later Paint” video shoot (Houston, TX) 22 // Breneshia on the set of the Grit Boys “Now Later Paint” video shoot (Houston, TX) 23 // Trini & Paco @ The Beat car show (Dallas, TX) 24 // Tony Neal & KJ Hines @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 25 // Big Chief @ Nokia Theatre for K104 Summer Jam (Dallas, TX) 26 // 50 Cent @ 93.3 (Houston, TX) 27 // Sixx Mann & Young B @ Club ICP (Houston, TX) 28 // Randy Roper, Terrence Tyson, & Yancey Richardson @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107.9’s birthday bash (Atlanta, GA) 29 // Monika Olimpew, & Micha Porat @ Sobe Live (Miami, FL) 30 // Young B on the set of Bun B’s “You’re Everything” (Houston, TX) 31 // Krazy Yogi @ Club Voyage for Plies’ Myspace Secret Show (Orlando, FL) 32 // Mayor Ray Nagin @ the Essence Festival (New Orleans, LA) 33 // Lil Twist @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 34 // Lex @ 4th of July party (Jacksonville, FL) 35 // Rob G, Cristal Bubblin, & Crisco Kidd @ the Galleria’s Louis Vuitton store for Bun B’s private album release party (Houston, TX) Photo Credits: Edward Hall (23,33); Janiro Hawkins (02); Julia Beverly (25); King Yella (12,19); Knowledge (04,07,14,16,20,21,22,26,27,30,35); Malik Abdul (17,29,32); Marcus DeWayne (01,03,05,08,15,18); Ms Rivercity (11,13,28); Pimp G (06); Terrence Tyson (10,31,34); Tre Dubb (09,24)
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resh off the set of his new label mate Bun B’s video shoot for his soon to be Southern anthem “You’re Everything,” Rap-A-Lot’s freshest face Damm D is soaking it all in. Only signed to the legendary label for just one month, D is already standing alongside stars like David Banner, MJG and Rick Ross. Say what you will, but there are people who have been rapping their entire lives and can’t say they’ve met one of them. Damn D is about to be on TV with them after just rapping four years. “It was my first time being in front of a camera and seeing [how] everything got be organized,” says the shyly, as if he just realized what happened all over again. “It was a real good experience.” Since his song “Love Me” impacted on Dallas radio earlier this summer, Damm D’s star power is rivaling that of the one that sits in the middle of Cowboys stadium. Sampling a Pimp C line from his cameo on Gucci Mane’s “I Know Why” and pairing it with rhyme cadence similar to Slim Thug and ESG’s “Throw Ya Hands Up,” Damn D has crafted a song keeping his city’s current win streak in the hit column alive. Representing the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, D doesn’t remember growing up with many role models. All he can recall are options limited to working a job, going to school or selling drugs. Music didn’t take a front seat in his life until he decided that neither one of those three avenues really interested him.
“Anybody can rap; all you’ve got to do is rap about what’s going on in your life,” says D, insisting that his music will be strictly for the hood rather than trying to prove he’s the ultimate emcee. “I ain’t trying to be real lyrical and all that, I’m just coming straight from the streets, straight from the hood. I don’t want to be compared to nobody. I just want [them] to say, ‘Damm D makes good music.’” D got his start making music as a member of the NFL (an acronym for Never Forget the Lord/Love or Niggas For Life), a clique comprised of him and his friends. Frustrated with how things were going as a group, they decided that recording solo songs would bring the results they wanted. The plan worked to perfection for Damm D as “Love Me” caught on instantly. Hoping to follow in the footsteps of his chart-topping influences Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne, D plans on pushing out 4 to 6 more singles before he drops a mixtape or album. “I want people to know me as a person before I start doing mixtapes and CDs,” he says. “I’m down for the people, I’m doing it for people, and I’m doing it all for Dallas.”
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Its been 11 years since MJG came out with a solo album. A lot has changed since then…but has he? I’m MJG, the nigga with the versatile style // Check your calendar realize that I been here for awhile // When I was young I took the soul up out of rhythm and blues // When Hip Hop originated slowly paid my dues // And take my shoes, and try to walk a mile in my past // Without them salt shaker sheisters tryin to get in that ass // It’s been too long, you muthafuckers fittin’ to feel the South // Shut your mouth, no, shut your do’ you little freak ass hoe // I’m bout tired of all this damn East and West coast shit // Especially when other niggas tryin to work in this bitch // I paid my dues to the fullest, worked too god damn hard // For you to kill the industry and leave me out of a job // You niggaS train yourself, to maintain yourself // And now you playin with enough rope to actually hang yourself // But you don’t care, hell, you constantly fallin’ deep in the plot // Mesmerized from all the bitches and the money you got // You must of forgot they said that rap would never last ten years // And if you’re selfish to the fact, I’m tryin to have a career // Now listen here, what do we have, we got probable cause // To keep the pen on the paper and the glock in your drawers, nigga ---MJG, “Reason For Rhyme,” from the Reason For Rhyme soundtrack, 1997
hile a generation gap has been prevalent in society at large for the last decade, nowhere does it make itself more known than in Hip Hop music. Sure, NBA All-Star Chris Paul may be single-handedly redefining what it is tp be a point guard, but you can bet your bottom dollar that he’ll give props to Isiah Thomas and Oscar Robinson when given the chance. When Jamie Foxx won an Oscar, he made sure to mention how Sidney Portier opened doors for him to walk through. But sometimes, in Hip Hop, we don’t offer the same courtesy.
capitalize on Hip Hop being a major outlet for black males to make legal money and provide for their families. Fortunately, there are still artists like MJG around.
Rappers who paved the way for others often wind up getting looked at as “old” by the new school. These are the same artists who fought for our chance to escape censorship, land movie roles, get sponsorships and continue to find new ways to generate income and increase Hip Hop’s value. The disrespect has become evident, with new artists bumbling well-known lyrics at tribute shows and other rappers making YouTube videos ridiculing those who paved the way for them.
After starting off playing second fiddle to 8Ball’s dominating vocal and physical presence, MJG emerged in the mid-to-late 90s as one of the fiercest emcees on the mic. His 1997 solo effort No More Glory proved that he could hold down an entire album by himself. Two years later, ads for a follow-up popped up in various magazines and got mentioned in a couple interviews, but with Ball & G’s status on their former label home Suave House records flailing, the proposed project never saw light of day.
In all fairness, many of the veterans are guilty of looking down at their younger counterparts as well. When they aren’t discrediting their right of artistic expression or their direct connection to their ability, they scoff at their ability to
Now, after pit stops with JCOR and Bad Boy records, MJG is back on the solo trail promoting his new solo effort This Might Be the Day. Today, the trail starts in familiar surroundings…
Since crawling onto the rap radar as a member of the iconic Southern Hip Hop duo 8Ball & MJG in the early 1990s, MJG has become of the most respected artists of his time. His trademark flows and distinct voice is one that will make you sit through an entire song from an artist you may not even like, just to get to his cameo appearance.
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Where are you right now? Are you on the road working? I’m in Memphis. I’ve been back and forth between here and Atlanta. I’m working a lot in the studio; working on future up-and-coming projects and stuff like that. Go ahead and tell us a little about this new solo project that you’re about to come out with. It’s called This Might Be The Day. I’m really saying that this might be the day I’m about to drop something fresh, new and hot in Hip Hop. I’ve always been known from 8Ball & MJG. It’s not nothing brand new in that sense but it’s just something new from MJG. I’ve been doing a lot features with 8Ball & MJG stuff, so, this might be the day right here. That’s how the title came. It’s a joint venture with MJG Music, Grown Folk Music and 404 Music. I like the direction Hip Hop is going in right now and everybody’s expressing themselves in a whole bunch of different ways. I feel like this is a good time for me to give them a little more MJG. What do you like about the direction that Hip Hop is going right now? It’s rare to hear an OG in the game say that because a lot of cats are always complaining about how young cats are messing it up. I like that it is open now for different types of styles and how people can express themselves. I can’t expect for a young man now to do the same thing that I did when I was his age. I had to do what made sense to me. It would be real biased of me to say that I don’t like [some of the new kids]. My game plan might not necessarily work for the next man and vice versa. How can you knock success? I can’t knock success. I can’t be mad at this man if he’s feeding his family, if he’s eating, if he’s doing things that he can make an investment with, doing things and go places that he’s never been before, you know? That’s real life. How can you stop that? How can you knock the hustle? You’ve been able to see rappers go from just having record deals to now making millions and touring the world and doing movies and all that stuff. How much of a role do you think you played in opening up those doors for people? I’ve played a hell of a role. I believe in this Hip Hop engine, I’m like the battery. I’m like the motor; you can’t run without it. I think I play a big role because at the time [8Ball & MJG] came along the South wasn’t hot like it is now. The spotlight wasn’t on the South like it is now. Everybody was talking about the South but wasn’t nobody talking about Memphis as far as rap. We just kept grinding and doing our thing. It wasn’t no hatred on another coast or another area or nothing like that, we just did us. That’s why if the sound was on the East coast or West coast, it didn’t matter. It’s a genuine love for what you do. You shouldn’t let none of that cloud it because we came into the game when eyes weren’t on the South like that. We definitely played a major part in making Hip Hop and rap music more appealing to the masses. It’s ironic that you said “the masses” because a lot of your fans have been down since day one when like you said, no one was really checking for the South. As both a rapper and a fan, did you enjoy being a part of this Southern movement more before it became a phenomenon, or have you enjoyed it more since it became the popular thing? I guess you’ve got to have a little bit of both to make it all work. I like it both ways. I liked when
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it was a secret because I knew we had heat here all the time, so of course I’m going to feel that way because I was born and raised in the South. Nowadays the spotlight is on the South, which is cool too. But at the same time, now all eyes are on you and you’ve got to outdo what you thought you could do. Everybody’s watching now. When it was a secret you could maybe get away with a stumble or a trip, but now you know that with all eyes on you, you’ve got to almost be perfect. How have you welcomed that challenge? We just kept doing us. We just felt like if you can appeal to a certain fan base then you should be able to work pretty much anywhere. We just did it, man. I know it sounds kind of simple, but it really was just hard work, man. It was just how it was and when it got rough, instead of backing out and running away from the challenge, we just dug in deeper. That’s how we faced the challenge. We were just worried about doing us. We weren’t getting off into the negative stuff. No name-calling and talking shit. For the longest, and even now, we hear backhanded complements saying that “MJG is the dopest…in the South.” Or “MJG is dope…for a Southern rapper.” How do you feel when you hear that? Do you take it as a compliment? A lot of it is egos. The compliments are true but the intentions are for another reason. A lot of times people give you compliments to make themselves look good or to be political Sometimes they feel it’s the right time or the right place to give you a compliment. One of the main reasons I’m doing this album now is because I feel like I’m pretty much the coldest in the game right now. No disrespect to anybody but I don’t think no one can hold me right now, young or old. I don’t think their creativity level is there. It’s good but I think mine is better. How do you feel about the current creativity level in Hip Hop right now? As a fan, it just seems that everybody is caught up in who puts out the most instead of the best. I like the boy T-Pain, it’s like everything he touches turns gold. You’ve got to remember at the same time, while they’re using the man like that, it’s not them who making those hits. You’ve got to respect T-Pain because that man is making those hits and without him on a lot of these songs those songs wouldn’t have been hits. Boys don’t like to give credit like that where credit is due. I know if T-Pain got on one of my songs it’s gonna make it 400% more than what it could’ve been without him. He’s hot right now. He’s always been hot like that but folks just figured it out. You have to give credit where credit is due. This game is really just like the NBA or baseball or anything. You’ve got a whole bunch of players, and everybody’s good, but there’s only a few that play and I’m one of those. It’s only a few who can sell a million records. You can come out with all the all the bling and have a hit for a summer or two but that does not make you one of the greatest. I’m not trying to be cocky or arrogant, but that’s true, it’s only a few greats. When Michael Jordan was playing it wasn’t ten Michael Jordan’s in the league at the same time and a lot of these cats, you know they come out, they sell a lot of records, they make a lot of quick money and that don’t make you the greatest though.
