Ozone West #71 - Sep 2008

Page 1





town thizzness G STACK, J STALIN, & BEEDA WEEDA






editor’s note i’m just sayin’tho

Publisher Julia Beverly Editor-AT-LARGE D-Ray

Contributors Big Fase 100, Camilo Smith, DJ BackSide, DJ E-Z Cutt, Gary Archer, Jelani, Jessica Essien, Jessica “Mz Jae” Hagmaier, Joey Colombo, Kay Newell, Keita Jones, Luvva J, Nippy Swagga, Portia Jackson, Shemp, Todd Davis, Ty Watkins Street Reps Ant Wright, Anthony Deavers, Baydilla, Bigg P-Wee, Big Thangs, Big Will, Dee1, Demolition Men, DJ Jam-X, DJ Juice, DJ KTone, DJ Nik Bean, DJ Quote, DJ Skee, DJ Strong & Warrior, Gary Archer, J Hype, Jasmine Crowe, Jessica Essien, John Costen, Juice, Kewan Lewis, Luvva J, Maroy, Rob J Official, Rob Reyes, Shauntae Hill, Sherita Saulsberry, Sly Boogy, Syd Robertson, Tonio, Twin, William Major, Zack Cimini COVER CREDITS Town Thizzness photo by D-Ray.

I loved seeing so many West Coast faces out in Houston, my goodness! Every step I take may not be the easiest, but it felt good to see so many people reppin’ the West in Houston! We need to start gettin’ it together. We’re known for our hustle, so it’s time for us to travel and let the world see it. Let’s make a West Coast statement! The weekend was full of knowledge. TJ’s DJ’s Music Conference gave you that good game that you think you know, but aren’t sure. Everyone was there getting game and giving game. It was a great event. The OZONE weekend is always full of fun and surprises. Most people don’t know what to expect when they’re attending an award show, considering they’ve only watched them on TV. Ours was incredible! The show was jam packed with stars. We had acts like T-Pain, Rick Ross, Mistah FAB, Too $hort, G. Malone, B.o.B., Ace Hood, J Prince, Mannie Fresh, Young Jeezy, David Banner, DJ Drama, and Paul Wall, and the DJ conference had all of the above plus Nelly, Bun B, Ashanti, Chamillionaire, T.I., Big Boi, B.G. Killer Mike, Beeda Weeda, Roccett, and San Quinn, just to name a few.

On my road trip back home from Houston to the Bay Area in the OZONE/CRUNK!!! Wrapped truck, I stopped to show some support to Lil Chuckee who gave me a call to let me know he was in the West. Mind you, that’s a 24 hour drive from L.A. to Houston! I told him, “If you’re out West, I’m there!” We took the drive like savages and landed in L.A., and it was well worth it! Lil Chuckee, a Young Money artist at age 12, showed me his talent! I’ve heard his music before but this time I was able to see him in action along with Violet Brown in the house! Big shout out to Violet Brown. That kid is a young star! He is very intelligent. He pays close attention to the people around him. He rocked the house! Check him out when you get a chance. He’s one of the future youngsters coming up. P.S.: Vlad, I need my money! That project you put out is making money off my photos! Hit me… - D-Ray dray@ozonemag.com


ADVERTISING SALES Che Johnson Gary Archer Isiah Campbell Richard Spoon


I used to think my job was tough trying to help get artists in a photo going in the gallery. That was when I was just a photographer. Now that I’m the “editor at large,” it’s a different story. Now if I take a photo, people are expecting it to be in the magazine. I do my best to send a lot of photos every month to make sure everyone has the same shot at being in the OZONE galleries, but some people don’t seem to understand that. Believe me, I want the West to shine, and I’ll do my part! I’m always an open ear. Hit me if you have something I need to know!


Music EditorS Randy Roper Maurice G. Garland

ow that I got all that out of the way, let’s talk about the TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers Music Conference and the OZONE Awards. Wow! JB, TJ and the team pulled it off for the 3rd annual! Last year, I was still a fairly new face to the OZONE family, so I was doing what got me there: snapping shots. This year I did the same thing, but I have a title now, “Editor at Large.” That means I had juice this year!



