Ozone Mag #76

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PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF // Julia Beverly MUSIC EDITOR // Randy Roper FEATURES EDITOR // Eric N. Perrin ASSOCIATE EDITOR // Maurice G. Garland GRAPHIC DESIGNER // David KA ADVERTISING SALES // Che Johnson, Gary Archer, Richard Spoon PROMOTIONS DIRECTOR // Malik Abdul SPECIAL EDITION EDITOR // Jen McKinnon WEST COAST EDITOR-AT-LARGE // D-Ray LEGAL CONSULTANT // Kyle P. King, P.A. SUBSCRIPTIONS MANAGER // Adero Dawson ADMINISTRATIVE // Kisha Smith INTERNS // Jee’Van Brown, Torrey Holmes, Memory Martin CONTRIBUTORS // Anthony Roberts, Bogan, Camilo Smith, Charlamagne the God, Chuck T, Cierra Middlebrooks, DJ BackSide, Edward Hall, E-Z Cutt, Gary Archer, Jacquie Holmes, J Lash, Jason Cordes, Jelani Harper, Joey Colombo, Johnny Louis, Kay Newell, Keadron Smith, Keita Jones, Keith Kennedy, K.G. Mosley, King Yella, Luis Santana, Luvva J, Luxury Mindz, Marcus DeWayne, Matt Sonzala, Maurice G. Garland, Mercedes (Strictly Streets), Natalia Gomez, Portia Jackson, Ray Tamarra, Rico Da Crook, Rohit Loomba, Shannon McCollum, Spiff, Stan Johnson, Swift, Tamara Palmer, Thaddaeus McAdams, Ty Watkins, Wally Sparks, Wendy Day STREET REPS // 3rd Leg Greg, Adam Murphy, Alex Marin, Al-My-T, Ant Wright, Anthony Deavers, Baydilla, Benz, Big Brd, B-Lord, Big Ed, Big Teach (Big Mouth), Big Thangs, Big Will, Bigg P-Wee, Bigg V, Black, Bogan, Bo Money, Brandi Garcia, Brandon “Silkk” Frazier, Brian Eady, Buggah D. Govanah (On Point), Bull, C Rola, Cartel, Cedric Walker, Cece Collier, Chad Joseph, Charles Brown, Chill, Chuck T, Christian Flores, Clifton Sims, Dee1, Demolition Men, DJ Commando, Danielle Scott, DJ Dap, Delight, Derrick the Franchise, DJ Dimepiece, DJ D’Lyte, Dolla Bill, Dorian Welch, Dwayne Barnum, Dr. Doom, Dynasty, Ed the World Famous, DJ E-Feezy, DJ EFN, Episode, Eric “Crunkatlanta” Hayes, Erik Tee, F4 Entertainment, Fiya, G Dash, G-Mack, George Lopez, Gorilla Promo, Haziq Ali, Hezeleo, H-Vidal, Hotgirl Maximum, Hotshot, J Hype, Jacquie “Jax” Holmes, Jae Slimm, Jammin’ Jay, DJ Jam-X, Janiro Hawkins, Jarvon Lee, Jasmine Crowe, Jay Noii, Jeron Alexander, J Pragmatic, JLN Photography, Joe Anthony, John Costen, Johnny Dang, Judah, Judy Jones, Juice, DJ Juice, Kenneth Clark, Kewan Lewis, Klarc Shepard, Kool Laid, DJ KTone, Kurtis Graham, Kydd Joe, Lex, Lucky, Lump, Lutoyua Thompson, Luvva J, Marco Mall, Mario Grier, Marlei Mar, Maroy, DJ M.O.E., Music & More, Natalia Gomez, DJ Nik Bean, Nikki Kancey, Oscar Garcia, P Love, Pat Pat, Phattlipp, Pimp G, Quest, Quinton Hatfield, DJ Quote, DJ Rage, Rapid Ric, DJ Ricky Ruckus, Rob J Official, Rob Reyes, Robert Lopez, Rob-Lo, Robski, Scorpio, Seneca, Shauntae Hill, Sherita Saulsberry, Silva Reeves, Sir Thurl, DJ Skee, Sly Boogy, Southpaw, Spade Spot, Stax, DJ Strong, Sweetback, Syd Robertson, Teddy T, TJ’s DJ’s, Tim Brown, Tonio, Tony Rudd, Tre Dubb, Tril Wil, Trina Edwards, Troy Kyles, Twin, Vicious, Victor Walker, DJ Vlad, Voodoo, DJ Warrior, White Boi Pizal, Wild Billo, Will Hustle, William Major, Wu Chang, Young Harlem, Yung DVS, Zack Cimini SUBSCRIPTIONS // To subscribe, send check or money order for $20 to: Ozone Magazine, Inc. Attn: Subscriptions Dept 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318 Phone: 404-350-3887 Fax: 404-350-2497 Website: www.ozonemag.com COVER CREDITS // Rick Ross photo courtesy of Def Jam; DJ Paul photos (cover & this page) by Jerami Johnson; Yo Gotti photo by Jonathan Mannion; Paul Wall photo by SLFEMP. DISCLAIMER // OZONE Magazine is published 11 times per year by OZONE Magazine, Inc. OZONE does not take responsibility for unsolicited materials, misinformation, typographical errors, or misprints. The views contained herein do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher or its advertisers. Ads appearing in this magazine are not an endorsement or validation by OZONE Magazine for products or services offered. All photos and illustrations are copyrighted by their respective artists. All other content is copyright 2009 OZONE Magazine, all rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any way without the written consent of the publisher. Printed in the USA.


monthly sections 13 26 38 81 78-79 22 24 80-82 12 26 28 13 16 26 40-50 17-43 18-20 14-15 30


FEATURES 52-53 66-68 34 32


77 74-75 54-55 72-73 70-71 60-61




62-65 dj paul 56-58 rick ross


Send your comments to feedback@ozonemag.com or hit us up at www.myspace.com/ozonemagazine

I’m reading the April issue of XXL and can’t help but notice them biting your style. They did a humorous calendar about T.I. going to jail that reminded me of OZONE’s Sidekick Hackin’. They’ve got a section called Rings & Things that is similar to your Chain Reaction showing Ace Hood’s Obama chain, and then there’s a section where they got a comedian to talk about stuff and songs they like. I always thought OZONE was the only mag with comedians featured in their own column. I was just letting you know in case you don’t view their mag. I’m your biggest fan. – Eric Biddines, via email JB, here’s my 2 Cents. I’m a young MC and a devoted supporter and follower of the Hip Hop culture. I can honestly say that I have probably read and followed every Hip Hop publication: The Source, XXL, Blaze, Murder Dog, Don Diva, Hip Hop Weekly, Owners Illustrated, the list goes on and on. I have probably spent more money on magazines than anything else in life. OZONE is by far the best magazine I’ve read, and not just because it covers the South, but because it covers the artists that are looked over by other publications and because it connects with the readers. I’ve been doing this music thing since 2nd grade and there is nothing that speaks to me like this rap shit. Nothing gives me that awesome electric feeling that sends chills through my body but Hip Hop! I’ve been spitting for years, and I’m pretty damn good. I have slowed down on music for a little bit due to the stress of fighting with DJs and program directors. This shit doesn’t always pay the bills, right? I’m trying to stay out of the streets, though. But the point of this letter is to tell you that you are not alone with your feelings of solitude. Believe me, I have been there, and it’s not just a Gemini thing because I’m a Capricorn and I have always felt it. I know I was put on this earth for a reason, I’m just not sure what that reason is. From the bottom of my heart, I can say that this rap shit has saved my life. When there was no one but God to talk to, this rap shit talked back and I knew I wasn’t alone. So to answer your question, who would give a fuck? Who would care? I would give a fuck! I would care! And there are others out there who feel the same way, so keep doing your thing and maybe one day it will all make sense. I have never written to any magazine before, but after reading your 2 Cents I felt compelled to give you a little of mine. - Ice Mike, via email (East St. Louis, IL) I feel that we need to be represented in Rapquest here in Thibodaux, LA. We really support your magazine. Please give us some support in return. – Courtaney Sawyer, via email (Thibodaux, LA) JB, I read your 2 Cents. I feel you, life is all about dualities. Reading people’s feelings always gets the mind going. I can never stop thinking either. For some reason after reading your article I was left with the following picture in my head. Rap metaphorically is an old declining rich man with a bunch of bad, greedy, selfish kids that take everything they can and never spend time with him. I feel bad for rap. He has some fucked up kids. Then I look at the old man in my head, and I wonder what kind of morals and ideals he planted in these kids’ heads to make them act this way. And I wonder what the kids are going to do when he runs out of money. I don’t even think they are his kids. If you think I’m strange, I’m cool with that. Dr. Dre’s album may uplift things. I don’t read OZONE much anymore because I’m into a different style of Hip Hop now, like Kid Cudi, M.I.A., Diplo, DJ A-Trak, & Yelle. Maybe instead of waiting for another Tupac or Andre 3000 to come along, you should go find them. There are a lot of artists that have the qualities of those guys, just not in rap. – Mike Frost, via email (Houston, TX) Miss Beverly, I’m a big fan of your magazine. Congrats on your article in Businessweek. I really respect your movement. You persevered and succeeded through all odds. You saw your disadvantages as advantages and maximized your intangibles. Your FaithWalk paid off and now you are living your dreams to the fullest. I am inspired by your accomplishments. Recently, me and my mother started a clothing line called FaithWalk to utilized our God-given talents and not put them to waste. Our belief is that if you take a FaithWalk to follow your dreams, anything is possible. You are definitely a good example for publishers, musicians, and entrepreneurs. – Will Parker, via email (Chicago, IL) 12 // OZONE MAG

OZONE’s got it on lock. I’m proud to see you on the come-up keeping this shit alive. Your mag has helped us get further exposure here in the Bay Area and on the West Coast as a whole. You’re probably the only one helping us get publicity for our artists. We kinda get cut off from all the other publications. – Ian, via myspace (Bay Area, CA) I was locked up at the Bell County Jail in Belton, TX. While I was in there the other inmates were reading The Source, King, and XXL. I skimmed through a couple of them and I was shocked and appalled at the lack of actual hood articles. When I say “hood” I really don’t mean that in a negative way. I just believe that the inner city, the “hood” as we call it, is the center and foundation of Hip Hop/rap/R&B and straight gutta music. The “hood” is where all the trends are set and where the artist becomes connected to the public, who will become his/her customer. If you show the streets love, the streets will love you back. I’m familiar with OZONE because Tre Dubb is putting OZONE all over the city. He’ll pop his trunk in the middle of rush hour traffic and give someone a copy. Anyway, back to those inmates that were reading other magazines. Please understand that I’m not hating on those other magazines, but there’s a stark difference between the product that you and your staff brings to the readers and the product of your competitors. I asked my girl to send me an OZONE and when it was delivered to me in Bell County jail with T-Pain and E-40 on the covers ya boy had that pow wow in the pod, feel me? The other inmates treated that OZONE Mag like it was their daily bread. You’ve got 25 new readers. In JB’s 2 Cents you sounded like your air is being slowly released, like you’re almost beginning to give up hope. What you’re giving up on, I don’t know, but let me tell you something. You are going to crush the magazine game, just give it a little more time. You’re even doing award shows! You have the streets behind you and a lot of smaller cities and towns feel like you’ve given them a stage to get their shine on. So please keep that passion and continue to be that voice for middle America. Hey, Barack did it, and look where it got him? - Corey Hart, via email (Killeen, TX) Peace to the staff at OZONE. I’m a big fan of your magazine, but I’m writing to correct a minor error that appeared in your article about the late, great Shakir Stewart a.k.a. Shake in Issue #73. The article stated that Mr. Stewart graduated from Skyline High School in Oakland, CA, but the truth is that he graduated from St. Mary’s College High School in Berkeley, CA. I went to high school with Shakir. He was a very ambitious young man who was an inspiration to me. I always remember him as being humble and outgoing. The last time I saw him was in 2005 at the St. Mary’s College High School Graduation, when my younger brother Gregory graduated. Shakir still remembered me, was very approachable, and had a few words of advice for me when I asked him how he “made it” in this difficult industry of music entertainment. Blessings to him, his family, friends, and all who knew him. – SoloFlexx, via email (Oakland, CA) Hello D-Ray! I read your article on violence in OZONE Magazine. I’m making contact with you because I see that you deal with a lot of independent artists and labels, and you’re hungry for the news. I am currently incarcerated in a Federal prison. I have several partners that are about to get out and make a lot of noise on the music scene. Jacob the Jeweler is here too! - Antoine North, via inmatemessage (Gary, IN)

JB’s 2cents F

by aspiring porn star Maurice Stoney 1. Extra Potent Weed Shit like Bubonic Kush and Sour Diesel Dro is so strong a nigga goes comatose and has a 4-hour erection at the same time.



Me & TI in ATL with his OZONE cover

Me & Roccett in ATL

5. Bad weaves I’m hatin on hoes who coordinate weave colors with their outfits, house, car, and the Marta. 6. McDonalds I’m sick of McDonalds spilling my fuckin’ fries in the bottom of the bag. Although when you find them after you’re done eating it’s fulfilling as hell, like capturing an runaway slave.

8. Bitches Playin Hard to Get Fuck slippin’ something in a bitch’s drink. I’ma go caveman style, whack ‘em upside the head and carry their ass straight to the crib. 9. Girls Who Don’t Shave I’m hatin’ on hoes with pussy hair like Rick Ross’ beard. That shit is like a wool sweater. I coulda swore I saw an afro pick with the fist at the end buried up in that shit. 10. Bums in Atlanta I’m tired of these damn bums raising their prices at the pump. “Let me get a dollar, naw $2. Fuck it, let me get $5 dollars.”

Me & Shawn Prez @ the CORE DJs Retreat


7. Stoopid Ass Chains I’m hatin’ on rappers with big dumbass chains, especially the ones who have the nerve to put Michelle Obama on it, with Barack, the kids, and the other 43 Presidents of the U.S. in front of the White House.

There’s two reasons I liked T.I.’s rehabilitation method. One - the focus was on moving forward and finding something more worthy to devote their time to (ie., cooking gourmet foods instead of gangbangin’). Telling teenagers what not to do is never effective. You have to show them the rewards that can come from putting that energy into something better. People of all ages need that kind of focus. I only get in trouble when I don’t have enough work to keep me busy 24/7.

Although I haven’t had any personal experiences with drug usage myself I’ve had plenty of opportunities to observe folks who got sidetracked either by using drugs or selling drugs, and saw how much money and time they wasted on Me & Manager Matt in Tampa negative shit. Not to mention the effect it has on their bodies and minds. And that includes cigarettes and alcohol. Big Meech is no different than the CEO of Phillip Morris Co., but one of them is serving a 30 year prison sentence and the other is a multi-multi-millionaire. Go figure.


4. The Recession This damn recession has everybody fucked up. Crackheads ain’t even smoking crack no more, they’re just sniffing chopped-up sweet tarts.


2. Pregnant bitches I’m hatin’ on bitches who are 8 months pregnant and still wearing skimpy-ass skinny-bitch shit. Bitch, I can see the baby feet in your bikini bottom. 3. Rappers Calling Themselves “Boss” Nigga, you can’t even control your damn own kids, how you a boss? You ain’t bossing shit, you’re an industry slave. Window shoppin’ ass nigga.

or every 999 garbage reality shows that rots your brain (when and why did Steve the bodyguard from Springer get his own talk show??), there might be one that presents real reality. Take for example Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab on VH1 (my only 50-year-old white male crush aside from Jon Stewart) or T.I.’s Road to Redemption on MTV. Granted, I’m sure his court orders were part of his motivation to televise this giving-back-to-the-community thing, but it did - dare I say bring me to tears once or twice. Okay, we all know the first episode with Pee Wee wasn’t really real since dude has been T.I.’s hypeman for however many years. But it’s not like he didn’t need the help. If you haven’t seen the show, I highly recommend it. Google it or get an Apple TV (cable sucks anyway). Basically, T.I. puts a spin on the “scared straight” idea and during each episode goes one-on-one with a troubled youth to show them the error of their ways and point them in the right direction as only a influential superstar (preparing to spend a year and a day behind bars himself) can.

Please note, there are TWO (2) white photojournalists at OZONE. We are not the same person, and contrary to popular belief, all white girls do not look alike.

Which leads me into the second reason I liked T.I.’s show: in the closing interview with Sway, T.I. verbalized one of the most important things that seems to go unsaid in the many many many interviews we’ve done about the drug game: (I’m summarizing here) It’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint. It’s not about who makes the most money first. It’s about building a stable lifestyle for yourself and your family for many years to come. Take the energy you’d put into the streets and put it into a legitimate venture instead, and although you won’t see immediate returns, in the longterm your investment will pay off. I’ve seen that myself first-hand, coming up on our 7 year anniversary of OZONE. I went through so much in the beginning. I’d have my phone disconnected and be sleeping in a 200sf office while my electricity was off at the apartment. Meanwhile, I’m seeing hustlers riding around in nice cars with rims. But life has a balance and best believe that if you put in real, legit work, it will ultimately be rewarded. Those hustlers have since come and gone, but I’m still here maintaining. I’m blessed with everything I need and the experience I’ve gained through this process is invaluable. I was always terrified and fascinated by drugs all at the same time. The fear could be accurately credited to my parents, but honestly, I never had much interest in using them. My focus is always on being productive and even “harmless” drugs like weed (which I personally believe should be legalized) don’t increase productivity (unless you happen to be a rapper who gets paid to revel in clouds of smoke at studios or nightclubs, or inexplicably, if your name happens to be TJ Chapman or Memphitz). But more than anything, drugs are a commodity; a product. The drug trade is big business and I am fascinated by it. If you’re like me, read Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography. Great book. I will always remember the winter of ‘08 as a scary one, but we made it and the world is turning again. Watch the Margaritaville episode of South Park and realize that “the economy” is all in our heads. God willing, it’s going to be a great ‘09.

- Julia Beverly, jb@ozonemag.com

Lil Wayne f/ Drake, Jae Millz, Gudda Gudda & Mack Maine “Every Girl” T-Pain f/ Kanye West “Flight School” Drake f/ Trey Songz & Lil Wayne “Successful” Drake f/ Bun B & Lil Wayne “Uptown” Cam’ron “Cookies & Applejuice” The All-American Rejects “Gives You Hell” Surf Club f/ Lil Wayne “I Can’t Miss” Joe Budden “I Couldn’t Help It”


randy.roper@ozonemag.com KiD CuDi “Sky Might Fall” Lil Brod “Do U Mind” Pacific Division “Pac Div” Thunderkatz “3 AM”



Showcased artists at SXSW 2009 included Big Boi, Rick Ross, B.O.B., Killer Mike, Asher Roth, Balance and more. Regional artists included Gerald G, Bavu Blakes, Question, and others. Tosin & TheScrewShop.com just dropped Watch Ya Tone Pt. 2 which is hosted by SoS.A. from San Antonio’s Cocked N Locked camp. Trae tha Truth and Rob G came through town for in-store autograph signings as part of their promotional tour. - O.G. of Luxury Mindz (www.luxurymindz.com)


Frostbite, Dane, and Bullet are emerging artists in the Chicago scene. Hot to Def has a new single called “Leggins and Heels.” Inf Click has a new record called “Bitchassnigga” that is percolating in the clubs. Chekk Famous, DJ Slugo and the Blok Club DJs are building a movement. Mixtape Mondays is an open mic for new artists every Monday. Timbuck2 is dropping his first mixtape. DJ Shaun T is gathering another Artists vs. DJs basketball game. - Jamal Hooks (JHooks@tmail.com)


Lil Ru’s “Nasty Song” hit the Billboard charts at #97 and he recently signed to Def Jam Records. Team Irac’s “Pants Saggin” just got added to Hot 103.9 and they have a new mix CD hosted by DJ B Lord. The song “Put It on Me” featuring OJ da Juiceman is a crazy joint on that CD. It was produced by Mo Beatz, who also produced the song Teezy and Piazo just did with OJ da Juiceman. Mo Beatz is becoming one of the hottest producers in SC. DJ Shyy from Club Laroice is also about to drop his new Red Light District mix CD. Not Not done has become the #1 host in the South. Free Pachino Dino! - Rob Lo (RobLoPromo@aol.com)


Digital Distribution has taken the music business to another level and everybody has a chance now to sell their music not just locally but world-wide. Sports Page Café located on the east side of town right across the road from Déjà Vu’s Showgirls Club in Batavia is an outlet for networking and promoting new artists. Thick Wit It Thurdays has now moved to Celebrities on Reading Rd. Cincinnati’s Hennessy Girl, Melyssa Ford, was in the Tri-State for meet and greets recently. - Judy Jones (Judy@JJonesent.com) 14 // OZONE MAG


People who have been broke since the day before forever want to all of a sudden blame it on the economy. Well, this economic downturn should be a sign that you should use your re-up money wisely. Poor economic times have led to a few changes in the lineup of a certain local radio station. A few shows were cancelled, but many of the cancelled jocs are still making moves elsewhere. By the time you read this they may even be back on. Bases Loaded Records recently signed a promising artist named J. Money out of Atlanta. This is the first time a Columbus-based record company signed a non-local artist. Anything is possible: the President is black and it snowed in Columbus! - Slick Seville (SlickSeville@gmail.com)


Club Flow is the new place to be if you want to see your favorite rapper performing. Cowboy dropped another controversial DVD called Prison Made Me a Better Criminal. The Donny B Show in Funkytown is providing TV coverage for all artists on channel 28. Wet Willie’s is your new hot spot in Forth Worth. Young Muhammad’s “Baby Phat” single featuring Lil Will is buzzing the clubs. Word in the streets is that Kotton Mouth and Big Ben are working on a Rally Boy album. VI’s “King of My City” is becoming the anthem for the Metroplex. K104’s Playground Morning Show are fools with it. Check out www.FreeTwistedBlack.com. - Edward “Pookie” Hall (urbansouth@gmail.com)


Piccalo made a stop in Daytona Beach for a concert at Essence Night Club and to push the new single “Stick Drill.” Thirsty Thursdays made its return for the party crowd, but its new home is Essence Night Club with Ratt Productions. Tyte Work Promo linked up with the DJ Nailz and DJ Woods to throw the Blackout Party, which shut the city down. Everybody is geared up for Bethune-Cookman’s Spring Homecoming and Black College Reunion. - DJ Nailz (djnailz1@gmail.com)


Gainesville and the University of Florida host one of the biggest college events in the country every year, the Florida Invitational Step Show, and this year was no different. Hosted by Columbus Short, a.k.a. DJ from the Stomp the Yard, this year’s show was insane with over several thousand in attendance. Local artist Big Bud and the Street Money Riders are still heating up the indie scene. Poe Boy/Atlantic recording artist Flo Rida made a stop through Magic 101.3 studios, as well as Nappy Boy’s Young Cash. DJ Codeman and the Beat Drop Squad dropped one of the hottest mixtapes UF’s campus has ever seen. - Jett Jackson (g5jett@gmail.com)


Project Pat had Fat Cats to capacity. G-Mane dropped that Smoke Some Kill mixtape with DJ Burn One. G-Side and Slowmotion Soundz were live on Baller’s Eve and 89.1 FM in NYC. 103.5 brought Trey Songz to the Cross Roads. Hurricane Chris turned out the Green Room. 6 Tre G gained regular rotation on 103.1 with “On A Roll.” Street Holocaust has Thursday nights on lock at Poca D. Aces. The Block Beattaz are moving into their new state of the art facility. Who’s Hot TV has a new show. Jimmy Heart has a new site called TheHeartbeat.biz. DJ Rich remixed Bipolar’s “Like a Model.” QCDJs is gearing up for some big things this spring. - Codie G (huntsvillegotstarz@gmail.com)


The city is gearing up for the grand opening of Club Dreamz. The mayor had a mistrial in his Federal case. Lil C is gearing up for his second release, while Hustle Montana is hitting the streets hard with his new single with Yo Gotti. Goobie and Boss B are steady grinding. We not only have artists and celebs come through Jackson, but the black adult film star Mr. Marcus was partying at Freelon’s Nightclub. We try to keep it versatile down here. OZONE’s Julia Beverly was in the building. - Tambra Cherie (TambraCherie@aol.com) & Stax (blockwear@tmo.blackberry.net)

RICHMOND, TRI-CITIES, VA: WI2GZ released his new singles “Skin Tight Jeans” and “She Wanna Get.” DJ Bounca is promoting his new group O.C. Boyz on the new mixtape Take Over Vol. 2 (above left). Top of da South Movement is a collaboration of artists from different sides of Richmond joining together to put VA Hip Hop on the map. Power I 92.1’s personality A-Plus gives independent artists the platform to showcase their music every Sunday at midnight on The Interactive Launch Pad. Cream Shah Pro Street Fam Entertainment is taking submissions for the Fight For VA Round 2 mixtape. All independent Ric/Tri-Cities artists should submit original mp3 tracks to creamshahpro@yahoo.com. - Atiyyah Wali (atiyyahwali@hotmail.com)

MEMPHIS, TN: DJ Paul released a new video confirming that Lord Infamous is still a member of Three Six Mafia and they’re working on new projects. Africa in April is coming soon and their featured country is The Republic of Mauritania. This four-day event will focus on cultural diversity and showcase a variety of Memphis music. The Memphis Music Commission is also doing a great job helping Memphis network every Monday at the Hard Rock Cafe. Lil Chris (above left) was their latest act. This 8-year-old superstar (memphisrap. com/Lil_Chris) blew everyone away with his stage presence and lyrics. - Deanna Brown (Deanna.Brown@MemphisRap.com)


Boomerangs has the club scene popping from Apollo Wednesday with Alamob all the way to Blow Out Saturday. Anonomys won on Wednesday and opened for Juvenile. Juvie was in the building with the Thug Misses Khia. He performed all the classics and introduced his new artist. Moneytown

went to Mobile for Mardi Gras and invaded Club Illusions. Beatcamp, Zeus Ent., Hot Girl Promotions, Beatchamp, Alamob, C-Nile, Attitude, Mobillionaires, Barry B Promotions, Cashing Out Ent., and more all showed love. King South’s “Der She Go” got the streets locked. Maxximum Exposure is May 1st – May 3rd. - Hot Girl Maxximum (Maxximummp3@gmail.com)


Slim Thug, Rick Ross, and The Dream made their way to the 101.1 WUBT Full Throttle Garage to meet & greet friends and fans. PlayDate Nashville was a huge success courtesy of their LoveNoise partners and previous SEA Nominee Algebra Blessett (Kedar Entertainment). Industry Nights at Pearl Fusion opens new networking opportunities for the elite and mature of Nashville, and Ice Magazine is about to set the standard as the new way for Nashvillians to be seen and represented. - Janiro (Janiro@southernentawards.com)


The 3rd Annual Pittsburgh Hip Hop Awards brought out the best of the Pittsburgh Music Scene. City favorite F-Block Records won Record Label of the Year, while new comer Pyrex Press won Best New Artist. Boaz’s determination brought him the Best Male Artist nod, while Emmai Alaquiva, GQ, Gambino, and J-Kruz were also winners. Those who didn’t win will definitely have something to set their sights on for next year. - Lola Sims (lolasims@gmail.com)


Jim Jones passed through Sacramento and “Popped Champagne” with the people at another 103.5 The Bomb Artist Invasion. Worldstarhiphop.com and Jordan Tower Films came through and shot videos with Sacramento artists JDK and Bueno. The Sacramento Kings retired Chris Webber’s jersey and a star studded crowd partied at Center Court in honor of the former King. - Lavega “Kream” Sims (lavegais@yahoo.com)


Hot 104.1’s on air personality Tony J. delivered another spectacular turnout for his 2009 Traffic Music Awards. This was the second time Tony J. pulled off this great show of unity in the STL Hip Hop scene. Categories and winners – R&B artist: Nikko Smith, Collaboration: Family Affair “U Gona Luv,” Street Song: Kenny Knox “Get Ghetto,” Producer of the Year: Laudie, Poet: Li Li, Business: Black Pearl Tattoo, DJ of the Year: DJ Sno, Publication: STL American, Club Song: Shawty the Kid “Wah Wah Wow,” Radio Personality: Kaos and Silly Azz, Female Artist: Y-esha, LegendAward: DJ 618, Radio song: Murphy Lee “My Shoes,” Humanitarian: Lee “RoseMan” Nixon (R.I.P.). - Jesse James (JesseJames314@aol.com)


2 Pistols and Young Joe hit the studio with Cool of Cool N Dre and Cool’s artist C-Ride to record “Lights Low.” The record will appear on 2 Pistols’ sophomore album Arrogant. M. Jay and Team Fetti Street Starz released the street smash “Encore” and recorded another track with Nappy Boy Digital artist Tay-Dizm. DJ Spinatik and DJ Drama teamed up for the latest installment of Spinatik’s Street Runnaz series. Funkghost debuted “The Way I Rock My Clothes” on Pirate Radio Invasion, my new show airing Fridays 5:00pm to 7:00 pm on USF’s WBUL 1620 AM. - Slick Worthington (Myspace.com/SlickWorthington)


MattyBoi and Broken’s new single “Wanna Be with You” is creating a strong buzz locally. Club Next Level is the new place to kick it every weekend downtown. Jay-Be has blessed the streets with another blazin’ mixtape entitled Return to Good Music. FlyTrap Music Hall is open for Hip Hop artists to perform weekly for local exposure. - DJ Civil Rightz (djcivilrightz12@yahoo.com)


The DMV has two new open mic events: X.O. hosts a showcase at the Pure Lounge every Monday, and Young Sleep hosts Keys 2 the City at the Island Cafe every first and third Monday. Tabi Bonney just released a video for his next single “Rich Kids.” Tabi also directed the “May Sound Crazy” video for female MC Lady A. The Wasteland Mob just shot a video for their single “Boots Laced Up” directed by Skinny Corleone. DC native Angel Lola Luv has the streets buzzing about her recent ambition to pick up the mic. - Sid “DCSuperSid” Thomas (dcsupersid@aol.com) Compiled by Ms. Rivercity OZONE MAG // 15




ark Curry has written a tell-all book slamming Puffy’s business practices while telling his firsthand experience about the shadier practices in the entertainment industry (practices which sadly prevail in almost every company). And he tells it loudly, with examples and by naming names, from his experiences in the music industry while being signed to Bad Boy for more than a decade.

needed done. He watched Puff get into numerous legal scrapes to emerge victorious. He watched Puff use Biggie’s death to increase his own popularity, fame, income, and fanbase. Mark watched one disgruntled artist after another leave Bad Boy. He babysat other artists under the guise of “developing” them at the label. And Mark watched promise after promise fade into dust, even when he was most desperate. He waited for his turn to come. It never did.