What does it take to be considered the greatest? Is it coming out with seven group albums in a career that spans over 15 years? Is it having an entire generation of people able to recite more than 10 of your rhymes on the spot when asked? Is it having random people come up to you in the club saying your music defined a part of their life? Or is it being able to capture a point in time with every word you jot down, or every thought you express? Back in 1993 I went nationwide, I’m gettin’ tired // of playing the underdog while most of the other artists ride for freeeee // stuff I have seen in a industry that finish other people but it ain’t gone finish me // you got them one hitter quitters, flowin’ with the main strain // your next hitter quitter, sounding like the same thang // a plain shame, I be dropping them hits when you least expect it // and all the group stuck in the trends they get ejected // with the quickness, this has happened to many I’ve been a witness // at one time it bumped, but now you wonder what is it? // it’s that breakbeat, the one that he use the one that they use // the one that she use, one of them things that’s been abused // by a few mo’ you feel me, you know? // or else you toO slow, up here like you all that or somethin’ // like maaan forget a new flow, now you know // I’m MJG I tell the other side of the story // for those who don’t hear me No More Glory -MJG, “No More Glory,” from 1997’s No More Glory How has it been working solo again? And if you can compare to how it was when you were working on No More Glory, please do. Working solo to me is like, really fun. I’m always doing stuff, I’m always in the studio. You know I produce and write, so I stay in the studio a lot. So me working solo is kind of like a normal thing to me and its really the same process I use when I’m doing the 8ball & MJG stuff. But as far as comparing it to No More Glory I would say it’s really no comparison because they’re really both on their own, but I still try to make sure that the content is something you can understand. I’m just trying to stick to what makes sense and shit like that. I guess in that sense they would be the same but they’re really two totally different projects. How did the decisions come about to do solo albums? We were just trying to stay fresh. We already had done a few group albums so we were just trying to break off and do a little solo thing, a album and make a little extra change. It really wasn’t a long drawn out plan. We just came to a point where we decided to do solo projects. What was your mindstate when you made the album
where the cover art is a burning Confederate flag? You spoke about a few things that were political but the rest was just straight up real life shit. What were you going through at that time that resulted in that kind of music? At the time, it was pretty much the same ol’ young nigga shit. I wasn’t really political or nothing like that. We were having a debate about the flags in Georgia. I probably was looking at it in the news, you know I’m a news head, I stay up on the Headline News and CNN. It was a lot of politics on that stuff. It was just one of those things that crossed my mind; it really wasn’t nothing. That said, do you think that music should be expected to reflect what’s going on right now, especially in times like these? I know a lot of people say that music is supposed to be entertaining and they don’t have to talk about what’s going on, but... I think that it always will. Because it’s so many people doing music, I don’t think it should be anybody’s obligation to make sure that their music reflects [politics]. I don’t think most musicians pick up an instrument to change what’s going on in the world. I just don’t believe it. It might [become] that, but it’s not generally the reason that you would start playing music. Everybody makes a collective effort to at least do something like that. Sometimes that’s enough, but I don’t think any artist or musician should even be pressured or feel like that because that’s not their skill; that’s not their job. That’s not what music is for. Music is a part of life. You got music at funerals, music at weddings, music when you fight, music when you cry, there is music for all things. I don’t think I should pressure any other artist or look down on any other artist because they’re just doing music for music and if that music happens to have a message in it, cool. I think that by the number of people doing music, overall, music will always reflect the times because you have those type of people that will always make those type of songs. But I don’t think it should a obligation because it’s just not fair. There are people that have careers and jobs where that really is their obligation. They get paid to do stuff like that. Let a recording artist be a recording artist. Can you tell us some details about your album, like some of the producers you worked with, and some of the content? Our production was done by me and my production team, EH Beats. We’re going to be doing a lot of stuff on my up and coming projects, the 8Ball & MJG project, and hopefully working with a lot of other artists in the near future. I’ve got one song called “You Can’t Get Rid of Me.” You can try all you want, but you can’t count me out. You can say I ain’t good enough or you can say, “He’s been here too long,” but you can’t get rid of me. I got a joint with 8Ball called “What Would You Do” that’s basically talking about what would happen if you busted in and your girl was with another dude. I’ve got another one called “Gangster, Gangster” that’s real hot. It’s on some gangster, gangster shit. I got one with Slim from 112; man, it’s hot. It’s like one of those summer joints that everybody’s gonna be rolling to. Like I said, I can go on and on, man. I got you from the summer joints to the gangster, gangster to the shit about the bitches. It’s all on there, man. I’m not saying I’m the greatest, I’m just saying I’m one of them. In the last interview you had with us, we asked you about the Bad Boy situation and if you were satisfied with the music coming out. You said you still had creative control but you just had to work
with different producers and what not and I noticed you’re working with different people on this one as well. Does it ever bother you when your fans still expect everything to be like a T-Mix beat from the Suave days? From a fan’s perspective, I would like all my favorite groups to still be together and use the same beats. But in reality and especially from the industry side, you know that doesn’t happen because different people choose different paths at different times. This producer or this artist go different ways or try something different or maybe they feel they can make more money. It’s just impossible. Yeah, you get those rare groups sometimes that’s all the way down through time, even back in the Temptations days. You get those rare groups sometimes who were lucky enough to work with the same producer for their whole career, but it’s different reasons for that type of stuff. You understand that people bond like that. Me and 8Ball have been together for so long because we’re friends. We’re real genuine friends; we was friends first. A lot of these cats [in groups] were born and raised different places. They lived different type of lives; they got different types of personalities and they don’t know each other until they get with each other [as a rap group]. You can’t expect for that to work forever. Some might work and that’s just the reality of it. You don’t have bonds like Run DMC and Jam Master Jay because you know it ain’t like that no more. You have to have this bond and something genuine to really make it and stick together. As an artist, how was it adjusting to working with new producers even dating back to the Space Age Forever album? For most of our career, overall we still have been in control of our production. Our first two or three projects I pretty much produced all of that myself and then from that point we worked with another producer; it was only through me. So still, it was just only me and him coming up with beats and concepts and stuff and after that point, after Suave, we did the independent thing and I produced half of the Space Age Forever album. When we went to Bad Boy, I didn’t really get no production on that. I got on my writing craft because the more I produced, I made hits. But I’m known as a writer and rapper so I can’t get into a pool of producers and start fighting with them. I had to focus on my writing because I know in the end I still have creative control. There’s no use in me bucking the system like, “Naw, I can produce too, man,” and throwing my ego around. It was already umpteen producers trying to get their work in. We went that route but it was cool because we were basically kicking and pulling what we wanted and still coming up with our own concepts. On this new solo joint, I tried to go back hands-on with the production as far as me and my team and just do it like that, because overall most of our albums are produced in-house. In making this solo CD, did you ever imagine yourself not only being around for this long but also being a solo artist? Yeah, I could kind of imagine. Really, that’s all a nigga could do back then. (laughs) That was a part of a nigga making it this far. A nigga could imagine it, a nigga could see it, a nigga was trying to bring that shit to life. The type of energy we were putting into this thing is what got us here. Because we could see this day then and we didn’t let nothing in between deter us. When do you think you started to emerge more
as a solo lyricist? Because early on, when a 8Ball & MJG project would drop, people would just say, “That new 8Ball is tight.” It seems like people didn’t start saying the whole group’s name until On Top Of the World came out. I say around 2000. Even if it might have been before then, I’m just saying that’s how I felt. Really? What was going on in 2000 that makes you really think you started coming into more of your own? I really summed up everything I did through the 90’s. I really calculated everything that I had done through production, to writing, to how I record and everything. I tried to take what I had learned and polish it to make it even better. You know I had to go back and reevaluate who I had become and how I could take this image and sound and the way I speak and flow to another level. That was evaluation time. I looked back on the stuff that I made and tried to analyze them. On each one, I had to be like, “What did I do on this one? How did I improve on this one? What did I learn by doing this?” I tried to add it all up. Since then until now it’s been a whole new mission, straight ahead, Space Age. I know there’s still more mistakes to be made but I feel like the ones as far as my rapping and my creativity that I already made, I believe that I learned from those and helped me create my shit better. Most of your fans only know you through you music since you came out at a time when fans weren’t all up in their favorite rapper’s business. In a time when artist virtually sell their lives, real or fake, do you appreciate the fact that not a lot of people know anything about your personal life? I appreciate that shit and at the same time it’s about how you deal with it when people try to get in your business. People love you, but they have respect you too. A lot fans don’t understand, but it might be a time or a period or whatever that I just want to live my regular life. I might not want to be a superstar like that. Sometimes, how the superstar comes off to people determines how they will treat him back. Some people want to be the superstar that’s in the spotlight all the time, or you can be the superstar that’s not in the spotlight all the time. It’s really up to the superstar on which life he wants to pick or when he chooses to walk that road. I believe the cameras are appropriate for some things but not your whole life. As a grown man in this business do you sometimes sit back and either laugh or just nod your head when you see artists, young and old, fighting for face time? Putting more focus on being known for what they do and not being good at what they do? Yeah, because it’s like, what do you want to do? Do you want to be an actor or a musician? Do you want the music to put you in a position to be able to act sometimes because you’ve got these skills, or do you want to be a musician who started out to be a musician and the acting pays so good that now you only act? Me, I want to be a musician who’s known for being a musician, or an artist or rapper or whatever you want to call it. If I do a movie or two or three or four, I just want to be known for being the musician who’s doing the movie, not the actor who used to be a musician who’s doing a movie. If I’m acting or playing ball or doing whatever, I’m still a musician and a writer. That’s what got me in a position to be able to do any of that other stuff and that’s what it’s still all about. I’m not trying to take over another man’s profession. Other cats out there are gifted in their field just like I’m gifted at what I do. //
