RAW, UNCENSORED WEST COAST RAP SHIT
HAJI SPRINGER KUTT CALHOUN PARKER BROTHAZ
RICHIE RICH EXCLUSIVE!
DR DRE’S DETOX REVIEW
THE DRIVE OF
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Publisher Julia Beverly
Editor-AT-LARGE D-Ray GRAPHIC DESIGNER David KA
Music EditorS Randy Roper Maurice G. Garland ADVERTISING SALES Che Johnson Gary Archer Isiah Campbell Richard Spoon Contributors Camilo Smith, DJ BackSide, DJ E-Z Cutt, Gary Archer, Jelani Harper, Jessica Essien, Jessica “Mz Jae” Hagmaier, Joey Colombo, Kay Newell, Keita Jones, Luvva J, Portia Jackson, Tamara Palmer, 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 Nipsey Hussle photo by Ray Tamarra; Richie Rich photo by D-Ray.
hanksgiving! We all gain some extra weight this time of year, either physically or mentally. This is the time of year that you should begin reflecting and giving thanks for all that you’ve accomplished in the past year and begin to set goals for the New Year that’s coming up so fast. We should all take some time out this Holiday to visit someone in your family or someone that has made a difference in your life. People need to see love sometimes to know what it’s supposed to look like and feel like.
pumped about the possible future in a long time. Our votes do count. WOW!
Barack lost his grandmother, someone who played a huge roll in his upbringing. Yet still he had to continue his dream with the heartbreak of his grandmother passing away, never ever being able to hug her again! Believe me, I felt him when he said, “My grandmother is here right now with me in spirit and is seeing all that has been accomplished.” He was able to continue campaigning for what he believed. My prayers go out to Barack because he proved during a tough time in his life that he was still able to overcome the impossible dream of becoming the 44th President of the United Sates. No excuses. R.I.P. Madelyn Dunham!
I flew for the first time on Frontier and I didn’t make the 45 minute cutoff. I know, I have a time management problem. I had to switch flights.
It’s time for the change. History was made! Obama! We all came together and made history in the election, so let’s all come together and make a difference and change for our future. We all know we needed this change like we need the rain, but nobody wants to get wet. You have to change in order for the world to change. It’s okay if to stand out if you believe in something. Barack proved that. I have not been
Big Mike, me, and Gary Archer in Vegas
Me and DJ Franzen @ Poetry in Vegas!
Balance f/ Yukmouth “I’m Good” Damani “Take Somethin’ Home” Omar Cruz f/ Frankie J “To The Top” Traxamillion “U Can Get It” Dogg Pound f/ Cassidy “Attitude Problem” Problem f/ Bangloose & Yung Brah “Bonafied” Keak da Sneak f/ San Quinn “She’s Fine”
Also, it’s that time of year where millions of people are travelling and are stressed out trying to make flights to see the people in their life that matter. Whatever you do, pay close attention to all the new rules and fees. If you choose Frontier Airlines, you better be there an hour before the flight or you will not make it! No ifs, ands, or cigarette butts about it.
I like to fly Southwest because I know I can always make that flight, no matter what. Five minutes before takeoff they even reopened the plane door for me. Did I mention that I have a time management problem? And on Southwest, you can take a carry-on, a purse, or a laptop as a second carry-on. Don’t you dare try this with Frontier. You will never get away with a bag, a purse, or even a coin purse. They will stop you from boarding the plane and charge you for that second item to be checked in! Believe it. What I cant understand is, why does a more expensive airline charge extra for something a less expensive airline gives away for free? Maybe that’s why Southwest is one of the only airlines that’s not in bankruptcy. So go Southwest. Like this magazine, we are South West!
- D-Ray Editor-At-Large firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Bay to LA: Green Up! Roccett, Smurf, Rob G, DJ Mike Smoove, me, and a bunch of other cats!
TOP 10 SLAPS
E-40 f/ Shawty Lo “Break Your Ankles” Mistah FAB “Swagology” Murs “Can It Be”
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Compton’s Most Wanted f/ Scarface “N 2 Deep” Compton’s Most Wanted’s Music To Drive By, 1992 On what was probably the first South and West collaboration ever, MC Eiht and ‘Face exercised their G to the fullest extent. 8Ball & MJG f/ E-40, Big Mike, & Mac Mall “Friend Or Foe” 8Ball & MJG’s On Top of The World, 1995 This gem featured some of the truest words ever recorded when it comes to that one thing everybody wants, but nobody seems to find. Trust. Dr. Dre f/ Snoop Dogg & Devin the Dude “Fuck You” Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001, 1999
Dre + Snoop + Devin x Sex ÷ Mary Jane = Great song. Scarface f/ Too $hort, Devin the Dude & Tela “Fuck Faces” Scarface’s My Homies, 1998 Before “bumping uglies” became the new slang, this song let you know what’s on the mind of men 24/7 while the beat helped the ladies like it too, even with that “thick white snot” line. E-40 f/ Petey Pablo, Lil Jon, Bun B & 8Ball “Rep Yo City” E-40’s Grit & Grind, 2002 40’s first dabble into Crunk territory sounded so obvious on paper, but on the radio it sounded so good. Killer Mike f/ Ice
Cube “Pressure” Killer Mike’s I Pledge Allegiance To The Grind, Vol. 2, 2008 The student and the teacher both go in and bust a few pipes, as well as a couple politician’s balls. Tash (of Tha Alkaholiks) f/ Outkast, Phil The Agony & BReal “Smokefest” Tash’s Raplife, 1999 Four heads on one blunt (Dre didn’t hit it) is usually a bad thing, but this relatively unknown collab is a smoker. C-Murder f/ Magic & Snoop Dogg “Down 4 My Niggaz” C-Murder’s Trapped In Crime, 2000 Consistently rated the #1 song to get the
club poppin’ by DJs in OZONE’s annual DJ issue survey, the utmost down-for-my-homies song came from Snoop’s days with the No Limit soldiers. Lil Jon f/ E-40 & Sean Paul “Snap Yo Fingas” Lil Jon’s Crunk Rock, Unreleased (2007) With a little help from 40 Water and Sean P, Lil Jon came up with an easy dance that you could all by yourself. Scarface f/ 2Pac & Johnny P “Smile” Scarface’s The Untouchable, 1997 Sadly, one of Tupac Shakur’s best collaborations came alongside Brad Jordan, shortly after Pac’s untimely death. Devin the Dude
f/ Andre 3000 & Snoop Dogg “What A Job” Devin the Dude’s Waitin’ To Inhale, 2007 The Dude, Three Stacks and Uncle Snoop detail the ups and downs of a career in rap music. E-40 f/ T-Pain & Kandi “U and Dat” E-40’s My Ghetto Report Card, 2006 40 and Teddy Pain were shakin’, stickin’ and movin’ along with Kandi on this hit single from E-40’s My Ghetto Report Card album. Too $hort f/ Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz “Shake That Monkey” Too $hort’s Married to the Game, 2003 In 2003, this record by Short Dawg and the Kings of Crunk had plenty of monkey-
With both spending respective time at the bottom of the Hip Hop totem pole as well as the spotlight, the South and West coasts are like musical cousins. Every once in a while fans get treated to a fusion of the two, and the results are usually dope. Here are 15 of the finest moments in South and West collabos.