The story hasn’t changed much in 40 years since artists were given fancy new Cadillacs in exchange for their music. Sadly, even still today, it’s the price many creative people are willing to pay for their chance at “getting on” or some primal need for fame, and to a lesser degree, money. Why do the artists stay in such bad situations? They believed what they were told; they got lost in or blinded by the glitz and glamour; they were a family; “I knew he needed me so he’d have to do right eventually;” “He said if I would just wait a little longer, all of my dreams would come true;” It’s a building process; “My turn would come;” “All I wanted to do was buy my Mom a house, and he was on his fourth Bentley so I knew he’d break bread eventually.” Blah, blah, blah. I’ve heard it all….

When Mark Curry reflected on why he spent ten years at Bad Boy without ever releasing his own record, he took responsibility for his bad decisions. He surmised that he had more value to Puff building Puff’s career. He also felt that it was because he was trusting enough to believe his mentor and label president when he spun him by telling him the timing wasn’t right, or that he was busy with the planning of his next party or his clothing company or his world tour…or the most common excuse: we’re waiting for your budget to be approved (a lie that a label accountant finally exposed by telling Mark that Puff had never submitted a budget for Mark’s project).

Mark Curry was signed to Bad Boy Records through a production company that was bought out almost immediately. This is a way for people behind the scenes in the industry to get a quick paycheck. Someone finds an artist and brings the artist to the record label (in this case, a street dude). The label recognizes the value of that artist and wants that artist in their camp. The label “tests out” the artist’s talent by giving him, or her, an assignment. The assignment is usually to write a song or make a track for another already signed artist who is struggling for a hit record to “help” the family, or company, or team. In Mark Curry’s case, it was P Diddy himself looking to make a hit single for a soundtrack to a Godzilla movie. Mark delivered. Once the label is convinced the artist has value, it comes time to pull out the paperwork. In Mark’s case, he says Puff gave him a contract to sign with the middleman. When Mark asked why he couldn’t sign directly to Bad Boy instead, he was told because the middleman was Puff’s friend (as an ironic twist, this same friend is the person Puff testified in front of a grand jury that he didn’t know his real name—a similar crime sent Lil Kim to prison in a different case) and actually found Mark and brought him to Puff. After Mark balked at the language in the contract that he was unable to understand, he says Puff was kind enough to send him to an attorney (after Puff allegedly asked that famous question, “Don’t you trust me? I thought we were cool?!”). That attorney, Kenny Meiselas, turned out to be one of Puff’s entertainment attorneys at a strong and credible law firm. Conflict of interest? Not exactly, because Mark wasn’t exactly signing to Bad Boy. Mark was advised to sign the deal by counsel, so he did. Puffy then bought the contract from the middleman, thereby putting a wad of money--recoupable money from the artist, in the middleman’s pocket and landing Mark Curry on Bad Boy. That contract entitled Mark to a $75,000 advance: $25k was a signing bonus (recoupable), $25k was for the rights to half of his publishing (recoupable), and the remaining $25k would be given to him upon release of his debut album (also recoupable)--an album that never came. Since the middleman had taken half of Mark’s publishing off the top, he received that $25k, so all Mark received for signing to Bad Boy was $25,000. He knew it didn’t feel right, but he focused on the future and the other ways there were to make money in this business. As Mark was consistently promised the opportunity to work on his own album, he was sidetracked with tours, writing songs for Puff, and teaching Puff how to deliver his rhymes. Basically, his career was put on hold to build the artistic career of his boss. Mark went along with that because he saw everyone else in the camp doing so, and figured it was the way things worked. He watched Puff enact sales pitches on everyone in the “Bad Boy family” to get them to do whatever Puff

In “Dancing With The Devil,” Mark pointed out numerous ways that Bad Boy and Puff, directly, was able to profit from artists. In most Bad Boy contracts there is a clause stating that the artist has to pay Puff for appearances on a record. Since Puff is creating the album, he controls those appearances. At $40,000 per appearance (even if it’s just whispering “Bad Boy! Bad Boy!” in the background), he can make a fortune by appearing on his own artists’ records. Bad Boy artists often record at Daddy’s House, a studio owned by the mogul. If an artist receives a recording budget of $250,000, that fund can easily be spent with Hitmen producers (you guessed it, producers who are signed to the mogul with a stake in the publishing rights) at Daddy’s House studio (rumored to be charging the current going rate of studio time at $125 an hour in the late 90s). Not only does the production and recording fund go to Bad Boy owned entities, but it is all recoupable from the artists’ budgets—a double win for any company willing to do business this way. Mark also pointed out that when Mary J Blige was recording at Daddy’s House, for example, she would be billed for 8 hours in the studio, but may have only used 6 hours. Those additional 2 hours would be paid from her MCA recording budget, but would be used by Bad Boy Recording artists -- artists with no ties to MCA. Mark also set the record straight about Kirk Burrowes, a former Bad Boy President, who was allegedly threatened into signing away his 25% ownership in Bad Boy, but was strung along long enough (apparently with the promise of money) to miss the statute of limitations deadline to sue for what he claimed was rightfully his. When the deadline passed, it seems he was quickly fired. There are two things I didn’t like about “Dancing With The Devil,” although it’s an amazingly honest, insightful, and brave book. The way Mark listed names of street dudes who were in Puffy’s circle was a bit excessive. Now, I’m not saying he didn’t tell the truth, but I don’t feel he needed to discuss by name who allegedly shot Tupac in Quad Studios, or who allegedly killed Puff’s bodyguard Wolf, or who allegedly shot Jake on the fateful night that is credited with kicking off the East Coast/West Coast beef. Secondly, while there are more artists than not who have signed to Bad Boy and eventually cried foul, shady industry tactics are not the sole dominion of Bad Boy. I realize Mark is speaking from his personal experience, and it is his autobiography, so he is only speaking about what he knows. Bad Boy is NOT the only company, by any means, in this industry that has been accused by its artists of shady and fraudulent business practices. Although it IS one of the most successful, and has been accepted without due diligence by journalists, the media, fans, executives, the industry, star fuckers, fame groupies, hoes, and partygoers alike. “Dancing With The Devil” was a riveting read, and a must for anyone who takes a career in the music business seriously. Once I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down til I was finished the book. It is available at www.MarkCurryBooks.com. // “I told you that we won’t stop…uh, uh… I told you that we won’t stop” – Sean “Puffy” Combs


(above L-R): DJ Franzen & Ray J @ Poetry in Las Vegas, NV (Photo: Julia Beverly); Ludacris, Tity Boy, & his daughter @ Straits in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Ms Rivercity); Richie Rich & Too Short @ The Mezzanine in San Francisco, CA (Photo: D-Ray)

01 // Kia Shine & Mistah FAB @ KGOT (Anchorage, AK) 02 // Jay Rock & Mack Maine @ Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy party (Hollywood, CA) 03 // Sway & Colby O’Donis @ the Grammys radio room (Los Angeles, CA) 04 // Sanaa Lathan & DJ KTone @ his birthday bash (Denver, CO) 05 // DJ Nasty, DJ Khaled, Dre, & ladies on the set of Rick Ross’s “Magnificent” (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Gucci Mane, OJ da Juiceman, & Nicki Minaj on the set of OJ da Juiceman’s “Make The Trap Say Aye” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 07 // E-40 with his wife & son Droop-E @ Pure (Las Vegas, NV) 08 // Memphitz & Glasses Malone @ Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy party (Hollywood, CA) 09 // Baydilla gets some ass @ Club Elixir for OZONE’s Alaska party (Anchorage, AK) 10 // De Ja Vu & Wendy Day @ the SEAs (Tunica, MS) 11 // China Redd & The Go DJ’s @ China Redd’s Listening Party (New Orleans, LA) 12 // Terrell & Shawty Lo @ Freelon’s (Jackson, MS) 13 // T, Big J, & Mr Indiana @ Cloud 9 (Indianapolis, IN) 14 // DJ Chicken & the models on the set of the Gwap Boyz video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 15 // Zaytoven, Portia, & DJ Holiday @ Metronome Studios (Atlanta, GA) 16 // R Profit of Nappy Roots & DJ Q45 @ the MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 17 // Lil T & P-Nut @ Club Elixir for OZONE’s Alaska party (Anchorage, AK) 18 // Tony Yayo, Bay Bay’s wife, 50 Cent, & Bay Bay @ Koko’s for Bay Bay’s birthday bash (Shreveport, LA) 19 // VIC & J Money @ Crucial for J Money’s mixtape release party (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (02,03,07,08); DJ KTone (04); Eric Perrin (06,13,18); Francois B (05); Julia Beverly (01,09,17); Kingpin (10); Marcus DeWayne (11,14); Maurice Garland (16); Ms Rivercity (15,19); Ralph Smith (12)


Best known for his BET Uncut videos which played in heavy rotation during the show’s heydey, Joker da Bailbondsman’s goal was to let the world know that Alaska had a rap scene. His career was cut short when he was arrested shortly after attending the 3rd annual OZONE Awards in Miami. In early 2008, he was sentenced to 10 years in Federal prison on drug charges. Here, he checks in with fellow Anchorage fam BayDilla and Out da Cutt Records (see pg. 48) and shares his perspective from inside the prison walls.


(above L-R): Warren G & Bishop Lamont @ the Key Club in Hollywood, CA (Photo: D-Ray); Mistah FAB & C-Bo @ Industry Studios in Kansas City, MO (Photo: Ms Rivercity); Fonsworth Bentley & Polow da Don @ the MOSI Super Bowl party in Tampa, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly)

01 // Too Short & Pookie @ Club Flow (Dallas, TX) 02 // Shawt & Snipe on the set of the Gwap Boyz video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 03 // Cat Daddy & models on the set of the Gwap Boyz video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 04 // Warren G & BG (Los Angeles, CA) 05 // Uptown Angela, Ronald McDonald & Wild Wayne @ the Bayou Classic (New Orleans, LA) 06 // Rage & LA on the set of DJ Drama’s “Daydreaming” video shoot (Los Angeles, CA) 07 // Gucci Mane & OJ da Juiceman on the set of “Make The Trap Say Aye” (Atlanta, GA) 08 // E-40 & J-Diggs @ Sliders (Phoenix, AZ) 09 // YV puttin’ it down @ MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 10 // Yung Ralph & Bigga Rankin @ Primetime for Gucci Mane’s Welcome Home party (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Lloyd & his #1 Fans @ The International Arts Fest (New Orleans, LA) 12 // DJ Mack, Tony Neal, & Tre Dubb @ Maximedia Studios for Texas Summer Music Conference (Dallas, TX) 13 // Dappa, The Show, Jigga JT, Bobby Valentino & DJ Wop @ the Bayou Classic (New Orleans, LA) 14 // Alex Cannon, Jessica, & Eric Perrin @ Ice House (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Mad Linx & Malik Abdul @ Big Engine Entertainment’s Christmas party (Indianapolis, IN) 16 // Nicki Minaj & crew @ the I Am Music Tour (Hampton, VA) 17 // DJ Burn One & DJ Big Tiny @ Music House Studios (Atlanta, GA) 18 // Michael Watts, DJ KTone, DJ Shawney, & DJ Quote @ Independent Records (Denver, CO) 19 // The Gwap Boyz & China Redd on the set of the Gwap Boyz video shoot (New Orleans, LA) 20 // The Leak Models @ Big Engine Entertainment’s Christmas Party (Indianapolis, IN) 21 // Jay Rock & Damani on the set of DJ Drama’s “Daydreaming” video shoot (Los Angeles, CA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (04,06,08,21); DJ Ktone (18); Edward Hall (01); Eric Perrin (09,10,14,15,20); Jax (16); Marcus DeWayne (02,03,05,11,13,19); Ms Rivercity (17); Tre Dubb (12)


Things have drastically changed over the past four years for Christopher “Big Nutt” Donaldson. Formerly a Florida/Georgia concert promoter and record label owner (at left, before his 2005 indictment), Big Nutt is now serving a 40 year sentence in a Federal prison in for conspiring to distribute crack cocaine (at right, with his sons). In his own (unedited) words, here is his story: For Prison Diary submissions contact RapCoalition@aol.com

Prelude: In September 2005, the United States Grand Jury indicted Christopher “Big Nutt” Donaldson on a 7 count indictment (only 3 charged to him) which included Conspiracy; Cocaine Distribution and Crack Distribution. The Federal Government without any actual evidence or proven drug history, in a sense, forced Nutt to take a plea agreement instead of going to trial and getting 40 years in federal prison. The Grand Jury indictment was handed down based off of hearsay from snitches and cooperating agreements by his co-defendants. The offered to drop the other charges and plea out to a crack distribution charge. What sensible choice did he have? The former concert promoter and current Founder and CEO of the highly anticipated 424 International Inc. movement was convicted and sent to federal prison off of HEARSAY and NO EVIDENCE! This is what the game has come to. I am C. Donaldson but everyone calls me BIG NUTT, (childhood friends call me P-Nutt, LOL). I am Founder and CEO of 424 International Inc. headquartered in Atlanta, GA. I’ve been in the Feds almost 4 years in Jesup, GA. I was charged and convicted on Distribution of Crack Cocaine. I originally was sentenced to 87 months (7 years 3 months) but within the first year of being down, I found a mistake in my case made at sentencing. If I never would have found it, the Courts would not have straightened it on its own, believe that. The Judge sentenced me to the wrong base offense level. The difference between the wrong level and the correct level was 2 years. I hired an attorney to handle this matter. The Courts determined I was right. It cost me 3 Gs to get 9 months off my sentence instead of the 2 years. Due to the fact that I wasn’t a cooperating source, I received “no extra love” or time off. Nevertheless, my sentence was reduce from 87 months to 78 months. That’s a big difference when you are behind that barb wire. I wanna encourage all of my men and women in the system to never give up in the fight with your case. Study and take a detailed look at your case. 9 times out of 10 there is a mistake (loophole) that was made that can provide possible relief for you. Trust me on that! Anyway, prior to prison I was a concert promoter. I’ve held shows and concerts and other type of events in different cities and states to where I would pay anywhere from $5,000 to $35,000 for acts like Lil Wayne, TI, Young Jeezy, T Pain, Young Buck, JT Money, Trina, Trick Daddy, Field Mob, Bun B, 8 Ball and MJG, Gucci Mane, Youngbloodz, Purple Ribbon All Stars, Jackie O, Ying Yang Twins, Mike Jones, Webbie, D4L, BG, Uncle Luke, Juvenile, Dem Franchize Boyz, Baby (Birdman) and many more... along with a host of car shows, comedy shows and more events.

the independent label. Young Jeezy said it best when he said, “As soon as you get your money (business) right, they hit you with Conspiracy”... THAT’S SO TRUE! After being indicted and convicted, I could no longer pursue my vision of releasing my artists at that time. Currently I have founded and spear-headed 424 International Inc. 424 means DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR, and the message and purpose behind this movement is long overdue. We are out to “even the scales” as I like to call it and eventually overtake them. I was cut from a cloth of being a Real and Stand Up Individual when faced with any and every situation that presented itself to me. This would include when I became indicted by the Feds and faced several years in prison. I stood tall like any real person suppose to and accepted my responsibility without snitching and bringing down someone else. Throughout my bid I have become aware of just how out-numbered “Stand Up” individuals are. The snitching is out of hand and I am fearful that the next generation will believe and feel that it’s okay. Well it’s not and that’s what 424 is all about. We are 1 way and 1 way only “Real/Standup”! We salute and pay homage to all the Real/Trill men and women out there. It’s my vision to take back and spread this movement one city, one hood, one block, and one state at a time. Through the many Divisions and Ventures of 424 International Inc., “WE WILL EVEN THE SCALES”...424 is not designed as a new trend or fad. It’s a Way of Life, A Belief, A MOVEMENT. We eat, sleep, breathe, and live this shit to the fullest. Keep your eyes and ears open... WE COMIN’!!!! I must take this opportunity to show love and pay homage to a few people. To my people, you know who you are and where you stand with me - much luv to you! Free Larry Hoover, much love and respect to my 424 Spanish Community, Yella Boi (L.T.), General @ STREETREPORT (I respect your mind homie), LadyBug (keep your head held HIGH...I got you), and to all my “REAL” men and women in the Federal and State Prison System, I salute you --- Get at me! Oh and a Major Huge FUCK YOU to those “Snitchin Hot Muthafuckars”, Make sure you Get At Me!!!! Realtalk! Gotta give a 424 shout out to the realest/baddest bitch in the game (no disrespect intended) Wendy Day of Rap Coalition. We see and share in your vision with Rap Coalition. You provide info and knowledge on how we can empower ourselves in this industry and take control of our own destiny. I love and salute you for that. MUCH LUV TO YOU, keep doing what you do! As the oldest but truest saying goes “Real Recognize Real”! I am due back to the world in late 2009! If you wanna be part of this movement or request more info or have a 424 story, get at me @

On top of promoting concerts and shows for adults, I would hold bi-weekly High School Bashes and would have hundreds of kids come out and enjoy themselves in a saf e environment. I have much love and respect for the Soulja Boys, Lil Wils, GS Boyz and other young stars gettin to the money. They are the next generation and I support them fully.

Christopher Donaldson 87951-020 Federal Prison Camp 2650 Highway 301 South Jesup, GA 31599

At the time I was busy being a promoter, I was also building my team of artists to release to the industry with the first artist to be released name Poysin (pronounced Poison) out of Tallahassee, Florida. I ran the promoting venture hand in hand with

1 Luv People, Big Nutt -- 424 (Da Real Never Fold)


or email us at 424forlife@gmail.com

(above L-R): Gucci Mane & Nicki Minaj on the set of OJ da Juiceman’s “Make The Trap Say Aye” video shoot in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin); Tyga & T-Pain @ Cash Money’s PreGrammy party in Hollywood, CA (Photo: D-Ray); Mr Marcus & Rich Boy @ the Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin)

01 // Usher’s group Kwiet Storm @ Sugar Hill (Atlanta, GA) 02 // D-Ray, Ginuwine, & Devi Dev @ the Grammys radio room (Los Angeles, CA) 03 // Lil Chuckee & Raz B (Los Angeles, CA) 04 // Malik Abdul, DJ Quote, & DJ KTone @ Independent Records (Denver, CO) 05 // Bobby Valentino & Grand Hussle @ the Bayou Classic (New Orleans, LA) 06 // Hugo & actor Christian Keyes @ The New Orleans Arena (New Orleans, LA) 07 // DJ Drama, Gucci Mane, Soulja Boy, & Johnnie Cabbell on the set of Soulja Boy’s “Gucci Bandana” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Ginuwine & J Holiday @ the Grammys radio room (Los Angeles, CA) 09 // Yung Joc & Bobby V on the set of his video shoot for “Hands On Me” (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Teyana Taylor, Nelly, Polow da Don, & Rich Boy @ MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 11 // DJ Backside & Warren G (Los Angeles, CA) 12 // C Baby & DJ Dimepiece @ Club 303 (Denver, CO) 13 // Bay Bay & Jabber Jaws (Shreveport, LA) 14 // Kenny Brewer & Randy Roper @ Club Dreams for his birthday party (Columbia, SC) 15 // Slim Thug & 50 @ the MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 16 // Tigger reppin’ OZONE @ Plies’ car show (Tampa, FL) 17 // Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, DJ Nasty, & Spiff on the set of Rick Ross’s “Magnificent” (Atlanta, GA) 18 // Unique Image & Chris J @ Plies’ car show (Tampa, FL) 19 // Pleasure P gives Star a little lovin’ @ The Cricket for Pleasure P’s birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 20 // Matt Daniels & Mad Linx @ the MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 21 // Models @ MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) Photo Credits: D-Ray (02,03,08,11); DJ KTone (04,12); Eric Perrin (09,10,13,14,21); Francois B (17); Julia Beverly (15,20); Malik Abdul (07); Marcus DeWayne (05,06,19); Ms Rivercity (01,18); Terrence Tyson (16)


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




f you look at the logo, my chain says “Oakland,” not “Raiders.” It’s the Raiders logo, but that’s the difference. I chose the Raiders logo instead of the Oakland A’s or Golden State Warriors because the Raiders have always had a gutter, thuggish background. The A’s and Warriors have always had a more family-friendly image. The piece is made of platinum and white and black diamonds. It’s 100 karats and I invested $40,000 in the piece. I also have “Welcome To Oakland” written on the back. I just wanted to show love to the Town and and the team. If [The Raiders] don’t start winning, the piece will be on eBay. (laughs) I think we’re gonna do good this year though. We picked up Jeff Garcia. Jamarcus Russell was overrated and drafted in a false light. He’s big and can throw far, but he can’t take hits. On top of


that, the [Raiders owner] Al Davis needs to sit his old ass down and stop coming to the games. I respect him as a hustler but he doesn’t want to pay nobody. That’s why no one wants to play here. He’s on TV looking like a rooster. In case you’re wondering, yes, I can wear my chain in the Black Hole. Those are my homies, but they are 100% serious in there, you will get hurt. They love the chain, though, they love seeing someone invest in the team like that. I think I’ve got more money invested in the team than Al Davis right now. I got the piece from Jahan Diamond Imports in San Francisco. I got it there because they don’t make jewelry in Oakland; they take jewelry in Oakland. // As told to Maurice G. Garland // Photo by D-Ray

(above L-R): Kurupt & DJ Quik @ Avalon in Hollywood, CA (Photo: D-Ray); TI greets Shawty Lo backstage @ Phillips Arena for the Swagga Like Us concert in Atlanta, GA; Fabolous & Kia Shine @ Ten Pin bowling alley for Kia Shine’s “Checkin’ My Fresh” video shoot in Atlanta, GA (Photos: Julia Beverly)

01 // Dem Hoodstarz & guest @ Sliders (Phoenix, AZ) 02 // Guest & Mr Marcus @ Freelon’s (Jackson, MS) 03 // King Arthur & DJ Scorpio @ Echo Studios for 8Ball & MJG’s listening session (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Jay Rock, D-Ray, & Busta Rhymes @ the Grammys radio room (Los Angeles, CA) 05 // Unique Image & DJ Q45 @ the Underground (Tampa, FL) 06 // Sway & guest @ Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy party (Hollywood, CA) 07 // DJ Q45 & Chris J @ Plies’ car show (Tampa, FL) 08 // Baby Bash on the set of Baby Bash’s “That’s How I Go” (Los Angeles, CA) 09 // Bobby V & DJ Holiday on the set of his video shoot for “Hands On Me” (Atlanta, GA) 10 // Trey Songz & guest @ the I Am Music Tour (Hampton, VA) 11 // Baydilla & Megga @ KGOT (Anchorage, AK) 12 // Eric Perrin & Aurora Jolie @ the Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Rich Boy & Keith Kennedy @ MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 14 // Mad Linx, Mr Indiana, & DJ Q45 @ Big Engine Entertainment’s Christmas Party (Indianapolis, IN) 15 // P-Nut, Kia Shine, & Dame Fame @ Club Elixir for OZONE’s Alaska party (Anchorage, AK) 16 // Stax & DJ Drama @ Freelon’s (Jackson, MS) 17 // DJ Drama & LA on the set of DJ Drama’s “Daydreaming” video shoot (Los Angeles, CA) 18 // 211 & Glasses Malone @ Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy party (Hollywood, CA) 19 // The Chopper City models & the Drank Crew @ The Venue for the Chopper City Boyz listening party (New Orleans, LA) 20 // Power 102.9’s DJ BombShell Boogie & Q93’s Wild Wayne @ Club Xquisite for Trina’s concert (New Orleans, LA) 21 // Shawty Shawty & guest @ Uptown Comedy Club for Shawty Shawty’s Roast (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,04,08,17,18); Eric Perrin (03,09,12,13,14,21); Jax (10); Julia Beverly (11,15); Marcus DeWayne (19,20); Ralph Smith (02,16); Terrence Tyson (05,07)


The strip club is probably the last place you’d want to be reminded about religion, but then again, you’ve probably never had Faith. “I know Faith is not the typical name for a dancer, but I chose that name because of everything I’ve been through. I’ve learned you’ve just gotta have faith,” says the 21-year-old dime from Tampa. And with a figure measuring 34-28-38, her customers certainly have faith when witnessing her heavenly body. But regardless of her near-flawless frame, the former Army brat favors her eyes to any other feature she boasts. Her self-proclaimed alias is Dream Eyez, and she uses them to hypnotize her faithful following. “I’ve had a few of the same customers the entire time I’ve been dancing,” proclaims the aspiring model/ actress. “This one guy followed me to every club I’ve ever danced at. He’s a real loyal customer.” Before Faith had loyal customers at the strip club, she amassed a devoted fan club as a Hooters girl, a job she loved. “I’ve never been one to show off my figure,” says Faith. “I’ve always been real shy, but being a Hooters girl helped me become more comfortable talking to people. That’s actually how I started wanting to model, being out there in those Hooters’ outfits.” But Hooters only serves wings, and Faith flaunts more breasts and thighs, so it was only fitting that she eventually leave her orange and white clad uniform for one a little less concealing. Though her new job on the pole pays more, the seafood fiend says she misses the snow crab legs at her old gig. Though she has an affinity for fattening foods, Faith avoids them as much as possible, as she is serious about her model ambitions. “Whenever I’m not working, I’m going to casting calls and all model calls. I really want to get into acting, but I’m trying to start off modeling and hope it leads me to acting roles.” If her Hollywood dreams don’t materialize, Faith plans to continue her final few semesters in college where she is working towards a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and Marketing. Though she is still searching for one area of business that suits her best, she knows she wants to be a businesswoman. “Maybe one day I’ll open up my own modeling company,” she says. “I’ve just gotta have faith.” // www.myspace.com/dreameyez381 Words: Eric Perrin Website: Strokersclub.com Booking: myspace.com/strokersatl Photography: DC The Brain Supreme dcphotoimaging.com Make up & Hair by Mike Mike 678-732-5285


(above L-R): Lil Scrappy & Monica @ Phillips Arena for the Swagga Like Us concert in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly); Trey Songz & Bryan Michael Cox @ the Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin); Flavor Flav & Brisco @ Dolce for Flo Rida’s album release party in Miami, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly)

01 // Gucci Mane & Bigga Rankin @ Primetime for Gucci Mane’s Welcome Home party (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Simone & Shawty @ Uptown Comedy Club for Shawty Shawty’s Roast (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Tom G & DJ Q45 during Super Bowl weekend (Tampa, FL) 04 // Black Walt, Toothpic, Mistah FAB, & Hobo Tone @ Industry Studios (Kansas City, MO) 05 // Asher Roth & SuperSnake @ the Grammys radio room (Los Angeles, CA) 06 // Mr Marcus, Tambra Cherie, & DJ Unpredictable @ Freelon’s (Jackson, MS) 07 // DJ Blak & Yung Joc checkin’ out Bay Bay’s chain (Shreveport, LA) 08 // Rich Boy & Polow da Don @ MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 09 // The Chopper City Boyz Snipe, Gar & BG @ The Venue for the Chopper City Boyz listening party (New Orleans, LA) 10 // Tyga & Mack Maine @ Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy party (Hollywood, CA) 11 // DJ KTone & Young Doe @ Blue Ice (Denver, CO) 12 // Duval Pretty Boys @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 13 // Cory Sparks, Crunchy Black, & Janiro Hawkins (Memphis, TN) 14 // OG & Baydilla @ Club Elixir for OZONE’s Alaska party (Anchorage, AK) 15 // Kervins, Squeak, & Bernard Parks @ Patchwerk Studios for Music University (Atlanta, GA) 16 // Young Dro, Snake, TI, & Lil C @ Echo Studios for 8Ball & MJG’s listening session (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Lil Wayne & Tre Dubb @ American Airlines Arena (Dallas, TX) 18 // Jimmie Rein & Balance on the set of Balance’s video shoot (Hayward, CA) 19 // Latin Prince & E-40 on the set of Baby Bash’s “That’s How I Go” (Los Angeles, CA) 20 // Lil Jon, Baby Bash, & Frankie J on the set of “That’s How I Go” (Los Angeles, CA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (05,10,18,19,20); DJ KTone (11); Eric Perrin (01,02,07,16); Janiro Hawkins (13); Julia Beverly (06,14); Malik Abdul (12); Marcus DeWayne (09); Ms Rivercity (04,08,15); Terrence Tyson (03); Tre Dubb (17)


Hood Deeds WORDS & PHOTO By Eric Perrin

Are You a G? abcdefG 7 Questions to FIND OUT if R&B SINGER MYKO is the 7th letter of the alphabet. New York Jets’ running C. Did any of your two you’ve written? back Thomas Jones is the latest athlete with ambitions of being a music mogul. His flagship R&B artist Myko may help Jones succeed where many other athletes-turnedmusic-execs have failed. OZONE put the Atlanta native to the test to see if he is in fact a G’ or just another soft ass singa.