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(above L-R): 9th Ward @ Rhythm City in Dallas, TX (Photo: Edward Hall); BOB @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107 Birthday Bash in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Lil Boosie & Yo Gotti in Memphis, TN (Photo: King Yella)
01 // Rick Ross on the set of DJ Khaled’s “Out Here Grindin” (Brooklyn, NY) 02 // Trae @ Reliant Arena for 93.3 car show (Houston, TX) 03 // Wendy Day @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 04 // Raheem @ the Pretty Nasty Nuppe’s party (New Orleans, LA) 05 // DJ Slim @ The Edge for OZONE party (Tallahassee, FL) 06 // G Mack @ Club Crucial for ATL Record Pool (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Guest, Kevin Weekes, & Yancey Richardson @ Phillips Arena for Hot 107 Birthday Bash (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Skillz & Slim Thug @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 09 // Seventeen, TOE, & DJ B-Do on the set of Bun B’s “That’s Gangsta” (Port Arthur, TX) 10 // DJ Nasty & Ricky P @ 102 Jamz (Orlando, FL) 11 // Lindy @ Villa Fontana for G-Mack’s party with Bun B (Louisville, KY) 12 // Ms Rich & Famous @ SW Georgia Radio & Music Conference (Albany, GA) 13 // Lil Shine & Roccett @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 14 // Fiya @ TUMS (Dallas, TX) 15 // KJ Hines & Jawar @ SW Georgia Radio & Music Conference (Albany, GA) 16 // Tony reppin’ YV @ KYMP Awards (Louisville, KY) 17 // DJ EFX @ Gridiron (Houston, TX) 18 // Murphy Lee @ Skybox (St Louis, MO) 19 // DJ Jigga JT @ the Pretty Nasty Nuppe’s party (New Orleans, LA) 20 // DJ Ben, 1st Lady, Spark Dawg, Princess Cut, & guest @ Rhythm City for JB’s birthday bash (Dallas, TX) 21 // Kris Letlow @ SW Georgia Radio & Music Conference (Albany, GA) 22 // DJ Capone @ Club Tropix (Miramar, FL) 23 // Black Gloss Girls @ Onyx (Houston, TX) 24 // Big Bink, Veda Loca, & Lloyd @ The Beat (Dallas, TX) 25 // Baby Bash @ Reliant Arena for Party 93.3’s car show (Houston, TX) 26 // Solo @ SW Georgia Radio & Music Conference (Albany, GA) 27 // Cristal Bubblin with her article @ the Galleria’s Louis Vuitton store for Bun B’s private album release party (Houston, TX) 28 // P Brown, DJ JudgeMental, & Chiq Diva @ Shonuff Studios (Atlanta, GA) 29 // Michelle Hunter & Kisha Smith @ Reliant Arena for the 93.3 car show (Houston, TX) 30 // DJ Judgemental @ SW Georgia Radio & Music Conference (Albany, GA) 31 // Speed Knot Mobstaz & Jesse James (St. Louis, MO) 32 // Kinfolk Thugz @ Rap-A-Lot Records (Houston, TX) 33 // Lavish models Yummy & Barbie (Houston, TX) 34 // Pimp G & T-Pain’s mother (Macon, GA) 35 // DJ Radio @ Midwest DJ & Music Conference (Cincinnati, OH) Photo Credits: D’Lyte (13,24); Edward Hall (03,12,15,20,21,26,30); Johnny Louis (22); Julia Beverly (01,08,25); King Yella (18); Knowledge (02,09,17,27,29,32); Kurtis Graham (23); Malik Abdul (33); Marcus DeWayne (04,19); Ms Rivercity (06,28,35); Pimp G (34); Tammie White (31); Terrence Tyson (05,07,11); Tre Dubb (14)
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WORDS JULIA BEVERLY PHOTOS RAY TAMARRA
Thanks to a boneafide hit single, Ray J has gone full circle: from R&B star to porn star back to R&B star. But it isn’t all fun, games, and (rumored) Danity Kane threesomes. Brandi’s lil’ brother is serious about his business. Who else is selling a million ringtones on an indie label?
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I see you’ve been getting a lot of love across the country with your new album. Crazy! It’s a hundred times more than last time. I would say we’re elevating and we’re on a good roll. What’s your ultimate goal in terms of where you want to be? Are you going in a lot of different directions, or just focusing on the music right now? I want to just keep my entrepreneur game on top, make sure I’m focused on music, the acting, the new reality show, and make sure I’m able to put my team and artists on. What’s the reality show about? Is it just cameras following you around in your everyday life or is there a theme to it, like a Flavor Flav-style competition? I can’t really talk about the theme of the TV show until I ink the deal, but shout out to MTV and VH1. It’s a crazy concept. It’s some baller shit. It’s just heavy money and major controversy. With the music industry being in a slump like it is now, do you think artists are forced to go different routes to get money outside of just selling records? It’s still money in selling records. I’m making money but I’m independent. That’s why I’m seeing the money I’m seeing. I would say for artists that’s on major labels, yeah, you’ve gotta make sure you have a few different hustles on the side to keep your bank account increasing. You have a joint venture deal with Shaq’s label, right? Yeah, I’m signed to my label Knock Out. I partnered up with Shaq. His company is called Deja 34 and we got a distribution deal through Koch. Do you think being with an independent is a better situation for you than being with a major label where you’ll get a lot of promotion but not as much money? Yeah, since I was able to come out with “One Wish” and give myself that much exposure and that much hype, I felt like I could do it again. I just needed a hungrier independent company and somebody that was already in the game as opposed to a new distribution company that’s never done it before. That’s what I was dealing with last time and we still broke the ice. This time around with Koch, we topped the charts heavy. We sold a million ringtones [of “Sexy Can I”] and two million digital singles already. We’re climbing. You and Berg seem inseparable now. How did y’all link up? That’s the homie. We hung out first. We met each other through a mutual friend. We just got real cool and became friends, then we started doing records. He a good dude. We had a good time this year. We had a good run. The album is in stores, right? Yeah, the album is out – All I Feel. You’ve been getting a lot of features, right, like the new Boss Hogg record? Yeah, shout out to Boss Hogg, Slim Thug. I did a feature with them, Bubba Sparxx, DJ Khaled, and that 2 Pistols record too. You’ve pretty popular on the blogs lately. Lots of Ray J rumors. They said you got kicked out of a hotel in D.C. because they found you with drugs. That shit at the Hyatt hotel was some bullshit. They thought they could ruin my career by putting out all that false shit in the papers. If we were caught with drugs in D.C., the D.C. police would not have let us walk out [of the hotel]. We would’ve gotten arrested and taken to jail and then we would’ve had to deal with the problem. We left the hotel. We were loud. We asked them to give us a warning; they said, “No. Get out.” So I got loud and started trippin’. Fifty police came and escorted us out. That was it. The next day they [claimed] we had drugs and all that. They only did that ‘cause they didn’t know what actions I was gonna take against the hotel and what kind of press I was gonna put on the hotel, so they tried to respond quickly with some false bullshit. It is what it is. It’s the business. We just gotta learn how to deal with it and move forward and stay positive. What’s up with you and Whitney Houston? That’s the homie. That’s my peoples. We just went to that fight. I sang the National Anthem at the Bernard Hopkins fight. She came through and supported, gave me some tips on how to do the National Anthem. It was all love. That’s all it is. It ain’t nothing but love. As far as us being together, it’s impossible ‘cause I’m working, she’s working, and we don’t have time to connect like that. The work is overshadowing everything. You seem like an odd couple just because of the age difference. It’s a gang of 43, 45, 47 year old sexy women out there, and a gang of 30 years and older women. Believe that. I love ‘em. Even though I’m still in my 20s, I can see beauty from 50 miles away. It’s Ray J, a.k.a King Pimp! You have to get paid to be a pimp technically, right? Do you get paid? Nah, you just gotta be on top of your game with a personal interest in meeting people. What’s going on in your love life right now? Money. Every day we wake up, it’s just more money to get. This independent run is intense, it’s fun. If you really wanna stack chips you gotta get up early and pretty much don’t go to sleep – catch those flights, do those features, find those checks, make sure your publish-
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ing is intact, make sure Koch is sending those checks ASAP every month. It’s a real deal out here. We gotta get it.
consistent beats that I hear in my head and I know a few dudes that can do that for me.
Your mom is your manager. Do you think it’s easier to trust someone in your family, like your mom, with your business as opposed to hiring an outsider as your manager? Yeah, I don’t trust nobody in this business. This business is shady as hell. I never really collaborated with a lot of people in the industry or a lot of music execs. I’ve always been on my own mission with my own team. My mom and them have always been in the picture and I trust ‘em. Even though I’m out here in the field doing most of the business and bringing my mom the work, making sure the contracts are intact, and stuff like that – that’s all I really need. I want her to enjoy life. I want to make sure I put money in her pocket so she can have fun and enjoy her days too. I’m really the one on the grind in the forefront and my people around me support me in anything I need.
Do you think there’s a particular part of the country that you get more love in? A lot of people don’t know that you’re actually from Mississippi but you seem like a West Coast artist. It seems R&B singers have a little more freedom than rappers, who it seems like always get pigeonholed into a particular category or region. I’m West Coast all day but my music is in every market. It’s pretty much on every radio station from Urban to Rhythmic to Top 40. I’m pretty much all around universal. I would love to capitalize more on the West coast and try to take R&B music, even on the West, to a whole other level. I’m working on that right now. Hot 97, Miami, down South, Atlanta, everybody is really bangin’ it.