Me and Eric

Me and fellow photographer J Lash

Me and J Prince

Me & 2 Pistols @ Summer Jam


the remix onth’s article, uation of last m . and the drawin nt co a ’s re He fits.. down the bene rite vices! where I broke e rapper’s favo rit vo fa ur yo of backs...


hen I was in high school, I used to drink Old English 800 malt liquor, smoke weed and make homemade tapes to sell on the streets in East Oakland. The weed and beer were so much a part of the experience, it felt like I couldn’t record unless I was high. Several years ago I realized that whenever I got high before my live performances, I would forget some of my lyrics & end up not doing the best show I could do. I stopped smoking and drinking before shows but I never stopped getting high when I was recording in the studio. Hip Hop has always been connected to smoking weed and drinking liquor. Just go to a rap show or a rapper’s studio session and you’ll smell the blunts. Before he went to prison, every time I saw Pimp C, we would start smoking weed and talking shit. I had that same relationship with several rappers. No matter how close we were or how often we saw each other, we would instantly burn one. I knew Pimp was on parole when he came home and he wasn’t gonna be smoking weed. When we hung out I admired how focused he was, since he didn’t drink or smoke anymore. He was spittin’ real game and still having fun rapping without drugs. You’d be surprised if you really knew which rappers get high off more than just weed. You’d also be surprised if you knew which rappers don’t smoke, drink or fuck with pills and powders. I promise you, it ain’t what you think. I could never talk down on a weed smoker cause I’ve been quitting, smoking, quitting and smoking again for the last 6 months! ...But even though I’ve spent the best part of my youth intoxicated, I have to agree with all the people who told me they feel so much better now that they’re sober. Me personally, I like waking up fresh in the morning. My days are more productive. I’m hearing stories about folks who smoke blunts, take e pills, drink alcohol and snort powder damn near everyday. Imagine that! It makes me proud of the young homies who don’t get high on drugs. If you’re a Hip Hop fan and you’re under the impression that all of your favorite rappers are constantly intoxicated, I can promise you that you’re wrong. If you’re a young rapper trying to get in the game, don’t think that you have to pop pills, drink alcohol and smoke weed to become successful. Feel free to NOT do drugs. A lot of rappers who make references to smoking weed in their songs don’t smoke shit. Wish me luck ‘cause I’m trying to be just like ‘em. Can I get a Biiiiiiitch!!!! Hit me up on my crackberry: ShortStories@ozonemag.com



The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): San Quinn & Lil Quinn on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards (Photo: D-Ray); Glasses Malone @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers; Lil Boosie & Too Short @ OZONE Awards rehearsal (Photos: King Yella)

The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Young Black Zoe, Dem Hoodstarz, & Cellski @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 02 // Princess & DJ Big Dee @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 03 // Hot Rod & Archie Eversole @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 04 // Roccett & Cory Mo @ Asylum Records studio suite during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 05 // Gary Archer, Vital, & Frank White @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 06 // Hot Rod, Tiffany, & Willy Northpole @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 07 // Bun B & DJ Juice @ TJ’s DJ’s Big Boi listening suite 08 // Mitchy Slick & K-Boy @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 09 // DJ Quote, Willy Northpole, & DJ Impact @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 10 // Don P, Mistah FAB, Mitchy Slick, Dow Jones, & Roccett @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 11 // Lil Quinn & Nick Ngo @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 12 // BandAid of Dem HoodStarz & Clay Evans @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 13 // Wendy Day & San Quinn @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 14 // Ace Hood, Jay Rock, DJ Q45, Slim Goodye, & Roccett @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 15 // DJ Juice, Kuzzo Fly, & 1st Lady El @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 16 // TV Johnny & Nick Ngo @ the Galleria for the grand opening of TV Jewelry 17 // Davey D & Mistah FAB @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 18 // Paul Wall & Tito Bell @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 19 // Strong Arm Steady on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards Photo Credits: Ben Rose (03); D-Ray (01,04,05,08,10,11,12,13,16,17,18,19); J Lash (02); King Yella (09,15); Ms Rivercity (07); Terrence Tyson (06,14)


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




his 40 Water chain is the logo for my enhanced beverage, and it’s also my name. 40 Water – that’s what people call me. So the chain serves a dual purpose.