A. Are you a real singer or more of a T-Pain hybrid? I’ve been singing ever since I can remember. I started singing in the church, but I didn’t get serious with it as a career until 2001. I’ve been doing showcases all over. I’ve been on the treadmill for a while, just getting my swag up. For being true to the craft Myko gets a point, but he almost lost us with that treadmill analogy. B. What ‘hood are you from? I’m originally from the A, born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I grew up in Zone 3. My father was a minister and my mom was [involved in] the church, so their focus was to make sure we were brought up in the church. I grew up a block away from the projects but I had a good family. My upbringing humbled me; I know what its like to struggle and have to work 2 or 3 jobs. You can leave the hood and still be a G’, just ask Tip. 26 // OZONE MAG

or three jobs entail hustlin’ on the block? I was never a d-boy, but every dude I know was a d-boy, I tried my hand at it, but that just wasn’t me. This answer is indecisive, so Myko gets no points.

D. In what ways have you been trying to make it as a singer? I’ve been out there on the treadmill, grinding. I’ve been performing at a lot of showcases, and in the A, every showcase is a rap showcase. If you’re an R&B singer and you want to get on, you’re going to have to do it at a rap showcase, so I just took myself to every rap showcase and blazed it. They don’t always respect singers, so if you get up on stage at a rap showcase, you better lay it down. If you don’t, they’re gonna boo you and throw shit at you. We’ll give Myko credit for trying to get on any way possible, even if it means getting hit by a shoe. E. Why do you think you’ll make it in music? I feel like I’m good right now. I’m not in nobody’s lane, and nobody is in my lane. Another ambiguous answer, so he gets no love on this one. F. What are the most unique song concepts

I’ve got a song called “Heels On,” that’s about telling a chick you want her to leave her heels on while y’all having sex. I’ve got a lot of songs for the ladies. I’ve got a song called “Masquerade Ball, that’s crazy. Another song, “Dangerous,” is about a girl I met in the strip club. I’m young and writing about things I know. For perhaps being the next R. Kelly-type nasty-ass R&B singer, Myko gets points.

G. What did the girl

who inspired your single “Late Night Creep” look like? It’s just about my experiences in general. Just being in Miami, in the clubs at like 4, or 5 in the morning and shawtys just come outside the club trying to get in the car with you. If you’re pulling up in Lambos and all that, they’re trying to leave with you, so that’s how the song came about. It’s something everybody can relate to. We wanted a description; you could’ve made something up. Next time just say, “5’5 with brown eyes,” that always works.

ScorE: 4/7

Myko gets a passing grade, but barely. Hopefully the music from his upcoming debut album will score higher when it’s released later this year. - Eric Perrin

The infamous Bankhead Community is known throughout the world as the hood that produced such talents as T.I., Shawty Lo, and a slew of other successful entertainers who rapped and hustled their way off of Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. But for every T.I., there are thousands of Bankhead natives who never have a chance of knowing another life. Seattle Seahawks safety Deon Grant, a Georgia native, has made millions in the NFL. He’s been on Super Bowl teams and even made it to a Pro Bowl. But Grant still feels obligated to help inspire the children of Bankhead. The man who received the largest signing bonus ever given to an NFL safety ventured to Bankhead Courts this past March. The Bankhead Court Projects are scheduled to be torn down later this year, but while they are still occupied the small Bankhead Courts Library remains in business. “I came from a similar inner-city [community],” explains Grant. “So I just try to give back as much as I can to motivate the kids in any way possible.” The way he chose to motivate this group of elementary age kids was certainly inspiring. Not only did Grant talk about the importance of reading, but he also answered all their questions, took pictures with every child, signed autographs, and reached in his own pocket to reward the kids with a cash prize based on their report card grades. “It all starts with them believing there’s hope,” says Grant. “The main things I hope my presence does is help them set goals and believe that there is a way they can go, other than the negative route.”

by Maurice G. Garland

1. LUNCH MONEY (myspace.com/lunchmoneymusic)

Trap money, drug money, blood money, street money? Please. Lunch Money is really what’s good in the hood. It’s the most coveted currency in the streets; it’s what you’ve been striving for since elementary school. All jokes aside, this Miami-based artist is a part of the Inner Circle family tree (they made the “Bad Boys” song used for COPS) and makes some pretty decent music.

2. SAFE SEX ENTERTAINMENT (myspace.com/kingpimpproductions)

If the company name doesn’t tell you what they’re about, surely lyrics like “I’ma pull your panties down, and put a Magnum on” will. Judging from the sound quality of their music, they’re practicing what they preach - it sounds like they record with a condom over the microphone.

3. TREASURE TROLL (www.myspace.com/treasuretroll)

“The Leprechaun” was just a nickname for Lil Flip, but this Mississippibased rapper is going all in with his name. Judging from the pictures on his myspace page, we can’t tell if he has pink hair or a diamond in his belly button that gives off a special power. We’re hoping he doesn’t.

(above L-R): Gorilla Zoe & Shawty Lo @ Zoe’s movie screening in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Ms Rivercity); Memphitz & Jay Rock @ Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy party in Hollywood, CA (Photo: D-Ray); TV Johnny & DJ Drama @ Coan Park for Soulja Boy’s “Gucci Bandana” video shoot in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Ms Rivercity)

01 // DJ KTone & Willie the Kid @ Club 303 (Denver, CO) 02 // Guest & Ray J @ Floyd Mayweather’s Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 03 // Nio Tha Gift & Balance on the set of Balance’s video shoot (Hayward, CA) 04 // The Chopper City models & 5th Ward Weebie @ The Venue for the Chopper City Boyz listening party (New Orleans, LA) 05 // Bobby Fisher & Mr Marcus @ Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party (Atlanta, GA) 06 // Chubbie Baby & Rocko @ the Artistry for Rick Ross’s listening party (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Doughski G & Too $hort @ Club Flow (Dallas, TX) 08 // Twista & Sway @ Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy party (Hollywood, CA) 09 // Twaun Pledger, Lil Boosie, & DJ Scream @ The Continental for Twaun’s video shoot (Birmingham, AL) 10 // DJ Drop, D’Lyte & DJ Lil E @ Club Flow (Dallas, TX) 11 // DJ Big Spade & Hypeman P @ Club 303 (Denver, CO) 12 // J Nicks, King Arthur, & DJ Silver Knight @ Primetime for Gucci Mane’s Welcome Home party (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Mr. Marcello, Meanor & Hot Beezo @ Club Hush for Partners N Crime birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 14 // Tahira Wright & Orlando McGhee @ Metronome Studios (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Shawty Lo & Tambra Cherie @ Freelon’s (Jackson, MS) 16 // Frank Dolla & Megga @ Club Elixir for OZONE’s Alaska party (Anchorage, AK) 17 // Lil Chuckee & Big Man (Los Angeles, CA) 18 // Keke & Shawnna on the set of OJ da Juiceman’s “Make The Trap Say Aye” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Jee’Van Brown, Malik Abdul, & Adero Dawson @ the Underground (Tampa, FL) Photo Credits: D-Ray (03,08,17); DJ KTone (01,11); Edward Hall (07,10); Eric Perrin (06,09,12,18); Julia Beverly (02,05,16); Marcus DeWayne (04,13); Ms Rivercity (14); Ralph Smith (15); Terrence Tyson (19)


editor’s note I’m Just Sayin’tho by D-Ray


he Drug Issue is always an interesting one to put together, reading the articles, hearing the stories, and learning about drugs. They’re a touchy subject whether you do them, know someone who does them, or know someone who sells them. *sigh* I’ve had odd experiences with people on drugs or alcohol that are out of their body and mind. People still never learn that the habit they have is a challenge and trying to overcome it is ruining them physically and mentally, tearing them and their families apart. A lot of that is caused by your mind being altered. If you just sit back and really reflect, you’ll see that you’re not the same person. Life is already an emotional roller coaster, so why do you think that abusing a drug will help your problems? It only adds to you problems, and boy, does it cost you. It costs you money, and it costs you time. You’re taking time away from your family because the drugs keep you away from them, or you slowly lose touch with your spiritual side. I’m no angel myself. I’ve had ventures with the other side before and it was nothing nice. I did things I would never normally do. Even if you regret your ignorance you still leave that scar in your mind that can never go away. You can aim to overcome it, though. Like I always say, mind over matter. If you’re strong enough and want to change, you can do it. Otherwise, there are no rehabs in the world that can help if you don’t first want it for yourself. It’s no one else’s fault that you have a habit. It’s your problem. Change is difficult, detox is horrible, but the aftermath is life with sunshine. You’ve lost so much time to bad choices, so let’s try to think of the consequences of our decisions and believe in our choice, not hide behind it. Stay true to yourself, if not to anyone else! Love yourself first before thinking you can love others. Look in the mirror and feel good! I’ve lost a lot of friends to drugs and I have a lot of friends serving time in Federal institutions because of drugs. Free Husalah, PSD Tha Drivah, Dubee, Bleu Davinci, Band Aide... I could go on and on

DJ Backside, Lil Jon, me, & Baby Bash on the set of Baby Bash’s“That’s How I Go” video shoot in LA

On another note, I’ve had a couple dope trips to L.A. these past few months. The Snoop Dogg show at the Avalon was dope. He pulled DJ Quik out. Stop playing! Snoop Dogg and DJ Quik. What a night! The I Am Music Tour was on my coast so I hit more than a few of the tour dates. I always knew Lil Wayne was gonna be a star, since back in the Hot Boys days! He’s aiming to be the best at everything he chooses to do, and has proven himself to be just that by going platinum just a couple days after the Carter III dropped. Every show was an exclusive, with a showcase from his well-rounded, all-around crew of artists on the Young Money label. Lil Chuckee, the youngest, is one of my favorites. It’s fun to watch him win the crowd over. He reminds me a lot of Wayne with his stage swag! And Drake? Stop playin’! I hit different cities in the West Coast and everywhere he went, bitches were roaring as he hit the stage! My goodness! My nephew said he’s gonna be the next big artist. I never doubted it, but to hear a stadium crowd roar and the kid hasn’t even dropped an album yet, wow. Move, bitch, get out the way! Mack Maine, you already know! It’s all love with Maine. He does his thing and then brings each one of the other artists out one by one. Big ups to the Cash Money/Young Mula gang. Weezy, you are a great leader! You perfect it and teach the perfection. Treat yourself, don’t cheat yourself, like Mac Dre used to say. RIP Thizz in Peace! To all the haters, stop hating on solid people! Spend that energy on something positive in your life! Check out the West Coast movement on WeTheWest.com. Special shout out to J Diggs for my puppy Beezy! A miniature pinscher in case you’re wondering. She’s dope! - D-Ray, OZONE West Editor-At-Large dray@ozonemag.com

Me & Smokey Robinson @ the Grammys radio room

Sam Bostic f/ The Jacka “Take Our Time” Bangloose f/ Problem “House Party” Damani, Lil Jon, & Swizz Beatz “I Do” Jayrock f/ The Game “Follow Me Home” Yukmouth f/ Ray J, Crooked I & Reign “I’m Gangsta” Tech N9ne f/ Crooked I & Chino XL “Sickology 101” Bueno f/ The Jacka, & Dubb 20 “That’s How I Go”


because there are so many more. See you when you get home!

Drake, me, & Jas Prince @ Universal Citywalk in LA

Me & Lil Chuckee in LA



Warren G “Mr. DJ” Omar Cruz “Back At It” Roccett “No Way You Can Win”

(above L-R): Killer Mike & Rick Ross @ The Artistry in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin); The Dogg Pound @ Avalon in Hollywood, CA (Photo: D-Ray); Flavor Flav & Lil Wayne @ Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy party in Hollywood, CA (Photo: D-Ray)

01 // DJ Backside, Keyshia Cole, & D-Ray @ Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy party (Hollywood, CA) 02 // Jigga JT, Bay Bay & DJ Black N Mild @ the Bayou Classic (New Orleans, LA) 03 // Gary Archer, Balance, & Big Will on the set of Balance’s video shoot (Hayward, CA) 04 // Jabber Jaws & 50 Cent @ Koko’s for Bay Bay’s birthday bash (Shreveport, LA) 05 // P-Nut, Lil T, & Baydilla @ Club Elixir for OZONE’s Alaska party (Anchorage, AK) 06 // Meany of the Shop Boyz & J Money @ Crucial for J Money’s mixtape release party (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Summer Walker & DJ Drama on the set of DJ Drama’s “Daydreaming” video shoot (Los Angeles, CA) 08 // Sylvia Rhone & Lil Wayne @ Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy party (Hollywood, CA) 09 // Ace Hood, DJ Nasty, & KC @ Firestone for DJ Nasty’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 10 // Travis Barker & Jay Jay @ Pure (Las Vegas, NV) 11 // Kyjuan, TJ Chapman, Murphy Lee, City Spud, Antonio Tarver, Slo’Down, Avery Storm, Nelly, & Ali of the St Lunatics @ MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 12 // Rob Green & Ms Rivercity @ The Artistry (Atlanta, GA) 13 // DJ Terantula & Polow da Don @ the MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 14 // Nikki Porch, China Redd, Ron Stewart, Downtown Leslie Brown, actor Christian Keyes & Love @ Power 102 (New Orleans, LA) 15 // Guests, Malik Abdul, & Slim Goodye @ MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 16 // Wayne Brady & Devi Dev @ the Grammys radio room (Los Angeles, CA) 17 // TI & Young Muhammad (Dallas, TX) 18 // The Jacka & Carl @ Highline (Hayward, CA) 19 // Models @ Koko’s for Bay Bay’s birthday bash (Shreveport, LA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,03,07,08,10,16,18); D’Lyte (17); Eric Perrin (04,11,12,19); Julia Beverly (05,13); Malik Abdul (09); Marcus DeWayne (02,14); Ms Rivercity (06,15)



OZONE EXCLUSIVE Textin’ is no longer safe now that OZONE’s dangerous minds have hacked the system.

SHAWTY LO: Hey, how u doin? It’s L-O TIP: Okay. What it is brah? SHAWTY LO: Nuthin much buddy, I just wanted to tell u how glad I am we friends. TIP: Okay. It’s all good patna. Be easy. SHAWTY LO: Naw, I’m serious. You my favorite rappa. I’m just real glad we patched it up. TIP: Okay. It’s all good patna. Be easy. SHAWTY LO: Guess what I’m doing right now. TIP: Being foolish? SHAWTY LO: Naw! But you silly though. LOL!!!!! I’m just thankin bout what u told me TIP: What I tell you? Shawty Lo: You told me a whole bunch of shit TI... U told me to live my live. You told that ain’t nobody got swagga like me. U told me that I could have whatever I like. I can relate to what ur sayin in ur songs. TIP: Are you serious? Lol. Quit foolin’ homeboy Shawty Lo: Naw, I’m serious. I got a room full of ur posters and ur pictures man. TIP: Aight patna. You too much for me homeboy, I’ll holla at you later. Shawty Lo: Hold on, can I come to ur crib later on to chill? I been dying to get outta Bankhead. TIP: I don’t know about that one. I’m kinda busy. Shawty Lo: Come on, lets get get get it!!!! TIP: I’m tryin to enjoy an evening with my kids and old lady. I’m gone have to catch u later patna Shawty Lo: You not mad at me is u? TIP: My phone bout to be outta batteries homeboy. I gotta go. Shawty Lo: I can bring u a charger. What kinda phone u got? (12 minutes later) Shawty Lo: I’m on my way… (22 minutes later) Shawty Lo: I’m outside knockin at the door. (53 minutes later) Shawty Lo: I dunn dunn waited at ur door for almost a hour. I coulda sworn I heard you inside the house, but maybe u ain’t home. I just gonna go drive past Club Crucial and see if you there. Holla at me. From the minds of Eric Perrin & Randy Roper // Photos by Eric Perrin & Ray Tamarra


(above L-R): DJ Q45 & Mad Linx @ Club 360 for Rick Ross’s Super Bowl viewing party in Tampa, FL; Shawty Shawty & OJ da Juiceman @ 3141 for DJ Infamous’ live mixtape session in Atlanta, GA; Young Jeezy & Fat Joe @ the Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party in Atlanta, GA (Photos: Eric Perrin)

01 // Goonettes @ Plies’ car show (Tampa, FL) 02 // Hyphy P, DJ Big Spade, Tatum Bell, Gabe, & DJ KTone @ Club 303 (Denver, CO) 03 // Droop-E & ladies @ Pure (Las Vegas, NV) 04 // Kadife Sylvester, Debra, & Gucci Mane @ Primetime for Gucci Mane’s Welcome Home party (Atlanta, GA) 05 // Jay Jay & Baby @ the W Hotel (Scottsdale, AZ) 06 // DJ Khaled, Ace Hood, DJ Nasty, & DJ Chino on the set of Rick Ross’s “Magnificent” (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Nut Da Kid, Gar, B.G & Snipe @ Club Xquisite for 5th Ward Weebie’s birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 08 // Mr Marcus & TJ Chapman on the set of Trey Songz’ “Brand New” (Atlanta, GA) 09 // Trey Songz & guest @ Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party (Atlanta, GA) 10 // DJ Ben, Bay Bay, & Big Tuck @ Maximedia Studios for Texas Summer Music Conference Winter Edition (Dallas, TX) 11 // Tambra Cherie & DJ Jonasty @ Freelon’s (Jackson, MS) 12 // Bay Bay & his wife @ Koko’s for Bay Bay’s birthday bash (Shreveport, LA) 13 // Ralph Smith & Shawty Lo @ Freelon’s (Jackson, MS) 14 // Megga, Kia Shine, Cold, & Mistah FAB @ Club Elixir for OZONE’s Alaska party (Anchorage, AK) 15 // The Show & Terrance J @ the Bayou Classic (New Orleans, LA) 16 // DJ Hektic & Anthony Hamilton @ House of Blues (New Orleans, LA) 17 // Laroo, J Stalin, Philthy Phil, & G-Stack @ Rasputin’s (Campbell, CA) 18 // Ron Stewart, DJ Raj Smoove, & Big Herc @ Power 102 (New Orleans, LA) 19 // Bigga Rankin & Montana da Mack @ Primetime for Gucci Mane’s Welcome Home party (Atlanta, GA) 20 // Summer Walker & friends on the set of DJ Drama’s “Daydreaming” video shoot (Los Angeles, CA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (03,05,17,20); DJ KTone (02); D’Lyte (10); Eric Perrin (04,12,19); Francois B (06); Julia Beverly (08,09,11,14); Marcus DeWayne (07,15,16,18); Ralph Smith (13); Terrence Tyson (01)


Devin The Dude

Devin and marijuana go hand in hand. If he’s not talking about smoking on his album, it just doesn’t seem right. Devin has a love for the “sticky green” so much, four of his album titles are dedicated to weed: Smoking Session Vol 1, Waiting To Inhale, Hi Life, and Landing Gear.

By Ms. Rivercity

Jee’van Brown

, and Eric Perrin


Bob Marley isn’t the original weed head, but he’s the first one that really mattered. Marley made being a pothead the thing to be. If it wasn’t for his influence, Jamaicans would be more known for their bobsled team than their ganja.

Smokey from Friday

This dude stayed high the whole movie. This fool was so high he didn’t even bother to show up for Next Friday. And you know you’re dealing with a true smoker when they try to use religion to justify smoking marijuana. “Weed is from the earth. God put this here for me and you.” Spoken like a true addict.

Cheech and Chong

Obviously these dudes are synonymous with the phrase “weed head.” Even though they’re old as hell, Cheech and Chong are probably the most famous THC connoisseurs across all generations and cultures. If smoking weed was really bad for you, these guys woulda been dead and gone by now, but nope, they’re still on the road with their Light Up America tour.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps won an amazing 8 gold medals at last summer’s Olympics, but years from now, what color will people most associate him with? Green.

Rick Ross

Rawse is undeniably a king of kush. Anyone who knows him knows that he has to smoke one blunt after another or else he will die (or pitch a fit). And he smokes good, too – if you stand within five feet of him you will catch a contact high in 2.5 seconds. You know he had to be gone off that Jamaica to impregnate two of the most trifling broads in America.

Snoop Dogg

One of the Dogg Father’s first introductions into the Hip Hop world was on Dr. Dre’s album The Chronic. The title of the album itself should have warned all Hip Hop fans of what they had in store: raw lyrics and a lot of weed smoking. Though Snoop has made many publicized attempts to quit, he always returns home to his best friend.

Mac Dre

He might be known for putting the “T” in Thizz, but Mac Dre liked weed too, a lot – the sticky green, not the brown weed, of course. Everyone knows Cali has the best weed in the continental United States, which explains how those hyphy dudes convinced themselves it’s cool and/or safe to get out of car while it’s still moving.


Lil’ Wayne

Though Wayne is perhaps known for his indiscretions with other drugs more so than weed, he is still among the most prolific weed heads in Hip Hop. It has even been speculated that without weed, Wayne’s lyrical prowess would be equal to that of Diddy. If that’s the case, let’s hope Wayne always stays high.

Dave Chappelle

Dave Chappelle, a.k.a. Rick James, made a whole career out of getting high. His first official acting gig may have been in Robin Hood, but his breakthrough role as the Thurgood Jenkins in Half Baked made him a celebrity smoker. “I wanna talk to Sampson!” Our apologies to Young Buck and so many others who deserve to be on this list.. we could only fit 10.

(above L-R): E-40 & Lil Jon on the set of “That’s How I Go” in Los Angeles, CA (Photo: D-Ray); Yung Joc, Yung LA, & Yung Bay Bay in Shreveport, LA (Photo: Eric Perrin); Rydah J Klyde & Talib Kweli @ the W Hotel in Scottsdale, AZ (Photo: D-Ray)

01 // Kadife Sylvester, Jarvis, & guest @ the Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party (Atlanta, GA) 02 // AD & the 48 Bars Fam @ Ice House (Atlanta, GA) 03 // DJ Black N Mild & Wild Wayne @ the Bayou Classic (New Orleans, LA) 04 // True Champ & OZONE Street Team Models B.Carroll, Quita & Love @ Club Hush for Partners N Crime birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 05 // TI & Slim the Mobster @ Record One Studio (Sherman Oaks, CA) 06 // Tyga & Fonsworth Bentley @ Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy party (Hollywood, CA) 07 // Warren G, Bishop Lamont, & Xzibit @ the Key Club (Los Angeles, CA) 08 // DJ Quote & DJ KTone @ Club 303 (Denver, CO) 09 // Drumma Boy, Greg Street, & Squeak @ Gorilla Zoe’s movie screening (Atlanta, GA) 10 // DJ Hektik & BG @ The Venue for the Chopper City Boyz listening party (New Orleans, LA) 11 // Kyjuan of the St Lunatics, Mad Linx, & Murphy Lee @ MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 12 // Fonsworth Bentley & DJ Q45 @ the MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 13 // T-Balla & Too Short @ Club Flow (Dallas, TX) 14 // Omeezy, Chocolate, DJ Silk, E-40, Laroo, & Gary Archer @ Expressions Studio (Berkeley, CA) 15 // OJ Da Juiceman & Big Co @ Plush Nightclub (Jacksonville, FL) 16 // Mekele, BG, & Quita @ The Venue for the Chopper City Boyz listening party (New Orleans, LA) 17 // Trina & friends @ Club Xquisite for Trina’s concert (New Orleans, LA) 18 // Skip Cheatham & Bow Wow @ K104 (Dallas, TX) 19 // Rick Ross & DJ Hollywood @ K104 (Dallas, TX) Photo Credits: D-Ray (05,06,07,14); DJ KTone (08); D’Lyte (18,19); Edward Hall (13); Eric Perrin (01,02); J Lash (11); Julia Beverly (12); Marcus DeWayne (03,04,10,16,17); Ms Rivercity (09); Terrence Tyson (15)


Side Effects Who says drugs are always bad? Did you know that most substances classified by the DEA as harmful narcotics were at one time used to treat everything from headaches to schizophrenia? We’re not saying you should trade in your B.C. powder for that white girl, but you might find this informational chart interesting. COMPILED BY MS RIVERCITY

Marijuana Approximate Origination Date: Its known uses date back to 7,000 B.C.

Cocaine Approximate Origination Date: Cocaine was first extracted in pure form from the leaves of the coca plant in 1860 by Albert Niemann. Medical Uses: Cocaine was thought to be a cure for nearly any illness or affliction known to man including toothache, headache, surface anesthetic, depression, even the common cold. Other Uses: In the late 1800s German soldiers were given the drug to increase their endurance during combat. Other Interesting Info: - Cocaine was a popular ingredient in wines due to alcohol increasing its potency. Coca wine received endorsement from prime-ministers, royalty and even the Pope. - Coca-Cola was first sold to consumers in 1886 as patent medicine; one of the original ingredients was cocaine. Today, Coca-Cola still uses coca leaves for flavoring but it does not contain the cocaine extract. - Drug testing will detect cocaine in the casual user for up to five days, up to three weeks for chronic users. Illegalization in U.S. In the United States cocaine was sold over the counter until 1916. 34 // OZONE MAG

Approximate Origination Date: MDMA was first synthesized in 1912. It was patented in Germany by the Merck Company in 1914. The first reported recreational use was in the 1960s. In the early 1980s, the drug began to be used for nonmedical purposes, particularly in Texas, under the name Ecstasy. Medical Uses: Relieve pain and emotional distress; treatment of anxiety, depression, schizophrenia. MDMA was used to aid psychotherapy, the results of which are poorly documented. Other Uses: - In the 1950s the U.S. Government researched MDMA as a truth serum for the CIA’s and the Army’s chemical warfare investigation. It proved to be unsuitable for this purpose. - Enhancement of sexual performance, however, there is insufficient evidence to support effectiveness Other Interesting Info: In Dallas, where alcohol was prohibited at the Southern Methodist University, students bought legal MDMA as a substitute, paying by credit card. Illegalization in U.S. In 1985 MDMA was prohibited by the DEA, for both non-medical and therapeutic use, when it was given the same status as heroin and LSD.

Other Uses: The earliest known woven fabric was apparently of hemp, and over the centuries the plant was used for food, incense, cloth, rope, and much more. Other Interesting Info: - America’s first marijuana law was enacted at Jamestown Colony in 1619 ordering all farmers to grow Indian hempseed. You could even be jailed for not growing hemp during times of shortage in Virginia between 1763 and 1767, and during most of that time, hemp was legal tender (you could even pay your taxes with hemp). - Racism was used to turn people against marijuana. Newspapers in 1934 stated: “Marijuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.” Another rumor claimed that Mexicans, blacks, and other foreigners were snaring white children with marijuana. Illegalization in U.S. In 1915, Cannabis began to be prohibited for nonmedical use in the U.S.. California (1915), Texas (1919), Louisiana (1924), and New York (1927) were first to outlaw the drug. In 1972, the Nixon-appointed Shafer Commission urged re-legalization of cannabis. In 1975, the FDA established the Compassionate Use program for medical marijuana.