Did your entrepreneur spirit come from your upbringing? Does it run in the family? I don’t sit back and wait for somebody to do something for me. I don’t blame the people around me, or my producer, or my agent, or my manager. I don’t ask them why I’m not doing this. I just do it and bring them back what I’m doing, as opposed to some artists that wait on somebody to hook ‘em up with something. I go out and hook myself up. That’s a good attitude. That’s the only way to go. Another good rumor was the one about you having a threesome with two of the girls from Danity Kane. Oh man! If it ain’t one thing, it’s another. I was shocked when I seen that on the internet. I don’t remember us getting it crackin’ and I definitely don’t remember taping it. All that shit was not true. I cleared that up on my Myspace page, and the Hyatt incident too, ‘cause those were two things that people were really starting to believe. I felt like I needed to kill the hype on all that. All the rumors can’t be bad for business though, right? When they’re talking about you, it’s a good thing. But some things they talk about, even the person they talking about [can] get deterred by it when it’s bad or it’s something I don’t believe in. What’s your thoughts on this whole Yung Berg/Brisco mini-beef? I know you tried to step in the middle to smooth things over. Berg’s my homie. Brisco and them was cool as hell. I just hollered at him on the phone when I went to Miami. Rick Ross, Khaled, them my dudes. Me and Rick Ross got a song called “Go Hard” that’s coming out real soon. I hit him on the phone like, “I need this from you, big homie,” and he sent it right back to me. I got love for all of them. I was trying to bring everybody together and squash the shit so we could all keep pushing. That’s just the type of person I am. If I’m cool with both sides, I’ma try to bring both sides together and make it right. But it ain’t my fight so I’ma just keep pushing, keep doing my thing. I got love for all of ‘em. Shout out to Berg, Brisco, Rick Ross, everybody. Do you think that in Hip Hop today there’s too much pressure for artists to have such a hardcore image that it’s impossible to be real and believable? I think in music you want to be believable. You want people to listen to your shit and believe it. That’s the most important thing so sometimes that gets caught up into other situations. It’s weird sometimes. But music is music. That should be it, but at the end of the day it’s rap, it’s hardcore. It’s the streets. You gotta take it how it is. Did you ever have a day job before you got into the industry? I guess you never really had to ‘cause you were kinda born into an entertainment family. I ain’t never even went to school. I went through 7th grade and that was it. You stopped going to school after 7th grade? You had tutors or something? I would just chill and my tutor would come through. She was like 19. She would come through every day and it was curtains from there. (laughs) Your tutor turned you out, huh? She was from Atlanta. Her name was Joyce. So you had fun in school? Oh yeah. I learned a lot. Believe that. (laughs) King Pimp! If I had some explosion sounds I would hit it right there, like [Funkmaster] Flex. Are you getting into the production side of things too? Nah. I’ve always been into producing, but I’ve been letting a lot of talented producers do the beats and I go in and write the songs. I feel like it’s easier to do that. I’m just on a creative run right now. I need to hear the same
Do you feel the West has been in a little bit of a slump ever since Tupac? And what do you think it’s gonna take for the West to be back on top like it was ten years ago? A lot more West coast artists coming together and building a movement, just creating that entertainment that the whole world wants to see again. I think that’s all we’re missing. We had a big run though. The East coast also had a crazy run as well. It’s seems like the South is really on top right now. The South is hot. They’re coming with the beats, the flows, and the ideas. Everybody just needs to collaborate and build together. As far as the West, they need to throw that unity in there a little more. Who do you see in L.A., or the West in general, coming up on the rap side? Who are some people you’re working with out there? It’s a lot of new artists out here. The homie Lunch is tight. Glasses Malone is tight. The Game is right at the forefront of the West. When you think of West Coast rap right now, you think of Snoop Dogg and The Game. The Game is still young and fresh. Snoop’s still in the building. I know they got a lot of new artists they working on too so we’ll see what happens. You got your own artists too, right, like Shorty Mack? Yeah, Shorty Mack the Purp Man. Let me tell you, this dude is about to have a smash with this song called “Raining Women.” That’s coming out in like two months. We just inked a deal with Knock Out/Koch. Shout out to the Purp Man. Shorty Mack is coming. Anybody out there who likes to blow purp and is down with that purple movement, if you know what I mean, then y’all are gonna dig this Shorty Mack the Purp Man album and the new single. Anybody else coming that we should look out for? We got a few more artists but right now we’re focusing on Ray J and Shorty Mack the Purp Man. Then we’ll get into some other stuff. And my sister’s coming back out too. Crazy. What about the book you were working on? Is that still coming out? I put it on hold. I ain’t wanna tell my story yet. I turned down the deal. It was a lot of money but I ain’t feel like I need it. I’m getting money so I wanted to wait to tell my story later. You had a change of heart or you wanted to keep it a little bit private? They were trying to give me like a million bucks to do it and I was tempted. I was like, “I’ma come back, and when I come back, y’all gotta give me ten million.” The story is gonna be even more intense. How do you feel about seeing your ex-girlfriend Kim Kardashian on a constant promo run with Reggie Bush? It’s all good. I want Reggie Bush and the New Orleans Saints to come back this year and make some noise. All my people are from Mississippi and New Orleans. I just want him to get his work done and come back and shine like he started in the beginning, and not get clouded with all of the press and all of the hype. As far as her, I congratulate her on all her success. We had a good run and now we’re both just taking it to another level. Much success and much props to her. That’s a good political answer. You’re like a politician. Yeah, but I’ve ran my mouth, I’ve talked shit. I tried to explain and express myself, some of my emotions, and I don’t think that was professional. A lot of people read this and tune into what I say so I just wanna make sure I’m on point and not let my emotions cloud my professionalism. You made Superhead’s first two books, right? I did. Is there gonna be a Ray J chapter in books three, four, and five? She’s got more books coming? I would assume so. I’m just talking hypothetically. OZONE MAG // 59
Damn, she’s got a trilogy? I mean, I don’t think so. I don’t know what she got cooking up. She’s creative. She always comes up with something entertaining. There’s a lot of up-and-coming girls who might be aspiring to be the new Superhead. Who do you have your eye on as far as sexy new video models? Sahia is hot. She models too. She’s out of Miami. She did my “Sexy Can I” video. It’s crazy. Her body is out of control. She got a hot face. I see her making some noise as a new video model. You’ve already got the Vida Guerras and Superheads and so on. We need something new and fresh. I would say Sahia or Dollicia. She’s hot too. She was on the cover of a magazine recently. That’s two chicks on the grind that’s on they way to another level. I don’t know if a lot of people really know what I’m talking about but they can definitely log on and see. Who else is on the album besides Yung Berg? The Game, Styles P, and Shorty Mack. I got Rodney Jerkins on the production, Trackmasters. Details did “Gifts” and “Sexy Can I.” We got a new remix for “Gifts” with Lil Wayne, The Game, Shorty Mack, and Details that’s out right now. “Sexy Can I” sounds like a nice friendly R&B song with a nice hook, but at the same time, the lyrics could come across as being a little bit disrespectful. It’s like, after I have fun with you you’ll never hear from me again. Do you feel that attitude is degrading to women or how would you explain it? It’s just raw and edgy but it has a feel-good, positive sound to it. It has a great, positive sound. It’s sexy, but at the same time it’s edgy. I really was inspired by the strip club. When me and my boy Shamel out of Brooklyn came up with the song we were in a strip club mindstate. It was sexy with a feel-good, springtime feel to it. Some people like going to the strip club, some people don’t. Maybe you can give some advice to some of your younger female fans. How can they find that balance of being able to “have some fun” but still be respected as a woman? It just depends on how old you are. If you’re young and just ready to wil’ out, then I’m gotta respect that you just wanna have a good time and enjoy life. Anything goes at that time. Then, hopefully, you’ll grow out of that. You can listen to a song like “Sexy Can I” and not really pay attention to what I’m saying because you just hear “sexy” and the feel-good music. That’s what we wanna create for the listeners that don’t really hear the words. Just tune the words out and tune into the melody and the vibe. That’s how hit records hit you. The melody and chorus are solid. For everybody that can relate to it, it’s out of control. Is there anything else you want to talk about? We just want to make sure that our entrepreneurial focus is in the major forefront ‘cause that’s all we’re doing. We’re breaking barriers in R&B and music in general. Everybody wants to hop on this independent trail, but it’s harder than people think. Everybody that’s independent goes through major struggles as far as getting on the radio, getting your commercials on, getting people to take you seriously, as opposed to having a major label push it. I want people to understand that we’re working real hard to be on top of our game. Having the #1 record in the country on all formats is something we feel proud about. Having the biggest record in Koch history in 2008 says a lot about us and R&B music. I want people to know that we really care about what we do. Ray J is out on the grind everyday. Nobody’s handing this shit to us. We’re not getting this shit on a silver platter. We want that respect as bosses, as artists, as young, independent, black men making millions. That’s what we wanna be looked at for, as opposed to artists that just want to do concerts and go to the club at night. This is a business. We’re on time and very professional. We want to be here 40 or 50 years from now. Knock Out – King Pimp! //
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O C S I R B
King Yella Words: Julia Beverly Photo:
For people who aren’t familiar with Brisco, break it down for ‘em. Where are you from and what do you represent? I’ve been doing this for like twelve years. The first cat that ever put me on a record and let me go in the studio was Rick Ross. I was signed to a label called Slick Salt but that ain’t work out, so I got with Poe Boy. My heart was already here with my family. I’ve made about five albums. I had [features on] both of Khaled’s albums, both of Rick Ross’s albums, Birdman’s album, and Lil Wayne’s Carter 3 album. Most of those albums went gold or platinum.
that because she knows what type of nigga I am. She knows I don’t give a fuck. She started talking shit so I slapped that hoe. And add this: I do have mad respect for her, feel me, but I’m not Lil Brisco no more. I’m grown up. I’m not the same little boy I was when she first met me. I’m a grown man with a five year old son, so you’re gonna give me respect. And yeah, she’s a girl, but I will slap the fuck out of her. I beat the fuck out of her. She knows the deal. Other girls might not know, but she knows a nigga don’t play that shit. All that extra talking around these out-of-town niggas and shit will transpire.
You said you’ve been doing this for 12 years. Were you always seriously considering it as a career, or when did it become serious? I was always serious about poetry; that’s why I cling to Tupac a little bit. When it comes to poetry or my raps I always [look at] Tupac Shakur. I’ve always been motivated to rap. I always knew what I wanted to do.
You felt like she was trying to embarrass you in front of outsiders? Yeah, and by me getting her into the video shoot and extending my hand to her, I think that [her reaction] was totally disrespectful. My respect for her went out the window, so I started gooning. If I see her again I’ll do the same thing.