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shaking women going bananas in the club. Scarface f/ Ice Cube & Devin The Dude “Hand of the Dead Body” Scarface’s The Diary, 1994 Off of Scarface’s classic third album, The Diary; Face, Cube and Devin stood up against criticism of gangster rap. Too Short f/ 8Ball & MJG “Don’t Stop Rappin’” Too Short’s Can’t Stay Away, 1999 After coming out of a three-year retirement to release his 11th album, Short kept the rhymes coming with Orange Mound, Tennessee rap veterans Ball & G. Compiled by Maurice G. Garland & Randy Roper
(above L-R): Mr Midas & Roccett @ Hip Hop Heaven for Roccett’s in-store in Denver, CO (Photo: Adam Van Vranken); TI & Pleasure P @ Caesar’s Palace for When I Move You Move in Las Vegas, NV (Photo: Julia Beverly); Kimora Lee Simmons @ Magic in Las Vegas, NV (Photo: King Yella)
01 // Gary Archer & Glasses Malone @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 02 // Kilo, Big Dante, & Rydah J Klyde @ Time Out for J Diggs’ birthday party (Concord, CA) 03 // Lil Duval, Kevin Delaney, & Clay Evans @ Caesar’s Palace for When I Move You Move (Las Vegas, NV) 04 // 4x4 & K-Loc @ Fat City for Mistah FAB’s mixtape release party (San Francisco, CA) 05 // Goldie & Haji Springer on the set of Haji Springer’s “Hurry Up & Buy” video shoot (San Jose, CA) 06 // Lil Duval & Yung LA @ Caesar’s Palace for When I Move You Move (Las Vegas, NV) 07 // Damani, Mistah FAB, Glasses Malone, & Roccett @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) 08 // Don Cannon, Julia Beverly, & TJ Chapman @ The Palms Hardwood Suite for EA Sports party (Las Vegas, NV) 09 // Haji Springer loves the kids on the set of Haji Springer’s “Hurry Up & Buy” video shoot (San Jose, CA) 10 // Guest & Goldie @ Palms (Las Vegas, NV) 11 // Rydah J Klyde & Big Daddy Rich @ Time Out for J Diggs’ birthday party (Concord, CA) 12 // DJ Smooth, Rob G, Big Tuck, Roccett, Spark Dawg, Tum Tum, & K-Boy @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) 13 // Freddie Hot Sauce & Dat Boi on the set of Dem Hoodstarz video shoot (East Palo Alto, CA) 14 // Rob G & Smurf @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 15 // Tito Bell & Maya B on the set of Haji Springer’s “Hurry Up & Buy” video shoot (San Jose, CA) 16 // Jay Jay & TJ Chapman @ The Palms Hardwood Suite for EA Sports party (Las Vegas, NV) 17 // Haji Springer & XSF @ The Record House (Fremont, CA) 18 // DJ Franzen & Cellski @ Club Moon in The Palms (Las Vegas, NV) 19 // Chuck & E-40 on the set of Dem Hoodstarz video shoot (East Palo Alto, CA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,02,05,07,08,09,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19); 4x4 (04); Julia Beverly (03,06)
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She Liked my NECKLACE and started relaxin’, that’s what the fuck I call a…
THIS INDIAN RAPPER HUSTLES 24/7 IN THE BAY
an, this piece is my new joint. I just got it from Highline Jewelry. What up, Carl?
I stay fresh. It’s 25 karats of super white and green diamonds, and 12 karats of red rubies. This shit ain’t no joke. It’s like 1,000 grams of gold. I got this piece to represent a couple things in my life. First, it represents the hustle. 7-Elevens are open 24/7, and that’s how the music game is. I live this everyday non-stop. I’m not your couch rapper, I get out there 24/7, and I’m everywhere like 7-Elevens.
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The second reason my people own stores, especially 7-Elevens, so I wanted to represent that as well. People already want to know what I paid for it. I just tell them it cost me more then a few Slurpees. (laughs) Big shout out to J. Diggs & Kilo at THIZZ, and Rest In Peace Mac Dre and Johnny Cash. // myspace.com/hajispringer
As told to D-Ray Photo by D-Ray
(above L-R): Big Boy & Baby Bash @ Cali Expo Mexican Independence Day in Sacramento, CA; Arab & Soulja Boy @ Magic in Las Vegas, NV (Photos: D-Ray); J Prince & Jay Jay @ Club Moon in The Palms in Las Vegas, NV (Photo: D-Ray)
01 // Scooter Braun, Kevin Delaney, Asher Roth, & Dante Ross @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) 02 // Roccett, DJ KTone, & Hawkman @ Blue Ice (Denver, CO) 03 // Haji Springer, Gor, & J Diggs @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 04 // Maroy, Tito Bell, & Dre Dae @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 05 // J Diggs & Roccett @ Club Moon in The Palms (Las Vegas, NV) 06 // Mistah FAB & Julia Beverly @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 07 // Talib Kweli, DJ Eque, & Mitchy Slick @ Leverde Lounge for his birthday party (San Francisco, CA) 08 // Spark Dawg & Michael Watts @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 09 // Tum Tum & Michael Watts @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) 10 // Chingo Bling & Haji Springer on the set of Haji Springer’s “Hurry Up & Buy” video shoot (San Jose, CA) 11 // DJ Big Dee & Dre Dae @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) 12 // Beeda Weeda, J Moe, & J Stalin @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 13 // Gary Archer, Chace, & Davey D @ Grand Ballroom for Hip Hop Sony Live Tour (San Francisco, CA) 14 // Kilo & J Diggs @ Club Zokku for Playaz Club (San Francisco, CA) 15 // Jay Jay & ladies @ Club Moon in The Palms (Las Vegas, NV) 16 // TI & MLK @ Caesar’s Palace for When I Move You Move (Las Vegas, NV) 17 // DJ Smooth, Damani, Mistah FAB, K-Boy, Glasses Malone, Rob G, Roccett, T-Banks, & Cellski @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) Photo Credits: Adam Van Vranken (02); D-Ray (05,06,07,09,10,12,13,14,15,17); Julia Beverly (01,03,04,08,16); King Yella (11)
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ike Chamillionaire says, “With so much drama in the industry, Hip Hop police are listening.” Hearing a statement like that immediately brings to mind cities like New York, Compton, or Miami. But recently, the Hip Hop police have formed in one of the most unlikeliest cities: Colorado Springs, CO. The Colorado Springs Police Department created a special task force, the Community Impact Team, or CIT, to aid in “controlling” the growing Hip Hop fan base that has been taking over the small city since the birth of the genre. “The people we look for are the ones that like this kind of music,” said CIT Police Lt. Thomas Harris in an interview with the Colorado Springs Gazette. Racial profiling was an affliction facing our urban communities in the early 90s. It seems that the millennium brought about a change in how law enforcement is choosing to handle business. Everything must evolve or die, and it seems now, that at least in Colorado Springs, with the introduction of the CIT, racial profiling has evolved into a monster: cultural profiling. In order to understand the formation of the task force, one must first understand the dynamic of the city. Quite simply, Colorado Springs is a military town. The city is home to tens of thousands of military troops, almost none of whom are from Colorado. Walking onto any one of the five military institutions scattered throughout the city is like walking down South Beach, or through Bankhead and Houston, or even Birmingham. The South lives in Colorado Springs, which has unjustifiably caused the CSPD to target any and everything Hip Hop, because according to the CIT, Hip Hop venues, including concerts, are “hot beds for criminal activity.” The truth is that there is money - lots of money 10 // OZONE WEST