Opiates (Heroin, Morphine, Codeine, Hydrocodone) Approximate Origination Date: In 3500 BC The Sumerians were the first culture known to have used opium. In 1300 BC the Egyptians grew poppies for opium productions and later in 400 AD Egyptian opium was introduced it to China by Arabic traders. Medical Uses: - Pain reliever and anesthetic. In addition to pain relief, codeine is also used to suppress cough. Other Uses: - In ancient times, opium was used with poison hemlock to put people to death quickly and painlessly. Other Interesting Info: - By 1906, China was producing 85% of the world’s opium, some 35,000 tons, and 27% of its adult male population was addicted—13.5 million addicts consuming 39,000 tons of opium yearly. - As a result of the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Act in 1914, the street price of an ounce of heroin increased from $6.50 to $100.00. The purity levels fell which lead addicts switch from “snorting” to injecting. - American morphine is still produced primarily from poppies grown and processed in India in the traditional manner and remains the standard of pain relief for casualties of war. Illegalization in U.S. In 1874, opium smoking was banned in San Francisco. The importation of opium into the United States was made illegal in 1909, so many opium smokers turned to heroin. In 1924, Congress banned the production of heroin. In 1956, The Federal Government outlawed the use of heroin for all purposes. It could no longer be prescribed. The Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970 which replaced the Harrison Narcotics Act as the primary drug law in the United States. This also marked the beginning of “no-knock entry” – the use of military style attacks on the homes of suspected drug law violators.

Sources: www.a1b2c3.com www.wikipedia.org www.concept420.com www.heroinhelper.com

Ecstasy (MDMA)

Medical Uses: The Chinese used marijuana to treat arthritis, gout, and malaria. In the U.S., cannabis is indicated for over 250 uses including treatment of nausea, vomiting, unintentional weight loss, lack of appetite, arthritis & inflammation, epilepsy, glaucoma, asthma, painful conditions, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, anxiety, psychotic disorders, schizophrenia, and it’s also been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth. The prescription drug Sativex, an extract of cannabis administered as a sublingual spray, has been approved in Canada for the treatment (use alongside other medicines) of both multiple sclerosis and cancer related pain. Sativex may now be legally imported into the United Kingdom and Spain on prescription.

(above L-R): Young Jeezy & Big Meech’s mom @ the Farewell Tour in Detroit, MI (Photo: Thaddaeus McAdams); DJ Drama & TI on the set of DJ Drama’s “Daydreaming” video shoot in Los Angeles, CA (Photo: D-Ray); Rich Boy & Trey Songz @ the Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Eric Perrin)

01 // DJ Q45, Mr Indiana, & Malik Abdul @ Big Engine Entertainment’s Christmas Party (Indianapolis, IN) 02 // K-Loc & BandAide of Dem Hoodstarz @ Pure (Las Vegas, NV) 03 // TJ Chapman, Rovella Williams, & Khao @ Sugar Hill (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Willie Joe & Big Rich on the set of Balance’s video shoot (Hayward, CA) 05 // Rob Green & DJ Holiday @ Metronome Studios (Atlanta, GA) 06 // DJ Khaled & Aurora Jolie @ the Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party (Atlanta, GA) 07 // DJ Blak & Young Dro @ Echo Studios for 8Ball & MJG’s listening session (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Jay Jay & Paul Wall @ Pure (Las Vegas, NV) 09 // Yung LA, Yung Paul Wall, Young Dro, & Yung Joc @ Koko’s for Bay Bay’s birthday bash (Shreveport, LA) 10 // Ms Crunk & Khao @ Sugar Hill (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Nick Love, DJ D-Tec, & Lucky Leon @ the Artistry for Rick Ross’s listening party (Atlanta, GA) 12 // Bella, Big Doughski G & Brittney (Dallas, TX) 13 // Urban South Radio’s King James, Doughski G, On Air Divas, Pookie, MG, & Rakoo @ RKN Studios (Dallas, TX) 14 // Mad Linx & Mr Indiana @ Big Engine Entertainment’s Christmas Party (Indianapolis, IN) 15 // Big Chief & Jabber Jaws @ Koko’s for Bay Bay’s birthday bash (Shreveport, LA) 16 // Jigga JT & Delta Sigma Theta @ the Bayou Classic (New Orleans, LA) 17 // Teka & Terrence Tyson @ MOSI Super Bowl party (Tampa, FL) 18 // Buddah & Hawkman @ Blue Ice (Denver, CO) 19 // Greg Street & VIC @ Crucial for J Money’s mixtape release party (Atlanta, GA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (02,04,08); DJ KTone (18); Edward Hall (12,13); Eric Perrin (01,06,07,09,11,14,15); Julia Beverly (17); Marcus DeWayne (16); Ms Rivercity (03,05,10,19)



(above L-R): Ray J & Floyd Mayweather in Tampa, FL (Photo: Julia Beverly); Willy Northpole & Ludacris @ Phillips Arena for the Swagga Like Us concert in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Ms Rivercity); DJ Drama & DeRay Davis on the set of DJ Drama’s “Daydreaming” video shoot in Los Angeles, CA (Photo: D-Ray)

01 // Melvin Foley & the Chopper City models @ The Venue for the Chopper City Boyz listening party (New Orleans, LA) 02 // Trey Songz & Nokey @ the Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party (Atlanta, GA) 03 // SuperSnake & the Kardashian sisters @ the Grammys radio room (Los Angeles, CA) 04 // Mistah FAB, Baydilla, & Megga @ KGOT (Anchorage, AK) 05 // BOB, Breezy, & TJ Chapman @ Big Spenda Studios (Jacksonville, FL) 06 // Gorilla Zoe & Lady Jade @ K104 (Dallas, TX) 07 // Neffie & Frankie @ Plies’ car show (Tampa, FL) 08 // Omeezy with a steady hand @ Expressions Studio (Berkeley, CA) 09 // TI & Damani on the set of DJ Dr ama’s “Daydreaming” video shoot (Los Angeles, CA) 10 // Snoop Dogg & DJ Drama on the set of DJ Drama’s “Daydreaming” video shoot (Los Angeles, CA) 11 // Tatum Bell & Bust @ Club 303 (Denver, CO) 12 // Balance, Big Rich, Capo, & Cannon on the set of Balance’s video shoot (Hayward, CA) 13 // Angie Renee & Divaz @ Club 303 (Denver, CO) 14 // DJ Quote, Malik Abdul, DJ KTone, Hypeman P, Diallo, & DJ Q45 @ DJ KTone’s birthday party (Denver, CO) 15 // BG & Hot Beezo @ Club Xquisite for 5th Ward Weebie’s birthday bash (New Orleans, LA) 16 // Wild Wayne, Uptown Angela, & Columbus Short @ the Bayou Classic (New Orleans, LA) 17 // DG Yola & guest @ Coan Park for Soulja Boy’s “Gucci Bandana” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 18 // AD & Mogie @ Ice House (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Willis McGahee & Big Lip Bandit @ his youth football camp (Miami, FL) 20 // Chris J, DJ Q45, & Plies’ models @ Plies’ car show (Tampa, FL) Photo Credits: Bill Yeager (14); D-Ray (03,08,09,10,12); DJ KTone (11,13); D’Lyte (06); Eric Perrin (02,18); J Lash (19); Julia Beverly (04); Malik Abdul (17); Marcus DeWayne (01,15,16); Terrence Tyson (05,07,20)


on “Mr. Carter” and played it for him, he kinda lost his mind. That was my first placement.

He started off behind the board, engineering for Lil Wayne. But after producing “Mr. Carter” off Wayne’s multiplatinum album Tha Carter III, and Weezy’S single “Prom Queen” from his forthcoming rock album, Drew Correa is a beatmaker to LOOK OUT FOR IN 2009. Since you’ve been right there with Weezy over the years, can you explain his recording process? The dude’s brilliant. He doesn’t write shit down to begin with. [Then] he goes through beats and


when he hears that one beat he’s like, “That’s that shit right there, put it on.” He listens to it over and over, and I guess the song comes up in his head somehow. He doesn’t write anything down, he just goes, “I’m ready.” And he goes in the booth and lays it down. It’s actually crazy. That’s the first artist I have ever worked with who [records like that]. It’s pretty fucking amazing. How did your transition from an engineer to a full-time producer come about? Wayne knew I made beats and ever since the first day I worked with him, it [just] kinda happened. He had recorded to a shitload of my [tracks]that nobody ever heard. We kept going in [the studio] while I was on tour with him, and then in 2007 I decided I want to produce. I started focusing strictly on producing and I kept going to his sessions when he was in Miami, giving him beats, and he was digging my shit. When I was working

Let’s talk about another record you produced for Wayne, “Prom Queen.” Wayne called up and told me to come to the studio to work on this rock shit with him. So, I called my boy Infamous; he co-produced the record with me. We went over there and were just vibing out with Wayne and he’s like, “Aight, we’re doing some rock shit.” I started fucking with some drums, and then Wayne got on the guitar and started fucking with the bass line. Then it just slowly started escalating. We actually did two beats that night. The other one is called “Fuck Today,” that’s gonna be on the album. A week or two later we came back just to check on Wayne and he was like, “Yo, did you hear the joint I did to that track we did that night?” He played “Prom Queen” for us, and I was like, “Damn, that’s different as fuck.” Me and Infamous didn’t really believe it was going to be his single. To have a Lil Wayne single is a shock. I love that record. I think it’s fuckin’ dope. //

(above L-R): Denise & Antonio Tarver @ MOSI Super Bowl party in Tampa, FL (Photo: Ms Rivercity); Anthony Hamilton & his wife Tasha @ House of Blues in New Orleans, LA (Photo: Marcus DeWayne); Kia Shine & his wife @ Ten Pin bowling alley for Kia Shine’s “Checkin’ My Fresh” video shoot in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)

01 // DJ Juice, DJ Backside, & DJ Tito Bell on the set of Laroo’s “Money Ain’t Trippin” video shoot (Mountain View, CA) 02 // Video model & P-Nut @ Ten Pin bowling alley for Kia Shine’s “Checkin’ My Fresh” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 03 // Get Away Boys @ Phillips Arena for the Swagga Like Us concert (Atlanta, GA) 04 // Jeff “Left Hook” Lacey & Kingpin @ Studio Inc for Jeff “Left Hook” Lacey’s fight afterparty (Tampa, FL) 05 // Terrace Martin & DJ Quik @ Avalon (Hollywood, CA) 06 // Alex Thomas & Baby @ Cash Money’s PreGrammy party (Hollywood, CA) 07 // Harve Pierre & Block @ BET’s Spring Bling (Riviera Beach, FL) 08 // Lil Chief & Sean Kingston @ MGM (Las Vegas, NV) 09 // E-40 & his wife @ Sliders (Phoenix, AZ) 10 // DJ Ace & P Brown @ Throbacks for Streettalk Showcase (Atlanta, GA) 11 // Brutha @ BET’s Spring Bling (Riviera Beach, FL) 12 // Matt Blaque & Laroo on the set of Laroo’s “Money Ain’t Trippin” video shoot (Mountain View, CA) 13 // Phatt Lipp & BOB @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 14 // Big Rich, Scoot, & 3 Story Gang @ Hot Import Nights Car Show (San Mateo, CA) 15 // Ms Rivercity & Chris J @ Plies’ car show (Tampa, FL) 16 // Kevin, Kia Shine, & P-Nut @ Ten Pin bowling alley for Kia Shine’s “Checkin’ My Fresh” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 17 // Bama & Young Jeezy @ Phillips Arena for the Swagga Like Us concert (Atlanta, GA) 18 // Rovella Williams & Prep School @ Patchwerk Studios for Music University (Atlanta, GA) 19 // Chris Lee & E-40 on the set of Laroo’s “Money Ain’t Trippin” video shoot (Mountain View, CA) Photo Credits: D-Ray (01,05,06,08,09,12,14,19); Julia Beverly (02,16); Kingpin (04); Malik Abdul (13); Ms Rivercity (03,10,17,18); Terrence Tyson (07,11,15)


Patiently Waiting


f you ask rap fans in Atlanta, (not an average rap fan, but a true A-Town rap fan), who are the hottest rappers on the streets right now, they’d probably be quick to answer that question with these three names: Gucci Mane, OJ Da Juiceman and J Money. The first two names are familiar by now. But the latter, J-Money? Who the hell is…? You’d probably get an answer like, “J-Money. First name, last name!” J-Money is the newest rapper from Atlanta to have the streets behind him, thanks to numerous hood anthems like “Trapper of the Year,” “1st Name Last Name,” “Do It Big,” “This Is How We Play,” and “Smashin’,” along with a number of mixtapes with DJs like Durrty Laundry and Scream. His buzz has grown exponentially over the last few months to the point where people are already calling him the “(T)rapper of the Year.” ““It ain’t just [about] drugs,” he says of his given title. “’Trapper of the Year’ means you’re the #1 hustler or #1 grinder. Trappin’ can be so many situations. Even if you’re working a job, you’re [trappin’]. When people see me, they see a hustler. They see someone that knows what he’s doing, and can believe what he’s talking about.” J. Money’s path into the rap world began when he set out managing a group called Da Truth, who had a local hit called “Aw, Man” featuring Gucci Mane. Having seen the game from behind the scenes, Money decided he was better suited to be on the mic. “I saw the ins and outs of it, and I basi-


cally saw that things [rappers] were talking about, I actually was doing,” he recalls. “[I said] if I get in and do this, as someone that knows how to grind and work hard, it’s going to be easy for me.” He formed a group called the Black Amigos with Grand Hustle signee Yung L.A. and fellow Atlanta rapper Young Woo, but when L.A.’s demanding schedule started to slow the group’s progress, the only thing that came of the collective was a couple songs. J-Money decided that taking his act solo would be an better option. Going solo has proved to be the right move. His single “1st Name, Last Name” featuring Shawty Lo has started picking up spins in Atlanta and radio stations across the South, and while he’s still independent, his buzz and movement has started to catch the attention of major labels like Def Jam, Warner Bros, Universal Motown and Atlantic. “People have actually seen me. They’ve known me before rapping, and they seen that I used to do the same things these rappers were doing. They love that realness. And they see a whole movement going on. It’s not one song and then [I’m] out of here. I’m coming through the door to let them know, I ain’t going nowhere.” Words by Randy Roper Photo by Ms. Rivercity

(above L-R): Mr Marcus @ the Velvet Room in Atlanta, GA; Nicki Minaj on the set of OJ da Juiceman’s video shoot in Atlanta, GA (Photos: Eric Perrin); TI and his OZONE cover @ Phillips Arena for the Swagga Like Us concert in Atlanta, GA (Photo: Julia Beverly)

01 // Dame Fame & Mistah FAB @ Club Elixir for OZONE’s Alaska party (Anchorage, AK) 02 // Chamillionaire @ Ice Bar for Definition DJs meeting (Dallas, TX) 03 // Trai D @ American Airlines Arena (Dallas, TX) 04 // Neffie & Frankie @ Plies’ car show (Tampa, FL) 05 // Rick Ross @ Club 360 for his Super Bowl viewing party (Tampa, FL) 06 // BloodRaw @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 07 // Young Jeezy @ the Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party (Atlanta, GA) 08 // Princess on the set of Gorilla Zoe’s “What It Iz” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 09 // DJ KTone & Malik Abdul @ The Loft (Denver, CO) 10 // Viper @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 11 // Droop-E @ HP Pavillion for 94.9’s Wild Jam (San Jose, CA) 12 // Screwww @ the Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party (Atlanta, GA) 13 // Ebony, Sara, D’Lyte, & Too $hort @ Club Flow (Dallas, TX) 14 // Mr Marcus & Trey Songz on the set of “Brand New” (Atlanta, GA) 15 // Jarvis @ Phillips Arena for the Swagga Like Us concert (Atlanta, GA) 16 // Michael “5000” Watts @ Independent Records (Denver, CO) 17 // DJ Irie @ Dolce for Flo Rida’s album release party (Miami, FL) 18 // Trey Beatz on the set of The Game’s “Camera Phone” video shoot (Los Angeles, CA) 19 // Kasanova @ Jim Porters (Louisville, KY) 20 // The Glenn Twins @ Club Dreamz (Pittsburgh, PA) 21 // Stay Fresh on the set of Gorilla Zoe’s “What It Iz” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 22 // Ju @ Phillips Arena for the Swagga Like Us concert (Atlanta, GA) 23 // Guests & Good Game @ All Star weekend (Phoenix, AZ) 24 // Kia Chyna @ Jim Porters (Louisville, KY) 25 // Patrick @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 26 // Matt Blaque @ Stockton Civic Center for E-40’s release party (Stockton, CA) 27 // King George @ Rasputin (San Leandro, CA) 28 // G-Stack @ Rasputin’s for his in-store (Campbell, CA) 29 // Lunch (Los Angeles, CA) 30 // Big Chris of QC Partystarters @ Plies’ car show (Tampa, FL) 31 // Ladies @ All Star weekend (Phoenix, AZ) 32 // Baydilla @ Club Elixir for OZONE’s Alaska party (Anchorage, AK) 33 // Lil T & Sid V @ Club Elixir for OZONE’s Alaska party (Anchorage, AK) 34 // Joey Boy @ All Star weekend (Phoenix, AZ) 35 // DJ Tuss @ G-Spot (Aggtown, TX) Photo Credits: D-Ray (11,18,26,27,28,29); DJ KTone (09); Edward Hall (02,13,35); Eric Perrin (05,07,12); Julia Beverly (01,14,15,17,22,32,33); Malik Abdul (06,10,16,19,24,25); Marcus Howell (23,31,34); Terrence Tyson (04,20,30); Torrey Holmes (08,21); Tre Dubb (03)


Patiently Waiting


sher Roth isn’t the only newcomer that loves college. Dallas, Texas rookie Dorrough Music can relate, too. While attending Prairie View A&M University (a HBCU Northwest of Houston), Dorrough, whose initial intent was to walk-on with the school’s basketball team, began making a name for himself as a MC. While a member of the group Prime Time Click, their song “Do Tha Muscle” became a hit on the university’s campus and on local radio stations. The group later hooked up with DJ Merk, a DJ from Houston who also attended the university. The Click released their first mixtape, Hustle Factor, in 2005, but when the buzz around their music started to spread, Dorrough decided to take the Nelly approach and became Prime Time Click’s lead artist. “Dorrough kinda started to outshine everybody [in Prime Time Click], so we started pushing him the hardest,” says DJ Merk, who now serves as Dorrough’s manager. “We were doing a lot of stuff around the college campuses, that’s how we got hot,” says the rapper, who carries “Music” as a moniker because of his love for the art. “We got a big, strong buzz, and we were killin’ the mixtapes, so when I finally did drop a single, people were already familiar with my name. So that made it easier to push my single.”


One of those singles came when Dorrough collaborated with Killeen, TX rapper Superstarr for a song called “Halle Berry.” The record, an ode to beautiful women of a Halle Berry caliber, became a regional hit and YouTube smash. But as the song’s popular grew, so did an interest in the track. The song was sold to Polo Grounds’ artist Hurricane Chris, who kept Superstarr on the song but replaced Dorrough. “I wanted to hold on to [the song], but I didn’t worry too much about it,” he says. “At the end of the day, it was Superstarr’s song, so it was pretty much whatever he wanted to do with it.” Fortunately for Dorrough, one single don’t stop no show. He went on to record another breakout song in “Walk That Walk,” along with his newest record “Ice Cream Paint Job.” His buzz caught the attention of E1 Music (formerly Koch Records), who signed the rapper to a distribution deal through NGenius Entertaiment. With his self-titled debut album on the way, this Dallas up-and-comer is beyond ready to join Lil Will, Big Tuck, and Tum Tum on the list of premiere MCs from the Big D. “I just want people to feel my music and vibe to it,” he says. “Everything I do, I’m passionate about, so I’m going to bring that to my music.” Words by Randy Roper

(above L-R): Richie Rich with his OZONE West article @ The Mezzanine in San Francisco, CA (Photo: D-Ray); Paul Wall reppin’ TV Jewelry in Shreveport, LA (Photo: Eric Perrin); Chris J @ Plies’ car show in Tampa, FL (Photo: Terrence Tyson)

01 // Lil Duval & Young Dro on the set of Young Dro & Yung LA’s “Take Off” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 02 // Khia @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 03 // Malik Abdul & Poohdy @ Big Engine Entertainment’s Christmas party (Indianapolis, IN) 04 // Jody Breeze on the set of Gorilla Zoe’s “What It Iz” video shoot (Atlanta, GA) 05 // J Stalin @ Rasputin’s for his in-store (Campbell, CA) 06 // Drake @ Velvet Room for DJ Infamous’ anniversary party (Atlanta, GA) 07 // Ludacris @ HP Pavillion for 94.9’s Wild Jam (San Jose, CA) 08 // Bali @ Firestone for DJ Nasty’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 09 // Mr Indiana @ Big Engine Entertainment’s Christmas party (Indianapolis, IN) 10 // Madeleine & Roslyn @ Club Elixir for OZONE’s Alaska party (Anchorage, AK) 11 // Don’t Know (Los Angeles, CA) 12 // Greg Street & Beyonce @ Phillips Arena for the Swagga Like Us concert (Atlanta, GA) 13 // DJ Smallz @ The Moon for TJ’s DJ’s (Tallahassee, FL) 14 // Traxamillion, Laroo, & John Costen @ Stockton Civic Center for E-40’s release party (Stockton, CA) 15 // Big Black @ Plies’ car show (Tampa, FL) 16 // Caviar @ Club Dreamz (Pittsburgh, PA) 17 // DJ K-Roc @ Ice Bar for Definition DJs meeting (Dallas, TX) 18 // Josh & Todd @ Street Symphony Studios (Fremont, CA) 19 // Guest @ All Star weekend (Phoenix, AZ) 20 // Slim Thug @ Firestone for DJ Nasty’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 21 // Yancey Richardson & Yung Joc @ BET’s Spring Bling (Riviera Beach, FL) 22 // Bishop of Crunk @ Primetime for Gucci Mane’s Welcome Home party (Atlanta, GA) 23 // Papa Ru, DJ Mack, & PLA @ Maximedia Studios for Texas Summer Music Conference (Dallas, TX) 24 // K-Loc @ 17 Hertz Studios (Hayward, CA) 25 // Thaddaeus McAdams & Red @ The Artistry (Atlanta, GA) 26 // Play & Skillz @ Koko’s for Bay Bay’s birthday bash (Shreveport, LA) 27 // Torrey Holmes @ BET’s Spring Bling (Riviera Beach, FL) 28 // UNK & Tropikana reppin’ OZONE @ Unk’s meet & greet (Cleveland, OH) 29 // Yung Ro @ the OZONE office (Atlanta, GA) 30 // Cory Mo @ Phillips Arena for the Swagga Like Us concert (Atlanta, GA) 31 // DJ G-Spot & Marlo @ Unk’s meet & greet (Cleveland, OH) 32 // Papa Duck @ Firestone for DJ Nasty’s birthday party (Orlando, FL) 33 // Quint Black, guest, & Too Short @ Club Flow (Dallas, TX) 34 // Ms Rita, DJ Mack, & Bun B @ Maximedia Studios for Texas Summer Music Conference (Dallas, TX) 35 // Neg & Flo Rida @ Club 360 for Rick Ross’s Super Bowl viewing party (Tampa, FL) Photo Credits: D-Ray (05,07,11,14,18,24); Edward Hall (17,33); Eric Perrin (03,09,16,22,25,26,35); Julia Beverly (06,10,12,30); Malik Abdul (02,08,13,20,29,32); Marcus Howell (19); Marlo Martin-Jackson (28,31); Ms Rivercity (01); Terrence Tyson (15,21,27); Torrey Holmes (04); Tre Dubb (23,34)


Patiently Waiting


tlanta is known and respected for creating dance crazes that make you “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It,” “Shoulder Lean”, or even “Walk It Out.” They seem to emerge virtually overnight and take over dance floors throughout America. The newest dance, which originated on the Southside of Atlanta, is “Surfin.’” It didn’t become popular until F.L.Y. (Fast Life Yungstaz) came out with their single “Swag Surfin’.” Made up of childhood friends Lil V, Lil Mook, and Myko McFly, F.L.Y. has only been together for a year and half, although each of them have been rapping for over two years. Originally from Stone Mountain, GA, the trio decided to take a Southside dance and make it known throughout Georgia. “Surfin’ was a dance on the Southside that was created back in 2002, but not many people were doing it until we put the swag on it,” says Lil V. “We took the surfin’ part and put that swag on it, which we like to call that sauce teriyaki,” reveals Lil Mook. The name Fast Life Yungstaz fits the trio perfectly, and the song “Swag Surfin’” picked up so rapidly in Atlanta that it landed F.L.Y. a single deal with Def Jam. “It was a two-day process. We flew to New York at nine at night on a Tuesday, and were signed by four Wednesday afternoon,” Lil Mook explains.


“We went up there and had a little showcase for L.A. Reid, and we rocked it. He got out of his seat and started bouncing around shaking everybody hands,” Myko Mcfly recalls. Since their newfound success, F.L.Y. has encountered a few bumps, bruises and hate on their way to the top, but all wounds heal with time. “We get a little bit of shine,” says Lil Mook. “We haven’t even started doing nothing for real yet, and people that live up the street from you start to hate.” Laments Lil V, “Even your so-called homeboys start to hate on you.” F.L.Y. doesn’t feel that they compare to any other rappers, taking pride in having their own style. “We have a cool laid-back style, but the music can go in any direction,” says Lil Mook. F.L.Y. is just beginning to ride the wave of success with their hit “Swag Surfin’.’’ Doing over eight shows a week and working on their debut album, it should be surfs up for F.L.Y. all the way through. Words by Jee’Van Brown Photo by Ms Rivercity



resh out of Atlanta’s Stone Mountain/Decatur/Lithonia area, Dem Getaway Boyz’s hit single “Imma G” featuring Killer Mike has helped make them one of the hottest names in the streets. While their sonic make-up separates them from their dance-crazed peers, DGB’s tune is still balanced enough to appeal to both them and the foreign ear.

“We don’t have a set sound. We’ve got different sounds,” says group member Flyy. The group DGB consists of two rappers and one singer. “You won’t say we do a certain kind of music either. We’ll do reggae, Latino, we’ll do anything you give us and make it hot.” Early on the group drew comparisons to Pretty Ricky, prompting Atlantic Records executive Mike Caren to ask what it was that was different about them. “That’s just because Lil’ Marco sings, and me and Flyy rap about girls,” says Kali. “Other than that, we’re nothing like them. We are a totally different group.” Currently signed to Warbucks/Motown Universal, Dem Getaway Boyz are currently working on their debut and in the meantime are doing shows throughout the Southeast. Words by Maurice G. Garland


Patiently Waiting

Patiently Waiting

knew who I was, so I just kept going with it.”

When you think OF Alaska, the first THING that pops into your head is SNOW, GOVERNOR Sarah Palin, or the video “Uh Huh” by Joker The Bailbondsman featuring Bizzy Bone (if you used to watch BET Uncut). with time and persistence, soon the only name you will think of when you hear “Alaska” is rapper Baydilla. Since he was a young adolescent, Baydilla has always had a business mind mixed with street smarts, earning him his nickname. “When I was young I was hustling, I was always in the streets no matter what it was,” Baydilla explains. “If you needed it you called me, Bay Bay. My friend

Mike from Chicago gave me the name Baydilla, because every time he saw me I was hustling.” Baydilla has encountered a lot throughout his rap quest. Multiple trials and tribulations while living in Atlanta almost caused him to give up on his dream. “I moved to Atlanta back in 2001. My cousin Magic moved our studio to Atlanta, and in the midst of all that he caught a Fed case,” Baydilla recalls. “My cousin Hot Rod got twenty years for the same case. Then my other cousin Hardcore got ten years for taking the rap for my brother, plus they got my baby momma for five years. But they still wanted my brother, so they took him, too. Through it all I just stayed strong and positive with support from my fans. I started noticing when I went to different places people

Baydilla and his brother Wok started Out Da Cutt Records ten years ago. Since then, he has kept the label afloat with a slew of up-and-coming rappers including P-Nut, Scoe, Day, and Lil T. But Baydilla remains the label’s lead artist. “‘I have an album coming out soon, but we’re still working on the title right now,” he says. “I’m thinking of Mr. BB. ” The album will also feature appearances from the likes of Bun B, E-40, Kia Shine, and Hell Rell. With a story worth telling, Alaska behind him, and a cold flow that can’t be denied, Baydilla is well on his way to proving himself as a notable rapper. Words by Jee’Van Brown Photo by Littleton Miller


PATIENTLY WAITING: ALASKA “Family First” is the motto for Out Da Cutt rapper P-NUT. He got his foot in the door not only because he’s label owner Baydilla’s little brother, but also because his rapping skills can’t be denied. P-Nut has many goals beyond rapping. His aspirations are to not only put Alaska on the Hip Hop map, but also to be known all around the world. “I plan on taking this rap thing wherever it takes me. Shit, I already went from trapping to rapping, so now I want to go from rapping to acting,” says P-Nut. He sees rapping as a positive way to stay out of trouble and not go down the same path as his immediate family. “My brothers, my mother, and everybody I know around me are getting locked up,” P-Nut explains. “I’m trying to make a difference with my lyrics.”