40 Water isn’t an energy drink, it’s a water. I don’t want to get it mixed up with Vitamin Water. They always think I’m talking about Vitamin Water. It’s not, it’s just an enhanced water with antioxidants. It’s good for exercising. An enhanced water with vitamins and antioxidants. The piece is worth approximately $150,000, and it’s filled with 100


carats of blue, green, and white diamonds. Highline did this piece. I’ve got a couple jewelers, Highline right here in the Yay Area and I also deal with Nick over there at King Johnny’s in Houston. They’re cousins, so it’s all family. I guess they’re cool with each other, Highline and King Johnny. I got my Sick Wid It chain from King Johnny and Highline did the 40 Water piece. // As told to Julia Beverly Photo by D-Ray

The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): DJ Q45 & Jay Rock @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers; The Jacka & Mitchy Slick @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ (Photos: D-Ray); Traxamillion, Roccett, & Mistah FAB @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers (Photo: Ms Rivercity)

The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Grouchy Greg & Mistah FAB @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 02 // Big Rich & Cannon @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 03 // Kafani, The Jacka, J Stalin, Keak da Sneak, Portia Jackson, Pimpin Ken & his son on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 04 // Rick Edwards, Roccett, Wendy Day, & Young AC @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 05 // Hot Rod & DJ Smallz @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 06 // Tito Bell & Bushwick Bill @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 07 // Shaheim Reid & The Pack @ the OZONE Awards 08 // Chamillionaire & Lil Quinn @ Dave & Buster’s for Nelly’s Bowling Challenge 09 // Jay Rock & Julia Beverly @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 10 // Osirus & Mitchy Slick @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 11 // Glasses Malone & Ms Rivercity @ Grooves for Capitol Records’ TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show 12 // Turtle, Haji Springer, & Smack @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 13 // J Stalin & BOB @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 14 // Steve Raze, Cellski, & Bun B @ TJ’s DJ’s Big Boi listening suite 15 // Mistah FAB & 1st Lady El @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 16 // DJ Big Dee, DJ Juice, DJ Q45, D-Ray, & Roccett @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 17 // Mistah FAB, DJ Juice, & Laroo @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 18 // The Jacka, Nancy Byron, & PK @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel 19 // B Rich & crew on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,02,03,06,08,09,10,12,13,19); King Yella (15,17); Ms Rivercity (14); Terrence Tyson (04,05,07,11,16); Trill Images (18)



an Francisco has always boasted a diverse population and culture, even if it tends to get overlooked by its neighbors in Oakland. Hoping to shed a more direct light on the SFC, Frisco heavy hitters San Quinn, Big Rich and Boo Banger have united to form All City. ”We’re repping for everyone-for all who are with our movement, from the Filipinos to the Samoans to the Blacks,” says Quinn, adding that the trio had already been a crew for a while. “We got love from everyone, and here everyone gets down with one another. We are living in a major melting pot, an area where the rich and poor live and work next to each other.” Working next to each other is something that even the group itself is still working on. With all three members already being established solo artists, coming together as a team could not have been an easy task. But with each of them being on different levels of the spectrum, it’s allowed room for everybody to do them.

“Quinn’s the legend, I am the All-Star and Boo Banger is the Rookie of the Year,” says Big Rich about the groups hierarchy, mentioning that he actually grew up listening to Quinn. “We’re covering all bases of the game,” adds Boo Banger. “This project is stretching and covering the streets of Frisco and branching out.” Powered by the infectious single “SF Anthem,” All City’s self-titled album seems poised to accomplish the goal of being “in demand like Comcast,” just like the song says. Produced by Traxamillion, the song samples Scott McKenzie’s 1967 hit “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” and captures the same kind of unifying energy the original track did when it was released in the “summer of love.” But with hippies being a thing of the past, All City plans to use the rest of the album to show the harsher side of Bay living. “People are always saying some shit about Frisco having hella gay people, but last time I checked, there’s gay people everywhere,” blasts Quinn. “All I know is that there are some real niggas out here, running shit and holding it down. You get to see what San Francisco is about and our history, and see how we live. Get a view of the gangsta side and understand that you really won’t make it out of this muthafucka if you come out here.” // Words by Jacky Johnson & Maurice G. Garland Photo by D-Ray