associated with the military in Colorado Springs. Nine out of ten soldiers are deployed to Iraq for at least six months, often more than once during their assignment in the city. And those who are fortunate enough to make it back come back paid. Special duty pay, hazard pay, bonuses, remote pay, and housing assistance all add up where there’s no time, or place, to spend. So, when they return to the states the soldiers spend. They spend on rims, VIP, clothes, jewelry, cars; all the material possessions associated with Hip Hop culture. The CIT has chosen to target the entire culture, rather than the individual. The homicide rate in Colorado Springs equaled that of Denver’s last year. And of ten homicides committed between May and July, the police positively linked one to Hip Hop. However, it seems to be the only one. In a press release to the media CSPD cited other reasons for creating the task force, but have only produced circumstantial evidence and opinions to offer as fact in an effort to justify it. In all fairness the police are justified in their concern for the safety of those at any large gathering. However, when that concern is targeted at only one group, simply because of one common thread, because of the music the members listen to, then it becomes a bigger issue, making it appear that the CSPD has taken a step back in time, and in equality. Hip Hop is not clean cut. It never has been, and that is one of the reasons it is so popular, yet so controversial. Hip Hop does not partake in fanciful storytelling, or offer fairy tale endings. Rather than convolute the truth to be accepted by mainstream society, Hip Hop artists tell it how it is, no matter how gritty, no matter how disturbing, no matter how real. If all one knows is the struggle for everyday life, that is the story
that needs to be told and heard, and Hip Hop allows the message to be expressed. If Hip Hop tried to appeal to mainstream society, and didn’t address the issues and the struggles that are at the core of the music, it wouldn’t have grown to become as successful (and ironically, mainstream) as it is today. Hip Hop must address the truths that so many people live through and triumph over. This is not an attack on CSPD, or any other police department that has similar practices. Instead, it is a wake up call for all the members of our society, and our culture, and to the powers that be that have approved the formations in the first place. The days of segregation and clear cut inequality between the races and sexes are essentially over, so why has our society made it acceptable to target, and in turn segregate, a large portion of the community based on their musical preference? A year after its formation, the CIT is still operating in full force. Night clubs have been shut down and concerts have been cancelled. For some concerts that did happen, the artists were banned from performing any songs that in any way painted law enforcement in a negative light. So on top of cultural profiling, some individuals are having their first amendment right violated as well. It’s been a year, and there has been no change, no improvements, no evolution toward a more positive co-existence. “With so much drama in the industry, Hip Hop police are listening. Be careful or you’ll be history, looks like another unsolved mystery. It’s Murda.” by Jessica Hagmaier
(above L-R): Big Tuck & Tum Tum @ Magic in Las Vegas, NV; AP9 & Baby Bash on the set of Haji Springer’s “Hurry Up & Buy” video shoot in San Jose, CA (Photos: D-Ray); Asher Roth & Don Cannon @ The Palms for EA Sports party in Las Vegas, NV (Photo: Julia Beverly)
01 // Paul Wall, Gary Archer, & Goldie @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) 02 // Haitian Fresh & Pleasure P @ Caesar’s Palace for When I Move You Move (Las Vegas, NV) 03 // TJ Chapman & Lil Duval @ Caesar’s Palace for When I Move You Move (Las Vegas, NV) 04 // Mistah FAB & Cool Nuts @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 05 // Pleasure P & models @ Caesar’s Palace for When I Move You Move (Las Vegas, NV) 06 // Mistah FAB & Jacky @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) 07 // AP9 & Haji Springer on the set of Haji Springer’s “Hurry Up & Buy” video shoot (San Jose, CA) 08 // J Diggs, Pimpin Ken, & Maroy @ The Crest Theater (Fresno, CA) 09 // Krizz Kalico, Kutt Calhoun, & Tech N9ne @ Grand Ball Room (San Francisco, CA) 10 // Dummy Juice & Haji Springer @ Cali Expo Mexican Independence Day (Sacramento, CA) 11 // Cellski & Roccett @ Club Moon in The Palms (Las Vegas, NV) 12 // Julia Beverly & Damani @ The Palms for EA Sports party (Las Vegas, NV) 13 // Demolition Men & Haji Springer @ Street Symphony Studio (Fremont, CA) 14 // Roccett, J Diggs, & Smurf @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 15 // Harm & Indie @ The Crest Theater (Fresno, CA) 16 // TD & ladies @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 17 // Gary Archer, Mistah FAB, & Stretch @ Washington Park (Alameda, CA) 18 // DJ Smooth & Slyvon @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) 19 // T & Roccett @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,04,06,07,08,09,10,11,12,13,14,15,17,18); Julia Beverly (02,03,05,16,19)
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fter hearing the story of R&B singer Deltrice, its a wonder how the Destiny Childs and Ne-Yos of the world can write songs about independent women and not name-drop her. Born in San Francisco and raised in Vallejo, Deltrice practically came up in a household of performers. “My mom was my inspiration. She would grab the microphone and demand attention with her first note,” Deltrice recalls of her mother, who served as head director of the church choir. “She’s no joke. I get it from my momma.” Although her father was the pastor of the same church, Deltrice didn’t inherit his public speaking skills. For years she was too shy to share her gift anywhere besides the mirror. But when she finally mustered the courage to go in front of the congregation and sing, she became convinced that this was what she was born to do. “I would sing in church and people would cry, catch the holy ghost, fall out and all of that,” she remembers. “That’s when I realized I didn’t give a damn what people thought anymore.” Since then Deltrice has graced numerous stages including the Apollo and Good Morning Sacramento. She was a co-finalist Missy Elliot’s 2005 show Road To Stardom. Disappointed but not discouraged by her second place finish, she trekked to Las Vegas and begin working on her first mixtape, Deltrice: The Mixtape Vol. 1. Taking a week to record non-stop, the mixtape sold over 10,000 copies independently thanks to her relentless promotional schedule that included performances everywhere from birthday parties to nightclubs. Dubbing herself the “voice of the streets,” Deltrice is now perfecting her blend of R&B and Hip Hop by working with producers like Souldiggaz (Missy Elliot, Beyonce, Mary J. Blige) and Tim and Bob (Bobby Valentino). She’s also sticking to her roots by spending plenty of time in the studio with artists like The Jacka, AP9 & Fed X of Mob Figaz, Willie Joe, B-Legit and Jim Jones. “I challenge the industry to give me one chance,” says the petite singer, who isn’t afraid to admit that her bold appearance and rough upbringing often turns people off to her music. “I feel like I’m what they’re missing. I’m that they need. If you think I’m wrong, come see me and I will make you a believer.”