There are only 24 hours in a day. Throughout these hours, there are many things one can do – some work, some sleep, and others sit around and do nothing. Out Da Cutt recording artist 21-year-old All Day understands how quickly time flies, so he uses his the hours he has to perfect his craft. Starting his rap career at the young age of 16, All Day is aiming towards putting Alaska on the map in a way no one has ever done or heard of before. “We got a sound like nobody else,” he says. “When you hear us you can’t deny it, because it’s real music.” Influenced by artists like Young Jeezy and various West Coast rappers, All Day and his labelmate Scoe are planning to drop a mixtape called Ham Volume 1 that promises to garner repeat plays on the daily.

Sometimes when people endure hardships and tribulations they give up on their dreams, but with Lil T, no matter what the situation, rapping has always been a way of life. Writing rhymes since age 13, Lil T was influenced by his cousins to start rapping and ever since then it’s been an ongoing process that can’t be stopped. “Rap makes me feel positive when I’m doing it, because I can get away from all that negative stuff and people that I am around,” he explains. “It gives me an outlet to release what I’m going through and let other people know what I’m going through.” His smash hit “Look Stupid” appears on his current album release titled 907. Another AK favorite is his collaboration with labelmate Scoe called “You Already Know.”


Starbuks and his label Cofey Houze Entertainment aim to give the Northwest music scene a full energy boost. “I’m trying to help the Northwest movement grow and let people know that we’re serious,” he says. “There’s talent out here.” Starbuks recently released his debut album Side Up, featuring the single “AK State of Mind” which will soon be accompanied by a video. As for the talent in his camp, Starbuks says, “We’re not trying to be the hardest, most gangsta niggas. We’re just trying to work harder.” In order to stay ahead of the competition, Cofey House is involved in numerous projects, including Starbuks’ sophomore LP Meeting Mr. Cofey and Sluggz’ solo album Pressure Makes Perfect. Mr. Cofey also has a unique concept project titled Throw Away Muzik, a digital mixtape in which one track is released via the internet every week for eight weeks. Over the years, Starbuks has worked and performed with artists like Cool Nutz, Goldie Loc, Scarface, Devin The Dude, Yukmouth, and Too Short. He’s also obtained production from Mr. Johnson, who is most known for scoring the Beef series on BET. And he’s not stopping there. “We’re not weekend rappers – people that rap on Friday, Saturday, or whenever there’s a show,” he concludes. “For us, this is every day.” Don’t let his name fool you. Jak Frost is heating up Alaska. Starting out with the rap group AK 49erz in Anchorage, Jak and the 49erz built a foundation with their first project, The Gold Rush. Keeping with the gold rush theme, the group released a second album titled The Prospect, which solidified their buzz in the scene. “We started big doing shows and getting fans. We were making it cool for people to say they’re from Alaska,” he remembers. “We’d do shows and everyone was screaming ‘907.’ That’s when I knew this was it for me.” Once he realized he had a genuine impact on listeners, Jak went full force with his career. In 2007, Jak put out a solo project alongside his group efforts, and he also has his sophomore album on deck for 2009. As CEO of Cold Blooded Musiq, Jak works closely with his cousin Baydilla, who promotes parties and provides plenty of local performance opportunities. He and his crew have opened for artists like Young Buck, Young Dro, Lil Scrappy and several others, which in turn opened many doors for him outside of the city. Now with a reputation for reppin’ Alaska, Jak Frost’s movement is snowballing state to state.

As the owner of OG Entertainment, Biggbody is experienced in all facets of being an artist. As an engineer, he runs a successful studio in Anchorage, AK. Aiming to be the best, he’s labeled as the go-to guy for quality sound. “When I got out of jail I wanted to start a business. I started a studio to cater to the Hip Hop crowd out here,” he says. “Now I’m known as the guy in town that helps people step their game up.” As a producer, Biggbody is a skilled instrumentalist that prides himself on playing the guitar, saxophone, piano, and keyboard. Recently earning respect as an artist as well, the OG front man released his album, BiggBody II, which earned several nominations at the 2008 Alaska Hip Hop Awards – Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Song of the Year, Favorite Studio, and Best New Rapper. Running a studio and a label has allowed Biggbody the chance to work with many individuals and he wants the rest of the nation to know his state has something to offer. “There’s some incredible producers and artists coming out of Alaska, and OG Entertainment is definitely a part of that,” he summarizes.

Rapper Scoe almost didn’t make it to age 19. A few days before his birthday celebration began, he was shot twice in his back. But that didn’t stop him, and three days later he was back on the streets rapping and drinking. “Shit, I left the hospital and got right back to it,” he recalls. “I was drinking and everything when I wasn’t suppose to because of the antibiotics I was on.” But that same “right back at it” attitude has now transformed into a more positive direction, helping build his work ethic in the studio. Scoe and labelmate All Day are working on their collaborative mixtape Ham Volume 1. He’s also putting together his solo debut, and his newest single “Stop and Go” featuring Mistah FAB is heating up Alaska nightclubs. Words by Ms. Rivercity & Jeevan Brown




Charles Cosby was more than the star of Cocaine Cowboys 2. He lived that story. He lived the good life. Griselda Blanco was a notorious Columbian Drug Lord in the 1980s, known for her ruthlessness. It’s amazing that she was not only a woman who was able to keep up with her male counterparts, but surpass them in many cases. Sitting comfortably in my living room, Charles shared the details of his life with A REFRESHING openness and candor. As a woman who has dated incarcerated men, and as a woman with some small degree of power who has helped men build their companies and empires only to have them move on afterwards, my first question was a bit personal—“did you love her?” And even though Charles assured me that he did love her, it wasn’t until he put her son, Michael Corleone, on the phone with me that I realized just how much he did love her. Charles still has a warmth and a deep affection for Griselda’s favorite son, even after all these years of not speaking with her. Michael, who grew close to Charles when he was dating his Mother, looks to Charles as a father figure. And although Griselda has gone back to Columbia, or Rio, or wherever she is, Michael and Charles still have a strong family bond. The love is apparent on both sides. Charles Cosby’s story was honest, but that wasn’t difficult for him. It was like therapy for him to get it all off his chest. Griselda was a caring, generous, beautiful woman, and Charles fell in love with the woman behind the image. And she loved him very much and he felt the love completely. Growing up in East Oakland, known as Anthony or Dot by his friends and family, his goal was to be a lawyer. But selling drugs at 16 years old allowed the money to quickly replace the legitimate dreams. In 1984, Charles was a midlevel drug dealer controlling a handful of crack houses. After his original distributor was murdered in 1985, it killed his business and his mentor. Charles moved 150 miles south to Fresno, CA where he soon ran out of money. Upon returning to Oakland, he returned to the streets. In the mid-80s, drug dealers were rampant, even more so than now. There were no mandatory minimums for sentencing, snitches weren’t an issue, and one could call up the local dealer on the phone and place an order, even if you weren’t known to him. It was a different era. In February of 1985, Charles saw a television news clip on the arrest of the notorious Griselda Blanco. He was amazed at who she was, her tremendous power, and what she had built—it was everything he was trying to build for himself. She was known as the Godmother of Cocaine and the fact that she was a shot caller as a female was outstanding to him. Six years later, Charles met a Panamanian lady who had worked for Griselda in the past. After striking up a conversation, Charles convinced her to make the introduction

to Griselda in prison. Charles wrote Griselda a heartfelt letter, and although he didn’t expect a response, she wrote back. They wrote back and forth for a year, and Charles went to see her in person in 1992. When she came out to visitation, she was dressed to the hilt in a bright red suit with red pumps, while every other inmate was dressed in khakis. Griselda, at 50 years old, looked more like a socialite than an inmate. Their relationship was based on letters, phone calls, and visits. Almost immediately, Griselda became his distributor. By the time Charles got home from the visit, two cardboard boxes arrived at his front door by special delivery--filled with bricks of cocaine. The focus of the relationship was business, but it became personal. Charles went from making $40,000 to millions of dollars in 4 to 6 weeks. His life changed drastically. He was 22 or 23 years old. Griselda was a great teacher, keeping him focused and his ego in check. He spread throughout the Bay Area and northern California and became the distributor for his friends and friends of friends. He also ran errands for Griselda by being exposed to her network in NC, OH, VA, NY, Los Angeles. He met with distributors and acted as a mouth piece for her. She trusted him completely. Charles became close to 2 of her 4 sons: Michael Corleone and Oswaldo. Charles was 10 years older than Michael and 3 years younger than Oswaldo, but they were like brothers. Griselda and Charles were together until 1996. Charles met a woman named Amber in the visiting room of the prison and began sleeping with her. When Griselda found out (she was still incarcerated), Charles was attacked with 12 warning shots which were intended to end his life. Oddly, it brought Griselda and Charles closer, and made Charles realize how much Griselda loved him.

It took 15 months to put Cocaine Cowboys 2 together (Mark Cuban financed the movie), and it made Charles a star even though he’s remained humble. He’s not comfortable with the notoriety. At the screening of Cocaine Cowboys 2, the main question he was asked was, “Don’t you fear for your life? Will Griselda have you assassinated?” At that point, Charles introduced her son Michael Corleone as his special guest. If Griselda did have a hit out on him, it wasn’t apparent. Charles has written a book along with his biographer—an investigative journalist. He spends his time traveling between Los Angeles and Belize. His focus is on speaking to the youth. He doesn’t want them to follow his path because they will end up dead or in jail. He sees the danger of peer pressure in this materialistic society, but the penitentiary comes with those trappings of success. I didn’t ask Charles if he snitched on Griselda. He volunteered the fact that he was subpoenaed and he had to go to Florida to testify. Griselda received a copy of the film before anyone else saw the movie. Her only complaint about Cocaine Cowboys 2, according to Charles, was that it showed her murdered son, Oswaldo, in his casket. When asked if he had any regrets, Charles thoughtfully said he wished he had continued in school and gotten his law degree. The idea of a white picket fence and a country club membership are looking real good to him now. But he’s thankful that he has a story to tell that might stop one or two people from going down the same path he chose. //

When Griselda had 18 months left of her incarceration, new murder charges were being filed against her and they were trying to put her on death row. Griselda was shook. She felt no Columbian had ever gotten a fair trial in the US. Her plan was to kidnap John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Charles was not with the plan. Although speculation is that Charles rolled on her, he says that if his goal was to have her incarcerated, there were crimes he knew about that would have put her away for life. He didn’t have to expose a kidnapping plan. Griselda was moved from California to Florida and Charles was subpoenaed to testify against Griselda. He wasn’t helpful to the prosecution because he felt she had done so much for him and his family. A secretary for the prosecution, on the day of his deposition, came to Charles’ hotel room and had sex with him. It came to light later on in the trial that this same secretary was having phone sex with the star witness against Griselda, thus disabling the prosecution’s case. Griselda was offered a plea bargain and took it. In June of 2004, Griselda was released from prison and deported immediately back to Bogata Columbia. After the statute of limitations passed, the directors of Cocaine Cowboys approached Charles to tell his story. He saw they were at the top of their game. Cocaine Cowboys 2 has been released into 52 countries and is available in WalMart, Target, etc, unlike Cocaine Cowboys which was a bit harder to find.


PIll poppin’, syrup sippin’, weed smokin’ BATON ROUGE REPRESENTATIVE LIL BOOSIE BAD AZZ IS CLEARLY AUTHORIZED TO SPEAK ON THE SUBJECT OF DRUGS. BUT JUST LIKE HIS MUSIC, HE’S EQUALLY HONEST ABOUT THE PROs AND CONS OF DRUGS. HERE, HE CANDIDLY SHARES HIS EXPERIENCES BOTH FROM A USER’s PERSPECTIVE AND A HUSTLER’s PERSPECTIVE. When we did a Chain Reaction on your I-20 piece a while back it had “Dope Zone” on it. Explain what that means. I-10, if you don’t know, [is a freeway that] runs from Jacksonville to Cali. It’s the most trafficked highway in the [drug] game. To go from the East to the West? Man. Before rap we used to get on I-10 and do our thing. That’s why I got the piece, to represent the struggle I came from. Your heart be beating hard and fast doing that shit. We’d go three cars deep with the packaging, usually have a girl driving since the folks [police] don’t be on girls as much. Your heart be pumping a little but when you get to your destination, you’re all gravy. The highway is crazy though. Damn near every other mile you’d see police. Especially in Lafayette or a couple miles before Texas. Those are their hot spots. Would you say it was more nerve racking being out there on I-20, or being on the block slanging? With the game you have to play your part. You never get to who the real main man is, I was second


in command so with that I’m just putting it in. I ain’t really feeling nothing. I’m just getting the package and taking it to the house. I wasn’t on the corner. Since you’re out of the drug game now, how do you look at it in retrospect? You can’t win. You can only go so far. You’re hustling your whole life just to do life. I just thought you could never get caught at first, but that’s wrong. As far as that, it ain’t no winning in that game, it ain’t as lovely as it [seemed]. When the world goes in a recession everybody goes in a recession. Before you signed with Trill Ent. you were running with C-Loc. He got jammed up himself running those streets. How did that affect you at the time? It fucked with me big when C-Loc got locked up, man. He did everything. He did the beats, the rapping, everything. When C-Loc got locked up I got back in the streets hard. I ain’t meet [Trill Entertainment’s] Turk and Mel until a year after that. C-Loc and others like him seemed to be doing ok in the rap game. Why do so many cats wind up staying in the streets? I feel like people just be trying to keep it real with the hood as far as hanging. But everybody wants to get out of the hood too. They just be trying to keep it real, but once you get to a certain level you’re too hot [to stay in the streets]. A lot of people don’t understand that. When would you say you were officially out of the

streets and rapping full time? When I had my first daughter. I used to have her on the passenger side with me. I figured the folks wouldn’t be checking me if they saw I had my daughter with me. This was in 2002. I was thinking about my rap career at the time, but I was making more money selling drugs that I was rapping. My label situation wasn’t going right. Every night I was out there doing my thing, I was scared of losing it all. It’s well documented that you live with diabetes. But we also know that you like to partake of certain vices. How do you do that? I can’t drink alcohol. I know my body, so I know how much insulin to take before I perform. I’m more kosher at home. On the road I don’t get a lot of rest. In my mind I’m stronger than others, I tell myself that. I look at the diabetes as a gift and a curse. I’m not gonna live as long as everyone else, that’s what I tell myself. God gave me this to make me hustle harder. I got this when I was 22; he gave me this when I blew up. So I have to hustle harder. How did you get it? My grandma had it, and it just came to me. One day I was smoking after a show, went to the store to get something and I fainted, then they diagnosed me with diabetes. I probably had it before that. One million people have it, and five million don’t know they have it. That’s why you have to get yourself checked out. If you piss a lot and your mouth is always dry, you might want to get looked at.

Did being diagnosed with diabetes make you give up any other drugs? The syrup was fucking me up. The weed don’t do nothing to you. Do you remember the End Zone picture we had, with the two girls kissing in front of you? I always thought they were on some X. Man, I don’t what their situation was. There’s a lot of bi women out there, but I do know that when you give a woman X she gets really freaky. Not much surprises me though. I’ve seen it all X used to be some white boy shit, but rappers talk about it like it ain’t nothing now. How did it get to be so popular? I think it got popular in the 80s at the club. It was called Infamy at first. You could get it at the store. It was for people with marital problems. It just gives you a love feeling. Then it’s the sex drive and staying up all night. Catching 3-4 nuts. So you read about every drug you take? Yep. How did you get introduced to X yourself? My cousin was doing it at first. I was the last in the ‘hood to try it. I tried it and I liked it; I was 17. I started doing it for 2 years straight and then backed off it. Once I got diabetes I backed off it even more. Now I just do it one or two times a year. Maybe for a big occasion. You may see me sweating a little bit at the BET awards.

What else have you found out about drugs in your readings? Well, with weed, it come from the earth. The only thing now is that it’s the most potent its ever been. They’re growing it with two plants, and they’ve got scientist adding more THC to it now. And I learned that X takes pieces out your brain out. But I just love the high of smoking. I like to smoke, I can’t lie to you. The potent shit is everywhere now. You ain’t gonna find regular weed no more. The color of it fucks people’s heads up though. We’re also asking people what was there first, worst and best experience with drugs. Can you tell us about your first? My first experience was when I was 8 years old. My cousin had me smoking. I threw up everywhere in the back yard. I had to stay at their house for 7 hours just to come down before I went home. I came up around a lot of drug addicts. I sold to all of my uncles too. I regret it now, but I just wanted a dollar. I was out there [selling drugs] from 15 years old to 21. Are they still around? If so, any hard feelings? Yep, they all kicked the habit. They joke about it; my uncle talks about smoking rocks. I’ve been around the shit my whole life. Ever since I was a baby boy. My dad used to smoke weed with coke in it. He’d tell me it was just weed, but I knew the smell. What was your worst drug experience? When I first sipped syrup I couldn’t shit for 3 weeks. It tightens your kidneys and stops your bowels. It’s

horrible. You can push all you want and nothing will come out. You could have just [eaten], and you’re full, and nothing but pebbles come out. It took me year to get on top of it. I learned that you’ve gotta eat ice cream when you [sip lean]. The ice cream will make you go. Did you gain weight and get the barre belly? Nah, I lost a lot of weight. I was real skinny. That was about the time I learned I had diabtes so I didn’t want to take my meds or go to the hospital. I was in denial. What is your favorite drug experience? My favorite is when I go to Cali and I get to go to the weed store. They’ve got weed kool-aid, muffins, brownies, all that. I’ll be laughing for 24 hours. The edibles keep you laughing all day. When you aren’t high, do you notice a change in your personality? Man, every drug changes your personality. Weed will have you mellow, not thinking about your problems. Syrup makes you angry, have you waking up mad. Every drug will have you talking different. You can’t have a nice conversation with anybody because you’re fucked up. X will have you showing love to niggas you don’t even know. Every drug alters your personality. Anyone who says different is a muthafuckin’ liar. // Words by Maurice Garland Photos by Julia Beverly



INTERVIEW BY JULIA BEVERLY When Rick Ross says it’s “Deeper Than Rap,” he MEANS IT. BUT STILL, In the eyes of Miami’s largest emcee, music is everything. And though his pockets may be deeper than other rappers, his passion for DROPPING hot FLOWS OVER EVEN HOTTER BEATS comes second to none. Rick Ross makes hits, and to him, that’s all that matters. regardless of CONTROVERSY AND adversity THAT HAS COME HIS WAY WITH FAME, the Boss concludes, “Victory is mine!” You’ve been branding your newest catchphrase, which is also the title of your album - Deeper Than Rap - for quite a while. It sounds profound, but what exactly does it mean? What is deeper than rap music? Some things are deeper than rap. Ssome things are deeper than interviews. But I feel that Deeper Than Rap is most definitely an album that will clarify it. We all know what can be deeper than rap. It’s about bringing certain experiences back to life musically. The album is in stores now. I opened up [in my] music. Everybody who gets the album will most definitely understand [what Deeper Than Rap] means. Hopefully they’ll enjoy it.

Of course. Everybody that’s in business feels the recession. This magazine feels the recession. When the young street niggas that run two or three ads and want a cover, when they money ain’t right covers ain’t gettin’ bought like that. That goes for anybody – street promoters, niggas that’s booking the artists. If the venues or the bar ain’t doing what they usually do, it’s a cycle. Everything ties together.

Your Def Jam A&R, Shakir Stewart, tragically committed suicide in late 2008. Can you speak on how that situation affected you both personally and professionally? First and foremost, rest in peace Shakir. His legacy is bigger than the project. I gotta salute my homie and what he brought to the table as a great young executive. On another note, I’m putting together a classic album. No one can replace Shakir Stewart, but we had business to handle, and that we did.

I guess not. Well, obviously a lot has been said in regards to the whole 50 Cent situation. At this point, where is this going? What is gonna be the conclusion of this whole situation? Victory is sweet.

Did you pick most of the beats for your album? Yeah. It’s the same process, ain’t nothin’ changed.

Basically for you it’s all about the music? What else is it about? I ain’t see nothin’ else happenin’ yet.

On a typical album, about how many songs do you usually record before you sit down and select the ones for the album? Somewhere in the 50-60 range.

I just thought it was funny that it was like an internet [beef]. There were so many YouTube videos and cartoons. Does it seem like it’s transitioned away from battle rap? It wasn’t even really on wax. It was just skits and comedy. And who would you blame for that?

How does the selection process go? Do you go by other people’s opinions and DJs? Are you listening to it over and over again yourself, or how do you narrow it down? I’m pretty comfortable with my judgment, my taste, and my work, so I pretty much put it together. You know, by the time we bring it to the people to listen and critique it, it’s pretty much packaged and on its way to the store. I just go with my vibe. How did the John Legend connect happen for the single? He had the “Green Light” single out at the time and it was on fire. I was really feelin’ it. He was in Miami coming to work with The Runners. I got word and jumped in the space ship and shot over there. We had met previously, so I presented the concept. He sat right down and laced me. Your music seems to have made that transition from the I’m-hustling-inthe-streets mentality to the “good life” mentality. Do you think it’s hard to keep that hustler’s mentality when you have million dollar houses and you’re flying around the world in private jets? How do you stay in that mindframe? When you’re genuinely a person that goes hard and a person that really hustles, and you really mean it, ain’t nothin’ gon’ change with you. You get the money, throw it in a bag, and keep going. You start all over and do it again. That’s what it’s about. It ain’t just about me, it’s about everybody else that’s in line that’s grindin’, payin’ dues, and who deserves that and who’s destined for that. You can turn on CNN at any given moment and hear about how bad the economy is, but you’ll rarely hear an artist or entertainer admit, “Yeah, this is affecting me.” As a boss, are you feeling the effects of the recession?

Are you cutting back on your weed consumption or jewelry purchases? What it look like? (puffs on a fat blunt)

Victory for you is what? Platinum album sales? What would make you feel like you’ve won this battle? I’ve won already. We make hits.

I’m not blaming anybody. I’m just making an observation and wondering if you saw it the same way. As far as rap beef in general, you’ve got Bow Wow and Soulja Boy making YouTube videos about each other. It seems to have moved in a different direction from the traditional rap battle. Would you agree? I dunno. I spit fire. Well, you did kinda initiate the situation, at least on a record. People feel like you threw the first stone. Would you agree with that? My name was mentioned in a blog before that. You know, when shit get messy it gets messy. Big deal. I disrespected him to the utmost. He’s finished. Next. On serious note, there were times when your children’s mothers were involved, your kids, Khaled’s mom. Did you feel like it went too far? What it look like? What’s important to me is moving forward. I don’t know what’s important to you or anyone else. Anything other than me being focused – I don’t have time to focus on everybody that focuses on me. So is the beef done? You’re moving forward and putting out your album and he’s gonna do whatever he does and that’s the end of it? We gon’ have to see. You’ve seen these things before, you’re an experienced journalist. I’ve seen these things before. I’m putting out hot music. They continue to flop, but I’m good. Let’s talk about Maybach Music. You were with Slip-N-Slide before. Did you leave that situation? I just wanted to get some more money, and that’s what I did. The music


is the same, and I think that’s what everybody should focus on, especially when you’re not profiting from it. People wanna go into small details but they’re really runnin’ in circles. I think what’s important is the quality and level of music. If you really wanna know if I’m makin’ more money, of course I am. I tell you that in my music. The music really answers a lot of things for you. I always thought it was great how Miami had a unified front no matter what was going on behind the scenes. It seems like lately there’s been some riffs here and there. Do you think Miami unity is still there? I know it’s still unity there. As long as I say it’s still unity there, it’s unity still there. What about within the Poe Boy camp? Would it be accurate to say you and E-Class are not seeing eye-to-eye right now? When you see young black entrepreneurs both growing, the media never sees that clearly. They would love to pit two young black entrepreneurs against each other. That’s why I love doing interviews. I love to shit on y’all’s whole lil system. But that isn’t something I made up to pit you against each other. It’s a known fact that E-Class isn’t managing you anymore. Since you used to be so close, it’s a valid question to ask if there’s a reason y’all went in different directions. We’re handling business. I got a label and eight artists. What answer would you expect from me? Would you expect me to tell you somethin’ different? Of course not. If I did have a problem with E-Class, I wouldn’t tell it right here. What would I gain [from putting it out to the public]? Nothin’. So I like to keep it 100. It is what it is. So, it’s a lot of niggas you may not see me wit’ next year. To them, I live by the same oath. When people are handlin’ business, anythang can happen tomorrow. If it’s best for your business, my brother, do what’s best for your business. Now, if it’s a personal thang, do what’s best for your personal [life]. That’s how it goes. You move along, you grow. As far as my business moves, I’m building an empire. I have to invest in and nurture my empire to make sure the seeds I plant eventually grow. I look forward to many harvests. Who are your artists? I’ve got the Carol City Cartel. We just made that deal official – Maybach Music/Def Jam. We finna rip the budget open and do it real big. I got Mass Pike Miles straight out of Boston signed to the imprint. He’s the R&B boss. He’s in and out of the country twice a month on his own lil swag. That’s something I commend about him. His presence online is incredible. He’s writing hit records, so look for his project. I signed a reggae artist named Magazine straight out of Kingston, Jamaica. Look for his album Jamaica Gates. That dude write five songs a day. Then I got Young Breed, he’s the newest member of Triple C’s. Deuce Pound and Scotty Boy. We’re doin’ a lot of different thangs. Who are some of your influences, from a businessman’s perspective? For motivation I look at people like Birdman, people like E-Class – who I watched take a situation from the ground up. People like Ted Lucas – that’s what I want people to understand about Rick Ross. From a business aspect, I appreciate what Ted Lucas brought to the table. I learned a lot from Ted Lucas. And on a personal note, he’s a real cool muthafucka. But me being a boss and walking down my path, I have to challenge Ted to be in that next generation of executives. I hope he accepts my challenge. I’m challenging all the executives in the game. I’m staying in the streets, and I’m signing artists. I’ve got some hot producers that I just negotiated a deal with. I just extended it to the Maybach Films. Spiff TV, the director of the “Mafia Music” [video] and all the other things I’m doin’, he’s the president of Maybach Films. Right now I’m challenging myself. I’m challenging all the real niggas in the game. Let’s get some money together. Fuck all that small talk. Fuck all that girl talk. Is anything personal with me? Of course not. We could bust down money bags tomorrow. It don’t get personal to me until a nigga really wants to get on some street shit. I’m with that all day. We ain’t never ran from nothin’. You know that. Is the Deeper than Rap short film included with the album, or how can people check that out? You gotta make sure you pick up the album. It comes with a limited [edition] DVD that’s got so much stuff on it. Shouts out to Rik Cordero, Spiff TV, and Maybach Films. We put together something real special that y’all gotta make sure you check out. What makes me really proud of the album, and makes me feel like the album is a success, is just the excitement around it, and all the different avenues [I used to] promote it. Everything I ever dreamed of doing, I actually did it – from writing the film, and me and Birdman executive producing it, to the label deals. Right now I really can’t ask


for nothing else other than getting more money. So you’ve fulfilled all your dreams? No, I’m just showing the potential is there. You know, we talk about films and we’re bringin’ it to life. I got a great team. Shout out to Def Jam Records. I’ve paid all my dues and learned from the best. It’s just like the mafia – you gotta flip the mob boss, and that’s what I did. I’ma stay strapped and be ready for a nigga to flip me in the next few years. I’ma hit them first. Flip the mob boss? What do you mean by that? Are you referring to 50 Cent, like you took his place? Of course not, who would want that dude’s place? No one. He can’t even go to his own neighborhood. He’s a monkey. I’m me. I still shoot hood videos with lil niggas in the streets that can’t afford [to pay me to do a verse] on a song. I do it out of the love. I walk through the flea market and damn near cause a riot just to buy three beef patties. I had lunch for less than five bucks. I love the luxury of still being able to do that. I love the luxury of being able to write a freestyle in fifteen minutes, put it online and be [heard] all around the world in the next hour. You’ve been sending out records every day, freestyles, and YouTube videos. Do you feel like putting out that volume of material to the public causes you to sell more or less albums? I don’t know. We finna find out. And when I win, I win and I’ll make sure I email you. Do you have any first week sales predictions? I feel victorious already. I’m still here. I’m making more business moves than ever. I’m on the phone with clothing lines. I just talked with Chris Robinson yesterday and we had a long discussion about a film project. I’m in a good place right now, and that’s what it’s about. I think that’s what all the young dudes in the rap game should focus on. As of recently, a lot of the [first week sales] numbers haven’t exactly been hot. But I don’t think that’s what artists should focus on. I think they should focus on the brand and the realistic potential of the next go around. It ain’t always about the numbers. It’s all about what you accomplished, and I see a lot of things that we did accomplish. “Magnificent” is a top 10 record with a bullet, so we’re makin’ a lot of moves. Do you feel that the whole controversy over your former job as a correctional officer was blown out of proportion? I don’t feel like it was a big deal. I think some people were offended by the fact that you wouldn’t admit to it, like, what’s wrong with having a regular job? Why deny it? Like I said, there’s some things I still won’t discuss about. There’s a lot of things that were going on. Me, I have no concern about having a job or never having a job. If I was fucked up tomorrow and couldn’t get a bird I’d get a job. It’s all about me winning. That’s the thing about being a boss or being independent. You gotta make decisions that feed you. Look through the old OZONE magazines. You took the pictures [of me]. Before I was even in the [music] business or knew what a royalty check was I had on $80,000 watches. How’d I get that? Who put me in a position to get that? I won’t tell you that neither. It is what it is. I’ma still get mo’ money than the average rapper. How? Don’t ask me how. I don’t know neither. Why do I live better than these niggas that just put out two albums? I don’t know why I can do what I do. You saw my [wrapped] tour bus outside, right? Do you feel like somebody intentionally put out that picture of you in a correctional officer’s uniform to discredit you? If they did, they did me the biggest favor. Thank you for the attention. But just remember, Deeper Than Rap is in stores. Stay on your grind, stay on your hustle. Since this is the drug issue, we’re asking artists to reminisce on the first time you experienced your drug of choice. Do you recall the first time you smoked weed? I can’t even remember. I just know it was great. I fell in love and here we are today. Is there anything else you’d like to say? April 21st is the official [release] day. All you suckas and all you fuckin’ lames that don’t understand what a hustle is, all you fuckin’ lames that don’t understand what a boss is, all you fuckin’ lames that don’t understand what a survivor is, I’ma enlighten you. It’s close to the mob. If you play, it’s consequences. You remain loyal, there are rewards. Stay loyal, stay real, keep it 100. //