Being around people like Wayne and Ross, do you think it’s a challenge for you to be able to break out and establish yourself as an artist and not just a sidekick? The challenge for me is just waiting my turn. I’m just grooming myself until I get sharp, and that’s where I feel like I’m at now. I’m at a point where I’m sharper than the rest, and that helps me a lot. Are you signed to Young Money? Nah it’s Poe Boy/Cash Money, but since Weezy is the President of Cash Money it’s all really the same thing. What have you learned from being on the road with Wayne or in the studio with Ross? Don’t go to sleep. Just keep working, put God first, and perfect the craft. Be one of a kind; be your own man. What part of Miami are you from? Opa-Locka, Choppalocka. It’s in the middle of everything, in the middle of Carol City, in the middle of Liberty City. Jacki-O did a radio interview saying that you can’t come back to Opa-Locka anymore. Is that true? I’m here [in Opa-Locka] now. What’s the real story behind the L.A. incident between you and Jacki-O? I heard you had a little altercation on the set of the Lil Wayne/T-Pain video. She couldn’t get into the video shoot because it was closed off. I told security to let her in only because she was [once] signed to Poe Boy. When she got in she was sort of pouting so I went up to her and extended my hand, like, “How you doing, baby, what’s up with you?” She ain’t even give me back dap so I was like, “Shit, fuck you, bitch!” She should already know that since we’re in California and we already had problems and I’m trying to squash it or make amends, she shouldn’t act like
Do you think it slows the Miami movement to have that kind of internal animosity? No, she’s through. She had her chance. She never united with the hood. She never united with Trina or the other girls that could’ve helped her. She’s out of time. She’s damn near forty years old. She claims that Poe Boy tells DJs not to play her records. That’s totally untrue. People know Jacki-O’s attitude. If you’ve ever came into contact with her, you know her attitude. If she doesn’t get her way she’s trippin’. If it’s a hit record, no one can tell [a DJ] not to play the record. She can’t make hit records now because she’s not with the same niggas. She ain’t got that Brisco stroke of the pen now, feel me? You used to write for her? I helped her write records. One thing about Poe Boy Entertainment is that we all work together. When you hear a Rick Ross record like “Here I Am” or a Flo Rida record like “In The Air,” it’s all of us coming in the studio working together. We’re selfcontained; that’s why we love each other so much. Do you have a release date yet for your solo debut? You know how Baby and E-Class are. They’re on the phone all day and that’s how they work; it’s on some real nigga shit. Unlike other CEOs and other bosses, I can go holla at my nigga. I can go straight to their houses and be like, “E-Class, this is the problem,” or “Baby, this is the problem,” or “Slim, this is the problem,” or, “I need a couple dollars for this.” It’s a little better working with them cats. Right now I’m just grinding waiting for the streets. We got the streets right now with “I’m Me” and “Just Know That.” Who are you planning on having featured on your album ? Wayne, Rick Ross, Jeezy, Ludacris, T-Pain, the usual movement. We the best!
For out-of-towners, what’s some can’t-miss spots when they come to Miami? I’m on my way to White Diamonds right now. You’ve got to hit the Rollexx up. It’s in Opa-Locka. You’ve got to hit all the strip clubs in the same night because it’s about seven of them. You might have to go by Mansion, Crobar, Opium, the usual. Is there anybody else in the Young Money or Poe Boy camp we need to be looking out for? Billy Blue and my little cousin Brianna. She was signed to Missy at one point. You need to get up on her now. If you hear her stuff you’ll become a fan. We fuck with Gun Play and Torch hard, shout out to the whole Triple C/Maybach Music movement. Do you think you overreacted to Yung Berg’s YouTube comment that his album got pushed back “like Flo Rida’s hairline”? Nope. I’m still gon’ beat his ass. I’m still gonna punch him in his muthafuckin’ mouth when I see him. I had him standing up the whole [BET] Awards show. And I knew him before he said that; I had just done a song with him two weeks before he said that. He apologized, though. That wasn’t good enough? That’s just a way out! Don’t be talking about my brother. Watch what you say to people in Miami. We don’t play like that. He said he’s been to Miami a couple times since you threatened him and nothing happened. He knows. I talked to Ray J for about an hour on the Cash Money bus. He knows [Yung Berg] has to pay me. How much does he have to pay you? I told him $150,000. $150k to be left alone when he comes to Miami? You know he’s independent, right? He might not have that kind of money. He’s going to pay it. I guarantee it. Well, we don’t want to be responsible for any violence here at OZONE Magazine. Shout out to OZONE Magazine, they had nothing to do with this, but when I catch him I’m still going to knock his pussy ass out. So do not drop Flo Rida’s name in any rhymes. Don’t drop Flo Rida’s name, don’t drop Rick Ross’s name, don’t try E-Class, don’t try me, and don’t even try that stank-ass hoe Jacki-O. So you’d still defend Jacki-O if somebody dissed her? That’s right. It’s still family. This is like the mob. When you’re in the mob you’ve got to get killed to get out. You can’t just walk out. So if you saw Khia wearing a Fuck Jacki-O t-shirt, you would beat her ass? No, I would give that hoe dap because she knows something. //
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ince he entered the rap game as a member of The Odd Squad in 1994, Devin the Dude has traveled at his own speed, while most of his peers have opted to drive in the fast lane trying to keep up with every trend and fad. Now, after leaving his longtime recording home Rap-A-Lot Records, Devin is truly doing “what the fuck he wants to do” as he returns to the streets via the independent route and learns more about himself along the way. You were signed to Rap-A-Lot Records for over 15 years. After all that time, what made you want to leave and go independent? I guess it was just that time. My contract was up with Rap-A-Lot. I’ve been with them for 15 years and I just felt like if it was any time to make it independently I guess this was going to be the time. Did you enjoy your time at Rap-A-Lot? Was a consistent deal? Did you experience a lot of bumps and bruises that made you want to finally leave? It was some bumps here and there but that’s a probably how it was with anybody. It’s like having a family; there’s always going to be problems. It wasn’t anything drastic that happened that made me [want to leave]. After you get a certain number of years under your belt, it’s time to either continue to do what you’re doing or broaden yourself. So I chose to just go to independent. I have an independent company, my own company of brothers doing the music thing; people that’s been working with me that helped me throughout the years. Now I can give them a chance to come out independent too. Rap-A-Lot pretty much operates like an indie anyway. So does it really feel different? And will we see better promotion for your albums now? Yeah, that was one of the things. It’s just a matter of promoting and marketing other than letting it linger so long after the album is out. We’re trying to promote the single a month and a half before and month after it’s out, just trying to push, trying to make some moves to get things accomplished with that. Tell us a little bit about the new album. The album is called Landing Gear. What is that supposed to mean? When I land in different places to work or do show, people always try try to hook me up with some good “coughee.” They ask, “Do you need anything?” and I say, “No, not yet, I got a little landing gear.” People would trip like “I’ve never hear it said like that before.” They said that should be the title, so for the cover I got photos with parachutes on and shit. We signed with Razor and Tie for a one [album] deal. We’re getting the promo together right now. How different is it heading your own label, Coughee Brothers Music, and playing the CEO role in addition to the artist role? It’s a totally different feeling. You kinda just gotta jump out there and flap. I learned a lot from the guys up there at Rap-A-Lot. If you put something out yourself, there is no one else left to blame but you if it don’t go right. What do you appreciate about your status in the game so far? You may not sell millions of records, but you have people who genuinely love you. It’s cool. It’s a wonderful feeling meeting fans and people who listen and appreciate the music. That’s a blessing. It feels good to just walk around, walk to the store or walk to mall and do anything just by yourself. I guess if I was huge megastar it probably wouldn’t be possible I wouldn’t get a chance to approach people or have people approach me in a certain way to talk about the music and other things like that. I like the privacy [I have]; it’s like having the best of both worlds. People come up to you that appreciate you, but [I] also have privacy when people come up like, “Hey, you look like somebody!”
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What kind of stuff do people tell you when they approach you? One of the biggest compliments they give me is, “Man, I got all your albums!” Just to have somebody say that to me is like, “Oh, shit!” It’s just a pretty cool feeling. They tell me, “You’re so down to earth in your music and you don’t be talking about this or that, you just talk about what I be going through at times.” That kinda makes it feel cool too, but I like associating myself with what’s actually going on and not something far-fetched? Why have you always chosen to keep a level head and stay in that middle ground with your music? It’s easy for artists to slip into fantasy land with their lyrics. I made a pact to myself when I chose to do a solo album. I decided to just call myself Devin and that’s what I’m going to rap about. I’m going to just do me and talk about what I go through. It might sound dull or boring to some people, but it might sound funny and crazy to other people. When I first came out with my first solo album I recorded under the name Devin and the album was called The Dude. After that when people recognized me they would say, “You Devin?” I’m like, “Yeah,” and they’d say, “Devin the Dude?” (laughs) So it kind of stuck with me, but other than that, I just wanted to be myself. I didn’t want to pretend to be somebody else or pretend to have this or pretend not to have that. Whatever I go through or what surrounds me and my friends and family, I kind of put it all together and bring it out [in my music]. When you were a member of Facemob, you stood out because ‘Face, DMG and them would be on some gangster shit, but you kinda came from the, “Hey, I saw what happened” angle. What was it like working on a album like that and having to find your fit into a situation like that? Yeah, I’d rap like, “I don’t know what them niggas doing over there, they trippin’.” (laughs) Actually it was an easy process in itself too. When Face started his company they were all solo artists. DMG was an artist he was about to bring out, 350 was about to come out with an album, Chi-Ray, everybody was just solo artist but we was vibing individually together in the studio. ‘Face thought of an idea to just come up with this group project before our albums started coming out one at a time and I thought it was a cool idea. Face was like, “You don’t have to get out of character. Just do you.” So that was pretty easy in itself, because we all already had a pretty cool relationship. A lot of people seem to think you ONLY rap about “P.W.A.” Do at all feel disappointed when people only pay attention to the “pussy, weed, and alcohol” lyrics and overlook the songs where you do have a message or simply rap about real-life situations? I tend to [be disappointed] sometimes. I plan on going out with a message though. I do have a few more songs to do with messages in them and how I feel about situations and I hope people can relate. I like tripping out and having fun, and a lot of times weed, alcohol and women are around. But for the not-so-sunny times of your life you’ve got to have songs for that too. I’m not saying I’m gonna put down the P.W.A. all the time, but I won’t hold it up all the time either. As raunchy as your rhymes can get, did you know that you had a lot of female fans? Do you find that at all odd? (laughs) I just like to have fun. I don’t think I disrespect women in my music. I used to feel funny making some of the music I do, especially when I was having a daughter. I was thinking about changing it up. I remember a girl approached me once like, “Devin the Dude? You do that song ‘Fuck Faces,’ don’t you?” I was thinking, “Aww, shit, here it comes.” But she said, “That’s my jam!” //
Words by Maurice G. Garland
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t’s been a long 5 years since C-Murder released a full length album. But after years of legal woes and negative news headlines, C is back to prove that he is still TRU to the game.