Interview by Saba G Words by Maurice G. Garland Photo by D-Ray 12 // OZONE WEST
(above L-R): Glasses Malone & Tum Tum @ Magic in Las Vegas, NV; Haji Springer & J Diggs @ Time Out for J Diggs’ birthday party in Concord, CA; Mitchy Slick & JT Tha Bigga Figga @ Grand Ballroom for Hip Hop Sony Live Tour in San Francisco, CA (Photos: D-Ray)
01 // Haji Springer, DJ Franzen, & J Diggs @ Palms (Las Vegas, NV) 02 // Guest & Jacky @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 03 // Roccett & K Boy @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 04 // Manesa & E40 on the set of Dem Hoodstarz video shoot (East Palo Alto, CA) 05 // Dre Dae & Cino @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) 06 // David Banner & DJ Quote @ DUB Car Show (Los Angeles, CA) 07 // J Diggs & Pimpin Ken @ Time Out for J Diggs’ birthday party (Concord, CA) 08 // Chingo Bling distributing free tamales on the set of Haji Springer’s “Hurry Up & Buy” video shoot (San Jose, CA) 09 // J Prince & Julia Beverly @ Club Moon in The Palms (Las Vegas, NV) 10 // Kimo & Mac Mall @ Time Out for J Diggs’ birthday party (Concord, CA) 11 // Sean Kennedy & Mistah FAB @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) 12 // Money Tree Twins & Chingo Bling on the set of Haji Springer’s “Hurry Up & Buy” video shoot (San Jose, CA) 13 // Jay Jay & Too Short @ Club Moon in The Palms (Las Vegas, NV) 14 // Tito Bell & YB @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 15 // Jacky & Matt Daniels @ The Palms Hardwood Suite for EA Sports party (Las Vegas, NV) 16 // J Diggs & Mistah FAB @ Poetry (Las Vegas, NV) 17 // Dem Hoodstarz & Big Rich on the set of Dem Hoodstarz video shoot (East Palo Alto, CA) 18 // K-Boy & Julia Bond @ Magic (Las Vegas, NV) 19 // T-Banks & Roccett @ Club Moon in The Palms (Las Vegas, NV) Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,02,04,07,08,09,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19); DJ Quote (06); Julia Beverly (03,05)
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he hibernation is over,” Kutt declares in an almost confrontational manner. “Nigga, the bear is back and ready to attack.”
While sitting on the tour bus waiting for stage call, Kutt Calhoun talks about his sophomore album release as if it’s the single most significant event in his life. Though he’s had many triumphs as a member of Tech N9ne and Travis O’Guin’s Strange Music label, the October 08 release of Feature Presentation was probably his most anticipated conquest. “The people been waiting for it,” says Kutt. “It’s been over four years since my last album came out. It’s long overdue.” Maturing both as an emcee and as a man since recording his first album B.L.E.V.E., Kutt sought to put more of himself into the follow-up project. Exploring elements of his personal life in songs like “Letter to My Kids” and “The Green Mile,” Kutt details his experiences on the road and the effects they’ve had on his various relationships. But keeping true to his street roots, Kutt redelivers with the same edge that made his first album so popular. Tracks like “Killa City” and “Colors” reflect on the violence and gang activity infecting Kansas City, Kutt’s hometown. “We got a bad rep in Kansas City,” Kutt explains. “It ain’t good to say, but
we’re one of the Top 5 in murders. That’s not a positive thing but it’s one of the things we’re known for. We’re a little city that gets down just like any major city.” It’s this gritty environment that shaped Kutt as a young man. During his teen years, Kutt fell into the common trap of selling drugs to support himself. And had it not been for divine intervention, Kutt’s future may have never materialized into what it is today. Facing death after a gunshot wound to his back, he luckily walked away from the drug game and found a new home in the studio, where his gift for storytelling manifested. Since the late 90s, Kutt Calhoun’s camaraderie with Tech N9ne and his label mates has taken him all across the country, even affording him the opportunity to perform overseas. As a hype man and solo artist, Kutt has found a unique niche in the Strange Music family. Jokingly referring to himself as the red-headed stepchild of Strange Music, Kutt’s “bad seed” qualities appeal to his listeners, adding enormous value and versatility to the label. “Tech’s doing his thing and bringing everybody up with him,” Kutt explains. “He’s the general, then you got the lieutenants. You got Skatterman and Snug Brim; we signed to the label at the same time. You got Krizz Kaliko. Everybody’s got their own path, but we’re all a conglomerate of one.” And after a four-year hiatus, Kutt’s path has him back in the limelight with a leading role in the Feature Presentation. Words by Ms. Rivercity Photo by Joshua Hoffine
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Patiaitenintly W g
he Pacific Northwest hasn’t gotten any shine since Sir Mix-a-Lot revealed his love for rotund hind parts in 1992, but Seattle’s Parker Brothaz have made it their mission to change that. Blood brothers Stretch, 26, and Eclipse, 28, have been grinding on the Seattle scene with local production team Tha Bizness (Dow Jones and J-Hen) since 2004. And with their debut album So Fresh Coast in stores and Tha Bizness steadily rising to become industry heavyweights, it’s probably time you met the Parkers. “I talk with a twang, they all want to know / Where I’m from, and when they ask I tell ‘em fresh out the sto’” raps Eclipse. But the Parkers are also fresh out of Washington state’s Sea-town. “Seattle is pretty much only known for rain and coffee,” notes Eclipse. “But it’s really a big gumbo pot. It’s diverse and we’ve got a lot of different things going on.” Geographically, Seattle couldn’t be too much more West Coast, but when it comes to Hip Hop, it might as well be in Canada. “I was down in L.A., and people would say that Seattle isn’t West Coast,” Eclipse recalled. “So we started the Fresh Coast movement.” The Fresh Coast movement may be a response to the industry’s blind eye, but it also captures the essence of their music. “We make a lot of feel-good joints,” explains Stretch. “Our music is smooth and funky- fresh music you can ride to.” The Parker Brothaz self-described “2008 g-funk” is indigenous, but it also incorporates outside influences provided by Seattle’s large outof-towner population. On “Two Times,” Eclipse incorporates Southern and Bay Area slang with some local iconography, rapping “Scraping down I-5
riding dirty / Down on Madison grinding in my Hasselbeck jersey.” The Parkers sound is radio ready, easily flipping both stuntin’ anthems like “Two Times” and “I’m a Star” and catchy “girl” records like “Text Me” and “Leon Phelps.” Though the Brothaz can handle themselves on any type of record, it seems that their best wordplay, punch lines and double entendres are reserved for their odes to the opposite sex. On “Leon Phelps” Eclipse spits, “My game tight, I don’t need no help / I’m like a buffet pimp, I can help myself.” The Parker Brothaz have helped themselves as much as they can in Seattle, but they have decided to take their show on the road to make it to the next level. With Tha Bizness’s recent success down South with major artists like Young Jeezy and Lil Wayne, the Parker Brothaz are relocating to the ATL to reconvene with their longtime friends and collaborators. “We were on in Seattle,” explains Stretch, “but we need to get on that bigger stage to really put us on the map.” With Tha Bizness on the tracks and Seattle on their backs, the Parker Brothaz have the deck stacked. Game on. You can find the Parker Brothaz online at www.myspace.com/therealparkerbrothaz and their debut album So Fresh Coast on I-Tunes. Words by Lukas Brekke-Miesner Photo by Locked Photography OZONE WEST // 15
WORDS BY Kay Newell PHOTOS BY D-Ray There’s a lot of truth in the SAYING “a first impression makes a lasting impression.” Coming from an affluent two-parent home in a quiet Oakland suburb is one way to make that impression. somewhere along the way, that stayed true in young Richie Rich (nee Richard Serrell). Since he hasn’t dropped a solo album, compilation or single since 2004, one might think he would be doing bad. Not to mention the fact that these days, records aren’t flying off the shelves and radio isn’t supportive. Yet drivin’ down the road in the tiny city of Alameda, Rich pulls into the parking lot in his shiny all-black Range Rover with matching black 22-inch rims. The paper license plate indicates the car is a new purchase from one of only six Range Rover dealerships in northern California. He exits the vehicle with a car around his neck (the diamond cross pendant and chain) and a house on his wrist (the iced out Jacob face in his watch), eliminating any doubts about his current status.