Words by Ms. Rivercity Photo by Jonathan Mannion


When Yo Gotti first brought his Cocaine Muzik campaign to life, he wasn’t concerned about the attention it would attract from police. The objective was to hook people on his music, by any means necessary. To Yo Gotti, freedom is a major priority, whether it’s creative freedom, or being unrestricted in his business decisions. And now that he’s no longer tied down to TVT, Yo Gotti is supplying a second dose of Cocaine Muzik to the public. How have you progressed since releasing Cocaine Muzik? How is Cocaine Muzik 2 on another level? When I did the first Cocaine Muzik, I just did it as a regular mixtape. So many people liked it and the streets embraced it so big. It was like a normal mixtape to me, but I saw how much people liked it so I went in and started doing Cocaine Muzik 2. I actually put a little more focus into it this time. Who can people expect to see on the credits as far as features and production? I really didn’t do any features outside of my camp, like All Star and Zed Zilla. It’s like a straight Yo Gotti album, 12 songs of original music. It’s really more like a street album than a mixtape. We just called it a mixtape ‘cause that’s what we started branding it as. Tell me about your camp. All Star is from Nashville. I’ve got a situation with him through Cash Money/Universal. We just dropped his new single called “Crazy” featuring me and Lil Wayne. Zed Zilla is like the hottest artist in Memphis right now in the underground scene. He’s actually from South Memphis, the opposite side of where I’m from. I’ve been tellin’ you about North Memphis for years, so now you’re gonna get to hear a little of the other side. Why did you decide to do your new project with DJ Drama instead of having someone else do it or have no DJ featured at all? Me and DJ Drama did the I Told You So: Gangsta Grillz and that took the streets by storm. I think the combination of me and Drama spread it to a lot of areas, so I looked at Cocaine Muzik 2 as the reunion of Yo Gotti and DJ Drama. It’s not a Gangsta Grillz, but it’s hosted by DJ Drama. The way I do my mixtapes, I don’t just do my records and send ‘em to Drama for him to talk on ‘em. I record ‘em knowing he’s gon’ do his thang on ‘em so there’s open space where Drama talks. Everybody else just sends him their music, but we actually create it together. You’re in Atlanta a lot. Do you have a spot there? Yeah, we’ve got a house in Memphis and a spot in Atlanta, but I actually live on the road. I’m really never in no city more than two or three days. Was it an adjustment going from your old Yo Gotti lifestyle to living on a tour bus? Nah, where I come from, I like to have my homies around me. When I do a show, a lot of people fly in their manager and DJ, but I’m used to being with my homies all the time so I take ‘em with me. I need something that can hold 12 to 15 people.

When the whole transition with TVT went down, where did that leave you as far as your contract situation? TVT went bankrupt and evidently they used my contract, and a couple more artists’ contracts that they felt were valuable, as assets. They used that to sell they company, so our contracts got bought out by The Orchard. My contract got shifted over to them. I was almost in the same situation, just with a different group of people. I heard you actually bought yourself out of that contract. Yeah, The Orchard gave us the option to work with them, or let another label buy us out of the contract. When they gave us the option, I told them I would buy my own self out of my contract. I think that may have been the first time an artist bought their own contract from a record label. How much does something like that cost? Mine was like $500,000. That’s pretty much saying your price tag is half a million dollars. Do you feel that’s accurate? I mean, it’s me so I would pay whatever I had to. It’s like buying your freedom. To me, ain’t nothing worth more than freedom. All this grinding I’ve been doing, I get a chance to renegotiate a deal with whoever or stay independent, or whatever I wanna do. I had been at TVT for so long, and it was a situation that wasn’t pushing my career any farther than what I had [already] created being on the streets. So when they gave me the opportunity to buy it for half a million, I had 72 hours to send ‘em the money. I think it was a Thursday evening when I found out that I had to do it by a certain time. It had to be in by Monday before 12 o’clock. What have you decided to do as far as your current label situation and distribution? I did a deal with J Records at the end of last year. I think it was one of the biggest rap deals they did last year. I think it’s gon’ be big. I think I’ve finally got a shot at having a machine behind me. Why do you feel you haven’t achieved that next level of mainstream success? Is it because you haven’t had that machine behind you, or are you maybe too street for commercial outlets? Nah, I don’t think I’m too street. I think I’ve never had the machine that everybody else had. There’s several artists who do somewhat of the same subject matter of music that I do, so I think it’s just the difference of the machine or the people that’s behind you. A good example of the subject matter not being an issue would be Gucci Mane’s “Bricks” record that you’re featured on. How do you think that song made it to radio? Did you know it would be this big? Nah, I didn’t really think about it. We did it over at Zaytoven’s house. We did the whole mixtape in three days. We were just pulling up beats and dropping the records, then going on to the next one. We really weren’t trying to make singles, just mixtape music. When they said they were playing “Bricks” on the radio, I was [surprised]. It’s kind of a street record, but that just shows you the demand for that type of music. On that note, why would you name your project Cocaine Muzik? You aren’t concerned about it getting the wrong kind of attention? I mean, I don’t really don’t care about sending off red flags to authorities ‘cause where I’m from,

authorities already investigate me for nothin’. In my city, they already label me as [a drug dealer]. Whether I do commercial records or street records, I’m still on their bulletin board as that type of person. Cocaine Muzik means [my music is] an addiction. If you put a Yo Gotti CD in your CD player, 9 times out of 10 you’re not gonna take it out. Just like if you take a hit of crack-cocaine, most of the time you’re gonna get addicted to it. I heard that when you were doing a show for Bigga Rankin a while ago your Cocaine Muzik promo van got pulled over and searched based on what it said. Is that correct? Yeah, we got pulled over a couple times because we had Cocaine Muzik on the wrapped Magnum and vans. But, you know, what can they do if they search you and you ain’t got nothin’? [The Cocaine Muzik wrap] isn’t probable cause [for them to search the vehicle], but the police do what they wanna do. This is kind of random, but, what happened with the Hustle and Flow sequel? Being in Memphis, did you ever hear about it? They never did the sequel to it. I think a lot of people were pleased with the first movie, outside of them trying to make Memphis seem a little more country than it actually is. They showed a club that looked like a house. We’ve got nice clubs just like any other city. We’ve got hustlers; people get plenty money down there. It ain’t no slow town like that. You’ve been doing your thing for a long time. What makes you get up every morning and still want to be a rapper? I have to. Where I come from, it’s one of two things: either you hustle or you do this music. First it was either you hustle or you hustle, so once I got a door to go through to do music, that’s what I did. It’s not just me; there’s a lot of people around me and if I don’t do what I do, a lot of people will have to hustle. It’s bigger than me. I can’t let my hood down. I give a lot of people opportunities who can’t go get a nice job because they have a record as convicted felons. What we do feeds them and their families. From the things you’ve seen around you, how does the drug game compare to the rap game? I’m gonna tell you from just the street game in general – you can be in the street game and you don’t have to be a drug dealer, you can be the robbers, you can play different positions. In the streets, for example, if somebody don’t like you or hates on you, they may plot to rob you or kill you. In the music business, if a person doesn’t like you, they may diss you or a DJ may not play your record. It’s kinda the same thing. But I feel like, how you gon’ hurt me? If you’re mentioning my name in a record or talking about me in the neighborhood, that don’t affect me. I come from where it’s real. Do you think everything you went through in the streets prepared you for the rap game? Yeah, I think it prepared me for whatever I was gon’ do in life ‘cause it’s real. You can’t experience nothin’ no realer than the streets. Your life and your freedom are on the line every day, every second. What else could be worse than that? Besides releasing the new mixtape, what else is going on with you? We just shot the “Sold Out” video. Live From The Kitchen 2 is comin’. All Star’s project is comin’. Cocaine Muzik is a movement. We gon’ do 3, 4, keep ‘em comin’. // OZONE MAG // 61


Words by Maurice G. Garland Photo by Jerami Johnson for Lexani Rims


I seen how TV can hurt And plus platinum plaques to match And add them 20”s and vogues And Gucci jackets on backs We got them BentlEys and Benzes And all them Lexus on lock The picture gettin’ kind of clearer I see why them bitches hot You hoes is strugglin’ and starvin’ And wanna rise in the hood It’s cold I’m crankin’ up heat And you wish you could Y’all wish y’all could get back with us Then maybe then you could shine Like the rappers you wish you was And get off the grind I’m keepin’ one in the chamber Because I’m filled up with anger And when I see you little hoe ‘n’ You knowin’ your life’s in danger I do a show y’all in the front row Hollerin’ all kinds of shit Is that the best way that you know To get attention lil bitch I understand how they feel They feelin’ that they left out And we the ones movin’ on So we the ones talked about But niggaz give it your best And one day then you’ll get a crown But until then take you a hit of coke And keep feelin’ down ‘Cause suckaz... that’s real DJ Paul - taken from “Mafia” on the Choices soundtrack DJ Paul calls himself the King Of Memphis, but he’s currently ruling from his castle in Los Angeles. “L.A. is our number one market. We sell more [albums] here more than anywhere else,” says Paul, who’s been living there since 2006 when he and his production partner and fellow Three Six Mafia member Juicy J won an Oscar for “Hard Out Here For A Pimp,” the song that made the film Hustle & Flow appear to be better than what it actually was. “I liked hearing that, but I never believed it until we actually got here. We still have our cribs in Memphis and I’m still there at least twice a month. But we’re out here in L.A.. most of the time.” With that move, DJ Paul has found himself in a position that many successful rappers/producers before him have had to wiggle in. Stay true to the hardcore fanbase, or enter untested waters to gain new ones. So far, Paul thinks he’s playing the game right. “When the last album came out, it had gangsta shit on it, but the single scared some of the hardcore fans,” says Paul of Three Six Mafia’s 2008 album Last 2 Walk and its pop single “Lolli Lolli.” “People thought we went Hollywood. What the [diehard] fans don’t realize is that songs like ‘Lolli’ are for the new fans. All that gangsta shit doesn’t make it to the radio. I wish it did. I wish I could make a ‘Smoked Out Loc’ced Out’ for the radio. As much as you want the gangster shit, you’ve gotta give radio something to play.” Say what you will, DJ Paul has emerged from an underground producer selling beats in Memphis’ underbelly to a man who has built enough clout to not only produce for fellow M-town native Justin Timberlake, but get clearance to use hometown hero Elvis Presley samples. He prob64 // OZONE MAG

ably would not have been able to do that by not taking some musical risks here and there. Paul’s latest musical risk could be one that shapes how the rest of his career will go from this point. Sensing that his from-day-one fanbase was getting antsy amidst the Oscar-winning and MTV-reality-show-hosting, Paul is returning to his independent roots and releasing a new solo album, Scale-A-Ton. “Scale-A-Ton is a gift to the fans,” says Paul, of his first independent solo outing since 2002’s King Of Memphis. “Nothing poppy, nothing shiny. Sex, drugs, money, murder. That’s it in one line. The old fans will love it because it’s the shit they grew up listening to.” So you’re living in Los Angeles now. Do you see any similarities between Memphis and LaLa Land? That’s what people get twisted. L.A. ain’t LaLa Land. Anyone who’s been there or even watched a movie [about L.A.] knows that L.A. is the gang capital. The biggest gang cities I know of or hear about are Chicago and L.A. and New York. L.A. is a gang city. Yeah, you’ve got Bel Air and Beverly Hills too, but it ain’t all like that. It ain’t all Beverly Hills Cop shit. I think it became one of biggest markets because, one, the crossover songs we do. We first got strong in L.A. with “Stay Fly.” It opened a lot of doors. I think we do well here because there’s a lot of gangsters in L.A. and Mexicans and crazy white boys. Look at what they grew up on: N.W.A. Our music was influenced by them as well. I guess we were a new N.W.A to them. But it took “Stay Fly” to let [the mainstream] know about us more, so they went and checked out the album. The main people that come up to me are a lot of wild girls that get drunk and party, and I love them, by the way. We get a lot of Hispanics too. Latinos are one of our biggest fan bases. That’s why were so strong in L.A. Plus, there are so many people in L.A. that are from the South, especially from Louisiana. I just did a show in Louisiana for Mardi Gras, and there were people who came from L.A. to Mardi Gras to see us because they said we don’t perform enough in L.A. One of my guys who cuts my hair [in L.A.] is from Louisiana. My favorite soul food spot here, Mom’s, the owner is from Louisiana. I found out about that from Steve Harvey. You’ve obviously amassed a lot more popularity over the last few years on the mainstream level. Have you noticed any changes in how people treat you or approach you? Every where we go people love us. As long as you’re a real nigga, you’re okay. As long you find the other real niggas, you’re okay. Even if you don’t find the other real niggas, you’re still okay because the phony niggas are gonna be afraid of you. You can see it on our Kyte cam when we went to Germany and Amsterdam to do our European tour. We did our New Year’s Eve show in Asia in Taiwan. We get love everywhere we go. The problem with a lot of niggas is that they want that love too. If I walk in the door and be like, “I got an Oscar!” we won’t get that love. I still walk up in places like the last nigga up in there. I’ll have a t-shirt and Dickies on. I might have some Gucci shoes and a belt though. I’m buying drinks; we came to party. I’ma liven up the room. People are always surprised, like, “Y’all ain’t act like I thought you were gonna act.” People [are] defensive until they see that we’re some real niggas. Unless they’re just some mad-at-the-world type niggas. (laughs)

Three Six Mafia and the Prophet Posse was already kind of thinning out before the mainstream success. Have you lost even more friends since then? Of course you lose friends. But you gain acquaintances. I’ve got a lot of new people I’ve met and hang around every day. They may not be my friend, though. Anyone with money, from Donald Trump to a lemonade stand [owner], is going to lose friends. Anytime you get money you’re gonna have someone in your mix that’s gonna want some. And when you stop giving them money that’s when they come with the, “Aw, you’re rich, you got it.” But they don’t realize you’ve got your own family and shit to take care of. So when folks would come up to me asking for money I’d be like, “Okay, hold the keys to this van right here. I’ve got a show in Mississippi. Drive me down there, and I’ll have a check for you at end of the night.” That’s how I do. It’s better to teach a nigga how to fish than give them a fish. As far as the groups, a lot of the people in my groups were homies. They weren’t even rappers at first. I’d get them in [the booth] and write them a rap. They’d start feeling good and it just built from there. About the groups, how did Three Six even form? It was two crews formed together. I had my crew, and Juicy had his. It was Juicy, Project and some other guys from the Northside. I don’t think they had a name. I had my guys, me and Lord Infamous and some guys, we called ourselves The Serial Killers. Gangsta Boo and Crunchy Black and them just hung out with us because we went to school together. Then Koopsta Nicca came along. That’s how it started, and once we got together and it got big, other people came in. We were also producing on the side. I was producing for Skinny Pimp. We just got together and made a team. What were those early days like? Juicy and I were recording at our mom’s crib. We had an apartment that was a honeycomb hideout. It was Crunchy’s house most of the time because he kept an apartment. We hung out at my mom’s pad; no smoking in that muthafucka. We could roll and record in there, but we’d go outside by the pine cone trees and smoke. Most of the time someone in the clique had a girlfriend that was a stripper. It’s always good to have one of those. We’d find a girl who needed a little help. This was back in the day when we ain’t have our own cribs. Niggas always gonna have a car though, staying with mom but got a Chevy sitting on something. I had an apartment but my shit was lowkey. We would find some girls who had their own spot but no car. So we’d be her ride to work, and in exchange we’d use the apartment to slang or hang. Backscratch for a backscratch. Out of that, when and how did you start making albums? We were making the cassette tapes back in the day. When I was in 9th grade I took some money I had from other shit I was doing and pressed up The Serial Killers. I took the picture and pressed up the copies. This was before we met Juicy. He already had tapes out himself, I believe. I didn’t want to be a DJ or a rapper, I wanted to be a producer, but DJing is what ended up happening. We sold about 2,000 of those tapes at $5 each. I took that money and got some equipment. I recorded the first EP at Jus Born’s house. I made some little bread and got some help from my brother and got some more equipment. I

started making mixtapes just to practice. I didn’t want to DJ. One of my homeboys said, “That shit jammin’!” So I started slanging them at school for $2. They only had one side and people started complaining. So I told them give me two more dollars and we’ll do another side. That was my volume 1. Me and my homie Lil Buc would stay up all night making those tapes, not doing homework or none of that shit. We’d go back to school and sell them for $4. I kept selling out. So I made volumes two, three, and by the time I got to four I started putting my own songs back on there. Me and Lord would rap over N.W.A beats. That’s when it started evolving into my own music. By the time we got up to volume 16, that’s when we put out Mystic Stylez. I always wondered why you guys never really hopped on the mixtape scene in the mid2000’s. Guess y’all were tired of them before the phenomenon even started. Well, we were doing some mixtape stuff but with our own personal DJs. We’d do mixtapes with DJs like C-Wiz from Nashville who was popular in Tennessee and surrounding areas, but not big DJs like DJ Drama. He was my homie, one of the first DJs I met outside of Memphis. When Mystic Stylez came out, I hopped in the Explorer and went from Memphis to Nashville to Atlanta to New Orleans to Jackson and back to Memphis. That small run sold us 15,000 copies the first two weeks. That was a lot back in ’95, at $8 a record? I always supported the mixtape game, but the main thing was that when Mystic Stylez came out you didn’t have a whole lot of DJs that were real hot like how Drama and Khaled are now. Back then it was just dudes that were hot in their own areas. We had Jus Born, Sunny D, Boogaloo and Spanish Fly. But we didn’t want to put out too much music because we were afraid someone was going to steal our style. That’s why we got a record deal. After Mystic Stylez we started looking for record deals but no one would sign us because our style was so different. Funny thing is that after The End came out and did well, Mystic Stylez kept selling too. So, when that happened the same label that turned us down, Relativity, came back and offered us a deal. What I’m getting at is the reason we looked for a deal was because we wanted our music to be heard all over the place. We were afraid someone would steal our style if we didn’t hurry up and get national. We didn’t need the money. We already had all kinds of shit. I had a Viper, everybody had a clean ride, we had condos and shit was cool. We wanted the recognition. So we took off our masks and all that, we wanted to be seen now, fuck with some hoes. When we got to Relativity and put out our first single “Tear Da Club Up ‘97” we didn’t even want that to be our first single. We wanted “Late Night Tip.” Being from the South we’re programmed that they ain’t gonna play no crazy shit on the radio. We told them we wanted “Late Night Tip,” nut they said no. Matter fact our contract, they told us these three songs had to be on the album: “Tear the Club Up,” “Late Night Tip,” and “In 2 Deep.” Those were songs that were already on Mystic Stylez and The End. We were like, “Naw, people already heard this,” and they were like, “Ain’t nobody heard this.” We said we sold 300k [already], and they said, “Do you know how many people are in this world? Ain’t nobody heard this shit!” I was like nooo, this is the 3rd “Tear Da Club Up” we’ve made. We were pissed. They said “Ain’t no one heard this shit. Make a fresh version. So we made the “Tear Da Club ‘97” and it came out hard as hell. BET tore that shit up. Man, I almost had a heart attack. I’m sitting at the house and I never took the TV off BET. They

played that bitch over and over again, and you had Jukebox where you could call and request. I memorized the number. That record went gold for us. For some reason back then people weren’t crazy over platinum, they wanted gold. I guess that’s because we grew up seeing [gold]. Niggas like gold. We wear gold teeth. The silver record ain’t stand out to us. I made a bet that we wouldn’t [go gold]. I lost that bet. It’s funny you mentioned the issue with the song choices. As a fan, I’ll admit that I was disappointed sometimes when you put out some of the same songs more than once. (laughs) See, we were playing two sides. We had the Sony side and the Select-O-Hits side. Fans just get the music. They don’t care about the distributor. We’d promote on the major and come out on the indie. The only reason we got the major deal was for the marketing and promotion, not the money.

studio. Is that what you usually do when making music? Nah. I just wanted to do this real quick. I wanted something out for the summer. I wanted it in May because that’s when Mystic Stylez came out, May of ‘95. We usually do Three 6 Mafia albums in the fall, but I wanted something for the summer. I knew the only way I could do that is to make triple the amount of songs, so that’s 1 song a day. When I got up to 50 songs, I picked my favorites. What should we be expecting afterwards? After Scale-A-Ton, a new Three 6 album is coming in the fall. Until then we’ve got a new Project Pat album coming out, Lil Wyte coming out after that. Lord Infamous is coming back out. He’s on my album. He’s not back in Three 6 Mafia but we will produce an album for him.

“when folks would come up to me asking for money I’d be like, ‘hold the keys to this van. I’ve got a show in Mississippi. Drive me down there, and I’ll have a check for you at end of the night.’ It’s better to teach a nigga how to fish than give him a fish.” Yeah, even when you were putting out the major label albums, you never stopped putting out the underground stuff. I was actually surprised when you and Juicy put out your solos back-to-back in 2002. Yeah. Both of our solos did 300k a piece [at the time]. They’ve probably sold more by now. But you can’t do that these days. We can still do that because we have a steady fanbase. But if you ain’t established your production yet, no, you can’t do that. But I can get on my album and say that Lil Wyte and Project Pat are coming out. People are always gonna get their albums. Wyte sells 200k each time himself. What made our clique so strong was our production. Fans knew it was gonna be our beats, songwriting and engineering. You might not be a fan of that artist, but they knew our beats was gonna be there. A lot of times with artists, you don’t know what you’re gonna get. Changing production is what kills a lot of rappers. As far as your production, you and Juicy were freaking samples before the RZA’s, Just Blaze’s and Kanye’s of the world. You also make original productions. Do you think you get proper recognition as a producer? I was in the studio yesterday with a big producer. He loved our music, but he didn’t know we made our own beats all the time. A lot of people don’t know that. We get the recognition for making hot songs, but they don’t pay attention to who makes the songs. They see us rapping and assume we’re just rapping. Really, other than Kanye and Shawty Redd, there’s nobody else that’s rapping and producing. But the majority of rappers aren’t making their own beats. That’s why a lot of people don’t give us credit. Well, you’re getting to show that again with the Scale-A-Ton album, I assume. How long have you been working on this? I started writing Scale-A-Ton on December 16th, 2008. I set myself a goal. That’s another thing. If you want to be successful, set a goal and stick to it. I told myself I was gonna knock out a beat, hook and verse everyday I could get in the

So what’s really up with Three 6 Mafia? You’re down to just 2 members now. We’ve heard about shadiness here and there but never really got an official word. Care to speak on it? There’s different reasons. But people get it twisted. The only person that actually left Three 6 is Crunchy Black. People saying they left the group, this and that, but Three 6 Mafia makes too much money to just leave the group, off shows alone. People are saying they ain’t get royalties or didn’t get paid, but that’s a lie. How are you saying you ain’t get paid but you’re riding in an Escalade. I didn’t know Cadillac was doing promotions like that, and if so, I need to get me one. But anyways, people saying they left the group, the ex-members didn’t even start those rumors. The other people in the group ain’t in the group because we kicked them out. We’ve had people in the crew leave, but that’s another story. But no one actually left Three 6 Mafia except Crunchy. A muthafucka might not have gotten a call back, or got greeted by some locked studio doors, but I’ve still got love for everyone. I spent half of my life with them. I’m not gonna get into the personal reasons of them not being around any more. I’ll just say we had differences. I don’t wanna get on here and abuse my power and authority. I’ve heard people say, “Paul ain’t shit,” but I ain’t gonna do that [to them]. Sometimes people just have differences, or be in and out of trouble, or they’re just not listening to what I was trying to tell them and it just didn’t work out right. UGK, 8Ball & MJG, Outkast, the Geto Boys and Three 6 Mafia are considered the founding fathers of Southern Hip Hop. I’m curious as to how you feel about the current music and climate. I can tell from talking to you that we came from the same era of music, even though you’re younger than me. Our ears are programmed different from the ears of today. The young bucks ain’t looking for as much as we looked for. They don’t give a fuck about scratches. Their ears are programmed for the style they like. If they like it they’re gonna get buck to it. It don’t matter what I like, it only matters what the fans like. If you don’t like it, don’t pay attention to it. You don’t like it, but someone does. Some of the crazy songs that niggas say ain’t about shit, man, when it comes on in the club they‘re getting crunk to that shit. And that’s all that matters. The South still has the club rocking. // OZONE MAG // 65

Last year’s American Gangster episode on BET featuring Mac Dre and the Romper Room bank robberies rekindled a story that made headlines both in the 90s when the crew was arrested, and again in 2004 with Dre’s untimely death. We sat down with two of the crew’s key members, J-Diggs and Coolio Da’Unda’Dogg, for an in depth look into their former lives of crime and what it was like to work with a Thizz legend.


stuff you’ll see in the movie [that’s being made about us]. How did you transition from pizza parlor robberies to bank robberies? There came a time when the pizza money was slow. You get into a certain [lifestyle] and being used to a certain amount of money, you start moving up. It’s just like anything else – the drug game, or even real estate. When you buy your first house, it might be a little house and then you build up. It was just a thirst for money; an appetite for money. I felt like I was pretty advanced and pretty slick. We felt like we could beat the system and not get caught. I feel like I wouldn’t have got caught if an informant hadn’t snitched on me.