The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): DJ Drama & Roccett @ Asylum Records studio suite (Photo: D-Ray); BG & Mistah FAB @ Bar Rio for Rap-A-Lot’s Welcome to Houston party (Photo: Terrence Tyson); J Stalin & Keak da Sneak on the red carpet @ the OZONE Awards (Photo: D-Ray)

The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // Gary Archer & DJ Juice @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 02 // Too Short & Juju eating Harlons BBQ 03 // Vital, Dame, San Quinn, & Mistah FAB @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 04 // Stretch & Killer Mike @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 05 // Big Rich & Krondon from Strong Arm Steady @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 06 // Cellski, Keak da Sneak, & The Jacka @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 07 // DJ Devro & DJ Amen @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 08 // Paul Wall, DJ Drama, & Krondon from Strong Arm Steady @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 09 // Too Short, DJ Demp, & Mistah FAB @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 10 // G-Mack & Glasses Malone @ Grooves for Capitol Records’ TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show 11 // Roccett & KJ Hines @ Asylum Records studio suite during TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 12 // Roccett, Rob G, 211, Osirus, & Willy Northpole @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ 13 // Mistah FAB & Bay Bay backstage @ the OZONE Awards 14 // Rick Edwards & Ms Rivercity @ Grooves for Capitol Records’ TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show 15 // Bay Bay & Lil Quinn @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 16 // Cellski, Krondon from Strong Arm Steady, & Paul Wall @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 17 // Dolla Bill, DJ Big Dee, Dre Dae & ladies @ Club Glo for Boss Hogg & Swishahouse’s TJ’s DJ’s afterparty 18 // K-Boy, Glasses Malone, & Conflict @ Grooves for Capitol Records’ TJ’s DJ’s Tasties Fashion Show 19 // Hurricane Chris & Mistah FAB @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,03,04,05,06,07,08,11,12,16,19); J Lash (17); King Yella (13,15,18); Loaded (02); Terrence Tyson (09,10,14)



rowing up under the influence of Mac Dre is a tough act to follow. But Vital’s motto is “failure is not an option,” which is also the name of his first album. He’s a rapper, singer, and songwriter. His name, Vital, means essential and full of life - this is exactly what the music world needs. Ten years deep in the game, he got started at 14 years old. “My brother took me to the studio,” he recalls. “I spit a mean-ass 16 [bars] and got paid $1,200! I did the right thing with that money too!” He immediately signed with an indie label out of San Francisco called Wash House Music, and has been with them ever since. But please don’t compare him to all the other rappers with a dream. He has a business plan laid out for his music career, unlike most aspiring artists. Seeking a change from his environment, he moved to Atlanta. “We need more unity in the Bay,” he summarizes. “It’s too many chiefs, and not enough Indians! A lot of people out there are on some cocky shit, and barely anybody


is eating. I came to Atlanta and I’ve felt the harmony ever since.” When it comes to his music, Vital says, “I just speak the truth and rap about what I’ve already walked. As you can see so far, I’m not afraid of putting my all into it or changing my area code just to pursue that love that is still flaming.” Having been influenced by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Wu-Tang, Slick Rick, and Tupac, Vital says, “I just want people to love my music the way I loved theirs!” So far, it seems that Vital is making all the right moves in this chess game of the rap industry. And when it comes to the future, it seems that he’ll continue making the right moves. “My goal is for my music to be displayed on a global level,” he says. “I want to make sure my family doesn’t want for nothin’, and I definitely want to give back to the community that made me who I am today!” Let’s see how long a triple threat from Vallejo, California can patiently wait! // Words by Saba G