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As co-founder of the group 415, Rich (along with DJ Daryl and D-Loc) opened a lot of doors for the town when they dropped their biggest hit, “Sideshow,” an ode to the night time activities in Oakland that eventually made national headlines for its risky car antics. That single carried weight for the group until Rich was convicted on drug charges, which led to their disbanding. Since his release, Rich has given the rap game four solo albums, including the ‘96 Def Jam release of Seasoned Veteran which spawned the hits “Let’s Ride,” “Do G’s Get To Go To Heaven?” and the underrated collabo with TLC’s T-Boz for the remix of “Touch Myself.” 2Pac appeared on “Niggas Done Changed” and Rich returned the favor, appearing on the All Eyez On Me album (“Rather Be Ya Nigga” and “Ain’t Hard 2 Find”). Looking ahead, Rich is ready to get active with a new album and a solid plan to sell units. And as always, he’s loaded with invaluable game that is to be sold not told. What have you been doing since you released the Grab, Snatches and Takes compilation in ’04? I kinda sat the hyphy movement out for various reasons I won’t get into in hopes of bringing this music back. We need support from radio for one, and we need support from our communities, too. I’m kinda givin’ that a minute to pass over because I make a whole different type of music.
Since the younger generation is on the hyphy go-dumb tip, do you feel like they will be able to relate to the new music you’re dropping? The OGs are going to definitely be around to feel it, but I’ve got music for the youngsters too because right now these youngsters are hungry for something real. I believe that’s why we’re in the state we’re in, because they raised themselves. There ain’t no male father figures or big brothers to tell these young cats what’s really going on. It’s 2008 and Oakland’s murder rate continues to escalate at an all-time high. This has been going on since the late 80s. Do you feel it’s worse now than when you were coming up? 415 came right out after N.W.A, so that was right around the era of the gangsta shit. Then niggas start jackin’. But in Oakland back then people was getting killed for reasons—money, turf wars, shit like that. I don’t know what these youngsters are on, ‘cause I don’t be out there wigglin’ like I used to, but I know they’re poppin’ them off at a rapid rate. I used to think it was only in Oakland, but shit is poppin’ off everywhere. Ghettos everywhere are on the same shit, and I think what it goes back to is no parenting. A lot of these kids--I sold dope to their parents. We used to call this the crack baby era, because they parents were in that last 10-to-15 year span. I think that’s where shit got outta control. The reason I think that is because the shit happens everywhere—in other states, different cities. The only logic to me is
that the cocaine era left a lot of kids to just raise themselves. Tell us about the dope case you caught that eventually led to the break-up of 415. In ‘88-‘90 we just popped, we were on fire. Then in ’90 or ‘91 I got caught up with the dope. I did 240 days in county. They offered me a 90-day option in the pen or a county year, which is 240 days. I took the county year and everybody thought I was crazy. Even my attorney was like, “Why would you take the 240 days instead of the 90-day opt? Go to [San] Quentin for 90 days and you’re out!” It wasn’t about the prison facility, it was that I wanted probation over parole. You can’t get off that parole, that parole is cold. And once again, that goes back to the youngsters who don’t have nobody to tell ‘em. They don’t tell you what CJS means. You go to court and they tell you, “We’ll let you out today and you take the CJS.” All they hear is “let you out today.” CJS means “county joint suspended,” so that means if you get busted for something else, that automatically means 12 months in the pen. A lot of people don’t know that shit. I wanted probation over parole. If you’re on parole and a nigga comes over and shoots you, [as] soon as you go to the hospital and leave there, your ass is goin’ to jail. You’re not suppose to come in contact with no police, no nothin’. That’s hard to beat when you gotta live in Oakland. Probation is longer but it’s easier to beat. Niggas don’t know that. What did you take away from your experiences upon your release from prison? Shit became like camp. What I didn’t dig was
when a muthafucka gon’ tell me to eat, when I’m gon’ shit, when I’m finna move over here. If this nigga in the pod doesn’t have his bed made up then everyone in the pod suffers. I wasn’t really feelin’ the way they ran it so I told myself, “Either you gon’ have to quit hustlin’ or you gon’ have to get a whole lot slicker ‘cause the jail shit just ain’t for me.” I’m not sayin’ it’s for nobody but it wasn’t for me, fo sho! It’s like playin’ tag -- if you could you’re never “it” and you get away every muthafuckin’ time. That’s when I started changing damn near the way I did everything. You said you didn’t want to get into too much detail about your take on the Bay movement, but your opinion matters considering that you are one of the veterans in the rap game. What was it about the movement you didn’t like? Not that I didn’t like it; the shit knock, it slaps, but that ain’t what I do. So I woulda been feelin’ like I was fakin’ tryin’ to do [hyphy music]. To put it in terms where you can understand me, basically if we were to categorize rap as food, you’d say, “Richie Rich be spittin’ that chicken” and then people want to [eat] pizza next month, I’m not just gon’ start makin’ pizzas. When niggas get back to wanting some chicken, that’s what I got. But with the hyphy shit, I don’t think they should’ve done so much copyin’ each other. I think that’s what slowed down the Bay Area’s creativity. It ain’t a bunch of different shit no more. Back in the day 415 was hard and gangsta, Short was pimpin’, Dangerous Dame was real smooth radio-type shit, and we were all cool. When we were kids, I had 4 or 5 niggas -- one of ‘em had braids, the other nigga had a fade, the other one had long ass hair and I had a ‘fro. It
wasn’t so much clonin’ and copy-cattin’. There’s no originality [now] and I think that’s what fucked the music up. What I hate the most is that when the Bay Area did have its last little glow, the last little hooray, shit was gettin’ played [on the radio] but niggas didn’t have nothin’ in the store. Niggas burnt up good radio play. Once again, it goes back to nobody teachin’ these youngsters. [They think], “I gotta get my shit out there so my shit can be heard.” But the truth is, that’s like me standing on the corner tellin’ muthafuckas, “This nigga has the most potent weed in the world, right down the street.” And all these cars are pullin’ up, like, “Where he at?” and I’m like, “The weed is right down there.” People pull up, like, “Let me get a fifty or hunned sack,” and he says, “I ain’t got it right now.” Now do you think they’re gon’ come back after they just heard this nigga broadcastin’ this weed ova here and can’t nobody get nothin’? That’s the same thing as burnin’ radio play when you ain’t got nothin’ in the market for sale. You’d be better off gettin’ your records ready, gettin’ them in the stores and then approaching radio. What’s good with the new album? Are you ready to come back? I got so many songs; I got about 50 or 60 good songs done. What I’m doing right now is entertaining my options on what channels I’m gon’ use to put that thang out. This shit is like a crap shoot, and I feel like I’m a hot nigga. And if I can’t come in hot then I might just come in from a whole different angle. I’ll go work my thang from the other side of the world, heat it, and then come back. There’s different ways to do shit. //
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Los Angeles native Nipsey Hussle is just starting to get his swerve on and forge a different lane in the music business, signing a deal through Epic Records, once or presently home to such icons as AC/DC, Electric Light Orchestra and Michael Jackson, and readying an album for the top of the year. A surprisingly sharp shooter, Hussle is ready to be a contender.
producing and engineering and the measures he’s taken to make sure he’s not perceived as “just another ignorant rapper.”