J-Diggs’ Story: J-Diggs got his first taste of the streets like many, by selling drugs. ”It’s the typical story,” he explains. “Seeing things and wanting them. Selling drugs was just one of the games that was easy for a young black man to get caught up in. It was fast money, but not fast enough.” While the drug game appealed to Diggs’ appetite for money, it by no means satisfied his hunger for luxury. “There was no faster money in the streets like robbing,” the Vallejo, CA native says. From hustling crack on the corner, to robbing pizza parlors, to hitting banks, J-Diggs became one of America’s Most Wanted Gangsters. Did your American Gangster episode on BET accurately portray your situation? I think they portrayed it real well. I wasn’t sure if they were gonna make us look like some real hoodlums or if they’d give the real story. That was something we went through as youngsters. It shows that you can go through some [negative] things and still come out on top. You can take a negative and turn it into a positive. And it allowed us to give Dre his rightful credits. He was really a solid dude and he went to jail for something he didn’t do. How were you able to get a lower sentence than some of the other Romper Room guys that are still in prison? If you watch the show, it explained that I recognized the police were following me and called off [the robbery] at the last minute. I was a suspect in 23 bank robberies but I was only found guilty of conspiracy to commit bank robbery and I ended up doing 10 years. A lot of my Romper Room dudes are still in prison with 80 years, 35 years, 33 years, 29 years. I was just one of the lucky ones that got a second chance. Those dudes are doing some real time and we want to make sure they get their shine. We’re one big family. They actually did an Unsolved Mysteries episode on the robberies before you got caught. What were you thinking when you watched it? I actually came over to my mom’s house one day and they were watching it. Mind you, I’m sitting here watching a show about me and my crew, next to my mom, and nobody knows what’s going on. During the episode they ran a [surveillance] videotape [that showed] me running up into a pizza parlor. I’m sitting there watching myself, and my mom is watching me, but she doesn’t know it’s me. I’m in there shaking, but at the time she didn’t figure it out. That’s a lot of the

So you felt like you could outsmart the law? We felt like we had mastered it. Once you hit your first lick, then it becomes easier to take the chance. It’s like selling your first drugs on the street. You know you’re not supposed to do it. You know you might get in a drug war, but that’s a chance you’ll take. When you get away with your first sale, ain’t no tellin’ how many sales you’re gonna make after that. That’s what happened with the bank [robberies]. I fell in love with it. My appetite for money was enormous. The thought of being able to get that much money that fast was incredible. What happened when you got caught? We caught our case in Fresno and our families [heard it on] the news the next morning. We thought it would just get swept under the rug, but the media blew it out of proportion so when we walked into the courtroom the next day, it was filled with all our families and friends that had jumped on the highway to support us and find out what’s going on. Nobody knew that Romper Room was doing all the bank robberies or pizza parlors. When it hit the news everybody wanted to see what was going on. All through my trial I was saying it wasn’t me. They knew Mac Dre wasn’t robbin’ banks, but they wanted him to tell on us, and when he refused to tell, he caught a conspiracy case. They wouldn’t give us bail so we sat in county jail for a year fighting the case. Do you wish you had done things differently now that you’re looking back on the past? It’s just trials and tribulations. At the time when we caught the case, my friend Mac Dre was a well-known rapper in the Bay Area. He was a CEO and had record labels coming at us. We were trying to make it at the time. When this happened it [halted] everything we were tryin’ to do. While we were incarcerated, all the guys we grew up with were getting record deals. E-40 got a deal with Jive, Spice 1 and Too Short got with Jive – these were guys we were in the streets with trying to come up together. They got videos on BET and we’re sittin’ in county jail like, “Damn, that’s supposed to be us.” In the process of that, Dre made a call home and found out that our homeboy Kari was putting Mac Mall on. So that’s one of the ways we kept our neighborhood alive. How were you able to get back into the music game after you got out of prison? I went to 7 or 8 different penitentiaries in 7 different states, and everywhere I went I stayed rappin’ and on my music game. I said if I ever got the chance again I was gonna get at it. We came back and really steadied ourselves and stayed grounded with the second chance we got. How much money did you acquire through all

the robberies? The media reported $1.5 million. I can’t say if it was more or less, but I’ll say this: The Romper Room Crew played with a lot of money. We were some young kids that had it all. Were all of those funds seized by the police during your incarceration? I’d rather not say. My whole ten years in prison I was comfortable. Since I’ve been home I’m comfortable. I’m one of the fortunate ones. I’ve never had a job in my life. I’m doing good for myself. How did you get involved with The Romper Room Crew in the first place? I come from the neighborhood The Crest. It’s not your average neighborhood. It’s a rough neighborhood in Northern California. It’s where my mother was raised and where my grandmother stayed, so I spent a lot of years in this neighborhood. When we were youngstas, my friends from the neighborhood developed a crew. We never called ourselves a gang. We bonded, played together, and went to parties together. We went from doing good things together to bad things. I didn’t come from a broken home or nothing like that. My mom is a hustler, so when she wants something she goes out and gets it. Her and my father worked all their life. Actually, I was a spoiled child. My parents did pretty good for themselves and still do. I didn’t come from the ghetto or grow up hungry, it’s just that my appetite for money put me over the edge. What was it like to know and work with Mac Dre? He was very creative and original. We grew up together and we were friends. Growing up with him and going from the streets with him to the music was a blessing. It gave me the creative control that I have now. He was a genius in the way he worked. He made me into the CEO I am in this music game. I learned a lot. He hit the streets five years before me and in five years he was able to soak up enough to let me come on and do my thang. I can do nothing but give praise to him. That’s why I have him around my neck every day of my life. What’s going on with the Thizz label right now? Thizz Nation is the #1 independent label in the country. They hyphy movement came out and everybody thought that was the only thing the Bay Area had to offer. Now they’re starting to realize that there’s so much more talent in the Bay Area. We’re putting out DVDs, records, a clothing line, bobbleheads, we’re doing everything you can imagine independently. We don’t have none of the major money. The majors were lookin’ at us but they were kinda scared to come in because they thought the hyphy movement was a fad. But that’s not what we’re all about. We really do music out here and we have a strong influence across the country. When the general public watches the show and the movie presents the full story, what do you want the ultimate message to be? I want people to understand that just because you have a bad situation in your life, it doesn’t mean it can’t be turned around into a positive. We were the looked at as the most negative dudes to come out of the Bay Area. Now when they say “Thizz,” they say Romper Room at the same time, and they’re sayin’ it with pride. Everybody’s throwin’ up the “T.” That’s a positive. We did what we did as kids, we grew up and made it happen. There’s a lot of people goin’ through that right now. You can have a second chance. // OZONE MAG // 67

Coolio DA’ Unda’DogG: Coolio Da’Unda’Dogg can describe the 80s crack epidemic in Vallejo from first-hand experience. He partially fueled it. He can tell you how drugs spread through The Crest like a modern day plague, and how even his mother fell victim to drug addiction. Not one to glorify crime or violence, Coolio was once a misguided youngster who learned life’s lessons the hard way. Graduating from drugs to armed bank robbery, Coolio was an instrumental element in the Romper Room capers of the early 90s and eventually spent five years in prison. Like J-Diggs, Coolio depicts a lifestyle of lavish living, an endless craving for cash, and a music career that often took a backseat to his criminal activities – until he had no other choice but to change. Why did you decide it was important to tell your story to the public? At first, we were all skeptical because some of those people were still going through cases. But we came to the conclusion that it wasn’t gonna harm us. My cousin is an officer and I asked him, “Is this stuff incriminating?” He said, “Naw, you can talk about anything you’ve been convicted for or charged with.” Plus, we wanted to [clarify] that Mac Dre wasn’t involved in robbing banks. The authorities painted Mac Dre as a gang leader. He expressed his thoughts in his music, but since you knew him firsthand, what was going through his head regarding the false accusations? Once Dre got wind of it he was like, “Man, y’all serious? Y’all not robbin’ banks?” At first he didn’t believe it. Other people started imitating [our] style of robberies. It wasn’t always us. We used tape on the shoes, tape on the weapons, tape on our wrists. We didn’t have ski-masks, we cut beanies and stretched ‘em out long so you couldn’t see our faces. They wouldn’t even know what color we were. I showed a couple [other] people our style and they started robbing everything, from hotels to pizza parlors to nail salons. Now you’ve got these imitation robberies blamed on us. When Dre made the song “Punk Police” it brought more attention on him. But he wasn’t involved in the actual robberies. None of the money was ever used to fund his career. Kari was Mac Dre’s executive producer, so no bank [robbery] money was used for Mac Dre’s music. What was going through your head the first time you robbed a bank? The first time I robbed a bank I didn’t go in; I was the driver. One of my friends got in my car with a wad of brand new money and said he robbed a bank and wanted to hit another one. We picked up another friend and went to the bank. I’m in the car waiting and I hear these sirens coming. I’m automatically thinking we’re caught, but they made it to the car with the money. I saw the police coming towards me and ducked down. I headed towards the freeway. I was nervous as hell but once we made it back to his house, we counted the money and it was like $17,000. 68 // OZONE MAG

When did you get up the nerve to go into the bank yourself? A few weeks later. It was probably the biggest adrenaline rush I ever had. I felt comfortable knowing we could get away with it. I was more nervous the first time [as a driver] than I was actually going into the bank. I went in and grabbed all the money out the drawer. My friend was pretty much just barking all the orders so I didn’t have to say much. We got the money and ran out. That time we had about $47,000. Where did the money from the robberies end up? Did you ball out or end up having to turn it over to the authorities? For my 18th birthday I bought two cars on the same day. We were buyin’ jewelry, clothes, just havin’ fun. I was also running my company. I’ve had my business license since I was 18. Some of my friends’ money was going into cars and getting [sound systems] and rims for their cars. But none of the money ever went to Dre’s career. They tried to say that we were funding our music, that we were in debt, that we had drug habits, but none of that was true. We were just youngstas havin’ fun. Does the money overshadow the guilt of robbing people or the idea of getting caught? Yeah. Once you make it home and count the money, you don’t think about the people ‘cause you haven’t physically hurt anyone. You don’t think about getting caught if you already got away. The only time I felt remorse over the people in the bank was when I got arrested. I started reading that some of the people were traumatized. I told my homeboy, “I wish I could apologize to these people.” I reflected back on it and was like, wow, I really scared the life outta people, pointing a gun in somebody’s face. How did you get caught and how much time did you serve? I got took down on July 14th, 1992. We robbed a bank in Richmond and they was pretty much already on us. When we come out of the bank, we get in the car and duck down. My friend is drivin’ and he’s like, “Man, the police are behind us in an unmarked car!” We were like, “Just keep going.” All we heard was sirens and we were like, “Go! Don’t stop!” So we [drove] high speed through Richmond for maybe 15 minutes and then we crashed. Two of my friends got away but got caught later. Me and the driver got caught up on a chain-link fence and couldn’t move. That was the day I got took down and I did five years. When you were in prison, were you thinking about ways to change your life? The whole time I was like, I’ma get out and do my music the right way. I got my high school diploma, went to college for a year and studied law. I was getting books sent in about the music industry. I was already working on Cavvy R. Records off and on, but I wasn’t that successful. Before I got arrested I had released a cassette. I pressed up 2,000 copies of it and when I came home all those units were sold out. I had a check waiting for me. Did the publicity from the Romper Room capers fuel your record sales? When me and Dre got out, we started working on The Rompalation, and to this day that album has sold over 100,000 copies. We sold 10,000 copies in the first week. You’re from Watts and you moved to The Crest in Vallejo as a kid. Why did you relocate? I grew up in Watts and started getting involved with the Greg Street Crips. My mother had just married a guy from Vallejo, so they decided it would be best to relocate to the Bay Area. I was 15 years old at the

time. A lot of my friends were gettin’ killed, going to jail for murder, and joining gangs. My mother was like, “You’re next.” [Moving from L.A. to Vallejo] was like going out of the fire back into the frying pan. It wasn’t as hot. It wasn’t gangs in the Bay Area, and in Vallejo the murder rate was almost none. [My mother] figured the most I could get into was a fight. At what point did you establish yourselves as the Romper Room Crew? About 6 months after I moved to Vallejo. I used to sell drugs on Mark Street with my cousin. A guy named EB, the oldest in the bunch, stayed on Leonard Street. We used to hang out at his house. It’d be me, him, his brother, and Dre was just coming around then too. He wasn’t Mac Dre back then, just Dre. They told me he rapped and he came to my house and I was showin’ him some of my mixtapes we used to do off Whodini instrumentals. Dre was like, “Aw, you tight.” How did the crack epidemic affect Vallejo? When I first moved to Vallejo, it was actually only a handful of people who was sellin’ drugs. I was one of the youngest that was doin’ it. I helped some of the youngsters get in the game. I saw it progress in The Crest area in ’88 and ‘89 from one street to the next. By the end of ’89, the crack epidemic was huge in The Crest. You could buy drugs on every street. Everybody was makin’ thousands of dollars a day. What were the negative effects? My mother was on crack, and I saw some of my good friends’ mothers and fathers on crack. Our whole community was affected by crack, but like you said earlier, money overshadows the consequences. I never personally served drugs to my mother. But I actually saw people sell drugs to their own mother and father; brothers and sisters. And their excuse was, “Well, they’re gonna get it from somebody so I might as well make the money.” Was your mother able to overcome addiction? Yeah, it took her a few years. My mother left immediately after she came to Vallejo. It was like she dumped me off and left with my brothers and sisters. They all went back to the projects in Watts. I was really taking care of myself. At 16 I was buying my own clothes, my own cars. What do you have going on currently? I just released two projects: The Rompalation 2008 and The Bay Boys Compilation. My Romper Room Gangster album is out as well. I have the “American Gangster” single on iTunes. I had that song in 2007, so when they contacted us to do the show I was like, “Aw, that’s right on time.” I’ve got 30 other titles in stores and on iTunes. For the American Gangster movie we’re gonna talk to the rest of our homeboys that still doing time. I’ve got my movie coming out this summer called The Unknown Legend. It’s my life story, growing up in L.A., from gangbangin’, Crips and Bloods, coming to the Bay and hooking up with drug dealers and kingpins, and staying clean for 12 years after getting out of the pen, to running my company. What do you want people to learn from this? My quote is, “A gangster doesn’t glorify violence. Violence glorifies a gangster.” So just maintain and be yourself. Don’t try to be like this person or that person, just do what’s right for you. Don’t look at me and say, “Well he was violent and he robbed banks and bounced back,” because you might not bounce back. You might get shot in one of those robberies, the same with selling drugs. I got lucky. Learn from lessons and make the right choices. It’s up to you what you learn from experiences in your life. //


April. It’s a girl-girl DVD. Following that I have a blow job DVD and solo DVDs introducing some new hot girls out of Boston. Boston is a pretty random place to find girls for porno flicks. There’s a lot of pretty girls out there. Don’t sleep on Boston. My company Double R Productions is presenting Hard Body Entertainment, so I’m only shooting girls with nice, tight bodies.

Once upon a time porn was considered taboo; the only place it lived was on dusty VHS tapes hidden above in your dad’s closet. now, porn has gone mainstream. Adult film stars make guest appearances on family sitcoms and star in big budget PG-13 blockbusters. Like it or not, having sex on camera has become glamorous, and the days when all women in porn were surely cokeheads with abusive childhoods are gone. In 2009, all-American girls who played sports in high school and went to four year universities upon graduation are submitting their resumes to porn producers. Roxy Reynolds is the epitome of the new image of porn. She stars in music videos, hosts parties nationwide, makes almost daily appearances on Hip Hop blogs, and is even featured on Gorilla Zoe’s latest project, Don’t Feed The Animals, where she salaciously raps about her sexual prowess on a track called “Talk Back.” The world is obsessed with sex, drugs, and rock’n roll, and Roxy has taken full advantage of it. But make no mistakes; Double R doesn’t indulge in hard drugs. Though she does enjoy an occasional girl-on-girl fling with Mary-Jane, the former Ohio State Buckeye represents the growing number of women who don’t fit the stereotypical stigma. There’s a common belief that most porn girls are coked out. Is there any truth to that? For real, many of the [girls in porn] are. A lot of them come from un-established families or they used to have pimps, or they used to run a track, or something like that, so most of them are on drugs. But the other half isn’t on drugs. I came from a church family. I was a college student, so that stereotype doesn’t pertain to me. I can’t lie though, in the porn industry, most girls are on drugs, but many of them aren’t. Those that aren’t have a plan, and porn is just a way to execute the plan. Porn is a business, so you can take it however you want to. Yeah, I smoke weed, but I’m not into drugs like that. Do you remember the first time you smoked weed? Yeah, I smoked a blunt in the 9th grade with my older cousin Niecey. That was my first time getting high. We were in the car and my cousin was taking us to the movies. I don’t know why, but weed made me angry the first time I smoked. I called Niecey a bitch and she got mad and dropped my ass right back off at home. I was pissed because I didn’t get to go the movies or nothing. Weed used to make me real angry, but now it does the opposite. It makes me real relaxed and cool, and Cali weed is the best. If 70 // OZONE MAG

anybody wants to send me a gift my P.O. Box is… (laughs) How did you transition from being an angry pothead to a happier one? I didn’t start to like weed until I went to college. I played a lot of sports in high school, so I didn’t have time to smoke weed. I had all these different after-school activities to do, so I never really smoked weed in high school. I started in college. What was the worst experience and best experience you ever had from smoking? The best experience was when I went on a cruise. I had some weed and I got to smoke the weed on the top deck, and I was feeling like I was on the Titanic in the movie, when the dude was at the front of the ship. I was just chillin’ with the wind blowing in my hair and stuff, and it was just so much fun. That was an amazing experience. And the worst experience I’ve had was when I almost got caught at the airport. I damn near went through the x-ray thing and forgot I had the weed in my purse. I had to act like I needed to go to the bathroom real bad so I could get rid of the weed. Damn, was it a lot of weed? Naw, it wasn’t a lot. It was personal, but that’s how you get in trouble, when you forget like Snoop. He forgot. You know he doesn’t even travel with green because he’s good wherever he goes, but it’s just that sometimes you forget. That’s one thing about smoking weed, you forget a lot of shit. That’s why you can only smoke during times when you know you don’t have no work to do. What are your thoughts on poppin’ pills or other party drugs? I don’t really have the urge to do any other drugs. I’m really not a drug person. Weed is good, but I’m straight on the rest of it. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with it. Pill poppers, do what you do, but I’m not a big fan of nothing like that. I already travel a lot, so I gain and lose weight all the time. The smallest I’ve been is 125 and the biggest I’ve been in 143, and I like to be in between that. Popping pills is not gon’ keep me healthy like that. It makes you lose a lot of weight. Do you smoke weed or drink before doing a scene? No, I don’t. I don’t like my eyes being red for the camera, and Visine doesn’t always get the red out, so I never smoke or drink before doing a scene. I was usually just high off of life from doing the scene and getting that check, so I could save it and start my own company, like I did. Congratulations. How does it feel being an entrepreneur? It’s great. I just started my company, Double R Productions, and my first DVD should be out in

Do you actually pick the girls out yourself? Where do you find them, walking through the mall or something? Naw, I have friends who recommend girls that might be interested in doing adult film work. Usually they just send me unedited pictures to roxy@roxyreynolds.com and then I contact them, interview them to see how serious they are and pick which ones I want to work with from there. What kind of interview questions do you ask potential porn chicks? Of course their age, and whether or not they’re in school. I ask them if [being in porn] is really the decision they wanna make, because I don’t want to start anybody out and then in the future they regret it or whatever. I don’t wanna be that person that screwed their life up. I don’t want them to blame me down the line. What kind of physical qualities do you look for in these women? Is it more about the face, the ass, the attitude, what? It’s about the face and the body. Definitely the face, and definitely the stomach, the ass is important as well. It doesn’t have to be a stupid fat ass, but there does have to be something back there to grab onto. The camera makes you look 10 pounds bigger than real life. Are you looking for new dudes, too, or just females? We need new guys also. New guys are always a plus, because everybody is sick of seeing the same porno guys. There’s more girls than guys in porn, so guys are always needed as well. Do you still do scenes? It’s been a while since I’ve seen a new Roxy flick. Yeah, I kinda fell back. I’m going to do full-time producing and directing, and the only place you can catch Roxy Reynolds is at roxyreynolds.com or hardbodyxxx.com, my new site. But if people are craving Roxy Reynolds they can go out and buy my new butt toy. Okay, I heard about that. What is that, a Roxy Reynolds blow-up doll? No, it’s the cyber ass, Roxy Reynolds Pussy and Ass, and it feels really real. They molded me. You know those casts that kids used to get when they broke their arms? That’s what they did to my ass. They poured this silicon stuff on me. I think it was silicon, but it might have been some kind of clay. Anyway, it dried up like a cast and then they popped it off and built a toy out of it. It’s the doggy style position, so you can fuck my ass, and you can fuck my pussy from the back. If you slap it does it have a sound to it? Yes, it does. It feels really real. It’s ribbed inside too, so it feels like a real pussy when you’re putting your dick into it; it’s not like an empty hole or anything like that. It has life like walls, and cushion inside. So now, instead of jacking your dick off you can buy my ass and fuck me for real, and it comes with lube and a free Roxy World DVD. Depending on where you buy it, it sells for

between $50 and $80. So you’re selling your fake butt to fans, but what are your thoughts on girls who have lesser backsides get butt implants? In my opinion, do what you want to do. Everybody has fake titties, everybody gets their stomachs tucked, so if you’ve got the money to get [a butt implant] and you feel it’s gonna make you feel better, go for it. But if you don’t have the budget for it, it’s only gonna put you more in debt. If you have stretch marks or saggy titties, I would worry about getting that fixed first before you get your ass done. A fat ass doesn’t always make the body pretty, and there’s a thin line between being thick and fat. I heard your track with Gorilla Zoe, and I gotta admit I was impressed. I didn’t know you could rap. Let me get something straight: I’m not a rapper. I don’t really wanna pursue a career in rap, I just want to continue to run my company and hire people that can help run my company. I really would like to sit back, relax and finish my last year and a half in school for my Spanish Criminology degree. I’m not a rapper; the rap industry is just out fo proportion for real. Too many people have their hands in your money, unlike in porn where all the money comes to me. I’m not saying I won’t start my own record label one day or something, but I just want to focus on one thing at a time. Rapping is just like a hobby to me, it’s a lot of fun. We actually just shot the video for that “Make That Pussy Talk” song, too. It’ll be released on the movie Gorilla Zoe is shooting, which should come out right after his album is released. You can actually rap a little bit though, Roxy. You sounded better than I thought you would. How did that project with Gorilla Zoe go down? Block Ent choose me out of all the different porn stars. Gorilla Zoe is always talking about porn stars in his music so Block decided to actually put a porn star on a track. So they did the research and we had the meeting, the verses were written, and I laid the track. Did you actually write your own lyrics, or did somebody else help you with them? We worked together on it. I just jotted down my ideas that I wanted in the song, and Gorilla Zoe put them together in verses for me. //


also got Play-N-Skillz and Happy Perez. For collaborations we’ve got Too Short, Pitbull, Baby Bash, and my Texas homeboys Z-Ro, Lil Keke, and Trae. The first single is called “Busy Body” with Webbie, it’s produced by Mouse. We just shot the video a couple weeks ago so we’ve been rollin’ with it real strong.

Being the People’s Champ is not an easy occupation. People are fickle. As fast as they crown you, they’ll dethrone you. Paul Wall was at this crossroads in 2007 when he released his sophomoric major-label album Get Money, Stay True. Reeling FROM the success of his previous album The People’s Champ, Paul had gone from a regional star to a national figure with everyone from Kanye West to Nelly to Playmate Kendra Wilkinson wanting a piece of him. In true People’s Champ fashion, Paul actually pleased everybody, or at least tried to. Even though he explored his pop options by making songs with Brook Hogan he still made sure to please the diehard Houston fans by collaborating with Lil Keke. For every arena show he did with Travis Barker, he still did club dates throughout the South. But, he couldn’t keep everyone smiling. “When we did Get Money, Stay True we learned the hard way that you can’t buck the system,” says Paul of the album that was supposed to catapault him to pop star status. Instead, he did just as the title said and catered to his core fan base. “The only way you can have success all around is if you work with your record label instead of working against them. At that time we were working in different directions. Atlantic Records had different views of where we should go. I can be the flavor of the month at the label and the next month they’re on to a different artist and I’m not a priority anymore. We had to learn that the hard way.” Lessons intact, Paul Wall is planning to apply what he’s learned with his new album Fast Life. Powered by the lead single “Busy Body” featuring Webbie, Paul promises that Fast Life will be his most diverse project yet. Hopefully the people will be pleased. How long have you been working on Fast Life? Me and [my manager] T Farris have been in the lab working on it since we put out the last [album], so it’s been about a year and a half. Production-wise we’ve got Travis Barker on there, and Beans N Cornbread out of Houston. We’ve


The title Fast Life seems pretty selfexplanatory, but tell us why you decided to ride with that. When people think of Houston Hip Hop, “fast” is the last word they think of. Yeah. For me, it’s more about the non-stop grind and hustle. I ain’t taking no breaks, I’m just grinding from sun up to sun down and back ‘til the sun comes up again. When you start living that fast-paced hustle life, when you grinding to get that paper mane, you start seeing the accolades of success, like cars, jewelry, broads, clothes, whatever money can buy. The album is about everything that comes with living the fast life. Is it pretty much a soundtrack to your life since things picked up a few years back, a soundtrack to whatever you’ve been doing on the road? Nah, when I say the fast life, I’m not talking about music-wise – I’m talking about life in general. I think anyone that’s grinding can relate to it, anybody that’s gotta go to work and pay the bills. Whether you work at McDonald’s, you’re a school teacher, or you’re in the streets hustling, you still got to grind. How fast you’re living depends on how hard you grind. When you came out with Get Money Stay True, I remember you saying you felt like you had more time to work on that album as opposed to The People’s Champ. You said you felt like it was a job, and you only recorded 15 songs for it anyway. With this new album, did you try to combine what you learned from both of those albums or did you try to do something completely new? I read an interview one time, I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but [Lil’] Wayne said he doesn’t care when they put out an album. He just records non-stop and whenever a label wants to put out an album they put it out. I thought that was a hell of a mindframe. Me and T Farris took that mindframe going in. Whenever we get a track we record to it. We might have a couple different songs on the same track just to try something different. Whenever we come up with a new idea we make a song about it. The more we recorded the more we got in a zone. So we got so many songs recorded for this album. We weren’t even worried about picking the songs for this album until they renegotiated the [deal] and started promoting it. Once they gave us the release date, that’s when we sat down to figure out the songs for the album. I think that’s what we’re gonna do for the next one too. Even though the album comes out in May, I might be in the studio with T Farris coming up with some new songs.

A lot of artists rely heavily on being inspired by things around them. With you being on the road, what did you rely on to come up with song ideas? T Farris comes up with a lot of the song ideas. Most of the time I vibe off him. For me to get in a zone, I put myself back in the mindset I was in when I fell in love with Hip Hop, when I was 15 or 16 years old. If I’m tryin’ to get in the zone I’ll throw on some Screw tapes, Fat Pat, or Lil Keke. With the other albums they tried to attach you to the “Houston movement. ” This might be the first time we’re getting a Paul Wall album by itself, without them trying to label you. Are you looking forward to coming out on your own and challenging this different atmosphere? Oh yeah, definitely man. It’s grind time. I think people are really gonna be surprised by the album, and impressed too. They’re really gonna like what they hear, and see how far I’ve come lyrically. We stepped the sound up a lot. We kinda came into our own being in the studio working on this album. What did you learn about yourself as an artist and what did you improve on this time? I think something I learned a while back is that what I like in music ain’t necessarily what the mass population likes. I’m very selective with the kind of music I like, but the stuff I like doesn’t always sell as many records. I’m trying to sell a million records so that’s the kind of sound I need. T Farris really helped bring that out of me. I might be going in [the wrong] direction and he’ll steer me in the right one. How different should we expect this album to be? “Busy Body” is jamming but it’s not something I would ever expect Paul Wall to get on. Me and T Farris have been talking for the longest about going down to Baton Rouge and hooking up with Mouse and Webbie. It was a long time comin’. Overall, you’ll hear the same Champ you’re used to hearing, but there’s also new, different themes and subject matter. I’m working with producers I haven’t worked with before. It’s a well-rounded album. My fans, the people that love the kind of music I make, are gonna love it. It’s gonna surprise a lot of people too. What are some of the surprises? One of the songs is about my mother. T Farris really motivated me to it. She means a lot to me. You don’t really hear people talk about their mama like that, except Tupac’s “Dear Mama.” But other than that, there’s other subjects like “Pop One of These” which is about popping pills and talking broads into poppin’ pills. I got Too Short on there with me. Travis Barker produced that one. There’s other songs that don’t really sound like a Paul Wall song but when you hear me on it, it all just mixes together. Who are some of the other people you worked with? What’s up with Z-Ro workin’ with everybody all of a sudden? It seems like everybody in Texas got a Z-Ro hook or a Z-Ro verse. (laughs) I been down with him for a long time as homeboys, and I did a lot of music with him too. He’s one of the hottest artists from Texas, so naturally all artists from Texas wanna work with him. It’s just a matter of who he wants to work with. It seems like we’re gonna get treated to seeing

more of the artist Paul Wall, not necessarily the personality. I know you’re not complaining because it was good for business, but when you got popular and everyone associated you with grills, did you ever think, “Damn, I can make good music too.” Yeah. But like my homeboy Lil Keke say, I made that bed so I gotta sleep in it. That’s just something that sets me apart from everybody, something that people know me by. I accept it; I don’t mind it at all. I’m kinda in the history books being known for grills. It was a whole movement. Without the grills I’m just another rapper. Any artist you can think of, we made ‘em grills. Without the grills, there’s a lot of relationships I would’ve never had. I might have never done a song with Jermaine Dupri or Nelly. What are you currently listening to right now and what are you looking forward to hearing? I like a lot of music that came out in ’96, ’97, around that era. I also like new music. I’m a big fan of the Mob Figaz and Andre Nickatina. I listen to a lot of the music from the Bay. I also like Strong Arm Steady from Southern California. I listen to a more underground style of music, music people might not expect me to listen to.