The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! (above L-R): Hot Rod & Roccett @ Discovery Green for Island Def Jam’s BBQ (Photo: Terrence Tyson); Mistah FAB & Lil Boosie @ OZONE Awards rehearsal (Photo: King Yella); Davey D & DJ Juice @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference (Photo: D-Ray)

The West Coast invaded Houston for the 3rd annual OZONE Awards & TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers DJ/Music Conference! 01 // DJ Smallz & Roccett @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 02 // Glasses Malone & Willy Northpole @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 03 // Dem Hoodstarz & Wendy Day @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 04 // Will Bronson & Glasses Malone @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 05 // Dre Dae, Wendy Day, & DJ Big Dee @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 06 // Bishop Lamont, Killer Mike, & Glasses Malone backstage @ the OZONE Awards 07 // The Pack & J Diggs backstage @ the OZONE Awards 08 // Hot Rod, Willy Northpole, & Jay Rock @ Bar Rio for Rap-A-Lot’s Welcome to Houston party 09 // BedRock & Traxamillion @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 10 // Crooked I, Roccett, & Rob G @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 11 // Lil Scoot, Nick Ngo, Dem HoodStarz, & Davey D @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 12 // Kafani, Laroo, & Cellski on the red carpet @ the 3rd annual OZONE Awards 13 // Mistah FAB & Alfamega @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 14 // Roccett & BOB @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 15 // Mistah FAB, Paul Wall, & Krondon from Strong Arm Steady @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers conference 16 // Roccett & Vital @ TJ’s DJ’s Tastemakers 17 // The Jacka, BOB, & Mistah FAB @ TJ’s DJ’s Artist Panel Photo Credits: D-Ray (02,03,04,05,07,09,10,11,12,14,15,16,17); Ms Rivercity (13); Terrence Tyson (01,06,08)


Right: Mistah FAB and crew



Below: The Pack’s Lil B & Young L

3rd annual recap August 8-11th, 2008 Houston, TX:







Clockwise from left: Demolition Men, The Jacka, Kafani, Roccett, & Keak da Sneak






Too Short (right): I do a little work with OZONE; I write an article here and there. I’ve been with them from the start. I always recognized that OZONE was especially showing love to the Southern artists more than the other magazines. It paid off in the long run because the South started passing everybody up and OZONE was right there with them, being appreciative of the Southern artists, even the up-and-coming artists.



Clockwise from left: Kuzzo Fly, Willy Northpole, J Stalin, & Crooked I

Of course the Houston hometown crowd loved Too Short’s performance (right) of Pimp C’s verse on “Big Pimpin’” during the Pimp C tribute...



3rd annual recap August 8-11th, 2008 Houston, TX:





OZONE WEST at the ozone awards




...but that wasn’t all. The West Coast came back strong with a set that included Mistah FAB, Glasses Malone, and Too Short (left), and as you can see in these pictures (below and above left), pretty much everybody from Cali. Surprise guests like Big Rich, 211, Roccett, Dem HoodStarz, and Strong Arm Steady got some shine on the stage. Even Shawty Lo (above) couldn’t stay away from the action!