Although he’s worked with big names like The Game and Sean Kingston, he’d prefer to become known on his own, without having to be co-signed by anyone else. In this interview, he reveals his one-man band talents of rapping,
Is that program that you participated in still around? Yeah, as a matter of fact, it’s [still] every Saturday at the Watts Towers. It’s an after-school program to try to keep at-risk kids out of trouble. And it
How long have you been making music? I’ve been making songs and all that since I was like twelve years old, but I really started going to the studio and making records when I was 14. There was a community outreach [program] that had a free little studio setup and I used to go there once a week every Saturday at the Watts Towers. They taught me how to use all the equipment. They taught me how to produce, how to engineer and everything, so besides rapping and all that I can be an engineer in the studio. I’m fully A to Z equipped with all that shit because I came up in a studio environment. I’ve been really devoted to recording and started making projects and started working towards all of that since I was 14.
worked for me. What do you think your life would have been like if you didn’t have that? I’m not going to say solely that was the reason why I ended up in a positive direction. That had a major influence because at that age, the early teens, it could go either way. And I was already in the streets but that was kind of like my deterrent. When shit got too hot in the streets, a lot of people could fall back into nothing. I fell back into the studio. And then I could vent, speak on what was happening and get that shit off my chest. Every now and again I would relapse and be back in the streets but I always had the studio to step back into. So to answer that question, without a studio, though, I would have been fullon crippin’, gangbanging, no question. But since I had access to different studios and I could be creative and all that, I started to see a different lane. Would you say that older people or OGs in the neighborhood noticed your talent and helped keep you out of trouble? I can name on my hand the people that did
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help me, like my manager Big U. He came home from the pen [after doing] 13 years. He missed his whole 20s. He was in the pen from, like, 19 to 30-something. He came home and was real plugged in with the music industry. At that point, I had already taken my independent route, put out mixtapes, invested in my company, built relationships with different DJs and tried to put my best foot forward. I had my own resources and outlets. So when Big U came home, he met me halfway. It was like, we’re going to team up and we’re going to get this shit going. It wasn’t an overnight situation. We were punching for a couple of years. I think [my manager] has been home for three years now. He sent me to go do shows in Tokyo; they gave me $10,000 cash. He got me the Adidas shoe deal. He introduced me to Jon Shapiro, who in turn signed me to Epic. He also secured me a movie deal, a joint venture with Jeff Clanagan, who owns Code Black, and Epic. They’re going to put out a feature film called Blue Laces in conjunction with my album. I say all that to tell you that Big U was one of the only ones in the neighborhood that saw what I was doing and instead of being jealous or being on some hating shit, he reached out and [showed me] what combined, we could bring to the table if he endorsed what I was doing. Him being an original homie from that original era, once he got behind my shit, a lot of the older homies that were hating or going against the grain followed suit and supported me. A lot of the older dudes were threatened by me because we were young dudes making moves. My whole crew was making forward progress into a lane that nobody from our neighborhood had really went down before. Nobody really from my neighborhood had gotten to the music industry and was successful.
Also, if you want to express yourself to people who don’t live your lifestyle, don’t you sometimes have to speak their language a little bit more until they get it? Exactly.
“I’m not anti-social—I fuck with a lot of niggas in the entertainment industry—but I just don’t want to lean on anybody. I don’t want them to go out and get the album to get the song that Lil Wayne or Beyonce or T.I. is on. I want them to go get the project because it’s hot. I want to know it’s all me.”
Maybe some of them saw your intellect at play and thought they wanted you on their team doing whatever they were doing, and therefore found you threatening? Exactly. You hit the nail on the head. People tried to make me their asset and use me. But my mentality going into the game was, excuse my French, but it was like, “fuck the middleman.” That was the name of one of my mixtapes that I put out: Fuck the Middleman. Because I’d seen how everything was becoming hands-on; you can’t just be a rapper anymore. You have to be an A&R, you have to be your own promoter, you have to be your own publisher. You have to do all that on your own. The successful artists are the ones that understand that. So I started trying to not only perfect what I do creatively, but also become proficient on the business end to where I could sit down and speak for myself and get my point across and not have people assume that I’m just an ignorant rapper. That’s a big part of the equation that I think a lot of people don’t get. You have to be talented but also able to handle your business and not get screwed over in the industry. Not many people have the full package. Exactly. Who were the positive examples that you looked to, if no one from your neighborhood had made it in the music industry before? I had inspirations on different levels. There were people in my neighborhood that weren’t in music but they were impressive in their own right. 20 // OZONE WEST
So I had inspirations from every level of niggas, from niggas that were rich off dope money to niggas that had real, legitimate businesses and came from a similar element to were I came from that flipped the script and became positive and successful. I used to work with a print shop that printed up independent albums called Side Effects, and my boss Jamil was the one that really woke me up. He said, “You can’t come to work smelling like weed. You can’t say ‘cuzz’ after everything you say. You can’t come here [to work] with Dickies hanging off your ass. You have to get over that.” It was hard for me to understand it, but it’s not about not being yourself. You know who you are internally. It’s just about knowing what you’re asking for [out of life], because if you know what you’re asking for, you’ll know how to present yourself in a certain way. You get respect based on the way you present yourself.