Speaking of underground, at the height of your popularity, did you ever feel out of place or miss being Paul Wall the Houston star? Ever since I could remember I’ve always felt that when I step in the room it’s all eyes on me. I capture the attention of the whole room. At the same time, even at the height of my popularity, I felt like I could walk into Wal-Mart with some flip flops on. I don’t have to put on a front for nobody, I can be me at all times. I’m proud to be able to say that. Are you still doing stuff with Skinhead Rob and Travis? Yeah, we’re still doing the music but we’re focusing more on the clothes right now. Skinhead Rob comes up with a lot of the designs. I throw my two cents in here and there, but Skinhead does the other ninety eight. But yeah, our clothing line is doing real good for us. The website is www.IGotExpensiveTaste.com. I know a lot of new artists are coming in the game through the internet and don’t get out in the streets with their fans. How do you feel about the current relationship between rappers and their fans? I’ve always been a people person. That’s how I

got the name The People’s Champ. There’s not too many artists like that. I enjoy being around my fans. It gives me energy and puts me on another level. A lot of other artists don’t like to be bothered, they kinda keep to themselves, and have an arrogance about them. Maybe the arrogance feeds them. Whatever works for you. What works for me is being The People’s Champ. We’re living in a different economic climate than when The People’s Champ and Get Money, Stay True came out. Did you make a conscious effort to rap less about grills, jewelry, and cars? I think people wanna be motivated; at the same time, they wanna relate. I have my ups and downs and people can relate to that. If I talk about balling, I’m not talking like it just fell out the sky, I’m talking about the grind that went along with it. I think when people hear that it’ll motivate them to go out and get something. If every artist was out there complaining about everything in their music, that would be worse. You gotta compromise. You can have the downs, but you gotta have the ups too. Words by Maurice G. Garland Photo by SLFEMP



WORDS BY ERIC PERRIN PHOTO BY MS rivercity Last winter Gorilla Zoe complained to world that he was losing his mind, losing control, and that he was “caught up in a world, a labyrinth, a maze.” Well, we’ve done our research and determined that Zoe hasn’t lost his mind. he just CHOOSES to leave it LaLa Land every so often. What exactly is LaLa Land? LaLa land is the best feeling you can ever have in the world. LaLa land is when you’ve been drinkin’, and then you smoke a couple blunts. Everybody knows that feeling, it’s a cool feeling, a smooth feeling. But then you pop a pill which is an upper, and it wakes you up, so you’re feeling good. Then you get you a Fanta and change the color of it wit’ some lean to make it real muddy. You drink that lean, get on a pill or two, get two 20-ounce Sprites, a good kush blunt, a couple of shots, and you’ll be in LaLa Land. I’ve had the most amazing times in LaLa Land. Have you had any bad experiences in LaLa Land? Yeah, when I had bad pills. Bad pills just ain’t right. They do something to your brain and have you talkin’ crazy. If you’ve ever seen anybody on some bad pills you’d know it; they don’t know who they are, they don’t know what they’re talkin’ about. They make shit up. They constantly think somebody’s after ‘em, and they wanna fight. Bad pills make you paranoid. You’ll be happy and sad at the same time. You might be crying one minute and then and laughing nonstop the next—all within an hour. Until the pill wears off you’ll be straight trippin’. It’s a real bad experience. But all drugs have those effects. With any drug you can run into a bad batch. I’ve had some bad pills before, and I can tell you it’s a terrible feeling. How prevalent are bad batches of drugs? You might get maybe one bad batch out of a hundred. Do you remember your worst experience with drugs? A bitch laced my blunt when I was 14. She had me thinkin’ I was crazy, man. I kept seeing the same sign on [Highway] 285. Every time we passed an exit it kept saying MLK. I know we just passed MLK, and then I would see MLK again. It seemed like life was going backwards. I was listening to the radio and it sounded like the devil was on the radio. I was in the backseat trippin’, grabbing my head like, “What

smoke a couple joints of that dro and I was good. Now the shit just keeps gettin’ more and more potent.

the fuck!” So I get home and turn on the TV, but I’m so high I can’t change the channel. I thought I was really entering into hell because I felt myself going from a 14 year old all the way back to a baby. The reality was, I got home around midnight and I stayed up watching TV until 7 in the morning. At 7 in the morning Sesame Street or some shit came on, so [the channel] had gone from a grown up show, to some kind of nature show, and then that baby shit came on in the morning. I had been watching Georgia Public Access TV all night and didn’t even know I was watching TV; I thought I was dying. I was so fucked up. The damn bitch laced my blunt, man. Why did she lace your blunt? Was she trying to get back at you for something? Naw, the bitch was just on dope. How old were the first time you ever smoked weed? I was 9 years old. It was a big blunt. I had diarrhea for three days. That was when you could get pillow-sized sacks of weed for cheap. We got three of them nicks, it seemed like they were about the size of a baseball, big stupid nicks of regular weed. We rolled it up in big Philly blunts and sat behind the bushes just smoking. I got so fucking high I couldn’t even go to school the next day. The shit fucked me up so bad I was shitting on myself, throwing up; just sick as fuck. I think I had just smoked too much. What made you want to do it again? That first time fucked me up so bad I didn’t even wanna smoke no more. I didn’t really start smoking again until I was about 12 or 13, and then at 14 the bitch laced my blunt and I stopped smoking again. But I fell in love with weed in Job Corps when I was 16. I gotta hold of that hydroponic—that was the shit back then, it was that real light, mint-green weed. We didn’t roll that shit up in blunts. We were rolling it up in joints, and the high off that was so much different than the cheap shit I had been smoking. That regular weed gives you headaches, makes you paranoid, but that hydro just had a nigga cooling all day off a couple joints. I would drink a couple beers,

Of course weed is smoked by all races of people, rich and poor, but it seems the rap culture is especially obsessed with weed. Why is that? It’s not just rap, it’s music in general: alternative music, rock, emo-rock, country music—everybody in music is about feeling good, and weed makes you feel good. In any genre of music weed plays a part. In country music, for example, they talk about bitches, gettin’ high, gettin’ drunk, and being depressed. “Somebody shot my dog, my wife left me, I’m feeling bad, went to the bar, met Susie and left with Susie in one night.” (starts singing “One Night” repeatedly) That’s just music in general. Blues is the same way, all music is about the same shit, just different ways of expression. On your single “Lost” you said you “drink the pain away,” but “still have no answer.” I’m not going to get into the psychology behind that statement, but since this is the drug issue, what’s the best drink to get rid of the pain? Jones Cream Soda and promethazine tastes like cotton candy. That lean gives you a real chill feeling and helps you relax. One thing about lean, though, you’ve just gotta keep moving. When you sit yo’ ass down, that shit’s like a damn tranquilizer. Yo’ ass will be outta there. Mixing some lean and a pill is a great feeling. What would you like to tell kids about drugs? I ain’t gon’ tell them not to do drugs, because that would make me a hypocrite. But I will say this to the kids: with anything you do, you’ve gotta be careful. As soon as a muthafucka says, “Hey, don’t do that,” the first thing you gon’ do is exactly what they told you not to do. I’m not gon’ be a hypocrite and flat-out say, “Don’t do drugs,” but I will say that drugs can fuck up your life. They make you lazy and takes your mind off what it’s supposed to be on. They make you feel like you’re getting away from reality when you really need reality to learn how to get through things. Everything should be done in moderation. Drugs ain’t great for you, but it’s just like sex. If you tell some kid not to have sex, they’re gon’ go have sex. What we should be doing is warning them. If you gon’ do drugs, do it in moderation. Use the drugs, don’t let the drugs use you. // OZONE MAG // 75


throat. We might be able to make green later. I’m blue, and [DJ Drama] is yellow. [The Aphilliates] gotta do what they gotta do, and I’m doing what I gotta do. With all the mixtapes you’re putting out now, people say you’re going for the mixtape king title. I feel like Lil Wayne did it in rapping. Somebody can say he’s whack, or somebody can say he’s dope as hell. But nobody can say he didn’t work hard to get that Grammy. Before he put out his album he put out 600 songs. Who do you know in any business that’s gonna do that? How can you hate on Kobe Bryant when he shoots 8001,200 jump shots a day, even on a off day? The more mixtapes I do, the better I get. You might be tired of hearing my mixtapes, but I’m gonna keep going until I can say I’m the best. There’s so many other cats doing mixtapes right now, like Scream, Warrior, and Skee. I respect them, but I want to be the man. A lot of DJs are scared to go to the next level. In one year alone I did 12 mixtapes. There’s just so many lanes; that’s what I’m doing. You know, Wayne is singing, rapping, doing rock music. He’s doing all thatand killin’ ‘em. I just want to put out a lot of product. Since the music game is kinda fucked up I don’t have the chance to put out as many records as I want to, so I do it through mixtapes.

Deeper Than Mixtapes Don Cannon Alongside DJ Drama and DJ Sense, DJ/producer Don Cannon played a critical role in establishing Atlanta, GA based DJ Crew, the Aphilliates, not only as DJs, but also as major players in the rap game. In late 2008 eyebrows raised throughout the industry when it was announced that Don Cannon was ending his affiliates with the Aphilliates (no pun intended). Cannon, who has produced records for Young Jeezy (“Go Crazy,” “Circulate”), Ludacris (“Everybody Hates Chris”), 50 Cent (“Man Down”), and a long list of others, left his longtime team for new management in Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon, who also manage Ludacris, Swizz Beatz and Young Jeezy. While Cannon insists his split from the Aphilliates was amicable, he still remains tightlipped about his departure. Choosing only to speak on the direction of his new imprint Cannon Music, his work with new artists like Asher Roth, Mack Maine and the Cool Kids, his push to become the go-to mixtape DJ, and his new business with professional skateboarder Stevie Williams, the Cannon brand appears ready to explode. What’s going on with you right now? I just started my own joint. Got a record label, got a production company, signed a couple producers, and I’m just working. I’m trying to work with all the new artists coming out, and also help the established artists get that stadium smash, that energetic record that they didn’t get from anybody else. What direction are you trying to take the Don Cannon brand? It seems like you’re going

into the skateboarder direction. A lot of the mixtapes you’ve been doing are not necessarily street artists. I make music that’s naturally street. Just the crossover is just helping the brand even more. I think it’s a problem when you don’t have both street and crossover. I just did Mack Maine’s mixtape, that’s street. I did Bangledesh’s at the same time, and Asher Roth, that’s Hip Hop. I just did these homies from Detroit that’s street. When you’re just on one leg, you don’t give yourself a chance to grow in all fields. Kanye [produces for] Jay-Z and Talib Kweli at the same time. I’m naturally Hip Hop, I’m naturally street. Somebody would be a fool to be a DJ, and just DJ hood shit all day, and not wanna go get Paris Hilton money. How far can you go? Is your goal to be a great producer, the biggest mixtape DJ, or the biggest club DJ? I wanna be looked at as an icon in music, someone that came up and did everything. I DJ, I do mixtapes, production, and all of those are things I do equally well. I’m trying to be well-rounded. That’s my angle that I’m bringing to the game. Which one do you love the most? I started DJing when I was 5, and I started rapping and producing when I was 11. At that young age, that’s hard to do. I have documented tapes. I made my own beats and rapped when I was 11 years old. A lot of people can’t say that. Where are the tapes? Go ahead and leak them. A lot of questions I really don’t answer. [My] story isn’t done yet. Like the Aphilliates story, that’s probably something’s that’s gonna be told later on down the road. There’s nothing bad about it. It happens to every group. Everybody’s got different visions. You start out working with each other, and that’s what you are supposed to do. But there comes a time when you like blue, and I like red. That doesn’t mean I’ve gotta slit your

What placements to you have coming up? I just finished working with [Fabolous] and 50 Cent. I’m doing a project for Baron Davis, who plays for the L.A. Clippers. He has a movie called Bloods and Crips: Made In America, a documentary about the gang activity in L.A. He did a soundtrack, and I did a couple records on there, one with Freeway, and one with Styles P. Do you have any new artists you’re working with now? Asher Roth and the Cool Kids are definitely dope. I fuck with Mack Maine. Juice [from Arizona]. A lot of dudes from Philly I fuck with, too. What is your management situation? I picked up Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon of Ebony Son Management; they manage Swizz Beatz, Ludacris, [and] they had Jeezy. Me and Swizz are the only producers right now, and it’s new to them, cause I know producing is real hard. They have their connects, I have my connects. I’m in direct contact with most artists. Any artists that you want to talk to, I can probably get them on the phone. [Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon] have the corporate [relationships]. I think it’s time to take it to the next level. I wanna help their company out and do a lot of things for their artists, and vice versa. I believe they want to help me become that big producer. You recently opened a skate shop in Atlanta? It’s in Little 5 Points Atlanta called SK8TIQUE. My partner Stevie Williams is one of the biggest black skateboarders out. We’ve got a ramp in the back, which enables skaters to come to the skate shop. If there was a skate park in Atlanta, it’d be fucking crazy. I know Stevie, and I knew what Atlanta didn’t have, so I wanted to help him. That’s what it’s about, bringing new stuff to the game. Atlanta is a laidback city. People think it’s just about players, stripping, Cadillacs, [but] you got different aspects of [Atlanta]. And it’s good for the community to get the kids involved in something fun. // Words by Randy Roper Photo by Hannibal Matthews OZONE MAG // 77

Rick Ross/Deeper Than Rap Maybach Music/DEF JAM Ross’ third album is without a doubt one of 2009’s most anticipated albums, and with a well-produced, 14-track effort, the Boss does not disappoint. “Mafia Music,”“Maybach Music Pt. 2,”“Magnificent” and “Usual Supects” lead a long list of standout tracks that feature guest spots from T-Pain, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, John Legend, Nas, Trina, The-Dream, Ne-Yo, Robin Thicke, Foxy Brown and others, not to mention beats most rappers would kill for. Although the album has one too many songs aimed at female fans and too much emphasis on his beef with 50 Cent (Bang Em Smurf should not be the last voice that listeners hear), Ross does his best to keep a balance between commercial and street music. Deeper Than Rap is arguable the best album of Ross’ career. Randy Roper

Gorilla Zoe/Don’t Feed The Animals BLOCK ENT/Bad Boy South/ Atlantic Clearly, on his sophomore album, Zoe was looking to expand his sound from his “Hood Nigga” origins. On his single “Lost,” along with album cuts like “Dope Boy,”“So Sick” and “Echo,” listeners will find Zoe singing more than rapping. As you’d expect, those songs are hit and miss. On “Shit On ‘Em,” Zoe takes the title too literally; this might be the shittiest song I’ve ever heard. “Talk Back” is another song that borders the TMI line, when Zoe, Ebonylove and Roxy Reynolds take sex talk past a XXX rating. Overall, Don’t Feed Da Animals isn’t a bad album, but you get the feeling Zoe is still trying to find his sound and figure out which lane fits him best. - Randy Roper

Slim Thug/Boss Of All Bosses Boss Hogg Outlawz/E1 Music Boss Of All Bosses marks Slim Thug’s return to a more Houston-sounding album, thanks to the majority of production coming from Mr. Lee. The Boss is more introspective on this album, using his characteristic deep Houston drawl to give us more insight into who he is and what he’s thinking. Slim Thug lets loose on “I’m Back,” which features Devin the Dude, and proves to be one of the album’s strongest efforts. “Thug,”“Leanin’” and “Associates” all help propel the album. It’s worthy effort from the Boss of All Bosses. Slim Thugga, muthafucker! - Rohit Loomba


Flo Rida/R.O.O.T.S./POE BOY/ATLANTIC After the success of “Low,” it’s clear that Flo Rida’s new music has been following the “apple-bottom jeans, boots with the furs” blueprint. More than likely, you’d hear most of the songs on Flo Rida’s new album on pop radio before a Hip Hop station. While that’s not a bad thing in terms of crossover success, an urban audience would be hardpressed to find many (if any) songs to relate to on R.O.O.T.S. His entire album sounds like one long “Low” remix. - Randy Roper

Capone-N-Noreaga/ Channel 10/Thugged Out/Fontana Capone N Noreaga’s latest offering, Channel 10, is firmly rooted in the style of their classic War Report. The few tracks that veer from the formula are the weakest links. CNN delivers triumphant QB finesse on “Grand Royal” and “Follow the Dollar,” but lose the magic with “Rotate” and “Channel 10.” While this album will make CNN fans happy, it’s hard to argue that most of it is anything beyond mediocre. CNN brings us closer to the Iraq they once showed us, but still doesn’t get us back. - Rohit Loomba

The-Dream/Love vs. Money Radio Killa/Def Jam There are things in life that are better than sex, at least just average sex, and The-Dream’s Love vs. Money is one to add to the list. Equate TheDream’s discography to sex and Love Hate is the foreplay, Love vs. Money is the intercourse, leaving us to hope that his next album, Love King, will be the thunderous, musical orgasm. But with tracks like “Love vs. Money” and “Fancy,” some may argue that this is already a manifestation of a musical climax. Impeccable songwriting set over Tricky-produced soundscapes makes Love vs. Money another classic delivered by the R&B gorilla himself. - Rohit Loomba Jadakiss/The Last Kiss Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam/Ruff Ryders One of Hip Hop’s most heralded lyricists, Jadakiss, returns with The Last Kiss. Jada doesn’t miss a step, getting back into the lyrical onslaught expected from him from the first bar. “One More Step” finds Jadakiss and Styles P rapping back and forth in a way only they can and “What If” featuring Nas marks yet another Jada track with the soul purpose of posing questions. While there aren’t necessarily bad tracks on this album there are some that just aren’t good. But by no means do they make this an album to miss. - Rohit Loomba Jim Jones/Pray IV Reign/ Columbia Surprisingly, the fourth solo album from Dipset Capo Jim Jones is a solid release that deserves burn in any iPod. More credit can be given to the album’s production (with beats by No I.D., Chink Santana, Ron Browz, Ryan Leslie and a few others) than Jim Jones’ actual talent as a MC, but Jones’ rhymes have improved over the years. And his storytelling holds attention on the album’s intro, “Pulling Me Back,” “Let It Out” and “Frienemies.” The Ron Browz-assisted hit “Pop Champagne,” along with cuts for the streets and the ladies, gives Pray IV Reign a balance. It’s a winning formula that Jones can feel free to pop champagne and fly high about. - Randy Roper

Asher Roth/Asleep In The Bread Aisle SchoolBoy/SRC/Universal Motown Seen appearing on the scene, Asher Roth has been assaulted with countless white rapper jokes and Eminem comparisons. Fortunately, his debut album should solidify him as a respected artist in his own lane. Whether he’s rhyming about school days (“I Love College”), shrugging off life’s woes (“La Di Da” produced by Don Cannon), living the single life (“Be By Myself” featuring Cee-Lo), or stepping out of the Slim Shady shadows (“As I Em”), Roth comes off as a cool white kid who enjoys rapping and is just happy to be here. Bread Aisle is one of the better debut albums to be released in the last couple years. Hopefully it’ll make Hip Hop fans forget all about that White Rapper Show on VH1. - Randy Roper

Mims/Guilt American King/Capitol Back with his second album to break Hip Hop’s so-called sophomore curse, Mims brings music to express emotion with Guilt. He shows his versatility on “Love Rollercoaster,” where Letoya Luckett also holds her own. “Rock N Rollin” is an electrifying record with Tech N9ne. Guilt has a few tracks that don’t show Mims’ true potential, like the “A Milli” knockoff “Makin’ Money,” and “On and On,” where he attempts a Fabolous-style ladies record. Guilt has enough quality records to make it worth a listen. - Quinton Hatfield

J. Stalin/Gas Nation Town Thizzness/SMC From the moment you pop in J.Stalin’s Gas Nation, you get taken back to a time when you liked Bay Area rap for what it was: dope beats and everyday street lyrics. DJ Fresh’s production on “Cocaine Cowboys” and Traxamillion’s contributions on “Millionaire Status” makes you feel like you’re riding in a Iroc through West Oakland in the 80’s, while his associate Lil Blood’s solo “Stressed Out” lets you know what’s going on in those houses you’re passing by. The album never tries to relive the Bay’s “golden era” nor does it try to revive the failed “hyphy movement.” Stalin simply does him and represents for the new generation in the Bay that was birthed out of the greed and crack-infested 80’s. While he is realistic about his surroundings and the situations they present, he always tries to offer a hint of optimism or a flicker or normalcy where every decision isn’t a life or death one. – Maurice G. Garland

Beeda Weeda/Da ThizZness Town Thizzness/SMC When Beeda Weeda emerged on the scene just a few years ago it was obvious that he was a talent so raw that he was either going to evolve into an attention-demanding artist or stay too street to ever go anywhere. Hopefully, he’s developed into the former. Backed by universal but personalized production for his flows, Beeda presents an album that can and will appeal to every it touches. Sex, hustling and having fun while doing it are the main themes, and even when he does briefly quip some gangsta shit on songs like “What’s Hannin Wit It,” the hook and beat keep you dancing. Beeda’s mastery of crafting songs that can spark in the club and jam beyond give you reason to believe that if the country finally starts looking at the Bay closer, it’s going to be him getting a large part of the attention. Maurice G. Garland Eddie Projex/I Got The Streets On Fire Town Thizzness/SMC Seasoned vet Eddie Projex’s bio says he’s comparable to Eazy E, Too Short, Jay-Z, Tupac Shakur, Nas, Scarface, TI, Young Jeezy, and Notorious B.I.G. Other than being black and rapping, I don’t see the comparison. To his credit, Projex does sound like a man all his own with a distinctive voice. Unfortunately, he doesn’t really bring or say anything new, though it’s obvious that he could. Many of the songs sound formulaic at best, rarely going beyond just being background music to blast outside in the neighborhood. - Maurice G. Garland

Dirty/Married To The Game IMG Records/Koch Although this Alabama rap group has never been able to top the success of their hit single “Hit Da Floe,” the Pimp and da Gangsta have released solid and consistent albums. The duo’s latest album Married To The Game is no exception. While their music continues to be slept-on, “Suicide,”“Put It On Paper,”“Born In The Ghetto” with Khujo Goodie and “Shit Changed” are all tracks that Southern rap fans need to hear. Although Da Gangsta only appears on a handful of tracks, giving this album more of a Pimp solo project feel, the latter holds down this album for the both of them. Dirty will probably never get the props they deserve, but fans should hope they don’t decide to divorce the game. - Randy Roper Rapper Big Pooh/Delightful Bars Big Pooh, one half of North Carolina’s Little Brother, hits heavy on his second solo album. While we’re used to the great chemistry Pooh and rhyme partner Phonte put down, Pooh shows he can carry his own weight. “The Comeback” is a dope record with strong bass and hot bars which will impress diehard Hip Hop heads. “Power” featuring O. Dash has more lyrical wordplay. Other standout records include “It’s A Go,”“Radio” and “RearView Mirror.” Overall, this album displays real lyrical quality that the game is lacking. - Quinton Hatfield

J-Money, DJ Scream & DJ Spinz/ Mr. Futuristic J-Money is the newest trapper/ rapper in Atlanta to have the streets on smash, and on Mr. Futuristic, he teams up with Hoodrich DJs, Scream and Spinz, for the second time. For those that are not accustomed to the new school rappers that are coming out of the A, to sum up their music, it’s basically “swag,”“trap,”“swag”“get money,” and “swag.” J-Money will probably never spit a line that you’ve never heard before, but his so-called “futuristic” rap style is catchy. This mixtape makes it evident why the streets are into his music. - Randy Roper

J. Wells/Digital Master, Vol. 2.1 Bonzi On this follow-up to J. Wells’ 2005 debut album, Digital Master, a host of noteworthy artists link up with this rapper/producer. Da Brat and Kurupt drop verses on “Already Famous,” Snoop Dogg makes an appearance on “All My Bitches,” and Goodie Mobb’s Big Gipp and Flipmode Squad’s first lady Rah Digga come through on “Gotta Have That” and “Brand New.” Though this album has some hot tracks, some of J. Wells’ production is somewhat weak, leaving one to wonder if he’s the type of producer to not save his best beats for himself. Even with a few mediocre beats, J managed to call in enough favors to make this album one for the playlist. - Randy Roper

U-N-I & Ro Blvd/A Love Supreme Completely produced by Los Angeles, CA beatmaker Ro Blvd, A Love Supreme is the sophomore album from L.A. emcees Y-O and Thurzday (collectively known as U-N-I). Songs like “My Life,”“Lately,” and “Pulp Fiction Part 1” are all standouts that a Southern Cal college student or a Compton Crip could both vibe to. Love Supreme does contain a couple tracks like “Stylin’” and “Hammertime” that listeners may not be totally infatuated with. But this project has more to love than hate, as this duo’s music continues to be a refreshing and unique mixture to add to the New West movement. - Randy Roper

TiRon/Ketchup The second mixtape from this Cali MC has something for the smokers (“The High”), the drinkers (“3 Drink Minimum”), the ladies (“She” with Pacific Division) and the grown folks (“So Called Twenties”). People may want to corner TiRon into a “backpack” or “hipster” category, but the easiest way to describe Ketchup is feel-good music. “Throwing Money,”“Go,” and “Sydney” are the type of songs that serve as background music to light one up and blow away life’s problems to. TiRon may not all that well known, but this mixtape makes a strong case for why he should be. - Randy Roper



Gucci Mane Event: Welcome Home concert Venue: Plush Nightclub City: Jacksonville, FL Date: March 13th, 2009 Photo: Kingpin


Mick Boogie & Terry Urban

“We Put The A In Austin” 1. DJ Chuck T “Down South Slangin’ 57” www.djchuckt.com 2. DJ Plus “Rise To Power” www.myspace.com/djplus 3. Ill Fat “Coast 2 Coast 71” Hosted by Jadakiss www.coast2coastmixtapedjs.c om

4. DJ Black & Juicy J “Fuck Me, Screw Me 3” www.myspace.com/thekingofdrag 5. DJ Raze One “Side Walk Radio 4” Hosted by Quiz www.myspace.com/d jrazeone 6. DJ Cannon Banyon “Good Ass Remix” Beats by MIDIMarc www.myspace.com/cannonbanyon 7. Othaz Records “Arab Money Radio” Hosted by Busta Rhymes arabradioh otline@gmail.com 8. DJ Whutevva “New Joints For Dummies” www.myspace.com/djwhutevva1 9. Jay Classik & DJ L-Gee “An A&R’s Dream” www.myspace.com/jayclassik www.myspace.com/djlgee 10. Dutty Laundry “New World Order Central Station” www.myspace.com /duttylaundry 11. DJ Black Bill Gates “King Shit Radio 4” www.blackbillgates.podomati c.com 12. DJ Shadoe “Tha Connect” Hosted by Young Roccett www.myspace.com/djshadoe 13. DJ Scope “Street Certified Vol. 47” www.myspace.com/infareddjscope

14. DJ Kay Slay & DJ Scope “Sweeping The Streets Radio” www.coast2coastmixtapedjs.com www.myspace.com/infareddjscope 15. DJ Fletch “The Hip Hop Bible” www.myspace.com/djfletchdallas 16. DJ Bobby Black & DJ Drama “Down & Dirty 33” www.myspace.com/djbobbyblack www.gangstagrillz.com 17. DJ Scorpio, Janiro & Playboy Trey “Follow Me: Twitter.com The Mix CD” www.myspace.com/djscorp io

www.myspace.com/mickboogie www.myspace.com/terryurban In celebration of Austin, TX’s South by Southwest this past March, mixtape titans Mick Boogie and Terry Urban hooked up for the We Put The A In Austin mixtape. This mix features Atlanta vet Killer Mike along with ATL underground standouts Hollyweerd, Proton, Izza Kizza, Donnis and Grip Plyaz. In addition to the mixtape, the artists featured on the mixtape performed during a SXSW showcase by the same name. If you missed the show, you can still check the mixtape to hear some of the best new artists the A has to offer. DJs, send your mix CDs (with a cover) for consideration to: OZONE Magazine 644 Antone St. Suite 6 Atlanta, GA 30318

18. DJ Ron G & Mark Styles “Can’t Stop 3” www.myspace.com/rong1 19. DJ Spinatik “Street Runnaz 32” www.djspinatik.com 20. DJ 31 Degreez “Florida Heat” www.dj31degreez.biz



Ludacris, Young Jeezy, & T.I. Event: Swagga Like Us concert Venue: Phillips Arena City: Atlanta, GA Date: April 5th, 2009 Photo: Julia Beverly