Screamin’ 4 Vengeance is the first studio album you’ve released in a while that you’ve been able to promote. Coming out of the No Limit situation where gold and platinum records were the standard, what goals have you set for yourself in this current music industry climate? My goal was to get some fresh C-Murder music out there, because I was gone for a minute and they ain’t know how I was rocking. This album was to let ‘em know how I’ve stepped my lyrical game up. Being “lyrical” isn’t something most fans would expect from you. What made you want to try that? I’m just keeping up with the times. On every album, you have to better yourself. Of course the nucleus of my music is the same, but I had to change it up a little bit. It wasn’t nothing that I had to really work on either. That’s just what happens when I get a fire track. In keeping up with the times, what convinced you that there was still a thirst for C-Murder music? I got some core fans that know what to expect from me. I’ve been through a lot of things, but they know my music will never change. It’s always going to be gutter, gangsta, talking about real things that go on in the streets. Even when I changed my name to C-Miller and changed it back. “C-Murder” is me, we change for situations. I will always be C-Murder. That’s how I came into the game. How did you deal with the negative connotations that came with that name? People try to judge a book by its cover, but they don’t know me. I’ve been portrayed as being a certain way in the media so I really can’t trip on that. All I can do is do things to better myself, my hood and my label. What are some of those things? I started my publishing company and put out my own book, Death Around the Corner. It got great reviews in the paper, Amazon.com, all of that. I’m writing some children’s books too. I’m using these books to get into a lot of the schools, colleges and public libraries, but you never hear about stuff like that. When I’m at these schools, I try to tell kids how important education is. I myself was an honor roll student. But at the same time, I get to tell these kids about my trials and tribulations so that if they come to a point in their life where they have to make a decision, hopefully what I told them will make them make the right one. I started Help Me Help You, a non-profit organization to help some of these kids too. We’re very much about the community around here, but they’re not gonna put that in the media. As much as some media outlets may not publicize those types of efforts, why don’t rappers doing those types of things publicize it as much as their music or business endeavors? I don’t know. For me, the things I do are spur of the moment. During school time I give supplies to the group homes; during Christmas time I send presents. I don’t really have time to call the publicist to put it out there because it happens so quick and it comes from the heart. Maybe the other rappers go through the same thing, I don’t know.
As far as your music is concerned, given your situations with the trials and the jail time and your reputation, did you find yourself being cautious about the content you’re putting out now? Yeah, I had to tone it down a tad bit, slightly. I couldn’t go all the way out there, I had to be real with myself in making the music and respecting my situation. There is a time and place for everything. There are still some things looming over you legally. Did you or do you fear your rhymes being used against you? It’s always a possibility for that to happen, but here’s how I look at it: Music is entertainment too, just like movies. That’s how I’m rocking with it. Well, with most rappers stressing how “real” they are, the lines tend to get blurred. How do you feel when rappers that may not have lived that lifestyle glorify it in their music? I just brush it off. I sit in the gap and watch and just do my music. What the next man does doesn’t worry me. I just sit back and make sure I put out quality music. All I care about is putting out good music for my fans. I just gotta feel like I’m connected to my core fans. Who is a typical C-Murder fan? It will surprise you. I’ve got fans overseas that are very loyal. Black, White, Mexican. I built quality relationships with people over the years. When I got letters when I was locked up, that showed me that I have connections with people in real life. Dudes, females, moms, pops, and grandparents say what’s up to me all the time. What is your current status right now? Are you allowed to leave the house at all? Nah, not right now but I’m looking to hit the road sometime in November or December to start doing shows. People should expect a real complete show. I’ve been thinking about it a lot. In your No Limit days, you got to work under your brother, Master P. What are some challenges you’ve encountered being in a role that he once held? I wear a lot of hats and have to make a lot of decisions. I just find myself being more busy, doing a lot of conference calls. I have to be in the studio with my artists and keep them on the right track. I take one-on-one time with them to show them the right path and teaching them about having the right attitude. A lot of them are real excited just like I was back then. So I’m showing them they ain’t gotta act a certain way, just calm down and enjoy the ride. Did you enjoy your ride during the No Limit era? It seems like you guys did so much work in the studio that you didn’t have time for much else. I really enjoyed my time. We traveled a lot and went overseas. We didn’t hit the road as much as other artists, but we did enough. A lot of doors opened up because of that situation. It was fun for me, I don’t know about the next man, but it was [fun] for me. Out of all the artisst on the label, you were pretty much the first to break off and do your own thing when you started TRU Records and released the Bossalinie album. What brought about that decision? Did it cause any problems? For me it was a daily routine. I was always around a lot of business people during that time. What I took away from that era was a good business sense about everything and building
relationships. The whole time I was working, I was building relationships, which has made it easier for me to do what I’m doing now. I always had the business mind and I was definitely loyal to the game more than anyone else on the label. I ran the idea through the chain of command to get the okay [to do my own project]. I wouldn’t have done it any other way. Since you are still residing in New Orleans, can you give us an update on what you’re seeing down there, post-Katrina? It’s a lot of people still going through a lot right now, they haven’t been able to get back into their homes. We have an 80% increase in homelessness, people still living under bridges. You can see all of them when you drive by. It ain’t use to be like that. The urban areas are still messed up. They haven’t rebuilt those areas, but the suburbs are straight. The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer and the poor don’t have no way to get back on their feet. But I can say that it’s a little better than it was, though. I was locked down when the levees broke, so I wasn’t with my family. But three weeks later I found out they were okay so that took a lot of stress off me. Do you feel a certain way when people say that rappers from New Orleans aren’t saying enough about how it really is down there? It’s almost as if they expect you all to make nothing but records about Katrina. If they’re genuine about it, you can entertain them for a little while, but if they’re just trying to come up off a bad situation, I have to shut them down. I can tell if they’re phony about it. Before we wrap this up, would you like to talk more about your books? Everybody needs to check out my new book that’s about to drop under TRU Publishing, Thug Politics. It’s about a mayor whose cousins were drug dealers. The three of them saw an opportunity to own the city. The plan was to make sure the streets made him win the mayoral race so they could get money, but along the way they run into some situations. That sounds a little familiar. We recently ran a story about Jackson, MS mayor Frank Melton. People have accused him of similar activities. Was your book loosely based off that? As soon as the book was completed, we heard about the mayor in Detroit [Kwame Kilpatrick] and the mayor [in Jackson]. Our book was already finished though. So that’s a plus for us, because it will make readers wonder and think if we were talking about them. But no, the idea for the book was all ours. Do you have any words of advice or encouragement for people or even other rappers thinking about delving into the fiction novel world? How long does it usually take to complete a book? It depends on how dedicated you are. I get distracted easily and I might sit a book I’m writing on the shelf for a few months. But if I’m focused, I can knock it out in 3 months. For me writing a book was a personal goal I set for myself. You feel good about yourself when you set and accomplish goals. But, to write books, the talent has to be there. You have to be true to yourself. If the talent ain’t there you might want to try something else. But if you really want to do but you’re not quite good at it yet, you just have to keep at it if you’re serious about it. //
Maurice G. Garland OZONE MAG // 67
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You’re from Brooklyn right? Can you start by telling me your background? I grew up like everybody else did that comes from any type of ghetto or dysfunctional situation. I’m from Bed-Stuy Brooklyn. I come from the streets, man. My household wasn’t any different from any other household in the late 80s, early 90s when crack was really poppin’ off. You know, it was a lot of things in my household that pushed me into the street and my life’s been crazy ever since. When did you turn to rap music? I didn’t turn to rap until I was in prison. When I was there that’s when I started rapping. You did ten years in prison, right? So did rapping help you get through those ten years? I didn’t even start rapping when I first went to jail. It was after a couple years when I was in jail, I was getting in trouble. I was supposed to be up for parole in five years but I was getting into a lot of bullshit, so they would keep me locked me in the box for 23 hours a day. I was in the box for 23 hours a day for a couple years straight and I started rapping. I started rapping because I was bored. Ain’t too much you can do when you’re locked in one cell for 23 hours a day. I would wake up and write a rhyme, every couple of days, just for myself, for my own enjoyment. How did your career develop after you got out of prison? After I started rapping, I started to think of a way to take it serious. This was the time when B.I.G. was doing his thing, like when Big was all the way out the there, and I instantly related to that because he came from the hood. I felt like, there’s a dude that comes from the hood, speaking a language I understand. He’s saying things I can relate to. So, it was definitely an inspiration to see him come up. I was like, if I’m truly a hustler and truly a real nigga, maybe I can use this rapping thing as a stepping stone. Maybe I can go home and give this a try. That’s what I did. I tried to learn as much as I could about the business. I tried to invest in reading books. I just tried to prepare myself to come home and get into rap. Even before I came home me and my people came up with the name Hustle Hard. When I got home, we jumped right into it. You were seen a lot with Lil’ Kim in the beginning of your careet. What’s your relationship with Kim? We’re from the same hood. It was a time that we did a lot of work together. A lot of people associate me with her because when people didn’t really know me I was just coming on the mixtape scene and people would see me out with her or hear me on records, I was on her last album Naked Truth. We’re cool.
Naked Truth came out three years ago. How you been able to remain patient? If I can give these crackers ten years of my life, I can do anything in the world. It’s nothing in the world I can’t do. I had to sit up there and wait to go home, wait to be fed, wait to be clothed. I had to wait for letters, I had to wait for everything. Now that I’m free, it’s nothing in the world I can’t do. What I did, I took every opportunity as it presented itself. I stayed busy, I stayed on mix tapes, I stayed on DVDs. I’m a YouTube gangsta. I stayed doing whatever I could to keep my name in the street, because at the end of the day, that’s all I had.