So I understand that DJ Felli Fel from Power 106 in LA helped you get your deal? Yeah, the way I ran across Felli Fel was Steve Lobel—he’s one of the owners of the management company that I’m signed with, he and Big U own a company together—Steve Lobel was working on the Bone Thugs album. He’s Bone Thug’s manager also, and he was working on their project and the “I Tried” record went to radio. He and Felli go back years and he was playing him the Bone Thugs record with Akon and Steve told Felli that he also had a new artist from L.A. that was sick. So Felli was like, “Alright, put it in,” and he played him “Bullets Ain’t Got No Names,” which is also the name of my last mixtape. He played that record for Felli, and I wasn’t there to see it, but I was told that he was real impressed with the record and he reacted by playing it on the radio right after the Bone Thugs record. And right after he played it, we started getting a lot of calls from different people: Def Jam, Epic, Atlantic, Capitol, Warner Brothers—we met with everybody, basically. At the end of the day, Jon Shapiro got us the joint venture over at Epic, a real cool situation. There won’t be too many people in my business as far as the creative process, so I can do me. There aren’t too many things [like this] over at Epic, so they’re going to treat you as a priority. It was the best fit. I also told them I wanted to start my own brand too so based on the success of my project, I’m going to start my company up and release shit through my brand also. They said they were fully with that, from the president, Charlie Walk, to the general manager to everyone there. They want to help me build
my brand up and just me in general, so I did my part and went in the studio and just banged out a classic album. So you’re done with your album? The album is done but I’m always in the studio, so I’ve got [other] projects coming out. I’ve got a Slauson Boys deal for my group, so we’re working on that album. I’ve got two mixtapes. The first one is already out, Bullets Ain’t Got No Names Volume 1, and Volume 2 is about to come out now. They’re all original music, no jacked beats or anything of that nature. It’s all songs. So I’m putting Volume 2 out this month and Volume 3 out in December. And then we’re going to go into the album at the top of the year, but there’s no release date or anything set yet. That’s good if the label isn’t pressuring you to rush out a record. Did you feel like the other labels were rushing you? Yeah, that was part of the reason why the other labels weren’t a perfect fit for me. They all had a formula that they had won with previously, so it was more like, “Yo, we’re going to throw you in our formula and put you with our in-house producer and we’re going to put you with our artist that’s on our label and that’s how we’re going to bring you out. Let’s put out a record right now and we’re going to see what it do and that’s going to be that.” So, the same boring shit that they do to everybody? Exactly, and my whole thing was that I am trying to come in and create my own lane. I don’t want to come in as nobody’s co-signed artist; as “this producer’s artist.” I want to come in as the newest nigga with some hot shit and let my music define my own lane. I want to create my own fan base and not ride on somebody else’s exposure. I feel like the other labels didn’t understand that this same formula might have been successful for them for the past few years, but it’s a new generation. And my generation is the generation that’s going to make all the decisions. It has to be a new movement, a whole new swag with the way they treat my project, and the only people who really understood that was Epic. Epic has sure had a lot of classic artists that are individuals and not cookie-cutters. They have some of the biggest artists. I walk through the halls, looking at the plaques, tripping: The Eagles, Sade, AC/DC. When they get quality projects, they know what to do with them. So I’ve got full faith in the label. I see that everybody is excited and they’re putting their full-throttle machine behind me based on the music. We don’t really have many features on the album; Game is the only feature. It’s all hometown produced. We’ve got [tracks from] JR Rotem, we’ve got Mr. Lee, QD3. But it’s no Dr. Dres, no Timbos or Neptunes on there. It’s just me, and my whole squad and movement, and I feel like people are going to respect it because I came in on my own stretch. I’m not anti-social—I fuck with a lot of niggas in the entertainment industry—but I just don’t want to lean on anybody. I want them to like the song because it’s hot. I don’t want them to go out and get the album to get the song that Lil Wayne or Beyonce or T.I. is on. I want them to go get the project because it’s hot, or not get it because they think it’s trash. But either way, I want to know it’s all me. //
DJ NIK BEAN What’s your most memorable moment as a DJ? My most memorable moment as a DJ would have to be [when I met] my biggest female fan. Some people might call her a stalker, but in reality, she is just a huge Nik Bean fan. The girl consistenly hit up my Myspace page and stayed at all the shows. She has the whole Nik Bean mixtape catalog. Eventually, she just flat out told me she wasn’t gonna stop [stalking me] until I gave her the business. Mission complete! (laughs) What’s new with you? Just maintaining. I took a few months off to get my life together, but now I’m back like I never left. I’m gearing up for the release of G Malone’s longawaited Beach Cruiser LP (Cash Money/ Universal). I got my Lexus, finally! I’m focusing on the marketing job that I’ve been doing for entscoop.com and Street Certified DVD Magazine. I feel like a new person now, so I’m gonna do something to mark this page in my life. Next time you see Nik Bean, he ain’t gonna have braids! Where do you DJ? Right now I’m DJing at Club 740 in downtown Los Angeles. Come check it out and you’re guaranteed to score a local hoodrat. My residency is on Thursday nights once a month, so holla at the kid. Tell us about your radio show. Streetz of LA Radio is now finally official. The show is aired weekly on datpiff.com. I play a variety of new joints from coast to coast and try to get a live guest in the studio every week. Plus, we’re gonna be dropping a lot of videos with footage from the shows as visuals for the fans. What new projects do you have coming up? Tons of mixtapes. I’ve got tapes coming with David Banner, Yung Joc, Suga Free, Mack 10, Mistah FAB, Daz, Kurupt, Noreaga, and two with G Malone. Also, I’m doing the marketing for this new website called entscoop.com. The website is giving me the opportunity to get behind the camera and become a correspondent. I’m trying to branch off into doing a lot of other things. The site isn’t just gonna cover music, it’s designed to be a one-stop shop for everything. It covers the whole entertainment spectrum. I’m talkin’ about fashion, movies, sports, video games, and of course music. There’s so much money out there. You can’t just get stuck in the Hip Hop world or you’re gonna find yourself limited on what doors can open up for you. Eventually I’m gonna come out with my debut LP The Hustler’s Manual, but right now I’ve got so much on my plate, I ain’t in a rush. I’ve already got some joints in the vault.
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Can you introduce yourself? My name is Dae One. I was born in Northern California and as a kid I moved to Southern California. I currently live in Hawthorne, in the Los Angeles area. How old were you when you made your first beat? I started playing with keyboards as a young kid, just messing around at age 10. I didn’t start taking it seriously until my mom bought me my first beat machine/sampler when I was 17. That’s when I made my first track. I love great music, but honestly, the reason I started making beats was because at the time I was trying to rap and I just couldn’t find producers that could make beats the way I could hear them in my head. So I took it into my own hands and just started trying to make beats on my own. Who has been your favorite artist to work with? Why? I’ve worked with a lot of great artists but just because of his creative energy, I’d say Bishop Lamont. My favorite rap group of all time is Outkast, so I’d love to work with them one day. What equipment do you work with? I’m more of a hardware kinda guy. I use my MPC 2000XL or MPC3000, a FantomXrA Triton, a Nord Lead 2, a Motif Rack, and a few other top-secret gadgets. But there really isn’t a right or a wrong way [to produce], it’s just about findout what works best for you and perfecting that. What’s your favorite beat you’ve produced so far? That’s a hard question. I don’t know if I could pick one favorite, because in a way they all take something out of me that I like in one way or another. But the record I did called “Be Cool” on Bishop Lamont’s last mixtape The Confessional with Xzibit, Glasses Malone, Ras Kass, and Mykestro gets me a lot of good feedback. If I had to pick one, that’d be it. Who’s your favorite producer? For me it’s a toss-up between Dr Dre, because of his sonic balance and rich sound, and J Dilla because of his creativity and incredible ear for sampling. Those are my top two. I can’t choose just one. Do you mix your own beats or work with an engineer? Yeah, I mix my own beats so they’re just the way I like them. I’m so into the music, I have to do it that way. Production is all-around to me. You’ve got to know how to do it all to be great. Any last words? Never let anyone tell you what you can and can’t do. Follow your heart and work hard to make your dreams come true. Know what you’re getting into. Artists, learn the business if music is what you want to do. This is not a game, this is big business. How can artist get a slap from you? Hit me up on my myspace page at www.myspace.com/120daeone or contact my management by email at email@example.com.
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Dr. Dre Detox – Album Review Dr. Dre’s Detox has been the most anticipated album in rap’s history. First mentioned in 2002, it’s now 2008 and still no Detox. Some people are still waiting on the edge of their seats for Dr. Dre’s third and last album, some believe Detox is a myth, and others, after waiting year after year through push-backs, false release dates, and rumors that this year will be the year the album drops, quite frankly, just don’t give a shit anymore. But just when the Hip Hop world thought all hopes of ever hearing Dr. Dre’s final album were lost, OZONE scored an exclusive listen to Detox. Here is the album review everyone’s been waiting for.
Intro: “Sorry It Took So Long”
On the opening track, the D.R.E. offers an apology to fans for the delay, and promises this album will be the best album ever. Not to mention the album will come with a free gas card for all purchases.