Although it’s the birthplace of the Black Panthers and headquarters to the Raider Nation, the music scene in Oakland, California has had its struggles with the idea of unity. Whether it’s radio stations not getting along with artists or artists not getting along with each other, The Bay area as a whole has seen opportunity slip through its fingers by simply not sticking together. New jacks Beeda Weeda, J Stalin and rap vet G Stack hope to change that. Newly cliqued up under the Town Thizzness collective, the trio threatens to redefine the Bay Area rap scene. Sticking to their independent roots, they plan to flood the market with solo albums over the next few months and well into 2009. OZONE West caught up with them during their cover shoot to let them speak on their albums and their movements. Explain to us what exactly is going on with you three and this Town Thizzness situation? Is this a new group? Beeda Weeda: Town Thizness is a branch off of the Thizz movement. So no, were not a group. We’re all separate artists but under the same distribution, coming together under the same umbrella, making a movement over here. Before they said it wasn’t a lot of unity in the Bay, so right now we’re just mobbing together trying to push this movement. I feel like we’re stronger together than by ourselves. By doing this, when we get it, we can actually keep it over here. G Stack: I feel like that’s the main reason the Bay ain’t win; the unity wasn’t there. I’m in a group called The Delinquents. We would invite folks on our records all the time, but people wouldn’t invite us to our shows. But then Beeda and FAB started inviting us out, so it’s been building from there. It seems like there was a huge opportunity a couple years ago when everybody was interested in the hyphy movement. Why wasn’t there any unity at that time? G Stack: I’ve been rapping for 16 years and I come from a era where you did you. But when hyphy came, everybody did that and nothing else, so people just picked the ones they liked. People lost focus. If you’re gonna be hyphy, okay, that’s just a song or two, but what else do you have? We still kinda stuck together by not saying anything and letting people do them. You don’t hate on rock music, so why hate on hyphy? It ain’t like we were hating, we’d just say, hey, that ain’t what we do. The Bay has always been known for being independent, which is good. But do you think in any way that the independent approach and attitude has hindered the music over the last few years from being nationally successful? G Stack: It some cases it did, but in others, it didn’t. For instance, look at when The Luniz did “I Got 5 On It.” That was a big record. They needed a major deal for that to work. If it had been independent, that song would have gotten smothered. But for someone like Brotha Lynch Hung, he probably couldn’t be on a major. They wouldn’t know what to do with him. A lot of folks feel like if you ain’t on a major you ain’t nothing, but we’re about to show them. Independent as fuck! Why you three? We’re sure there were plenty of people that each of you could have hooked up with, but why you three? J Stalin: The homie Stretch is [Mistah] FAB’s manager and he’s kinda me and Beeda’s manager too. He got the Town Thizzness idea from Thizz. I have my own label Livewire as well. Me and Beeda were gonna fuck with SMC on some


group shit, but we weren’t in a rush to sign papers, so we kept progressing. Me, Beeda and Stack already had our own movements before we started fucking with Town Thizzness. I had West Oakland, Beeda had East Oakland and Stack had his Purple movement. Hooking up with Thizz, it ain’t like we needed each other hella much, we just coming together and making it bigger. Was it difficult at all trying to make all of this work, being that there are a lot of interests involved? J Stalin: It wasn’t difficult because the money was right. We weren’t struggling trying to make it. The money was there, and when the funds are there, it’s easier. We’ve all got our own fans. We’re all on some street shit but we’re all different. I just keep it all the way street. I don’t have to sell dope and kill in my raps, but when I spit, it’s based on what I’ve seen and been through. My album is a movie that doesn’t end. It goes from part 1 to 3. You might get some bitches and killers selling dope in there. I’m rappin’ about anything happening to a nigga living the life I lead. I might get burnt in my raps. Yeah, it’s not everyday you hear someone rapping about getting burnt. J Stalin: It’s life. Just imagine all the things a nigga goes through in life. Everybody’s got a story to tell. Some people tell their shit, but some people don’t talk about everything. If it has to do with life, I’m putting it out there. Each of you, tell us about the albums that you are dropping and what to expect from them. J Stalin: My album is called Gas Nation because where I’m from, we call West Oakland “gas nation.” Everybody’s got gas and niggas are just getting gassed. West Oakland is like baby Baghdad. Explain what “gas” is for those who don’t know. J Stalin: Gas is guns, 17 shots or better. Who all did you work with and how was it recording it? J Stalin: It’s mostly me. This is my first nationwide album. My next album Prenuptial Agreement will be out next year. Everybody from E-40 to Too $hort and Mistah F.A.B. is on that one. Gas Nation is just my introduction. I get all my beats first and pick how my album is gonna sound. I ride and listen to instrumentals before I write. Then I just write it out like it’s one big song with different subjects. Beeda, tell me about your album The Thizzness. Beeda Weeda: It’s a set up for Turf Radio. I haven’t put anything out for a year, so I’m letting the fans know what I got coming. On my first album it was already 3 years old. I was a new artist trying to get out, so once people got a grasp of me, they was a little late. Right now I’m focused on being a artist and being professional. Basically what you’re getting is quality music. That’s the