I’ve seen you in a lot of videos. I was watching a video recently where you were talking about a lot of rappers in the game not being real. How do you think most rappers lives compare to your life? I don’t think I had the most crazy life. I don’t think my life wins the award for the most fucked up or the most crazy, but everybody has some trials and tribulations they went through. I come from a household where my family used drugs and shit like that but it’s plenty of other people who’s had fathers who was on crack and mothers on crack. The thing about me, what I had developed into before I became a man is definitely a true story. I really played a part in the street. I really, really played a part in the street and what I mean by that is, that you have some rappers that they think just because you come from the hood that don’t mean you was involved in the hood. Just because you come from the hood doesn’t make you a part of what’s going on in the underworld of the hood. Just because you sold a couple drugs don’t mean you was really running it. Just because a person came from a certain project doesn’t mean he’s got street cred with me. “Rumors” kinda kicked off your street buzz. At the time I was trying to make my way onto the mixtapes and I started to notice I was just an average nigga on the mixtape. So, I needed something to separate me from these other niggas because I’m nothing like nobody else. I didn’t wanna be associated [with average niggas]; I didn’t wanna be looked upon as the same kind of average nigga. That was my way of making my mark at the time, and it worked. It shone some light on me. People in the industry, just as well in the street, started to notice me. It’s two kinds of buzzes: street buzzes and industry buzzes. I needed both. I needed them to know who Maino was, and that’s what “Rumors” did for me What happened to your deal with Universal? “Rumors” is what lead to my deal with Universal. That was a learning experience but I don’t think I was even ready or prepared the way I am today. T.I. was instrumental with you getting signed, right? How did you meet him and hook up? I was already signed. I had known T.I. for a while. It’s a real friendship, real brotherhood. It ain’t even so much about business with him. I really got love for dude. Grand Hustle, that’s all family. He’s a real dude. How did you end up with Atlantic? I had relationships at Atlantic. My man Jean Nelson was instrumental in my whole career, from my Universal days. He had become the Executive A&R at Atlantic. I was still signed to Universal but I had better relationships at Atlantic. So, when I was getting out of my deal at Universal, it was only right that I wanted to be with my people. I felt like if I had a chance in this game, I’d rather take a chance with people that really cared about me. So, that’s what you’re hearing right now, the affect of dealing with people who really give a fuck about Maino. Let’s talk about the “Hi Haters” single. I was just riding around vibing to the beat and that’s where the beat lead me. I guess it was just meant to be. I don’t even write my rhymes, I think them. I went to the studio and that’s what came out. This is the type of record that everyone can relate to.
Did you ever think “Hi Hater” would be the one to put Maino on the map? I knew I was onto something when my people came to the studio and were like, “Yo, this record is crazy.” So, I started to feel like I was on to something. So that single put the momentum behind your album. Can you talk to me about your album? Of course, its setting off the movement because people know me from the DVDs, mixtapes and being affiliated with Lil’ Kim at one point, but now once you have all that, you have to put a record out that will give you attention nationally. This is the record, and you’re about to witness a movement like you ain’t never seen coming out of New York. That’s a guaranteed fact. Why do you think New York hasn’t been popping lately like it was in the past? I don’t know, man. I don’t know the problem with a lot of niggas, man. I mean, I just feel like we need to get to the music. A lot of these niggas got gay qualities. I really can’t explain it. All I can do is do what works for me. A lot of the older dudes wanna keep competing. I don’t know, it’s no one answer for that. I just figure that the only way to propel New York back into the race is to come with something new and fresh. I don’t think a rapper that was out 10, 15 years ago is going to reinvent himself to bring New York to how it was before. We just need to move forward with this new shit. What kind of new shit are you bringing on your album? It’s just real talk, from a real dude. It’s my life, my nigga. It details a portion of my life after I came from prison and wanted to be an artist. It details that whole transition. After I came from prison I was on parole, so I was still dabbling in the street. I had just had a baby and I was trying to be a rapper. I had to deal with a lot just trying to be a rapper, so it was hard for me to even try to make that transition. I think trying to make that transition from the nigga that I am at heart to becoming a rapper was harder than me doing prison because I was entering something I had no idea about. I was so used to my ignorant life, I thought prison was an extension of my life. You grow up in the street, you selling drugs, bustin’ your gun, shooting up shit, getting shot, shooting back, getting money, losing money. When you live like that, you know prison is gonna come. It was a time in my life when I couldn’t wait to go to jail. I swear to God I grew up thinking that jail was a part of something we had to do. Going from that [mentality] to try to be an artist was a harder job for me. So what do you say to people that say Maino is just a street nigga, he’s just known for knocking out Lil Cease and he ain’t really a rapper? Well, the proof is in the pudding, my nigga. Look at how my record is spreading like a disease. I’m just gonna let the music speak for itself. For any hater, I’m just gonna demonstrate. I’m not gonna talk back, I’m not gonna acknowledge bullshit, I’m not gone say nothing at all. Real recognize real, I don’t give a fuck if I’m from Bed-Stuy and OZONE is a Southern-based magazine. Real niggas recognize real. We all have the same struggles from all over. Who I am and my music is gonna speak for itself. I will have the last laugh. Like I said, you’re bout to witness something big coming out of New York. //
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Production credits: Lil Wayne “A Milli,” Tay Dizm f/ TPain & Rick Ross “Beam Me Up,” Dem Franchize Boyz “Talkin Out The Side of Ya Neck,” Kelis “Bossy”
time [Kanye] said something like, ‘he can’t get his ideas out’ because that’s how I be feeling. I’ve been making hot shit for a long time and it’s just now paying off to the point where more muthafuckers are coming to fuck with me.
“I just zone out to make beats. It’s really no method. I collect sounds and create. I wasn’t making [“A Milli”] for Wayne, I was just making it. It just ended up being for Wayne after I made it. I got to him through a friend named Shanell, this female I produced for. He worked with her and she just played it for him.
I think with the [“A Milli”] beat it’s finally paying off. I’ve been doing this shit for a long time and I keep trying to reinvent myself. People might not even hear a style. I done moved on to a whole ‘nother style that people ain’t even heard. I couldn’t get the ideas out, because people don’t want to try to get on the beat. You just got to prove too much to people and now they’re accepting it more. I go into a session and they’re mixing it that’s all I’ve been talking about, getting to that point and it’s coming full circle. It feels good, man.
To be honest, from a producer standpoint, just me knowing the potential of the music, I didn’t think he structured it right [and] sequenced it properly. That’s just a matter of opinion. I feel like he’s a superstar, so [I can’t] ridicule him with anything. I always liked the fact that he freestyled that shit. I think the first ten bars are just monster to me. [He could have] put a hook on it. Where’s the hook? Or about the subject of what’s the beat talking about. Just real simple shit. “A milli, A milli”’ I guess whatever makes you feel rich and wealthy. It ain’t necessarily got to be about money if you want to talk about money. I thought he should talk about that. [Having a popular beat] feels good, that’s what I do it for. Not really for the accolades or to have the best beat of the year, but just to be recognized and especially because I’m trying to do some major shit. When you’re doing shit that’s sometimes ahead of the masses it gets frustrating. I remember one 72 // OZONE MAG
Probably one of the hardest beats I’ve done was ‘RPM’ with Shawnna and Twista and Ludacris on it. It was some underground shit, it was like people’s favorite shit. I did ‘Vibrate’ with Rasheeda and Petey Pablo. I think that beat was real hard. I did ‘What’s Your Fantasy’ for Ludacris. I did half of his first and second albums. And I did 8Ball & MJG’s ‘You Don’t Want Drama,’ ‘Don’t Make,’ and ‘Forever,’ which had Lloyd on it. I did Kelis ‘Bossy,’ two other songs on her album called ‘Aww Shit’ and ‘Handful.’ I’ve worked with Missy, Ciara, Hotline, Dogg Pound, Paul Wall, Busta Rhymes, Chingy, and Jibbs. I just did something for T-Pain’s artist Tay Dizm. His song ‘Beam Me Up’ features T-Pain and Rick Ross, so I think that’s going to be big. Just look out; pay attention to Bangladesh. It’s always going to be something spectacular.”
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Industry 101 Ryan Cameron Words by Maurice G. Garland
For the last 17 years, Atlantans have partied, woke up, worked and drove home to the tune of Ryan Cameron’s voice. The flagship personality on Atlanta’s V-103 probably has a bigger presence than the mayor and police chief combined. People have grew up listening to him for years, defining everyday of their life from their first day of school to their first child. OZONE caught up with the “Ryan King” to have him talk about his beginnings and trials in radio as well as his extensive community outreach. Where are you from and how did you wind up in broadcasting? I’m from Atlanta. I’m from Bankhead. Back when I was a kid, I had a speech impediment and I had to go to Clark Atlanta University, where they had a class which basically was Hooked on Phonics is now. They played the results on the radio on Clark radio station and when we heard that on the radio I was sitting in my grandaddy’s living room with the headphones on. From that day forward I knew I wanted to be on the radio You got started as an intern, right? Yeah, I did college radio at West Georgia College and then got an internship at V-103 in 1990. I was at the station every day and people kept getting fired. I was always ready to step in, part time or whatever and then finally in ‘91 I got my shot doing nights. I left and went to WKYS in D.C. for about a year, and then I came back [to Atlanta] in ‘96 working at what was Hot 97.5 which turned in to 107.9. I worked there for 9 years doing the morning show, left and came back to V-103 in ’05. How was your first stint at V-103? Back then you could only play rap music after 6 PM, and since we were on from 10 to midnight every Friday, we had the industry on lock. I had a 40 share at night, which was like beyond belief, we had all the white kids and black kids listening to V because that was the only time they could hear rap music. When I left Greg Street came in and became such a world wide phenomenon known for breaking music they had to open up the playlist.. Why did you leave V103 for D.C.? It seemed abrupt. 74 // OZONE MAG
It was an opportunity to do more than drive time for me. Back then all the real, real big money was [doing morning shows] like the Donny Simpsons and the Tom Joyners. DC at the time was market number 4 or 5. So if you’re going to go somewhere then you might as well try out DC. When Radio One decided they wanted to try to bring me back to Atlanta, who wouldn’t want to come home? On your show you do more than just play music. You talk about community issues as well. Why? We call it “edutainment.” I compare myself to what I watch on the local news, then I watch the Entertainment Tonights and the TMZs. I try to have one of those elements in my show every day. If there’s something going on in the city, like when the older woman got killed by the police, we can talk about that. Then on a national level we can talk about things like Sean Bell or the Jena 6. You try to do something that’s entertaining but at the same time you want people to thinking about what you’re saying, or getting mad and calling in [to the station] with their own opinion. How do you feel about free speech on the radio? You have one extreme like Howard Stern, and then you have another like Don Imus. I listen to XM Radio but the only thing they can do is curse. It ain’t like it’s anymore free’er [than traditional radio]. If you can walk the line and not cross it, you can still say whatever. I’ve got a brush, I’m painting the pictures, and it’s up to you what color you see. I just say what I think. It’s all about the people’s opinions, I’m just trying to make people think, and understand that we’re here for the long run. What affect do you think satellite radio has had on terrestrial radio? A lot of people thought it would die out. Everybody’s always afraid. That’s what they thought about web streaming, That’s what they thought about CDs. But people don’t want to pay for something that they can get for free. Satellite is great but who wants to pay for something that you can get for free? If you listen to XM Radio and a tornado is coming down Peachtree, you ain’t going to know about it.