“We The Best” f/ Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Nas, Kanye West, T.I., Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, Lupe Fiasco, Common, Snoop Dogg & DJ Khaled
Fresh out the gate, Dre drops a classic record featuring the best emcees in the game. Each rapper spits the realest shit they ever wrote, except for Dr. Dre (Jay-Z wrote his verse). No one really knows why DJ Khaled is on the song, but it’s the first time he
ever screamed “We The Best” and sounds believable.
“Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang 2K8 2K9 2K10” f/ Snoop Dogg
Dre reunites with the D.O.G.G. for a remake of their 1993 classic. The song is as funky as the original, but they’re not sure what to call the song, being that they’re not sure what year the album will actually come out.
“Cash Money’s Still An Army” f/ Lil Wayne, B.G., Juvenile & Turk The long-awaited Hot Boys’ reunion track finally comes. We should have known it was going to be on Detox.
“R&B Kings” f/ R. Kelly, Usher, Chris Brown & Michael Jackson
Four of the greatest R&B singers of all-time on one song. Once again, only on Detox.
“Forgot About Dre & Em” f/Eminem
Muthafuckers act like they forgot about Dre (and Marshall Mathers, too). Slim Shady returns to the rap game and blesses the Doc with the best 48 bars of his career. Of course, Em murders Dre on his own shit.
“The Last Episode” f/Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, & T-Pain Part 2 of the classic “The Next Episode” from 2001, but this time Nate Dogg is replaced with T-Pain. Go figure. “Smokin’
Chronic & Fuckin’ Hoes” f/Snoop Dogg, Devin The Dude
It wouldn’t be a Dr. Dre album without a song about chronic, or hoes for that matter.
“What’s Beef” f/ 50 Cent & The Game Over a sample of B.I.G.’s “What’s Beef,” Fiddy and Game put an end to their longstanding feud. No one expects this truce to last very long.
“I Forgot To Put Your Albums Out?” f/ Eve, Stat Quo, Bishop Lamont, Joell Ortiz, Raekwon, Rakim & Truth Hurts Since none of these artists reportedly signed or formally signed to Aftermath ever released albums, each artist got a verse on Detox as consolation. Most of their rhymes are filled with subliminal shots at
Dr. Dre, but the beat is so amazing, he still put the song on the album.
“R.I.P. Eazy” f/ Ice Cube, DJ Yella & MC Ren
In memory of the late Eazy-E, Dr. Dre resembled N.W.A. for a tribute song dedicated to their fallen group member. Every album has to have a dedication song, right?
“Black President” f/Barack Obama & 2Pac
On this unprecedented track, Dr. Dre is the first artist to ever have a presidential candidate rap on an album. We should have known Barack could rap; the dude is the coolest politician in United States history. The mystery in this track comes from what’s thought to be an old unreleased
2Pac verse. But if you play it backwards and listen closely, you can hear Pac say, “Congratulations, Barack. I knew you’d be the first black President, nigga.”
“The Resurrection” f/ Jesus Christ
On the album’s final track, Dr. Dre reveals the real reason his album took so long. He was waiting on Jesus to return so he could get him on a record, and he finally got him.
Words by Randy Roper
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The Knux/Remind Me In 3 Days.../Chic Freak/HHH/Interscope Fashion sense aside, The Knux aren’t too different from what you’re already hearing. It’s just that they know how to make it sound pretty good. On “Cappuccino” they chase some elusive tail and on “Hush” they catch it. “The Train” has them backtracking on their crime-riddled lives before rap while “Parking Lot” reminds you that they “don’t write skate raps, so you can take that and shove it up your Bape ass.” You won’t get many new themes here, but you’ll hear new ways to say them. Especially on “Daddy’s Little Girl,” where they tell the good-girl-gone-bad story with a female voice layered on top of their raps. While the mid-leftfield production may lead some to think they’re extraordinary, The Knux are actually average in the sense that they are doing what talented musicians are supposed to do: make good music. - Maurice G. Garland Young Lace & DJ Khaled/West Up On West Up Young Lace proves that he can make quality music that’s easy on the ears. Whether it’s original material or piggybacking off R&B joints, Lace shows that he could eventually enjoy a nice ride in the smooth rapper lane ala Fabolous or LL. Unfortunately, Lace doesn’t do much to show versatility. His “flyness” is the main subject on the overwhelming majority of this mixtape. Granted, it’s a nice alternative from the usual shoot-tokill braggadoccio that most artists put on their mixtapes, but it would’ve been nice to hear Lace switch it up a little. - Maurice G. Garland Terrace Martin, Snoop Dogg & DJ Drama/Locke High West Coast producer and part-time rapper Terrace Martin is stepping out with this special edition of Gangsta Grillz. More known for his production than raps, Terrace gives most of the shine here to his beats and the West Coast vets and newcomers spitting over them. Snoop starts it off on the intro, letting us know that this will be a “funky ride like no otha’ muthafucka,’” and makes appearances on 6 more of the 20 tracks, along with DJ Quik, Kurupt, and Felli Fel. Making a strong debut with plenty of superstar friends, Terrace gives new hope for the West Coast. - Anthony Burgos
Glasses Malone, Dow Jones & Nik Bean/Fuck G Malone With the success G. Malone has had in his career thus far, no wonder haters look at him and say “fuck Glasses Malone.” Here, Malone embraces the hate and releases a solid mixtape that is likely to piss the haters off even more. On the title track, Glasses speaks from the perspective of naysayers and illustrates the countless reasons he’s hated. Lil Wayne and Cam’ron accompany Malone on “Where Itz At” and Huey and Maino trade rhymes with the Westside rhymer on “24/7/365,” but the Left Coast emcee goes the hardest on “Lonely At The Top,” “Like Suge” and “Welcome to 2 the Mainstream.” - Randy Roper San Quinn/From A Boy To A Man/Done Deal/SMC San Quinn’s Myspace page says that this album is the album of his career, and he just might be right. A vet at a young age, Quinn is very set in his ways musically, but here that’s not a bad thing. Straying away from prototypical Bay Area production, songs like “Catch A Body” and “They’re All Waiting On Me” are instant reminders of what made you fall in love with NorCal Hip Hop in the first place. Staying true to the album’s title he shows what a grown man in rap is supposed to sound like on the family affairs “My Brother” featuring his younger sibling Bailey and “Billionaire” with his son Lil Quinn. While 19 tracks is consider lengthy by today’s standards, it’s normal for a Quinn album. He manages to make most of the songs offer either a different flow, beat, or concept. - Maurice G. Garland Balance & Nik Bean/Unsigned Legend Balance has been a consistent West Coast emcee for years, and with Unsigned Legend, the Bay area rapper is out to showcase why he’s one of the best without a deal. Tracks like “Check Me Out” featuring Kel and JR Writer, and “Goin’ Down 2K8” featuring Chamillionaire and Mack Maine are standouts, but besides a couple other records, the majority of this mixtape is halfhearted. Balance spits above-average lyrics throughout Unsigned Legend, but those rhymes suffer from his so-so flow. There are a couple good tracks on here, but Legend won’t make anyone overly excited about signing Balance. - Randy Roper
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Akon Event: YouTube Live Location: Fort Mason City: San Francisco, CA Date: November 23rd, 2008 Photo: D-Ray
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