direction I’m going out here showing that I’m ready for the next level. What are you looking forward to the most? Beeda Weeda: I look forward to getting on the road and creating more opportunities for my people; getting out of this environment we’re in. I’m just showing that I’m ready for the next level. You can tell I’m from the bay, but [my music] still has national appeal. The next record will be my big record. In saying that it’s a “big record,” have you been cautious to not make a record that would only get played in the Bay? Beeda Weeda: That’s how I stick out anyway, I talk about everything. Coming from the Bay, off top people think you’re on the hyphy shit. I wanna show that we’re real musicians and artists out here. I come from Oakland and I want to show people what hyphy really comes from. It was never about dancing and dreads. It’s a street word. It means “willing to do anything at anytime.” The light on the Bay came around once and everyone was scrambling to get shit. But now, everybody’s together so we can get it and keep it. Stack, tell us about your album? G Stack: It’s called Dr. Purpthumb. I wanna introduce people to the Purple movement. It’s a get high record. It’s like a cannabis card. When cats have a weed song on the album it’s usually a good one, so I figured I’ll do a whole album [about it]. It’s something to light something up and burn to. Are you worried about the album getting into the wrong hands? Like kids. G Stack: Whoa, whoa. I’m a grown man. When you go to see The Terminator kill people, it says you have to be accompanied by a parent. I ain’t telling nobody to smoke weed. But it just puts you in a mood to blaze something up. But other than that it’s a good record [laughs]. It’s a set up for my next official solo release. It’s got Scarface and Too $hort on it. Being that you’ve been in the game for 16 years, do you see similarities in what’s going on right now and what was happening in the mid-90s? G Stack: What I see right now is that you’ve got J Stalin, Beeda, and D-Lo, you’ve got a few cats doing something, but you’ve also got legends like San Quinn, 40, and $hort still out here so it’s the same scene. I’m having fun with it. You’ve gotta have the respect of your peers, and we’ve got that. As long as cats pass the torch, it’s always gonna be good. You can teach them something. Sometimes cats get so relaxed that they just start thinking, “Oh, I’m relevant anyway.” I don’t feel like that. I do what I got to do. Cats love to get on my records; we one big happy family. We support each other. When someones album comes out we don’t wait to be given one. We buy it. Can you see the Bay getting back to the mid-90s heyday? We got that now. You just ain’t heard everybody yet. //



What’s your most memorable moment as a DJ? The most memorable has to be when I won BET’s Spring Bling DJ Battle a couple of years ago. It was my first major competition, and I was the underdog, for sure. It was kinda funny the looks I got when I told them I was from Denver, and the whispers I could hear. “He’s from WHERE?” In the final round I won over a DJ from Queens, NY. That led to my second most memorable moment when Tony Neal, the CEO of CORE DJs, invited me to be the first CORE DJ from my region. What’s new with you? I just finished the DUB Magazine tour, working with Willy Northpole, who has signed with DTP. We were both proud to represent our areas of the country. Willy is from Phoenix, in the Southwest, and I’m from Denver in the Rocky Mountain region. It’s no secret that I’m heavy in the mixtape business. That’s good, but I can’t relax. Right now I’m concentrating on production and making my brand more recognizable. There are several new ideas in the works, but I can’t talk about them in detail here. I intend to stay the leader of the pack in this market, so that whoever is second dog always has the same lousy view. Where do you DJ? I’ve been traveling a lot and I don’t have a fixed club site, just doing lots of big parties and events now that I’m off the tour. Of course I’m gearing up for the holiday party season. What new projects do you have coming up? As I mentioned earlier, I’m focusing on production. Most of my mixtapes include exclusive material from my studio or by the artists I work with. I have a new mixtape on the shelves with Innerstate Ike called Summer School, and another with Frostie called The Cold Front. My mixtape with Mr. Midas will soon be out, and also one with LG, the hottest R&B group in Denver. Any closing thoughts? I’d like to give a shot out to the whole Denver, CO scene and everyone promoting music here. There’s a lot of action here and room for more artists and DJs, but if you want to work with the best contact me through www.myspace.com/djquote. Words by D-Ray Photos by Chris Vega for CVegaPhoto.com