Tell us about the community outreach you’ve been doing through your Ryan Cameron Foundation. I was doing charitable fundraisers before I was on the air full time. We started off doing the Celebrity Bowling event, guaranteeing people $5,000 a year [would be given to charity] no matter how much money we made. In 2001 there was a big scandal with a major charitable organization and people kept saying, “How do we know that the money is going where we want it to go?” The easiest way to do it is to have a foundation. Now, everybody’s got a foundation. Our foundation is publicly funded so I can’t use your donation to help somebody that needs a wheelchair. I can help other foundations. We have kids on scholarships that are majoring in broadcasting or entertainment. We give out 5 to 10 grants a year to other 501C3 organizations. In the summer my leadership academy brings in kids from partnership high schools and when they graduate they get a laptop and $4,000. To get that check every fall, they have to come back and work in the summertime. It ain’t just like you get the money and run. We try to make people continue to give back. We’re doing a partnership with AETNA, a diabetes initiative were we’re going out with overweight kids, talking about how great it is to have a healthy lifestyle. We’re seeing a lot of juvenile diabetes cases so we got a whole health initiative were going to kick off in the fall. People are starting to recognize me more for my community stuff then my radio thing. How does it make you feel? That’s perfect, because after the radio is gone I want to still be able to do my community stuff based on my brand. When you got Nike calling you from Miami saying, “We heard you’re doing big things. Let’s get together,” that’s big. Back in the day we couldn’t do that kind of stuff because people wanted to go anti-rap. Now, corporate sponsorships are major in putting these events on. Even when I do the Father-Daughter dance I didn’t want to start off in the Embassy Suites. We started off at the Ritz Carlton. I want black people, white people, whoever to feel like it’s a prom for the fathers and their daughters. They build a relationship so the daughters can see how a man is supposed to treat them. //
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David Banner/The Greatest Story Ever Told/SRC After three previous efforts Banner has finally made the definitive album of his career, capturing the best of his talents as a producer, rapper and activist. On the opening track “So Long” Banner speaks on injustices, urging street soldiers to fight people other than themselves. From there he takes a realistic journey, touching on both the political (“B.A.N.”) and primitive (“A Girl”) sides of his life. In between, the Mississippi emcee provides interludes and music beds that play up to his growth as musician, making the album a complete experience. While admitting to musical mistakes on past releases he does have a couple missteps (“Fuck You Hoes,” “K.O.”) but soulful tracks like “I Get By,” “Hold On” and the selfexplanatory “Faith” make you forget about them. It may be up for debate whether David Banner’s latest album is actually The Greatest Story Ever Told, however, it is the greatest story he’s ever told. — Maurice G. Garland
C-Murder/Screamin’ 4 Vengeance /TRU/Asylum With his No Limit glory days far behind him, C-Murder’s latest effort Screamin’ 4 Vengeance proves he is still capable of putting together an entertaining album. Backed by custom-made beats from his Deadly Soundz production team, C displays his improved song-writing and cadence, and even steps outside the criminal-minded material he’s known for. On “Stay Fresh” he bobs-and-weaves over scattered synths and drums while “Posted On the Block” has him impressively keeping up with fast-paced guest spots from Krayzie Bone, Mia X and Papoose. Unfortunately, those same custom-made beats also eventually allow C to slip too far into his comfort zone, turning in a bevy of lazy sounding songs that probably won’t make you want to hit the repeat button. The bulk of Screamin’ 4 Vengeance leaves a lot to be desired. — Maurice G. Garland
Three Six Mafia/Last 2 Walk Hypnotized Mindz/SONY After winning a Grammy and literally going Hollywood, Three 6 Mafia makes a decent attempt to return to their roots with their latest album Last 2 Walk. While the production still has their trademarked fusion of soul samples over beat machine drum kicks and hi-hats, it lacks that feeling that you used to get from listening to their music. It could be unbelievable drug escapades like “Trap Boomin’” or overt sexcapades like “I’d Rather,” but something is missing. However, there is enough maturity in songs like “My Own Way” featuring Good Charlotte and “Hood Star” featuring Lyfe Jennings to make you look forward to what direction their music will take in the future. — Maurice G. Garland
RICH BOY/ BIGGER THAN THE MAYOR Alabama’s favorite son, Rich Boy, returns with another 808 shakin’ ride through his world of cash, hoes and clothes on his new mixtape, Bigger Than The Mayor. Mainly sticking to telling tales of the baller life, Rich Boy delivers in his signature drawl, 16-tracks of truck-shaking music sure to satisfy until his sophomore set drops. Titles like “Wrist Out The Window” and “Chevy’s A Monsta” let you know this is perfect summer stuntin’ music to ride out to. With appearances from Yo Gotti, Gucci Mane, Shawty Lo, and Trae, the only thing missing is a lack of content seen in last years promising “Let’s Get This Paper.” — Anthony Burgos
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G-Unit/ T.O.S.: Terminate on Sight/G-Unit Records With Young Buck out scurrying on his own, Banks, Buck, and 50 are back on their own hunt. With none of the trio being safe from criticism, G-Unit sets out to convince everyone that they haven’t gone soft. Terminate On Sight is a nolove-song album that is drenched in a lyrical serving of a very resound “don’t fuck with me” attitude, which is shared by each member of Curtis’ gang. While the three craft commendable deliveries and an overall enjoyable album, the lyrics fall short and Yayo’s talent has yet to be found. — Rohit Loomba
Nas/ Untitled/Def Jam QB’s finest is back with an untitled album with enough lyrical content to make up for the seemingly endless supply of 16s about diamonds, rims and ass. Nas is in fine form on tracks such as “Sly Fox” on which he targets Fox News and questions why he’s always accused of promoting violence while Hollywood isn’t. This album goes above and beyond today’s albums, forcing fans to think and go beyond the music on tracks such as “Testify.” There’s finally a true Hip Hop album again, and it’s no surprise that Nas is the one who delivered it. — Rohit Loomba
DJ Scream & Soulja Boy/ THE TEEN OF THE SOUTH Gearing up for his sophomore album, ISOULJABOY, the original “Crank Dat” superstar releases The Teen Of The South mixtape, hosted by DJ Scream. The intro creates a discussion for his position in MTV2’s Top emcees. He attempts to prove his longevity by enhancing his wordplay and upgrading his production. Tracks like “I Know You Hate Me” and “Gucci Bandanna” display his lyrical depth; however, “Go Hard” shows his gift for instrumentals. Fan or not, you’ve gotta love Soulja Boy’s playful lines and respect him as an artist that gives the people what they want. — Isabelle Ahanotu
Killer Mike/I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II/Grind Time Official/SMC “If they tell you, ‘Man, you can’t come up’ you better go against everything they say.” Killer Mike sums up his story simply on “Can You Hear Me,” one of a handful of strong tracks on I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind II, a solid album with few faults. Mike’s lyrical abilities are at the level of the best storytelling emcees and he keeps on the gas, capturing his intensity to the fullest on almost every track. Independent but still going strong, Killer Mike isn’t showing signs of backing up anytime soon. — Rohit Loomba
DJ Drama, Brisco & EClass/Underworld Rise Brisco has been making more news lately for beefing with Yung Berg than for his music. But on this mixtape, the Opa-Lacka goon proves his name belongs in the list of Florida emcees next to blow. The mixtape’s intro, along with tracks like “I Get Money” and “I’m Back” are notable, but Brisco’s limited subject matter grows tiring throughout the 17 tracks. Still, with Drama doing what he does and Bris spitting that goon music, Underworld Rise is a Gangsta Grillz mixtape worth checking out. — Randy Roper
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DCharlamagne Tha God & DJ Frosty.com Heavy Metal Hood Shit 1. DJ Chuck T “Down South Slangin’ 50” www.djchuckt.com 2. DJ Teknikz “If You Buyin’ We Sellin’ 18” www.myspace.com/djteknikz 3. DJ Scream & MLK “Hoodrich Radio 9” http://www.myspace.com/4045405000 www.myspa ce.com/mlkng 4. The DBoy Movement & Young Money Records “Life On Weezy Street Volume 2” firstname.lastname@example.org 5. DJ Smallz “The Usual Suspects 2” www.djsmallz.com
6. DJ Bobby Black “Crack Addiction: The Game & Bun B” www.myspace.com/theofficialdjbobbyblack 7. DJ 31 Degreez “Georgia Bulldogs Pt. 10” 8. DJ Black Bill Gates “King Shit Radio V.3” www.myspace.com/ 9. DJ Scream, MLK & DJ Spinz “Hoodrich Radio 11” http://www.myspace.com/4045405000 www.myspace.com/mlkng 10. Evil Empire “Interstate Trafficking Volume 6” www.myspace.com/evilempire 11. DJ Spinz “”Rhythm Swag” www.myspace.com/dj_spinz 12. DJ Spinatik “Street Runnaz 16” www.djspinatik.com 13. DNA, DJ Scream and DJ Rob “Get On My Level 7” Hosted by Shawty Lo www.myspace.com/wildchilddna www.myspace.com/targetsquad 14. DJ Delz “D187 Hood Radio Volume 23” www.djdelzonline.com email@example.com 15. DJ Chief Rocka “Throwin’ Bows Volume 5” www.myspace.com/djchiefrocka2
16. Gamespitta Entertainment “Legends In The Making Vol. 1” Hosted by JiJi Sweet www.myspace.com/gamespittaent 17. DJ Scope “Street Certified 27” www.myspace.com/infareddjscope
www.myspace.com/cthagod www.myspace.com/djfrostydotcom When arguably the biggest rap star on the planet (Kanye West) and one of the game’s top producers (Swizz Beatz) host your mixtape, that alone is enough cause for Mix of the Month honors. In addition to their megastar hosts, Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Frosty compile a mixtape loaded with some of the newest street bangers like David Banner featuring Lil Wayne “Shawty Say,” Rick Ross “This Is The Life (remix)” and exclusives from independents Nation Boy “I’m Paid” and Mista Taylor “Mirror Dance.” Heavy Metal Hood Shit is a Caffeine Substitute that’ll keep your head nodding all the way to Houston for the OZONE Awards. DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for consideration to: Ozone Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318
18. Chilly C. The Paperchaser “Never A Drought Volume 1” www.myspace.com/chillycthepaperchaser 19. DNA & DJ Drama “Motion Picture Shit Volume 3” www.myspace.com/wildchilddna www.myspa
ce.com/djdrama 20. DJ Bobby Black “Crack Addiction: Jay-Z & Barack Obama” www.myspace.com/theofficialdjbobbyblack
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Plies Venue: Club Voyage Event: Myspace secret show City: Orlando, FL Date: June 7th, 2008 Photo: Terrence Tyson
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