Glasses Malone & crew Event: 3rd Annual OZONE Awards Venue: George R Brown Convention Center City: Houston, TX Date: August 11th, 2008 Photo: Ben Rose


The Game/L.A.X. Ball Wall Street/Geffen/Interscope The Game is back with what may be his last album, L.A.X., an album which outshines his former crew G Unit’s latest effort, Terminate on Sight. Hi-Tek, Scott Storch, and Kanye West all offer production on L.A.X. and help Game put together a well-crafted sonic journey to the West Coast. Nas joins Game on “Letter to the King,” a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., one of the album’s true standouts. Even without Dr. Dre in his corner, Game keeps the West Coast heavyweight belt for himself. — Rohit Loomba Ice Cube/Raw Footage Lench Mob Two years since the release of his successful independent album Laugh Now, Cry Later, rapper/actor Ice Cube returns to his Niggaz With Attitude roots with his eighth album. This album is an insightful and socially conscious work that still manages to possess a gangster edge and sound to keep heads nodding. “I Got My Locs On” with Young Jeezy, “Gangsta Rap Made Me Do It” and “Take Me Away” are standouts, among many, that speaks for Ice Cube’s ability to drop great music after over 20 years in the game. Raw Footage is a must-listen for any fan of West Coast music, and a must-have for all Ice Cube fans. — Randy Roper Sky Balla/Tycoon Status Koch San Francisco rapper Sky Balla isn’t the best when it comes to going in on the mic. Luckily for him, his production and guest spots on Tycoon Status make up for his lack of microphone prowess. 12 of his 17 tracks feature established artists like Hell Rell, Cassidy, E-40, Slick Pulla, Turf Talk and Mistah F.A.B., and in the process, they assist Balla in releasing a solid album. — Randy Roper

Tech N9ne/KILLER Strange Music With one of the most intricate flows in the game today, Tech N9ne offers up a double-album that is more killer than filler. With a style and demeanor that doesn’t allow him to BS on a track, Tech takes advantage of every second on this album. He also shows that he can go toe-to-toe with rap’s best on songs like “Pillow Talking” featuring Scarface and “Blackboy” featuring Brother J, Krizz Kaliko and Ice Cube. Cognizant of the fact that he is probably one of the, if not the, most slept-on artists in Hip Hop, Tech drops the album’s defining moment with “Why You Ain’t Call Me” where he touches on everything from being passed on by Roc-A-Fella to Ludacris not knowing who he is. — Maurice G. Garland Outlawz/We Want In One Nation Outlawz have always been capable of putting out strong music, despite the shadow that their late mentor 2Pac cast over them. With this effort Outlawz continue to create an identity of their own, backed by some of their best production to date. Playing out similar to a cassette tape, the first six songs come off very strong, but the last six sound a little scattered. Obviously sticking to the theme of the title, hunger, struggle and the grind are the prominent subjects, though it gets to be a bit redundant. Overall, The Outlawz, who typically make good albums, are on their way to making a great one. — Maurice G. Garland Dubb Union/Dogg Style Koch Damani, Bad Lucc and Soopafly, collectively known as Dubb Union (formerly Westurn Union), prove to be a West Coast unit to remember. Coming out of Snoop Dogg’s Doggy Style Records camp and after appearing on Snoop’s albums The Blue Carpet Treatment and The Big Squeeze, Snoop is only featured on this album once (“Don’t Like You Girl”). But with tracks like “Hata Talk” “Welcome To The Major” “Sign Language” and “We Both Know,” the group shows they don’t need the D-O-G-G to make quality music. A couple tracks on this release are skippable but overall, Dubb Union’s album is one to cop. — Randy Roper



Mistah FAB & Too $hort Event: 3rd Annual OZONE Awards Venue: George R Brown Convention Center City: Houston, TX Date: August 11th, 2008 Photo: Ben Rose